World Chancelleries

by Edward Price Bell


Typed from the original by Jerry Stratton

World Chancelleries

Sentiments, ideas, and arguments expressed by famous occidental and oriental statesmen looking to the consolidation of the psychological bases of international peace.

With an introduction by Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States

By Edward Price Bell, Dean of the Foreign Staff of The Chicago Daily News


The Chicago Daily News


Copyright, 1926 by
The Chicago Daily News Company

Printed in the United States of America

To the memory of
Victor Fremont Lawson
Builder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief
The Chicago Daily News
Whose Understanding and Sympathy Transcended Religious, National, Ethnic, and Geographic Boundaries

Victor Fremong Lawson.jpg

Photograph by Matzene, Chicago.

This Volume Sets Forth Notable Conversations That Are Known in Newspaper Mode of Speech as “Interviews”

“… One feels their earnestness, their sympathetic quality, their sincerity. One is moved by their eloquence. Almost every major principle and problem of civilized life fall within their range, and their outlook consistently is that of the common interests of mankind.…”

Calvin Coolidge

The White House
November 20, 1925.


Introduction by Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States
Explanatory Article Relative to the Genesis and Purpose of the Symposium. By Edward Price Bell
Judge Wilhelm Marx, Post-war Chancellor of Germany.—Graphic Description of the Trials of the Young Republic, with Reflections upon Its Constitution and Aims
Premier Benito Mussolini of Italy.—Exposition of Fascismo, the Creed of Young Italy, with Its Picturesque, Militant, and Fearless Anti-Bolshevik Leader
Raymond Poincaré, France’s Former President and Great Post-War Premier, on Why France Fought, How She Fought, What She Fought For, What Are the Essentials of the French Soul
Ramsay Mac Donald, Former Premier of Great Britain, the World’s Most Brilliant Socialist-Labor Thinker, Tells Why, in his Judgment, the Socialists are “the Aristocrats of Modern Political and Social Thought”
Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States. Study of the Heart and the Mind of the Man Who Probably Has no Rival in the Accuracy with Which He Reflects American Sentiment and Opinion, and in the Command He Consequently Has Over the Confidence of the American People
Premier Mackenzie King of Canada, One of the Most Interesting Statesmen in the World, an Extraordinary Blend of Human Emotion and Practical Sagacity—A Poet and an Economist
Edgar Addison Bancroft, Late American Ambassador to Japan, Speaks Appreciatively of Japanese Policy, and Scoffs at Talk of Possible Aggression Against America by the Proud, Rugged, and Aspiring Yamato Race
Premier Takaaki Kato of Japan, One of the Quietest Spirits and Sanest Minds in Public Life, Discusses Japanese Qualities and the Ambitions of the First Men of the Island Empire—A Wise Champion of the Peace of the Pacific and of the World
Foreign Minister Baron K. Shidehara, Probably the Most Occidental of Orientals, Though Oriental to the Core, Reveals Japano-American Diplomatic Interchanges, and Reasons with Particularity and Eloquence on the Problems of the Pacific
Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippine Senate, the Most Forceful of Filipino Politicians, Argues for the Immediate and Complete Independence of the Philippines, and Gives His Views upon Pacific Problems
Senator Sergio Osmeña, for Fifteen Years Speaker of the Philippine Lower House, the Most Reserved, Refined, and Scholarly of Filipino Public Men, Tells Why He Thinks His Country Ought to be Free
Governor-General Leonard Wood, the Occidental Giant of the West Pacific, and the One Consummate Authority on the Philippines, Defines What He Conceives to Be America’s Duty to the Filipinos and to Christian Civilization in the Pacific Ocean—A Powerful Document
Dr. Tang Shao-Yi, China’s Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister—“Grand Old Man” of the Celestials—Lays Bare the Fundamental and Resistless Forces of Chinese Life in Perhaps the Most Fascinating and Moving Utterance That Ever Issued from China in Appeal to the Non-Chinese World


By Calvin Coolidge

President of the United States of America

In these carefully wrought statements of sentiment and opinion we have, I conceive, a peculiarly suggestive and important achievement in the field of international conciliation.

Humanity, with reference to the danger of war, is today in a position different from that which it occupied yesterday. Wars once sprang from varied causes—biological, racial, dynastic, political, commercial, personal. Wars were sought. Wars were planned. Wars were a part of the accepted rationale of organized human life.

Those days, we venture to think, are past. But, if they are, it does not follow that the danger of war is past. Wary may be, and doubtless is, less probable than it was. Its real nature, its horror and unmitigated calamity, are more poignantly and widely realized than they were. Yet, so imperfectly do races and nations understand one another, so perplexing are many of their multiplying relationships, so restless are certain forces of evil, so insecure are the psychological bases of peace, that humanity truly may be said to live constantly in the shadow of the possibility of war.

Not in war deliberate, but in war accidental, seems to me to lie the principal present peril. We have a world psychology more inflammable, more explosive, than it ought to be. There is tinder about. There are powder-mines. Any flying spark is dangerous. Our war with Spain, as we all remember, was precipitated by the sinking of the Maine; and the Great War, whatever may have been its antecedents of history and of rivalry, rushed upon the world out of the Serajevo assassinations. We need fortification against accidents. We need an international mind more stably balanced against sudden shocks.

It is the distinctive virtue of these discussions, in my view, that they tend to give us such an international mind. One feels their earnestness, their sympathetic quality, their sincerity. One is moved by their eloquence. Almost every major principle and problem of civilized life fall within their range, and their outlook consistently is that of the common interests of mankind. If racial susceptibilities and nationalistic standpoints are urged with vividness and candor, they thus are urged, as I read them, only in the hope that the world, by gaining fuller knowledge of its parts, may be less ignorant of itself as a whole.

Before we have the fact, we must have the philosophy, of world peace. All the men here interviewed endeavor to elucidate this philosophy. Their points of view should be of immense educational value. Their cordiality should make for a friendlier interracial and international mood. If cynicism be heard in this connection, I would say that in a meeting of amicable sentiment and well-disposed reasoning there is measureless power for good. Such meetings—such streams of moral and intellectual energy—irrigate the generous hopes and purposes of men. And such streams grow as they flow. They grow as they flow, for, in their long course toward their mighty objective, corresponding tributaries never cease to join them.

World peace, a world affair, stands or falls by world opinion. If we are to have world peace, in other words, we must have the necessary world opinion to support it. And, if we are to have this opinion, we must have the right feeling underneath it. Such feeling, in turn, can exist only if races and nations be convinced that aggression and exploitation have had their day, that brute force is to be brought under mental and ethical control, that all-around justice is the fixed purpose—that civilization, in short, is to establish itself conclusively over barbarism. Feeling issues in thought, thought in action. What, therefore, could be more desirable than public expressions calculated to make international feeling what it ought to be, in order that international action may be what it ought to be?

Enlightened minds and sympathetic hearts are the hope of the world. Without them, statesmanship can do nothing; with them, it faces no insoluble problem. Public opinion rooted in right feeling has countless victories to its credit. Its triumphs increase through the generations; if they did not, men of all colors and creeds would be on the back track. Public opinion abolished human slavery. It is waging a winning fight in a thousand directions. It is widening the scope and cementing the foundations of humanism in industry and liberty in politics. Give it light! Give it the light of the spirit and the light of the mind! Do this, and we shall march without halting to the permanent relegation of war.

America, I need not say, is fervently for peace. This fact stands out boldly in her history. It is written in her treaties, in her diplomacy, and in every utterance that reflects the emotions and convictions of her people. Who can misunderstand the moral, the lesson, the evidence, of the Washington Conference? Could any war-coveting nation, in America’s highly-privileged position, have called or responded to that Conference, or made the self-denying proposals America made and others accepted there? Certainly we, if anyone, were able to follow the old militaristic lines, but we elected to strike an historic blow for peace. Our feelings and purposes are unchanged. We are still against swollen armaments. Our attitude of mind is still that of the Washington Conference. And hence it is that we welcome, and warmly welcome, every exhibition of peaceful purpose, whether it show itself in the region of theory or in the region of practice.

Washington, D.C.,

November 20, 1925.

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Origin and Object of the Interviews

By Edward Price Bell

Public spirit, whether of local or of general application, was one of the most pronounced and constant characteristics of Victor Fremont Lawson. He was a living, a dynamic citizen, and he knew that the rational interest of the citizen was limited only by the limits of the world.

To be of service to statesmanship in the peaceful ordering of human affairs was among Mr. Lawson’s instinctive desires. It entered into his purpose—embodied, indeed, the chief moral element of his purpose—in founding, more than a quarter of a century ago, the Special Foreign Service of The Chicago Daily News.

In founding this service, to be sure, Mr. Lawson was after the news; all journalists are after that: it is their elixir of life. But he also was after, and he was determined to get, a reflection of those qualities, idiosyncrasies, customs, and institutions which placed different peoples and civilizations in a light at once true and favorable.

“All nations, rightly studied, are likable,” was one of Mr. Lawson’s sayings.

Appreciation of this fact, he held, must be driven home to peoples as vital to that condition of world sentiment without which there could be no solidly-based world peace. Correspondents, therefore, who did what lay in their power legitimately to spread respect, admiration, and warmth of feeling among nations were doing their part to simply the problems of statesmanship and promote the welfare of their fellow-men. Out of this impulse of the great editor grew a school of foreign correspondents who understood, and who understand, the international opportunities and obligations of twentieth century journalism.

In the library of Mr. Lawson’s home in Chicago a large window looked through a group of trees upon a beautiful bit of Lake Michigan. It was one of Mr. Lawson’s occasional pleasures to sit at that window and watch the never-resting water. I found him there, on a brilliant mid-winter morning in 1924, his expression uncommonly grave.

“May I ask what is on your mind, Mr. Lawson?”

He was sitting in a straight-lined chair, legs crossed, right arm caught over the back of the chair, hands clasped, eyes fixed upon mine.

“I am thinking of Europe,” said he.

“Of the chaos there?”

“Yes. Apparently, it is chaos, material and mental. I can make out no coherence of thought anywhere. Unless the leaders pull themselves together, I am afraid the consequences of the war are going to be even worse than the war itself.”

Two days later, in a written communication, I proposed to Mr. Lawson that we attempt to get from each of the most responsible officials of Europe a carefully reasoned statement designed to correct existing misunderstanding, allay inflammation, point the way to reconstruction, and define the principles of an established international accord. It was suggested that such statements, published throughout the world, might prove of real service toward a restoration of constructive mental processes.

Mr. Lawson gave instant approval to the proposal, and the result was the series of interviews in this volume with Judge Marx, Signor Mussolini, Monsieur Poincaré, and Mr. MacDonald, each of whom at that time was the minister of prime responsibility of a great Power in the vortex of the vast European imbroglio. Never before did statesmen in such circumstances, or any circumstances, give so much time, thought, and energy to an effort to make journalism the handmaiden of statecraft in the cause of humanity.

Europe is a mighty center of human life. All the world feels the throb of its heart. But it is not all the world. Of this fact I had a sharp reminder in Rome, just after finishing the interview with Signor Mussolini, in the first week of May, 1924. American legislators were hurtling forward with an immigration bill containing a clause painful to Asiatic, especially Japanese, susceptibilities. American naval authorities were evolving plans for elaborate fleet maneuvers in the Pacific. There was talk of the extensive fortification of Hawaii. One particularly capacious American political brain was incubating a scheme for a White League of Nations in the Pacific!

Japan’s reaction to all this was reflected in the Italian press. Japanese statesmen were calm, but certain ardent Japanese patriots were far from calm, and a perceptible wave of surprise and uneasiness was passing over the whole of Japanese society.

On the “train de luxe” between Rome and Paris on May 7, 1924, I wrote Mr. Lawson as follows:

“All sorts of perilous possibilities seem to me to inhere in the Japano-American situation. Unless some agency mediates between the opposing racial forces, clears up the cloudy zone between them, sets them seriously and temperately to investigating and discussing their mutual standpoints, makes them keenly conscious of whither they are tending, I have little doubt it is only a question of time until we shall have a color-conflict that will deluge the world with blood. I propose that The Chicago Daily News do what it can to fulfill this task of mediation.”

Immediately on receipt of this letter, Mr. Lawson cabled:

“Your Pacific proposal very attractive. We shall act when you reach home.”

Six months later, the Coolidge contribution to this symposium having been added to those from Europe, I left Chicago for Canada to ask Premier Mackenzie King to give us the opening interview of the Pacific series. From Ottawa I traveled to British Columbia, pursued our racial investigations along the Pacific coast of the United States to San Francisco, sailed thence to Hawaii, to Japan, to China, and finally to the Philippines, ever seeking light upon the question of how warlike tendencies in the Pacific might be reversed, and an era of growing general confidence opened in that stupendous theatre of human activity. My work finished, and the ship on which I was returning home touching at dawn on August 31, 1925, at the port of Victoria, a newspaper friend entered my cabin and told me Mr. Lawson was dead.

“Our Great Adventure” was Mr. Lawson’s term for this extensive journalistic endeavor to set the tides of influential world opinion toward sanity, reconstruction, and peace. Though he lived to read all the interviews but two—that of Governor-General Wood of the Philippines and that of Dr. Tang Shao-yi of China—he did not live to know their full effect, nor can this be known; it must belong permanently to the imponderables of the interracial and international situation. But Mr. Lawson knew that a great amount of moral and intellectual vigor had been released in a good and urgent cause, and he was too profound a psychologist to require tangible proofs of what that meant.

Tangible proofs, however, that substantial good had been done were appearing before Mr. Lawson died. The European interviews were read with care in the European Chancelleries, and especially in those of the Great Powers. That they can have been without beneficial effect upon the official mind of Europe, that they can have failed to contribute something to the amicable and rational spirit which ran through the London and Paris Conferences and culminated in Locarno, does not stand to reason, and is known to be contrary to fact. Marx, Mussolini, Poincaré, and MacDonald expected results from what they did, and it is no secret in the diplomatic world that they were not disappointed.

As to the Pacific Ocean, The Daily News found it enveloped in war-fog and left it clear. All the interviews were published in Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines, and throughout the East. They powerfully struck a new note. It was a note of reality. It was a note of friendship. It was a note of peace. All at once no more was heard of a warlike threat in the American naval maneuvers. People smiled at the talk of a “new Hawaiian Gibraltar in the Pacific.” Japan was not creeping up on the Philippines and Guam. She was not crouching for a leap on Australia. There was no nascent, secret, formidable Japano-Chino-Russian anti-Occidental bloc. It all had been a dyspeptic dream!

Ambassador Matsudaira, a fine specimen of his race, has testified to his high opinion of the work of The Chicago Daily News in the Pacific. He has done so privately and publicly. He said to me in Washington that the interviews had “impressed thinking minds deeply,” that they had “greatly aided in creating mutual confidence between the peoples of Japan and the United States,” and that they had “pleased the whole East.” Alfred Sze, the experienced and sagacious Chinese Minster in Washington, declared: “The tranquillizing effect from Governor-General Wood shows him in accord with the view, not only that the situation in the Pacific—at all events, for the present—has been tranquillized, but that the cause of law, order, and progress has been strengthened in the Philippines.

So much for the practical issue of the idea which won the support of Mr. Lawson’s sympathy, prestige, money, and machinery. The interviews have been published in newspaper and in reprint form. They now take their place, as Mr. Lawson wished they should, in book form for free circulation among leaders of thought in all civilized countries, their sole object to go some way toward producing that “right feeling” which President Coolidge accounts indispensable to the solution of the problem of world peace.

Constituting, according to the President, “a peculiarly suggestive and important achievement in the field of international conciliation,” the interviews represent 36,000 miles of travel, from sub-arctic blizzards to tropical typhoons, and almost two years of intensive labor. One speaks with moderation, I think, in terming them unique; in declaring them without prototypes in breadth of conception and thoroughness of execution; in claiming for them as a whole the double character of a landmark in journalistic pioneering and an addition to the historical resources of international thought.

Imprimaturs are an original feature of the interviews. These authorizations mean that the matter covered by them was carefully read and formally approved for publication by the officials interviewed. Also, in most instances, the statements were sanctioned by the Cabinets concerned, thus acquiring the literal authenticity and moral authority of great State papers. It is true, therefore, that when we listen to the voices in these pages we hear the messages, not only of individual heads of Governments, but of Governments in their collective quality.

Another unprecedented mark of the interviews is that of the commendatory seal of the President of the United States. High politics and a comparatively new branch of journalism unite in a common service. It is a principle, to my mind, capable of useful application over a wide area. Not only statesmen, but specialists and thinkers of every calling, have a natural allegiance with the interviewer for the education of mankind. Fame is power. Fame is responsibility. Names with hypnotic properties are obligated to kindle, enlighten, and direct an attentive world. To do something in this way is the object alike of the conversations in this book, and of the foreword of the President.

With what care the interviewees spoke, and how faithful they were to the determining elements of the various situations discussed, we learn from the fact that no essential of any one of the interviews has been discredited by the march of events. We see that in all substantial particulars Marx voiced the spirit of Germany, Mussolini that of Italy, Poincaré that of France, MacDonald that of Britain, Coolidge that of the United States, Mackenzie King that of Canada, Kato and Shidehara that of Japan, Quezon and Osmeña that of the independence-seeking Filipinos, Wood that of the Coolidge Administration relative to the Philippines, and Tang Shao-yi that of the Federalists of China.

Mr. Lawson’s last words relative to the interviews, written when he learned by cable that the series had been completed in the talk with Tang Shao-yi, were these:

“The end crowns the work, and a great work it has been.”

If it was a great work, many minds aside from the eminent men interviewed are entitled to thanks for a part in it, Victor Fremont Lawson first of all, for without his breadth of vision and international neighborliness it could not have been done. Thanks are due also to a group of enlightened diplomats—Wiedfeldt of Germany, Caetani of Italy, Jusserand of France, Howard of Britain, Matsudaira of Japan, Sze of China—and to a long list of obliging experts in the Chancelleries of three Continents. I would make grateful acknowledgment, too, to Miss Jane Addams, Judge Jesse Holdom, and William K. Pattison of Chicago, who coöperated with me in persuading Premier Mackenzie King of Canada to give the first interview on the complex of delicate problems centering in the Pacific.

Finally, I cannot say how much I owe to the steady encouragement and splendid editorial coöperation of Charles Henry Dennis, long Mr. Lawson’s chief editor, and to such colleagues in The Chicago Daily News Service as Leroy T. Vernon of Washington, Edgar Ansel Mowrer of Berlin, Hiram Kelly Moderwell of Rome, Paul Scott Mowrer of Paris, Constantine Brown of Paris, Hal O’Flaherty of London, John Russell Kennedy of Tokyo, James Butts of Peking, and Walter Robb of Manila, members of a faithful and brilliant organization that has made The Chicago Daily News known and respected in foreign political and commercial centers as it is in those of the United States.

Germany’s Hope for Peace

Conversations with Chancellor Marx of Germany

“Heavy Wars Disarm Peoples in Their Minds: Only the Abolition of the Teachings of War, and of the Objective Symbols of War, Can Keep Peoples Disarmed in Their Minds.”

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Photograph by Underwood & Underwood, New York

Germany’s Hope for Peace

Our talks took place in the library of the Chancellery at a round table beneath the coat of arms of Bismarck and with souvenirs of the Iron Chancellor on every hand. Our interpreter was Dr. Otto Carl Kiep, legal counselor of the Chancellery, a master of English as of German. For a full fortnight we availed ourselves of scraps of time, early and late, between Cabinet meetings, administrative duties and the demands of the electoral campaign, then at its height. Of talking alone there was twenty-four solid hours, and then days and nights of writing, translating, re-translating, revising and revising again. Judge Marx made his final study of my finished draft as he traveled between Berlin and Frankfort in the course of a speaking tour.

Dignity, simplicity, modesty, spiritual-mindedness, instinctive grasp of essentials, broad human sympathy and individual warmth of nature are conspicuous qualities of Judge Marx’s personality. His eyes are gray, his face round and benevolent, his forehead wide and high. He has a white mustache and his hair is cut short all over. He speaks rapidly in a low voice, making occasional simple gestures with his hands, and often smiling searchingly into the eyes of those about him. His kindliness, his courtesy, cannot be exaggerated; these, so far as I could observe, never were thrust aside by duty, however urgent and onerous. His gold-rimmed spectacles add to his professorial benignity.

Appearance of of Chancellor.

From the room where we talked we looked out upon the wooded gardens of the Chancellery—a paradise in summer, already flooded with the melody of the thrush. Flanking these gardens was the colonnade, specially constructed for the strolls and the State-causeries of Bismarck and the old Emperor. Near at hand were the Chancellor’s office, with its great desk and lofty ceilings; Bismarck’s room, with his own roll-top mahogany desk, a bookcase atop, and on the walls portraits of the old Emperor, Von Bulow and the Iron Chancellor himself, a vivid, grim, and powerful figure; the Congress Hall, where the representatives of the Great Powers, including Disraeli, met to settle the Eastern question; the Cabinet Room, where there are soi many meetings now; the gilded and artistic Salon, with winter garden, scene of magnificent social gatherings in the past; next door the Foreign Office—the whole in the center of the most historic associations of the Wilhelmstrasse, the most famous and aristocratic street of the greatest modern city of Europe.

Wilhelm Marx, aged 61, was born at Cologne, where he attended the gymnasium. He studied law at Bonn University and entered the legal service of the State in 1884, and he has held many judgeships, including that of the Presidency of the Court of Appeal in Berlin. He is president of the Catholic schools organization of Germany, and of the People’s Catholic Union. For nineteen years he has been a member of the Prussian Diet. He was a member of the German National Assembly and then a member of the new Reichstag. He is the author of numerous works on legal and educational questions. Judge Marx became the German Chancellor Nov. 30, 1923, in succession to Gustav Stresemann, now Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He Has Given Notable Service.

“What are Republican Germany’s chief anxieties and problems?” was the opening question.

“All center in the Reparations question. Speaking quite non-rhetorically, this question is pregnant with life or death for Germany. If we be freed politically and economically; if our definitive burden be one we can bear; and, if we receive the foreign financial countenance essential to our solvency, we can erect a stable democratic State, and bring back to our people the prosperity vital alike to them and to those producing and distributing nations that stand in a relation of interdependence to them. Denied the advantages I have enumerated, we can look forward to nothing but the disruption of our State and the prostration of our economy, with the measureless misery they imply.”

“Do you regard as synonymous the safety of the Republic and the safety of European peace?”

“I regard the Republic as a powerful influence for neighborliness, reason, and justice in Europe—that is to say, a powerful influence for peace here and everywhere. If the Republic went down before a nationalistic movement, produced and fostered by unrelenting pressure from abroad, such radical developments, whether in the direction of the extreme Right or the extreme Left, obviously would be fatal to any sort of fullment of the Treaty of Versailles. We have met and subdued indescribable difficulties. Our efforts—efforts to cope with the concrete and the unavoidable—have provided, I think, an incomparable field for the study of history, political economy, finance, and every major problem of organized human life, beset with the most grievous conditions that can afflict a people. Radical dangers, from the extreme Right and the extreme Left, have been put down. Republicanism is rooted in the convictions of the people. It can be uprooted only by storms that may break over it from abroad.”

“Your Army is loyal?”

Loyalty of the German Army.

“In every crisis before the war, during the war, and since the war, our Army has been loyal. Its traditions, of which it is proud, are strictly adverse to any participation in politics. Its spiritual substance is German. It reflects instinctive Germanic devotion to discipline. Bolshevism found it adamant. The uprising in Munich under Hittler clearly showed the Army’s attitude to the Republic. Its vicissitudes have given us military and civil names that will live in history beside those of our great leaders of the war and of former times—the man, for example, who stayed the tide of bolshevism; those who grappled with the task of rebuilding our wrecked social and economic structure; those who kept to their posts in the heaviest seas, and helped to steer our waterlogged craft through the countless rocks on the passage.”

“You refer to men like Ebert, von Seeckt, Noske?”

“To these and many others we owe gratitude. But none seeks prominence; all desire to do their duty to the nation unostentatiously. As long as this sense of duty remains, we face the future, however anxious, not without confidence.”

“How does Republican Germany look upon disarmament?”

Asks General Disarmament.

“We have accepted it in principle, and regard it with favor if it be universal. Internationally, Germany already is disarmed. We have neither army nor navy of international meaning. Thus Germany has everything to gain and nothing to lose from the advance of this magnificent ideal. We live encircled by arms and impotent upon the seas. Our frontiers are open—no rivers or mountains to shelter us, as Italy has, or Spain has, as France would like in the Rhine; no command of the air; no protecting waters such as those ridden by Britain’s fleet. Germany stands as the world’s sole great example of disarmament, waiting for others powers to come up.”

“Can there be any effective disarmament except a psychological disarmament? With nations so formidably competent in engineering, mechanics, and chemistry, will not war eternally threaten until all faith in war, and all desire to make war, shall have been eradicated from the human mind?”

“Psychological disarmament undoubtedly is essential to permanent peace. How is it to be effected and maintained? Heavy wars, like the Great War, effect it, but they cannot maintain it.

“Consider the privations and sufferings of our nation in the war. Much of this is still unknown abroad. Even our fighting troops had to submit to severe rationing. As early as 1916 the meat rations were restricted, while clothing and outfit were meager. Thus, apart from the physical and moral hardships of modern warfare, the material conditions under which we pursued the war contrasted vividly with the wealth and abundance of the Allies’ resources, fed mainly from the inexhaustible supplies of America. Our troops were rushed back and forth, from East to West, from Europe to Asia, withstanding strains patently in excess of those of the average allied units. Such causes cannot be without effect. He who knows from experience what war—modern war—means has no eagerness for its renewal. His experience breeds pacifism of the soundest and most durable nature. The German nation is saturated with the knowledge and abhors the thought of further war; it desires peace.

War Sufferings Breed Peace Desires.

“This sentiment was particularly marked in 1919. Germany at that time not only yearned for peace but believed implicitly in its realization. Upon this psychology we fain would have built great things. We still hope to do so. But here, as in so many directions, policies and actions beyond our control tend to confound and defeat us. All around us we hear the clash of arms. Military inculcations, war talk, drilling, martial pageantry, new ingenuity in munitional engineering—every one of them is an influence for the rearming of Germany psychologically, and to negate such influences transcends human power.

“We deplore the situation. We have youth who know little or nothing of war. They are subject to war infection, as were their predecessors, who went away to battle shouting, laughing, and singing. Heavy wars disarm peoples in their minds; only the abolition of the teachings of war and of the objective symbols of war can keep peoples disarmed in their minds. If we are to abolish war we must forget war. If we are to abolish war we must fill the minds and souls of our young with the gospel, the emotions and the images of peace.”

To Preserve Mental Disarmament.

“Your feeling is that the world’s supreme need is peace?”

“That certainly is my feeling.”

“Do you know of a better way than through a League of Nations to get peace?”


“Do you see any peril to nationality or to political and territorial sovereignty in the League as it stands today?”

“So far as I can see, the League, as such, in practice, does not endanger the freedom of will, the independence, the security, of any nation. Great powers, democracies, will avoid any organization that threatens to wrest their destiny from their own hands. Preservation of the democratic principle presupposes the operation of local knowledge and control. Peoples are not ready for world federalism—for national autonomies related to an over-riding central authority, as, for example, the American States to Washington or the German States to Berlin. The League of Nations, as I understand it, would enthrone reason, justice, and peace, not by the crude and ineffectual instrumentality of compulsion, but by a peace-breeding voluntarism based upon international understanding and desire.”

“Will the German Republic join the League?”

Germany Would Join the League.

“It will join as soon as it may be permitted to join consistently with what it conceives to be its rightful position among the nations. Otherwise it could not join with any prospect of serving itself or mankind. We should want a permanent place on the Council, for we are not a minor power. Besides, we should not want the League, with our support, to be identified with ex parte points of view respecting post-war adjustments. We should like its outlook upon world affairs to be uninfluenced by passions, prejudices, and political expedients with taproots in the war. This stream of world power, which, as Republican Germany hopes, may become a mighty and resistless stream, should not be poisoned at its source.”

“What would be the effect of America’s joining?”

“”Without presuming to suggest to America what she should do in this or any other matter, I should say that American ideals and moral authority cannot be spared from any movement destined to dignify and gladden the world with confidence and tranquillity. Reciprocal trust and peace would be hard enough to get, even with every great nation helping to the limit of its power. It is indispensable to any successful peace movement that it embrace all the principal constituents of human strength in the world.”

“Then you would wish Russia to join?”

“I should wish all nations to put their shoulders to the wheel in this superlatively important matter.”

“You perceive no way for mankind to progress harmoniously without some kind of body in permanent session functioning for nations somewhat after the manner of a national government in a system of federated states?”

International Good Understanding.

“I am convinced that the problems common to the nations demand an international body for their regular study and systematic accommodation.”

“What do you consider the best method of moving against international ignorance?”

“There are many ways leading to international understanding. The main condition is good will—the wish to understand and come together. Herein lies the great moral duty of the Press. Propaganda must be done away with; honesty and sincerity must reign. There are, however, other practical methods—for instance, the interchange of children and young folk. Many thousands of German children found homes and succor in neighboring countries like Holland, Switzerland and Scandinavia, when our country was facing famine after the Armistice. These children return to us with hearts full of gratitude and broader minds. They know there are others than Germans whom they can trust and love. Foreign students coming to us and living in German families undergo a similar mental and sentimental change. It is an effective way of internationalizing intelligence and fellow-feeling. Exchange of professors, students, ministers, and publicists is excellent. Whoever has the welfare of his own country at heart, and appreciates the universality of the effect of good or ill fortune in any part of the world, will rejoice over all well-judged attempts to moderate excessive nationalism in the interests of the common weal.”

“What is the housing situation in Germany?”

Germany’s Housing Difficulties.

“It is a situation involving bad living conditions, economic difficulties, and political perplexities. We suffer from a great lack of housing accommodation, with its inevitable physical discomforts, moral evils, social detriments, and anxieties for government. During the war we could build no houses. Moreover, we drastically restricted rents, and this restriction operated against house construction. It became necessary for the State to enter upon a large scheme of cheap housing for the people. To this, objections have frequently been raised in the foreign Press on the ground that it would promote industrial dumping; but we were forced to persist in the scheme, as the homelessness of large numbers of the population was intolerable from the standpoint of both social order and humanity.

“State building revenues were raised from the wealthier classes, and the accommodation accorded to each member of the community was restricted by public law. Our rule was one room for one person. Whoever had more rooms was billeted up with lodgers paying a cheap paper-mark rent. Naturally, there arose a desire on the part of persons of means to buy themselves free from billeting. This was allowed by the State on the basis of a payment sufficient to build as many rooms as were withdrawn from the operation of the rule of one room for one person. Thus a certain sum of money was raised, and a cheap construction program was carried out under the direction of our Minister of Public Welfare. This, to a certain extent, helped to relieve the situation.

“Experience, however, led us more and more to give up administrative control of residential property. It was expensive and, by keeping down the rent, it rendered house building a non-paying business. Besides, this kind of administration had the tendency to lead to corruption. Socialism in this realm failed us. The natural incentive to all industrial production—the prospect of earning interest on the capital outlay and profits thereon—had to be re-established, and we decided to return to the principle of private enterprise. Laws restricting rents are being progressively abolished.

“Unhappily, our housing troubles have not yet gone. Rents are rising rapidly and the cost of living is following them. Higher costs of living call for more wages and more wages bring back the threat of inflation. Nevertheless, we have taken our decision in favor of trusting capitalistic principles to resuscitate the building trade, and we shall stand by this decision. There is not sufficient capital available on our money market to produce a building boom. Still, we hope the mere fact of housing properties becoming an attractive investment may lead to an increased construction of houses that will mean less unemployment and hence a lightening of the burdens of the State in this respect.

Housing Scarcity Is Still Acute.

“There is a group of broad facts which strikingly reveals the genesis of our housing problem. For five years during the war house building in Germany was dead. Several hundred thousand young men came home from the war eager to get married and start housekeeping. Engaged couples had one reply for the question, ‘When is the wedding to be?’ It was, ‘When we can find a house.’ One year, a year and a half, three years of waiting—it was and still is so all over Germany. Immigrants flowed in upon us from East and West; immigrants from the ceded territories; fugitives expelled from the Ruhr and the Rhineland; thousands of people from Russia, Galicia, Poland, and the dismembered Austro-Hungarian Empire; Germans from the East and the Baltic; boatloads of Germans turned out of countries in which they had found homes and occupation before the war—about 2,000,000 of them in all.”

“One hears that Germany is a nation of tax-dodgers; that monetary penalties are, or were, of no avail because of the worthlessness of the mark; that both civil and criminal law in the Republic is discredited; that the great industrialists, not the Reich, are Germany; that the Republican Government cannot subdue these industrialists; that it is impotent before extra-constitutional military societies financed by the treasuries of big industry; that a masked army of aggression is in process of integration. What can we say on these heads?”

No Secret Army of Aggression.

“Take the last point first. There is in Germany only one military force of the slightest consequence as such—the Reichswehr, our Army. It stands unflinchingly for the Republic. It stands for law and order within our borders and for peace beyond them—the Republic’s policy, from which on no account will it depart. This myth of a nascent German army of aggression should be dismissed from men’s minds once for all. It is a source of nothing but universal evil, warping thought, disfiguring policy, buttressing militarism, postponing reconstruction, dashing the hopes of settled peace.

“Property, in the days immediately following the war, when there was a general menace of bolshevism, anarchy, and crimes of violence, and when our military resources were compulsorily inadequate to control such a situation—property, including the great industries, sought to defend itself by privately employed guards. These were magnified into the potential units of a formidable army. They never were such and still less are they such now. With the growth of governmental power and a return of the normal orderliness of the German people, these guards, or so-called military bands, became unnecessary and were suppressed. Similarly, we have suppressed as an element of possible disturbance and danger, our fascisti or more extreme and demonstrative nationalists. They are not allowed to make military preparations of any kind.

“Now as to tax-dodging, collapse of law and the alleged puissance and implied disloyalty of the leaders of German industry. Again, let us take the last point first. German industrialists are no more an element apart in German life than are American industrialists in American life or the industrialists of any other country in the life of that country. Our industrialists are German, believe in Germany, love Germany, and serve Germany according to their light. What motive or interest could they have in dishonoring her, in despoiling her, in spreading misery and desperation among her people? They have their ideas about government and policy, as have the rest of us. But they are not seditionists and they are not trying to establish an industrial tyranny.

Ways of German Industrialists.

“As regards tax-dodging, I suppose the practice is not wholly unknown in most countries, and even in normal times. Law enforcement, too, always presents difficulties quite generally. Our times for a good many years have not been normal times. We have passed through conditions unforeseeable and unimaginable—have trodden perhaps the strangest and most bewildering ground in the whole march of human history. Economic and social disorganization we have plumbed to its depths. We have witnessed financial vagaries that made our best-trained minds reel. In the midst of our embarrassments, falling thick and fast, rushing upon us from unexpected directions, established experience and doctrinaire thinking alike seemed a mockery.

“There was the so-called ‘flight of capital.’ Exporters and industrialists selling their goods abroad hesitated to convert foreign money into paper marks for fear of the losses threatening by depreciation. Besides, they frequently had to purchase their raw materials from abroad and required foreign currency for such transactions. Thus deposits were accumulated abroad sometimes, no doubt, in excess of actual requirements.

Germany’s “Flight of Capital.”

“But also the great mass of wage-earners and consumers was forced through the effects of depreciation to depart from sound economic principles. Germans were the thriftiest people in Europe. They loved to work and save. It was their life. Monetary depreciations swept away this great, primitive, sustaining instinct by making any kind of saving impossible. Everyone’s preoccupation was not to save his earnings but to spend them as quickly as he could, lest they turn to nothing in his hands. Boys and girls, told by their parents to be saving, to hold their money, laughed at the advice. ‘Do you think us idiots?’ they said. Even public officials formerly completely unconversant with investment transactions, when they received their salaries, ran as fast as they could to the stock exchange to convert their money into shares. What else could they do to avoid the consequences of depreciation and still maintain some kind of liquid capital?

“It was the same everywhere—this amazing spectacle, this indescribable national moral and material tragedy of agonized earners, by nature provident, dropping their money as if it were on fire. Money is a marvelous thing in a nation. Stable, of fixed worth, enjoying universal confidence, it is not merely a medium of exchange; it is a preservant of values; it is the bedrock of national morale. Destroy its stability and you shock your civilization into ruins. If we have had turbulence; if we have had anarchy; if we have had a collapse of civil and criminal law; if we have shown many signs of a nation shattered and desperate, it has been because and only becaused our people were bereft of everything that makes social sanity and discipline possible.

“On the other hand, gold-standard currencies rushed into Germany as air into a vacuum. Foreigners flocked hither to scoop up our inflated marks, exchange them for full-value German commodities and retire enriched. From a neutral country, for example, there came a man for a little recreation in Berlin. He lived well at a fashionable hotel, bought in the Unter den Linden a beautiful German gold watch for the mark yield of a few gold notes, returned home and sold his watch for a sufficient profit to cover all his expenses in Germany. Thus the wealth still remaining in the country after the war was subjected to a heavy drain.

The Bankruptcy of a Nation.

“German employers, like their employes, ran a breathless race with the descent of the mark. Accustomed to pay their workers monthly, they began to pay weekly and finally daily, to minimize the losses from depreciation. For the same reason the workers no sooner received their marks than they hurried to get rid of them for something that would retain its value.

