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a party that is an alliance of incongruous elements. That
may be; but he is the one and only leader, and his party
after the coming election may number half the total member-
ship of the Commons. It cannot, we estimate, be more than
that, for Labor so far shows no sign of making a dent on
the rural constituencies. But in those circumstances Ramsay
MacDonald, and seemingly no other, will have it in his
power to decide the destinies of Britain. He has a fine
endowment of political and intellectual gifts, of personality,
of eloquence. His party is the party of tomorrow. In the
world of European affairs there is today no more interesting
and important personal question than the one that concerns
his future.



Iff Tttl






157



MID-AMERICA Three Paintings
by Molly Luce




The Artists' Gallery, N. Y.



An Ohio village



Molly Luce is from the middle west. Although she has taken Pieter Breughel,
of sixteenth century Flanders, as her master, the scene she paints, wherever
circumstances move her about, is the familiar, native, homely scene. Instead of
Breughel's exact details, Molly Luce puts villages and large stretches of town
and country upon small canvases with the meticulous construction, and some of
the crudity, of a delighted child with toy buildings, people and animals. With
her as yet the "accumulation of little facts" does not build a powerful life. It
is as if her paintings recorded things remembered from a distance rather than
actually visualized and shared. That record is made with affection and good
humor always; there is no Main Street Babbitt acerbity in her mind. Her world
is leisured. A many-windowed red brick factory, near which scores of tiny fig-
ures glide about on a frozen pond, has no more activity than the snowy hills in
the distance; the huge cylinders of the grain elevators are as artificial as slag heaps
in the midst of women's chores. People stroll, ride or slide, and sit out of doors.




The ArtMs' Oallery, N. Y.



Minneapolis in winter




Montross



Gallery. N. Y.



Back yards of Minneapolis



Horizon Lines



A Monthly Survey of Our New International Frontiers

By JAMES G. McDONALD

power of the Communists within the victorious Kuomintang,
or Nationalist People's Party.

The war hysteria which disgraced some of the most repu-
table American newspapers during the weeks immediately
following the looting in Nanking fortunately roused little
or no response in the masses of the American people. Al-
ready the waves of jingoistic propaganda have receded. The
moderation of the identic notes presented by the five powers,
Great Britain, France, Japan, Italy and the United States,
to the Kuomintang authorities on April 1 1 is evidently the
result of a compromise. The program of those British ex-
tremists who urged the conquest of the whole of China,
or at least the division of north from south by naval patrols
on the Yangtse, found no support in Paris, Tokyo or Wash-
ington. But, on the other hand, the suggestion that every
effort should be made immediately to replace the "unequal
treaties" with a series of new agreements to be negotiated
between the United States and representatives of the differ-
ent Chinese factions was not accepted by our government,
presumably on the not wholly convincing ground that it
was impractical and violative of a moral commitment to
stand with the other powers wherever possible.

The gravest danger now is that China may divide on
class lines Red China, aided and directed by Soviet Russia,
against White China, supported by the industrial and bank-
ing sections of the Chinese and by the foreign powers. Cer-
tainly the split between the left and the right Kuomintang
is now wide open. Chang Kai-shek, generalissimo of the
Nationalist forces, has refused to accept the diminution of
his power decreed by the radical section of the party in
Hankow, and has undertaken to eliminate the extremists
from places of influence in Shanghai. In such a clash as is
here forecast, irrespective of the military outcome, nothing
would really be settled. But worse, Chinese unity would
be still further postponed and the danger of a World War
brought nearer. In the face of issues like these, bewildered
and fumbling diplomats continue to talk as though nothing
had happened in China since the Boxer revolt.

THE International Economic Conference which convenes
in Geneva May 4 will prepare a program for a sub-
sequent plenary conference to be held probably two years
hence. The general scope of the agenda is indicated in
the resolution of the sixth ordinary session of the Assembly,
which, after expressing the conviction that "economic peace
will largely contribute to security among the nations," pro-
claimed "the necessity of investigating the economic difficul-
ties which stand in the way of the revival of general pros-
perity and of ascertaining the best means of overcoming
these difficulties and of preventing disputes."

