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manlike initiative in the unofficial circles The building up of personal-credit of agriculture, it is refreshing to note the unions for the benefit of farmers whose vision and scope of the recommendations financial standing and scope of activity made by the secretary of agriculture in render accommodations through the his annual report, the more notable of ordinary credit channels difficult. which were:
Regulation and control of stock yards The continuance and extension of and packing-houses, and the protection scientific investigation in the interest of of rural consumers against misbranded, control of plant diseases and insect pests. adulterated, and worthless feeds and
Increased support by States for rural fertilizers. schools in the carrying on of courses in A fresh and comprehensive survey of the issues of rural life, good roads, sani- American rural life and the possible tation, medical service, and hospital creation of a rural life commission, facilities in rural communities.
probably with a permanent status. A far-reaching program for increasing As the democratic movement spreads, crop yields to meet the intense competi- it will find itself obliged to reckon tion that will come when the world fundamentally with agricultural returns to normal. This proposal visual- world. After all, there are few nations izes a program for increasing the pro- that can be classified as urban. Nine ductivity of land already under culti- tenths of the Russian people are agrivation, as well as the bringing of unused cultural. The Balkans, Poland, Asia land, public and private, under cultiva- Minor, and much of Austria are strongly tion. Extensive surveys are suggested rural. When democracy ultimately as preliminary to this.
strikes China and India, it must play its The development of bureaus to aid part in an agricultural stage-setting. farm-seekers and promote settlement It behooves the world to look to a statesplans.
manlike treatment of rural life, if the A fundamental examination of the increasing democratizing of life is to problem of tenancy. The conditions of mean safety and progress instead of leasing, it is suggested, may need changes confusion. that will make for better methods of agriculture, increase the length of ten
BARGAINING IN THE BALTIC ancy, insure an equitable division of returns, and safeguard the tenant when FROM the autumn of 1915 the Baltic he has unexhausted improvements on a Provinces have presented an increasfarm when he terminates his tenancy.' ingly tangled puzzle. At the moment of Measures to decrease absentee land writing certain despatches make interlordism are suggested as necessary. esting the tracing out of the conflicting Farm ownership must be increased if national interests that center there. Latifundia perdidere Roman is not to be The particular point of interest is the repeated in the United States.
possibility of a fundamental clash of The protection and perpetuation of French and British policy in the Baltic forests, with an enlarged program of and the larger Russian problem. Writpublicly owned forest, and a continuous ing in 1914, one would have treated the and detailed inventory of forest re- problem of national interests in the sources.
Baltic Provinces as a contest between A carefully worked-out program of
Russian and German interests. A comassistance in marketing, looking toward bination of factors in the general Rusthe elimination of wastes and abuses, sian situation may, however, make and the promotion of orderly distribu- these provinces a theater of conflict betion.
tween French and English interests. Federal aid in the building of good Let us see how this may come about. roads, to the extent of $100,000,000 an- The first fact to bear in mind is that nually for at least four years, beginning Russia proper will always have a vital with the fiscal year 1922, if the financial interest in the Baltic Provinces. The situation in which the Government then Bolshevik leaders of Russia have, of finds itself will permit.
