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THE RUSSO-JAPANESE TREATY
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE OUTLOOK
T HE conclusion of a treaty between cessful war with Turkey, under the condi
Russia and Japan for the protection tions that existed in 1914, seemed likely to
of their joint interests in the Far give Russia (1) possession of Constantinople East is a natural and logical outcome of the and the Dardanelles; (2) free entrance to the great change in international relations brought Mediterranean ; and (3) a preponderating about by the European war. Russia for influence in Asia Minor and the Balkans. centuries has been trying to get an ice-free With such a prospect as this in view, Russia outlet to the oceans of the world. At the lost her keen interest in the Far East and end of the war with Turkey in 1878 success abandoned the plans that conflicted with the seemed to be almost within her grasp; but interests of: Japan. Then, when Russia was her legitimate aspirations were baffled at that in desperate need of munitions, and Japan time by a combination of the central and proved her friendliness by rendering invaluwestern European Powers against her, with able assistance to her former enemy, the way Great Britain at their head.
was cleared for just such a treaty as that Seeing no prospect of getting access in the which the two Powers have recently connear future to the Mediterranean, Russia cluded. If the Japanese had shown in Manturned her attention, in the early eighties, to churia the ruthlessness and ferocity that the the Far East, where there seemed to be a Germans have displayed in Belgium and chance of securing an ice-free port in China France, the feeling of bitterness and hatred or Korea. By the construction of the Trans- that would have been left might have preSiberian Railway she greatly strengthened her vented a reconciliation ; but, as the leading position on the coast of the Pacific, and the Russian newspapers said in explanation of aggressive and acquisitive policy that she their change of attitude toward Japan : “ It soon adopted there threatened the vital in- was easy to make friends again with the terests of Japan, and finally brought about Japanese, because they always fought us like the Russo-Japanese War. In that conflict gentlemen.” .. Russia was disastrously defeated; but there The disposition of Russia and Japan to is good reason to believe that as soon as she get together for the protection of their joint had reorganized her army and improved her interests in the Far East was greatly strengthmeans of communication with the Orient she ened by the proposal to neutralize the Manwould have found a pretext for renewing the churian railways, which was made by Secretary struggle. In another war, as in the first one, Knox in 1909. Both Powers regarded this her chief object would have been to acquire as an attempt on the part of the United an ice-free port on the Pacific, which she States to deprive them of their legitimately could use as a naval and commercial base, acquired advantages ; and in July, 1910, they and thus extend her power and develop her entered into another treaty, whose avowed commerce on that ocean.
object was to “ maintain the status quo in The breaking out of the war with the Teu- Manchuria," and thus to prevent any such tonic Powers in 1914 and the participation of interference as that which Secretary Knox's Turkey as a combatant suddenly changed proposal threatened. the whole aspect of world affairs. Not only . Affairs remained in this state until 1916, did it make Japan an ally of Russia, but when it seemed desirable to revise the treaty it removed at once the principal reason for of 1910 and widen somewhat its scope. an aggressive Russian policy on the coast of Which of the two Powers proposed the revisthe Pacific. Expansion in the Near East was ion we have no means of knowing ; but, infinitely more important for Russia than under the changed conditions brought about expansion in the Far East; and from the by the European war, it was clearly in the moment that Turkey took the side of Ger- interest of both that there should be a written many the Czar and his advisers saw, and the understanding with regard to their attitude Monarch himself frankly said, that the time toward each other in the Far East, as well as had come, at last, for “a final settlement of their future attitude toward Germany and certain long-standing questions connected China. In the convention of July 4, 1910, with the outlet of the Black Sea." A suc- they agreed “to confer on methods to be
taken with a view to mutual co-operation in Steel Company (1908); of plotting against maintaining the status quo in Manchuria.” us in Hawaii and the Philippines (1909) ; of In the new treaty the form of expression is excluding Americans from the Manchurian almost exactly the same, except that, instead mining fields (1909); of discriminating against of “the maintenance of the status quo in our commerce by means of transportation Manchuria,” the object of the agreement is rebates on the Manchurian railways (1909); said to be “the defense of their Far Eastern of seeking to monopolize the truck-farming territorial rights and special interests.” lands in California (1909); of sinking the
