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should like to tell you for your own information some of my experiences in connection with this Miller case. I feel exactly as you do-that my action was a complement to my action, for instance, in the anthracite coal strike, and that I could no more hesitate in the teeth of opposition from the labor unions in one case than I could when the opposition came from the big monied men in the other case. Sincerely yours,
THE PANAMA DISPUTE
Panama has been a subject for discussion and controversy for almost a score of years. The Panama Canal will ever be linked with Roosevelt's name. Roosevelt's handling of the Canal problem forms one of the most notable chapters in American history.
As with other problems, the President consulted members of his "kitchen cabinet." My first participation in the Panama conferences was on November 6, 1903. In the President's luncheon party, besides Mrs. Roosevelt, were Cornelius N. Bliss, former Secretary of the Interior; John Clark Davis, of the Philadelphia "Ledger;" Mr. Kohlsaat, of Chicago; Lawrence F. Abbott, of The Outlook; and the President's brother-inlaw, Lieutenant-Commander Cowles.
Panama had separated from Colombia. The indications were that we were about to recognize Panama. The President in his informal way, as was his custom at luncheons, opened discussion of the situation, referring to our treaty of 1846 with New Granada, afterwards the United States of Colombia and later the Republic of Colombia. In this treaty we had guaranteed to protect the transit route. One of the questions involved was whether the treaty still held us to that obligation notwithstanding these several changes of sovereignty.
The President, in his usual manner of indicating that he expected a reply from a certain individual, addressed his remarks to me. When he finished, I suggested that the change of sovereignty, according to my reading of the treaty, did not affect either our obligations or our rights. Our guaranties I regarded in the nature of "a covenant running with the land."
"That is fine! Just the idea!" exclaimed the President. "I want you to explain that idea to Hay after lunch."
At first he was for going to the office and telephoning the Secretary. Instead. he took a correspondence card and scribbled a note to Mr. Hay, asking him to discuss my suggestion with me and work into the treaty the "covenant with the land" interpretation.
Secretary Hay, with whom I conferred at his home that evening, seized upon the idea at once, and said he would make use of it in a general statement he was preparing for the press.
The next day it was announced that the President, following a meeting of the Cabinet, had decided to recognize the
Andrew Carnegie, with whom Mr. Straus was closely associated for many years in the promotion of world
de facto Government of Panama. I will not go into much further detail here, for the Panama Canal story is well known. Roosevelt in his Autobiography devotes considerable space to a presen
HRISTMAS at the White
House and social life at the "Venetian Palace" are described by Mr. Straus in next week's chapter of the Autobiography. He recounts some of his memorable experiences in Roosevelt's Cabinet, as a colleague of Messrs. Root, Garfield, Cortelyou, Taft, Bonaparte, etc. Mr. Straus, who was Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Labor, describes the scope and work of his Department, his trip to Hawaii, his efforts in connection with the Japanese question, his idea of harmonizing human and business interests.
tation of reasons for his official actions.
Secretary Hay's statement said in
It must not be lost sight of that this treaty is not dependent for its efficacy on the personnel of the signers or the name of the territory it affects. It is a covenant, as lawyers say, that runs with the land. The name of New Granada has passed away; its territory has been divided. But as long as the isthmus endures, the great geographical fact keeps alive the solemn compact which binds the holders of the territory to grant us freedom of transit, and binds us in return to safeguard for the isthmus and the world the exercise of that inestimable privilege.
On November 12 I received the following letter from the President:
My dear Mr. Straus:
Your "Govenant running with the
land" idea worked admirably.
gratulate you on it.
With warm regards,
Viewing the situation with his expert professional eye, John Bassett Moore. the distinguished authority on international law, derived considerable entertainment from the "covenant running" feature, and wrote me a few days later as follows:
So you had a finger in the pie! I find a great deal of amusement in reflecting on the end reached from the premise of my memorandum; and almost as much on the conclusion reached from your suggestion. Perhaps, however, it is only a question of words; that is to say, it is, indifferently, a question of the "covenant running with the land," or a question of the "covenant running 'away' with the land."
