Special Articles

German Plotting in America To-day

Underground Activities in Canada and the United States

Agnes C. Laut October 1 1917
Special Articles

German Plotting in America To-day

Underground Activities in Canada and the United States

Agnes C. Laut October 1 1917

German Plotting in America To-day

Special Articles

Underground Activities in Canada and the United States

Agnes C. Laut

THE volcano continues to seethe at the Vatican and beneath the thrones of Spain and Austria; but President Wilson’s hopes of peace have gone aglimmering in the past month. For the first time since war was declared it is evident that the United States is planning for a long, hard war, and for a big hard part in that war. The second collapse of Russia was the signal for the stiffening up there. Contracts, that had hung fire for three months, were at once signed. This applied to ships, submarines, aeroplanes. Denman was asked to resign and Goethals was allowed to withdraw.

The controversy between these two men was really the result of dual control on a shipping board. Denman represented and was personally very close to big lumber interests on the Pacific Coast, to whom a revival of wooden ship building would have meant a big boom. Goethals was very close to certain steel interests. Steel opposed wood, and wood opposed steel. Neither at any time accused the other of sinister motives; but the ships were not being built. Both men had to go; and the contracts have been signed—signed very much as Goethals planned, which is the best testimony to the soundness of steel’s arguments.

As Canada is entering on a marvellous shipbuilding programme, and as Canadian ships are for the first time permitted to do a coastal trade along American shores, some of the arguments against wood for steel may be set down.

In a wooden ship of 400 tons are 10 miles of caulking. Imagine a programme for 500 ships of 5,000 tons! Where were the caulkers to come from on short notice? And where was the lumber to come from? As Goethals declared at the “steel” dinner, when he threw down

EDITOR’S Note.—In the accompanying article Miss Laut deals u*ith German activities and makes the startlinta statement that Teutonic influences are being felt in Canada to-day. That Germany had a million and a hau' rides stored in the United States for the purpose of an invasion fif Canada is information that seems hardi t , credible, but the tacts presented bear this out. Miss Laufs articles in MACLEAN’S have, during the past twi years, /iresented inside information with reference to tlerman activities that seemed almost unbelievable, bu t each statement made has been borne out by subsequent developments since the United States declared war

the gauge of battle—"the birds were still nesting in the trees.”

Ten years ago, a ship building firm of Bath. Maine, turned out 120 fine fivejnasted schooners — freight carriers. Not one is or top of the water to-day. All have been wrecked, where steel carriers put out at the same time, are still plowing the waves.

Alsov where would the United States get sailors on short notice for a sailing fleet? Seamen for sailers must be well

seasoned true seáRnen. The modern seaman on a steel freighter need only be a good mechanic, able to swim, and at a pinch, pull an oar; but the seaman manning sailing craft must be as much at home on the sea, as the sea gull; and that is not learned on ten days’ notice, for a sudden and terrible war.

S Also where were the ship builders for\ a dead handicraft to come from? At one stage, when it looked as if. Denman’s wooden ship programme would go through, it was announced that 10,000 ship builders would repair to a certain plant, to renew their old and beloved craft. Less than 150—and they were chiefly derelicts—turned up. In fact, the most of the wooden ship programme was on paner. The great argument in favor of wooden ships was cheapness, so that if a submarine got them, the loss would not be great; but nations do not build ships to feed the

maws of a submarine; and steil replied that no wooden ship could be Depended on to make faster speed than 14 knots, and that to escape a submarine, the pursued cargo carrier must jmake a speed of at least 18 knots.

Any way, the dispute has been set-’ tied by Admiral Capps and Commissioner Hurley taking over Goethal’sprogramme, and Goethals still (remaining as adyiser. I

THF! contracts signed make lit selfevident that the United States is going to depend more on submarines! than on dreadnoughts for defeni», and more on aeroplanes and quieje-flring Lewis gurus for attack than onl heavy ordnance and human canon fodder advancing «cross the open against long range fire. Of submarines, it lis impossible to tell or .guess howl many have been ordered—certainly $2(10,000,000 worth for this country alont—and the yards have been standardised 1st last and can work at terrible speed Over $600,000.000 has been appropriated for aeroplanes; and as training aeroplanes cost $6.000. and fighting aeroplane!! $30,000, you can average up abouti how many are ordered for delivery before January. In aeroplane work, peculiar difficulties have been experienced, and the fault seems to lie more in thel quality of the tensile steel than in the power of the engines. In fact, both thle big aeroplane companies are delivering enormous orders of engines to thp Allies. The trouble lies in the combination of lightness and strength ia the steel. ! Where Lewis guns were ngnominiously rejected by the ordnance] men as late as March, they are now being ordered in consignments of 25.000.1 Of shells, this country can now turn out' 500,000 a day. of rifles 10.000. of part-*

ridges 10,000,000, of machine guns 1,000, of motor trucks close to 10,000.

