Skip to main content

Full text of "Inviting war to America"

See other formats



)R . I.'ALBC 


Books by Allan L. Benson 


(See descriptions at the back of this book) 







COPYRIGHT, 1915-16, BY 















HAPPY? 162 








T N this country, at this moment, is being made what 
* is perhaps the greatest attempt of its kind in all 
history to stampede a nation into committing an act 
of monumental folly. For many years, the interests 
that believed they could derive profit, in one way 
or another, from making this a great military power 
have been trying to make it a great military power. 
So long as we retained our sanity, they had but mod- 
erate success. 

We are now about to learn whether greed, mas- 
querading as patriotism and operating upon our fears, 
can accomplish what thus far we have prevented greed 
from doing. The war in Europe has been seized by 
our militarists as the -club with which to drive us 
into camp. We were more or less deaf when, in 
times of profound world-peace, they talked to us 
of love of country and tried to get us to arm. Hav- 
ing talked love and failed, they are now talking fear. 
We are invited to behold Belgium, as we are also 
admonished to beware her sad fate, and the militar- 
ists who once demanded only a great navy, now de- 



mand a great army, as well. The greatest publicity- 
machine that was ever set in motion is now running 
at top-speed to spread fear to the smallest and most 
remote hamlet in our land. 

Our national history contains the record of no 
crisis so grave as this. Not even the secession of the 
Southern States was so freighted with horrible pos- 
sibilities. What we are facing is the danger of mili- 

Opponents of "preparedness" cannot be convicted 
of lack of patriotism. The most of which they might 
be convicted is lack of sense. But the advocates of 
militarism are not so fortunately circumstanced. The 
militarists, unlike their opponents, are not disinter- 
ested. The peace advocates have nothing to gain by 
not building a greater navy and summoning a vast 
army, while the militarists have much to gain if they 
can put through their program. However much they 
may protest their patriotism, the militarists cannot 
escape the fact that some of them would derive hun- 
dreds of millions of profits from a plunge into "pre- 
paredness," while the capitalist class as a whole craves 
great military establishments with which to force 
its way more deeply into the markets of the world. 
The great personal profits at stake properly place some 
of the militarists under suspicion. If their motives 
are pure, examination cannot make them rotten. If 
their motives are rotten, examination may save the 
country from disaster. 

Consider the significant fact that while the mili- 
tarists declare defense to be their only purpose in 
urging "preparedness," their pretensions are belied by 
the kind of weapons they advocate. Their preten- 
sions are also belied by the weapons they do not ad- 


vocate. It is more than passing strange that men 
who talk so much about defense are so little inter- 
ested in purely defensive measures and eagerly alert 
only when the instruments of offensive warfare are 

A case in point is that of Mr. Edison. The in- 
ventive genius of Mr. Edison no man will deny. The 
militarists are not only willing but eager to utilize 
it. Mr. Edison is, indeed, the chairman of the board 
of scientists and inventors who have been summoned 
to strengthen our military machinery. But Mr. Edi- 
son is more than an inventor he is a man and an 
American. As an American he has both interest in 
our country's welfare and ideas as to what should 
be the nature of its equipment for defense. He has 
expressed these ideas repeatedly and at length. He 
expressed them early in the summer of 1915 in an 
extended interview in the New York World. That 
they were not hasty conclusions, as hastily abandoned, 
is proved by the fact that he repeated them frequently 
during the summer and again in October to Chicago 
reporters while he was en route to the Panama-Pacific 
Exposition. When asked to "give his idea" of what 
America should do toward preparedness, a Chicago 
despatch to the New York Times quoted him as fol- 

"Well," he replied reflectively, "my idea of that 
may not be just the same as the idea of many people. 
Let me see. Consider the great amount of powder 
being shot off on the European battle front every day. 
I would build great factories in which twice as much 
powder as that could be manufactured. I would locate 
and have stored away enough material to make up 
the powder. Then I would not make it. I would 


have everything ready, so that within forty-eight 
hours I could go ahead turning it out. 

"Then as to shells : I think it is a wasteful thing 
to make shells on lathes, as they make them now. 
We should get up shell machines for making them 
rapidly and in enormous quantities. Then I would 
grease the machines up and store them away with a 
great quantity of steel billets, ready to be worked up 
on short notice. In fact, I would make my prepara- 
tion potential, and I would do it right away. The 
proposition should not be a military one at all. I 
don't like this military idea at all. It should be done 
solely on an economical basis a business basis. 

"Building these powder factories and these ma- 
chines and ammunition factories wouldn't cost much. 
But I would keep this in mind in preparing to make 
stores and ammunition. I would prepare to turn out 
right along twice as much as is being used now on the 
whole European battlefield then not make it. 

"Now as to actual fighting. I would rather use 
machines than men. A man is only a man, after all. A 
machine can be easily as good as twenty men. Then 
one man, using it, is as good as twenty men. He 
should be at least that good if he is an American. 

"America is the greatest machine country in the 
world, and its people are the greatest machinists. They 
can, moreover, invent machinery faster and have it 
more efficient than any other two countries. It is a 
machine nation; its battle preparation should be with 

"I am down on military establishments. A stand- 
ing army is not worth anything unless it is on a war 
footing, which is absurd. We do need an enormous 
number of trained officers and drill sergeants, how- 


ever. These should be trained right along, even more 
than apparently would be needed, then turned back 
into industry. 

"They should be kept in touch at stated intervals 
with the latest things in warfare, so that they would 
be ready as soon as telegraph and railroad could sum- 
mon them to go into active service. We can gamble 
on a volunteer army because the American is the 
quickest-minded human being in things mechanical. 
He could learn the use of machinery of war with 
sufficient despatch." 

Mr. Edison, in his Chicago interview, did not dis- 
cuss the navy, but in earlier interviews he had advo- 
cated the education of a greater number of officers 
who should spend a certain number of weeks each 
year in practice aboard ship, and then return to indus- 
trial pursuits, where their scientific education should 
be of great value. Except during such drills, our 
warships, he said, should be tied up at docks, with 
nobody aboard except watchmen. In the hour of 
need officers and crew, at the tick of a telegraph 
instrument, should hasten to their ships. 

Mr. Edison's ideas are obviously purely defensive. 
What reception did they receive from the administra- 
tion at Washington or from the ammunition and gun 
manufacturers who assert that they wish only to 
defend the country? Mr. Edison's ideas were utterly 
ignored. Though Mr. Edison is the head of the 
government's great defensive board of scientists and 
inventors, his personal ideas of what should consti- 
tute our defenses were given no more consideration 
than as if they had come in a letter from an un- 
known man. Mr. Edison denounced a standing army, 
yet the same newspapers that contained his Chicago 


interview also contained the announcement from 
Washington that Secretary Garrison had formulated 
a plan to increase the army to 540,000 men, exclusive 
of the National Guard of the various states. 

Why is Mr. Edison, in matters of defense, so wise 
one moment and so unwise at others? Why do the 
munitions patriots regard him as wise when he is 
inventing things that might be used in offensive war- 
fare and foolish when he is discussing defensive meas- 
ures that could not be used for offense? 

If it be assumed that the munitions patriots are 
frauds and that they and the other capitalists of this 
country are trying to frighten us into filling their 
pockets with money, the reasons for the treatment of 
Mr. Edison's suggestions for defense become plain. 

If the munition patriots are frauds, they would 
naturally oppose Mr. Edison's plan to prepare to 
make twice as much ammunition as is being used in 
Europe "and then not make it." If such great fac- 
tories were to be built, raw materials assembled, then 
the machinery greased so it would not rust and the 
doors locked, obviously the government would have 
to build the factories and manufacture its own mu- 
nitions of war, since private individuals would not 
care to build plants and lock them up, perhaps for 
twenty years or more. If the munitions patriots are 
mere grafters in search of loot from the public treas- 
ury, they would naturally withhold approval from any 
plan that, if in effect, would cut off their loot. But 
if the munitions patriots are really patriots, and if 
they really believe the country is in danger of attack, 
why should they withhold approval from a plan that, 
if in effect, would give at the time of need the maxi- 
mum amount of ammunition at the minimum cost? 


It is such facts as these that the American people 
must not alone consider but correctly appraise if they 
are to avert national disaster by giving the right an- 
swer to the question as to whether we shall proceed 
to become a heavily armed nation. If we were in 
danger and only more defenses could save us, we 
should have more defenses. If we are in danger, 
why is it that the men who are shrieking so loudly 
of our peril are so languidly interested in purely de- 
fensive measures that are also without graft for pri- 
vate individuals? 

Either the danger is less than they say it is, or their 
desire for personal profit is so great that it over- 
shadows their patriotism. 

One or the other of these possibilities is a fact. 
No submarine was ever more tightly caught in a 
steel net than these gentlemen are caught in this 
reasoning. They cannot have their patriotism and 
eat it too. If they love their country, they will not 
try to pick its bones. If they believe it is in danger 
they will not stand in the way of its defense at the 
least possible cost. If they are mere grafters who, 
for their private profit, are trying to frighten the 
people into consenting to militarism, they will prob- 
ably continue to do as they have long done and are 

Having in mind the success of the Germans, for 
more than a year, in standing off the entire British 
navy with mines and submarines scattered along the 
German coast, I once ventured to suggest the advis- 
ability of protecting our own coasts with such instru- 
ments, instead of with dreadnoughts. The idea 
seemed to me to be worthy of consideration, not alone 
because German mines have proved so successful, but 


for the further reason that mines planted in home 
waters and exploded from shore by electric current, 
are not a menace to any nation that remains at home, 
nor would the laying of mines by one nation cause 
any other nation, in self-defense, to increase either 
its fleet or the extent of its mine-fields. Mr. Finly 
H. Gray, a member of the House Committee on Naval 
Affairs, after reading the article, kindly sent me a 
transcript of certain official testimony in which Ad- 
mirals Fiske and Fletcher, in reply to Mr. Gray's 
questions, had admitted that with mines, submarines 
and land guns, the Panama Canal, with no American 
ship present, could be held against the largest naval 
force that could be sent against it. After the publi- 
cation of these facts, one of the Washington newspa- 
per correspondents went to the Navy Department to 
ask why mines, supplemented by submarines, were not 
better defensive weapons than dreadnoughts. Secre- 
tary Daniels was not at the department when the cor- 
respondent called, so the question was put to Assist- 
ant Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt. I quote from 
the report of the correspondent : 

"Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt said 
that the defense of the entire coast of the United 
States by means of mines would be impracticable. 
When his attention was called to the testimony of 
Admirals Fletcher and Fiske with regard to the Pan- 
ama Canal, Mr. Roosevelt said that while a harbor 
could be completely protected by mines and coast de- 
fense guns, it would not be possible to defend a long 
coast line in that way. He said that in the event of 
war, an enemy desiring to capture or destroy the 
canal would naturally make a landing at sx>me part 
cjf the coast not belonging to the United States, say 


Costa Rica or Panama, and would march thence to 
the canal. 

"In regard to mining the Atlantic coast, Mr. Roose- 
velt said that to be effective, mines must be laid fifty 
feet apart. One could easily make a calculation, he 
said, as to the number of mines that would be required 
to lay only one line along the Atlantic coast. In 
practise, several lines would have to be laid, and Mr. 
Roosevelt said the work would take years. Ocean 
currents, winds and other natural conditions, he said, 
would make it very difficult to keep mines at certain 
places on the coast." 

Mr. Roosevelt's interview is reproduced here to 
show how the desire of the militarists for weapons 
with which offensive warfare can be waged is power- 
fully reen forced by the conservatism of the men who 
stand high in our navy. These charges lie, for the 
most part, against the professional men in the navy, 
one of whom I shall soon use as an illustration, but 
for the present let us consider Mr. Roosevelt, who 
speaks with all the stolid obstinacy of a sea-dog, 
though he is but 33 years old, was educated to be a 
lawyer, and a few years ago was nothing but rather 
a useless member of the New York legislature. Mr. 
Roosevelt is a member of the Army and Navy and the 
Metropolitan clubs in Washington, one of which, as 
its name indicates, is a professional fighting men's 
club, where only orthodox ideas with regard to mili- 
tary measures and weapons are ever heard, and the 
other is an ultra-exclusive social club which, in large 
part, is composed of, or at any rate seasoned with, high 
military personages from both the army and the navy. 
So, plainly, all that Mr. Roosevelt knows about naval 
defense matters, if he knows anything, he has picked 


up around Washington during the last year or two, 
from men whom he is now parroting. He is of 
momentary importance only because he is functioning 
as a parrot. 

Let us first consider Mr. Roosevelt's statement that 
mines, in order to be effective, "must be laid fifty 
feet apart," that "one could easily make a calculation 
as to the number of mines that would be required to 
lay only one line along the Atlantic Coast" and that 
"in practise," several lines would be required. 

The cost of a mine containing approximately 500 
pounds of gun-cotton enough to blow up the largest 
warship that ever was made is $200. 

If such mines were to be laid fifty feet apart, 106 
mines would be required to lay a single line a mile 
long. If three rows were laid, side by side, the 
mines being so placed as to leave a minimum opening 
between any two of approximately eight feet, the 
number of mines required to the mile would be 

To put three rows of mines along 2,000 miles of 
coast would require 636,000 mines which, at $200 
each, would cost $127,200,000. 

If the cost of anchoring each mine ten feet below 
the keel of the deepest-draught vessel were equal to 
the cost of the mine itself (and that seems a generous 
figure), the cost of laying the mines would be $127,- 
200,000 more. 

The total cost of putting three rows of mines along 
2,000 miles of coast would therefore be $254,400,000. 

The administration, it is announced, will this year 
ask for a naval appropriation of $246,000,000, and 
during the next five years it is planned to expend for 
new fighting craft $500,000,000 in addition to the cost 


of maintenance of the present fleet, which will amount 
to $700,000,000 more. 

For this enormous sum one billion, two hundred 
millions we shall have paid the regular running ex- 
penses of our fleet and added to it ten dreadnoughts 
at $18,000,000 each, with an appropriate number of 
supplementary craft. 

The same amount of money would put six rows of 
mines along 4,000 miles of coast. The navy we shall 
have five years hence, if the present program be 
carried out, will still be smaller than the British navy 
and, if Germany should take a building spurt, might 
be little or no larger than the German navy. With 
which kind of defense should we feel most nearly 
safe a navy that would be smaller than Britain's 
and not much if any larger than Germany's, or with 
six rows of mines along 4,000 miles of coast? 

If we build the dreadnoughts, there will be pre- 
cisely as much reason, five years hence, for building 
ten more as there is now reason for building ten. If 
we lay six rows of mines, they will still be there in 
five years and we shall not be compelled to lay six 
additional rows merely because Germany may have 
added six rows to the mine fields along her coast, or 
because Great Britain may have built a score of dread- 

Mr. Roosevelt said the work of laying mines "would 
take years>" Indeed ! The work of achieving national 
safety by building dreadnoughts takes no time. It is 
mere child's play. We have been at it fifteen years, 
during which time our navy has cost us sixteen hun- 
dred million dollars, with the result that according 
to the war-alarmists, we are as far away as ever from 
bur goal of safety. 


Mr. Roosevelt also calls attention to ocean currents, 
winds, "and other natural conditions" which would 
make mines "impracticable." Of course, there are 
no difficulties about the dreadnought plan. Mines do 
not sink them, nor does the constant progress of 
invention make them out of date almost before the 
paint on them is dry. The dreadnought policy, we 
may gather from Mr. Roosevelt's remarks, presents 
no great obstacles, but "ocean currents, winds and 
other natural conditions" would raise the dickens with 
mines. Mr. Roosevelt talks like a great lawyer. 

Yet Mr. Roosevelt, a few days after this interview, 
expressed himself in quite a different vein. On Octo- 
ber 5, 1915, in an article that he wrote for a syndicate 
of Western newspapers, he said: 

"Strictly speaking, if national defense applies solely 
to the prevention of an armed landing on our Atlantic 
or Pacific coasts, no navy at all is necessary." 

And then Mr. Roosevelt added : 

"But if defense means also the protection of the vast 
interests of the United States as a world nation, its 
commerce, its increasing population and resources in 
Alaska and other territory cut off from the United 
States except by sea, its 'mankind benefiting* enter- 
prises like the Panama Canal, then and then only 
does a navy become necessary. And if a navy is neces- 
sary the success of that navy against any other naval 
power demands that it be able to receive and repel 
an attack in force anywhere on the high seas within 
that sphere in which American interests lie." 

There are the cards on the table. To get a big 
navy, these gentlemen try to frighten you with the 
specter of invasion, but what they really want is a big 
navy with which to safeguard their present and pros- 


pective foreign investments and force into foreign 
markets American goods that are needed at home and 
could be consumed at home if our workingmen were 
paid enough wages to enable them to buy the things 
they have made. 

What Mr. Roosevelt says about the Panama Canal 
is true. If it were protected only by mines, subma- 
rines and land guns, it would still be open to attack 
through adjoining countries. But that is not the whole 
story about the Panama Canal. That great waterway, 
as every well-informed person knows, was built, not 
for peace but for war. It was not built to carry our 
merchant marine, because we have none to speak of, 
but to enable our navy to make a quick shift, in an 
emergency, from one ocean to the other. Therefore, 
if the Panama Canal, which was built for war, is a 
handicap rather than a help, it might be better for us 
to neutralize it and throw it open to the world, under 
the world's guarantee of equal treatment to all, than to 
try to hold it at the cost of a mighty fleet of dread- 
noughts when, without the canal, we might much bet- 
ter defend ourselves with mines. 

The American people should not forget that, in the 
beginning, it was intended to neutralize the canal and 
place no fortification near it. The fortifications, if 
not an afterthought, appeared to be. Perhaps we might 
better go back to the original plan. If the world 
should guarantee the use pf the canal to all on equal 
terms, the guarantee, of course, could not be depended 
upon. In the event of war, any nation that had 
the incentive and the power would break its pledge 
and close the canal to its enemy. We should be just 
as likely to break the pledge as would any other na- 
tion, and seek to justify it pn the ground of neces- 


sity. But most of the time the canal, if neutralized, 
would be open to the world on equal terms, precisely 
as it is to-day. If our control of the Panama Canal 
compels us to build dreadnoughts when mines would 
serve us better, there is an exceedingly easy way to 
get rid of the Panama Canal. Neutralize it. 

Mr. Roosevelt may be presumed to know, as every 
man of sense knows, that competitive construction of 
armaments leads nowhere but to the poorhouse and 
the grave. Nothing is ever settled because the more 
rapidly one nation builds, the more rapidly its potential 
enemies build. Representative Finly H. Gray of In- 
diana performed a valuable public service when at a 
meeting of the House Committee on Naval Affairs, he 
smoked Admiral Vreeland out on this point. I quote 
from the testimony : 

"MR. GRAY. I wish to inquire of the admiral if it 
is not the policy of other governments to increase their 
navies with all the other leading powers ? 


"MR. GRAY. What would be the advantage to us 
or any other powers if the navies were increased 
equally by all the nations of the world ? Would there 
be any advantage to us or to any other power ? 

"ADMIRAL VREELAND. Not if you mean in the same 

"MR. GRAY. Would not the same grounds exist 
after an increase for a further increase? 

"ADMIRAL VREELAND. It would seem so. 

"MR. GRAY. There would be no advantage gained 
by any nation, then. How long could that be main- 
tained, that even increase, and what advantage would 
it be to any nation ? 

"ADMIRAL VREELAND. If it continues to increase, 


the poorer nation will eventually exhaust itself, and 
then the other nations, the United States included, 
will have a free hand I mean, be free to build in ac- 
cordance with the changed conditions. 

"MR. GRAY. Then it is only a question of the limit 
of taxation? 


Up to a certain point, that is quite frank. Each 
appropriation paves the way for another appropria- 
tion until the least strong go broke. It is at this 
point that the admiral becomes anything but frank. 
When only the strongest are left which would in- 
clude the United States they would "have a free hand 
to build in accordance with the changed conditions." 

Was greater nonsense ever talked? Our "free 
hand," at such a time, would consist in the necessity of 
extending ourselves to the uttermost in an attempt to 
outstrip our most powerful rival, with the certainty 
that if we should do so, two rivals whom we could 
not outstrip might combine against us and give us 
the beating of our lives. We are richer than any other 
nation in the world, but we are not richer than any 
two nations. 

Yet the militarists talk of "preparedness" as if no- 
body but ourselves could engage in it. 

The militarists are frauds. They pretend to love 
peace and to be concerned only with defense. The 
Navy League of the United States prates much of the 
non-aggressive character of its demand for a big navy. 
The League has headquarters in Washington, has 
a monthly magazine called The Seven Seas, and is 
grinding out pamphlets as rapidly as men can write 
them and presses can print them. One of its pam- 
phlets is entitled "Sixty-Seven Reasons for a Strong 


Navy for Defense, But Not One Reason for a Navy 
for Aggression." 

Compare this noble sentiment with the following 
paragraph from the September number of the League's 
organ, The Seven Seas: 

"In Germany, though degeneracies such as inordi- 
nate love of money and preoccupation about pain are 
manifest as in other Western countries, besides a great 
deal of anti-government talk, the iron-fisted arm of 
militarism remedies defects quickly enough. Hard, 
pitiless for the individual, it all tends, for the state, 
to the making of a perfect running machine for the 
purpose of expansion, conquest, world-empire. To 
adopt German standards of militarism would of course 
be impossible among Anglo-Saxons, but this does not 
minimise the fact that world-empire is the only logi- 
cal and natural aim for a nation that really desires 
to remain a nation." 

And the Navy League of the United States knows 
"sixty-seven reasons why we should have a strong 
navy for defense, but not one reason for a navy for 


IN a military sense, when is a nation "prepared"? 
It may surprise some gentlemen to know that, 
eighteen years ago, Charles M. Schwab, now of the 
Bethlehem Steel Company, expressed the opinion be- 
fore a Congressional committee that our navy would be 
"completed" in ten years! At that time, our naval 
appropriations were running round thirty million dol- 
lars a year. Since then, we have poured into our 
navy almost two thousand million dollars. 

When Mr. Schwab, in 1897, predicted that our navy 
would be "completed" in 1907, he never dreamt of such 
a navy as we now have. Though he was Mr. Car- 
negie's head armor plate man and had an armor plate 
man's appetite for government contracts, he did not 
dare to hope for such fat pickings as have since been 
picked. The naval appropriation bill of 1914 took out 
of the people's earnings the enormous sum of $140,- 
718,434. Yet, eight years after Mr. Schwab believed 
our navy would be "completed" and after almost two 
thousand million dollars have been spent, we are told 
that we are in a frightful state of unpreparedness ! 

But there is hope. Some of the same gentlemen 
who, eighteen years ago, told us what to do to be- 
come prepared are still with us and, as ever, are pa- 
triotically willing to tell us what to do. If we may take 
their word for it, all we need to do is to pour dollars 



into the army and navy where we used to pour dimes. 
Mr. Wilson's defense program contemplates the ex- 
penditure upon the army and navy, during the next 
five years, of more than two thousand million dollars. 

Suppose the President's plan should be carried out. 
In five years, should we be able to say, "We are pre- 
pared" ? Might we then rest on our oars in the belief 
that the "completed" navy that Mr. Schwab announced 
for 1907 had at last come? By no means. The same 
reasons that account for the failure of the navy to 
be "completed" at the time set by Mr. Schwab would 
account for the failure of two thousand more mil- 
lions to make us "prepared" in 1920. If we should de- 
cide to spend two thousand millions for armament dur- 
ing the next five years, there will be two reasons, in 
1920, for spending ten thousand millions more, for 
every reason that is now advanced for spending two 
thousand millions. 

The "preparedness" delusion is the most expensive 
luxury in which the world ever indulged. Its cost 
never stands still. It constantly rises in the most ap- 
palling fashion. In the days when Mr. Schwab had 
visions of a completed navy only ten years distant, 
first-class battleships could be built for two million 
dollars. The cost is now eighteen millions. The 
twenty-five million ship is coming over the horizon. 
Where the limit is, no one knows. All we know is that 
they are multiplying not only the size and the cost, 
but the number of ships that are required. No mat- 
ter how many great ships we have, we are still in 
danger. The naval experts not of this country only, 
but of all countries never have enough ships. Mili- 
tary experts have always been in a class by themselves. 
Lord Salisbury, when Prime Minister of England, had 


his troubles with them. Writing to Lord Cromer, 
in Egypt, Salisbury said, "Pay no attention to the 
military experts. If they had their way, they would 
fortify Mars to prevent an invasion from the moon." 
Nor are our military experts different from the Brit- 
ish army experts with whom Lord Salisbury dealt. 
Given two thousand millions to spend between now and 
1920, they will be able to cite most alarming cir- 
cumstances to prove that we are still unprepared and 
should spend ten billions in the succeeding five years. 

It is indeed very likely that if we should begin so 
heavily to arm there would be alarming circumstances 
to cite. Our warlike preparations could not go un- 
noticed by others and could not fail to excite fear. 
If any particular neighbor believed we were arming 
against it, that neighbor, unless it had more sense 
than have those among us who would further arm 
America, might arm against us. Such arming against 
us, as the result of our arming against it, would, in 
1920, provide a further reason for us to arm some 
more against our neighbor and thus it would go, back 
and forth, until the people of both nations, frenzied by 
fear and hatred, and believing that war between the 
two countries was inevitable, would at last stoically ac- 
cept it and leave their fate to clashing arms. 

Germany is the nation .that is here meant and that 
we all mean. There is no reason why we who are 
not in office should mince words, as do those statesmen 
who so often feel it necessary to try to conceal what 
everybody knows. The plain truth is that if we 
should decide to spend two thousand million dollars 
to strengthen our army and navy, we should do so 
only because we fear Germany, after the European 
War, might attack us, 


But before we consider what Germany may or may 
not do, let us consider what would be the effect upon 
the German people, of our spending two thousand mil- 
lion dollars to arm ourselves against them. What 
would be the effect upon us if we were to learn, after 
the war, that Germany had decided to spend two 
thousand million dollars to arm against us? If we 
knew that Germany had only us in mind, do you doubt 
that we should be alarmed? Do you doubt that we 
should hasten to increase our own armaments? 

Consider, then, the effect we shall produce upon 
the German people if we adopt the President's defense 
program. The German people know there is here no 
fear of attack from any other European power except 
Germany. If we still further arm, they will know we 
are arming against them. Their editors, their states- 
men and all others in whom they have confidence, will 
tell them we are arming against them, and quite likely 
that we are arming with hostile intent. Our insist- 
ence that we are thinking only of defense will amount 
to nothing. Every great European nation that is now 
at war insisted, before the war, that it was arming 
only for defense, yet not one of these nations believed 
any of the others. So we may bank on it that if 
we should decide to arm against Germany, the fear 
we shall inevitably produce in the Germans will cause 
them to build ship for ship against us. Then hell will 
be let loose, as our munitions patriots will be able to 
prove that a great nation is arming against us and will 
therefore be able to get out of the national treasury 
almost anything they want. 

What likelihood is there that Germany would attack 
us, even if we did not, by further arming ourselves, 
act as if we were preparing to attack her? The an- 


swer to this question must be solely a matter of opinion. 
A good many facts must be taken into consideration 
in order to form an opinion that is worth anything. 
These facts must be construed reasonably. Possibili- 
ties should not be strained to produce either a sense of 
danger or a sense of security. Nor can any opinion be 
worth much that is tainted by a desire to reach it. 

The answer that is most likely to be correct is not 
the one that is obtained because it is sought, but the 
one that is received because it cannot be kept back. 

The first fact that we should consider is that the 
German people are intrinsically a peaceable, home- 
loving class of human beings. Their instinct for home 
is so strong that their rulers, who know them best, 
raised the cry when, in 1914, they wanted to call them 
to arms, that German homes were about to be overrun 
by a foreign foe. If the Kaiser had any intention of 
overrunning the world and dominating it, he knew bet- 
ter than to assign it as the reason for calling his peo- 
ple to arms. He knew the soft spot in the heart of 
his countrymen their love of home and played 
upon it. 

That is the best feature of the German character 
upon which we may count in our hopes for peace. 
The worst feature is the extent to which the German 
people, in the past, have permitted themselves to be 
dominated by their militarists. Is it too much to sus- 
pect that the militarists, at least for the next generation, 
will not have so much influence in Germany? Is 
there not a possibility that the militarists themselves, 
after this war, will not soon be eager for another? 
The militarists, for the most part, are army officers, 
who are members of the great land-owning aristocracy 
commonly called the "Junker" class. This war has all 


but shot that class to pieces. Before this war began, 
German militarists, when they thought of war, thought 
of something short. Their minds went back to the 
war with Austria, which lasted but six weeks, and 
the war with France, which was won in three months. 
At the beginning of this war, nobody in Germany be- 
lieved it would last long. The Kaiser expected to be 
in Paris in fourteen days. Even after he missed his 
French dinner, he told his soldiers that they would all 
be back in Germany "before the leaves fall." 

The leaves that fluttered in the autumn winds above 
him as he spoke have long since moldered away. An- 
other crop of leaves has come and gone. The snows 
of the second winter have beaten down upon the Ger- 
mans in the trenches. Every hillside in western Russia 
and northern France is dotted with the graves of of- 
ficers who were once proud members of the German 
military party. And, still, there is no peace! 

Need we suppose that the German militarist who 
may be so fortunate as to survive this war is incap- 
able of getting enough of a bad thing? Are we bound 
to believe that, at the close of this war, other young 
Germans, unmoved by the slaughter of the old mili- 
tary party, will eagerly rise to form another? Or may 
we suppose that Germans, being human, like our- 
selves, are sick unto death of war, and will prize 
peace when they get it ? Which is the more reasonable 
conclusion ? 

