« AnteriorContinuar »
poster in the window. He announced that he would raise his sympathy one per cent a day as long as the men kept the peace.
And here is where Henry comes in. The Governor for a year or two has been conducting a difficult laboratory experiment in compulsory arbitration of disputes in the essential industries gener ally in the State. The new Industrial Court Law forbids picketing altogether in case of a strike on an essential industry. A railway is an essential industry, and the recent strike was putting the new law to a new test in the State of Kansas. In many of the shop towns, what the Governor believed to be subtle forms of picketing were resorted to. Merchants, at the behest of strike committees and strike sympathizers, were refusing to sell the necessities of life to the strike-breakers. One hardware dealer told a detachment of the State police that he thought it inadvisable to sell them metal watering-troughs for their horses. The Industrial Court said this was a form of intimidative picketing and forbade it. Then in various shop towns the placard in the window of the merchant was resorted to. "We are one hundred per cent against the strike-breakers," and the Court forbade this as intimidative picketing. Then came the friendly placard such as appeared in Emporia, expressing one hundred per cent sympathy for the strikers. This also the Governor and the Court put under the ban, as the last step in a conspiracy, as they viewed it, 'to make the drastic picketing provisions of the new law of none effect.
And thus arose the clash between freedom of speech and the freedom to work, between Henry and Bill. Henry said to Bill: "You must take that placard out of your window. You are joining in a conspiracy, and your luster as a citizen only adds to the menace of it." Bill said: "All right. You bring action against me in the courts, and we will see if you can drive free speech so far into a corner in the State of Kansas; and in the meantime I will take the placard out of the window and ask every other merchant in the State to do likewise."
You see, it may be quite possible that legally and practically Henry is right, and at the same time that instinctively Bill is right. The question of how far we should go in a country like ours, even in essential industries, in suppressing freedom of speech and all picketing is a delicate one, and nobody contends that a thoroughly wise statute has as yet been framed in Kansas or anywhere else in the country. measurably perfect statute we shall no doubt grow into, as they have in England, and perhaps we shall get a better one than in England. In the meantime these instinctive flashes of good red-hot American indignation against what may have the look of oppression or suppression are not by any manner of means altogether unhealthy. There is room for ll on the planet as well as for Henry.
It was the same resurgence of the American sense of right which arose in many parts of the country at the late Daugherty injunction. It was not that men objected to the use of the injunction in some phases of labor dispute, although many felt that the criminal phase could better be dealt with by other process; but it was because of the drastic and seemingly unnecessary lengths to which the phraseology of the injunction seemed to reach. It seemed to a great number to be a touch of Russia and Prussia which boded no good for industrial America. It will not do for men who wish wisely to defend both property and public right to go to such lengths in the suppression of a rational freedom that they may furnish both example and incentive to a more radical dominant class some day to go and do likewise against property and the general welfare. Such practice is not good public training for the growing mass of workers of any land. As Bill White puts it, "I've got all the freedom of speech I want. But I would like to see this country grow into so clear a sense of what is right and just that my children and my children's children will have all the freedom of speech they want."
It yet remains to be seen whether Davies Warfield, the enlightened President of the Seaboard Airline, with his human strategy and his able spirit of fairness and conciliation, has not done more to break the railway strike than the Daugherty injunction. And it is the Warfield method which has in it promise of a permanent settlement. Far be it from me to decry the use of force to the limit by Government when the general welfare is gravely threatened, but force which is not rooted in wisdom and justice is only the opposite pole of anarchy. And I think we need to remember that as long as the essential industries remain at least semi-private, and have in them still the element of purely private management and profit, and sometimes very serious evils of such management, it is especially incumbent upon Government to recognize those evils and clear them away, because compulsory arbitration or injunction which leaves a bad status quo in the essential industry is not a permanent remedy at all. Permanent stabilization of essential industries should, save in exceedingly exceptional cases, precede the discussion of a permanent programme for the compulsory settlement of strikes and follow hard upon compulsory settlement in the exceptional cases. This stabilization will be opposed by narrow-minded operators and managers, on the one hand, and by narrowminded labor leaders, on the other, but there is no peace until it is done.