“All State functions were harried correspondingly. Money received for taxes lost its value while in course of collection. Obligations were put off in order that they might be met with cheaper currency. Crimes against property multiplied, for necessitous people were disposed to take what the fruits of their labor would not buy. Men and women went into the forests for wood and into the fields for potatoes. Such crimes were punished in accordance with the law, but penalties were often futile against cold and hunger.

“Contradictory views were held of what should or could be done. We passed highly restrictive and punitive legislation against the flight of capital. All privacy of commercial and banking accounts was set aside. Our methods resembled the bolshevistic inquisition. We turned on the taxation screw as far as practicable. We obtained what foreign currency we could to pay Reparations. But, in the end, all expedients failed, bankruptcy was complete, and payments under the Treaty of Versailles ceased.

“It is asserted that we voluntarily extinguished the value of the mark by inflation. On the contrary, we frantically fought to maintain the standard of our money, realizing that depreciation meant confiscation; that lifelong savings would be snuffed out; that the middle and working classes would be impoverished; that the national morale would undergo an unprecedented strain and that our entire social order might be engulfed in disaster. Not any desire of ours, nor any fault or default of ours, reduced the mark to worthless paper; this calamity befell us because of the imposition upon our war-weakened country of burdens greater than it could bear.

The Tragedy of the Falling Mark.

“We are accused, again, of governmental connivance with industrial and commercial cleverness in ‘siphoning’ wealth out of Germany in the form of the gold deposits abroad derived from the sale of German exports to which I have already referred. It is the allegation that these credits were left in foreign countries to evade Reparations payments. Precisely the contrary is the truth. We were struggling to maintain our domestic economy and to discharge the obligations fixed by the Treaty of Versailles. To do these things it was indispensable that our industrial and commercial apparatus should work. If this apparatus worked we must get food and raw materials from other countries, and such commodities were not to be had for the degraded mark. Such accumulations of foreign credit by German exporters as were permitted by the German Government—and our laws were as stringent as our observation was vigilant—were intended to keep German life and production going, not only to meet domestic needs but to make Reparations payments.

“If some exporters built up larger foreign credits than the German laws intended they should—and this is not impossible—it was not because of, but in spit of, the policy and the endeavors of the Reich. Our thought and energy in the Wilhelmstrasse wereever directed not to give special help or privileges to the trading community or any other class of our population, but to serve the Commonwealth, whose interests we believed would be advanced by honestly meeting, so far as possible, all the obligations of the government.

Individuality of Foreign Credits.

“Some persons talk as if it were easy for the German government to enter foreign banks and levy upon German credits there. At the first hint of such a thing American competent circles immediately pointed out its impossibility. Attempts to institute inquiries looking to an appraisal of German credits in the banks of European countries proved futile at the outset as no country would ever tolerate such interference in its banking business. The sanctity of private property would not permit of any such measure. And we ourselves have that feeling. It probably is not far from the truth to say that to overturn the principle of the inviolability of private property is to overturn the foundation of our present social and economic organization. So much for the charges that the German Republic deliberately committed against its people the crime of inflation and aided and abetted its exporters in an organized attempt to swindle the beneficiaries of the Treaty of Versailles.”

“One hears that Germany is rich and also that she is poor.”

Potential Wealth, Actual Poverty.

“In a sense, she is both. Potentially, Germany is rich; she has certain natural and the sociological elements of great national wealth and power. Actually, German is not only poor but bankrupt. She has the plant for a vast industry, agricultural and commercial, but she has no working capital. Great as were her trading activities during the quarter of a century before the war, she had not time to accumulate the huge reserves of capital of the older business communities. She had relatively little amassed wealth; what she had was consumed during the war, delivered up under the Treaty of Versailles, or has evaporated by depreciation.

“Capitalistic industrialism without liquid capital is like a living organism drained of blood; it is a dead frame. Economically Germany is no longer a vital phenomenon; she is a gigantic skeleton. Understanding, wisdom, forbearance abroad, together with German skill, labor, and thrift at home, can reclothe this skeleton with strong sinew and healthy flesh, and reirrigate its arteries with blood; ignorance, folly, aggression from outside will arrest rebuilding processes inside, and we shall see an irreparable crumbling of the skeleton’s bones. Censure of other Governments we wish to avoid; we hope their own complexities and perplexities will aid them in appreciating those of the Government of the German Republic.”

“Will you explain how it finally became possible for you to return to the gold standard—to establish the rentenmark?”

Striving for a Balanced Budget.

“In much of our discussion, necessarily, for the purposes of full explanation to those who have not been in position to follow recent German history as closely as Germans have followed it, we have been looking backward; our view has been retrospective; we have been examining past phases in the quick-moving drama of post-war German life. There are those who ask: ‘Why did you not establish the rentenmark sooner? Why did you not earlier take a firm stand against the slump of your money?’ My answer is, ‘Because it was impossible.’

“Why was it impossible? It was impossible because the total of our inescapable expenditures was far greater than our wealth-producing capacity. We could get nowhere near a balancing of our budget, and the balanced budget, needless to say, is the sine qua non of national solvency and of the corollary of national solvency—stable currency. Our problem, so far as Reparations were concerned—and Reparations were only one of our difficulties—was incalculably aggravated by the fact that we could not ascertain what was demanded of us. We were required to shovel against a heap of sand, the sand always running down upon us, and no light reaching us as to when the task would end. It is a kind of labor that almost no conceivable leadership can—if it ought to—induce a nation to perform.

“France, in recent weeks, has been experiencing some of the trials that come to an incumbered nation in connection with its currency. There has been a struggle to save the franc. If the franc has been hard pressed, if it has fallen, if extraordinary measures have been imperative to arrest its fall, who can wonder that the mark lost its value? France had the powerful financial support of America and England during the war, and those countries have not required her to pay even interest on her debt. Furthermore, France retained all her extensive colonies—even increased her colonial domain—and maintained full economic liberty.

Lesson of France’s Difficulties.

“France has been collecting from Germany since the war. Germany herself financed her entire war outlay—borrowed nothing from abroad—and shouldered military occupation expenses and Reparations deliveries after the war. France, of course, had her vast burden of reconstruction in her devastated territories; but, when all is said, Germany’s financial burdens were immensely heavier. As France did not deliberately sink the franc, so Germany did not deliberately sink the mark.

“Return to stable currency in Germany was out of the question while we were floundering in a financial region of bottomless quicksand.

“The rentenmark, so far a successful experiment, based on the experience gained through similar previous attempts made in other countries during the last century and avoiding the errors committed on such former occasions, rests upon just one thing—German solvency. German solvency may have come to stay, and it may not. If it goes, as it went before, it seems inevitable that the rentenmark will go, as the mark went. Our temporary monetary stability is the result of heroic financial efforts made possible by suspending Reparations payments and reducing internal expenditures to the iron minimum.

Stability of the Rentenmark.

“Impossible Reparations demands—which, happily, we hope the combined foreign experience and judgment focused upon the problem will avert—would crush the foundations of the rentenmark, and involve not only Germany but Europe in continuing disaster. We require a moratorium, or credits, or both, and we require the prudent consideration of those in whose power it lies to prevent us from helping either ourselves or them.”

“Is religious feeling strong or weak among the people?”

Religious Sentiment in Germany.

“Reduced in material fortunes and psychologically depressed, our people in general have sought solace and strength in religion. We have greater church attendances than before the war. This return of the people to religion has been strongly stimulated by the humanitarian work of religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church and the Quakers, and by a national reaction against the spirit of war and against the atheistic tenets of Socialism. Socialism, indeed, in the crush of events in Germany since the war, would seem to have shown many shortcomings, economically and spiritually.”

“What are the moral habits and tendencies of the young?”

“Enforced simplification of life has benefited our boys and girls. It has made them less affected, more serious, keener on healthful pleasures. Our young of the better classes are more democratic. Snobbishness is diminished. We see fewer monocles, patent leather shoes and other signs of dandyism. Girls’ dresses are simpler. Our young folk walk more and motor less. Life’s responsibilities have a larger place in their thoughts. Similar remarks apply to the working classes; there is a more natural mode of life all around. But it is true that pastors, social workers and teachers complain of other post-war developments; order and discipline among the rising generation have been loosened, respect for authority shattered by the tide of revolution and its after effects; thrift and economy, as already shown, have lost their educational value. The lack of universal military training, with its healthful influence on the bodies and minds of our young men—its education in obedience and self-command—is here perceptible.”

“Motion pictures, the press, the platform, literature, art, in Germany—are they tending to consolidate or to disintegrate character?”

Beneficial After Effects of War.

“On the whole, I should say, their influence has not proved to be detrimental. The newspapers and the book trade in Germany suffered severely under the economic consequences of publishers turned to the printing of foreign books, paid for in foreign currencies. More normal publishing conditions, however, have returned of late and the country is the gainer.

“In general, it may be said that the sufferings of the war and its after effects have produced certain beneficial results—simpler life, devotion to work, a desire for spiritual and ethical elevation to replace the materialistic assets lost—and that this development is also reflected in the different forms of public expression.”

“What are the basic ideals of modern Germany?”

Ideals of Present-Day Germany.

“In a phrase, to build up a happy, prosperous and powerful democracy, dedicated to peace and civilization. Our conception of education is democratic. It opens the door of advancement to all our people. We believe in and seek humanistic culture, but we also bear in mind the popular need for vocational training. It is our aim to draw upon both classicism and vocationalism in the interests of the Republic itself and in the interests of those responsibilities which it shares with other nations.

“Individual liberty is the fundamental of fundamentals of the Constitution of the Federation. Personal destiny in no respect is committed to human hands; it is committed to the law. Contrary, in certain particulars, to the situation under the Empire, our citizens are free to migrate, to emigrate, to worship, to work as they will. Men and women have complete legal, civic, and political equality, whether of right or of duty. Marriage, the foundation of family life, rests upon the equal rights of both sexes.

“It is our purpose as a State, while safeguarding the liberty of the citizen and making of his home an individual sanctuary, to collaborate with him in preserving the purity, health, and social progression of the family. Motherhood, in our view, has a special claim upon the protection and care of the Republic. Opportunities shall be provided by law equalizing the advantages, bodily, mental, and social, of illegitimate children with those of legitimate children. Every care will be taken to promote in every practicable way the vigor, sanity, and happiness of the rising generation.

“We have no State Church, but levy taxes for the support of all creeds and denominations in accordance with their numerical strength. These taxes enable the various religious bodies to devote all of their collections to the charities of their choice.

Elements of Freedom and Equality.

Freedom of religion, of the press, of assembly, of speech, or art, science, and teaching is guaranteed under our Constitution. Our education is free and compulsory to the eighteenth year. Private schools require the approval of the State and there must be no separation of pupils having reference to the means of their parents. It is a provision of the Constitution that our education shall be directed to the reconciliation of nations. Every pupil, upon completion of school attendance, receives a copy of the Constitution.

“In ultimate essentials the Constitution of the German Republic, I believe, closely resembles the Constitutions of Britain and the United States. In some respects our system corresponds to that of Great Britain. In other respects it follows American lines and in still other respects we have singularities of our own. Like the American and unlike the British Constitution, ours is written; we have a feeling in such things for definition and relative rigidity. Like the British and unlike the American Constitution ours empowers the President of the Federation, within limits, to dissolve the Reichstag; we favor a prompt method of liquidating deadlocks. There are other differences, but all these instruments of government, as I understand them, presuppose that supreme power proceeds from the people and aspire to forward a vigorous, humane, and peaceful social evolution, based upon the principles of property rights and popular liberty.”

“What might one transmit, by way of final word, as Republican Germany’s message to other States and peoples?”

Light Needed to Give Peace.

“Our appeal is for justice in judgment, for fair treatment in spirit, for mutuality of forbearance and respect. I do not wish to discuss the question of the responsibility for the war. I merely would say, in this connection, that no one can understand the German people or have in them the confidence they deserve, if such person imagines them capable of deliberately and wantonly setting out to slay and conquer. Mankind in no part of the world is more inclined to peace and to international friendship than are the Germans.

“It is misunderstanding that causes war. Misunderstanding breeds fear and animosity and the spirit of slaughter. It follows that the world needs light—needs international education. As soon as Germany, now struggling in the thicket of political and economic disorganization, can free her limbs and see her way out of the forest, she will be ready and eager to do her part, both by precept and by example, to advance humanity toward the goal of peace. Progress in that direction, in my opinion, is possible only through concentration of effort, internationally organized. Such an organization would be a clearing house of world information and a focal point of world confidence. It is such a role that Germany would wish to see the League of Nations fulfill.”

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Italy’s Rebirth

Fascismo’s Purposes outlined by Premier Mussolini

“Fascismo is the Greatest Experiment in Our History in Making Italians.”

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Photograph by V. Laviosa, Rome, Italy.

Benito Mussolini

Hiram Kelly Moderwell, Rome Correspondent of The Chicago Daily News, writes of the scene at the interview with Premier Mussolini:

“It took place in the magnificent Chigi Palace, Italy’s present Foreign Office, in the largest and most splendid room of the Palace—that of President Mussolini—at midday, with the din of the Roman streets muffled by thick walls, and with the white Italian light flooding over the forceful apostle of Fascismo at his gigantic desk.

“Our hopes—Mr. Bell’s and mine—had fallen low as we waited in an outer reception room. There were three of these rooms, each big enough for a house, and all were crowded with visitors to see the President. There were admirals and generals in their handsome uniforms. There were dignified, solemn-faced, frock-coated officials and committeemen from all over Italy. There were men of science and men of diplomacy.

“How could the President, in circumstances like these, find even a moment for a newspaper interview?

Keeps Appointment on the Minute.

“But Mussolini is Mussolini. On the instant of our appointment a secretary came through a lofty doorway and called out, ‘Mr. Price Bell!’ We followed him along several corridors and through two or three ante-chambers to the door of the President’s room. There we paused for a few seconds. Then the secretary turned the knob, opened the door, and the vast office of Mussolini lay before us. We had entered at one corner; diagonally across the great expanse of the room in the farthest corner from us sat Mussolini at his desk by a wide, towering window.

“One’s glance involuntarily swept over the room, despite the magnetism of the man. Its walls are hung with battle-axes and strange gray tapestries. There is little furniture, accentuating the immense space. The floor is of beautifully grained hardwood, smooth as glass.

“Mussolini rose, stepped from behind his desk and walked quickly toward us, erect and stern in bearing, like a soldier. He met us almost half-way, shook hands firmly and cordially, turned and retraced his steps to his chair. There were no hesitations, no preliminaries. Conversation began at once. Occasionally Mussolini used English, occasionally French, but nearly always his own musical and brilliant Italian. He was alternatively animated and grave, his fine eyes sometimes gleaming playfully, sometimes reflecting what he has passed through since the outbreak of the Great War and what he has faced in his position of supreme political responsibility in Italy.

Brilliant Listener and Talker.

“We were alone. When I saw Mussolini two years ago in a modest hotel room in Cannes, a young black shirt stood beside me, rifle in hand, motionless during a two-hour interview. But here Mussolini, without guards or secretaries and clad in a smartly-cut morning suit, was no longer dictator of an extra-legal militia, but first minister of the king. He listened. He listened intently, his hands relaxed on the arms of his chair, his head bowed. He seemed to concentrate as much energy on listening as do most orators on speaking.”

Mr. Bell’s impressions of the remarkable man interviewed:

Word Picture of Mussolini.

“He is not tall, or raw-boned, or pretty. He is somewhat short and decidedly well-fleshed, but not fat. Those who see mental and moral rather than physical features will, I think, call him handsome. Nor is he at all bad-looking physically. His dark-brown eyes are the talk of Italy.

“Mussolini is intensely egoistic and quintessentially Italian. Some might call him affected. I put down his mannerisms not to affectation but to individuality. He is too serious, too reflective, too sensible of the weight of his cares, too sincere, to be affected. As he talked, now sitting at his huge, flat-topped desk; now rising, pushing back the tails of his morning coat and thrusting his hands into his trousers pockets; sometimes advancing his face close to mine and looking hard into my eyes, his right arm uplifted; sometimes appearing to forget I was there, turning away and pitching his words into space—as he did these things I felt in the presence less of a man than of a flesh-and-blood embodiment of a great national passion.

“Mussolini has a luminous and powerful intellect. But it is not his intellect that astonishes one. It is his genius. It is his spirit. It is the fire in him. It is his self-forgetfulness. It is the depth and mystery of his personality. It is his courage; one easily can see him, on the instant and even eagerly, facing death for his principles, as he has done many times.

“One way, and an accurate way, of describing Mussolini is to say that he is everything neutralism is not. ‘It is necessary to act, to move, to fight, perhaps to die,’ he says. This is virtually the alpha and omega of his feeling and philosophy.

Not Dictator but Liberator.

“They call him dictator. To the unpatriotic, to the anti-social and anti-civilized, to the lawless, to the bolshevists, he is dictator. To Italy—full of sterling human worth as it is full of natural beauty and of historical glory—to Italy, in my judgment, Mussolini is liberator.

“I should be sorry to have these words taken as mere rhetoric. I am trying to give some idea of a man who has captivated a great people and re-created a nation. I am trying to give some idea of a man who has impressed Europe profoundly; who, in my opinion, has served Europe vitally, and who has become a portent and a promise in the civilization of the world.”

“Fascismo, Sig. Mussolini, is the phenomenon we wish to try to understand.”

“First,” was the reply, “Fascismo is not merely a party or a movement wholly consumed in the field of politics. It was not born in Italy of a group of people who had elaborated, fixed and made popular a series of solutions of predetermined problems in the life and administration of the Italian State. Fascismo is a spiritual movement. It took form spontaneously among our people, and at a certain point issued in an unforeseen, impulsive and very great manifestation.

“To place before oneself the problem of the elements contributing to determine this spiritual movement is to place before oneself the most profound and interesting of the historical problems of modern Italy, and perhaps of the contemporary world. Italian life has presented for centuries the curious phenomenon of a disequilibrium between the height, the fineness and the energy of our civilization and the inadequacy of our education in citizenship.

“This problem, which the purest and greatest spirit of modern Italy, Dante Alighieri, perceived at the moment when the Middle Ages closed, was left by the Risorgimento, not perhaps untouched, but far from a solution. For centuries it has tormented the best consciences of Italy. It has been the agony of the noblest Italian thinkers. It was the very last thought of the dying Cavour. And, unity having been accomplished, it remained for Massimo d’Azeglio to define the problem in a phrase that has become very popular among us: ‘Italy is made; now we must make Italians.’

Education in Citizenship.

“Fascismo is the greatest experiment in our history in making Italians. What do I mean by ‘making Italians’? I mean creating in Italy an education in citizenship. I mean creating something to destroy this disequilibrium between Italian civilization and Italian political life—this evil which has perturbed our history though all these generations.”

“When did the movement take tangible form?”

How the Movement Was Born.

“It was born materially in 1919, but its origins are further back. Many years before the war the youngest, freshest, and most energetic Italian spirits were trying impetuously to break the noose that seemed to be binding and suffocating our young State. They were many, but separated. Every one of them was following a dream. With not a few it was a dream of a Socialism that had nothing at all to do with the barbaric desire to destroy society, or with the miserable questions of thine and mine—a Socialism expressive above all of a desire for liberation and spiritual renewal.

“When the Great War broke out, many Italians perceived not only that the historical exigencies of Italy made necessary our participation in the war, but that the war had given an extraordinary and powerful impulse to the national integration of the Italian people. In every party, even among the extreme Socialists, developed an enthusiasm for war. These pro-war groups were compelled to vanquish the old political class in Italy—a class insensible to the true historical problem of modern Italy and to the vital value the war would have in Italian history.

“At the close of the struggle, with victory established, this caste of politicians, profiting by the popular reaction following the frightful bloodshed and suffering, arose once more to regain the upper hand and to take possession of the State. The State, during the years of the war, became identified with the 5,000,000 young Italians who had served in the army. These fresh and valiant spirits, of the stuff that crushed anti-interventionism, feared that their elimination from public affairs by the old caste would mean the destruction of the spiritual fruits of the war, to the deadly detriment of Italian life.

Saving the War’s Spiritual Fruits.

“For four years the battle was waged bitterly between the old and the new order. In 1922 the new order conquered, as the interventionists had conquered in 1915. Thus you see Fascismo is not only a movement of armed reaction against revolutionary disorder, but a phase in the history of the Italian people, which, having achieved the unity of its national territory, wished to achieve a higher form of spiritual power.”

“Fascismo, then, is both subjective and objective?”

“Yes; it is a thing of the soul, and a thing of practical politics. It is emotion, theory, and practice; it is sentiment, ideas, and acts; it is something felt, something thought, and something done. Fascismo is a spiritual inspiration, a body of doctrine, and a system of State policy. It is morally resolute and intellectually precise. Its ultimate springs must be sought in Italian history and Italian consciousness. As an abstraction, Fascismo is as old as man’s sense of the beauty of great ideals; as a concretion, it is a thing expressing itself in the lives of Italian youth—a thing of energy and daring and a thing inflexibly committed to the principle of sacrifice.”

“What do you mean, exactly, by ‘sacrifice’?”

Character of Italy’s Sacrifice.

“I mean giving up a little to gain enormously more. Social welfare is, at one and the same time, the sum of individual sacrifices and the salvation of the individual. Life is safe, property is safe, personal liberty is safe, constitutionalism survives, only if individuals and classes offer up their selfish interest on the altar of social well-being. Six hundred thousand italian boys sacrificed their lives, and more than a million sacrificed bodily soundness, in order that Italian territory might be inviolate and Italian citizens free. Our armies fought for nothing else. Considered by itself, it seems and is a colossal sacrifice; but it was a little thing to give for Italy.

“When we ask labor to be just to capital, or ask capital to be just to labor; when we ask either to forego a ruthless use of its power in its own apparent immediate interests; when we ask both to be socially conscious and considerate, we are urging the principle of sacrifice. But it is that kind of sacrifice which serves both him who makes it and him for whom it is made. It is the only principle compatible with orderly and happy human life. When the fascisti destroyed bolshevism in Italy—bolshevism will hate us—they compelled the bolshevists to make a sacrifice. It was the sacrifice, however, of only the privilege the bolshevists were claiming to ruin us all, including themselves.

“It cannot be too strongly affirmed that Fascismo is not an enemy of true liberty. It is an enemy of false liberty. It is an enemy of the liberty of one person or of any group of persons to take away the liberty of another person, or of the nation as a whole. Our point of view is that when we assert the rights of society we are asserting the rights of every member and of every element belonging to that society. No individual rights or liberties are secure in a State whose national rights and liberties are not secure. Upon social justice rests all justice; social justice is essential to social equilibrium; and social equilibrium is another name for civilization.

Fascismo Opposed to False Liberty.

“Fascismo has committed acts of force; I neither deny nor condemn them. It had colossal difficulties to overcome. Civil war is one of the saddest phenomena of history, but it is not so sad as is the degradation of high national aims. Cromwell and Lincoln faced civil war. And who shall say that the blood shed at Gettysburg contributed less than did the blood shed in the War of Independence to the unity and greatness of the American nation? The Romans used toi say, ‘resecare advivum.’ Fascismo has been obliged to cut into the living flesh to restore the health of the Italian nation. It remembers its dead with passion and with reverence, and considers that they died, n ot for Fascismo, but for Italy.

“When we suppressed maniacal and disastrous strikes in Italy, particularly in the postal and other public utility services, there was an outcry in some quarters that we were trampling upon liberty. Upon what liberty? If we were trampling upon liberty, we were trampling upon no liberty except that of the labor agitators to overthrow the State, to enslave the people, to destroy industry and commerce, to threaten our peninsula with famine, and to wipe out the priceless heritage of generations of Italian valor, culminating at Vittorio Veneto. To that sort of liberty Fascismo is, verily, an enemy. And let it be remembered, in connection with all this, that when we struck at the monstrous pretensions of the walking delegates we did not offend honest labor; we lifted up honest labor’s heart from the Alps to the Ionian sea.

Why Italian Strikes Were Stopped.

“It is said that Fascismo is aristocratic. So it is. It believes in a civilization of high ethics and high culture. But in what respect is the spirit of a people, of the common people—I never flatter them—disassociated in sympathy from high ethics and high culture? Fascismo’s aristocracy is the aristocracy of the spirit, the aristocracy of order, of law, against the tumult of the instincts and of popular passions. Charges against me and against Fascismo of hostility to the workers are grotesque.

“Work! Who works more than I, with dozens of committees coming into this room every day and with appeals continually flung on my desk reflecting the urgent needs of the 8,000 communes of Italy—appeals, by the way, not for the ‘liberty’ our opponents declare our people have lost, but for aid in improving the living conditions and safeguarding the health of the masses. Work I regard as the highest virtue of man and as the most powerful manifestation of the health of a people. Italian workers were among the original fascisti, and today Fascismo has a strong majority of them, together with small bourgeoisie who are nearer to the working class than to what you call the middle class. But I prefer that Fascismo’s attitude toward labor should be deduced from its conception of the State, which belongs to no one unless to those who serve it; and the square-cornered, firm, solid, unruffled Italian worker serves his country no less than does any one else.”

Fascismo’s Attitude Toward Labor.

“Your creed of liberty embraces the economic field?”

“I am for the greatest economic liberty. The strong State does not in the least mean the State that wishes to do everything for itself and by itself. On the contrary, I am convinced that the stronger the State the greater is the effective liberty within which the economic life develops. Economic enterprise has as much need of liberty at home as of security abroad.”

“Fascismo has been destructive as well as constructive?”

Clearing the Ground.

“Oh, yes. It had a great fabric to erect—the fabric of a new Italy—and the building site was badly cumbered. It was cumbered by the debris of socialistic and demagogic wrongs and failures. Unwarranted privileges, corrupt politics, bolshevistic madness, uneconomic laws, called for removal. House rent ordinances were confiscating property, paralyzing building, and opening before tens of thousands of people the prospect of no roof to cover their heads. Radical laws and regulations shielded strikers. Confiscatory inheritance duties were discouraging thrift and small property and driving capital out of the country. All these deadweights, these post-war deposits, Fascismo swept from the building site of Italian national life—not always, perhaps, doing its work too tenderly—before commencing the erection of the new State.”

“What are some of the constructive achievements?”

“Italy’s budget balanced; war fetters on liberty and property broken; confiscatory land legislation scrapped; limited suffrage granted to women; religion reintroduced into the public schools; majority rule asserted over coalescing minorities; tax dodgers rounded up; paper circulation decreased; popular savings enormously increased; death duties abolished in the interest of the family group; outflow of Italian capital stopped and inflow of foreign capital started; the lira appreciated; labor given the eight-hour day; value of government securities enhanced; railroad traffic augmented; strikes abolished and unemployment reduced almost to the vanishing point.

“Italy is tranquil. Italy is working. The equal of her stability is scarcely to be found in Europe. Yet the Italian people are grievously taxed. Proportionately to their economic possibilities they are bearing a greater tax burden than any other people in the world. Our economic situation, and consequently our living conditions, are made worse by foreign immigration laws, which diminish our capacity for finding work for our people.”

Effects of Immigration Laws.

“What is your opinion of the immigration policy apparently foreshadowed in America?”

Sig. Mussolini was standing when I asked this question. He fixed his dark brown eyes upon mine, lifted his right hand, and said slowly and solemnly:

“I should think it very sad if America shut her gates against the people who produced her discoverer. Selective immigration—”

He stopped, sat and bent over a paper on his desk. One knew what he meant. He meant that, as Italians see it, proposals not based upon the principle of selection for fitness, but based upon the principle of race or nationality, seem to find favor in Washington. Thoughtful Italians regard themselves and Americans as ethnologically the two youngest nations of the world—both old stocks modified by innumerable foreign incursions, both melting pots, but both retaining un-impaired their racial primalities. Such Italians feel that neither Italo-Americans nor their brethren at home have done anything to forfeit American confidence in them as American citizens. Quite the contrary is the belief, and by way of proof one is reminded of the record of Italo-American soldiers in France and of Italian soldiers on the precipitous battlefields of the Alps.

“Sig. Mussolini, we should like very much to have your honest view of this immigration matter.”

Italy Too Small For Its People.

“It is a matter of deep interest and real importance to Italy. Our emotions are enlisted because of our historical and cultural relations with America, and because of our nationalistic identity. Vast numbers of Italians have gone to America, have become loyal American citizens, h ave fought for America and yet know and love Italy. These Italo-Americans, as we regard them, are an invaluable link between our civilizations, and a force for the integration of the world. Those of our citizens who go to America and return to us are an influence for Italo-American understanding, and whatever promotes such understanding is a beneficent thing for both countries.

“We are by no means ignorant of America’s difficulties in respect of immigration. Her right and duty to protect herself against undesirable aliens are clear. Italy, certainly, would not dream of asking her to accept immigrants likely to burden or embarrass her. We do not want to send our diseased or insane or dangerous people to the United States. It is of sound Italians we are thinking when we discuss immigration with your country. Our peninsula is too small, too rocky, too hilly, too mountainous, to support our 40,000,000 and their increase. Only a third of the little land we have is tillable and we possess few mineral resources.

“In a word, we are subject to great and growing emigratory pressure, and our people naturally turn toward Columbia. They are good workers, sensible folk, orderly by nature, healthy in mind and body, heirs of a long and triumphant historical struggle; they will be a source of strength, not of weakness, to any society they join. We feel it strange that any one’s ideas on immigration in America should appear to favor Germans, for example, over Italians. Only the other day Americans and Italians were fighting together to defeat Germanic tyranny. Besides, there is much greater social unrest in Germany and much more bolshevism than there is in Italy.

Turn Naturally Toward America.

“I do not wish to say anything harsh about the Germans, nor about any other people. Neither do I wish to be understood as suggesting that America should admit fewer Germans within her gates. I merely am intimating that I should find it hard to reconcile any American immigration proposals more favorable to Germans than to Italians with what I conceive to be a rightful appreciation of the virtues of my fellow-countrymen. Italy’s need for larger opportunities for her people was greatly increased by her material sacrifices in the general struggle for freedom. This struggle not only wrecked our economic life but put upon our taxpayers a debt burden amounting to more than six-tenths of our national wealth. I have confidence that full discussion, attended by mutual sympathy, will result in a happy settlement of the Italo-American immigration problem.”

“You would say a sense of dignity lies at the core of nationality?”

“Absolutely. Without a sense of dignity there is no nationality. Without a sense of dignity, indeed, there is no individuality.”

“What is your feeling about the war debts?”

Would Pay the War Debts.

“That they should be paid. Debts must be paid. If debts are not paid, there is an end of credit, and it is much better to give up money than to give up credit. Credit is the bedrock of civilization; your Alexander Hamilton was quite right about that. Italy will pay. She cannot pay immediately. She must have time to effect her national economic and financial consolidation. She must have time to work and save.”

“You are an idealist, Sig. Mussolini?”

“Yes; but an idealist who believes in the systematic and quick conversion of ideals into bettered conditions of human life.”

“How can statesmanship and journalism best serve each other and humanity?”

“By an aggressive and tireless assertion of mental and moral energy. By uttering only the truth. By fearing nothing but infidelity to the truth. By constant readiness to sacrifice themselves for their fellow men.”

“What would be your watchword for public men and writers?”


“All the time you base yourself upon the moralities?”

Character the Basis of All.

“There is nothing else for one to base oneself upon. This is the first tenet of Fascismo: Moral character is primary. From the first, fascisti have understood that there could be no political rebirth without a moral rebirth. Physical force, as I have said, sometimes is necessary—Abraham Lincoln, I repeat, found it necessary—to impose a superior principle; but order, above all, ought to be defended in the consciences of the citizens. Modern States can rest upon nothing but a general sense of duty to the fatherland. For this reason, the moral health of a people is bound up indissolubly with the political fortunes of the country. Fascismo’s immediate task, after breaking the resistance of the caste of politicians that opposed the rebirth of Italy, was to organize the new State; Fascismo’s ultimate and much greater task is to depend and solidify the country’s civic morality. Hence our parole de jour: ‘Duty.’”

“What do you say of classic culture?”

“That, for us, it is the basis of every true civic education. I do not wish to appear to express a principle of universal validity, but I believe that, if the classic culture is for us indispensable to our self-consciousness, it is for every people one of the most powerful instruments of civilization.”

“What is your favorite art?”

“Music. Because it is the most communicable. Next I like architecture, poetry, sculpture, painting.”

“What do you think of Maeterlinck’s dictum that ‘America has the cruelest commercialism the world ever has known’?”

Art Promise of America.

“This Belgian is a great poet. I doubt if any of his contemporaries equal him as a psychic analyst. But only a lack of imagination can blind one to the stupendous art promise of the United States. It is still mainly promise, to be sure, for Americans have been busy over other things. But one day it will dazzle the world. One day the Americans will lead civilization in the fine arts, dimming even the greatest glories of the past. It is all sleeping in their destiny. Intense and mighty in material things they undoubtedly are. Why? Because of youth, simplicity, boundless energy. These qualities in due course will turn from industry, commerce, engineering, mechanics, to artistic and literary efflorescence. Material America we know; artistic America we are yet to see.”

Sig. Mussolini is a great student of history. He examines all phases of human development from the standpoint of historical criticism. “Three cities made history,” he says. If you ask “What three?” he replies. “No matter. Cities always make history; villages endure it.” Rome, it goes without saying, is one of the three cities of Mussolini’s meaning. Hear him on the Eternal city: “Rome is today, as it ever has been, as it ever will be, the living heart of our race. It is the imperishable symbol of our vitality as a people. Who holds Rome, holds the nation.”

Thus he felt when, in the closing days of October, 1922, he marched at the head of 50,000 blue-shirted nationalists and black-shirted fascisti to take possession of the capital—a peaceful, disciplined, soldierly host, entering a city equally peaceful, and a city that smothered the marchers with flowers.

State Above All Classes.

“What is Fascismo’s attitude to the classes?”

“None of us has every thought of denying the historical function of the social classes. Class struggles are a reality of history. But, precisely because they are, they are not to be isolated from the other realities that form the tissue of history. Class struggles, for example, cannot be abstracted from the reality of the nation. Fascismo rejects the conception—as a matter of fact it has been outgrown in modern scientific thought—that history can be reduced to the struggle of the classes. This conception Fascismo rejects in favor of the more organic idea that the classes act within the State according to their several interests, while the State, representing the historical unity of the life of a people, is necessarily above these interests and these struggles. States have, with regard to the classes, a superior aim to attain, a higher task to serve. They dare not permit the struggle of the classes to assume supremacy in the national life.”

From the lips of Mussolini have burst many expressions, which, taken alone, would mislead the world concerning his temper and views. For example, he cried out to a great audience on one occasion: “It is blood that moves the wheels of history!” This crimson figure of speech would suggest that the present head of the Italian State believes in war for its own sake.

“Do you?” I asked him.

Peace Necessary to the World.

“Peace at any cost is as absurd as war at any cost. Neither Italy nor the United States, fortunately for both and for all, followed the peace-at-any-cost doctrine in the late war. One’s country imperiled means that one must fight. One cannot ignore one’s country any more than the tree can ignore its sustaining soil. But I reject with equal energy the doctrine that war can be the major interest of the world.

“And, if you want to know something else, namely, my opinion with reference to the world’s interests in peace at this moment, I reply, sincerely and in full consciousness, that peace is necessary to Europe today; and that I, for my part, have directed Italian foreign policy in this sense, solving two of its most essential problems—our relations with Jugoslavia and our relations with Russia. Italy is non-aggressive. Italy wants respect and friendship and is ready to reciprocate them. Italy is absolutely for clear treaty relations with other powers, and for the strictest honring of such treaties at whatever cost.”

Corfu is not a subject of which Mussolini is at all afraid. He is deeply persuaded that the bombardment averted a crisis of the greatest peril to the peace of the world. Responsibility for the massacre of the Italian members of the international commission for the delimitation of the Greco-Albanian frontier, he places squarely upon the shoulders off the Greek Government.

“I struck for international morality,” said he. “I struck for the tranquillity of the Balkan States. I struck against war. I struck for civilization.”

Probably no one is more skeptical about “beautiful chimeras,” or more scornful of the “ideologies,” than is Mussolini. Yet he is no cynic. He confesses himself “a deeply religious man,” esteems religion “a formidable force that must be respected and defended,” and declares against anti-clerical and atheistic democracy, “which represents and old and useless toy.” He supports the ideal of reduced burdens and perils for humanity through judicious and gradual disarmament, but strongly holds that pietistic idealism in this sphere must not be allowed to expose the treasures of centuries of human toil, valor, and suffering to some sudden new eruption of savagery or tyranny.

Favors the League Idea.

“What do you think of the League of Nations?”

“I think everything possible should be done to realize the ideal of the League—the ideal of universal peace based upon justice. At times in their long history Italians have been almost too wide in their thinking and in their sympathies. Still, if they were, I reckon it among their first titles to greatness. Remarkable thinkers—Renan among them—have feared universalism as leading to national decay. But our world is different from what it was before the war. All humanity has a wider vision, a keener sense of fellowship, a quickened conscience toward those who must bear the brunt of war, if war come.

“Peace with honor, peace with justice, peace that does no violence to any nation’s healthy and righteous self-respect—that, indeed, is something worth struggling for, despite any peril inhering in internationalism. Internationalism would not be safe for a single nation; it is safe for all nations moving in concert toward a rational scheme of political, economic and cultural intercourse. Nations need, and generally realize that they need, a lasting foundation of pacific co-existence. Such a foundation cannot be had without skillful and patient building, and such building is out of the question without established machinery for conducting international affairs in accordance with deliberately-developed world opinion. Governments and peoples must work together. They can work together only by understanding one another. They can understand one another only, so to speak, by foregathering in a common council chamber or forum.”

