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ONE EXCELLENT WAY OF REFORMING" THE PRIMARIES IS TO DO JUST WHAT SENATOR HARDING IS DOING HERE-VOTE IN THEM
scribed blood-letting for every ill. Bloodletting frequently removed the ill, but, unfortunately, it also frequently removed the patient at the same time.
Here is the case, or at least part of the case, against our present primary system in National elections. Where is the cure to be found?
Every proposition to reform our Presidential primary system which I have seen runs up against the simple fact that our National elections are operated by the separate States. Under our Constitution, every State controls its own primary laws looking towards the election of a President, because of the fact that our Constitution provided, not for the direct election of the President, but for the choosing of State electors who were to select the President.
Therefore no radical reform can be made of our present primary system without a Constitutional amendment permit ting the Federal Government to control the manner in which delegates to the National conventions are to be chosen. It would probably prove impossible for the States to agree upon the selection of a single primary day for the entire United States, simple and advantageous as such a proposition for inter-State co-operation might seem to be, without the assistance of an amendment to the Federal Constitution. There are those who feel, after a study of the events of the last twelve years, that the time may be almost ripe for an amendment making National election machinery National.
If such an amendment were adopted, what plan would you propose of primary reform? There is one general principle which must be borne in mind in the formulation of any such proposition:
No scheme to secure a more accurate registration of the popular will will be accepted by practical politicians if at the
same time it tends towards the disintegration or dissolution of our present party machinery. We must recognize the fact. A party machine is not of itself bad, any more than a revolver is bad. But both can be put to bad use. Both have been.
As a basis for discussion rather than as a definite proposal, let me outline a plan which might or might not be an improvement on our present system.
Let us first pass first pass a Constitutional amendment placing the control of Presidential primaries and the organization of our National parties under the Federal Government. Let us then by Federal statute provide for a system of which the following is a general outline.
In the summer preceding each Presidential election require each National party to elect delegates to a National convention to be held on a specific date. Do not elect these delegates by popular primary, but by the old caucus and convention system, safeguarding this system in every possible way by provisions for proper publicity and proper representation. Under such a system an open party caucus in each election district would send delegates to a county convention, from which delegates would be sent to a State convention, from which delegates would be chosen for the National convention. Such a system would enable the average voter to have a share in his party politics if he so desired, while at the same time it would not tend to disrupt the party organization. It may be said that the great bulk of party members would take only such interest in such a selection of delegates as they have taken in similar selections in the past. The reader may be able to calculate what this interest would be by counting up on the fingers of his or her left hand the number of times he or she has taken part in a party caucus or a party primary.
Of course there would be nothing in such a system which would prevent delegates who favored a particular candidate from seeking the suffrages of their fellowvoters on the basis of a promise to sup'port such a candidate if selected for service in any of the successive conventions.
Chosen by this method, the National delegates would assemble on a designated day, elect their customary officers and committees, and adopt a party platform, as in the past. Then comes a radical change. Let these National conventions name for the Presidency, not one candidate, but the five that can muster (either by direct or preferential balloting) the greatest number of votes in the convention. It seems that any man having any pretense to a National following could at least secure the votes of one-fifth of the delegates to a National convention without having recourse to the bitter factional fights which have taken place in the preconvention campaigns in the past.
Having designated five party candidates for the Presidency, each party would be required to hold a single National primary on a specified day within less than a month after the National convention. It is possible that something like the Oregon system, under which that State itself circulates the views of candidates for public office, might be introduced to remove any necessity for the use of individual campaign funds, but that is not a proposition necessarily included in my present tentative plan.
At this single National primary the voters of each party would have a chance to cast their ballots for a Presidential nominee without any fear that their choice would be upset by secret manipulation or shady bargains between the managers and tired delegates in smokefilled committee rooms. This National primary should be conducted under a system of preferential voting by which each voter designates his first and second choice for the Presidency. First-choice votes would have a value of two, and second-choice votes a value of one; the candidate who received the highest number of votes being chosen as the nominee for the Presidency, and the candidate who received the second highest number of votes the nominee for the Vice-Presidency. Every candidate who consented to enter this popular primary would nec essarily agree in advance to accept second place on the ticket if he failed to win the nomination for President. To make this pledge more attractive, the Vice-President should certainly be permitted to sit in the President's Cabinet and his salary should be raised to not less than half that which the President himself now receives. Of course Presidents and ex-Presidents might properly be exempted from making this pledge, the Vice-Presidential nomination in case an ex-President ran in second place going to the third man on the list.
