The Ford International WeoMv
THE DBARBORN PUBLISHING CO.
HENRY FORD President
C. J FORD Vice President
E B FORD Secretary-Treasurer
W J CAMERON. Editor
Twenty-first Year, Number 22, March 26, 1921.
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An Opera Bouffe Plot
IF THERE is a librettist eager tor a comic opera
plot funnier and more fanciful far than anything
his wildest imaginings are likely to conjure up, let us
commend him to the assumedly serious arguments just
now occupying much space on the editorial pages of
many American newspapers and dealing with the in
demnities demanded of Germany by the Allies.
One such article appears under the caption, "Ger
man Republic in Reality a Sham." Perhaps you have
supposed that the emergence of the German Republic
from the ruins of the Hohenzollern Empire was a
natural and logical sequel of the decisive defeat of
German imperialism at the end of a fifty-month war?
To the ordinary mind, the smashing of the Hinden
burg line, the shattering of the German battalions, the
utter economic exhaustion of the blockaded country
and the complete undermining of the "war morale" of
a population behind the line's were stern, cold facts.
Recognition by that population of the true causes of
woe, misery and disaster in the vaunting ambition and
reckless arrogance of the imperial regime, might suf
ficiently account for the downfall of the empire, fol
lowing so swiftly on the ignominious, flight of the gilt
gingerbread emperor. When to these immediate and
obvious reasons for the rise of a Social-Democratic
Republic in Germany we join the big fact that for
nearly thirty years the anti-imperialit Socialists had
been the majority party in the Reichstag by the man
date of a popular vote, carrying on through all those
years an active and effective propaganda in the press
and on the platform, no difficulty should be found in
accounting for a German Republic that is. the prosaic
mind unaccustomed to traveling in the irridetcent paths
of spectacular extravaganza would find no difficulty.
Foolish delusion this, we are assured by the know
ing writers who have been nourishing their mentalities
on the jingo pabulum purveyed io generously by the
Paris pre--. The present republic in Germany was
merely "a rase concocted for the undoing of the Al
lies1 by poor Mr. Hohenzollern and his friends. Hin
denburg and Ludendorff actively aided and abetted
by Socialists 1 It wa never meant to be anything more
than a "temporary makeshift" to tide over until "Ger
man intrigue and cunning" should Ue able, through
shallow pretense of compliance with Mr. Wilson's de
mands, to outmaneuver the keen-witted diplomats of
France. Britain and Italy to say nothing of American
The German Republic, we are solemnly informed,
was "faked" in order to fool the 11i s into granting
lenient reparation terms and to mask Germany's mil
itary activities, resources and man power. An army
of millions, "every man a trained soldier91 and supplied
with complete and formidable fighting equipment, is
ready to take the field "when the hour strikt if
Proof? Bless you, haven't the junker fl aln ad
started a movement for the annexation of utria?
Are they not talking openly of the return of the rloheri
SOUefH dynasty to the throne? And most clinching
argument of all has not the return oi the Hohen
zollern to rule at Potsdam. a loot as the peace terms
are settled, been predicted by Lad Nora Bentinck.
niece of Count Bentinck who harbored the ex-kaiser
at his castle of Amerongen for eighteen long and weary
Truly, the opera bouffe mind hits only the high
places in its fantastic flights of imagination. It is ex
empt from such prosaic considerations as the effect on
the German "will to war" of the actual toppling in
the dust of the imperial idol with its head of gold and
tevt of clay.
To this order of mind, the utter exhaustion of Ger
many's energies and resources in the nearly five years'
war org'. involving the starvation, ol it! women and
children, are just '"stage business," thrown in for ef
fect. The actual loss of Alsace-Lorraine. Prussian Po
land, the Saar Bain. the African colonies, the Shan
tung lease and the Pacific Islands all these count for
naught. Or perhaps, they are all a part of the "ruse"
to fool the Allies, part of the dark, deep and designing
plot of the cunning Germans to get out of paying their
debts and instead to start all over again the ruction that,
in addition to the losses named, killed off some three
million of their best men, maimed and disabled as many
more, reduced the population to starvation rations dur
ing four years, cost the country its industrial and com
mercial leadership and gave a lasting black eye to its
pretense of ethical culture?
