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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 25, 1921, Image 35

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A Story of Christmas
Time Back Home
LOOKING back at the evenf,
after all these yearn, one is
forced to the conclusion that
the tree was an everyday
evergreen. Not overly large, or it
could not have been taken through
the front doors of the church. TT>e
church still stands, and the double
doorway is there?diminished, shrunk
en. attenuated. Where is the wide
and lofty portal of long ago? It has
shriveled, even is the town of Antioch
has shriveled. And yet the Business
Men's Improvement Asaoclation in
sists that the town has grown at an
amazing clip, and points to the new
hub and spuke factory as backing up
the claim.
When the tree was brought in Anti
och was geographical center of the
universe. The sun rose out of AMI-'
derzen's corn field and set about a
mile beyond Hutton's hay press. Hie
first faint rumblings of Christmas
joy were heard almost as soon as the
community had recovered from the
gorge practiced under the name of
Thanksgiving. To arouse a prelimi
nary excitement the druggists began
to exhibit in their windows silver
bound combs and brushes. New stock,
supposedly, but we remembered some
of the old favorites of the year be
fore?beautiful. but too expensive for
Antioch even at the most reckless
Another early symptom was the in
flainmatory development of religious
sentiment among tl.e. very young. < n
the first Sunday in December the in
fant class had spread beyond the
usual limit of four long benches and
filled not less than six. The other,
classes, except Brother Sliarpley s
mature Bible class, over in the corner,
showed the same growth of interest
in lessons to be derived from the
Scriptures. Carrie Purvis, who was
secretary, read in her report that the
attendance had incTeased in two
weeks from 110 to 133. The McCabe
children, four in number, had been
reclaimed after many months of ab
sence. and were on hand, scrubbed to
a soapy pallor and strangled with
ribbons. No less than a dozen boys
from the sawmill settlement (border
land of civilization) had enrolled
themselves and were simulating an
Interest in the Red sea episode. In
stead of hunting rabbits both morn
ing and afternoon, they were doing
all their hunting in the morning, and
In the afternoon were ranged along
the front row of Miss Gunnings
Class, the first one north of the stove.
* * * *
JAMES BCZWKU, was superintend
ent of the Sunday school and had
been for many years. Before each an- |
nual election of officers he declared
himself not a candidate. After being
maited on by a representative com
w#ited upon by a representative com
could manage the school, he reconsid
ered and promised to serve for just
one more term. Mr. Buzwell was a
product of Antioch. The supreme test
of worth is to attain eminence in a
town where one was known as a boy.
James Buzwell had done this. When
he was about eighteen years of age he
had a full growth of beard and was
bookkeeper in Dalton's general store.
When he was twenty-two the nomina
tion for town clerk came to him un
sought. It was James Buzwell who.
at funerals, walked ahead of the pall
bearers. and ordered up the livery
rigs for the mourners. By the process
of natural selection he became secre
tary of every republican convention j
held in the township of Antioch. j
About this time every man of pious
disposition who wore whiskers was
an ardent republican.
Mrs. Buzwell had been a Humphrey. 1
The Humphrey tribe went west just
In time to meet the grasshoppers in
Kansas, but Mrs. Buzwell remained ;
to teach a class of girls in the Sun
day school. Some people used to hint
around that the Buzwells had alto
gether too much '.'say in the run
ning of the Sunday school.
It was?it must have been?the
first Sunday in December. After the |
infant class had trooped back from
the L. in which the prayer meetings
were held on Wednesday evenings,
and the assemblage had sung "Shall ?
We Gather at the River?" Mr. Buz
well, moving over the ingrain carpet j
?with a cat-like tread, came to the |
front of th# platform and beamed j
upon the restless company. He car
ried a lesson-leaf, which he continued j
to roll and unroll as he spoke.
"Can any of you littul boys or girls I
tell me what day is coming soon?" j
he asked. "No, don't say it yet, just I
hold up your hands."
Immediately the air seemed to j
coagulate with wriggling fingers. ,
Superintendent Buzwell smiled be
"Now. then, what is the day?
