The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 6, 1940

FIVE EDITORIALS

Site Ed. Note: And so, out of "Empty Lands", there issues the accurate prediction that for the millions of displaced in Europe a new promised land would need be found by warís end.

Cheap Enough

Oil Trucks Are Not Much Hampered By These Findings

Major John Armstrong, chief of the State Highway Patrol, was riding along Highway No. 1, somewhere near Sanford, when he saw the truck. It carried 4,000 gallons of gasoline, and was bowling along at--55 miles an hour.

So Major Armstrong testified before a magistrate in Sanford.

However, the driver and the owners of the truck didn't need to worry--much. A magistrate thought the offense was only worth a fine of $10.

The driver will simply need to keep his eyes a little more carefully wide-open for a possible patrolman. But if he gets caught occasionally--well, the gain in time is probably worth the $10 to the owners.

If a man had been caught rolling bombs up and down the highway, he certainly would not have got off for $10. But 4,000 gallons of gasoline hurtling over the road at 55 miles an hour is a bomb--constitutes a menace to the lives of every person it encounters and to all the property by which it passes. And to treat it as a passenger car is treated for speeding is quite inadequate.

The law itself is at least partly at fault. It is explicit enough on the point that these vehicles shall not exceed a speed of 35 miles an hour. But penalties in keeping with the gravity of the danger involved in operating them at high speeds are not provided.

Rigid Minds

Medieval Notions Of Japan Work To Her Disadvantage

The little Japanese brown man's mental equipment, fetched over from the Middle Ages, is scarcely handy right now. It hampers him in adjusting himself to facts.

General Ma is plainly very much alive. But eight years ago the brass hats were so sure they had killed him that they proudly reported that to the Emperor. And whatever is reported to the Emperor is "irrevocable." General Ma, therefore, has officially to be a ghost. Treating him as such might be dangerous.

More dangerous is the medieval ideology about the nature of the war. Takao Saito has been thrown out of his own political party for criticizing the presence of the Japanese Army in China. Army officers charge him with "open insults against the objectives of the sacred war in China." And the Social Mass Party speaks of his arguments as "detrimental to the lofty ideals of the founding empire."

That is, the war in China is a holy one. And having once entered upon it, it must be carried through to final and full victory. To turn back would be blasphemy. Which would be all very well were it not for the plain fact that final and full victory is increasingly unlikely. The Japanese war machine is mired up in the South. And even in the northern areas where it has been successful, guerrilla warfare continues to make life a nightmare for it. Moreover, it is more and more clear that the United States is getting into a humor to cut off war supplies and destroy the whole Chinese adventure in a blow.

What Japan needs now is flexibility, a willingness to take what she can get and reach a settlement. But she can't do that in terms of holy wars.

Smear Method

Joe Starnes Tries Out A New Technique In Field

The Honorable Joe Starnes--he who once wanted to summons before the Dies Committee that notorious Red, Kit Marlowe, mouldering in his grave these 300 years and more--"clears" four Congressmen, the Hons. Coffee of Washington, Larrabee of Indiana, Ramspeck of Georgia, and Murdock of Utah, of charges that they attended a dinner where plans were discussed for "killing" the Dies Committee.

But that is supreme impudence on his part. They need no "clearing."The only way the Dies Committee can be "killed" is for Congress to refuse to continue to make appropriations for it. And it is perfectly within the rights of any group of Congressmen, as of any other Americans, to oppose the continuing of such appropriations, to seek to do away with the Dies Committee. And the suggestion that a meeting for that purpose constitutes a plot, amounts to a crime of which those not there must be cleared, is brassbound effrontery.

Things have come to a pretty pass if one's approval or disapproval of the Dies Committee is to be made a test of patriotism and loyalty. Approving the legitimate purpose of the committee, we have always looked with a grave doubt--often with outright disgust--upon the methods it has used, which have sometimes been far more dangerous than any of the Reds and Nazis it was set to investigate. Both Dies and Starnes have constantly used the committee simply by way of publicity for themselves and by way of smearing anybody they didn't like. The "clearing" here is simply a method of smearing.

Third Term

President Is Justified In Keeping His Own Counsel

President Roosevelt might have shown a great deal more resentment about the attempt to smoke him out on the third term than he actually showed yesterday. Not so much against the newspaper men, who are merely doing their duty in attempting to get at his intentions, but against the politicians like Bounding Bert Wheeler and Walter George, who have been solemnly demanding that he announce his stand as a duty to the country.

It is a demand which no President in Mr. Roosevelt's position could be expected to heed. If he intends to run, it would be simply to give his enemies time to wage a great campaign against it. And if he doesn't intend to run, it would be to strip himself of every ounce of his influence at the coming convention. Ultimately, it comes to a demand that he get utterly out of the picture and allow his foes to pick a candidate totally unacceptable to him.

You might still argue that the "interest of the country" ought to outweigh that, though no realistic person would expect that it would. But as a matter of fact, the international interest of the country demands imperatively that the President keep his own counsel. If he announced that he did not intend to seek a third term, Germany and Japan would immediately begin to ignore the Administration completely. We are having enough trouble in establishing some kind of foreign policy without the Presidentís making himself utterly powerless to deal with foreign nations.

Empty Lands

Great Migrations Will Call For Their Use

General Ironpants Johnson's dislike for England comes out very amazingly in his column today. It is all right for Argentina, with the world's largest area of unoccupied lands fit for the white man, to refuse to allow immigration from Poland and other sectors of Europe where the Nazi terror is in progress. But it is very wicked of England not to coerce one of her dominions and Portugal into allowing such immigration to Africa.

As a matter fact, the right of anybody to corner a huge section of the earth, either in America or Africa, and attempt to keep it unoccupied when millions desperately need it, is immensely dubious.

We are probably going to see the greatest migrations in history since the settlement of America, at the close of this war. The Nazis are plainly out either to exterminate the Poles or to drive them into exile, so as to make room for the Germans now being fetched in from the Baltic states and East Prussia. On the other hand, if the Nazis lose the war, Germany may expect to be divided up. France is plainly determined to put it out of her power ever to make another war. The Rhineland will be taken over. And, with the precedent plainly established by the Nazis themselves, it is altogether likely that the Germans will be cleared out of the territory. In the East, too, Poland will want her revenge, and will desire to clear the Germans out of East Prussia by way of once for all settling the argument about the Corridor.

Poles and other eastern Europeans, or Germans--there promise to be millions of them for whom a new home will have somewhere to be found.

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