To return finally to Kansas and the Industrial Court. I think Governor Allen is entitled to great credit for making the experiment. As a matter of fact, contrary to much prevalent opinion, the Court has done some admirable things. My information is that if the law were put to referendum in Kansas, probably
two-thirds to three-fourths of the State would vote to retain it. The Court has put some men in jail, but it has been reasonably fair. And its decisions on the side of labor have been numerous and noteworthy. It has not been a capitalistic court. The impression that it has seems to have grown partly out of misrepresentation and partly out of the somewhat belligerent attitude of the Governor toward the labor leaders in his addresses before Chambers of Commerce and other such bodies. The Governor is a born fighter, one of the best in the country, and the labor leaders have hit his idea hard. And he has struck back in like manner. But this has not been the temper of the Court. As a matter of fact, the fiercest opposition to the Court seems now to come from the group of employers in Kansas known as the Associated Industries, who by propaganda and lawsuit are doing everything possible to break its morale and reputation and get rid of it.
A great deal can be learned for the whole country by experimenting with the idea in Kansas. I am not at all sure that compulsory arbitration of disputes even in essential industries will be widely successful until pretty close to the industrial millennium. The experience of Australia with compulsory arbitration in businesses affected with a public interest is not very hopeful. The penalty falls down. Just as you cannot indict a whole people, so the State will always have great difficulty in putting, it may be, several hundred thousand workers into jail because in a crisis they failed to obey the law. And in Australia the daily struggle before the courts of the two classes in interest seems to have strengthened class consciousness instead of softening it. The old natural cleavage of Conservative and Liberal in party politics seems to have vanished and in its place a dominating majority working group has established Labor Party rule. Compulsory arbitration has brought little that is reassuring in Australia.
Kansas as a State is peculiarly constituted for the experiment. It is very predominantly agricultural, and a State administration can have the farmers, who are not in love with the mine and factory laborers, anyway, right at its back. Politically in Kansas it is not an extraordinarily difficult problem. But it is a constantly worrisome problem at best and does require patience and firmness and sound sense in its outworking. During the railway strike things in Kansas have been pretty tense at times and the effect of the decisions of the Court and of the pressure of authority for law and order has often been in doubt. I suppose that is one reason why Henry felt that Bill's sudden incursion into the fray was a bit gratuitous and harassing.
I think it is a mistake for the Governor to urge the plan so vigorously upon other States, as if it were of universal application and a completed
THE NEURASTHENIA-BREEDING SMILE
N some of the Prussian sanitariums the consumptive patients are forbid
den to cough. This measure is based on the right principle-coughing irritates the lungs and makes the disease worse. But the efforts to stifle coughing often exhaust the patient much more than would the most violent cough.
This sample of Prussian discipline comes to my mind when I am thinking about American optimism. It is at times harder to stop crying than to stop coughing. But your optimism demands that you smile even when you feel like an ocean of tears. Everybody smiles here, more frequently than in any other country I have visited, with, maybe, the exception of Japan. Yours is such a serene, cheerful smile! And yet, more and more often I see in your papers popular articles on "NEURASTHENIA, THE GREAT AMERICAN DISEASE."
I studied both your smile and your neurasthenia, till I connected them. It seems to me that the first breeds the other.
Psychologists state that it is dangerous to suppress anger, sadness, spite. It sinks down into the depths of your soul and lies there like a heavy stone. It helps forming inhibitions. At times it drives one insane.
Now, with all the blessing of American civilization, you still have lots of things to be angry about. You want to swear and cry at times like every normal human being, but-you are taught extreme reserve. Often you would frown at your capricious customer, swear at your exacting boss, stamp your feet at your lazy employee. But no, you must
BY MARIA MORAVSKY
smile. For it was repeated to you over and over again:
"Say it with a smile."
This optimism of yours is the most remarkable sentiment I ever saw upsetting human lives. You even grow insaneoptimistically. On Ward's Island, in one of the largest insane asylums in the States, there is a section called Millionaires' Ward. It is the biggest one. Its inmates consist mostly of people who failed in life. But so strong was their optimistic belief that sooner or later they would succeed that, after innumerable cheerful efforts to conquer fate and circumstances, they went insane-cheerfully.
To be sure, most of them are happy. The administration kindly furnishes offices for the most persistent of the "millionaires," in which they make their enormous business transactions, each one bringing more millions. Among these "successful business men" there is a gentleman who thinks himself a benefactor of humanity; he hands every visitor a check "according to his needs." This man looked to me a symbol of your optimism: it continues to hand to you one worthless check after another. And on each is written: One Million Hopes!
I have watched a striking example of ravages wrought by hopes on a friend of mine. She is a capable fiction writer, contributing to many a leading magazine. She often reproached me for my eternal "kicking," for being "horribly pessimistic," and believing in the strength of circumstances. She herself was optimism embodied.
