« AnteriorContinuar »
President Wilson as a parvenu in under- Attempts to Break Down the Immitakings of this sort. The Senator from
gration Law the great state of Massachusetts, the state that had sent to the Senate Daniel T IS already apparent that one of the Webster, Charles Sumner, and George subjects which will again loom largest Frisbie Hoar, had concerned himself with at the present session of Congress is American foreign policy for more than that of immigration. There is a popular thirty years. All its problems had been impression that the comprehensive bill his daily companions during that time. passed last winter had solved this probSenator Lodge, too, was a scholar and a lem, at least for the present generation. historian. What was this Princeton pro- It is already apparent that this is not the fessor-so it is conceivable to imagine case. At least three phases of the unthis elder statesman saying to himself- ending debate are rapidly taking form. who presumed, without consulting him, One represents a concerted and persistent to overturn the teachings of more than attempt to bring about the repeal of the a century, to reverse completely American existing quota law. On the other hand, tradition, and to launch the country on a Mr. Albert Johnson, Chairman of the scheme of partnership with Europe? Immigration Committee, will introduce For a generation no American President bills intended to make that legislation had taken a step in foreign relations even more restrictive. That Japan is without consulting him; why should a still unreconciled to the exclusion of her man of the opposite political faith now nationals is already apparent. ignore his experience?
By far the most important matter at It is an interesting circumstance that all present is the campaign launched for the the Senator's learning and philosophy repeal of the Johnson Act. This camhad not induced in his mind anything paign is almost exclusively alien in its except a feeling of distrust toward inspiration and purposes, though it has Europe. He could see no sincere friends enlisted the sympathies of certain eleof the United States on the other side of ments of the established population. the Atlantic-not even Great Britain. The idea is being circulated that the The organization of the League of Na- quota law is merely a temporary measure, tions he regarded as a European scheme passed in haste and panic, and intended to use this nation's resources and power even by its framers to remain upon the for its own aggrandizement. Senator statute book only until Congress has Lodge was an old man; he had read deeply found the leisure to study the question in Revolutionary history and the history exhaustively and determine the nation's of the fifty years following; he had per- "permanent policy." The demand is sonal and bitter memories of European therefore made for "commissions of exdiplomacy during the Civil War; and he perts" to study immigration in all its could not reframe his beliefs and his details and to present a definite solution prejudices in accordance with what many of our most perplexing problem. regard as the more enlightened political Nothing could be more absurd than this thinking of his later time.
contention. The present immigration If the League of Nations becomes the law is not a temporary expedient: it most important element in the political represents a permanent solution, and was organization of the world, then the part so accepted, when passed, by the Adplayed by Senator Lodge in its defeat ministration and the public. It was not before the Senate will not redound to hastily passed; it was the result of years his reputation as a statesman. If, how- of study, and was the final product of
, ever, it fails in its fine intention, then the most experienced students of the his position as a far-seeing public man subject. That any necessity exists for will be vastly enhanced, with both pres- the further "investigation" of immigra
“” ent and future generations.
tion is hardly a candid claim, for there is
probably no single subject affecting our are entering the United States far in exnational life that has been so completely cess of the quota is an evil calling for investigated in the last fifty years and immediate remedy. That a great misupon which information is so complete. take was made in not extending the It was with all this data at its disposal quota law to the North American conthat Congress, last session, framed the tinent becomes daily more evident. At present legislation. It was passed in the present time there is no limitation response to the strongest possible public on immigration from Canada, the West demand, by an over whelming majority Indies, Mexico, Central America, and in both houses. As to its main features the entire North American continent. -the admission of aliens from European The reason for this liberality was mainly countries on the quota basis—there was sentimental, there being a natural hesipractically no difference of opinion. tation in closing the doors on our own Congressmen, Senators, the press, the American neighbors, especially at a time public, and President Coolidge were when the cultivation of amicable Panalmost unanimously for it.
American relations seemed a desirable
national end. But the quality of immiThe Nation's Fixed, Unalterable grants coming, in large numbers, esPolicy
pecially from Mexico, must soon cause
this question to be regarded in its pracHE only phase on which there was tical light. Canada naturally presents any disagreement was the clause ex a special problem; immigrants from
cluding "aliens ineligible to citizen- her English-speaking provinces—English, ship"—that is, Asiatics and Mongolians. Scottish, and Irish-are always desirable, As to the most important feature of the but French Canadians present a hopeless law—the one which provided that, in fu- problem in assimilation. With all these ture, the bulk of our immigrants should be immigration questions before it-with derived from the northwestern countries alien groups seeking the overthrow of the of Europe, and the smallest possible num whole law, with restrictionists insisting ber from southern and central Europe more exclusive laws, with Mexico, there was no difference of opinion then Canada, and South America presenting as there is not now. That idea, em- special issues, with Japan insisting on the bodied in the Johnson Act, represents repeal of Japanese exclusion-it is apthe fixed, unalterable policy of the United parent that the Immigration Committees States. The efforts of certain racial will be one of the most interesting in Congroups to change this conception, and to gress this winter. change it not in the interests of the United States but in the interests of their The Religious Issue in the Democratic own people now living in Europe, will
Party not alter the American attitude on this question. It will merely be an additional ERHAPS the most interesting quesevidence of the unassimilability of the tion arising from the results of the groups who sustain the agitation, and
November election is the future will be a further demonstration of the of the Democratic party. This is certruth of the criticism so frequently made, tainly the oldest political party in this that their loyalty is not concentrated country and perhaps in the world; it upon America and its institutions, but is has survived many shocks in the past still, above all, a loyalty to their own race and there is little likelihood that it will and religion.
