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"freedom of conscience and religion," as Article XXII stipulates, and I have definite knowledge both of "the establishment of fortifications" and of “military training of the natives for other than police purposes and the defense of territories," both of which are forbidden by Article XXII. To all intents and purposes the Class B mandates are annexations. Great Britain and France have added to their colonial empires. Germany, whom French influence will keep out of the league, is by non-membership in the league deprived of resuming business with her former colonies. But the United States is also not a member of the league, and the "open door" is promised only to members of the league.
But if we do wax indignant, if we do remind the Entente powers that we have a twenty per cent. interest in these mandate territories, if we do call the mandatories back to the original conception of the mandates as "a sacred trust of civilization," we are going to find our recriminations and our claims a boomerang. We shall come down to earth with a thud. The Entente powers have as good a case against us as we have against them.
per cent. interest in the mandates, which we have not renounced, and that we expect to be consulted about everything that concerns them, the Entente powers can answer that we have also a twenty per cent. responsibility. In the beginning they hoped that we would accept responsibilities without privileges; but now that they find that we want privileges without responsibilities, they may be ready to give us our twenty per cent. of the responsibilities and privileges together. If I were a British statesman, I would offer the American Government the administration of the Mesopotamian mandate in accordance with Mr. Colby's note of November 20. Are we prepared for this master stroke of British diplomacy?
If we keep crying out that mandates are "a sacred trust of civilization," the Entente premiers may tell us how grieved and shocked the British, French, Italians, and Japanese are over our wholly inexplicable selfishness. Burdened with debts, exhausted by a far more formidable military effort than we were called on to make, confronted with serious post-bellum problems at home, and still with the German problem unsolved on their hands, they have done their best to assume this "trust of civilization." We have never offered to do our part; we have claimed no share in this "sacred trust of civilization."
If we are indignant at the way they are handling the mandates, are we ready to step into Syria or Mesopotamia or any part of Africa and try our hand? Mr. Balfour said at the first league assembly that it was inconceivable to expect Great Britain to take a mandate without the hope of getting something tangible and exclusive out of it. Unless we are willing to go altruistically into the mandate business, have we any tenable grounds for objecting to Mr. Balfour's point of view? If we say that we have a twenty that we are either knaves or fools.
In our thinking on international affairs we Americans are singularly simple-minded. Our attitude in the mandate question proves it. We must share in responsibilities or waive privileges. If we keep up our present attitude regarding the mandate territories, I fear that our former comradesin-arms will have the right to think
Mr. Hoover's Double Opportunity-Hope and Tragedy in the New SouthModern Political Demonology.
OR all his boyish modesty of bearing, Mr. Hoover has stimulated more interested speculation than any other member of the new administration. He is singularly free from the plague of platitude that damns most officeholders. He signalizes the entrance of the engineer mind into politics. The engineer thinks from reality to policy; the politician from policy to reality. In the past we have thought of politics as a sort of spiritual policeman going about with a club imposing a decent minimum of public spirit and social morality upon finance, trade, and labor. The engineer mind in politics may teach us that the creative organization of finance, trade, and labor is in itself the highest politics. In short, we may find that Mr. Hoover, instead of allowing himself to be neatly shelved in a rather pointless bureau of records, has accepted the most strategic and potential position in the new administration.
I wish I might quote from a more
"respectable" source, but. for the moment I can think of no better statement of the point I am getting at than the statement made by Lenine at the opening session of the Eighth AllRussian Congress of Soviets. This statement has nothing to do with Bolshevism as such, but is the statement of a principle that all statesmen will do well to heed.
The present political moment is living through a transitional breaking-off characterized by the fact that we are period when from war we go over to economic building. I believe that this moment is an important turning-point. . . It is the beginning of the happy epoch when politicians will speak more rarely, and the attention of all our congresses and conferences will be fixed upon economic construction, the enrichment of Russia by new creative experience. Politics we have learned. Creative economic construction, the increase of our productivity, must become our policy now. Engineers and agronomists must take their place in our ranks. We must learn from them, check up their work, and move onward.
The point is much more than that Mr. Hoover will bring a practical business man's mind to problems of organization. In many In many cases the "practical business man" plays a hopelessly uncreative rôle in politics. Mr. Hoover will do all the things we expect from a business man. The newspapers are filled with elated despatches about Mr. Hoover's plans to sustain and promote American export trade, his plans to effect a coöperation between business and government that will mean the improvement and policing of business by business itself, his plans for the "creative" rather than the "restrictive" regulation of business. All this is important and gratifying. Many of our basic industries, particularly some of our quasi-public industries as railroad, gas, water, and telephone companies, are in a bad way just now. Many such businesses are showing a deficit. There are critics who assert that many such companies are deliberately trying to make a bad showing that will scare the public into higher rates and more liberal privileges. In some cases this is undoubtedly true. But as a general thing, the situation is the result of a policy of drift and
opportunism in the past. In earlier days business was given a free hand. That freedom was abused. Stung into action by this abuse, we entered a period of stringent public regulation. We are coming to the end of that period with many industries in a bad way. They must be swung into a better way, or public opinion will increasingly favor complete public administration or ownership. If Mr. Hoover can devise a new kind of "creative regulation" that will avoid alike the sins of an anarchic business freedom and the sins of an ineffective and suicidal political control of business, he will render a signal service to the nation.
