The Charlotte News

Friday, July 8, 1938


Their Training School

The Ladies' Home Journal is out today with a story that the drys aren't going to like a bit. The periodical has been conducting a survey among the women of America on the drinking question, and discovers:

1--That a majority of all the women of the country neither believe that Prohibition will ever come back or want it to come back.

2--That the majority of women over 45 do want it to come back and believe it will.

3--That 62 per cent of all the women queried said they believed that it "it adds up to the harmony of marriage when husbands and wives engage in joint drinking."

4--That the majority of those who held this view are under 45, and that the majority of this majority in turn are under 30.

We discreetly withhold our comments, save to point out to those who will be shocked by it, that the great body of women who favor joint drinking between husband and wife, and who therefore presumably practice it, are precisely those who grew up and came into womanhood under Prohibition.

The Long Break

It has gone almost unremarked upon, but it is now more than nine months since there has been a lynching in the South or in the nation. Tuesday something occurred in Mississippi that looked almost like a lynching for a moment, but now appears to have been simply the killing of a Negro murderer in a battle with a posse--plus some nasty foolishness in burning his body afterward. The mob spirit was plainly in the posse, but, if the facts are accurately reported, a lynching it was not. And in any case, it would still have been more than nine months since the last one on October 3, 1937.

What explains this we don't pretend to know. Lynching has certainly been coming down by marked phases since 1903. Between 1882 and that year, the South lynched more than 1800 Negroes. In the next two decades it lynched a good deal less than half as many, and and in the last four years the toll has been only 49--appalling enough, but surely an enormous decrease. Certainly, there will be other lynchings yet, and still it is just possible that the thing is entering on the last days at the end of which lies practical extinction. But maybe it is only the sobering effect of the anti-lynching bill fight. Or that hard times have made us tolerant, though we don't think so. Or only the law chance, or what have you.

But whatever the explanation, if any, the fact remains that we have had here the longest break in lynchings since the Civil War, and perhaps the longest break since the slavery question began to grow tense in the 1840's.

A Motion Is Put

Extra! Mill Man Recommends 40-Cent Minimum Textile Wage! He is Robert Wood Johnson of the firm of Johnson & Johnson, which operates plants in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Georgia. We have heard of him before. That was during NRA, when he protested most vehemently against the limitation of machinery hours to 80 a week. The J. & J. mills make surgical supplies for the company's own trade, and when their production was curtailed by the code it meant that they had to go outside to buy their needs.

Another thing about Johnson & Johnson that makes it different from the run of the textile industry is that, being the manufacturer of specialties for a special customer (itself), it does not have to meet the dog-eat-dog competition which troubles the dreams of the manufacturers of standard numbers. Still, the fact remains that a mill man, who has plants in the South as well as the North, proposes a minimum textile wage of 40 cents an hour. It is worth recording.

Peace in Palestine

Mr. Chamberlain's success in keeping the "peace of Europe for a generation" grows more amazing every day. Under his policy, Hitler has already grabbed Austria, and threatens to grab Czechoslovakia, which is the key to his ambitions in central and eastern Europe. Indeed, he would have grabbed it a month ago if the Czechs themselves had not shown so much determination, and if France had not at once taken the bit in her teeth and left Chamberlain no choice but to go along with her. And under the "agreement" with Mussolini, Italy is plainly to have Spain--and with it the power to attack France from two sides, and to close the Mediterranean to the British.

And what has this policy netted Britain? Well, among other things the nastiest revolt in Palestine she has ever had on her hands--the threat of a general war with the Arabs in Transjordiana. For three years Mussolini's radio station at Bari and his agents have been actively stirring up the Arabs to revolt against and war upon the British, and in that enterprise they have had much aid from Nazi agents. Under the "agreement" with Chamberlain, the Italian activity is supposed to have stopped. But it is precisely in the period when this "agreement" has been on the fire that trouble in the area has waxed most acute. More than 10,000 British troops and three British cruisers have had to be sent to Palestine. But that, you understand, is keeping "the peace for a generation."

An Alien Fired

No roll call was taken, but we bet you a dollar--well, a nickel, anyhow--that Bob Reynolds voted for the bill which ordered the discharge of aliens holding Federal jobs. This was right up Bob's alley. He has gone about the country chanting to whoever would listen that millions of these dratted foreigners had jobs which belonged by rights to 100% Americans, and that even on the relief rolls one out of every eight was an alien. Indeed, in the first session of the 75th Congress, Bob introduced a bill to allow no alien to hold a Federal job if a citizen can be found to fill it, and it would have been better if Congress had passed the Reynolds bill instead of the bill it finally did pass.

One of the first aliens to be fired as a result of this innovation was an actuary for the Social Security Board. A British citizen, he had resided in this country since 1927. Why he had never applied for citizenship, we don't know; and as far as he's concerned, we think his dismissal serves him right.

But the board regrets it exceedingly. The board says that there is not in the whole country one to take this man's place, and that it doesn't know what it will do without him. Hence, the immediate effect of the law prohibiting aliens from holding Federal jobs is to force the Government to fire a specialist it can't replace. And if Bob ever got through his bill for the wholesale deportation of aliens, chances are that this experience would be repeated a thousand times, and a whale of a lot of competent workers would have to turn over their machines and their tools and their sales portfolios to incompetents.

Red for Regulation

Like the cartes blanches which licensed French nymphes du pave must carry and produce for any inquiring police officer, certifying to their health, Southern cotton is going to market this year under white tags, and red. The white identify producers who are co-operating with the Department of Agriculture and have met the requirements as to acreage planted. They may sell all they raise. But the red card is a danger signal.

It serves notice that the producer is a non-participator in voluntary entitlement and that he is entitled to sell tax-free only an assigned quota, no matter if Nature has been good to him and let him grow a bale and a half to the acre. On any cotton in excess of his allowance he must pay a tax of two cents a pound, and since the margin of profit at present prices is hardly that much, the red-tag grower who sells his surplus cotton will have to take a loss.

Well, we suppose it is the only way the transactions could have been handled, and certainly the farmers who are co-operating must have some protection against those who have chosen to go their own road. But we still don't like the idea of red tags and white tags, of sales tax-free to this farmer and taxable to that. In fine, we are afraid that the New Deal's farm program is very much like its labor program--that while both are based on highly desirable ends, the means simply give us an uneasy feeling. Maybe it's those tags in that symbolical red.


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