« AnteriorContinuar »
and obviously dilatory, were permitted. This sort of thing is outrageous. No legislative body ought to allow itself to be tied up by technical rules which can be employed for the prevention of the very purposes for which that legislative body exists-the consideration and discussion of legislative measures and action upon them.
ROM New York was drawn one-tenth of the A. E. F. Yet four years after the war not a single new Governmental hospital has been completed within the boundaries of New York State.
The Government was offered a free site for a tuberculosis hospital at Liberty, New York, a town which is equipped by climate and experience to care for patients in the best possible way. The Government refused this offer and proceeded to purchase a site for a hospital on the shores of the Hudson River at a cost of, we are told, $100,000. After the expenditure of many thousands in the building of foundations, the work on this hospital has been stopped. No one seems to know whether the work has been permanently abandoned or not. Letters to Washington result merely in arousing to renewed vigor the well-known bureaucratic game of "passing the buck."
We cite this case of the New York hospital merely because it seems typical of the whole method by which the problem of the veteran has been handled. If the Administration is wise, it will bend its utmost efforts to end the régime of broken promises, procrastination, and ineptitude which has marked the activity of the Veterans Bureau. If the Republican leaders are not convinced that the situation should be cleaned up for humanitarian reasons, they should at least show that they are aware of the fact that the hospital situation is full of political dynamite.
A WOMAN JUDGE
OF OHIO'S SUPREME COURT
NE of the notable incidents of the
on win choice
Florence E. Allen as a Judge of the Ohio State Supreme Court. Judge Allen is the first woman to receive that honor in Ohio, and, so far as we know, is the first woman Supreme Court judge in any of the States. A well-informed correspondent sends us the following sketch of Judge Allen's career: "She was born in Salt Lake City, graduated from the Western Reserve University, and received her law degree from the New York University Law School; practiced
w in Cleveland for five years, was ap
FLORENCE E. ALLEN, ELECTED JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF OHIO
pointed assistant prosecutor, and one year later was elected Common Pleas judge, in which position she has made a record for common sense, justice, and efficiency. Judge Allen did not enter the primaries, but was placed on the judicial ballot by petition as an independent candidate after Democrats and Republicans had nominated two candidates each."
In an article in the New York "Times" we are told that undoubtedly Judge Allen is the first woman judge to preside on the bench in a case of murder in the first degree and to sentence a man to the electric chair, the only death sentence pronounced in Cleveland for thirteen years. Another important and peculiar case tried before her, it is stated, was that of William H. McGannon, Chief Justice of the Municipal Court of Cleveland. Judge McGannon was tried for murder, acquitted, and then indicted on the charge of suborning perjury in the evidence at the first trial. He was tried for perjury before Judge Allen, toward whom he was so contemptuous during the trial that he was repeatedly reprimanded by the Judge. He was ultimately convicted, and was sentenced by Judge Allen to ten years' imprisonment, with the remark that the law applied even more to judges than to other citizens, as judges were familiar with it.
In a statement made since her election Judge Allen says: "We conducted a campaign with very limited funds, without organization, and with the definite opposition of the two political parties. The issue of my election was not important; but the fact that 490,000 voters disregarded party lines and gave us
their support marks a real advance toward an independent judiciary."
An Ohio jurist and lawyer of distinction in a private letter to a member of The Outlook's staff indicates some regret that Judge Allen should be removed from the Common Pleas Court because there is great difficulty in obtaining judges of the right qualifications for that bench and Judge Allen has there made an excellent judge and one of ability and dignity. He gives his personal impression that Judge Allen was elected to the Supreme Court rather because she was a woman than because her special qualification for this position was greater than that of her opponent, Judge Hough, but admits that others might differ as to this.
