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Count von Bernstorff, to whom Mr. Straus broached the subject of mediation in the early days of the war at a dinner at the home of Mr. James Speyer

redound mainly to the advantage of autocracy in Russia. I contended that it was not a question of humanity, but plain state policy, and that it was important that the Governments of Great Britain and France bring Russia, as their ally, into line. I had received several cables from prominent men in New York and Boston who had thus expressed the American point of view.


Earl Grey suggested, in accordance with my remarks of a few days before about the necessity of making clear England's position in entering the war, that I give out an interview to the American press covering the substance of our conversation. I demurred. Naturally I hesitated to state publicly the delicate and critical questions that the British Minister of Foreign Affairs had so frankly discussed with me. However, Sir Edward himself said he would appreciate my doing so, for he had perfect confidence in my doing it without embarrassment to his country. I therefore agreed to it, with the proviso that he approve the interview before it was released for publication.

I got in touch with the representatives of the American papers in London and that evening gave out the interview. The next morning I sent a copy to Sir Edward, who returned it to me without a single change, saying he approved both its form and content. The matter was then cabled to America, published in our leading papers on August 15, and cabled back for republication in the British papers.

Thereafter the London papers came to me for further interviews, and in a sub

sequent statement I dwelt more specifically on the importance of Russia's fair treatment of her subject nationalities, particularly the Jews, who had suffered most. The press representatives asked whether they might show my interview to Lord Weardale and, if possible, get his comment, to which I gladly consented.

He had been head of the Parliamentary deputation that visited Russia the year before. He told me later that he had already written the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonoff, along the identical lines of my interviews. He supplemented what I had stated with an interview, saying, among other things:

It would be an immense step in the path of progress of Russia herself and would create a profound sentiment of satisfaction in the civilized world if the Czar at such a juncture were to give emphatic indorsement to his already declared intention to give full religious liberty to all his peoples. It is not enough to be powerful in the battlefield; it is even more important to conquer the approval of the human conscience.

The Government and people of Great Britain were very solicitous at that time regarding public opinion in America and the probable attitude of our Government. In many quarters there was a feeling of uncertainty and even of misgiving toward the statement by President Wilson respecting an offer of mediation at the opportune moment, in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Treaty. Because of this and other considerations, Sir Edward Grey and others recognized the importance of having Russia give evidence of a more enlightened spirit.

We left London at the end of August, and soon after our arrival home Mr. James Speyer invited Mrs. Straus and myself to dine with him at his summer home at Briarcliff. Mr. and Mrs. Frank A. Vanderlip were expected, and Count von Bernstorff would be there. As Mrs. Straus was rather worn out by her London experience, I went alone.



Bernstorff I had known for a number of years. I had first met him in 1888 when I was on my first mission to Turkey and he was attaché of the German Embassy. Later he came to Washington as Ambassador when I was in the Cabinet, and we met frequently there.

The conversation was general, although it was inevitable that we should discuss the war. Bernstorff voiced the

usual claim of the Germans, that they

did not want war, and that the Kaiser and the German Government stood for peace. When he had dilated upon that theme, I asked him:

"Is that the present sentiment and attitude of your country?"

He replied that it certainly was when he left Berlin only two weeks before, on returning to America from his leave of absence.

Knowing how anxious President Wil

(C) Paul Thompson

William J. Bryan, who, as Secretary of State, eagerly co-operated with Mr. Straus in his effort to stem the tide of the Great War

son was to use any proper opportunity for ending the war, I asked Bernstorff whether his Government would entertain a proposition for mediation.

"Speaking for myself, I certainly would entertain such a proposition," he replied, but added that he could not speak officially, since cable communication with his Government had been cut off for a week or more.

I asked him whether, in his opinion, his Government would give favorable consideration to such a proposal. He said that before leaving Berlin he had discussed with the Chancellor the possibility of mediation, following the report of President Wilson's statement that he was ready to offer his services as mediator to both parties, and the Chancellor had said that the war had but begun and it was too early to instruct regard. ing mediation until the offer was presented. The Ambassador added that his personal opinion was that his Government would accept an offer of mediation. I regarded his statement as significant, and asked him if I might use it in such a manner as I saw fit. He replied that he had no objection.

