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The past week's session of the Fifth Assembly of the League of Nations was one of "alarums and excursions."
The stage was set for the interminable wrangling over the protocol of arbitration, security and disarmament, when news was flashed from Berlin that Dr. Gustav Stresemann, German Foreign Minister, quitted his sanitorium* bed, journeyed to the capital to take part in a memorable Cabinet meeting in President Ebert's Wilhelmstrasse residence, which ended in a unanimous decision to apply for membership in the League.
John Corbin, League correspondent for The New York Times, asked Count Harry Kessler, semi-official German delegate to the League Assembly and German delegate to the 1923 Williamstown Conference (TIME, Aug. 20, 1923), to explain the whys and wherefores of the German decision. Three questions were posed:
1) Has Germany demanded and will she be given a permanent seat in the League Council, placing her on an equality with England, France, Italy and Japan?
2) Has she demanded and will she be given a mandate to administer her former colonies lost as a result of the War?
3) Will she sign the protocol establishing arbitration, security and disarmament which binds the signatory nations to cooperate "loyally and effectively" to outlaw war?
The substance of Count Kessler's
1) Germany will receive a permanent seat on the Council as the result of diplomatic conversation, not as the result of a demand on her part.
2) Germany has not demanded a mandate to administer her lost colonies, nor will she make such a demand, "at least for the present."
3) Germany is a disarmed nation, as evidenced by the Interallied Committee on the Control of German Arms, which is continuing in enquiry in Germany. What arms there are in Germany are few and out of date, therefore Germany is incapable of cooperating "effectively," no matter how loyal she feels, in putting down aggression by force. More. over, she was not even in a position to permit a French army, for example, to tra verse German territory for the defense of the Little Entente against Russia; for such an action would incur Russia's enmity and might lay Germany open to an invasion which she would not be in a position to repel. The case in point was determinable, not by any lack of sympathy for the League, but by the "sheer facts of Germany's situation."
When Germany would apply for her League membership was a point left in fog of uncertainty. France, it is known, is against Germany's admittance until such time as the Interallied Control
*German wags asserted that Foreign Minister Stresemann's malady was due to the chastisements he had received at the hands of President Ebert and Chancellor Marx. He had previously opposed Germany's entrance into the League, but the unanimous decision of the Cabinet, quoted above, showed that he had fallen into line with his chiefs.
Mission has reported Germany to be disarmed. Such a report is almost certain to be made; but the report is not due until December. Germany is therefore, unlikely to make application before 1925.
The progress of the protocol on arbitration, security and disarmament was
"The greatest authority"
marred by a series of disruptive, though abortive incidents. New Zealand, YugoSlavia, Italy and Japan threw monkey wrenches of varying sizes into the protocol machinery. Through the masterly tact of Dr. Eduard Benes, Foreign Minister of Czecho-Slovakia, the situation was in each case-except that of Japan-saved. The waves of excitement of the Italian furore, in which France and Britain took a hand, were stilled by an allusion of Dr. Benes to Euclid-that as Italy was in agreement with Britain and that France agreed with Britain and that he agreed with Britain, it was axiomatic that they were all agreed.
The Council of the League of Nations received a recommendation from the friends of Miss Sarah Wambaugh, Doctor of Laws, daughter of Professor Eugene Wambaugh of Harvard, that she be appointed a member of the Governing Commission of the Saar Valley in room of the Spanish member, deceased. Miss Wambaugh, not yet 40. is thought by many close students of foreign affairs to be the greatest
authority on plebiscites in the world today.
Rights in the Saar Valley or Basin, a rich coal region, were obtained by France from Germany for 15 years in compensation for the destruction of coal mines in northern France during the War. At the end of the 15 years (1934) a plebiscite is to be held to decide whether the district is to be: 1) autonomous; 2) annexed by France; 3) reannexed by Germany.
(British Commonwealth of Nations)
Party leaders continued to oil election machinery.
Premier. In a speech at Derby, Premier Ramsay MacDonald defied the opposition to oust the Labor Government over the Anglo-Russian Treaty (TIME, Sept. 22, 29). The most important passages of his speech:
"One of the difficulties of settling with Russia is the legacy of Lloyd George. He levied war upon Russia, and Russia is putting in a counter-claim upon us. Some of Lloyd George's acts are still having a serious effect upon the international affairs of Europe.
"What could we do? We have not settled claims, but we drafted a document which we believe will settle these claims. We are not giving a loan to Russia. All we have done is to guarantee a loan, which is a little different.