THE FREEDOM OF THE STRAITS
HE Lausanne Conference reached a
T critical point in its discussions
when on December 4 Mr. Tchitcherin for Russia outlined the Soviet position as regards the straits of the Dardanelles and the control or freedom from control of the waters to the east, including the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea. The Turkish delegates declined on that day to state their position, and thus the matter stands as this issue of The Outlook is going to press. It seems to be an open question whether the Turks will concur completely in the Russian views or whether Turkey is beginning to be a little distrustful of Russia, perhaps a little more receptive to the ideas of the Allies as to the Straits, and may therefore show a disposition to reason and a peaceful agreement.
In all this discussion we constantly hear the phrase, "The freedom of the Straits." What does it mean? Turkey, Russia, and the Allies all agree that there should be freedom of commerce through the Straits and the waters to the eastward. Turkey has claimed, and Russia now claims in behalf of what the Soviet considers Russia's interests as well as Turkey's, that Turkey should be treated as an independent, free, and equal nation and assumes from this that Turkey should have a right to fortify any part of Turkish territory, including that adjacent to the Straits. This would mean that no warship of the Allies could pass through the Straits in peace or in war without the specific consent of the Turkish Government, and this in turn means that, in case of serious trouble in the Near East, Great Britain, France, and Italy would be halted at the Straits just as the British navy and army were halted in the Great War.
Now there is a plausible and apparently logical argument for the view just stated. If Turkey, or, for that matter,
Russia, had a trustworthy, representative government; if either nation were now a good neighbor to the nations of western Europe; if the Turks were not muttering about the exclusion of all Christians from their territory, and practically demanding with Russia's aid to control the business and the in'ternational relations of the entire Near East-in such a case the claim might be considered reasonable.
What Russia demands is not freedom of the Straits, but unbridled power for Turkey, or Turkey and Russia combined. Great Britain has controlled the Straits of Gibraltar for over two hundred years, and she has never used that control to oppress other nations. Could Turkey be trusted in the same way as regards the straits of the Dardanelles? The Allies do not think so; the only question is, how far they are willing to go to prevent what would be a menace to their interests in the Near East and to the peace of Europe.
Mr. Tchitcherin, in his speech of December 4, demanded for Russia an absolutely closed waterway to warships, and in support of his demand stated, the despatches say, that Russia had suffered five years from an open waterway, during which time her Black Sea ports were bombarded and insurrections assisted in consequence, and that Russia could not and would not permit in the future England's hand to be at her throat. Furthermore, in answer to the British representative, Lord Curzon, Tchitcherin asked whether England "was at the table as arbiter of the world's destinies." Russia, he said, demanded that she be recognized as one of the great Powers, in complete equality with England, and did not recognize England as arbiter.
One hopeful sign for the Allies' contention is that Rumania and Bulgaria are adverse to the position which has, up to the date mentioned, been maintained by Turkey and Russia in regard to the Black Sea. Rumania and Bulgaria are opposed to militarizing the Black Sea and in favor of every possible extension there of the freedom of commerce.
The attitude of the Turks toward the peoples of western Europe is shown in their treatment of Christians in territory claimed by Turkey. The newspaper despatches say that the Turks have ordered out of their territory every Greek now living in it; that this, if completely carried out, will result in the banishment from Turkish territory of nearly two million Greeks since the beginning of the war; that between five hundred thousand and six hundred thousand Greeks now in Asia Minor were ordered to get out by November 30, and
that when this order was extended so as to date December 15 Ismet Pasha said that if Greeks stayed after that date he could not be responsible for their safety
which, coming from a Turk as regards Greeks, is practically a threat of wholesale slaughter. The Turks even asked that the three hundred thousand Greeks in Constantinople should be compelled to move, but they may reconsider that demand.
All this, taken in connection with the wholesale migration of Greeks and other Christians from Western Thrace, has flooded nearby regions with great masses of people, mostly poor, many of them in distress and without any apparent economic future.
A country which will do this is not one to be treated as an equal by the great nations of western Europe.
