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Of Unusual Interest

The Outlook


598 Fifth Avenue, NEW YORK

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The Outlook

MAY 3, 1922



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HERE are conferences and conferences. To call such a gathering as

that at Genoa by the same name as that applied to the meeting of nations last winter at Washington is an indication of the poverty of language. No two gatherings could be more unlike.

At Washington there were nations which, however much their policies and purposes might differ, were willing to take one another's word as equivalent to a bond. Even the most disturbing incidents of the Washington Conference, such as some of the encounters between the Japanese and the Chinese and be. tween the British and the French, served only to emphasize the fact that when any nation there finally pledged its word to a course of action there was no suspicion on the part of the representative of any other nation that that word would be broken. At Genoa, on the other hand, there are nations whose word is worth little or nothing in the eyes of other nations present. France, for instance, may cordially dislike England's purposes, but it does not distrust England's word. On the other hand, France and other countries, with very good reason, not only dislike Germany's purposes but also distrust Germany's word, and have no faith whatever in the words of Russia's present rulers.

Under these conditions it is not strange that the Genoa Conference has consisted of a series of crises. In diplomatic language, there has been incident after incident. One incident arises as soon as another is closed. To recount these daily occurrences of dangerous import would be wearisome. It would be useless to do so without at length explaining the moves in the game which these thirty-odd nations are playing.

In general, the nations gathered at Genoa seem to be taking sides according to the value they put upon good faith. The Bolshevist leaders from Russia put no value at all upon it, and the Germans put very little. Both the Russians and the Germans represent Governments which have been outlawed and which still bear the stigma of outlaws. They are governed somewhat by the psychology of the criminal, who thinks that, since every man's hand is against him, he is entitled to a living by his wits and is under no obligation to show good faith. When these nations were invited

(C) Underwood


impossible to hold an economic conference which is not primarily political. THE BOLSHEVIKI'S AIM IOR thus doing much to justify in the

eyes of the world the course of France toward her, Germany has been charged with stupidity. Perhaps Germany is not as stupid as she seems to be. The world's memory has proved short, and the sort of things Germany did only a few years ago are passing into oblivion. Germany apparently can count on other nations' forgetfulness. What she has done in this instance is to secure at least a finger-hold upon the rich resources of Russia, and she is probably ready to gamble on the chance that the Allies will overlook this act of bad faith as they have overlooked a great many other such acts.

The Germans were told that, since they had made this arrangement with Russia, they could not be admitted into the discussions of Rusian affairs, and they accepted their exclusion with apparent nieekness. Moreover, they, as well as the Russians, were told that the Allies would preserve the right to declare any provisions of the Russo-German treaty which are in conflict with other treaties (for example, the Treaty of Versailles) null and void.

The Russians were told, too, that if they were going to continue in conference with other nations they must not be too truculent. The Allies' experts on Russia liad met in London and prepared a report on Russian affairs which the Bolsheviki scorned in a statement which was issued by one of their officials. France promptly refused to sit with the Russian representatives until they made an explanation. In the meantime Tchitcherin, the Russian Foreign Minister, had issued a note in reply to the Allies' demand. The Allies had notified the Bolsheviki that their fifty billion dollar bill (which Dr. W. F. Johnson, in an article in this issue, exposes to the light of an incident in American history) was quite unacceptable. Mr. Tchitcherin withdrew the bill. The Allies had told the Bolsheviki that they would "write down” the war debts owing by Russia and postpone payment of interest, and even omit some parts of the arrears, and Mr. Tchitcherin agreed-naturally. The Allies had set certain conditions concerning the payment of debts and damages to foreign nationals; Mr.


to Genoa, they accepted certain conditions laid down. Britain needs very much the trade of both of these countries, and used her influence to induce the other nations to receive their accept: ances in good faith. France had very good reason to be reluctant in this matter, for she has found that Germany, after giving her signature to the Treaty of Versailles, has ever since been seeking to escape performing her part of the contract. There was every indication that France was approaching Germany in a mood of reconciliation. It is reported by a certainly not over proFrench British correspondent, J. L. Garvin, that one of the French Cabinet Ministers, de Lasteyrie, was taking the train from Paris in order to have a thorough financial discussion with the Germans when, presto! the Germans did their best to justify all the French fears by announcing their treaty with Russia, which at best has added new difficulties to the observance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

Of course all this has gone to prove, what seemed obvious before, that under present circumstances in Europe it is

Legion. That land settlements and industrial loans can be of practical and permanent assistance to ex-soldiers has been proved by the example of Canada.

In an early issue of The Outlook an article on the Canadian system of loans to soldier-farmers will be published.


Tchitcherin presented some counterconditions, among which was the very important one that the Bolshevist Government should be recognized. When this apparently mild note appeared, it was explained that this superseded the truculent letter first issued, and the French thereupon resumed relations with the Russians.

