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Vol. IV. No. 26
The Weekly News-Magazine
December 29, 1924
THE PRESIDENCY Mr. Coolidge's Week
Π The President appointed Joseph W. McIntosh of Illinois to succeed Harry M. Dawes (brother of Charles G.), resigned as Comptroller of the Currency.
John Coolidge, father of the President, decided not to go to the White House for the holidays.
In the White House grounds, Mr. Coolidge spoke to delegates to the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety called by Secretary Hoover. Said the President: "If the death and disaster that now fall upon innocent people through the year and over our country as a whole were concentrated into one calamity, we would shudder at the tremendous catastrophe. The loss is no less disastrous because diffused in time and space."
Will H. Hays, cinema tsar and onetime Postmaster General, dropped in at the White House. The President invited Secretaries Weeks and Wilbur to come over for a consultation. Subject: Aircraft purchases for the Army and Navy. Mr. Hays, when a member of the Cabinet, had worked over the Air Mail Service in its infancy.
The first state dinner of the season was given to the Cabinet. Mr. Coolidge saved the Government some money by having it prepared by the White House chef instead of by the usual caterer. There were 46 guests, including all the members of the Cabinet and their wives except Mr. and Mrs. James J. Davis, who are in South America (TIME, Nov. 17).
Senators Warren, Borah, Wadsworth, Butler, Curtis; Representatives Snell, Sanders (Ind.), Madden, Longworth; Colonel George Harvey, Director of the Budget Lord, John Hays Hammond, C. Bascom Slemp were included. Most of those who had wives brought them. Some of the unattended ladies were Representative Mae E. Nolan, Mrs. Eugene Hale (mother of Senator Hale of Maine and widow of Senator Eugene Hale), Mrs. Frederick Dent Grant (daughter-inlaw of the famed General), Mrs. Edward B. McLean (wife of the Washington publisher). Fiddler Albert Spalding and Tenor Ralph Errolle gave a musicale afterwards.
Three memorials to the late Calvin Coolidge Jr. are to be erected at Mercersburg Academy, his preparatory school: 1) A cross in the new chapel, given by Mrs. Coolidge; 2) a "sunshine corner," consisting of a
series of bird baths, a sundial, benches, flowers, shrubs, etc., suggested by Mrs. Coolidge for the campus; presented by the school; 3) a portrait of Calvin Jr. to be painted by an artist as yet un-named.
Representative Hays B. White of Kansas explained to the President the purpose of the Norris-White resolution (a proposed amendment to the Constitution) which would bring a President into office and a Congress into session within two months of their elections. (At present, a President takes office four months after an election; and a Congress does not meet until 13 months later unless called in special session.)
A delegation from the National Ski Association, including Senator Norbeck (S. D.), Representative Knutson, Kvale and Wefald (Minn.) and Minister Bryn of Norway, called at the White House and presented Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge each with a pair of skis. Out behind the White House office, they tied them on and were photographed.
The weekend on the Mayflower found Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge entertaining Secretary of Agriculture Gore, Eugene Meyer Jr. of the War Finance Corporation and four editors and their wives: William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette, G. Logan Payne of the Washington Times, George Harvey of the Washington Post and David Lawrence of the Consolidated Press. The amusements, besides the cruise on the Potomac, consisted of a cinema show, concerts by the Navy Band, conversation.
Mr. Coolidge telegraphed Mrs. Julius Kahn (see Page 7): "Your husband's death has caused mourning wherever his splendid services to his country were known. It was his fortune to possess the talent and the opportunity to do an incomparable work in connection with our country's participation in the World War."
The President wrote a letter and had four copies made of it. The copies were addressed respectively to the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Commerce (Weeks, Wilbur, Work, Hoover-see Page 5).
THE CABINET Policy and Precedent
Charles E. Hughes sat at his desk, enjoying his judicio-diplomatic calm. The world was spread out before his mind's eye. Before him was the western hemisphere; and the eastern hemisphere (on account of the peculiar arrangement with which the perplexing thing was made) stretched both east and west of the western hemisphere. To a less keen, less perceptive mind that arrangement would have seemed dumfounding.
Charles E. Hughes, Secretary of State, deliberately rolled his mind's eye, looking westward towards the East. It encountered strange architecture, temples sloping up to Heaven like pine trees; strange garments, gentlemanly petticoats and lady-like pantaloons; strange people with yellow skins and almond eyes; strange temperaments, gifted with power of emotion and inscrutability and the capacity to live by obscure philosophies. And the westward-looker pondered how best to win the amicable regard of these strange temperaments in curious bodies.
