The Charlotte News

Sunday, June 12, 1938


Site Ed. Note: A by-lined editorial by Cash, "A Tar Heel Mystery", on the inexplicable re-nomination of Robert Rice Reynolds in the Senate primary, insuring him the incumbency of his seat in a one-party Democratic state, also appeared this date on the page.

Churchill, during the two years after "Chamberlain Totters" until he finally in fact would in May, 1940, would decisively improve in his leadership resolve.

Also, that which is otherwise to be read of this date's page.

Ride, ride, ride.

Ode to Salesmen

The salesman comes into his own in the Charlotte Salesmen's Crusade to be put on here this week and next. The importance of this much-maligned fellow in the scheme of things commercial is generally and facetiously underestimated. Life insurance salesmen, for example, are the butt of countless quips, though these are dying out with the emergence of a different sort of life insurance salesman. But, brethren, the life insurance companies would have a hard time getting along without their salesmen in the field. People don't buy life insurance, they are sold it; and the scratchings of these life insurance salesmen alone account for the hundred billion dollars of life insurance in force in this country on January 3, 1936.

The salesman is in the same relation to our economy as the heart to the human anatomy. He keeps goods and services circulating. The pundits talk about inventories as though they were some business plague which only time could cure, but they are only goods that salesmen haven't sold. The graph of business activity looks like some mysterious moving finger, but all it represents, primarily, is sales activity or the lack thereof.

So, you see, the salesman is really quite a somebody. Directly in proportion to his sales rises and falls not only the commercial welfare of his company but, in the aggregate, the commercial welfare of the whole blamed United States. By George! Come to think of it, salesmen could be heroes, if they'd just get out and sell us out of this recession.

Ho, Hum*

Add to contemptuous opinions of Superior Court business as it is directed in this county that of Chief of detectives Frank Littlejohn. He was expressing himself on the greater deterring effect of certainty of punishment over severity of punishment, when he interjected this:

"In Charlotte, a case against a man of influence and money will rot on the court docket before it is tried."

A thousand times we've said the same thing a little differently. Merely to come from a politer background, plus a right lawyer, is all that it takes in Mecklenburg to obtain continuance after continuance of one's case, or a nollepros, provided one is charged with some of the politer crimes like driving drunk or embezzlement. We've a file full of names and dates, the sum of which established beyond any vestige of a doubt that it is possible to beg off trial in Mecklenburg County or put the thing off until your case is lost sight of in the crowd of untried cases on the docket.

Week in and week out we've addressed ourselves to the bar, to the court officials direct, to the public generally on this very story--and shucks! Nobody is interested. The chief cause of this condition in Mecklenburg County (and Gaston), the Solicitor for the district, is as firmly ensconced in office as ever, having just been renominated without opposition for a term of four more years!

Petty Graft*

The House Appropriations Committee (God save the mark!) adopted a resolution this past week that all men will cheer. It decreed that its members' trips of inspection of Federal activities (a term that covers a multitude of trips) cannot be undertaken at the Government's expense unless approved by a majority of committeemen, and not outside the United States unless approved by the whole committee.

The whole committee, for that matter, is not likely to be much less generous than the whole Congress has been in the past. There have been some infamous junkets. One of the most brazen was the investigation of wild life Senators Walcott, Hawes and Pittman undertook in the Summer of 1930 at the behest of their colleagues. The expense account of that investigation is a graphic document. It would be fun to itemize the whole trip, but in the lack of sufficient space and dollar-mark matrices on the linotype, this typical daily sample will have to serve:

Seven mineral waters, $3.50
Three sinkers, 15 cents
Hotel Lac La Croix, $54

This vacationing at the Government expense is all the more shameful for being so picayunish. It is unworthy of statesmen who appropriate billions of dollars without blinking an eye, to add a note of bathos--"and 15 cents for three sinkers."