Two years elapsed, as they say in novels. The business in this country went from bad to worse, contrary to the assurances of the daily cheerful editorials in your leading newspapers. Naturally, it was reflected on fiction magazines. The editors began to buy less and pay less. Things grew so dark that many brilliant free-lance writers had to go into the advertisement game, instead of following "free creation."
During these times of literary famine I cursed our fate in my most somber Slavic fashion, and waited for the worst to come, while my poor optimismpoisoned friend was daily expecting the sky to clear and success to blossom out. And here we are, with about the same material results, which are far from what we think we are worthy. I remain in my usual mental state of well-balanced pessimism, contemplating life with more or less critical look, while she is having hysterics every day and professes a desire to "end it all in the East River."
I believe it was her exaggerated optimism which brought her to despair. When you expect too much from life, the slump your hopes take is usually more or less violent. It often brings severe nervous breakdown.
Personally, however, I consider my friend's neurasthenia the lesser of two evils. If she continued to force herself into smiling much longer, she might have ended in the Millionaires' Ward.
Beware of the Millionaires' Ward. I am afraid that every one of your forced smiles is a brick added to building up insanity.
UNDER FOUR PRESIDENTS
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF OSCAR S. STRAUS
CHAPTER VIII-EARLY RELATIONS WITH THEODORE ROOSEVELT
"He had the quality of vitalizing things-a situation or condi-
EFORE I became a member of President Roosevelt's official family I was in what he termed his "kitchen cabinet." My experiences in both cabinets are among the treasured recollections of my life.
We were the unofficial advisers who met round the luncheon and dinner table and afterwards in the White House study, where the President spoke without reserve of his executive problems and read for our criticism and counsel his rough drafts of Congressional messages, speeches, and notes to foreign governments.
Holding no portfolios of state, these "kitchen cabinet ministers" yet gave of their best; were always prepared to toi! to any extent to be of assistance to the President. He had the quality of vitalizing things-a situation or condition coming within his executive ken became so charged with life and imagination that men wanted to put their hands and minds to it. They served Roosevelt as nergetically and loyally as if the grave
responsibilities of state were upon their own shoulders.
International relations and labor arbitration were the public activities which interested me most. The President had appointed me a member of the permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague to succeed the late Benjamin Harrison, and shortly thereafter in his charming manner had designated me as a member of his "kitchen cabinet." Thus there had commenced for me a memorable series of conferences.
We met usually at the White House table. The President commenced the discussions by speaking frankly of whatever problems of state were occupying his attention. In explaining he had a manner of addressing his remarks directly to the man from whom he wanted an opinion. This gave his guest the opportunity to devote the highest possible concentration to the subject while the President was speaking. An opinion, if it won his approval, was greeted with a "Good! Fine!" and
he incorporated it immediately into his plans.
I never knew any one whose mind was more open to suggestions. I never knew any one who acted upon suggestions with more promptitude. Yet it was not simply impulsiveness. It was not a matter of taking the first advice that was offered, but of being quick to see and act upon the right advice.
ROOSEVELT, THE IMPULSIVE
There is much misapprehension regarding Roosevelt's so-called impulsiveness. This was evident to those who had an intimate view of the man at work. He was quick. He was a prodigious worker. He was so constituted and so self-trained that he had to do things immediately, get them out of the way. What people called his impulsiveness might have been more aptly termed his preparedness.
I had hundreds of opportunities to observe his methods. When he accepted an invitation to deliver an address or write an article, he would prepare it immediately, even if the occasion were two, three, or six months off. He revised considerably, showed his work freely to friends and associates for criticisms, but completed it at the earliest opportunity. He never waited. This method served to perfect his thought and expression on a given subject. His promptness left him free for other things.
The President never seemed to be hurried, though he always worked with a wonderful driving force. He seemed never to waste any time. It was play or work, and both with his whole heart.
During his last few months in the White House, while making preparations for his African trip, for instance, he accepted the invitation to deliver his now famous address at Oxford University. The address was not to be delivered until after his return from Africa, yet immediately after accepting he began writing it, and revised and completed it before he left America. He practiced the same method with his Nobel Peace Prize address, which he delivered at Christiania. It left him free for play. He did not want to think about Oxford addresses while in Africa. His public addresses were almost invariably the result of preparation. It was seldom that he spoke extemporaneously. The fire and animation which he imparted in the delivery of his speeches certainly conveyed no impression that they might have been carefully prepared and considered at a desk in a study. His papers were so smal! and inconspicuous that they did not interfere with his natural gestures. The
effect was almost as if he spoke extemporaneously. The notes, printed on sheets about 3 x 6 inches, and held in one hand, were completely lost sight of by the audience in those moments when Colonel Roosevelt became emphatic. In those moments he also interspersed extemporaneous remarks which brought out his arguments more vividly and forcefully.