Grand chorus?"Christmas.
"That's right, childurn, Christmas
is coming and?that will do. (This
to the eight or ten who still had their
hands up.) Christmas is coming and
in accordance with our usual cus
tom we are to have a Christmas tree.
(Profound sensation as If all of them
had not known! A growing murmer j
of excitement and saw-mill boys
arising, only to be pulled back into
their places.) Yes. we are going to
have a tree and mebbe old Santy will
be with us. if the sleighing is good.
(General laughter, alTecting even the
Bible class.) We have h^ld a teach
ers' meeting and appointed commit
tees to look after the work. I want
to say that Squire Sharpley has
promised us a tree. That's right.
Squire, ain't it?"
Squire Sharpley (rising): "You can
have the biggest tree on the place." ,
During the spasm of laughter
which greeted this speech the squire |
grimly settled back into his corner
nest, feeling that he had missed it
In not being a platform entertainer. I
Superintendent Buzwell: "I will |
now call on the secretary to read
the committees."
Carrie Purvis, in a voice quavering
?rith emotion, read as follows:
Committee to get the tree?Ezra
Committee on putting the tree in
plaoe?Sherman. Williams, Gil Thorn
Commit toe on decorating tree?
James Buzwell, Mrs. Arthur
BewldSk Carrie Purvis, Clara and Min
il? Hutton, Schuyler Colfax BuchJey
?a clement Hawkins.
Committee on putting presents on
tree?Oliver Dodson, Chad Graves,
raseph Hoffenberger, Maude William
US Mrs. Ephriam Chisolm.
Committee on. program?Superln
MwA BustroU. Hol B. F. Buckley.
y> j ??
(? MURRA\> ?
/ /?#>
Mrs. Ella Wilson,' Serepta Nebeker
and Elmer Crane.
Committee on distributing presents
?Capt. G. W. Halsey, Wilson Batchel
der, Frank Bow Ids. Juanita Simison
and Emma Thornton.
Executive committee?Superinten
dent Buzwell. Gideon Welborn, Capt.
G. W. Halsey and the Rev. Ernest
* * * *
UVEUV year these ponderous com
mittees were named and yet their
publication deceived no none, for it
was known that Ezra Bliss would
Bet the tree and put it where it be
longed, while the Buzwells would ab
solutely boss aji the subsequent cere
Or course, no one but "Cap" Halsey
could call off the presents. He liad a
deep cavalry voice with a sand paper
rasp to it?the kind of voice, every
boy imagined, that General Phil
Sheridan brought with him cn the
> day that ho rode down from Win
| ehester, twenty miles away. "Cap"
i Halsey had been in the legislature;
also in the Army?a lieutenant. Soon
after the suspension of hostilities he
was made a captain, by general con
sent. Although be never went to
Sunday school and was, in fact, a
wordly man. being an auctioneer of
wide repute and profane accomplish
ments. he was so public-spirited and
vocally impressive that the public
^overlooked his shining faults. For
instance, usually he returned from a
soldiers' reunion with, his sword
hanging from the small of his back.
It was likewise known, weeks in
advance, that Ezra Bliss would bring
in the tree.
At least ten days before Christ
mas the committee on decorating the
tree met at Mrs. Buzwell's to string
popcorn and make the candy sacks.
Each sack was made of a wiry mos
quito-bar or netting?fashioned rude
ly into the shape of a stocking?and
when ready to be put on the tree
contained some four ounces of mixed
candy of the most deadly colors.
Every child who had been enrolled
for three weeks preceding Christ
mas was entilted to one sack of this
koury sweetness and one medium
sized orange. The popcorn strung on
threads was meant to be merely dec
orative, although it was told, one year,
that the^ saw-mill boys had pulled
down about a hundred yards of it
and eaten it. threads and alL
These preliminaries relating to
candy sacks, popcorn and cornucopias
did not hoid any burning interest for
"us boys" because we were barred
from the semi-social doings at the
Buzwell house. But when Ez Bliss
brought in the tree, that was when
we began active co-operation.