At that moment, an Emperor of the East was lifting a distinguished gentleman of an ancient oriental family to the high rank of Ambassador, was sending him to the U. S. to cope with the problem of how the East may understand the West. The U. S. Secretary of State pondered, for it rested with him to make the stay of this new Ambassador in a Western country a success in point of amity-a greater success than the mission of the oriental Ambassador's predecessor, who had blundered badly by using threatening language to the Senate of the U. S. Yes, really, better relations with Japan must be established through this new Ambassador.
Suddenly, a discordant sound impinged upon the Secretary's calm. In the House of Representatives, a member (Britten of Illinois) was rising to present a resolution calling for a conference of the "white nations bordering upon the Pacific" for unity of action against the aggression of Japan. To be sure, the House did not take the matter seriously; and several members condemned the proposition; but words once uttered go to the echo and come back. The Secretary was perturbed, beneath his calm, at the thought of that echo in Japan. He determined on a friendly action without delay. But what? The only pretext for a profession of friendship at that moment was apropos of the appointment of the new Japanese Ambassador to the U. S., who had not yet left Japan.
But precedent had placed an imaginary blindfold over the Secretary's eyes, saying: "Hear nothing of a new Ambassador, see nothing of a new Ambassador, speak nothing of a new Ambassador until he has brought his credentials in person to the President. Till then, he is invisible, intangible, nonexistent."
Then the Secretary of State had an idea. What better exhibition of friendship, what better proof of amity, what better gauge of good will, than to break a precedent?
The newspapermen trooped in and crowded about the Secretary's desk. Mr. Hughes gazed at them solemnly above his well-combed beard and dictated:
"Not only is Mr. Matsudaira [the new Japanese Ambassador] a diplomat of most distinguished service, but Japan has paid us a signal honor in selecting, as her Ambassador to this post, a man who, through himself and his wife, represents two of the most important and historically famous families of the Empire. I am convinced that we can look forward now to the most cordial relations with Japan and that these relations will be greatly facilitated by the mission of Mr. Matsudaira."
As the devil goes up in a cloud of smoke when the sign of the cross is made, so vanished precedent at these words. They echoed much more gaily in Japan than anywhere and came back from the mouth of Ambassador Matsudaira himself:
"I am very appreciative of the kind statement of Secretary of State Hughes welcoming me to America. I feel that it is another proof of the sincerity of the American Government to maintain most friendly relations with Japan, which reflects the true sentiment of the American people toward this country."
Filipino politicos like the dramatic gesture; and if it be a bit strained or ridiculous on the occasion, it is no matter to them. At home, they have found that the open sesame to election and reëlection, to political preferment and profit is to declare for Philippine independence above all things else. And if the declaration profits them little before the Secretary of War at Washington, they are not greatly put out.
Independence is a good thing, but it needs to be approached with circumspection, else in the capturing it yields and entirely vanishes. But many-a great many-Filipino politicians are not concerned with independence, for the advocacy of it gains their ends; and to
achieve independence would deprive them of their easiest road to office. So they play with the independence idea and, with a true gift for the dramatic, dress it in a thousand garbs and adorn it with a thousand gestures.
Now they squabble with the Governor General; now they send themselves a-junketing to Washington; always they play with the 1,000,000 peso "Independence Fund” voted annually by the legislature, from which they replenish their pockets without rendering account.
This year for Christmas they thought they would dramatize independence in a new yuletide comedy for their electorate. So they gathered their best minds together and with pen, ink and paper indicted a letter to the League of Nations' International Labor Bureau. They asked how they might join the Bureau and said that they hoped someday to join the League. Critics who like the Filipino people better than Filipino politicians picture the latter strutting before their constituencies with a New Year rodomondate: "One step more and we shall be a fullfledged member of the family of nations. We shall slap France upon the back, raise our hat to England-with a touch of hauteur to show we are her equal. We can be a trifle patronizing to our late, fortune-fallen master, Spain. As for this overbearing U. S., we shall cut him dead:"
a man only 30, gifted with an unusually accurate and comprehensive memory, who is also winning prominence. Attorney General Stone picked him out and promoted him, last week. Now the chair that was Flynn's and the chair that was Burns' is the chair of Hoover -the chair of the Director of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice.
