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WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT ISN'T
BY ARTHUR CAPPER
V THEN a bright reporter a few ticular class or a particular section. It not understand that the farmers of the
months ago hit upon the term has discovered instances where legisla- country, besides being the producers of
"agricultural bloc" to describe tion has ignored or discriminated our foodstuffs and the raw materials a group of men in Congress who had against a particular class or section, and that enter so largely into other manucome together to discuss plans for fur. has sought to correct this; as, for ex- factures, are also our greatest single thering certain legislation, he probably ample, the tariff that gave ample pro consuming or buying class. As great an had little idea that he was employing a tection to manufacturing production but authority as Secretary Wallace asserts phrase that in a short time would cause failed to protect adequately agricultural that the people who gain their livelicertain interests to become greatly agi- production, and the Federal Reserve hood from the soil constitute forty per tated whenever they heard it used or Bank legislation, which provided a bank- cent of the buying power of the country. saw it in print. One cannot know, of ing system for commerce but failed to When the farmer is forced to sell his course, but the probability is that if the provide adequate facilities for agricul- products for less than it cost him to pronewspaper correspondents had contented ture and stock-raising. Surely the ex- duce them, he of necessity ceases to be themselves merely with saying that a tension of such legislation so as to em- so great a factor in the buying market. number of Senators and Representatives brace the whole country and all industry His buying is restricted to his actual had held a conference to consider such instead of merely favored sections and needs, and when his credit becomes exlegislation and how best to hasten its industries cannot fairly be termed sec- hausted he ceases to be a buying factor enactment by Congress, the great furortional or class legislation.
at all. J. R. Howard, President of the that has followed the formation of the A third thing the agricultural bloc is American Farm Bureau Federation, re so-called agricultural bloc would not not is a factional or partisan group. cently asserted that one-fourth of the have occurred. It likewise is probable There is no purpose to form a new party farmers of the country are to-day insolthat a number of misapprehensions ap- or a new faction of one of the old par- vent. Agriculture is sick; it must be parently quite generally held in regard ties, or to cause any schism or regroup- restored to a condition of health and to this group of men might not have ing of parties. There are Republicans vigor if the rest of the country is to followed.
and Democrats both in the so-called prosper. The men who constitute the so-called agricultural bloc. It happens that there The men making up the so-called agribloc, however, have no complaint to are more Republicans than there are cultural bloc are not so fatuous as to make because an apt designation has led Democrats, but then there are vastly believe that the remedy for this distressto some rather generally held misunder- more Republicans than Democrats in ing condition lies wholly in legislation standings of their purposes, for there Congress. Party politics is eschewed in or in Governmental activity, but they do can be no question that a real service the conferences held by the bloc.
believe that the Government, acting was performed in their behalf in the It is easier to tell what the agricul- through the President and the Congress, selection of the name bestowed upon tural bloc is not than to tell what it is, may do much to hasten the return of them. The publicity that has flowed for the very simple reason that, while healthy conditions to agriculture. Presifrom this designation is not without its its purposes are well understood by the dent Harding shares this belief, as is value to the bloc in attaining its ends. members of Congress who participate in witnessed by the fact that he has signed Still there can be no question that many its conferences, it is not a definite en- every measure enacted by Congress at people are under some misconceptions tity. I mean by that, that the member the instance of the farm bloc and but as to what the agricultural bloc is and ship is not always the same. Sometimes · recently has called the National Agriintends.
the group is larger, sometimes smaller cultural Conference, soon to meet in First of all, the bloc is not a Soviet On certain matters of legislation what Washington. The President publicly movement, as some radicals appear to might be termed the membership gains has indorsed other measures favored by think, and as they undoubtedly hope it adherents, on certain other matters it the bloc which have not yet been passed will become. Such an idea is ludicrous diminishes. In other words, the term by Congress. to one who knows the men who are in agricultural bloc describes a movement An examination of the measures thus the movement. There is not a man rather than a group. To a certain ex- far enacted and proposed by the agriculamong them who can honestly be termed tent the word bloc is a misnomer. It is tural bloc discloses no utopian theories, a radical. It is farthest from the not an organization in the sense of hav- but, on the contrary, reveals only prothoughts of any of the men that ulti- ing formally elected officers and a defi- posals resting on a sound economic base. mately there should be, instead of Rep nite membership, although in the main The extension of the tariff to embrace resentatives and Senators from the sev. the men who attend its conferences are agricultural products has been meneral States, Representatives and Sena- the same.