Rifles are, of course, the sorest spot with manufacturers here to-day. That one rejection of 22,000,000 was à jar to national complacency, which no shockabsorber could soften; but if the whole story of that foreign order were openly told, it would be evident that greater fault lay with the army inspectors, who directed the work of this particular order, than with the manufacturers. The order was a foreign one. The inspectors were foreigners, many of them since suspectet! of being Russians in the pay of Germany; and where the factory inspectors were American army men, they were unfortunately inexperienced.

This whole order for rifles is now being salvaged and done over, and will be used for American troops. Speaking of rifles, there is another perfectly authentic story going the rounds. It will be recalled that at one stage of German plotting on this continent, I referred to plans for massing reservists on the borders of Canada, and to an order emanating from the German Embassy commanding all German-bom residents of the United States to conceal weapons. At the time, both stories were hooted as wildly improbable. MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE was questioned for publishing what seemed to be such lurid fictions: but when the declaration o’" war by the United States.came, it was acknowledged that these stories had beep all too true. Now comes the sequel. I want you as a Canadian to consider u'hat the sequel means. Certain German-Americans are breaking their necks just now to sell a millioti-and-a-half rifles “stored somewhere in the United States,” supposed to be a consignment from Germany for Argentina or Mexico. I am statingonly the facts. You may draw from, the facts any inference that seems to you correct. The ironv of the joke is they are trying to sell the consignment for use by the United States Government. It is one of the first signs that the German Emperor really knows the United States really i&t; in the war. The German Emperor is a shareholder in the German concern that supplied« these rifles for “Argentina or Mexico.” The impudence of the sub-rosa transaction is only equalled, by another Wall Street transaction. where members of the German Embassy staff speculated on the rise in Bethlehem steel, consequent, on Allied orders.


United States knows at last it is in a-big war. Immediately all hopes of peace went aglimmering, the Food Bill began to feel pressure from b e -hind. Wilson utterly refused three-man control and insisted on Hoover as sole administrator of food distribution pending the war. Hoover’s

job is on distribution, not production, and it is the biggest job one man ever tackled in this country; for if Hoover can give three-quarters instead of only a third of the consumer’s price to the producer, he will have done more to stimulate production than all the agricultural preachments in the world. Guarantee the farmer a certain and good price for all he raises^ anti he will raise all the land can be made to produce; but in this, the year of the world’s most appalling need, right at the present time, when it is evident we are in for a world shortage of food, food is rotting in New York and New Jersey by the thousands of tons daily because there is no cheap system of putting that food in the hands of the consumers; and the consumers of New York City are paying 401» per cent, higher for lettuce, cabbages, potatoes than 'the farmers of New Jersey are receiving for their produce. The liquor dispute was eliminated from the Food BilLby a special “dry vote.” This vote was obviously only a political expedient—it provided “dry” legislation on condition of a certain percentage of the State Legislators voting “dry” within six years—which was really an insincere way of pushing temperance legislation off the Federal arena back to State politics.

D L'T the most conspicuous sign of the ^ Administration giving up hopes of peace was in the Secretary of State taking the muzzle off. Mr. Lansing has been -advising the country to keep cool for three years. This is the same Mr. Lansing, who shut down the lid on all facts for the public and didn’t know whether The Hesperian had been sunk by a mine or a torpedo, and let Austria take the blame for the sinking of The Ancona. and was blind, deaf. and. dumb to all reports of German propaganda no matter what proofs were shunted into his hands and pigeon-holed. . Mr. Lansing came out with the most scathing condemnation of German plots that has been uttered by administrative circles. Perhaps he was inspired to courageous utterance by the amazing impudence of Germany offering to sell to the United States a million and a half rifles, which she had sent here en route to “Mexico” or “Argentina.” Certainly. he did not come out a moment too soon. People had been asking why the