As we rose from the table, I made sure of my understanding of his statements, and then the thought occurred to me that the best thing to do was to report the conversation to Secretary of State

Bryan, so that he might, if he saw fit,

bring it before the President. I so informed Bernstorff, and again he told me he had no objection.


I looked at my watch. It was tenfifteen. I announced that I would go to Washington on the midnight train. My host suggested that I "sleep on it and don't hurry;" but I concluded that if there was anything I could do to shorten



Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, British Ambassador, who doubted Germany's good faith concerning the subject of mediation

the war by even a few hours I would have to charge myself with neglect of duty if on account of personal convenience I had refrained from doing so. The next day was Sunday; the day after was Labor Day; and all the while thousands were falling on the battlefield. Several of the guests agreed with my decision, so I bade them good-night, called my motor, and caught the midnight train for Washington.

On Sunday morning I repeated to Mr. Bryan at his home my conversation with Bernstorff, and Bryan believed, as I did, that it might pave the way to mediation. I suggested that he have the German Ambassador come to Washington and speak with him. He communiIcated with the German Embassy, and Bernstorff arrived the following morning.

Bryan presented the subject to the President, who expressed himself as pleased with the possibility of a favorable outcome. The Secretary advised me to see the British Ambassador, Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, and the French Ambassador, M. Jusserand. He had already

informed them as to what had taken
place and of my presence in Washington.
Sir Cecil asked whether I would kindly
come to the Embassy, and I suggested
that he arrange to have the French Am-
bassador also present. This he did.
When I reached the Embassy we were
soon joined by M. Jusserand.
agreed that the mediation proposal was
deserving of serious attention, but Sir
Cecil had little confidence in Bernstorff,
who had been his colleague at Cairo,
where they had represented their respec-
tive Governments. He asked whether I
thought an ambassador would make
such a statement as Bernstorff's without
I re-
authority from his Government.
plied that both he and M. Jusserand
were better qualified to answer that
question, upon which M. Jusserand said
that he knew that no ambassador under
the German system would dare make
such remarks without previous author-
ity from his Government.

"That is so much the better," I com-

Sir Cecil declared that German diplomacy was peculiar and that the Foreign Office had no conscience in disavowing statements by its ambassadors if it suited Germany's purpose.

After we had gone over the whole subject, both Ambassadors stated that if it held one chance in a hundred of shortening the war, it was their duty to entertain it. I replied that I hoped they would entertain it cordially.

Jusserand in his usual happy manner said, "Cordially,' that is a little too strong."

"Well, sympathetically, then," I said. "Yes, sympathetically, yes." And with that we parted, both Ambassadors expressing their thanks and appreciation of my services.

I had been scrupulously careful to be absolutely accurate in all my statements, and it was therefore gratifying, after the Bryan-Bernstorff conference, to have the Secretary tell me that the Ambassador's report of the Briarcliff incident was in every detail in accord with mine, and to have the Ambassador also confirm the correctness of Mr. Bryan's understanding from my report. Naturally, I was anxious to avoid misunderstandings or misconceptions of any kind. The issue was too important.

Both Secretary Bryan and Ambassador Bernstorff cabled to Berlin, and for the time the subject rested there, and I returned to New York. But before leaving I called by appointment at both the French and British Embassies, which

also had communicated events in detai!

to their Governments. Both Ambassa-
dors expressed their high appreciation
of my services and hoped I would keep
in close touch with them regarding the
matter. I told them I would regard my-
self as "messenger boy" for mediation.
Sir Cecil replied, "Ambassador extraor-
dinary." He promised to keep me in-
formed, and two days later wrote me:

I have not yet received any intima-
tion from my Government, nor do I

expect one unless something definite
is before them. But I need not tell
you how heartily my sympathy is
with your humanitarian efforts, and
you know Grey well enough to be
sure that, while scrupulously faithful
to all his engagements, he will do
everything possible in the cause of