The United States has evidenced its interest in the Con-
ference by naming a strong official delegation. Each of the
five members has special knowledge of some important field
which is to be explored. Norman H. Davis, former under-

160



GHE international scene is full of contrasts.
Developments, surprisingly hopeful, com-
pete for our interest with events tragic and'
portentous. Political and economic prog-
ress in western and central Europe js bal-
anced by new manifestations of national
rivalries in the Balkans and by Soviet Russia's striking out
against what she believes to be a capitalistic plot of encircle-
ment. Under League of Nations auspices, preparatory eco-
nomic and disarmament conferences are laboring to clear a
way through the dense forest of conflicting national interests
and prejudices. The United States, cooperating worthily at
Geneva in the League's valiant pioneering, continues by its
policy towards Mexico and Nicaragua to encourage the im-
perialists. Meanwhile, over all the stage hangs the ominous
cloud of embattled Chinese Nationalism. Embittered against
the west by the powers' actions and inactions and by skill-
ful Bolshevik propaganda, unafraid of diplomatic or military
threats, China today unmasks the pitiful futilities of tradi-
tional western diplomacy.

THE last few months have witnessed a bewildering suc-
cession of events in China, the rapid advance of the
Cantonese armies to the Yangtse river and beyond ; the
taking of Hankow, Nanking and Shanghai ; the ominous
rise of anti-foreign feeling ; and the steady increase of the



DISARMAMENT
The French argue:

1. That security must be guaranteed by some form
of military assistance against aggression as a neces-
sary condition precedent to the reduction and
limitation of armaments.

2. That agreements for the reduction and limitation
of armaments must be guaranteed by an inter-
national inspection and control of the military
establishments, to ascertain whether treaty obliga-
tions were being faithfully executed.

3. That there exists a complete interdependence of
armaments and that it is impossible to deal with
any single category (land, sea or air) without
simultaneously dealing with others.

4. That it is not sufficient to deal with the actual
peacetime armaments of nations, but that indus-
trial, financial, economic and other factors must be
taken into account in any general scheme that may
be drawn up.

5. That any agreements on the limitation and reduc-
tion of armaments in order to be effective must be
universal, and there must be a single standard
applicable to all countries of the world.



secretary of state, has a wide knowledge of both political
and economic problems ; J. W. O'Leary, a leading Chicago
banker, is president of the United States Chamber of Com-
merce; Henry M. Robinson was one of the three Amer-
ican members of the Experts' Committee which prepared the
Dawes report; Alonzo E. Taylor, of the Food Research
Institute at Stanford University, is an authority on the
world's food supply; Julius Klein is the director of the
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce and one of Mr.
Hoover's most trusted aides.

The instructions to these delegates will be revealing.
How far will they be authorized to go in the proposed
discussion of such ticklish questions as the tariff, inter-ally
debts, immigration, raw materials, etc.? If they are not
given a free hand it is conceivable that the United States
may obstruct rather than help in the formulation of a pro-
gram adequate to meet the world's needs.

THE debate between Secretary Mellon and Columbia
and Princeton professors on inter-ally indebtedness is
encouraging. Despite the cynic's despair of our democracy,
intelligent discussion of public questions has evidently not
ceased to attract general interest. Though no change of
governmental policy is to be expected in the near future
the question is still open. Nor will it be closed until time
has tested the economic soundness of the settlement. It was
a little surprising that Secretary Mellon finally admitted
the inter-relation between inter-ally debts and reparations
which economists have all along insisted upon. This con-
dition may rise to plague his successors if they choose to
maintain our government's orthodox position that our claims
against the Allies must not be made contingent upon their
receipt of the Dawes payment from Germany.



A YEAR and a half after Locarno, reconciliation con-
tinues to be fashionable in the relations between Ger-
many and her neighbors. This was illustrated at the forty-
fourth meeting of the Council of the League of Nations,
which adjourned a few weeks ago. For the first time a
German, Dr. Stresemann, presided. And to him should
be credited much of the success of the meeting. On each
of the three questions concerned with the Saar, Polish
schools in Upper Silesia, and German-Polish commercial
relations, he made material concessions, and in each case
in the face of outspoken opposition from his own and other
German political parties. Defending his policy he declared
that he was acting more as a "League man" than as a
German. Significance may justifiably be read into the fact
that after the German foreign minister had explained his
action on his return to Berlin, his policy was approved.

