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GETTING THINGS DONE AND LEAVING THINGS UNDONE
HOW THE NAVY ORDERS ITS GUNS_CONTRAST WITH ARMY DELAYFURTHER FACTS BROUGHT OUT IN THE SENATE INVESTIGATION
SECRETARY BAKER'S TESTIMONY YAMPING in the woods and handling aw Government job and spirit of the Ordnance Department. ... As a preliminary really have much in common. The bad camper never sees
to its hearings, the Committee visited the offices of the Bureau A anything but the difficulties along the trail. He always
of Ordnance, and personally examined into the organization and wants to make camp long before his destination is reached. The
operation of the Bureau's administrative detail. The Bureau was road he travels is always the roughest, the mountains he crosses
most favorably impressed. ...
The organization of the Bureau in time of peace had been always the highest, and the water he falls in always the wettest
developed so as to make it an organization for war, with the that has ever vexed the soul of man.
result that, notwithstanding the enormously increased demands In exactly the same way the Government official who does and the responsibilities recently placed upon it, that organization not measure up to his task finds the difficulties before him occu is working smoothly and efficiently. pying a larger place in his field of vision than the goal which
Representative Oliver states that the expenditures by the it is his duty to reach. Frequently his excuses for failure are
Bureau have been increased from irrefutable, but nevertheless things within his charge do not
$3,000,000 to more than
$560,000,000, and that in the process of spending this sum the get themselves done. Both the Army and the Navy, at the outbreak of the war,
Bureau has placed contracts rapidly, developed new sources of
supply, and at present is in a position to satisfy the needs of had to secure for their forces machine guns. It is true that the
the Navy with the facilities now under its control. Army bad immeasurably the larger task, but this does not
Besides equipping more than a thousand vessels with guns, affect the fact that the Navy approached the problem in a very
ammunition, and all their auxiliaries since the fitting out of the different spirit from that manifested by the War Department.
first ship to defend itself on March 14, and taking care of the In his last annual report the Chief of Ordnance of the Navy
ordnance demands of the Regular Navy, the Bureau has acquired says:
reserves of ammunition and ordnance. While the Army has had This bureau was awaiting with interest the results to be ob
to depend on France and England for its field artillery and tained by the Army Machine Gun Board, that was to meet in
machine guns, the Navy has reversed this humiliating process. May to determine the most suitable type of machine gun, but the approach of war made it imperative to obtain additional
Instead of depending upon the resources of our hard-pressed machine guns without waiting for the results of the May tests.
allies, the Navy Department has furnished in an appreciable Tests were held at the marine rifle range ... during April
quantity the Governments of England, France, and Italy with and the early part of May, and urgent orders were placed for
guns from the largest to the smallest caliber, together with the three types of machine guns that were readily procurable. proper supplies of ammunition therefor. Representative Oliver Considerable numbers of these guns have already been delivered, reports that every “company of marines leaving for foreign and larger quantities will be delivered in the near future.
service has been provided with its proper quota of machine This is the manner in which the Navy approached its prob guns, the second detachment being entirely outfitted with the lem. The way the Army approached its problem is told as fol newest infantry machine gun, and recent reports from the war lows in the language of the Chief of Ordnance in his last annual zone indicate that this gun is giving entire satisfaction.” report:
Almost as sweeping praise as that given the Navy DepartThe Board referred to in my last report continued tests of
ment by Representative Oliver has been bestowed by the Secrevarious types of machine gune ... beginning in May last, and
tary of War, Mr. Baker, upon the conduct of his own Departhas submitted a report. A number of guns were declared to be ment since the outbreak of the war. efficient for service, and procurement of these various types has, Before the Senate Military Affairs Committee Secretary due to the existence of a state of war, been to a large degree a Baker read a statement summarizing the achievements of the question of ability to secure delivery. In other words, the num War Department. He stated that the War Department had ber of machine guns on hand when war was declared was so small
raised an army “so large that further increments to it can be that it was necessary to keep going at the greatest possible capacity those machine gun factories which were already in oper
adequately equipped and trained as rapidly as those already in
training can be transported.” He said that this “army has been ation, and to utilize their output when the guns so manufactured had been reported by the Board as efficient even though they
enlisted without serious dislocation of the industries of the may not have been reported as most efficient.