John Edgar Hoover, born in the District of Columbia, was graduated from George Washington Law School; a member of the District bar, he was called upon seven years ago, when only 23, to be a special assistant to the Attorney General. That was in the day of a Democratic Administration. Working under Attorney General Palmer, young Hoover handled the 12gal arrangements of the cases by which the Government secured the deportation of Emma Goldman, of Alexander Berkman, of Ludwig Martens (the "Ambassador" of Soviet Russia). Later, he was transferred to the Bureau of Investigation where his remarkable memory was a great asset. When William J. Burns resigned as Director of the Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Hoover was made Acting Director. Attorney General Stone, casting about for a new Director, decided that he preferred a man trained in the Government service rather than one of the great private sleuths who have usually been given the place.
So, last week, John Edgar Hoover was sworn in, given the job.
The Legislative Week
Gave most of its attention to the Muscle Shoals Bill, passing on amendments and debating them at length.
Approved the terms for settling the War debts of Poland and Lithuania to the U. S.
C Passed a bill extending the life of the Foreign Debt Funding Commission for two years more (it was to have expired Feb. 9). (Went to House.)
Agreed by unanimous consent to take up the veto of the Postal Pay Increase Bill at the conclusion of routine business on Jan. 5, to limit debate, to dispose of it before 4 p. m. the next day.
Set aside Monday, Jan. 19, for memorial services for the late Senators Lodge, Brandegee, Colt.
Adopted unanimously a report of the subcommittee which had been appointed to examine into an editorial which had been published in Hearst papers attacking Senator Underwood and his Muscle Shoals Bill. Said the report: "No evidence was submitted, nor was it claimed that any evidence
existed, that in any way reflected upon the integrity, or honor or character of Senator Underwood. Your committee, therefore, presents to the Senate its condemnation of the editorial and the complete exoneration of Senator Underwood in the matter."
Passed a bill providing $100,000
WLLIAM GREEN -a Mason, an Elk, an Odd Fellow (See Column 3)
for the eradication of a European chicken pest which has infected poultry in a number of states and giving the Department of Agriculture power to fight all contagious diseases of poultry. (Went to House.)
Adjourned until Dec. 29.
Passed a bill prohibiting the sending of firearms through the mails. (Went to Senate.)
Approved the terms by which the debts of Poland and Lithuania to the U. S. are to be funded.
Refused to act on the Senate bill extending the life of the Foreign Debt Funding Commission on the grounds that it was financial legislation and therefore should constitutionally have been initiated in House.
Passed an omnibus pension bill left cver from last session. (Went to President.)
Debated and passed the appropriation bill for the Navy Department, carrying $300,000,000. (Went to Senate.)
Passed a bill authorizing the Postmaster General to maintain in operation all the present air-mail routes. (Went to Senate.)
Received from committee the report on the supply bill for the Treasury and Post Office Departments carry
ing an appropriation of $763,000,000the largest peace-time supply bill ever presented. The sum is divided $127,000,000 for the Treasury, $636,000,000 for the Post Office.
Passed the Senate bill appropriating $100,000 to fight the chicken pest. (Went to President.)
Adjourned until Dec. 29.
They laid Samuel Gompers to rest in a grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at Tarrytown, beside the Hudson. As the coffin was lowered, the white lambskin apron of a Master Mason was dropped upon it. There they left him, not far from the earthly remains of Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller, John D. Archbold.
Candidates. Next day, in Manhattan, the Executive Committee of the American Federation of Labor met and chose a successor to serve out Mr. Gompers' term. There were three candidates: James Duncan, for 30 years Mr. Gompers' lieutenant; Matthew Woll, President of the International Photo-Engravers Union; William Green, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Mine Workers of America, a man but recently come into prominence. All were Vice Presidents of the Federation and hence of the Executive Committee which chose the President.
The reason advanced for giving the office to Mr. Duncan was that he, aged 67, was a veteran who deserved recognition before his retirement. It was never contemplated that if he were chosen by the Executive Committee he should be given the office again at the annual convention next fall. Friends of Mr. Woll pointed out that he was youthful, that of all the candidates he had been closest to Samuel Gompers. It was known, further, that Mr. Gompers had wished that Mr. Woll should succeed him, although the latter belongs rather to the radical wing of the organization. William Green was the candidate of the mine workers and the carpenters, the two largest groups of the Federation. He belongs rather to the conservative wing, although not to the extreme conservatives.