Perhaps such a primary-day election would bring out almost as large a party vote as the November elections them
selves bring to the polls. The likelihood that any of the leading candidates would be excluded from such a primary is small. The possibility that the popular choice would be disregarded would be absolutely nil. Whether or not. it would result in the selection of better candidates is a subject for argument rather than for proof.
There are objections, and serious ones, to this plan for a pre-primary convention, as to all plans for political reorganization. One will perhaps immediately occur to every one with any political experience. The Democrats, under such a system, might nominate for the Presidency a man from a surely Democratic State, like Mississippi, instead of from a doubtful State, like Ohio. But there are those who think that we have paid too much consideration to such political formulas in the past, and that we are growing nationally enough minded to disregard such measures of political expediency. Still another practical objection can be found in the fact that, no matter how beautiful in theory a preferential election or primary may be, the system has never appealed greatly to popular fancy. A third objection might lie in the fact that such a system might produce a ticket representing two irreconcilable factions.
Other objections will occur doubtless
They may want to present it to their readers.
P. S.-After you have successfully demolished the theory of primary reform proposed in this article, and after you have erected a burglar-proof theory of your own, it might be well to consider a third thought. How much of our present dissatisfaction with our primary machinery is due to the defects in that machinery and how much is due to the shortcomings of the men and women who are operating that machinery? It was Viscount Bryce, I think, who somewhere said that the New England colonists could have made any kind of a Constitution work. At the present time do we need more improvement in our governmental machinery or more of the spirit of those New England colonists?
A good woodsman prides himself on his ability to make anything from a toothpick to a ten-room cabin with his ax. Are we utilizing our Governmental machinery as a good woodsman utilizes his ax, or are we refusing to play the game unless we are provided with a triple-expansion, double back-action, self-ejecting, nickle-plated buzz saw every time we are called upon to split a little kindling? Do we need Constitutional amendments or constructive action? Do we need better theory or better practice? I wonder. Do you?
WITH THE POLISH ARMY BY MAJOR RICHARD S. DAVIS
HAT happened after I left Warsaw on May 2, on a Y. M. C. A. service mission to the Polish troops, swiftly resolved itself into two exciting and unforgetable phases. The first might be called "On the Heels of the Bolsheviki." The second might be called "On Their Toes," or, better still, "Going West," for that is what we actually did, and came near doing it in more ways than one when we evacuated Kiev.
To-day, in the free state of Danzig, where this is being written on brief leave, one is tranquilly remote from battles and Bolsheviki. The days are warm and sunny, but the bathing is like jumping into the salt water of an ice-cream freezer. In these peaceful surroundings the events of the past two months seem almost incredible.
My orders were to find the Third Polish Army, under the command_of General Rydz-Smigley, probably at Baronowicze, near the Polish-Bolo eastern frontier, about three hundred kilometers from Warsaw. Arriving in this Russian town at 3 A.M., I found that the army had moved south to Lunience. I lost no time, for the intervening territory consisted of bad swamplands alive with mosquitoes. The food and water were entirely unfit for human consumption. It took me almost three days to cover one hundred
RICHARD STANLEY DAVIS
miles. I finally arrived in Rowne on a Polish troop train, in a box car with some forty soldiers, straw, and harnesses, reminiscent of war days in France on those tense "40 Hommes ou 8 Chevaux " journeys.
I had now reached the last large town before one reached the front. The Poles had established a line here and held it. They had begun an offensive, and General Rydz-Smigley had jumped his army due east to Zytomierz. There is a broad Russian highway between these two towns, and over this route, in the offensive on Zytomierz, this Polish army traveled one hundred and thirty kilometers in twenty-four hours. I was now on the heels of the Bolos, with a unique opportunity to render American Y service to these thousands of poor, tired, ill-fed, ill-clothed chaps. I was also to see just what Bolshevism means, and to witness its effects where it had flourished for more than a year, departing toward the east door as the Poles entered from the west. But the Bolos did not anticipate such a meteoric advance of the Poles, and the thousands of prisoners pushed back into the Polish centers made still another side of an ever increasingly complex story.
I was now close to the advanced ranks of a great Polish drive. If I could find means of transportation for supplies, I could possibly reach General Rydz Smigley and be with the outposts, and if the advance stopped I could serve the great mass of troops who were bringing We have a Y canteen in up the rear.
Rowne, doing a tremendous work twentyfour hours daily. From the army headquarters I secured the use of a five-ton truck and loaded fifty cases of chocolate bars, about fifty thousand pieces. Two days later I arrived in Zytomierz.
