Puslapio vaizdai

priation of a hundred and fifty thousand link in European aërial transportation. dollars for the continuance of this ser- Switzerland will also offer an attractive vice, despite the plain fact that this stopping-place, and Vienna will doubtless service is the only large practical training become one of the great air-traffic school for pilots to whom we could turn terminals of southeastern Europe. in an emergency. There are, of course, By the Treaty of Versailles, Gerhundreds of young men recently dis- many's wings were clipped temporarily. charged from the army who at the mo- Germany was forbidden, for six months ment could be pressed into service again, after the coming into force of the treaty, but the longer they remain out of the to manufacture or to import aircraft or cockpit of an aëroplane, the less useful parts of aircraft; but the period was prothey will become as pilots.

longed three months because of GerGreat Britain is “carrying on” with many's failure to comply with those flying. During the war the British air portions of the treaty regarding the forces were constituted a separate arm of delivery of air materials to the Allies. the service instead of parts of the army There is evidence, however, of activity in and navy. The war-time air ministry Germany in air matters. This fact reused to occupy the Hotel Cecil, but calls a recent skitin the London "Punch." finally overflowed into many of the The dialogue attending the cartoon near-by hotels in the Strand. It has called “Aircraftiness" ran as follows: been greatly reduced, but it has been

British Lion: "Hello, started flying again?" continued, and is maintained as a dis

German Eagle: “Oh, purely a commercial tinct unit not only in Great Britain, but

venture." in India and the East. It has recently

British Lion: (To himself) “I remember been announced by the air ministry that

hearing that same yarn about their navy. the cabinet has approved, subject to Parliamentary sanction, the grant of

Time I developed my wings again." sixty thousand pounds for the direct as- The Berlin correspondent of the Lonsistance of civil aviation. Routes, at don“Times” says that the Germans claim present approved, run from London to they are the pioneers of the air; that in Paris, from London to Brussels, and from the construction of both airships and London to Amsterdam. British flyers aëroplanes they consider that they surhave scored many individual air suc- passed all rivals during the war. The cesses. Flights from London to Aus- correspondent further states that at the tralia, to India, and to Cape Town, end of the war Germany was turning out South Africa, have been negotiated. The from forty factories 2500 machines per latter one, across Africa, was attended by week. After the German defeat and the ill luck, but forty days after they had set consequent revolution, most of these out from Egypt, with a new machine sent factories switched to other work, but up from the cape, Colonel P. Van Rynd several of the factories turned to the veld and Major C. J. O. Bland com- manufacture of machines for civil aviapleted their trip. Great expense was in- tion. There is no lack of German pilots, curred in clearing away the jungle at either, and the men who flew for Gervarious places for landing purposes and many during the war have joined in a for the replenishing of the petrol supply. society. These men, it is said, are still a Such expenditure and effort represent a bit militant. It is reported that their wise national investment, the lesson of restless spirit was in evidence at the which we should take to heart.

congress of the Deutsche Luftfahrer France and Italy have not remained Verband, held at Bremen, at which repon the ground. A French pilot won the resentatives of sixty-two flying associafamous air classic of 1920,—the Gordon tions were in attendance. Bennett cup race,-and an Italian officer To return home. The United States reached Japan in his air travels. Larger is less than a day from Europe by air. planes are being manufactured in Italian The sixteen-hour flight from Newfoundshops, and Italy, furnishing a good hop- land to Ireland and the voyage of the ping-off place for Africa and the Near R 34 pointed out our vulnerability. It East, is destined to become an important was fortunate for New York that the


huge British dirigible which swung over clauses which follow."

Here was Manhattan a few months ago was on a definite promise. It cannot be broken visit of courtesy. The recent bombing without casting away the honor of the of the U. S. S. Indiana pointed out the nations that wrote it. lack of protection a surface navy af- It may seem strange that these words fords. Our navy must be protected by should be written immediately following aircraft and undersea-craft. No less a an editorial in which there is the suggesnaval authority than Admiral Sir Percy tion that we should look to the preparaScott keeps asking the London "Times, tion of our air forces against the possi“What is the use of a battle-ship?" No bility of a next war. I set down that one has yet answered him satisfactorily. suggestion with a heaviness, not to say A fleet of hostile aircraft can in the future sickness, of heart. War is the ultimate not only menace our coast, but rain de insanity. The next war may indeed struction upon defenseless heads in prove the suicide of civilization. In the Detroit and Pittsburgh.

next war there will be no rules of the To the layman it seems obvious and game.

