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undoubtedly due to personal lack of aggressive qualities and temperamental inability to act promptly and vigorously in a crisis ; but this does not relieve Mr. Asquith and his Cabinet from share in the responsibility. The Chief Secretary for Ireland is nominally under the direction of the Lord Lieutenant, but practically the Secretary takes the leading part in executive and administrative work. For nine years Mr. Birrell carried on this task; and if at last he failed, even his detractors admit that his fault has been mild. ness and over-leniency in dealing with plotters against the Government rather than tyranny and severity. In his speech of resignation Mr. Birrell admitted having made a false estimate of the Sinn Fein movement. He added a hope that new bonds of union might be forged and that Ireland might come to be a bright spot in the hour of the country's dire necessity. As a political figure Mr. Birrell's reputation will rest largely on his work as Minister of Education in the Campbell-Bannerman Cabinet in connection with the Educational Bill, although he failed to carry the measure.
One result of Mr. Birrell's retirement, it is to be hoped, may be a renewal of his delightful writing. A multitude of readers will not regret the passing of Birrell the statesman if they may have again Birrell the author of * Obiter Dicta" and " Res Judicatæ,” to say nothing of half a dozen other books of literary biographies, essays, and reminiscences. As editor of a new edition of Boswell's Johnson,” as author of a * Life of Charlotte Brontë," and in many other ways he has done lasting literary work, but especially his name will remain grateful to lovers of anecdote and epigram because of that peculiar mixture of wit, criticism, and epigram, as in “ Obiter Dicta,” which came to be known as “ birrelling.” Some one has said that even his legal text-books and political blue-books sparkled. And all that he has written has good sense as well as lightness of touch.
A characteristic portrait of Mr. Birrell will be found in our picture section this week.
traveling about their business on the high seas. It protested then, and it has continued to protest ever since, against the Lusitania assassination. Because the German Government has yet done nothing to atone for that assassination, but has committed others like it, the Committee has called upon President Wilson to break off diplomatic relations with Germany. About the middle of March it held a massmeeting in Carnegie Hall, New York City, to arouse public opinion in behalf of its protest, and to express its belief that the Allies are fighting for American institutions and that Germany is fighting against them. Organized pro-German sympathizers endeavored riotously to break up this meeting, but the police arrangements were perfect, and the rioters were bodily ejected, after some pretty serious physical struggles.
The American Rights Committee for several weeks has been engaged in planning another mass-meeting, which was to have been held in Carnegie Hall on Sunday evening, May 7, the anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. The programme was soberly arranged to be a memorial meeting. There were to be only two speakers, the Rev. R. H. Mckim. D.D., rector of the Church of the Epiphany, Washington. D. C., and Professor Franklin H. Giddings, of Columbia l'niversity, New York City. A declaration was to be read, honoring the Lusitania dead and calling upon the American Government to suffer no further delay in bringing about the severance of diplomatic relations.
The call for the meeting was signed by a very large body of citizens of New York, many of them eminent for their public service, who stood sponsors for its purpose and its orderliness. Just twenty-four hours before the meeting was held the Mayor of the city called upon the officers of the Committee and urged them to abandon the meeting. Two reasons were officially given for his action. One was that the meeting would embarrass the National Administration in its negotiations with Germany, and the other was that the previous meeting was the scene of so many interruptions by Germans and German sympathizers who were ejected from the hall by the police, that the Mayor did not wish to create this tension a second time.
If New York were living under martial law, the Mayor's action ought to be supported by all good citizens. But it is not
ARE WE LIVING UNDER
Our readers already know something about the American Rights Committee. It was organized last November to support the right of American citizens to demand the protection of their Government when they are lawfully
under martial law. Civil rights are sup- of “Viva Villa ."' Others say that the night air posedly in full force. Only the gravest was split with cries of " Viva Carranza "' Some situation justifies the Mayor in using the say that they heard both these rallying calls. influence of his office to suppress a public It is true that, whether there were Carranzista; meeting called in an orderly fashion to dis- in the raid or not, Carranza is nominally to cuss a question of National policy. In Russia blame, because the bandits came from a part no public meetings of any kind can be held of Mexico supposed to be thoroughly Carranwithout the permission of the police, because zista and well garrisoned by the soldiers of such meetings tend to embarrass the Czar. the Primer Jefe. But it is futile to attempt Just preceding the Civil War anti-slavery to hold Carranza responsible, because he is meetings were suppressed because they not strong enough to bear responsibility. And tended to embarrass President Buchanan. it is futile to speculate as to whether the Has German frightfulness affected us raiders were Villistas or Carranzistas, because that we are to adopt Russian methods or to the Mexican problem is not so simple as it return the futile policy of President would be if the country were divided into two Buchanan in the treatment of a National camps. There are not only Villistas and crisis?