Administration blows hot in one breath and cold in the next, why Von Rintiden was a plotter of deepest dye, when he was a prisoner in England, and only a minor offender sentenced to .a year’s imprisonment, when he was sent by the British Government back to the United States. There is a curious lot of conjecture about Von Rintelen’s trial here. • Before Von Rintelen was sent here by the British. Government men in the Federal employ declared there were proofs enough piled up against him to sentence him to sixty years. When his trial carte off, proofs were withheld; and Von Rintelen was sentenced to one year. Simultaneously, veiled threats came from Germany that if one hair of his head were touched, -certain prominent prisoners in Germany would suffer; and conjectures linked up those threats with rumors of Kitchener still being alive—which may be German bluff to protect her law-breakers of the Von Rintelen type, or may be true. Certain it is. in Von Rintelen’s case and in many other cases, something stays »he avenging hand.

\ ND though Germany is trying to sell 'A her rifles in the United States, she is not ceasing her plots and machinations and intrigues to palsy efforts here. It will be recalled that it was not force of arms defeated Russia, but internal intrigue. The same game is being worked to the limit in the United States now. A campaign is being waged from end to end of the country for an “early peace.” The organization behind it is. of the same stripe that has bedeviled Russia—Pacifists. Socialists, Germans, pernicious labor agitators. The first result of the campaign has crippled half the copper mines in the country, and the agitators are now busy amid the harvest hands of the Western wheat fields and the lumber jacks of the Pacific Coast. The procedure is this: Ostensibly, meetings are held to agitate against conscription and to repeal the laws against freedom of speech; and the leaders are plentifully supplied with money that seems to come from nowhere. Arizona has acted by bodily and forcibly expelling 1,500 agitators and another Western State has revived its old Vigilantes and lynched an I.W.W. ring-leader, who six years ago worked great mischief in British Columbia.

The underground movement has been making amazing headway. Mass meetings are being held nightly and secretly from New York to San Francisco. Trade Unions are so alarmed that they are fighting .the movement i n s i d e their own ranks; but the secret propaganda has funds in •abundance. The work against conscription is evident in the fact that in certain foreign centres, like wards of New York, every man called by the fi rst draft has claimed exemption on some ground or Con. on page 67

Continued from page 20.

other. Certain disreputable doctors have been detected “faking” and creating physical disabilities to permit exemption. I had a youth in my employ go to bed for three weeks without a temperature or a pulse, and was not surprised to find that his antecedents were German.

An investigator, who went through certain Southern and Middle Western States, sent back this report: “The actual disloyalty is appalling: 60 per cent, of the farmers and 25 per cent, of the town people are in favor of peace on any terms. It is this which emboldens such vicious

little animals as--—" naming certain

Senators and Congressmen, who had done all in their power to stall preparations for war.

NOR must Canada stand back from such treason too certain of her own dock. The same investigating body reported that the same funds from the $ame source were behind certain anti-conscription movements in Canada. How much truth there is in that charge, I do not know; but you have only to keep your eyes open to see that the underground work is occurring simultaneously on both sides of the Border; and that the agitators have abundance of funds, reaching high enough and far enough, to stay the avenging hand that should strike them to extinction. Please read that paragraph over again. With a rigid censorship overhead, the investigators have to be veiled; but their meaning is clear.

The other side of this gloomy picture I am glad to say also concerns certain aliens. The Hungarians! The Hungarians in this country, who have sent millions of dollars home in War Relief, are becoming deadly sick of having their relatives in the home land butchered wholesale for the sake of the asinine vanity of two degenerate royal houses, which Hungary has good grounds to hate altogether apart from the War. What the Hungarians are now asking themselves here is whether their War Relief Funds and efforts would not be better spent to promote a revolution in Hungary and throw another royal house to the scrap heap. Secret meetings are being held among Austrians and Hungarians all through the United States. No use to preach the inviolability and divinity of kings to these people! They have tasted of freedom here and swung like all oppressed people from one extreme to the other. They want Austria-Hungary to do what Russia has done—depose royalty and quit. It was on something of this'kind the State Department was banking, when it marked time for peace. How far the movement has gone among Austrians and Hungarians, I dó not know; but I do know the movement is the only counterfoil to the agitations financedby Germany.

Of Interest to Women

The new department, “Women and their work,” contains a number of interesting and instructive articles.