Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

348

France and the United States as Creditors

P

the formulation of a final scheme for its is not a new one. The terms made with liquidation. The ideas that guided the the British amount to cancellation to the Dawes commission would also guide this extent of about $4,000,000,000 in interest. new one. The first principle of the This is not a trivial favor. Possibly the Dawes investigation was that Germany

terms made with the European governmust pay its reparations; similarly the ments would be more favorable, possibly new commission could adopt as its slogan less; it would be the business of the comthat the “Allies must pay” their debts. mission to settle this and all other points.

The Dawes commission, however, was And it would consider the matter from inspired by another consideration-an other standpoints than that of the bill idea which it took four years of European collector attempting to realize on his fumbling to develop: that it was useless creditors' assets; the debt question has to attempt to collect from Germany what ramifications extending into industry and Germany did not have. Its purpose was finance and the prosperity of peoples, to to get from Germany every penny that all of which the suggested body of experts Germany could pay. Is it not nearly would give due attention. time that the United States reached the same state of wisdom? Naturally we

The Presidential want every penny of that $12,000,000,000 “Speech from the Throne" that we can collect, nor are we “Shylocks" in insisting on it, for the debt is RESIDENT COOLIDGE has an honest and an honorable one. Yet

abandoned the practice revived Americans are not fools in business; and by Woodrow Wilson of appearing it is certainly folly to insist on payments personally before Congress to deliver his that cannot be made, especially when annual message. Instead, he sends the this insistence is delaying European pros written document to the House, where it perity, and, for that very reason, our own. is read to the assembled Senators and

The Allies assert, just as Germany did, Representatives. The Wilsonian plan of that they cannot pay—at least to the full a personal appearance was a revival of limit of the bond. Americans-at least the practice of the first two Presidentsthose who make their opinions vocal Washington and Adams. The Coolidge insist that they can do so. That is method is a reversion to the change introprecisely what France said in the case of duced by Thomas Jefferson. German reparations, and thereby delayed It is usually explained that Jefferson for five years a settlement which French sent his message to be read because he men now admit is the best they can ob was no orator and believed that he aptain. Why not study the question and peared to a disadvantage on the speaker's find out what the Allies can pay, precisely tribune. This is probably a mistake. as the Dawes commission studied Ger- Jefferson was a man of magnificent apmany and discovered what Germany pearance: though he was not a glib and could pay? If there is no possibility of polished speaker, he never hesitated to paying this full amount within an historic make a platform performance when the period, then Americans are not so ridicu- occasion demanded it. His first inaulous as to insist on the unattainable. gural, one of the greatest of American

The idea of cancellation will not be political documents, was publicly spoken, considered, but the idea that should con and, though not brilliantly, by no means trol is to obtain from the Allied govern- unsuccessfully. ments just what they can pay and not Jefferson was, above all, a political to demand something which is not there. philosopher, and he had a well-thoughtIt would be the business of the new com out philosophic reason for his every public mission to investigate this problem in all act. No man ever so heartily despised its aspects and submit another Dawes monarchy and royalty and their trapreport. The idea of modifying the bond pings. He had founded a great political

party, which still endures, for the purpose had passed; the possibility of American of reorganizing American society and monarchists overthrowing the ConstituAmerican political institutions a tion and placing a king on an American democratic basis. He believed that forces throne had long since vanished; a new were stealthily working to overturn the President had come in, prepared, like American Republic and to erect a mon Jefferson, to extend the democratic sysarchical state on its ruins. The Federal tem to all the details of American life. party he regarded as the instrument of Woodrow Wilson appeared personally such “reactionaries." As President, before Congress as a part of this general therefore, he determined to destroy every- program. There was nothing of the thing that even remotely savored of “King's speech” in his manner or in his royalty and aristocracy. At the Wash- method. He believed that the President ington boarding house in which he spent had become too remote a figure, that he the few weeks preceding his inauguration, needed to establish closer relations with he put aside the constant solicitations of Congress, and, therefore, with the people, his hostess that he take the seat of honor, that the drawing apart of the executive insisting on sitting at the dinner table and the legislative branches had worked where chance had placed him.

