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BY ANNE WINSLOW
IN these untarnished meadows, where the bee
Vexes the earth's soft sleep,
pass; Her foot's divinity has touched the grass
And left its bloom more fair,
Here in her timeless garden, where the hours
And find at last release
Counting the wasted sands,
Like a dim legend written on the brain,
Under an ancient sun.
Why must you fall so fleet,
DISARMAMENT AND THE STATE OF EUROPE
BY CHARLES À COURT REPINGTON
AU Commonwealths ought to desire Peace, yet it haustion, and the neutrals from the disis necessary ever to be prepared for the War; because
comforts inherent in propinquity to Peace disarmed is weak, and without Reputation:
sick neighbors. No people are happy; Therefore the Poets feign, that Pallas the Goddess of Wisdom did always appear armed. — SIR WALTER
no nation loves another; and it will take RALEIGH: The Arts of Empire.
years for the hates and jealousies aris
ing out of both the war and the peace to The Washington Conference is about die down. Practically speaking the victo open, with disarmament for its lead- tors are still dominant and the vaning theme, and I think it may be inter- quished still in subjection. The victors esting to American readers if I give are dominant because they are comthem, for what it is worth, the deduc- pelled, in greater or less degree, to retions that I have drawn concerning dis- main armed until all the terms of the armament and kindred subjects during peace treaties are carried out; and this recent travels from the Baltic to the must be an affair of long years, because Ægean and from the Channel to the the reparations exacted, though not a Black Sea. These journeys have occu- tithe of the real cost of the damage pied me during the greater part of this done, have been spread over long periods year and have brought me in contact of time, in order to make the payments with most of the directing minds which possible. The presence of numerous Inexercise authority in the old Continent, ter-Allied commissions in the conquered as well as with many other people of all countries is a source of humiliation to classes, professions, and nationalities. I them, but cannot be helped, as they are write for American readers with the there in pursuance of treaties. greater pleasure because, wherever I It is no satisfaction to the victors to have been, I have found English and remain armed, because the cost is great American opinion firmly united, with and every state is at its wits' end for or without previous discussion or agree- money. In fact, the destitution of ment, on almost every single question treasuries is so marked that even the that distracts Europe, and I have cer- victors have to impose on their own tainly returned home with this fact as people almost unendurable burdens, the most satisfying, if not the only and in many cases do so with little resatisfying, conclusion of my tour. gard for the elementary principles of
economics, thus helping to prolong the
crisis of which even America is sensible. The Question of Disarmament
But they dread that, if they do not reOne may divide Europe, broadly main armed and impose these burdens speaking, into three parts: the victors, on their taxpayers, the vanquished may the vanquished, and the neutrals in the either recover and renew the war, or, late war. The victors are suffering from at all events, find good pretexts for disindigestion, the vanquished from ex- continuing their payments, owing to
their recognition of the fact that there end for another fifteen or twenty years, is no power sufficient to coerce them. when all the veterans of the war-time In this event, certain of the victors will will be too old, or too stout, or too much reckon themselves ruined.
immersed in their new occupations, Therefore, the first unpleasant fact whatever these may be, to desire, or to to be faced is that the victors are still be able, to march and fight. The vicarmed and the vanquished almost en- tors have seen very clearly that these tirely disarmed; and that, though this veterans cannot be destroyed, but that is an intolerable state of affairs, offers war-material can be; and the various no permanence, and heals no wounds, Inter-Allied military commissions have an alternative is not within sight for therefore concentrated upon material, many years without risk of the renewal and have shown relentless severity in of the war, which alternative is, of all insisting upon a thorough surrender of things, the one that nobody can arms - not only of guns and rifles, aerocontemplate with equanimity. 'Peace planes and machine guns, but of the disarmed' would be not only without whole machinery of military equip
' reputation,' but a signal danger. ment, including carts and limbers, har
A conference aiming at disarmament ness, and all the thousands of articles will observe that, England apart, and that go to make up a properly found America having side-tracked herself in army. It is held that this action will this business, the victors retain com- make the vanquished states incapable pulsory service, while the vanquished, or of creating modern armies, except after at least their governments, all pine for a long delay, which the victors will natsuch service and are not allowed to urally exploit. have it. Similarly, the vast war-mate- The vanquished, on their side, have rial of the victors remains in existence, naturally sought, by every available rotting or rusting in part, perhaps, and means, to escape the control of the miligradually growing out of date, but still tary commissions, and, in effectives as more or less fit for use; while the huge in armament, to conceal what they are war-material of the vanquished, greater doing by more or less clever camouflage. by far than anyone imagined at the It has not succeeded, on the whole, but Armistice of 1918, has been swept into there are still military organizations in the net of the victors and has either excess of treaty stipulations; there are been taken or destroyed. Disarmament? all sorts of pseudo-civilian societies, Yes, it has been carried out by force, associations of old soldiers, compulsorybut only in the case of the conquered labor laws, and so forth, which are not states.