In all of this the aim of the Bolsheviki is obvious. They are in desperate need of two things in order to retain their power over the Russian masses. If they get those two things at Genoa, they will go home highly pleased with themselves. One thing is recognition: The other thing is money. They have found that their plan to revolutionize the world by destroying the governments of other nations and the medium of exchange is futile. They had so conducted themselves that they won and deserved international ostracism. According to an Associated Press despatch from Moscow, the Bolshevist Government had issued up to the last of March twentyfive trillions (that is, twenty-five thousand billions, or, if you please, twenty-five million millions) of paper rụbles since the first of January of this year.

That seems incredible; but the whole Bolshevist scheme is incredible except for the fact that it happens to be one of the facts of an incredible era. Now these Bolsheviki find that if they are going to exploit the Russian people further they have got to have the backing of other governments not only politically but financially. So they present their fifty


to take the matter in her own hands, as the Treaty of Versailles authorizes, in order to protect her rights and interests. There has been a tendency in France toward a radical reduction of her military organization. Poincaré has been one of those who have cautioned his country against too rapid action in that direction, and now he points to the course of Germany and Russia as justifying his Cabinet in “daring to insist for the moment on eighteen months' military service."

Officially, however, the French Government is readier for compromise than Poincaré's speech would indicate-indeed, quite as ready for compromise as any one who knows what France has been through during the past two generations has any right to expect. The French delegation, in a statement concerning Lloyd George's proposal for a ten-year-peace treaty, has said: It must be made clear that Germany and Russia have no aggressive intentions before the rest of Europe can agree to any such pact. If it involves the neutralization of frontier zones, it may be useful. If it involves later some form of reduction of armies, it may be beneficial. France is ready to reduce if others do so, because this would decrease expenditures, but it must affect everybody and be without a loophole for violation."

France of course is right in saying that a peace treaty had better be written in something else than water.


E do not always agree with Senator

Borah. But we have never doubted his independence of spirit and his readiness to fight for his convictions. This characteristic has been manifest in his public career ever since he rose to National prominence through his prosecution of the case against the murderers of ex-Governor Steunenberg.

If the Legion Post of Pocatello, Idaho, had realized this fact, they might have withheld their threat to drive Senator Borah out of public life because of his op position to the bonus. In reply to the telegram from this Post Senator Borah said:

I observe in your telegram the threat which you impliedly make as to future political punishment. It was wholly unnecessary for you to make this threat. It reflected no credit upon you and it has had no effect whatever on me.

When you come to that fight in which you propose to inflict punishment, you will doubtless be able to say many things in the way of censure upon my public service.

But one thing neither you nor any one else will be able to say, and that is that I ever sought to purchase political power by drafts upon the public treasury, or that I chose to buy a continuation in office by putting $4,000,000,000 upon the bended backs of American taxpayers.

I haven't much respect for the man who buys office, even though he pay's for it with his own money.

But the most slimy creature which disgraces American politics is the man Who buys office by paying for it with appropriations out of the public treasury and charges his venal political obligations to the taxpayers.


LANS money for payment

preposterous demands, and then blandiy Poratoorainers bonus have so far cret

offer to withdraw everything provided they get recognition and cash.

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sembled the efforts of a man who seeks to increase the length of a piece of string by cutting off one end and tying it on the other. Congress is apparently unwilling to find any new funds for the bonus, for it is still keeping an expectant eye upon the payment of interest money on our foreign loans. At present the thought of Congress involves using interest payments from Great Britain.

Such funds, if they are received, cannot be properly applied to the bonus. Such interest should be applied to our own Liberty Bonds. For our bonds were in part sold to the Nation for the purpose of securing funds to loan to our allies. If Congress wishes to prove its sincerity in the matter of bonus legislation, let it collect the needed money by the imposition of new taxes frankly levied for the purpose of paying the bonus.

The political aspects of the bonus question are accentuated by the fact that it is proposed to increase the cash payments provided for in the House bill and to abolish some of the really constructive features, such as the land settlement plan which was incorporated in the original measure put forward by the

George's proposal for a ten-year pact of peace all around sounds rather ingenuous to those peoples who have suffered most from the criminal exploits of the German Militarists and the Russian Reds. Indeed, it would not have been surprising if the French had suggested that before they made any more pacts perhaps it would be well to see that those already made were observed.

Indeed, Premier Poincaré is reported to have declared in a speech at Bar-leDuc, France, that all France has ever asked and all that she asks to-day is the execution of the Treaty of Versailles. “That,” he is quoted as saying, "we must have and shall have. The peace of Europe depends upon it." He is reported as going still further in explicit statement by saying that he hoped that the Allies would be able to act in unison, but that France was prepared

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