great ills in our public life. His personal Instead of the coach and four in which appearances in Congress were merely part Washington and Adams had ridden to of his plan for bringing the two branches their inauguration, he leisurely walked more closely together. The departure the story of his horseback ride is an ex was one of the great successes of his adploded myth. He suppressed the Presi- ministration. dential "levees" that were regular features There is little doubt that Jefferson, of the two preceding administrations. were he alive to-day, would speak his Royalty again! But the performance that Presidential messages. In no way could chiefly aroused his democratic ire was the he enter into such close relations with his Presidential address before the assembled beloved people. The radio-one can only houses. This, he insisted, was an absurd faintly imagine how his scientific soul monarchical institution transferred to the would have delighted in that!-would free soil of America. In this contention bring his voice into millions of American Jefferson was right; the President's mes homes. Thus President Coolidge has a sage, delivered in public with great reason for personal delivery that even ceremony, was nothing but the "king's Woodrow Wilson did not have, and it is respeech from the throne.” In Washing grettable that he has given up this method ton's and Adams's time, an address was of making himself part of the daily life of always framed in reply, precisely as was

Americans. done then, and is done to-day, in the British House of Lords. Jefferson de- A Labor Leader's Great Achievement tested the practice, not because he was himself weak in oratorical powers, but

AMUEL GOMPERS had two tasks because he regarded it as a childish aping

as leader of American labor for the of monarchy. It was entirely in keeping,

last fifty years: first, to improve he believed, with the Federalist practices, the conditions of the working man, and, but was not to be tolerated under a secondly, to keep the labor movement régime in which democracy was to be the sane. The universal tribute paid since watchword.

his death merely expresses the popular It is an eloquent indication of the judgment that he succeeded in both these change in American affairs, that, whereas efforts. Even the notes of criticism the first Democratic President abandoned prove that, from these points of view, his the Presidential speech in the interest of life work was a triumph. democracy, the latest restored it for pre Ultra-conservative employers have not cisely the same reason. A hundred years yet forgiven him for his strikes, for his

S

350

How Labor Can Advance

T

insistence on the eight hour day and The way of Russia and of much European increased wages, for his habit of looking socialism is revolutionary, perhaps not at the industrial structure chiefly from unnaturally, for in a large part of Europe the standpoint of the working man; social abuses are so ancient and SO on the other hand, ultra-radical labor deep seated that violence may be the leaders have not forgiven him for his only path of reform. For more than a adherence to the existing political and thousand years, however, the genius of economic order, for his refusal to organize the Anglo-Saxon people has chosen the a separate labor party and accept the less disturbing and surer method. The doctrines of "advanced thinkers” as to long tested order has been preserved and, the proprietary right of labor in its out- at the same time, the daily lives of the put.

masses have been broadened. Gompers The collapse of the La Follette move- grasped this principle of progress as ment, after Gompers's endorsement, has clearly as he grasped the merits of the been described as the great failure of European War and the duties of the his career. Properly considered, it was United States in that crisis. This is the his greatest triumph. Labor's participa- achievement that not only makes his tion in a political party was the mistake fame secure, but points its lesson for all against which Gompers had warned his who succeed him. followers for the past thirty years. But he gave way in the La Follette instance, The Courage of Scholarship though with reluctance. The calamitous result was the strongest vindication he HERE is in the spirit of all recould have asked; it completely demon

search, be it in the sciences or in strated that his consistent attitude had the arts, a quality of splendid represented supreme wisdom. That the intrepidity, and in the narrative of the direction of labor may fall into less con- leader of the Harvard Art Expedition into servative hands, now that this strong western China further proof of this is personality has disappeared, is not un- to be found.. Langdon Warner, fellow likely; it will not be until this change of the Fogg Museum of Art of Harvard takes place, however, that American University, accompanied by one other industry will appreciate its debt to Samuel enthusiast recently graduated from the Gompers.