President Green. Before the election was held, its result had practically been determined. Besides the support of the miners and the carpenters, Mr. Green had that of seven of the ten members of the Executive Committee. When the meeting opened, Mr. Duncan suggested that, by virtue of
his long service, he himself deserved the Presidency to round out his career. Then someone nominated Mr. Green, saying that it was necessary to choose a man who might be reelected by the convention of the Federation. No other nomination was made; and eight votes were cast for William Green (he and Duncan not voting). Then Mr. Duncan offered his resignation as Vice President, saying that he intended to retire.
William Green, native and resident of Coshocton, Ohio, son of English and Welsh parents, a miner at 16, active in the miners' organization since that time (except for four years in the Ohio Senate), is ruddy, bigchested, broad-shouldered, medium in size. Moreover, he is only 51. He has six children, five of them girls.
He is a Mason, an Elk, an Odd Fellow, a Baptist, a Democrat. For over ten years he has been SecretaryTreasurer of the United Mine Workers. He is quiet and rather retiring. His policy is nearer to that of Mr. Gompers than is that of Mr. Woll, Mr. Gompers' own protégé. He does not favor a third party or labor party. He has been active against communist propaganda and the extreme radicals in the labor movement. He has leaned to the progressive group in promotion of a Workers' Educational Bureau and in support of Government ownership of railways. But, on the whole, he is in the middle ground with a leaning toward the conservative wing.
The Pennsylvania Society of New York, desiring to convey an honor, invited U. S. Solicitor General James M. Beck to be its guest. It was incumbent upon Mr. Beck to make a speech, and he spoke on the Supreme Court.
"Once again," he asseverated, "the Supreme Court has survived a real crisis in its existence. A distinguished Senator, leading a new party movement In short, he recounted the history of last fall's campaign and declared that 28,000,000 voters supported the Supreme Court and 4,000,000 turned against it. He explained at length why he believed the Supreme Court has been "of all features of our Government . . . the most successful." He emphasized the importance of public confidence in the Court-and then made a proposal:
In accordance with the theory of the division of Governmental authority into Executive, Legislative and Judicial
branches, each entirely separate from the other, the Supreme Court makes a practice of rendering no decisions and giving no opinions except in legal cases brought under specific laws and involvng specific points. As a result, Congress, when it passes a law of dubious
JAMES M. BECK He made a proposal
constitutionality, is obliged to step out boldly into the dark.
The Constitution does not impose the duty of rendering advisory opinions upon the Court. Neither does it spccifically forbid such opinions. When Washington was President, he inquired of the Court whether a treaty made with Louis XVI of France was binding after the Revolutionary Government had taken over that country. Chief Justice John Jay declined to have the Court furnish an opinion because it was not a litigated case. Later, Virginia and Kentucky passed resolutions of nullification; and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton appealed to the Supreme Court for a decision. Again it refused to speak. A third appeal was made by President Monroe who asked, apropos of the Cumberland Turnpike Bill, whether Congress had authority to appropriate money for improvements wholly within a state. Then, for the first and only time, did the Supreme Court render an advisory opinion. It authorized one of the justices to notify the President of the Court's opinion-which was favorable.
There are some striking disadvantages in the practice of the Court in rendering decisions only in litigated cases. In 1820, Congress passed a law, the Missouri Compromise, which provided that all new states admitted to the Union
west of Missouri and north of 36° 30° should be free. Later-37 years laterthe Supreme Court nullified that compromise in the Dred Scott case which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Many other laws have thus hung in the balance between constitutionality and unconstitutionality for years at a time, always with the possibility of their being overruled after much mischief, perhaps, had been done by the belief that they were valid.
So Mr. Beck proposed that hereafter when Congress wishes to pass a law which the Supreme Court might overrule, it shall request the Supreme Court by a joint resolution, signed by the President, for an advisory opinion-or really an advance opinion. The Supreme Court in such a case would have a right to refuse. It could refuse if it believed it was being drawn into a partisan controversy. But, in uncontroversial questions, it could render great assistance. There would be no need to pass a new law to accomplish this, as there is the precedent established by President Monroe.
The courts of the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Florida, Colorado, South Dakota, as well as the courts of many European countries already render such opinions. Why not the Supreme court of the U. S.?-asked Mr. Beck.
ARMY & NAVY Naval Inquiry
There are two distinct schools of belief in regard to U. S. naval strength. One holds that the Navy is practically adequate needs a bit of repairing and some incidental building, but should be viewed with no alarm because of weakness. The other holds that our Navy is outranged, outweighed, outsailed by the British and, in no small measure, by the Japanese. The holders of the first opinion include the Administration. The holders of the second are more scattered. They have been represented in particular by William B. Shearer, onetime U. S. naval expert (TIME, May 12, 19, Nov. 24).