No doubt every town of the Antioch
description has an Ezra Bliss. He
was the luminous figure in every un
dertaking of a quasi-public character
that called for physical exertion.
Buzwell commanded the realms of in
tellect and spirituality. Bliss did-the
heavy lifting, and asked for no re
ward except the word of approval.
* * * *
T7OUR days before Christmas came
i ? a lazy snowfall?big, cottony
! flakes?that blotted out the black
' roadways and pine sidewalks and
made the lane out to Squire Sharp
ley's an unbroken trail of the very
whitest kind of white. When the
snow came we knew that Ezra would
get out his sled. It really is a good
deal more Christmaslike to have the
tree brought in by sled. Ezra had a
long-waisted "jumper" that he had
made all by himself, using two sap
lings .for the runners. On winter
evenings he would take the young
people over to Marvin Junction for an
oyster supper and keep them out un
til nearly midnight. No one ever
heard of his charging for this service.
That was the trouble with Ezra. He
had no business gumption. Busy the
year round?could turn his hand to
anything and never appeared to ba
extravagant?and yet it was common
talk that even his team of bay horses
was mortgaged to Old Man Rand of
the State Bank. They couldn't have
a barn-raising, hog-killing or sheep
shearing within five miles of town
unless Ezra Bliss was there to super
intend and brighten the occasion with
rays of expert knowledge. He was a
famous hand at locating "veins" of
water, far underground, by means of
a forked twig of hazel?did it for the
mere fun of the thing and to prove
that he knew how. lie could feed a
threshing machine, do rough carpen
tering, paint a little, was considered
an excellent nurse, and they always
sent for him to sit up with the dead,
j Clearly there was but one man in
Antioch qualified to bring in the tree,
and that man was Ezra Bliss.
It being reported that he would go
after the tree on Tuesday morning, a
few of us strolled up the alley to
ward his "barn" on Monday afternoon
and found him oiling a set of har
"Are you goin* after the tree to
morrow, Mr. Bliss?" asked Grant Wil
The "Mr. Bliss" was an unusual
honor, but he knew what ulterior mo
tive prompted this politeness.
"May?and then ag'n may not," he
replied, without looking up from his
"We're goin' with you." said Philip
Sheridan Billings, timidly. It was
more of a feeler than an out-and-out
confident declaration.
"Mebbe Squire Sharpley don't want a
pack of boys tearin* around his
place," said Ezra as he poured some
of the black oil into the bowl of his
"Aw, he don't care," said every one
of us.
"Well, I'll jes* think it over."
And all the time he knew what his
reward would be?the triumph of
coming down Main street with the
boys yelping behind his "jumper."
* * * *
rpHE winters we have nowadays do
? not bring mornings such as that |
on which Ezra and the boys started j
out to Squire Sharpley's place. After j
the snowfall came a crystal and j
freezing sunshine. Every hedge and
bush lay sagged and sidewise Under !
a lumpy hood. The town, seemed ;
deathly quiet, with a shroud tucked |
in about it, and all the wood smoke j
stood straight up the chimneys in
gray columns.
Ezra had filled the wagon-bed with
straw. One condition he imposed
when the alley scouts caught him in
the apt of harnessing Frank and I
Dolly?he said the boys would have
to help him hitch up.
"Don't know as you can ride back," :
he said, not hoping to discourage!
them, but merely testing their zeal
for the enterprise. "It's liable to be
a big tree." /
As if anything could change our
purpose! In we tumbled, kicking up
the straw. Ezra squatted against the
dashboard and simulated a calm in
difference to the glorious excitement
of the expedition. He nodded calmly
to the men on Walton's corner, while
the boys cheered. Apparently he did
not take cognizance of the fact that
many boys dashed .madly frQm side
streets and "hooked on," so that when
he passed the flouring mill at least a
dozen were hysterically "wailering"
in the straw. And all twelve of them
assisted in opening the red gates that
led to the avenue of maples that led
to the white house where Sauire
Sharpley lived.