tioned. Surely no one who believes in tors from steel, and from coal, and from The agricultural bloc really designates the protection of American labor and railways, and from oil, and from agri. a movement occasioned by the profound capital employed in manufacturing inculture, as appears to be the hope of conviction held by a number of members dustry will reject the policy because it the radical writers. Rather, the agri- of both houses of Congress that without is applied to American labor and capital cultural bloc would be for the eradicaagricultural prosperity there can be no employed in agriculture. Victims of the tion of such tendency so far as it general prosperity in the country. When exactions of the packers' trust during already has appeared in our Govern the farming industry languishes, all in- and since the war hardly will complain ment. It is because the great producing dustry fails to prosper. This observa because the business of that industry part of the population too often have been tion is so trite that it should require no has been brought under the supervision the victims of special interests that the reiteration, but apparently even so ob of the Secretary of Agriculture, even if agricultural bloc has come into being vious a truism must be asserted over the primary purpose of the legislation
This leads logically to mention of the and over again if those who most need is to afford some degree of protection to second thing the agricultural bloc is to learn the truth are to be enlightened. the farmer in the marketing of his live not: It is not a champion of class legis. It is unfortunate, but apparently the stock. The revival of the War Finance lation. It has sponsored no bills that fact, that large numbers of our business Corporation for the purpose of providing are exclusively for the benefit of a par men, and particularly in the East, do credit facilities for the sale of surplus farm products in other countries has perous until the farmer has credit facili- country's greatest single industry; been a benefit to commerce quite as ties as well adapted to his methods of surely not an unreasonable proposal. much as it has been a benefit to the doing business as are the present facili- These measures fairly indicate the farmer in extending his market. The ties adapted to those of the merchant, purposes of the so-called agricultural advancing of $25,000,000 to the Farm manufacturer, and jobber. This defect bloc. It is the contention of their chamLoan Banks as a revolving fund imme. in our banking system will be remedied pions that they are broadly construcdiately available from which to make by a measure fathered by members of tive and not intended merely for the farm loans and the increasing of the the so-called agricultural bloc.
benefit of a single class. The fact is the rate of interest to be paid on Farm Loan There may be some persons who will farmer has fallen rather behind the proBonds, so as to make them more readily complain because the gambler in grains cession in modern society. He remains salable in the market, are measures and other food products is hit by the the one individualist in a vastly complimade necessary by the disturbed finan- Capper-Tincher Act, which went into cated organism. Consequently the bankcial condition following the war, which effect the first of the year, and which ing and marketing machinery of modern prevented the Farm Loan Bank system brings the great grain exchanges of the society, while well enough adapted for from properly functioning. Even yet country under the supervision of a commerce and industry, has not been so our banking system lacks facilities ade- board composed of the Secretary of well suited to the farmer's requirements. quate to the farmers' needs, and this Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, It must be modified in important reCongress is expected to enact a law still and the Attorney-General, but I cannot spects or else new machinery will have further extending the banking facilities, believe that their number is many. to be set up to meet the farmer's needs. so that the farmer may have a form of This measure had the support of the His only desire is to be permitted to do banking credit properly adapted to his farmer bloc. The Capper-French Truth business in a fair market and under needs. We probably have the finest in-Fabrics Bill, which applies to fabrics conditions of equality with his city commercial banking system in the provisions similar to those applied to neighbor. He is asking for no considworld, with its thirty-day, sixty-day, and food in the Pure Food and Drugs Act, eration from Government that has not ninety-day notes, backed by the redis- and is designed to require that fabrics already been given to other industry, count facilities afforded by the Federal shall be sold for what they actually are, and he must receive this consideration Reserve system. This system is per- is another bloc measure that should if he is to prosper and play his full part fectly suited to the turnover in commer- benefit the consumer quite as much as in the restoration of prosperity to all cial business. But the farmer's turn the producer of raw materials. The bill industry and to the whole country. The over is mainly once in twelve months, to provide that at least one member of agricultural bloc is committed to such a and in the case of the stockmen from the Federal Reserve Board shall be a programme, and is pressing it in the one to three years. Our commercial representative of agriculture is an at- belief that in this direction lies the road system of credit does not fit their needs, tempt merely to give recognition in the to re-established prosperity and better and our country cannot be truly pros. banking system of the Nation to the conditions in trade and industry.
