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FEBRUARY 20, 1918
On account of the war and the consequent delays in the mails, both in Vero York City and on the milurays, this copy of The Outlook may reach the subscriber late. The publishers are iloing everything in their power to facilitat deliveries
POLITICAL ASPECTS OF PEACE
The two important news events of last week regarding the political side of the war were the announcement by despatches from Russia that the Bolsheviki have declared that the state of war between Russia on the one side and the Central Powers on the other is at an end, and a restatement by President Wilson in a personal address to the two houses of Congress of the bases which may underlie negotiations for peace.
The news from the Bolsheviki adds little of importance to what was already known in this country except that the Bolsheviki Government now officially announces that the Russian army on all fronts is to be demobilized. While the despatches say that a state of war no longer exists, they also announce that no formal treaty of peace will be signed. The confusion of such a situation as this must be apparent to the simplest minds. It is merely confirmatory of the fact long realized in this country that under present conditions Russia can no more be counted upon as a military factor in this war. The Bolsheviki Government is more and more exposing the Russian people to German military and political domination if Germany wishes to exercise such domination.
This disintegration of Russia may be defined in two words unconditional surrender.
nism that would be likely in time to break the peace of Europe, and consequently of the world.
A general peace erected upon such foundations can be discussed. Until such a peace can be securell we have no choice .but to go on.
If this statement appears to indicate more than in his preceding address that the President foresees the possibility of a settlement of the war by negotiation, it must be kept in mind that he refers specifically to Austria, and that in conclusion he reasserts the determination of America not to turn back from a course chosen upon principle. He still sees Germany in the control of a party “ apparently willing and able to send millions of men to their death to prevent what all the world now sees to be just." He declares that we shall not pause till our resources are * mobilized in their entirety ;” and that “our whole strength will be put into this war of emancipation.”
WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID
The President's statement to Congress makes an emphatic distinction between the attitude of Germany and that of Austria. In the present attitude of the masters of Germany he sees no basis on which to reach a peace“ worth the infinite sacrifice of these years of tragic suffering.” He particularly declares that the German insistence on settling Russian questions with Russia alone and French questions with France alone is impossible, and that “all parties in this war must join in the settlement of every issue anywhere involved in it; because what we are seek ing is a peace that we can all unite to guarantee and maintain, and every item of it must be submitted to the common judg. ment whether it be right and fair, an act of justice, rather than a bargain between sovereignties.” In the attitude of Austria, as expressed by Count Czernin, he sees a spirit different from that of Germany. In particular, Count Czernin's concession of an independent Poland, of the evacuation and restoration of Belgium, and of the satisfaction of national aspirations even within Austria, the President cites as evidence of this different spirit. With respect to Austria he says, therefore:
After all, the test of whether it is possible for either Government to go any further in this comparison of views is simple and obvious. The principles to be applied are these :
1. That each part of the final settlement must be based upon the essential justice of that particular case and upon such adjustments as are most likely to bring a peace that will be permanent.
2. That peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were mere chattels and pawns in a game, even the great game, now forever discredited, of the balance of power ; but that
3. Every territorial settlement involved in this war must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations con-cerued, and not as a part of any mere adjustment or compromise of claims amongst rival states; and
4. That all well-defined national aspirations shall be accorded the utmost satisfaction that can be accorded them without introducing new or perpetuating old elements of discord and antago
A PAPER PEACE FOR THE UKRAINE
Realers of newspaper headlines who do not read the cable despatches beneath the headlines may well be confused by reading one day that the Red Guard of the Bolsheviki have “capturell " Kiev in the Ukraine, and another day that the Ukraine has, against the will of the Bolsheviki, concluded a separate peace with Germany. In both cases the achievement is what may be called a paper achievement. It sounds much more important than it is. Thus, as regards Kiev, a study of the facts shows that the so-called capture was not a military act, but the gain by the Bolsheviki party of political supremacy. Whether the supremacy is permanent or not time will show. The great Province of the Ukraine, in southern Russia, has a population of over 20,000,000 people.
As regards the peace with Germany, what has happened is that the Rada, or Parliament, of the Ukraine has agreed upon terms with Germany. Again it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent thing. Whether peace becomes effective or not depends on the result of what is practically civil war now going on throughout the Ukraine between the forces of the Bolsheviki and those Ukrainians who in large numbers wish total independence, relief from the rule of the Bolsheviki, and peace at once.