The squire came out of the back
door?the front door had not been
opened for years?and was leaning
over the fence when Ezra brought
his puffing horses to a long-drawn
"Whoa!" alongside of the wind-pump.
uAU them your boys, Ezra?"
"No, I've just took 'em to raise. Got
anything' for 'em to do?"
"I reckon I could ?efc^en*to cutttn*
chop-feed. S'pose you're after that
"Like as not."
"Well. I'll show you."
The Sharpley place was one of
the oldest in the township. When the
squire settled there in the 50 he put
out four acres of evergreens which
had grown into high, matted jungle,
above the furry tops of which two
gable windows looked toward Anti
och. The Sharpley place, protected by
these gloomy depths, was an unex
plored region to most of the boys.
They were willing to go there in the
daytime, with Ezra Bliss, but at
night they went past it on a dog
Ezra found an ax in the woodshed
and then, followed by the squire, he
brushed in among the Interlocking
trees. The boys trailed. Indianfash
ion. giving loud advice which was ig
nored with a majesty that only Ezra
Bliss could assume. We voted for a
tree that was almost as tall as the
courthouse and openly spoke our dis
approval when Ezra and the squire
selected one hardly fourteen feet
high. But it was symmetrical, with
stout branches and the squire assured
us that It would be more "sizable"
when set up in the "poolpit."
Ezra knelt down under the tree
and hacked at the gummy trunk. It
was slow work, but at last the
[ snowy plume wavered and then came
toward us. We scattered, but there
was no danger. The tree settled
into the close embrace of other green
branches and then we attacked It
and lugged it forth and put it on
the sled.
Clinging to the bed and whooping
in the excess of undefined but un
oontrollable joy, we went gliding
back to Antioch.
"Are you goin' up Main street,
In the growing hilarity the for
mality of "mister" was now neglected.
"No, I guess not. It's a shorter
cut down past the schoolhouse. Be
sides, I've got to put on a rack be
fore noon so's I can get an early
start to Denny's for a load of wood."
Unanimous appi;ai, "Aw, Ez, go up
Main street."
As if all the court injunctions in
Jefferson county could have kept him
away from Main street!
How the bells jingled and didn't
the people come running from the
stores! And maybe "us boys," half
frozen, but .still hanging on, didnt
shriek all the way from the elevator
to the millinery store! And Ezra
Bliss trying to let on to be grimly
unconscious of his greatness.
At the real festivities we were
crowded into the background, but
none could rob us of the annual
glory of bringing in the tree.
(Copyright, 1921. Alt rights reserved.)
Artificial Silk.
COME time ago it was discovered
that incandescent gas mantles
made of ramie fiber were much more
efficient than those made of cotton.
Ramie fiber possesses a wider mesh,
and so affords a larger radiating sur
Since then it has been found that
woven artificial silk is rougher than
ramie fiber, and consequently more
luminous. Mantles made from con
tinuous fibers of artificial silk are now
on sale In many parts of the world,
and are said to be elastic, supple and
durable. The continuous fibers re
main distinct and unbroken during
use, whereas the short fibers in man
tles made of cotton or ramie untwist
more or less from the original struc
ture of the spun yarn. An artificial
silk mantle fitted to a high-pressure
burner gives good light for seven
weeks, whereas a ramie mantle at
tached to the same burner lasts only
six nights.
| Seventy years ago Christmas cards
were unknown In the United States.
New York, December 24, 1921.
WE don't know what'B going
on In Mexico. We actually
know better what In hap
pening In Europe. This ar
ticle will autonlxh you. Mexico haH
just performed a financial feat Buld to
be unparalleled In the history of na
tions, paying ofT lier entire Internal
debt In a few weeks. She will soon I
?start upon her foreign obligations j
and, according to U. K. FankhauBer, .
will clean them up almost as quickly. ]
thus transforming herself, as if by j
magic, from a pauper nation Into one
on as solid a financial basis as any
in the world.
