Imágenes de páginas

a point to accompany him on several of his hunting and fishing expeditions, which were taken not alone for pleasure but as health measures, for a change of air and the outdoor recreation.

On and off during those years also, when the family wanted a little change, they occupied "the little White House" of my brother's at Lakewood. Cleveland liked its simplicity and because it was not unlike the parsonage at Caldwell, N. J., where he was born. Early in June, 1908, while the Clevelands were at Lakewood, the ex-President sent for my brother Isidor; he desired to have a talk with him. He seemed to wish to unburden his mind. This proved to be the last time he spoke to any one outside of his immediate family while still in the

[blocks in formation]

very night he had another attack of his malady, after which, as I was told, his faculties seemed to go under a cloud. Two weeks later, on June 24, the country was shocked, though it was not unprepared, to learn that the ex-President had died that morning at his Princeton home.

On June 26 Grover Cleveland was laid to rest. The funeral was private; my brothers and I had received a note from Mrs. Cleveland asking us to be present. At his home we met about one hundred of his personal friends. It had been his express wish that there be no eulogy or funeral oration, and his friend, Dr. Henry van Dyke, conducted a simple service at which he read passages from

Wordsworth's "The Happy Warrior." In

a carriage with Chief Justice Fuller, Judge George Gray of Delaware, and Governor Fort of New Jersey, I accompanied the body to the cemetery.

For him there were no longer enemies to traduce and vilify. Perhaps no President had ever been so reviled by a hostile press throughout the country as this great man, and, strong as he was, these attacks quite naturally pained him. Like all men who struggle against the tide for righteous things, appreciation is often deferred, sometimes until after death. In his case, happily, it came while he was yet among us in the constantly increasing manifestations of admiration, love, and esteem by the people of the country.

[blocks in formation]


ISSOURI is politically still a raw State. Rural Missouri is honest and narrow, and I am told that Governor Hyde, who is a progressive Republican and ran on the Bull Moose ticket for Attorney-General in 1912, has had Satan's own time with the farmers in seeking to provide even a reasonably adequate system of education for their own children. But they are learning. The city politics of St. Louis and Kansas City is known of all men as disreputable and commercial. In no State of the Union, probably, is the poison squad, which deceives and lies to public opinion, so vigorous and successful. It seems sometimes, I am told, as if the people preferred to believe the worst of shining marks.

The anti-machine fight

in Kansas City, which proved unusually successful only yester-year, has declined in vitality, and the sordid political comrcialists are creeping back into power. hope of the State is in progressive

the Industrial Court Law, about which Senator Davenport will write in another letter. How the Middle West views the tariff is important to the country when we reflect upon what happened to the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Bill in 1909 and 1910 under Middle Western leadership.-THE EDITORS.

Republicanism, which is reasonably strong. Old-Guard Republicanism is only another name for Bourbon Democracy. They help each other out.

Those who think that the idealistic issue of the League of Nations played any particular part in the recent contest of Senator Reed for renomination in the Democratic primary would do well to bear the foregoing factors in mind. Missouri is not at present a State to be violently moved by idealism, "super" or any other kind. At bottom it appears to be like most of this Middle Western country, unmoved by the League of Nations issue, pretty stolidly nationalistic and anxious to keep out of European embroilments. Probably that helped Reed, but it was not the issue. They like Reed in Missouri as a sporting proposition. He is a hard and brainy fighter, even though many call him unscrupulous. And the average plain Missourian likes that. I fear that the Reed

personality fits Missouri better than the President Wilson personality.

I have heard it much discussed in the East as to whether the Bourbon Republican vote helped Reed out in the primary. Of course the reader understands that some of these Western primaries are very free primaries into which the voter may go and line up with either party or any party. The opinion seems to be here that in St. Louis, for particular reasons, every effort was made by the Republican organization to keep their voters in line for the Republican part of the fight, but there appears to be no doubt that in the State at large many thousands of Republicans joined in renominating Reed-plenty of them to do the work. He actually won by only 6,000. And the serious and informed view here is that he will have much Republican support at the polls in November, and will probably win then.