The distinction between comimperative that the Government of the batants and non-combatants will be United States should assist magnani entirely wiped out. The sweater-knitmously in the development of air defense ting débutante will be as legitimate a and civil aviation. Such development target as the grizzled gunner. The next will knit the nation more closely to- war will mark the burial of decency. gether, expedite American business, Chivalry, bled weak by the last war, will further our commercial relations with die on the first battle-field. When the Canada, Mexico, and South America, world fights again, it will be in an orgy and bring Alaska next door. Aëro- of scientific savagery.

Any senator, planes may never become the chief

congressman, or President who does not carriers of the nation, but they might dedicate himself to an effort to outlaw soon relieve our tragically overburdened war, or who trifles with international transportation systems. A great na- policy in order to gain a petty partizan tional development of civil aviation will advantage, is a traitor to the human also bring into existence a fine reserve of race. trained pilots for use in an emergency, But the world is so interrelated that and bring such a reserve into existence until all nations, or the decisive majority without the damning blight of militarism of nations, display an economic statesin the process. Pilots are not trained in manship that will remove the causes of a day or a week. It takes longer to war and agree upon a limitation of arma

ke a good pilot than to make a good ments that will remove the tempting machine. We need both.

instruments of war, every nation must The American eagle has wings. Let still polish its suicide's weapons, must him use them!

build navies, train armies, and stretch its wings in the air.

To-day economic statesmanship seems

a minus quantity, and governments talk LIMIT ARMAMENTS OR LIE

blandly of armament limitation in one HE victorious nations which breath and order naval and military ex

signed the Treaty of Versailles pansion in the next. And, then, the

must effect and execute a pro- world is in a moral slump. When the gram of genuine limitation of armaments new order failed to arise automatically or stand convicted in history of a colos- after the armistice, we returned to the sal corporate lie. In the paragraph that old order of competitive armaments and preceded the statement of the essential poisonous suspicions with a vengeance. military peace terms with Germany În such a world we have no choice but there occurred this statement: “In or- to make decent defensive preparations. der to render possible the initiation of a It is a game we have to play even while general limitation of the armaments of we work to destroy the game. The traall nations, Germany undertakes strictly gedy is that so much of the current disto observe the military, naval, and air cussion of military, naval, and aërial policy is untouched by any of that revised, Woodrow Wilson's fourteen "white passion of statecraft” which dis- points should be written into the organic tinguished our diplomatic and military law of the nations, and the world should adventure in the last war-an adventure set its feet on the road to disarmament. of crusaders who fought a war they Crowning such a program should be a hated in order to win a world they democratized League of Nations of wanted.

which the United States should be a If the incoming administration pur- member. This way only lies peace and sues only a policy of intransigent nation- the survival of civilized society. alism expressed in terms of a “lone As long as stupidity, sinister interests, hand" international policy and military, blind traditionalism, and partizanship naval, and aërial preparedness, it will block such a program, we have no choice not deserve to survive. It will not sur- but to sharpen our sword. Will the vive, for it will misrepresent the American American people submit to this really people; that is, the real America, which unnecessary alternative? will again speak when we have emerged from this period of reaction and moral slump into which we have fallen.

GILBERT K. CHESTERTON VISITS US And, now, after this extended detour, to get back to the statement with which

R. CHESTERTON'S visit to the this editorial began. In the very docu- M M United States has been a blessment presenting the essential military

ing to paragraphers and "colterms of peace to Germany, the victor- yumists." Himself a journalist, he is a ious nations asserted, over their signa- man after the journalist's heart. His tures, that these terms were imposed lectures are always good “copy." He is upon Germany in order that the rest of one of the few men who can discuss the world might put into operation a abstruse questions of theology and scheme of armament limitation.

philosophy in head-lines and quotable The victorious nations must carry out phrases. His is the rare art of doing a that promise or never again speak of serious job in an interesting way. There their national honor. The total Treaty is nothing of the dull invariability of the of Versailles, with its many violations average purposeful essayist about Mr. of the fourteen points upon which it was Chesterton. He touches the most inpromised the treaty would rest, is a volved problems with a laconic clearness. black enough stain upon the honor of He is a specialist in epigrammatic tersethe victorious nations without adding

He can boil a duodecimo volume the dramatic repudiation of this specific of German philosophy into a barbed promise of an intelligent reduction of sentence. armaments.