The Austrian Prime Minister, Count Czernin, has declared that peace with the Ukraine is more valuable to the Central Powers than peace with Petrograd. His reason is, as reported, that large quantities of food can be obtained by the Central Powers from the Ukraine, while Petrograd “has nothing but revolution and anarchy to export.” Even from an enemy's tongue this sentence should illuminate the minds of Lenine and Trotsky.
The Rada now in session was elected long before the Lenine Government came into power in Petrograd, and after that event it lost little time in declaring its independence of the new Petrograd régime, which in turn has denounced the Rada as a reprehensible bourgeois body-a body dominated by citizens of middle rank. The majority of the Ukrainians are fundamentally opposed to the immediate redistribution of land among the peasants, which the Bolsheviki make the corner-stone of their political religion. The vast size and large population of the Ukraine make its entire separation from Petrograd control and a separate peace important. Theoretically, the Bolsheviki ought to rejoice at Ukraine independence in accordance with their talk about the rights of smaller countries. Practically, this independence is a thorn in the side of the
Bolsheviki Government, which is really based, not on democ- Munitions Directorship Bills ; that it was really intended to racy, but on absolutism-not of a Czar, but of the proletariat, result in a compromise. and the proletariat exclusively.
Other Senators and other newspapers, however, have sugIt was in Berlin and Vienna that, as the despatches say, gested that the President, finally realizing that complete Gor“ joy bells were rung" over the conclusion of this separate peace. ernmental organization was essential, had determined on it, but, Apart from the food possibilities for the Central Powers, Ger in the language of the Omaha “ Bee," “ does not want to share many and Austria recognize that such a peace would put with Congress any of the work of directing the war." Rumania in a dangerous situation. It is not surprising that, In conclusion, both sides agree that closer co-operation and almost simultaneously with the announ cement of peace between better control must be secured. the Central Powers and the Ukraine, Rumania received an ultimatum from General von Mackensen giving her only four days in which to begin negotiations for peace, with implied
DEFENDING THE PRESIDENT threats of German occupation of the portion of Rumania still Criticism of the Administration's conduct of the war has held by the Rumanians.
evoked several addresses of vigorous defense.
The most comprehensive of these was delivered by Represent
ative Carter Glass in Congress on February 6. On the princiTHE PRESIDENT'S BILL
ple that the best defense is an offense, Mr. Glass devoted a part Senator Overman has introduced into the United States of his speech to a counter-criticism of the man who has come Senate a bill authorizing the President “to co-ordinate and consol to be regarded as the chief spokesman of the critics—the idate” the executive bureaus, agencies, and offices“ in the interest Chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, Mr. of economy and the more effective administration of the Gov Chamberlain, of Oregon. He made it a point to refer to the ernment." It would empower the President “to make such redis course of the Committee on Military Affairs before the war tribution of functions among executive agencies as he may deem in cutting down appropriations which had been recommendel necessary, including any functions, duties, and powers hitherto by military authorities and in failing to secure in time of peacr by law conferred upon any executive department, commission, the reorganization which now the Chairman of that Committe bureau, agency, office, or officer ;" he may also “ make such regards as essential. Mr. Glass attributed a large part of the regulations and issue such orders as he may deem necessary;" conditions of unpreparedness to Mr. Chamberlain's own failure he may “transfer any duties or powers from one existing depart of foresight. The most effective part of his speech, however, was ment, commission, bureau," etc., to another, and "the personnel, not that in which he said virtually “You're another," but that property and moneys appropriated as well ;" finally, “ all restric in which he gave detailed explanation of certain courses which tions in any existing law” shall be suspended. The bill would had been criticised. remain in force during the war and one year thereafter.