country.” He declared that “arms of the most modern and
effective kind-including artillery, machine guns, automatic These two statements afford a fair basis of comparison by which
rifles, and small arms-have been provided by manufacture or to judge the merits of the Ordnance Departments of the Navy
purchase for every soldier in France and are available for every and of the Army. On the one hand, a manifest desire exists to
soldier who can be gotten to France in the year 1918." He make the best use possible of the means at hand; on the other, a
stated that “a substantial army is already in France, where both reluctance to abandon the ordinary routine in the face of an
men and officers have been additionally and specially trained and overwhelming emergency and an inclination to see in every
are ready for active service.” molehill at least an incipient mountain.
Secretary Baker declared that “no army of similar size in The general public has had its attention centered upon the
the history of the world has ever been raised, equipped, or Army rather than the Navy, for the reason that the Congres
trained so quickly." His attitude towards the achievement of sional investigations into the conduct of the war which have
the War Department is well summed up in the following been discussing Army affairs have been largely conducted
? through public hearings. The Committee of the House which
The American people are entitled to know of the splendid has been investigating the management of the Navy, on the
effectiveness with which they have been able to organize the man contrary, has held its hearings in executive session. Although
power and the material power of the Nation in a great cause, and the public has been given no record of these hearings, Repre
also because our army in France under General Pershing and our sentative Oliver, chairman of the Investigating Committee, bas allies are entitled to have the benefit resulting from the depresissued a statement to the press which covers the findings of the sion of the morale of their enemies which must come when the Committee on all subjects which it was deemed proper to make Germans realize that the American democracy has neither blunpublic at this time. Concerning the Ordnance Bureau of the dered nor hesitated, but has actually brought the full power of Navy, Representative Oliver says:
its men and resources into completely organized strength against
their inilitary machine. The Bureau, so far as could be learned, has fully satisfied the lemands made upon it by the vessels operating in European Such a statement as this does not inspire confidence ; ! waters. A letter from Vice-Admiral Sims compliments the work merely depresses. The statement of Representative (liver wbic?
va have quoted does inspire confidence because it is in accord with the known facts. The known facts concerning the ituation in the War Department do not agree with Secptary Baker's pronunciamento except in certain obvious instances.
Does Secretary Baker consider that borrowing from our harsh-pressed allies all the artillery for our expeditionary force na particularly encouraging way of providing an American fighting force for our allies? If this was deliberately decided upon as a desirable policy by conference with our allies, should not the Secretary have told the country so?
Does Secretary Baker's use of the word “substantial” in his discussion of our expeditionary army accord with the general use of that word as it should be applied in a war in which armies are judged, not by their thousands, but by their millions ?
Secretary Baker says that the Germans will be depressed when they learn that the American democracy has actually brought the full power of its men and resources into completely organized strength against their military machine. Indeed they will, but so far we doubt whether depression based on contact with our “ completely organized strength” is sufficient to justify the sanguine words of Secretary Baker. We have been at war nine months, and fewer German soldiers have fallen before the rifles of our men than fell before the rifles of unprepared England in the first skirmishes of the great war.