A NOTE FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN The President took occasion later to refer publicly to my interest in international activities. In January, 1904, a number of peace societies had a conference in Washington and passed resolutions urging enactment of treaties with Great Britain and other Powers providing for formal arbitration of disputes in the event of diplomatic negotiations failing. A delegation from the conference called upon President Roosevelt. The resolutions were presented by former Congressman Henry St. George Tucker, of Virginia, after which there were a few brief remarks by Andrew Carnegie and myself. The President, in reply, expressed himself very fully upon the subject. He greeted it cordially and spoke of the good work of the peace societies; then, referring to me, he said:
I have had from Mr. Straus aid that I cannot overestimate, for which I cannot too much express my gratitude, in so much of the diplomatic work that has arisen in this Administration-aid by suggestion, aid by actual work in helping me to carry out the suggestions; and Mr. Straus
was one of the two or three men who first set my mind, after I came in as l'resident, in the direction of doing everything that could be done for the Hague Tribunal, as that seemed to be the best way to turn for arbitration.
When the President finished his remarks, we gathered around him. Mr.
Carnegie meanwhile had congratulated me upon receiving such compliments, and now in speaking to the President referred again to his remarks about me. Mr. Carnegie said to the President that he suggested I should get a copy of the President's remarks to preserve for my children and grandchildren.
Roosevelt immediately turned to his secretary, William Loeb, Jr., and instructed him to send a copy of the Presidential references to me. That is how I happen to have this extract, and I trust I may be pardoned for the egotism which induces me to incorporate it here.
MAKING GERMAN SCHOOLS EDUCATIONAL
ents were the particular "unauthorized persons" whose presence was banned in the school building.
"Mothers must bear sons. for the Kaiser needs soldiers," was a dictum which even otherwise intelligent men and women repeated as though it were a truism. Parents were expected merely to provide the physical presence of children.
Pastor, schoolmaster, policeman, and drill sergeant-all government employees-saw to it that youth trained in the way it had to go. The schools were primarily intended to perpetuate established conditions and curb all progressive tendencies that might contaminate the budding intelligence.
There was a "Kultus" Ministry, in charge of education and public worship. whose chief function it was to throttle dangerous ideas in schools and churches. Heterodox opinions were jealously quarantined in the schools and universities.
It was taught and believed by high and low that republics were a failure everywhere. The Swiss were longing for annexation to the Empire, and were only being thwarted by the wicked French. A common question often raised by otherwise well-informed men was whether we of America could find no way to satisfy our national longing for a monarch. I was frequently asked whether I had completed my military service. My interlocutor would regard me with incredulous amazement when I told him that we had no compulsory military duties. How could such a thing be in a civilized state?
Such being the mental equipment of the better educated, the intellectual abasement among the masses was abysmal. In the rural schools the children of peasants and agricultural laborers were taught just enough to enable them to sign the muster rolls and decipher the numerous verboten notices that gladdened their lives.
In the vital statistics of Germany they were not classed as illiterates. Actually, they were less educated than
BY JOSEPH DANZIGER
the most illiterate hillbilly of Alabama. They demonstrated the truth of Josh Billings's philosophy: "It is better not to know so much than to know a great many things that ain't so."
The urban schools for the working classes were a shade better. A machinist or grocer's clerk had to know more arithmetic than a farm-hand. But in al! degrees of society pupils were taught just enough to equip them for their stations in life. Labor unions main tained continuation schools for their members, and in this way a bright, ambitious young mechanic was given a chance to study history, mathematics. science, and languages. The possibility of satisfying their thirst for knowledge created many self-educated men among the unionists. Their political and economic training was entirely along Marxian lines. It is no wonder, therefore, that the German workman is classconscious. The system made it inevitable.
Young lads of nine or ten destined to be officers were thrust into uniforms and sent to cadet schools. Their education was very one-sided, and not so high as the standards set at West Point. Its fundamental purpose was to alienate the cadet's sympathy for other classes. The latter condition was likewise true of the Gymnasien where the civilian boys of the middle class and aristocracy received their education. These schools prepared for the universities, and graduation from one of them was a prerequisite to serving for one year as a volunteer, instead of two or three years as a conscript. This was a very valuable privilege. The volunteer for one year did not have to live in barracks, but had private quarters like an officer and was exempt from all policing duties Every family that could possibly afford it sent their sons to the Gymnasien. Pathetic stories are told of widowed mothers and their hard-working daughters making the utmost sacrifices in order to keep a son and brother in a school that would guarantee him exemption from the inhuman brutalities of the garrison. Many a German boy who failed at graduation has preferred suicide to facing the degrading manhan dlings of the notorious Prussian drill sergeant.