course, renounced all nationalistic and imperialistic claims; but the fact remains news of the next few weeks with greater that when the Russian situation is insight if we have these tendencies in composed, whether under Bolshevik or mind. counter-revolutionary forces, the ele- First of all, it is to the interest of mentary necessities of access to the sea France to see Russia restored as an and legitimate bases for sea-power as integrated nation, with such defensible well as frontier defensibility will remain. frontiers as may give a sense of security And any Russian government will con- and enable Russia to buckle down untrive to secure these necessities when the afraid to the task of economic rehabilisituation is normalized. The Baltic tation, and with such assured access to Provinces are in truth Russia's "window the sea as will minister to the maximum on the Baltic,” through which alone she revival of her economic life and trade. is most likely to be able to maintain All this, because France is holding the free sea communication with the out- bag on the Russian debt. French fingers side world. Russian sea-power depends itch for unpaid interest and principal. finally upon the ports of these provinces, The French have seen no hope of the unless the Black-Sea-outlet problem is desired Russian restoration under the solved. Russia will not always remain Bolshevik régime, so they have left no an area of confused and hemmed-in stone unturned to bring support to the idealism; she must sooner or later deal anti-Bolshevik leaders. The French in Realpolitik, because the anticipated leaders have played a clever hand in international millennium has not arrived. keeping England at the job of waging As long as the Baltic Provinces are in war on Bolshevik Russia despite protests unfriendly hands or in a state of un- from certain English quarters. France stable independence, all northwest Rus- has made little sacrifice in the matter of sia lies open to attack. It is true, of Russian intervention. There will be course, that the number of Russians in Anglo-French harmony as long as Engthe Baltic Provinces is small and that land continues to spend blood and treasthe culture of the Baltic Provinces is ure in fighting France's battle for a German rather than Russian, but until restored, integrated Russia that may be we get a league of nations that really expected to repay the debt to France. works, nations must themselves keep But how long will Winston Churchill close watch on the problems of access to and the Northcliffe press be able to gull the sea, naval bases, and defensible England into this costly, futile, and frontiers. Here, then, is the fact of first unstatesmanlike intervention? Certain importance in the Baltic situation. straws indicate that a strong wind is
The interests of a recuperated Ger- gathering against this policy. Before many in the Baltic Provinces lie clear. this comment reaches the reader a good German control of the Baltic Provinces gale may have set in the opposite direcwould mean a strong hold on Russia, tion-a gale that the interventionists naval mastery of the Baltic when Ger- may not be able to weather. many once more has a fleet, and would Two rumors, reported as from “unopen up to German emigration and impeachable" sources, whatever that exploitation an area one sixth as large has come to mean in despatches, indicate as the entire pre-war German Empire. a negative policy respecting Russia and Petrograd would invite easy attack a positive policy respecting the Baltic from Germany in a future war.
Provinces on the part of England that These would seem to be the logical may prove bitter to the French palate, interests that would clash in the Baltic despite “agreements” that may assert Provinces. What suggests that France hearty coöperation of French and Engand England may come into the picture? lisḥ policy in these matters. The first At this writing there are no definitely rumor is to the effect that Italian and announced government policies of either English statesmen have arrived at an France or England that admit of definite agreement on two important principles, analysis and valuation, but certain the first of which is Hands off in Russia. rumors and tendencies afford food for The despatch, it is true, carries assurreflection. It may help us to read the ance that Downing Street breathes
easier because “there is now a real dis- the vital relation that the Baltic Provposition shown by the Italians and also inces must assume to a restored, inteby the French to coöperate." But the grated Russia, it would be interesting to next sentence in this London despatch know how France will feel regarding the to “The Sun” betrays concern over plans indicated. Briefly the plans fall French sensibilities in the matter. The along these lines: sentence asserts that “great care was It is suggested that negotiations betaken to avoid creating an impression tween a London group and the governthat the Italians and British were going ments of Esthonia, Letvia, and Lithuto confront the French as a bloc.” The ania, negotiations extending over several argument upon which this non-inter- months, have resulted in a plan about to vention policy was discussed was reported be concluded under which a private to be somewhat as follows:
group or groups of English capitalists will The Bolshevik argument has been that the
enter into a business partnership with
these governments. Here are some of antis were counter-revolutionists and this
the details of the partnership proposed: prevailed to obtain the support of the
The London banking group agrees to peasants, who do not want the old regime of
establish in each of these Baltic counthe Czar. If the Bolsheviki now attain un
tries, in partnership with the governdisputed power in Russia, as is likely, they
ments, a bank modeled after the Bank must abandon terrorism, as there will be no
of England. Each bank, it is suggested, body to terrorize, and if they wish to retain
will have both an issue and a banking the support of the mass of the people they
branch. Reserves are to be built up, must abandon their own oppressive measures,
debased currencies to be restored, and a which no longer will be justified by a state of civil war.
full program of currency reform carried Therefore, as happened after
out. In all this, assurance is given that the fall of Robespierre, any Russian Govern
there will be a “full share of control ment left alone must become moderate.