In Secretary Baker's cross-examination it was made evident that many members of his examining committee were as unconvinced by Secretary Baker's sweeping eulogies of his work as those who have examined these eulogies on the printed page. Senator Chamberlain, of Oregon, a Democrat, and perhaps the clearest thinker in the Senate on the military needs of the country, was a notable example. A tilt between Senator Chamberlain and Secretary Baker developed the fact that the Secretary defended the change of arms from the Springfield to the modified Enfield as a measure of efficiency. “ The war was not on us,” said Secretary Baker; “the war was in Europe." In referring to this statement Senator Weeks, of Massachusetts, said:
The very condition now in the Ordnance Department is explained by what you have said. The fact that the war was not on us directly did not absolve us from any obligation to use the greatest haste possible in getting the armed men to the front, and the criticism has been made against the Ordnance Department, and it seems to me to have some reason behind it, that there has been too great a desire for technicality and too little “ pep" in advancing the necessities of the Army from that bureau.
Later in the progress of the investigation, Senator New, of Indian Indiana, in referring to the warning of the resumption of sub marine warfare sent to our Government by Ambassador Gerard, said : “Don't you think that would have been a pretty good time to have settled all technicalities as to the adoption of a rifle?" To this plain question Secretary Baker evasively an
swered, “ Why, ten years ago would have been a good time. Al these questions ought to be settled as soon as they can be settled."
Apparently Seeretary Baker is reasonably well satisfied with the present situation, not only in regard to rifles, but also in regard to ordnance. When Senator Weeks asked him, “What can be done to improve the situation as it exists now, to-day? the Secretary of War replied:
Well, Senator, I cannot at this moment put my mind on a thing in the Ordnance Department which I can suggest would be helped or improved by your activity, and only for the reason that the minute I find out anything that can be helped or improved I help or improve it, so I am up to date with my own suggestions.
At a subsequent session Secretary Baker evidently concluded to modify this ungracious attitude and said, “I welcome the co-operation of the Committee.”
That the general tenor of Secretary Baker's summary of conditions and achievement did not fairly represent the existing facts was apparently the opinion of more than one of the Senators who have followed day after day the detailed testimony of officers and bureau chiefs concerning the shortages in uniforms, machine guns, artillery, blankets, and supplies in the various cantonments throughout the country.
Senator Wadsworth, of New York, summarized this opinion in the following words in his comment upon the Secretary's general statement :
The thing that occurred to me in reading the statement through very carefully was that it gives the impression, I think, generally, that the situation is a rosy one ; that there is nothing to fear ; that the rush needs, as the Secretary uses that expression, have been complied with, and that no greater haste is necessary ; that everything is fine. I cannot agree with him. I think we have ahead of us a bigger task in the next eight months than we have had in the last eight months. ... I think we have got most of our work ahead of us and that the expression “ the initial rush needs have been supplied ” is not an accurate description of the situation. ... This is a fight.
In the last four words of this quotation from Senator Wadsworth are summed up all the reasons why the country should be less satisfied than Mr. Baker with the achievements of the War Department. “This is a fight,” and fights cannot be won by secretaries or bureau chiefs who believe their departments beyond the need of criticism, or who consider a war three thousand miles away as less immediate than one at the gates of the city where they dwell. The surest way to bring the war to our gates is to regard it as a contest remote from our daily lives.
It may be proper to add that the foregoing summary of and comment upon Secretary Baker's examination by the Senatorial Committee is based upon a complete stenographic report which we have obtained from Washington.
BY SAMUEL COLCORD
Two days before Congress declared war against Germany, an issue of The Outlook was published bearing on its cover and in three separate places the title & Join the Allies.” One of the articles under that heading was an editorial. Another was a contributed article by Mr. Colcord. The article which here follows, and which is also by him, is, we believe, of equal timeliness and importance with that which we published on the eve of America's entrance into the World War.-THE EDITORS.