Throughout these negotiations we took great care to keep the matter secret. Despite that fact, it leaked out in some way, and the correspondent of the London "Times" reported it in such a way as to give the impression that I had been duped by the wily German Ambassador; and there were one or two other papers that took that view. Sir Cecil Spring-Rice was incensed at this interpretation and wrote me on October 3:

I am sure no one who knows you and knows the facts would ever think that you were either duped, or the secret agent of Germany. I am quite positive that Sir Edward Grey would

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

never have such an idea. What you
did-and what I hope you will con-
tinue to do-is a work of pure philan-

On October 15 he wrote me again, saying that when the London "Times" representative returned to Washington from New York he would set him right as to the facts, with a view to having the report corrected, and adding:

We used to say at school, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they get more kicks than halfpence!" It represents a melancholy truth, but, however, I am sure every well-thinking person must appreciate your beneficent efforts.

But in general the press of Great Britain expressed its appreciation of the services I had rendered in lifting the latch of the door to mediation.

A letter from Sir Edward Grey concerning the negotiations sheds important light upon the British attitude:

Foreign Office, London, S.W.
Saturday, 26 September, 1914.
Dear Mr. Straus:

Thank you for your letter of the 9th. I am so busy that I have not time to write at any length: but do not let that make you suppose that I am out of sympathy with what you


First of all, however, we must save ourselves and the West of Europe, before we can exercise any influence elsewhere. The Prussian military caste has dominated Germany, and the whole of the West of Europe is in danger of being dominated by it. The German Government, in the hands of this military caste, prepared this war, planned it, and chose the time for it. We know now that the war has revealed, how thoroughly the German preparations had been made beforehand; with an organization and forethought which is wonderful, and would have been admirable had it been devoted to a praiseworthy purpose. Not one of the other nations now fighting against Germany is prepared in the same way.

Now, we wish to have three things: Firstly, to secure our own liberty as independent States, who will live and let live on equal terms; secondly, the establishment somehow of a Germany not dominated by a military caste; a nation who will look at liberty and politics from the same point of view as we do, and who will deal with us on equal terms and in good faith; thirdly, reparation for the cruel wrongs done to Belgium-to get that is a matter of honor and justice and right.

The statements made by Wolff's Bureau in Europe deny that Germany is yet ready for peace. If she is ready for peace, then I think that her ambassador in Washington ought not to beat about the bush. He ought to make it clear to President Wilson that he is authorized to speak on behalf of his Government; and state to the President that Germany does wish to make peace. In that case, President Wilson could approach all the others who are engaged in this war and bring them into consultation with


Jules Jusserand, the French Ambassador, who welcomed Mr. Straus's lifting the latch of the door to mediation

one another and with him. But at present we have no indication that Germany wishes to have peace, and no indication that she would agree to any terms that would give reparation to Belgium and security to the rest of Europe that the peace would be durable.

Yours very truly,



The history of those negotiations is presented somewhat at length because my friend of many years, the late Ambassador Page, in his recently published letters also expressed the feeling that I had been used as a dupe to throw the blame for continuing the war upon Great Britain, though he expressed great confidence in me and friendship for me. I was not unmindful of this contingency; but I felt that if the negotiations did not result as we hoped, they would serve to expose the insincerity of the German Government with regard to its peace professions. And this is precisely what happened, as the answer of the German Chancellor, received by the State Department on September 22, confirms:

The Imperial Chancellor is much obliged for America's offer. Germany did not want war, it was forced upon her. Even after we shall have defeated France we shall still have to face England and Russia. England, France, and Russia have signed a convention to make peace solely in mutual agreement with each other. England, that is, Mr. Asquith, the London Times, and English diplomatic officers, have on various occasions... (sic) that England is determined to conduct the war to the utmost and that she expects success from it lasting a long time. It is therefore up to the United States to get our enemies to make peace proposals. Germany can only accept the

peace which promises to be a real and lasting peace and will protect her against any new attacks from her enemies. If we accepted America's offer of mediation now our enemies would interpret it as a sign of weakness and the German people would not understand it. For the nation which has been willing to make such sacrifices has a right to demand that there shall be guarantees of rest and security.