If indications count for anything, the German peo- 
ple are eager for peace now. The German govern- 
ment permits no discussion of the subject, so it is diffi- 
cult to tell. We can imagine, however, how in the 
same circumstances we should feel if we had gone to 
war to resist invasion, and had fought nearly two 


years and there were no army on our soil, and our 
own armies were deadlocked on alien soils, and our 
women and children were hungry, and the original 
purpose of the war had been all but lost sight of. We 
should probably feel inclined to ask of our rulers, as 
did Vorwaerts, the organ of the German Socialist 
Party, "What Are We Fighting For?" The Socialist 
Party represents a third of the population of Ger- 
many. It is scarcely possible that only the Socialists 
among the Germans feel that, the original reason as- 
signed for going to war having been lost sight of, it 
is time to go home. Yet, for asking this question in 
November, 1915, the Socialist organ was suppressed. 
If Germany had whipped the world in two or three 
months, as her military party expected she would, and 
had claimed from her victims indemnities running up 
into the billions, there would seem to be no reason to 
doubt that we should have exercised only ordinary 
precaution if we had proceeded forthwith to arm 
against her. So great a victory, if won at such slight 
cost, would have intoxicated the military party and 
increased its prestige before the people. The German 
treasury would have been bursting with British, French 
and Russian gold, while the lands over which the Ger- 
man flag floated would have been numbered only by 
the seven seas. Germany would have been the pre- 
ponderating power, not only of Europe, but of the 
world, and all the hopes of the militarists would have 
been realized at the cost of but little sorrow and suf- 
fering on the part of the people. Germany, with a 
few of the billions wrung from other powers in the 
form of indemnities, could have built a tremendous 
navy and, if she had felt so inclined, trumped up a 
quarrel with us and fought us. 


But that is all water that has gone under the bridge. 
The Germany that might have been cannot be dur- 
ing our generation, if ever. No victory that Ger- 
many could now win could bring back from their 
graves the six hundred thousand German dead and 
thus assuage the pent-up sorrow in the German na- 
tional heart. Nor could any victory, however great, 
make whole and well again the three million German 
soldiers who have seen their flesh torn and their 
veins opened by shot and shell. Nor could all the vic- 
tories recorded in history, if duplicated by Germany, 
blot out from the minds of German soldiers the hor- 
rors of their soldier-life; the awful cannonade, the 
ceaseless thunder of the shells, the clash with knives 
and bayonets at night and the machine gun's sputter- 
ing song at dawn, the summer's heat and the winter's 
cold, the weariness, the homesickness and the despair 
of men who, surrounded by death, know not what 
moment will be their time to die. 

All of these facts we should take into consideration 
in trying to ascertain whether Germany, after this 
war, will soon be anxious for another. Yet there are 
more facts. In no conceivable circumstances can Ger- 
many collect a dollar of indemnity from any of her 
antagonists, and without such indemnities, she could 
not hope successfully to fight us. 

Even if it were certain that Germany is destined to 
win the present war, from what nation or nations could 
she wrest indemnities ? She could not collect anything 
from Russia except, possibly, territory. Russia is so 
big that, within certain limits, she can say what she 
will and will not do. When Russia says, "Not a 
kopeck of indemnity" as she said to Japan she can 
have her way. The Russian Empire is so far flung 


that even German armies in it cannot forever remain 
on the offensive. After a certain amount of pene- 
tration by the invader, there comes a time when a bal- 
ance is established between the two armies. The diffi- 
culties attendant upon bringing up supplies to the in- 
vading army make up for the relative weakness of the 
defending army. Russia always has enough room to 
enable her to back up and wait until the enemy suffi- 
ciently handicaps himself to make him harmless. 

France, at the beginning of the present war, had the 
greatest per capita debt in Europe. That debt the war 
has enormously increased. The piling of a great in- 
demnity upon France would almost certainly bring 
revolution. Financially speaking, France is the na- 
tional image of the celebrated turnip which, so it is 
said, contains no blood. 

An indemnity might be wrung from Great Britain 
if the Germans could sink the British fleet. What 
chance is there that the German fleet can do so? The 
same chance that there always is that one ship can 
defeat three that are just as large and just as courage- 
ously and intelligently handled. If there had been, 
in the opinion of von Tirpitz, the Grand Admiral, a 
fighting chance to defeat the British fleet, we may be 
quite sure that, long ago, he would have tried to do 
so. The von Tirpitz plan, was to submarine enough 
of the British ships to bring the two fleets down to a 
plane of equality, after which he was to go about it 
with his dreadnoughts to destroy the remainder. The 
von Tirpitz plan failed. The British fleet is larger 
than it was when the war began. Twenty-five great 
ships have been built since the war began. There is no 
chance whatever that Germany can destroy the Brit- 
ish fleet, and unless she destroys it, there is no chance 


whatever that she can collect a farthing of indemnity 
from England. 

England cannot unconditionally surrender to Ger- 
many and remain an empire. With the lowering of 
her flag, her colonial empire would break up like a 
ship in a storm. So long as her navy remains unde- 
feated, she need not unconditionally surrender. Even 
if all of England's allies were to be worn out, Eng- 
land could still fight. With her warships, she could 
form a lane across the English Channel and through 
this lane troop-ships could bear her armies back to 
England. Great Britain could then say to Germany, 
"Not a farthing of indemnity, nor an inch of territory, 
and until you sink the British fleet, you cannot sail a 
ship on the seas or, except through others, do a 
pfennig's worth of business throughout the world." 
At the ordinary expense of maintaining her navy, 
Great Britain could continue such a war indefinitely. 
It costs no more for ships to blockade than it does to 
maneuver in times of peace. 

After this war, Germany, like all the other par- 
ticipants in it, is bound not only to be sick of war but 
to be poor. She will do well if she rehabilitate her- 
self in a generation. But such probabilities by no 
means prevent those who insist upon seeing danger 
in this quarter from seeing it. J. Bernard Walker, 
editor of the Scientific American, has written a book 
entitled "America Fallen : The Sequel to the Eu- 
ropean War," in which seeming to write after the 
event he tells how Germany came here, landed troops, 
took the Atlantic forts from the rear, bombarded New 
York, captured Philadelphia and Washington and 
made peace only upon the payment by us of an indem- 
nity of twenty billions. I may add that Mr. Morgan's 


Navy League of the United States thinks so highly of 
this book that it has bought a supply for free distribu- 

This book, at least on its cover, looks very impres- 
sive, as the cover contains a statement signed by Ad- 
miral Dewey in which he declares that the state of af- 
fairs described in the book "might well exist if our 
country is not prepared to maintain itself at peace with 
all the world." I will venture to say that any man 
with a little imagination can write a yarn, describing 
worse horrors, that a bacteriologist who stands as high 
in his profession as Admiral Dewey does in the pro- 
fession of arms, will declare over his signature to be 
within the realm of possibility. 

I will try it myself. 

"The war in Europe is ended. Germany has been 
conquered and has agreed to pay an indemnity of fif- 
teen billions. She has nothing in her treasury. She 
needs money. She knows we have lots of it. The 
Kaiser holds long, secret conferences with the leading 
German bacteriologists. They sit up late at night. 
Night after night, the Kaiser quits the conference at 
daybreak, the faint light of morning throwing a 
deadly pallor upon his brow. Night after night 
until? Until there comes a change, the Kaiser smiles, 
shakes the hand of one. bacteriologist particularly 
warmly, pins a grand cross of some kind or other 
upon his coat and it is plain that the royal eyes see 
a great rift in the clouds. 

"A few weeks of preparatory work is conducted in 
German laboratories, but we may well pass over that. 

"The scene shifts to America. All over the country 
there is suddenly noticed a sharp increase in the death 
rate from typhoid fever. Boards of health critically 


examine the water and milk supplies. They seem to 
be all right. The oyster beds are looked into. They 
are found to contain no more than the usual number of 
germs. What is the matter? God knows. Without 
any appreciable reason, the mortality from typhoid is 
increasing fearfully. One day there were ten thousand 
deaths in Chicago. The next day there were twenty- 
five thousand deaths in New York. A telegram from 
Boston says that people are dying more rapidly than 
undertakers can bury them and that the state house 
is piled high with bodies packed in ice awaiting burial. 
A woman in Cincinnati the mother of six children 
became crazed when typhoid killed her last child and 
shot both her husband and herself. Two members of 
the President's cabinet were stricken, and the disease, 
in its inexorable way, snuffed out their lives. And 

"And then a wireless message came from Germany, 
'via Sayville/ It was brief and strangely directed 
not to the Secretary of State or to the President, but 
'To The American People.' Here it is: 

" 'The typhoid epidemic that is devastating your 
land is the result of German planning. German sci- 
entists have devised a method of making typhoid 
germs immune to heat as to all other known methods 
of killing them. The characteristics of the germs have 
also been changed so that, although your scientists see 
them, they do not recognize them as what they are, nor 
can they be recognized, since there are many other 
germs which they perfectly resemble. Produced as 
these germs are in our laboratories, they are of un- 
usual virulence, which accounts for the present high 
mortality from the disease in America. In short, Ger- 
many is waging war against America with the new 


weapons of science. We have the power to annihilate 
you. Notwithstanding everything your scientists may 
do, your death rate will rapidly increase until you 
make peace, as enough germs to kill the world can be 
carried in a trunk, and trusted agents in America have 
infected all of your water supplies. We also know 
how to destroy these germs instantly. Your epidemic 
will cease immediately upon the payment by America 
to Germany of an indemnity of twenty billion dol- 
lars.' ' 

Scientifically possible? Who dare say it is not? 
Crazy? Yes, in the sense that it is far and away be- 
yond the bounds of probability. But what about 
"America Fallen"? How often has America fallen 
during the last 139 years? 

Let us not, at the behest of the munitions manu- 
facturers, who fatten on the war and war prepara- 
tions as buzzards fatten on a dead cow let us not go 
mad. Let us consider probabilities and reasonable pos- 
sibilities rather than nightmares. Common sense 
should tell us that there is far greater possibility 
that the German people, after the war, will do some 
fighting for themselves and perhaps drive the Hohen- 
zollerns out of the country. The prestige of the Ger- 
man military party required a decisive victory, won 
at no great cost. Such a* victory for Germany is no 
longer possible. No kind of victory is by any means 

Americans who denounce German militarism and 
then, by favoring the sort of "preparedness" that our 
munitions patriots advocate, invite American milita- 
rism such Americans would do well to read the his- 
tory of the introduction of militarism into Germany. 
They would do well to read this history because 


therein they may see how the poison of militarism, as 
expressed in huge appropriations, works its way. 

The Germans at first hated the thing. How it was 
forced down their throats, how they came, first to 
tolerate it and then to look upon it as a wise measure 
of "preparedness," is admirably told by Professor 
Charles Downer Hazen in his important work, "Eu- 
rope Since 1815." 

The story in brief is this: The present Kaiser's 
grandfather in 1860 conceived it to be his duty to in- 
crease the standing army from 215,000 to 450,000 
men. This was to be brought about by adding 23,000 
a year to the number of soldiers ordinarily recruited. 
When the king brought into Parliament the first bill 
for the maintenance of the additional troops, the legis- 
lature passed it, believing that it was only of a pro- 
visional nature. But when the king, the next year, 
brought in another bill of the same kind and Parlia- 
ment learned what were his real designs, the bill was 
thrown out. The king insisted upon his bill. Parlia- 
ment insisted upon its rights. Says Hazen: 

"A deadlock ensued. The king was urged to abol- 
ish Parliament altogether. This he would not do be- 
cause he had sworn to uphold the constitution that es- 
tablished it. He thought of abdicating. He never 
thought of abandoning the reform. He had written 
out his abdication and signed it when he at last con- 
sented to call to the ministry as a final experiment a 
new man, known for his boldness, his independence, 
his devotion to the monarchy, Otto von Bismarck. 
Bismarck was appointed President of the Ministry 
September 23, 1862. On that very day, the cham- 
ber rejected anew the credits asked for by the king 
for the new regiments. The conflict entered upon its 


most acute phase, and a new era began for Prussia 
and the world. 

"In this interview, Bismarck told the king frankly 
that he was willing to carry out his policy whether the 
Parliament agreed to it or not. 'I will rather perish 
with the king/ he said, 'than forsake your majesty in 
the contest with parliamentary government.' His bold- 
ness determined the king to tear up the paper contain- 
ing his abdication and to continue the struggle with 
the. chamber of deputies. . . . 

"For four years the conflict continued. The con- 
stitution was not abolished, Parliament was called re- 
peatedly, the lower house voted year after year against 
the budget, supported in this by the voters, the upper 
house voted for it, and the king acted as if this made it 
legal. The period was one of virtual dictatorship and 
suspension of parliamentary life. The king continued 
to collect the taxes, the army was thoroughly reor- 
ganized and absolutely controlled by the authorities, 
and the lower house had no mode of opposition save 
the verbal one, which was entirely ineffective." 

From this we see how loath was Germany to be- 
come militaristic. The people supported the lower 
house in its opposition to an increased army and a 
four years' dictatorship was required to make them 
swallow the dose. Now the world blames Germany 
for its militarism. Can we be quite sure that if we 
take the same road, we shall not arrive at the same 
destination ? Once we seriously make the plunge, is it 
likely that we shall be able to turn back? We may 
want to, but shall we dare? If during the next five 
years we spend two thousand millions, Germany will 
have much more reason to "prepare" against us than 
we now have to "prepare" against her, because the 


Germans will know we are arming against them and 
we do not now know that Germany has ever armed 
against us. If the Germans, taking fright, should 
then arm against us, should we be either surprised or 
affronted? And if they should begin to arm against 
us could we say, after we had spent our two thou- 
sand millions, "Our navy is now completed, and we 
will build no more" ? With Germany building against 
us, could we say that ? We could, but it is exceedingly 
unlikely that we would. But if we did not, the build- 
ing, on each side, would go on to the last bloody chap- 
ter. Is it not well, while there is still time, to think 
of these things? 

We should pay no more attention to our munitions 
patriots than Lord Salisbury told Lord Cromer to pay 
to the military experts. Their patriotism is of a most 
peculiar kind. They are always ready to advise the 
government. They are always ready to shout for 
the flag. Unfortunately for us, but not for them- 
selves, they are never ready to take their hands out 
of the national treasury. They profess to believe the 
country is in great danger, but they are unwilling that 
this danger shall be averted until a price has been paid 
to themselves for its safety. In other words, they are 
unwilling that the government shall manufacture its 
own warships and war-materials. They want the 
profits that can be made by making and selling these 
things to the government. 

Secretary of the Navy Daniels, in his report for 
1914, said: 

"Contrary to popular idea, the Navy Department in 
what it manufactures does so, from a superdread- 
nought to a gallon of paint or a pound of powder, 
cheaper than the same can be purchased." 


The Hon. Clyde H. Tavenner of Illinois, in a most 
remarkable expose of the munitions patriots that was 
reported in the Congressional Record of February 15, 
1915, said: 

"Should the government manufacture all of its mu- 
nitions, I predict that the Navy League would not only 
lock the doors of its suite in the National Capital, from 
which it carries on its lobbying, morning, noon and 
night, but that the same patriots for profit who are 
now clamoring for a bigger and bigger navy, in the 
certain knowledge that if their agitation is successful 
they will draw down contracts worth millions, will be 
among the loudest in their protestations against an 
annual expenditure of $250,000,000 for war in time 
of peace." 

Representative Tavenner's address is altogether the 
most important contribution that has yet been made 
in this country to the discussion of the evils of mil- 
itarism. He quotes names, dates and figures to show 
by whom and of how much we have been robbed in 
the past. He shows how the ammunition, gun and 
armor plate patriots give employment to army and 
navy officers who are either on the retired list or to 
whom the government has granted long leaves of 
absence. He cites at least one case where such an em- 
ployee of an interest that "was engaged in milking the 
government actually had deskroom in the Navy De- 
partment. He shows how the government turns over 
to the powder trust all the scientific information it 
can gather about powder, only to have the trust, under 
an agreement with German powder makers, turn over 
the information to Germany. He quotes the text of 
this agreement, which also binds the American pow- 
der trust forthwith upon receipt of an order from the 


United States government to report all the facts, in- 
cluding the amount of the order and the kind of pow- 
der, to the German powder makers. This agreement 
was made in 1897 and for years was in force. 

Representative Tavenner quotes the testimony of a 
former sales agent of the powder trust that the con- 
cern maintained a lobby in Washington and paid 
the manager thereof $30,000 a year and expenses to 
dispense "entertainment to their customers" that is 
to say, to your servants in Washington who have the 
power to enter into contracts on your behalf. This 
statement, it is only fair to say, was denied by the pow- 
der trust, and is therefore probably not true. 

Munitions patriots, the world over, seem to be both 
a lavish and a merry crew when "customers" are to 
be entertained. Mr. Tavenner quotes part of an ar- 
ticle written by M. Jules Huret with regard to the 
manner in which the Krupps dispense good cheer while 
contracts from foreign governments or their own, 
for that matter are under consideration. This French 
writer, describing the Essener Hof, the private estab- 
lishment maintained by the Krupps for such purposes, 

"This Krupp hotel is a very curious place. With its 
double marble staircase, with columns of rose-colored 
marble and bannisters of gilded copper, it has dignity. 
In the vestibule, on either side of a stone chimney- 
place, sculptured masks represent the five continents. 
The ground is covered with red tiles, along which red 
carpets run. Red leather settees and armchairs are 
lined along the walls. The guests of the firm dine in a 
special hall. After a few days, they all know one an- 
other, and they soon meet around a large round table. 
Nothing could show better than these occasions how 


much that is artificial our civilization contains. Turks, 
Bulgars, Serbs, Japs, Chilean and Argentinian rep- 
resentatives will be there. 

"There will also be Scandinavians, Russians and 
Belgians. At the end of the meal, when the French 
wines have got a little into their heads, the voices will 
rise, and all these enemies will clink glasses for a 
long time like brothers, amid laughter and the smoke 
of long cigars, at the cost of the Krupps a thousand 
leagues from the thought of the reasons that brought 
them there. All these gentry will perhaps be slaughter- 
ing one another one fine day" (they are doing it now) 
"with these guns which they have come to see bored. 
But while they are waiting for the steel to cool, they 
'booze,' as William II said to Jules Simon. 

"Some of these representatives stay a year, even 
two years, to watch the processes of manufacture, so 
that with its fifty rooms, the Essen hotel costs the firm 
something like 20,000 a year, without counting inci- 
dental expenses. Two years ago, for instance, when 
the Chinese mission arrived eighteen persons with 
their attendants there was an insufficiency of accom- 
modation. Frau Krupp invited the Turkish officers, 
whom she had been harboring for a long time, to make 
a little journey to London and Paris at her expense, 
under the guidance of a young officer attached to the 
works. They stayed away five days, enjoyed them- 
selves, as may be imagined, and returned when the 
Celestials had gone again. The stay of the Chinamen 
themselves had cost 2,000 special trains, banquets, 

If it were true as charged, which of course it is not, 
that our powder trust maintained an expensive lobby 
in Washington, we might gather from this pastoral 


German scene some idea of the manner in which pro- 
ceedings were conducted. We can see, at any rate, 
how the servants of the capitalist classes, the world 
over, gather under the roof of one great armament 
concern and make merry at the expense of a company 
that is trying to keep the world at peace by prepar- 
ing it for war. 

Mr. Tavenner goes on further to show the interna- 
tional character of the munitions patriots, the world 
over; how the armament trust of one nation owns 
shares of stock in the armament companies of other 
nations, and how nations are induced to arm by hiring 
the newspapers of other nations to print articles in- 
dicating that an attack is intended. Documentary evi- 
dence in support of these charges is offered. Mr. 
Schwab's Bethlehem Steel Company, for instance, 
owns 4,301 shares of stock in one of the greatest gun- 
manufacturing companies in England, the Harvey 
Steel Company or did, at any rate, in 1912. The 
fact is also noted that in England stock in the great 
Armstrong gun company is held by 60 noblemen, their 
wives, sons, or daughters, fifteen baronets, twenty 
knights, eight members of parliament, twenty military 
and naval officers and eight journalists. Mr. Taven- 
ner tried to slip a paragraph into the last naval bill re- 
quiring all contractors to file lists of their stockhold- 
ers, but Congress cut it out. Mr. Tavenner wanted 
the country to know the names of all who are profiting 
from "preparedness." Congress smelled the mouse 
and refused to let the names be made public. 

Mr. Tavenner in his expose goes on to show how 
the government is paying $17.50 for a shrapnel shell 
that it is itself manufacturing in small lots for $7.50, 
and $7 for a fuse that the government is making in 


small lots for $2.92. Armor plate that can be made 
for $279 a ton is sold to the government for $440 
and has been sold for as much as $600. 

It may be worth while to try the acid test for pa- 
triotism upon the munitions gentlemen. Ask the great 
bankers to sign a statement binding themselves, in the 
event of war, to give the government the use of their 
fortunes for $15 a month. That is all a soldier gets 
for the use of his life. Why should bankers get rich 
in war while poor men are dying in it? 

If the munitions patriots agree to urge the govern- 
ment to make its own war weapons, and the bank- 
ers agree to rent their fortunes as cheaply as a sol- 
dier rents his life then and not until then will these 
gentlemen have proved their right to be considered un- 
selfish patriots. 



COMPULSORY military service is raising its ugly 
head in America. This in face of the fact that 
two of the highest authorities in the American navy 
say we are strong enough on water to defeat Germany 
or any other nation, save Great Britain. The naval 
authorities who say our navy is already strong enough 
to defeat that of Germany are Admirals Fletcher and 
'Badger. Admiral Fletcher is the highest active officer 
in the navy, ranking next to Dewey who, while on 
the active list for life by grace of Congress, is not 
active in the sense that he goes to sea or, in the event 
of war, could go to sea. Admiral Fletcher is the com- 
mander of our greatest fleet the Atlantic and if we 
were to-day at war would, unless superseded, lead our 
armada to battle. Admiral Badger, until he retired 
a year or so ago, held Fletcher's present place. If 
any one is able to make an accurate estimate of the 
relative strength of fighting craft, these men should 
be able to do so. The opinion of each of these officers 
is that the American fleet is stronger than that of 

Official proof of these statements will be given here- 
with. In December, 1914, Admirals Fletcher and 
Badger were witnesses before the House Committee 
on Naval Affairs. Both of them were then, as they 
are now, in favor of a larger navy. Was there ever 



a naval officer who was not in favor of a larger navy? 
But Judge Witherspoon, of Mississippi, who was a 
member of the committee, was not in favor of a larger 
navy. He thought he saw through the campaign for 
greater "preparedness" on water, and fought it. Un- 
like many members of Congress, he had at his tongue's 
end the essential facts pertaining to the world's navies. 
Armed with these facts, he had a way of backing 
admirals into a corner and making them admit that 
white was white instead of black. He backed Ad- 
mirals Fletcher and Badger into a corner. Official 
stenographers were present and took down a report 
of the proceedings. This report is incorporated in a 
volume of 1,100 pages. The American people do not 
know it exists. It should be available to the public, 
but it isn't. When I wrote to the Government Print- 
ing Office for it, I was told that it was out of print. 
Plenty of reports on hog cholera and the foot and 
mouth disease are not out of print. I went to Wash- 
ington and, through the courtesy of the Hon. Clyde 
H. Tavenner, obtained the copy that he had in his 
office. The name of the book is "Hearings Before 
the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of 
Representatives on Estimates Submitted by the Sec- 
retary of the Navy." It is doubtless in many public 
libraries. It should be in every home in America. 
If it were, America would not be full of fright. It 
could not be, because the facts that this book contains 
are convincing. They show that Germany, with her 
present strength, could not invade this country if she 

In this chapter, I shall quote liberally from that 
book, in each case giving the number of the page. 
The reason therefor will become plain. 


The big gun of the munitions patriots and other 
big interests is fear. If they can thoroughly alarm 
the people, the interests can get what they have so 
long sought a greater navy in addition to some- 
thing that, until now, they never had the hardihood 
to advocate a great army. Since fear is the weapon 
with which the militarists are fighting, it is the weapon 
that must be destroyed if the militarists are to be 

The testimony of Admirals Fletcher and Badger 
is an antidote to fear. 

The reader should bear in mind that throughout 
the testimony to be quoted here, whenever battleship- 
strength is mentioned that it means in the case of each 
and every nation, the number of battleships built, 
building and authorized. The American battleship- 
strength at the time of the hearings before the House 
Committee on Naval Affairs was 40. Keep that in 
mind 40 American battleships. 

On page 545 of the book mentioned, Mr. Butler, a 
member of the committee, endeavored to obtain from 
Admiral Fletcher his opinion of our relative naval 
strength. I quote: 

"MR. BUTLER Where do we stand, Admiral ? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER I have not personally gone 
into that, but I have estimates that place us about 
third at the present time." 

Stick a pin there. America third in naval strength. 
That meant that in his opinion Germany was ahead 
of us. Let us now turn to the testimony beginning 
on page 548 and see how Judge Witherspoon com- 
pelled him to admit that, in his opinion, the American 
Navy could defeat the German Navy and was second 
only to that of Great Britain : 


"MR. WITHERSPOON How many battleships has 
England got? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER According to this table here 
(indicating) England has twenty dreadnoughts built. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON The total number? How 
many has she in all? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER This table puts it at 60. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON That is, 60 battleships? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Sixty battleships. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON I did not ask you about that 
statement. I have seen that old statement before. I 
do not care anything about that statement. The Navy 
Yearbook puts down the number of English battle- 
ships, completed, building and authorized at 72. Now 
your idea is that if those 72 ships were pitted against 
ours, we would not be able to resist them; is that 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER We could resist them, but 
we would probably be defeated. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON That is what I mean. We 
could not resist them successfully? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER No; all else being equal. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON It has been told this commit- 
tee by high authority in the navy department among 
others, Admiral Vreeland that if we had a war with 
England, on account of its relations with other nations 
in Europe, it could not afford to send more than half 
its ships against us. Do you believe that is so?" 

Let us pause a moment before we read the admiral's 
answer. A direct reply to the question might have 
brought another question as to whether our 40 bat- 
tleships would be unable to cope with the 36 that Great 
Britain might be able to send against us. The obvious 
answer to this impending question would not be good 


for the larger American Navy campaign. So the 
Admiral replied : 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER That is a question of policy 
and of political conditions in Europe upon which I 
would not pretend to pass judgment. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Then your statement that 
we could not resist England would be on the assump- 
tion that she could send her entire fleet, or more than 
half of it, against us? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes, sir; she would control 
the sea if she could keep there a more powerful fleet 
than ours. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Or not afraid of war with 
the rest of the world; not afraid to take all the ships 
away from her own coast, and to send all of them, 
or a large majority of them, against us? Your state- 
ment is based on that? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes, sir. It is based on 
actual superiority. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Well, on the assumption that 
what other naval experts have told us is correct 
that she could not send more than 50 per cent, of her 
72 against us you would not say then that we would 
not be able to resist them successfully, would you?" 

Here was the dreaded question that the Admiral 
had seen coming and tried to dodge. This is the way 
he dodged it: 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER I would not like to pass 
judgment on a supposititious case of that kind." 

Everybody knows how a naval officer dislikes to 
consider "a supposititious case." They will consider, 
until the cows come home, supposititious cases that 
point to the necessity of a larger navy. The present 
hullaballoo for a larger army and a larger navy is 


predicated upon the supposition that if Germany were 
to send her fleet against us we should be defeated. 

But when Admiral Fletcher was asked his opinion 
as to whether Great Britain, if she could send 36 
battleships against our 40 could defeat them, he 
dodged the question on the ground that he did "not 
like to pass judgment on a supposititious case." I 
lay this point bare because it gives additional signifi- 
cance to the Admiral's subsequent admission that, in 
his opinion, our navy is not, as he told Mr. Butler, 
third and therefore inferior to that of Germany, but 
second and superior to that of any nation except Great 
Britain. The admissions wrung from an unwilling 
witness are always important. A man's judgment 
may be warped by his desires. They are never warped 
against his desires. 

But let us proceed with the testimony: 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Now, according to the Navy 
Yearbook, Germany has battleships built, building and 
authorized, 39. Would you say that if she could 
send all those ships against us, we would not be able 
to resist them? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER I should say that we ought 
to, if we have the greater force. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Yes; we ought to. Certainly, 
we ought; and we could? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes, sir; the greater force 
should win. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Yes, we could. 


"MR. WITHERSPOON Now, it has been stated to us 
that if Germany were at war with us she could not 
afford, either to send more than one-half her ships 
against us. 


"ADMIRAL FLETCHER That I do not know. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON I am not asking you whether 
you do or do not. Assuming that she could send only 
half of her 39, would you not say that we could suc- 
cessfully resist that number?" 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes, sir; I would say so if 
all our force is available to meet her. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON I would too. Now take 
France. This Navy Yearbook says that France has 
a grand total of battleships, built, building and author- 
ized, of 29 eleven less than we have. Would you 
not say that if she sent all hers against us that we 
would be able successfully to resist them? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes; our force available be- 
ing the greater. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON And if she sent only one- 
half of them, we would not have much of a fight, 
would we? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER No, we ought not to. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON That is the way I look at 
it. Here is Japan, which, according to the Navy Year- 
book, has only 19 battleships, or 21 less than we have 
got. If Japan should send all of her 19 against us, 
do you not think we would be able successfully to re- 
sist them? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes, I should say, if all of 
our force were free to meet them at the time. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON And if she did not send but 
half of them, there would not be much of a scrap, 
would there? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Probably not. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Now, here is Russia, that the 
Navy Yearbook says has a grand total of battleships, 
built, building and authorized, of 15. If she should 


send all of them against us, would you not say that 
we could successfully resist them? 


"MR. WITHERSPOON And if she sent half of them, 
there would not be any fight at all, would there ? 


"MR. WITHERSPOON Here is Italy, that has a 
grand total, according to the Navy Yearbook, of 17 
battleships. We could successfully resist them, 
whether she sent all of them, or a part of them, could 
we not? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes; I think so. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Now Austria-Hungary, ac- 
cording to the Navy Yearbook, has a grand total of 
battleships, built, building and authorized, of 10. We 
could successfully resist them, could we not? 


"MR. WITHERSPOON Then what nation is there 
that we are not prepared successfully to resist? There 
is not one on earth, is there, Admiral not a single 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Well, Judge, I think there 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Well, which one? I have 
gone through the big ones. Tell me which one? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER >I should say that England 
has a navy so much more powerful than that of any 
other nation in the world that she could easily keep 
control of the seas. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON England. Well, what other 
one, then?" 

The Admiral is now in the corner, and, as the 
pugilists say, "taking the count." Here is his an- 
swer : 


"ADMIRAL FLETCHER I do not think we need 
greatly fear any other single nation." 

But Judge Witherspoon was remorseless in push- 
ing the witness. He determined to tie him down even 
more tightly. Apparently he was not satisfied with 
the Admiral's admission that, in his opinion, we need 
not "greatly" fear defeat at the hands of the German 
fleet. Judge Witherspoon wanted to make him admit 
that we need not fear defeat at all at Germany's 
hands. One more question did the business: 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Then there is no other nation 
except England that, in your judgment, we could not 
successfully defend ourselves against? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER I think that is correct; yes." 