M ERMANY'S lustful eyes are fixed upon the markets of This is a subject of vast and immediate importance, for if
Russia, with her population of one hundred and eighty Germany achieves that near-impending conquest which, with J millions, a land area of more than one-seventh of the German-directed development, will give to her nearly all that globe, and enormous undeveloped industrial resources.
the English blockade and the American embargo withhold in That is game for the Prussian Werwolf worth more than a the way of food for her army, and, what just now is of much hundred Alsace-Lorraines or a hundred African colonies. more importance, of materials for the making of her implements
Germany now opards from the outside the best gateways to and munitions of war, it will put the issue of the war in much this market, preventing other entry and seeking by specious graver doubt and may end it in German triumph. promises to get past the weak Bolsħevik guards on the inside. Or, if not that, there is grave danger that it will give her in
once she gets in and tightens her grip on the Russian mar- any possible peace terms such control of Russia that in the Kets, she will never relax her bold Russia will have been for next war, for which she is already making her plans, she will ever lost to the Allies and will become a vassal of Germany.
be able to take the field with, not merely the Mittel-Europa
which is being so largely discussed upon her side, but with also has no use for Russia free. The only hope for free Russia is in eastern Europe and the Slav nations of the north, which a vigorous prosecution of the war against Germany, and no would enable her to put a fighting force of from thirty to forty separate peace. millions in a new war to insure her conquest of the world.
No matter how great the advantages to Germany coming This, unhappily, is no idle dream, but may become stupendous from any commercial treaty, it will not long satisfy her. Ger. and appalling reality if America and her allies do not at once many's great and governing idea is military and governmental awake to the peril and take immediate and gigantic steps to conquest. But the insidious trade conquest will pave the way avert it.
for the other. The present disagreements may be only a camouflage to de We should treat Russia with forbearance. It is not for her ceive both the Russian and the German people, through which good nor for ours, nor for afflicted mankind, that we alienate her. may yet appear evacuation and trade agreement much in favor Let America clasp hands with the new, free, but much bewil. of Germany and quite contrary to Russian interests.
dered Russia, and, in sincere and hearty sympathy with all her The same Potsdam gang did that once to Russia in a treaty true ideals of liberty and humanity and compassion for her forced by the foxy Kaiser on the weak Czar by a mixture of weakness and her sins, lead her to light and safety, and thereby Prussian threat and vague promise when Russia was at war save the world. with Japan. That treaty is little known and less understood in Whatever is attempted needs to be done on a large scale, and America. But many a Russian merchant remembers it with cannot be done cheaply if Germany's work is to be effectively bitter reflections of lost trade in his own country, forced by met. Billions would be a small price for Germany to pay if Russian trade laws against her own merchants and in favor of thereby she may achieve her ends. We and our allies ought the Teuton. The interrupted peace pourparlers may be renewed not to balk an hour at many millions to be put at once to use with some such end in view, which may come to the surface, under the most competent head obtainable. but more likely will be concealed until the last moment, when, Thousands of capable and trustworthy Russians could be in so far as the Bolsheviki have the power to commit Russia, wisely employed. Lectures and other public addresses, a liberal the thing will be done. If done, it ought to be undone when use of the movies, and a wide circulation of literature through the Allies enforce their terms.
the public press and otherwise could be included in the plan, All the Bolshevik leaders may not be the German hire while much could be accomplished by the personal contact of lings we have been led to believe them to be, but some of them the right men with Bolshevik leaders of thought and action, not merely visionary though coarse and rough idealists, who may only in the large centers, but also in many of the smaller comyet be rudely awakened to the discovery of German duplicity munities. The wise democratic utterances of Lloyd George and the peril in giving to the Huns any advantage. It would and President Wilson will go far in this direction. But alone be well for the Allies, without duplicity, but in all sincerity, to they will not withstand the Hun propaganda of misrepresenta cultivate their friendship in a guarded way and win their confi tion. dence in order to be able to make quick and effective use of any The sincerity and openness of the propaganda should be in such development.
marked contrast with German methods. Its motto might be And what of Russian freedom if Germany succeeds in mak Millions for open light, but not one cent for dark intrigue. ing that economic pact and withdraws her armies from the land Postscript.—The President's epoch-making address to Cor of the Muscovite? It will be hailed in Russia and among cer gress, coming less than two days after the above article was tain classes in all nations as a great triumph of Bolshevik handed in to The Outlook's office, and dealing with this diplomacy ; received in Austria-Hungary with much satisfac same Russian Bolshevik movement for peace appreciatively and tion; in Germany applauded by the Liberals, spurned by the yet frankly in a way that is altogether admirable, affords the Pan-Germans, and accepted loyally by the people at large on best possible material for use in the suggested propaganda. The official assurances.
