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Dearborn independent. [volume] (Dearborn, Mich.) 1901-1927, June 26, 1920, Image 12

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2013218776/1920-06-26/ed-1/seq-12/

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A Grave Injury to the League of Nations
The Polish Attack on Russia
THE campaign of the Poles against Russia is a
bitter disappointment not only to English Liberals,
but to all Englishmen who believe in the League
of Nations. A month or two ago it seemed likely that
the way would at last be opened for the revival of
Eastern Europe and for a great campaign against the
typhus and destitution which are ravaging the greater
part of it. Koltchak had disappeared. Denikin was
refugee. Esthonia had made peace. Rumania and Lith
uania were quietly negotiating, and the Bolsheviks
themselves were holding out to Poland, as it was put
by a well-informed observer on the spot, "every con
ceivable bribe" to come to terms. At the same time
Mr. Lloyd George had advised Poland to make peace.
It was known, on the other hand, that France was
now. as always, averse to Poland making peace with the
Bolsheviki. Poland is the keystone of the new French
diplomacy. We are all of us for a free and independ
ent Poland consisting of people who are genuinely
Polish by race. But the new Poland, many people say,
could not stand alone ; she would require to be sup
ported and upheld against possible enemies, however
pacinc might be her conduct toward her neighbors.
Very well, we reply, let an independent and pacinc Po
land have the full support of an active and function
ing League of Nations against all aggressors. But that
is not the French view. The French I speak of the
directors of foreign and military policy have no faith
in sentimentalism (as they think it) about the League
of Nations. They look on Poland as a pawn in the
French game. The old Russia, which used to be the
counterpoise to Germany in the east, has gone and a
doubtful, even hostile. Russia has risen in its place.
France hates the new Russia and fears the new Ger
many. She aims at the creation of a great and power
ful Poland which will help her other client states (like
Rumania) to form a ring around Germany and which
will be hostile to Bolshevik Russia as long as Russia
remains Bolshevik. In the French view Poland may
serve to do what Denikin, Koltchak and the Allies have
failed to dooverthrow the Bolshevik regime. Polish
ambition the Poles were ever ambitious with a capac
ity that never equaled their ambition falls in neatly
with French policy. So there is the explanation of the
new Russo-Polish war. Mainly it springs from Polish
megalomania and French diplomacy. And the greater
issues the peace and restoration of Europe, the es
tablishment of the new order of things that we under
stood by the name of the League of Nations these may
go hang for all that the Polish landlords and the
French militarists care.
Not that the responsibility rests wholly upon France
among the great Allied Powers of Europe. British
munitions also are being used by the Poles against
Russia and more are still to go if the British dockers
will consent to ship them, which is now extremely un
likely. Mr. Bonar Law has attempted verv unsuccess
fully to defend this gift of war supplies to Poland. He
says that on the one hand the British Government told
Poland some time aco that she must decide the ques
tion of peace or war herself and that if
she went to war England would take no
responsibility for the results. At the
same time he says that England prom
ised a consignment of munitions to Po
land last October because at that time
Poland was menaced by a Bolshevik of
fensive and that it is not England's fault
if Poland used the munitions for attack.
Unfortunately, the facts are against Mr.
Law, for in October last. Denikin and
Judenitch were at the height of their
successes : it had never seenvd so likely
as it did then that the Bolsheviki were
about to be overthrown and never cer
tainly since the revolution of November.
1917. had the Poles been so secure from
attack. We wonder here whether once
more we are in the presence of the old
division in the counsels of the British
Government Mr. Lloyd George for
peace with and in Russia aivl ther
forces working quietly but persistentlj
to support any and every campaign
against Bolshevik Russia by whomso
ever waged.
What are the bare facts about this
Polish war and its inevitable results?
When the Poles launched their attack
they were already 200 miles deep in
Russian territory 200 miles, that is to
ay, east of the lines where true Polish
nationality comes to an end. Roughly
speaking, this advance brought thtm up
to the eastern frontiers of the old Polish
Empire of 1772 and there is a party in
Poland which now demands that that
frontier should be restored in other
words, that a population of 30,000,000
people, mainly non-Polish, should be
added to geographical Poland, as it
stood at the close of the war. There
are other Poles who say that Poland
does not desire to annex these vast areas
of Russia in defiance of the wishes of
the inhabitants but would invite the
inhabitants to "determine" them
selves by plebiscite. Others, again, de
clare that Poland desires to set up a
series of buffer states between herself
and Russia and to take them Lithuania
for example under her "protection."