The army had preceded me, and the town had fallen about four days before my arrival. You perhaps recall reading of the horrible massacres of Zytomierz, sometimes spelled Gitomir, and of Kiev. For all time, believe me, reading from a
uation. Many died from hunger, priva- buy anything. Only the sympathizers tion, and disease.
HIS CHOCOLATES ARE SHELLED
An amusing incident happened on my arrival. I missed the General's car on entering the city, and found myself on the great cliffs of the city overlooking the Dnieper. A Bolshevik shell exploded right over my truck, which almost caused a complete loss of chocolate bars for the Polish soldiers, to say nothing of the one
GENERAL PILSUDSKI, PRESIDENT OF POLAND, AND HIS TROOPS
distance a cold reported account of barbaric crimes is an entirely different thing from arriving on the scene while the sickening evidence is still there. Some day I will write the facts-unless I can forget, as God knows I hope I can."
But we cannot tarry in Zytomierz, for this Polish army is moving fast. Kiev, due east, is the objective. I had obtained two three-ton Pierce-Arrow trucks from the General, and by driving one of them myself was able to keep fairly good pace with the Staff cars. At the first halt I gave chocolate to the soldiers and talked with the peasants. The peasants here in Ukraine hailed the Poles as saviors. The welcome was genuine and spontaneous from all but Communists and Jews. At 6 A.M. of the 8th we entered Kiev, the sacred city of the Russians. Along the route some fearless Polish sympathizers threw flowers and cheered the march. But they were not many; the Bolsheviki before evacuating the city had issued flaring proclamations that they would surely return in two weeks, and woe unto him who showed any friendliness to the Polish soldier. Every house and store in this beautiful city was boarded shut. One could not buy a piece of bread for any price. I cannot see how the people existed during the weeks immediately preceding the Bolsheviki evac
solitary American with the entire Third Army. About that time the General hove in sight, and it was good to hear him laugh at my close call. From a more sheltered location we watched the retreating Bolshevik hordes on the other side of the Dnieper, while the Poles shelled them with all the artillery at hand.
In Kiev food prices were beyond all reason. Ordinary staples had advanced sometimes several thousand per cent, and shoes, stockings, and ordinary wearing apparel could not be had at any price. The Bolshevist money presses were working day and night while the troops looted the better and wealthy citizens. Naturally no one of any repute could
ONE OF THE FAMOUS POLISH POSEN CAVALRYMEN
and the Communists themselves had money. The street car lines, waterworks, and lights in this picturesque city were useless. All places occupied by the soldiers reeked with filth, débris, and disease. It made one's heart sick to see the wonderful furniture that had been willfully destroyed, the magnificent homes and their decorations that had been vandalized, famous paintings slashed, and families ruined forever.
For a month the Poles occupied Kiev. The life in the city again became nearly normal. People slept without fear. Busi ness was resumed. The city was cleaned. Children could play. Food was becoming less expensive. The dawn of a new day seemed to have begun, in which life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were actualities.
Then came the crash.
God only knows what the hasty with drawal of the gallant Polish arms means to the citizens who are left behind, in Kiev, the Holy City of the Russians.
Fifteen times during the past four years of war Kiev had been captured, occupied, and evacuated, by as many armies. Even the smaller school-children could run off the different conquering armies on their finger-tips, much as our boys and girls memorize the Presidents. There were the Germans, the Austrians, the Russians, Denikine, Petlura, the Bolsheviki, etc., etc., and now came the Poles, making the sixteenth invasion. There was precious little left behind that was portable, that was not buried deep in the ground, as one army made way for the next. Private property in Kiev is a thing of antiquity; even private thoughts were a menace until the Poles began the process of good government, order, law, and individual freedom. It was only with extreme difficulty that one could buy a pound of bread.
FOLES RESTORE CONFIDENCE
In three weeks the majority of the shops, restaurants, theaters, and offices were open and ready for customers. Communication with the outside world was resumed. Confidence was re-established. People believed in this army and its soldiers.
My fourth week in Kiev I shall never forget. We had opened our home for the Polish soldiers and officers. The opening day was memorable. General Rydz Smigley paid high and feeling tribute to the work of the American Y. M. C. A. We had received two carloads of supplies. Another was en route from Warsaw. Day and night we toiled, getting ready for the coming months, and rendering every pos sible service to resting soldiers and to the troops in the trenches who held the 30kilometers radius bridge-head across the Dnieper, so that the Bolo could not pass.
