Uncle Sam At War

Agnes C. Laut May 1 1917

Uncle Sam At War

Agnes C. Laut May 1 1917

Uncle Sam At War

Agnes Lam

Author of "The Canadian Commonwealth" "Lords of the North," etc.

AT LAST If ever a nation u t -tered sigh of re lief followed by a cheer of ubilation. that nat is the United States. At 1ast! Those ate the universal words on a1 1ips. Undoubtedly Wi1son's message to Congress deelarii~g that a t:tLe of war exists between the United States and Germany will go down to his tory as one of the noblest utterances of any stateman.

"German warfare is a warfare again~t iii rki.nd "The ehal!er~ge is to all mankind. Thu wrongs against which we array our selves eut. to the very roots of human life ( )ur object is to vindicate the prin ci~les of peace andjustice. Self governed nations do tot fill their nt~h hors' states with spies and intrigu "No autocratic government can be trusted to keep faith." "~r-.e of the things that has served to COflVIflCC US that the Prussian aut~icracy was not and never could he our friend is that from the very outset it has filled our communities and even our offices of gov ernment with spies and set criminal sin trigu~s everywhere afoot. : "The inti Igues have been tarried on ur der the per~naI direction of official agents of the Imperial Government." "We now accept the gage of battle and shail spend the whole force of the nation . . to tight for the ultimate peace of the world and the liberation of it~ peoples--t he (s~ rmu n ieo ph's included • : for the rights of na tiOflS great and small "The world must he made safe for democracy `l ts peace roust be planted On Ex)lItical liberty `We have r eltish ends to serve . • • We (fe~ire no con.que~t. . . We .~eek no indemnities." "It is a fearful thing to

&~a&1 this great peaceful people into wat • . . hut right i5 more precious than peaee e dedicate our lives and our fortu~:e~ for the principle that gave America birth-God helpir~g her-she can do y~o other.'

0 LONGER is America to stand on the order of her going into the war. She is to act in f~I1 co-operation with the Allics. Instead~,-M a gift of one billion. credits and bonds to the extent of three billion are to be provided for the Allies. with those flags the Stars and Stripes now unfurl. Instead of a beggarly army of 11)0,000, the United States is to have an arms' of a million; and universal service has come, including women and girls. %~omen have already joined the U.S. Navy, which is to act in full co-operation with the British Navy. Too much weight must rot he givext to the filibustering tactics of Senator La F'ollettc's utter collapse and raving inco plac. Wi~onsin is pro-(;erman. In the second, the rules of the Senate are fear fully and wonderfully made like Mr. Bumble's law, which was "an ass and an idiot." Rules of priviliges, which may be demanded by any fool, can hold up any resolution for a few days. In the third place, anyone who remembers Senator La Follete's utter collapse and raving inco hereney at a certain press function a few years ago will no~ place relianc, on the man's mental poise. On re-reading the President's message very carefully, the important and porten tous lines are rot those sections setting forth the Magna (`harta of human liber ties. which have been almost universally accipted since the days of the. French Revolution. The important and portentous eetion i~ in that line -where the President fore shadows t~ie fr~'cinq of the' (~( ?1fl(lfl peoplc. In the light of the Rus9ian Revolution. that means only one thingt ?PleUHR that the I nited .tat4's will tiqht to end Hoh en:ollern rule in Germanq. and that the German people in the I nited States will tiqht

under th c .~ to r~ ti ud t rip~s to brin u about a repuhl.c tu (;t'r,no;au. Is it any wonder that Hbrr Balm, of the Hamburg American Line-~-the most prophetic of all Germany's public menon hearing of Arnerica'€ declarktion, id quwtly: "The war wifl~end by June"-the time it. will take the United State~ to begin transporting men aqd supplies? Is it v wond~'r that even the Chancellor warns Germany that the clock of destiny is trik ing the ho~ir? And so we come hack to find President Wilson t~ie man we have alway~ knownthe polished rbetorician uttering mag nificent sentiments. but coming out just at the end with tl~*'i great hel~p so sorely needed at first. when that help is prac ticafly no longer/needed.

lIE American nation ha~ accepted the situation wiTh characeri~t~c enthus iasm and readiness. The copper men have cut piice~ in half for government service. The private snip yard plants have given over their work to government contracts. Many private ship line* have assigned their vessels a* auxiliary cruiser*. The Federal Reserve Banks—which were shy of foreign credit but three month* ago—have come openly out advocating the gift—r.ot loan—of a billion to the Allies in the war for freedom. The' demonstration for actual service on the field in Europe is growing so pronounced that military authorities are considering calling for a foreign legion of 500.»H)0 Americans; and it is a foregone conclusion that men like Roosevelt will offer their services to muster such a force for foreign service.