not survive its latest misfortune. A That the present immigration and party that can always cast 136 votes in naturalization laws are incomplete is the Electoral College, that has elected clear enough. But the need is more 12 Senators and 183 representatives to restriction, not less. That immigrants the new Congress, can hardly be re
garded as dead or even moribund.
Western states can control the Presiits future does present certain difficulties, dency, and in a combination of this sort and developments since its recent dis- they have already started Mr. McAdoo's aster have not tended to make them any campaign for 1928. more simple.
A situation of this sort in the DemoThat the party went to pieces, not in cratic party bodes nothing but evil for the first week in November, but in the that party, and, indeed, for the nation as last two weeks in June, is now the out a whole. Its most unfortunate aspect standing fact that should be properly is that it introduces an entirely new note taken to heart by the party leaders. into American politics. Up to the presThe truth is that the "Democracy” was ent time religion has played a negligible not destroyed by its opponents, but that part in our political differences. Unforit committed suicide at the Madison tunately, the Smith-McAdoo feud has Square Garden Convention. Two irre taken on a religious character which it concilable elements, the McAdoo and the will never lose. Its continuance will Alfred E. Smith factions, tore for two mean that the Protestant and Catholic weeks at each other's vitals, and, as an elements will lock horns for another four incident to this personal struggle, drew years, with another convention that will the whole organization down to tem-. merely duplicate the one of 1924, and porary ruin. Developments since the with a party, at the end, even more Republican triumph indicate that the demoralized than it is at the present time. nomination of Mr. Davis represented There are few disinterested political obmerely a truce, for both sides to the servers who believe that either Governor Madison Square Garden battle now seem Smith or Mr. McAdoo can ever receive to be preparing a renewal of Armageddon. the Democratic nomination, or that, in
Governor Alfred E. Smith won an un case either one does, he can ever be precedented victory, attaining the gov elected President. The disappearance ernorship by a majority of 115,702, at
of the candidacies of both men is therethe same time that the Republican can fore an essential preliminary to the redidate for the Presidency swept the state organization of an historic party. It by nearly 900,000 majority. Normally suffers from other ills, some of them exsuch a demonstration of popularity, in ceedingly grievous ones, but this is the the state that casts 45 electoral votes, most discouraging and the one that calls immemorially regarded as indispensable for immediate treatment. to the success of a Presidential nominee, could have only one result. Grover When American Life Had Dignity Cleveland became a Presidential candidate by virtue of a much less spectacular HE Metropolitan Museum of Art of victory than this. Not unnaturally Gov
New York City, in opening a new ernor Smith's supporters have inter wing devoted exclusively to Ameripreted his election, under these circum can interiors and American furnishings stances, as giving him something of a and furniture, has made a graphic convested right to the nomination of 1928. tribution to that work of Americanization They have, for all practical purposes, which is one of the pressing needs of the already entered him as a candidate. time. A hastily judging world has chosen
But Mr. McAdoo's followers have sim to regard American "taste" as representilarly refused to take his defeat at the ing everything that was tawdry and 1924 convention as marking the end of grotesque; it is apparent that the misconhis political career. The fact that Wood- ception arose from taking the manifesrow Wilson became President in 1916 tations of our crudest era as typical of without the electoral vote of New York national culture in the longer range. State, they regard as establishing a new Nothing more absurd than the domestic political era. The Solid South and the arts of the latter half of the nineteenth
The French Shakespeare
century was probably ever known—the Yet, even without this, Americans can era of what-nots, hair cloth furniture, there learn that their ancestors were a Rogers groups, and lambrequins in in- dignified people, and it is a lesson worth terior decoration; of brownstone fronts while in an age of automobiles, jazz, and and cupolas and mansard roofs in archi- radio. tecture; and of moustache cups, “hand
Molière for American Theater Goers painted” cuspidors, and gold toothpicks in personal bric-a-brac. The great in- AMES K. HACKETT, more than a justice is that these things have been too year ago, presented "Macbeth” at widely accepted as representing the height the Odéon Theater in Paris: this of American artistic achievement-as was the first time that an American characteristic of our civilization as the actor was invited to produce a play at Parthenon to Greek, Versailles to French, this ancient institution. The Parisian and the work of Christopher Wren to company, and the audiences also, were English. The great truth brought out so pleased with the work of Mr. Hackett by the new American Wing is that these that, when an invitation to play before grotesqueries represented merely a tem- American audiences was extended through porary slump, a phenomenon not peculiar our Department of State, the Odéon to this country; the fact is that they were company gladly accepted. merely part and parcel of that Victorian Thus it came about that American commonplaceness and stupidity that was theater-goers had an opportunity to dealmost as marked in England as in the cide as to the truth of the thesis mainUnited States.