President says: “There is, moreover, a voice calling for these But, however it may be received in Russia or elsewhere, I definitions of principle and of purpose which is, it seems to me, can see no reason to revise what I wrote in April or May. If more thrilling and more compelling than any of the many morRussia makes her separate peace, it will hold good only until ing voices with which the troubled air of the world is filled. It Germany can make her peace with England and France, by is the voice of the Russian people. , .. Their conception of which she will be free to deal with Russia alone. Then in her what is right, of what is humane and honorable for them own time, upon any pretext that pleases her, she will treat her to accept, has been stated with a frankness, a largeness of agreement with Russia as a scrap of paper, and attack her with view, a generosity of spirit, and a universal human sympathy the combined forces of the Central Powers. She will then which must challenge the admiration of every friend of manrestore and support in power a subservient monarchy, for she kind.”
TWO LETTERS THAT EXPLAIN THEMSELVES
FROM OTTO CLAUDE KINNICK TO THE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE OUTLOOK Dr."Lyman Abbott :
December 27, 1917. EAR SIR—The letter of the President of The Outlook Company on the back cover of The Outlook of this week
is interesting and refreshing. He invites personal replies. The matters I have on my mind, however, pertain more to the office of the Editor-in-Chief, I believe.
For two academic years I have used The Outlook as a basis for the study of elementary composition in English. During this period, and many times previous, I have testified that the greatest single factor in my training in the use of English has been The Outlook, which I have read for more than fifteen years. (I have attended several of the leading institutions of higher learning in the Middle West and am a graduate of three.) Your insistence upon getting the facts and your clearness of statement have been admirable characteristics.
You seem to have a goodly share of compliments, as things
human go, and you have, I judge, your share of detractors. am not writing that I may see extracts of this in print. I should be glad, nevertheless, to have you clear up by way of an edito rial some of the perplexity I am now under, for the mystery of the evolution of your thinking upon some major questions of the last quarter of a century is disturbing.
The issue of this week makes the question-mark loom large. You have news paragraphs and editorials on two important questions, namely, railway management and prohibition. In so far as you express yourself editorially I am in hearty accord. You have not always been of this opinion. Let me refer to another question, that of suffrage without regard to sex. You have made rapid strides on this question, and you are coming to a position which I have occupied for over twenty years. Even within my memory on down to within very recent years you have spoken slightingly and in a sarcastic manner of the pioneers in these reforms. I do not know what you would say in defense, but I believe this would reflect your spirit—that such questions have not been National issues before; that the times have not
radi hospitably of railwaysts advocate and
hoen ride for such reforms. (Will you pardon me for being noüve and candid? A thinking person must find some basis for explaining these things.) Let us see as to the railways. Forty years ago and subse
ontly the Greenbackers and the Populists advocated GovernDont ownership and operation of railways. If ownership would not be entertained hospitably by the people, they asked for Government operation. The need of this was as apparent then as it is to you now. If you did not see it then, why did you not anen your eyes? How can you write the editorial of December 26 without blushing at the position you once held ? I feel you irronged some good and wise men of the past, some of whom reinain to witness your change of heart and rejoice in it. Does your editorial conscience permit you to let pass unrecalled this your former scorn? You may say about this, as some of the citizens say about universal military training (whom you crit icise in this same issue), Let bygones be bygones. May I rejoin, as you do-bygones are not bygones? Even when these reforms are effected, bygones will not be bygones. The spirit which actuates you will be your heritage, clogging your progress in any public reform, and will be the heritage of tens of thousands of your readers who feel that because The Outlook says thus and so they may say thus and so also. This does not make for
progress; and this conservatism of yours is costly and delaying . Let me see if I interpret the character of The Outlook. You
are not willing to be in the forefront of reforms; you shrink from the lonesomeness of the pioneer. Neither are you willing to lag behind or stay out altogether when any movement is about to ripen which will make for the welfare of the great mass of the people. I wince, Dr. Abbott, in addressing words of this import to a man so gracious and so kindly disposed. Bnt I am not addressing them to you personally; I am appeal ing to the Editor-in-Chief of The Outlook. Your responsibility in the editorial policy is more than personal. It would seem superfluous to remind you of this.
