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