As to ordnance, Mr. Glass declared that it was the deliberate Under it the President might abolish all the Government's policy of the Government, with the approval of French authorwar-making machinery, with or without creating any new ma ities, to arm our men sent to France from“ her over-supplied chinery in its place. It would enable the President to repeal the arsenals.” “Yes," said Mr. Glass, “ both France and Great laws by which Governmental departments and agencies have Britain are supplying the American Army with guns ; we are been established, and would further emphasize the legislation buying them and paying for them, just as France and Great which has already given unprecedented power to the President Britain bought munitions from us when they could not get in his present control over food, fuel, transportation by land them quickly enough or in sufficient quantities from their own and by sea, commerce, censorship, alien property, espionage, factories. And the fact does not constitute an indictment of the embargo. We comment on this bill on page 279.
Government. Rather is it a clear index of the purpose and a hopeful sign of the diligence which the War Department is
applying to the situation.” Mr. Glass defended the rejection of WHAT PEOPLE SAY
the Lewis 'gun on several grounds, among which was the A newspaper of great influence, and generally an Adminis. statement attributed to General Pershing that it would not be tration supporter, the New York “Times," reflects the well used on his front. Mr. Glass also explained certain other matnigh universal comment on the Overman Bill in protesting that ters which have been subject to criticism, including the use the President, instead of having his personal powers extended, of shoddy, or reworked wool, in uniforms, and quoted authority should summon the ablest executives without respect to party, in support of a number of his statements. He went so far as to
The Springfield“ Republican,” on the other hand, says that the offer some defense of unpreparedness by declaring that in the Overman bill would“ simplify, while unifying and co-ordinating, close of 1916 the country had re-elected Mr. Wilson “because, the executive machinery; it does not thrust into the Adminis among other considerations, he had been wise and brave enough tration system an entirely new and unprecedented body, such as to keep us out of war.” the War Cabinet.” From the opposite coast comes the assertion Mr. Glass is a Democrat and was defending a Democratic of the San Francisco “ Chronicle” that Congress has no power President; but as pronounced a defense has been uttered by a to “create any war tribunal to which the President is bound to Republican, Mr. Borah, Senator from Idaho. In a speech in pay any attention even if Congress should pass it over his veto." New York, while defending the character and patriotism of Mr.
The New York “ World,” which takes this view of the pro- Chamberlain, and while acknowledging the making of some posed War Cabinet, disapproves at the same time the proposal mistakes, he declared his belief that "in this emergency the that the President be given authority to reframe the executive Administration at Washington has done a great work in getdepartments to suit himself.
ting ready for this war.” The newspapers would indicate that there is difference of The most striking tribute, however, was rendered by Andri opinion in the South as elsewhere. The New Orleans “Times Tardieu, French High Commissioner to the United States. He Picayune ” says: “ In street cars, as in the Senate, are delivered specified certain particulars (such as the great increase in the judgments so pragmatic that they ought to come from the lips of Army, the results in aviation, and the policy regarding ord nobody but a Cæsar, a Ilannibal, a Napoleon, or a Joffre. If nance) which deserved praise. As to ordnance he said : these wiseacres know what they are talking about, Woodrow But as we have agreed, it was understood that you should supWilson should be ejected from the White House, and a war ply and transport to France the necessary war material; we will, council composed of their kind should be put in his place.”
under such conditions, be able in France to deliver to you before The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. On July 1 enough guns thoroughly to equip twenty of your divisions. that body will devolve the decision to report the bill out or The situation, therefore, is completely safe in that respect. allow it to sleep in committee. Mr. Overman is the Com As a conclusion Mr. Tardieu paid this high tribute : “ July mittee's ranking Democratic (majority) member.
ing things as a whole, I declare, without any restriction and Some papers and some Senators feel that the measure was without any reserve, that by its war policy the United States intended not so much of something to be passed as something Government has well earned the praise of its allies and of drastic enough to head off the Chamberlain War Council and civilization, for which we are fighting together."
SECRETARY BAKER'S PLAN
tonnage turned over to the War and Navy Departments to Secretary Baker proposes, according to the War Depart- carry American soldiers to Europe. An immediate question ment order published February 10, to reorganize the General before the Committee lies in the diversion of other than AmerStaff with a view to co-ordinating all military activities. Major- ican tonnage to this task. General Peyton C. March, now in France, will be the Chief of We shall be surprised if the work of the Ship Control ComStaff. Under him there will be five Assistant Chiefs of Staff mittee does not prove the equivalent of a considerable amount with clearly defined duties and powers, and each the responsible of new tonnage to the cause of America and the Allies. head of a division.