The Gymnasien included nine years of Latin, six of Greek, and four of French and English. Mathematics was taught
entirely by memorizing set rules. If a boy had no natural talent for mathematics, his case was hopeless so far as any practical application of the science was concerned. When properly taught, mathematics is sure to develop the logical faculties, and reason was anathema to the old system. I have watched boys above the average intelligence try to solve a problem in the third year of algebra. It was in simple equations, such as we have in about the first three months of high school or the last year of grammar school. When I tried to analyze the equation for them, they fell into utter confusion. Their analytical faculties had been deliberately atrophied.
A review of the old German school system is necessary to a correct estimate of the herculean task that faced the revolutionary reformers. One of the first acts of the revolution, even before the Constitutional Assembly was called, was to declare that all schools were free to the elective preference of all children, regardless of class. The Constitution abolished class privilege, but it could not abolish class spirit. The old system had implanted it too deep in the consciousness of the nation for the present generation to rid itself. The chief votary of class distinction was the university.
Professional men and Government officials were recruited exclusively from university graduates. Gymnasien teachers were likewise elected from these circles. They had all been held strictly aloof from any contact with workingmen from earliest childhood. As children, they even followed the medieval custom of affecting a distinguishing dress to denote their classes. This alone served to segregate them in public, and under no circumstances were boys and girls of different social strata ever known to mix.
A democracy segregated into classes cannot stand, to paraphrase Lincoln. Germany is not a democracy-except on paper. It became apparent to all rea! democrats that the first essential to democratization was its application to the schools. Gymnasien and university faculties, saturated as they were with monarchistic and feudal sentiment, opposed any movement toward abolishing class distinction.
The mother of a six-year-old boy had
to start him to school at Eastertide. According to law, he was obliged to attend the common preparatory school for the first three years, after which he I could elect between the Gymnasien or grammar schools. The only way to avoid sending him to the common school was by showing that his health would not stand it. However, this particular boy is a superb specimen, better grown than most German boys of ten or eleven. The mother bribed a doctor to certify that the child is neurotic and needed special attention. The school physician accepted the document, although when the boy was stripped before him he could not help remarking about his perfect physique. I asked the mother why she had gone to all of that trouble instead of sending the boy to a common school.
"What! And have him associate with children of the proletariat!" she cried. "Never! I would rather keep him out of school altogether!"
She sent the child to a private schoo! that is so overcrowded that the pupils are taught in three-hour shifts, beginning at seven in the morning and ending at 5 P.M. The last shift is compelled to work under artificial light all winter long. Parents submit to such discomforts rather than have their children "associate with the proletariat."
The school reformers put up a hard fight against such notions, and are slowly making headway. The first step was to abolish the autocratic rule of the principal. This functionary was always a man who was "right." A democrat need not apply. Under the new rules, a principal may not suspend a teacher without preferring charges. The teacher, therefore, has a chance to exercise his individuality, especially in teaching his tory. The perversion of history in the old German schools was, and often is now, notorious.
German history particularly was confined chiefly to a list of battles and the names of the Prussian kings who fought in them or were responsible for them. Classical history was perverted from its true significance whenever the facts turned upon some fight against tyranny in ancient Rome or Greece. Although Prussia is a Protestant country, John Huss was pilloried as a scoundrelly traitor, not because of his relations to the Church, but for the real, but camouflaged, reason that he fought for the self-determination of his native Bohemia.
The severest fight for democratization turned on the question of religion in the public schools. Objections were not raised against teaching Christian doctrine. The fight was directed against the peculiar organization of the Prussian State Church, which was antagonistic to any democratic movement. Although nominally Christian, the Church was under the authority of the Kultus Minister, and actually constituted a powerful machine for sustaining the existing order. A pastor who was properly subservient
PARADE OF BERLIN SCHOOL-CHILDREN, ARRANGED BY THE PUPILS' COUNCIL The banners carried by the children, whose ages are from ten to fourteen, demand the abolition of whipping and the secularization of the public schools. Good order was maintained during the parade by the children's self-appointed marshals
to the All-Highest-not the Supreme Being in this case-was sure of some desirable appointment and a magniloquent title, such as Supreme Councilor of the Consistory.