Mr. Fankhauser Is an American
banker and general business expert
j of distinction, and has Just returned
' from a long tour of inspection of the
republic to the southward, during
which he saw all vital points and
talked with every man of real im-1
portance. His associations with Pres
ident Obregon were close and friend
ly. but he represented American, not
Mexican. Interests.
The Interview which follows is ex
clusive and is the first statement of
the amazing facts to be given to the
American public. In discussing the
United States with Mexico Mr. Kank
hauser minced no words, being quite
frank in describing to the Mexicans
tlie error* they have made and the j
things they must do if they would i
| take their proper place among the I
nations of the world. In discussing
Mexico with the United Statees. as
will appear, he Is as frankly critical
of our own procedure.
* * * *
((UtISd'oM in her own capital and
*' ours is bringing belter things
to pass in Mexico. They will continue
to Improve," said he. 'Today the
Mexican people have escaped the feel
i ing of discouragement, are resolved
to triumph over difficulties and are
wholly sane.
"No revolution or disturbance of any
kind threatens. Mexico is rebuilding
that which was destroyed, building
new on every hand, working hard
and thinking hard. She has paid her
whole Internal debt and will pay
every penny of her foreign debt. En
mity toward the United States has
vanished. American citizens are
treated now with full consideration.
"A very recent effort made to con
vince Mexico that if l>atin America
could solidify herself from the Rio
Grande to Cape Horn it would be
possible to make connections over
seas which would enable all concerned
to get 011 without this country has
"The better minds of Mexico, in
cluding that of President Obregon.
were not misled by this extremely
clever plot against the United Stales.
Spanish influence in Mexico is large. I
first, because Mexicans speak the
Spanish language, and, second, be
cause there is in Mexico a large and
important Spanish colony. In Mexico
City the Spaniards have one of the
finest clubs In the world and un
doubtedly it is a center of great in
fluence and of political activity.
Spanish influence is not favorable to
Mexican-American friendship.
"German influence, strongly anti
American also, works while we sleep. |
and very powerfully, through those
trade channels which the Germans
had so fully organized before the war
began and which we had so utterly
neglected. Many of these have real
political significance. The Spaniards
and the Germans both understand
Mexico and we do not?nor do we
try to.
"The English, also, understand the
Mexicans. Undoubtedly the British
are doing what they can in a quiet,
diplomatic way to secure all they can
of the tremendous opportunities in
oil. timber and other business. In
such matters England's vast Invest
ments and concessions make her very
strong, indeed.
"And there is still another influence
in one way or another not favorable
to the United States?that of the
Japanese. The United States should
not Ignore this.
"Japan's interest in Mexico is nat
ural. We will assume that the con
ference will not entirely settle the
Pacific question. Japan's desires are
well known. She feels that the United
States is her only rival. And every
year, through the developments of
communications and transportation,
the shores of Mexico come hundreds
of miles nearer to. those of Japan.
The Japanese are developing aircraft.
They have great wireless stations. _
"Their foothold in Mexico already Is
very grpat. They are encouraging the
development of several ports of the
Mexican Pacific coast. These are
Manzanillo, in Sinaloa. just below the
tip of Lower California, and Acupulco.
I have not visited that coast."
* * * *
WJTR. FANKHAUSER disclaimed any
knowledge of a Japanese railway
project to span Mexico from one of
these ports to the gulf. I have heard
of it, however.
"No real student of the situation
can conceive any reason for America's
indifference to Mexico other than
sheer Inertia. We have the richest
country In the world lying just to
south of us. It easily could be built
into a great bulwark against every
enemy and a source of splendid
wealth, honestly gained, and carrying
with it, as its best part, a fine friend
ship; but instead of making it such
a bulwark we have kept it as a grow
ing menace ever since the day of
Diaz's flight.
"Kindly interest is that which Mex
ico would wonderfully appreciate and
quickly respond to. That would be
quite different from Interference and
very different from domination.
"We talk about Mexico illiteracy.