Ordinarily pungent terseness is the As a nation, we were right in our criti- enemy of fancy. Emerson, for example, cism of the treaty, but we cannot main- wrote in epigrams. I remember hearing tain our honor as a nation by negative a distinguished critic say that one might criticism alone. However inexpert he put each sentence of certain Emerson may have been as a negotiator, Woodrow essays on a separate slip of paper, shake Wilson, before the peace conference, ex- the sentences well in a hat, put them pressed the real soul of America, and for together again at random, and produce one fleeting moment captured for the an essay about as well coördinated as the United States the moral leadership of original. Along with this epigrammatic world politics. We have lost it. Unless style, Emerson had imagination, but it Mr. Harding recaptures it by a construc- never bloomed into fancy. Chesterton, tive policy that makes the United States however, manages to get into his writthe active sponsor of decent and human- ings the apparently uncongenial eleized economic relations and the eager ments of unusual terseness and grotesque collaborator in a program for the limita- fancy. tion of armaments, his page in history It cannot be said that his ideas are will be a blank page.

original. His originality lies in the brilThe Treaty of Versailles should be liant drapery of his ideas; not in what he


says, but in the way he says it. Intel- a trick deliberately planned and conlectually, he is a medievalist, which is, sciously executed. His fondness for of course, nothing new under the sun. paradox is his trick of thought. He deIt is the same point of view that pro- vises paradoxical statements as methoduces gild socialism and leads men like dically as an architect draws a blueDr. Walsh to write books on the thir- print. As somebody put it: teenth century as the greatest of all

He gravely argues No means Yes, centuries. Chesterton usually leads his

He shows that joy is deep distress. reader back to a very common idea, but

He tells you soap is made from cheese, it is a roseate road over which the return

And any well-known truth you please is made. His style stings the reader's

He proves with such consummate ease brain to attention regardless of the

Confoundedly confutable. subject.

His mind is the mind of a medievalist, With a perfectly straight face Chesterhis style is the style of an epigramma- ton argues that simplicity is more intist, and his mood is invariably the triguingly mysterious than complexity. mood of the play-boy. The more serious He asserts as a self-evident truth that his subject, the more playful his mood is the basis of optimism is the doctrine of likely to be. With many readers, Ches- original sin. He declares that civilizaterton's playfulness has destroyed his tion is the defeat of man. His paradoxes authority; that is, with readers who are undoubtedly studied effects, and he think that serious matters demand sol- has undoubtedly overworked the trick. emn treatment. When this merry- Any aspect of a man's thought or style andrew tweaks the noses of the prophets becomes a liability the moment he plays and plays hide-and-seek with the gods, it to the point where it becomes promihe does it with a clear conscience. Re- nent enough to distract attention from plying to a critic, Chesterton said, “A his ideas. It is difficult to escape the man must be very full of faith to jest impression of artificiality in Chesterton's with his divinity." He contends that writings. We are likely to read his esthe boisterously happy way of looking says less to think with him than to at things is a faculty of the mind that is watch his mind turn somersaults. Berjust as sacred as the ponderously solemn. nard Shaw indulges in paradox, but he He says, “Merriment is one of the has n't overworked the trick to the point world's natural flowers and not one of where the trick is more prominent than its exotics."

the thought. The reader knows that In this matter Chesterton stands at Shaw is having fun with him, but he the opposite pole from Carlyle. Carlyle has been judicious enough to keep his approached a serious subject with solemn trick of style in the asset rather than in and awful gesture. Chesterton, dealing the liability column. with the same subject, would play tag But it is hardly fair, I think, to credit with it. The result is that Carlyle all of Chesterton's paradoxing to verbal sounds more profound than he is. trickery. His mind is undoubtedly Chesterton sounds less profound than constructed in a manner that enables he is. In Chesterton's biography of him to see readily the obverse and forDickens, he says:

gotten side of a truth. And the fact is Dickens had to be ridiculous in order to

that the deepest truth can be stated only begin to be true. His characters that begin

in paradox. Before Chesterton began solemn end futile; his characters that begin juggling with ideas, we were reminded frivolous end solemn in the best sense. His

of the supreme paradox-that a man

finds his life by losing it. foolish figures are not only more entertain

And, then, before taking Mr. Chestering than his serious figures, they are also much more serious.