by representatives of the nations conIn short, there seems to be a tendency cerned.” toward the belief that if communism is The London banking group and the a patently impossible scheme, the thing Baltic governments, it is suggested, will to do is to leave it alone in the sunlight effect a "timber agreement” for the to wither from its own lack of intrinsic laudable purpose of “bringing about a vitality, and not to persist in giving flow of exports.” For fifteen years the Lenine and Trotzky a chance “to save state forests, under this agreement, will their faces” in the martyrdom of mili- be administered by this "partnership" tary defeat. It is doubtful that French and then turned back to the Baltic concern over the Russian debt will per- governments. mit French policy to take such a philo- The London group, under this agreesophical attitude toward this long-time ment, will get a monopoly of the flax and roundabout way of getting at the exports of these Baltic countries. Asreal Russia. France knows that she surance is given that “the group in this must long defer hope of payments under will act only as agents, however, taking such an experiment. Will she cling to only a small commission on the sale of the hope that military force can erect the flax and handing over to the Governmore quickly a stable government in ments all the other proceeds Russia that will discharge the debt? The London “Globe” article that outIf she does, then we may expect English lines the plan describes it as a plan "of adherence to any “hands-off” policy to practical reconstruction” and as a "real produce Anglo-French tension. So much alternative to Bolshevism” and asserts for the negative Russian policy.
that it will get business back into its In the next column to the despatch normal channels "so that these new just discussed, another London despatch states can maintain their independence." asserted that in the first week of Janu- Then, too, it is suggested that it “should ary the British Government considered also be a great help to the British interplans looking toward a positive policy in ests in general, not only in relieving the the Baltic Provinces. Keeping in mind shortage of flax and timber, but in providing an excellent means of entry into General Bliss who formulated an arguRussia." The latter quotations are the ment for the unified command which despatched paraphrases of the article. Lloyd George is reputed to have de
Will France, already a bit exasperated scribed as the ablest bit of argument for by the Persian and Syrian tangles, see in policy produced during the war. He this a plan of practical reconstruction" enjoys the fullest admiration of Lloyd or will she prefer to see this whole Bal- George, Sir Douglas Haig, Clemenceau, tic situation left open to fit into the and others. It bespeaks a fundamental program of a restored Russia? These soundness in the American Army and the despatches are discussed here not as American character that a career that though they were accomplished facts of had been relatively a peace-time career government policy, but simply as valu- in the army could have produced a man able bits of information to keep in mind with such singular military effectiveness, while reading the future news of Anglo- to say nothing of the broader grasp of French relations.
world politics. The mind of General It is really too bad that these generous Bliss was at no time during the peace assumptions of "the white man's bur- conference deluded by the prevalent den" must invariably bring interna- political casuistry that dragged the tional complications in their trail! Peace of Versailles so far below the laud
able war aims of the Allied bloc. His
voice was raised in protest when the GENERAL TASKER H. BLISS
Shan-tung negation of democracy was WHEN General Tasker H. Bliss returned perpetrated. While scanning the horisome weeks ago to the United States zon for abilities worthy of Presidential after his distinguished service abroad, responsibilities, it might be well to look there was no fanfare of trumpets to wel- into the case of General Tasker H. Bliss, come him. The press did not seize upon a soldier whose rare breadth of mind an the occasion to record and approve the vision would lift him out of the class of intellectual strength, broad vision, and soldier Presidents. great action which marked his service throughout the war and the deliberations
THE RAID ON RADICALISM of peace. Much has been said and written to the effect that Mr. Wilson sur- THE raid on radicalism with its attenrounds himself with men of indifferent dant deportations is in full swing at the abilities. There are stubborn exceptions moment of writing. The whole process to this. The case of General Bliss cer- has brought to light afresh the two tainly stands as a brilliant repudiation fundamental attitudes toward the probof this criticism. The long list of the lem of dealing with unrest and radical general's activities that lay behind his agitation. These two attitudes are appointment as chief of staff of the equally clear-cut. One attitude is based Army of the United States in 1917, in upon the belief that nothing save a succession to General Scott, was marked policy of severe and uncompromising by a painstaking and creative intelli- repression will tide us over this dangergence. His services in Cuba and in the ously unsettled time. The partizans Philippines were of high quality and in of this policy affect to locate the cause of his steady rise in the army to his present all of our unrest at the door of alien and eminent position he has always been the misguided agitators. By a severely scholar, the statesman, the man of action, logical process they reason that, if agiin highly effective combination. When tators are the sole cause of unrest, the all the facts are disclosed, we shall prob- wholesale deportation of the agitators ably discover that of all the Americans will usher in a healing era of content. at the peace conference General Bliss, A very large party holding this view for his grasp of military and political seem to go no further in their political affairs and for his genuine statesman- thinking than the negative act of de ship, won the highest respect and ad- portation or jailing. That is to say, they miration from the distinguished states- invest all of their energy in denunciation, men of the Allied countries.