The witness having changed his mind, without leav- 
ing his seat, as to the ability of Germany, with her 39 
battleships, to defeat our 40, Judge Witherspoon asked 
him if England had any battleships as large as some 
of ours. Watch how unwillingly the Admiral admit- 
ted that our largest ships are the most powerful in 
the world: 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER England has many ships 
which are very nearly of the same power of our 
own ships of same date of building. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Let us see about that, now. 
I do not believe she has, though you know more about 
it than I do. In this Navy Yearbook, which gives a 
list of the English battleships, I find that the last five 
dreadnoughts that England built or is building are 
named the Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Remiles, Rev- 
olution and Revenge, each of which has a tonnage of 


"MR. WITHERSPOON And we have two ships, the 


Pennsylvania and the No. 39, which have a tonnage 
of 31,400, and then we have authorized three more 
that are to have a tonnage, as I understand, of 31,000. 

"THE CHAIRMAN Thirty-two thousand. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Thirty-two thousand tons. 
In other words, the tonnage of the Pennsylvania and 
No. 39 is 5,400 tons greater than that of the last 
five English dreadnoughts that are building, and the 
last three dreadnoughts that we are building have a 
tonnage of 6,000 tons greater than the last five Eng- 
lish ships. Do you tell me that these English ships 
are equal to ours? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER No; I did not say that. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON Do not you regard them as 
inferior to ours? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER Yes; as near as we can esti- 

"MR. WITHERSPOON I do too. And the arma- 
ment of these five ships is eight fifteen-inch guns, 
while the armament of the five American ships I have 
referred to is twelve fourteen-inch guns. Which is 
the more powerful armament eight fifteen-inch guns 
or twelve fourteen-inch guns? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER. I think the twelve four- 
teen-inch guns more powerful, but I am not sure this 
opinion is concurred in by all authorities. 

"MR. WITHERSPOON. Then, understanding your 
testimony, after reviewing it, do you want us to un- 
derstand that England is the only nation on earth that 
has a navy that we could not successfully resist? 

"ADMIRAL FLETCHER. / think that is the fair con- 
clusion; yes, sir; at the present time." 

Is this news? If so, is it important? The New 
York newspapers that are leading the fight for pre- 


paredness do not think so. I know, because I tried 
them out. I read all of the foregoing testimony dur- 
ing an address that I made in New York. The re- 
porters of the leading newspapers were sitting at a 
table in front of the platform. Before I read the 
testimony, I pointed to the reporters and told them 
I was going to give them some news, that I knew they 
would be willing to write it if their editors would 
print it, and that I did not believe a newspaper in 
New York would print this news, though its authen- 
ticity was attested by the government itself. 

All of the newspapers, the next morning, contained 
reports of my address. Only one of them mentioned 
the testimony and that one gave it but a short sen- 
tence. The New York Times, which daily flaunts 
the slogan, "All the news that's fit to print," printed 
a report of my speech, but gave not one word to 
Admiral Fletcher's testimony. Why ? Was it not "fit 
to print" ? Or is the Times not fit to print the news ? 
If the admission of the highest active officer in the 
American Navy that we need not fear the German 
Navy is not news, there is no such thing as news. 

The people or a good many of them, at any rate 
believe we are in danger. They believe our navy is 
not as strong as that of Germany. They would doubt- 
less be interested in knowing that our highest active 
naval officer believes our navy is stronger than that 
of Germany. 

But they are not permitted to read this fact in the 
munitions press. It is "not news." But the munitions 
press never fails to discern the news-value in the ser- 
mon of some "Christian" minister who is able to 
deduce from the Scriptures that we should be amply 
justified in sending this country down the same bloody 


chute of "preparedness" that is killing Europe. Such 
an interview is always worth a column. Also, there 
is great news-value in the opinion of any nonentity 
lately returned from Europe that this country should 
hasten to arm. As if we were not already armed! 
A nation that has a navy more powerful than that of 
any other, save one, in the world ! 

Nor is Admiral Fletcher alone in this opinion. 
Admiral Badger, who preceded him as commander 
of the Atlantic fleet and highest on the active list, 
admitted as much. I will quote only the concluding 
paragraphs of his testimony which appear on page 


"MR. WITHERSPOON. Well, I wanted to get your 
views about that, because I do not like to hear Ameri- 
cans running around and talking about the German 
Navy being superior to ours. I know it is not so. 

"ADMIRAL BADGER. You have not heard me say 

"MR. WITHERSPOON. No; and I am glad that is 
so. I hope you never will say it, because there is 
not any truth in it." 

President Wilson, when he addressed Congress, at 
the opening of the session in December, 1914, de- 
precated any attempt to convert this country into an 
"armed camp." A year Jater, standing on the same 
spot, he launched the greatest army and navy program 
that was ever launched in time of peace by an Ameri- 
can President. 

The Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Daniels, in Decem- 
ber, 1914, was as unperturbed as the President him- 
self. I condense two paragraphs from pages 636 and 
637 of the report of the hearings before the House 
Committee on Naval Affairs: 


"SECRETARY DANIELS. I think when the war is 
over in Europe the countries are going to be so ex- 
hausted in their resources and are going to be so 
burdened with debt that there is going to be a great 
revulsion of feeling against war. I think there is 
going to be such exhaustion and reaction that the peo- 
ple are going to demand the cessation of this ever- 
increasing burdensome expense of war." 

On page 572 appears the following report of the 
Secretary's testimony before the committee: 

"SECRETARY DANIELS. He [the President] abso- 
lutely refuses to lose his head merely because 'some 
among us are nervous and excited.' Even if the 
times are internationally out of joint, no occasion has 
arisen with us to plunge headlong into any frenzied 
policy or frantic action." 

From page 586, I take the following : 

"MR. BUCHANAN. In your opinion, will the pres- 
ent conflict in Europe impair or destroy the resources 
of our possible opponents in such a manner that it will 
put us in less danger of having any great conflict? 

"SECRETARY DANIELS. I think the war in Europe 
is going to exhaust the resources of the countries 
engaged in it, and I think there is less likelihood I 
do not think there was much likelihood before of our 
country in the future having any trouble with those 

When Mr. Daniels was asked his opinion as to 
the advisability of increasing the navy, as a result 
of the European War, more rapidly than the past pro- 
gram had contemplated, he replied (page 581) : 

"SECRETARY DANIELS. I think it would be most 
unwise for us to act to-day in any particular as we 
would not have acted if there were no war." 


What has happened during the last year so to alter 
the minds of the President and his Secretary of the 
Navy? The Lusitania has been sunk. The whole 
policy of German and, later, of Austrian submarine 
warfare has been put into practise. German enmity 
has been aroused by the sale of American munitions 
of war to the Allies. A certain amount of German 
enmity has been aroused by the alleged unneutrality 
of the United States Government. But no one in 
his senses believes that, after the war in Europe is 
ended, Germany will attack the United States because 
Americans did not like the sinking of the Lusitcmia, 
nor because the American Government opposed the 
manner in which the Central Powers conducted their 
submarine campaign, nor because the Central powers 
believed the United States Government to be unneu- 
tral during the European War. All of these matters 
are things to snarl about during war, but none of 
them is a thing about which to start another war. 
Yet, save one, they are the only reasons that may be 
given for plunging into militarism through fear of 

That other reason is the fear that Germany, as a 
result of the present war, will become a world-empire, 
seek to establish colonies in South America, thus chal- 
lenging the Monroe Doctrine and bringing on war. 
But if this reason now exists, did it not also exist 
in December, 1914, when the President, in his address 
to Congress, opposed the conversion of this country 
into an "armed camp" and his Secretary of the Navy 
complimented him for not "losing his head merely be- 
because 'some among us are nervous and excited' " ? 
Have not the events of the last year tended rather to 
decrease than to increase this danger ? 


The fear of danger from this source must be pred- 
icated upon some notion of vastly increased German 
power, as a result of this war, together with the desire 
of the German people that this power shall be used 
for conquest. 

Is Germany stronger than it was four months after 
the beginning of the war when the President felt so 
little fear from this source that he would not raise a 
finger against it? Is there more or less reason than 
there was in December, 1914, to expect that Germany 
will win a substantial victory in this war? Is there 
more or less reason than there was in December, 1914, 
to believe that in this war no nation can win a sub- 
stantial victory? 

Does Secretary Daniels' prediction appear more or 
less prophetic than it did in December, 1914, when 
he said that "when the war is over in Europe the coun- 
tries are going to be so exhausted in their resources 
and are going to be so burdened with debt that there 
is going to be a great revulsion of feeling against 

What nation gives promise of being fit as a fiddle, 
after this war is ended, and ready to start another? 
What nation among the belligerents is not already 
"burdened with debt" ? 

Germany with six billions added, and the war still 
in progress, has more than doubled its national 

Great Britain, with nine billions added, has almost 
trebled its national debt. 

France, which, before the war, had the greatest 
per capita national debt in the world, has so added 
to her debt that national bankruptcy will stare her 
in the face at the close of war. 


Austria-Hungary, like Germany, is piling up an 
enormous debt. Russia and Italy are no better off. 

In short, what nation is there among the belligerents 
that has not already amply qualified for admission 
into the class that Secretary Daniels, in December; 
1914, intimated he would regard as harmless because 
they would be "so exhausted in their resources and so 
burdened with debt" that there would inevitably be a 
degree of "exhaustion" that would cause a "great re- 
vulsion of feeling against war"? Is there one such 
belligerent? If so, which one? 

It cannot be Germany. It should be plain to the 
blindest that none of the nations involved can come 
out of this war other than grievously wounded, and 
Germany, at least in one sense, worst of all. Germany 
went into this war believing she would quickly emerge 
victorious and collect from her fallen foes great in- 
demnities. She cannot now emerge quickly victorious. 
The war has lasted far too long. Nor is there any 
certainty that she will, in any sense, be victorious. 
What is certain is that Germany will collect not a 
dollar from any nation if, when general exhaustion 
shall end the war, she shall be the least exhausted 
and therefore the nominal victor. 

If any indemnity should be paid by any nation, 
it is more likely that it- will be paid by Germany. 
It is not likely that even Germany will pay one. It is 
more likely that the Allies will demand an indemnity 
and then trade off their demand for the return of 
any of their territory that, at the end of the war, may 
be in the hands of the Central Powers. The Allies 
have already let it be known that they will demand 
an indemnity and that they will use their superior 
naval power to prevent all German merchant ships 


from sailing the seas until the indemnity shall be paid. 
That is not an idle threat since England, if her Allies 
should desert her, could withdraw her armies and, 
with her own navy, enforce the claim herself. Ger- 
man statesmen have long known this. Since Decem- 
ber 14, 1915, all the world has known that such is 
the intention of the Allies. Under that date the 
New York Times printed the following Washington 
despatch : 

"Several newspapers have received to-night from 
what may be described as a semi-official source an in- 
timation of one argument the Allies expect to use in 
getting satisfactory terms from the Teutonic Em- 
pires once commissioners meet about the council table 
to discuss peace. This information confirms private 
suggestions that the Allies, in spite of their recent 
reverses, mean to carry the war to the point where 
they can demand a large indemnity from Germany 
and Austria. 

"This intimation is conveyed in the following state- 
ment : 

" 'One of the main points of the Allies' peace terms 
is that on no account will the German mercantile 
marine flag be permitted to be seen upon the high seas 
until full indemnification has been paid. The Allies 
have the power to do this and mean to use it to the 
full extent.'" 

Why then should we so greatly fear a nation that 
we did not at all fear when there was still a chance 
that she might win a speedy, smashing victory? Do 
we give the Germans credit for no sense ? Was Secre- 
tary Daniels wrong when he said, in 1914, that great 
debts and great depletion of resources would so ex- 
haust the belligerents that none of them would soon 


care to fight again? Are we to believe that Germany, 
having failed to win a substantial victory with her 
army, which is strong, would be eager to attempt a 
war of conquest with her navy which is relatively 
weak, against a nation 3,000 miles distant? Would 
she be likely to begin such a war if that nation had 
not only a navy, at least as strong as her own, but 
national wealth of one hundred and fifty billions, as 
against Germany's eighty billions, and a population 
of one hundred millions, as against Germany's sixty- 
seven millions? Germany now has not that much 
population, nor that much wealth, since these figures 
were compiled before the war began. 

Yet the identical newspapers that will not print the 
official statements of Admirals Fletcher and Badger 
pertaining to the superiority of the American Navy 
over the German Navy these identical newspapers 
tell us that fear is justly abroad in the land and that 
we should make haste to arm. Secretary Daniels, 
who felt no alarm when Germany was stronger, feels 
much alarmed when Germany is much weaker and has 
much less reason for looking forward to a favor- 
able ending of the present war. He wants Congress 
to appropriate for the navy this year $217,658,173. 
That is an increase over the preceding year of about 
$68,000,000. And he wants this pace kept up for 
five years. 

Do people stop to think what that means? It means 
for the navy during the next five years one billion 
two hundred million dollars. Do people realize that, 
so far as the navy is concerned, this is out-Germany- 
ing Germany ? Germany, during the five years preced- 
ing the outbreak of the present war, spent on her navy 
$546,454,803. Mr. Wilson wants to spend almost 


twice as much during the next five years as Germany 
spent during the five years in which she was extending 
herself to the uttermost to get within striking distance 
of the size of the British Navy. Nor should it be for- 
gotten that during the five years while Germany was 
pouring millions into her navy, we poured out more 
millions than she did. Our appropriations for the 
same period were $653,869,371. We are not a nation 
that, so far as a navy is concerned, are just starting. 
We are a nation that, for years, have spent more 
money on our fleet than has any other nation save 
Great Britain. For the convenience of those who may 
be interested, I append the naval appropriations of 
the principal powers from 1900 to 1914, inclusive 
(see page 63). 

And, in the face of these figures, Mr. Wilson sub- 
mits a naval building program for the next five years 
that, if enacted, would, as Representative Claude Kit- 
chin of North Carolina succinctly put it, "at one 
bound, increase our already immense naval expendi- 
ture by more than our total increase during the last 
fourteen years, and by more than the total German 
naval increase during the five years preceding the 
European War, and by more than the combined naval 
increase of all the nations of the world in any one year 
in their history!" 

Mr. Garrison, late Secretary of War, wanted an 
army of 541,000 regulars and "Continentals" at an 
annual cost of $182,234,559 or a mere matter, dur- 
ing the next five years, of $911,172,795 ! 

The War College Division of the General Staff of 
the Army do not believe this goes far enough. These 
affable gentlemen would have an army of one million 
men, equally divided into regulars and "Continentals." 



Great Britain, 

Fiscal year Apr. i-Mar. 31 
1900-1 $145,792,850 

1906-7 152,954,342 








1912-13 224,443,296 

1913-14 237,530,459 

1914-15 260,714,275 

United States, 
July i-June 30 


April to March 
















Jan. to Dec. 


Fiscal year Jan. to Dec. 
1900-1 $42,101,212 



1003-4- - 


1905-6. . 



1908-9 . . 









July i-June 30 


April to March 




We smile at the War College gentlemen now or at 
any rate, we do if we know no better. What they are 
advocating now is but the natural sequence of what 
Mr. Garrison and his kind are advocating now. The 
appetite for arms is progressive. 

If Congress should enact the Wilson defense pro- 
gram it would at once be confronted with two prob- 
lems how to get the money to pay the bills and how 
to get the soldiers to make the army. 

Mr. Garrison has thought of the soldier part of it. 
He knows how much advertising the government has 
had to do to keep intact an army of 100,000 men. And 
there is where Conscription raises its ugly head. Mr. 


Garrison is looking forward to the necessity of con- 
scription, in time of peace, to raise the army for 
which he has asked. 

I quote the following paragraph from his annual 
report : 

"If the nation requires certain service and offers the 
most favorable opportunity for the citizens to furnish 
such service, and, notwithstanding that it cannot se- 
cure such service, it must then resort to some method 
of compelling the service." 

Here is visible proof of the Socialist contention that 
this nation is ruled, not by its people, but by the 
capitalist class. We need not argue the point there 
are the animal's claws. What doctrine more mon- 
strous than that set forth by Mr. Garrison that the 
nation and its citizens are things apart? 

What power is it in "the nation" that gives it, 
not only the right to demand but to take services 
that "the citizens" are unwilling to give? If the 
citizens of the United States do not constitute the 
nation, pray who and what do constitute it? Whence 
comes the power to say that if "the citizens" should 
decide even to welcome an invader, they would not 
have the right to do so? 

Mr. Garrison, so far as >his own purposes are 
concerned, went too far. For a brief moment he 
threw a beam of light on the ruling class that is 
administering the government of this nation. He and 
his class doubtless want a larger army, but he should 
be more discreet. There is a way of phrasing things 
to conceal facts and Mr. Garrison should know it. 

Nor was the Secretary of War alone in hinting at 
the necessity of conscription if the Wilson defense 
plan should become effective. The patriotic Union 


League Club of New York, which is largely composed 
of antiquated millionaires and men of lesser wealth, 
was perhaps the first to adopt, by unanimous vote, 
a resolution urging the government to compel every 
able-bodied citizen of military age to serve in the army 
"or contribute financially" to its support. No great 
gift of imagination seems necessary to frame an ac- 
curate forecast as to whether the Union League gentle- 
men would serve in person, or "contribute financially" 
by hiring substitutes. 

The New York Evening Mail, the editor of which 
is Mr. S. S. McClure of former magazine fame, is 
also in favor of conscription. After commending 
the Garrison plan and asking how the soldiers were 
to be obtained, it continues : 

"By the present voluntary system of enlistment? 
Utterly impossible. The excellent project of national 
defense, fully warranted by the uncertainties and 
hidden menaces of the international situation, can- 
not begin to be put into effect without the establish- 
ment of the principle of obligatory service, imposed 
by the inexorable requirements of the most vital in- 
terests of the country." 

Conscription has already raised its head in Con- 
gress, where on December 13, 1915, Senator Cham- 
berlain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mili- 
tary Affairs, introduced a bill under the terms of 
which, if it should become a law, compulsory service, 
even in time of peace, would begin at the age of 12 
and continue until the age of 23. 

The little boys would be required to train only a few 
hours each year and the older boys not much longer. 
But it is the entering wedge toward the same sort of 
compulsory military service that, for a hundred years, 


has spared no boy in Europe except the boys of Eng- 
land. Raise the Wilson army and conscription will 
follow as a matter of course. This will then be the 
same kind of a land as those from which millions 
of Europeans have fled to come to this country. They 
knew what they were fleeing from and why. We shall 
better understand why they fled if we let conscrip- 
tion become fastened upon us. 

Granted that enough conscripts can be drafted to 
make a huge army, we shall still be confronted with 
the problem of how to raise enough money to sup- 
port the army and the navy. This money can come 
from but one source the working class; the farmers, 
mechanics, laborers and others who constitute the 
productive part of the community. The working class 
produce the wealth with which to pay all the taxes that 
are paid. If the Wilson defense plan should be put 
into effect, it would be necessary to impose more 
taxes. Of course, I do not mean taxes on buildings 
and land. 

The United States Government never gets a cent 
that is raised by taxes on buildings and land. The 
United States Government gets its money from cus- 
toms receipts, internal revenue taxes on tobacco, 
whisky, etc., taxes laid upon incomes, and now, to 
some extent, from special taxes that were imposed 
as a result of the loss of revenue caused by the 
shrinkage of imports due to the European War. 

The government is barely keeping its head above 
water without a larger army and a larger navy to 
create and maintain. What the taxes would be in ten 
or twenty years, nobody can tell. The people of 
Europe know more about such things than we do. 

If these be the things that the American people 


want, Mr. Wilson and his party with Republican as- 
sistance will be pleased to serve them. 

Compulsory military service right away. 

Higher cost of living right away. 

Possibly a war in a few years. 

Yet we are assured by Hiram Maxim, among other 
munitions patriots, that we should "prepare." Every 
munitions patriot is purely unselfish in his advocacy 
of greater armaments. But wait a moment. A des- 
patch from St. Louis, Mo., to the New York World: 

(Special to The World.) 

"ST. Louis. Many members have resigned and 
others are threatening to resign from the Committee 
of One Hundred appointed by Mayor Kiel to urge 
the preparedness program upon Congress. This ac- 
tion resulted from advertisements in St. Louis news- 
papers this morning of a $10,000,000 Maxim Muni- 
tions Corporation offering stock for sale at $10 a 
share. Hudson Maxim appeared two days ago be- 
fore the Business Men's League to urge support of 
the national defense program. 

" That's a pretty swift beginning/ said former 
Solicitor General of the United States Frederick W. 
Lehmann in announcing his refusal to serve on the 

" 'One cannot help suspecting an ulterior motive,' 
said Judge H. S. Canfield in declining to be a com- 

" 'If the activities of the National Security 
League, at the instance of which the committee was 


appointed, the appearance of Mr. Maxim and the 
promulgation of the advertisements can be connected, 
it is treasonable/ said John H. Gundlach, former 
President of the City Council and member of the com- 

Nevertheless, the munitions patriots are probably 
entirely unselfish in their advice to prepare. The only 
reason they do not advocate the manufacture of guns, 
ammunition and ships by the government is because 
they happened to miss the paragraph in Secretary 
Daniels' report for 1914 in which he said it had been 
demonstrated that the government could make any- 
thing "from a dreadnought to a gallon of paint," 
for less than it could buy the same article from private 



TT^ORMER Secretary of War Garrison, speaking at 
* a banquet attended by a thousand bankers in 
New York on January 17, 1916, said : 

"The newspapers of the country, either voicing 
public opinion or leading it, have been insistent for 
months in their news articles and in their editorials 
that a wise, sensible military policy is essential for the 
nation. This public opinion was formulated by the 
President, as the spokesman of the people, and a policy 
embracing the essential principles of national defense 
was by him proposed to Congress." 

The first part of this statement, so far at least as it 
relates to the responsibility of the press for creating 
fear in this country, is true. I may be able to throw a 
little light on the part that relates to President Wilson's 
share in the matter. 

At a meeting held in Washington in January, 1916, 
of the Anti-Preparedness Committee, of which I was 
a member, Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard, publisher of 
the New York Evening Post and grandson of William 
Lloyd Garrison, made the following statement: 

"Colonel House told me that the Wilson Defense 
Program was put up to be knocked down." 

The Colonel House to whom Mr. Villard referred 
is Colonel E. M. House, closest friend of the Presi- 
dent. Mr. Villard is the only New York newspaper 



editor who is opposing preparedness. He is not a 
member of the Anti-Preparedness Committee, but he 
sometimes meets with it. 

The people of this country are entitled to know all 
of the facts back of the effort to stampede the nation 
into militarism. If the President, in advocating "pre- 
paredness," is violating his conscience to play politics, 
the people have a right to know the truth. 

American history contains no political chapter 
more disgraceful than that which American politicians 
are now writing on the subject of "preparedness." 
The question of whether we are to depart from our 
traditions and assume the crushing burdens of great 
military establishments is one that might well have 
smothered in each American every selfish longing, 
every unworthy motive, bearing on the subject. So 
far as some of our politicians and business men are con- 
cerned, precisely the opposite has taken place. Selfish- 
ness has run and is running riot. Though these 
gentlemen are playing with fire around a powder 
magazine, they are so intent upon the achievement of 
their own little ambitions that they seem utterly un- 
mindful of the great, solemn national interests that 
are involved interests that touch not only the living 
but generations of the unborn. 

More than any other one man, Theodore Roosevelt 
is responsible for the wave of fear, now happily 
passing, that swept over the country. He is the vic- 
tim and so long as he lives he will doubtless continue 
to be the victim of a consuming desire to get back 
to and remain in the White House. He showed these 
symptoms soon after he returned from Africa. He 
put forth his greatest efforts to get the Republican 
nomination in 1912. When he failed he went deliber- 


ately about it to wreck his party and succeeded. 
From the moment that Mr. Wilson entered the White 
House he did nothing to the satisfaction of Mr. Roose- 
velt. For many long months he searched diligently, 
yet without much success, for an issue large enough 
so that he could lock horns with the President to the 
end that he might politically destroy him. 

And then came the great war. Mr. Wilson has 
done nothing since that Mr. Roosevelt could approve. 
With fine frenzy he lashed the President because he 
did not advocate a declaration of war against Ger- 
many because of the invasion of Belgium. Mr. Roose- 
velt, of course, knows as well as anybody that even 
England did not go to war because of Belgium, how- 
ever much she may have officially pretended to do so. 
Yet what he doubtless considered his political necessi- 
ties caused him, almost at the beginning, to decry Mr. 
Wilson because he did not do his best to plunge this 
country into the European War. 

Mr. Roosevelt did not immediately advocate "pre- 
paredness" nor criticize Mr. Wilson because he did 
not advocate. When "prepared" Europe broke into 
war-flame it seemed as if no sane man ever again 
could advocate tremendous preparation for war as the 
best means of keeping the peace. Everywhere it was 
felt that the great calamity of the European War 
must lead at least to this much good that it would 
forever put a stop to the insanity of endless competi- 
tion in armaments. 

Such views naturally gave alarm to the interests 
that, for twenty years, had been fattening upon armor 
plate contracts and other orders related to the business 
of war. These gentlemen, as we now know, are not 
entirely without resources. They have in the aggre- 


gate, not only great wealth, but through banking and 
business connections, they have the power to influence 
a great deal of wealth that they do not own. They 
have power over congressmen. They have power over 
newspapers. And they are not unaware of the fact 
that the strongest emotion that moves human beings is 

Steps were taken to spread fear throughout the land. 
Eminent admirals and generals were interviewed. 
Was there ever an eminent admiral or general who 
believed the American army and the American navy 
were large enough? Admirals and generals who 
believe this country could be shot up before breakfast 
by almost any ambitious power are so numerous as to 
be a nuisance. Grant their premises and we must 
accept their conclusions. There is no doubt that this 
country can be invaded. There is no doubt that any 
country can be invaded. Enough men and enough guns 
can penetrate England, or Germany, or France, or 
the United States. The point these gentlemen always 
overlook is that none of the nations that have guns 
enough to be in our class has ever deemed it expedient 
to try to invade America with any force that it could 
spare from its own shores. Our timid admirals and 
generals never seem to consider that European enmities 
are our best protection from European attack, since 
no European nation would dare to leave its own coasts 
unguarded to bring its entire force against us. Yet, 
class-conscious admirals and generals that they are, 
they are always willing to tell anybody who may in- 
quire that we are in a frightful state of unpreparedness 
and much need more ships and more soldiers. 

The armament gentlemen, some of whom modestly 
confess that they have a little armament to sell, did 


their utmost to create fear by spreading these ideas 
around. Naturally they turned to the newspapers as 
the best means of carrying on their propaganda. No 
difficulty was encountered in obtaining extensive 
editorial support. Caesar's wife edits no newspapers 
in the great metropolitan districts. Every editor has a 
publisher and every publisher has a banker. The pub- 
lisher knows who discounts his notes and who has 
the power to refuse to renew them. The banker who 
is financing munitions interests, and profiting thereby, 
can pull any one of many strings to make the editorial 
typewriter click out his will. 

Moreover, the publisher of a great newspaper in a 
great city is usually part and parcel of the industrial 
and financial group who would have this nation armed 
mightily so that it might trade tremendously. These 
gentlemen see in a great navy an excellent means with 
which to pry open foreign markets. It matters not 
to them that the American working class should be 
permitted to consume its own products. It matters not 
to these gentlemen that the American working class, 
if it were paid sufficient wages, would be glad to con- 
sume its own products. These determined men of 
finance and industry are intent only upon finding 
foreign markets for what they have filched at home. 
And they have the unspeakable impudence to ask the 
American working class, in the name of "patriotism," 
to provide a navy with which to complete the theft 
of their own products and, in the event of war as to 
markets, to give up their lives to enable their masters 
to get their money for their stolen goods. 

The newspapers, aided mightily by Mr. Roosevelt, 
spread fear abroad throughout the land. The moment 
fear was felt the seed of "preparedness" was sown. 


It looked for a while as if the country were in a fair 
way to go mad. And it was only when it seemed as 
if the country were about to become of one mind as to 
the necessity of great military preparations that Mr. 
Wilson, the politician, not knowing which way the 
cat might jump, stultified his own brave words of 
December, 1914, and put up a defense program "to 
be knocked down." 

Mr. Wilson is an exceedingly adroit politician. I 
do not know that his character can be better summed 
up than it was by a New York man who attended 
Princeton University when Mr. Wilson was its presi- 
dent. "I would not call Mr. Wilson crooked," said 
he, "but he is artful." "Artful" is the word. Mr. 
Wilson is the sort of gentleman who, when he chooses 
to do so, seeps through a situation instead of cutting 
it with a knife. There can be no doubt that in his 
heart he is opposed to the program he has proposed. 
The reasoning that he employed in his December, 1914, 
message shows it. Col. House's statement to Mr. 
Villard proves it. But Mr. Wilson, desiring a second 
term, and being uncertain as to the extent of the "pre- 
paredness" mania, felt it necessary to put himself in 
a position to swim with the tide if there were a tide. 

Yet in the message to Congress in which he launched 
his defense program he contrived innocently to men- 
tion that our finances were already in a bad way, and 
that if the defense program were to be adopted, it 
would be necessary, each year, to raise some additional 
hundreds of millions by taxation, and to suggest that 
these sums might be raised by taxing, among other 
things, gasoline and steel. He made these suggestions 
rather lightly, but he must have known that they would 
raise the howls in the automobile and steel industries 


that they did raise. In this "artful" manner Mr. Wil- 
son succeeded, not only in bringing to the attention 
of the whole country what would be the cost of "pre- 
paredness," but he set different groups of manufac- 
turers to quarreling as to which industries should bear 
the bulk of the burden. 

Mr. Wilson's "artfulness" was still further displayed 
in his whole-hearted endorsement of Secretary Gar- 
rison's proposed Continental Army. On the face of it 
this endorsement seemed very generous. It was ample, 
and it was doubtless uttered to the accompaniment 
of that bland smile of which the President is peculiarly 
the master. But the practical value of the endorsement 
became apparent a little later when the question of 
conscription came to the fore. Mr. Garrison's Con- 
tinental Army could not possibly be raised without 
conscription even its friends admitted that. And Mr. 
Wilson, when the moment came, permitted a member 
of Congress to announce in the House that in no cir- 
cumstances would the President favor conscription. In 
other words, the President's darling secretary of war 
had full permission to swim, the only condition being 
that he go not near the water. 