Nothing in the new convention suggests dry-dock Dewey in Manila Bay (1910); of unfriendliness towards us, and none of its planting mines in that same bay (1910); of provisions seems to be aimed at us, but a few taking soundings and making charts of Caliof our people are predisposed to regard with fornian harbors (1910); of secretly conspiring suspicion every move that Japan makes on with Mexico against us (1911); of attemptthe Asiatic mainland, and as soon as it became ing to secure Magdalena Bay, in Lower Caliknown that she had concluded a treaty with fornia, for a naval base (1911); of secretly Russia for the better protection of her Far taking photographs and making maps on the Eastern rights and interests our alarmists coast of Alaska (1911); of trying to get saw in it an attempt to close the “open supreme control in Manchuria under predoor " of China against us. Senator Lewis, tense of fighting the bubonic plague (1911); of Illinois, at once introduced a resolution in of conspiring with Mexican insurgents against Congress calling on the Secretary of State us (1912); of persecuting the American misfor information with regard to the object and sionaries in Korea and trying to abolish effect of the new treaty, and in a speech sup- Christianity there (1912); -of conspiring with porting his resolution he expressed the belief Germany to overthrow the Monroe Docthat Russia and Japan intended to “ eliminate trine (1912); of attacking the American the United States from the Oriental sphere.” Consul in Newchang (1912); of forming Then Mr. Charles Denby, ex-United States an alliance with our west coast Indians Consul-General at Shanghai, took the field against us (1912); of threatening to attack with a statement, or interview, in which he Java, and thus compelling the Dutch to said that “the Japanese are an intensely seek our support (1912); of trying to buy ambitious and selfish race ;' that they are the Lower California from Huerta (1914); of “propagandists of a new yellow civilization ;" attempting to get spies into the fortifications that the alliance with Russia is going to be of the Panama Canal (1915); of seeking to of “the greatest value to them only when secure a foothold in Lower California by they come into open breach with the United running a vessel ashore there and sending States ;' and that “if we should, by some war-ships to assist in salvage operations circumstance not yet revealed, become the (1916); of conspiring with Germany to get object” of the “preparations " which they control of the San Blas Indian lands in are now making, such preparations “ would Panama (1916); and, finally, of conspiring be terribly effective against us." (New York with Russia against us at least two or three “ Sun," July 10.)
times in the last ten years. Now what foundation is there, if any, for Were any of these statements true ? Not this distrust of Japan and Russia ? What one, so far as could be ascertained. Many good reason is there for believing that they of them were officially contradicted by our intend first to oust us from the Chinese mar- Government; some, including the Magdakets, and then combine against us if we resist lena Bay story, were disproved by Congresthe establishment of a “yellow civilization” sional investigation ; and all eventually fell to for the domination of Asia ?
the ground for lack of support. And yet In the first place, it may be remarked that now come Senator Lewis and Mr. Denby this cry of “Wolf !" whenever Japan moves with the assurance that we are about to be (and often when she does not move) is very “ eliminated from the Oriental sphere ;" old. For eight years at least we have heard that the “ preparations " which Japan is it semi-annually, if not oftener. In a long making will be “terribly effective against series of alarms, beginning with the San Fran- us;" and that the ultimate result of the cisco public school troubles, the Japanese have Russo-Japanese alliance will be the establishbeen accused of preparing for war with us ment of a yellow Asiatic civilization which by buying 750,000 rifles from the Crucible will dominate the Ear East and leave no room
THE RUSSO-JAPANESE TREATY
whatever there for us. Is it not time, at enter it, and accomplish so little when we do last, to stop this irrational and childish mis- go in ? Outside of kerosene, tobacco, and representation of a friendly Power ?
certain manufactures of cotton, what does A moment's consideration of the recently our Chinese trade amount to? A few million concluded treaty in connection with the situa dollars in flour, lumber, and manufactures of tion created by the present war will show, iron and steel, but not enough, certainly, to I think, the extreme improbability of the make a fuss about. We ourselves, moreassumption that Russia and Japan intend to over, have done more to restrict our Far “ eliminate the United States from the Ori- Eastern business than Japan and Russia have ental sphere."