T TRI BEN AHITHOPHEL came enterprise. And I say, the first thing will be able to control means, and you
down from Jerusalem to see the to do is to get the backing of influential know you cannot do anything without Prophet. He wondered why he pecie.
money. For instance, I am just now had retired to the solitude when the “Now, there is Annas, the high priest, thinking of a certain rich young ruler. people were asking for him. He found for instance. Believe me, he is the most Fine fellow, and he has great posseshim sitting on a stone. ' A group of men powerful man in Israel. If you could sions." were about him, men with hunger in get him to indorse you, that would help “The prophet has chosen his distheir eyes.
immensely. And of course some promi- ciples," one of the men answered. There The scenery was one of contrasts. nent Pharisee, also. Annas, you know, was a deep glow in his eyes, and he Rugged hills framing fields of flowers; is a Sadducee, and you cannot afford to held a bag. in the distance the Jordan rushing take sides. With two such leaders “What kind of men are they?" the southward. And the Prophet seemed to backing you, you could not fail. And I interviewer asked quickly. blend with it all. But Uri Ben believe my connections would enable me “Oh, Galilean fishermen, a publican, Ahithophel saw none of that.
to enlist that support. One only has to and other men of that kind." “I have come to see you about your know how to approach men like that in Uri Ben Ahithophel shook his head. work," he began.
the right way; and I have had experi. “Fishermen and publicans? That will The Prophet looked up.
ence. All I would ask you to do is not never do. Why did he choose them?" "I think your work looks very promis to say or do anything to offend them. “Because they believe in him." ing. You have made a good start. Now That would never do. You understand "Well, that's all right so far as it goes. what you need is somebody to manage that, of course. All the rest you can But this is a practical age, and we must your campaign. I have had a good deal leave to me. And all I ask of you for be practical to succeed. Look at the of experience in affairs like that, and myself is a promise to remember me way the Romans do things, and our own I should like to—”
when you enter into your kingdom, so politicians. They're shrewd. And even A snake wriggled through the grass to speak. That's all.
a religious movement must be conducted and disappeared in the jumble of rocks. "And believe me, without such men as in the right way. Imagine how Annas
"Now what you need, first of all," Uri Annas your enterprise will never amount would launch a campaign like that. And continued after he had recovered, "is to to very much. Get the right people it is very important to get the right gain the favor of influential people. As interested first."
kind of people to push things. You look I said before, you have begun well. The Prophet studied the lilies lovingly. as though you might be a help to him, People are talking about you, and you “And after you have had the indorse- but those other men are just muscle and know if you can get people to talk about ment of those men," Uri went on, “then dreams." you you have gained a great deal. They you ought to be careful about the dis- Uri Ben Ahithophel again turned to even say you have performed miracles. ciples you choose. Get men that are the Prophet. He saw him take a reed Now there is no reason why you representative, men of the better classes, and write on the ground. shouldn't make a big success of your men that impress the people. Then you “There is something else I want to talk to you about," Uri continued. "I "He was born in Bethlehem," he with a scion of that illustrious house has have heard people say that you were of the bag volunteered.
come to them to lead them to " Nazareth. Now I wouldn't advertise Uri Ben Ahithophel leaped up.
The Prophet's look silenced Uri Ben that too much. You know the people "In Bethlehem?” he cried. “The very
"In Bethlehem?” he cried. “The ve Ahithophel. He remained quiet for a say, 'Can any good thing come out of place! The birthplace of a king."
long time. At first he had an unearthly Nazareth?' And we must avoid any. “He is of the seed of David."
feeling, therr his mind reverted to the thing that might offend the people. “He is? Come, come, this is great. kingdoms of this world and the glory of “Give the people what they want,' is the We shall begin the big demonstration at them. He turned to the man with the way to succeed.
Bethlehem. Leave that to me. We glowing eyes. "Now, tell me," Uri went on, "is there shall advertise you as the son of David. "Your master might win the whole not some other place with which you That alone will give you popular ap- country," he said, "if he listened to are associated by ties of something or plause. We shall speak of the glorious reason; but," other?"
reign of David and Solomon, and that He shook his head sadly, and left.
AN ISLAND HERO.
at first only his wife and a son to consider; later a daughter was born, and a welcome flower she was, abloom among those gaunt and barren crags. The lighthouse steamer came, but once a year, bringing letters and newspapers. Peter made a box with a compartment for each day. Then he took this annual mail and divided it among the pigeonholes; and every morning at breakfast they could pretend they were getting the post for that particular day-though it was a year old!