leaving neither time nor inclination for
the construction of positive political and our revolution,” and by it we set up a economic programs. This party is com- government in which the ballot is to be posed of two distinct groups, men whose the one legitimate method for effecting selfish interests are at stake in the resist- change. We are not recreant to our ing of all political and social change, and traditions of freedom when we demand certain arid-minded politicians who have that no appeal be made from that triquickly seized the chance to ride into bunal. We are justified in repressing popular favor by waving the flag and and deporting not only those who appeal shouting “Americanism.” It is prob- directly to violence to overthrow our ably true that seventy-five per cent. of form of government, but even those who the politicians who are attempting to advocate effectively although peaceably capitalize the legitimate revulsion against a change in that fundamental fact of our un-American alien agitators could not, government. if cross-examined, give a clear and con- The other fundamental attitude tostructive definition of the "American- ward agitation is a “hands-off” attitude. ism” of which they pose as apostles. It is said that any and every proposal Many men are to-day using the cry of should be let alone to stand or fall by the “Americanism” as a smoke-screen to test of the survival of the truest. That cover a bankrupt political intelligence. every proposal should be given a chance
These comments have nothing what- to compete in the intellectual market. ever to do with the justice of deporta- That the most effective measure against tions. The writer, along with the vast any agitator is to hire a hall for him majority of Americans, feels that the and give him a chance to betray the present deportations represent a fine insanity of his creed, or if his creed example of social and political sanita- prove sane, give him a chance to serve tion, a much needed house-cleaning; but us by proving it. There is little doubt of we are obliged to analyze critically such the theoretical attractiveness of this social and political phenomena for attitude. It seems to show a brave attendant developments that strike belief in the invulnerability of our own deeply at the roots of our whole system ideas. But in practical operation this of political thought and action. The attitude is open to even greater abuse final safety of democracy depends upon and danger than a marked degree of our keeping up a constant flow of criti- censorship, if sanity is used in censorcism over the policies and methods em- ship. Free speech can be made a fetish ployed in dealing with unrest. There is instead of a healthy policy. a line over which a nation cannot pass If we are to get to normal basis for without destroying that freedom of political progress we must contrive to thought and speech which is the very find and follow the difficult line of action soil of social and political progress. that lies somewhere between the “shootThe danger is not that we will go too far 'em or ship-'em” policy and the "handsin the deportation of alien agitators. off" policy. We must display a healthy The gods are witness to the fact that we intolerance to agitation that strikes at have been dangerously tolerant of this the roots of a democracy committed to breed in the past. The danger lies in the political action, without letting that infact that we may become so proficient tolerance besmirch our traditions of in the censorship of thought and speech, tolerance to any sincere agitation that is while dealing with alien agitators, that willing to trust its case to the suffrage we will bring a finished art of repression of the American people. This middle to bear upon a legitimate divergence of policy can be abused; it lacks the theoopinion among our own people. It is retical clearness of a more dogmatic an unhealthy thing in a democracy to attitude, it calls for constant watchfuldevelop a facility for bringing the big ness of our liberties in its operation, but stick into play whenever vigorous pro- it is the practical path to follow. Force test arises against a prevailing policy in the hands of statesmen is salutary,
. The very soil of our liberty has been fer- although force in the hands of dematilized by the blood of rebels. But as gogues, Bourbon or Bolshevik, usually Secretary Lane well said, “We have had spells tyranny.