One-Executive Division : To supervise the organization, administration, and methods of all divisions of the General
THE LOSS OF THE TUSCANIA Staff and the several bureaus, corps, and other agencies of the
The American losses by the submarine torpedoing of the War Department, to the end that all such matters may be
British transport Tuscania were much less than at first reported; comprehensively treated and the activities of all such agencies indeed, the wonder is that so large a proportion was saved of co-ordinated.
the 2,235 persons on board, of whom 2.177 were Americans. Two-War Plans Division: This will deal with the organi. As nearly as can be estimated up to February 11, the loss of zation of all branches of the Army, to determine questions of
American officers and men is 113. equipment for all branches of the Army, projects of National The Tuscania was off the northeast coast of Ireland when defense, and other technical military matters.
she was struck at about six o'clock on the evening of February Three-Purchase and Supply Division : This will have cog. 5. The many ships called by wireless to her aid landed the nizance of and supervision over supplies required for the use of rescued at points on the very northeast part of Ireland, and the Army, under an officer designated as the Director of Pur
even in Scotland. How the submarine evaded the destroyers chases and Supplies, who shall be assistant to the Chief of Staff. convoying the Tuscania may never be known. It has been said “ There shall be in the Purchase and Supply Division the office in some other cases that there is a tendency for a merchant of Surveyor-General of Supplies under an officer or a civilian. vessel to draw too far ahead of her naval convoys, which must It shall be the duty of the Surveyor-General of Supplies to circle about and dash to and fro. There is no report of this, provide that all arrangements for the purchase, procurement,
however, as regards the Tuscania. and production of all munitions and other supplies for the use K nown facts show that the loss of Allied troops when in transof the Army shall be so correlated and otherwise scheduled as ports has been small. Few British transports torpedoed have most effectually to forward the Army programme and most been destroyed, and the majority of those have been in the advantageously utilize the industrial resources of the country.” Mediterranean. The English Channel is so closely guarded that
Four Storage and Traffic Divisions : with control of all troops have passed from England to France almost or quite as transportation connected with the Army by land and sea, and safely as if there were an under-sea tunnel. Moreover, a British all storage facilities connected therewith; all movements of authority is quoted by the New York “ Times” as saying that troops, munitions, supplies; all arrangements with the Navy for only one out of two hundred of convoyed merchant ships in the convoy service; all storage of war supplies.
Atlantic has been sunk. Danger there is; but it is not one to Five-Army Operations Division: The recruitment, mobiliza- be hysterical about, nor is it excessive as compared with other tion, movement, and distribution of troops; the assignment of war risks. equipment; supervision and co-ordination of camp sites.
Americans may well feel proud of the steady courage shown This plan would seem to make the General Staff a genuinely by our troops in presence of imminent death. They stood at executive body, possessed of every power necessary for the attention while hospital patients and the two women on board equipment, training, and transportation of our land forces. Its were cared for, obeyed orders, and sang the National anthem, obvious aim is to make the General Staff a responsible factor
alternating with the “ God Save the King” of their British fel. in the conduct of the war. The feature which seems to be of the low-soldiers. British officers and naval commanders praise our most value is the opportunity it presents of giving Mr. Edward men cordially, and with real appreciation of their sturdiness and R. Stettinius an executive office of the utmost importance under
coolness and readiness. We comment editorially on this disprovision “ Three-Purchase and Supply Division."
aster on page 279.
PROOF OR RETRACTION The control of transportation as regards shipping has A charge which, if untrue, is atrocious, and which, if true, lagged behind that as regards railways. But as a result of co- ought to be fortified by incontrovertible evidence, has been ordinated action between the Federal Shipping Board and the made by Mr. W. G. Lee, head of the Trainmen's Brotherhood. War Department, as well as between this country and the He accuses railway managers of trying to increase cost and Allies, an Inter-Allied Ship Control Committee has now been cause delay in the railways in order to discredit Government appointed. It is headed by Mr. P. A. S. Franklin, of New operation. The fact that he made this charge in part by innuYork City, the well-known ship agent. The other members of endo does not affect the seriousness of it except to make it more the Committee are Mr. H. H. Raymond, Port Controller at difficult to refute by evidence, no matter how overwhelming. New York, and Sir Connop Guthrie, Controller of British For it is impossible to pin down accusation made by innuendo. Shipping.