"The loan is to be used for construction only. The loan which the Russian Government hopes to raise on the guarantee of the British Government will be largely spent in the purchase of material and goods in this country. It is a business arrangement. It is not complete but it is a beginning.
"If we are to have Europe pacified, we cannot have large countries outside the cooperating nations. We cannot bring peace to Europe if we leave Russia out. That is the biggest reason for these Russian treaties. We shall not ask the House of Com
*The word plebiscite comes from the Latin word plebiscitum, a decree of the plebs or common people. It was resurrected by the French during the Revolution and possibly its most famed application in modern history was in 1852 when the French coup d'état of 1851 was confirmed and the title of Emperor of the French given to Napoleon III. In Switzerland, under the name of referendum, the plebiscite has been in existence for a long time.
mons for a blank check. We shall state the amount and we shall ask Parliament to decide the conditions under which it will guarantee the loan, how it shall be spent and the securities that must be demanded.
"Our opponents say they will not have these treaties. Very well, so be it. Those opposed to these treaties are opposed to a settlement with Russia and trade with Russia. If the House of Commons will not allow us to make these treaties, the House of Commons had better censure us. Office is a great honor, but office has burdens; grandeur very soon goes and drudgery accumulates, which stays. Still, it is a great thing to have served one's country.
"If the House of Commons says we must go, in the words of one of my friends, it will be a happy message. But I do not think that the country wants a break. If we are forced to go, we shall go from the floor of the House of Commons to the public platform."
Platform. The Labor Party let it leak out that-in the event there comes a general election-its platform will embrace:
1) Bulk purchase and distribution at standard prices by the Government of principal commodities-a bold bid for popularity by promising cheaper food
2) Nationalization of the mines 3) Nationalization of power production (electricity, gas, etc.)
4) Continuance of the tax on land values
5) Acceleration of public works to provide employment-for five years the election cry of Conservatives and Liberals
6) Continuation of unemployment insurance.
The publication of these planks in the Labor platform, which are to be presented next week at a conference of the Party's executives, was thought by some to indicate that the schism within the Labor ranks was healed. Such was not necessarily the case; for Premier MacDonald is irretrievably bound to the Anglo-Russian Treaty-which is to be used as a lever to oust the Laborites (TIME, Sept. 29)-while Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Snowden is opposed to the financial clauses of the Treaty on the ground that the Government would be unable to finance the cheaper food scheme as contained in the above platform.
Churchill. Following ex-Premier Herbert H. Asquith's blunt excoriation of the Anglo-Russian Treaty as
"a crude experiment in nursery diplomacy," Winston Churchill, brilliant factotum to Governments, whose political credo now transcends mere party politics (he seceded from the Liberals and is denied membership with the Conservatives), presented a clear picture of the predominant issue of the generally envisaged general elections. Said he, speaking at Edinburgh:
"Certainly in a few months, possibly in a few weeks, a general election will be fought at which the citizens have to decide whether they wish to see a Socialist Government installed in office with an effective Socialist majority behind it."
Socialism, according to Mr. Churchill, is "bluntly, nakedly and unavoidably" to be the paramount issue. His object is clear; it is to coalesce Conservatives and Liberals into an anti-Socialist Party, thus involving a return to the two-party system.
"I challenge the official Liberal leaders to define in terms of principle, or to state specifically, the large practical measures which separate them fundamentally from their Unionist fellow-countrymen."
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon the point of view, Mr. Churchill is not taken seriously. His appeal for coöperation and persevering action among men of good sense" therefore fell upon many deaf ears, except in political circles, where "Winnie's" inimitable propensity for "bobbing up" is well known.
Parliament returned to the Palace of Westminter to pass a bill to enable the Government to appoint a commissioner for Northern Ireland on the Irish Boundary Commission (TIME, Sept. 29). Parliament will adjourn after this business has been settled and will meet again Oct. 23.
The Parliamentary position of this bill was most obscure. The Conservatives, sympathetic and bound by promises to the Ulsterites (people of Northern Ireland), are certain to move rejection of the bill; but the Liberals have already intimated that they will support the Government which means that it is sure to be passed in the Commons. To prevent passage of the bill, the Lords would have to move rejection and send the bill back to the Commons; and, as the Conservatives are in a majority in the Upper House, the motion would be sure to be carried if the latter voted en bloc.