It may seem as if an effort is being made to picture 
the President as another Machiavelli somewhat of 
an improvement, perhaps, over the original, but still 
of the same kind. Such an inference would be ground- 
less. No effort is being made. The writer is but a 
mere relator of events in their chronological order. 
What these events may show the President to be is 
for the consideration of the reader, rather than of the 
writer. Consider, for instance, what the President 
was doing when the "preparedness" wave was at its 
height and for some time afterward. He was doing 


nothing. Munitions patriots were fuming. Bankers 
were scissoring off maple toothpicks with their teeth. 
The New York Times, a faithful munitions organ, was 
editorially demanding that the defense bills "Must 
Come to a Vote at Once." 

The carefully manufactured newspaper wave of fear 
was even beginning a little to recede and still no 
word came from the White House. The Washington 
correspondent of the New York Tribune, early in 
January, sent a despatch to his newspaper expressing 
the astonishment of the great interests that the Presi- 
dent was doing nothing. They could not understand 
how a President who had been so energetic in pushing 
some of his other measures through Congress could be 
so apathetic as to "his" most important measure - 
the defense program. Only the New York Tribune did 
not put any quotation marks around the word "his." 
The President's loyalty to "his" own measures was 
not questioned. The Tribune seemed only to feel that 
he had gone to sleep. As if the President ever slept 
except in bed! 

Mr. Wilson permitted this situation to continue, 
without a sign that it would ever end, until the latter 
part of January. By that time the "preparedness" 
wave had tremendously ebbed, leaving long dirty 
marks to indicate what had been its higher levels. 
Everybody admitted that the Garrison army idea was 
dead beyond resurrection. With a Democratic major- 
ity in the House of only twenty-three, more than 
eighty Democrats were known to be opposed to the de- 
fense measures and more were seeing the light every 
day. The Republicans, while known to be willing to 
supply the votes to pass the bills, were also known to 
be unwilling to incur the odium that was sure to be 


attached to the party that might make possible the 
enactment of the necessary revenue measures. The 
"preparedness" advocates, with defeat staring them in 
the face, were freely fighting among themselves. Then 
and then only did Mr. Wilson cause it to be announced 
that on January 27 he would speak in New York, 
and that in February he would speak in several cities 
on measures that he favored, among which, of course, 
would be the "preparedness" bills. After the horse 
was stolen he consented to lock the barn ! 

The real history of these momentous days will never 
be written. Whatever may happen, the history that 
will be written will judge Mr. Wilson leniently. Even 
if a miracle should happen and, turning to militarism, 
we should invite and, eventually, get war, still the his- 
torian would say that in proposing great additions 
to our military establishments, Mr. Wilson did no more 
than express the country's desires, which, in a democ- 
racy, a President should always do. History would 
take no note of how the desires were manufactured. 
It would merely record the fact (if it should become 
a fact) that they existed. On the other hand, if the 
country, recoiling from militarism, as it certainly is, 
should cause the defense measures to be defeated, his- 
tory, recalling the President's defense measures, would 
content itself with the observation that he placed the 
question before the country that it might answer it as 
it saw fit. 

We who are now living are not, however, dependent 
upon history either for our facts or for our opinions. 
Of course, results are, in a large sense, what we are 
after, and if Mr. Wilson by putting up a defense pro- 
gram "to be knocked down" shall contribute to the 
defeat of the militarists, the tendency will be to rejoice 


in the end rather than too closely to scrutinize the 
means by which it was brought about. That is the 
superficial, generous way in which the American people 
invariably pass judgment. Yet, to those who see 
more deeply into things, the fact is as plain as a pike- 
staff that, as to this exceedingly perilous matter, Mr. 
Wilson has been playing politics for a selfish purpose. 

If he actually believed the country needed the great 
additions to armament that he proposed, he should 
have put his shoulder behind the measures that were 
drawn to bring them about and pushed with every 
ounce of his weight. 

If he believed the country should not depart from all 
its traditions by converting itself into an "armed 
camp," he should not have contented himself by put- 
ting up a program "to be knocked down." 

When Mr. Wilson proclaimed his program the 
question of "preparedness" was balancing in the scale, 
with the chances in favor of the scale settling on the 
side of militarism. The country did not know the 
President was insincere. A breath might have deter- 
mined the issue. Fortunately, the margin of safety 
appears to have been large enough so that Mr. Wilson's 
breath of selfishness did no harm. Mr. Wilson could 
not have known how wide was that margin of safety, 
yet for a purely selfish purpose he played on it with 
the most reckless abandon. Posterity may forget 
and forgive this. It will be more difficult for those 
of the present generation who know what he has 

But while there may be apologists for what may be 
considered the President's "artfulness," there can be 
no apologists for the shameful part played by some 
of the great metropolitan newspapers in turning over 


their properties to the munitions patriots. They know 
they are engaged in a crooked game. They know, 
because they know what they are printing and what 
they are excluding. They know what they are put- 
ting big headlines on, and what they are putting 
little headlines on. Any unknown gentleman who 
returns from Europe with a superheated opinion that 
this country should fly to arms can get ample space 
and good headlines. Any one who believes otherwise 
cannot get much of anything. Most of the opinion 
adverse to "preparedness" is suppressed, and the little 
that is permitted to get into print is put on back pages 
under small headlines. I am speaking, of course, only 
of the New York newspapers, who constitute the center 
of the "preparedness" propaganda. These statements 
are true of all the New York newspapers except the 
Evening Post, a newspaper of high character but small 
circulation. The Post has fought splendidly against 
the whole "preparedness" program. Many newspapers 
in smaller cities have done the same. 

As to the suppression of news adverse to "prepared- 
ness," I was sitting in one of the galleries of the 
House of Representatives on January 10, 1916, listen- 
ing to a speech by Judge Shackleford of Missouri 
against the exportation of ammunition. Near the 
close of his address Mr. Focht, a Republican of Penn- 
sylvania, interrupted. To quote from the Congres- 
sional Record of the same date : 

"MR. FOCHT: The gentleman is opposed to any 
foreign invasion of this country, and that our defense 
should be amply prepared for it. 

"Now, I want to call attention and ask the gentleman 
to amplify some portion of his generally splendid 
address, and that is in regard to the finances of Europe. 


I think the gentleman recalls that Napoleon said, 'Give 
me three things and I will have the universe at my feet/ 
and those things were 'money, money, money!' Now, 
I understand that Europe is bankrupt, that the rest of 
the allies are on the pay roll of Great Britain, and 
that Great Britain is coming here borrowing on her 
bonds and securities; and since money constitutes the 
sinews of war, how are they going to prosecute any 
war against us while they are financially broke? 
[Applause.] In other words, several years ago when 
Europe was at her maximum strength on land and sea 
we heard nothing about this most lavish proposed 
preparedness. Now, when Europe is on her back, 
broke and bankrupt, and at her minimum strength, it 
seems to me much of this fear at this particular time 
is groundless. [Applause.] 

"MR. SHACKLEFORD: I thought the gentleman 
interrupted me for a question, but it turns out he has 
not; nevertheless I must express to him my gratitude 
for putting so much better than I could the very thing 
I was thinking. I agree with him, and if I had time I 
should like to discuss the impropriety of taking the 
people's credit of this country and loaning it out to 
the foreign countries who are engaged in war. 
[Applause.] We should, rather, lend it to our own 
people to support their own industries and carry along 
prosperity for ourselves." 

Mr. Focht's incisive reasoning was not met in the 
House, though plenty of "preparedness" gentlemen 
sat around, nor has it been answered anywhere else. 
But did one New York newspaper pay any attention 
to what he said? Did one of them deign to write 
an editorial reply to it? Not one. So far as they 
are concerned, Mr. Focht might as well be dead. For 


them he does not exist. They do not know him and 
do not want to know him. Perusal of the Congres- 
sional Record shows that hardly a day passes that some 
sort of a blow is not landed in Congress upon "pre- 
paredness." In New York, at least, little or nothing 
is printed. But let the Honorable Gussie Gardner 
emit a howl for men and guns and the newspapers ring 
with it. The easiest way to get publicity in New York 
last winter was to have something to say in favor 
of adopting the European plan to avert war. The 
hardest way was to be against it. 

New York newspaper editors are not all fools. Some 
of them, if they had a chance, would print some sense. 
Not all of them would some of them would. The 
difficulty is that New York newspaper editors do not 
edit their own newspapers. The publishers edit the 
editors. The publisher lays down to his editor the 
newspaper's "policy." A "policy" is both a deadline 
and a program. It is a list of things to do and a list 
of other things not to do. Not to advocate opposition 
to "preparedness" or even to give such opposition 
favorable consideration in the news columns is a stand- 
ing order in the office of every New York newspaper 
except the Evening Post. The editor carries out 
orders. The publisher gives orders. 

The publisher is not a. publicist he is a business 
man. Like other business men, he is making money, 
owing money and looking for money. He has respect 
for the views of the banker, because he owes him 
money, or knows he may sometime want to owe him 
money. He has respect for the views of business men 
because he knows that they, like himself, are looking 
for money and the easiest way to get it. What would 
be good for them is likely to be good for him. What 


would be bad for them would probably be bad for him. 
As business men they are all in the same boat. And 
any tendency on the publisher's part to pursue a public 
policy opposed to the views of his business acquaint- 
ances might make trouble for him. Business men, if 
they choose, can reward those who play the game 
according to the rules, as they can, if they choose, 
punish those who refuse to do so. 

If the publisher's commodity were soap instead of 
what purports to be disinterested advice to the public, 
his position would be ethically unassailable. A soap 
manufacturer is nothing but a soap manufacturer. 
He does not pretend to be saving the country except 
from dirt. The publisher pretends to be saving the 
country. Day in and day out he is telling his part of 
the public what to do for their own good. In his 
news columns he pretends to print the news. The 
truth is that, when great public questions are before 
the country, he usually takes an editorial position that 
is dictated by the selfish interests of a small class of 
which he is a part, and "prints the news" in such a 
manner as to fortify his editorial position. 

Such conduct constitutes a fraud against the pub- 
lic. Newspaper readers are entitled to truthful news. 
With regard to the "preparedness" mania, they have 
not been getting it. It is not truthful to misrepresent 
public sentiment. Public sentiment is misrepresented 
when nine-tenths of the news space devoted to the 
subject of "preparedness" is handed over to those who 
favor it. It is not truthful to represent that this is 
almost exclusively a land of Gussie Gardners and Hud- 
son Maxims. We also have with us a considerable 
number of persons who, unlike Mr. Maxim, have no 
ammunition to sell and who, unlike Mr. Gardner, do 


not go to bed with goblins and get up with ghosts. 
The greater part of the country has not lost its head. 
None of it would have lost its head if the newspapers 
had not lent themselves to the munitions patriots and 
the great business interests that, for years, have be- 
lieved big trade follows a big navy. The few who 
are still nervous will quickly calm down if the news- 
papers will but cease turning in false alarms. 

The world-war at last shows signs of burning itself 
out. The strain is telling upon all of the belligerents. 
Each shows less speed. If the war were to end to-day, 
nobody in Europe outside of an insane asylum would 
want to start another to-morrow. The longer the 
war lasts, the longer will the memory of it burn those 
who have felt its fires. It seems likely to drag on, 
at slower pace, for a year or two. Europe then more 
than ever will deserve our pity rather than our fear. 
It will be the saddest sight upon which the sun ever 
shone. So far as we are concerned, it will be about 
as dangerous as a cemetery. Yet, there are a few 
powerful men among us who, for various reasons, 
would have us arm vastly more heavily against 
crippled, disillusioned Europe than they ever dared 
urge that we arm when Europe was at the height of 
its military power. 

Maybe this is sense. More likely it is dollars. At 
any rate, it is a crime. It is a crime against America. 
It is a crime against Europe. It is a crime against the 
world. We should be talking of something else. 
When Europe comes out of her terrible struggle we 
should not greet her with a knife. Europe is suffering 
tremendously. When her misery ends she will be in 
no mood to raise more armies and more navies. She 
will be glad to sink back and rest from war for a 


generation or two, while she binds up her wounds. 
We should not even seem to threaten her. We should 
be her friend the friend of every part of Europe. 
If we so conduct ourselves that we deserve Europe's 
friendship, we shall get it If we arm ourselves to 
fight a cripple, some will call us fools, others will call 
us cowards, and both will be right. 



THE process of outraging public decency and call- 
ing it a campaign for "preparedness" goes 
merrily on in these United States. Perhaps never 
before were more lies told, more truth suppressed, 
more insincerity shown or more politics played. Every- 
body who is in the game had his own particular reason 
for getting into it, and these reasons are as dissimilar 
as things can be. The munitions patriots are in it 
in the hope of reaping immediate profits. Other great 
capitalistic interests are in it in the hope of ultimately 
obtaining profits from foreign trade gained at the 
points of guns. A few timid gentlemen are in it 
because their souls were so made that they scent fear 
where there is no danger. Mr. Roosevelt is in it be- 
cause he loathes "disgraceful peace" and would also 
like to be in the White House. Mr. Wilson is in it 
because he feared he might not be able to remain in 
the White House unless he got into the fight for "pre- 

But Mr. Wilson, as a fighter for "preparedness," is 
something of a sight. It is sometimes difficult to tell 
whether he is more dangerous to his friends or to his 
enemies. He whirls around and fires rapidly in every 
direction, sometimes shelling his opponents and, occa- 
sionally, knocking down some trusted companion like 
his late Secretary of War, Mr. Garrison. He has 



never made a speech in favor of "preparedness" that, 
somewhere in it, he did not give a conclusive reason 
why he should not have made it. His speeches are the 
arsenal toward which all opponents of "preparedness" 
turn for their best ammunition. Enemies of "pre- 
paredness" look fondly toward him as a gunner might 
look to a soldier handing him shells. We can never 
forgive him for playing politics about so grave a 
matter, but we can never forget the weasel-words he 
has slipped into his speeches the words that show his 
speeches are not so. 

Indeed, the campaign for "preparedness" is a most 
amazing campaign. Many men who know nothing 
of the subject of which they speak now pose as experts. 
General Leonard Wood has been widely quoted as 
saying that if the United States were at war with a 
first-class power our navy would be at the bottom 
of the sea in sixty days. What General Wood knows 
about navies and where he learned it might be inter- 
esting information. He used to be a doctor. Fate 
made him the friend of Theodore Roosevelt. Though 
Wood had never been to West Point, except, perhaps, 
as a tourist, Mr. McKinley jumped him over the heads 
of hundreds of others and sent him on his way to the 
head of the army. 

As a general in time of peace, Dr. Wood has worn 
his gold braid gracefully, and, it is to be presumed, 
drawn his salary regularly. He has never fought 
a battle, or planned one that was fought. He has 
never raided a city or defended one. Unproved 
as he is, it may yet be true that, if he had an oppor- 
tunity to become one, he would indeed be a great gen- 
eral. But where and when under the shining stars did 


he ever qualify as a great admiral? Echo is still play- 
ing handball with the word "where." 

If Frank F. Fletcher be not a great admiral, Mr. 
Wilson cannot be much of a President. Mr. Wilson 
placed Admiral Fletcher in command of the Atlantic 
Fleet. The Atlantic Fleet is the largest fleet we have. 
If the invasion which Mr. Wilson says could not take 
place and the munitions patriots say could easily 
take place, were actually to be attempted, Admiral 
Fletcher, unless displaced, would lead our sea-forces 
to resist it. If he does not know a superior force from 
an inferior force, he would be a poor man to lead. 
He would be a poor leader because, while a leader's 
first qualification is to know when to fight, his second 
qualification is to know when to run. It is not good 
strategy to accept battle with a superior force when 
to fight means only to be annihilated. The thing to do 
then, as we understand it, is to get back under the pro- 
tection of your shore guns and let them help you. 

The point toward which readers are laboriously 
being led is that Admiral Fletcher, in December, 1914, 
told the House Committee on Naval Affairs that, in 
his opinion, the American Navy could defeat any 
navy on earth except that of Great Britain. He specifi- 
cally mentioned the navies of Germany, France, Italy, 
Japan and all the others and said our navy could 
whip any of them. If he is fit to lead our greatest 
fleet, it is not a fact that our navy could be sunk in 
sixty days by any first-class power. If our navy could 
be so quickly disposed of, General Wood, rather than 
Admiral Fletcher, should be in command of the At- 
lantic Fleet. General Wood would at least know, when 
sighting the mast-tops of a ferocious enemy, that he 
should immediately retire to the protection of the 


land fortifications. Foolhardy Fletcher might stay 
and fight, in the belief that our forty-odd battleships 
could whip Germany's thirty-nine or Japan's nineteen. 
He might even stay if he should sight the British colors 
at the mast-tops. Admiral Vreeland said England 
would not dare remove from European waters more 
than half of her navy. England, at the beginning of 
this war, had but 72 battleships built, building and 
authorized. Foolhardy Fletcher might believe that 
if England should come here with thirty-six craft, he 
might be able to stand them off with our forty-three. 

General Wood would make no such mistake. His 
experience as a doctor and a peace general would per- 
mit him to fall into no such naval blunder. But why 
is General Wood still in the army? The President is 
Commander-in-Chief of the navy. If Fletcher does 
not know an inferior force from a superior one, the 
President could remove him and, if he desired, place 
General Wood at his post. The President has not 
done so. General Wood is still somewhere in the army, 
and Admiral Fletcher is still in command of the 
greatest fleet that ever wore the Stars and Stripes. 

And this, notwithstanding the fact that the Presi- 
dent, in one of his Western speeches, said our navy 
ranked fourth among the world's navies. Admiral 
Fletcher was compelled by Representative Wither- 
spoon, in the House Committee hearings already men- 
tioned, to admit that it ranked second. Admiral Bad- 
ger, who once commanded the Atlantic Fleet, con- 
curred in the opinion. Where did Mr. Wilson get his 
authority for the statement that our navy ranks fourth ? 
It is true that, almost in the next breath, he qualified 
the statement by saying that owing to the excellent 
material in the personnel of our navy, it would prob- 


ably prove, in actual combat, to be better than fourth. 
But where did he get the slightest authority for saying 
that it ranked fourth? The 1916 Naval Yearbook is 
compiled by gentlemen who, for big-navy purposes, 
are always trying to belittle our navy, yet this Year- 
book contends only that our navy stands third, and 
from the data it contains, it is difficult to understand 
why it places it below second. Herewith is presented 
the number of ships built, building and authorized by 
the principal naval powers, according to the United 
States Naval Yearbook for 1916. The figures for 
the United States are as of July i, 1915. The figures 
for the other countries are as of July I, 1914, no data 
with regard to new construction being available since 
the outbreak of the war. 

1 42 


<i> E 

13 C 





' % 


**. a 








t-. 3 

ta '< 

cfl p 

n ? 


W3 O 


CO * 



w o 







England . . 






1 88 













United States 




















Japan. . 





























Austria- Hungary .... 









Based upon the Navy Department's own figures, 
what nation has elbowed the United States into fourth 
place since the Yearbook was printed early in 1916? 
If Germany was indeed second at that time, no amount 
of additional construction could have affected our rela- 
tive standing. The same holds true with regard to 
England. What nation has added to its navy so 
rapidly that Mr, Wilson had reason to say that it 


had taken third place from us? Is it France, which, 
according to our Navy Department, had only thirty 
battleships, as against the thirty-nine that our Navy 
Department graciously conceded to us? Or is it 
Japan, which had only nineteen ? 

The truth of the matter is that figures can be 
juggled, and the General Board of the Navy, which 
is always working for a larger American navy, has 
long been accused of juggling figures to indicate that 
our navy is smaller than it is. Before the naval appro- 
priations were made at the session of Congress that 
convened in December, 1915, Representative Wither- 
spoon read a list of forty battleships that we owned, 
and all the naval witnesses whom he grilled admitted 
that we had them. A few weeks later, appropriations 
were made for two dreadnoughts so large that no navy 
in the world can match them. We should therefore 
now have forty-two battleships. The Naval Yearbook 
says we have but thirty-nine. But the Yearbook admits 
that certain discretion is used in determining what 
is a battleship for statistical purposes and what is not. 
A ship more than twenty years old is not included 
unless it has been overhauled. The charge has often 
been made by responsible members of Congress that 
the General Board of the navy removes from our navy, 
for statistical purposes, ships of the same worth that 
it includes, for statistical purposes, in the navies of 
other powers. Certainly Admiral Fletcher knew what 
we had a year ago when he said our navy was not 
second to that of Germany; and, in a recent report, 
he said that our navy was 15 per cent, stronger than 
it was a year ago, and 30 per cent, more accurate in 
gunfire. (Congressional Record for February 3, 1916, 
page 2266.) 


What about the German navy, in comparison with 
what it was at the outbreak of the war? Nobody 
outside of Germany knows how many ships have been 
added since August I, 1914. Nobody outside of Ger- 
many knows all of the German ships that have been 
lost. But the American Naval Department knows 
some of the German ships that have been lost, and, 
in the 1916 Yearbook, prints their names, tonnage, 
size and number of guns. In the Yearbook it is not 
contended that these are all the German ships that have 
been lost. It is asserted only that the ships mentioned 
were lost between the outbreak of the war and August 
i, 1915. Here are the figures of German losses during 
the first year of the war, as vouched for by our own 
Naval Department: 

Five armored cruisers; 

Ten protected cruisers; 

Three small cruisers; 

Eight gunboats; 

Nine destroyers; 

Four torpedo boats; 

Seven submarines; 

Four mine-layers ; 

Eighteen auxiliary cruisers ; 

One battleship sold to Turkey. 

Sixty-nine ships of a total tonnage of 238,904, every 
ship of which was included in Admiral Fletcher's cal- 
culation of Germany's naval strength when he said 
that in his opinion our navy was stronger than that 
of Germany. Since then, two dreadnoughts of 32,000 
tons each have been ordered for our navy, in addition 
to eighteen submarines, and a considerable number 
of other ships. 


What nation, by passing us in naval strength within 
a few weeks, thereby justified Mr. Wilson in placing 
our navy in fourth place? According to the 1916 
Naval Yearbook, our Naval Department knows that 
France, during the first year of the war, lost twelve 
ships, including a battleship, an armored cruiser, a 
gunboat, two destroyers and some submarines. Eng- 
land is declared to have lost 42 ships, of a combined 
tonnage of more than 254,000, eight of which were 
battleships. Is it Japan that has gone ahead of us? 
Not likely. Our last Naval Yearbook says that Japan 
actually has only fifteen battleships, and that the last 
of the other four with which she is credited will not be 
finished until 1917. 

If the United States is a peg below the low place to 
which the makers of our last Naval Yearbook assigned 
us, Mr. Wilson, it would seem, should get some new 
makers of our Naval Yearbooks. If not, it would seem 
as if Mr. Wilson should be more cautious in his state- 
ments. It is difficult to believe that the Naval Year- 
book would assign to our navy a higher relative place 
than it deserves. It is not difficult to believe that it 
would assign to our navy a lower place than it de- 
serves. Something is wrong, somewhere, either 
Admiral Fletcher, the General Board of the Navy or 
Mr. Wilson. They cannot all be right because no two 
of them agree. 

It would be quite easy to ascertain where we stand 
upon land if we were to take the word of a very 
eminent gentleman who qualified to give expert testi- 
mony about armies by spending his life as a New Jersey 
lawyer and judge. The gentleman in question is Mr. 
Garrison, former Secretary of War, who, happily, is 
now of no consequence except as he may serve as an 


admirable illustration of the vociferousness of some 
of our inexpert advisers. Mr. Garrison was quite 
sure we were woefully unprepared. Nothing but a 
"Continental Army" with its inevitable conscription 
would put us right. Yet, the man who is in charge 
of our coast defenses does not think so. He never 
practised law in Jersey or presided over a Jersey court, 
but he has practised a good deal with fourteen-inch 
guns, and weapons of smaller caliber. 

The gentleman in question is Erasmus Weaver. He 
is a brigadier-general in the United States Army. He 
is chief of the coast artillery division. His duty, in 
the event of attempted invasion of this country, would 
be to direct the operations of the land fortifications. 
Eminent lawyers and others say these land fortifica- 
tions are not good for much. No self-respecting 
European army of 40,000 or 50,000 men would humili- 
ate themselves by halting before our land fortifications. 
Yet General Weaver, testifying before the House Com- 
mittee a year ago said (Congressional Record, Feb- 
ruary 3, 1915, page 2265) : 

"I have been a close student of the whole subject, 
naturally, for a number of years, and I know of no 
fortifications in the world, so far as my reading, obser- 
vation and knowledge go, that compare favorably in 
efficiency with ours." 

But that was a year ago. Time is rapidly passing. 
Maybe we have since become out of date, as to fortifi- 
cations. It would not seem so, however. General 
Weaver, on January 19, 1916, again appeared before 
the House Committee on Military Affairs. He said if 
he had 11,000 more men to man our coast guns he 
would ask for nothing more. I quote from pages 48- 
49 of the report of the hearings: 


"MR. MCKELLAR : If we conclude to carry out your 
recommendations and give you the 11,000 men, then, 
as I understand you, you would have a perfect system 
of coast defense that you think would be adequate for 
any purpose ? 


"MR. MCKELLAR: Your idea is that your guns 
are sufficient now ? 

"GENERAL WEAVER: The guns now mounted and 
those contemplated will give us an entirely satisfactory 

"MR. MCKELLAR : You do not take any stock in the 
idea that the ships of foreign nations carry guns of 
long enough range to silence your guns? 


What a man for chief of our coast artillery! Does 
he not know that we are totally unprepared and that 
only the fear, perhaps, of meeting General Leonard 
Wood in person, keeps the enemy from our gates ? 

But the worst is yet to come. On page 50 of the 
report of the House Committee hearings appears the 
following : 

"MR. MCKELLAR : I want to ask you, General, with 
our present condition, is our condition of preparedness 
for defense deplorable? 

"GENERAL WEAVER: Except in the matter of per- 
sonnel, it is not. 

"MR. MCKELLAR : It is in excellent condition, with 
the addition of a few officers and men, such as have 
been recommended by the department and by you? 

"GENERAL WEAVER: Yes, sir." 

Turning to page 69, we find this: 

"MR. MCKENZIE: In your judgment, is it not un- 
'fair and misleading to the American people to have a 


public man make a statement that would lead you to 
believe that the coast cities of our country are wholly 
at the mercy of some invading enemy? 

"GENERAL WEAVER : I do not know that there is 
any officer who is acquainted with the facts that would 
make such a statement. 

"MR. McKENziE: Any public man; I do not say 
an officer. 

"GENERAL WEAVER: I hesitate to criticize public 

To what depths of degradation has not this general 
sunk! Does he not know that Mr. Stanwood Men- 
ken, President of the National Security League, is 
going around the country telling how easily "40,000 or 
50,000 men" could land upon our shores, shoot up 
New York and hold the city for an enormous indem- 
nity? Has this general no conscience? Apparently 
not. Neither has General Nelson A. Miles. General 
Miles endorses all that General Weaver says and adds 
more. It is true, the general never practised law in 
New Jersey or medicine anywhere, though he was" a 
major-general at the close of the Civil War and later 
lieutenant-general. This is what General Miles said 
about our land fortifications (Congressional Record, 
February 3, page 2265) : 

"Having had much to. do with placing and con- 
struction of our fortifications and inspecting every 
one along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts, as well 
as having had an opportunity of seeing all the great 
armies of the world and many of their strongest forti- 
fications, including the Dardanelles, I am prepared to 
say that our coasts are as well defended as the coasts 
of any country, with the same class of high-power guns 
and heavy projectiles, and I have no sympathy for 


the misrepresentations that have been made in the 
attempt to mislead the public." 

Isn't that the limit? Nope. On February 8, 1916, 
the General went before the House Committee on 
Military Affairs and said : 

"Overseas expeditions, such as we are told would 
succeed against the United States, are expensive and 
as a rule disastrous. These overseas expeditions spring 
from the minds of men writing on preparedness 
who know less about preparedness than anything 

But General Miles never had the benefit of long 
years of experience at the New Jersey bar. Otherwise, 
he might not have added that while 500,000 men might 
be placed upon ships, that many could not be landed 
upon our shores, and that he "would want to live in 
some other country" if we could not drive off even 
500,000 men from our soil. It is perfectly plain that 
in future, our greatest generals will be graduated from 
law schools, while our great admirals will come from 
medical colleges. 

Whether Mr. Wilson is trying to help or to hurt the 
"preparedness" propaganda is puzzling both the advo- 
cates and the opponents of increased military 
expenditures. If the President were a stupid, clumsy 
fellow, it might be easy enough for either side to 
believe in his sincerity while denouncing him for occa- 
sionally shooting his own friends. But the President 
is particularly adroit and peculiarly agile. Like the 
conventional gentleman of the French cynic, he "never 
wounds anybody's feelings unintentionally." When 
he leads a gentleman to the mountain top and, after 
briefly viewing the beautiful scenery, proceeds to kick 
him into the valley, we may therefore be certain the 


victim can recover nothing upon his accident insurance 
because it was no accident. 

The late Secretary of War, Mr. Garrison, must 
feel much as might a guest at a wealthy friend's house, 
who had been royally entertained during the day and, 
at night, shown to a bedroom in which a pistol for 
suicidal purposes was prominently placed on the table 
beside the reading lamp. When Mr. Garrison con- 
ceived the idea of a great "Continental Army," White 
House approval came like April showers to flowers. 
Full reports were given out to the press and the Ameri- 
can people were invited to behold how noble or, as 
Mr. Wilson would say, how "handsome" was the 
plan of the great Secretary of War. Chairman Hay, 
of the House Committee on Military Affairs, soon 
announced that his committee would never report 
favorably upon the bill, and that the committee would 
propose, in its place, a regular army based upon the 
National Guard. Mr. Wilson, in his New York speech 
on January 27, 1916, threw a delicate bouquet at the 
National Guard in the center of which was found this 
brick : 

"But you know that under the constitution, the 
National Guard is under the direction of more than 
two score states, and that it is not permitted to the 
national government directly to direct its development 
and organization. And, that only upon occasion of 
actual invasion has the President of the United States 
the right to ask those men to leave their respective 
states. I, for my part, am afraid, though some gentle- 
men differ with me, that there is no way in which that 
force can be made a direct source as a national reserve 
under national authority." 