What have we, who are so proud of
our achievements and our helpfulness,
ever done to help her In educational
methods? It is astonishing! We
helped Japan; we have helped India
and Africa. We spend millions every
year In China to help education; we
have spent millions on the famine
sufferers of Russia and of China. Dur
ing the years wfhlch followed the revo
lution dreadful famine spread In
Mexico. There were times when dead
refugees were taken out of every rail
way train arriving at Vera Cruz. Men.
women and children, dead of starva
tion, would be seen upon the station
platforms as these trains passed with
their dead and dying. Not one penny
that I ever heard of was contributed
Iby Americans to help this suffering.
Nor has Mexico ever made an appeal
tp urn. When the European nations?
A N American Banker s Surprising Report of
Financial Condition of the Country?In a !
Few Months the Republic Has Redeemed All
Paper Money and Is Now on a Gold Basis.
The New Government's Ingenious Plan? Will
Begin Now to Clear Off All Foreign Obliga
tions. .
even those who fought our soldiers, j
filling distant graves with fine Ameri
can lads?found themselves hungry |
after the war ended, they organize
appeals to us with an earnestness and
ingenuity unparalleled in the histor>
I of scientific begging. The Mexicans,
as sorely suffering, made no appeal j
whatever. These are good things for
Americans to think about.
"Personally. I believe it hurts a
Mexican to starve to death as much
as it hurts an Austrian. Personally.
I am as sorry for a dying Mexican
baby as I am for one who gasps and
Struggles for its fleeting breath in
Russia. There has been something
fundamentally wrong about our a
tude toward Mexico. "We go to Eu
rope. to the. near east and.the far east,
pouring out our money and our ef
fort among crude and uncouth peo
pie, with the thought that we are
building for the future, helping to
create new nations. We yearn to
help When it comes to Mexico, foi
no reason I can believe is *ound^ we
sav 'Oh that is Mexico, and always
wi? be Mexico-a hopeless undertak
e-There is material for development
in Mexico, human and otherw ise. of
a worth to be found, perhaps in no
Cher country in the ?ld_Jhe
blame is not entirely ours. Mex co
is unfortunate in the possession of in
credible wealth which may be ex
tracted. and may forthwith, without
manufacture, be carried off by those
who'seize or buy at lowest market
price the right of exploitation. It is
the sort of wealth which most at
tracts the predatory, ruthless busi
ness man who at one time possessed
enormous strength in the United
* * * *
?.TtifEXICO gets no benefit whatever,
IVI other than the employment of
labor and some .slight taxation, from the
1 oil and gold and other minerals which
(foreign business men extract from her
I treasure chambers and carry away.
If the little tax which Mexico im
poses seems high, these foreign busi
ness men complain to their own gov
ernments about it. and those govern
ments?this has been particularly true
of ours-frown fiercely upon Mexico,
.endeavoring to decrease even her|
I small revenue. |
"It seems a little sad. almost pa-,
thctic. when one thinks of it in this
way. After all, these . natural re-j
sources are the richest things that
Mexico possesses*, and the tax is all that
she can ask for them.
?Mexico is helpless in more ways
I than one. These resources are of a
'nature which requires 'big business
j effort, which Mexico cannot supply
Only in the last decade, under the
I leadership of such men as Judge
I Gary. Charles Schwab and others, has
I big business been willing to give any
I share to those who have been lb
chief sources of wealth even w.th.n
our own borders. _
"Some 'big business men now real
ize that it is not their function mere
v to make money for themselves and
their Shareholders, but that they are
I on earth particularly to do big, con
"trucUve work. A little of this spirit
has got into American bi^usiness
#nwn in Mexico, but it has reacnea
fh^re late and time will be required
ere it can overcome the nettles o
suspicion and' distrust which have
been grown from the seeds sown by
the ruthless exploiters of bygone
American oA interests In Mexico
?hav^been short-sighted beyond any
which I can find, even if the
matter be
teXnT^rausTreveale4 the
great achievement which .Mexico has
placed to her credit w.thln recent
i8 Mexico incompetent, un
-U to loo* after herself., without
business ability, devoid of r/ally ma
ture sense of responsibility?" lie
asked, apparently amused that fool
ish Americans should have been mis- ;
led into such a wrong conception 01* |
the facts.