Carranzistas, but Zapatistas, Obregonistas, The episode may seem to be unimportant Herreristas, and istas of many other stripes. to the citizens in the Middle West or on the If it be true that the raiders were led by Pacific coast. If so, we cannot agree with General Rosalio Hernandez, an old Villa folthem. We believe it is of the profoundest lower, as one report has it, then they should importance to every American citizen that his be called, not Villistas, but Hernandistas, for right of free speech shall be maintained, and the allegiance of the Mexican soldier is we think it is to the interest of every Ameri- ephemeral and entirely personal and he can can citizen to see to it that his National rarely comprehend loyalty to a cause. Government protects him in this right, in- The Glen Springs raid is just one more stead of asking to be relieved from the piece of proof-if another were needed--that embarrassment of protecting him.
our whole relation with Mexico is on an erro
neous basis. THE MEXICAN EVIL
We cannot hope that Carranza will catch In characteristic Mexican fashion, the con- the Glen Springs raiders for us, for he has not ferences at El Paso and Juarez between caught Villa, and there is reason to believe delegates of the United States and delegates that many of the Carranzistas secretly apof the de facto Government of Mexico have plauded both the attack on Columbus and been discredited by the Mexicans themselves. the attack on Glen Springs. The raid by Mexicans on the “ Big Bend" There is little hope that we ourselves can district of Texas, when three American troop- catch the Mexicans who attacked Glen ers and two or three civilians were killed, is Springs unless we have intervention, for proof that the conference has not the support there will not be men enough available for of the whole Mexican people, and that there another “punitive expedition " until this are still many of them who do not recognize trail, like Villa's, has grown cold. Carranza's leadership. If the First Chief can- In the meantime, the conferences between not keep his people in order while his agents General Scott and General Obregon are conare trying to reach an agreement with us, and tinuing up to the time that we go to press, while most of the mobile continental army though with less prospect of definite accomof the United States is near the border plishment than ever. or in northern Mexico, what reason is there The mobilization of the forty-five hundred to believe, what reason is there even to hope, combined militia of the border States of that Carranza could keep Mexico in order Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and the after the adjournment of the conference and assignment of four thousand more regulars after the withdrawal of our forces to posts in to the border, are steps in the right direction. the interior of the l'nited States ?
But it is a comment on our unpreparedness It is idle to speculate, as some of the news- that military commanders should consider papers have been doing, as to whether the sending our technically trained, mechanically Mexicans who attacked the little town of expert specialists of the Coast Artillery to do Glen Springs were Villistas or Carranzistas. the work of foot soldiers. It appears increasSome witnesses report that they heard shouts ingly probable that, whether we want to or
not, we will soon have to do what we should eral control. Short of universal training this have done long ago, and put Mexico's house is the best solution to our problem of defense in order for her. But even if we are to shun which can be secured. this duty, at least let us protect ourselves. Even if we are still to postpone attacking the THE PRESIDENT AND root of the evil, at least let us shield ourselves MR. BRANDEIS from the poisonous offshoots that grow from In response to an inquiry from Senator the root.
Culberson, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, which is charged with the duty THE COMMON SENSE OF
of reporting on nominations to the Supreme MASSACHUSETTS
Court, President Wilson has written a letter While the United States Senate and the giving his reasons for sending in to the Senate House are debating whether or not any step the appointment of Louis D. Brandeis as shall be taken to provide an adequate military Supreme Court Justice. Ordinarily the Deforce under National control, and while the partment of Justice is asked by the Senate prospect that any adequate programme of for any papers bearing upon a Supreme defense will be adopted grows dimmer and Court nomination ; but in this case the Dedimmer, it is worth while recording here one partment had no such papers, and the request hopeful and forward-looking proposition for therefore for information was to the Presiwhich the State of Massachusetts deserves the dent himself. credit. The Massachusetts Legislature has The President's letter to Mr. Culberson is passed a bill which should receive the atten- not only an unqualified personal indorsement tion of all those who are interested in National
of Mr. Brandeis, but a eulogy of him as a security. This bill has been signed by Gov- man, as a lawyer, and as a publicist. The ernor McCall and is now law. The general foremost reason which the President gives for purport of this measure may be learned from the nomination is his own personal knowlthe following quotation :
edge of Mr. Brandeis. The President named The Governor, with the advice and consent him, he says, “because I knew him to be of the Council, is hereby authorized and em- singularly qualified by learning, by gifts, and powered to transfer any or all organizations, by character for the position.” The charges departments, or staff corps of the Massachusetts
which have been made against Mr. Brandeis, volunteer militia to such United States volun
the President says, “ threw a great deal more teer military or naval force, other than the regu
light upon the character and motives of those lar army or navy, as the Congress of the United
with whom they originated than upon the States may at any time authorize. . . The Governor, with the advice and consent
qualifications of Mr. Brandeis.” And he of the Council, may lease to, or permit to be
adds that when he considered Mr. Brandeis used by, any United States volunteer military as a possible member of his Cabinet he himor naval force, organized under the laws of the self looked into these charges, “and found United States, any military or naval property that they proceeded for the most part from belonging to the Commonwealth.
