The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 20, 1937


Site Ed. Note: As to "Gustatory Note", we commented once before, in relation to "Hocus-Pocus", August 9, 1939, anent our explosive experience with escargot, resulting in the need for a new tie. We are pleased to see that Cash, too, had a significant experience with them.

The rest of the day’s page is here.

Sign of Peace

One of the most heartening signs of world peace is the quantity of war talk. The fellow who is always talking about how he's going to macerate everybody seldom does it.

The statesman, the diplomats and the politicians are talking in Brussels. Russia is "warning" Fascist enemies. Mussolini is forever indulging in breast-beating and threats. Hitler and Viscount Halifax have engaged in earnest talk. The "man in the street" is talking about the next war. If Christmas weren't so near the very children would be making predictions.

The two wars now going along were preceded by no talk at all. The Japs struck and then did their talking, and precious little of it. The war in Spain started overnight, without discussions.

Let's talk about war, the "next big war" and the bigger war after the next war. But let's confine ourselves to talking.

To Be Eligible

The Associated Press reports that the Newark News reports that James H . R. Cromwell, author and husband of Doris Duke, "can be the next (Democratic) United States Senator from New Jersey if he wants to be."

The AP, leaving out its "thats" as usual, goes on:

Mrs. Cromwell's "adherence to the Democratic cause showed up in the 1936 campaign in the form of a $50,000 contribution to the New Deal war chest" and said Democrats have agreed there is no question of Cromwell's eligibility inasmuch as he is 40 and "is currently living at Somerville on the Duke estate."

And so that's what constitutes eligibility for a Senator? Well, Indian Bill who contributes to the gaiety of our streets is probably 40, too. And if he isn't currently "dwelling at Somerville on the Duke estate," he is certainly dwelling currently somewhere in Tarheeldom, which would seem to make him eligible to unhorse our own favorite Senator, Robert Rice Reynolds.

But hold--. What was that which went before the 40 and the "currently dwelling"? Something, we discover on looking back, about Mrs. Cromwell and a $50,000 contribution to the New Deal war chest. We hate to abandon the idea of having Indian Bill unhorse Bob. But maybe he isn't eligible, after all.

Site Ed. Note: For more on Mr. Cromwell's political aspirations, and a rebuke from Secretary of State Hull and, finally, Boss Hague, along the way, see "Alger Story", January 9, 1940, "Liberal, Eh?", April 22, 1940, "In 90 Days", June 15, 1940, and "A Sad Case", November 9, 1940.

A One-Man Scrap*

President Roosevelt's order yesterday to the Federal Trade Commission to look into the effective "monopolistic practice" on living costs, with a view to new anti-trust legislation, places him in the precarious position of launching into a furious struggle against--Franklin D. Roosevelt.

For nothing is more certain about the President than these two things: that so far he has moved, not against monopoly and lower living costs, but toward monopoly and higher living costs; and that, even now as he sicks on the anti-trust dogs and cries for lower living costs, he continues to move toward monopoly and higher living costs. From the first day of his administration, the reigning philosophy has been that everybody is happy only when price levels are generally high. NRA in its time openly suspended the anti-trust laws and flatly encouraged monopoly. Since then, the course has really changed little. Crop control for farmers, legislation to foster the development of labor unions, the surplus and capital gains taxes, wage-and-hour bills--all that has been done and most of what is on the fire at the moment, inevitably means higher prices, and, making free competition increasingly difficult, increasingly encourages monopoly. High [indiscernible words] and monopoly, indeed, are an essentially necessary part of the whole New Deal pattern.

And so, as we said in the beginning, the spectacle of President Roosevelt out to put them down is really the somewhat astonishing spectacle of President Franklin D. Roosevelt furiously engaging President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Still Ol' 42*

That was a speech in admiration of North Carolina by a North Carolinian to Tar Heels dwelling in partibus infidelium--that speech which Governor Hoey made in Washington Thursday. And so, naturally, it dwelt only on our merits. Well, we have our merits, and like the Governor we are proud of them. Of our excellent roads. Of our reduction of the State's debt during the depression. Of our industrial progress. Of the fur piece we have traveled toward coming out of the stagnation that sat upon us so heavily in 1900.

But, as between us here in the State--yes, and sotto voce as between us and Tar Heels dwelling in Washington--let us not wax too complacent--not yet. For as we have many times remarked before, there are many things, all of them counted as indexes to civilization, in which North Carolina stands as Ol' 42. She stands forty-second in wealth, for instance--forty-second in literacy--forty-second in this and that. Sometimes the figure varies a little, sometimes she is fortieth or forty-fourth. But over and over again she rates as Ol' 42. She is, indeed, as the Governor said, standing out in front--but in these regards of which we speak, out in front of only six states.

In Any Case, Hospital*

And so--no union hospital. Presbyterian and St. Peter's Hospitals have refused to take the doctors' prescription in one dose, and prefer to remedy the ills of the community with two smaller treatments.

Both sides of this friendly dispute are probably in the right. It would be difficult and almost impossible for our two denominational institutions to forge their financial interests and cooperate in the one undertaking.

At the same time, the need of better hospital facilities here is more than critical. It is almost appalling. The city is under-bedded by one-half. Patients are sleeping in hallways and sun-parlors. And although our present hospitals are good hospitals, run by efficient and devoted persons, the plain fact is that a city like this needs at least one big, modern, completely equipped hospital that would be clinic, research center, and emergency haven for the western Carolinas. God forbid, but any major tragedy of winter storm or rail or air would point the argument for one or more hospitals here poignantly and unforgettably.

Let's support the Presbyterian and St. Peter's. Let's hope that before long the doctors get what they need.

Meet Mr. Eastman

Joseph Bartlett Eastman, 55, New Yorker, Amherst product, Interstate Commerce Commissioner, is a man for the South to know more about. He has been placed in charge of the investigation of the class rate structure of Southern railroads, which North Carolina and eight neighbor states to the south and west insist should be reduced to a level with the rest of the country. New England, of course, with her textile mills, is objecting. Mr. Eastman's conduct of the investigation, naturally, will have a definite effect on the scope and course of the inquiry and the impressiveness of the facts developed. His vote as a commissioner on the final question will be important. The South, therefore, needs to know something about Mr. Eastman.

His first important public service was in New England. He was secretary of the Public Franchise League in Boston, and after that a member of the Massachusetts Public Service Commission. In that period he took part in wage dispute arbitration. In 1919 he became an Interstate Commerce Commissioner and, except for a period as transportation coordinator, has been an active member of that body since. It could be feared, in view of that record, that his New England sympathies might influence him, but here is what he said in Atlanta less than three years ago in reference to the Southern railroad rate structure:

"I am afraid these class rates which we spent so much time in working out are rapidly becoming afflicted with (obsolescence); but that is merely evidence that the world is moving very rapidly these days, so that what was new only yesterday is found to be old and decrepit tomorrow. "

Gustatory Note

Once upon a time, in Strasbourg, an Alsatian waiter snuck up on our blind side and persuaded us to eat something bearing the cryptic name of escargots. Somewhere, sometime, we knew, we had heard that word before, but our school French was years in the past, and we ultimately concluded that it must be some sort of mussel fished out of the nearby Rhine.

They were a little bitter, though not bad, but we had a seasick time of it when a week thereafter we discovered that the blame things were--snails!

We think, however, we feel almost affectionate toward that waiter in comparison to what we would feel toward that Florida host who figured in the dispatches this week, had we been one of the guests to whom he served, all unaware, the meat of an alligator's tail! We can think of nothing worse unless it be rattlesnake steak--another Florida delicacy.

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