Mr. Hoover will, of course, give his department an effective business administration. But I am interested, in the writing of this editorial, to point out the two outstanding statesmanlike contributions he has the opportunity to make to American politics, aside from all these admittedly valuable things he is reported to have in mind and in hand. Let me first state them abstractly and then discuss both in detail.
First, Mr. Hoover can teach the politicians that our political foreign policy must rest upon a wise conception and wise administration of our economic foreign policy; and while doing this he can actually dominate American foreign policy, doing more than any other man to clear up our relation to coöperative international organization, from the vantage-point of the Department of Commerce.
Second, Mr. Hoover can teach the business men that they must become students of world politics; he can destroy the rule-of-thumb régime that has dominated American export trade by dramatizing for American business
men the intimate relation between world-trade and world-politics; he can thus create a new and broader type of business mind in the United States.
First, then, as to what Mr. Hoover can do to influence American foreign policy and the politician minds that have theoretical control of American foreign policy. As a nation, we are frankly at sea on the matter of foreign policy. We have plunged the whole discussion of the League of Nations and our relation to it into a sea of passion, prejudice, and partizanship. One big difficulty has been, I think, that we have looked upon the League of Nations as a sheer political invention, devised by some one just as an inventor might think out the creation of a sewing-machine or a telephone a machine, if you please, to be shoved down, over, or into the tangled mass of economic and political problems. From the beginning the League of Nations was unfortunately pigeonholed with the panaceas and utopias that appear intermittently throughout history. We proceeded from form to function.
We built the machine and then began looking about to find the things the machine might do. The result has been that the nation has divided on the question of the machine. We have lost sight of the mass of urgent problems that cry for solution and are spending our time discussing the pattern of the instrument that has been suggested for their solution. If, from the beginning, the whole discussion could have been kept focused on the many problems, primarily economic and commercial, that vex international relations, the common sense of the nations would long since have settled
upon a series of coöperative undertakings that would have constituted a realistic League of Nations, although it might never have been called by that
Now, Mr. Hoover is the one man in the United States to-day who has the chance to regain that lost opportunity for us. If the news appearing on the front pages of the newspapers as I write is more than a trial balloon sent up by Mr. Harding, it seems that the hope that many of us have entertained of the entrance of the United States into a slightly revised League of Nations is doomed. To many of us who are in nowise blind to the manifest shortcomings of the Treaty of Versailles this means the bankruptcy of liberal statesmanship in the United States. But that is neither here nor there. It is a condition and not a theory that confronts us. How are we to meet our moral responsibility for decent international politics? That is the question. The hope of an answer lies, I think, more with Mr. Hoover than with any other man in the United States.
If for the next four years Mr. Hoover will drop the phrase "the league of nations" out of his vocabulary, steer clear of public discussion of worldpolitics as such, and concentrate his fine energies of mind and imagination upon the problem of fitting the United States into a decent and effective plan of international economic relations, we shall find ourselves in a position of leadership in a real league of nations that may, without elaborate judicial machinery or prejudice-awakening labels, more thoroughly guarantee world peace and world prosperity than all the paper schemes of political leagues that have been proposed.
There is never any point to the creation of machinery unless there is the right agreement and will to use the machinery for the job in hand. An air of unreality surrounds the crossroads political discussion of the League of Nations to-day. We must get back to a realization of what Lord Robert Cecil said some time ago, namely, that the problem before us is how to use the resources of the civilized world in the joint work of reconstruction and the restoration of prosperity. And in the doing of this, we must achieve, as Mr. J. L. Garvin aptly phrased it, the organization of thorough peace by mutual service between nations on the bases of their living interests. We must forget our petty squabbles about this or that detail of any covenant and deal deliberately with the commercial and industrial conditions of the modern interdependent world of which we are a part, despite the fond dreams of isolation that narcotize the minds of politicians who never venture beyond their parish frontiers.
I have elsewhere suggested that since the cause of modern war is invariably economic maladjustment, the prevention of war must rest upon economic adjustment; that there are four basic economic rights that every virile nation must enjoy if it is to be a contented and creative member of the family of nations: the right of transit, the right of trade, the right of investment, and the right of migration. International railways and canals, the seas and the ports of the world, must be free for the entry and transit of the goods of all nations; in access to markets no nation must be unduly discriminated against; every nation must
be permitted adequate play and equitable privilege for its free capital in the development of resources of the backward territories of the world; and, finally, the surplus population of the several nations must not be barred from entering more sparsely settled regions of greater opportunity. These are the four things that every modern industrial or agricultural nation demands. A blank check on all these things cannot, of course, be given to every nation; but peace and prosperity demand a constructive treatment of all four. And all four rest primarily upon economic considerations that can be handled with the greatest effectiveness and the least stirring up of passion by a Department of Commerce. Here, then, is Mr. Hoover's opportunity to turn the Department of Commerce from its former rôle of a bureau of records into a dynamic center of political authority and international statesmanship.
It will be a political tragedy if Mr. Hoover fails to measure up to this opportunity. At the moment of writing the whole problem of our relation to the rest of the world is enmeshed in the ugliest of ugly political intrigues. The irreconcilable isolationists are moving heaven and earth to insulate Mr. Harding from the advice and counsel of Mr. Hughes and Mr. Hoover by the most refined and gentlemanly of political Black-Hand methods. As I write, M. Viviani is in our country. At one of the dinner conferences to which a group of irreconcilables invited him he was told, I am reliably informed, that should the Senate attempt to give consent to a ratification of the treaty, the irrecon