In the full sense, Mussolini is a veteran of the World War. He fought for Italy’s intervention. When Italy intervened, he went to the front as a private in the 11th Bersagliere regiment. In 1917, through the bursting of a shell, he received thirty-eight wounds. Promoted on the field, and invalided out of the army, he returned to Milan and resumed his editorship of the Popolo d’Italia—for this individualist son of a Socialist father who worked at the forge and of a mother who taught school is by profession a journalist—and in that capacity he continued to support Italian arms until the final victory.

The Lessons of the Trenches.

“Let us never forget the trenches,” said he. “Their bloody filth those of us who were in them cannot forget. But let us remember some other things. Let us keep our eyes upon the widened horizons men of many nations saw in the trenches. Incalculable sacrifices call for a new phase in the history of humanity. What millions suffered death and mutilation for—the supremacy of the freedom of the human soul over physical force—statesmen should not forget.

“Thinkers should prosecute to permanent success the work begun by fighting men. Fascismo is wholly for peace with honor and liberty. Fascismo is wholly for pledging the world, in the proper way, to this cause. I think America should swing into the orbit of this movement. Italy will not oppose the entry of Germany; Germany’s great power should be devoted to peace. Italy will not oppose the entry of Russia. Mankind in solid phalanx for the victory of reason and justice over violence should be triumphant. International unity for peace, in other words, ought to be an irresistible weapon. But mankind cannot conquer peace with a broken sword.”

Mussolini imprimatur.jpg

Steadfast France

That Nation’s Aims Set Forth by Ex-President and Ex-Premier Raymond Poincaré

With an Appreciation of the French Statesman by Paul Scott Mowrer

“Civilization to France is Not Merely Material Progress; in a Deeper Sense, and in a Higher Degree, it is Moral Progress.”

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Raymond Poincaré

Our conversation opened with this remark:

“We should be happy if your Excellency would expound France’s contribution to history during the decade of the Great War.”

Poincaré had been smiling as he welcomed us in the kindliest manner to his beautiful office int he Quai d’Orsay, and spoke rapidly of his appreciation of the interest of The Daily News in France and in the cause of international education. On hearing the words coupling the name of his country with the Great War the old statesman ceased smiling and his short, square face took on that look of mental concentration and moral pertinacity which is his characteristic expression while he is dealing with great matters.

“It is a large and fascinating subject,” he said. “And it is a profoundly affecting subject—the subject of what the France of the Great War did, what she bore, what she gave up, what she suffered, in order that she might live and continue her immemorial role of exponent and champion of free civilization. Why did France fight? How did she fight? What did she fight for? What has the war cost her in life—souls born and unborn—in wounds, in disease, in wealth, in material disrepair? I will answer.”

Poincaré was speaking calmly and fluently in his vivid, polished French.

“It is history we are to consider. And history is a sacred thing, for history is truth. We cannot be too careful to establish the truth about the Great War. If we failed to do this humanity could not draw the proper lessons from the past decade of destruction, bloodshed, and immeasurable agony and grief. In certain high intellectual quarters there is a specious, involved, casuistic effort to obscure the truth concerning the Great War and thus to distort and violate history. Let us, once for all, sweep away these gathering mists that veil and deform the historical landscape of the decade.

The Fight for the World’s Liberties.

“Why did France fight? Let us start there. Civilization to France is not merely material progress; in a deeper sense and in a higher degree it is moral progress. Sovereignty in international affairs of the principles of liberty and justice, the right of every people to live concordantly with its own genius, the freedom of every people to work out its own ideals—these are dearer to France than is any nameable material thing. One nation—the Germany of the Hohenzollerns—stood forth in arms against this conception. Its divinity was force, its ambition conquest, its aim to efface the nationalistic liberties and individualities of the world. France fought that divinity, that ambition, and that aim.

“I am not speaking in the spirit of passion; I am speaking in the spirit of science; I am speaking in the spirit of history. And I am speaking with a full sense of the responsibility of any one of reputation who presumes to turn educator to the world. It has been said, and it is said, that France is militaristic. Deeply pacific, she has been called warlike. After the mutilation of 1870 she was accused of dreaming of military vengeance. Yet of all this there is not an iota of evidence. After 1870, despite our wounds and wrongs, we adopted Gambetta’s saying that even great evils may be righted by legal means.

The Fall of a Heavy Hand.

“Did our forbearance, despite the nobility of our cause, protect us from provocations? What is the record? Every three years after 1905 a heavy hand fell upon the diplomatic table of Europe. Each time, combining dignity with prudence, France averted war. But she did not stay that heavy hand. Only the dullest ears could be insensible of the distant rumble of artillery. Finally in 1914 came the ultimatum to Serbia, known and approved by the Berlin Government. Instantly the Entente strove for conciliation. Germany was adamant. France was commanded to be neutral. To insure this neutrality Germany’s troops must occupy Toul and Verdun.

“Awed by the magnitude of the impending catastrophe, France’s military leaders—her military leaders, mind you, these men who might have been supposed to embody the quintessence of her militaristic aspirations, if she had such aspirations—these leaders sprang into the struggle for peace. They called back our advanced troops. They cried out: ‘There must be no slightest appearance of provocation. There must be no outpost incidents. We must give physical and indubitable evidence of our desire for peace.’ This evidence cost us dearly. We gave up, on this side of the Franco-German frontier, a belt of territory ten kilometers wide, and many a French boy died to take that territory back.

What France Gave Up for Peace.

“Please remember,” suddenly interjected the speaker, “I am not pleading for France now. I am pleading for history. I have told you why France fought. Now, how did France fight? As there were two mentalities in conflict, as regards civilization—the Hohenzollern mentality and the mentality of democracy—so there were two antagonistic views respecting methods of warfare. ‘Short and atrocious war’ was the German slogan—not a long war humanely waged. To the spirit of France this seemed a barbarous sophism.

“Again our scruples of civilization cost us dearly. Just as we had silenced the voice of our rightful claims, just as we had given up our territory the better to prove our love of peace, so we sacrificed our sons to the principles of humanity. We had no recourse to dishonorable ruses. We invented no processes of barbarity. We left to Germany the initiative and the dismal benefit of atrocity. We practiced no deception or bullying to win the sympathy of the neutrals. It was not our agents who made of strikes and assassinations a weapon of propaganda.”

“Your mature judgment is that a German victory would have been a world fatality?” I suggested.

Purposes of Two Nations.

Poincaré looked straight at me.

“What did the intuition of the world say?” he exclaimed. “It said that France was right. It understood that freedom was in peril. Virtually all of non-Germanic humanity appreciated the true position. Belgium was to be annexed. Northern and eastern France and Poland were to be annexed. Austria was to take Serbia. All the Near East was to be subjugated. Dismemberment for the British Empire. Yoking of all nations under an iron hegemony. Expropriation of property-owning classes. German colonies governing everything and everybody. Slow denationalization of the democratic masses by the proscription of their ancient culture. For fifty years the military and industrial oligarchy of Germany had been molding the German people for this gigantic work of violence. Even America was menaced in the gravest way, economically and militarily.”

“And France’s aims?”

“They never have varied. And they always would bear, as they will bear now, the closest scrutiny. We wanted back our two province torn from us in 1870 against the will of the inhabitants. We wanted reparation for the ravages suffered. We wanted guaranties of security. For ourselves these things are absolutely all we wanted and all we ever dreamed of claiming. But for others we wanted some things. For the Italians, Trent and Trieste; for the Poles, Czechs, Roumanians, Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, for the Danes of Schleswig—aye, even for the Germans themselves—we wanted freedom. It can not be said too often or with too much emphasis that France’s all-inclusive purpose, like the all-inclusive purposes of Britain and America, was to prevent freedom from being trampled into the dirt.”

“What was France’s peculiar function in the common effort of the Allies and the Associated Powers?”

France’s Plan in War and Peace.

“Her peculiar function has had two phases. During the actual fighting France was the bastion of the whole defense. Of course, this bastion would have been powerless without its broad and mighty supports. Yet it was the bastion. Upon us fell the heaviest blows. Upon French territory was wrought the unparalleled and indescribable havoc. And France was the cement of the democratic coalition. As other flags gathered about our own, as the coalition grew larger, particular interests began to threaten the prevalence of the general interest. France strove with constancy and with success for the general interest. She did not seek to dominate equals. But she acted as inspirer and counselor, strong in the authority of her own experiences, sufferings and disinterestedness.

“That was one phase of France’s peculiar function in the war. That was France’s function during the military part of the struggle. Her peculiar function since the German army collapsed—as it did collapse and collapse utterly—has been that of defender and champion of the Treaty of Peace. Divergences occurred among the Allies—natural divergences. That quality of universality which is one of the traits of the French mind led France consistently and steadfastly to pursue those solutions best calculated to fortify the future against war.

“We did not always have our way. Our original war aims, adopted with enthusiasm by fraternal America, should have been carried out in the form of a treaty on the day the Kaiser’s legions went to pieces. Nationalistic interests and passions interfered. Peace-making was strangely complicated. Indeed, ever since 1919 the world has been passing through a crisis of particularism. Close co-operation had its violent reaction. Nations, feeling disillusioned, fell back upon themselves. Consequent upon this arose a great danger to the execution of the Treaty.

Why France Entered the Ruhr.

“This danger was a danger for the peace of which the Treaty was and is the corner stone. At last Germany saw developing those fissures for which she so long had worked and prayed. It was a very perilous situation. France threw all her strength into the labor of saving the Treaty, saving the Entente, and keeping the peace. She wore herself out in this effort. Her occupation of the Ruhr was called a special enterprise of domination. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fidelity to decisions taken in common, the necessity of Reparations, Germany’s clear purpose to exploit the differences among the Allies, a determination to spare the world the scandalous spectacle and the moral disaster of fraud triumphant over justice—these, and these only, were the springs of French action in the Ruhr.”

“Do you think the political and journalistic critics of French policy reflected popular world opinion?”

The Death Roll of the War.

“I never have thought so. It has been my feeling all along that the peoples of the world were skeptical of the insight or of the good faith of their mentors in this matter. I have been sustained by a consciousness of popular understanding and sympathy. It has seemed to me that humanity appreciated the purity of French motives and even rejoiced in the resolution of France that, if she could avert it, there should not be a peace of injustice and of insecurity.”

“What has the war cost France?”

“Ah,” said the Prime Minister, “that is a terrible story. There is no more terrible story in the history of mankind. Of men of French blood we mobilized 7,935,000. Of natives (colored troops) we mobilized 475,000. Of our own people 1,038,300 were killed and 249,000 were swallowed in mystery; We term them ‘the missing.’ Add the killed and missing natives to the roll of our losses and you have a total of 1,355,000 men, or 16.2 percent of the total effectives mobilized.

“Of the entire French population of Europe 3.29 per cent perished in the war. This percentage exceeds that of any other State of the Entente. Britain’s loss of life was 1.25 per cent of her population. Italy’s 1.24, America’s 0.10. France has 740,000 maimed men to support. Apart from the human aspect of this fact, think of the economic burden! And we not only lost the lives of the born; we lost the lives of the unborn. In 1913 we had more than 600,000 births; in 1916 we had 315,000 and in 1917 343,000. Since 1915 our excess of deaths over births has been 300,000, without taking account of military losses. Counting military losses and birth-rate deficits France’s loss of male population alone during the war was 2,000,000.”

France’s Staggering Losses.

“What of disease?”

“That question cannot be answered with any approach to definiteness. But any one with imagination will realize that the war inflicted upon France a vast mass of disease. Our cases of tuberculosis alone run into the hundreds of thousands. Deaths from this malady average 100,000 a year with 18,000 new cases, mainly among soldiers back from the trenches and among the children of the occupied regions—pitiable little ones left by the occupying forces in a state of complete neglect and famine.”

“And what of material disrepair?”

Enormous Material Losses.

“Modern war is an immense industrial undertaking organized to destroy. Look at its balance-sheet in France. Our national fortune before the war was 300,000,000,000 francs ($60,000,000,000). This fortune, by the capitalized value of pensions and indemnities, by damage to property, by foreign loans, and by the sum of the back rents due for the upkeep of buildings, has been reduced 75,000,000,000 francs, or one-quarter of the entire wealth of the nation.

“Our greatest losses were those in the invaded provinces—for four years the stage of an unexampled tragedy of slaughter and destruction. In those provinces at the outbreak of the war there were 1,190,066 buildings of all categories. Armistice day saw 893,792 of these buildings wrecked and 347,374 utterly destroyed. Vast areas of farmland had been partly or wholly ruined. In an expanse of 8,265,875 acres, nearly half called for much labor to restore it to fertility, and 291,985 acres were so badly damaged that the cost of the labor of restoration would have exceeded the value of the land.

“No one who viewed the devastation will ever get the picture out of mind. It was a scene that all the world should have looked upon and studied in order that all the world might have first-hand knowledge of what modern war is. Half the highways of the ten invaded provinces were in ruins. Just over 60,000 kilometers (37,500 miles) of roads required rebuilding. More than 6,000 bridges and culverts were wiped out. And the railroads! Nearly 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) of track damaged or destroyed, with 481 bridges gone and 517 shelled and shattered!

Details of War’s Havoc.

“Everything suffered accordingly. Waterways fell under the general havoc. More than a thousand kilometers (620 miles) of canals were left as if they never had been. Locks and bridges to the number of 1,212 were demolished. Farm animals by hundreds of thousands were lost—892,388 cattle, 407,888 horses, asses and mules, 58,980 sheep and goats, 24,954 pigs. Industry was battered into the dust. By proved design, and with a science as unerring as it was diabolic, this abominable outrage upon humanity was wrought. To cripple French industry beyond recovery was the German aim.

“Who can forget or forgive what was done to our coal mines and our mining population? Every shaft in a large and busy region was put out of service, though this destruction did not spring from the slightest military necessity. All the mines were flooded. Half the mine railways required rebuilding and our people were compelled to reopen 3,072 kilometers (1,900 miles) of galleries. As for factories, 2,000 were looted, 9,332 were damaged and 3,341 were razed to the ground.”

“These are the facts and conditions lying behind the Reparations problem?” I asked.

Restoring Devastated Regions.

“Precisely. We stand arguing in the midst of these ruins. If I talk about them a great deal it is because they mean a great deal. They mean a great deal materially and they mean even more morally. Justice is involved. Ethics is involved. And justice and ethics are vital to civilization. A great wrong has been committed, and no fabric of sophistry, however subtly woven, can cover it up. The Treaty says Germany shall repair these damages. We stand on the Treaty, but we have not waited for Germany to meet her obligations; despite an outlay of 34,167,000,000 francs for pensions and personal indemnities, we have expended 66,584,000,000 for property damages. Add to tehse figures the accumulated interest on the sums thus disbursed and one reaches a grand total of 118,154,000,000 francs that France has paid in Germany’s stead, with a further need of 30,000,000,000 to complete the work of reconstruction.”

“And what has France received from Germany?”

What Germany Has Paid.

“German payments to Dec. 31, 1923, according to the latest figures of the Reparations Commission, represents 8,411,399,000 gold marks ($2,001,912,000), of which only 5,692,246,000 gold marks have been distributed, the rest belonging to undistributed or suspended accounts. Of this total France has received 1,804,192,000 gold marks ($429,397,000), including 143,995,000 gold marks representing the value of the Saar mines. But out of this amount France has repaid certain expenses, such as the Spa coal advances and the costs of occupation, so that the sum available for Reparations at the end of last year did not exceed 189,777,000 gold marks ($45,166,000).

“Germany has presented fantastic figures as to her payments. Her economic ruin, which she did nothing to avoid, she thrusts forward to dissimulate her real wealth. On this point the experts’ conclusions were crushingly against her. Yet some people continue to assert that too heavy a burden has been imposed on her. If Germany’s obligations were diminished she alone of all the belligerent nations would have her debt remitted. France, on the other hand, would be forced to go on carrying the advances made in Germany’s stead to repair the damages and also would be under the necessity of paying her own debts to her Allies. Would this be fair? Would it be tolerable? Would it be in the interest of those things for which the free nations fought?”

“France will honor the inter-Allied debts?”

France’s War Debts To Be Paid.

“Most certainly. France keeps her word. Just now she is bowed low by her unprecedented obligations and by the results of the unfulfilled obligations of Germany. But she will stand erect again. America full understands.”

Poincaré paused for a moment, reflecting. Then he resumed just a little acridly:

“How foolish or wicked are these charges that France is militaristic—wants more war! Some of our critics have seemed to me quite mad. It would be well if they reviewed their utterances carefully and said to themselves in seriousness, ‘After all, are not these the spasms of a fevered sleep?’

“Everyone knows, for example, how pacific in spirit is the United States. France is not a whit less so. Indeed, remembering her agony, she desires peace passionately. Her occupation of the Ruhr is merely a surety—a means for the creditor to recover his due. She never dreamed, and never will dream, of imposing on German populations a change of country. What nation, if not the French, knows the meaning of such an imposition? France has an unrelaxing grasp of those principles which constitute her strength—the principles that have made her equal to the pitiless blows that have been rained upon her.

“Nothing could be closer than the instinctive mutual sympathy between the American people and the French people. In war and in peace they have understood each other. Your economists and financiers understand us. It is a long story—that of the bonds which unite these two nations. Their strength has run confluently on the battle field, and it has run confluently still more recently in economic struggles more insidious but not less vital to the prosperity of this country. Your financiers—not obtuse men, surely—have trusted our policy. Witness their recent fight in defense of the franc.

America’s Trust in France.

“Militarism! France dangerous to European freedom, a menace to her great ally, England, pursuing paths leading to another international catastrophe! What are the military facts of the international position? When peace came in 1918 France reduced her period of military service from three years to eighteen months. Barely 225,000 men are included in a mobilization class. Hence the French people now in active service number about 340,000.

“Yet more significant are the army and navy budgets. In most countries military expenses have been increasing. It is the other way about in ‘militaristic’ France. Our military expenses in 1913 were a third of the general budget; today they are a fifth. Army, navy and air force outlays in France last year aggregated 4,595,002,335 paper francs, or, at the rate of fifteen francs to the dollar, which corresponds roughly to the economic parity, $306,300,000. Compare with this America’s expenditure for like purposes of $708,940,554 and Britain’s of $943,000,000. We spend less than half as much as does America and Britain. America and Britain are quite pacific—as, to be sure, they are—while France is planning European hegemony and endangering the peace of the world!

The Testimony of the Budgets.

“France’s aeronautical expenses are particularly modest, if one reflects upon the ever-increasing role of aviation and upon the rapid deterioration of machines. We have 132 air squadrons. To think of these attacking England, to read into the French heart the possibility of such an attack—such an obscuration of French appreciation of world realities, not to consider French sentiment—is to entertain imaginings that transport one into the domain of lunacy. But do not forget Germany. France, certainly, could not forget Germany, however hard she might strive. There are peace-loving Germans. We are grateful for them. We wish to lift no finger to hamper them. But there are war-loving Germans, too, and the security of French national life requires that they be borne in mind.”

“France wants a pacific Germany?”

France’s Attitude Toward Germany.

“What other country so much as France has reason to want a pacific Germany? All civilized peoples want a pacific Germany and need a pacific Germany, but France first among them; for, as I have said, France must be the bastion, if Germany move against democracy. But the world cannot influence Germany toward peace except by finally and everlastingly convincing her that her brutal war of aggression and of tyranny was a stupendous historical blunder and defeat. France stands for driving this lesson home, not only for Germany’s instruction but in order that it may be written large and indelibly upon the permanent tablets of the human record.”

“You accept the experts’ conclusions without reservations?”

“Without reservations. Germany only has to put into effect the program drawn up by the Reparations Commission and we are ready to re-establish the economic unity of the Reich. On this point we are in complete agreement with Ramsay MacDonald and with our Belgian friends. Not at any time in the course of their labors did the experts imply that the re-establishment of economic unity meant renunciation of the military occupation. Said Mr. Young recently: ‘I do not believe the presence of soldiers can have any effect on the German workmen.’ Difficulties between the British Government and ourselves on this subject have disappeared and I must render homage to the great courtesy of Mr. MacDonald during these negotiations.”

“Your relations with Britain are thoroughly friendly?”

Harmony Among the Allies.

“They never have been more so. Our misunderstandings have been stepping-stones to a more thorough accord. That we should continue to march side by side for the good of Europe and of the world is a natural issue of our mutual love of freedom. Both our nations are democratic. Both are liberal. My relations with Mr. MacDonald have been particularly cordial.”

“How do you get on with Sig. Mussolini and the Italy of Fascismo?”

“In perfect harmony. In all the decisive moments of our history the essential liberalism of Italy and the essential liberalism of France have found firm ground of mutual sympathy. Sig. Mussolini’s Government invariably has shown itself in the kindliest conjunction with my own. There is no divergence between us relative to the major problems connected with the settlement and organization of European peace. All suggestions of intrigue, separate action, and cleavage are baseless.”

“What do you think of the action of Noske in Germany and of Mussolini in Italy against bolshevism?”

“It goes without saying, I suppose, that any statesman who suppresses instincts of savagery and destruction is a benefactor of his own and of all nations.”

“What is your attitude to soviet Russia?”

France’s View of Sovietism.

“France has no understanding of and no sympathy with the notion of national isolation. We desire to be on friendly and fruitful terms with all nations. But there must be a common recognition of the principles of law among peoples in trustful and profitable intercourse. French people invested heavily in Russia to develop her economic capital, her industries, her railroads, lands and mines. Russian acknowledgment of these debts is indispensable to French confidence in Russia. Moreover, Russia, as the price of our confidence, must indemnify our nationals whom she has dispossessed. After all, civilized practices are necessary to civilized relations. My policy toward the soviets has remained in agreement with that of the United States. Bolshevism presents a difficult problem to occidental mentality. We cannot estimate the movement yet. We do know it is double-faced; Janus bifrons. Bolshevists are at once international revolutionaries and ardent nationalists bent on the work of Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible. Let them not bemuse themselves with the thought that occidental humanity is any more ready to lie down under a bolshevist than under a Prussian steam roller.”

“Was France ever alarmed by the threat of a bolshevist Germany?”

“Not in the least. That possibility frequently was lifted up to terrify us. It did not work. We had seen worse things. Even if Germany had become bolshevist France would have remained solid, calm, and free. We are immune against the bolshevist bacillus.”

“What is your view of the proper policy to be followed with reference to the colored peoples?”

Policy Toward Colored Peoples.

“I think it should be an idealistic and liberal policy. In the French mind, touching this question, are ideas similar to those which inspired the memorable amendments to the American Constitution. France makes no distinction among men on the basis of religion, race, or color. Our colonies are models of good understanding between the natives and the administrators. Wherever we plant our flag we work for a wider civilization. That our efforts are appreciated was proved by our soldiers out of the heart of Africa and of Asia—men who came to blend their heroism and their blood with the heroism and the blood of the troops of twenty white nations. It has been alleged by our enemies that we sent black soldiers to occupy the factories of the Ruhr. Pure propagandist fiction. Under my ministry not a colored man crossed the Rhine.”

“Do you feel the French character is well understood outside France?”

France’s Devotion to Work.

“Not everywhere. Quite generally we are considered a frivolous people. Really we are a people profoundly penetrated with the seriousness of life, but we clothe our gravity in light-hearted appearances. We have a certain pride in this. Do you conjecture our people had any thought of or desire for idleness after the war because huge reparations were due us from one of the wealthiest countries in the world—a country far wealthier than France, not only in waterways, coal fields, lignite, potash, metallurgical riches, but in agriculture as well?

“Not for a moment did France contemplate capitalizing her role as victim. She turned grimly from war to work. And she has been working steadily ever since she laid down the impedimenta of the battle field. Her economic situation, solidly based on a well-balanced industry and agriculture, is one of the healthiest on the globe. Our exports are growing and our Colonial Empire holds out the certainty of the raw materials and markets essential for our future.”

“Your political institutions are stable?”

“They are stable because they correspond to our needs. At no time since 1789 have we been attached more devotedly to the ideal of democracy. France’s experienced and high-minded elite are leading our masses toward an ever-expanding realization of this ideal.”

“You favor a leadership of the elite?”

Notable Aids to Progress.

“They are the leaven. They represent spirituality, intellect, culture—very precious things. It is not enough for a people to have farms, mines, railways, machines, money. They must have wisdom. They must have sympathy. Without these inestimable intellectual and spiritual qualities international harmony and world peace never can be obtained. Machinery never will pacify humanity; only acute minds, determined wills, and enlightened souls can do this.”

“Then you are for the classics as instrumentalities of civilization?”

“Yes. They are its solidest prop. Antiquity has bequeathed to us ideas of law and right which are the ultimate foundation of the modern ideal. Until a people shall have assimilated the gist of ancient culture it cannot, in my view, call itself truly civilized. France has studied and debated the great pedagogical question diligently. We have our strict classicists and our advocates of more room for science and modern languages. But neither school denies immense value to the legacy of ideas, sentiments and artistic forms coming down to us from Greece and Rome.”

Poincaré rejects the view that the modern world is degenerating.

France Remains Steadfast.

“‘Decadence’ has been pronounced,” said he. “Too often, no doubt, the minds and souls of the people are ill fed by artists, writers, and the moving picture industry. But no particular technical process is to be blamed. As Æsop remarked long ago, the tongue can be the worst or the best thing, according to the use made of it. Similarly, motion pictures and other modes of expression are good or bad. I can conceive of no moral peril sufficiently seductive and potent to make much headway against the prodigious vitality of the French people. The French family is of a quality and strength fit to resist anything. Its religious sentiments are deep, its hold upon traditions firm, its love of truth passionate, its joy in splendid ideals unexcelled. It is this character which translated itself into France’s early and late contributions to history.”

Poincaré had been seated at his desk. He rose.

“My answer to your first question I will put in a nutshell,” said he, as he held my hand. “In the dark decade just past France has given up her sons. She has given up her wealth. She has suffered. She has held fast and is today holding fast—all for the rights of man. Against this great fact casuistry will writhe and twist in vain.”

Mr. Mowrer and I had been conducted to the door of the Prime Minister’s room by an ordinary hall porter. Poincaré was alone and opened the door with his own hand. He was dressed in a somewhat worn lounge suit and looked a very simple, if very able, man—a personification of democratic statesmanship. Our whole conversation had taken place without the slightest interruption—no coming or going of secretaries, no ringing of telephone bells, no sounds from the outer world.

As we were leaving, walking slowly from the Prime Minister’s desk to the door, where the great Frenchman shook hands with us two or three times, I asked him about the League of Nations.

Faith in the League of Nations.

“It has my heartfelt allegiance,” said he. “It already has aided powerfully in the task of European pacification and reconstruction, notably in Silesia, Austria and Hungary. It is dealing intelligently and zealously with the problem of reduced armaments. It is laboring for international justice, for national security, for political and social equilibrium, for peace—every one of them of great price in the estimation of France. In the work of the League increased precision will come with increased practice. We all are going to school in the complex, almost baffling, business of giving rhythm to the complicated movements of humanity. There is no school of international education comparable with that of the League of Nations. We have excellent plans; all we need besides—and this is a vital need—is a real desire for understanding. It always has been my belief, and I hold this opinion more strongly than ever today, that European reconstruction, with its beneficent reaction upon every civilized people, and the peace of the world never could be founded more solidly than upon the friendly co-operation of France, Great Britain, and the United States. In other words, as I stood for the unity of the democracies in the war, so I stand for it now.”

Mr. Mowrer and I stepped out into the sunlight of the Quai d’Orsay feeling we had been honored with the confidence of a very great man—perhaps, all things considered, the greatest statesman of the greatest decade in the history of mankind.

Poincaré the Statesman

By Paul Scott Mowrer

Why, the reader may ask, has The Daily News chosen Raymond Poincaré to speak for France, just at a time when, in consequence of the recent elections, a change of government is taking place in this most powerful of continental European countries?

For three reasons. First, at the moment when Edward Price Bell asked for and was accorded what is perhaps the most important interview M. Poincaré in a long life of statesmanship has ever given, M. Poincaré was still the Prime Minister of France and had held that high office consecutively for two and a half momentous years.

Second, there is at present no other statesman in France who has anything like the same prestige or who can speak with anything like the same authority, particularly in reference to foreign affairs. The victory of the Left was not a victory over Poincaré. It was chiefly the result of electoral tactics, and in so far as it involved doctrines it was a revolt of the electors against increased taxes, not against the so-called Poincaré foreign policies. Indeed, so great is the prestige which M. Poincaré enjoys throughout France, precisely as a result of his able conduct of foreign policy, that during the election campaign the leaders of the Left scarcely dared to attack him, but saved their political venom to be vented rather against the President of the Republic, Alexandre Millerand.

Third, unless I am mistaken, Raymond Poincaré is one of the few very great statesmen now alive. A well-known English publicist, Sisley Huddleston, has called him, without exaggeration, “the man who has more greatly influenced the course of events in Europe since the war than any other continental statesman.” The case may perhaps be put in this way: Three men in turn have dominated world affairs since the war. First, there was the great, misguided and misunderstood figure of Wilson, which blazed gloriously for a few brief months out of the aftermath of battle, then suffered rapid and complete—if not final—eclipse. Next came David Lloyd George to the front of the international stage. His magnetism, his vivid oratory, his astonishing diplomatic gyrations, held everyone fascinated in 1920 and 1921. Then Lloyd George, too, following the failure of the Genoa Conference, faded out of the picture. The third period, that from January, 1922, to the present, has belonged to Raymond Poincaré, and of the three he alone seems likely to have the aims which he set for himself and for his country stamped by history with the sweet and—in politics—rare words, enduring success.

Poincaré’s Broad Influence.

Raymond Poincaré was born in 1860 at Bar-le-Duc, in Lorraine, and the defeat of his country by Prussia in the war of 1870 made a deep impression on his young mind. His father was a civil engineer. Raymond was educated in Bar-le-Duc and Paris. He was tempted to become a journalist and writer, but finally chose the law, in which profession his success was as immediate as it has since been constant. His legal career and his political career have been conducted side by side.

Long Active in Politics.

At the age of 29 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies and for years he specialized in public finance and budgetary questions. At 33 he was chairman of the budget committee. In the same year he was made Minister of Education in the Charles Depuy Cabinet and he has never since been absent long from the councils of the French Republic. He became Premier in the international crisis of 1911 and was elected President of the Republic in 1913. His eminent services in this office during the World War and the Peace Conference need not be recalled here.

In 1920, at the end of his term as President, he re-entered the more active political struggle as Senator and devoted himself to educating French opinion in the all-engrossing questions of foreign policy, as he saw them. It was because of his incessantly published and spoken views upon this subject that he succeeded Aristide Briand as Premier in January, 1922.

Physically M. Poincaré is small and squarely built and has a square, firm face, a somewhat scraggly gray beard and a broad, intellectual forehead. His demeanor is quiet, courteous, even punctilious. He speaks readily and his thought, when he speaks, is clearness itself, but his voice is flat and monotonous. He is indeed the very antithesis of the conception of a Frenchman which has been popularized outside of France, always calm, always cool and collected, rarely if ever gesticulatory.

Has Rare Personal Distinction.

Of personal magnetism he has none. His power resides rather in his capacity for work, which is prodigious; in his memory, which is rare; in his intelligence, which is superior, and in his firmness of will, coupled—the conjunction is unusual—with a nice sense of realities. Furthermore, he is highly cultivated, shunning social entertainment, loathing everything smacking of demagogy. Doubtless he would be considered by some American political leaders a hopeless highbrow, but in France that has not yet become an obstacle to political advancement.

The two principal acts of the Poincaré Administration were the occupation of the Ruhr and the summoning of the committees of experts whose report, accepted by all the Governments concerned, will speedily lead, everyone now hopes, to a genuine settlement of the Reparations question. These two acts are inseparably joined. It was only France’s victory in “the battle of the Ruhr” which made possible the successful conclusion of the work of the experts. On this point both the American experts, Gen. Dawes and Owen D. Young, are fully agreed. In other words, when firmness was required Poincaré was unflinchingly firm; when a time came for moderation and conciliation it was he who devised the means by which terms of settlement generally acceptable might be drawn up. To have accomplished either of these would have been notable; to have accomplished both is the work of no ordinary statesman.

Poincaré’s Outstanding Acts.

I know that by his opponents in both internal and external politics, as well as by many otherwise disinterested persons who have not had the opportunity to know him and to see his work at first hand, or who are accustomed to judge hastily from first appearances, an opinion anything but complimentary is entertained of Raymond Poincaré. Yet is it conceivable that there can really be peace in the world without order, without justice, without equity, without respect for the sanctity of contracts? I doubt it. And because of this I think that Raymond Poincaré has been pre-eminently the servant of peace. He took the reins of power when France, chagrined and bewildered by the multifarious onslaughts of her determined opponents, was weakening. In his own vigorous words, he has spared the world the humiliating appearance of fraud triumphant over justice. For this reason, if for no other, I think he deserves well of all true lovers of peace.

“Ramsay Mac Donald Socialism”

Great Britain’s Former Socialist-Labor Prime Minister Outlines His Ideals in Government

With a Sketch of the Leader of British Democracy
by Hal O’Flaherty

“What the World Needs More Than it Needs Anything Else is a Political and Social Shakespeare.”

Ramsay MacDonald.jpg

Photograph by P. & A. Photo., New York

“Ramsay MacDonald Socialism”

Mr. MacDonald was seated alone at his desk in the Prime Minister’s room at the House of Commons when I entered. Before him lay a deep pile of Foreign Office papers. Tired, grave, intensely preoccupied, he rose, smiled, shook hands, turned and drew low a long, wide blind to break a shaft of afternoon sunshine that had fallen across his mass of documents. We sat down, he looked inquiringly at me, and I asked him these questions:

“What is ‘Ramsay MacDonald Socialism’? What is it as an emotional phenomenon, as a creed, and as a policy? In other words, what is it spiritually, intellectually, and practically?”

Silent and thoughtful for a moment, Mr. MacDonald, speaking deliberately, replied as follows:

“In the domain of emotion, of conscience, in the spiritual domain, Socialism is a religion of popular service—a deep enthusiasm for the physical, mental, and moral well-being of the human family. In the domain of intellect, of thought, of theory, it is a scientific program of social betterment. In the domain of practice, up to the present, it is a gradually developing educational, legislative, and administrative movement in the direction of a realization of its ideals.”

“Is there anything atheistic or anti-Christian about it?”

Striving For Human Betterment.

“On the contrary, it is based on the Gospels. It signifies a reasoned and resolute effort to Christianize government and society. Who denies that there is an appalling mass of poverty in the world? Who denies that poverty is both an individual and a social evil? Who is not conscious that poverty is piteous? Socialism is an enemy of poverty. It holds that not charity, but social reconstruction, is the remedy for poverty.

“Materialism, vulgarity, assertion without sense, domination lacking fineness of mind and soul, forgetfulness of human value—Christianity hates them all, and Socialism hates them all. Socialism would like to make a considerate man, a sympathetic man, a generous man, a gentleman, of every man in the world. If it could do this, it would make a Christian of every man in the world, because these qualities carry us away beyond themselves.

“Our age is an amazing age, but it is not a Christian age. Our conquests are conquests of knowledge; we need the conquests of culture. We have learned to fly physically; we need to learn to fly spiritually. Our great achievements have given us a temperature. We want cooling off. We want to relearn the old lesson of joy in a quiet Sunday. Too many of us regard the Sabbath as a day of burden. Too many of us incline to the ‘brighter London Sunday,’ to the ‘Monte Carlo Sunday,’ to the Sunday of frivolity and of spiritual sterility.

“Socialism is serious. Socialism would restore society to moderation and reflection. It is for purity in the individual life, for purity in the family life, and for intelligence, honor, and courage in politics. We have a shallow world. In it are too many bauble-chasers—people made about ‘honors,’ gold braid, and things to hang in the lapels of their coats, and with scarcely a thought for the only really important matter—the appetite to do hard unassuming work, human quality. Against all this folly Socialism is in revolt. If I can make you understand that, you will understand what is, perhaps, the fundamental spiritual fact about Socialism. Socialism, radically, is an ardent longing for an effectual affirmation of the dignity of humanity—a dignity that cannot be dissociated from service. What else is Christianity?”

Why Socialism Is in Revolt.

“Socialism, as you interpret it, has no faith in violence?”

“Socialism is sanity, not insanity. It is humanism, not brutalism. It must by its nature abhor violence. Pre-eminently it is intellectual and moral. It fights only with intellectual and moral weapons. It persuades people into its ranks; it does not knout or club them in.”

“In the light of this Socialism, or Gospel of Labor, how do communism, sovietism and such movements either of the Left or Right look?”

How Socialism Views Communism.

“They look bad. They are wrong—all wrong. Socialism is the very antithesis of tyranny. It believes no more in a proletarian dictatorship than in a dictatorship of the so-called elite. Socialism would break every fetter that binds the minds or limbs of honest women and men.”

“Socialism commonly is assumed to imply anti-individualism.”