In this country the League of Nations

issue is thoroughly in eclipse. Except in spots, it appears that this is true of the whole United States, as completely true still as in the 1920 overwhelming election upon the issue. It certainly had ittle effect against Lodge in Massachusetts in the primary. It might be decisive at the general election in Massachusetts in a close fight, but in and of itself in Massachusetts it seems to have no vitality. In Nebraska, where United States Senator Hitchcock is running again on his record as a Wilson League supporter, the chances of the progressive Republican, Howell, are somewhat enhanced by the issue. Hitchcock, who is a shrewd politician and has made an able Senator, evidently senses it, as he has sought to counteract it by a clever and incisive speech recently in the Senate in which he denounced before the world the action of the French on the Rhine in employing savage Africans as armed forces and in setting up brothels for them. This propagandist antidote has been put to work in a multitude of German homes in Nebraska, although it is quite likely that it has come too late to be of effective political service. All the irreconcilables about the LeagueReed, Johnson, Beveridge, La Follette have come through with flying colors; on other issues, but their hostility to the League never flecked them, rather aided them.

The attitude of the Middle West on the tariff is interesting. They have not waked up to it yet at all. There is no mighty Dolliver to stir their hearts as the great Iowan did against the PayneAldrich Bill in 1909 and 1910. Further more, the tariff-makers in Washington have prepared in advance at least a temporary bulwark against a recurring Payne-Aldrich tragedy by high duties on lemons and almonds and wheat and other products dear to the heart and the pocketbook of the Western agriculturist. Besides, prices generally are so much higher on everything than they were in 1910 that the Western consumer seems numb to the addition of a mere tariff burden.

The wise ones have told me that they look for the Western consumer to wake up a little later on, if he begins to pay appreciably more for the things he buys. In the wheat country, for example in Kansas, the high tariff duty on wheat is a delusion. The world price of wheat in Liverpool is now so low that the cost of production in Kansas is higher than the Liverpool price. The State of Kansas is frankly worried about its underlying economic condition, which depends as certainly upon wheat as Cuba's welfare depends upon sugar.

There is an agitation growing in Kansas for State-owned elevators, as in North Dakota. The great economic difficulty about wheat seems to be that under present conditions it has to be harvested and marketed within one hundred days. And the system of transportation and storage breaks down in the presence of so great a problem. Vast stores of





The men who work for the Government are not working for something remote from the life of every-day Americans. They are working for all of us, and their problems concern us as directly as though we made out their pay checks ourselves. Those who read Mr. Morgan's article in a forthcoming issue will be reading about men they themselves employ.

wheat lie along the tracks at the stations, without cover, for days together exposed to the weather. These conditions contribute neither to sound quality nor to sound economic price. A counterwail is going up from the Associated Industries, representing the employing interests, against the so-called Socialistic innovation, with North Dakota held up as a horrible example. But, strangely enough, many Kansas bankers and business men refuse to be stampeded by the display of the North Dakota bogie. They say, "Well, what are you going to do about it? Something must be done or the economic stability of Kansas is gone."

I wonder if those are not right who refuse to foam at the mouth even at the radical experiments of North Dakota, and who say that it is a good thing that we have political laboratories in the Western States where experiments can be tried for the whole country and the mistakes of the original experiments provided against in the later imitation. Kansas may move in co-operative rather than in Socialistic directions in solving her problem, but, like North Dakota, she must get the thing done.

The reflective view of the Middle West is that some of the crucial rates in the current tariff bill are too high. The country doesn't want to be flooded with low-cost German products and doesn't intend to be. It has too great concern for the standard of living and the standard of advance of its own laboring population. The Middle West avers that it is no secret in Washington among the faithful who are supporting the bill that something was put over on them in the sugar and wool schedules, and some others, by the ruling leadership in Congress, and they are very sorry it happened on sugar and wool especially, because they think it will soon show in every home after the measure gets into operation.