THE VENGEANCE OF GREECE
HE high political and military positions of the six men executed November 28 in Athens, the inhumane circumstances of at least one of the executions, and the fact that the men were condemned by a court martial instead of a civil court stirred and startled readers the world over. Three of these men had been Premier (Gounaris, Protopapadakis, and Stratos), two others had been Cabinet Ministers (Theotokis and Baltazzis), and the sixth, General Hadjanestis, was in command of the Greek army so disgracefully routed by Kemal. Gounaris was seriously ill when condemned; he was taken in an ambulance to the scene of execution and there was put upon his feet and shot, together with the other five.
Essentially, these executions were an act of vengeance. They represented anger and shame endured by the people and army of Greece for being led into a trap. So far as the political culprits were concerned it is charged that they led Greece into this trap, not to restore peace or to defend Greece, but to save themselves from political downfall. Gou
The First of
MR. W. J. HENDERSON'S articles on the enjoyment of music will be published before the end of the year. It is entitled
"WHAT IS GOOD PIANOPLAYING?"
naris, whose illness made his execution so revolting, was perhaps the worst offender, for it was he who, more than any other man, was responsible for the driving out of Venizelos, the restoration of Constantine, and even for the vacillating, treacherous conduct of Greek policy which so long delayed the country from joining the Allies in the Great War. His fellow-Ministers who were shot were sharers in this tortuous and base political conduct.
For a time it seemed more than probable that Prince Andrew, a brother of ex-King Constantine, would share the fate of these six men. He was saved from death and allowed to go into exile only because of his humiliating plea that as a general he was a mere figurehead, knew practically nothing of military affairs, and did what he was told.
The Greek Revolutionary Committee, which ordered the courts martial and the executions, is now the only existing government of any real power in Athens. Great Britain promptly showed its disapproval of the bloodthirsty character of the act by breaking off diplomatic relations through the withdrawal of its Minister from Athens. It is intimated in London that it is expected that the Revolutionary Committee will soon give way to a more responsible government and that relations may then be resumed. The executions were denounced fiercely in the British Parliament. The new Labor leader, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, is quoted as saying: "The executions represent acts that must shock the whole world. If these men were guilty of acts that would justify such punishment, the highest, most deliberate formalities should have been observed before the sentences were carried out." The Prime Minister, Mr. 'Bonar Law, said that the Greek Government had been previously warned that if the men were executed Great Britain would withdraw its representative. When this was done, he declared that "in taking this action his Majesty's Government was actuated by the general consideration that it is contrary to the practice of civilized governments to put to death outgoing Ministers on account of the failure of their policy."
Of course it was something more than failure of a policy that these men were charged with; but the trial and executions smack more of the Middle Ages than of the Twentieth Century.
A SCENE IN "R.U.R.," A THEATER GUILD PRODUCTION NOW PLAYING AT THE FRAZEE THEATER, NEW YORK CITY
The Robots have wiped out mankind with the exception of Louis Calvert, who they believed possessed the secret of manufacturing Robots. They spared his life in the hope that he might be able to teach them how to perpetuate their kind
large debt by their discovery and protection of one of the truest poets of the last century. The friendship which the Meynells gave to Francis Thompson was one of the most fruitful gifts which the h story of letters records.
Guests who entered the Meynell home in Portman Square for the first time soon discerned that fundamental beauty of Mrs. Meynell's character which made such a gift possible. There are many people who can give things; there are few who can give of themselves abundantly and understandingly.
To sit at the Meynell table, to see in the flesh the children, now grown to manhood and womanhood, of whom Francis Thompson sang, was an experience worth crossing the ocean for. Mrs. Meynell of course will be remembered, not only for her personality, her hospitality, and her friendship with Francis Thompson, but also for a slender body of authentic poetry. Her work was instinct with faith in beauty and faith in humanity.
In the same week in which Mrs. Meynell died America lost a younger writer of high accomplishment. Josephine Preston Peabody (Mrs. Lionel Marks) gave to the American stage its most successful poetic drama. "The Piper" won the Stratford-on-Avon prize in 1910 and was successfully produced both in London and New York. Its New York
production was perhaps the greatest achievement of the ambitious National Theater.