“An error—a complete error. Socialists are the greatest defenders of individualists. They are the only intelligent individualists—if an individualist is one who respects individuality. What is the good of an individualism that does not free the individual from conditions that prevent him from being an individual? Personal liberty is individualism, and it is the only conceivable individualism. Socialism is for real, not fictitious, personal liberty. Personal liberty of the real sort can come in no way except through a scientific social organization that considers human personality first and above everything else, and does not enslave it, as is now the case, to the owners of the financial and the industrial machine.”

“Do you deem Socialists the aristocrats of political thought?”

Socialists as Pioneer Thinkers.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Socialists are doing the pioneer political and social thinking of the world. It is one of their characteristics that they have an enormous respect for the human mind as contrasted with the human fist. Our old parties do not think in any living sense. They stand for interests and shibboleths and traditions. They are the parties of the status quo and sticking plaster.

“Erect in the presence of their obvious and admitted failure to create a decently ordered civilization, they go on mouthing shibboleths. They have not given the world peace. They have not given it comfort. They have not given it education. They have left much of it ill fed, ill clothed, and ill shod. To millions of workers—persons who constitute the foundation of the social structure—they have not given tolerable homes, and to others in hundreds of thousands they have given no homes of any kind. Yet they never tire of assuring us that they are commissioned of Heaven to lead and to govern their fellow men. And now that I am in office they try to attest their virtue by elaborate comments to prove that in five months I have failed to undo their generations of rule.”

“You believe the Labor Party to be in all respects greater than the other parties?”

Characteristics of the Labor Party.

“Yes, I do. And I will tell you why. It knows more than the other parties know about man as a man, rather than as an economic unit. It has this greater knowledge for the reason that it has been closer to man than the other parties have been. Man and his struggles have been the Labor Party’s university. Our party knows that when you are dealing with matters of political economy you are dealing with the human soul. Now, the human soul is a very big and comprehensive thing. It is much broader than is Conservatism or Liberalism. Only Socialism is wide enough to accommodate the human soul. And, unless you accommodate the human soul—give it plenty of room—you cannot build a successful society.”

“And why not?”

“Because you will have failed to capture, you will have failed to vindicate, that elusive and inestimable thing—that very life-principle of individual and social development—liberty.”

“I have noticed that Sir Robert Horne, a fellow-Scotsman of yours, accuses you Socialists of poetry.”

The Poetry of Common Life.

“Right. And no greater compliment could be paid us. We are poets. There is no good politics without poetry. There is no good anything without poetry. Poetry lies at the heart of human life. Every urchin in the street is a poet. Politics without poetry is barren and disastrous. It is the incurable defect of the old parties that they have no poetic consciousness. If they had had this magic possession, they would not have made such a mess of things, for they would have had some conception of the human material with which they were dealing. What the world needs more than it needs anything else is a political and social Shakespeare.”

“One would gather from what you say that Socialism is especially keen on art and the classics.”

“It is. It is keen on art and the classics because they are humanistic. They humanize man and humanize society. Loveliness in all its forms, material and immaterial, comes within the sympathy and the faith of Socialism. People need meat and drink. They need raiment. They need house room. But none of those things is worth while unless people cherish and feed their souls. No person and no society can perform a more important public service than by patronizing art and classical culture. Even if a country has great poverty and great unemployment, as, unhappily, our country has, its citizens should not withhold their money from the purchase of pictures, nor from anything else that delights the hearts and elevates the minds of young and old. It is a cardinal tenet of Socialism that if we can save the souls of people we can save them altogether.”

“You refer to Capital in the role of patron of aesthetics and culture. One has heard that Socialism condemns Capital.”

Socialism’s Attitude Toward Capital.

“Another error. Socialists want to conserve Capital. They are second to none in their appreciation of its worth. If they disliked it, they would let it go on destroying itself. They want Capital conserved and saved from abuse. They want it better used so that income may be better distributed. They want it made servant and not master. And they look forward to sufficient communal wealth to supply all those facilities of art, learning, and leisure which highly civilized communities require.

“It is not Capital, it is not wealth, that Socialism condemns. It condemns capitalism as we have known it hitherto. It condemns cashism. It condemns the system that involved the people of this country in conditions so bad that not only the victims themselves, but humanists like Carlyle and Ruskin, revolted against it. You will remember those conditions—conditions created by the capitalism that came into power with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century—produced such great reputations as those of Robert Owen, Lord Shaftesbury, and Samuel Plimsoll, who went with all their strength to the rescue of the victims.

“It was in those conditions that Socialism had its birth. It was born in England, not in Germany; Marx merely devoted his great critical powers to its fuller definition—and often misled it. I do not deny that capitalism was an improvement on what went before. But it is only an epochal feature of progress. Moral condemnation is therefore out of place. We have to go on perfecting our social life. If we remain where we are the domination of capitalism will crush us out.

Inhumanity of Capitalism.

“Capitalism, cashism, is unhuman and inhuman. That is what is the matter with it. It is unhuman, whereas all the great problems of mankind are human problems. Machinery, markets, profits—capitalism is obsessed by them. It has not a spark of consciousness of the moralities. Mind you, I do not say this of capitalists; I say it of the system. To Socialists, the workingman—whether he work with his muscles or with his mind—is not a mere embodiment of economic potentiality. He is not merely the source of a commodity—labor-power and skill—to be bought and sold at market rates.

“No; in Socialist feeling and thought, the manual or mental laborer is a human being. He is a creature of emotions and ideas and a great range of interests and powers wholly outside the industrial and economic sphere. We regard every man first as a man and second as an economic factor. This does not mean at all that we favor laziness, slackness, low industrial efficiency, mental and moral slovenliness. Quite the contrary. To deal with a man first as a man—and by ‘man,’, of course I, mean both sexes—is not only to please him, but to stimulate him to the maximum height of his capacities.

Not Merely an Economic Factor.

“Even Toryism, to some extent, learned the political wisdom, if not the moral duty of treating men as men. Great numbers of workers have voted for Toryism. Do you know why? Because of the socialistic sentiments and acts of Tories. In the measure that Toryism combated with success the evils of our overaggressive and unfeeling capitalism it won the confidence and the suffrage of the working class. In ever-increasing numbers the workers are coming to realize that the true banner of enlightened and humane government is not in the hands of the Tories. That is the reason the Labor Party is getting more powerful every day.”

“Your opponents, I observe, assert that you are out to destroy the economic machine in Great Britain.”

Getting Socialism Under Way.

“Oh, yes; they assert that. They assert a lot of things that are false or idiotic. Some of them are ignoramuses and some electioneerers. These electioneerers, unable to make further use of the vote-catching cry, ‘Hang the Kaiser!’ are making a scarecrow of Socialism for their party purposes. They are not frightening the country much, and as time goes on they will frighten it still less. British Socialists are not wreckers in any sense—not destroyers, but builders. They are out to build a greater and happier human society in this old home of freedom-loving men.

“We are going to carry out our program, but we are not going to do it ‘while the car waits.’ Speaking of cars, you know they are not set in normal motion abruptly. One does not start a car suddenly unless one wishes to break the machine. One starts the engine, releases the brake, engages ‘low,’ and lets in the clutch softly. As speed is gathered, one after another the higher gears are engaged, until the car is running sweetly on ‘top.’ There you have our idea of the way to set Socialism running on the highway of political and social practice. However much we should like to start on ‘top,’ and instantly be off at a merry pace, we know it cannot be done.

“Some people appear to regard Socialism as a brand new thing—an isolated, rigid, fully-worked-out, finished thing—waiting to be applied in toto all at once. They conceive of it as standing behind the wings, completely dressed, elaborately made up, ready suddenly to take on the stage the place vacated with equal suddenness by a previous actor. It is no such thing. Socialism is already on the stage. It already is playing its part in the drama of progress. But it is steadily qualifying for a more important role.

“Socialism’s work so far has been that of a defender of the State, and of the lives of the citizens, against encroachments and spoliations by capitalism. Its keen sense of corporate or communal morality has been forcing into law such recognitions of the rights of men as workmen’s compensation, protection of the woman and the child worker, municipal enterprise, the co-operative movement in its entirety. It is futile to argue that capitalism produced any of these humane reforms. They are not its children in any sense or degree. By no possibility could it beget such children. In spirit and in principle these reforms are as far from capitalism as is Christian civilization from savagery. When the capitalist devotes his energy and his money to such things, it is not capitalism he is practicing; it is Socialism.”

“What is your attitude to the ca’ canny principle?”

“I am against it. I am for energy. I am for hard thinking and for hard work. Socialism is not the father of ca’ canny. Capitalism is the father of ca’canny. It would pay only the wages that organized labor could squeeze out of it. Labor’s natural tendency was to say, ‘We will give you only the service you can squeeze out of us.’ There is mutuality in human relations. You can have a mutuality of unpleasantness and of grudging work, or you can have a mutuality of sympathy and of service. It is this latter toward which Socialism is moving.”

“Would Socialism involve a huge bureaucracy?”

“Socialism means a huge bureaucracy only in the minds and mouths of those who either misunderstand or choose to misrepresent it. We have no notion of running British industry from Whitehall. Our form of control is not in the least revolutionary; our whole conception of changes deemed desirable is evolutionary. Existing arrangements would be followed in industry except that the men representing the workers—the management, the technicians—would get their jobs by reason of demonstrated ability in less responsible posts. Representative users, also, would have a voice in management. Co-ordination and co-operation would take the place of self-regarding competition.

“Socialists are not dogmatists. They have no disposition to maltreat facts to fit them into theories. We are patient explorers and pioneers trying to make roads along which the people may go from the less to the more perfect. We may not think, and do not think, precisely as did our grandfathers. I mean there is a new as well as an old school of Socialism. We belong to the new. We have the same vision of human brotherhood, the same conception of right, but we have better plans for translating this vision and this conception into a going political and social concern.”

“You have no class consciousness?”

Opposed to Class Consciousness.

“None. Our opponents are the people of class consciousness. They believe in, and seek to perpetuate, a privileged class. For class consciousness we want to substitute community consciousness. We think all the people belong to a seamless society. Any other kind of society is relatively weak and insecure. We did not create class war. Capitalism produced, and always will produce, class war, just as thistles will continue to produce thistles.”

“Your conception of Socialism is democratic?”

“Socialism is not only democracy; it is the only democracy. Our old parties, the Conservatives and Liberals, are only partly democratic. In other words, in their nature, they are oligarchic. They do not stand for rule of the people by the people; they stand for rule of the people by a favored section of the people. Socialism along among extant political and social theories represents the idea of pure democratic sovereignty. No people can be purely democratic until it has perfect control over all its interests and destinies. Ungoverned industrialism, for instance, and democracy are incompatible.”

“What was your particular meaning when you stated, in one of your public addresses that a lack of general intelligence prevented the Labor Party from doing all it wanted to do for society?”

Bringing Change by Development.

“Well, the nation needs a lot of educating before it can understand and fully accept Socialist principles. It is, indeed, a matter of education with all of us. We know perfectly well that something very serious is wrong with our social organization; how to put it right we can learn only by study and experiment. We leaders in the Socialist movement are students and experimenters. Scores of government reports on factories and mines, on towns, on housing, on the moral and social conditions of the people, show how great is the national need for students and experimenters.

“Revolution in Russia taught us a great lesson. It taught us that revolution is destruction and disaster and nothing more. If I may quote from one of my recent articles, the destruction we propose is the sort of destruction which takes place when a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, and the chrysalis a butterfly; the same kind of destruction as went on inside feudalism when the industrial revolution was being matured; the destruction which marked factory legislation, unemployment legislation, the invasion of municipal enterprise on the field of private enterprise. Our ‘destruction’ is merely that of replacing the worse with the better, and doing so scientifically and stage by stage.”

“Do you still hold, as you did in 1913, that nationalization of lands, mines, and railways is the best means of curing social unrest in England?”

Nationalization of Lands.

“That is the next stage in evolution.”

“Can nationalization be attained here without awaiting similar movements in the Dominions and in other countries?”

“Yes. We must press on here—sanely, as I have said, but unsleepingly. Bit by bit we must unfold our policy, and get for it the support of the electors, for we are working under a system of representative democracy. Electors do not vote for abstractions. They do not vote for Individualism, or Socialism, or Christianity. None of these ever can become a true political issue. People vote on definite proposals. Socialism has definite proposals to bring forward, and only as it wins the confidence of the electorate can it put these proposals into operation.

“Our constructive scheme touches all the social interests of the population—unemployment, education, housing, agriculture, management of industry, banking and credit, taxation, international affairs, and municipal policy. Some of them may baffle us at first. We must try again. With all of them we shall deal as expeditiously as we can. Nationalization will not be carried through with a sweep, as in Russia. That would be an antic, and we have no faith in antics.

“Some industries, like those of the coal mines and the railways, are now ripe for nationalization. Land—the use to which it is put and the rents derived from it, especially the new increments of socially-created land values—is a matter of immediate State concern. Money’s power over business and politics calls for prompt action by the community, employers as well as workmen. Such experiments as that of the Birmingham Municipal bank should be extended, with a State bank in supreme control. I am speaking of aims; methods would be determined by wise planning and careful experimentation.”

“You Socialists are anti-Protectionist?”

Socialism Stands for Free Trade.

“Decidedly. So are the British electors, as has been shown by every election since Joseph Chamberlain launched his Tariff Reform campaign more than twenty years ago.”

“One hears some talk of uneasiness in the Dominions respecting your attitude toward the principle of imperial solidarity.”

“Such talk turns upon the policy of the Socialist Government with reference to inter-Empire Preference and the Singapore dockyard. In neither case is there the slightest justification for the talk. We Socialists yield to none as believers in the British Commonwealth of Nations, and as champions of its consolidation and defense. We cannot allow the democratic gains of the past to be attacked by any form of barbarism without putting up a defense.

“When the Government of which I am the head decided against Imperial Preference, it was thinking of the solidarity of the British Commonwealth, and endeavoring to strengthen the foundations of that solidarity. We do not believe that any Protectionist mechanism whatever will tend to bind the Commonwealth more firmly together. Any such mechanism would be constrictive at one point or another, and, as we British certainly ought to know, empires are not held together by constriction. Protectionist schemes are parasitic schemes—schemes to give some one artificial benefits at the expense of someone else. We are against them. We are convinced their influence would be, not to integrate, but to disintegrate our Commonwealth of Nations.”

“What do you consider the best cement of empire?”

Liberty to Preserve the Empire.

“Liberty. Its binding power far transcends that of any system of tariffs within the range of the wit of man. To that I add a common human purpose.”

“And about Singapore?”

“With reference to Singapore, I again would emphasize the fact that we are co-ordinationists. We desire to co-ordinate the defense forces of Britain. We desire to co-ordinate them in finance, in policy, and in strategy. We have not a doubt that the closest possible knitting together of the British States is best for them and best for the world. It follows that our decision against an extension of the Singapore dockyard at this time—please bear in mind that we already have a great dockyard at Singapore, and the question at issue was one, not of building, but of extension—was not at all, in our judgment, a decision out of accord with the interests of imperial unity.

“Let me explain it. In the first place, I should say our decision was not influenced in the least by the Washington naval agreement. That agreement left us quite free to extend Singapore. What we did was based on other grounds. Singapore undoubtedly is a strategic position of immense importance in the Pacific. It were were contemplating war we should develop it for naval operations of the first magnitude. But we are not contemplating war, and we shall not contemplate war unless driven to it by external forces over which we have no control.

“We are contemplating peace, and we give our great world neighbors credit for a similar disposition. Naturally, therefore, in all we do we wish to furnish every prudent evidence of our pacific desires and intentions. We feel we can furnish such evidence, such prudent evidence, in connection with Singapore. We feel so after a very thorough exploration of the whole question. International confidence and co-operation, reduced armaments, and a stable reign of reason in the world—the core of British foreign policy—would not have been forwarded, but would have been set back, if our acts at Singapore had reflected an expectation of war rather than a hope of peace.

Working to Maintain Peace.

“Are we making a bold move? Some think so. But is not world neighborliness worth some risk? Is all our heroism to be reserved for war, and none to ber exhibited in the cause of peace? Besides, the risk is not so terrifying as certain of our critics suggest. We have, at any rate, a short time—a limited number of years—during which we can be sure no war will overtake us. I am persuaded that we should use a year or two of this time in endeavoring to establish, or to pave the way for establishing, the ascendency of morals over militarism in this world.”

“You are an actualist?”

“Yes. I believe in dealing with situations as they are today, rather than in elaborating abstractions upon hypothetical conditions that may or may not arise a dozen or a score of years hence—especially when these elaborations involve heavy expenditures of money and retard the movement for disarmament.”

“You deem the present moment the right moment to strike hard for peace?”

Striking Hard for Peace.

“Pre-eminently. Immediately after a great war, when peoples are full of loathing for war, when they passionately yearn for peace, when they are exhausted, when they are wise—then is the time to get on with your peace work. Memories of war, like many other memories, fade soon. New blood arrives on the scene. Old suspicions and fears revive, and, almost before you even dimly realize its approach, a fresh horror of bloodshed and destruction is upon you.”

“You are a nationalist?”

“Heart and soul. There is something very tender and beautiful in the love of one’s country. But a man who believes his wife is the best in his street does not make that a reason for fighting duels with his neighbors. I do not believe in running nationalism too hard. I do not believe in running it to the danger of the general interests of mankind. There is no reason for doing anything of that sort. Nationality, fully developed and justly guided, is nothing but a blessing to humanity.”

“You have unfaltering faith that Anglo-French friendship will last?”

Full Faith in French Friendship.

“If I had not, I should despair of the salvation of European civilization.”

“Are Anglo-American relations entirely satisfactory?”

“Entirely. And nothing will be left undone by our Government to keep them so.”

“You intend to back up the League of Nations with all your personal and official strength?”

“I do. I hope personally to attend the opening of the assembly of the League at Geneva in September, and there will be other British representatives. It is the intention of the French Prime Minister also to attend, and I hope there will be many other first-rank statesmen in attendance. It is the purpose of my Government to use the League as the main instrument for brining about those international conditions which are necessary to tranquillity, and to all the great human interests that hinge upon tranquillity.”

“What is your idea of the duty of powerful nations relative to the League?”

Supporting the League of Nations.

“I think it is their duty to help it. I want to see the great peace union complete. It is humanity’s concern, and no great nation is likely to hold itself morally irresponsible in a matter of concern to humanity. I do not mean that any nation should lose its freedom over the League; I mean rather that all nations should exercise their freedom on behalf of the League. Britain did not lose her freedom when she identified her prestige and energy with the League. No member State did. Every nation should help, but help in its own way. It is essential to national independence, to popular control over policy, that nations do everything they do in their own way. But doing things in one’s own way is a very different matter from not doing them at all.

“I think America should help the League, and I think she will, in her own time and way. It is not for us to hurry or admonish her. Her intelligence and moral force are needed in the world. They would be powerful factors for good. Already, though not fully and officially, the Republic is watching, helping, co-operating, in Europe. I thank her. We do not want her to entangle herself, and so to diminish her usefulness to civilization. But we do want to see her great strength and authority systematically and steadily applied to the solution of the problems with which are bound up the prosperity, happiness and peace of the world. How to do that she knows far better than any outsider can tell her.”

MacDonald the Statesman

By Hal O’Flaherty

The genius of Ramsay MacDonald is revealed more fully in the interview which he has granted Edward Price Bell than in any of his speeches or printed works. Since I came to England some years ago, I have heard among all classes vaguely worded pleas for a change in a system that has failed to fulfill hopes and aspirations. Ramsay MacDonald has voiced for his countrymen their desires. He has put into words what has been in many minds for years.

It may be said without exaggeration that Ramsay MacDonald is a statesman of extraordinary ability and at the same time the world’s foremost rational Socialist. He is an intellectual who, over a period of many years, has strained and developed a mind so well balanced, so filled with hard facts, that he is capable of meeting fearlessly the great men of his own or other nations.

Aside from the limitations enforced by partisan politics, Mr. MacDonald has won an unusual degree of popularity for his party and for himself. He has no idiosyncrasies of dress or deportment, but is possessed of a splendid personal presence whether on the floor of the House of Commons or in the rigid formality of Buckingham Palace. In his court dress he has the appearance of a great militarist, but his demeanor and speech are never anything but pacific and democratic. His iron-gray hair and mustache give a stern setting to his swarthy face, and his deepset, dark-brown eyes hold a combative glint. His expression is habitually one of effortless concentration, seldom lightened by a smile.

Picture of the Prime Minister.

Trained in the best of all schools—the Labor constituencies—Mr. MacDonald has mastered the art of public speaking. For more than twenty-five years he has been on the platform and in the House of Commons perfecting the modulations of a naturally resonant and powerful voice. His well-chosen words are enunciated with a precision unequaled by any other British statesman, with the possible exception of Herbert Asquith.

Though lacking a classical education, great Britain’s Socialist Prime Minister brings to his high office a greater first-hand knowledge of the British Dominions, Colonies and possessions, than had any of his illustrious predecessors. He has toured the Far East, studied in Australia and New Zealand, India and Egypt, and has visited frequently the principal countries of Europe. His knowledge of conditions in Canada and the United States is remarkable. Above all else in importance, he knows his country’s problems. He has delved deeply into the underlying causes of social unrest and with painstaking care has chronicled his thoughts upon this subject in books of great breadth and clarity.

The Equipment of a Statesman.

Prime Minister MacDonald accepted the opportunity of forming a government largely because he considered the time ripe to disprove the myriad misconceptions and false ideas in the public mind as to what a Labor Government would do when it came to power. Great sections of the Tory element were fully convinced that a Labor Government would prove a national disgrace, while others believed the appearance of a Socialist as Chancellor of the Exchequer would bring upon the country financial disaster. The world already knows o fthe praise heaped upon MacDonald and his ministers soon after the new Government was formed. The praise came largely from the incredulous who in their surprise at finding the country still safe became perfervid in their congratulations.

Five months have passed since Ramsay MacDonald took over from the Conservatives the task of solving Britain’s domestic and external problems, and after a period of groping, complicated by unexpected changes abroad, he has gone far toward achieving the success which eluded his predecessors. As a major contribution, he has re-established that sympathetic accord with France which disappeared when French troops entered the Ruhr in 1923. With the patience and forbearance of a good friend he has helped Germany regain her confidence and her desire for an equitable reparations settlement.

Five Months of Achievement.

In the narrower field of domestic politics he has not fared so well. He could not cure in a few months the terrible disease of unemployment; nor could he solve the housing problem, which nothing but years of patient effort can effect. The peculiar circumstances of his rise to the Premiership prevented him from acting freely. His party is only a minority under the threatening power of the older parties.

It is likely that a new turn of the political wheel will bring a change in the Premiership before the end of this year, but no matter when the change comes, MacDonald has had the satisfaction of carrying his party’s banner courageously to the forefront of British politics. His name will be written boldly in political history as that of the man during whose term of office the final steps toward a durable peace were taken by the Great Powers of Europe.

Ramsay MacDonald imprimatur.jpg

Coolidge: A Survey

The President’s Mind as Revealed in His Utterances, Oral and Written

“All These [America’s Achievements] Are But The Reflection, Not of a Select Few, But of a Wonderful People, Great in Intelligence, Great in Moral Power, Great in Character.”

Calvin Coolidge.jpg

Photograph by Walinger, Chicago.

Coolidge: A Survey

It was toward the end of an October afternoon that, after passing through a square entrance hall and traversing a spacious, silent corridor, I was ushered into the Chief Executive’s office at the White House. President Coolidge sat alone at the Presidential desk. His back was to the windows that look out over the rear grounds of the Executive Mansion in the direction of the Potomac. Neat, quiet, dignified, medium-sized the figure; serious, even sad, the clear-cut, clean-shaven, intellectual face, with its blue-gray eyes, its prominent forehead and its flat-lying frame of straight, flaxen hair, tinged with red.

Stir and sound—the stir and sound of the White House day—were over. Two or three young newspaper men lounged, chatting in low tones, in the square entrance hall. About the inner corridors an occasional colored servant moved noiselessly. Outside the President’s room, itself strangely muffled, the slanting rays of the sun, flooding out of the West over fall-tinted foliage, threw heavy masses of shadow on the close-clipped lawn.

President Coolidge was dressed in a well-fitting blue sack suit. His welcome was restrained, but kindly, a faint smile lightening his refined features as he rose to shake hands. (It was understood that the President was not to be interviewed; he declined to transgress the White House tradition of no direct quotation of the Chief Magistrate.) One is struck instantly by Mr. Coolidge’s self-possession. He makes no gestures, does not fidget, looks steadily into one’s eyes, is almost disconcertingly intent.

Intent, Self‑Possessed Executive.

His voice, though it has a marked twang, is not harsh; there is nothing harsh about the man, despite the inflexible will that many an opponent has found behind his delicate exterior. His words are simple, his sentences crisp—when he stops thinking long enough to speak. His facial expression is naturally pleasant, but his smiles seem even rarer than his words. During our entire converstation, after the greeting, he smiled once. It was when I reminded him of something John W. Davis had said to me—namely, that Republicans, as men of talent, are relatively grasping, while Democrats, as men of genius, are relative generous.

“Interesting,” said Mr. Coolidge, clearly amused.

A pause.

“But I don’t know what he means.”

One had heard much of the President’s analytical mind, of his industry and thoroughness, of his business-like methods. I looked at his desk. It was covered with papers. There were many different kinds and sizes. But there was no disorder. All appeared to be perfectly classified and arranged, and one easily could imagine that singularly clam man and that singularly clear mind dealing with them swiftly. And then there was the striking fact of the President’s coolness and freshness after the tumult of the White House day—after the countless conferences and close labor of many White House days—coupled with the further fact that we sat alone, talking undisturbed, as if the anxieties and strains of the Presidency were as far away from Mr. Coolidge as they were when he was in his mountain home.

Marks of An Orderly Mind.

Did not system speak here?

Coldness and thinness of personality have been attributed to Mr. Coolidge. I did not discover either. His self-command is, indeed, remarkable, and his external appearance does not suggest a raging fire. But personality does not live in externalities; personality lives within. It is the object of my study of this man’s qualities, traits, and views, as disclosed in his life, work, and public utterances, to detect and to put in plain words what he is like within. It has been said, too, that his mind works slowly. This criticism, in my judgment, springs from that kind of observation which measures mental velocity by verbal fluency. Measured so, without doubt, Mr. Coolidge’s mind works slowly.

As I sat watching the President I was more and more impressed by his physical slightness and its meaning. Many public men, in the problem of achieving success, have the advantage of big bodies. Some have the advantage of abundant whiskers. Some can roar as lions. Some have powerful and dangerous fists. Steam-roller superiorities these. Often they succeed wholly unaided by either brains or morals. Mr. Coolidge has not a big body. He has no whiskers at all. There is nothing leonine about his vocal equipment. His fists are neither powerful nor dangerous. Yet, in a State of strong men, rich in political gifts and powers, he rose above all his fellows, placed them all behind him, and took and held the center of the stage.

Is not this proof of intellect and character?

Zeal and talent for public service are conspicuous in the whole of Calvin Coolidge’s adult life. He was a political philosopher as a boy, and a political philosopher deeply religious and keenly ethical. Almost thirty years ago, when a senior at Amherst College, he won distinction in the academic world, and won a $150 gold medal by writing, in a contest open to seniors of all American colleges and universities, what was adjudged the best essay on the causes of the American Revolution.

Successes as an Amherst Student.

This essay, to those who would understand Mr. Coolidge, is worth examining. Its diction—there are about 2,000 words of it—has the terseness and clarity of the author’s mature utterances. Not a line or phrase in it suggests another writer’s thought. Original in form and weighty in substance, it depicts the American Revolution as a quarrel, not between different nations, but between Englishmen devoted to monarchy and Englishmen devoted to democracy.

Puritan and Covenanter himself, Mr. Coolidge in his prize essay shows how firm is his grasp of the meaning of these terms. He sees the Puritan and the Covenanter as exponents of the most remarkable characteristic of the English-speaking race—its will to be free. He notes Englishmen’s “great love for a king,” but reminds his readers that Englishmen “drove out one king, rebelled against two and executed three,” proving that, however much they deferred to the “divine right of kings,” they had a superior regard, on occasion, for “the divine right of the people.” His conclusion is that, in the end, this “great land of America” must have achieved its independence, even if the colonial policy of George III, and Lord North had been wise.

Consistency of His Career.

Mr. Coolidge’s record is one of extraordinary consistency. Not that he is any worshiper of consistency as such. He probably agrees with Emerson that “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” He has not worshiped consistency, but he has been consistent. He has been consistent because he was born prudent, meditative, and far-seeing. He is a child of the Appalachians. Ancestrally and in his own life he had time and space and quietude to think. Look into his religious qualities and propensities, his moral enthusiasms, his conceptions of political science, his administrative methods of a generation ago and you find them virtually what they are today.

Supremely throughout his life Calvin Coolidge has believed in two things—religion and education. In all his thought and work he has depended in the past and depends now upon Divine guidance. He thinks there is no promise, no security, without it. “Our nation was founded by men who came over for the sake of religion,” he has said. “Religion is essential. Without the Church the community goes to pieces. I have seen this again and again in New England. Our nation cannot live without morality, and morality cannot live without religion.”

Results of Religion and Learning.

Religion and education, in Mrt. Coolidge’s view, are inseparably related. “Who teach the clergy?” he asks. And he replies that the higher education anciently was instituted solely for their instruction. He declares that not only the higher sciences, but philosophy, morals and religion all center in our colleges and universities. “It is not too much to say that in them is the foundation of all civilization and that their influence is all-embracing.” He points out that primary schools are a development of higher education, and that without such education modern society cannot exist. He states that we all, with or without the higher learning, come within its influence, and that Washington and Lincoln, though both lacked a college education, never would have been heard of but for colleges.

Light on Mr. Coolidge’s spiritual nature is found in his abiding love for Amherst. Its whole inspiration and practice delighted him and he places it first among the influences that have molded his life. And what sort of an institution is Amherst? In the language of its founder, it has, and will not deviate from, its “original object of civilizing and evangelizing the world by the classical education of indigent young men of piety and talent.” To teach men spiritual values is the basic aim of Amherst. “And,” remarks Mr. Coolidge, “the progress of this effort measures the progress of civilization; there is no other principle that men of the present day all over the world need to keep so constantly in mind.”

Training for All an Essential.

Ardent friend and advocate of the classics, Mr. Coolidge yet perceives the necessity of trade, vocational, and technical schools. He states that the courses of instruction in such schools must be pursued “with great thoroughness”—a reminder of this man’s attitude to every kind of task and duty. “Equal opportunity of training for all avenues of life,” says he, “is required by a democracy.” He would teach not only the preacher, the lawyer, the doctor, the engineer, the chemist; not only the artisan, the mechanic, the skilled worker. He would teach the youth of all callings and “re-establish the profession of teaching in public esteem.” He recognizes that a great educational system is impossible without devoted, self-respecting and capable teachers.

Mr. Coolidge never refers to education without strongly urging the claims of the classics as an indispensable factor. He says: “This effort for a practical education will be in vain if we look at the practical side alone. Education must teach more than the ability to earn a livelihood; it must teach the art of living. It is less important to teach what to think than to teach how to think. The end sought should be broad and liberal, rather than narrow and technical. The ideals of the classics, the humanities, must not be neglected. After all, it is only the ideal that is practical.”

Teaching People How to Think.

Democracy—American democracy—holds Mr. Coolidge’s heart in the sphere of politics. He believes to the uttermost in our political forefathers and in our constitutional system. He regards our Supreme Court, now under fire from more than one direction, as the citadel of American justrice—the sheet-anchor of our individual liberties. He believes in democracy, but in an alert, critical and militant democracy—a democracy that understands its birthright and is determined to defend it. He points out that selfishness, injustice, and evil are “in the world and never rest,” and that, if our “fairest government on earth” is preserved, it will be preserved by the individual American, and by him alone.

Individualism is at the base of all Mr. Coolidge’s political, social, economic, and cultural thinking. “We have no dependence,” says he, “but the individual. New charters cannot save us. They may appear to help, but the chances are that the beneficial results obtained are due to interest aroused by discussing changes. Laws do not make reforms; reforms make laws. We cannot look to government. We must look to ourselves. We must stand, not in the expectation of a reward, but with a desire to serve. Politics is the process of action ion public affairs. It is personal, it is individual, and nothing more. Destiny is in you.”

Defender of Individualism.

Government, to be sure, in Mr. Coolidge’s outlook, has a wide field of vital service. It must care for the education of the people, for their health, for their housing and working conditions, for the mentally and physically defective, for the weak in their struggle with the strong. All legislation, he remarks, should “recognize the right of man to be well born, well nurtured, well educated, well employed, and well paid.” But government, as this observer sees it, should interfere with individual liberty—should subtract from the privileges of the individual—only to the extent of preventing impingement upon the rights of other individuals. Its function is that of safeguarding and promoting the social welfare, while maintaining conditions of justice and freedom for the individual citizen, strong or weak, rich or poor.

Significant of Mr. Coolidge’s feeling about American politics and American national interests is his admiration for Theodore Roosevelt. What Roosevelt loved Coolidge loves. Hear him: “His [Roosevelt’s] work goes on. His battle line strengthens. His principles have more defenders, his actions more admirers. His followers are building a shrine at his birthplace to increase the influence of his life. The people whom he loved and trusted and served are the contributors. Here men may come and remember that he re-established a representative government of all the people, reopened the closing doors of opportunity, reawakened the soul of his country, and re-enforced the moral fiber of America.”

His Admiration for Roosevelt.

And listen to the President’s final words relative to his great predecessor in the White House: “Let the people make pilgrimages to this shrine where his great life began, where Theodore Roosevelt learned to kneel in prayer; let them contemplate his works and recall his sacrifices, and, out of their pilgrimage, their contemplation and their recollection, will be born the unyielding conviction, ‘Greater love hath no man than this’.”

Close student of government, both in theory and in practice, from early manhood—he went almost immediately from law to politics—Calvin Coolidge has had a lifelong and uncommonly vivid appreciation of the importance of law and order, without which there is no government and no civilization. It was this sense—this appreciation—which decided his position and gave him national renown in connection with the Boston police strike. It has been suggested that he was less strong in that crisis, or at a certain stage of that crisis, than he ought to have been, but those most familiar with the facts believe his conduct left nothing to be desired, and the National Institute of Social Sciences honored him with a gold medal.

His Defense of Law and Order.

“It is no accident,” Mr. Coolidge has said, “that the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts believe in law and order. It is their heritage. When the Pilgrim Fathers landed there in 1620 they brought ashore with them the Mayflower Compact, which they had drawn up in the cabin of that little bark under the witness of the Almighty, in which they pledged themselves, one to another, to make just and equitable laws, and not only to make them, but, when they were made, to abide by them. So that for 300 years that has been the policy and the principle of that Commonwealth. And I shall hold this medal as a testimony to the service that was begun 300 years ago and has continued through these generations; and in the hope that its example may still continue as a beacon light to all civilization.”

Mr. Coolidge esteems the United States Senate, like the Supreme Court, a liberty-conserving institution, and, therefore, a bulwark of law and order in this country. He holds that the Senate protects “not merely the rights of the majority—they little need protection—but the rights of the minority, from whatever source they may be assailed.” His reading of the history of the Senate is that of a story of wisdom and discretion in action for the execution of the public will. He says it functions “without passion and without fear, unmoved by clamor, but most sensitive to the right, the stronghold of government according to law, that the vision of past generations may be more and more the reality of generations yet to come.”

The Stronghold of Government.

Educated leadership bears a heavy responsibility in a republic, according to Mr. Coolidge’s reasoning. All men cannot have the higher education; those fortunate enough to get it owe much to their fellow men. They should both reflect and lead public opinion.

Coolidge is a nationalist. He reveres our nationalists from Washington to Roosevelt. He sees in jealous and vigorous nationalism nothing prejudicial to intelligent and beneficent internationalism. He admires the nationalistic principle that “lay at the foundation of all Washington’s statesmanship.” He declares that “where Cæsar and Napoleon failed, where even Cromwell faltered, Washington alone prevailed. He wished the people of his country to be great, but great in their own right. He resisted the proposal that he should be set up to rule them. He adopted the proposal that they should be organized to rule themselves. He carried these principles through to the end. He adhered, not to the cause of France, nor to the cause of England, but to that of America; and with patience and greatness sublime bore the resulting abuse of his country for his country’s good.”

Americanism, in Coolidge’s interpretation, is humanism in government. He is all for the idea that the mass is served best by serving the unit. If the unit prospers, if the individual feels he has protection and the open door, the mass prospers and there is national tranquillity. Of government activity affecting individual initiative and opportunity Coolidge is instinctively suspicious and critical. That is to say, he is the poles apart from Socialism. He thinks Socialism approaches human problems—the problems of society—from diametrically the wrong direction. In his view, personal freedom, private impulse to action, every man possessing inviolate the fruits of his industry, are the sure and the only incentives to progress, as they are the unmistakable marks of human justice. And as the President is for humanism in government, so he is for humanism in industry. He declares that “industry must be humanized, or the system will break down.”

Liberalism of sentiment on the part of Coolidge is evidenced by his early approval of votes for women. In this matter—and it was an excellent test of the spirit of statesmen—he was in advance of many of his contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, Coolidge favored the franchise for women long before Herbert Asquith, outstanding Liberal leader in England, threw his weight into the scales for this epoch-marking reform. It simply never occurred to Coolidge that women were politically inferior to men, that they were less citizens than were men, or that modern society could afford to exclude their intelligence and morality from politics. There are acute observers who have said that Herbert Asquith’s decline as a force in British political life began with his opposition to the enfranchisement of British women.