And the Middle West may be the first to kick the roof off. But not now. The Middle West doesn't care three whoops

about the tariff issue or the bonus issue or the ship subsidy issue. People here talk about strikes. These are much nearer to them and much more menacing. They are inclined to think that Washington has been wasting a lot of time on the other issues and was as slow as molasses in getting ready to do something about a greater matter. They share, I find, the parodied sentiments of the famed Lackawanna versifier:

How very slow, said Phoebe Snow,
The coal negotiations go.
Both words and might seem useless

When craniums are anthracite.

You may say that there is a measure of unreason in their attitude, and there undoubtedly is. The West has long combined reason and unreason in its political opinions, as everybody knows. But I am only writing of things as I find them. I am not weighing them in the balances of reason.

Kansas, of course, is in the throes of an experiment against strikes in the essential industries. This is so important that I think it worthy of a separate letter, but I may say here that the relations of the Kansas mines with the new Industrial Court were such that at least a fifty per cent production was kept up through all the period of the recent coal strike, and the railway situation in Kansas proper has been surer than in the surrounding States. One reason has been that the Topeka shops of the Santa Fe System were protected from the outset by the new Industrial Court Law; not by State troopers, but by previous experience with opposition to the provisions of the law itself. As go the Topeka shops, so goes the Santa Fe System. And the provisions of the new law with respect to picketing during strikes upon essential industries are such, and the pressure upon the local authorities under the law to preserve order is such, that, with Alexander Howat and five of his comrades at present in jail as an outstanding example, there was a freedom from intimidation and a freedom for strike-breakers to work which did not exist in the neighboring States or anywhere else in the Union. This may be a reason why the Santa Fe is not one of the roads in the West to come to terms with the striking shopmen under the Warfield agreement, but insists stalwartly upon the peace of unconditional surrender. There is much to be said on both sides about this compulsory experiment, and I will return to it in a later letter. It has its good and bad points, and is still distinctly in the laboratory stage.

But this I think can be said here. The Kansas agricultural population, which is the great majority element, is committed to the new law, and their belief in it will give the Republicans the victory in the fall campaign. If it were not for this issue, the unrest in Kansas might be as dangerous to the Republican party as the unrest in Michigan and Colorado.

[blocks in formation]




OMETHING is known outside of China of Chang Tso-lin, variously called the "Satrap of Manchuria," "First War Lord of China," and SuperTuchun, but little has been heard about Wu Pei-fu, the chief obstacle to Chang Tso-lin's ambition to control China south of the Great Wall.

Two years ago thousands of students from middle schools, colleges, and universities throughout China converted agitation into action and flocked to the camp of Wu Pei-fu to enlist in the almost holy crusade against the Anfu clique traitors who were selling their country's sovereignty to Japan. Wu, then a division commander unknown outside of military circles, suddenly sprang into prominence in the summer of 1920, when he executed a strategic withdrawal from Hunan, whither he had been sent to conquer the "rebellious South."

By what foreign military attachés pronounced to be the most brilliant military tactics ever executed by a Chinese general, Wu sent the opposing forces rolling back against Peking, defeated, disorganized, and fighting each other.

Wu Pei-fu's well-disciplined force by slow and careful stages made its way to Peking, disarmed the defeated troops, and relieved the capital, which was ready to do him honor. Then Chang Tso-lin, ex-bandit and uncrowned King of Manchuria, swooped down with his divisions, and, with a slur at "the subordinate military officer," appropriated the fruits of Wu's victory. At the same time he adopted the defeated soldiers into his own ranks. After all, Wu was but a division commander turned popular hero overnight. He had not the prestige nor the numbers to face the Manchurian war lord.

Wu withdrew with his loyal Third Division to the barracks built by Yuan h-kai, as the nucleus of his moncal establishment, in the out-of-the

way loess hills of western Honan, there to bide his time.