If some honest-thinking Christian layman, incensed at the perversion of his faith to political ends, ventured to withdraw from the Church, he became a social outcast. His sons could never be appointed to any Government position nor even become reserve officiers in the army. So far as possible his business or professional career was ruined by machinations from above. Therefore only workingmen who had nothing to lose separated from the State Church, although since the revolution the desertions from its membership amount to a veritable exodus.
The Centrist or Catholic party is the chief opponent to dispensing with religious training. They favor free election or, at most, separate schools, and their influence is strong enough to put over one or the other plan.
The common-school teachers welcome the chance of teaching religion as Christ preached it and without any Hohenzol lern trimmings.
I attended a meeting where this sub ject was up for discussion. It was testified that the masses are in favor of some kind of religious instruction. It is believed that religion is needed now more than ever as an ethical rule to supplant the policeman's broadsword, which the revolution took from him. Most of the teachers held that the instruction should be confined to Bible readings or lectures. Old Testament stories are told the smaller children, or Luther's wonderfully devout and simple translation of the Bible is read from to them. The older pupils are given instructions from the Gospels with special
reference to the Saviour's teachings of brotherly love, peace, and kindness. All testified that this sort of instruction was much more suited to the imagination and conscience of children than the lessons they had been getting from the pastors of the State Church.
During a discussion as to the best answer to give to children of eight or ten in reply to questions regarding the origin of life one teacher said that he had found a satisfactory symbol in the egg. He told about a particularly inquiring mind who wanted to know how life got into the egg. "I explained that this was the great mystery of life which no sage had ever been able to understand. The child went away satisfied, and at the same time awed at having been brought face to face with the veil before the Holy of Holies."
It seemed to me as I sat among these public school teachers that they were well suited to teach the principles of Christ's doctrines. They are devoted to service and not salary. The latter is jnconceivably small. Most of them were obviously poor. Their clothes were made over from field-gray uniforms. They displayed none of the pride and supercilious contempt for the common herd that characterizes university professors and pastors of the established Church. They spoke humbly and with devout earnestness of the great task that lay before them of creating a new and better nation from amid the coming generation. There were only a few who favored the exclusion of the Bible and the substitution of abstract moral lessons.
These gray-clad men are being assisted by some choice spirits from the Gymnasien and universities. The number of these is increasing, as pressure of public opinion enables democratic m
and women to get appointments on the faculties of the higher institutions. Among the leading liberals are Professor Paulsen, of Hamburg, and Professor Julius Scheve, of Berlin. They have created a new type of school, the Gemeinschafts-Schule-freely translated "fellowship school." It is representative of the new educational idea in revolutionary Germany. Twenty-nine schools of this type have been started in Hamburg, which is a free city with autonomous government. In Prussia the schools are all under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Arts, and Sciences. The old bureaucracy of the Kultus Ministry still holds forth there, and so far as possible impediments are placed in the path of progress.
In fact, this is the great weakness of the German revolution. A clean sweep should have been made of the old bureaucracy. This was not done. When I visited Wilhelmstrasse, I found the same old Geheimrats occupying the same old desks they occupied during and be fore the war. A 'revolution does not merely consist in overturning the throne and putting the monarch to work sawing wood. It must go down to the roots of the old system, and this is only very slowly going on in Germany.
The fellowship school is based on the fundamental idea that individuality should be developed and encouraged to express itself through democratic control. Schools of this type are governed by three branches: teachers', parents' and pupils' councils. As much autonomy is given the pupils as they can safely be trusted with. Under the old system, the principal and, through him, the teacher were irresponsible autocrats. In the new order the pupils' council is responsible for discipline in the schools, and is given a voice in the nomination of teachers for the several branches and classes. While the choice of the pupils cannot always be accepted, it serves as an excellent test for the fitness of a teacher for a given subject.
Pupils' councils have not always worked smoothly. There were strikes in some of the schools in Chemnitz (Saxony) and in an industrial suburb of Berlin. It usually developed that such disturbances were founded in protest against some reactionary teacher and reflected the child's natural sense of democracy and fair play. However, this was not invariably the case.
In Lichterfelde, a suburb of Berlin, the Government conducted a free boarding-school for former military cadets. Under the Peace Treaty this school had to be closed as a military academy. The votaries of the officers' caste protested at the proposal to place the former cadets in regular schools. Their objection that the previous training had unfitted the boys for regular schools was admitted by the authorities, and so the school was reorganized on a civilian basis.