ever done or are likely to do. By our SherRussia at the end of the war will be ur- man Law we threatened to punish our exgently in need of the very things that the porters and manufacturers if they ventured United States, and only the United States, to combine for the purpose of extending their can give her, namely, money, manufactures, business in the Chinese field ; by our action, and organizing brains. Before the war her through our President and Secretary of State, commercial and industrial life was largely we discouraged our financiers when they proinfluenced, if not controlled, by the Germans. posed to make investments in China ; and by who handled her foreign trade to the extent recent legislation we have practically driven of nearly half a billion dollars, and who also our steamship lines from the Pacific and managed through their agents a large part of thrown most of the carrying trade into the her domestic business. After her recent hands of the Japanese. Of what use is an experience Russia will hardly care to let Ger- “open door” when we can hardly get access many play again within her boundaries the to it, and when, even if we do reach it, we part that she played there in the first thirteen have to limp' through it with our feet in legisyears of the present century. As far as pos- lative shackles ? sible, therefore, she will look elsewhere for If Russia and Japan succeed in getting the the things that Germany has hitherto sup- greater part of the Chinese trade, it will not plied. But where can she find them? In be because they have barred us out, but bethe past she has drawn vast sums of money cause they have carried on their business in from Belgium and France in the shape of the Far East with intelligence and vigor. loans for governmental, industrial, and rail- According to the latest report of the Chinese way enterprises; but Belgium and France maritime customs, Russia and Japan now will not be in condition to furnish great sums have in China 3,596 commercial firms, with of money after the war. For capital to 157,819 clerks, agents, or individual traders. develop her resources and for manufactured We have there only 157 firms, with clerks, goods to supply her needs Russia will here- agents, or individual traders to the number after be dependent to a much greater extent of 4,716. Russia and Japan together, therethan ever before upon the United States. fore, have twenty-two times as many firms She is already conscious of this, and is mak- engaged in the Oriental trade as we have, ing every possible effort to improve her trade and thirty-three times as many selling or relations with us and to interest us in her buying agents. And yet some of our alarmterritory and its possibilities. Is it reason ists would have us believe that these two able, then, to suppose that for the sake of Powers intend, by their recent treaty, to exmaking a little more profit in the Far Eastclude us from the “ Oriental sphere" because she would join Japan in an attempt to shut they are afraid of our competition ! us out of that field, and thus incur our hos- We own the Philippines, and we think we tility at the very time when she most needs are entitled to say something about Oriental our good will and help? The supposition affairs. If Tapan had asked us, instead of is too improbable for belief or serious dis- Russia, to enter into a treaty with her for the cussion.
protection of her and our territorial rights and As for Japan, she can easily enough hold special privileges in the Far East, would we her own in the Chinese markets without have consented ? Certainly not. Our Conexcluding us therefrom. She already has gressional statesmen would have seen in such seventeen per cent of China's whole foreign a proposal only a deep-laid scheme of the trade, as compared with our seven, and she wily Japanese to involve us in hostilities with is gaining on us every day. Why should she our “great and good friend” the Czar—" our close the “open door” when we so seldom best friend in Europe." But just as soon as Japan makes such a treaty with Russia, our great and good friend suddenly becomes a hostile conspirator who aims to “ eliminate us from the Oriental sphere” in order that his people and the Japanese may get rid of our insignificant competition.
Japan and Russia have greater and more vital interests in the Orient than has any other Power except Great Britain. Japan's interests are military and political, as well as commercial, because China is now in the transition stage of her national life, and is comparatively powerless to resist aggression If, in her present weak condition, she should fall under the domination of a strong military Power, or group of Powers, she might be come a serious menace to Japan's very exist. ence. We think that our geographical relation to Mexico, and our special interests in
that country, entitle us to take any measures that seem to us necessary for the maintenance of her integrity and the protection of her soil from invasion. If we doubted our ability to defend her against two such Powers as Germany and Japan, for exaample, we should think we had a perfect right to form a treaty combination with the Power whose Mexican interests stood next to ours in importance; and we might, naturally enough, make such an alliance without intending to monopolize the resources of Mexico or exclude other nations from that commercial field. The cases, of course, are not exactly parallel, but they are similar. China, in a certain sense, is Japan's Mexico ; and in judging Japanese policy we should think for a moment what our policy would probably be if we were in Japan's place. GEORGE KENNAN.
AN ENFORCED VACATION
BY A CITY DWELLER
TAVE you, my amiable male reader, ment doesn't change his view-point, let him
felt secretly annoyed when your die ; he is of no further interest to me.”
friends-probably your wife, and After Dame Nature got through with her certainly your physician-have suggested that playfulness, her victim, like a bedraggled pollyou cut your daily diet of Havanas in two parrot that had just been ducked in a water feeling that your intimate acquaintance with bucket to improve his manners, looked around yourself constituted you a better judge of him, somewhat dazed, and his wife took him such matters than they? Have you felt that by the ear and led him away out of the scheme your physician's advice to spend at least three of things, and he dropped out of life. That quarters of an hour at lunch was good advice was seven months ago. for somebody else, but that you had neither Have you ever been in the depths of the the time nor the inclination for it? Have Maine woods, where the only sound you hear you felt that you would like to take a month's that savors of civilization is the occasional vacation, but with so many “irons in the whistle of a tiny locomotive operating on a fire" things would go to smash if you did ? little narrow-gauge railway that works its way Do you know what it is to lie awake at night up through the woods? Have you ? Then and plan your campaign for the following you'll agree with me that it's a long distance day? Then you are getting ready for an away from Wall Street, La Salle Street, and enforced vacation.