By an English Correspondent
The various Russian nationalities, however, detest
the Poles, having no cheerful memories of Polish
misgovcrnreent and oppression in the days before
the partitions of Poland and there is not in fact
the slightest doubt that the Poles are pursuing a policy,
in DOC form or another, of spoliation. How absurd
is their claim either to annex or to "protect" the Kus
-ian territories which they have seized may be judged
from the figures which were compiled in 1911 to show
the nationality of the various sections of the popula
tion. The following are the nine territories principally
concerned and the figures are percentages :
Territorv Population Russians Poles Jews Others
Jan. 1. 1909
Kovno " 1.611.931 9 6 16 16.2 70.6
Yilno 1,815.215 57.2 15.3 13.9 13.6
Grodno 1.762.398 76.7 4.7 17.8 0.8
Vitebsk 1,728.623 67.0 3.4 11. 6 18.0
Minsk 2,360,707 81.4 4.3 13.9 0.4
Mogilev 2.1M.2 85.0 27 12.0 03
Volvnsk 3.367,300 75.0 6.8 13.9 4.3
Kiev 4.429,542 83.7 2.9 12 7 0.7
Podolsk 3.394,054 ,v.6 2.0 12.2 0.2
In all these territories the Poles have 4.67 per cent
against 73.2 per cent Russians. They have, therefore,
no claim on the ground of nationality to annex or "pro
tect" or occupy and no one in fact pretends that the
inhabitants would tolerate Polish sovereignty or
suzerainty one moment after they were able to throw
it off. In all the many provinces of old Russia which
the Poles have seized there is only one Kholm to
which by right of nationality they have a title, for there
they have 66.1 per cent of the inhabitants. Their cam
paign is, therefore, imperialism of the most naked kind
and it is all the worse because there is nothing what
ever in the history and character of the Poles to make
one believe that even if they possessed this vast terri
tory they could administer it efficiently, hold it together,
benefit its inhabitants or protect them against external
aggression. The Poles have always been an ambitious
and a conquering race but never a race of statesmen
and administrators. If they do nothing else they will
succeed in uniting the whole of old Russia against them
on the east. Germany they already have against them
on the west. What incredible folly and madness for a
young state to whom almost all the world wishes well !
Does Poland suppose that in the days to come she will
be able to stand alone against a hostile Russia and
Germany she with her few millions against their many
scores of millions? Or does she fondly think that the
Allies France. England and Italy will bring armies
to her support when the consequences of her own folly
come upon her? Xo one knows, but the phrase which
is used here widelythe Polish "madness" is a sober
and accurate description of her policy.
Primitive Mexican Bake Ovens
BAKING bread in New England and baking bread among tbe
native Mexicans of our southwestern states are quite dii
ferent propositions. In the yard of tltnott I very Mexican dwell-in-
there is an oval-shaped mud oven like those in the illustra
tion, which is used by the native women for baking their tortillas
and sometimes even light bread as we know it. Tortillas (pro
nounced, tor-teel-yahs ) are flat, pancake looking portions of un
leavened and Itnihortened wheat bread, baked without grease, ei
ther in an oven like these or on the top of a stove. Though Ten
palatable in many cases they are hard to digest except in the time
hardened stomach of the native von.
The Mexican housewife never Qtei a rolling-pin or board Shi
is so skilled that she can roll out even, round tortillas bv throwing
them from one hand to the other.