It would be absurd to conclude that all of the problems
between Poland and Germany or between France and Ger-
many have been solved. As between Poland and Germany
there can never be an assurance of peace until at least the
question of the Polish corridor has been readjusted. France
certainly does not think so. The Chamber, in March, by
a vote of 500 to 31, passed an extraordinarily comprehensive
defense act. This is, in effect, a universal conscription of
man-power and wealth in time of war. Moreover, work
has been authorized on a series of fortifications for her
eastern frontier which it is estimated will cost 7,000,000,000
francs. This elaborate preparedness program does not neces-



161



' m ^^ **

ence ,n h * manifcstat of the French

: on having three locks on every door.

TN southeastern Europe the recent relations between Italy
d Jugoslav* have been ominously reminiscent of the
summer of I9J4 Last November ^ ^

ter'v T" ^ WhicH the l3tter ' S "P litical . J-rMic.1

1 terntonal status quo is guaranteed." Earlier Italy had

been given a first hen on Albanian customs and national

monopolies as security for a loan of 50,000,000 gold lira

> be spent under Italian supervision by an Italian engineer-

ing corporation. The treaty permits Italy to intervene at

the request of Albania in case of disturbance. It is com-

monly interpreted as Italy's latest and most effective move

to control entrance and exit of the Adriatic.

In Jugoslavia, the extension of Italian influence has
caused the liveliest concern. This was intensified by the
apparently well-founded belief that Italy was supported by
Great Britain. France, allied to Jugoslavia and always
anxious about Mussolini's ambitions in the Mediterranean
and the Balkans, is watching developments closely. French
opinion is inclined cynically to compare Mussolini's attitude
toward Albania with that of the United States towards
Haiti or Nicaragua. Though no immediate danger of war
is anticipated one can discern, growing out of the clash
of interests in the Balkans, a disquieting analogy to Euro-
pean pre-war psychosis.



DISARMAMENT
The Americans reply:

1. That there should be a direct approach to the
question of limitation and reduction of armaments
without awaiting complicated measures for provid-
ing security. . . .

2. That in order to be really effective, agreements for
the reduction and limitation of armaments must be
founded upon respect for treaty obligations and a
belief in the good faith of the contracting parties.
It is our belief that any agreement founded upon
distrust and providing for a machinery of inspection
and control will not only fail to achieve its pur-
poses but will create new elements of suspicion
and ill-will.

3. We feel that insistence upon a joint consider-
ation of land, sea and air armaments will tend
to render needlessly complicated the task of a final
conference and will tend to render more difficult
achievement in regard to the limitation and reduc-
tion of any single category of armament. For that
reason we feel that ultimate success lies along the
line of isolating from the general problem as many
concrete questions as possible and dealing with them
in a direct and practical manner.

4. We feel that the only practical approach to the
question of the limitation and reduction of arma-
ments is through dealing with visible armaments
at peace strength. . .

5. It is our view that there is no possibility for devis-
ing a system for the limitation and reduction of
armaments which could be made either applicable
or acceptable to all countries of the world. . . .



DESPITE the rejection by the Senate of the Treaty of
Lausanne, normal relations with Turkey are to be
maintained. Credit for this fortunate outcome goes to
Rear-Admiral Mark L. Bristol, American high commis-
sioner of Constantinople since 1918. Despite the violent
propaganda conducted in this country against the Turks,
Admiral Bristol has been able to make the authorities in
Angora understand that their interests and those of the
United States are so nearly identical that they have con-
sented to re-establish full diplomatic and consular relations
for a period of fifteen months. The United States is to
have the advantage of the most-favored-nation treatment in
custom matters. In bringing to a brilliantly successful con-
clusion these long and difficult negotiations under trying
conditions, he has given a much needed example to the
"career" diplomats.