The evenings in rotation were given to study—the French language, the poetry of Robbie Burns, the lore of the rocks and the birds about them. Each of the four studied music-cabinet organ, violin, cornet, voice; and the birds that fluttered and cried round the faithful light must have heard in bewilderment the rival sounds. As for the light itself—when there was fog (and that might be for weeks and months at a time) it was necessary not only to keep the fog-horn going but to fire guncotton bombs at twenty-minute intervals. Father and son relieved each other at this task; and if the boy for any reason failed, the father was awake immediately to know why. He could not
sleep unless the noise stabbed the siPUTTING OFF TO THE LIGHT IN A FOG'
lence on the very instant. TORTHEAST of the Magdalen him, affrighted for their eggs and their They even made a croquet court,
Islands, in the Gulf of St. Law- eyries, made the ascent as perilous a which took up all the space not filled by
rence, is an islet upreared to a venture as the taking of the photo the lighthouse and the tower; but the height of nearly two hundred feet above graphs.
storms soon swept away the earth that the mean of the tides. It is called Bird Peter Bourcq was lord of this tiny in had been transplanted with such labor Rock, and it is the finest bird nursery sular domain. Peter had been there for from the mainland. of the North Atlantic region. Its brow twenty-eight years. His story was this.
At the end of twenty-eight years Peter is forever beclouded with a flapping and Before his coming two keepers of the took his family ashore. He said he crying myriad of gulls, auks, kittiwakes, island light had lost their reason, owing thought he owed them a taste of life murrs, gannets, and other water-fowl, to the horrible loneliness. The second among people in the world. Before he and round its base the waves leap like had to be taken to the mainland in a could get away he had packed his bewild creatures in a white and roaring strait-jacket. The Canadian Govern- longings three times to leave by the fury that never wears itself out, though ment was greatly concerned to obtain a annual lighthouse steamer, but twice it has bitten and torn the living rock successor in his place. For a long time they had to tell him that he must stay away.
no man offered himself. Then Peter another year, since they could find none A moving-picture operator visited the Bourcq came forward. “I will accept to fill his place. island, and was dangled over the brink the place," he said, "if you let me take Few men have had so lonely an occuof the cliffs at the end of a rope to se- my wife and son with me." The au- pation. Few have been faithful to a cure his pictures. He was warned not thorities gladly consented.
trust so hard and so forbidding. Peter to look down as he mounted the rickety When Peter went to the island, he re- Bourcq did his work well, and has ladders, lashed end to end, through the solved at once to do everything possible earned his reward. He showed again crevices to the top of the rock. The to keep the family life on a sane and that a brave and resolute man is masleaping sea at the foot of the ladders normal plane, in order to avoid the fate ter of his fate in circumstances that and the deafening birds flying about that overtook his predecessors. He had would crush the weakling.
BY GEORGE D. CARRINGTON
THE average bleacherite, were he type of speaker and hoped we would ceived a letter from the "stuffed shirt"
to take a bat in his hand, could have more such. He wrote me the day thanking him for his courtesy in com
not hit a balloon floating over the he received my letter expressing his ap- ing to his office rather than calling the plate. The average tennis player is preciation, and two days later he came meeting elsewhere, and also expressing more or less awful. The average golfer into my office and thanked me person- appreciation of the concise manner in takes over 100 (and lies about it). The ally. He'd never heard of me and he which the matter had been presented by average writer leaves the reader cold was a "fairly" busy man.
Blankbacher, to the saving of time for and unmoved. The average boxer is a In 1916 Roosevelt was being pounded all concerned-in other words, a very good deal of a mark. The average law. right and left because he was too bel- thoughtful, though wholly unnecessary, yer is seldom thoroughly prepared. ligerent and not anxious enough to keep letter.
Averages run low, but it is the solu- us out of war. I thought he was right, Shortly afterwards I met Blanktion of the average man's problem that and said so in a letter of about a para- bacher. He said: “Dot man, he is a really counts for anything. The genius graph in length. He answered me at fine fella. Fine fella." All his life he's needs no “solution." He'll pull through once from the office of the "Metropolitan going to have a warm spot in his heart somehow. by definition of genius. But Magazine,” in a note so cordial that I for that lawyer simply because of a very the average one of us is pretty much of was almost embarrassed. He didn't short, but obviously sincere, letter, a dub, and needs all the "solutions" he know me from Adam of course, and his which didn't have to be written at all; can get. In the following remarks, mail was not small, I imagine.
and he'll send all his clients, and he therefore, the word "average" is under. At the time when Mr. E. H. Gary first has a lot of them, who find themselves stood as applying to all but the men appeared publicly in defense of the open in anything like that kind of a predicawho are named or referred to for illus- shop in the controversy between the ment, to that man's office. Also it was tration.