The Lords' rejection would not, however, suit the Conservatives, because the Government could then take the bill to the country on the issue of abolition of the House of Lords. The "Shadow Cabinet" (Conservative) of ex-Premier Stanley Baldwin discussed this phase for a whole night, last week, without coming to any decision. It was believed Whitehall that the Conservatives would be permitted to vote independently, in which case there would be some likelihood of the measure passing the Lords.
Arrival. Premier Saad Zaghlul of Egypt arrived in London to confer with Premier Ramsay MacDonald upon the Sudan dispute. At Victoria Station, he and Mme. Zaghlul were hailed with enthusiasm by Egyptian students who lustily cried: "Long
live British Democracy! Egypt and the Sudan for the Egyptians! Representatives of the British Premier and Foreign Office met the Egyptian Premier; Londoners gave him a quiet, but friendly, welcome.
Interviewed, Saad Zaghlul Pasha
"I will find myself in the face of the greatest power in the world. I support myself upon the confidence of my country and the justice of my cause. I feel myself stronger. 1 have the greatest hope of arriving at a satisfactory accord; but if success does not reward my efforts, I will continue to fight by the way of law and justice."
Unless the aged Zaghlul Pasha succeeds in arranging a "favorable settlement" with Britain, his political future is precarious.
Three men. Before leaving the U. S. for Cairo a fortnight ago, Dr. J. Morton Howell, U. S. Minister to Egypt, gave his opinion of three men most closely concerned with Egyptian affairs:
King Fuad. "I have known King Fuad for three years, commencing with the time when he was Sultan, and have watched his activities with great interest. He is an able ruler and an upright and just man in all his dealings with his Ministers and his people. King Fuad I is a man in every way equipped to be a sovereign of the best type-and such he is. "It has been stated here that King Fuad was educated in Italy, and is anxious to leave Egypt and get back to Europe when he has made sure of getting a good portion of his present income as a civil pension in his retirement, and that he speaks Turkish and Arabic with a foreign accent. It is true that the ruler, of Egypt was educated in Italy; but it is untrue that he wishes to leave his throne and his people to return there. He has lived in Egypt for many years and speaks his native tongue like an Egyptian, and Turkish also.
"Reports have been circulated in America that many attempts have been made to assassinate King Fuad and that he is afraid for his life. This is also untrue. No attempt has been made upon the life of the King. He has great courage, which has won for him the respect of his Ministers and the affection of the Egyptian people."
Premier Saad Zaghlul. "Zaghlul is 77 years old and is not the demagog leader of the people that he was a few years ago, when he was fighting politically against England.
He felt stronger
He is Prime Minister and has heavy responsibilities on his shoulders, which make men think before they speak or act."
Lord Allenby. British High Commissioner for Egypt and the Sudan. "At present Lord Allenby, a man to whom the Egyptians are indebted for their independence in 1922, is conferring amicably with the Premier, Zaghlul Pasha; and I have no doubt that some agreement will be reached that will settle the questions in dispute between England and Egypt. . Despite all that has happened between Lord Allenby and the Premier, they are good friends, and entertain at each other's homes, and appear together frequently in public. Lord Allenby is 64 years old and a splendid man in every way. Both sides have been softened by experience and age."
History. Not during 6,000 years of history had Egypt claimed suzerainty over the Sudan until the year 1820 when Mehemet Ali, "barbarian of genius," and Sultan Mahmud II of Turkey succeeded in conquering the country. But even this victory was only nominal; for the Turko-Egyptians were never able to assert complete mastery over the country which they contemptuously called Bilad-esSudan, "country of the blacks." In 1882 came the revolt of the Mahdi, "Guide of Islam," aimed specifically at the Egyptians whose corrupt prac
tices were thoroughly despised. The regime of the Mahdi was later replaced by that of the Khalifa. Under the latter, the country sank from bad to worse-virtually to a sparsely populated and barren wilderness. Sixteen years after the rise of the Mahdi, the Sudan was conquered by British and Egyptian troops, under the able leadership of Sir H. H. (afterwards Lord) Kitchener. The next year, 1899, an Anglo-Egyptian condominum in the Sudan was established. Under the terms of this agreement, Britain claimed, "by right of conquest," a share in the legislation and administration of the country. This claim has ever since been asserted (TIME, Aug. 25). Moreover, during this period, Britain has rescued Egypt from the hands of the Turks, under whom she was a "tribute-paying viceroyalty"; and, from a British Protectorate, has made her a quasi-independent state with a King of her own.