A matron supplanted the former commandant. During some public function in the assembly hall this lady declined to stand up when the boys chose to sing "Deutschland über Alles" or "The Kaiser is a Beautiful Man," or some other patriotic ditty of the old régime. Whereupon the boys resolved to make it too hot for the matron. They visited her with every kind of covert and open insult that boys.of their sort are ingenious in devising. In the course of another celebration, where her presence was required, she was greeted with catcalls and the demand that she retire. As the lady refused to do so, some of the boys attacked her with physical violence They were merely living up to the old Prussian standard of what constituted an officer and "gentleman." About sixty of the leaders, boys of eighteen or older, were expelled. At this the militarists denounced the pusillanimity of a democratic government in breaking its promise to support these young men to maturity. The mere incident of beating a woman was no very great concern to men of their caliber. They created so great a disturbance by their vociferous agitation that it became impossible to restore discipline in the school and it was closed. This is the only case where the pupils' council idea was a total failure.
The parents' councils are chiefly advisory. It is a radically new idea to consider the opinions of parents. Most of them are at sea with regard to pedagogic measures. The teachers must encourage an active interest in the administration and urge frequent visits to the school-rooms. In this way they hope to enlighten the elders with some of the practical questions that arise and secure their aid in accomplishing further reforms.
The teachers' council legislates for the school. The principal has been deposed as an autocrat and become an executive. This removes an important obstacle to the introduction of democratic measures. The school curriculum is as elective as possible. The rudiments of education are of course insisted upon, but beyond that the pupils' natural leanings are considered. Advancement does not depend upon qualification in every branch. 'It is well known that a pupil may be excellent at mathematics but backward in languages. In the fellowship schoo! such a deficiency would not militate against promotion if the pupil were otherwise fit. It is believed best to develop the mind along its natural bent. There is no use wasting a pupil's time with drawing if he has no eye for line and form, or retarding his progress in natural sciences and mathematics simply because he has no mind for grammatical construction or languages.
Manual training, nature studies, and physical culture are important departments. The labor unions do not oppose manual training the way the New York unions objected to the introduction of
the Gary system. Labor leaders hold that, besides being an excellent training in itself, it inspires many middle-class children with respect for manual dexterity. Some men regard their inability to manipulate tools as a thing to be proud of. I have heard them boast that they never so much as drove a tack in the wall.
Manual training in the fellowship school is not restricted to mere routine knowledge of tools or the making of useless things. The child takes pride in creating something that is a useful part of the world he lives in. It makes him feel that he is actually participating in life instead of merely preparing for the future. Pupils are given many things to make that can be used in the class-room. One day I chanced upon a full-page rotogravure from a New York Sunday supplement. I took it around to a school I was visiting.
"Who is this?" asked the teacher. “Abraham Lincoln," shrilled an enthusiastic chorus.
"Who was he?"
"He freed the slaves," "He was a man of the common people," were the two facts about Lincoln that seemed to have made the strongest impression.
"What shall we do with his picture?" "Let's frame it in oak. He was a sturdy oak," suggested a twelve-year-old. "And carve oak leaves on it," added a more artistic lad.
"And Uncle Sam too!" piped a childish treble whose owner must have had relatives in America. "He sent my mother a big box of food last winter." "I hardly believe Uncle Sam would like that," the teacher interposed. "But we will have the frame." Then he suggested that the boys nominate committees for securing the wood, making the designs, working up the materials, etc. The incident was concluded with a short talk on Lincoln, his obscure origin, his early struggles and final triumph. When the teacher told of his tragic death, many a childish eye glistened in sympathy. The point of it all is that the fathers of many of these boys would not have been able to distinguish a chisel from a screw-driver, and their knowledge of Lincoln would have been equally vague.
The democratizing idea back of the fellowship school is slowly permeating society. Neither parents nor pupils are concerned with the social standing of their neighbors. All are comrades in a common cause-the building of a temple of social justice in which future generations may enter. This is the vitalizing principle at the root of its growth. It cannot fail.
Speaking of future plans and prospects, Professor Scheve said: "We have no rigid theory, but a democratic foundation on which we are building. We face a situation whose spirit alone we understand and approve, but whose methods we cannot entirely foresee."