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International Economic Conference under League auspices. Would realization of 'Pan-Europe' promote solidarity of the British Empire and aloofness of Britain from Continental Europe? Or would the effects be quite the opposite? It is significant that the conferees devoted perhaps their main attention to imperial aeronautical development. It may be that hereafter as hitherto, though in a new sense, the Empire is to be held together mostly by aerial bonds. Exigencies of space forbid my discoursing, as I should like to do, of intra-imperial developments and foreign policy. Britain has remarkably solidified her position in the Near and Middle East, and her relations with Egypt, thanks to the firm wisdom of Lord Lloyd, have been considerably improved. Apparently, also, the situation in India is developing happily both from the standpoint of the British Raj and from that of the Indian people. Especially notable is the Canadian wave of prosperity. No praise could be excessive for the magnanimity of the British Government and Parliament in procuring a settlement of the Irish boundary question by forgiving the Free State's considerable share of the debt of the United Kingdom and of war pensions.

III

After painful study of the matter, I find it improper greatly to blame the French (Government, Parliament — least of all, of course, the great body of the nation) for the unfortunate fiscal developments from the outbreak of the war until the demonstration of the failure of the Ruhr experiment. I do not blame them for their long subjection to the illusion that the greater part of the costs of the war and of reconstruction would be recovered from Germany. Man is preeminently a gullible animal, and, especially where Patria or Helen is

concerned, believes (your hard-headed Poincaré being no exception) what he passionately wishes to believe. Le fantôme des Réparations! It may not be doubted that the phantom was honestly believed to be the real Helen until, with the failure of the Ruhr experiment, eyes were unsealed. With eyes on the lovely phantom, France was treading the primrose path of the borrower toward the bonfire of the franc. Yet, in a manner of speaking, the illusion was a blessing. Under its spell the worst of the ruin in the devastated area was repaired. Had disenchantment come quickly, that work might have lagged disastrously.

Up to that point of the unsealing of the eyes, then, the French authorities were more to be pitied than censured. But the behavior of Parliament thence, until the supercrisis of July this year, deserves censure more than sympathy. The eyes unsealed, the necessary programme of rehabilitation was clearly indicated; to include (a) a supereffort of retrenchment and reorganization; (b) genuine balancing of the budget, without the slightest soupçon of camouflage, however cruelly burdensome might be the additional taxation involved; (c) debt agreements with Britain and the United States, preconditioning stabilization of the franc, as opening the door to foreign credits and loans without which stabilization could not be consummated; (d) finally, revalorization of the franc at a low par, knelling ad Avernum the hopes of the rentiers. Instant action was called for.

But two and one half years went by and you noted, not, on the whole, progress toward realization of the indicated programme; rather, on the whole, regression. And the reasons? Some, to be sure, of honorable import, but the chief, sans doubt, selfish, vicious politics; all the vices of the French political system (not less numerous or vicious

than those of our own) in full flourish and clamant assertion. Not even the magnificent efforts of Briand could avail to disembroil the confusion worse confounded. Meantime, the franc went slithering, slithering down. Early in July last it had fallen to 1.94 cents on New York exchange and looked in posture to take the final irrecoverable plunge. But at this point the conviction suddenly established itself in the minds of all except the international Communists and the scatterbrained Socialists (that is, the Socialists proper, the socalled Unified Socialists) that only by a common effort under the ablest direction, only by postponement of Party to Patria, could the Republic be saved. As to the ablest direction, there could not be two minds: Poincaré was the

man.

Having formed an exceedingly brilliant cabinet of all the talents, and fairly representative of the entire Parliament except the extremists of Right and Left, Poincaré vigorously resumed the task begun by him more than two years before, for the which beginning he was sent up Salt Creek - namely, the task of realizing the programme above outlined. He perceived the first and main desideratum to be restoration of self-confidence. He has gone very far to restore it; whereof sure evidences are steady renewal of National Defense bonds and return of expatriated capital. The condition of the Treasury and that of the Bank of France have been very greatly improved; the franc has appreciated to the equivalent of 3.30 cents; again you see favorable foreign trade balances; a sinking fund for amortization of the internal debt has been established on a sound basis; revenue has risen correspondingly to expectations from the new tax legislation promptly enacted at Poincaré's instance (increasing the total of taxation by 25 per cent), so that the budget

is now genuinely balanced; Poincaré has cut to the bone by way of retrench

ments.

Yet it is probably true that the limit has nearly, if not quite, been reached of improvement possible under his programme of pure self-help. Those best qualified to speak are fairly agreed that the next step namely, definite stabilization of the franc waits upon ratification of the debt agreements, at any rate that with the United States.