tained by Clayton Hamilton elsewhere in The one quality that was so constant this issue. For once they did not have in Americans of the Colonial and Revo- to go to Paris to see Molière at the lutionary period and which is not so ap- Comédie Française: instead, Molière was parent in their descendants, was a kind brought from Paris for their special beneof serene dignity. It appears in the wain- fit. M. Firmin Gémier-one of the most scotting of a Virginia home, in the delicate versatile and original actors of the Contidoorway of a New England “mansion,” nental stage--and his company of Odéon in the quiet beauty of a Gilbert Stuart players presented, in their two and a half canvas, in the lovely productions of the weeks' visit, plays both ancient and New England and Middle State cabinet modern. The latter, such as “L'Homme makers. It is the same trait that is Qui Assassina” and “Le Procureur uppermost in the lives and writings of the Hallers,” were not appreciated so much Revolutionary leaders-Jefferson, Madi- as were the plays of past centuries. son, Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, and Possibly as a compliment to his Englishthe Adamses.
speaking audiences, M. Gémier included A dip into the life of Jefferson—with in his repertoire two of Shakespeare's his Greek and Latin authors (in the orig- plays—“The Taming of the Shrew” and inal tongues) at his side, his taste for “The Merchant of Venice"-which of French philosophers and statesmen, his course were presented in French. never-failing diaries, duly recording the But undoubtedly his greatest success, daily progress of his vegetables and both from the standpoint of finished actplants, as well as the visits of European ing and from the satisfaction of his statesmen, writers, and generals, his audiences, was M. Gémier's presentation horseback wanderings amid his neighbor- of “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.” In ing mountains, and all the other in- Molière's comedy there is so much action numerable details of a placid and thought that it is doubtful if even a person with ful country existence is needed properly little knowledge of French would have to supply the personal side of the archi- much difficulty in following the play. tectural and artistic setting which this And of course great credit must be given great museum has so splendidly provided. to M. Gémier and his company for their
truly wonderful acting, which came near origin, it is a practice by no means exto breaking down the barrier of the foreign clusively American. In countries which language.
have no written constitution framed by Americans interested in the drama and the people or their representatives and in acting knew previously of the great amendable only by them, there is obwork of the French players; a larger num- viously no reason for this extension of ber of playgoers were enabled, by the judicial power. The British Constiturecent visit of the Odéon players, to judge tion, for example, is precisely what of their art. Undoubtedly, with our Parliament makes it, from day to day; veneration of everything French, from Parliament, that is, is the supreme auwomen's styles to rules of etiquette, a thority, and obviously there is no need certain number of people thought that of a court setting aside its laws as beyond seeing the Odéon players was “the thing its law making powers, for its powers are to do.” But the large majority of the not limited, but all-embracing. audience, even though their mastery of
In the several Dominions of the British French may not have been perfect, at Empire, however, quite a different state tended because their active interest in of affairs exists. Practically all these the drama informed them that here were nations live under the protection of writperformances of a quality not usual on ten documents, like the United States; Broadway. And, now that Americans and in all of them the courts exercise know of the great acting of the French that power, which has recently aroused players, we can perhaps hope for another so much controversy in the United States, visit, of longer duration, in the near fu- of setting aside legislation. “The Suture.
preme Court of Canada," writes Mr.
Doutre, a Canadian authority, "and the The American Judicial System Spread- Privy Council in England, have both ing All Over the World
recognized the right assumed by the pro
vincial courts of original and appellate ENATOR LA FOLLETTE and jurisdiction, to pass upon the constituMr. Gompers have performed a tionality of the laws enacted by the pro
great service in directing popu- vincial legislatures and the Parliament of lar attention to the Supreme Court, and, Canada. This was anticipated by the incidentally, to the constitutional as op- framers of the Act, as appears in the deposed to the parliamentary system of bates in the House of Commons.” The government. One of the unexpected Act referred to is the British North features of the Presidential campaign America Act, of 1867, which is really the was thus an educational course in the written constitution of Canada. Three fundamental principles of the Constitu- years after the adoption of the Constition.
tution of South Africa, in 1909, the highOne error, however, constantly ap est court in the Union set aside a law of peared in practically all the discussions. Parliament as unconstitutional. “Our The statement was frequently made, by courts,” it said, “have every right to the defenders of the Supreme Court, inquire whether any statute has transthat the United States was the only gressed the limits of the subject in country in which the judiciary exercised regard to which the legislature is emthe power of setting aside laws of the powered to legislate.” The courts of legislature. This, it was urged, was the India and New Zealand similarly decide great American contribution to the sci- when the legistature has exceeded its ence of government. A recently pub- constitutional powers. The Constitution lished pamphlet by Mr. Henry H. Wilson, of Australia, adopted in 1901, pracex-president of the Nebraska State Bar tically incorporates the American judiAssociation, shows that, while this powercial system, including this right to set of the court may be American in its aside extra-constitutional laws.