What more might a Secretary of War ask? Had 


not the President hit Mr. Hay's plan on the head? 
It would seem as if he had. It was true that nobody 
believed a Continental Army could be raised without 
conscription, as it was also true that Mr. Wilson had 
authorized the statement that he was opposed to con- 
scription. Still, Mr. Garrison went his warlike way, 
evidently believing that the President was on his side, 
rather than that of Mr. Hay. 

But there came a time when Mr. Garrison began 
to have misgivings. Rumors flew about that Mr. Wil- 
son was not so warm toward the Continental Army 
plan as the Secretary of War might wish him to be. 
Mr. Garrison, by this time, was so thoroughly com- 
mitted to the Continental scheme, and was so on record 
with regard to the desirability of conscription, if 
necessary to raise the army, that he could neither back 
up nor go forward without help. So he wrote to the 
President, under date of February 9, to ascertain in 
writing precisely where he stood with regard to Mr. 
Hay's National Guard proposal. 

Mr. Wilson, under next day's date, told him. 
Though the President gently rapped Mr. Garrison's 
knuckles for talking so much about conscription, the 
letter was otherwise chiefly remarkable for what it did 
not say, precisely as a crutch that is not there is chiefly 
remarkable for the support it does not give. Mr. Wil- 
son was no longer "afraid" the National Guard scheme 
would not work he was merely "not yet convinced" 
that it would work. When Mr. Wilson begins to slide, 
it is always wise for all hands to get off the floor, as 
it is difficult to tell where he will stop. Mr. Garrison 
got off the floor by resigning. 

As political coroners, we may now view the remains 
of the Continental Army. What say you, gentlemen, 


how did this noble creation come to its finish ? Is this 
a case of murder, or a case of accidental death? If 
Mr. Wilson really was in favor of the Continental 
Army plan, we must assume that it was through sheer 
clumsiness that he led the chief advocate of the measure 
into a position where he felt compelled to resign. If, 
on the other hand, Mr. Wilson secretly opposed the 
Continental Army, nobody can deny that he despatched 
his gallant secretary in as graceful a manner as ever 
a deed was done. 

Mr. Wilson has a wonderful smile. Political op- 
ponents who bask in it seldom know the knife has 
slipped between their ribs until they observe that their 
shoes are full of blood. 

If the President, when he was dealing with Gar- 
rison, was really working for "preparedness" he must 
be set down as a frightful blunderer. If he was 
secretly working against "preparedness," he but con- 
firmed the truth of the statement that Oswald Garrison 
Villard, publisher of the New York Evening Post, said 
Colonel E. M. House, the President's closest friend, 
made to him. Mr. Villard said Colonel House told 
him: "The Wilson Defense Program was put up to 
be knocked down." 

Senator Fall, of New Mexico, seems to have sensed 
something of the real situation after the resignation 
of Mr. Garrison. Under date of February 15, the New 
York Times printed two-thirds of a column under the 
heading: "Accuses Wilson of Shifting Policy 
Senator Fall Believes the President Is Again Under 
the Bryan Influence." Here are a few paragraphs 
from the article : 

"United States Senator Albert B. Fall, Republican, 
of New Mexico, charged President Wilson yesterday 


with deserting the cause of national preparedness for 
the sake of the Bryan influences. 

" 'The President's sudden change in his prepared- 
ness policy can be accounted for only on one ground 
he has gone back to Mr. Bryan and surrendered to 
the Bryan influences,' said the Senator. 

"It may be recalled that President Wilson, during 
his tour in advocacy of preparedness, so shaped his 
itinerary as to keep clear of the Bryan influences. But 
he counted on the support which this part of his defense 
program was expected to bring him to secure also the 
support of the Southern members of Congress, and 
being disappointed in this he has surrendered com- 
pletely to the opponents of the measures which he pro- 
claimed were so vital to the safety of the country. 

"Secretary Garrison in his position was able to 
realize quickly the change in the situation, and, finding 
the ground cut from under him, he retired." 

Without question, the belief is gaining ground on 
both sides of Congress that there is more of politics 
than sincerity in the President's present attitude toward 
"preparedness." Heaven knows there is sufficient 
ground for suspicion. The statement that Mr. Villard 
attributes to Colonel House is, in itself, enough to 
show where the President stands if he has not changed 
again. A close analysis of the President's Western 
speeches leaves the preponderance of improbability 
upon the side of the President's insincerity. If his 
speeches be considered as hurrah-talk for men who 
cannot think, it is doubtless true that their tendency 
would be to make that kind of men favor "prepared- 
ness." The speeches are plentifully sprinkled with 
references to "our country" and our national honor. 
But running through the speeches, like a vein of silver 


through a rock, are paragraphs that, when put together, 
say, as plainly as if the President had used the words: 
"For goodness' sake, do not go crazy over prepared- 
ness. The country is in no danger of invasion. I 
know of no nation that seems likely to try to invade 
America and no nation could invade America if it 
wanted to. I am compelled to play a part in order to 
prevent Mr. Roosevelt from working you all up and 
putting me out of the White House, but there will be 
no war so long as I am President unless you want war 
to avenge the loss of some rich American exporter's 
cargo of goods and I cannot see where there would be 
much glory in dying to protect some rich man's 

Keep this imaginary Presidential declaration in mind 
while reading extracts from some of Mr. Wilson's 

In New York, on January 27, Mr. Wilson said : 

"Nobody seriously supposes, gentlemen, that the 
United States needs to fear an invasion of its own 
territory. What America has to fear, if she has any- 
thing to fear, are indirect, roundabout, flank move- 
ments upon her regnant position in the Western Hemis- 

Would the President have been likely to say that 
if he had really been in favor of "preparedness" ? The 
only excuse for "preparedness" is defense. When the 
average American is told that his country is in need 
of defense, he thinks of invasion. Munitions patriots 
and others have repeatedly declared that we might 
easily be treated to the fate of Belgium. The Presi- 
dent brushed the thought aside, and flung in the remark 
about our "regnant position in the Western Hemis- 
phere," which has about as much power to incite the 


population to arms as would a similar remark about 
the moon. 

In Cleveland, on January 29, the President took the 
other tack and urged the creation of an armed force 
that could move on the "shortest possible notice," 
adding : 

"You will ask me: 'Why do you say the shortest 
possible notice?' Because, gentlemen, let me tell you, 
very solemnly, you cannot afford to postpone this 
thing. I do not know what a single day may bring 
forth. I do not wish to leave you with the impression 
that I am thinking of some particular danger. I merely 
want to leave you with this solemn impression that I 
know that we are daily treading amid the most intri- 
cate dangers. ..." 

Having assured the people in New York that there 
was no danger whatever of invasion, Mr. Wilson 
naturally realized that the people would wonder 
whether he had some particular possible enemy in 
mind, and, if so, if that possible enemy had com- 
mitted some outrage of which the people of this 
country were not yet aware. So in Topeka, Kan., on 
February 2, he said : 

"You will ask me, 'Is there some new crisis that has 
arisen?' I answer, no, sir; there is no special new, 
critical situation which I have to discuss with you, but 
I want you to understand that the situation every day 
of the year is critical while this great contest continues 
in Europe." 

No danger of invasion, no particular possible enemy 
in mind, no outrage of which only he knew, and still 
the country was "daily treading among the most intri- 
cate dangers." Here were all the elements of a conun- 
drum, upon which Mr. Wilson, in St. Louis, 


on February 3, proceeded to throw the following 

"Gentlemen, the commanders of submarines have 
their instructions, and those instructions are consistent, 
for the most part, with the law of nations, but one 
reckless commander of a submarine choosing to put 
his private interpretation upon what his government 
wishes him to do, might set the world on fire. . . . 
There are cargoes of cotton on the seas, cargoes of 
wheat on the seas, there are cargoes of manufactured 
articles on the seas, and every one of these cargoes 
may be the point of ignition, because every cargo 
comes into the field of fire, comes where there are 
flames which no man can control." 

Here, at last, we see the "intricate dangers" among 
which we are "daily treading." A cargo of hams may 
be sunk! If so, would not that constitute an enormous 
stain upon our national honor, for which we should 
go to war ? We can almost imagine Mr. Wilson trying 
to keep his face straight. He must have laughed to 
himself when he suggested that we should go to war 
if a submarine commander, against his government's 
orders, should sink a cargo of American hams. Mr. 
Wilson, of course, well knows that international law 
requires of no government that it shall do more than 
exercise "due diligence" in its efforts to prevent its 
citizens and soldiers from doing harm to the persons 
and properties of the citizens of other nations. If 
nations were to be held responsible for the unlawful 
and unauthorized acts of its citizens, the world would 
be at war all the while. Again and again, American 
citizens have mobbed and slain the citizens of other 
nations. A number of Italians were slain in Louisiana 
about 25 years ago, and when the federal government 


pleaded its helplessness to interfere with the affairs 
of a state, Italy did no more than to withdraw her 
ambassador, for a time, in silent protest. Further- 
more, if Mr. Wilson had believed what he said, he 
would have urged Congress to declare war when the 
Lusitania was sunk. 

However, we must get back to those "intricate 
dangers." American passengers, bound for Europe, 
might be drowned. International law gives them the 
right to travel in safety. Speaking at Topeka, Kan., 
on February 2, Mr. Wilson said : 

"For one thing, it may be necessary to use the force 
of the United States to vindicate the right of American 
citizens everywhere to enjoy the protection of interna- 
tional law." 

Having proclaimed the right of passengers, under 
international law, to travel in safety, in the same speech 
at Topeka, he added: 

"There is another right that we ought to safeguard, 
and that is our right to sell what we produce in the 
open neutral markets of the world. We have a right 
to supply peaceful populations with food. We have 
a right to supply them with our cotton to clothe them. 
We have a right to supply them with our manufactured 

So, here we have the situation simmered down about 
to this : American passengers are not in much if any 
danger, since most submarine warfare is conducted 
in accordance with international law, nor are Ameri- 
can cargoes, for the same reason, in much danger. 
But Great Britain's irregular blockade, against which 
Mr. Wilson has protested on the ground that it is in 
violation of international law, is interfering with the 
desires of American exporters to reap profits from 


trade with neutrals. "We have a right" to supply these 
peoples with our food, cotton and manufactured prod- 
ucts, but England's irregular blockade is interfering 
with us; and every interference with our rights under 
international law is a stain put upon our national honor. 
As to the necessity of keeping our national honor well 
polished, Mr. Wilson expressed himself at Cleveland, 
on January 29, as follows: 

"You may count upon my part and resolution to 
keep you out of the war, but you must be ready if it 
is necessary that I should maintain your honor. That 
is the only thing a real man loves about himself." 

Why not go to war, if necessary, to maintain the 
right of some rich gentleman whom you never saw 
and for whom you do not care a whoop, to ship his 
goods to neutrals and get his money? Mr. Wilson 
made himself plain as to this in Kansas City on Feb- 
ruary 2 in the following paragraph : 

"Our life is but a little span. One generation fol- 
lows another very quickly. If a man with red blood 
in him had his choice, knowing that he must die, he 
would rather die to vindicate some right, unselfish to 
himself, than die in his bed." 

Did Mr. Wilson expect that the people would rise 
en masse, as it were, to resent any interference with 
the continuous movement'of American beef to Europe, 
yielding their lives, if need be, in the performance of 
this sacred duty to their national honor or was the 
President merely trying to show how stupid it would 
be to become all heated up when there is nothing more 
serious at stake than the right of a few rich men, 
"under international law," to keep their exports going 
and their profits coming? 

Now, the foregoing is not a "framed-up" case 


against the President. The quoted paragraphs are 
actual extracts from his speeches. No words have 
been put into his mouth. Perhaps I should add a few 
more of his own words. In his Topeka speech, after 
elaborating upon the exalted character of our national 
purposes and the exceeding rectitude of our national 
conduct, he said: 

"Every nation that makes right its guide and honor 
its principle is sure of. peace." 

Readers may differ as to whether the foregoing 
sentiment is true, but the fact remains that the Presi- 
dent said it was true, and if he believes it is true, and 
also believes we are nationally as just and high-minded 
as he says we are, why should we fear attack, and why 
should we burden ourselves with taxation and con- 
scription to "prepare"? Something is wrong some- 

The President, in his address to Congress, in Decem- 
ber, 1914, said: 

"We are at peace with all the world. No one who 
speaks counsel based on fact and candid interpretation 
of realities can say that there is reason to fear that 
from any quarter our independence or integrity of our 
territory is threatened. . . . We have never had, and 
while we retain our present principles and ideals, we 
shall never have, a large standing army. . . . The 
country has been misinformed. We have not been neg- 
ligent of the national defense. . . . But I turn away 
from the subject. It is not new. There is no need to 
discuss it. We shall not alter our attitude toward it 
because some amongst us are nervous and excited." 

The President has altered his attitude toward the 
subject of "preparedness"; altered it in spite of the 
fact that he still says no thoughtful man seriously 


believes this country could be invaded. In New York, 
on January 27, he said he had altered his attitude 
because he had "learned something during the last 

What has he learned that Theodore Roosevelt is 
trying to ride his way back into the White House 
upon a tidal wave of popular fear that he has done his 
best to conjure up? 

If Mr. Wilson has learned anything that would 
justify the enormous military expenditures that he 
proposes, he certainly has not told what it is. 



PRESIDENT WILSON, during his western tour, 
* frequently said that he knew not in what hour this 
nation might be plunged into war and that we should 
hasten to "prepare." At Cleveland, on January 29, 
1916, he urged the creation of an armed force that 
could move "on the shortest possible notice" and 
added : 

"You will ask me : 'Why do you say, the shortest 
possible notice?' Because, gentlemen, you cannot 
afford to postpone this thing. I do not know what a 
single day may bring forth." 

Against these statements should be considered some 
facts that were brought out in the House of Repre^ 
sentatives on February 7, 1916, and published in the 
Congressional Record of that date. Here are the 
facts : 

On March 3, 1915, the Congress authorized the 
construction of two dreadnoughts larger than any 
nation now owns. Not even one splinter has been laid 
upon another to begin the construction of these ships. 
When the ships were authorized it was the desire of 
the administration that they should be built in govern- 
ment yards, of which there are two, one at Mare 
Island, Calif., and one at Brooklyn, N. Y. In each of 
these yards a dreadnought is building that will not be 
completed until September, 1916. The keels of the 

1 08 


great dreadnoughts authorized in March, 1915, cannot 
be laid in government yards until the ships building 
are completed. But President Wilson might have 
directed Secretary Daniels to abandon his plan to build 
the ships in government yards, advertise for bids from 
private builders and directed that construction be begun 
at once and continued with three shifts of men working 
eight hours each during the entire twenty-four hours. 
Or, if Congress, in the act authorizing the construction 
of the ships, had specifically provided that they should 
be built in government yards, the President might have 
asked Congress to authorize their construction in pri- 
vate yards. The President has done neither of these 

The Congressional Record of February 7, 1916, also 
contains the information that 66 warships which, when 
completed, will cost $185,000,000, are in process of 
construction, that the administration has never even 
intimated that it would be pleased if construction were 
accelerated, and that the men employed on these ships 
are working only eight hours a day, in the face of the 
fact that it would be perfectly feasible to employ three 
crews working twenty-four hours a day. 

These facts were printed in the Congressional Rec- 
ord. I read them in the Record, but nowhere else. I 
do not assert that they were printed nowhere else. 
I know only that I read most of the New York news- 
papers and did not see these facts until I saw them 
in the Record. If they were printed at all they were 
printed obscurely, and without any of the emphasis 
that, it would appear, should have accompanied them. 

It seemed as if these facts should be brought before 
the country. An invitation that came to me in March, 
1916, gave me what I believed would be an opportunity 


to bring them before at least part of the country. The 
Anti-"Preparedness" Committee asked me to go to 
Washington and argue against "preparedness" before 
the House Committee on Naval Affairs. I laid these 
facts before the committee and followed with an argu- 
ment along this line : 

If anybody knows whether we are in danger of being 
attacked it is the President, since he is in charge of our 
diplomatic negotiations, and, although he has publicly 
asserted that he has told the country everything, still 
there may be impressions in his mind, too nebulous to 
describe, that make him more nearly competent than 
anybody else to judge correctly as to the probability 
or the possibility that we shall be attacked. We all 
know what the President has said that he knows 
not what the next day may bring forth and that we 
should hasten to "prepare." But actions as well as 
words tell what men think. What do the President's 
actions tell as to what he thinks? If he really believes 
our danger to be as great as he says it is, would he 
be clamoring for more dreadnought authorizations 
when he has not taken advantage of the two authoriza- 
tions made more than a year ago ? Would he let con- 
struction upon 66 other ships dawdle along at an 
eight-hour-a-day pace when it might as well be boom- 
ing along at a 24-hour-a-day pace? I might have 
added : "Would he have maneuvered Big Army Gar- 
rison out of the War Department and appointed 
Newton D. Baker, who, as mayor of Cleveland, was 
one of the few mayors who absolutely refused to have 
anything to do with the 'preparedness* movement?" 

But there was no time for the last question. Chair- 
man Padgett with his gavel sounded the signal for a 
great tumult: The chairman expressed indignation 


that I should dare to question the sincerity of the Presi- 
dent of the United States. I said that if the President 
were five times as large as he is and the White House 
were five times as white as it is, still would I question 
the sincerity of the President with regard to the degree 
of fear that he entertains that we shall be attacked by 
any European power. I was invited by the chairman 
to withdraw my statement from the record. I refused 
and asked him if he would like to hear a much stronger 
statement concerning the President's sincerity that had 
been made to me that morning by one of the most 
prominent Democratic members of Congress. I had 
no intention of mentioning the statesman's name, 
because he had spoken to me in confidence, and I had 
no authority to do so; but I was willing to tell what 
he had said. The Democratic gentlemen upon the 
committee did not seem to want to hear. Several cries 
of "No" went around the room. When the chairman 
declared that he would expunge my charge from the 
committee's records, I told him I had no concern as to 
what he might do in that direction, nor had I because 
I knew he could expunge nothing from the newspapers 
whose reporters were present, and nobody ever reads 
the records, anyway. When a member of the com- 
mittee informed me that congressional ethics forbade 
any reflection upon the. President's sincerity, I asked 
him if congressional ethics permitted congressmen 
to say to writers and to each other what they pleased 
about the President, provided only they said the oppo- 
site in public? There was a good deal of turmoil in 
the room and I heard no answer to this question. 

Then Chairman Padgett expressed the intention of 
adjourning the hearing which meant shutting me off. 
Representative Callaway of Texas, who is about as 


tall and lean and rangey as a Texan should be, came 
forward with a protest. He said any American citizen 
had a right to criticize the President, or any other 
official, provided he kept within the law, and that in 
his opinion I had kept within the law. I think one or 
two others protested. At any rate, I was permitted to 

Now, the importance of what I have written about 
the "scene" before the committee lies in what is to 
come. Here it is : Immediately after the adjournment 
of the committee several of its members came to me, 
introduced themselves in the most cordial fashion, 
expressed interest in and approval of my opposition to 
the administration's "preparedness" program, and one 
of them gave me some additional facts for use against 
the President. He said : 

"What you said about the dreadnoughts authorized 
more than a year ago not being begun until next Sep- 
tember is true as far as it goes, but it does not go far 
enough. Those dreadnoughts will not be begun until 
next January or February. The ships now building 
at Mare Island and Brooklyn will not be completed 
until next September, but the ships authorized in 
March, 1915, are to be so much larger than anything 
we have ever built that the ways in each shipyard will 
have to be considerably extended before the keels can 
be laid, and it will require four or five months to 
extend the ways." 

The truth of the matter is and I assert this upon 
the basis of first-hand information that the Presi- 
dent's own party in Congress is bursting with 
disloyalty to him. It is a loathsome, political row. 
Principles and politics are so mixed that it is difficult 
to tell where one ends and the other begins. Some 


of the biggest men in the President's own party say 
things to me about him that I would not think of 
asserting upon my own responsibility. One of them 
said: "The President would be the greatest traitor 
this country ever produced if he really feared attack, 
yet did no more to be ready to repel it than he is 
doing. The President, however, is not a traitor. He 
knows we shall have no war with any European power 
unless he makes one." I asked another Democrat of 
national reputation a question which, because of its 
bearing upon international relations, it would be unwise 
to quote, and the answer that he gave me was not only 
flavored with profanity, but also with scorching criti- 
cism of the President. Yet, when I toned down the 
utterances of some of the most prominent members 
of the President's own party, and ventured to express 
before a committee of Congress the opinion that the 
President was insincere in laying so much stress upon 
the possibility that we shall be attacked, I was treated 
by the chairman and one or two others as if I had 
committed a reprehensible act. 

I can say this for Congress, from my personal 
knowledge: That part of it which belongs to the 
Democratic party is largely composed of cowards. 
They talk one way in private and another way in 
public. The President is. a better politician than they 
are, and when he swings the lash they run. The Presi- 
dent is a better politician than they are, first, because 
he has more courage, and, second, because he is a 
better judge of men. He measured with deadly 
accuracy the Democratic membership of the house 
when, in the face of the statement made to him by 
Speaker Clark and others that the house stood at least 
two to one in favor of warning Americans off armed 


merchantmen, he nevertheless publicly declared his 
belief that the statement was "false" and called upon 
Congress to put itself upon record. The house crawled. 
The house had no courage. It was too busy playing 
politics. Nor was it good politics, even from a fac- 
tional Democratic point of view. Nothing is good 
politics that fails. The house, after having declared, 
through its leaders, that it was opposed to the Presi- 
dent, nevertheless gave him what was considered at 
home and abroad an endorsement of his policy with 
regard to armed merchantmen. 

President Wilson, wavering back and forth as he is 
between "preparedness" and what, eighteen months 
ago he would have called sanity, is much more entitled 
to sympathetic consideration than is the Democratic 
party in Congress. The President started out right 
by opposing "preparedness." He is no longer opposing 
it unless such acts as the appointment of a pacificist 
Secretary of War may be regarded as opposition. But 
consider what are the motives and impulses surging 
within him and without him. The President is human. 
It is human to be ambitious. An ambitious man who 
is in the White House for one term usually wants to 
remain another term. If a considerable part of the 
country, particularly in the East, had not been fright- 
ened with the bogey of war, President Wilson might 
reasonably have looked forward to reelection upon a 
platform which contemplated no unusual additions 
to the army and navy. But the big interests that have 
long wanted great armaments to safeguard their 
present and prospective foreign investments saw in 
the fate of Belgium an opportunity to get great ar- 
maments by creating fear. And the great interests that 
are engaged in the manufacture of munitions of war 


also saw their opportunity. A good many honest per- 
sons became frightened and some of them formed 
"leagues" for the defense of America. 

Yet, all of these things might not have swerved 
the President if Mr. Roosevelt had not begun, with 
savage slashes, to capitalize this fear for his own 
political purposes. First, the President was de- 
nounced by Mr. Roosevelt for not advocating 
"preparedness." When the President did advocate 
"preparedness" he was again denounced by Mr. Roose- 
velt for not advocating more of it. The Mr. Roosevelt 
referred to, by the way, is the same gentleman who, 
as President, in 1906, advised Congress, that in his 
opinion it was not desirable to increase the size of the 
navy; that we should content ourselves with replacing 
ships as they might become incapacitated by age. 

Some of us have known, at least since the days of 
Emerson, that "The President pays dearly for his 
White House." There is but one way in which a 
President can pay. It is in the sacrifice to political 
expediency of his own honest opinions. That is pre- 
cisely what Mr. Wilson appears to have done in the 
matter of "preparedness." I should hesitate to pass 
judgment upon him if he had not passed judgment 
upon himself. The dreadnoughts authorized more 
than a year ago, but not to be started until next winter ; 
the 66 other ships which are leisurely building; the 
judicial juggling of Secretaries of War to get a mili- 
tarist out and a pacificist in; the bald statement that 
nobody seriously believes this country could be invaded 
these and many other acts and words that might be 
cited show where the President really stands. 

If Mr. Wilson had been made of sterner stuff it is 
doubtful if he could ever have reached the White 


House. Let us gain what small comfort we may from 
the thought that since it seems inevitable, as Emerson 
said, that the President shall pay "dearly for his White 
House" that Mr. Wilson seems determined to get back 
all the change he can. While calling for more dread- 
noughts, he delays the beginning of those ordered long 
ago. Sixty-six other ships lazily lie on the ways. He 
assures us we are in no danger of invasion. What 
more can the poor man do and hold his White House? 

It is the fashion in Congress to accuse the President 
of assuming a tyrannical attitude toward the national 
legislature in general and the Democratic members of 
it in particular. One of the best known Democrats 
in Congress said to me: "Tyrants gather around 
themselves two kinds of persons courtiers and 
cowards." Another man, equally well known, said: 
"You writers are largely to blame for the fact that the 
President is assuming powers that the constitution does 
not give him, and for the further fact that the Con- 
gress is losing powers that are plainly vested in it 
by the constitution. You are always exalting the 
Presidency and belittling Congress. The people are 
beginning to believe that Congress is an inferior body, 
of less importance than the President. I well remem- 
ber when Mr. Roosevelt was in the White House 
that some of my constituents used to say when I went 
home: 'Well, you have a man in the White House 
now who can make you fellows do as he tells you.' ' 

These are interesting observations. Mr. Wilson, 
it is true, is well equipped with cowards and courtiers, 
but it may be worth mentioning that he did not select 
them and place them in Congress. Not every man 
in Congress, by any means, is a coward, and no one 
need be who has the courage to stand for the right, 


as he sees it, regardless of consequences. Nor can it 
be truthfully said, in my opinion, that Mr. Wilson 
is a tyrant. That he is an intellectual aristocrat is 
probably true. That he has a good deal of contempt 
for some of the weaklings in his own party is also 
probably true. I know of no reason why he should 
not have such contempt. Naturally, in playing politics 
with these gentlemen, he adapts his tactics to their 
measure. Against their weaknesses and their coward- 
ice he pits his own daring. Having been officially 
informed that the house was two to one against him 
on the question of whether Americans should be 
warned against riding on armed merchantmen, he pub- 
licly flung the word "false" at the statement and chal- 
lenged the house to go on record. The house cringed. 
The house, by its timidity, placed its own leaders in 
the attitude of gentlemen who did not know what 
they were talking about. 

Did the President thereby become a tyrant? Non- 
sense! He had no power to make the house do his 
bidding. His victory was not due to his own strength, 
but to the weakness of the house. The house had the 
votes, but did not dare use them. 

Nor is it true that the Congress may rightfully 
place the responsibility for its declining powers upon 
the press. Congress is itself to blame. Congress will 
be respected and respectable the moment it has the 
courage to exercise its constitutional powers. These 
powers are great. Against them, when used, no Presi- 
dent can prevail. 

At this moment there is enough irrefutable evi- 
dence before Congress to block, if it were heeded, the 
"preparedness" program. The opposition of the farm- 
ers should be sufficient. The farmers constitute a third 


of our population. Any radical change to which they 
are earnestly opposed might well be held in abeyance 
until it could be definitely ascertained whether a ma- 
jority of the people favored it. The newspapers of the 
East say that the farmers are in favor of "prepared- 
ness." The farmers themselves say they are not. The 
farmers themselves have told Congress they are op- 
posed to any increase whatever in the army and to any 
material increase in the navy. 

The attitude of the farmers in this matter is so im- 
portant that an extended extract from the testimony 
of a representative of the National Grange before the 
House Committee on Military Affairs will be given 
here. The hearing took place on February 8, 1916. 
Three officials of the grange made statements to the 
committee. I shall quote from the statement of Mr. 
L. J. Taber, of Barnesville, Ohio, master of the Ohio 
State Grange and a representative of the National 
Grange. Here is the statement: 

"MR. TABER: I wish to state, as you gentlemen 
have probably noticed, that there are three classes of 
people who have come before this committee oppos- 
ing the present propaganda of preparedness first, 
those who are opposed to war in any form, those who 
believe that there never was an honorable war or a 
dishonorable peace. We are not of that class. 

"The second class are those who come here op- 
posing preparedness because they have, possibly, sel- 
fish or other motives, and who are opposed to the use 
of an efficient or strong military power because it 
might be used to maintain order, and in preventing 
sometimes the fruits of strikes, and the like. We are 
not of that class. 

"There is a third class who come here opposing 


preparedness because they really believe that at the 
present time, that the conditions surrounding us do 
not demand an increase of the Army and the Navy. 

"I wish to say you are probably all aware of this 
fact, that the charge has been made in the eastern and 
western metropolitan papers that the agricultural sec- 
tions of the great middle West are deficient in patriot- 
ism, but I think you will agree that such is not the 
truth, and that the record will show that the enlist- 
ments from among the farmers of America have been 
greater than those from the centers of population, and 
I dare say in the future the enlistments from the 
farmers in the great agricultural districts will be 
greater than the enlistments in the great centers of 

"The farmers of this country are unanimous on this 
proposition in regard to a great military increase at 
the present time. It is not the result of a lack of 
patriotism; it is not because they are advocates of 
peace at any price, but, my friends, it is because they 
know why, or at least think they know why, they are 
opposed to this great increase at the present time. 

"I think you understand the organizations that 
exist among the farmers the local organizations, the 
county organizations, the State organizations, and the 
National organization. .1 am speaking directly for 
the grange. These questions have been discussed from 
the subordinate to the national body, and a vast per- 
centage of the farmers represented in an organized 
capacity in this organization are opposed to a great 
increase in the Army or the Navy. 

"At the Oakland convention the National Grange 
went on record in connection with this matter, and I 
will read you the resolutions unanimously adopted at 


that convention, at which 32 States were represented, 
and after that question had been discussed in the 
subordinate bodies." 

"THE CHAIRMAN: When were those resolutions 
adopted ?" 

"MR. TABER: Those resolutions were adopted at 
the Oakland convention of the National Grange, after 
a full discussion, on the i6th of November, 1915." 

"MR. KAHN: You mean Oakland, Cal?" 

"MR. TABER : Yes, sir. Thirty-two States were 
represented, and on roll call, after being discussed by 
nine gentlemen, the resolutions were unanimously 

"The resolutions adopted were as follows: 

" 'Whereas there is widespread agitation for the 
increase of the Army and Navy, involving a huge ex- 
penditure of money, upon the pretext and supposi- 
tion that they may be needed to defend this nation 
against attack from other nations; and this urgent 
plea under the name of preparedness is being advo- 
cated by special interests that will be financially bene- 
fited thereby ; by those who, not directly benefited, but 
who, through special privilege have amassed great 
wealth and who wish to increase the Army for their 
protection; by those who, from training, have a taste 
for militarism; and by metropolitan newspapers in- 
fluenced by the foregoing classes, and by their adver- 
tising patronage; and 

" 'Whereas the reply to it all is : 

"*(i) All the large nations of the world from 
whom the United States has any reason whatever to 
fear in its present state of preparedness, are slaughter- 
ing each other and daily growing weaker physically 
and financially; one-half their fighting force is already 


killed or maimed and crippled, and, within the prob- 
able duration of the war, in the end will be in a 
pitiable and helpless condition. And it is against these 
helpless nations that selfishness and men who have 
lost their heads and been carried off their feet are 
crying out for preparedness. This world's war will 
close with public sentiment against war as a means of 
settling disputes. 