State Street; from the club with its extra One fine morning Dame Nature looked me sirloin and mushrooms ; from the theater and over and said to herself : " This cheerful idiot all those other “indispensable" things that is more interested in the checker-game of life nowadays go to make up the life of man. than in the real thing, life itself. Others can't The transition from civilization, from marseem to change his methods ; I'll take a try.” kets that cater to your palate, to a little camp
Said she : “ If I knock his legs out from in the woods too far away to make possible under him, I guess he'll slow down ; if I hit either milk, eggs, or meats, is quite a jump. him in the stomach, he'll probably do a little In the early part of your enforced vacation thinking on that score ; and, to make a thor- in the woods you will find it hard to crowd oughly good job of it, I'll just give his nerves out of your thoughts the things left behind. a few jolts to shake them up. If this treat. It's well to make a clean break, even if you
AN ENFORCED VACATION
do fidget and fuss for a short time for the tents, where sleep waits for you on the things that are missing. Don't take any of pillow. And sleeping out of doors is the the latest magazines with you, and don't rule. arrange to have them sent to you. Take a Rustic chairs of home manufacture, a big few books that you wouldn't read at home stone fireplace, a dining-table in a shady because you were “ too tired to read that spot under the trees, complete the outdoor heavy stuff." You'll enjoy them after a time. equipment. Oh, I forgot the dock with its
Pick out one publication that gives you " approaches,” which the boys and I think all that's really worth while. This isn't a was quite a piece of work. sop to the editors, but the magazine link that The other morning at daybreak I went binds us to civilization is The Outlook. to the boys' tent and whispered to one of
It really doesn't matter who are appearing them, after shaking him awake : “ Let's go at the theaters, or who has just made out and try a fly. I think the fish will rise." $10,000,000 shipping supplies to the Allies. Putting some crackers in our pockets and
Until you can begin to get dog tired phys- without waking the rest of the sleepers, we ically by doing something constructive in the put out onto the lake. I know there is one woods—building a dock, making rustic furni- accomplishment I possess that my boys reture, making a bean pole, cleaning out and spect. I can cast a fly better than they can, blazing a trail—your mind will complain fre- but they are rapidly catching up. This quently at the “raw deal” you are giving it prompts me to say: If you haven't got a by taking away the food on which it feeds; hobby, get one. It doesn't so much matter but this is all necessary in getting a new what it is, but your hobby will come in view-point.
mighty handy if you have to quit business for How well do you know your boys ? Do a time. they like you? I don't mean respect you. Out on the lake discussion followed as to We will hope they do that, though I am not the relative merits of a Silver Doctor, a Proaltogether sure of it. But do they like to fessor, a Parmachenee Belle, and other fies stay around where you are, and do you like as each were tried with indifferent success on to have them? Or are they willing for you that particular morning. A few trout, and, to go your way if you'll let them alone so in the hope that enough could be added they can go theirs ?
through the forenoon for dinner, we were You know, your boys are very apt to have back at seven to build a fire and make toast a lot of horse sense, and can teach you a lot and chocolate, which, with black mission figs, if you'll climb up, not down, to their level. is all they'll give us for breakfast, no matter
If you don't know the different birds and what protests we make. their voices, if you are unacquainted with the Really wives and mothers have more sense habits of animals, if you don't know the best in some things than we men have. places in the waters near you to look for fish, After breakfast two of us tackled a dead if you have been too indifferent to watch his tree in the woods. Cut down, sawed, and majesty the sun wake up the world in the split, we need not worry for dry wood when morning, and carefully bank his fires and put the next rainy day arrives. There is exhilaout his lights at night, you haven't half lived, ration and sport in swinging an ax; but if do you know it?
you are ever asked to define hard work, just Picture a tight little camp, set back in the say, “Sawing wood with a buck-saw.” It's trees about three hundred feet from the lake, one thing in the woods there's no romance with a comfortable sleeping-porch which the in, and you can't put it in. boys and I have built along its front.
Sometimes we go " plug-fishing." I have Inside the best-natured and most willing long had a secret contempt for plug-fishing little cook-stove you ever saw-after the boys as a sport, as coinpared with the art of castand I manufactured a damper for it.
ing a fly; but I have found this year that At the other end of the camp, and facing plug-fishing has its virtues. I can hardly imthe stove from various angles, are parlor, agine anything that will better teach patience. dining-room, and library, with no intervening You simply sit and wait. partitions to make passage from one room Unless trout are on the table at dinner to another difficult. Upstairs we sleep in time-for the midday meal in the woods is very bad weather, for flanking the camp on always dinner, never luncheon—the meal is either side at a respectable distance are the all vegetables. Think of it, all vegetables !