Early Advocate of Woman Suffrage.

Demagoguery, so far as one can discover from either the speech or the acts of President Coolidge, is alien to his ideas of party expediency and to his temperament. Demagoguery implies insincerity, and no one acquainted with the President suspects him of insincerity. His blood, his deeply religious home life, the mountains among which he grew up, the great instructors who ministered to his mental and moral development at Amherst, all combined to make him too serious and too wise a man to set any store by demagoguery or trickery of any kind.

So, when Calvin Coolidge, for instance, declares his sympathy with those who work—work with their hands or with their brains—one safely may take him at his word. He himself is a worker. He always has been poor, and he never has tried to get rich. His fees as a lawyer were so low as to provoke remark all over Massachusetts. Trade-union principles, from the beginning of his public career, have had his tangible support. “With proper co-operation between labor and employers,” he once said, “the future prosperity of the country may be double assured. Human labor will never again be cheap.” But he did not allow labor to dictate to him. When Samuel Gompers wired him to dismiss the Police Commissioner of Boston, he flashed back this reply: “The right of the police of Boston to affiliate has always been questioned, never granted, is now prohibited. There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

His Sympathy For the Worker.

Unbounded pride and faith in America are part and parcel of Calvin Coolidge’s character. He sees her “steadily marching on.” To him her history, her services to freedom, are “glorious.” “There is,” he remarks, “her prosperity. There is the wonderful organization of her government, perfected in its ultimate decisions to reflect the will of the people. There is her system of education, developed in accordance with the public schools established in Massachusetts in 1647. There is her transportation, superior to that of any other country. There is her banking organization, richer than any other on earth. There is her commerce, which flows to the world markets. There is her industrial plant, superior to that of any other place or time. There is her agriculture, vast beyond the imagination to comprehend.”

Are these the result of the genius of a few? “No,” answers Mr. Coolidge. “All these are but the reflection of the genius, not of a select few, but of a wonderful people, great in intelligence, great in moral power, great in character.”

Achievements of A Great People.

Adversity seems to this Appalachian thinker a relatively innocuous thing from America’s standpoint. It is prosperity he fears. Not in lack of power, but “in the purpose directing the use of great power,” lies the danger to American civilization, as Mr. Coolidge sees the future. “There is new peril in our very greatness,” he comments. “There are all the old dangers in our incompleteness. It is impossible to overlook our imperfections. The war has greatly diminished the substance of some and greatly increased the substance of many. It has already given a new tongue to envy. Without doubt it will give a new grasp to greed.”

In the whole of President Coolidge’s private and public discussion of America there is an earnest call to high-minded and vigorous citizenship. “Society in America is in a healthy state of progress, but it cannot go alone; it must be supported.” Turning from the good to the bad in our national life—from the bright to the dark picture—the President says: “Schools we have, but a vast amount of illiteracy. Luxury we have, but a wide fringe of degradation and poverty. Great farms we have, but there are those who lack food, and amid a flood of commerce there are those who lack clothing and shelter.

“With all the light that comes from learning and religion, with all the deterrent power of organized society, there is an appalling amount of vice and crime. Some say civilization has failed. It has not failed, as anyone can see who looks at history. It must be supported and continued. It cannot be preserved without effort, and it is not yet done. The work must go on. As society grows more complicated, as civilization advances, the burden of its support is not less; it is more. It was never so great before as it is now.”

Civilization’s Need of Support.

In The Daily News’ interviews with those great Europeans—Marx, Mussolini, Poincaré, and MacDonald—we find one note firmly struck by all. It is the note, the principle, of sacrifice. These men tell us no society can be splendid, and no society can be secure, unless its citizens are ready for sacrifice. Calvin Coolidge says: “We need wealth and science and justice in human relationship, but redemption comes only through sacrifice. There is no other process that can sustain civilization; no other law of progress. If we make any headway against the perils of society, it will be by that process. Let justice and the economic laws be applied to the strong. But for the weak there must be mercy and charity—not the gratuity which pauperizes, but the assistance which restores.

“Failure means that sacrifice was lacking to secure success. Selfishness defeats itself. This has been the malady of every empire that has fallen, from Babylon to Russia. Where there has been success, it has meant that sacrifice has prevailed. It has been the salvation of every people from early civilization to the present day. America was laid in the sacrifices of Pilgrim and Puritan and the colonists of that day. It was defended by the sacrifices of the revolutionary period. It was made all free by the sacrifices of those who followed Lincoln, and insured by all who accept him. It was saved by the sacrifices of the World War.”

The Rewards of Sacrifice.

Mr. Coolidge affirms that, if we fill our legions with Gauls and Numidians and other barbarian tribes—if we do not ourselves go out to fight—we shall perish, as Rome perished. “Man’s salvation comes out of man. Government can aid, it cannot save, man. Civilization is always on trial, testing out, not the power of material resources, but whether there be in the heart of the people that virtue and character which come from charity sufficient to maintain progress. When that charity fails, civilization, though it ‘speak with the tongues of men and of angels,’ is ‘become as sounding grass or a tinkling cymbal.’ Its glory is departed. Its spirit has gone. Its life is done.”

Revolutionism, in the Coolidge argument, is a social menace that can be fought successfully with only mental and moral munitions. Overt revolutionary acts—incitements to assassination and violence and actual resort to crime—can be and must be punished. They must be crushed under the heel of authority. But beliefs cannot be treated so. Every citizen has a right, guaranteed by the Constitution, to make up his own mind and to express it, so long and so far as it does not signify violence toward those who hold different opinions. “If you are going to resist beliefs,” says the President, “you must meet them, expose their fallacy, present the facts which prove them wrong.” Mr. Coolidge thinks our extreme malcontents are “in the pay of the revolutionary authorities of Russia,” and he does not dismiss too lightly the peril involved, but he does not regard it as “genuinely serious.”

The Hopeful View of Man.

“I am of a very hopeful disposition,” says the Republic’s Chief Executive. You ask him why, and he replies: “Because I believe profoundly in my fellow-men.” His point of view is that the great mass of mankind the world over is reasonably sane and well disposed. If he did not believe this, as he will tell you, he could not have the confidence he has in popular rule. There is nothing priggish about the President. Admirer though he is of education, of learning, of culture—believer though he is in intellectual leadership for all it may be worth—he is not one of those who fancy that all wisdom is lodged in the cultivated classes. He knows that the soil has a wonderful way of enlightening those who live upon it. He knows that many things concealed from the wise and prudent are revealed unto babes.

He is far from thinking America extravagantly, or exceptionally, materialistic. “It is said by some,” he observes, “that Americans are bent on only that kind of success which can be cashed into dollars and cents. That is a very narrow and unintelligent opinion. We have been successful beyond others in great commercial and industrial enterprises because we have been a people of vision. Our prosperity has resulted, not by disregarding, but by maintaining, high ideals. Material resources do not, and cannot, stand alone; they are the product of spiritual resources. It is because America, as a nation, has held fast to the higher things of life, because it has had a faith in mankind which it has dared to put tot he test of self-government, because it has believed greatly in honor and truth and righteousness, that a great material prosperity has been added unto it.”

Sources of Material Prosperity.

Devout New Englander, Calvin Coolidge is no sectionalist. He has made friends in all parts of the country, and not least in the South, where his Yankee twang was in strange contrast to the Southern drawl. He has spoken in many places, and wherever he has spoken he has picked up local knowledge; it has surprised not a few of his deputations.

Hear him speak of Virginia—the old Dominion of Virginia—and you feel his enthusiasm, as you feel it when he speaks of New Hampshire or of Massachusetts.

Basis for Popular Liberties.

“No other of our States,” he reflects, “is so rich in history and tradition. The story of the early attempts at the settlement of Virginia, of its lost colony, and of the final success after failure, is all more fascinating than fiction. It has ever been the home of a proud and valiant race of pioneers and their descendants, of the early seventeenth century, strengthened and dignified by a dominant addition of Cavaliers and Huguenots, a sturdy and high-minded people, forever jealous of their rights and intent upon guarding and maintaining their liberties. Virginia, in 1619, assembled the first parliament ever convened in America. Its House of Burgesses met at Jamestown, and, ever since continual, is the oldest of our legislative bodies.”

While pointing out that the informal Mayflower Compact of November, 1620, “holds a high place among the charters of free government,” Mr. Coolidge states that “the first formal and authoritative charter which established free government on this continent was that granted to Virginia in July, 1621.” Dwelling upon the breadth of the Massachusetts mind, Mr. Coolidge recalls the words of one of the greatest sons of that State, Benjamin Franklin: “Above all, Washington has a sense of the oneness of America. Massachusetts and Georgia are as dear to him as Virginia.” And the President adds: “It is because Plymouth Rock, Bunker Hill, John Adams and Daniel Webster represent the nation that they glorify their State. In that faith Massachusetts still lives.”

Home life, labor and obedience figure prominently in Coolidge’s fundamental conceptions. “If our Republic is to be maintained and improved, it will be, first of all, because of the influences which exist in the home, for it is the ideals which prevail in the home life which make up the strength of the nation. The homely virtues must continue to be cultivated. The real dignity, the real nobility, of work must be cherished. It is only through industry that there is any hope for individual development.” Among the “grave duties and responsibilities” of those who would preserve “the high estate of freedom” this philosopher continually names obedience. It is the “things unseen” upon which he relies—the eternal moralities.

Strength Lies in the Homely Virtues.

Certain of the President’s critics have accused him of perpetually speaking in platitudes. He hears this criticism with complacency. He refers us to the cynical remark about Roosevelt’s rediscovery of the Moral Law, and observes: “What they said derisively let us state seriously. Roosevelt did discover the Ten Commandments, and he applied their doctrine with great vigor in places that had assumed they had the power to discard the Ten commandments.” Calvin Coolidge thinks this country and every other country need, and never can hear too much of, the old but ever-vital principles of individual and national character. He agrees with Samuel Taylor Coleridge that philosophy and moral passion cannot be better engaged than in “rescuing admitted truths from the neglect caused by their universal admission.” Cynical highbrowism makes a very small dent on the present occupant of the White House.

Sympathetic toward all nations, and in favor of what he deems prudent and effectual co-operation with other peoples for the common welfare of the world, Calvin Coolidge is vigilant and scrupulous to guard the national sovereignty of the United States from the incidence of any form of extra-American authority. His thesis is that we must be masters in our own house. He is of opinion that that way lies an increase of our strength and therefore an added ability on our part to serve the general interests of civilization.

How Best to Serve the World.

Far from a “pacifist,” he is a steadfast peace man. Our record on arbitration, our quarter of a century’s membership of The Hague Tribunal, and our long-cherished desire for a world court of justice he recalls with gratification. To the Permanent Court of International Justice he is committed in his first annual message to the Congress, and in his latest public addresses. He supports warmly the arrangements looking to peace in the Pacific. Rejecting membership in the League of Nations, he has found many ways to co-operate with it for the benefit of all peoples—notably, in respect of narcotics, white slavery and public health measures—and he used his influence to further the Dawes Plan, including the indispensable financial transactions contingent upon that plan.

It is interesting and instructive to note that Mr. Coolidge’s attitude toward any sort of super-State is in entire agreement with the standpoints expressed in The Daily News’ interviews with European statesmen. The President announces that we do not intend to permit any foreign nation, nor any group of foreign nations, “to make up our minds for us.” Chancellor Marx, Benito Mussolini, Raymond Poincaré, and Ramsay MacDonald use words to precisely the same effect.

Thus Marx: “Peoples are not ready for world federalism—for national autonomies related to an overriding central authority as, for example, the American States to Washington or the German States to Berlin. The League of Nations, as I understand it, would enthrone reason, justice, and peace, not by the crude and ineffectual instrumentality of compulsion but by a peace-breeding voluntarism based upon international understanding and desire.”

Mussolini, a nationalist of nationalists, is a strong supporter of the league of Nations, but only because, in his judgment, “it can do great things in the world, while leaving the individual nations in complete possession of their self-direction.” To Poincaré the League is merely an established means for “the friendly co-operation of peace-loving free nations.” Suggest to this veteran statesman, with one of the most experienced and astute legal minds in the world, that France’s internal authority is in any way impaired by her membership in the League, and you evoke a smile.

Ramsay MacDonald says: “I do not mean that any nation should lose its freedom over the league; I mean rather that all nations should exercise their freedom on behalf of the League. Britain did not lose her liberty when she identified her prestige and energy with the League. No member State did. Every nation should help, but help in its own way. It is essential to national independence, to popular control over policy, that nations do everything they do in their own way. But doing things in one’s own way is a very different matter from not doing them at all.”

Again and again President Coolidge has acknowledged his sense of America’s international interests and obligations. His first message to the Congress was laden with this sentiment, and it inheres in his view of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He has spoken of the wide vision of the Massachusetts mind; it was wide enough to accommodate within its understanding and sympathy all the States of the American Union. May we not hope that the Massachusetts mind, or the Appalachian mind, of Calvin Coolidge, regularly as opportunity arises, will bring within its conspectus the whole world, not as an object merely of generous sentiments, but as an object of concrete measures of helpful fellowship?

The Program of a President.

We have examined the spiritual and intellectual background—the broad, sustaining emotions and convictions—of the President. He is a constitutionalist, an individualist, an economist, a tax reducer, a protectionist, an immigration restricter, a world court man, an arms limiter, an enemy of aggressive war, a world co-operator without official and permanent connection with international machinery, a pro-agriculturist, and an intense American patriot, as he understands American patriotism.

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Pillars of World Peace

The Problem of the Pacific and a Formula for International Good Relations

Discussed by Mackenzie King

Prime Minister of Canada

“Preservation of Tangible Individualities [of Race] Will Preserve Those Intangible Individualities Which Are a Source of Universal Enrichment.”

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Photograph by Champlain Studios, Inc., New York

Premier Mackenzie King of Canada

“What can be done to put the Pacific situation upon a basis of settled peace?”

Light upon this question, upon the general question of world tranquillity, upon the nationalistic sentiments and policies involved, upon the spiritual and mental attitudes ofd public men likely, in due course, to affect the issue—light upon this intricate and vital congeries of material and immaterial problems was sought without bias and with entire catholicity of sympathy.

William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, is one of the constituents—and by no means an unimportant one—among the human factors of such an inquiry. He is such because he is a leader in a vigorous and growing modern State with a definite and tenaciously-held point of view touching world affairs. Canada has her place, her indefeasible rights, in the Pacific; and she has her living points of contact wherever a general conflagration might threaten humanity.

Influential in Canada, and holding a position of high responsibility there, Mackenzie King is of political consequence in a wider field. He is so for two substantial reasons, (1) because he is a Canadian of authority in British imperial councils, and (2) because, as an intermediary or liaison agency—a golden bridge—between Britain and the United States, he frequently can be of service to all concerned in serious matters of diplomacy. What decisive and weighty forms such service can take—the service of wise and well-disposed Canadian statesmen to the cause of English-speaking harmony—will be apparent when the archives of governments yield their records to history.

Canada’s Forceful Prime Minister.

What is Mackenzie King like personally?

He has had the goodness, in his snowy, picturelike capital, dominating the glory of the Ottawa valley and the hills beyond, to receive me and chat at length. Publicity Mackenzie King never has sought. Through all his party activities; though his remarkable work in adjusting industrial disputes in Canada and in the United States; in his contact with the problems of the Orient, his historic fights against sweating, abuse of the Canadian immigration laws, the opium traffic and other evils—from first to last, in these efforts, which revealed a vigilance and energy rare in the civic realm, Mr. King never was dazzled by the limelight.

My first sight of him was at the door of the House of Commons. It was the hour of adjournment at 6 o’clock, and members were pouring forth into the main corridors of the parliament buildings. Mackenzie King came last, in a brown business suit, a modest figure of medium height, solidly built, fair complexioned, clean shaven, hair thin on the crown, open countenance good humored, sympathetic, and grave. We went to his provate office—the one he had admired as leader of the Opposition and chose to keep when he became Premier, foregoing the office intended for the first minister—a compact room with an air of elegance, on the walls a series of pictorial symbolisms culminating in “Vision” and “Wisdom,” and in one corner a marble bust of Laurier, the lamented old Liberal chieftain.

The Man and His Surroundings.

But it was in the Prime Minister’s home—Laurier House, Laurier Avenue, a beautiful residence bequeathed to Mr. King by Lady Laurier, widow of Sir Wilfrid, and charmingly appointed and furnished—it was here that the opportunity was afforded for a study of the character, ideas and aspirations of Canada’s ministerial leader. That first impression of him as a man of good-humored seriousness, of sympathy, sincerity, occasional gravity, was confirmed. Qualities of this order color his whole speech and manner in public and in private—no flippancy, no cynicism, no fondness for biting epigram, no hint of shuffling or pretense, no uncharity.

Mackenzie King is a religious man—and old-fashioned religious man—who believes, as Lincoln believed, in asking the help of God when duties are heavy and when the path of right and wisdom is obscure or beset with danger. He inspires strong friendships without arousing bitter antipathies. Splendor of character, heroism, move him deeply, as is attested with beauty and power in his book, “The Secret of Heroism,” and in his introduction to a technical volume written by his medical brother when the latter was slowly dying of an incurable malady.

A Student of His Fellow Men.

Science and sentiment, industry and humanity, in Mr. King’s view, far from being incompatible, have an essential affinity. His education in economics—he obtained a master’s degree at the University of Toronto, did postgraduate work at the University of Chicago, where he was a resident at Hull House and formed a high opinion of the genius of Miss Jane Addams; received a doctorate of philosophy from Harvard, gained a Harvard fellowship, and pursued his economic studies in Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—this scientific education, united with his experience in settling more than fifty trade disputes in Canada, his ten years’ administration as Deputy Minister and Minister of the Canadian Department of Labor, and his prolonged study of industrial warfare and problems in the United States under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation, led to the writing of his masterpiece, “Industry and Humanity,” wherein he shows the correlation of these elements, and develops the thesis that industrial peace depends upon the fair representation in executive authority of the four parties to industry—capital, management, labor, and the community.

So much for the spiritual, educational, and temperamental background of the statesman whose opinions concerning certain world problems this article will try to interpret. In the reality and conclusiveness of moral power, it should be remembered, he is an unquestioning believer. He sets not store by double dealing in statecraft. He believes honesty and the Golden Rule are the only standards for decent people in whatever walk of life. Ask him if the edge of these weapons can be turned by others less bright to him, and he will tell you morality, as he tests it, is more finely tempered and sharper than steel.

His Knowledge of Pacific Problems.

“What can be done to put the Pacific situation upon a basis of settled peace?”

Intimacy of touch with the task here suggested came to Mackenzie King in the course of some twenty years of official life, many months of which were given to special investigation of Oriental immigration in Canada, of the social strife resulting therefrom in Vancouver, and of related conditions and methods in Japan, China, and India. Out of this systematic examination of a problem of many aspects, and a problem affecting the deepest human emotions, has come a Canadian legislative and administrative position enabling Canadians to feel that the Dominion is safe, or reasonably safe, from the danger both of too large an Asiatic population and of embittered relations with the Orient.

“First,” to throw an interpretation of Mackenzie King’s thought into direct discourse, “those international relations inseparable from the Pacific, if they are to be discussed serviceably, must be discussed candidly; and, if they are discussed candidly, they must be discussed with a high degree of prudence and of sympathy. In them, it probably is not too much to say, are bound up not only the happiness of mankind but the whole course and character of future civilization.

“There is no reason why war should come in the Pacific; there is every reason why it should not—every reason from every angle of observation. Cultural interchange, friendly, free, continuous, progressive—this, not war, is what the Orient needs, and what the Occident needs, in the Pacific. Our civilizations, in other words, are not antagonistic, not mutually exclusive, but complementary. This is the great fact for statesmen and for all moral and intellectual leaders to grasp and to push powerfully to the front.

Value of Cultural Interchanges.

“War in the Pacific would be a cataclysm to our whole human heritage. Japan, China, all the nations and races of the East, can find means of progress in the West, particularly in the sphere of science as applied to human welfare; and the West can find means of progress in the East, particularly in the spheres of abstract thought and the fine arts. Set up a steady and increasing interchange of these reciprocal advantages, and we shall have a movement tending irresistibly against those sentiments and convictions which, left to drift too far from the influence of a true understanding, might issue in war.

“Critics of the Orient note what they term ‘lower standards of living.’ What they mean, of course, is that the Oriental masses are satisfied with less than will satisfy the masses of the Occident. Our people demand much in the way of food, clothing and shelter. They require a varied diet, have ideas of quality and style in dress and like comfortable, well-furnished homes. Their wants go far beyond the elementary necessities—to gramophones and pianos, to porcelain and glassware, to motor cars, to pleasant, healthful surroundings, and indeed to everything desirable they can afford. They also demand one rest day a week, with its attendant features of worship and social relationships.

Standards of Living East and West.

“All these things cost money, and outlay calls for income. Now, if a population of this kind—a population which has reached this stage of development as a result of generations or centuries of life and effort—finds itself in close juxtaposition and competition with a large population of simpler wants, of less exacting or fastidious tastes, enmity and conflict are sure to result. In such a situation it is economically inevitable that the people who are satisfied with less will displace, at least in great numbers of positions, the people who demand more.

“If the people with more expensive standards were economically superior to the others—sufficiently superior to redress the economic balance—then, to be sure, the likelihood od trouble would be diminished. But, in the contiguity of Orientals and Occidentals in the Western Hemisphere, it well may be argued that no such superiority has shown itself. Immigrants from the Far East, despite the extreme simplicity of their customs and tastes, generally have had efficient minds and bodies for the performance of most kinds of work, and for establishing themselves in trade, and consequently have become an economic and social pressure terminating in an approach to violence.

Simple Living and Efficiency.

“These so-called ‘lower standards of living,’ representing to Western peoples a grim reality, warrant serious thought in the Occident, not merely when they are close at hand, but when they are thousands of miles away on their native territory. In vast disparity of living standards there is the augury of nothing but anxiety to those who are striving for amity and serenity in the world. Disparity of living standards has produced domestic outbreaks; it contains the seeds ot international outbreaks, because there is an international as well as a domestic competition, and the larger struggle is engaging a growing proportion of the energies of men.

“What, then, is the lesson of the inequality of the standards of civilized life? Surely it is that these standards, so far as possible, should be equalized. If we do not want, as we should put it, to descend to the standards of the Orient, let us do all we can to lift those standards to the level of our own. How? By maintaining the friendliest relations with the Orient, extending our trade with it, sending out our missionaries, medical scientists, educators, and engineers to unfold our way of life to our Asiatic brethren—in a word, by spending money, energy, and educational ardor in an endeavor to make the Orientals think as much of our civilization as we think of it.

Equalization of Standards.

“Then there is a further way, and an effective one. We can welcome the international merchants of the Orient to our shores, as we are doing. We can welcome more and more their students and their intelligentsia generally. Japanese, Chinese, and Indian studnets in our universities are all to the good. They are a constantly expanding force for those adjustments and assimilations which alone can bring world harmony. The United States’ allocation of her Boxer indemnity to attract Chinese students to her seats of learning was policy truly enlightened and humane.

“What have these students done, and what will such students always do? They have returned, and always will return, to China as missionaries of the Gospel, and as missionaries also of the ideals, culture, and trade of this Continent. Traveling in China, one cannot fail to be impressed by the number and variety of American manufactures seen on every hand. These articles are in trains, in hotels, and in shops—glassware, cutlery, stoves, clocks, canned fruits and vegetables. China’s students well China of America’s goods. Great Britain, Canada, all Western peoples, well may extend to Oriental students the warmest welcome to their universities.

Western Ways of Orientals.

“It might be conjectured that one favoring the closest and happiest cultural relations among nations and races must favor a slow approach to uniformity. If world unity meant world uniformity, world unity would attract many persons far less strongly than it does. But unity is not uniformity—consider a bouquet, an ensemble of color, attaining a perfect whole; consider an orchestra of many instruments and melodies, but one magnificent harmony; consider a country, like Canada, of countless diversities of river, lake, prairie, and mountain, but with a unity, after all, that is Canada, and Canada alone.

“Cultural interchange, then—interchange of the things of the mind and soul—is good for the Orient and good for the Occident. We can intermingle in this way, and intermingle to the utmost, but we cannot intermingle physically on any wholesale or unlimited scale without mutual misfortune. Whether we have here an immutable truth few probably would venture to say, but it is a truth practical observers and lovers of peace must recognized as holding the field today. If we achieve tranquility we must solve the problem as among the races of relative bodily isolation and a wide spiritual and intellectual inter-communion. Preservation of tangible individualities will preserve those intangible individualities which are a source of universal enrichment.

Giving That Benefits the Giver.

“Let no one suppose that any gifts of science, any benefits of any kind, moral, mental, or mechanical, passed on from the Occident to the Orient, will be lost to the giver. Such gifts, such benefits, will return as the years and ages lapse to bless the civilization that sent them forth. This is history; it is the universal moral law—the principle of the certain return of bread cast upon the water. Its working in British-American history, for example, is unmistakable. Britian poured her science, scholarship, jurisprudence, the essentials of her civilization, into the New World and into regions more remote, and the result was an allegiance of ideas and ideals. This allegiance, tis comparatively homogeneous civilization, with its citadels in the colleges and universities of the Anglo-Saxon world, knew where it stood when an ambition of conquest and a formidable militarism threatened democracy.

“What a return we saw of bread cast upon the water! We saw the ideas and ideals, the culture of which I have spoken, take the form of rivers of wealth flowing back to Europe, and of millions of men moving from distant shores to European battle fields. Great Englishmen, great men of British blood, men trained in the schools and colleges of the Old World, men taught the incomparable honor of devoted public service, had not forsaken in vain home and country and comfort and life-long friends to lay the foundations of English-speaking civilization around the globe.

The Broad Exchange of Benefits.

“We of North America, citizens of the United States and citizens of Canada, well may recall this background of a history we possess in common. It is a permeating influence. It is a fertilizing power. It is the silent force that all unconsciously keeps us one in aim and purpose, and unites our efforts for man’s advancement. We live in a time of unrest. In our kindred sentiments and ways of reasoning lies our chief hope of that solidarity which warrants some sense of safety.

“This is no time for English-speaking women and men to cease casting their bread upon the water. Let the New World in its turn pour forth its inspiration and vigor for such service as these may render to other peoples, and especially to those great and virile peoples across the Pacific. In proportion to the impression we make, to the good we do, will be those permanent effects which will make for the unification of mankind in the rational pursuit of the happiness due to them all. And my conception, as I think I have made clear, is not a one-way conception. While we are ‘casting our bread upon the water’ I hope our fellow men of the Orient will be acting similarly—that is, teaching us all they can in philosophy, ethics, æsthetics, and all the arts of civilized life.”

Peace in the Pacific, therefore, and likewise world peace, in the opinion of Canada’s Premier, have two major pillars—(1) scrupulous mutual regard for racial and nationalistic virtues, rights, and susceptibilities; and (2) cultural and commercial intercourse making for all-around enlightenment and an ultimate equilibrium, or approximate equilibrium, of life-standards. These pillars, as Mackenzie King reads the outlook in the light of all he has seen and thought, can stand only through a common and amicable recognition of the principle that in the biological, sociological, and psychological situation as we have it today general physical or social blending on the part of widely different races is destructive of the universal interest.

Formula for Peace in the Pacific.

On the point of courtesy to foreign governments and peoples—the point of the value of caution and consideration on the part of every citizen, and especially of every person in a place of public responsibility, in commenting upon or handling international and interracial questions—on this head Mackenzie King has been uniformly insistent. Throughout his inquiries under royal commission into the causes of immigration from Japan, China, and India, and into the riotous sequel of that immigration, his unvarying civility and fairmindedness won the confidence and esteem of Orientals and Occidentals alike; his fellow-feeling and sense of justice were color blind.

In similar spirit have been conceived all his speeches, State papers, and appeals to Parliament. With what effect? With the effect, as already indicated, that Canada’s legislation and regulative procedure are comparatively unobjectionable to Japanese, Chinese, and Indians, though giving what is deemed adequate assurance against anything resembling a submergence soon or late of white civilization in the Dominion. To explain this legislation and regulative procedure in detail would require much space. In a nutshell, Canada has kept the bald and offensive principle of explicit exclusion out of her laws and has narrowed her gates by administrative constriction until she has come within approximate complete control of the types and numbers of immigrants she wants.

Courtesy in Statesmanship.

“Understand!” I should call it the paramount verb of Mackenzie King’s philosophical grammer. His public career has been a sustained effort to understand, to know, to apprehend all pertinent feeling and opinion, before decision and action. He has read William James responsively. “One half of our fellow countrymen,” wrote that philosopher, “remain entirely blind to the internal significance of the lives of the other half.” “It is so!” exclaims the successor of Laurier, and the observation illumines for him the whole range of individual and social discords, national and international, racial and interracial. Mackenzie King puts down to William James’ “certain blindness in human beings” the origin of “every dispute and controversy” of which he has had any “intimate knowledge.”

It follows that he approves and anticipates beneficial effects from international co-operation such as that of the League of Nations. He thinks it should be educative and consequently of use in reducing that “certain blindness in human beings” which he has found so evil an influence in industrial and social relations. But Mackenzie King would not have the League mix too minutely in international affairs. He would have it confine its attention to the broadest international questions and keep as its sole object the enforcement of the accepted principles of sportsmanship, of fair play, in world controversies. Mr. King is an individualist. Individualism and liberty to him are synonymous terms. Domestically, in his reasoning, the power of the State should be exercised to “keep the ring”—to see that all classes and all citizens have justice—and, internationally, some organization such as the League of Nations should perform a corresponding function for independent peoples.

National Individualism and Liberty.

To the fundamental tenet of democracy—that of each nation’s right to shape its destiny—Mackenzie King is resolutely devoted. For the sanctity of this tenet he has been a valiant champion in British imperial council chambers, in dispatches from Ottawa to London, and on the floor of the Canadian House of Commons.

What he would be unwilling to concede to the government of the homeland of the British Commonwealth of Nations, namely, domination of the Dominions, he is not likely to concede to any centralized authority aspiring to rule the world. Rule of the British peoples, says Mackenzie King, must spring from a concurrence of policy indorsed by the British peoples in their separate and free qualities. Rule of the world, he goes on logically to observe, must spring from a concurrence of policy indorsed by the world’s separate and several sovereignties.

World Rule by Broad Agreements.

Nor does he see any inherent impracticability in the conception of world rule based upon national voluntarism. It is, in his judgment, all a matter of understanding and of the eyesight born of understanding—all a matter of curing that “certain blindness in human beings” which struck the philosophical intelligence of William James and which confronted Mackenzie King in every capital-and-labor dispute he grappled with in Canada and in the United States. His primary political theses is that humanity as a whole is reasonable, that it is just, that it loves orderly evolution, that it is human, and consequently that only familiarity with facts is needful to harmony and constructive policy in furthering the prosperity and fortifying the peace of the world.

“Democracy” is a big word. He who graps its full meaning I think will hold the master key to Mackenzie King’s philosophy of industry, nationalism and internationalism. He believes precisely the same thing about all of them—that they can have order, prosperity, and progress only if their theory and practice give due recognition to every right and every interest concerned. Would you have peace in industry? Then do justice by all the parties to industry. Would you have peace in the nation? Then do justice by all the elements of your citizenship. Would you have peace in the Pacific and throughout the world? Then understand the Pacific. Appreciate its realities. Understand the world. Make room in your heart and mind for all the emotions, all the faiths, all the convictions, all the interests of the infinitely diversified multitudes of our planet. Do this and then join soberly but with firmness of purpose in support of those laboring to construct a skeleton of civilization within which these emotions, faiths, convictions, and interests can find a commodious and stable home.

Justice Through Understanding.

In this last paragraph, to my mind, we have a fairly faithful portrait in ethics and in politics of William Lyon Mackenzie King, grandson of the famous Canadian rebel and patriot, William Lyon Mackenzie, who, if he displayed a certain faculty for indiscretion, at least saw clearly the constitutional road of Canadian advance and had the intrepidity to point out that road and to call in clarion tones to his compatriots to follow it.

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Mr. Bancroft in Tokyo

Methods and Opinions of the Late American Ambassador to Japan

“Japan, If I Read Her Aright, Will Not Attempt to Ladle Broth for Her People Out of the Cauldron of War.”


Photograph by Chambers, Chicago

Mr. Bancroft in Tokyo

Alert, sympathetic, practical, candid, tireless, Edgar Addison Bancroft, though only a few months in Tokyo, left an impression upon the Japanese mind as clear-cut as it was favorable. It may be doubted whether any other man in the American diplomatic service ever accomplished so great a moral result in so short a time. His mind was sanity itself, his character above reproach, his honesty inflexible. Acumen, astuteness, decision, nerve—he had them. But of the miserable subterfuge of the old diplomacy he was as innocent as a lamb.

There was a great change in Ambassador Bancroft’s appearance and condition during the eight weeks of my stay in Tokyo in the early summer of 1925. When I first saw him at his desk, he looked much as he had looked on our last meeting in Chicago. He was gray and his face was lined, but there was the familiar flash in his eyes, his movements were quick, and the grip of his hand was hard. When I saw him finally—on Sunday morning, June 7, in his corner suite in the Imperial Hotel—his eyes were dull, his movements slow, and his hand-clasp slack.

This conversation is recorded in my diary of that date:

“Mr. Ambassador, I wish you would take the first good boat to the States.”


“Because you are ill.”

“Do I look ill?”

“I am awfully sorry to say you do, and I feel you cannot get well here. You are eating half-cooked vegetables. Besides, this alien tide is setting strong against you. Ten days on a good ship and a few weeks in America will make a new man of you. Then you can come back.”

Bancroft looked wearily at me for some time.

“Bell, I am not very well. But I am going to the country for the summer in a week or so. I think I’ll get better there. Anyway, I can’t leave this job now. I came for two years and I must stick to it.”

There was no hint of wavering in his decision.

Duty was Bancroft’s deity in Tokyo. He went thither under a heavy sense of responsibility. And he also went in no inconsiderable perplexity of mind. Japanese mentality he had not studied deeply. He did not know whether he would be able to understand it or not. Many suggestions were made to him concerning methods of dealing with Japanese officials, Japanese personages in private life, the Japanese public, the Japanese press, the English-language newspapers in Japan, the American correspondents in Tokyo, and the religious and business representatives of America in the Japanese Empire.

“Of these suggestions,” said the Ambassador to myself in the course of our first conversation, “there was a great quantity. They came from persons presumably informed. I listened to and pondered upon them all. It became clear very shortly that the doctors were in disagreement. Men of equal apparent competence to counsel the newcomer gave mutually destructive advice. It was both wise and unwise, it was both vital and fatal, for me to say or do this, that or the other thing. Since there was only a Babel of tongues among the quidnuncs, I determined to trust what horse sense I had brought with me from Chicago.”


“And—it worked. I went straight to Shidehara and told him in the plainest English I could muster what was in the minds of our Government and people respecting Japan, and what I had come to Tokyo in the hope of achieving. Our understanding of each other was perfect from the beginning. His English was as plain as mine. We both wanted the same thing—mutual trust, mutual friendship, everlasting peace between our two countries—and we both knew in getting these desiderata practical considerations must not yield to sentimental.”

“You found, nevertheless, that Shidehara feels deeply about the discriminatory clause in our immigration law?”

“I knew that already. But, if I had not known it, Shidehara would have enlightened me. Every Japanese, as a matter of course, aspires to equal treatment in principle for his countrymen by all the nations of the world. From us, if quota it is to be, Japan wants the quota, and nothing more. We could give her the quota without admitting a single additional Japanese immigrant of the coolie type, and without admitting Japanese immigrants of any sort to a greater number than 150 a year. Good relations between Japan and the United States are so important from every standpoint that our law and policy are obligated to do everything within reason—everything consistent with rational consideration for the foundations of our civilization—to satisfy the susceptibilities of the Japanese people and to remove any stigma upon their prestige in the family of Great Powers.”

“Is the immigration problem the only one now disturbing Japano-American relations?”

“It is.”

“You believe the heart of Japan, and consequently Japanese policy, to be set on the eventual removal of the discrimination?”

“Certainly. Not, however, that Japan would be so foolish as to make it a casus belli.”

“Is our attitude throwing Japan back upon Asia and so tending to weaken our general diplomatic position in the world?”

“Japan is not turning toward Asia in the sense of turning against us, but a policy that gave us Japan’s full confidence and friendship naturally would strengthen our general diplomatic position. In other words, the more whole-hearted friendship we have the better for us in every way.”

“Is it probable that, if we are obdurately unsympathetic toward Japan, an Asian combination of some solidarity will result?”

“Japan wants no Asian combination inimical to improving relations between her and the Occident. She will not try to enforce her point of view by co-operating in any Asian threat or pretended threat.”

“Is soviet diplomacy trying to ‘spill the beans’ as between Japan and America?”

“Trying, but not succeeding, and not likely to succeed. Bolshevism’s whole purpose, of course, is a bean-spilling purpose. It wants to get the beans out of ‘bourgeois’ into bolshevik bags—an aspiration fair enough if divorced from brigandage, but hardly tolerable otherwise.”

“Do you think the Moscow crew is confident of success?”

“Not so confident, I fancy, as it was, but still keeping to its course, and still entitled to serious attention if we prize the beans.”

“What is your estimate of the bolshevik intellect?”