On September 29 all the British papers served by the Central News War Service carried a cable from New York detailing the negotiations, which ended:

It is believed by those concerned that an important step has been taken to pave the way for mediation, when the opportune moment arrives. In other words, the bolt on the door of mediation has been thrown back so that it will be possible for the door to be opened without either side being forced to take the initiative. Time will doubtless show that the initiative so fortuitously taken by Mr. Straus will prove of real service in the interests of ultimate peace negotiations, and any endeavors to deprecate those services as having been made in Germany's interests are not only contrary to all the facts, but are most unfortunate.

Note: The censor does not object to the publication of the foregoing details, but insists that publication should be accompanied by a foot-note pointing out that since these occurrences took place the German Government have disavowed their ambassador.

Had Germany's oft-reiterated peace professions been sincere, she would have accepted this offer for mediation. By her refusal the falsity of her professions was exposed, not only in Great Britain and in our own country, but in all the neutrals; and the exposé served as added proof to all peace-loving and neutrally minded persons that the responsibility for the war and its continuance rested upon the German Government.



For a year or more events marched on, tragically, like a malignant disease. On February 2, 1917, I lunched with Roosevelt at the Hotel Langdon, where he was in the habit of stopping when in New York. The German Government two days before had announced her submarine blockade of the British, French, and Dutch coasts, and our own entrance into the war seemed likely.

Roosevelt said he did not think we should be involved; the President would probably find some way out and arrange to have Germany's pledge not to destroy merchant ships of neutrals or belligerents, without warning, whittled down so as to apply only to ships flying the American flag. He told us that he had engaged passage on one of the United Fruit Company steamers to Jamaica for Mrs. Roosevelt and himself. Mrs. Roose

velt needed a change, and they would start in a few days. Regarding the war, he could do nothing more. He had done all he could. He had made an offer to the Secretary of War to raise a division, and had a whole card catalogue of names of men who had volunteered to serve in it.

His relations with the President were far from friendly. He had violently criticised him in articles contributed to the "Metropolitan Magazine" and in public addresses had urged preparedness and compulsory military training. I asked him, in view of the German block ade, what he would do if he were President. He said he would promptly assemble our fleet, put marines on the interned German ships, and show Germany that we were in dead earnest; that unless she recalled her decision to sink merchant ships without observing the rules of modern warfare we should take immediate steps to protect our rights.

"If we continue to back down, we will become Chinafied, without any rights that other nations will respect," said Roosevelt, emphatically.

In such critical times personal differences might be laid aside, I suggested, and I wanted him to write the President and let him have the benefit of his views. I went further: I suggested that I write the President about it. But, in Roosevelt's opinion, Wilson would conclude that Roosevelt had himself urged me to do this because of my close association with him.

My own relations with the President were always agreeable, I might even say most friendly. He had written me that he would consider it a favor if I would keep him informed of important developments that came under my observation. It occurred to me that on the eve of war it would be a fine thing if he consulted with his two surviving predecessors, as Monroe had done with Jefferson and Madison before issuing the doctrine which bears his name. In the crisis we were facing such a step would allay partisan differences and serve to solidify the Nation. With these ideas in mind I wired the President:

Every patriotic American should support you in this great crisis in the history of our country. May I suggest the course followed by Monroe under a crisis involving many of the same principles, to confer with the two surviving ex-Presidents, whose advice, I feel sure, will be most helpful and serve to patriotically solidify the country behind you?

Roosevelt felt sure the President wanted neither advice nor co-operation, though he himself was ready to give the fullest co-operation should Wilson desire it.

He thought the same was true on the part of Mr. Taft. The telegram, to my surprise, was given out at Washington to the press a day or two later, but nothing ever came of it.