Are there no bounds to jingo credulity? Such wild
and weird yarns seek vainly to perpetuate the war
legend, picturing the Germans as satanic supermen or
hopeless idiots. Let us return to normalcy!
The British-Russo Treaty
THE document signed by repreeentatnri of r
Britain on one side and of Soviet Ru
other on March 16 is not called a treaty
The Men Behind the Press
iHERE is something worth thinking about in a
suggestion made by William J. H. Boctcker in the
Erie RevitW National safety may depend, he points
out, on the big guns of our fortifications and our fleets,
but even more on the men who handle those guns.
The question, "Who handles the gun?" is of such im
portance that our government recognizes the necessity
of putting none but Americans on guard or in charge
of these guns.
Far more powerful, however, than all the big guns
in the world, as a weapon for the defense and preserva
tion of our democratic institutions, is the press. So
Mr. Boetcker asks why this great bulwark of our peace
and honor should not be as jealously guarded as are
the guns from being controlled and directed by alien
and possibly inimical interests? And he suggests that
Congress should pass a law limiting controlling owner
ship of American publications to American citizens and
requiring the writer of every book, and of every maga
zine or newspaper article, to sign it with his name and
a statement of his nationality, so that readers may be
able to make allowance for national bias or propaganda.
The Obstinate Eleven
UE perhaps to the ardent temperament associated
with warm climate, when the Spaniard is a rad
ical he is very, very radical. In the vivid phrase of
pokerdom, he "goes the limit" in socialistic extremism.
Spanish revolutionaries are not apt to be troubled by
any very delicate scruples as to the use of bomb, torch
and dagger in advancing "the cause." But a delegation
of Spanish Socialists, recently returned from Moscow
to Barcelona, frankly express themselves as "horrified"
by the state of things they witnessed in Russia. They
visited the country on the invitation of the Soviet Gov
ernment with every expectation of being able to prove
to their associates at home that the Russian experiment
was such a success as amply to warrant affiliation with
the Third Internationale. Instead, they found condi
tions of misery, tyranny and oppression beside which
the worst of the evils of that monarchist and "bour
geoisie" rule which they had hitherto so fiercely de
nounced are the merest child's play.
Most of all. they seemed to have been astounded
by the utter cynicism with which Lenin discarded any
semblance of regard for the most elementary principles
ot that democracy which is the fond aspiration of the
Spanish Socialists. The dictator, they report, offered
ai obvious explanation of the "delay" in transforming
Russia into a happy and prosperous communistic com
monwealth, the imperviousness of the peasants to Bol
shevist arguments. The peasant class, he said, con
stitutes the very large majority of the population and
they are constitutionally "non-proletarian," so that there
is nothing to be done but to hold them in strict sub
jection virtually making slaves of them, until they are
forced to change their minds and become good pro
letarians. this period of necessary rule by a small and des
potic minority is placedby Lenin at forty years. Mean
while, as Russia is not an industrial country, the "pro
letarian" minority has nothing but worthless paper
money to offer the peasant majority in exchange for
food produced in the sweat of their brows.
Lenin is a vivid reminder of the twelfth juror in
the old story who blamed the failure to agree on the
"obstinacy" of the remaining eleven good men and
It is h;.i.1
-n.. i ... mt!i
mauiam leicrieu iu as a iraue agreem fl " y
stantially. we are told, it is the same as the di iff tji
from London to Moscow bv Leonid k'n. ... o
minister ot trade and commerce, in January last w
: ii - "told
us provisions ueai UHcny wiin a resumption
trade between the two countries, the irrrrm . '
a compelling illustration oi ine iar-reachn ig sco
a.i ivviiaii ... vi iu mill !iailO!!;t traH
so it is actually a treaty ana one in which the clau
"incidental" to providing for trade reiumnftiAa
..... ; . . , . i ,,uu m
prooaDiy tnose ot cniet importance.