IT is in Russia's relations to her neighbors and more
especially to Great Britain that the gravest danger of
a European clash lies. The causes for friction are many
with Rumania over Bessarabia, the loss of which neither the
Soviet government nor any other subsequent Russian regime
is likely to recognize without protest; with Poland, over
boundary and other disputes; with the Baltic states, over
frontier incidents alternating with treaties of amity.

It is with Britain, however, that Russia has the most
numerous and serious occasions for quarrels. London charges
a deliberate policy of world-wide Bolshevik propaganda
against British interests. Foreign-Minister Chamberlain a
few weeks ago drew up a formidable indictment against
the Third Internationale and its activities in China, India,
Persia, Turkey and elsewhere. He denied that the Soviet
government could dissociate itself from the activities of the
Communist Party. In conclusion he threatened a severance
of diplomatic relations unless Moscow chose to "conform
to the conduct of the ordinary rules of international life
and comity." In answer to these charges the Russians re-
tort that British statesmen have been as guilty of prop-
aganda against Soviet Russia as have been the Communists
against the British Empire.

RUSSIA'S absence from the disarmament discussions
now going on in Geneva is but one factor which
makes substantial progress unlikely. The months-long ses-
sion last year of the Preparatory Commission and its sub-
commissions, did little more than disclose the vastly differ-
ent points of view of the great powers as to the fundamental
principles upon which the limitation of armament should
proceed. For example, France and the United States ap-
proached the problem from almost irreconcilable premises.
Secretary of State Kellogg, in a recent letter to Chairman
Porter of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, summed
up cogently and fairly the five French principles, against
which he set five American principles. These are so
admirably put that they deserve careful study as given
above. If the differences they show are kept in mind one
need not be surprised if the Preparatory Commission which
reconvened March 21, after a six months' recess, passes
through a series of crises.

The evident difficulties of general agreements at Geneva
on the whole problem of disarmament was doubtless one of
the factors which induced President Coolidge to make his
proposal of last February to the five larger naval powers.
It was generally misinterpreted in the press. He did not



propose a new international conference. He did not
threaten to withdraw from the general discussions of the
League Commission. He merely inquired whether Great
Britain, France, Italy and Japan were "disposed" to join
the United States in empowering "their representatives at
the forthcoming meeting of the Preparatory Commission to
initiate negotiations looking toward an agreement for limita-
tion in the classes of naval vessels not covered by the
Washington Treaty."

The replies from the powers might have been guessed in
advance. Britain and Japan's acceptances, though cordial,
were hedged about with vague but significant reservations
which limit the scope of the inquiry. France's rejection
on the ground that acceptance might endanger the work
being done by the League was a pious camouflage of her
desire not to be pocketed again as she felt she was at the
Washington Conference. Italy's rejection, more frank than
the French, was put on the ground of national self-interest.

How much will Britain, Japan and the United States
be able to accomplish without the cooperation of France
and Italy? Certainly so long as Paris and Rome refuse
to restrict their submarine building program Britain will
have an excellent excuse for refusing to reduce its cruiser
program, and unless Britain's tonnage in this class of ships
is cut down we may expect a renewed and strengthened
agitation for an American building program to approximate
if not. equal the British strength. It is a vicious circle.
Each country sees only its own interests and refuses to trust
the good faith of its neighbors.

EXCEPT for the mystery notes and the almost romantic
tales of forged documents, no real news of the Mexi-
can-American relations has been divulged to the public for
weeks. It has been as though there were no conflict of
interests between the two countries. The optimists inter-
pret this as merely a benevolent facade behind which the
responsible authorities on both sides of the line working
with the oil men are formulating a basis for an agreement
on the land and oil questions. The pessimists insist that
although rumors of an agreement may fill the air Washing-
ton is continuing to exert steady pressure upon Calles to
meet the American demands, threatening, if he does not do
so, to sever diplomatic relations and possibly lift the embargo
on arms. All observers agree that either of these suggested
forms of pressure would encourage revolution and endanger
Calles' hold on the country. Probably the pessimists are
more nearly right than the optimists.