Wild, uncertain rumors of many battles to the north and south reached our ears. The Bolsheviki were apparently making a supreme effort to break the Polish lines of communication. They were trying at all costs to keep their parting word to the people to return in two weeks or a
month at the latest, and warning all against friendship for the Poles. We laughed at these Bolshevist attacks, for each new rumor seemed to pour scores of additional enemy prisoners through the streets. And what sights they were!
AGAIN IN FLIGHT
Rumors and reports are more and more persistent. The enemy is attacking the most vulnerable points in the Polish lines. The citizens are becoming alarmed and the Communists gain assurance. Secret pamphlets are circulated from unknown and untraceable sources. The value of the Polish mark declines fifty per cent. The citizens again know want and hunger.
Our canteen is besieged by people of Polish descent and by Russians begging for flour. The demands for even piece of chocolate for each soldier in companies or regiments become excessive. Our personnel is limited. Working alone, practically, the last few days were a dread to me. I approached my canteen in fear, as I was powerless to meet even part of the army situation, to say nothing of the civilian. There were sleepless nights; no one could tell what would happen before dawn, despite the apparent calmness of the General Staff.
Wide World Photos
Store after store, offices, theaters, kinos, and restaurants closed, and were boarded, nailed, and iron-barred against entrance. People moved everywhere with cherished possessions in huge packages, en route to hiding-places or burying-grounds. The water ceased to flow. The nights were dark, for lack of fuel for power. Refugees were now leaving in droves. For where? Anywhere to avoid the Bolsheviki. They were going west." Everything was moving west. It was the handwriting on the wall. But in our inexperience we could not read the signs, or we too would have moved west days earlier than we did,
Two railways connect Kiev with Warsaw-one to the north via Korosten, the other from the south via Berdyczow. There is also a highway the entire eight hundred kilometers between Warsaw and Kiev via Rowne and Zytomierz. The Bolshevik forces did not try to take Kiev direct, as it is practically as invulnerable as Gibraltar, behind the cliffs of the Dnieper.
This army, numbering, it is reported, thirty thousand experienced and excellent cavalry, the old Cossacks, under an old Cossack sergeant, Buedinni, now a Bolshevik General, crossed the Dnieper far north and considerably south of Kiev, and
passed through the Polish lines, to terrorize and ravage the country.
BUEDINNI'S HUGE RAID
With an inbred horsemanship and knowledge of this country, Buedinni's cavalry outmaneuvered the Poles. General Listowski, in command of this front, moved his headquarters from Berdyczow just in time to escape capture. The squadron of American aviators, the Kosciusko squadron, was also working this front. They are responsible for saving the General, and only escaped themselves as the first of the Bolsheviki rode on their aerodrome. Two planes, unable to start, were burned.
All railways, telegraph lines, and road bridges were destroyed. On Monday, June 7, the cavalry dashed into Zytomierz, burned the railway station, and plundered everything available, according to the report which reached us later. It was a well-organized raid on a superhuman scale, and partly succeeded in throwing the Poles into confusion. The Bolsheviki then scattered, apparently waiting for the Polish army to retreat from Kiev, where it was entirely cut off.
This is the actual story of what hap
pened from the other side. We in Kiev knew practically nothing of existing conditions. If we had known I cannot state what might have happened to the entire army which was thus hemmed in, at the hands of the great number of enemy sympathizers in the civilian population.
It is altogether likely that there would have been some frightful massacres. The confusion was indescribable. Perhaps the General Staff knew everything, but even this is doubtful, as all lines of communication had been cut. Again during these few days the American aviators rendered invaluable services and carried the final orders which directed the retreat.
The plan of retreat, which for the most part was orderly, now that I am permitted to review the entire evacuation from a distance, was as follows: The final sanitary train for the wounded and Red Cross personnel was to leave June 10 by the north, as the other railway was completely severed. This train would also carry as many civilians as possible, escorted by armored trains front and rear. The army would move in conjunction with this train. All the automobiles of the army, some two hundred and fifty, including ambulances, would form one column, travel empty for speed, and try to escape by the only road open to heavy traffic, the Kiev-Zytomierz highway. Bridges were known to be destroyed, but it was a case of win or lose all, with time a vital factor.
On June 8 and 9 the army drew in its bridge-head to the west of the Dnieper. All companies in the city were held in readiness, forbidden sleep at night. Cannonading was growing ever nearer and nearer. The bridges over the Dnieper were blown up and burned to prevent the Bolsheviki from entering from the east. The Nickoli Bridge for civilians was especially beautiful, and a masterpiece of construction. It seemed a crime against the world to see its spans sink into the river. Parts of the city were burning. The air was full of weird and wild speculation. Even in peace Kiev is mysterious. This mystery was accentuated a thousand times, until on the last night it became unbearable. No one tried to sleep. I thought I should go crazy were I compelled to remain in this Sacred City of the Russians another night.