Britain's Case. Since the year 1899, the whole face of the Sudanat present about one-third the size of the U. S. with a population just under 6 million people-has been changed. The most stupendous of British-built irrigation systems, by which the flow of the Nile is regulated, have greatly assisted the revitalization of the country. Naturally, Great Britain is adverse to renouncing her claims over such a territory.
Then there is the Suez Canal problem. The Canal is owned by an international company operating from Paris. Its defense was undertaken entirely by Britain, and, in order to defend it, a share in the government of the Sudan was a most necessary condition. Moreover, the Suez is the "Gate to India" and Britain is never likely to relinquish the key without a considerable struggle.
Lastly, there is a fine moral issue. Britain is bound by promises given to the Sudanese people. Premier MacDonald recently said: "It must clearly be understood that Great Britain cannot throw off its responsibilities contracted to the Sudan and the Sudanese by withdrawing and handing the government of that country to any other government. We must stand by the people of the Sudan; we have a moral obligation to them."
This summarized the normal British point of view. Of course there are the extreme Imperialists who visualize the Sudan as a great cottongrowing area and advocate the development of the country under purely British auspices and in terms far
from conciliating to the Egyptians.
Egypt's Case. The Egyptian point of view is more complicated. Aside from questions which affect Egypt proper such as the maintenance of British troops at Cairo, Alexandria and other points, the right which Britain has reserved to herself to protect foreigners in Egypt and the British guarantee of defense against foreign aggression-the Sudan problem resolves itself into a straight demand for exclusive control of the country by Egypt.
So far as the Nationalists are concerned, the basis of this demand rests upon a geographical claim which, although unsupported ethnographically, is borne out by the fact that the two countries would form a single and convenient political entity. Moreover, they claim that it is unnecessary for Britain to maintain a garrison on Sudan territory for the protection of the Suez Canal.
Aside from these specious arguments, which only color the picture, the real casus foederis is the promise, made at the time Britain relinquished her Protectorate over Egypt (TIME, Apr. 28, 1923), that the whole question of the Sudan would be reserved for later settlement. The Moderates recognize that Britain has rights in the Sudan, but "what are those rights?" What is Britain's legitimate share in the administration of the Sudan now that Egypt is supposed to be an independent country? Does not the willingness of the British Government to settle the future status of the country imply some compromise? What is the real claim of Egypt? Britons answer that capital in the country has largely been supplied by Britain; that she has a claim "by right of conquest." The Egyptians feel they are competent to carry on the administration of the country, which they conquered in 1820 and administered until the arrival of the Mahdi. They make it a question of national honor-a strong and powerful argument with the Egyptians.
The Egyptian Extremists assert, however, that the British irrigation schemes in the Sudan will cut off the water supply of the Nile in Egyptian territory. As Egypt is predominantly an agricultural country, this would be a fatal blow. As a matter of fact, as the British have pointed out, not "one single pint" of water would be kept from Egypt. Those in authority on both sides well know this.
These are some of the conflicting points of view-the reconciliation of
which is to be attempted by Britain (French Foreign Office), delivered a and Egypt.
Having shaken the U. S. dust off his feet (TIME, Sept. 29), Lord Ren frew set foot on the soil of Canada.
Montreal. "God bless Eddie cried a lusty voice. The Baron raised his hat in acknowledgement. That was his informal welcome to Canada. He remained aboard his train and busied himself, between posings for camera men, in answering cables.
Ottawa. At the station he was greeted by Premier MacKenzie King and a crowd of several hundred. Said Renfrew to the Premier: "I had a most pleasant stay in the U. S. Everywhere I was given the finest hospitality and my wishes as to quietness and privacy were respected most assiduously. However, I am very glad to get back to Canada and feel at home again."
Winnipeg. Mayor Farmer, rounded by a host of officials, met the Baron. He hurried to a squash racquets club, enjoyed a game with Colonel Arthur Sullivan, lunched at the Fort Garry Hotel and three hours after his arrival was speeding toward Calgary.
Calgary. Having completed a 2,700mile journey, Renfrew alighted from his car and set foot in Calgary. After a stay of only a few minutes, he was driven to the E. P. Ranch near High River in view of the foothills of the Rockies.
E. P. Ranch. Attired in servicable khaki breeches, Stetson hat and an old tweed coat, Lord Renfrew expressed himself glad to be "at home." His first days were given over to inspecting the improvements which have been carried out on his ranch.