The mystery notes which concerned a series of more than
a hundred documents said to have been stolen from the
American Embassy in Mexico City, have, because of the
secrecy connected with them, assumed perhaps an undue sig-
nificance. But if the more important of the stolen docu-
ments are forged or have forged portions interpolated in
them, as Washington suggests, it is difficult to understand
why an official explanation has been so long delayed. In
any case, if the alleged forgeries were designed, as the State
Department intimates, to involve Mexico and the United
States in war by giving President Calles the impression that
the United States was plotting to aid the Mexican revolu-
tionists, no effort should be spared to discover what individ-
duals or groups could have been interested in such a dastardly
plot. The public has the right to expect a frank statement.
Perhaps before this is printed they will have had it.



SCISSORS PICTURE BY MARTHA BENSLEY BRUERE



SMART HATS
3 FOR $|.f





VIII. SOMETHING FOR NOTHING



Letters & Life

In which books, plays and people are discussed

Edited by LEON WHIPPLE

Miracle Books










essay may be
worth one hundred
thousand dollars.
It seeks to discover
what makes a se-
rious book sell
100,000 copies in these United
States. For the last six years some
non-fiction book has become the
book of the year and sold like
mad until it topped the hundred-
thousand mark. The first miracle
book was The Outline of History
by H. G. Wells; in 1926 Will
Durant's Story of Philosophy won
the golden laurel wreath ; the best
seller of 1927 is now being written by some lucky author,
or offered to the publishers and probably being rejected.
How can the publishers pick one? Nobody knows. The
firm that has had the best luck testifies: "When you ask
about theory, your guess is almost as good as ours." An-
other writes: "If any one of us could answer your questions,
we'd be plutocrats instead of publishers. There is really no
infallible way of choosing or selling best-sellers. They make
themselves; that, of course, is the fascinating gambling
element of publishing." After all, this essay may not be
worth one hundred thousand dollars.

But let us leave these astrologers to their crystal-gazing.
We are interested in the fact that this phenomenon (and
that is the precise word) of an annual best-seller in history,
biography, or the philosophy of life, topping fiction sales and
providing its author with a comfortable dowry for life,
means something new and cheerful and puzzling in the
mind and spirit of this nation. It was not always thus,



Decorations

on this page

by Wilfred

Jones, from

The Rise of

American

Civilization

by Charles

A. and Mar>

B. Beard.

Macmiilan





because first nobody wrote such
books, and second when anyone
did he was glorified if the sale
reached 10,000 copies. The Prin-
ciples of Psychology by William
James, and his Varieties of Re-
ligious Experience, had, I think,
the authentic stigmata of best-
sellers. But has either reached
1 00,000 yet ? We wonder.

Compare them with The Story
of Philosophy, published May 29,
1926, and priced at five dollars.
It had sold 100,000 by Christmas,
137,000 to date, and the pub-
lishers hope to top 200,000 by

next Christmas. On one day, December 6, orders for 5,600
copies were received. It led the non-fiction list by a wide
margin month after month. In December in the field of
general literature it was first in 81 book-stores with 579
points. John Erskine's Sir Galahad, the fiction leader, was
first in 65 stores, with 384 points. This, please remember,
for a scholarly book about Aristotle, Kant, Spinoza, and
Santayana, some chapters of which had met with mild
approval in the Haldeman-Julius little Blue Books at five
cents each. Did Europe expect that from our democracy?
The usual myths are extant on its birth. The manuscript
was certainly offered elsewhere before Simon and Schuster
"took a chance." One story declares Dr. Durant got a
modest flat price for his script, but was later given a
more generous royalty agreement by his publishers; an-
other declares that he accepted a low royalty on the
first few thousands of certain sales in exchange for
a much richer one on the later and extremely specu-
lative tens of thousands in which' case he must be
proud both of his philosophical faith and his business
acumen.

Why did the book go? The publishers say:

We believe the Story of Philosophy "caught on" so because
of the deep-rooted perennial hunger for a "revealingly
humanizing" approach to "the art of arts" and "the queen of
sciences." ... A book becomes known as the book of the year
by the way it is reviewed; by the way it is featured, displayed



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 37 of 130)