"Let me tell you tlie short story of
the one superb, incomparable piece
of governmental finance which has
come to light during all these recent
years, when the governments of near
ly all the world have been trying by
new methods and by old to meet bi
zarre, fantastic, dreadful financial sit
uations. It is Mexico's.
| "Mexico has developed and has
j benefited by financial genius such as
is not on the,records for any other
country on the surface of the earth
during recent years. She has gone
through as many years of war as
any country in the world. She has
had famine, pestilence, stagnation
and destruction to combat with,
j Through these disasters she resorted
to a paper currency which became all
I but worthless. Where is her currency
now? Almost at par. for it is gold and
only gold! Accomplished in a year!
While even the British pound lias been
down. Show me a record which is com
parable with this.
* * * *
a A XI> lias this been brought about
through the assistance of Amer
ica or anybody else? It has not. Xo
one has helped Mexico. She has done
this wonder by herself. Mexican
money fluctuates but little. It is
practically as stable as our own.
"Everything considered, Mexico is
paying off her debts with an amazing
speed, although she is naturally criti
cised for not paying off the coupons
on her external bonds. Let us ex
amine, very briefly, the whole situa
"It is true that her bond interest
has been in default since 1914. She
was not in the world war, but on ac
count of internal disturbances and the
position of neutrality which she sought
to maintain she suffered dire conse
quences from, it, unlike some other
"There, again, was tragic evidence
of our American neglect of leader
ship which was easily within our
grasp. We had let it go to the Ger
mans. In Mexico, while the war
waged overseas, there was always a
powerful, alert German group ready
for action at any time. Mexico wa3
continually threatened by this group
and the American government offi
cials were aware of it. For some
strange reason there was not the
slightest invocation of the Monroe
doctrine in this matter, although it
might well have been justified. The
present administration in Mexico is
just a year old. It has been a strange
year the world over, especially in
financial matters. As it has dragged
its unique length along, Europe has
issued paper money by the ton.
"The Mexicans already had been at
it. The present administration, the
government of Obregon, inherited over
$250,000,000 of almost worthless scrip
from the government which went be
fore. It will seem like a fairy tale or
worse when I tell you that the gov
ernments of Europe, old and trained
and thought to be the cleverest on
earth, might well turn to Mexico to
study her procedure In this matter.
Those 250 millions of depreciated
scrip today have been redeemed and
utterly destroyed. And Mexico is on
a gold basis.
"Probably not one per cent of all
the people who should know, in all
the outside world, h^ve heard of this
unparalleled achievement.
"Toward the last days of the Car
ranza administration paper money had
been issued in literally carload lots,
which were added to other carload
lots already issued by him and by
others. The retirement of this vast
amount of paper jnoney while the
balance of the world was keeping
every printing press that it could
seize at work in printing more was
one of the great financial achieve
ments of the human race. It was
done very quietly and with the impo
si 11 on of no burden upon Mexican
citizens or Mexico's creditors.
"I won't go into details, but today
\hat money has been all redeemed and
wiped from the surface of the map
It was a stroke of genius, and put
Mexico upon her feet as if by magic
Today the Mexican peso quotes ai
48.25. its normal value being SO cent*.
"While this tremendous thing ha
bfeen in progress, Mexico has mad'
no new debts. She has paid cash?ii:
coin?for everything which slje ha
bought, either outside or at home. All
bills in Mexico of every sort, larg
and small, must be paid in actual gold
or silver, with the amount of silver
to be tendered limited.
"Today Mexican business is more
definitely and completely on a gold
basis than that of the United States
has ever been at any moment in our
* * * *
top of this achievement is an
other?the / accumulation of a
considerable gold fund to be used in
any plan of refinancing which may be
decided on or for the taking up of
"During the various revolutions
which for so long a period kept Mex
ico in turmoil the banks were looted
almost to a single institution of every
dollar of their currency. I'nder the
plan which now is working out. which
is indeed in process of accomplish
ment. every cent ??f this will be re
turned to them. They are being paid
ha< k these losses at the rate of 10
per cent per month. I cannot say ex
actly where this process is at pres
ent. but it soon will be completed.