“I rate it low. It is an intellect minus the king-pin of a constructive purpose. It is an intellect full of bizarre conceit. Such intellectual vanity as that of the bolshevists cannot subsist in the same crania with intelligence. There is only one field in which the bolshevik intellect can operate dangerously and that is the field of ignorance—unhappily a broad one. Bolshevism wants watching, not because it is intelligent, but because it is incendiary in a world containing a great deal of inflammable matter.”

“Can it make any headway in Japan?”

“I may be too optimistic, but your question reminds me of our old friend the snowball climatically misplaced.”

“Has Japan any sympathy with reactionary Germany?”

“None. Japan was attracted by Prussianism for a time, but she found it was unsuitable to her and gave it up. Japanese aspirations and Japanese political and social thinking now run on lines parallel to those of the western democracies.”

“Is there any biological reason—any reason of life and death—why Japan in her present confines may be dangerous to peace?”

“Not in my view. Japan is astoundingly resourceful in the art of feeding her people. By no means all her arable land is under cultivation. Besides, who can foretell what actual necessity might evolve in unheard-of methods of food production? Japan, if I read her aright, will not attempt to ladle broth for her people out of the cauldron of war. She is far too smart for that.”

“You feel the decisive mental and moral forces of Japan at this hour are for world peace?”

“That is my feeling.”

“You think the talk in America of Japanese aggression against the Philippines or Hawaii is idle?”

“I think it is bosh.”

As I bade goodbye to Ambassador Bancroft on Sunday morning, June 7—I was leaving the next day for China and the Philippines—I said to him:

“What message have you for your friends in Chicago when I next see them?”

“Oh,” said the Ambassador, smiling more brightly than he had smiled previously at that interview, “tell them I am happy and busy in the Land of the Cherry Blossom, but, of course, always longing to come home.”

Japanese View of the Pacific

Conversations with Viscount Takaaki Kato

Chief of the Imperial Japanese Cabinet

“In External Pigmentation We [the Japanese] Are More or Less Different From Other Sections of Humanity, But in Internal Pigmentation We Seem to be About the Same.”

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Photographed by Yeghi, Gofukubashi, Japan.

Premier Kato of Japan

“Peace is a favorite theme with me,” said Viscount Takaaki Kato, Prime Minister of Japan, as he sat talking slowly and quietly in a handsome drawing room of English type at the Official Residence, Tokyo. “Peace and its fruits,” thoughtfully went on the calm, long-faced, refined, simple-spoken statesman, “increasingly and, I believe, with growing promise of success, inspire the efforts of governments and peoples everywhere.”

Our special theme was the peace of the Pacific.

“It touches us, of course, with distinctive intimacy,” continued the Prime Minister, taking a cigarette, holding it for a moment, lighting it and smoking unhurriedly. “To the peace of the Pacific we Japanese are devoted. We are devoted to it ardently. It never will be broken by a wanton act by Japan. I see no warrant for prophecies of a warlike initiative in the Pacific from any source. Who could contemplate such an event without horror?”

“You think, then, the cause of peace is making headway?”

Peoples Drawing Closer Together.

“I do. Its importance is better understood than in former times. Last year saw a great improvement in international relations. Europe set her feet on the path of revival and prosperity. International co-operation and reciprocal confidence were shown in the unraveling of the tangled skein of Reparations. Public men of powerful States added to their knowledge of world affairs. Examination of national situations and points of view left peoples less far apart in understanding and sympathy. Only education of this kind is necessary to the consolidation of peace.”

“What do you think of the Press of the world in relation to the struggle for peace?”

“I think its power and duty enormous. I am appealing on every suitable occasion for journalistic support of the persons and the institutions whose aim is peace. Newspapers are among the most vital agencies of humanity. Food, water, and air scarcely affect human life more widely or essentially, for newspapers afford spiritual and intellectual stimulation and sustenance for the masses of the world. Pure newspapers, informed and honest newspapers, generous and fearless newspapers, it probably is not too much to say, would insure the moral and mental health of nations, and nations morally and mentally healthy would have no desire to go to war.”

Speaking was a statesman and diplomatist of large experience, born of a Samurai family of Nagoya in 1860, graduated at law from the Imperial University of Tokyo, trained in the official hierarchy of Japan, a Crown member of the House of Peers, twice a member of the House of Commons, four times Minister of Foreign Affairs, leader of the Kenseikai party formed by the late Prince Katsura, and for many years Japanese Ambassador to London, where the late King Edward decorated him with the Knight Commandership of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Viscount Kato’s Wide Experience.

It was a pleasure to study the man and his personality as he smoked and talked. He has the forehead of a thinker. His hair is cut rather short and is gray about the temples. He has a small gray mustache; otherwise his face is smooth. His black eyebrows are silvering at the ends. His eyes are dark, serene, reflective, friendly and frequently humorous. He often smiles, sometimes chuckles and never makes a gesture of the hands. If he has troubles or anxieties he does not show them; there is no rift in his composure. Some idea of his nature may be gained from his affectionate esteem of Lord Grey of Fallodon, whom he regards as a statesman of surpassing sanity and good will.

“It puzzles me that Japan’s peaceful disposition should be questioned by any one,” said the Viscount. “We enjoyed an unbroken peace of three centuries. Its matchless blessing, therefore, we know. We know how it furthers science and art, how it elevates the soul of a people, how it promotes their individual and social welfare and what impetus it gives to the progress of ordered freedom. War is fatal to ordered freedom. This fact Japan understands, and Japan loves ordered freedom. War resembles an earthquake. War is, in a sense, an earthquake; it shatters the liberties of men, sets fire to their possessions, destroys their lives. Japan does not like earthquakes. True, she has fought two great wars, but they were wars of defense—not a trace of militaristic aggression in either of them.”

Japan Wants Only Peace with America.

“What should your Excellency say specifically about Japano-American relations?”

“I should say first, and with all possible emphasis, that Japan wants these relations kept on a basis of firm friendship, and will neglect no step to that end.”

“How about our naturalization, land, and immigration laws?”

“Touching these and all other matters that may come up between the United States and Japan, this country proposes nothing and contemplates nothing but friendly discussion. Friendly discussion is becoming the rule of the world. It is educative. It is morally powerful. It is a thousandfold better for clearing the international air, for unveiling truth and justice, than are the dust and smoke of battle. Japan depends upon time, friendship, argument, and conscience to right any wrong from which she and other honest nations may suffer.

“Certain American laws have surprised and grieved the Japanese people, all the more becasuse the Japanese long have felt that America was a seat of especial friendship toward them. It was not a practical thing—the thing which hurt. It was a sentimental thing, and sentiment plays a large part in Japanese life, as, I suppose, in the life of every advanced people. Our citizens, prizing their exceptional historical ties with America, believing themselves exponents of the ideals of the American Republic, devoted students of American customs, achievements, and culture, and feeling they had won a place in the front rank of civilized powers, naturally were shocked and pained when they realized that America appeared to regard them as deserving of adverse discrimination among the nationalities of the world.

Grieved by Certain American Laws.

“It was, I repeat, a sentimental matter. Nothing practical upon which we had set our hearts had been taken away from us. No wide door of opportunity had been closed against us. We merely were wounded in our feelings. Our friends had done something we did not expect and could not help adjudging unjust. If there was popular resentment in Japan for a time, it quickly subsided, for the impression spread that the heart of America was not unfriendly to Japan, and that rational discussion finally would redress the sentimental balance between the two countries. Talk of a league of white nations, presumably directed against Japan among others, and of American naval maneuvers and military intentions in the Pacific disturbed our people slightly, but that unrest also passed without harmful consequences.

Japan Wishes to Keep Its Citizens.

“Japan remains friendly to the United States and expects a favorable issue of all intergovernmental conversations and negotiations affecting the permanent relations of the two countries. Concerning naturalization, I always have been opposed to it—opposed, I mean, to pressing other governments to naturalize Japanese subjects. Sentimentally, of course, there is an objection to a refusal of naturalization on the ground of political origin or of race, but personally I never could bring myself to urge something involving the expatriation of my fellow-countrymen. I want to conserve our population, not open the way for its loss to our Commonwealth.

“To anti-alien land laws in Japan I always have been opposed. Happily, such legislation exists here no more. It never was needed, for the excessive dearness of Japanese land precluded its passing on a large scale into the hands of foreigners. In Europe and America land is sold by the acre; here it is sold by the square foot. If there were danger, for example, of a considerable acreage in America falling to the ownership of non-American Japanese, or of other immigrants of non-American citizenship, I suppose legislation would be advisable to protect the native patrimony. But there is only a handful of such Japanese in your country, and this handful will not increase appreciably.

Disloyalty of Resident Aliens.

“Exaggeration, in our view, consistently has marked the anti-Japanese propaganda in the United States. Misleading statistics, as we think, have been employed for prejudical and alarmist purposes. There has been a false attribution of sentiments and motives to Japanese individuals and to the Japanese Government. It has been said that in no circumstances can a Japanese immigrant, or even a Japanese born in the United States, be instinctively and unalterably loyal to the American flag. It has been charged in Californian propagandist literature that the Japanese Government retains control over the Japanese in America and countenances their secret disloyalty to the country of their adoption or birth.

“Very earnestly do I wish exaggeration and misstatement relative to this question might be avoided. I wish it could be discussed with no passion except a passion for the truth. That the Japanese in the United States are disloyal to that country, or that they are capable of desiring evil in any form to overtake it, I cannot believe. And one thing I know: it is unthinkable and impossible that any Japanese Government should support, or should fail to condemn, any sentiment or agitation by the Japanese in America unfavorable to the institutions or the welfare of the American people. Such sentiment or agitation would ruin those beneficent relations which Japan is resolved to nurture between America and herself.

Japan’s Attitude Toward Emigrants.

“On the question of so-called dual citizenship, I am in agreement with American thought. In terms and in fact, dual citizenship is an irreconcilable contradiction. Citizenship enjoins singleness of allegiance and fidelity. It is perfectly patriotic, of course, for the citizens of one country to be of service to the citizens of another, for benefits flowing across frontiers are world benefits, and every nation is a part of our inter-dependent world. What I am trying to say is that we all can be good world neighbors and at the same time good single-allegiance citizens. But, as the world stands, it is impossible to conceive of dual citizenship as a practical political principle. Japan has abandoned her law in conflict with this view. Japanese born in America, so far as we are concerned, may elect Japanese citizenship; they may not elect both Japanese and American.

“As regards the question of emigration, our whole attitude—the attitude of the Japanese nation—seems to be misunderstood in many quarters abroad. It seems to be supposed that millions of our people are eager to leave home. It seems to be supposed that our population is so great, and is growing so rapidly, that spacious outlets must be found for it in foreign lands. There is no justification for this belief. It falsifies both the feelings of our people and the conditions in Japan. If any nation loves its homeland, the Japanese love Japan—love it in general, and love their own special parts in particular. They not only do not want to emigrate, but do not want to migrate from spots where they were born to other places within their own country. Japan’s territory, home and colonial, is sufficient for her needs for at least a century, and probably two.

Japanese Love for the Homeland.

“Does this mean we have a sparsely peopled country? On the contrary, we have a densely peopled country, and our population is increasing at the rate of perhaps 700,000 a year. In respect of population as related to territory, our position is like that of England, Wales, or Belgium. Japan proper, with an area of one-twentieth of that of the United States, is the home of half as many people—56,000,000—as inhabit your immense continental territory, and the total population of our Empire is close on 80,000,000. That our national problem, our problem of food, clothing and shelter, is a momentous one requires no statement.

“But we are not appalled by it. And we are not driven by it to cast covetous eyes upon other peoples’ territories—still less to dream of war as a means of solution. We are crowded in this island and colonial Empire, but we are far from the end of either our room or our resources. It is not altogether a question of how much arable land you have; it also is a question of how you cultivate it. Japan cultivates her acres intensively. She makes one tan, or a quarter of an acre, feed one mouth; she makes an acre feed four. Congestion exists principally in the southern and southwestern areas. People can migrate from these areas to the north, where there is more room, and they will do so when they must; they will not do so before.

Japan Able To Support Its People.

“There is ample, if not abundant, opportunity for agriculture in Hokkaido, Korea, Formosa, and Japanese Sakhalien. To any one or all of these territories our people can and will move when the pressure of population and economic need becomes strong enough to induce them to leave their homes. We also hope there will be opportunities for Japanese farmers in Siberia—a contingency dependent upon the settled relations that may come about between Japan and Russia. Aside from these agricultural prospects, Japanese skill and labor have much to anticipate in the way of productive occupation. We can become more highly industrialized. We can extend our commerce. Our textiles, for instance, already are selling in a wide Asian market, and we have our fisheries, forests, and mines—all capable of expansion.

“My point is that those observers who represent Japan, because of her relatively small productive territory and her large and growing population, as a peril to world peace either are ignorant of both human and natural realities in Japan, or are actuated by studied injustice and enmity toward this country. Our people, as to the vast majority, do not and never will want to emigrate. If they ask the United States and other countries to deal with them on a plane of equality with other civilized peoples—and the Japanese would not be Japanese if they did not ask this—it is not with any purpose of inundating foreign lands with a Japanese flood. Our people live a simple, hard-working life, but a self-respecting life not devoid of joy, and they probably are as well satisfied as is any other division of the human family.

Conserving the Strength of a Nation.

“Emigration. We have been discussing it from the Japanese point of view—discussing it in the concreate. Now let us look at it in the abstract. What does emigration mean? Does it mean the integration or the disintegration of a people? Does it mean a consolidation or a dissipation of national strength? On what theory can a nationality perpetuate itself and augment its power by scattering itself over the world? To me, in such a conception, we have a strange idea of strategy. I am against emigration. Only the more daring, enterprising, and capable persons are apt to emigrate. To encourage an efflux of its best blood is, to my mind, an extraordinary way of building up a nation ambitious to play a splendid role in history. I wonder if we sometimes do not flatter ourselves in fancying that alien peoples long to quit their own shores for ours.”

One enjoyed the twinkle in Viscount Kato’s eyes.

“It rather would seem,” I ventured to remark, “that, if Japan fought a foreign war to get a place for her people outside of Japan, she might be forced to fight a civil war to compel them to go and occupy it.”

The Manhood Test in Immigration.

“There are many things more improbable,” replied the Prime Minister.

“What broad principle, in your view, should lie at the base of an immigration policy?”

“Immigration policies, I think, should take account, not of religion or nationality or race or color or geographical distribution, but of intrinsic human merit—qualities of manhood and womanhood, soundness of mind and body, and disposition toward institutions of law, order, and civil liberty. Japan admits the right, even recognizes the duty, of every State to regulate immigration within its borders. What we do not regard as right, and what we deem ill adapted to promote that interracial and international good will which permanent peace builders so highly esteem, is the principle of discrimination among races qua races. To this principle we object. But we are not going to make war about it. We merely are going to argue about it. War will not set the world right; sincere, courteous, well-grounded, illuminating argument may.”

“So you are not going to seize the Philippines or Hawaii?”

Japan Doesn’t Want the Philippines.

Viscount Kato’s face took on a look of hearty amusement.

“Ethics and prudence apart,” said he, “we want neither archipelago, nor anything else that is America’s.”

“You have noted the proclamation of certain politicians in Washington that the world is to have a new Gibraltar?”


“That it is to be in the Pacific?”


“That it is to be Hawaii?”


“What do you think of it?”

“Domestic matters in Japan leave us no time to deal with domestic matters in America,” said the Prime Minister.

“Officially, Japan never has been worried by the movement of American warships in the Pacific?”

“Why should there be any international concern about the movement of friendly warships anywhere?” asked the Japanese statesman. And he added: “American warships in the Pacific, British warships in the Pacific, Japanese warships in the Pacific—we consider them all symbols of civilization in the Pacific.”

“There is in America, I think, considerable interest in Japan’s relations with Russia, and in speculations respecting what is termed an ‘Asian bloc,’ possibly inimical to the best relations between Japan and the United States.”

The Question of Asiatic Alliances.

“‘Asian bloc,’” said Viscount Kato, speaking with more than usual deliberation, “is a phrase with no actual or imaginable correlative in fact. It is a disembodied phrase. It is one of those phrases which float about the intellectual world as tenuous mists float about the physical world. ‘Bloc,’ in the sense suggested, implies some kind of affinity, of homogeneity, of structural likeness, as a binding substance among the component parts. There is no such quality or substance for drawing or holding together an ‘Asian bloc’ of the sort suggested in the theory of an Asian aggregation of power opposed to the United States.

“Japan is individual. Her psychology, like her volcanic islands, stands apart from the mainland of Asia. We are as different from the Chinese as we are from the Americans or the British, and who has detected any identity between the Russians and the Japanese? If we try to establish neighborly relations with China and with Russia, as we always are trying to do, it is not because our hearts have turned away from our Occidental friends in the Pacific; it is because we believe in international amity as a general objective of statesmanship. ‘Orientation’ is a stock word in the vocabulary of international politics. We hear of ‘orientations’ this way and that. If ‘orientation’ means a tendency toward international reconciliation, Japan wishes to ‘orient’ in all directions.

“Our point of view is illustrated by the position of England, which looks East and West. English intercourse, political, social, and economic, with the Continent of Europe—her friendship with the European nations—does not detach her from the Atlantic nor lessen her desire for Atlantic friendships. Japan has inevitable relations with her neighbors of the Asiatic mainland. She is on good terms with China as a result of mutual consideration. Urgent territorial, economic and social exigencies required a resumption of diplomatic relations with soviet Russia, though Japan has no sympathy with sovietism as a political and social system and will permit no communist propaganda in this country. I cannot state too strongly that our conciliatory and constructive policy toward the Orient entails no reverse policy toward the Occident.

Commercial Relations With America.

“America, particularly, is not a country Japan would choose to alienate. Aside from our historical, cultural, and aspirational relationships, and aside from our correlation to the problems of world society—to all of which Japan attaches importance—the United States is of immense concern to us commercially and financially. She is our best customer—buys annually more than $250,000,000 worth of our silk alone. Do you think we are likely, in sport or malice, to begin hurling shrapnel or high explosive shells at that market? We need American capital and are getting it. Could we afford to lose the confidence of American wealth? On the other hand, who can spend a day in Japan without appreciating Japan’s commercial value to the United States? American material and manufactures form the foundation of our life. Who but a madman, American or Japanese, would dream of thrusting a sword through this interlacement?”

“You do not believe in international blocs?”

Co-operation by the Nations.

“I believe in a single human sodality.”

“In the League of Nations?”

“In the master idea of the League of Nations—that of an inquiring, reasoning, justice-seeking world, inflexibly bent upon settling its questions and directing its affairs by moral means and not by violence. True, the League takes cognizance of matters beyond the range of Japanese interest and knowledge. Our people, for example, do not know what or where Riga is. But they understand the grand aim of the League—to promote the health, prosperity, and peace of the world—and they are wholeheartedly for that aim.”

“You are a nationalist?”

“All Japanese are nationalists, and intense nationalists, as is the wont of island peoples.”

“You do not believe in a super-State?”

“No. But I believe in independent States working together honestly and generously for the common weal. Such work, of course, necessitates clear and candid statements of national points of view, and no statement of this kind should be taken as offensive or as implying a recourse in any circumstances to force majeure. In other words, every State should be allowed to put forward its case as fully and powerfully as possible, without incurring suspicion of a hidden purpose to pass from unsuccessful arguments to war. International candor is indispensable to international understanding and a frictionless internationalism.”

“What is your opinion of classical culture as an aid to the concord of peoples?”

Culture and Sound Leadership.

“Assuming ‘classical culture’ to signify a high development of the human mind and soul, I suppose one could not exaggerate its worth to civilization. Intelligence and sympathy are qualities of inestimable moment. Our world is shrinking rapidly through mechanical audacity and skill. Diverse systems and customs and temperaments are meeting at close quarters. Superficial differences tend to create confusion of thought, irritation, suspicion, alarm. Penetration is needful. Fellow feeling, compassion, humanism, are needful. But ‘the classics,’ in Japan, does not necessarily mean Latin and Greek. Our written language, you know, is not by alphabet, but by ideograph. Of these characters we have some 10,000, so that our students generally have little time to spend upon the Greek and Roman languages and literatures. However, our educational ideals are high and our faith in humanistic culture second to none.”

“You favor aristocratic leadership?”

“If you mean leadership by the best—yes. And the whole of society can and ought to aspire and strive to be of the best. Upon the real aristocracy, the intellectual and moral noblesse, of a community, one need not say, rest especial obligations of leadership and public duty.”

“Is Japan becoming more democratic?”

“Undoubtedly. Possibly our people are disposed to go ahead too rapidly. There is little conservatism in Japan—no such repugnance to change as is found in England. If a thing seems good to the Japanese, they say, ‘Let us adopt it at once.’ They are prone to be too quick to reject the old and take the new. We now have universal suffrage and shall see how it works. If there are dangers, I have no great fears. Predisposed to advance swiftly, our people are not destructionists. They are loyal to the throne, proud of their traditions, and passionately devoted to the vision of a useful and honorable place for their Empire in the family of free and peaceful nations.

“Freedom, I think, we understand. We understand it is not anarchy or license. We understand, on the contrary, that anarchy and license annihilate freedom. This realization is imbedded in the Japanese consciousness. Therefore, I am not alarmed by the strongly progressive nature of our citizens. I am not alarmed by their new enthusiasm for individual liberty and responsibility. I am not afraid of universal suffrage. I am persuaded our liberties will deepen our loyalty and invigorate our patroitism. For, after all, how can a man be truly loyal, truly patriotic, unless he be free?”

“Do you discover, now and again, misinterpretations of Japanese character?”

Japanese Are Like Other People.

Viscount Kato chuckled.

“I read in books some interesting observations on Japanese life,” said he. “I read in English and in American books that Japanese babies never cry. Those of us who have Japanese babies know better. I read in books that the Japanese people are always cheerful. In reality, of course, they are like their babies in that when they have something to be glad about they are glad, and when they have something to be sad about they are sad. We have pleasant and unpleasant people, strong-minded and feeble-minded people, wise men and fools, saints and rogues. In external pigmentation we are more or less different from other sections of humanity, but in internal pigmentation we seem to be about the same.”

“You believe mankind to be spiritually of one kin?”

“I do.”

“Do you believe in interracial marriage?”

Preserving Japanese Civilization.

“I do not.”

“And your reason?”

“Because I think the overwhelming weight of advantage and happiness lies on the side of racial integrity. Biological consequences do not seem to me to be the main consideration. It is not chiefly a question of physiology or animality. It is a sociological and psychological question. It is a question of emotion and mentality, of where and how one lives, of countless associative subtleties. It is a human question.”

“You would preserve Japanese civilization by preserving the Japanese?”

“Yes. We feel our civilization, so preserved, has its own distinct value for, and its own distinct place in, the life of the world. Japan never will use her power as a weapon of selfish aggression—the most stupid act a nation can commit—but for the preservation of her Japanese heritage she will make any sacrifice. To the perfection of this heritage our sister nations have contributed much. These contributions we gladly acknowledge. Our one desire is to go forward in equal honor with those nations, each placing its special gifts at the service of all.”

Our conversation, to me of absorbing interest, was at an end. It had been uninterrupted and had lasted two hours. Viscount Kato accompanied me into the large hallway adjoining the drawing room and stood smiling and bowing, in the charming Japanese way, until I was gone. I felt I had been in the presence of a man whose words were a faithful mirror of his mind. I could understand why Lord Grey took pleasure in his company and had every confidence in his character, and why Viscount Kato’s ambassadorial work in England, where he laid the foundations of Anglo-Japanese friendship, ranks high in the diplomatic annals of Japan.

Mirroring a Statesman’s Mind.

How long he will occupy the great position of Prime Minister of the Japanese Empire I dare not predict. But I do venture the prophecy that so long as he remains Prime Minister his acts will not belie the foregoing exposition of his views. Viscount Kato admits that Japan has fools as well as wise men. I think he is one of the wise ones.

Takaaki Kato imprimatur.jpg

Another Great Japanese Talks

Statement of the Views of Baron Kijuro Shidehara

Japan’s Foreign Minister

“Japan Deprecates All Segregative Movements Inimical to the Aggregative Interests of the World.”

Baron Shidehara.jpg

Photograph by Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C.

Kijuro Shidehara of Japan

Baron Shidehara, Foreign Minister of Japan, received me with friendly dignity in his beautiful private room at the Foreign Office in Tokyo. He advanced from his desk to meet me and shook hands firmly.

“I am glad to see you,” said he, smiling like an old friend, as he inclined both well-set head and sturdy body—a flash at one and the same instant of culture and of force.

“This racial question between America and Japan is always changing,” said the statesman, speaking in pure English, after we had sat down beneath a wide, lofty window. “It is in a position now markedly different from that which it occupied when I first gave serious thought to it. Do you chance to remember what were called the ‘Morris-Shidehara conversations’ in Washington?”

“Very well,” said I.

“Those conversations were carried on with earnestness. Both Mr. Morris and myself desired nothing else so much as a solution of the Americano-Japanese racial problem satisfactory to both parties. Our discussions were without any feeling except the feeling of mutual respect and friendship. It was said that the problem turned upon the assimilability or unassimilability of the Japanese as members of the American social community.

“Touching this question Mr. Morris and I agreed that there had not been time enough to determine whether the Japanese were or were not assimilable in America, as the British and the Scandinavians, for instance, have proved to be in that country. It had been scarcely more than a quarter of a century—the ‘Morris-Shidehara conversations’ took place five or six years ago—since the Japanese entered America in appreciable numbers. There had not been time to tell whether they would or would not turn out good Americans.

Testing Japanese Assimilability.

“‘How,’ we asked ourselves, ‘can a reliable test be made?’ We agreed that a practicable plan would be virtually to stop further Japanese immigration in America until the Japanese already there could be given a chance to demonstrate their quality in respect of assimilation into the general American social body. At this point I emphasized what I deemed a substantial condition, namely, that while the test was proceeding every encouragement be given the Japanese in America to adopt the American standpoint and way of life if they could.

“I pointed out to my American colleague a grave mistake made by Japan with reference to an alien element in our population. This element presents a curious analogy in connection with the problem of the Japanese immigrants in America. I mean a special class of people who are social outcasts. There are said to be 1,200,000 scattered over Japan. Their origin is uncertain and mixed. Some are descended from Chinese and Korean immigrants and some from aborigines. Most of them were originally and for generations engaged in tanning and butchers’ work, considered by Buddhists to be unclean.

The Alien Element in Japan.

“I told Mr. Morris about these people, how we ostracized them in old days, how we drove them into settlements apart. I had seen our people doing it. I myself, as a boy, had had my irresponsible part in it. Persons of this class used to appear in front of our house and seek work as menders of our clogs or wooden shoes. They were not permitted to come inside our fence. We threw our clogs out to them, they did their work, threw the clogs back, and we tossed the pay into their hands. We called them unassimilable, while ourselves denying them all opportunity of assimilation.

“We made a mistake. Our course was politically, socially, and economically wrong as well as un-Christian and inhuman. These persons are now treated in every way as our equals. But the antagonism fostered by centuries cannot be swept away in a day. They are still with us, still living in their separate communities, still in their hearts hostile to us, still a problem to vex social relations, perplex statesmanship, and grieve humanitarianism. We should have reached out to welcome them and not to cast them away. If we had done that, they long ago would have merged in our community beyond all trace, and today there would be no irritating problem in Japan such as this particular class presents.”

The Error of Making Outcasts.

Baron Shidehara was thinking and speaking carefully, manifestly searching his mind for his real meaning and for exact words to express it, imparting to his remarks precision and solidity. From time to time he looked into my eyes as if to say, “Are you interested—do you understand me?” His face now and again wore an unrelenting expression, but as the talk proceeded I found him capable of smiling delightedly and of laughing in that fashion which springs only from the liveliest sense of humor. I found also he cold relax into simple, easy narrative, as will appear later in his story of the colloquies between himself and the late Lord Bryce. Thoroughly Japanese is Baron Shidehara in physiognomy, temperament, manner, and patriotism, tingling with the spirit of today, but ruled by deliberation and sagacity.

“My point of view as expressed to Mr. Morris,” continued Baron Shidehara, “was that America, in dealing with her Japanese population, well might consider our mistake respecting a certain part of our population. It seemed to me, and I so stated, that an attitude of sympathy, of welcome, of invitation to assimilation, might yield a result diametrically different from that of an attitude of coldness or persecution or ostracism. Parenthetically, I would say that I personally have been surprised by what I have seen in evidence of Japanese assimilability to Americanism. I have seen in Tokyo a group of American-born Japanese children who amazed me by their likeness, in dress, speech, and manners, to American children. These little visitors of Japanese blood could not speak a word of Japanese.

American Attitude Toward Japanese.

“Your Ambassador, Mr. Morris,” the Foreign Minister went on, “raised two points in criticism of conditions in Japan relative to the relations of America and this country. He liked neither our law of nationality nor our law of property affecting aliens. At that time a Japanese subject, wherever born, remained a Japanese subject in the view of Japanese law unless and until such subject, by his own act, renounced his Japanese citizenship and adopted another. Now, under American law, a person born in America becomes an American citizen without any act of his own—acquires American citizenship automatically by virtue of birth in the country.

“It followed, therefore, that American-born Japanese inherited two citizenships, Japanese and American. Mr. Morris objected to this dual allegiance, and his objection seemed to me reasonable. His position concerning our law of property I also felt able to regard not unfavorably. On my return to Japan, and on becoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, I recommended to the Diet and alteration of our laws of nationality and property in accordance with the point of view urged upon me by Mr. Morris. My recommendation prevailed. Our laws were changed. As to Japanese emigration to the United States we stopped it in conformity with the terms of the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’.”

Doing Away With Dual Citizenship.

“You then felt,” I remarked, “that Japan had done all she could to clear the way for the test of Japanese assimilability in America and to advance toward a complete Japano-American accord?”

“That is how we felt.”

“And what should you say of the American response?”

“I will tell you a story,” replied Baron Shidehara, his air of close thought passing and a reminiscent smile breaking over his face. “I was in Washington when the American Congress took action with reference to the Panama tolls question. Lord Bryce was British Ambassador to Washington then. On the Sunday following the act of the Congress I dropped in, as was my occasional wont, to see Lord Bryce at the British Embassy. In the course of our desultory talk I said to Lord Bryce, ‘Your objection to the tolls bill has been overruled.’ ‘Yes,’ was his reply. ‘What are you going to do about it?’ I inquired.

When Americans Make Mistakes.

“Lord Bryce looked at me calmly. ‘Nothing,’ said he. ‘There is nothing to be done. There is no use in doing anything. The American people may make mistakes. They may commit injustices. But, in the end, they always of their own will put them right. It is in their history.’ On our side—the side of Japan—things had not been going as we should have wished in California. Indeed, almost at the same time that the Congress passed the toll the legislature of California passed the anti-alien land law. Presently Lord Bryce said to me, ‘And what are you going to do about the California situation?’ I replied instantly, ‘We are going to do what you are going to do—nothing’.”

After some unfeigned laughter, Baron Shidehara continued: “Shortly before the wise and delightful British statesman died, we chanced to meet again in Washington. He had come over to speak at the Institute of Politics in Williamstown. He ran down from New York to Washington to call upon some of his old friends at the State Department, and we encountered each other in the reception room. We had a chat. It was of old times in the American capital. Panama tolls came up. ‘You see I was right,’ said Lord Bryce. ‘Yes,’ I agreed, ‘you were right about the Panama canal.’ Lord Bryce glanced at me and we smiled. ‘California,’ said I, ‘still awaits the fulfillment of your prophecy.’”

A Prophecy of Understanding.

“Do you think history,” I inquired, “will prove Lord Bryce a bad prophet relative to Japan?”

“No,” answered Baron Shidehara with emphasis. “We all in this country, or certainly those of us who know America, retain our confidence in her fundamental love, not only of justice, but of generosity. We believe that one day she will understand us. We believe that her distrust of us, so far as she has any such distrust, will disappear. We believe that a national American demand for justice and fairness and neighborliness toward the Japanese in the United States will sweep away all misrepresentation, all misunderstanding, and with them all discrimination by American citizens against the Japanese within their gates and the Japanese race as a race. There will be no trouble about it. Knowledge of facts and conscience will do the work. America and Japan will continue to stand side by side, with friendly sister nations, as guardians of the peace of the Pacific.”

“You have no ambition to ‘swamp America,’ with your people?”

Japan’s Views on Emigration.

“We have no ambition to swamp any country with our people. We do not want to send America a single Japanese to whom she objects. That would not be good for her or us. It is sentiment and principle and devotion to the amity of peoples—not the wish or necessity of emigration—that actuate Japanese citizens and the Japanese Government in respect of the discriminatory clause in the American immigration law.”

“It has been reported in America that the ‘real’ Japan does not welcome the effort in America to have Japan included in the quota. Is this true?”

“It is entirely untrue.”

“Is the immigration problem the only important problem between Japan and America?”

“It is the only one.”

“Japan will press for the removal of all forms of discrimination against the Japanese people by whomsoever practiced?”

“In a friendly way—naturally.”

“Is it probable that obdurate Occidental indifference to Japanese susceptibilities would issue in an Asian entente of some solidarity?”

Opposed to Provocative Alliances.

“No. Such an entente would hold out no promise of what we are seeking, namely, all-round recognition of the principle of equality for our people.”

“Would such an entente contravene tendencies toward a settled world peace?”

“Decidedly. Japan deprecates all segregative movements inimical to the aggregative interests of the world. I mean that we are opposed to the development of combinations of powers pursuing particular rather than general world aims. Such combinations, in our opinion, tend to build up the mental and material conditions of warlike conflict. Our conception parallels the general conception of the League of Nations as we understand the League.”

“Japan’s dominant moral and intellectual forces are for universal and permanent peace?”

“Beyond all question.”

“Do you think Moscow hopes to exploit Japano-American difficulties favorably to its ideas of world-wide communism?”

On Bolshevists and Bolshevism.

“If it so hopes, it will be disappointed.”

“Do you think Russian communism really intends, if it can, to destroy so-called capitalistic society?”

“Its constitution, I believe, contains a clause declaring such a purpose.”

“Have you any kind or degree of sympathy with the bolshevists?”

“It is not my province to criticize principles of government in any foreign country. I can say, however, that bolshevism, so far as I can penetrate it, is utterly repugnant to the elementals of Japanese tradition and character. But I am not without a certain sympathetic feeling toward bolshevists as distinguished from bolshevism—toward the human beings, that is to say, who have sprung this unexampled and puzzling doctrine upon the world. Most of the bolshevist leaders are Jews. Their blood is the blood of a race long and cruelly persecuted. May not an error of judgment of the modern world, and an emotion, perhaps, of revenge, run in that blood?

“Moreover, the Russians now in power are survivors or descendants of the age-long tyrannies of the Czars. Their memories are bitter memories. They remember nothing but serfdom, bloody suppression, denial of human right, exile. How could they have what we should term a normal psychology? How could they be expected to feel anything but terror and enmity with reference to those political and economic systems which, in their imagination, resemble the regimes of the Czars? May they not really believe that we should enslave and exploit them, if we could, and that consequently a passion on their part to extirpate us is a righteous passion?

The Product of Age-long Tyrannies.

“I am not answering these questions; I am asking them. I do not understand bolshevist mentality. But I never try to understand anything without a sympathetic exploration of its background. My idea is to seek a cure for the destructive pathology of bolshevists, not by withdrawing from them, but by cautiously and prudently endeavoring to establish an educative intercourse with them. Non-bolshevist nations, I need not say, have no wish to wrong Russia, but every wish to see her orderly, prosperous, and content, and to have her take her place in the peaceful concert of civilization.”

“Do you know of any national government or organized movement with aims prejudicial to Japano-American friendship?”

Progressive Forces in Germany.

“Not now. China gave some evidence of such a disposition at the time of the Versailles Conference, but I am aware of nothing of the sort in any quarter at present.”

“Is any part of Japan sympathetic with the reactionary elements in Germany?”

“No, indeed.”

“Do you anticipate any reactionary revival in Germany from Hindenburg’s election?”

“No. My belief is that Germany will persist in the path of democracy and peace.”

“Is Japan satisfied with the principle of the Open Door in China?”

Labor’s International Interest.

“That principle cannot be too strictly enforced to suit us.”

“It gives you natural advantages?”

“It gives us great natural advantages. Besides, it accords with our idea both of justice to China and of the universal welfare. International grasping for selfish advantage in China would threaten humanity with an immeasurable disaster.”

“Is Japan free from the menace of internal subversive agitation?”

“Not free from it, but, I think, not seriously threatened, nor more threatened than any other great State. Government everywhere, of course, is beset with new problems in our growingly complex modern political and social existence. For instance, international labor attractions are a fresh concern of government. For the first time in Japan we have had a delegation from Japanese labor visiting the Foreign Office to protest against our measures for preserving order and protecting the rights of our nationals in China. Our reply was that we were not interfering in the strikes as economic struggles but as developments dangerous to life and property. It is a new thing with us—this sign of local labor unrest without the faintest practical local interest. But we are not alarmed over it. I merely mention it as an illustration of the increasing weight of public-order burdens in every part of the world.”

Our last words—the last words of an interview that had occupied the best part of two hours—were relative to the Pacific. As we shook hands at parting, I said to Baron Shidehara:

Friendship of the Pacific Powers.

“I may state that Japan values exceptionally an entente with the principal Occidental Pacific powers?”

“You may state that with every assurance of accuracy. How highly I personally reckon an entente with the principal Occidental Pacific powers is reflected in my pride that I had a part in drafting the Four-Power Treaty at the Washington Conference.”