As I write, the French Parliament is about to reassemble. To ratify or not to ratify! I eschew prophecy, but speculate gloomily on the probable effects of refusal to ratify.

Ratification, stabilization, revalorization the indicated sequence; revalorization at too low a figure to allow of much comfort to the rentiers. Alas! ye rentiers, for that by your misfortune that beautiful thing, the French civilization, suffers shrewd tort. Your hope of recovery of the franc to pre-war par or anything like: purest illusion, like le fantôme des Réparations! No doubt much will be done, in the not distant future, toward correcting the monstrous injustice of the present world financial structure; but too late for your relief. Meantime, ye're shent.

IV

The great events of the year for Germany were the signing of the Locarno pacts in London, the admission of Germany to the League of Nations and to membership on the League Council, and the formal announcement by Stresemann that the People's Party, the party of the great industrialists headed by him, had renounced the cause of monarchy and was now irrevocably committed to support of the Republic and the Weimar Constitution. The important implication of Stresemann's announcement is that

the Reichstag now has an overwhelming majority friendly to the Republic; and presumably there is a corresponding popular majority. The Nationalists are out of the Government; and I am inclined to think that the time is not far distant when they will be as inconsiderable, both as to number and as to influence, as the French Monarchists. At last one should be justified in confidently asserting that the Republic is securely established.

Of course Germany's entrance into the League was epochal. She thereby well-nigh recovered full status as a member of the society of nations and as a Great Power. Not quite; certain servitudes and disabilities still obtain. Much depends on how she goes about to have these removed. She will be narrowly watched.

It is not to show lack of magnanimity, it is to show just plain common sense, to ask the questions: Is Germany actuated by a genuine strong desire to cooperate with other nations toward peaceful settlement of issues, or does she propose cynically to use the League and to repudiate it should it prove insufficiently amenable? Has the Hohenzollern taint been purged out? With just the faintest lingering shadow of doubt, I would answer those questions favorably to German honor and candor. There seems to me a fairly conclusive body of evidence that the majority of the German people regard latter-day Hohenzollernism with aversion and are yearning back to the Germany of Lessing, Schiller, and Goethe. If it be so, the world is indeed to be felicitated upon Germany's entrance into the League; that faint whiff as of an African in the woodpile is an olfactory illusion.

The coming year will be Beethoven Year, the one-hundredth year since the death of Germany's most puissant genius, of him who is joined with

Shakespeare in a 'couplement of proud compare,' whose soul is concentual with the Ninth Sphere. Why can't Europe be reconciled to the strains of the Ninth Symphony? Through the medium of those strains there may be a free intercourse of souls across frontiers, past all barriers of race, tradition, and prejudice. Did someone suggest a total suspension of Jazz throughout Beethoven Year? Oh, blessed thought!

That question of war guilt! That reiteration of the claim of German innocence in respect of the origin of the war! This writer is profoundly convinced of the guilt of the German war lords, but why not forget it? Why not leave the matter to the quidnuncs and pundits of a generation hence? Or, better yet, let's say it all began when Cain slew Abel, and let it go at that. Let the Germans, to 'save face,' call their reparations payments contributions to equalize the burden of the costs of a war whereof the grand result is to be the eternal friendship of the French and German nations and a United States of Europe. Cease, you Germans, to harp on that discordant string, to the prejudice of the Thoiry programme.

V

Perhaps the most important developments in the world during the past twelvemonth were the acceleration of the movement toward a Franco-German economic accord and the acceleration of the larger movement toward leveling of the economic barriers throughout the European peninsula (plus Scandinavia). Consummation of a comprehensive FrancoGerman economic entente would inevitably be accompanied or followed by a cordial political understanding between the between the two nations, and a politico-economic federation of Europe -United States of Europe - would

be the logical sequel of a general leveling of economic barriers. The two movements dovetail. Realization of the larger plan must presuppose a close Franco-German accord; while on the other hand it may plausibly be contended that a completely invulnerable Franco-German entente would not be possible outside a general European federation.

The smaller movement was 'featured' in the course of the twelvemonth by the provisional FrancoGerman commercial agreement of August, by the formation of the West European Iron and Steel Trust, by sundry conversations looking to combinations of other French and German interests similar to the steel cartel, and by the famous trout luncheon at Thoiry (of a politico-economic bouquet). The larger movement was 'featured' by the first Pan-European Congress, held at Vienna in October under the inspiration and direction of Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, whose book, Pan-Europe (which everyone should read), is the manifesto of the movement; and by a 'plea' signed by international bankers of note and captains of commerce and industry and a similar document issued by the International Chamber of Commerce at Paris, urging general leveling of European economic barriers.