In the course of a number of speeches and statements designed to show the inadequacy of our Navy, Mr. Shearer has quoted letters alleged to have been written by naval officers who gave secret data from the files of the Naval
*This data was not particularly startling. One letter given out told that an enlisted man of the U. S. Navy had been aboard a British ship during practice two years ago and had seen the British ships firing at ranges of 30,000 yd. by flooding their blisters. Another told of a war game conducted by the Board of Strategy at the Naval War Col lege at Newport, R. I., in which a miniature British fleet sank the entire miniature U. S. fleet.
Last week, Secretary of the Navy Wilbur appointed a Board of Inquiry to investigate how this secret information escaped into the press. If the Board so recommends, court martial proceedings will be instituted.
Proposals to hold an investigation of the strength of the Navy by committees of the House and Senate, although pressed by a few members, appeared to have been sidetracked by wish of the Administration.
It was during the year 1845 that George Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy under President Polk, decided that there must be a school for training naval officers. So he went to the War Department and got it to sign over to the Navy the land on which had stood Fort Severn, at Annapolis, Md., and there on Oct. 10 of that year the U. S. Naval School was opened with Commander Franklin Buchanan as Superintendent. Five years later the school was reorganized and rechristened "The U. S. Naval Academy." There, where it first took root, the Academy has flourished ever since, save during the Civil War when it was temporarily transplanted to Newport, R. I.
Last week, Secretary of the Navy Wilbur announced the appointment of the 27th Superintendent of the Academy, Rear Admiral Louis McCoy Nulton, who is to succeed Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson, the present superintendent, who retires on Feb. 25.
The appointment to the Academy is generally reckoned a very good one and is well liked by naval officers. It is generally good for two or three years in pleasant surroundings and, although the post carries no extra pay, the Navy Department pays the expense of entertaining official visitors.
Rear Admiral Wilson, the retiring commandant, is a man of unusual charm. Under his superintendence the midshipmen at the academy have been allowed considerable more liberty than during previous régimes. Under previous Superintendents, midshipmen, except first class men, were not allowed to go into "town" or to smoke. Admiral Wilson has also allowed more holiday recesses. One of his contributions as Superintendent has been a great improvement in the grounds of the Academy.
Rear Admiral Nulton, a man of 55, a good disciplinarian, with a record of service in many branches of the Navy, is to step into Wilson's place. The new Superintendent was born in Winchester, Va., was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1889. At three periods since then he has been assigned to duty at the Academy. The last time, 1915
REAR ADMIRAL NULTON -good disciplinarian
tion put in effect last spring. The decrease in revenue from other taxes was mainly owing to the removal and cutting down of miscellaneous taxes by the new revenue law (whose income-tax rates do not become effective until Jan. 1).
President Coolidge wrote a letter to the public and addressed it to four members of his Cabinet-Secretaries Weeks, Wilbur, Work and Hoover. The substance of his announcement:
1) WHEREAS, the present method of producing oil is wasteful because it is impossible to conserve oil in the ground if a neighbor desires to take oil from his property;
2) WHEREAS, oil is a prime military necessity in so many ways that it may determine the supremacy of nations;
3) WHEREAS, a shortage of fuel and lubricating oil, let alone gasoline, would be disastrous to industry;
4) WHEREAS, we have rather an oversupply than an undersupply of oil from our 300,000 wells, and, whereas, oversupply produces cheapness and cheapness, waste;
5) WHEREAS, oil, of which the supply is limited, is rapidly taking the place of coal, and, whereas, coal, the supply of which is comparatively unlimited, cannot take the place of oil;
6) WHEREAS, the Government is one of the largest holders of undeveloped oil reserves;
7) WHEREAS, the oil industry might be trusted to work out its own problems according to the laws of supply and demand but that the welfare of the industry is so closely linked with industrial prosperity and national safety
The President, therefore, deems it proper to appoint a Federal Oil Conservation Board consisting of the Secretaries of War, Navy. Interior and Commerce to consider all phases of the problem with representatives of the industry and with the assistance of the commission appointed last March to investigate the limited problem of the future oil supply of the Navy.
Messrs. Weeks, Wilbur, Work, Hoover knitted their brows and thought: "Now the public knows what we're supposed to do."
To do homage to an octogenarienne, the Women's Peace Society of the Western Hemisphere summoned the representatives of half a dozen organizations to luncheon in Manhattan. The luncheon was in honor of the 80th birthday of the Chairman of the Women's