Baron Kijuro Shidehara, born in Osaka prefecture, aged 54, was graduated from the college of law of the Tokyo Imperial University. Entering the Foreign Office in 1896, he rose rung by rung until he became Foreign Minister in June, 1924. His diplomatic career has been long and honorable. In various capacities he has served in Washington, London, Antwerp, and The Hague. From 1915 to 1919 he was Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. From 1919 to 1922 he won his great popularity at Washington as Japanese Ambassador to the United States. His barony was the reward of his services in the Great War.

Baron Shidehara imprimatur (Japanese).jpg
Baron Shidehara imprimatur.jpg

Future of the Philippines

Interviews with

Manuel Quezon
President of the Philippine Senate

Sergio Osmeña
Senator and ex-Speaker of the Philippine Lower House

Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood
Governor General of the Philippines

“As It Is Deadly to an Individual to Lack Liberty, Reasonable Liberty, the Liberty Stopping Only at the Boundary of the Liberty of Others, So It Is Deadly for a Nation to Lack That Liberty Which Stops Only at the Boundary of the Liberty of other Nations.”—Quezon.

“Both Life and Liberty Would be Perfectly Safe Under Filipino Sovereignty. We Have Proved Our Capacity to Govern.”—Osmeña.

“It Is Intolerable That an Uneducated Electorate, Harangued by Political Aspirants to Power and Emolument, Should Frustrate America’s Long, Laborious, and Expensive Struggle to Build a Firmly-Based Christian State in the Philippines, and Also Jar the Delicate Interracial and International Balance in the Pacific Inimically to the Cause of World Peace.”—Leonard Wood.

Manuel L. Quezon

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Photograph by Cas. Jeronimo, Madrid, Spain

“You want complete and immediate independence for the Philippines?” I remarked to President Manuel L. Quezon of the Philippine Senate, perhaps the most influential Filipino leader at the present time.

“Yes,” was the reply.

“You see no danger to the Philippines or the peace of the Pacific and the world in a withdrawal of the United States from the archipelago and its waters?”

“None. On the contrary, I think untrammeled statehood for the Philippines would reinforce peace influences in the Pacific and elsewhere.”

“You should expect no aggression against the islands from any source?”

“Not from any source. When people talk about warlike movements against a free Philippines, they have in mind just one nation. They do not mean Russia or China or France or England. They mean Japan. Let us, therefore, consider the question of what Japan might be expected to do if the Philippines were liberated and left to their own resources. I will say at once that Japan, in my opinion, would not dream of any hostile act toward us and I will explain why I think so.

“In the first place, I believe Japan to be nonaggressive. I believe both her heart and her mind urge her to international peace. I am convinced she sees no profit, only universal disaster, in war. Japan will fight, if I understand her, only to preserve her national security and to defend those rights and interests which seem to her indispensable to her liberty and life. Such rights and interests do not beckon her far afield; they lie within the circumference of her natural and legitimate position in the Far East.

Japan’s Peaceful Purposes.

“But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose that Japan is not peaceful, but warlike. Even then the Philippines would be of very little use, if any, to her unless she contemplated hostile operations against the United States or Australia, and every student of Japanese feeling, thought, and policy knows she contemplates no such thing. Were it otherwise—were her instincts and ambitions really running in the direction of expansion by conquest—how could she embark upon such a course?

Let us indulge in the fantastic conjecture that she desires to attack the peaceful country of the United States.

“Let us forget the frightful devastation of the earthquake of 1923. Let us forget Japan’s financial, industrial, and social difficulties and the burdens that closely contiguous foreign problems place upon her statesmanship. Let us put all these things out of mind and assume that the Asiatic Island Empire wants to go to war with the American Republic, the richest and most powerful country in the world. Japan could not strike from the Philippines; at the very least she would need Hawaii, and who does not realize that even so her enterprise would be desperate? The thought that Japan may some day want to attack the United States is to every sane mind too preposterous for even hypothetical discussion.

If Japan Should Attack America.

“As for Australia, Japan knows that any war or attack upon that country would raise against her—on the instant and with all their wealth, armament and indomitable fighting spirit—the combined nations of the Anglo-Saxon world.

“Very well, then. If Japan does not want the Philippines as a stepping stone to conquest, would she want these islands as a defensive base? I can conceive of no principle of strategy that would cause her to covet them for such a purpose. It is obvious, indeed, that possession of the Philippines would be a source of weakness, not of strength, to the Japanese, if they were attacked. They have Formosa and Formosa is in the right line for their defense and nearer home. If Japan were attacked, she would not scatter her forces; she would concentrate them. If she had naval craft in Philippine waters, she quickly would withdraw them to the support of her main fleet.

If Japan Should Seize the Philippines.

“If the United States removed its authority and its fighting forces from the Philippines, neither Japan nor any other power would molest us. If Japan moved against us, whether America did or did not call upon her to halt, Britian would call upon her to halt and compel her to halt. Australia’s cry easily would reach to Downing Street and it would be augmented by the cry of every British possession in Asia. Britain would threaten Japan, not from British home waters, but from Singapore and Hongkong, and if Japan had naval or military contingents here or on their way hither she speedily would recall them to her vital defensive lines. Surveying the whole horizon of possibilities, I can discern no presage of an attempted seizure of this archipelago as a result of an American withdrawal.

“On the economic side also there is an utter absence of incentive to Japan to incur the reprobation of the world by interfering with the freedom of the Philippines. Japan does not want the Philippines for her people. The Japanese are not a tropical people. They are a people of the temperate zones. Their whole organic and temperamental adaptation is to a climate different from that of our latitude. If they do not like weather too cold—as they do not—neither do they like the meteorology of the tropics. Japanese die here in great numbers. We once had some 15,000. They came to work in the hemp fields. Probably not more than 5,000 are left. In all the centuries of the past, before Spain came, during her 330 years here and since she went away, no considerable body of Japanese ever availed itself of its liberty to enter the Philippines at its own will.

Japanese Dislike the Tropics.

“Why, then, anticipate at this time an emigratory flood of Japanese in this direction? They will not come. Nor has Japan anything to gain by seeking a preferential industrial or commercial position in the Philippines. Efforts of that kind would run directly counter to her interests, and she knows it, for Japan has an enlightened people and leadership in these days.

“What she wants in this group of islands is what she wants on the mainland of Asia—the Open Door. It promises her more than anything else. ‘Open Door’ means equality of opportunity to all States, big and little, and under the ægis of this principle Japan not only keeps the good will of the world, but enjoys all the material advantages appertaining to her geographical position relative to the Philippines and the entire Far East.”

Orientals Who Are “Possessed.”

“What would be the repercussion of Philippine emancipation in British, French, and Dutch possessions in Asia?”

Mr. Quezon smiled a somewhat wry smile.

“Naturally,” said he, “every vindication of the rights of man stimulates all who are struggling for the rights of man. Peoples do not like to be ‘possessed.’ They long to be free. Freedom in this archipelago, I have no doubt, would be welcomed by and would give encouragement to all Asiatics and others under alien rule. I should not be surprised if Britain, France, and Holland would be pleased to see the American flag continue to fly over these islands in perpetuity. But to those nations I will say a word in all friendship. It is this: What their subject peoples ultimately do will not be determined by anything which happens in the Philippines.

“What do I mean? I mean that when the millions of the Indies, of Java and Sumatra, and of China are ripe for freedom they will take their freedom regardless of what the muse of history shall have meted out to the Philippines. If America elects to hold the Philippines she can hold them for all time so far as we can see, because we Filipinos are numerically weak. But look at India! Four hundred millions of people! Forty millions in the Dutch islands—more than in unconquerable France! And China—her people are countless! When those peoples become nationally self-conscious, when they are unified and organized, no power on earth will be able to dominate them or retain so much as a toehold on their territory against their wills.”

When Far Eastern Peoples Strike.

“How do you think Australasia would feel over the hauling down of the stars and strips in the Philippines?”

“Very likely she would be alarmed. But I do not think her alarm would be justified in the smallest degree. White men in the south Pacific fear Japan. Their fear, I am sure, has no basis in fact. It is purely fanciful. But, as I have said, Japan would not dare, whatever might be her desire, to start upon a career of militaristic imperialism. She would not dare to trouble the Philippines and still less Australia or New Zealand.

“If America is defensively of importance to white civilization in the Southern Hemisphere—as she unquestionably is—it is not because she is in the Philippines. It is because of her tremendous, her almost measureless, strength at home, with its unmistakable implications.”

When Colored Races Achieve Power.

“What do you expect to see if and when the Asiatic peoples shall have power commensurate with their numbers?”

“I expect to see the States of the world living together harmoniously on the basis of universal respect for their several political and territorial rights.”

“You do not expect that the colored races, by way of retaliation, will attempt to dominate white peoples?”

“I do not. International education is advancing. We are wise today in at least some things in which we were foolish yesterday. Our wisdom will increase with the years. Both practical knowledge and the humanities, in my judgment, are on the march against the ignorance and the inhumanity of which we have seen so much in history. It will be a century, if not more, before Asia can stand erect in the full majesty of a strength now only potential. By that time, let us hope, the moralities of the world, not armies and navies, will be the sheet anchor of its national liberties.”

“You think colonial possessions are mischievous?”

Fruits of Colonial Possessions.

“I think they tend to breed war. It is a historical fact that they have bred war. They bred the World War. Germany came upon the international scene late. Earth’s treasure grounds had been parceled out to her rivals. She wanted colonies. She felt that her greatness, actual and latent, demanded colonies. She was willing to fight for them. She fought and was crushed, but the world was terribly crippled in the process. Colonies are still with us and still a source of bitterness, unrest, and possible war. Nations must give up the idea of seizure, of domination, of obtaining raw materials and trade anyhow, of force—nations must walk in the ways of humanity and justice—if they want peace.”

“What is your estimate of America’s contribution to Philippine development?”

“It has been a great contribution. America has been remarkable not only for what she has done but also for what she has not done affecting Filipino development. She had it in her power to practice in these islands the creed of the military despot, and she did not do so. She co-operated with us in our efforts to make the Philippines a prosperous country. She promoted education, liberal and political. She fostered applied science. Economic and financial aid accompanied the Americans into the Philippines. All America did and all we did, as we consistently have been led to suppose, were predicated upon the theory that one day the Philippines would be free. We believe the day when they ought to be free has arrived.”

“You think the Filipinos are able to maintain order and administer justice in the islands?”

Disadvantages of Alien Control.

“Decidedly so. What Filipino of any class or type could wish to see the American flag come down here, if he were able to believe that our civilization would come down with it—that we should have a welter of slaughter, villages on fire, people shelterless and hungry, a stricken country?”

“You do not believe in alien control, however benevolent?”

“No. Alien control and native progress to the maximum of native capacity are incompatible. For material and for moral reasons I am pleading for the independence of my country. It is arguable, and I consider it true, that mutual benefit may accrue for a time to a dominating country and the country dominated. There has been this time of mutual benefit as between America and the Philippines. But, in such a conjuncture, a stage is certain to be reached at which the dominating country begins to stand in the way of the interests, material and moral, of the country dominated.

“Let us call America the most generous, as she is the most powerful, nation in the world. She always, none the less, must remain America. America must come first with Americans. American sovereignty must be inviolate. There must be no fiscal arrangements, no fixing of channels of commerce, not concordant with American interests, though such arrangements or direction might promote Philippine interests. We claim the right on behalf of the people of the Philippines to consider their interests first, just as America has the right to consider American interests first. We want to make our own tariff laws and our own commercial treaties and do everything else belonging to national sovereignty exclusively with a view to what is best for the Filipinos.

Hampering Philippine Progress.

“That is the material side of the matter. Now the moral side, in my opinion, is still more vital from the standpoint of the welfare of the Filipinos. As it is deadly to an individual to lack liberty, reasonable liberty, the liberty stopping only at the boundary of the liberty of others, so it is deadly for a nation to lack that liberty which stops only at the boundary of the liberty of other nations.

“When we have our unfettered self-rule, I dare say we shall make mistakes, but in that respect we shall not be original or monopolistic. It is by our mistakes that we shall learn. America has aided us to learn much of the art of government, but we can master that art only by self-practice. In politics, as in law or medicine or music or painting, concrete achievement is not in the scholastic sphere, but only in the sphere of scholasticism applied. And, anyway, even in the United States and in England, democracy is still on its trial.”

Learning Democracy by Its Practice.

“It is better for the Philippines to be ill-governed by the Filipinos than well-governed by the Americans?”

“By the Americans or any other non-Filipinos.”

“Have the diverse peoples of the islands, with their varied dialects, a recognizable psychic homogeneity—a national soul?”

“Indisputably. This national soul already has crystallized in striking national decisions—for independence, for joining America in the World War, against huge landed estates,f against applying United States coastwise shipping laws to the Philippines. Our people are politically keen and peculiarly democratic.

“There is not a barrio (city, town, village, or rural district) without its political vigilance, interest and discussion. Ten per cent., over 1,000,000 of our people have the franchise and between 80 and 90 per cent of the registered electors go to the polls on election day. You speak of dialects. We have many. But our major dialects are only three—Tagalog, Visaya and Ilokano—and whoever commands these can make himself understood in every part of the Philippines. All of our people speak one of these languages, which have an extensive printed literature.

Filipinos’ National Aspirations.

“To regard the Filipino peoples as sentimentally and mentally diversified in proportion to their diversities of ethnography or religion or dialect is to misunderstand them completely. They all are Filipinos. They all have nationalistic emotions and aspirations. They are intelligent and proud and ambitious. Independence they know would mean equality of opportunity for Filipinos. Of a political or social caste depriving them of their liberties or otherwise wronging them they have no fear. Such reports they dismiss as contrary to their experience and knowledge. Have they not seen their humblest neighbors rise to positions of dignity and influence in the country? Do they not know that nearly all their leaders have been and are of the people?

“Take myself, for example. Holding the premier elective position in the Philippines, I am a farmer’s son, born on the soil, born poor and without influential friends, reared in one of the remotest villages in these islands, compelled to climb over trackless mountains to come to college in Manila.”

Acceptance of Democratic Views.

“So it will be mettle that will count in a free Philippines?”

“It will be mettle, just as it is mettle in the United States and in every other country where men are free.”

“You say you are peculiarly democratic.”

“We are so because we are unincumbered by monarchic or oligarchic traditions or institutional inheritances. We have nothing of that sort fo destroy. Our ground upon which to erect a pure republic is clear.”

“It is alleged that freedom of speech in the Philippines is suppressed—that the people fear their leaders.”

“That word ‘fear’ should be changed to ‘respect.’ If respect be fear, then the Filipinos fear their leaders, as they have shown on many occasions.

“My advice to any honest inquirer who wishes to know whether free speech is or is not suppressed in these islands is to go out among the people and sound them on any of the burning questions of the hour. He will get their opinion without any trouble. And, if he be a Filipino politician, and venture to speak or vote against independence, he will discover on election day that while the Filipino people have no reason to fear and do not fear their leaders, their leaders have some reason to fear them. Public opinion in the Philippines is not only unsuppressed, but vocal and militant. We have two parties and they must be careful to learn what the people want. Our electors do not vote by ethnographic group, nor by language or dialect, nor according to their religion; they vote as their hearts and minds tell them is right and for the good of the country.”

Political Alertness of Filipinos.

“One is told that an independent Filipino government would solve the Moro problem by stamping out the Moros.”

“We practically governed the Moros during the seven years of the last Administration and had no trouble with them, whereas whenever they have been governed by americans there has been continual trouble with them.

“We naturally understand every element of our population better than can foreigners. We never have been guilty of persecuting the non-Christian peoples of the Philippines. We have been fair and generous to them in respect of education, roads, sanitation, and everything else. From this practice there would be no departure under independence. We believe in educating all our people and promoting their prosperity and happiness in order that we may have a great and contented nation. As for the Filipino leaders, it should be plain to all thinking persons, in my opinion, that they can hope for a future only if their country has a future. They cannot build up fame, joy or even enduring material success upon the ruins of their fatherland.”

Christian Filipinos and Moros.

“What do you think of the Mayo book on the Philippines?”

“Unilateral, extreme, grossly unfair, passionately dedicated to a particular obsession, destitute of validity as impartial criticism.”

“Certain advocates of American annexation of the Philippines, among the points they make, state that ‘we need them in our business’.”

Material Side of the Question.

“Ah,” remarked Mr. Quezon dryly, “that is not an ethical argument. That is the argument of the sugar. That is the argument of the sisal, the copra, the coconut oil, the tobacco, the rattan, the lumber, the pulp, the dye, the rubber. It is not the argument we expect to prove conclusive with the American people. But even this argument has no value because under an independent Philippines you may have our sugar, tobacco, copra, hemp and the rest.”

“Opponents of independence describe your argument—the argument for independence—as ‘doctrinaire’.”

“Our argument is no more an argument of apriority than is that against independence. It is true we base our case, to some extent, upon principles, upon philosophy; but we base it to a larger extent upon the general history of humanity and upon our own particular experience and knowledge. Our argument is a posteriori.”

“It is argued that America’s title to the Philippines is of triple validity, resting upon conquest, purchase, and form cession.”

Validity of America’s Title.

“Our reply is, first, that conquest is no moral justification for the seizure of a country and the deprivation of its inhabitants of liberty; and, secondly, that purchase is not valid when the seller has no right to sell, and cession not valid when the power enacting it is ceding what belongs to others.”

“It is declared that no Malay people, of all the millions of Malays, ever created a nation.”

“That is not true. About the thirteenth century there existed a Malay Empire. But, not troubling to question the sweeping dictum concerning the political ineptitude of the Malay race, I should not regard this point as worthy of serious notice. If no Malay people in all centuries yet has built up a free civilization of its own, I think it high time one were given a chance to try.”

“What would happen in the islands if the Congress of the United States declared the Philippines permanent American territory?”

If Philippine Freedom Were Denied.

“Our people would be profoundly disappointed and depressed. They also would be unutterably surprised. I do not think there would be an uprising, but the Philippine question would not be settled. It would live on as an embarrassment to Americans and Filipinos alike. You have promised us freedom. Our people are being educated for freedom. We Filipino leaders have assured the Filipino people that, if they bore themselves patiently and with dignity, if they strove to lift themselves up, the United States undoubtedly would set them free. They believed us. Their faith is unshaken today. To destroy their hopes would be immoral, illogical, inhuman, and a blunder that history one day inevitably would put right.

“Your great newspaper,” concluded Mr. Quezon, placing emphasis on each word, “is endeavoring to clarify the problems of the Pacific. It is working for the peace of the Pacific and of the world. I should like to say through The Chicago Daily News that, in my judgment, the peace of the Pacific is in the hands of the United States of America. Japan, I repeat, will not fight America or any other nation except in self-defense. I believe American-Japanese relations would be improved by an American withdrawal from the Philippines—not that Japan would lift a finger to get America out, and not that Japan fears American aggression based on these islands, but simply because her going would be interpreted in Japan as a magnanimous act and a definite assurance that the United States has no intention, now or forever, to use her unequaled power for purposes of material or moral domineering in the far east.”

Insuring Peace in the Pacific.

Manuel Quezon imprimatur.jpg

Sergio Osmeña

Sergio Osmeña.jpg

Sergio Osmeña, long of great, if not decisive, weight in the public life of the Philippines—he held the speakership of the popular chamber continuously for fifteen years—was 47 on September 9, 1925. He is clean-cut in face and figure, morally earnest, intellectually acute and powerful, unassuming and charming in manner, and remarkably young looking. In his veins is a generous dash of Chinese blood. His appearance is strikingly Chinese and his temperament and mind suggest Chinese rather than Filipino genius. But he is an ardent, if restrained, Filipino patriot.

Only one other man in Filipino politics—if, indeed, there by one—can be mentioned in the same breath with Osmeña, and that is Senate President Manuel L. Quezon. Quezon has a large admixture of Spanish blood, looks Spanish and shows Spanish temperamental qualities, but he, too, is an ardent Filipino patriot. There hardly could be a sharper contrast then that between these two men. Quezon is blunt, vigorous, affirmative, rather scornful. Osmeña is refined, considerate, moderate in words, sagacious, fair in judgment, given to relatively little utterance and much thought.

Both men, however—Quezon is slightly the younger—are strong featured, have graceful, well-knit physiques, and esteem smartness of dress. There is latent political rivalry between them. At one time this rivalry issued in a definite rift and Quezon formed a new party to reduce the power of Osmeña. Eventually Osmeña and Quezon consolidated their parties and now work together at the head of the nacionalistas, the majority party, with the democrata party, a strong organization, in opposition. How long this teamwork will survive the potentially conflicting personalities, views, and methods of the Chinese-Filipino and the Spanish-Filipino is uncertain, but their mutual passion for independence may keep them in double harness a good while.

Leaders of the Nationalist Party.

Educated in law, philosophy, and letters, and possessing a mind of flexibility and depth, Osmeña has been distinguished in the upbuilding of Philippine institutions and in the technical discussion of Philippine constitutional questions from the first days of the civil government following the defeat of the forces of Aguinaldo. Born in the city of Cebu, province of Cebu, among the southern islands, he was a prime figure in local politics, and in 1906, when the Provincial Governors met in Manila to pave the way for the Philippine Assembly, they chose this young statesman as their presiding officer. His political star has been steadily in the ascendent since.

“You consider there is great moral substance to the claim of the Filipinos to independence?”

Filipino Passion for Independence.

Senator Osmeña and I were sitting alone at a tea table in his charming drawing room on a high point in Manila.

“Great moral substance,” said he, his expression something between a smile and a reminiscent sadness, “inheres in any struggle that has cost a people dearly, that exemplifies an aim more precious to them than life, and that inspires them with ever-growing deliberation and tenacity of purpose. Hearing some comments upon the ambition of the Filipinos for a country absolutely their own, one would be inclined to regard this ambition as a new-born thing, as a frivolous thing, as an insincere thing, as a shallow and ephemeral sentiment.

“It is anything but that. Filipinos have been in moral revolt against foreign domination for an indefinite time. Out of this smoldering fire burst the flames of war first against Spain and then against the United States. Those wars were fought with all that the Filipinos could put into them. Generalship among our leaders attained a high level and there never was any question of the valor of our rank and file. It was an uneven struggle. We carried on as long as we could. Our morale did not fail—not even when our flag came down—but our physical resources did.

“Our national aspiration for freedom survived our disasters in the field. Upon those disasters, indeed, it fed and from them it gained strength. Our heroes, both the known and the unknown, and all the memories of what we had gone through, worked silently but powerfully in the souls of our people. Filipinos said, ‘Heroic things have been done. Filipino women no less than Filipino men have shown themselves great. We were defeated, not because we deserved to be, not because we were stupid or cowardly or in any way unworthy, but because we were materially overwhelmed. A great price has been paid. It cannot be, it shall not be, that that price shall have been paid in vain.’ That is what our people said. Those were the mute musings of their hearts.

Filipino Depression in Defeat.

“Mute musings they were for only a time. They were such only while we were in the black shadow of our defeat. American sovereignty spread quickly throughout the islands. Filipinos prominent in the war stood aloof from the partially autonomous provincial and municipal governments set up by the Americans. An impression was produced that every vestige of the Philippine Republic was gone—institutions, flag, the very soul of the Republic, our aspiration for independence. But that impression was delusive. It was utterly false. There were those mute musings I have mentioned, and they were not long in finding articulate and unmistakeable expression.

“We had fought for independence in the field and had lost. What happened then? There was a limited and fleeting surface sentiment for annexation to the United States—for federalism. This sentiment or suggestion had nothing to do with the deep impulses of the people. It belonged to the flotsam and jetsam of confused political thought. Filipinos, as to leadership and as to the masses, almost immediately realized that the aspiration to be free was irrepressible, and that the struggles for independence begun in war must be continued in peace.”

Working Toward Self-government.

“And how did the surviving political energy and purpose of the people reveal themselves?”

“They revealed themselves in widespread interest in public affairs an in vigorous co-operation with the Americans in the development of a rudimentary Filipino State. Our people took hold of the problems of provincial and local government with enthusiasm and intelligence, and the men of outstanding gifts for leadership set to work to construct a national government. We were given the Philippine Assembly, with representation on the Legislative Commission, and later—Aug. 29, 1916, a luminous day in Filipino history—the autonomous machinery of the Jones law, our Magna Charta. Solemnly and unequivocally, in that law, the American people, through their constitutional representatives, pledged themselves to grant our independence.

“Through almost a full decade the Philippine Assembly, with extraordinary diligence and wisdom, progressively demonstrated the political capacity of the Filipinos. In this work the leaders were guided and sustained by public opinion throughout the archipelago. There was no political lethargy. All the people were as keen as were their chosen representatives to show the world that doubts and misgivings touching our experiment, the first to be tried among a Malayan people subject to the sovereignty of another, were unwarranted. Our electoral battles were contested sharply in the midst of universal attention and the vast majority of our voters went to the polls on election day.

Tests of the Philippine Assembly.

“Our parliamentarians, from the opening hours of their opportunity, displayed a consciousness of our national peculiarities, traditions, and culture and also disclosed parliamentary originality. We were not noncreative. We were not blind copyists. We made many departures from American parliamentary practice and should have made more except for the dual nature of our form of government and the desirability of adopting methods and procedure with which the Americans were familiar. In our Assembly, for example, we avoided two evils—excessive power in a few hands and parliamentary prostration. We preserved the democratic principle in our organization of the House and yet secured the prompt dispatch of public business. Our majority was made effective, but not tyrannical. Though the minority at no time exceeded 20 per cent. of the membership, it was given chairmanships of committees, contrary to the practice int the American Lower House. We believed thoroughly in a minority cohesive and efficient as a vital part of a sound democratic legislature.

“Concern for the good of the people has been conspicuous in the whole of our parliamentary life. We knew we were on trial. Every member loved his country, longed for its independence, and consequently was actuated by a high sense of responsibility. Dereliction wore the color of treason. Expected fratricidal antagonisms did not develop. Debates were earnest and sometimes fiery. We have had our tumultuous sessions, as do all the legislatures of the world, even the oldest and most dignified. But, the debates over, the conflicting standpoints put with all the brilliance and force their partisans could command, we all were friends and sincerely indulged in the usual expressions of courtesy and generosity. Our legislative halls are not bear gardens, firmly though some foreign observers believed they would be.”

Enacting Beneficial Legislation.

“What is your record relative to popular education?”

“Our first measure—the first measure of the Assembly—was an act appropriating a million pesos ($500,000) to build and equip schools in the barrios. Hard words are used about Filipino leaders or politicos. They are represented as disposed to intrench themselves in power and exploit an ignorant and helpless people. If they were so disposed, why should they foster education? Why should they be doing all in their power to produce an educated citizenry? American schools we want to preserve. Every means of elementary and of advanced education we want to promote.

“There is no spirit in the world more democratic than is that of the Filipino nation, and its abused leaders hold positions of leadership only because of their representative character. If these men entertained wicked designs of exploitation, they would not be found appropriating all the national exchequer will bear for primary instruction, for higher special courses for teachers, and for the establishment of an institution such as the University of the Philippines. Education, as everyone knows, is the relentless and resistless foe of wrong and of tyranny.”

Popular Passion for Independence.

“Is there any considerable body of Filipino opinion against immediate and complete independence?”

“No, sir. There may be a few—a very few—men who do not want independence. They are absolutely anti-typical. They are men who think of their money first and of their country afterward. They have no public influence. There is not and never has been a Filipino national party opposed to independence. No man against independence ever has been or can be elected to a post of any kind in the Philippine islands. Our people’s one passion that never will cool and their one vision that never will grow dim are the passion for and the vision of freedom. After all, love of liberty is a universal and immemorial human emotion.”

“Why should some of your rich men be afraid of independence?”

Unity of the Filipino Peoples.

“There is no just reason for them to be afraid of independence. Most of them are not. But there are a few whose peculiar mentality and whose special interests and connections turn them away from the independence movement. Both life and property would be perfectly safe under Filipino sovereignty. We have proved our capacity to govern.”

“What is your attitude to American capital?”

“Our attitude to all foreign capital is friendly, so long as its investment does not move in directions inimical to the principle of the Philippines for the Filipinos. Every nation has an inalienable right to safeguard its national patrimony.”

“What is the actual position between the Filipinos and the non-Christian elements in the island?”

Christian and Non‑Christian Filipinos.

“In the first place, we all—Christian and non-Christian—are Filipinos. Religious and ethnologic differences we have as have other nations, but we all are Filipinos. Our national psychic identity has been increasing in definiteness and in vitality with great rapidity for a quarter of a century. This development grew naturally out of improved communications of every kind, insular and interinsular, and out of the diffusioni of education and cultural influences of all descriptions. Linked together as a nation geographically and acquiring therefrom a distinct national destiny, our peoples long were kept spiritually more or less apart by impassable distances and by a lack of a universal tongue.

“But good roads, the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, safe and quick inter-island ships and a marvelous awakening of popular intelligence have brought our spiritual and mental unity into precise conformity with our geographical unity. This outcome, of course, was certain from the first. It was only a question of time. We now get national decisions on great public matters as readily and as accurately as they are obtained in the most advanced societies.

“Now, with reference to the Moros and the pagans. Supposed irreconcilable hostility between them and the Christian Filipinos is a myth. It is a myth built up and assiduously propagated by two foreign dominations. These dominations strengthened themselves by weakening Filipinos through division. Their theory was to rule by dividing. During the seven years of our greatest degree of autonomy—1914 to 1921—when Filipinos were given relatively a free hand in dealing with the non-Christians, the wall of prejudice deliberately constructed between them and their Christian Filipino brothers was torn down. We got on with the non-Christians harmoniously. They shared with us the consciousness of nationhood. Our language difficulty—the language difficulty of the Philippines as a whole—has been exaggerated to the point of grotesqueness. Everyone opposed to independence descants upon our numerous dialects and their fancied segregating and nationally disintegrating operation. In truth, three dialects are a key to the entire Filipino mind, not to mention the constant spread of English.”

“There has been continuity of purpose and practice in your legislative development?”

Genuine Legislative Development.

“Absolutely. We did not build thoughtlessly. Principles were our guide. We had knowledge of history and of the tried maxims of free government. Besides, we had our own experience of civilized life—our long contact with Western ideas—and our own separate and unique racial inspiration. There is no other way to constitute a national organism—no other way than by consultation of racial fundamentals in the light of the common culture of the world. We did that. If we had done otherwise—if we had depended altogether upon foreign experience and thought—our title to independence would not be what it is. No great oak can rise from or rest upon anything but its own far-spreading roots. Any student of our parliamentarism will have no trouble in picking out its proofs of originality and catholic eclecticism. I may remark, in passing, that we adopted the national budgetary system some years before the United States adopted it and that our secretaries of departments have the right to appear on the floor of the houses of the legislature.”

“What is the crux of the trouble between the Philippine Legislature and the Governor-General?”

Interpreting the Jones Law.

“Antagonistic interpretations of our organic law—the Jones law. It is a constitutional controversy. We hold that the intent of the law was to confer complete internal autonomy upon the Filipino nation. I say ‘internal autonomy.’ I recognize without question the right and the duty of the United States, having regard to tis responsibilities in the existing situation, to exercise sovereignty over our external relations. I do not contend that we legally can take away from the United States the attributes and functions of sovereignty. But I do contend that the Jones law gives us, and was designed to gi ve us, unrestricted freedom in the weaving of a fabric of internal political and social economy. It is, in my opinion, inconsistent with the purpose of the Jones law for the Governor-General to veto any act of the Legislature affecting exclusively our domestic affairs. At the heart of the Jones law, as I understand it, is the intention to liberate the Philippine Legislature to act wisely or foolishly, according to its own volition, in developing a democratic government in these islands. We say to the United States, ‘Let us hammer out our own shape upon the anvil of experience’.”

“Do you not accept the American constitutional principle of the separation of legislative, judicial, and executive powers?”

The Constitution Does Not Apply.

“That principle does not apply to the Philippines. Our basic law is not derived from the American Constitution. Our government is not of the Presidential type. Let me explain. Parenthood of the Jones law is found in the act of the American Congress of July 1, 1902, and the predecessor of that act was McKinley’s command to the Philippine Commission. Neither the act nor the command, organically, is based on the Constitution of the United States. Immediately, their source is the American system of territorial government—more particularly the Jeffersonian plan for the government of Louisiana—and, remotely, the system of colonial government existing in America before the thirteen colonies obtained their independence. In none of the organic charters of the American colonies, nor in any American territorial law, is there identity with the type of government established by the Constitution of the United States. Obviously our Government is not of the Presidential type. We have no President. Our supreme executive is not elected by our people and is responsible to a foreign government. Categorically, moreover, the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that ‘the Constitution did not follow the flag into the Philippines.’ Like a golden threat, through American law and through all American utterances of high official authority, runs the theory that the American people and their statesmen always have meant that the Philippines should develop according to their own genius and should be free.”

“You have no doubt a free Philippines would be peaceful itself and peace-conserving?”

Peace for a Free Philippines.

“None. We are a peaceful people. We are a law-respecting people. We are a property-cherishing people. We work hard. We ask nothing of America and the world except to let us follow unfettered our path of destiny. We shall cause no trouble. We are not uninstructed in either the arts or the proprieties of diplomacy. Nobody will bother us when America removes her sovereignty. National ambitions are not running in the direction of strife now. Governments and peoples want peace. Statesmen are going into the international council chamber instead of dispatching field marshals at the head of troops. I feel the world is on the threshold of that peace for which it has paid so much and for which it has waited so long.”

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Governor-General Leonard Wood

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Photograph by Thompson, Manila, P. I.

Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood, Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, is probably without a rival, Caucasian or non-Caucasian, in his knowledge of the archipelago and the people for which he has supreme immediate responsibility. Certainly Gen. Wood is America’s greatest authority on the Philippine question—one of the most peculiar, important, and difficult questions that ever preoccupied American statesmanship.

Gen. Wood has come to know the Philippines as a result of prolonged first-hand study. This study has been unremittent for more than twenty years. Arriving in the islands in 1903, after his distinguished services in Cuba as Military Governor of Santiago and as Governor-General, he was appointed Governor of the Moro province, comprising the southern islands and some eighteen tribes. Gen. Wood was not only head of the Civil Government, with a Legislative Council, responsible for five districts, but Commanding General of the troops in the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.

For three years, in the capacities named, Gen. Wood was constantly among the people, frequently visiting every tribe and settlement. Then he became Military Commander of the Philippine Division, with headquarters in Manila, whence he continued his diligent investigations. Following this work, he studied the Philippines as chairman of the special mission of investigation, together with W. Cameran Forbes, and a staff of experts, in 1921.

This investigation lasted four months and covered forty-eight of the forty-nine provinces into which the islands are divided. It was a systematic and thorough investigation of all phases of Philippine conditions, geographic, climatic, natural, human, and governmental.

Out of these painstaking inquiries, reaching into 449 cities and towns and involving eleven weeks of travel by sea, rail, motor car, and horse, sprang the great classic on the Philippines—the Wood-Forbes Report to the Harding Administration. In this Report are embodied the fundamentals of the Philippine problem. It is full of illumination to the historical and philosophical mind. Its discoveries and conclusions were the priceless possession of Gen. Wood when he came to the Philippines as the chief officer of the sovereign power, and his knowledge of the islands and the islanders has been ripened and extended by four years of further traveling and by arduous administrative experience.

Gen. Wood, gray, ruddy, sturdy, dignified, received me in the Governor-General’s private office, Malacanang Palace, Manila. He sat in a wide, tall, dark hardwood chair, with bottom and back of cane, and talked rapidly in a low voice. His voice was so low that now and again I had difficulty in catching every word. For the most part the veteran soldier and administrator wore a look of seriousness, if not severity, but two or three times during the conversation his features relaxed, he smiled, and there was an extremely pleasant look in his blue eyes. He has character. He has magnetism. He has brains. He is not only a military man; he is a thinker and a statesman.

American Control Must Continue.

“What do all your inquiries, experience, and thought tell you we ought to do about the Philippines?” I asked the Governor-General.

“That we ought to see our great enterprise through,” he replied.

“That we ought to stay here indefinitely?”



“Because the work we set out to do is only begun. How long it will take no one can say. If we withdrew now, all we have done would be undone, our investment of blood and treasure would be wasted, twenty-five years of idealistic labor would be thrown away, the Filipino people would be heartlessly betrayed, and we should do a criminal disservice to the stability and the highest interest of the world.”

“You believe the Filipinos to be potentially capable of self-government?”

Education Must Come First.

“Potentially, yes. But to translate this potentiality into an actuality will take a long time—somewhere perhaps between a quarter and a half century. It is a matter of rearing and educating occidentally enough Filipinos to govern the country. There are far from enough now. Young educated people are still a small proportion of the population. We need more schools and teachers and a great extension of the English language, which alone can serve as a medium of psychological consolidation among peoples dispersed over thousands of islands and divided by eight-seven different dialects.”

“What are some of the evidences of latent Filipino capacity?”

“These people are property-loving and law-abiding. They are sympathetic, intelligent, hospitable, and neighborly. Their keenness for education is unsurpassed. Parents are willing to make almost any sacrifice to keep their children in school. Filipino teachers are zealous and hard-working. Intellectual activity is apparent in all directions. Political affairs receive more and more popular attention and there is a growing interest in public health and public works. Assimilability to western ideals is marked. Aptitude for politics and a desire to participate in government are conspicuous Filipino qualities.