The oven is heated by building a large fire inside it and closing
the lower opening, leaving only a small draft. After the sun-dried
mud gets hot enough to hold the heat needed for baking, the fire
is removed, the oven mopped out. the raw dotlgfa inserted, openings
closed and the baking proceeds with as good results as an electric
range. The Mexicans and Indians arc alone in the use of these ovens
This war ought never to have been allowed. PolanH
is m no position to resist the advice and recommend
tioni of the Allied Powers in Europe France, Fncla h
and Italy. She is almost bankrupt and racked bv dest
tution and disease. She can only wage war with f
eign lUpport and assistance. It was the clear dutvl
the Allies, if they learned that Poland meant to at
tack Kusia, to bring the moderating influence of th
League of Nations to bear and prevent war. For wh i
other purpose does the League exist than this and what
better opportunity has there been since the signing of
the Covenant for applying it to its true purpose' p0
land is herself a signatory of the League Covenant
Lord Curzon has declared that the League could not
be invoked because Russia is not a member oi it an
astonishing utterance from the British Foreign Secre
tary, since the Covenant specifically Contemplated cases
in which one or the other of the parties involved would
not be members of the League. Contrast the Polish war
with the words of Article XI of the League Covenant-
"Any war or threat of war, whether immediately
affecting any members of the League or not. is herebv
declared a matter of concern to the whole League and
the League shall take any action that mav be deemed
wise and effectual to safeguard the peace of nations
In case any such emergency should arise the secretary
shall, on the request of any member of the League
forthwith summon a meeting of the Council "
In other words, "any member" of the League might
have had the Council summoned to consider what
should be done to prevent a war which aggravates and
prolongs the agony of Central and Eastern Europe and
which threatens grave consequences for the future For
if the Poles crush the Bolsheviki, what follows? Xo
possible Russia least of all a White Imperial Russia
will tolerate the rape of the vast territories which will
fall into Polish hands. There indeed would be the
seeds of an "inevitable" war. But if the Bolsheviki de
feated the Poles, then no one can say what will be
come of the whole Polish settlement as laid down in
the Treaty of Versailles.
All this might have been foreseen, and ought to
have been foreseen, yet none of the Allied Powers
sought the assistance of the League of Nations. It is
unquestionably a severe blow to the prestige and dig
nity of the League. That France should have ignored
the League is not surprising, for France desired and
approves the Polish war. But with the British Gov
ernment, or with part of it, the case is otherwise. Mr.
George certainly on the whole desires peace with Rus
sia and disapproved quite recently the idea oi a Polish
war. Why. then, did he not invoke the League? Be
cause he, like all the European statesmen, is not pre
pared to make the League an active, responsible, func
tioning body. He prefers to act through the Supreme
Council, not the League. In other words, he prefers
to dictate the course of Europe through a small coun
cil composed of himself, M. Millerand and Signor Nitti,
and sometimes himself and M. Millerand alone. It is
useless to deceive ourselves. The League of Nations is
needed as urgently as ever. There is
all-important work which it ought to do
or could do. The case of Poland proves
it. If Poland were a sincere member of
the League, if France and England had
been loyally determined to use the
League in order to prevent a fresh and
most horrible and dangerous war. great
tracts of Eastern Europe would not now
be condemned to a further term of want
and misery, with more wars 1 ming
the future. But there is no loyalty to the
League about many of our European
Statesmen and public opinion is too much
occupied with wages and prices and
r nts and house shortages to bring the
itesmcn to account.
The prospect for the League of Na
tions is gloomy in the extreme because
our most highly placed men in Europe
are not loyal to it in spirit and in truth,
are not prepared to surrender to it any
jot or tittle of the personal authority
which they wield as dictators in their
little secret councils. That is the root of
the trouble. And yet one ought not to
despair. In England we have firm and
ardent adherents of the League in the
Labor party and Lord Robert Cecil.
My view may be unpopular with
many people in America but I shall con
tinue to assert that there will be no true
or sufficiently powerful League of Na
tions until the United States ernes
with its idealism, detachment and (last,
but far from least) material power,
the retort be made that this Polish war
and the conduct of France and Lnglana
in rasped of it do not encourage tne
United States to join the LeUgJJ
should repb that had the United Mate
been already an active member o I
this Polish war wouia
have taken place, that a League w
the United States is just a farce that inc
United States more than any I .r '
responsible for the idea and the reaiw
tion of the League, that it must come in
some time and that from the.stsndpoint
of humanity I would have it come in
now and at once, when it can do mosi

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