"'(2) A nation on the eastern continent sur- 
rounded by other nations may be forced to arm so 
long as neighboring nations continue to do so. But 
the United States is separated from them by wide 
oceans far from their base of supplies, and the rea- 
son for a nation in Europe or Asia arming does not 
apply to us. 

"'(3) Preparedness that will make us efficient 
and strong in time of peace as well as war is a wise, 
economic, industrial, and educational policy that will 
increase opportunity, encourage thrift and industry, 
increasing the number of home owners and tending to 
make a prosperous, happy and contented people. In- 
stead of following a military policy that ruined the 
civilization of Rome and Spain, and is now destroying 
that of the other nations of Europe, we should learn 
wisdom, and that the victories of peace are greater 
than the victories of war. The $5,000,000,000 con- 
templated to be spent on the Army and Navy, at 
$5,000 per mile, would build 1,000,000 miles of macad- 
amized pikes in the United States, crossing it 500 
times from ocean to ocean, or from its northern to its 
southern boundary, putting the money among the peo- 
ple, tending to make them prosperous, happy and con- 
tented, to love their nation and ready to defend it. 
With such a road system an unlimited number of men 


could be transferred in motor cars and concentrated 
quickly where needed. 

" 'We call attention to the fact that the regular 
soldier has no wife, is not allowed to marry, has 
nothing to defend, and the volunteer soldier in times 
of war has ever excelled him the regular soldier in 
time of war permanently dropping out of sight. They 
were whipped at the first battle of Manassas, in our 
late war, by volunteers and were never heard of after- 

" 'Whereas we hope the time will soon come when 
democratic ideals will prevail all over the world ; 
when kings, kaisers, and czars shall be no more and 
their crimes shall be memories of a past age; when the 
dove of peace, like a winged messenger of Heaven, 
shall hover over all the earth ; 

" 'Whereas should all profit be taken away from the 
manufacture of armor plate and munitions of war and 
supplies by Government manufacture or control of 
profits, we believe that much of this clamor for "pre- 
paredness" would soon cease: Therefore, be it 

" 'Resolved, Until universal peace is established, we 
favor the manufacture of its own munitions of war by 
the Federal Government. 

" 'Resolved, That we are opposed to any increase 
in the standing Army or any material, increase in the 

" 'Resolved, That we approve the stand the Presi- 
dent has taken to maintain peaceful relations with all 

" 'Resolved, While we recognize the right of the 
Government to draft men to protect the Nation, we 
believe property rights inferior to human rights, and 
that in event of war to repel invasion or to protect 


our rights on a foreign soil we demand the Federal 
Government shall assume control of all transportation 
lines and all plants that may be used for the manu- 
facture of the munitions of war. 

" 'Resolved, That until such time as the confidence 
in human integrity and human righteousness enables 
the people of the earth to maintain world-wide peace 
without the intervention of military and naval police 
forces, we favor the formation of an international 
police force to be contributed to by all adhering na- 
tions and to be used under the direction and control 
of such international court of control as the adhering 
nations may decide.' 

"The committee on peace which submitted those 
resolutions to the convention was made up from the 
following: Messrs. W. N. Cady, L. J. Taber, J. D. 
Ream, and Mrs. Alice Young, Mrs Delia Culbertson, 
and Mrs. Carrie R. Holmes. 

"These resolutions appear in the journal of pro- 
ceedings of the convention, beginning at page 167. 

"This, as was stated, is in a measure the attitude 
we find in the rural sections. We think possibly 
there may be one other reason for the psychology 
of the times the fact that those in the cities who 
have followed the disastrous conflict across the water 
have more nearly lost their bearings than the men 
and women who are out on the farms. 

"The change in the attitude at the present time of 
those who have watched the conflict, the reversal of 
opinion by the leaders in every walk of life, has not 
affected those out on the farm as completely as it has 
affected those in some other classes. 

"As I have said, the farmer, being a little more 
conservative, has not been so susceptible to what I feel 


is possibly a psychological influence which has changed 
the attitude of many men in positions of leadership. 

"So I say we insist that the greatest defense of 
America is found first in preparation for peace, be- 
cause war has become, in a measure, a question of 

"Some of you possibly have read the extracts from 
an editorial in a recent issue of a German paper, in 
which that paper congratulates the German people 
upon the fact that both England and the United States 
were preparing to enter upon a policy of preparation, 
placing the burden of taxation largely upon the peo- 
ple, and congratulating themselves that they would 
in the future be on a better footing with those coun- 

"We believe that the adoption of a policy by this 
Nation which is proposed to give us the greatest 
Navy in the world and a great Army, because of the 
fear of something that probably will not happen, and 
adding to the burdens of taxation on the people, would 
be a greater weapon in the hands of an enemy than 
our proposed lack of preparedness." 

The Socialists, who will probably be found to rep- 
resent considerably more than a million voters and at 
least 5,000,000 of our population, are opposed to "pre- 
paredness," a great number of labor organizations are 
opposed to it, yet Congress but weakly opposes the 
President, who was himself openly opposed to it until 
the great financial interests, the munitions manufac- 
turers and Mr. Roosevelt spread so much fear that 
Mr. Wilson, apparently, deemed it a necessary political 
step at least to appear to bend somewhat to the storm. 
And the newspapers of the East continue to assert that 
the country is "behind the President" whatever that 


may mean ! One has to skate some to be behind the 
President these days. 

The fraudulent character of the "preparedness" 
campaign is nowhere better shown than in the proposal 
that this Congress shall authorize all of the warships 
that it is intended to build within the next five years. 
This means that if, in a year from now, it should be- 
come apparent to everybody that there was no need 
of such colossal expenditures, the hands of Congress 
for the next five years would be tied. The hands of 
Congress would be tied because, the ships having been 
authorized, contracts would be awarded. Contracts 
are legal things which the courts, if called upon to do 
so, would sustain. Inasmuch as the two dreadnoughts 
authorized more than a year ago have not been begun, 
why this feverish desire to compel the present Con- 
gress to deliver all of the authorizations that the 
militarists demand for the next five years? Are cer- 
tain interests afraid this artificial wave of fear cannot 
be much longer sustained? It has always been the 
custom for each Congress to make only current ap- 
propriations. Why try to cause this Congress to 
legislate for its unelected successor? 

Also, they tell us that we may be attacked to- 
morrow. If so, what good will the ships contemplated 
in the five-year program do us? None of these ships 
could be made ready to shoot within three years. 
The last of them could not be completed until 1924. 

What is the answer to these questions? There 
is but one answer. The "preparedness" campaign is 

That is the answer. 



ONE great moving picture play has swept over the 
United States as a storm-cloud rilled with light- 
ning might drive over the* land. Another "movie" 
of the same sort has left New York and will soon put 
the fear of invasion into the hearts of millions. These 
moving picture plays are frauds. They are impres- 
sive only because the art of the stage manager and the 
photographer almost benumb spectators into the be- 
lief that they are portraying events that have actually 
happened. On the "movie" screen, it is as easy to 
show Washington burning an orphan asylum as it is 
to show him crossing the Delaware. 

The story the war "movie" tells is as simple as 
it is horrible. During the great war in Europe, 
America was warned to "prepare." America did not 
heed the warning. A little later, New York is under 
bombardment, the sky-scrapers come tumbling down, 
Washington is captured and the United States is com- 
pelled to buy peace at the price of an enormous in- 

I have observed how these plays affect spectators. 
People seem dazed, and leave the theater in a sober 
mood. I have heard people say: "That shows what 
may happen to us if we do not prepare." 

When the Civil War closed, the "movie" had not 


been invented. If it had been, why could not such a 
play as this have been put on : 


General Grant shown in the act of passionately ad- 
dressing multitudes in New York, Chicago, and other 
cities. "We must keep our great army and navy in- 
tact," said he. "Europe will not fail to strike at us 
after the north and the south have worn themselves 
out fighting each other." 


Populace shown in the act of going to sleep. "Gen- 
eral Grant is a dreamer." Grant bemoans the stu- 
pidity of his countrymen, but can do nothing. 


Cable operator shown in the act of taking a cable- 
gram from Europe. "France and England have de- 
clared war on America. Warships convoying troop- 
ships have sailed for the United States." 


President Grant reads to his cabinet the cablegram 
announcing the declaration of war. Every face turns 
white. Our navy has been permitted to rot at the 
docks. Our army has melted away. There is nothing 
to do but to improvise ,an army of raw recruits. Who 
shall lead them? "I am the commander in chief of 
the army," says President Grant, "and I will lead 
our army in person." Cabinet officers cry, "No, no, 
you shall not thus sacrifice yourself. The people, 
against your advice, let the splendid army you once led 
dwindle to a miserable 25,000 now let them pay the 
penalty." Grant says : "I must do the best with what 
soldiers we have. I shall lead the army." 



General Grant shown at the head of his "army" 
near New York. Foreign ships appear in the distance. 
Troops come ashore and are engaged by the Ameri- 
cans. Grant tries to rally his raw recruits, but they 
are no match for the seasoned Europeans. Foreigners 
gain a foothold on shore and push back the Americans. 
Foreigners set up their cannon at the lower end of 
Manhattan Island and shoot up Broadway. Buildings 
crash into the street, burying hundreds of persons. 


Grant fights stubbornly but is steadily pushed back. 
We see him now at the head of his army. A terrible 
cannonade fills the air with smoke and we lose sight 
of him. The smoke-cloud slowly lifts. Horrors! 
What is this we see? A stretcher, reverently carried 
by four men. Grant is dead a victim of the unpre- 
paredness against which he fought. 

No such play was written at the close of the Civil 
War. Why? Because of its manifest absurdity? No. 
Far more probability would have attached to such a 
play then than is attached to any of the dreams of 
disaster that the preparedness gentlemen are dream- 
ing now. We were then weak from war and Europe 
was strong from peace now the conditions are re- 
versed. England had shown her unfriendliness by 
permitting Confederate privateers to be fitted out in 
English shipyards an act for which she paid, by the 
Geneva award, damages in the sum of $15,000,000. 
The vain, stupid Emperor of the French, Napoleon 
III, was already planning to put a scion of the house 
of Hapsburg on the throne of Mexico, in defiance of 


the Monroe Doctrine. The situation contained many 
facts from which a good dreamer of disaster could 
have conjured up a horrible dream. 

But nobody tried to scare America. As soon as 
France retired from Mexico, our great army was re- 
duced to 25,000 men. This came about while Grant 
was President. While Grant was President our navy, 
which at the close of the Civil War was the most pow- 
erful in the world, rotted away until it practically 
ceased to exist. 

Why was there no demand for "preparedness" at 
the close of the civil war? Why did a great military 
man like Grant see no dangers for weak America from 
strong Europe? Why was there no "movie" play 
to "awaken" the people? 

There was no "movie" play because "movies" had 
not been invented. Also, some other things that we 
now have did not exist. We had no gentlemen en- 
gaged in the building of dreadnoughts at $18,000,000 
each. The ships of that day were small and cheap. 
We had no gentlemen engaged in selling armor plate 
to the government at prices ranging from $430 to 
$600 a ton, though the same gentlemen nowadays sell 
it to our government at these figures and to other 
governments sometimes for as little as $220 a ton. 
Nor had we any gentlemen who were intent upon 
breaking into the markets of the world. The rich 
men of fifty years ago were not seeking foreign mar- 
kets, and therefore felt no need of a strong navy to 
help them. They were intent upon the development 
and exploitation of the United States. They had 
taken advantage of Lincoln's preoccupation with the 
war to put the transcontinental railroad land steals 
through Congress under his nose. Their only desire 


was to invest their money in the United States and 
reap such profits as they could. 

Now, everything is changed. The United States 
is becoming, so far as the investment of capital is 
concerned, a good deal of a sucked orange. In other 
words, America has changed from an importer to an 
exporter of capital. We no longer bring capital from 
abroad to finance our industries. We send capital 
abroad to finance the industries of other people. A 
single instance of our activity in this direction is 
afforded by the fact that a group of men acting under 
the leadership of Mr. Rockefeller's National City 
Bank have formed a company, the avowed purpose 
of which is to go abroad and seek monopolies and 
privileges in any and every country on the globe. 

The most powerful American capitalists are frankly 
in search of foreign investments and foreign trade. 
The nation that has the most of these things is always 
the most hated nation. The gentlemen who are going 
about it to get these things know that. They know 
they will need fleets and armies to hold what they 
hope to get. They could not go to the American 
people and say : "You will not share in this prosperity 
which we hope to get for ourselves, nevertheless, we 
want you to provide a great army and a great navy 
to enable us to get and hold all we can." So they 
conjure up the bogey of invasion. They believe they 
can get the army and the navy they want if the people 
can be well scared. 



OO far as Mr. Roosevelt is concerned, America is 
^ divided into two classes those who gnash their 
teeth at him and those who regard him as an able, 
far-seeing man. The latter class, quite unhappily for 
Mr. Roosevelt but quite happily for the rest of us 
is smaller than it used to be. There would be a third 
class that would regard him as a joke if the public gen- 
erally knew him as well as the late John Hay did. 
John Hay was one of Lincoln's private secretaries and, 
later, Mr. Roosevelt's Secretary of State. Mr. Hay 
has been dead ten years but his diaries and letters 
were not published until the summer of 1915. (The 
Life of John Hay; Houghton, Mifflin Co.) Here 
is a letter that Mr. Hay wrote from Washington on 
June 15, 1900, to Mr. Henry White, at the American 
embassy in London: 

"Teddy has been here; have you heard of it? It 
was more fun than a goat. He came down with a 
sombre resolution thrown on his strenuous brow to let 
McKinley and Hanna know once for all that he would 
not be Vice President, and found to his stupefaction 
that nobody in Washington but Platt had ever dreamed 
of such a thing. He did not even have a chance to 
launch his nolo episcopari at the major (McKinley). 
That statesman said he did not want him on the ticket 


that he would be far more valuable in New York 
and Root said, with his frank and murderous smile, 
'Of course not you're not fit for it.' And so he went 
back quite eased in his mind, but considerably bruised 
in his amour propre." 

That was the way Mr. Hay wrote about Mr. Roose- 
velt in 1900. After Mr. Roosevelt became President 
and Mr. Hay and Mr. Root continued in his cabinet, 
each played the courtier and hailed him as a great 
man. But Mr. Hay's letters show that he was never 
able entirely to conceal from himself the fact that he 
had a certain feeling toward Mr. Roosevelt that 
amounted almost to contempt. On October 17, 1903, 
Hay wrote in his diary : 

"I lunched at the White House nobody else but 
Yves Guyot and Theodore Stanton. The President 
talked with great energy and perfect ease the most 
curious French I ever listened to. It was absolutely 
lawless as to grammar, and occasionally bankrupt in 

When Mr. Roosevelt seemed to have this country 
at his heels, it was difficult even for his political 
enemies to consider him, as John Hay once secretly 
did, as something of a joke. Mr. Roosevelt's article 
in the November (1915) number of the Metropolitan 
may well be considered a national calamity. Mr. 
Roosevelt therein reveals himself as a desperate man, 
struggling blindly, bloodily and desperately to regain 
his lost political prestige. The article was evidently 
written in two parts. The first three-quarters are de- 
voted to finding fault with Mr. Wilson for everything 


in general and, in particular, for his refusal to ad- 
vocate "preparedness." Then there is another section 
that was evidently written after Mr. Wilson yielded 
to the fears aroused by the munitions patriots. But 
in the last section of the article, as in the first, Mr. 
Roosevelt refuses to be happy. So far as the Presi- 
dent is concerned, Mr. Roosevelt is like the crusty old 
lady who "was mad if the cat had kittens and mad 
if she didn't." To spend two billions, in five years, as 
Mr. Wilson would like to do, would not be satisfactory 
to the Oyster Bay ex-President. Mr. Roosevelt, of 
course, embraces the occasion to repeat the assurance 
that he is devoted to peace, but the rest of the article 
indicates that he is about as passionately devoted to 
it as ducks are to the desert. If confessions between 
the lines count for anything, what Mr. Roosevelt is 
passionately devoted to is the White House. 

Mr. Roosevelt never writes anything to show how 
great he is himself without also dragging in Wash- 
ington and Lincoln. This time, he adds Grant. Grant 
was President when Charles Dickens visited this coun- 
try and commended the administration for the manner 
in which it protected its citizens abroad. Mr. Roose- 
velt cannot contemplate the present degenerated condi- 
tion of the government, in this respect, without "bitter 
shame." That is too had. We who live here have 
forgotten what American abroad it was whom Grant 
protected, but if Charles Dickens were still alive, he 
doubtless could tell us. Grant was the man who said : 
"Let Us Have Peace," and these words are carved 
in enduring marble upon his tomb. 

But Roosevelt has no particular admiration for 
Grant none that would cause him to drag the old 
general's name into an argument for preparedness 


without a selfish and dishonest reason. So far as 
Grant is concerned, Mr. Roosevelt, a little farther 
along in his article, convicts himself of dishonesty 
in juggling with the general's fame. I quote : 

"Twenty years after the Civil War, we had let our 
army and navy sink to a point below that of any third- 
class power in Europe." 

That, according to Mr. Roosevelt, was very bad. 
But under whose administrations did the army and 
navy thus shamefully deteriorate? Well, two of them 
were General Grant's. Grant was President from 
1869 to 1877. During Andrew Johnson's adminis- 
tration, a considerable portion of the army was re- 
tained to meet possible trouble with France because 
of the occupation of Mexico by Maximilian. The 
old Civil War navy was still there, because it had not 
yet rotted away. But during Grant's administrations, 
the army shrunk still more and the navy reached a 
point almost as low as it ever did. Six years after 
Grant retired, the contracts for the first ships of the 
"new navy" were let by Secretary of the Navy William 
E. Chandler, under the administration of Chester A. 

Don't blame Mr. Roosevelt. In the haste of pacing 
up and down the floor dictating a "vigorous" article 
in favor of "preparedness," a man cannot remember 
everything. But if Mr. Wilson had beaten Mr. Roose- 
velt in coming out for preparedness, is it too much to 
suspect that Roosevelt would have been in favor of 
"adhering to our ancient traditions of a small army 
and a small navy" and cited the decadence of the 
army and navy under Grant as proof that Grant, if 


alive, would be on his side? It is a pretty green 
stick of wood that Mr. Roosevelt cannot use either 
for a stool or a candle. 

Mr. Roosevelt roundly berates the administration 
because it did not, immediately upon the outbreak of 
the war in Europe, begin loading the nation with 
guns. "If we had done so," he says, "we would now 
have been able to make our national voice felt ef- 
fectively in helping to bring about peace with justice 
and no other peace ought to be allowed." 

What would George Washington whom Mr. 
Roosevelt so often and so generously approves what 
would Washington have thought if anybody had told 
him he should prevent any peace in Europe that he 
did not consider just? Washington said, over and 
over again, that America should always keep clear of 
European rows. If he had said that America should 
always stick its nose into European affairs, Mr. Roose- 
velt would doubtless have cited him as authority, but 
as he said precisely the opposite, the father of his 
country, upon this occasion, was compelled to go with- 
out honorable mention or any mention. 

But suppose Mr. Wilson, in 1914, had prepared? 
How could we have made the "national voice" effective 
in helping to bring about "peace with justice"? Mr. 
Roosevelt always couples "peace" and "justice" as an 
old waiter, from force of habit, couples "ham" and 
"eggs'' but what could we have done? More dread- 
noughts would have been useless, since Great Britain 
already has a navy three times as large as that of 
Germany, and is prevented from destroying the Ger- 
man fleet only because of the mine fields that lie in 
front of it. Should we have sent a million soldiers 
abroad? Italy, some months after the war began, 


threw more than a million soldiers into the ranks of 
the Allies and "peace with justice" has not yet come. 
Should we have sent two millions of soldiers? Would 
you like to be one of the two millions to face the 
guns of Germany ? 

Mr. Roosevelt asks you to shudder over the fate of 
Belgium, which he says, came about as the result of 
her unpreparedness, though in an article in the Out- 
look a few months after the beginning of the war 
he said we were in no wise responsible for what hap- 
pened to Belgium. On her eastern border, Belgium 
had the best forts that money and engineering skill 
could build. Though Germany came with a rush, 
Belgium also came with a rush and stood off the 
German armies until France, which was prepared, 
could come up. In the light of all that has since 
happened to other armies that opposed the Germans, 
how badly do you believe Belgium was prepared? If 
Belgium, with all her forts and her compulsory mili- 
tary service was, in Mr. Roosevelt's opinion, unpre- 
pared, can you imagine what the United States would 
be if it were sufficiently prepared to suit Mr. Roose- 
velt? And, while at Mr. Roosevelt's request, you are 
shivering at the fate of Belgium and preparing to 
answer his question as to whether you wish to fare 
likewise, turn these facts over in your mind : Belgium, 
a nation of 7,000,000 population, lies beside a nation 
of 70,000,000. It was but a run and a jump from 
Germany into Belgium's front yard. The most popu- 
lous nation that could run and jump into our front 
yard is Mexico, with 15,000,000. All the other na- 
tions would have to take ships and come 3,000 miles. 
Germany's population is ten times that of Belgium. 
If there were a nation of a thousand millions right 


beside us, our position would be precisely that of 
Belgium. Where is the nation? 
This also from Mr. Roosevelt: 

"Most certainly we should avoid with horror the 
ruthlessness and brutality and the cynical indifference 
to international right which the government of Ger- 
many has shown during the past year, and we should 
shun, as we would shun the plague, the production in 
this country of a popular psychology like that which 
in Germany has produced a public opinion that backs 
the government in its actions in Belgium, and cheers 
popular songs which exult in the slaughter of women 
and children on the high seas." 

Mr. Roosevelt is not ignorant of history and he 
therefore knows how reluctantly the Germans em- 
braced militarism and its inevitable fruits. 

So far as brutality is concerned, Mr. Roosevelt ap- 
parently does not yet know that war brutalizes men. 
He thinks that only the Germans are brutal. He 
has doubtless never heard about our own General 
"Hell-Roaring" Jake Smith's order in the Philippines 
that every building be burned and every native more 
than eight years old be slain. Nor evidently has he 
ever heard how American soldiers used to attach a 
hose to Filipinos and fill them with water until their 
bowels nearly burst. Mr. Roosevelt would be per- 
fectly fair if he had read all of the newspapers. 
Whenever he is apparently unfair, it is because he is 
a busy man busy trying to break into the White 
House again. 

Mr. Roosevelt, in this remarkable article, also pro- 
claims the discovery that every fat, flabby pacifist is 


working against democracy, and declares that, if 
democracy goes down, the pacifists will be "primarily 
to blame." Why? Because "the first and the greatest 
of these responsibilities" (of a democracy) "is the 
responsibility of national self-defense." 

Mr. Roosevelt, not having a democratic hair in his 
head, is mistaken. The first responsibility of a de- 
mocracy, or any other kind of a government, is to dis- 
pense justice at home. Its second duty is to dispense 
justice abroad by treating other nations fairly. Its 
third duty is to be prepared to resist such unjust 
attacks as may be made. Its fourth duty is not to go 
crazy as do some men who go to the police stations and 
solemnly tell the sergeant that mysterious persons are 
always following them to shoot them up. Sane men 
occasionally go to the police and get permission to 
carry a concealed weapon, but sane men do not fill 
their pockets with pistols and wheel a cannon in front 
of them to and from their work. When an individual 
is constantly beset with fears that "mysterious per- 
sons" are about to take his life, men call him insane. 
A nation can also become insane through fear. Every 
European nation, for twenty years, has been crazed 
by the fear caused by the piling up of armaments. 
Mr. Roosevelt's idea seems to be that it is the first 
duty of a democracy to go crazy. 

Mr. Roosevelt also believes in conscription. Un- 
like the Union League Club of New York, which 
unanimously adopted a resolution urging the gov- 
ernment to resort to conscription, Mr. Roosevelt 
avoided the use of the word itself. Instead, he 

"I believe in universal service. Universal service 
represents the true democratic ideal. No man, rich 


or poor, should be allowed to shirk it. In time of war 
every citizen of the republic should be held absolutely 
to serve the republic whenever the republic needs him 
or her. The pacifist and the hyphenated American 
should be sternly required to fight and made to serve 
in the army and to share the work and danger of their 
braver and more patriotic countrymen ; and any dere- 
liction of duty on their part should be punished 
with the sharpest rigor." 

Wouldn't this be a lovely land in which to live if 
every young man were required, upon reaching a cer- 
tain age, to spend a certain amount of his time each 
year in maneuvering with an army and, at the out- 
break of any war that might be trumped up, were 
dragged from his home and sent to the front? Since 
we have never had such pleasures, is it not strange 
that foreigners who do have them at home quit their 
homes to come here? Here we see Mr. Roosevelt's 
democracy at its best. He would not trouble the peo- 
ple to vote on the question as to whether we should 
declare war, but war having been declared by a few 
he would give every man an equal opportunity to be 
killed. Mr. Roosevelt, so it was reported a few years 
ago and, so far as I know, never denied by him, once 
said in a letter to a friend that he hoped he might 
die on the battlefield. . How undemocratic it would be 
for him to crave an honor that he would deny to 
others. Nor does Mr. Roosevelt ever forget this part 
of his democracy. When in the heat of battle in 
Cuba, he saw a Spaniard running from him, Mr. 
Roosevelt democratically honored the poor fleeing 
peasant by shooting him in the back and then 
bragged about it in a magazine article. His exact 
words were: 


"Lieutenant Davis' first sergeant, Clarence Gould, 
killed a Spaniard with his revolver. ... At about 
the same time I also shot one. . . . Two Spaniards 
leaped from the trenches not ten yards away. As 
they turned to run I closed in and fired twice, miss- 
ing the first and killing the second." 

Having made himself solid with American men by 
trying to provide each with a bloody grave, Mr. 
Roosevelt closes his article by seeking the approval 
of women. Here is his appeal : 

"As for the woman who approves the song, 'I Did 
Not Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier,' her place is in 
China by preference, in a harem in China and not 
in the United States. But she is all right if she will 
change the song into 'I Did Not Raise My Boy to Be 
the Only Soldier.' " 

Mr. Roosevelt could hardly have obtained his ideas 
about women from his mother, who though she died 
many years ago, is still remembered as a noble woman. 
So far as his important public utterances go, he seems 
to regard women chiefly as sex animals. If they 
meet his approval, they must devote their sexual 
powers, for a long term of years, to bearing a great 
number of children. If they do not meet his approval, 
he would hurry them off to a harem where their sex 
might prove a delight to men. Mr. Roosevelt has a 
noble wife. Where did he get such ideas about 
women ? 

No man can speak for women about this phase of 
Mr. Roosevelt's character. Only women know 
whether they are complimented or insulted by Mr. 


Roosevelt's belief that if they do not raise their boys 
to be soldiers they should be put where their only 
duty will be to devote their bodies to the gratification 
of the lusts of men. It seems as if it would be a little 
cruel to send to a gilded sex-slaughterhouse, gentle, 
kindly women whose only offense was that they wished 
their sons neither to kill nor be killed; but kindly, 
gentle women know best about that. I know a gentle, 
white-haired woman of 70 years, who, under Mr. 
Roosevelt's ruling, would be an inmate of a Chinese 
harem. In a way, I should like to ask her what she 
thinks of Mr. Roosevelt's statement. I shall never 
ask her, however. I should be ashamed to. 



WHEN war threatens, the danger may be met in 
either of two ways. Great armies and navies 
may be raised while the causes that make for war are 
left to operate. The other way is to remove the causes 
that make for war. The first way is expensive, un- 
certain and oftentimes disastrous. Whether the war 
be lost or won, it is always lost in the sense that it 
bequeathes to each side a vast amount of human suffer- 
ing. Moreover, there is no certainty that any amount 
of preparation can insure success. "Preparedness" 
is the secret of no nation. 

The second method of meeting the danger of war is 
cheap, much more nearly certain, and contains every 
good prospect that can be embodied in a political 
program. Yet it is the method that capitalist states- 
men seldom employ. They choose such national poli- 
cies as, in their judgment, seem likely to bring the 
most profits to the capitalist class and, when war 
threatens, shout: "The country is in danger! Bring 
up the guns." 

We Socialists take to ourselves no particular credit 
for intelligence when we assert that the capitalist 
method of meeting the danger of war is an exceed- 
ingly bad method. It is not bad for the capitalist class, 
perhaps or at any rate, the gentlemen who compose 



that class seem not to think so but it is bad for the 
people. We Socialists assert that to remove the 
dangers of war is better than to let the war come after 
having raised enough forces to win it. We assert that 
the abandonment of an unjust or an unwise policy is 
the -equivalent of enough armies and dreadnoughts 
to enforce such a policy. 

We are told, as one of the reasons why we should 
vastly increase our navy, that we have great insular 
possessions that should be defended. President Wil- 
son specifically made this assertion in the autumn of 
1915 in an address before the Manhattan Club of 
New York. Every advocate of a greater navy makes 
the same argument. None of them becomes definite 
and says that to hold the Philippines we need ten or 
twenty or thirty more dreadnoughts. The nearest 
that any of them comes to being definite is to say 
that we should always have in the Pacific a fleet as 
large as that of Japan, which contains nineteen dread- 
noughts. They all consider that the Philippines and 
our other insular possessions constitute a danger of 
war, and, in true capitalist fashion, most of them wish 
to meet the danger, not by removing the cause, nor 
even by looking into the right or the wrong of the 
matter, but by preparing to fight. 