Wu spent the autumn, winter, and spring training his model army. Visitors, among whom was American Minister Charles R. Crane, to his camp in Honanfu (or Loyang, the ancient capital of the Chow dynasty, 1000 B.C.), found him very hospitable-inclined to drink a bit to excess in honor of his guestsand very busy.

In the spring of 1921, through the agency of an American newspaper man, he discovered that a secret pact directed against him had been concluded between Tuchun Chen Shu-fan at Shensi, the province at his rear, and Chang Tso-lin of Mukden. He refused to submit to this threat, and, having made a public oath that this world was too small to hold both Chen and himself, began immediate operations against the Shensi Tuchun.

In the course of this action Wu despatched to Shensi his subordinate, Brigade Commander Feng Yu-hsiang, popularly known as the "Christian general."

Feng is a man of the same ideals as Wu, and this demarcation of a distinct field of effort for Feng has ended the slight jealousy over popular idolism existing between them, and has united them in a common purpose.

Wu had no sooner established his influence in northwest China than the call came to him to take a hand in the Middle Yangtze situation. Hupeh, the most important province of central China and the one which contains the three "Wuhan" cities (Hankow, Wuchang, and Hanyang) situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and Han Rivers, had suffered for four years under the misrule of Tuchun Wang Chan-yuan, the most reactionary of the militarists. His rule was characterized by extortion, opium trading, and every form of official corruption. Although all the Chinese

armies were unpaid for months, Wang's soldiers had even greater arrears due them than others.

Driven to desperation, and encouraged by a disaffected populace, his soldiers had repeatedly mutinied. In three of these mutinies foreign interesis suffered heavily. Some Japanese lives were lost, and Japanese, British, and American consular and commercial property was destroyed.

Chang Tso-lin, fearing for the prestige of militarism, decreed that Wang should stay. Hupeh local leaders, however, bribed the military of the neighboring province, Hunan, to undertake an offensive against him.

Sun Yat-sen, whose Commander Chen Chung-ming had just added the province of Kweichow to his recent conquest of Kwangtung, immediately sent agents to Hunan in an attempt to enlarge the affair into a general Southern invasion of the North. The whole country was thrown into apprehension. The U. S. S. Albany and other foreign cruisers and gunboats cleared for action and lay in the Yangtze off the foreign concessions. Every one was asking: "What will Wu, whose forces, lying half-way between Peking and Hankow, are the key to the situation, do?" At this critical moment and while Wu's troops were moving southward along the railway, not knowing which side they would support upon arrival in Hupeh, the writer visited General Wu, who had calmly remained in his Loyang headquarters.

"My foremost aim in regard to the Hunan-Hupeh situation," said General Wu Pei-fu to me, "is to prevent the interprovincial squabble from becoming a general war between the North and South. Aside from the resultant needless suffering which reoutbreak of strife of this nature would cause the Chinese people and the foreigners in our midst, no possible benefit therefrom could come to the nation. The ultimate reunion of

the provinces would be postponed rather than hastened thereby. Not force, but the convocation of a people's constitutional assembly, is the solution of the problem of reunification."

It was thus apparent that Wu Pei-fu was interested in wider issues than the suzerainty of the Wuhan region. When Wang Chan-yuan fled, and the advancing Hunanese (and Szechuanese, who also thought to capitalize the situation) were repulsed by Wu's merciless strategy (for, like all good generals, he is ruthless in war), Wu found himself in possession of China's richest section. But this did not, as politicians and militarists in the North hoped, satisfy and occupy him. Leaving Hupeh in the control of a henchman, Hsiao Yao-nan, he returned to Honan and resumed the training of a model army.

When I visited him there, General Wu assured me that he remained as enthusiastic regarding the convocation of the constitutional assembly as at the close of his campaign against the Anfu Government. "The country cannot be fought together," he said, using a forceful Chinese idiom. "This method has been tried in vain for eleven years, and promises no more success in the future than in the past. The only hope lies in talking it together."