Bygones are never bygones. Several years ago I wrote in protest of your advertisement of a certain famous brand of English cigarette. Many others also protested. The Outlook replied that, in view of such protest, it had decided to discontinue such advertisement. Yet in a few weeks subsequent you
this is the fact. It keeps The Outlook alive and it keeps it open-minded. I myself am not of the same opinion on some questions that I was five years ago, because I have been listening to the arouments of my colleagues in the editorial conference. And what I think is true of my own mird I think is true also of the minds of others on our staff. It may therefore be said that The Outlook does not hold a position, but rather travels a road. And I think you will find that the country at large has also been traveling a road. In general moreover. I am inclined to think, from looking over the files of The Outlook and from comparisons I have made on several occasions, and also from testimony which we have received from others, that, on the whole, Tie Outlook has been ahead of public opinion, and has perhaps had something to do with affecting public opinion, for precisely the reason that its own opinions have been developed as public opinion has developed.
It would make this letter entirely too long for me to take up the three questions of railway management, prohibition, and woman suffrage, and show how what I have said applies to them severally. I may, however, say briefly and inadequately that in each case it is, I think, not quite so much The Outlook that has changed as the circumstances affecting these different problems. For example, we have never opposed public ownership and operation of the railways. On the contrary, we have urged and advocated in many instances the principle of public ownership and operation of public utilities. What we have held is that whether a public utility should be publicly owned or publicly operated or not should be determined, not by any doctrinaire theory, but solely by determining whether under the particular circumstances of the particular case public ownership or public operation would be of greater or less public service. We have always maintained the right of Government ownership and Government operation. The sole question has been whether in any instance that right should be exercised or waived. In our opinion, such public operation as we now have of the Nation's railway systems by the National Government has become a necessity ; but in 1913 it was not a necessity. It was then a right, but a right which we believed it was best for the Government not to exercise until the Government had made further trial of the principle of regulation. The war, however, has made a great change. Government regulation as carried on before the war has proved totally inadequate to war conditions. We therefore hold, entirely consistently with our past belief, that it is time for the Government to exercise that right which it had formerly found it inadvisable to exercise. We still are of the opinion that at the time when the People's party advocated public ownership and operation of the railways it would have been injurious, if not disastrous, for the Government to undertake railway ownership and operation. One of the great dangers of Government ownership and operation has been the creation of a vast body of civil service employees, which would have been almost certainly at an earlier era in American history subject to political manipulation. The whole spirit of the coun)try has been changed by the war, and public opinion, which once would have tolerated such opportunity for political corruption, would not tolerate the use of that opportunity for political corruption at present.
May I say, however, that we have not consciously been scorn ful of those who have taken another view ? In speaking, therefore, of our former scorn, I think you have misunderstood our position entirely. If there has been any expression of scorn we are heartily sorry for it; but we first should like to be confronted with the evidence that we were ever in that state of mind.