Design for a Hospital*

It is a thorough, astute and immensely important report that Dr. William Henry Walsh has made on the hospital situation in Charlotte. From the beginning to the end of its 71 typewritten pages it heads logically and always factually to a conclusion that may best be summarized in this excerpt:

"The immediate consideration... should be the ways and means of amalgamating the Presbyterian, St. Peter's and Good Samaritan Hospitals (though without moving Good Samaritan's plant) in such a manner as to preserve the identity of the sponsors of each, and to satisfy those who have contributed to their support in the past that the movement is in the community interest, sound in its conception and designed to afford the most feasible means of giving to the city and county one union hospital capable of meeting community needs and committed to the adoption of the highest standards of administrative and professional performance."

The alternative to this, according to Dr. Walsh, is the continued use of "small hospitals," which this medical center has outgrown and which, because of their smallness, are not completely equipped or staffed for the scientific diagnosis and treatment of disease. These small hospitals, furthermore, because of their private or denominational nature, are not susceptible to co-ordination in public health work and the isolation of communicable disease.

Amalgamation is not to be brought about, of course, by a simple decision that it is desirable. Even if the Presbyterian Hospital board should be receptive to Dr. Walsh's proposition, there still would remain the intensely practical matters of raising some $250,000 more by popular subscription (for a 300-bed union hospital) and of obtaining recognition from the City and County Governments of their primary responsibility for patients with communicable diseases, indigent psychopathic patients and out patients. That will require performance, but at this juncture an expert hospital consultant has presented a comprehensive plan.

Chamberlain Totters

Anthony Eden's decision to speak out in open opposition to the Chamberlain policy of "twittering protests" (Lloyd George's term and not Mr. Eden's) against the outrages perpetrated by the fascist nations on British shipping, may be the beginning of the end for Mr. Chamberlain.

Opposition from Labor and Liberal quarters has been steadily mounting. And so has opposition from the English public at large. A Gallup poll conducted two months ago showed that even then only 19 per cent of the British people were actively in favor of the Chamberlain policy. And Friday the head of the seaman's union told the House of Commons that sailors, who had always proudly looked upon the Union Jack as their perfect protector, were now openly sneering at the flag (60 British ships have been sunk and 78 British sailors have been killed since the beginning of the Spanish war.) Moreover, a huge part of the Conservative majority in Commons is itself bitterly opposed to the Chamberlain policy--mainly that part which represents the landed gentry rather than the commercial forces of the "City" to which Chamberlain belongs. But Eden was their one possible leader and, down to now, he has refused to oppose Chamberlain. So these Conservatives either had to follow the latter or force him out of office with a vote of lack of confidence, which meant also that they would be voting themselves out of office--something no politician anywhere is ever willing to do.

But with Eden speaking out, and Winston Churchill (a sort of English Borah, incapable of being leader himself) in his usual state of chronic opposition, a shake-up in the leadership of the Conservative Party itself seems quite likely. Indeed, to survive at all before the rising tide in public opinion, the Conservative Party may find itself forced to take the Ramsey McDonald road and form a coalition government, with both the Liberals and Labor strongly represented.

Site Ed. Note: Speaking of British politics and lack of public support for policies promoted thereby, we are reminded of a completely nonsensical statement we heard one of our pundits utter a couple of weeks or so back. He complained that what the Liberal, anti-Iraq war people never addressed in trying to call the war a Conservative Crusade of the present Administration was that the British Labor Party under Mr. Blair had wholeheartedly supported the war from its inception.

In addition to questioning the premises of this statement, we have to query what on earth that has to do with the justification of this war, or the bona fides of the opposition to it. Is the Right Honorable Gentleman of Foxtrot Downs, Mor-tonshire, suggesting that for one to oppose or favor a position on a given issue, he must accord himself only with the right company, those who ideologically would ordinarily agree on the majority of issues posed? Can one never disagree on one issue with a party or individual while agreeing on others? Why does the Gentleman assume that most holding a view against continued American presence in Iraq and against having gone into this war in the first instance are being ideological and opposed to an ideology of the Administration? Polls now suggest quite the contrary, don't they? That the opposition to the war now is rampant within the country, across party and ideological lines.

Mr. Blair has supported the war out of an apparent loyal sense of alliance with America, even though his position has been vastly unpopular from the beginning within his own country, a country now joined increasingly in lack of popular support for this war by this country.

But what, we again ask the Gentleman, pray tell, does Mr. Blair's support, or the support of all the people of Patagonia even, for this war have to do with the price of eggs in Levittown?

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