same university and by a Chinese interThat the workingman is inevitably to preter and general factotum, lately jourobtain an increasing share in the profits neyed from Peking in the east of China of industry; that he is to labor fewer to the buried city of Edsin-gal in the far hours and under more healthful and con- western corner of Inner Mongolia, across genial surroundings; that his children are waste spaces that have not changed since to have better education, better house- Marco Polo's travels eight centuries ago. hold comforts, more enjoyment, even In the course of agonizing marches more luxurious living—these truths are through periods of bitter cold Mr. Warrapidly gaining a hold on the public ner's companion became severely ill.

a mind. This is only another way of saying Even when the party had returned to Kanthat democracy is progressive, or it is not chow, a city in the far west of the Kansu democracy.

Province, where he was afforded treatThe spreading of the American inheri- ment, this heroic explorer did not forget tance, material and spiritual, among the the object of his quest. His mission then masses—that is the American problem. only half accomplished, seemed more imThis can be accomplished by working portant to him than the maladies of the either within the present order or by flesh. There is in this the true flame of destroying it and making a disastrous the enthusiast, the believer in a cause. attempt to start anew. Expressed more Mr. Warner pushed on to the western tersely, it is to be evolution or revolution. outpost of China proper, reaching the

[ocr errors]

O

cave chapels of Tung-Hwang, where he her pen, illustrated by pictures caught by secured the eighth- and ninth-century her camera, began to appear in various frescoes that were the goal of the pilgrim- periodicals. age and, in addition, a sacred figure of But Mrs. Porter realized that she could great antiquity and value. The expe- never reach the public that she wanted dition achieved its end, but the way was with her purely natural history studies, so one that none save the genuine prosecutor she set about writing a novel that she of research would willingly set out upon.

called "Freckles," a nature story sugar It called for energy, for endurance, and coated with fiction.” She submitted the for courage beyond the ordinary, and for book to a publisher, and three editors told an unshakable confidence in the value of her to cut the nature stuff” or the book the goal. The Warner expedition consti- wouldn't sell. But the story appeared as tutes a notable vindication of the faith Mrs. Porter had written it, and for three and the high courage of the scholar. years the editors were right. Then, with

a rush, the public discovered the story, An Author of the Limberlost and now, twenty years after, “Freckles”

is fast approaching its two millionth N THE streets of Los Angeles, copy. on December 6th, a trolley car

Mrs. Porter followed "Freckles" with crashed into the limousine of a book of natural history. Although Gene Stratton-Porter, the novelist, with many editors made flattering and lucrafatal results. Her death will be mourned tive offers for her fiction, she held herself by a multitude. In the last twenty to a plan of writing one book of natural years, Mrs. Porter had written ten novels history between every two novels. In that have sold, in all, slightly more than due time the novels, “Laddie," "A Girl ten million copies, a popularity almost un- of the Limberlost," and "The Harvester" rivaled among modern authors.

appeared, and their sale was enormous. Born on an Indiana farm, of a father In England one of her novels sold more who was famed throughout the country- than half a million copies during the war side for his ability to quote the Bible, and years, and all her books were translated of a mother who had the gift of flower into many languages. magic in her fingers, Gene Stratton-Porter Having made a small fortune from her spent her early days on the banks of the pen and at an age when she might well Wabash. As a girl she hated being shut have retired and enjoyed the rewards of up in school droning over lessons, and her labors, Mrs. Porter entered the mooften, playing truant, wandered through tion picture industry. Movie magnates the fields and deep woods of the Limber- had told her that her stories could not lost country. Her schooling was scant, be adapted to photodrama. With charbut she loved books and determined to be acteristic energy, she moved to Hollya writer. This ambition was delayed, wood, organized and financed her own when at a somewhat youthful age she corporation, and minutely supervised the married Charles Darwin Porter, a drug- adaptation and production for the screen gist and bookseller.