She will be remembered, however, for more than this one successful play. Two of her earlier volumes, "The Singing Leaves" and the "Book of the Little Past," should be found in every library. Her last work, a drama of high literary distinction, was published just a few months ago. It is called "Portrait of Mrs. W." It is yet to receive the test of stage presentation.
HE Theater Guild opened its season
with one of the most striking plays recently produced in New York-"R. U. R.," a drama from Czechoslovakia, by Capek. Its title stands for Rossum's Universal Robots, a chemically produced race of servants and laborers, created by Rossum and his successors with the purpose of eliminating the curse of Adam from the human race. These curious creatures, resembling men and women in almost everything but the power of emotional experience, are shipped out from the factory in thousands. They work, fight, and die for their masters in stolid submission. It is only when the sentimental wife of the factory manager persuades the chief chemist to labor to give these manikins souls that the Robots revolt. Led by a few of the
super-manikins, they succeed in exterminating the human race save for a single
The play, as its plot would indicate. is melodramatic in character, but it is a melodrama shot through with flashes of brilliant satire. The play is produced in a manner fully up to the best Theater Guild tradition. It is now playing at the Frazee Theater.
For its second play the Theater Guild produced a drama of personality by A. A. Milne called "The Lucky One." It deals with the jealousies of two brothers. In the hands of Galsworthy the theme might have been interesting. Mr. Milne, however, does not treat it
even with his usual deftness of dramatic technique. The first act is all exposition, and so much happens off stage between the first and the second acts that half of the latter is also used up in explaining the situation.
Very much more skillfully handled is Mr. Milne's "The Romantic Age," now playing at the Comedy Theater. The play is clean and sweet, yet not too sweet to limit its appeal to matinée audiences of schoolgirls. The heroine, played by Miss Margalo Gillmore, searches longingly for a fairy prince. She finds him, but not exactly in the form which she expects. The dénouement of the play is the thing that saves it from treacliness.
CENE-Anywhere in the United
DRAMATIS PERSON.E-A PUBLICSPIRITED CITIZEN and a PRESS CORRESPONDENT.
Public-Spirited Citizen-There ought to be a "blue sky law" against you fellows.
Press Correspondent-What have I done now?
P. S. C.-It's not what you've done now, but what you did a year ago.
P. C.-A year ago? That was when I was in Washington.
P. S. C.-Exactly. That was when you were boosting the stock of the Washington Conference on Disarmament. Now see what's become of the concern. Bankrupt!
P. C.-I deny both allegations. There wasn't any Conference on Disarmament; and it isn't bankrupt.
P. S. C.-No Conference on Disarmament? Tell that to the Marines. And, as for its being bankrupt, just look at any newspaper. Instead of scrapping battleships by the wholesale, the big naval Powers are standing pat. Here's a headline for you: "British Stop Junking Ships Under Treaty. Will Disregard Washington Pact Until France and Italy Sign, Commons Told." Here's another: "British Call Halt in Ship Scrap ping. Washington Says No U. S. Vessel Will Be Scrapped Until Treaty Is Effective." And you don't need to be told that France is holding up the naval treaty and is showing no intention of ratifying it. So there you are. That whole grand Conference of yours gone to wreck. Instead of scrapping battleships they've scrapped the treaty. When a fellow gets caught promoting a get-richquick scheme, he's lucky if he keeps out of jail. I think you're lucky to be at large after promoting this get-peacequick scheme. Anyway, you can't fool me again.