On February 7 the country was more less agreeably surprised to learn that

Count von Bernstorff had been given his passports and Ambassador Gerard at Berlin had been instructed to demand his. I say the country was surprised because the President had so long avoided such a step-even after the sinking of the Lusitania and the Sussex following his "strict accountability" and other strong statements-that it was generally believed he did not mean to take it. Roosevelt, of course, thought that we should have taken such action long before. His contention was always that had we taken prompt and decisive steps after the Lusitania tragedy we should have been spared the submarine invasions. He thought we should have acted when Germany announced her subma


After Ambassador Straus attended the Plenary Session of the Paris Peace Conference he wrote in his "Random Notes:" "I regard this day and its happenings as the golden chapter in the history of civilization." In next week's chapter of his Autobiography he describes the imposing sessions at the Quai d'Orsay, the brusque Clemenceau, the statesmen of fourteen nations, and President Wilson speaking for 1,200,000,000 people. When Mr. Straus arrived in Paris


Overseas Chairman of the League to Enforce Peace, he was at once informed by Colonel House that because of Léon Bourgeois's insistence upon certain additional provisos in the Covenant the League of Nations was "on the rocks." Mr. Straus immediately hunted up Bourgeois, and after a long conference secured the Frenchman's promise that France would support the League as preliminarily drafted, but that he would have to refer to the specia! clauses for political effect. Mr. Straus was therefore able to report back to Colonel House that the League was "off the rocks." Memorable impressions of the historic Conference and its subtle political background are revealed in next week's chapter.

rine blockade and possibly saved ourselves from the Lusitania horror. Now that diplomatic relations were broken off, he canceled his trip to Jamaica, not wishing to be out of the country when war was likely to be declared at any moment.


A few days before Christmas, 1918, I called on Roosevelt at the Roosevelt Hospital, where he was convalescing from his seven weeks' illness, believed to have been inflammatory rheumatism. He was dressed in his robe de chambre and was seated in an armchair with a pile of books before him. He looked neither enfeebled nor emaciated, though he showed signs of illness. When I asked him how he had been since my last visit, for I had called on him frequently during his illness, he told me that he had had an attack of embolismI think that was the ailment-which showed in his wrists, and that his fever had gone up to 104. But that was all gone, and he was again feeling fine. The old vivacious glow was on his face. He was planning to return to Sagamore Hill to spend Christmas.

The next day Roosevelt left the hospital to return to his home in Oyster Bay. He apparently gave every indication that soon he would be entirely well again and be with us for many years. Certainly that is what we all expected. He was only sixty.

Exactly two weeks later, on January 6, 1919, I received a telephone call at seven o'clock in the morning from his secretary, announcing that Roosevelt had died early that morning. For thirteen years or more he had had a large and affectionate share in our lives and thoughts, and Mrs. Straus and I felt as though we had been stricken with the loss of a member of our immediate family. I can truly say that I never had a more loyal or a dearer friend. He always treated me and mine as if we were among his nearest relatives.

On January 8 my wife, my son's wife, and I motored to Oyster Bay to attend the funeral in the little Episcopal church which had been Roosevelt's place of worship. The building held only about three hundred and fifty persons, so that none but his family and close friends could be present. There was a committee from the United States Senate headed by Vice-President Marshall; and another from the House. Among the guests were: Elihu Root, Truman H. Newberry, H. L. Stimson, J. R. Garfield; Mrs. Garfield, ex-President Taft, and Governor Hughes. William Loeb, Jr., and Captain Archie Roosevelt were ushers. The other sons, Theodore and Kermit, were still in France. The church was filled with a company of sincere friends and bereaved The regular Episcopal service was begun at twelve-forty-five, and lasted about twenty-five minutes, when we all accompanied the body to the little



cemetery on the side of the hill half a mile away.

A day hardly passes without its scores of pilgrims to that grave. They come from near and far. They lay a few flowers on the grave. On holidays and Sundays they come by the hundreds. Two years ago the intimate friends of Roosevelt, who had been officially or personally associated with him, formed the Roosevelt Pilgrimage, an association

whose purpose is to keep alive the ideals and personality of Theodore Roosevelt by an annual visit to his grave and a On January 6, 1922, simple ceremony. some sixty persons made the pilgrimage, headed by Dr. Lyman Abbott, permanent

chairman of the association. James R.
Garfield read Roosevelt's Nobel Peace
Prize address, delivered in Christiania
in 1910, at the conclusion of which some
wreaths were laid on the grave. Mrs.
Roosevelt invited us all to luncheon, and
the old-time hospitality and friendliness
of the Roosevelt home brought many
memories of our departed leader.