There are not many more monthly
payments to be made.
"Mexican money was as sad a year
ago as Russian money is today. Mex
ican money is today as good as that
of the United States. Yet we call
the Mexicans incompetent! With the
world all shot to pieces. Mexico has
been doing these things, and in a
single year has gone a long way to
ward working out of the woods.
"The present government is con
stantly at work on larger plans which
without much delay will accomplish tin
entire financing of the nation's budgets,
external and interna!, and which wi?l
care for any and every claim of indi
viduals or nations for all damages
arising out of ten years of revolu
tion. Mexico's credit, when these
things are done, will be among th?
gilt-edged credits of the world.
"Thr* only man who eventually will
suffer will be the Mexican. If he has
lost through revolution, he must grin
and bear it. He has no claim against
his government for devastated crops,
cattle driven off. burned buildings
any damage whatsoever. One of the
contentions of the present American
administration was that there must
be a 'mixed claims commission.' on
which all the creditor nations should
be represented.
| "Several months ago President
i Otoregon created such a commission
and invited all the nations involved
to send their representatives. All
: except the United States. England and
France did as he susgested. England
and France are holding off. waiting
i for the United States. We hold off
because we require other things of
* * * *
?t\ spite of the fact that we ha\?
not co-operated. Mexico has gone
I ahead and made her pl..ns. As soon
I as we will intimate our willingness to
give her recognition, she will plunge
! at once into the task. Indeed, she
will do this as soon as we will indi
cate that we will co-operate in any
reasonable way.
The debts are large in aggregate,
though not large enough to sound
impressive, now that ears have be
come accustomed to the mighty fig
ures mentioned in connection with
the European debts which have been
less adroitly handled.
"In all. the claims amount to some
where between J65.000.000 and $S'\
000.000. Mexico is anxious to dis
charge all this indebtedness, and is
| quite able to do so. She only waits
I our word. Prominent bankers of the
I United States are now at work upon
'a plan for financing a bank of issue,
i which materially will aid Mexico In
i deed, it will solve the problem of her
j internal finances, for she probably
could not continue indefinitely on a
cash gold standard, which is a nui
sance to every' one concerned. To carry
coin about for large transaction! is
most inconvenient.
"Plans also are being worked out
("for the funding of all Mexican exter
nal loans. Nothing but the handicap
of the American refusal to accord her
i recognition prevents the instant exe
cution of these plans.
'Hvhen recognition shall be granted,
Mexico, with her immense resources,
will have no difficulty in securing at
a reasonable rate and on favorable
terms all the financial aid which she
may need
"Some morning we shall wake out
of our sleep on this side of the inter
national boundary and find that Mex
ico is one of the soundest nations in
the world financially
(Copyright, lttti. by Edward M?r?ii?ll.>
The Unstable Moon.
'p'HE celebrated observatory at
Greenwich, the place from which
we reckon longitude, was foundoa ay
Charles II in 1675, mainlv for the
purpose of investigating the move
ments of the moon in the interest* at
navigation. Although in the inter
vening two and a half centuries as
tronomers have worked at the prob
lem, the moon has not yet become en
tirely amenable to their mathematics.
In a recent report of the observa
tory at Greenwich attention is invited
to the increasing deviation between
the calculated position of the moon
in the sky and its real position as
shown by the Greenwich observations.
The deviation Is said lately to have
been growing in a serious manner.
The error last year was more than
twelve ttmes as large as tlic error
twenty years ago. and the average
annual increase during the two dec
ides has amounted to half a second
of arc in longitude. The reason that
astronomers have failed In getting
ixact results from calculations based
on the dynamical laws of gravitation
is possibly the existence of some at
tractive force that they have not dis
?overed, although the result may also
>e afTected by the true shape of the
earth, which still awaits accurals

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