P. C.-I suppose I oughtn't to be surprised; but I am. How long did that Conference last, do you remember?
P. S. C.-A couple of months or so. P. C.-Yes; almost exactly three. And you read a good deal about it?
P. S. C.-Oh, yes; till I was tired of it. P. C.-And that's the impression you got-a Conference on Disarmament which resulted in a treaty for scrapping the big navies of the world. And you are an especially intelligent representative of the Intelligent Public. It can't be your fault that you got that idea. It must be ours, whose duty it was to tell
you about it. Naturally, with that impression of the Conference you think it has proved a failure. Certainly there hasn't been any disarmament, and the big navies are as big as ever. That, however, doesn't show that the Conference was a failure; because it wasn't a Conference on Disarmament and there wasn't any proposal to scrap or even reduce a single navy. It wasn't chiefly a Conference about navies at all. P. S. C.-What's the joke? P. C.-No joke about it. That's the time I expected you to be surprised; and that is just where most of us press correspondents failed in our job. Naturally, naval men think of it as chiefly a naval conference because it did affect the Navy. Even so good a naval officer as Captain Dudley W. Knox (Retired) says of the Conference: "America's great experiment of trying by example to bring about general reduction of naval armaments and cessation of competitive naval building appears to have failed. So perhaps it is not surprising that you, a civilian, should have a somewhat similar impression-except for the fact that you are a civilian. The Washington Conference, in fact, has already proved to be a huge success. Even from the naval point of view it is far from being a failure. Have you patience to let me try to explain?
P. 8. C.-Shoot!
P. C.-Thank you-not only for your permission, but for anticipating my thought. I was about to speak of shooting. If you aim at a target and hit it, you succeed; but if a sympathetic bystander thinks you are aiming at something else, he will be disappointed. Your very success will be his disappointment. That is what happened at the Conference a year ago. A good many bystanders-you among them-thought that the Conference was aiming at disarmament and missed. In fact, it was aiming not at disarmament at all; but at two other things, and hit them both.
One thing it aimed at and hit was the limitation of naval armament.
It was not trying to destroy existing ships; it was trying to stop the building of new ones.
And it succeeded.
There were three great naval Powers racing with one another-America, Great Britain, and Japan-each trying to see how big and powerful a navy it could have in comparison with the other two. On November 12, 1921, America said to the other two: "Let us stop this race now-where we are-to-day. If we do, we shall each of us retain just as powerful a battle fleet as we have on this day, and no more. That requires some
1 See the opening sentence in Captain Knox's article in this issue of The Outlook.
figuring. Some of us have battleships or battle-cruisers partly built. Those will have to be figured into the total strength. Some of these partly finished vessels will have to be scrapped, and some of the old ones that are of no special use ought to be scrapped so as to make everything square. But the main thing is for each of us to stop trying to outbuild the others, and to stop now." After Great Britain and Japan had looked over America's figures, they found them substantially correct, and agreed to stop the naval race. they have stopped it. They have all three scrapped some, if not most, of their old ships. They haven't yet scrapped their new construction, because the treaty hasn't yet been ratified by France and Italy, and until it has been the scrapping of new construction would be without any authority of law. But every one of the three has stopped the naval ship-building race. That is what I call success. This is one thing that the Conference aimed at and hit.
It is true that France has not ratified the treaty, and therefore the treaty is not technically in force. But France was not really in the naval race. Through no fault of her own, she was so far behind that she was not really a competitor. During the war she was so busy building guns for Americans and others, as well as for French soldiers, to use in resisting the Germans that she had no money or time or energy for building any battleships. And Italy, too, was not a competitor. France and Italy were included in the treaty because they were strong and friendly nations of considerable naval strength, but not because they were in the race, for they weren't.
In the meantime each of the three chief naval Powers has the right to keep its navy up to the strength it had a year ago; and every American should make himself a committee of one to see that the United States does so. I am with Captain Knox and Commander Wygant on that.' Each country made a real sacrifice in stopping the naval race; and each country gained enormously also in stopping it. There is no present prospect that any one of them will start it again. That alone is enough to make the Conference a success.
But that is not the most important thing the Conference aimed at.
As I have just said, it was not chiefly a naval conference.
Armament is, after all, something external and material; and limiting armament is negative. The Conference aimed at something mental and moral, and something that was positive as well. And it hit that too. That was its big2 Commander Wygant's article, as well as Captain Knox's, is in this issue of The Outlook.