Yet General Wu is not unaware of the necessity of a powerful armed force to guarantee freedom of action to the delegates who do the talking, as well as to the people in their selection. "My suggestion was ignored last summer," he said, "because at that time I lacked the military prestige to protect it from the attacks of selfish chieftains whose advantage lay in other directions." The Vice-Inspecting-General inferred that, if his plans did not miscarry, his military prestige would soon be sufficient to warrant his undertaking the guardianship of his constitutional scheme.

"But what about the inevitable opposition from Manchuria?" I questioned. General Wu's face took on a wistful look. "Everything I have been for," he said, "Chang Tso-lin seems to have been against. Still," his face brightened, "Manchuria is not vital to the life of China proper. If Chang Tso-lin must have his little kingdom, the Chinese Republic can for the time being do without the territory of the Three Eastern Provinces. And there is no reason why the Three Eastern Provinces should any longer dictate to us of China proper regarding our political changes, or why our political aspirations should lie at the mercy of the Fengtien lord."

This policy clashed directly with the ambition of Chang Tso-lin, who, from his Manchurian seat, hoped to spread his dominion over the intramural provinces.

Wu Pei-fu is a man of one idea-of one scheme. It is founded upon the one bit of American history which he has studied carefully. That idea is the redrafting of the Constitution and the reunion of the nation through a national

[graphic][merged small]

convention, such as that which sat at Philadelphia and created the American Nation in 1787. Wu Pei-fu is obsessed with the idea that a new national convention can produce as much improvement over the Nanking Provisional Constitution of 1911 as the Convention which created the United States and its constitution in 1787 produced over the Confederation of six years earlier.

With this ambition for his country has undoubtedly become mixed a per sonal ambition bred by conceptions in Wu's imagination as to the part he himself is to play in the new régime.

What comprise his motives and whether or not they lead in the direc tion of a constructive, or even definite, plan is of prime importance to the Chinese nation to-day, inasmuch as upon Wu now rests the burden of political action involving the territory south as well as north of the Yangtze.

Although a sympathetic understand ing exists between Sun Yat-sen's military commander, General Chen Chungming, and Wu Pei-fu, it will be seen that for the time being the theories of Wu Pei-fu are in direct conflict with those of Dr. Sun. The Cantonese agitator's

fundamental doctrine is that the Chinese revolution has never been completed; that the overthrow of the men who are the heirs of the Manchu autocracy must, and can, be accomplished only by violence. Wu Pei-fu's position, on the other hand, is that violent methods cannot be decisive, and that the only hope is in a convocation of provincial leaders under the protection and, we might infer, spur of a benevolent military force.

History seems to be with Sun Yat-sen. China's frequent past periods of disruption have been brought to their close not by talking but by the ruthless military conquest of one individual or faction. At least according to the records. But, knowing Chinese traits, we are prone to suspect that there was much compromise and palaver mixed with the fighting.

In comparing the present with past periods of disruption we find also many new elements affecting the situation. It has often been said that the foreign settlements and Legations, providing oases for political. refugees, are the greatest obstacle in the way of political stability. Foreign interests in China refuse to undergo the loss occasioned by prolonged internecine strife. Again, there

Snap-shot by the author

A CRACK GUARD OF WU PEI-FU'S TROOPS SEEING HIM OFF IN HIS FORD CAR The General is proud of his men and specially requested that this photograph of them be taken

are no definite lines along which an issue can be fought out. Wu Pei-fu may just as truly claim to be the exponent of progressivism as Sun Yat-sen-yet the two may easily find themselves in armed conflict. As Wu Pei-fu sees it, there are too many chieftains and too many factions to allow of "fighting the revolution out to its finish." The only real issue upon which any chieftain or faction could push a pan-China campaign would be that of individual supremacy. And democracy in China, although still an infant in mind, is too strong in body to allow the career of the uncamouflaged conqueror to culminate. Yuan Shih-kai's failure is conclusive evidence of this.

Under such circumstances, Wu Pei-fu is justified in his statement that the prospect of fighting China into unity is not hopeful. His trustfulness in palaver may appear ingenuous, but let him be given credit for maintaining some degree of faith in his country's political future. There are too many Chinese who, when they turn occasional attention from private ambition to their nation's predicament, are prone to shake their heads in utter helplessness, and, let it also be said, unhelpfulness.