Steel Corporation and certain groups of just as much a habit on the part of the Take any young fellow starting out, its employees, without going into the writer to despatch such a note-he either in business or a profession. Say merits of the case, I liked the clean-cut wanted to, felt like it-as it was to put that he is strong, that he takes good way in which Mr. Gary laid down his on his hat when he left his office. Those care of himself, that he has plenty of company's proposition without any beat things take half a minute to do, and, "pep" and a clear brain. One or two, ing about the bush or false pandering to even viewed from a selfish angle, mathe then three, four years go by, but he gets labor (labor hasn't any more use for matically, a certain percentage of them no results to speak of. He has the hypocrisy than the rest of us, and Gary are bound to, and do, bear fruit. strength, the energy, the push, and still knew it). I received a mighty quick. But the matter is deeper, a good deal. he cannot build up the business. He and frankly cordial acknowledgment of than that. I don't care who you are knows in his heart that it is not his that note at once.
or what your occupation, you come in youth that beats him, that there are as Now I despise the fools who sit contact with people day in and day out many opportunities as ever, but he is around writing to big men or getting that's practically your whole life. All headed for disaster. He may connect up introduced to them, apparently with the right. You will be successful in these with some established concern or firm, idea that they themselves somehow contacts just so far as you can forget but as an individual he fails.
shine by the reflected light of their yourself and be those people, one after Now there are so many possible rea- gods; so don't misunderstand me. In the other, as far as getting their point sons for that failure that to attempt to none of these cases-years apart-did I of view is concerned. If you're dealing cover the ground would be silly, but if care a continental whether I got an with a plumber, be a plumber yourself I were the president of a college (which answer to my letter or not. They called for the time being, exclude every other I am not) or the head of any school for no answer, naturally, and had there thing from your mind but that man's or institution, turning out annually been the slightest suspicion from their problem, his point of view, his anglehundreds or thousands of graduates contents that the writer expected or if you want to help him-and the same equipped, more or less, to stand their hoped for one there wouldn't have been all along the line. Lay your own affairs ground in the various walks of life, I any.
aside and put every ounce of energy you would at least point out one rock on If you want to see a man who is a have at their disposal, and make them which many of them go to pieces-a leader, from the President down, you feel it, whether you are a doctor, salesrock so pitifully easy to avoid that I can see him and quickly too-if you man, lawyer, or what not; and there is don't recall ever hearing it even men have something to say. You can't waste only one way to make them feel ittioned in a baccalaureate or occupying a his time, not more than once, but you mean it. You can't bluff. The dullest niche in the advices to graduates at can see him. It's the little man who customer, the sickest patient, the stucommencements of school, university, or doesn't know how to arrange his desk pidest client, knows in an instant, and college, and I've heard a lot of them. that's always in a "conference" and who instinctively, whether you have his inTo illustrate: Shortly after the armi. never has “time.”
terests at heart or whether you haven't. stice was signed I went to a club to I had a client once who got into diffi- The little things are all-fired imporlunch. There were some distinguished culties with the District Attorney's tant. The "big" man never misses a speakers whose remarks were worth office. His partner was also involved trick. A kind word, an unnecessary act, hearing. It was altogether the best and had as his personal counsel a little has never hurt anybody since the befunction of its kind i'd ever attended fellow whom we'll call Blankbacher, and ginning of time, and, sooner or later, and I looked up the chairman of the as his uncle a gentleman who retained they come home to roost. Go out of committee in charge, and found it was one of the best-known lawyers in New your way to do things for people. the late John B. Stanchfield, probably York, an ex-District Attorney, and a whether you have to or not. Jump in the greatest trial lawyer of his day very well liked and reputable man, to with both feet. (great, by the way, because he was look over the situation. Blankbacher Roosevelt put the secret of his amazsimply better prepared in every way was much incensed at this, and openly ing success in a sentence. He said, “I than most of his adversaries—he took referred to the ex-District Attorney as put myself in the way of things happenno chances). I did not know Mr. Stanch a "stuffed shirt.” A conference followed, ing, and they happened.” I should sa field, but I wrote him that I liked that and the next morning Blankbacher re- they did!