As to the lonesomeness of the pioneer, which you say The Outlook avoids, all I can say is that we have had the mental experience of it even if you think we were not entitled to that experience. A great many of our readers have at one time or another been so thoroughly convinced that we were so far in the forefront of reforms that they declined to follow us even to the point of remaining subscribers. Whether The Outlook has been a pioneer or not, it has repeatedly paid the penalty of a pioneer, for it has been regarded by a large number of peo ple as too venturesome to suit their tastes. I am
Very sincerely yours, The Outlook Office, New York City.
It seems to me that the advertising manager broke faith with lliga: me. I did not stop the paper; I could not help you improve
that way. Will you kindly refrain from ridiculing me on this
matter? The day will come when The Outlook will view narrld cotics as you now do alcoholics, namely, that the indulgence in
them is wasteful and senseless. able to Other questions will come up which will be quite as vexing a list as any we have yet confronted. What will be your attitude man STK upon them? More important still, what will be your attitude frizedes towards those who have the clear-seeing and the courage first
to espouse those causes ? Sincerely yours,
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE OUTLOOK
TO OTTO CLAUDE KINNICK Dear Sir:
Your letter of December 27 is an interesting challenge -and a fair one.
For your own personal information I might say that within our own editorial staff there has been difference of opinion concering prohibition and woman suffrage, though the difference of opinion does not, I think, go deeper than questions relating to method. The members of the editorial staff gather each week in editorial conference, and some of the arguments that go on in that conference are as vigorous as any arguments which such critical and discriminating readers as you ever present to us. What The Outlook says is the joint product of the minds of Its staff. I think it may be said that on all general principles the members of the staff are in thorough and hearty accord; out there is a very wide divergence of opinion from time to une as to the application of those principles to particular ques. Tons and particular events. As a consequence The Outlook grows. Though its convictions on fundamental principles remain the same, its opinions do develop. Personally, I am very glad that
A POLL OF OPINIONS
V7ITH but half an hour's notice, the two houses of Con
gress assembled on January 8 to hear President Wilson
read a Message on which he had been working ever since Germany began her peace negotiations with Russia. While this address has been called the "Magna Charta of Peace,” it is a new statement of war aims. Last week we printed verbatim the President's proposed "arrangements and covenants." We bere, for convenience of reference, state them in outline:
1. No more secret treaties.
8. Evacuation of France, and righting the wrong done in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine.
9. Readjustment of Italian frontiers.
11. Evacuation of Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro; guarantees of economic and political independence of the Balkan States.
12. Autonomous development of non-Turkish nationalities in Turkey; the Dardanelles opened to all nations.
13. Establishment of an independent Poland.
14. Associations of nations with guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to large and small states alike.
This pronouncement was immediately seen to have several purposes. One was to develop further the principles of peace for which America stands. Another was to induce Russia to return to the democracy of law and order. Another was to drive a further wedge between the German people and their rulers. As the Chicago “ Herald” points out, the reactionaries of German officialdom tried to make it appear that this was an attempt, not to rid the German people of their autocratic and military elements bent on conquest, but to separate the German people from their Emperor. Concerning this ruse of the reactionaries in Germany, the Chicago “ Herald” adds:
By limiting its meaning they worked very effectively on the popular sentiment of loyalty to the individual ruler and thus saved themselves a lot of argument. Those tactics will be impossible as an answer to President's Wilson's latest pronouncement. He is unquestionably trying to drive a wedge, but it is a much sharper wedge than before-that is the significance of his demand to know for whom the German delegations at Brest-Litovsk were speaking, “ for the majorities of their respective Parliaments or for the minority parties, that military and imperialistic minority which has so far dominated their whole policy.”
FREEDOM OF TRADE AND FREEDOM OF THE SEAS Two adverse criticisms of the Message concern the de mands for equality of trade and freedom of the seas. Criticism as to the first came from America. Conservative Republicans were aroused by the fear that the President's statement implied an abandonment of the tariff policy. Their fears were allayed by assurances from official quarters that it did not imply an abandonment of such a policy, and that unless there should be further development of direct taxation a tariff is practically inevitable as an economic policy.