General Wu, although uttering no word which might be interpreted as treason against Peking, has shown a true conception of the inconsequence of Peking in the life of the people of the provinces. If his suggestions of last year remain unchanged, his constitutional assembly would invite the recognition of the present de facto Government at Peking, but would not be discouraged by refusal. It would take upon itself the liberty of reshaping the entire administration of the nation, from the Constitution to the seat of Government. All present arrangements and precedents would simply be swept aside. Wu realizes that he would require a tremen

dous military prestige to enforce the decisions of such a conference. If his own views and the decisions of the assembly should coincide, the results might be really democratic in trend. If the assembly could agree, as the writer fears, only under coercion from him, the resultant Government would be a camouflaged military dictatorship. This is, indeed, the form of government which those familiar with inland China consider the most practical. That it would be far superior in progressivism and benevolence to the score of dictatorships existing in China to-day is undoubted. The danger is that it would contain within itself the seeds of redisunion.

Strangely enough, the national assembly has been a favorite idea of Dr. Sun. Some discouraging experiences have, however, inclined the pioneer of republican ideas to rely upon the imposition of new ideas through military force. Paradoxically, Wu Pei-fu, a man of purely military antecedents, concludes that nothing decisive can be accomplished by military force, and turns with hope to the Chinese aptitude for discussion and compromise. In the opinion of the writer, Wu's hope comes to this: If a group of men who can dominate their respective provinces can be brought together and protected in the course of their discussion from outside threat and in a measure from bribe, they should be able to determine the lines of some sort of interprovincial confederacy taking the place of a central government, and intrust to their powerful patron their execution and perpetuation.

The first requisite of a unified and peaceful China under this scheme must be the absolute prohibition of interprovincial alliance outside of the confederation and the abolition of nationally supported provincial armies. Wu Pei-fu

has set the precedent for the immediate squelching of interprovincial strife.

The plan, following the precedent of the selection of provincial delegates, would allow a great deal of freedom within the provinces themselves. The important thing is to get a hold upon those factors which can dominate in their respective provinces, whether for the time being they be democratic or not. If the dominating factor in a particular province be military, it must be accepted as the representative of that province in the confederation, being at the same time well curbed within the lines of its own province. When capitalistic or democratic elements within the province become able to overawe the military, they should succeed to the national representation. The fact that military power is curbed within provincial lines will militate against its downfall. There is hardly a Tuchun to-day who holds his position without the aid of outside-province troops. Again, a military chief dependent for revenues upon his own province will become gradually subservient to the powerful guilds and growing financial interests.

General Wu realizes that he is working against time that outside nations whose industries demand China's natural resources will not indefinitely let China alone to work out her own salvation.

"Is the idea of foreign intervention virile?" he asked.

"It is dormant, but will not remain so if China continues to disappoint the world," I replied.

"Then we must hasten," the little General concluded.

That Wu Pei-fu will prove a positive factor in the establishment of stable and popular government in China is open to doubt. Although unquestionably the greatest soldier which his country has produced in modern times, he has little political and diplomatic ability.

It is of course well-nigh impossible for a leader in China to do anything for his country, and this is one reason why salvation must come through a general leavening of the people rather than through leadership. The Chinese people, possibly in part as a result of some thousands of years of disappointing experience, but more because of their intense individualism, do not want leadership. Nothing has been more evident in the past ten years of chaos in China than the tendency of the crowd to combine to lop off any head which gets itself above the others. Not only do the tactics of the rising figure's political enemies force him into the traditional paths of Tuchunism, but the very attitude of the common people, who psychologically mistrust any lord of the ascendant and regard power as synonymous with corruptness, bears in the same direction. After all, the Tuchun is the product of his people.


Note. In a future issue we shall print a brief sketch of Wu Pei-fu's personality, by Upton Close

« AnteriorContinuar »