Rumors. It was rumored that the Baron would leave his ranch early in October in order to visit Jasper National Park in the Rockies, and Victoria. Starting his return trip about the middle of the month he will, it was said, "make short visits to several Canadian towns, including Toronto, before coming to Manhattan to catch the Mauretania on Oct. 22."
The German Chargé d'Affaires in Paris called at the Quai d'Orsay
protest against the French imposition of a 26% import tax on German goods.
The German view-point was that the tax would interfere with the working of the Experts' Plan and would otherwise complicate trade relations between the two countries.
The French contention was that Britain has imposed, for some years, a 26% import tax on German goods without complicating trade relations. France was determined, said M. Laroche, political director of the Quai d'Orsay, to put the new tax into effect. He pointed out that the Experts' Plan would not be interfered with. On the contrary, it would be helped. The tax would, said he, partially solve the transfer of reparation payments, because France would collect the tax from the French importer and apply the amount on the account of reparations due from Germany; while the importer would send only 74% of the bill to the German exporter. The German Government would, therefore, be able to reimburse the exporter in German money without causing the least strain on the exchange value of the mark.
Tremendous storms raged in southeastern France. Rain, driven with cyclonic volume, washed away railway tracks, flooded railway stations. As a train passed over a bridge near the city of Orange, the structure collapsed; engineer and fireman were killed. Telephonic and telegraphic communications were severed. Lightning caused heavy damage.
The failure of the French Governor of Guadeloupe to make a report on a recent bombing outrage, which occurred during an election, caused the Minister of the Colonies to despatch last week a warship to the island. Meanwhile, the Governors of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guiana and Réunion have been summoned to Paris for a conference on reforms.
D'Artagnan, hero of Dumas' The Three Musketeers, is to be honored by the citizens of Auch in Gascony by the erection of a statue. D'Artagnan, Captain of the King's Musketeers, was. in reality, Charles de Baatz Castelmore, born at Meymes, near Aignan.
The emancipation of Turkey from the doctrines of the Koran seems to be a cardinal policy of Turkish Republicanism. First, the sale of alcoholic stimulants was permitted (TIME, Mar. 10, 1923), although the Koran forbids it; second, Turks were made monogamous by passage of a law (TIME, Aug. 18), although the Koran permits a man four wives; now, a movement is on foot to erect, at Angora, a gigantic equestrian statue of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, President of Turkey, although the Koran proscribes representation of living beings in any form whatever.
The latter infraction of the Mohammedan religion was made known by Moukbil Kemal Bey, the famed Turkish architect who superintended the reconstruction of the Mosque of Omar at Jerusalem and the Mosque of Mohammed at Medina and who has designed many public buildings at Constantinople and Angora, the new capital of Turkey,
Moukbil Kemal Bey arrived, recently, in Manhattan sketches and designs for the Mustafa Kemal statue. Naturally he journeyed to Stamford, Conn., and there con
*Spain exercises over a strip of the northern coastline of Morocco, known as the Spanish zone, a Protectorate in the name of Sultan Mulai Yusef, 17th of his dynasty. 36th lineal escendant of Ali, the Prophet Mohammed's son-in-law. He is known to his subjects as Amir-el-Mumenin, meaning Prince of True Believers.
SCULPTOR BORGLUM Sculpt Mustafa?
will take back to Turkey for approval. The definite acceptance of any plan will not be made for the present; but there is every prospect, it was said, of a $20,000 statue of the great Mustafa, "made in America," adorning the city of Angora.
A discussion, which aroused all Rome, hinged upon whether the Opposition would take its seats during the next session of Parliament. Because of the Matteotti murder (TIME, June 23, et seq) and because Mussolini will not dismiss his Fascisti militia, the Opposition declared it would not sit in Parliament. Whether or not the Opposition takes its seats is an irrelevant point hardly worthy of discussion. The Fascisti, according to the provisions of the new electoral law, have a two-thirds majority of the seats and can, therefore, pass any measure which has Government support.
In the U. S.
The Nuovo Paese (Rome Journal), professed to know which way the wind is blowing in the U. S. Discussing the coming Presidential election, the paper said:
"After voluntary isolation, the
The estuary of the Neva, which flows through Leningrad, former Petrograd, née St. Petersburg, gulped down vast quantities of fresh sea water from the Gulf of Finland, submerged three-quarters of the city. Ten lives were lost. Then the estuary spued back the water; life in the city became normal, but damage was done to the extent of millions of dollars. A cyclone caused the flood.