More pointed, however, was the comment concerning freedom of the seas. This came naturally from the nation of the world whose power and safety rest almost entirely on her sea strength. Lord Northcliffe's “ Evening News,” a widely read afternoon newspaper in London, at once declared that President Wilson's declaration concerning the freedom of the seas needed further elucidation. Sharper were the words of the London “Daily Graphic:" “ As President Wilson's proposal stands, it would lead to the absurdity that Germany should be free to send her armies across the sea to invade England, and we could do nothing to stop the transports until they reached the three-mile limit.” Even the very liberal “ Westminster Gazette" adds that in such a world as that to which the President looks forward his aspirations could have no terrors for the British, but that in the fighting world of to-day it would mean
disarming the sea power without any corresponding diminution of military power on land.
GENERAL APPROVAL Aside from these criticisms the speech met with general acclaim in America, England, and France. It could have received no greater tribute here than in the decision of the National Security League to translate it at once into German, Russian. Polish, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Hungarian, and Yiddish, for circulation in pamphlet form among the foreign-born citizens.
Abroad there was like approval, and from highest authorities. No two names, we believe, command more respect in Eng. land than do those of Balfour, the Conservative, and Bryce, the Liberal. Mr. Balfour, making it evident that he believes the President's statements express the known objects of the Allies, said, “I do not think that these views . . . could have been introduced in a nobler manner;" and Viscount Bryce declared, “ The address is admirable in spirit and contents." Like all his chief utterances since America entered the war, the President's Message took the leading place in both the news and editorial columns of the London press. Coming, as it did, hard on the heels of Mr. Lloyd George's similar address, the words of the heads of the American and British Governments were compared, and no disagreement as to essentials was found.
SECRET DIPLOMACY By his denunciation of secret treaties Mr. Wilson outdoes even the Russian radicals, because he puts it first in his state ment of peace terms. This, says the New York “ Evening Post." is the most pronounced step in the direction of world democracy ever put forth by the head of an important nation. The London “Pali Mall Gazette” declares that the Message itself consti. tutes an effective model of frank and open diplomacy.
ALSACE-LORRAINE This is the first time that the President of the United States has declared himself on the Alsace-Lorraine question, the Paris “ Temps" tells its readers, and adds: “ We have no doubt as to his sentiments, but we are profoundly glad that he has expressed them. We thank him also for placing the problem on its true ground, . . . as a necessary condition for a general peace and not only as a special claim of the French people.”
RUSSIA Although certain Russians felt that the President had appar. ently identified the Bolsheviki with the democracy of Russia, there were other opinions, summarized by one of the American Red Cross mission workers to Russia, who has just returned from a four months' stay there.“ In no state paper written during the war," he said, “ has any one shown such broad vision or such splendid imagination as has the President in his opportune treatment of the Russian situation." The Bolshevik newspapers seem divided in their opinion. The Petrograd“ Isvestia" (“ The News”) said that President Wilson's recognition of the services of the Workmen's and Soldiers' government is clearly seen, while the Petrograd “ Pravda” (“Truth') snappishly 16 marked that “ President Wilson's confession indicates that the American bourse found it necessary, not only to reckon with the Bolshevik authority, but to curtsey to it."
GERMANY AND AUSTRIA Perhaps the real significance of the Message can best be ascertained by noting the comments on it in the enemy coun. tries of Germany and Austria. As might be expected, such liberal papers as the “ Berliner Tageblatt," the Berlin "Vorwärts," and the “Frankfurter Zeitung " recognize the justice of certain demands, while the reactionary papers agree in substance with the opinion expressed as follows by the Berlin “ Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung:”
The fourteen points do not form a programme for world peace, but a real symphony of will to no peace. Beginning with the joyful fanfare of freedom of the seas and other things on which the whole world is agreed, even if diversity of opinion exists regarding the method of realization, Mr. Wilson,... having the