American possession, of the Philippines undoubtedly 
constitutes a continuous danger of war. Probably 
twenty dreadnoughts would be required to hold them 
if any nation should try to wrest them from us. 
Twenty dreadnoughts would cost about $350,000,000. 
How much would it cost to enact a law based upon the 
following plank in the platform upon which President 
Wilson was elected : 

"We reaffirm the position thrice announced by the 


Democracy in national convention assembled against 
a policy of imperialism and colonial exploitation in the 
Philippines or elsewhere. We condemn the experi- 
ment in imperialism as an inexcusable blunder which 
has involved us in enormous expense, brought us 
weakness instead of strength, and laid the nation open 
to the charge of abandonment of the fundamental doc- 
trine of self-government. We favor an immediate 
declaration of the nation's purpose to recognize the 
independence of the Philippine Islands as soon as a 
stable government can be established." 

This demand was placed in the Democratic platform 
in 1900, and was repeated in the next three national 
platforms. A bill was introduced in the United States 
Senate in the winter of 1916 to set the islands free 
in not less than two years, nor in more than four 
years. So many Democrats voted against it that the 
Senate was equally divided. The Vice-President, Mr. 
Marshall, to his great honor, cast off the tie by voting 
for the bill. According to newspaper reports, how- 
ever, the President was opposed to releasing the Phil- 
ippines in less than ten years. Whether the House 
will pass the bill, and if so, whether the Philippines 
will be set free at the appointed time, remains to be 
seen. Meanwhile, gentlemen are still crying out that 
our navy should be increased to the end that, among 
other things, we shall be able to meet the danger 
of war over the Philippines. 

As common sense is understood among capitalist 
statesmen, the American attitude toward the Philip- 
pines may pass for wisdom. We Socialists are quite 
frank in taking the other view. We believe the 
Philippines constitute a danger which the capitalist 
class recognizes, even while refusing to remove it, 


because of the profits that certain members of the 
capitalist class receive or hope to receive as the re- 
sult of the retention of the islands. Moreover, we 
Socialists do not believe Americans have a greater 
right to rule Filipinos than Filipinos have to rule 
Americans. Gentlemen who perceive any flaw in our 
reasoning will do us a favor if they will point it out. 
America's conduct cannot be justified by the claim 
that we are more nearly civilized than are the Fili- 
pinos. Germans may feel that they are more nearly 
civilized than the English. The French may feel 
that they are more nearly civilized than are Americans, 
yet we should hardly welcome the conquest of America 
merely because some other nation might feel that it 
had outstripped us in progress. We may rest assured 
that the Filipinos feel as we should in their circum- 

Another reason that is urged in behalf of a gigantic 
navy is the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine, 
in brief, is this: That no European nation shall in- 
crease its territory in the Western Hemisphere. The 
doctrine was proclaimed to lessen the likelihood of war 
between the United States and European nations. 
Behind the doctrine was no idealism, nor any altruism. 
We were not trying to help the weak governments of 
Central and South America, which we could not have 
helped if we had wanted to do, because we too, a hun- 
dred years ago, were weak. We were trying only to 
preserve our own peace by keeping the troublesome 
nations of Europe away. 

The Monroe Doctrine has now become, not a guar- 
antor of our peace, but probably the greatest of the 
war-dangers that are mentioned by capitalist states- 
men. So long as the doctrine stands, it is in the power 


of any nation that may see fit to challenge it, to hurl 
us into war at a moment's notice. It is like a fuse 
hanging out a window that any passer-by may light. 
It takes the preservation of peace in America out of 
the hands of Americans and places it in the hands of 
others. A few years ago, the Danish parliament, ac- 
cording to the newspaper reports of the time, had 
all but completed negotiations to sell the Danish West 
Indies to Germany. Strong protests from America 
halted proceedings. Sooner or later, one or more 
European nations and perhaps a combination of 
European nations are going to try to erect colonies 
in South America. Germany may try. Germany and 
England may try. When the attempt is made, either 
we shall have to abandon the Monroe Doctrine or 

Is it worth while to fight? President Wilson, in a 
speech at Topeka, Kansas, on February 2, 1916, while 
urging the upholding of the doctrine, said: 

"So far as dollars and cents and material advantage 
are concerned, we have nothing to make by the Mon- 
roe Doctrine. We have nothing to make by allying 
ourselves with the other nations of the Western Hemi- 
sphere in order to see to it that no man from outside, 
no government from outside, no nation from outside, 
attempts to assert any kind of sovereignty or undue 
influence over the peoples of this continent." 

Why then should we heavily arm to maintain this 
doctrine? If it is no longer a life-preserver, but a 
millstone around our necks, why should we cling to 
it? Money is the last reason on earth why we should 
cling to it, but the President says there is no money 
in it. The President's spokesman in the Senate, Mr. 
James Hamilton Lewis of Illinois, is only one of 


hundreds who regard the Monroe Doctrine as the 
greatest of our war-dangers. He would not remove 
this danger by abandoning the doctrine he would 
meet it in characteristic capitalist fashion with guns. 
But in order that there may be no misunderstanding 
as to how great a danger Senator Lewis regards 
the Monroe Doctrine to be, I will quote a few sen- 
tences from the New York Sun's report of his speech 
before the Hudson County (N. J.) Bar Association 
on the evening of February 5, 1916. Senator Lewis 
said : 

"The future troubles of America will grow out of 
the reconstruction and enforcement of an international 
contract designated the Monroe Doctrine. The con- 
flicts of America will not come during this war, but 
afterward, and will be sustained by the combined en- 
mities of all the countries now at war. These coun- 
tries will deny us the right to serve as guardian of 
South America, and they will insist that if any coun- 
try of South America is willing that a European power 
should establish its government in South America it 
will be none of our business to prevent it 

"The desire for trade in South America by the 
European governments and for a new field of ad- 
venture will cause a demand on the United States to 
surrender its present -position with regard to the 
Monroe Doctrine. Then will come the first conflict 
of arms. 

"The European countries defying us will bring their 
forces to South or Central America and establish 
them, and will challenge us to dislodge them. They 
will know that the United States has not one friend 
among the nations which would give a life or spend a 
dollar out of affection for us. 


"Great Britain and Germany will form an alliance 
for commercial purposes. They will unite in opposing 

Former Secretary of War Garrison, while address- 
ing the House Committee on Military Affairs on 
January 6, 1916, was asked by Representative Kahn 
of California whether he did not consider the Monroe 
Doctrine "a constant source of danger to the coun- 

"Absolutely," replied Mr. Garrison. "We must be 
prepared to defend it by arms, or abandon it." 

The Monroe Doctrine is but an example of a kind 
of facts that come up in history again and again 
the use of a law or a principle for quite a different 
purpose than it was originally intended. The phrase 
"due process of law" when inserted into Magna Charta 
was placed there to protect the people against abuses 
from the king. In America, where the common law 
of England is used, great corporations use the "due 
process of law" phrase to nullify laws enacted by 
public demand to compel corporations to pay more 
taxes or charge less for their commodities. In like 
manner, the Monroe Doctrine, which was devised to 
insure the peace of America, is retained after it has 
become a positive menace, for no other reason than 
that American capitalists would hold the Western 
Hemisphere as their own private preserve. President 
Wilson spoke only a part of the truth when he said 
the Monroe Doctrine offered no financial advantage 
to the United States. This doctrine, it is true, offers 
to the American people no possibility of financial gain, 
but Central and South America offer great possibili- 
ties of financial gain to any group or groups of capi- 
talists who may be able to exploit them. Senator 


Lewis put his finger on the facts when he said that the 
European "desire for trade in South America" would 
cause European governments to challenge the Monroe 
Doctrine. It is the American desire for profits in 
Central and South America that causes American 
capitalists to demand the enforcement of the Monroe 
Doctrine even at the cost of war. 

The pretension that there is anything altruistic in 
the demand is absurd. American capitalists daily and 
hourly sacrifice the interests of Americans here at 
home, and their treatment of Latin Americans has 
long been such that the United States is hated from 
the Rio Grande to Cape Horn. 

The pretension that any measure of safety lies in 
the exclusion of European governments from the 
Western Hemisphere is also absurd. The same gentle- 
men who are clamoring for the upholding of the Mon- 
roe Doctrine never tire of telling how easy it would 
be for any first-class European power to transport a 
large army across the Atlantic and land it upon our 
shores. A large part of South America is as far from 
us as Europe is. Are we to believe that the addi- 
tional one or two days of sail from Europe, over 
what it would be from South America, is all that has 
saved us from invasion for the last hundred years? 

When the Monroe Doctrine was proclaimed, Europe 
seemed far from AmeVica and throughout America, 
there was great horror of Europe. We remembered 
our two wars with England. We remembered the 
bloody French Revolution. We remembered the 
Napoleonic wars. Far away, upon our own shores, 
we looked upon this land as a haven of rest, where 
we should always be secure provided we were able to 
keep Europe away. 


Time has brought great changes. We now know 
that Europeans are fully as civilized as ourselves, and 
the more intelligent know that the governments of 
France and England are at least as democratic as our 
own and, that after this war, democracy will make 
great strides in Germany. Why should we object 
to the establishment of European colonies in the West- 
ern Hemisphere? Has Canada been a bad neighbor? 
Are we so fond of Mexico that we would wade 
through blood to preserve her? What if the French 
had remained in Mexico when they came fifty years 
ago? We know the French people. Do we regard 
them as bad ? Have we reason to prefer the Mexicans 
as near neighbors? 

By this line of reasoning it is not intended to reach 
the conclusion that if Germany were to take over 
Brazil that, if the capitalist system were to continue, 
we might not eventually find ourselves at war with 
Germany. The capitalist system makes wars by creat- 
ing their causes. But if Germany were to seize a great 
outlet in South America she would want generations 
of peace in which to develop the country. Would 
it be unwise to say that, if we must have war with 
Germany or any other nation it would be better to 
postpone it seventy-five years than to have it five years 
hence over the Monroe Doctrine? 

A great many things may happen in less than 
seventy-five years. 

Common people, the world over, may come to 
realize that wars are made by the conflicting greeds 
of the capitalist groups of the nations, all bent upon 
obtaining the same profits. The recognition of this 
fact is making enormous strides. The war in Europe 
is opening eyes to this fact that, up to this time, have 


remained closed. Why then not postpone every war 
that insistence upon the Monroe Doctrine might 
create ? 

The Monroe Doctrine is so bad that our worst 
enemy might easily be perplexed if it were to try to 
design any single political principle more dangerous 
to our peace. As a reason for a greater navy it is a 
fraud. So is every reason for a greater navy. These 
gentlemen say they want a greater navy because we 
must protect the Panama Canal. These same gentle- 
men, a dozen years ago, advocated the Panama Canal 
because it would "double the strength of our navy" 
by enabling us to shift our fleet from one ocean to the 
other without going around Cape Horn. 

John Hay, who, as Secretary of State, paved the 
way for the canal, never dreamt that we should fortify 
it. He believed we should neutralize it. Why not 
neutralize it, by binding all the world not to close 
it? Some nation might break its promise and close 
it for a brief period, but are we sure we can always 
keep it open by placing force back of it? Are we the 
unbeatable nation? Can we never be vanquished in 
war? Have we reason to be sure that we could 
keep the canal open more days to the century by 
placing force behind it than we could by placing it 
under the joint protection of the world? 


THE President of the United States, on March 25, 
1916, found it necessary to issue a statement, 
over his signature, warning the people of the United 
States not to heed the lying reports published in the 
American press with regard to our relations with 

Mr. Wilson specifically said that "The object of this 
traffic in falsehood is to create intolerable friction be- 
tween the government of the United States and the 
de facto government of Mexico for the purpose of 
bringing about intervention in the interest of cer- 
tain American owners of Mexican properties." 

In other words, we are told by the President of the 
United States that certain American gentlemen who 
own cattle ranges, forests and mines in Mexico are 
so desirous that their property shall be increased in 
price that they are eager to exchange American lives 
for Mexican treasure, and that a considerable part 
of the American press is willing to lie to bring about 
the desired result. 

These are astounding statements. Coming from 
the White House, as they did, they attracted wide- 
spread attention. 

But do the American people believe this is the first 
time that Americans have conspired against the wel- 
fare of the people? 

Do the American people believe this is the first 


occasion upon which American capitalists have sought 
to hurt the poor that the rich might be helped? 

Do the American people believe this is the first time 
that American newspapers have lied to further the 
schemes of the rich? 

If so, the American people would do well to open 
their eyes to the facts. 

What President Wilson, over his signature, has 
proclaimed to everybody is not a new thing, but a 
very, very old thing. 

Every minute of every hour of every day, the 
capitalist interests that control this government are us- 
ing it, in one way or another, to entrench the rich 
in their riches, which necessarily means the keeping 
of the rest of the people hard at work for a bare 

The American press is controlled by the class that is 
fattening upon the masses, and daily defends what- 
ever helps the rich and attacks whatever menaces their 

The American press has not been doing these things 
for a day or a week or a month it has been doing 
them ever since there was an American press. It 
could not defend the capitalist system, which it does, 
and do otherwise. 

The American press has not suddenly learned to lie 
about Mexico it has lied whenever and about what- 
ever the great capitalists desired. 

It lies when it says that the tariff question has any- 
thing to do with the welfare of the great mass of 
the American people. The tariff question has to do 
only with the determination of which part of the 
capitalist class shall have an advantage in the ex- 
ploitation of the American people. 


A part of the American press is lying when it 
flaunts before the people the danger of invasion by a 
European army, and urges militarism under the mask 
of "preparedness." The President himself has pub- 
licly declared that "nobody seriously believes this coun- 
try need fear invasion," and the President himself 
publicly opposed "preparedness" until rival politicians 
forced him to seem to favor it. Yet, lying newspapers, 
under the control of the great interests that want a 
huge navy to safeguard their foreign investments, 
continue to assert that we are in danger of invasion 
from a Europe so mutilated that it can barely hold 
up its head. 

The American press lies daily and hourly about 
Socialism. It heaps upon Socialism all of its scorn, 
all of its derision, all of its contempt. Why? Be- 
cause Socialism would harm the country? By no 
means. Because in the opinion of the great capitalists, 
Socialism would cut off their great grafts. If Social- 
ism were a fool's dream, the capitalist interests and 
their newspapers would pay no attention to it. They 
care nothing for fools' dreams. But they care a great 
deal about anything and everything that has within it 
the power to take this country from the few and turn 
it over to everybody. They know only too well that 
if the great industries of the country were collectively 
owned by the people and operated by the govern- 
ment not for anybody's profit but for everybody's 
welfare that the day of the capitalist class would 
be ended. By opposing us, lying about us and slander- 
ing us they really declare how convinced they are that 
Socialism, if put to the test, would do what its ad- 
vocates assert it would do end poverty. Working- 
men whom the capitalist system is sweating into four 


rooms and a lean living may doubt whether Socialism 
would work. The great capitalists who are sweating 
the workingmen have no such doubts. They fear and 
despise Socialism as a safe-cracker fears and despises 
a policeman and for much the same reason. If there 
were a burglars' press we might expect to find in it 
an endless succession of editorials intended to demon- 
strate to householders that a police force would 
inevitably tend to destroy the liberties of the 

We Socialists welcome President Wilson's warning 
to his countrymen. It is altogether the most valuable 
contribution that he has made to the welfare of the 
many millions who look to him to wield his great 
powers in their behalf. The lower tariff that Mr. 
Wilson promised and gave did not help any. When 
the President and Congress "reformed the currency" 
nobody worked fewer hours, received more wages or 
paid less for his living. None of the President's other 
"reforms" did the masses any good. But the pos- 
sibility of every good is wrapped up in the stalwart 
statement that American capitalists, when it suits their 
convenience to do so, can and do conspire against the 
country's welfare, and that many American news- 
papers, upon such occasions, can and do He. 

The simple truth is that the crimes the President 
has charged to these interests are the smallest of their 
crimes. They are the smallest of their crimes because 
they pertain to a single fact our relations with 
Mexico. Their great crimes pertain to the continuous 
attempts of the capitalist class of America to bulwark 
and entrench a system that makes of this country but 
a vast place where millions sweat out their lives in 
hopeless drudgery, while a favored few draw unto 


themselves such riches as the world never before 

The President blew a blast across the land that 
should challenge every one to thought. Where the 
President stopped writing, the American people should 
begin thinking. Are we to believe that the rich men 
accused of trying to bring on war with Mexico are the 
only unscrupulous capitalists in America? Are one 
set of American capitalists better or worse than an- 
other? Is it a recognized fact that while the Gug- 
genheims and the Hearsts are scoundrels that the 
Morgans and the Rockefellers are above reproach? 
Where is the authority for such classifications ? Where 
did any of them ever get a certificate attesting his 
unselfishness and his desire to give the people of 
this country the full value of the wealth they produce? 

The simple truth is that, the world over, capital- 
ists are capitalists, precisely as, the world over, capi- 
talism is capitalism. Every great capitalist is a burglar 
working at the pockets of the people. He is working, 
it is true, within the law. So much the worse for the 
law. It is the law of which Socialists complain. What 
we are trying to bring home to the consciousness of the 
American people is that the law was made by capi- 
talists and operates in their favor. It is not a wise 
provision that makes the nation's industries the lawful 
subject of private ownership. These industries are 
our life. They represent the bread and meat and 
and shelter of the people. Under private ownership, 
it is inevitable that a few shall own and control the 
industries. Is it any wonder that a few are enor- 
mously rich, having, as they do, the power to determine 
what others shall pay for the necessities of life? Is 
it any wonder that the rest are poor? What would 


be the effect upon prices if the government were to 
build factories and compete with those who charge 
exorbitant prices? Do you believe such a plan would 
effect prices more or less than do suits to "destroy the 
trusts" ? 

Think these matters over for yourself. Use your 
own brain. Do not let the lying newspapers or the 
conspiring capitalists advise you. Some of the great 
capitalists who denounce Socialism are the gentlemen 
who, according to the President, tried to trade the 
lives of thousands of young Americans for blood- 
stained Mexican gold. 

If this country is to be relieved from the poverty 
that afflicts it, and spared from the fate that has 
overtaken Europe, the common men and women of 
America must perform these tasks. The rich will not 
save it. The ignorant cannot save it. The alert, the in- 
formed, the intelligent and the thoughtful must do it. 

Perhaps you have never cast a ballot in the interest 
of the people of the United States. If not, might it 
not be well if you were to say with your next ballot 
that you refuse longer to stand for a system that en- 
riches a few, pollutes the land with capitalistic con- 
spirators, and chloroforms the country with news- 
paper lies? 

Americans, if they will, can sound a note that will 
reverberate throughout the world. The need is great, 
the hour is dark, but what men have done, men can 
do and minority parties have been converted into 
majority parties. The people of this country can save 
this country, but they cannot do it by voting with the 
conspirators and the liars, whose only conscience is 
their pocketbook, and whose only standard of justice 
is the outer wall of the penitentiary. 


THE lines upon which the Socialist party should 
wage its campaign this year are plain. 

Our first task should be to exert every particle of 
energy we possess toward preventing our government 
from embroiling this nation in the European war. 

If we could speak but one word this year that word 
should be "Peace." Precisely as murder is a more 
grave crime than robbery, so is the capitalist crime of 
mass-murder in war more horrible than the capitalist 
crime of exploitation of labor in peace. 

We should therefore lay the emphasis upon our 
greatest danger, which is war with a European power 
over some technicality of international law. We are 
not interested in technicalities. We are interested 
in peace. 

We should next concern ourselves with the task of 
impeding, hampering, delaying and, if possible, pre- 
venting the enactment of certain legislation which, 
though put forth under the guise of "preparedness" 
is really but the attempt of the American capitalist 
class to obtain great armaments with which to safe- 
guard both their present and their prospective foreign 
investments and by "enforcing American diplomacy" 
to obtain additional markets and increased profits from 
foreign trade. The American working class has no 



interest in this sort of foreign trade. It is interested 
in domestic consumption. 

If American capitalists, during the present Euro- 
pean war, could obtain control of all the world's 
markets outside of Europe, that moment would our 
fate be sealed. 

If necessary, a combination of all the other nations 
would be made to destroy us. We could not build 
a navy strong enough to make us safe. If we can 
prevent our capitalists from building a greater Ameri- 
can navy, they will not feel safe in investing so much 
money abroad, nor will they be likely to obtain and 
hold so much foreign trade. 

Since modern war comes as the result of commercial 
rivalries between capitalistic groups of various na- 
tions, it will hold true, in the long run, that the danger 
of America becoming involved in war will be in pro- 
portion to the size of our foreign trade and the extent 
of American investments abroad. 

We should seize upon the war in Europe as concrete 
proof of the correctness of that part of the Socialist 
philosophy that designates capitalism as the cause of 
modern war. We should seek to show the American 
people, by careful, patient reasoning that the same 
forces that brought about the war in Europe are 
operating here. We should show that the same sys- 
tem that kills the workers in war robs them in peace. 
We should use the European war as the door of ap- 
proach to the public mind. 

The average man seldom has at any given time more 
than one open door to his mind. 

At the present moment that door is and for months 
to come will be the European war. It is always easier 
to make Socialism understood by attaching to it some- 


thing that is more or less understood by the one ad- 
dressed. Everybody understands the European war 
came about not because of the assassination of the 
Archduke of Austria, but because of the conflicting 
economic interests of groups of capitalists. That 
is a good deal for the world to understand and we 
should make the most of it 

As a party we also have an international duty to 
perform. The war in Europe is plainly nearing its last 
stage. Peace will probably come within a year. We 
should be watchful for an opportunity to do whatever 
may be done, if anything, to hasten the war's end. 

Perhaps no such opportunity will come, but if it 
should come, we should not miss it. 

In any event, when the end comes, we should unite 
with our European comrades to make certain that 
the peace attained shall be a just peace, a peace which 
shall not contain the germs of another war. 

It comes but to few generations to live during the 
time of great historic events. The fierce light of pres- 
ent events will cast long shadows across distant cen- 

It is not a pleasant time to live, but it is a great 
time to live. It is a great time in the sense that if ever 
there was need of such a doctrine as ours, it is now, 
when the development of capitalism is shattering half 
of the world and is threatening the rest. 

Let us go forward in this campaign with the mighty 
resolve to work as we never worked before; to give 
our message to the country so plainly that he who runs 
may read, and so persistently that he who runs must 

Fifty centuries looked down upon the soldiers whom 
Napoleon gathered at the foot of the Pyramids. All 


the centuries that are to come will look back at those 
who are now on this earth. 

The world is yearning for a message that will save 
it, and we have the message! 



TTT'HAT do we need? When a child is born, the 
rr first concern of those about it is not to supply 
it with food. Warm blankets, provided by the 
thoughtful mother weeks before, are wrapped around 
it. The human body is so constituted that it can 
withstand only slight variations in the temperature of 
the blood. From birth until death, the body, in winter, 
must have clothing. 

There is practically no limit to the amount of cloth- 
ing that might be manufactured in the United States. 
We can produce as much cotton as we want, as much 
wool as we want, and build any amount of machinery 
that may be necessary. We already have a tremendous 
equipment of cloth-making and clothes-making ma- 
chinery. All we lack is the right to use it when we 
need it. 

We need food. 

If Texas were as well tilled as Belgium used to be, 
enough food could be produced within its borders 
to feed all of our hundred millions. We also have 
forty-seven other states and one federal district in 
which something might be raised. We have the land, 
the men and the machinery with which to make an 
abundance of every kind of food that is necessary to 
the well-being of each of us. So far as ability to 
create foodstuffs is concerned, no more reason exists 



why any one should go hungry or fear hunger than 
there is reason why anybody should fear a shortage of 
air to breathe. Yet, a few days ago, I saw a man faint 
on a subway platform in New York for lack of food. 

Everybody needs a roof over his head some place 
to call his home. If it were necessary to do so, the 
number of houses in this country could be doubled. 
To build a house for every house that exists would 
give an enormous amount of work to the people. 
Millions of men are always unable to get an opportu- 
nity to work. There is no scarcity of clay out of 
which to make bricks or of any of the materials that 
are required to make a house. Workingmen have 
made all of the houses that exist, yet the great major- 
ity of workingmen do not own their own homes. 
After they built them, they lost them. Why are there 
not enough good homes for everybody, and why do 
the workers, who built all the homes, own so few 
of them? 

Every house, except in the 4 far south, must be heated 
in winter. 

The earth contains plenty of coal. The country con- 
tains enough undeveloped water power to heat every 
house in it if there were not a pound of coal and 
the cost of producing electricity is so low that every 
house could be heated cheaply. Why is it so hard to 
get enough money to keep the house warm in win- 
ter? Why are the poor seldom comfortable from fall 
until spring? 

Furniture is necessary. 

What limit could be placed upon the amount of 
machinery we could make with which to manufacture 
furniture? We still have some timber that the lum- 
ber barons have not juggled into millions for them- 


selves. Mr. Edison says steel is better than wood for 
furniture-making purposes, anyway. Chairs, tables, 
and many articles of office furniture are already made 
of steel. Steel is made of iron. The earth is stored 
with iron. Of course, a good deal of labor would be 
required to convert a large amount of iron, first into 
steel and then into furniture but are not many per- 
sons looking for work? 

Pianos, phonographs and the like are also nice. 
Poor people like music. 

They say in New York that the poor people, who 
pay to get in the galleries at grand opera, sit more 
quietly and appear to be more interested than do some 
of the rich ones below. One cannot always sit quietly 
in a box. Diamonds scintillate most when they are 
moved about in the light. At any rate, why should not 
everybody's love for music be gratified by the best sort 
of musical instruments in his home? A good phono- 
graph really yields music. The cheap ones do not. 
Why should not each home contain a good piano and 
a good phonograph? Because so much labor would 
be required to produce them? That cannot be. Is 
it not the opportunity to labor that we so often lack? 
When our politicians want our votes, do they not 
promise us "plenty of work at good wages"? 

Education is important. 

Only five or six children who enter the primary 
grades ever enter high school and still fewer ever 
go to college. Why? If we wished, we might have 
ten times as many teachers as we have. Why should 
not every child be permitted to finish high school? 
Why should we accept the poverty of the parents as 
an excuse for dragging a child from school and thrust- 
ing him into a workshop? We have millions of men 


who cannot get work. Why make a bad situation 
worse by making children work? Children can do 
certain kinds of work and can be hired more cheaply, 
but do these constitute valid reasons for robbing so 
many children of their only opportunity to get an edu- 
cation? Everybody regrets that the children are 
robbed, and the men who employ the children feel 
sorrier than anybody else, but exceedingly little is 
being done to help the children. How can the children 
be helped so long as the little they can earn is neces- 
sary to keep the pot boiling at home? We Socialists 
say they cannot be helped without so changing con- 
ditions that a few rich men cannot keep so many mil- 
lions poor. We are not merely sorry that the chil- 
dren are robbed we are indignant. Perhaps that is 
because we are not "practical." The men who are 
profiting from the system that robs the children say 
we are not practical. What does "practical" mean? 

In addition to a good phonograph, and some other 
little things, each head of a house each grown per- 
son should have something else. He should have 
some land to live upon. It would not matter whether 
he "owned" the land. "Own" is such a funny word 
to use in connection with any part of the earth's sur- 
face. It reminds me of my grandfather, who once 
pleased my childish fancy by solemnly giving me a star 
that nightly hovered over our house. The same power 
that made the star made every foot of the earth. No 
man had anything to do with either. 

A lot of grown people experience the same joy in 
"owning" parcels of the earth that I used to take, 
when a child, in "owning" the star. As a matter of 
fact, the only important thing about either the star 
or enough of the earth to live upon, is the right to 


use the thing, so long as desired, without disturbance. 
All we care about the stars is to look at them. To 
shut off our view would constitute disturbance. All 
we care about the earth is to live on it and get our liv- 
ing from it. For any man to exact toll for the use 
of the earth should create disturbance. What a man 
builds on the earth should be his own, but the earth 
was made by the power that created the universe, and 
every one born upon it should have a right to use some 
part of it as long as he wants to, without tribute to 
anybody. No one should be required to live all his 
life on the same piece of land, but no one should be 
permitted to hold any piece of land a moment longer 
than he desired to live upon it. Fortunately, there is 
enough land in this country for a great many more 
millions than are here to live upon it. Everybody 
would have enough land to live upon if an interested 
few were not permitted to "own" land upon which 
they do not live. 

This should be changed. We need the earth. It 
is important. It is not important that a few should 
derive a profit, without labor, by claiming to "own" 
certain parts of the earth. Private ownership of the 
earth is a bad principle. The right of each to the 
exclusive control of what earth he needs is a good 
principle. The mere fact that the bad principle was 
here first is no reason why it should remain until the 
last. We who live upon this earth can establish 
whatever principles of this sort that we may choose 
to establish. The earth is not for Astor but for 

What do we lack? What do we lack to make us a 
comfortable and, so far as material things can con- 
tribute to that end, a happy people? 


Can you think of anything? 

One thing may be mentioned. We lack the de- 
termination to take over the earth that no man made, 
and the improvements upon it which every human be- 
ing has helped to make, and convert them to our own 
uses, now and forevermore. 

The Socialist party exists only for the purpose of 
supplying this lack. We Socialists are trying to create 
a public determination to increase the owning class 
from a few to as many millions as there are in the 
nation. We perceive that every way the people turn 
they are confronted and perplexed by little gentlemen 
who own this or that. They are troublesome gentle- 
men. They always have their hands out. They want 
to be supported. They want to pay as little wages 
as they can and keep the rest that the workers pro- 

These little gentlemen are not important, though 
they think they are. Mr. J. P. Morgan was quite 
vexed one day, upon returning from Europe, because 
when the ship had almost crossed the ocean in record 
time, a sudden storm made it half a day late in reach- 
ing port. The New York newspapers consumed valu- 
able paper and ink in laying before millions of little 
men and women the full extent of Mr. Morgan's ex- 
asperation at the weather. Mr. Morgan is undoubt- 
edly entirely conscientious in the belief that he is a 
person of vast importance, and therefore entitled not 
only to fair weather, but to be more than royally sup- 
ported by the working class of the United States. It 
is doubtful, however, if this is so. Mr. Morgan is 
not a producer of milk, but a skimmer of cream. He 
is important only to himself. He is entitled to a man's 
share of opportunity in this world but no more. Yet 


if he were to try to live upon what he is now produc- 
ing, he would starve to death, unless relieved by alms, 
in a few days. He is no worse than others of his class. 
That is not the point. The point is that the others are 
no better than he is. They are all skimmers of cream. 
The mere fact that they would like to continue to skim 
is not important What matters it what they want? 
They are entitled to only a fair chance with the rest 
of us. 