At a recent hearing of the Railroad Wage Commission Mr. This Committee is to distribute all available tonnage on Lee said: this side of the Atlantic, whether belonging to the United
Why do reports to the Inter-State Commerce Commission States or its allies. It will co-ordinate the needs of the various show that in Philadelphia recently more engines were allowed Government departments, effecting such interchange of ton to freeze up overnight than ever before? One required two nage and traffic as may be practicable with the Allied Govern weeks for repairs. We have had winters before. Why all this ments.
congestion just now? The power of this Committee, we are glad to say, will be
The old managements do not want Government operation absolute with regard to the placing and disposal of ships at
made a success. any American port. In particular, it will take immediate steps He added that the real cause of this alleged deliberate breakto relieve congestion at the port of New York by diverting ing down of the railways could be traced "back to about four traffic to other ports. Such a pooling of tonnage has long been banks in New York City." necessary, both to obtain the maximum efficiency from the ships Mr. Lee ought to be forced by public opinion to prove his now in operation and to avoid the delays of loading and un- charges. What he has in substance said is, in effect, that railloading, due often to difficulties of lighterage, that have had a way managers are heartless enough to cause incalculable sufferlarge share in crippling ocean transportation.
ing in order to gain a point. A man who makes such charges The Committee's control extends over passenger as well as as that without proof justly lays himself open to the suspiciou freight service; in especial it will supervise the routing of all that he himself is capable of doing the very thing which he charges on another. Do the members of Mr. Lee's union realize Orestes appears with his foster-father. He has grown to manthat his charges involve them in the charge of having been hood and is unrecognized. He has come home, in obedience to intimidated or bribed to carry out the orders of the "four the oracle he has consulteil, to kill his mother. According to a bauks in New York City”?
prearranged plan, his foster-father tells the mother that Orestes We hope the Trainmen's Brotherhood will either repudiate is dead, and describes with dramatic vividness the chariot race officially what their representative has said or else undertake ending in the accident that caused his death. C'lytemnestra, to produce evidence to prove it.
relieved of her fears, cannot, as she goes out, wholly coneral her joy at the news; but Electra, left alone, is overcome with
grief. When Orestes appears, Electra, thinking him to be a MR. ROOSEVELT'S ILLNESS
stranger, receives from his hands the urn which he allegins Not merely Theodore Roosevelt's friends and neighbors, contains the ashes of her brother's body. Beside herself with but all his fellow-citizens throughout the country, are greatly despair, she fondles the urn as a mother would fouille her baby. relieved to learn that he is passing successfully through the and lavishes on it all the love that she has been cherishing critical illness which has made him for the first time in his life during the years for her brother. Orestes, greatly movedl, reveals a patient at a great hospital. That is to say, the first time for himself, and in a delirium of joy Electra is transformed. Shelenatural causes, for he spent a few days at a hospital in Chicago comes once more the embodiment of vengeance. Orestes goes out. after he was shot during the excitement of the political campaign and soon are heard the shrieks of ('lytemnestra as he kills her. in 1912. His present illness is directly traceable to the jungle As her body, covered with a cloth, is brought out on a couch, fever which he contracted during his famous exploring trip in Egisthos, who since Agamemnon's death has been her husband, South America in 1913. This most serious form of tropical fever, returns from a hunt. He has heard the story of Orestes's death, together with an infected wound in the leg made by jagged and his joy at the news is unbounded. lle sees the couch, and, rocks in his passage in canoe down the famous “River of Doubt," assuming the body on it to be that of Orestes, bids Electra go have given him more or less trouble periodically since his return call Clytemnestra, that his wife may exult with him in the sight from South America. But his extraordinary vitality has enabled of her son's corpse. Electra, fairly terrified by the prospect him to treat these physical difficulties, which would be serious of her coming victory, goes to the couch and with gruesome irony for the average man, as merely superficial. Possibly as a result of cries aloud the dead woman's name—“C'lytemnestra!" Ægisthes his unintermitting and patriotic work on war questions, a recur. dumfounded by the incredible suspicion that this strikes into rence of the tropical fever conditions brought on some serious his brain, throws off the cover from the couch and sees the horror abscesses which made it necessary for him to go to Roosevelt of the truth. Like an animal entrappell, he turns to find himself Hospital in New York to undergo one or two difficult operations. confronted by Orestes with drawn sword still red with ClytemHis condition at first was serious if not critical, but at this nestra's blood. Trying to defend himself, he is forced out, anul writing he is convalescing, and every hope is expressed by the from the very hall where Agamemnon had been killed come experts in charge that he will be entirely himself again before the sound of clashing weapons. Electra, statuesque, awaits tik very long.