After luncheon the annual meeting of
the Pilgrimage took place in the great
North Room, where Roosevelt had so
often received his friends and guests.
Dr. Abbott made a brief and feeling ad-
dress, and Mrs. Richard Derby (Ethel
Roosevelt) read from the original manu-
script Roosevelt's proclamation of 1912

which called into being the Progressive Party. Hermann Hagedorn read a poem entitled "The Deacon's Prayer," by Samuel Valentine Cole, which had especially appealed to Roosevelt. The last stanza may well be regarded as the prayer of our people more than once since the Great Soul departed:

"We want a man whom we can trust

To lead us where thy purpose leads;
Who dares not lie, but dares be just-
Give us the dangerous man of

So prayed the deacon, letting fall
Each sentence from his heart; and


He took his seat the brethren all,
As by one impulse, cried, "Amen!"

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VER since Gulliver had his talk with the king of Brobdingnag, the world has been awarding the palm of excellence to the man who can make two ears of corn grow where only one grew before. Just now, at least in the United States, we are looking for another magician of the same sort. There is a wreath all ready for the man who will show us how to make one lump of coal do the work of two. While we are waiting for that magician, the best thing we can do is to follow Uncle Sam's directions for making our one lump of coal deliver as nearly as possible one hundred per cent of the heat contained in it.

To do that we must, first of all, pay more attention to the regulation of our stoves and furnaces, because most householders waste a considerable proportion of the fuel they use through ignorance of proper methods of heater regulation. According to the Bureau of Mines, draught regulation is perhaps most important factor in burning coal efficiently in house-heating furnaces. Draught is regulated mainly by dampers-one in the ash-pit door, one in the


1 This article was submitted to the United States Bureau of Mines and has been approved by its chief mechanical engineer.-The Editors.


firing door, and one in the smoke-pipe. Some smoke-pipes have two dampers.

To operate these dampers properly one must understand their functions. The damper in the ash-pit door regulates the amount of air flowing up through the fire, and so determines the rate of combustion. The damper in the firing door supplies the air necessary to burn the gases arising from the fuel bed. Opening the damper in the smoke-pipe checks the flow of air through the fire. Though these facts are almost self-evident, considerable care is required to operate these dampers efficiently.

For example, when soft coal is thrown onto a hot fire, gas is promptly liberated. Unless this gas is burned, it will flow up the chimney unconsumed and its heat be lost. The damper in the fuel door, therefore, must be opened just enough to admit sufficient air to allow the perfect combustion of these excess gases. After these gases have been burned, the quantity of air supplied above the fuel bed should be reduced by closing the firedoor damper. But no rule for such closing can be stated, because different fuels give off differing amounts of gas. Soft coal, for instance, gives off a very large volume of these combustible gases. An

thracite gives off so little that ordinary leakage about the door gives ample air. The damper must be regulated in accordance with the amount of gas to be burned. A little experiment and observation will quickly show the householder how to regulate this damper. With coal at $14 or more a ton, it will pay any householder to try to get one dollar's worth of heat from each one hundred cents' worth of coal he must buy. One can see the unburned coal among the waste ashes, and so one has a visual reminder of how much coal one has wasted through improper furnace regulation. But one cannot see the lost gases, and so one hardly realizes that there has been waste also in that direction. We should be particular, therefore, to try to avoid it.

This waste of actual coal that we send away in the ash-can occurs from a double cause: improper regulation of the damper in the ash-pit door and too much shaking of the fire. If too little draught is provided, a part of the fuel will be unconsumed; and if too much draught is allowed, combustion will be unnecessarily rapid. Either course means waste. Again the householder must ob serve and experiment in order to str

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