Manv neonle who have all aloni? rlparlv
r o " 'sugnizc
the perils of Bolshevism, and who have not hesitatt
to express horror at the mere suggestion t! a v.
LI irritn "1.1....,!.. 1. im
I3H VEVTT71 T"HTT"1 oiivuiu fiacy mv MWWJ UalKl Q
Bolshevist usurpers, will condemn the treaty as a tna
surrender of nrincinle and a deliberate MnL.
itiiui ism auu i:iaiiut. iiicic is soiiiein ir.g to j
said for this view, but it must also be admitt , that the
humbling ol pride is not all on one side. In exchanea
for its virtual recognition of the di facto g . rnmej
of Russia, Britain has exacted certain lubstanoal ad
vantages for herself and for the rest of the world.
t i l a. ... r 11 I
cnuer ine ireaiy, Lruain win m large m isure phj
cate both the radical labor element and the tradin
I'll w Fnr tVw tittnr it inciirnc tVi tirt t
profitable trade with a population ot more than m
millions. But it also secures the clearing of mines
from the Baltic and approaches to Russia, the ending
of the blockade on both sides, and pledg 3 aainn
its renewal. The Soviet Government is particufcrn
bound to refrain from any encouragement of ?iatic
peoples to action against British interests, espedalh in
Asia-Minor, Persia, Afghanistan and India. Ai the
spread of Bolshevist influence in the Near East and
the Far East is regarded just now as one of the most
serious menaces to world peace, this provision mut
be considered broadly as of much more than I r it 1-h na
tional interest. So also the provisions for the renewal
of postal and telegraphic communications.
For all the world, most decidedly, an advantage is
gained in the treaty's provisions binding each party t
retrain from hostile action or propaganda 1 :ide its!
t 1 - 1 . . 1 . ... .
own Doruers against ine otner s institutions, or giving
assistance or encouragement to any such propagandas
outside its own borders. It may be taken for granted
that propaganda against British institutions includes
propaganda against American institutions against
democratic institutions anywhere. At any rate, it opens
the way for similar agreements with the United States,
France and the Scandinavian countries, as well as with
the Latin-American republics.
French opinion is said to regard the agreement as
unworkable, in view of the present revolt in Russi.i
and Russia's shortage of exportable stocks, and to be
averse to entering into any similar agreement until
Soviet Russia recognizes the old Czarist debts. But as
the treaty would stand if the Soviet regime should be
overthrown and experience has taught us that its early
overthrow is problematical, Britain's example will be
likely to commend itself to both France and the United
States as time-saving. Lenin's cynically avowed dis
regard for the sanctity of promises and pledges was
given by Mr. Wilson as sufficient reason for refusal
to negotiate with his government. But in the
present state of international ethics, perhaps self
interest is no inconsiderable guaranty t good
faith. From the humane viewpoint, of course, the big
thing made possible by the treaty is that it makes pos
Mble the feeding of millions of human beings now
the edge of starvation, probably averting a famine a
appalling as that in China. With even an approach
to economic rehabilitation, the Bolshevist horror
be most surely undermined.
Be Careful, Mr. President
RUMORS from Washington indicate that the head
of a private detective agency may be considered
tor the job as chief and reorganizer of the combined
secret service departments of the United States Gov
ernment. President Harding would do well earnesth
to consider all that this may mean. It is not tittmg
that the secrets of the United States Government should
be put at the dispoSal of private detective agencies. N
man should be entrusted with any part of a specia
agent's work until all his antecedents are fully known.
It is to be hoped that President Harding, through haste
or inappreciation of the importance of the post, wi
not make an appointment which can make itself c
hurt fully not only in every department of governmet1
but in every aspect of American life as well.
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