Perhaps the the Count exaggerates (though I do not think so) the military danger to a Balkanized Europe from a recovered and imperialistic Russia. Be that as it may, continuance (and, by the same token, exacerbation) of the intestine economic strife would alone suffice to wreck European civilization. It is difficult to answer the arguments that the strife may only be ended by federation and that only by federation may Europe hold her own in the industrial and commercial competition with those great federations,

the United States of America and the British Commonwealth of Nations. Note, please, that the concept 'PanEurope' excludes the British Isles and Russia, but includes the colonies of the Pan-European States; by which inclusion such a federation should be practically self-sufficing as to foodstuffs and raw materials.

You say the conception is Utopian? It is not. To be sure, man is such a ninny that it will probably not be realized. But it is not Utopian; it is, in fact, under cold consideration by statesmen, bankers, and captains of industry and trade. The French Government was officially represented at the First Pan-European Congress. The President of the Reichstag and the President of the Reichsbank are ardent champions of the Pan-European idea. These be grand matters, whereof I might only touch the fringe.

Realization of Pan-Europe would go far, very far, toward ending war on this planet; and of course only a prime scoundrel could wish otherwise. Yet for the passing of war as chivalrously waged wistful regrets will persist, pace the Pacifists.

I had a dream the other night as follows:

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Behold a highway flanked with cypresses and aspens, and a sign with an arrow and the inscription 'To Lethe.'

But who are these, this gallant mounted company? Slowly they pass, with downcast mien, while

In the white aspens sad winds sing.

Hector and Achilles, Eneas and Turnus, Lancelot and Tristram, Si Peh and T'ai Tsung, Roland and Oliver, Richard Cœur de Lion and Saladin, the Black Prince and Bayard, Percy and Douglas, Sidney and Garcilaso de la Vega: all the noblest heroes of war and tournament. Once Sir Lancelot broke out with a 'Tirra lirra,' but his

voice suddenly died in his throat. They are gone the road to Lethe. As the cavalcade passes from view, a glimpse of the Spirit of Locarno wistfully smiling and waving adieu.

VI

Though by royal decree the Military Directorate was abolished last December and civilian government of sorts (in what you might call an Hispano-Pickwickian sense) restored in Spain, Primo de Rivera has remained at the head of affairs; his subordinates in the Government (mostly military men, if you please) being drawn from the new party, the Patriotic Union, organized by him to carry forward under 'a restored régime of constitutional normality the programme of the Military Directorate.

The programme is an admirable one, but in the expression quoted one scents that rich, woody odor made familiar to us by American party platforms; the odor, namely, of bunkum. For there was n't any 'régime of constitutional normality' to restore; the old constitutional system being a prepreposterous sham. However, bunkum waived, it would seem that the Marqués proposes to bestow upon the Spanish people a measure of representation in the form of a 'National Assembly.' The precise character of the proposed body has not been disclosed, but apparently a leaf has been taken out of Mussolini's book, and the representation is to be on the basis of occupational interests.' Oh, no! the Italian text has not been slavishly copied the new body will be quite Hispanic; just as Spanish Gongorism, though deriving its inspiration from Italian Marinism, was yet emphatically of the Cosas de España.

For the rest, the Marqués has probably made all the progress possible

toward realization of his programme in face of multitudinous obstructions; of which, not Catalonian separatism, nor insubordination and hugger-mugger intrigue in the services, nor clerical obscurantism, nor this nor that, but the deservedly famous Spanish inertia, is the chief. Something he has done and much more has been definitely planned in respect of irrigation; the same as to education. He is now addressing himself to the grand task of fiscal reform; next to reform of the services, the chief desideratum for Spain. He must proceed warily as to both; softly, most softly, as to the latter, as results from his initial efforts have demonstrated. Many will have it that his hold of power is most precarious. I opine, to the contrary, that his seat is firm enough. Wish, however, may be father to the thought; for I consider Spain happy in his leadership. Call him Dictator, if you like. But there are dictators and dictators. Most of them, to be sure, pests, as we have had sufficient occasion within the last decennium to note; but now and then, in the course of the rolling centuries, a good one, answerable to the temporary need of his country. Such an one, it seems to me, is Primo de Rivera; cool, sensible, magnanimous, and (most precious of qualities in a dictator) humorous. Though pointed toward efficiency, he lacks fanaticism in that sense. Like Confucius, but unlike B. Mussolini, he 'is not desirous to have things done quickly, lest they be not done thoroughly'; he is a Confucian man.

The foreign policy of Primo de Rivera is pacific and nonimperialistic, but he has conceived for Spain a far more splendid rôle than her old imperial one; namely, that of leadership of what might be called an Hispanic Spiritual Commonwealth. It was in that imagined capacity that Spain

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