those who hated Mr. Brandeis because he Properly enough, under the forms of enlist had refused to be serviceable to them in the ment in the National Guard, these general pro- promotion of their own selfish interests, and visions are limited by the exception that any from those whom they had prejudiced and officer, enlisted man, or organization of militia misled.” In consulting him on nice quescannot be forced to enter the Federal service tions of honor the President declares he has without consent being given. From the in- received from Mr. Brandeis “counsel singuformation which we have concerning the rank larly enlightening, singularly clear-sighted and and file of the organized militia in Massachu- judicial, and, above all, full of moral stimulasetts we believe that there will be little hesita- tion." tion in accepting the opportunity provided The President recounts in his letter the for in this Act if Congress, in its wisdom, public service of Mr. Brandeis, already reshall ever make such an opportunity avail- viewed in The Outlook. After declaring able. If the example of Massachusetts that he did not depend upon “indorsecould be followed throughout the country and ment” for his knowledge of Mr. Brandeis, at Washington, the organized militia would but nevertheless consulted many men in cease to be a State force and would become whose judgment he had confidence, the the backbone of a volunteer force under Fed- President concludes with a tribute to !!
Brandeis's impartial and constructive mind. his analytical powers, his human sympathy, his American idealism, his sense of justice, his knowledge of modern economic conditions, and his judicial temperament.
As in other cases, the President's vague reference to the opposition as having its source in unworthy motives has occasioned not unreasonable resentment. The phraseology which the President has used does not strictly apply to all those who oppose Mr. Brandeis's nomination, but the general impression which he gives tends to put honest, as well as dishonest, opposition into the same category. This is unfortunate, and will be deplored by the friends of the President and of Mr. Brandeis as well as by those who honestly regard the nomination as unsuitable. On the other hand, the President's strong, courageous, and unqualified defense of Mr. Brandeis ought to be received with respect by those who are opposed to the nomination, as well as by those who hope to see Mr. Brandeis confirmed.
It is highly unfortunate that this nomination has been made the subject of a controversy that has been accompanied with much vague innuendo and personal attack. A great deal of the criticism of Mr. Brandeis, even from those who are honestly opposed to him, will tend to create the impression among many of the plain people of this country that the man who devotes high legal ability incisively and successfully to the defense of the public interest is subjecting his reputation to a greater peril than that incurred by lawyers who are not over-scrupulous in devoting their high legal ability to the protection of special interests. It will be hard to erase this impression from many minds. No real good has been accomplished and much harm has been done by carrying on this investigation in public.
The Outlook hopes that Mr. Brandeis will be confirmed, and it also hopes that the hearings in the case of the Brandeis nomination will not serve as a precedent for the future.
the ground that he is a “ favorite son," but because they believe that he has certain qualities that entitle him to National consideration. Our correspondent points out that all the other prominent Republicans talked of as candidates embody or represent serious factional conflicts. To quote our correspondent's own
words : Massachusetts talks about Weeks and McCall ; New York talks about Hughes, Root, and Roosevelt ; Ohio talks about Harding and Burton ; but Indiana talks only of Fairbanks." Our correspondent adds that the reasons why Indiana Republicans are a unit for Fairbanks and insist that he will be an important factor in the Convention may be briefly set down as follows:
1. He is a harmonizer. While he supported Mr. Taft in 1912, he was in no way identified with the steam-roller tactics that were so offensive to the Progressives. The State delegation, which is composed of both the Old Guard Republicans and Progressives, is the best indication of this.
2. He is a conservative, but not a reactionary. The Republican party will adopt a platform of progress, and both personally and as a party man Mr. Fairbanks will accept that programme.
3. He is a man of the highest personal integrity, and if elected he may confidently be expected to associate with him in the administration of the Government other men of integrity.
4. He believes in party government, and, if elected, will be a party man in the best sense of the word.
5. He is well equipped to deal with foreign affairs. Mckinley placed him on the AngloAmerican Joint High Commission for the successful settlement of questions of controversy between this country and Great Britain growing out of the relations w tlı Canada. He has actively served on the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, as a Senator and licePresident presiding over that body, and he has had wide foreign experience as a traveler.
If the Republican Convention in Chicago in June is to be conducted along the lines of Republican conventions in the past, and a man is to be nominated because he can carry this or that State and can adjust party differences, or because he is free from personal quarrels and antagonisms, we should agree with our correspondent that Mr. Fairbanks must be regarded as an important factor.
But if the Convention is to be a deliberative convention, to deal with the greatest National and international crisis that this country has faced since the Civil War, it will
MR. FAIRBANKS AND
A responsible correspondent in Indiana asks why The Outlook, in its consideration of the pre-nomination campaign, has ignored ex-l'ice-President Fairbanks, and urges upon us the claim that Mr. Fairbanks is a very real factor in the situation. His supporters in Indiana make this claim, not merely on