indeed very formidable, but which show Another cause for disquiet is the fact that the disposition endures to resusthat practically the whole of the able- citate military power at the first opporbodied population of Europe were tunity. Similarly, there is a certain trained soldiers in 1918, or trained or- amount of war-material still concealed ganizers or providers of the needs of and undelivered, especially rifles and war, in one form or another. Therefore, machine-guns; but to me the wonder is if some strong compelling sentiment that so much has been given up, and I should make a people rise, it would only feel confident that it would not have need arms for numerically strong forces been had the vanquished been certain to reappear as by magic, and all the allied and associated powers that one long training of the war period could be
could name. dispensed with. This situation will not However, there it is, and that is the VOL. 128 - NO. 6
present situation. But not quite all has territories easily becomes a sort of Præbeen said; for it is the decided and well- torian Guard, or corps of Janissaries weighed opinion of the best men in con- at the call of the highest bidder. In trol of the military commissions that countries of peasant proprietors, it is
, after they withdraw from the territories even difficult to recruit a voluntary of the vanquished states, it will not take army at all. more than two years for the war-mate- These are among the problems that rial to be replaced, at all events in the Washington will have to confront on the case of Germany; and that in five years side of the recently vanquished states; the whole of the vast war-material may but perhaps they will be surpassed in be renewed, quite apart from contracts complexity when the armies of the Althat may be made with neutrals, per- lies are passed in review. haps through foreigners. Therefore, It is true that England will not have the question arises whether these com- much difficulty in securing a clean bill missions should not be retained until of health, because we have scrapped all the veterans are past the fighting compulsion and all our military acts of age; for though, by the Treaty of Ver- the war period. Except for the possessailles, it is the League of Nations that sion of better material and equipment, has the duty of checking future designs and for the acquired precedent of creatof an aggressive sort, the League willing a national army based, at need, on
, have difficulty in carrying out this task; compulsion, we are in a worse state of and, in fact, no one believes that it can military destitution than we were in do it.
1914, - which is saying a good deal, — Another real difficulty is that, when whereas we have much greater commitwe disarm a state, we practically be- ments all over the world, and a whole come, in a moral sense, trustees for her series of new difficulties for which, in internal order and external security. A ultimate analysis, force may be the country whose forces are compulsorily only remedy. reduced to the vanishing-point may But when I think of our allies, they not be able to suppress Spartacists, Bol will, I imagine, be asked to explain sheviki, or what not; may not be able their position; and they may possibly to prevent bandits from crossing from be asked why, if the disarmament of their territory into another, or to keep their late enemies has been in such large out other peoples' bandits; while there measure accomplished, they do not is the still more serious danger that the themselves disarm. The retention, pracgovernment itself may become so weak tically all over Europe except in the that it may lack authority, and be at vanquished states, of compulsory milithe mercy of a coup d'état. This lack of tary service, and of the potentially huge authority is one of the most constant armies which derive from it, will not, I complaints of the vanquished states. imagine, escape comment. The case of It is certain also that a long-service, vol. our allies I will, therefore, briefly state. untarily enlisted army, gendarmerie, or If we take France first, we must adpolice, offers an easier prey to intriguers mit that she has the greatest, and, perthan a conscripted army based on short haps, — with a saving clause for Japan, service; for the latter constantly re- the only really great army in the freshes itself from the whole people, world. She has a numerous, well-orwhence it springs, while a volunteer ganized, and splendidly equipped army, force has to be taken from less choice much superior to her army of 1914, led elements, and in unsettled times and by commanders of the greatest distinction, and capable, as I verily believe, of ly our adhesion falls to the ground, conquering Continental Europe. If a although our Parliament accepted the Bonaparte came into view, he would liability under the conditions named. have a perfect instrument ready to his very likely we on this side of the water hand, with this reservation, that - at were very great fools, and curiously illfirst, at all events - Frenchmen would informed of the real state of public opinnot march except in a good cause, and ion in America, when we signed that with the object and scope of an opera- conditional guaranty. That remark tion clearly pointed out to them. But applies to our Government, if the cap such eventualities are, I hope, far from fits them. It depends upon whether us. French generals do not dabble in our former Ambassador at Washington politics, and the whole army despises warned the Government that the them. No political generals in France American Senate might not second the survived the war-storm. No civilian guaranty of President Wilson. I do not could, or would wish to, repeat the Napo- know whether our Ambassador gave a leonic épopée, of which he would prob- warning or not. But the public in Engably be the first victim. But even more land and France certainly never had the important is the fact that France's pop- glimmer of a suspicion that a guaranty ulation is small, and that her strength signed by a President of the United to-day, admittedly great though it be, States and countersigned by a Secreis merely a fortuitous and perhaps tem- tary of State, in a vital matter affecting porary superiority of an army, and not the safety of France and the future one of a people firmly based on founda- peace of Europe, would not be honored tions of numbers, wealth, and science. in America. France might march on Berlin, even on It is impossible not to attribute a Moscow, and reach both with ease; but very large share of France's want of she is quite incapable of confronting the confidence in the future to the above subsequent hostility of the world, or cause, and a very large share of Eueven of Europe, which every aggressor rope's unrest to France's want of conmust expect who attempts to emulate fidence. Over and over again I have the projects of Napoleon or Wilhelm been told by French statesmen and II. We must keep our heads cool when generals that France would never have we observe the brilliant power of France. taken the unrelenting course that she
The maintenance of the French has taken toward Germany had the army at its present standard of num- Anglo-American guaranty stood. Over bers and efficiency is due to want of and over again I have been assured by confidence in the future; and if France representatives of all the allied and pleads this want of confidence, one associated powers that Germany would must be just to her and lay the blame never have dared to confront that comwhere it is mainly due, namely, upon bination, and that, secured by the the lapse of the Anglo-American guar- guaranty, France would, and could safeanty. France reluctantly consented to ly, have disarmed. The fact that none abandon her defensive plans on the of these things happened is the main Rhine because America, and England cause of the sanctions, the Upper Sileif America ratified the agreement, were sian. trouble, the reparation wrangles, to give France a guaranty against Ger- and most of the resulting unrest that man aggression in the future. Two has followed throughout Europe, which years have passed, and America has not seems to take its cue from the baromratified that undertaking. Consequent- eter of Franco-German relations.