"A DIABOLICAL PLAN"
During 1902 a number of public matters brought me into frequent consultation with President Roosevelt.
When Germany, backed perfunctorily by Great Britain, sought to hold Venezuela to certain agreements by blockading her ports, which constituted an infringement of the Monroe Doctrine. Roosevelt took prompt steps to prevent it. There was a disposition on the part of Germany to ask Roosevelt to arbitrate between her and Venezuela.
Secretary of State Hay seems to have favored this plan, but I advised against it. It was better not to become involved in the muddle, especially because the machinery of the Hague Tribunal provided for just such arbitration. By the terms of that treaty the signatory Powers were morally committed to arbitration. Roosevelt took my view and succeeded in having the subject referred to the Hague Tribunal.
During the same year I was able, by reason of my previous experience in Turkey, to advise the President regard ing a critical situation in the Philippines. An American soldier had been killed and several others wounded by
Mohammedans in the southern Philippines. It was announced in the press that a punitive expedition of twelve hundred men was to be sent to the scene of the killing.
Negotiations which I had had with the Sultan during the McKinley Administration were instrumental in pacifying the Philippine Mohammedans after the Americans assumed control of the islands. Fearing that the good relations promoted through the agency of the Sultan might be disturbed and disrupted by a punitive expedition, I advised the President against resort to force of arms. Instead, I recommended that it would be wiser to send a commission to treat with the Moros.
Upon receipt of my letter, the President wrote me to come to Washington for a conference. I arrived after a Cabinet meeting. With the President in his study were Mr. Taft (newly appointed Governor-General of the Philippines), Adjutant-General Corbin, and Acting Secretary of War Sanger.
Again, and in fuller detail, I gave reasons why military force in this matter was inadvisable. After I stated my case, the President showed me a copy of a telegram despatched to General Chaffee the day before, instructing him to send a peaceful diplomatic mission to the Moros. As a result of the conference, Adjutant-General Corbin was directed to advise General Chaffee to use the offices of friendly datos to obtain the desired redress.
The investigation revealed that the disorders had been due, not to the Moros' aggressiveness, but to panic.
They had seen the soldiers laying a telegraph line, which in their ignorance they had regarded as some diabolica! plan to destroy them. The matter was adjusted. The slayers were surrendered and punished.
ROOSEVELT'S DIPLOMATIC STRATEGY IN REBUKING RUSSIA The Kishineff massacres in April, 1903, shocked the civilized world. In all countries and among all faiths meetings were called to express indignation and protest. On May 28, 1903, there was a notable mass-meeting at Carnegie Hall in New York, presided over by Paul D. Cravath and addressed by ex-President Grover Cleveland, Mayor Seth Low, President Jacob G. Schurman of Cornell University, and Edward M. Shepard The meeting was called by several hundred leading New Yorkers of the Christian faith. Resolutions were adopted that the United States "should exercise such influence with the Government of Russia as the ancient and unbroken friendship between the two nations may justify to stay the spirit of persecution, to redress the injuries inflicted upon the Jews of Kishineff, and to prevent the recurrence of outbreaks such as have amazed the civilized world."
Roosevelt's diplomatic tactics in bringing the Kishineff subject to the attention of the Czar of Russia won the approval of all students of international affairs.
Members of the American Jewish fraternal order B'nai B'rith, under the leadership of their president, Leo N. Levi, presented Secretary Hay with a statement regarding the massacres, to
gether with a petition which they asked to be forwarded to the Government of the Czar. Secretary Hay made a speech expressing sympathy and accompanied the committee to the White House, where they presented the President with facts regarding the oppression of their coreligionists in Russia. The President made a lengthy reply, expressing the deepest interest and sympathy.
On July 8 I received a telegram from Oyster Bay, the President's summer residence, inviting me there for luncheon the following day, together with Simon Wolf, of Washington, and Mr. Levi, of the B'nai B'rith. Present also at Sagamore Hill were Dr. Albert Shaw, editor of the "Review of Reviews," and his friend Morris Sheldon Amos, an Englishman. After a discussion of the question during lunch, the President suggested that a note should be sent by Secretary Hay to John W. Riddle, American Chargé d'Affaires at St. Petersburg, and that this note should embody the entire petition Mr. Levi and the committee had drafted. Dr. Shaw added that the embodying of the petition to the Czar, together with full publicity for the note, would have all the effects of a presentation even if he should refuse to receive it.