ton too severely to task for his overdoing

of the paradox, it is well to remember Here is a good statement of Chester- that we, the reading public, are partners ton's method—the method of beginning in his literary sin. Words do not profrivolously and ending seriously. This duce the same effect upon our tense is Chesterton's trick of statement. It is nervous systems that they once did. To-day writers are obliged to galvanize Chesterton is always the philosopher, the public mind and arrest attention. whether he is writing a prophetic roAt least they think so. The Hearsts of mance, like “The Napoleon of Notting newspaperdom use glaring head-lines Hill," a fantasy, like “The Man Who because they have found that the mod- was Thursday," or his plainer prose esern mind is busy when it is n't distracted, says like "Orthodoxy" or "Heretics" or and distracted when it is n't busy. The "Tremendous Trifles” or “What's tricks of the sensational newspaper are Wrong with the World?" Even his not always expressions of the personal artesian flow of newspaper articles are taste of the publisher. They represent adventures in philosophy. But there is a search for methods that will compel nothing of the cloister about him. He attention. This is the case, I think, is a battle-mooded person, hitting at with Chesterton. He thinks he has specific things he regards as evil. something to say, and he has chosen a He believes in God hilariously. He style that attracts attention. Now, the believes in God not because anybody man who beats a drum on a street corner has proved anything to him, but because or gesticulates wildly from a soap-box he desires to believe in God. He has may be more than a sensationalist. He been rightly called a boisterous believer may have something to say-something in an age of doubt. quite as valuable as the dignified utter- Mr. Chesterton, your visit was deance of a pompous editor or the rounded lightfully diverting. Come again! periods of a solemn clergyman. If so, the beating of the tom-tom is justified. Chesterton represents the inarticulate

A SIMPLER DIAGNOSIS OF EUROPE'S ILLS longing of an age of doubt for the satisfactions of an age of faith.

He is a

UR passion for panaceas frefrank defender of orthodoxy and con

quently leads us to an overservatism. His point of view has not

simplification of issues. But always been what it now is. When he to-day we need a simpler diagnosis of was a youth of sixteen, if my information the ills of Europe and of the world. A is correct, he revolted against the faith thousand conflicting issues and a thouof his fathers and turned agnostic. He sand contradictory passions have palsied turned socialist and assumed a revolu- statesmanship. Now we center attentionary attitude toward life. But he tion on this issue and now on that. Tolater experienced what the Methodists day we are hopeful; to-morrow in descall “a change of heart." His writing pairing mood. And through it all we of “The Defendant" marked his turning maintain a rather blind hope that a from radicalism to conservatism. To- great leader will arise who will with his day, back from his youthful adventur- bare hands hammer ramshackle Europe ings in the fields of religious doubt and into decent shape again. This hope for social radicalism, he is ardently orthodox the "strong man” always comes when and belligerently conservative. Con- peoples “let down" morally and spirituservatives are sometimes not a little ally after the high tension of a great restless over the startling ways in which

It indicates the failure alike of he pleads their cause, and radicals diagnosis and remedy. When nations always watch with grave concern a critic fail in the scientific handling of a bad who has been on their own ground. situation, they turn wistfully in search of

Chesterton is in many ways as mystic miracle men. as Maeterlinck. He is an intuitionalist. No miracle man will arise in Europe He judges truth by subjective stan- or in the United States. The statesmen dards. He is a propagandist for the in- of Europe and the rest of the world stincts and an enemy of cold rationalism. must fight their way out of the present He stands guard over man's feelings, confusion and mutual cancelation of and with a knightly flourish fights the effort and, for the moment at least, pseudo-intellectual who offers to man- make a simpler diagnosis and center kind the "half of a broken hope” for a upon fewer principles of reconstruction. pillow.

The task of statesmanship just now is


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