“But all these things in the Philippines are merely tokens of what can be—not what is—in the way of capacity for self-government. Intellectualism is not a sufficient qualification for the tasks of statecraft and administration. Intellectualism, indeed, may be an evil rather than a good. It is an evil if, as in the Philippines, it tends to run ahead of the more substantial virtues of character. Before you have a government you must have a country to govern; you must have agriculture, industry, commerce, and finance. You must have credit. Too many educated Filipino minds are dazzled by political and professional ambition, too few attracted by the harder and more important tasks of maintaining a civilized society.

Folly That Brought Retrogression.

“That the Filipinos have undeveloped gifts for government has been proved by American experience in the islands. Our earlier efforts here were well-conceived and skillfully executed. They bore excellent fruit. We were making splendid progress. Our Filipino pupils in the theory and practice of democracy, responding eagerly to the experience, ideals, methods, and authority of the Americans, acquired discipline, efficiency, thoroughness, a high sense of responsibility. Then injudicious idealism entered. A great folly was committed. Excessive and too rapid Filipinization from 1914 to 1921 eliminated American experience and installed Filipino inexperience to such an extent that there was an all-around retrogression, legislative, executive, and judicial and in the Philippine Constabulary.

“We must return to our old slow-but-sure method; short cuts are alluring but perilous. I do not mean that the system inaugurated by the Jones law—the system of house and senate and sovereign executive—must be abandoned. It probably should be somewhat modified and it certainly should be made to work. It will not work during the period of our back-sliding in the Philippines. There was not a strict performance of the duties of the Governor-General under the law. There was too much surrendering of executive authority, combined with too much legislative usurpation, interference of political leaders in the general supervision and control of departments and bureaus and the infection of the civil service with politics. Disastrous socialistic experiments were made and the Philippine National bank lost $35,000,000 gold—one of the darkest pages in Philippine history. It has been my work, with the unmistakable good will of the people—of every one but a few leaders—to restore the authority of the Governor-General under the law.”

Self-Rule Would Bring Disaster.

“What do you think would be the immediate results of our leaving?”

“Strife, disorder, bloodshed. They might not come instantly but they would come soon. Moros, whom we have disarmed and who want us to stay and protect them, and Christian Filipinos would fight. Industry, trade, and credit would be ruined, with the inevitable concomitants of idleness, hunger, and anarchy. We should look back upon the plight of these 12,000,000 people, who never have known what it means to defend or sustain themselves, who never have known any freedom except what our flag has given them—we should look back upon their plight with national sorrow, pity, and shame. Japanese would come in, not necessarily as an army, but with their vigorous business methods, and Chinese would swarm hither for all sorts of pursuits. As I have said to Filipino friends, ‘Chinese would hold your valleys; you fellows would be sitting on the hilltops.’”

“What that be all?”

Unsettling the Far East.

“No; that would not be all. We should unsettle the Pacific and the Far East. We should create a situation replete with siniser possibilities. Political impotence, social disorganization, and intertribal conflicts in the Philippines would not be allowed to continue for a great while. Civilized strength, from one quarter or another, would move toward this vortex of trouble and suffering and such a movement might precipitate the worst consequences. In any event, the hope of Philippine independence would be dashed for ages if not for all time. Filipino leaders should be able to see these dangers, but they see only a vision of personal power. They are insensate to encompassing realities. They are bent upon gambling with the fate of their own people and with the peace of the Pacific.

“Conceivably, this peace might not be broken, but the risk is there, and if there were no other consideration in the matter, that risk should impose upon America a sacred obligation to hold the Philippines until it is reasonably sure that all such peril is past.”

“Our presence here, in existing conditions, is needed on the side of the Occident?”

Benefits for Oriental Peoples.

“It is needed on the side of both Occident and Orient. Equilibrium between them promises stability; disequilibrium threatens instability. Our position in the Philippines does not give the Occident overweening strength in the Pacific. It in no sense jeopardizes either the peace or the peaceful trading rights of any power. We are here with the loftiest ideals, not only toward the Filipinos, but toward all our Asiatic neighbors. We want to live on terms of amity and equality with them all. We stand for the Open Door. We stand for a solution of every industrial and commercial, as well as every political, question on a basis of reason and justice and not of force. We have earned, we have paid for, our right to carry our experiment in the Philippines to full fruition, and meanwhile the possession of this archipelago re-enforces our diplomacy touching all international matters in the Orient, among them the principles of the Washington treaties and the Open Door.

“We cannot think of this Philippine question,” said Gen. Wood, with intensified earnestness, “without thinking of civilization as a whole. And civilization, to us, is Christian civilization. We are a stone, if not the keystone, of the arch of Christian civilization in the Pacific. Filipinos, as to all but a tenth of the population, are Christians. Christianity’s humanizing influence shows in their faces and is recorded in their steady moral advance. Paganism and non-Christianity can be broken down only by the impact of spiritual and cultural influences and these will be projected from the base of a highly-developed Christian Philippines as they cannot be projected from the distance bases of America and Europe.

Advancing Christian Civilization.

“America in the Philippines, in other words, insures the effective deployment of Christianity for the regeneration of the world. These are solemn obligations and great opportunities. We can be false to them only at the cost of treason to that faith which we believe to be essential to the highest human development. Let us go out of the Philippines only when we can leave the torch of that faith in strong hands. If we and those who believe as we believe can Christianize the world, in the full psychic and ethical sense of that phrase, we shall rid it of injustice, of human degradation, of social cleavage and conflict, and of international slaughter. I attach immense importance to developing the Philippines as Christianity’s great peaceful outpost in the Pacific.”

“You have every respect for the sentiment of nationality?”

Defects of a Childlike People.

“I have every respect for the sentiment of nationality. But the possession of sovereign national status can be a blessing to a people only when it means national security, when it means sagacity and restraint in foreign affairs, when it means political and economic competence, when it means established law and order, when it means sanitation, education, social justice, personal and religious liberty. National development of this order can rest upon nothing but the development of the individual citizen. Every society stands or falls according to the presence or absence of ability, perseverance, and self-command in its individual members. No society can be made or preserved by a group of politicians, nor by a group of groups of politicians, however notable their intellectual dexterity.

“Our task in the Philippines is to bring up the general level of education and efficiency to a point where the individual citizens of competence are sufficiently numerous to support a stable structure of government, of social relations and of industrial and commercial prosperity. There is no such general level of education and efficiency now. Filipinos, despite their human charm and their many encouraging moral and mental endowments, are generally unoriginal, non-initiatory, non-constructive, and dilettante. They are too childlike, too feeble, for the heavy burdens of statehood.”

“What will you say of the claim that Filipino progress to the highest extent is impossible without liberty?”

Liberty Under the American Flag.

“I will say that the Filipinos, in their present backward condition, have under our flag the only liberty they can hope to enjoy. Their leaders are ready to give up the substance of liberty in a wild grasp for its shadow; they are ready to lead their people into disaster. Lord Northcliffe was right when he told the Filipinos they had more liberty than any other people in the world—shielded from external and internal molestation, lowly taxed, surrounded by the safeguards and ministrations of science, blessed with churches and schools and communications, left entirely free to use their hands or brains as best they can, launched on an even keel on the main stream of modern progress.

“They talk about liberty. Why, America is the mother of liberty as the term is understood in the world today. It is precisely becasuse we love liberty that we are disinclined to leave these islands prematurely and permit them to relapse into slavery. We came into the Philippines not to take away, but to give, liberty. We cannot accomplish our task by scuttling. Filipinos can have liberty only if they accept it from the Americans in the form of that comprehensive culture and discipline, those moral, intellectual, and civic virtues, which alone make liberty possible. I note a Filipino leader’s remark that while his people are grateful to America for what she has done here they cannot pay their debt of gratitude in the currency of independence. We are not asking for gratitude. We are not working for gratitude. Our aims are not so low as that. Our aims are to found a strong, free, Christian nation in the West Pacific for the sake of that nation, ourselves, and our fellow men in general.”

“If the Philippines were near our shores, would your attitude be different?”

Friends of American Rule Muzzled.

“In that case, I should say, ‘Let them try it.’ We could take the risk then. But they are too far away. Once we leave these islands, we are gone for good. We shall not come back. There are no more Perry or Dewey opportunities contiguous to the eastern coastline of Asia.”

“Is it true that free speech is suppressed in the Philippines by fear of the leaders of the independence movement?”

“To a very considerable extent that undoubtedly is true. Nonpolitical Filipinos of education and understanding must be courageous, indeed, if they voice the opinion they actually hold, namely, that it is better for the country as a whole that America should remain as she is for an indefinite time. Surely any thinking person can realize that this naturally would be so. Persons against immediate independence are denounced as traitors—not openly, perhaps, but none the less effectually, for most of the intelligence circulating in the Philippines circulates by word of mouth. Ignorance is widespread among the masses. They are for independence, when energetically stimulated on the subject by the leaders, for they have not the slightest conception of its practical significane. Can you believe it would be healthy for a Filipino champion of deferred independence to fall among ignorant compatriots to whom he had been described as a traitor?

“Get firmly in mind the fact that there are three classes in this drama of Philippine agitation respecting independence. There is the small political class hungry for the loaves and fishes, the enlightened class (larger than the first, but not large enough for prevalence) interested only in the welfare of the people, and the uninstructed bulk of the population. Patriotic and useful public opinion belongs in the main to the second of these classes. It is this public opinion which is suppressed by fear of the leaders—fear of them as instigators of the ignorant majority against any one who counsels prudence and delay in the matter of independence. Relief for this unfortunate situation can be had, of course, only in widening the circle of unselfish public opinion—only in educating the majority. When observers inquire why it is, if the Filipinos do not want immediate independence, that they elect the champions of immediate independence, the reply is that the ignorant portion of the electorate is misled by self-seeking politicians.”

Ignorance Swayed by Politics.

“And you do not think the Filipinos should have what is bad for them, even if the majority wants it?”

“I do not. They are not entitled to have what is bad for them, even though they want it, for what is bad for them is bad for a lot of other people who do not want it. It is intolerable that an uneducated electorate, harangued by political aspirants to power and emolument, should frustrate America’s long, laborious, and expensive struggle to build a firmly-based Christian state in the Philippines and also should jar the delicate interracial and international balance in the Pacific inimically to the cause of world peace.”

“Would the masses be satisfied if they were left alone by the leaders?”

Filipinos Happy and Satisfied.

“Perfectly. There is not a more satisfied or happier people in the world. I go among them continually and everywhere am received with the greatest courtesy and hospitality. I have just returned from a voyage of 3,000 miles among the scattered islands. I visited fifty centers of life and motored extensively in the rural regions. I carried no arms. Not a weapon of any kind was needed in my party. Cordial popular welcomes greeted me at every turn. Illiterate though vast numbers of these people are, they know enough to know they never before were so well off in every moral and material way as they are now.”

“What is the percentage of literacy in the islands?”

“About 37 per cent., would be a liberal estimate.”

“Manuel Roxas, speaker of the Philippine House, stated before a congressional committee in Washington that it was over 60 per cent.”

“Yes, he made that misstatement and others. His statistics were wrong. He compared dialectic differences in the Philippines to the slight differences of this kind in the United States. That is ridiculous. There are here eight-seven distinct dialects, many of them as unlike as are the modern Latin languages and some of them differing as radically as do English and German. English is the only hope of a national medium of communication in the Philippines.

“Let me briefly illustrate further how unreliable were the statements of Roxas in Washington. He asserted that during the Administration of Gov.-Gen Harrison, when that officer, according to Roxas, abdicated his military duties under the law and left the Constabulary in the Moro region to unrestricted Filipino command—a period of seven years—there was not a single killing in that region. As a fact, during that period, the records show 124 conflicts between the Constabulary and the Moros, 499 Moros dead, 22 Constabulary soldiers dead, 1 officer dead and many wounded on both sides.

Samples of Filipino Rule.

“Nor is this the whole story of that ‘peaceful’ reign. In the same region Bogobos killed 50 Japanese over land troubles. It was during the time in question that occurred the most serious breach of public order since the foundation of the Civil Government. That breach consisted in a fight between the Constabulary and the police of Manila. As a result of that clash a number of both combatants and innocent citizens were killed and many of the Constabulary were sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.

“Furthermore, the assertions of Roxas in commendation of the health service were untrustworthy. During the time under review cholera in the Philippines destroyed 17,000 and smallpox 73,000 lives. We are now free from all sorts of epidemics. In their statistics and in their affirmations Filipino politicians want checking up.”

“What would be your concluding word of counsel to Filipino politicians and to the Filipino intelligentsia in general?”

Obstacles to Filipino Progress.

“I should counsel them at once and without reservation to drop the idea of immediate independence and dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to co-operation with the Americans in creating a Filipino citizenship capable of orderly, just, progressive, prosperous, and self-defensive democratic rule. For such co-operation the road lies wide, smooth, and open. Petty Filipino politics should be cut out as a cancerous growth. Deliberate annoyance of the representatives of the sovereign power should cease. Abortive extralegalism—abortive, but pernicious—should be abandoned. There should be no pettifogging opposition to the clear authority of the Governor-General, whoever he may be, under the organic law. If the Philippine Legislature and the Governor-General disagree, and if their disagreement reach a deadlock, then the President of the United States should decide.

“My advice to the educated Filipinos would be frankly to accept all these conditions and to change their appeal to the people from a call to illusory independence to a call to that moral and mental advance which is the sine qua non of real independence.”

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China’s Rights and Wrongs

Interview with Dr. Tang Shao-yi

ex-Premier, and Progressive Advocate of Chinese Nationalism Based on Enlightened Democracy.

“All Chinese are Compounded of the same Spiritual Stuff. China’s Oneness of Spirit is not visible to the Cursory Glance, but it is there. It is the Ultimate Reality in China. It is China.”

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China’s Rights and Wrongs

Whatever may be the color of the speaker, so far as I can discover, only words of respect and affection are spoken of Dr. Tang Shao-yi of China. His character, personality, and mind—the spiritual and mental individuality and worth of the man—constitute perhaps the greatest single, silent, underlying vitality now actuating the slow course of Chinese political and social evolution.

Every country in the world, I suppose, has its beloved elder statesman—its “grand old man”—but out of long-past political conditions and struggles few nations, if any, have retained a leader who means so much to them at present as Dr. Tang Shao-yi means to China. Grand old man he is, yet he is only 65, and when I met him at the threshold of his roomy and pleasing home in Shanghai he struck me as at the zenith of his life in both appearance and vigor.

I found the famous statesman among his grandchildren.

China’s Champion of National Unity.

“These,” said he, spreading his arms wide and smiling down at the youngsters on the floor, “these are mine.”

Dr. Tang, who became Prime Minister of China on the abdication of the Manchu Emperor in 1912 and who later was appointed Foreign Minister—a portfolio, however, he did not assume—has had experience in virtually every department of the government of his country. He was a high court official in the final days of the Manchu regime. He served under Yuan Shih-kai in Korea and in Shantung and was active in the suppression of the Boxer rising, traveling thereafter to the United States to thank the Washington Government for waiving the Boxer indemnity. He was a member of the first group of students sent by the Chinese Government to be educated in the United States and encountered a stimulating phase of Western civilization in the robbery of his train in a Southern state by Jesse James and a gang of subordinate outlaws.

Independence has been the outstanding characteristic of Dr. Tang’s political life. Willing to study facts, to investigate conditions, to hear arguments and to reflect, he acted as he saw fit in the end, even at the cost of breaking with such men as Yuan Shih-kai and Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Dr. Tang is a kind of Daniel Webster or Abraham Lincoln in his devotion to the cause of national unity. Only one government, in his judgment, is wide enough for China, and this is a government embracing within its jurisdiction every man, woman, and child in whom glows the vital spark of the Chinese race.

“And there is such a spark?” I remarked, as we sat talking in the quiet of the statesman’s drawing room.

Marching Toward True Nationalism.

“Most certainly,” he replied. “All Chinese are compounded of the same spiritual stuff. China’s oneness of spirit is not visible to the cursory glance, but it is there. It is the ultimate reality in China. It is China. Localism, provincialism, centrifugalism are strong now because we have not yet a consciousness of the unity of national interests—not even a consciousness of the universality of the Chinese soul. Our dispersed and divided multitudes are unacquainted with one another and ignorant of their interdependence and brotherhood. Our ignorance is but a sign of the vastness of China, our weakness but a portent of Chinese strength in the centuries to come.”

“Your national weakness results from aggressive local or provincial strength?”

“Unquestionably. All nations—there is not an exception—have had their periods of internal blindness, disunion, and strife. America, for example, did not find herself until she had fought one of the bloodiest civil wars in the history of mankind. That war revealed the will of the United States to be one. Chinese internal struggles, likewise, reveal the march of the purpose of union. If this purpose were not on the march there would be no hostile local reactions, no uprisings of sections disturbed by the imminence of a new regime pivoted upon central authority. If this purpose of union were not in motion we should have provincial tranquillity, but we should pay too great a price for it. It is better that China should be racked by war than that she should fall short of the high destiny which only nationality and independence can give her.

“What we have in dramatic manifestation now are our minor virilities of disunion. One day these minor virilities of disunion will coalesce in a major virility of union. China cohesive and vigorous provincially will become China cohesive and vigorous nationally. On that day this motherland of civilization will have its e pluribus unum. Just as strong individual citizens are necessary to strong provincial social unties, so strong provincial social unities are necessary to strong national social unities. Our bedrock necessities, of course, are strong individual men and women, and Chinese men and women, though not of giant stature, are strong in physique, in intelligence, and in morale.”

China on the Road to Democracy.

“You are looking forward to democracy in China?” I asked, realizing what a fine picture of democratic manhood Dr. Tang presented as he sat in his straight-backed chair, leaning forward, his hands on his knees, his clear, steady, humane, dark eyes fixed upon mine—a plainly dressed, rugged, natural man, as innocent of physical pose as he was incapable of intellectual pretense.

“Democracy—yes. No political principle can live except the principle of democracy. It is a principle, to be sure, not yet fully brought down from the heights of idealism, but it is being brought down bit by bit ande the time will come when we shall possess and practice it in reasonable perfection. That time must come. If that time were not coming we could anticipate only social dissolution. People are going to rule themselves or not be ruled. Self-rule is the only authority they will recognize as otherwise than tyrannical and insufferable. It is a sound instinct, infinitely creditable to man, the last word in the assertion of human dignity.

“Wider consultation of the people, wider suffrage, more democracy, are imperative in China. Bosses and cliques and domineering militarists must go. Squeezes, nepotism, favoritism, graft, must go. Forces antagonistic to low standards of public life are mobilizing all over China. Moral retrogression followed the disappearance of the Manchu dynasty, which, after conquering the country, ruled it for more than two and a half centuries; but this ebb will cease and we shall witness an unprecedented return of the moral tide. Young China is in a glow of patriotic and ethical emotion, responding to educational stimulus, stirred by a sense of age-old disrespect, ambitious to affirm for China’s millions their rightful place and influence in the comity of nations.

Democratic Spirit of Young China.

“Chinese illiteracy is much talked about by foreigners. ‘How,’ it is asked, ‘can these illiterate Chinese maintain a republic?’ Well, an elector may be able to read and write and yet be a poor elector. He may lack intelligence and, as he often does, political interest. Look at the millions of eligibles in England and the United States who will not trouble to walk to the polls and cast their ballots on election day. Of what use is their literacy to the democracy of which they are theoretically a part? To what purpose, politically, have they learned to read and write? No; democracy is in the spirit and not in the letter; democracy is an affair of sentiment, of understanding, of conviction, of a sort of religious public zeal.

“This zeal is coming to China. China, to a large extent, is unlettered, but it is not unintelligent. China is enlightened, observant, and thoughtful. It has been silent—too silent. It has been patient—too patient. Its silence and patience have been misunderstood, and both China and the world are paying for this misunderstanding. China’s wisdom, which is widely diffused, has sprung from its thousands of books, the essence of which has imbued the public mind. If literacy and political competence were in the relation of producer and product and if literacy were alone in the first position China would not have political competence. But we all know that literate people may be foolish and illiterate people wise, and it follows that literate people may be poor democrats and illiterate people good ones. Confucian literature by itself has given China a democratic birthright.”

Confucianism Leads to Democracy.

Dr. Tang paused for a moment and a smile of apparently deep satisfaction shone in his eyes.

“Confucius,” he repeated. “His great spirit—the light of his soul—has blessed not only China but Asia. Five centuries before Christ his influence had its beginning, and it is incalculably powerful today. It affects great minds and these transmit its virtue to other minds in ever-widening circles. My old friend, Viscount Shibusawa of Japan, for instance, is a devoted student of Confucius. He told me he had read our philosophical master every day for sixty years. Before the invention of the automobile Shibusawa carried a copy of Confucius in his pocket. Now he carries a copy in his pocket and another in a pocket of his car. If you see the wonderful old gentleman reading as he passes through the streets of Tokyo it is ninety-nine to one he is reading Confucius.”

Returning to the democratic quality of China, Dr. Tang said:

China’s Relations with Japan.

“Let no one infer from our war lords that the Chinese people like war lords. Observe this tiger skin on the floor. It once clothed a free-ranging and ferocious beast in the forst, but finally this beast fell a victim to the hunter and was skinned. Our ruling generals are ranging somewhat freely at the moment. But they must be wary. Not one of them dares to go home. Not one of them would be safe at home. In this fact and in many others we have proof that the democratic heart of China is sound.”

“How are China and Japan getting on together latterly?”

“Our relations are improved. I regard the outlook as favorable. Premier Kato was the author of the Twenty-One Demands, but he seems quite changed, appreciating that progress along the lines of those Demands is impossible. Baron Shidehara’s recent declarations respecting international questions I consider the wisest Japanese utterances of the kind in fifteen years. Tokyo, advantageously to itself and to us all, is enunciating great principles of statesmanship and thus reassuring the world.”

“Do you know Gen. Baron Tanaka, who often is spoken of as Japan’s next Premier?”

“Yes, I know him. His political ambitions puzzle me somewhat. I easily could think of him as a field marshal leading an army into Manchuria; it is less easy for me to think of him as Prime Minister of Japan. I have no idea what he would do in that position. I have no knowledge of the interests seemingly ready to back Tanaka financially, and Japanese parties cannot operate without large funds. Let us hope that the renunciation of a military career by this brilliant soldier signifies his arrival at the conclusion that henceforth man’s highest glory is to be sought, not on the field of battle, but in the political council chamber.”

“Is that your conclusion?”

War Peril in the Far East.

“I was born with that conclusion woven into my spiritual texture. That conclusion is inherited by every true son and daughter of China. Our people are generations ahead of many others in their estimate of war and peace. China is too great to worship the sword. Its power is the power of weakness, not of strength; only the weak need the sword. What wise people would offer homage to a symbol of destruction? Whoever can translate the dense and superimposed inscriptions on the sword will cast it away with horror, for to read these inscriptions is to read history, and history is soaked with human blood.”

“Do you think the sword has been sheathed permanently in the Far East?”

“I am afraid not.”

“Who is going to fight?”

“There is great danger that Russia and Japan will fight. Diligent efforts are on foot to adjust Russo-Japanese relations peacefully, but I am not optimistic relative to their issue. Japan is still less disposed today than she was twenty years ago to tolerate a too-near Russian approach on the mainland of Asia opposite the Island Empire. Count Soyeshima of Japan predicted a few weeks ago that Russia and Japan would be at war within ten years. I should not be surprised if such a war came sooner. Both countries desire spheres in Mongolia and Manchuria. Room there should be, and to spare, for both, since Mongolia, with its area of more than 1,300,000 square miles, is one of the principal divisions of China and has a smaller population than has Chicago.

“But room is not the essence of the matter. Two mutually repugnant orders face each other, the Russian confiscatory, the Japanese conservative; the Russian based on a continent, the Japanese on an archipelago. Russia, naturally, has aggressive tendencies; Japan, naturally, is vigilantly defensive and wishes to establish her first lines of resistance on a periphery as distant as possible from the citadel of her national security. Peril inheres in this situation, and China can heighten the peril by forgetting her national interests and involving herself in the latent Russo-Japanese conflict. China standing steadfastly apart, scrupulously Chinese, encouraging neither Russian aggression nor Japanese adventure on the Asian continent to forestall hypothetical Russian aggression, holds out the best promise of peace in the Far East.”

Bolshevism as a Growing Menace.

“It is asserted that bolshevism already has penetrated deeply into China and that this achievement by the soviet agents is being energetically followed up.”

“Bolshevism undoubtedly is at work in China. Soviet money has been used here freely. But the Chinese have not and never will have any natural sympathy with bolshevism. Individualism is implanted at the core of Chinese character. Bolshevism can cause serious mischief in China only by projecting itself into our politics in support of one general against another, as, for example, Feng Yu-hsiang of Peking against Chang Tso-lin of Mukden, an eventuality that would bring Japan into the military equation. This would mean war, with China as the cockpit. My hope is that Chinese patriotism and wisdom will avert such a calamity, but I am apprehensive.”

“Are there proofs of the use of soviet money to foment trouble in China by way of embarrassing the ‘bourgeois’ nations?”

Physical and Spiritual Despoilment.

“Proofs quite sufficient to convince me, though I myself have not juridical proofs. Moral evidence sometimes is the best evidence. When I see Chinese bolshevists who a little time ago were walking or riding in the cheap and humble riksha, and who now sit back in their motor cars with liveried chauffeurs at the wheels, I do not need the finding of a court of law to tell me what has happened and is happening. Bolshevism in China and in other great countries has the financial backing of the Moscow revolutionaries.”

“Is there in bolshevism anything you like?”

“There is in no form of forcible dispossessionism anything I like. I do not want to be dispossessed. I do not want to be despoiled. But, given the choice between the bolshevist, who would take away my flower pots, and the religionist, who would take away my ancestral tablets, I should choose the bolshevist. He, at any rate, is proposing only to rob me materially, whereas the religionist is proposing to rob me spiritually. I could get on happily enough with fewer flower pots, but I can spare none of the symbols of my affects and faith. Upon these I stand and by these I live.”

“But the bolshevists,” I ventured to say, “are out, according to their own prospectus, not only to seize private property after the manner of the highway robber, but to lay waste the religious and ethical systems of the world.”

Foreign Aggressions Cause Unrest.

“If that be so,” said Dr. Tang, “at least one side of their program is fantastic. To seize private property is not beyond the limits of possibility; it is merely a question of accumulating sufficient physical force. But no commander can march an army into an individual soul and seize the treasures cherished there.”

“Is there in Chinese psychology some morbid or abnormal condition favorable to bolshevist activity?”

“Yes; there is the irritation over the aggression of foreigners against China. This irritation, sense of wrong, resentment, causes social unrest and an instinctive tendency to a rapprochement with any influence hostile to the aggressors. But bolshevism is a faint speck on the situation. What matters and what is going to continue to matter are the native emotions and thoughts and purposes of China. Strikes and riots like those of Shanghai, Hongkong, and Canton may not be caused by the larger agitation in the country—the agitation against extra-territorial courts, concessions, foreign land leases and externally imposed tariffs—but they immediately gain gravity from the deeper trouble. As, volcanically, when a break occurs in the crust of the earth pent-up forces rush for the outlet, so, socially, when there is a rent in the crust of public order repressed resentments concentrate there. No local disturbance in China, whatever its cause or nature, can remain really local until the general psychological situation shall have been normalized.”

“Is there one evil above others that weighs against amicable relations between the Chinese and the foreigners among them?”

Violence the Outstanding Evil.

Dr. Tang, after looking steadily at me for a moment in silence, said impressively:

“Yes; there is one dominant evil. It is the evil of violence.”


“Violence. In the whole attitude and behavior of foreigners toward China there is implied or applied violence. This violence is more pronounced on the part of some foreigners than of others, but it is virtually universal in some manner or degree. By powerful foreigners of no nationality are we treated as equals. We are treated as inferiors. We are bullied, and if we resent the bullying we are beaten. Our political freedom is impinged upon and restricted. Our territory is violated. We are forced to yield concessions. Our fiscal liberty and rights are taken away from us. All these things are made possible by violence or the threat of violence.

“Violence forms the groundwork of nearly all the theory of foreign authority in China; it is an instrumentality of government; it is deliberately terroristic. Violence implied or applied is deemed necessary to keep us in order, to keep us quiescent, submissive, long-suffering, serflike. Terrorism as a means of moral domination leading to physical domination was not liked by Western civilization when Germany had recourse to it in Belgium and France, but the same western civilization uses it against China.

Resentments of Awakening China.

“Let me give you an instance, small in itself, but, thoroughly understood, laden with the full explication of that growing feeling in China which the world must take into account. In one of our treaty ports—one of our ports where Chinese territory is not Chinese territory—a plain-clothes detective, strolling up a hillside street, cane in hand, finds an old Chinese woman’s basket of oranges too far out on the sidewalk. Does he say to her, ‘Madam, you must keep your wares off the footway?’ No. He raps her over the bare head with his cane, kicks the basket into the street, and coldly watches the oranges rolling away down the gutter.

“If a Chinese gets in your way, give him the cane. If a Chinese protests that you have not paid him enough—who ever heard of a Chinese asking much?—give him the cane. It is the Western idea. For the Chinese, and right here in his own country, too, unless he keeps his mouth shut and walks warily, it is always the cane. I ask you whether this can go on. I ask you if it can do anything but plant the seed of endless trouble.”

Dr. Tang had risen from his chair and stood facing me, his hands held out in a quiet gesture of appeal.

Arousing the War Spirit in Chinese.

“Ask The Chicago Daily News to ask the world that,” he persisted. “Ask The Chicago Daily News to ask intelligent men anywhere, everywhere, if they think this use of brute force, this systematized inhumanity, is likely to bring relationships of peace and mutual benefit between foreigners and the uncounted millions of awakening China.

“My country must be studied—I will not say restudied—by the world outside of it,” said Dr. Tang, resuming his chair. “Almost nothing about us seems to be understood abroad. China’s character, motives, genius, historical mission, seem to have eluded even the most diligent and penetrating foreign minds. It generally is supposed, since we do not fight, that we cannot fight—that we have neither the bodily nor the mental requisites of war. It is said we lack the ‘fighting spirit.’

“What is the truth? We Chinese are hardy and accustomed to heavy burdens. I will show you a Chinese woman 70 years old ascending a hill carrying on a pole across her calloused shoulders two baskets of mortar of a weight to make a strong Western man stagger. We are bodily and mentally fit for war, and we have the morale for war; Chinese are not cowards; they are not afraid to die. Chinese have not learned war because they abominate it. So deep is their abomination of it that generations of foreign imposition and cruelty have not crushed out of their natures their congenital love of peace.

“It is the peculiar and unpardonable sin of foreign persecution of China that it tends to deflect the most populous nation in Asia and in the world from the paths of peace to the paths of war. It is said we are divided and in conflict internally. So we are, not so much really as apparently; there is marvelous fundamental cohesion in China. But I admit we have grave domestic troubles. For these are we entirely responsible? We are not. Our domestic ills are aggravated by our foreign ills. Social inflammation in spots, arising from extraterritorial impacts, produces pathological phenomena in all our centers of political and social life.

“China is not free to free herself from dissension and set up a central government representing all her people and exposing a solid front to the world. Release all China’s energy for her domestic problems—remove the foreign yokes that in so many places gall and madden her—and she will not be a great while in placing her house in order. It is the tragedy of this momentous question between China and the outer world that we have, on the one hand, a people devoted to peace and militarily weak, and, on the other, powers that still cherish some of their ancient confidence in force, and that are organized and equipped to transform that confidence into instant action.

Driving China from Peaceful Ways.

“In a poignant situation that yearly—indeed, hourly—grows more difficult and menacing we only can hope that light will dawn where it is most needed before China shall come under the influence of the conviction that her peaceful and humanitarian aspirations have betrayed her, and that only in preparation for war, if not in actual resort to war, can she find national salvation. I am frankly astonished to see great peoples struggling toward world peace through a League of Nations and at the same time pursuing policies in the Orient calculated to drive into militarism the greatest and most peaceful division of humanity known to the history of the world.”

“You feel quite certain foreigners are wrong in esteeming harshness a better quality than sympathy for averting Chinese attacks upon them?”

Justice Denied, China Grows Warlike.

“Harshness has been tried and has failed. Never before was its failure so general and conspicuous as it is today. It is not especially sympathy the Chinese want; they would like common humanity, of course, but what they demand is justice as justice is understood among civilized States. Firmness on the part of the powers will not be complained of by the Chinese if that firmness be exercised for what is right. What we complain of is a firmness that inflicts political and territorial tyranny, economic and fiscal injustice, and personal brutality.”

“It is argued, I boserve, that it would not be prudent to do anything to meet the Chinese point of view while your people are creating a disturbance.”

“Quite so. While our people are creating a disturbance nothing must be done; when we are docile and hard at work nothing need be done. Result: Disturbance or no disturbance, nothing is done. On this principle the machinery of progress is locked, while the day of reckoning relentlessly approaches. To the powers I say with all the force at my command: Make friends of the Chinese while they are disunited and militarily weak. Do this and they will be to you, as time goes on, not a source of danger and loss, but a source of security and profit. Either foreign magnanimity now or Chinese fighting efficiency sometime will compel justice to China.”

“Will the Chinese ever forget the wrongs they allege against foreigners?”

Other Powers Must Show Friendship.

“Not forget them, perhaps, but forgive them. If foreigners are magnanimous toward the Chinese now and henceforth, the Chinese of China’s day of power will remember the good deeds and not the bad ones, for the good deeds will be nearer to the Chinese of that generation. Start at once to make the Chinese of united China, whenever that day shall come, grateful for the kindnesses shown their country by foreigners and forgetful of foreigners’ wrongs against them. That way lies happiness in the Orient. That way lies the peace of the Pacific.”

“You believe in action.”

“In the presence of a serious international problem that grows constantly more serious, to stand still is to await the thunderbolt; to advance perseveringly and prudently is to dissipate the clouds that harbor the thunderbolt. To well-meaning statesmanship throughout the world the call should be: ‘Action!’ Many a war might have been avoided if statesmanship had not swung into action too late. Of all spheres of duty that of statecraft is the one in which carelessness, indolence, timidity, and procrastination attain their maximum of culpability.”

“When you speak of abolishing extra-territoriality and other conditions offensive to China, have you in mind abrupt measures?”

Nations Should Have Good Will.

“Radicalism, but not abruptness, of reform is what we have in mind. We want riddance of every violation of our sovereign status and rights. But we realize this cannot come in the twinkling of an eye. What we demand now, and what our national problems imperatively require, is a well-conceived and determined start on the way to the proposed goal. China is not unreasonable. She appreciates the complexities of a situation that has been long in maturing and presents features calling for patient and statesmanlike handling.

“Foreign life and property in China must be safe. China must accord as well as claim the recognized accompaniments of sovereignty in the civilized world. Co-operation is all that is necessary between the powers and our Republic, each side accepting the postulate that only through a just settlement of the problem can tranquillity and prosperity come to either in the Far East. Let the powers give unmistakable proof of willingness and purpose to absolve China from every form of foreign interference—let them meet and formulate and proclaim their program of emancipation—and the national spirit of our people will rally to the support of our leaders in forming a national government capable of discharging the functions of a modern State.

“To my thinking—and how can I be wrong about this?—it should ber self-evident that the one thing which gives rise to such danger to foreign life and property as prevails in China is the knowledge of my countrymen that China has suffered and is suffering great wrongs at the hands of foreigners. Once foreign peoples treat China with the respect and fairness they show one another, there will be no danger here to either their persons or their possessions. Chinese yield to none in their love for the amenities of civilized intercourse. Chinese are friendly folk. None will go further than they, nor sacrifice more, to be just to or serve a fellow man, whatever his color, religion or nationality.”

Why Foreign Lives Are Imperiled.

“And what would be your final word on peace?”

Dr. Tang’s expression changed from that of the objective to that of the subjective thinker; his mind had passed from the realm of practical politics to the realm of academic speculation.

“If you and I stood together in this greatest commercial center of the Far East one hundred years from today,” said the Confucian seer, “we might be able to shake each other by the hand and say, ‘At last the world has permanent peace.’ Education is the specific for the disease of war, and education works slowly. We must teach our children that to kill in war is precisely as criminal an act as to kill in civil life. Murder is murder. We loathe murderers. People must understand that war killers are murderers. They must understand that war killling is not a national crime which can be brought home to nobody, but an individual crime from which the guilty cannot escape.

“Formulæ, machinery, superficial and artificial contrivances, will not protect us from war so long as fundamentally—so long as at the roots fo our emotional and intellectual natures—we are warlike. We of this era are crammed with potential war. It is in our marrow, our bones, our blood and fiber. It corrupts our souls and makes them hideous. We do not realize it is a cardinal sin against divinity and humanity. We do not appreciate the disgrace of it, its unutterable ignominy. It is there, deep inside us, awaiting the urge of occasion to leap forth in fury, pitiless as the sea, as convulsions of nature, as primeval fire.

Subduing the War Spirit.

“Education alone can subdue this monster. Education can fill our emotional and intellectual natures with a sense of the reasonableness, beauty, majesty, and beneficence of peace. I am happy to know The Chicago Daily News is educationally active in this great field of international relations, where we know so little and need to know so much. I hope and believe its efforts will bear fruit, and I hope its initiative will inspire similar activity, in order that mankind may be awakened to the truth that ‘ignorance is,’ indeed, ‘the curse of God,’ and ‘knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven’.”