The suspense and apparent hopelessness of the canteen situation weighed upon me. Our official order was: "Travel with as little baggage as possible; everything must be left." On the 10th of June at six P.M. the General Staff and train were to move. Early in the morning all
was in readiness. At the last minute I secured two army trucks and put two loads of our stuff on the train, and had two more en route when it pulled out, going west, with some of my personnel, leaving everything else behind. I had missed the train, with twelve soldiers who helped me, and three prisoners and guard detailed to my canteen. We were besieged by a mob of civilians. Never have I gone through such an ordeal. At least a thousand people crowded and jammed the street in front of my theater, arguing, fighting, yelling in an unknown tongue, struggling and waiting for the inevitable. For the General and his staff company, instead of moving at six P.M. actually left the city at three P.M. I imagine several hairs turned gray in my head during the next half-hour. I had held on to everything until the end, giving supplies only to the most needy, and donating liberally to the hospitals.
Here was a dilemma into which I had deliberately walked. What were we to do? And then, at the last moment, just as I was about to sling my knapsack over my shoulder, call my men together, and abandon the canteen, two five-ton PierceArrow trucks rolled to the door. And yet they say miracles happened only in the Bible! These truck-drivers were after a little chocolate for the long trip, so they said their column had gone and they were hungry. And these four chauffeurs got their fill of chocolate the next four days of the retreat through the Bolshevik lines.
We had loaded those trucks with every chocolate bar in stock, every can of tobacco, and all the milk, jam, and cigarettes.
The train and army that went north had a hard time of it, fighting their way for two hundred kilometers, facing the same methods used by the Russians against Napoleon more than one hundred years ago; although the Poles were far more fortunate, for it was summer, and the Bolsheviki seemed to miss many opportunities to spread havoc.
Our automobile column was halted at daybreak on the 11th while the chauffeurs tried to repair a bridge that had been burned by the Bolsheviki the day before. The men intrenched themselves and waited for the attack which we felt certain was coming every minute, for the hostile cavalry were all around us. Why the famous Buedinni Cossack Cavalry did not attack and completely exterminate us during the eight hours we waited for that bridge to be rebuilt is more than I can tell. Perhaps the column with its
253 motors looked too formidable, or perhaps the Bolsheviki were awaiting reinforcements. It was a sensation, rid ing along on a slow-moving truck on that great level highroad, a perfect mark for any rifleman. One does some tall think ing under such circumstances.
A ROLLING Y. M. C. A. CANTEEN
We arrived at Zytomierz about 5 P.M of June 11. We were now in Polish ter ritory and all seemed well. I received permission to pass on to Zwiahel imme diately after giving chocolate and tobacco to the chauffeurs and soldiers of the column. As the Y had a canteen at Zwiahel, I planned to spend the night there.
It took me until four in the morning to reach the place, as my last truck went through a temporary bridge. Word had been relayed that the cavalry were com ing, and coming fast, in great numbers. apparently bent on the destruction of the column before it left the city. Three hours after the trucks started to evacu ate, the cavalry entered the city. It was a very close call for all, some barely es caping, while others were obliged to leave bulky machines behind.
I next evacuated our canteen at Zwiahel. It seemed foolhardy to leave it there after my recent experiences. With the help of the American Aviation Squadron, I converted this canteen into a rolling canteen, consisting of two box cars. It is moving with the army at present and there is no danger of a secretary and outfit being left behind in the rush of another retreat.
Two days later I was in Rowne, four hundred kilometers from Kiev, and my starting-point just six weeks previous on what proved to be a great adventure. The same evening more than two hun dred trucks of our motor column came thundering into Rowne. They were taking no chances this time.
The Kiev story is but a small event in history, I suppose. I write it because it was one of the great experiences of my life, and because I was the only Ameri can, so far as I know, who went through the affair from the first day to the last.
I have never seen a braver spirit than that displayed by the Polish youths who were mechanics and chauffeurs, worthily called soldiers in this auto column retreat. Poland probably overstepped her limits. It may have been a grave mistake. The army has returned to its former lines of national defense. But it is a simple matter to criticise now, while Kiev, the Holy City of Russia, again returns to the Bolshevik régime, its seventeenth invasion and occupation.