After lunch we went to the President's study. He said, "Now let us finish this thing up." Secretary Hay, he said, had been to see him the day before and had left a memorandum. Roosevelt took his pen and began drafting the note, incorporating part of Hay's memorandum.
The note, sent as a cable, was as follows:
You are instructed to ask an audience of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to make to him the following communication:
Excellency:-The Secretary of State instructs me to inform you that the President has received from a number of prominent citizens of the United States of all religious affiliations and occupying the highest positions in both public and private life a respectful petition addressed to His Majesty the Emperor relating to the condition of the Jews in Russia and running as follows:
Here the petition is set out. The note concludes as follows:
I am instructed to ask whether the petition will be received by your Excellency to be submitted to the gracious consideration of His Majesty. In that case the petition will be at once forwarded to St. Petersburg.
The President wished the cable to be sent at once and was in a hurry to have it go from Washington. He stated as one of his reasons that the late Russian Ambassador, Cassini, who had been dismissed, had gone back to Russia, and he wanted the petition to reach the Russian Government before Cassini arrived at St. Petersburg. Mr. Wolf, who lived in Washington, was asked to take the
John Hay, former Secretary of State, whom Mr. Straus provided with the "covenant running with the land" idea which Hay used effectively in the Panama dispute
draft of the cable to Secretary Hay, but, as he could not return there that night, the President asked me if I could take it.
At ten o'clock the next morning I placed the President's draft in Secretary Hay's hands. It was cabled immediately. Hay thought that, instead of embodying the petition in the cable, it would be better to ask first if it would be accepted, but this was precisely what the President did not want. He anticipated that the Russian Government would not accept it, and yet by making the cable public it would for all intents and purposes be a presentation, not only to the Czar, but to the entire world.
The President was right. The Minister of Foreign Affairs informed our Chargé that he could not receive it.
On July 17 Secretary Hay wrote me that, as anticipated, the Russian Government declined to receive or consider the petition.
However, the purpose in view had been accomplished. The officials of the Russian Government had read the petition, and through press despatches it was known throughout the civilized world. According to subsequent reports, it had a most salutary effect in bringing about the trial and punishment of some of the leaders of the massacres, and exerted a restraining influence in other places in the Empire where similar out rages were threatened. In addition, it was another notable instance of humanitarian diplomacy.
ALASKAN BOUNDARY SHOVED DOWN Reverting to the Sagamore Hill luncheon of the previous day, the President, Albert Shaw, and I conferred about
the Alaskan boundary question after the Russian note had been drafted. The President brought forward the maps showing the disputed boundary and explained that the six commissioners, three from the United States and three from Great Britain, would investigate. He said that they were not arbiters, as he refused to sign an arbitral agreement. If they did not agree, he would take the matter into his own hands.
The whole trouble, he said, arose from the fact that the Canadians had shoved down the boundary-line after the discovery of gold.
"It is just as if a man pitches a tent on my grounds and claims the grounds." Roosevelt explained. "I want him to get off. He says he will not get off, but will arbitrate the matter."
He then turned to me and said: "Straus, you are a member of the Hague Tribunal; don't you think I am right?"
I replied: "As a member of the Hague Tribunal, I must hear what the other side has to say, and therefore must reserve judgment," and we all laughed.
IN THE TEETH OF OPPOSITION" After the historic anthracite coal strike of 1902, in which President Roosevelt opposed the autocratic, unreasonable attitude of the mine operators, he became the pivot in another controversy, in which he was obliged to reprimand organized labor for an unreasonable attitude. This was the Miller case. Miller was dismissed from the Government Printing Office because he did not belong to a union. Roosevelt reinstated him. This brought a protest from the American Federation of Labor.
Samuel Gompers and several members of the Federation's Executive Council appeared at the White House on September 29, 1903, and protested that Miller was a non-union man and incompetent.
This was a case that appealed to Roosevelt's innate sense of justice, and he liked to decide such questions regardless of political consequences. Miller's fitness, he told the delegation, was a matter of administrative routine that must be decided by his superiors. In no way could it be regarded as an issue for such a protest. The real issue was whether the Government should practice discrimination between union and non-union men, and on this issue the President's decision was final. The reinstatement stood. No further action would be taken.
I wrote him that his decision and statement were consonant in principle with the position he had taken in the anthracite coal strike. In answer he wrote me the following letter, which in a few lines presents clearly his determined stand to do justice to capital as well as to labor:
My dear Mr. Straus:
October 1, 1903.
I thank you heartily for your letter. When you can get on here I