outcome. The clashing suddenly ceases; a sword comes hurtling His illness has served to bring out once more two notable out and falls at her feet. She stoops, recognizes it as the sword characteristics of his career--first, the very wide affection in of Egisthos, and as the curtain is drawn dances upon it with which he is held by all sorts and conditions of men in every triumph, heedless of the fact that now the Furies, who have bru part of the country without regard to political affiliations, and, pursuing Clytemnestra and Egisthos, must in reguital pursue second, his extraordinary physique, which, he says in his auto-, Orestes. biography; he built up from the slenderest foundations by sys- This is the story-and the simple outlines of it are enough to tematic exercise and care. He went through physical hardships indicate the change that has come over the moral standards of enough in his African explorations, and again in his South all civilized men since the day it served as the plot of a popular American explorations, to kill a good many men, and he has drama.' worked incessantly and at high pressure in positions of responsible People call “ Electra ” “highbrow.” It is highbrow only in leadership for thirty-five years. He has been through one war the sense that it requires some degree of information, intelliand through one attempted murder, yet somehow or other he gence, and imagination to put one's self into such a state of always recuperates. Ilis physical resiliency after a knockdown is mind that a tragedly like “ Electra ” would not seem preposterstriking testimony to the value of systematic bodily training. ously grotesque. To the people, however, for whom it was
written it was not highbrow at all. It was a play written to
be performed before enormous crowds-crowds many times · ELECTRA
larger than those that witness the popular moulern play. It was Revenge is nowadays generally regarded not as a holy, a play for the multitude; and it could not have “ gotten across religious duty, but as a brutal instinct to be restrained and sup- if the multitude had not understood it. pressed. That makes it hard for a modern audience to appreci What makes “ Electra” a profoundly great work of art is ate fully such a tragedy as “ Electra," which was elaborately the structural beauty of the means by which Euripides set and effectively performed on the afternoon of February 6 in forth a moral doctrine of the miverse that once was very much Carnegie Hall, New York City. When Euripides wrote that alive, though to-day it is even deader than the language in great play, the people of Greece had ideas of what is right and which it was written. Great works of art must, as they are wrong very different from those which we accept in America in created, emboly living ideas. The ideas themselves may the the twentieth century of the Christian era. They regardled it as pass away, but the art which enshrives them, if it le cousuna matter of course that gross injustice, mad desire for vengeance, mate, remains, as " Electra” remains, imperishable. and inescapable terror should be apportioned to mortals by the will of the very gods they worshiped.
It is such ideas as these that are embodied in the story of the THE PERFORMANCE play:
Foreign as was the underlying idea of “ Electra” to the Agamemnon, one of the heroes of Greece, killed his daughter audience who heard and saw the performance in New York City. in sacrifice to the gods. Though his act was regarded as in there can be no manner of doubt that the tragedly profoundly questionably devout, it called for requital. It was requited by impressed and at times moved them. Clytemnestra, his wife, the girl's mother. She betrayed him to This was due to the effectiveness of the stage-settiur, the act. her paramour, Ægisthos, who killed him. Upon this, Orestes, ing, and the music. the young son of the murdered man, fled from the murderess, Of course the performance was not a duplication-even a his mother, leaving behind him his two sisters, Electra and proximately—of that which the ancient Greeks saw. It was Chrysothemis. All this has happened years before the action of something better. It was such a performance as would give to the play begins. Meanwhile Electra, who had been made a slave a modern audience the same kind of impression that the original in her own home, longs during the years for her brother's return form of performance must have given to the audiences of oli. thai he may avenge her father's death. Is the play opens, Originally there was no scenery; in the Carnegie Ilall per