"The earth for those who live on it" is the ideal for 
which we Socialists strive. It is all a matter of chang- 
ing the laws. Laws are made by governments. Gov- 
ernments are made by people or at least exist by 
consent of the people. When the people begin to de- 
mand things, and perhaps to growl a little, govern- 
ments give up a little. The Socialist vote, at present, 
is a growl. The larger it becomes, the more the 
present owning class will give up. It is a good deal 
like a balloonist throwing sandbags overboard to keep 
from going down. When the Socialist vote becomes 
large enough, the day of the important little gentlemen 
will have passed and the day of the rest of the people 
will have come. 

A million votes added to either of the other political 
parties at the next election would have for the people 
of this country no significance. Not one additional 
good law might reasonably be expected as the result 
of it. But if a million were to be added to the Socialist 
vote, the ruling class of America would hasten to 
throw over sandbags in the form of concessions to 
the working class. These gentlemen, when pressed, 
are always willing to give up something to keep the 
rest. There is no other way of getting so much in 
the way of immediate, practical results from a ballot 


cast at the next election as by voting the Socialist 
ticket. The gentlemen in Washington and in Wall 
Street always watch the Socialist vote. They know 
what it means. 



"CHARMERS and their wives and children work too 
* hard and get too few of the things in this worldl 
that are worth while. It is not necessary to tell farm- 
ers this. They know it. The only question worth 
considering is : Is there any remedy for this condition? 
Any Republican politician will tell you there is a rem- 
edy and that he has it. Any Democratic or Pro- 
gressive politician will tell you the same. The remedy 
of each of these gentlemen is to put somebody out of 
office and put him in. 

For a hundred years and more, American farmers 
have been trying to improve their condition by putting 
somebody out of office to put somebody else in. The 
plan has not worked well for the simple reason that 
the men who were put out and the men who were put 
in stood for much the same thing. Neither class of 
politicians was willing to get at and do away with the 
things that really keep the farmer and his family hard 
at work and poorly paid. 

Another class of gentlemen tell the farmers that 
what is the matter with them is that they do not know 
enough about farming. They do not raise enough on 
their land. They raise little because they lack the 
scientific knowledge with which to raise more. 
Scientists tell farmers this. James J. Hill, who has 



made millions but not at farming says the same. 
What hurts Mr. Hill more than anything else is that 
American farmers raise an average of only about 
thirteen bushels of wheat to the acre when they might 
as well raise thirty-three, as they did in Belgium be- 
fore the war. It is easy enough to understand why 
Mr. Hill feels hurt. He is in the railroad business. 
He would make considerable more money if he could 
haul thirty-three bushels of wheat for every thirteen 
bushels that his railroads now haul. 

That does not much matter. The real question of 
importance is : Would the farmers make more money 
if they produced thirty-three bushels of wheat to the 
acre instead of thirteen? The easy way to answer 
this question is to say they would. The plain truth 
is that they would not and of this there is proof. 

The first fact that American farmers should con- 
sider is the Belgian farmers. They raise thirty-three 
bushels of wheat to the acre. Mr. Hill tauntingly 
says so and it is true. But does this great production 
make the Belgian farmers rich? Did anybody ever 
hear of an American farmer emigrating to Belgium? 
Is it not a scandalous fact that the people of Belgium 
are miserably poor and densely ignorant? They are 
not to blame for being ignorant. They have no op- 
portunity to learn. They are working too hard, rais- 
ing thirty-three bushels of wheat to the acre. 

But we need not go to Belgium to find proof that 
increased farm production does not mean correspond- 
ingly increased prosperity for the farmer. We have 
abundant proof in the United States. 

When the first federal census was taken in 1790, 
ninety-seven Americans out of each one hundred were 
living on farms. When the last census was taken in 


1910, only thirty Americans out of each one hundred 
were engaged in agriculture. Yet the thirty that re- 
mained on farms produced more pounds of food for 
each person in the United States than the ninety-seven 
produced in 1790. In other words, although the pro- 
portion of the population engaged in agriculture had 
been decreased two-thirds, the remaining third pro- 
duced more for each person in the country than the 
entire three-thirds were able to produce in 1790. 
Why? Because improved agricultural machinery had 
vastly increased the power of each farmer to produce 

It would be idle to deny that the farmer has re- 
ceived nothing from his increased power of produc- 
tion. It would be as idle to assert that he has received 
all of his increased product. He has received nothing 
like his increased product. Like the industrial worker 
in the city, the farmer has received but a little of the 
increased product that improved machinery has en- 
abled the farmer and the industrial worker to produce. 
Machinery has increased the productivity of the in- 
dustrial worker by scores of times. The industrial 
worker lives better than his great-grandfather did, 
but he has to worry more about getting a job than his 
ancestors did, and he is still so poor that he cannot 
afford to live decently nor to keep his children in 
school long enough to give them a decent education. 
And the farmer is still poor. By keeping at it all the 
while, he manages to get along, but it is a hard strug- 
gle. His wife is compelled to work as hard as he 
does or a little harder his children are put to work 
when they should be at school, yet if one farmer's 
son out of a million happens to go to a city and do 
well, grafters in the city try to coddle the farmer by 


citing the instance as proof that in this glorious coun- 
try poverty is no barrier to success. 

Let us now look at such a world as no farmer ever 
saw. Suppose improved machinery were to make it 
possible for one man of each one hundred of our 
population to produce all the food that all the rest of 
us need. Suppose there were only 1,000,000 Ameri- 
cans instead of 30,000,000 engaged in agriculture. 
Would the million receive thirty times as much income 
as the 30,000,000 now receive ? 

Your Republican, Democratic and Progressive poli- 
ticians will tell you they would. We Socialists tell you 
they would not. 

Let us tell you what would happen. Twenty-nine 
millions of Americans who are now living on farms 
would be compelled to move into cities and seek em- 
ployment in factories and in stores. They would be 
compelled to move into cities because they would be 
unable to find work on farms. They would be unable 
to find work on farms because there would not be 
thirty times the demand for farm produce that there 
was when 30,000,000 farmers were at work. The de- 
mand for farm products does not so much depend 
upon hunger as it does upon the ability of human 
beings in cities to buy something to eat. Every day 
there are persons in cities who are hungry, but they 
create no commercial demand for farm products for 
the reason that they have no money with which to 
pay for them. They have no money for the reason 
that they can find no employment in factories, stores 
and other places where men and women work. 

Now imagine, if you can, what would happen in 
cities if 29,000,000 Americans from the farms should 
be compelled to move from their farms into the cities. 


They would at once be compelled to compete for jobs 
with the millions who are already in cities, not all of 
whom, by any means, are now able to find work. 
These 29,000,000 would be very eager for work. They 
would have to find work or starve. What would they 
do? What could they do? The only thing they could 
do would be to say : "We will work for less than those 
receive who are now at work." 

What would American employers do? What do 
they always do? Wouldn't they buy labor where 
they could get it the cheapest ? That is what they have 
always done and are still doing. The standard of liv- 
ing would have to come down. The standard of 
living would come down. Every family would take 
twenty-five or thirty roomers, as each city family does 
in Hungary. Men, women and children would be 
huddled indiscriminately on the floor. Men who work 
nights would get into beds still warm from the men 
who had just arisen to work days. The decreased 
cost of producing food on the farm would result in 
cheaper food, but it would not be enough cheaper 
to enable those in the cities to live as well as they 
now live, but it would be too cheap to make the farm- 
ers prosperous. Then, as now, the middlemen would 
skim off the cream. They would pay the farmer as 
little as they could and charge the consumer as much 
as they could. For most of the country, the condi- 
tions of life would actually be worse because be- 
cause invention had increased the productivity of 
farmers 3,000 per cent. 

Does this sound like a dream? It is worse than 
that. It is a nightmare. But it is unfortunately a 
fact. It is not spun out of imagination it is con- 
gealed from experience. Precisely this, on a smaller 


scale, has happened and is happening in the United 
States. Improved agricultural machinery has driven 
from the farms sixty-seven of each ninety-seven who 
were engaged in agriculture 126 years ago. Foolish 
men in the cities talk about the foolishness of men 
in the country who do not know enough to stay on 
their farms. Other foolish men in the cities advocate 
a "back to the land" movement as the cure for all of 
our economic troubles. The fact is that farmers come 
to the cities because improved farm machinery is driv- 
ing them out of the country. There is only a certain 
demand for food and thirty can now better satisfy 
it than ninety-seven could in 1790. Under the present 
system, every improvement in agricultural machinery 
and agricultural methods that shall be made will 
result in driving more men from the farms to 
compete with the workers already in the cities for 

It is easy enough to say this is not so, but it is 
not so easy to prove that it is not so. It is easy 
enough to say there is still more work in the country 
than there are men to do it. Many farmers make 
the mistake of trying to judge the conditions in the 
entire country by their own experience or that of a 
neighbor. Because old Bill Brown wanted a farm 
hand last week and could not find one or found one 
who was so disgusted and disheartened that he had 
turned to drink the retort is made : "There is plenty 
of work in the country, but city workers are too lazy 
or too drunk to come out here and do it." That 
is not a fair way to judge conditions. It is like judg- 
ing a great picture by looking at one little corner of 
it. A great picture of a battlefield might look like 
a cornfield if there were a hill of corn in one corner 


of it and a spectator were to look only at the hill of 
corn and not at the charging horses or the guns. 

The fact is that those who are now engaged in 
farming could not if they would give continuous em- 
ployment or even occasional employment to the mil- 
lions who cannot find work in cities. It is also absurd 
to expect that a man who has a family settled in the 
city can leave them at any moment to go hundreds or 
thousands of miles into the country to get a few days' 
work. If he is out of work, the chances also are that 
he is out of money and therefore cannot pay his rail- 
road fare, and, if he knew where the job was (which 
he doesn't) and had the money to pay his railroad fare 
(which he hasn't), in nine cases out of ten he would 
not be given enough work to buy a round-trip ticket 
and take care of his family while he was away. And 
no man, knowingly, is going to spend his last cent for 
a ticket from Chicago to a farm near Omaha to earn 
so little money that he will be more in debt when he 
returns than he was when he left. Rather than do 
this, men will remain in the cities and walk the streets 
looking for work that may return enough money to 
pay expenses. Men do thus remain in the cities and 
walk the streets looking for work. What wonder if 
some of them turn to drink ? 

What is the matter with the world? Nothing that 
has not been the matter with it from the beginning. 
A few men are running the world in their own inter- 
est. A few men are trying to roll in wealth at the 
expense of the rest of us. That is nothing new. That 
is what chattel slaveholders tried to do and did. 
The method by which a few men live on the others 
changes with the ages. When the people get their 
eyes on one method and abolish it, the grafters plan 


another method. They can no longer own men, but 
they can get hold of what men produce. That is all 
they ever owned men for. The wealth that men pro- 
duce is what they are after. They rob industrial 
workers in the cities by one method and farmers 
by another method, but both methods are a part of 
the same system. 

We Socialists call the present system of produc- 
ing and distributing wealth the capitalist system be- 
cause it is based upon the private ownership by capital- 
ists of the machinery of production and distribution. 
In the cities, the capitalists own the great manufac- 
turing industries and will not permit men to work 
except for wages that represent but a part of their 
product. In the country, the capitalists do not yet 
own the farms, but they fix the price of everything 
the farmer buys and of everything he sells. The 
price of the reaper is not what the farmer may believe 
would be a reasonable charge, but what the capitalist 
believes he can get. The price of wheat is not what 
the farmer believes it is worth, but what the speculator 
believes he can buy it for. Freight rates and elevator 
charges are not what the farmer would be willing to 
pay, but what the railroad man and the elevator man 
say he shall pay. 

Every capitalist tells the farmer he is the most in- 
dependent man on earth and then straightway pro- 
ceeds to demonstrate that he is among the most 
dependent. Like the industrial worker in the city, he 
is the victim of the capitalist class. He and his wife 
are free to work until the grave closes over them and 
that is about all. Their liberty is a sham, their in- 
dependence a fraud. They are ground under an 
oppressive system so unjust that even if improved 


machinery were to make it possible to produce one 
hundred bushels of wheat to the acre, and everything 
else in proportion, the problem of poverty would still 
be unsolved. So long as farmers and factory workers 
remain apart, the problem will remain unsolved. If 
ever the victims are to throw off their master, they 
must get together. 

We Socialists suggest that the power be destroyed 
by which a few rob the many by owning privately 
what the many must use. We suggest that the people, 
through the government, displace the capitalist class 
by owning what the capitalist class now owns. We 
do not see how there could ever be any more robbery 
if the people themselves could produce wealth without 
the consent of the capitalist class and consume it with- 
out paying tribute to the capitalist class. We would 
have the people, collectively, own the great railroads 
and all of the great industries. Wherever we might 
find landlords robbing tenant farmers, we would have 
the people, collectively, own the land and permit farm- 
ers to work without paying tribute to a landlord. We 
would apply the principle of public ownership wher- 
ever we might find capitalists using private ownership 
to perpetrate private plunder. And we would have a 
government made responsive to the public will by the 
initiative, the referendum and the recall. 

Every Republican, Democratic and Progressive 
politician wants to help you without interfering with 
the gentlemen who are using private ownership of 
what should be public properties to feather their own 
nests. They all tell you we Socialists are wrong. 
You have been voting as they told you, probably since 
you were old enough to vote. // they know how to 
help you, why have they not done so? 


T T is the general opinion in cities that farmers are 
* prosperous. The editor of Better Farming, an 
agricultural paper published in Chicago, in 1915 in- 
formed the public generally that "the farmer is the 
real capitalist." Land had enormously increased in 
price, he said, and "the purchasing power of the farm 
family has doubled in ten years." 

The truth of the matter is presented in the follow- 
ing editorial from the New York Times: 

"A report issued by the Department of Agriculture 
will be dismal reading for the people who so confi- 
dently preach the doctrine that the welfare of a coun- 
try is largely dependent on the division of its land into 
a great number of small farms. This is the assump- 
tion on which is based most of the talk about the 
wisdom and virtue that lie in rural as opposed to urban 
life, and with it goes the other very common assump- 
tion that farms of many acres are to be reprehended 
and those of few praised. 

"The departmental experts have been collecting 
exact information on this important and interesting 
subject, and they have figures to prove that the finan- 
cial status of the small farmer is usually unsound and 
therefore hopeless. His costs of cultivation are dis- 
proportionate to his profits in almost all cases. In 



short, it is only farming on a fairly extensive scale 
that gives a reasonable return on investment and labor. 
"Anybody who thinks of heeding the advice so 
often heard almost invariably from those who do 
not even dream of taking it themselves should not 
go 'back to the land' until he is sure of having land 
enough to make a living on. And that takes capital." 

The fact is that, agriculturally speaking, we are 
going the way of the Roman empire. The price of 
land in the empire was high. The land was fertile. 
"Farmers" like the Chicago agriculturalist-editor 
would have said and doubtless did say that the Ro- 
man farmer was "the real capitalist" of his country. 
Yet the Roman farmers did not think so. They could 
not discover that they were making a living. The 
sons of farmers began to quit their farms and seek 
occupations in the city just as our farmers' sons are 
now quitting the country for the cities. The empire's 
food supply was threatened. The danger eventually 
became so great that soldiers were stationed at the 
gates of Rome with orders to shoot down any and all 
farmers that might try to enter. 

Nor was that all. Rome's wars for years were 
conducted chiefly for the purpose of capturing agri- 
cultural supplies from other nations, and these sup- 
plies were brought to Rome and distributed among the 
very farmers that should have produced them for them- 
selves!. Why they did not produce them for them- 
selves is an interesting story. 

The same facts held good with regard to the valley 
of the Euphrates. In Bible times, this was one of the 
richest valleys in the world. It supported a teeming, 
industrious population. Then the price of land be- 


came high. The valley of the Euphrates is to-day 
a bleak waste, giving over to thin, scattered patches of 
grass. The land is exhausted because it held true 
there as everywhere, that when others exploit the 
farmer, he exploits his farm. Unable to fertilize it, 
he takes out without putting back until there is no 
more to take out. 

In the census of 1910, Iowa was the only state in the 
Union that showed a loss of population as compared 
with the preceding census. According to city editors 
of farm papers, it should have shown a great gain. 
Superficially, Iowa farmers are smothered with pros- 
perity. Land is $150 an acre, and much of it is held 
at $200. Fifty years ago, some of the same land 
sold for $10 an acre. 

Why does dear land hurt farming? There are sev- 
eral reasons. Consider the lowan of half a century 
ago who had 160 acres of land that cost him $10 an 
acre. The price of his farm was $1,600. If, instead 
of buying a farm, he had put his $1,600 out at interest 
at 6 per cent, he would have had an annual income 
of but $96. He could not have lived on that. There- 
fore, he was compelled to invest it in something upon 
which he could expend enough labor to make a living. 

At $150 an acre, the same farm would now be worth 
$24,000. The annual interest on $24,000 at 6 per 
cent is $1,440. Considerable labor is required to ob- 
tain so much money, each year, from the soil. The 
temptation is to rent the farm and get the $1,440 with- 
out earning it. That is the beginning of landlordism 
and tenantry. The high price of land, which makes it 
impossible for the poor to buy farms, provides the 
tenants. The owner moves into the village and lives 
on his income. 


When the owner lived upon and worked his own 
farm it was required to support only himself and his 
family. As soon as he rents it, it is required to sup- 
port two families. Where the owner found it com- 
paratively easy to make a living, the tenant finds it 
almost impossible to do so. Every year, the tenant 
must raise $1,440 worth of crops that he does not get. 
Exploited himself, he exploits his land. Under con- 
tinuous exploitation, the fertility of the soil decreases. 
Crops become poorer. That is why the farmers of the 
Roman empire could not raise enough to support them- 
selves. The price of land was too high. Owners re- 
tired to live in idleness, while tenants came to work 
in misery. 

High land prices in a community are like high blood 
pressures in human beings they are danger signals. 
When a human being's blood pressure becomes high, 
he is in danger of apoplexy and death. When a 
nation's land values become high, the community is 
in danger. Poor men, unable to buy land, are com- 
pelled to rent. Owners, seeing an opportunity to ob- 
tain part of the product of a farm without earning 
any of it, are eager to rent. Land soon becomes so 
depleted that a given amount of it can no longer sup- 
port so many persons, and population decreases. The 
farming land that to-day sells for $200 an acre is 
really not as good land as it was when it was sold for 
$10 an acre. Based on its productive capacity, it 
should sell for less than it did when it was new and 
strong. Its present price is purely artificial. It rep- 
resents only the pressure of population upon agricul- 
tural resources. If the pressure were twice as much, 
land prices might be twice as high and the difficulty 
of making a living on a farm would be much greater. 


It is well that the agricultural department has told 
the truth about farming. Farmers' sons, for twenty- 
five years, have not been fleeing from the farms for 
nothing. They are not fooled by city talk about the 
"prosperity of the farmer." They know the facts. 
They know the farmers are not prosperous. And, 
now we have the word of our national government for 
it that "small farms do not pay;" that only the rich 
can do well at farming. 

Are we going to do anything about these facts? 
What are we going to do? Can we conceive of a 
prosperous, happy nation that, agriculturally, is not 
made up of small farms? Shall the poor man have no 
chance anywhere in America? Do we want America 
to become a nation of large farms, operated by great 
capitalists, employing hired labor at the lowest price 
they can obtain it in a labor market that is always 
glutted? Do we want this to become a nation of 
great landlords and little tenants? We wonder that 
the English, in a little island like England, permit a 
few dukes to own most of the land. Are we to sup- 
pose that the English forced this land upon the dukes 
or is it possible that conditions in England gradu- 
ally wrested the soil away from the peasantry and 
handed it over to a handful of idle owners? What 
conditions would be more likely to wrest soil from 
a peasantry than high land prices? 

This is a burning question to-day. It is not a 
question of when, if ever, America will be owned by 
seven grand dukes. What we are confronted with 
to-day is the scandalous fact that in a rich agricultural 
country, and with farm products selling at exorbitant 
prices in the cities, farming on a moderate scale can- 
not be made to pay. And that is a fact that should 


be of great interest at least to some millions of small 

It is not a question of middlemen. Cut out the 
commission men and the result would be the same. 
If farmers were to receive for their produce the same 
price that city people now pay for it the problem would 
remain unsolved. Land prices would increase some 
more. Tenants would be required to pay more for 
the use of land. Nothing would be settled. Idlers 
would still be drawing unearned incomes from farms, 
either as landlords or as the holders of mortgages, 
and hungry tenants, exploiting the land, would be de- 
creasing its fertility. 

The presumption is that the average farmer would 
do the wise thing if he knew what the wise thing is. 
He is not wedded to his hardships. He knows he 
is not having much of a life. But he is pretty busy 
with his farming. When he gets through at night he 
is tired. He is not in a frame of mind to blaze out 
new paths. He is hardly in a frame of mind to read 
of new paths that others have blazed out. Like every- 
body else, he is looking for the "easiest way." What 
is the easiest way? Why, increase or decrease the 
tariff on wool, as the case may be, or determine to 
vote out at the next opportunity, the set of officials 
that, at the last opportunity, he voted in. 

The farmers of this country, for fifty years, have 
been proceeding upon these lines and accomplished 
nothing. Conditions to-day are, broadly speaking, 
worse than they ever were before. Farmers, this year, 
may be getting a little more for their wheat, because 
of the European War, but that is of no lasting sig- 
nificance. The great stubborn fact remains that farm- 
ing on a moderate scale in this country does not pay. 


The small farmers have always known it and now the 
government admits it. Conditions are worse than they 
ever were before because the price of land is higher 
than it ever was before, the difficulty of buying land 
is therefore greater than it ever was before, and the 
soil, which is the basis of our agricultural resources, 
is poorer than it ever was before. It is becoming 
farmed out. Much land in the older, eastern states, is 
no longer worth tilling, and the best land is not what 
it was when the plow first turned it. 



VT'EARS ago, Emerson said: "America is only an- 
_* other name for opportunity." He might have 
said the same of a gambling house. I once saw a 
Wyoming sheepherder win $2,200 at faro bank in 
half an hour. An American occasionally gets some- 
thing more for a life of hard labor than a bare living. 
A gambler occasionally wins at faro. The gambling 
house is never praised. Why not look America 
squarely in the face, too? Why not analyze life as it 
is here and see exactly what it means? 

The head of the telephone trust, Mr. Theodore N. 
Vail, has some ideas as to what life means in America. 
He began as a country doctor but soon abandoned 
medicine. Probably he rattled about as most young 
men do when they are blindly struggling for a place 
in the world. Vail finally became a street railway 
operator in Brazil, made some money, returned to 
America, entered the telephone business, became the 
president of the Bell company and a multimillionaire. 
The day he was 70 years old he compared the op- 
portunities of the past with those of the present and 
added : 

"America never before contained so many oppor- 
tunities. The young man who is willing to work and 
has ability and a good education is the one who is 
going ahead." 

1 86 


Let us consider Mr. Vail's first requirement for 
success, which is willingness to work. Practically the 
whole nation can meet that test. No slurs can be cast 
at men who work from ten to twelve hours a day at 
hard, monotonous work, and there are millions who 
do so. There are always more men who are not only 
willing but eager to work than there are jobs. From 
this point of view, we are all prepared to grasp the 
great opportunities that Mr. Vail sees before us. 

How about the second test ability? We shall first 
have to guess what Mr. Vail meant by ability. First, 
of course, he meant men whose minds have unfolded 
to a considerable degree to the world about them. 
A Russian peasant's mind is closed like a bud that the 
spring rains have not yet opened. Only thinking can 
unfold a mind. Only experience with the world about 
one can make one think. Mr. Vail can think because 
he has brushed up against life in many phases. He 
has had nearly every advantage that a human being 
can have. But what if he had remained a country 
doctor? What if circumstances had held him to a 
place in a factory? 

Most Americans are and always will be held to 
humble tasks to plowing and sowing and running 
street cars and laying asphalt pavement and running 
machines that knit socks and running other machines 
that make breakfast food. This must always be so 
because we cannot live without socks and food and 
we cannot get to our work without street cars. A 
million $6-a-week girls can be telephone operators, 
but there can never be but one head of the telephone 
trust, because but one is needed and at present that is 
Mr. Vail. 

So most of us cannot pass and can never pass 


Mr. Vail's second requirement, for the reason that we 
lack "ability" in the sense in which he uses the word. 
Our minds are more or less closed because too close 
confinement to dreary jobs has kept our thoughts on 
little things and away from big things. 

Mr. Vail's third and last requirement is a "good 
education." What chance have we? Ninety-five per 
cent of the children who enter the primary grades 
never get so far as the high school. The unsanitary 
housing conditions that are enforced upon the poor 
tell part of the reason why. The abnormal infant 
mortality that is found among the poor takes many a 
little student from his desk. Hard times take others. 
The parents need the little sums that the children 
could earn. The half-grown girl goes to a department 
store and the boy quits school to go into a factory. 
By the time high school is reached, only five of each 
hundred who entered school are left. Most of the 
five finish high school and then go to work. The 
odd child quite frequently the rich man's child goes 
to college or a technical school and gets what Mr. Vail 
calls a "good education." 

I may not have stated this fairly, though I have 
tried to. After reading it over, I can see no mistake. 
If there be no mistake, and Mr. Vail has made no 
mistake in stating the qualifications that are necessary 
to take advantage of the great opportunities that 
America presents, I must say that I cannot see where 
the poor boy or girl has much show. But maybe 
I am wrong. Let us go a little further. 

Mr. Vail speaks of the great opportunities that 
America offers to young men who are willing to work 
and who have both ability and a good education. He 
naturally expects that such men will become managers, 


directors and presidents of great corporations. Mr. 
Vail would hardly call the running of a corner grocery 
a great opportunity. He would have hardly talked 
so much about opportunity on his seventieth birthday 
if he had meant that running a street car, or driving 
a hack, or breaking on a freight train, or shoveling 
coal under a boiler was a great opportunity. Yet it 
is these humble tasks, and others like them, that con- 
stitute the work of America and the work of the 
world. No great ability is required to shovel coal. 
No technical ability is required to drive a delivery 
wagon. A man who had never been to college might 
be a good locomotive engineer. Willingness to work 
is the only requirement mentioned by Mr. Vail that 
is necessary to the doing of most of the jobs that are 
to be done. Most work is done with machinery. The 
inventor puts in the brains. The worker puts in the 
muscle and a little technical skill that he has picked 
up around the shop. A college man a man "of 
good education" would not, if he could help it, take 
such a job, and if he could not help it, his education 
would do him no good. 

The trouble with Mr. Vail's world is that it is only 
for a few. He has neglected to consider the human 
race. If all railway employees, provided they were 
willing to work, were well educated and able, could 
be railway presidents, Mr. Vail's world would be a 
fine place in which to live. But this is not such a 
world and never can be. It is and must be a world 
in which most men and women must earn their living 
by doing humble tasks. There is no way of growing 
potatoes except by planting them, and the only way 
to produce woolen clothes is to raise sheep. 

The only kind of opportunity that is worth talking 


about is opportunity for all. All men are not fitted 
to receive "good" educations. But all men are fitted 
to receive all they produce, and each is fitted, in his 
own way, to enjoy the world in which he lives. Most 
of us know next to nothing of the world in which we 
live. We know all about the places in which we work. 
We could almost go around in the dark without bark- 
ing a shin or making a misstep. But we know very 
little about the world. A single tree contains more 
beauty than the average mind has ever absorbed. The 
mind is not to blame. It is the shop, the factory and 
the everlasting grind of monotonous toil. We could 
all see if we had the time. We have not the time. 

Opportunity in America will never exist in any true 
sense until every person who comes here, either by 
birth or by steamship, is enabled to get some real 
knowledge of the world about him. This can come 
only when men have leisure and contented minds. 
Leisure and contented minds can come only when we 
all go about it, collectively, to produce, with the least 
effort and in the least time, what we need. 

If we want this to be a world of happiness it must 
be a world of square-dealing. Nobody need worry 
himself about the young man, willing to work, who 
has both ability and a good education. He will get 
along. Nor should we exult over any success that 
may come to him. His success is of absolutely no 
significance so long as most other people can, in the 
very nature of things, have no success. The only 
success that is worth talking about is the success that 
is within the reach of every human being. So long 
as America has opportunities only for a few it is not 
the land of opportunity; it is simply a sweating-out 
place where human beings are trying to learn to live. 

Books by Allan L. Benson 

THE TRUTH ABOUT SOCIALISM: a plain statement of Socialism 
that Eugene V. Debs says is "the very clearest and cleverest of 
all." 1 88 pp.; cloth, $1.00; paper, 25 cents. Ninth edition. 
Published by B. W. Huebsch, New York. 

OUR DISHONEST CONSTITUTION: a survey of the men who 

made our organic law and an explanation of why they made it 
as it is. "Mr. Benson," says the Chicago News, "states the facts 
so vividly and with so much sarcastically grim humor, that his 
book is extremely readable." 1 82 pp. ; cloth, $i .00 ; paper, 25 cents. 
Published by B. W. Huebsch, New York. 

THE USURPED POWER OF THE COURTS: an analysis of the 
steps by which the United States Supreme Court claimed the 
power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional, though no 
other court on earth claims such power, the constitution gives 
our Supreme Court no such power, and the court, for several 
years, did not claim to have such power. This pamphlet has 
had a circulation of more than 200,000 copies and in 1915 was 
considered at some length in a report made by the Bar Associa- 
tion of the City of New York to the convention assembled to 
draft a new constitution for the State of New York. 64 pp.; 
paper, 5 cents. Published by National Socialist Party, Chicago. 

A WAY TO PREVENT WAR: both a plea and a plan for the dem- 
ocratization of diplomacy and the war making power. A book 
that has been favorably reviewed by the labor press of the world. 
Two resolutions have been introduced in Congress since this book 
was published in May, 1915, proposing amendments to the Con- 
stitution of the United States in harmony with one or more of 
its fundamental provisions. 180 pp.; cloth, 50 cents; paper, 25 
cents. Published by the Appeal to Reason, Girard, Kan. 

INVITING WAR TO AMERICA: This is the complete Baedeker to 
the land of the three P's: Patriotism, Preparedness and Profit. It 
will confirm your suspicion that the path of glory leads to the 
corner of Broad and Wall streets. It is convincing proof that the 
invitation to bloodshed and bankruptcy is not in the interest of 
national defence but of profits for economic parasites. Cloth f 
$i .00. Published by B. W. Huebsch, New York. 


This book is DUE on the last date stamped below 

NOV 1 8 1935 


MAY 2 6 1951* 



WAY 1 6 W9 



Form L-9-15m-3,'34 




T 000 691