of her famous story of an orphan newsboy, But still, in the spare time of keeping Michael O'Halloran.” Mrs. Porter had a house of fourteen rooms, with no serv- just finished a novel and was at work on ants, making her daughters' clothes, and a new moving picture when she met her cooking and washing dishes three times a death in the tragic accident. day, she kept at her writing and also mas- Perhaps Mrs. Porter's greatest accomtered the art of photography. In due time plishment was that she, more than any some of her photographs of the birds and one else in her time, drew people to butterflies of the Limberlost country were wander in the out-of-doors and learn to accepted by an Eastern magazine an love the natural beauty to be seen on soon little natural history stories from every roadside. She was aided in this

352

Maintaining Justice and Peace

T

by the born ability of a story teller, and heavier craft. So much must be adshe developed that very special art of mitted even without accepting at their writing in a way that would hold a multi face value all the wild stories coming from tude to her pages. With a mothering Washington. sympathy she told of the fundamental Great Britain and Japan, in building things, of the beauty of nature, of char these lighter craft, are not violating the acter, of faith in time of sorrow and trial, Washington Treaty, for that treaty placed of earned happiness, of tidiness in the no limitations on such construction. If home, and of the way of a man with a any nation has violated that document, it maid.

is the United States itself. Our viola

tions, however, have not been those of “Full Treaty Strength" for the Navy

commission, but of omission. The treaty

was based upon the conception that the HERE is a cynical saying in Wash welfare of mankind and the cause of jusington that a war is always threat tice and peace depended upon a certain

ening the nited States about this naval ratio to be maintained by the three season of the year-when the Naval great naval powers, Great Britain, the Appropriation Bill is before Congress. United States, and Japan. This ratio, in Possibly that is one explanation for the the matter of capital ships, was to be current excitement about the “helpless” 5-5-3. The treaty implied a solemn condition of our navy and the so-called obligation to uphold this standard. To “feverish” war activity in Japan.

maintain more ships than the number There is a popular impression that the assigned each power would have violated Washington Conference put an end to this convention, but the fact that does naval rivalry, but in any precise sense it not seem so apparent is that the maintedid not do this. What it did do was to nance of a lower naval strength vioend rivalry in the construction of first lated it almost as seriously. This is class fighting ships—that is, battleships. evidently the shortcoming of the United It placed no restriction upon the building States. of auxiliary vessels—light cruisers, de There are many and varying amateur stroyers, submarines, and aircraft. The estimates of the extent to which our assumption, in 1922, was that the super- battleship fleet has lost efficiency, but dreadnaught constituted the main fight the official statement of Mr. Wilbur, ing force of the fleet, that all other ships Secretary of the Navy,

Secretary of the Navy, is that the ratio were secondary, and that they were at present, instead of being 5-5-3, is merely intended to facilitate the opera 5-4-3-“4," of course, representing the tions of the first line. Whether the United States and “3” Japan. In other battleship is entitled to this preëminence words, both Great Britain and Japan have at the present time, or whether the de zealously maintained the standard estabvelopment of the submarine and of air lished by the Washington Conference, craft has revolutionized warfare at sea, but the United States has fallen below its is something on which the experts are not position by one point. The deficiency is agreed. Out of the rather discordant con not that we have fewer battleships than tradictory discussion that is taking place, the agreement contemplates, but that we however, two facts at least are apparent. have allowed several of our big ships to The United States has not developed its deteriorate, chiefly because of defective navy in accordance with the decisions of boilers, to an extent that has put us bethe conference. Again, naval rivalry has hind the procession. The naval appronot come to an end, but, instead of con priation bill of $110,000,000 provides for centrating on first line battleships, is now the reconditioning of the big ships and the concerned with so-called auxiliary vessels, correction of this defect. When this work which may have an even more decisive is finished the ratio will thus be precisely influence în another great war than the that contemplated in 1922.

« AnteriorContinuar »