On the part of the Germans and the German-Ameriear.s. there is a silence that the Secret Service do not like. Orders have been issued “r.ot to talk."' b or what else orders have been issued, causes anxiety; for foreign orders are still being obeyed. Personally, I cannot conceive of German-Amerieans—or even pure Germans in America—risking their*lives to perpetuate such a conflict here as their comrades in arms :n Europe are risking Heaven and Earth to escape. I cannot conceive of their doing it even for money, or for the promise of loot from the goldcrammed vaults of American banks; but my opinion is a purely personal one; and I want to put on record that it is nof shared by the U.S. officials, wh«. know. One officer told me recently that an uneasy feeling of apprehension of real action pervades government circles. Two or three disagreeable incidents indicate activity behind the screen of German silence. The crews of interned vessels in Phi.adelphia and Southernwaters made open defiant breaks for liberty under running tire. Why? They were perfectly safe on

their vessels. Several of the prisoners sentenced for German pmt.have mv-.«riously escaped. Apparently “causeless” fires have wiped out the tracks of certain pro-German manufacturers of acids, chemicals and explosives. Now it is an. even bet that no pro-German manufacturer of acids, chemicals and explosives has been àble to export such product* for the last year. For whom were they being manufactured, and uhy?

Of the German Reservists in the country there is a perceptible thinning out. or process of «vanishment. They seem simply to have dropped through the floor. Where are they going, and why.'

THERE is reason for the uneasiness of the authorities. Durirg the space that intervened between the breaking off of diplomatic relations and actual declaration of war. the German propaganda went on in the United States just aJ before. Foreigners were actually massing for drill at such strategic points as Buffalo and Detroit—which should be interesting

to Ganada—and Bridgeport and K. I'a-o. German soldiers were found tnasqu« rad irg în U.S. army khaki, »'tie has just been court martialed for this down on the Mexican border, and aí other up IT Minnesota on the (.'anadian border, wh..:; should also be interesting to the Dominion. It will be remembered that, when the war broke out in DM 4. many Germa: chemists lushed to the United Stateto establish such, new industrie* as live*, chemicals, small explosive?. When Germany began buying up such industries here, it will be recalled the explanat on was giver, the policy was not to use these industries, but TQ keep the Allies from, using them. Half a dozer, incendiarv fires have been revealing the true animuof such industries. When the Secret Service negar, to wonder :f such chemicals and explosives could possibly be stocked up in secret somewhere, there were tires to conceal the fact that Germans had been manufacturing chlorine in this country. It is a pretty good guess such chlorine war.ot for use by the Allies. It could r.ot get across the biockade to Germany. For what. then, was it being manufactured?

hen the official enquiry wa* made, there were tires.

So, although my personal opinion is that the government will be able to keep the counti y*ur.der cor.trul. there is good reason for the very apparent official uneasiness.

A ND IT must be recorded that the preparatior.* are not going ahead as satisfactorily as could be desired. True, twenty-four de-troy, ; - have bet ordered; but they cannot be ready for •month* or a year. True, the Army and Navy have been ordered recruited to full strength; r;r in the various centre*, enlistment pnoi o the declaration of war was going ahead only at the beggarly rate of a taker's dozen a day. State militias have been ordered mobilized: ye*, but State militias were so disguste«] by the graceful Mexican fiasco—which hea«kir.es have disgui.-s.-d as a strategic victory—that hun«ïreds of men and officers ár« withdrawing. The lug metal men have pledged, war materials at cost: but the big metal pm ducts were bought up by the Allie.months ahead. ihi~re tn~re a~. iri~.~~-t it. I th~,k r.• ty.:~.d -~a'~•~ have few.r r.ar. L..~ t:rrT~\ College m e n a r. d women may volunteer for service ; but all the volun teers

, a - - , ire a u-«-i«-s"s, pathetic r a u 1« :td«-r*h;p: and the big • , .ip.n . nf efficient l«-a«lersh : • - ¡-p.-ct have t•«-. n sumir a ; \ : ,rned down 1 was going to ado. .gii G« m.an manipulât.on": b I an. e '."i.pe.led to reconi that it ! a -r . e? through the Wilstm admir.i.-tra

}-.,r example no man has prove, h.m-x If mor*capable of leadership ir. p.-ace ami war, or more representativa true American se: timent, than The-* • :«*re Roo-«-vi*!t. 1'rdoubtcdly. -mal! p*di? . eve: t e* i his r.omiratibn in Chicago; Lí* e v e r y country in this war ha* forgottei P«>l:t;o m patriotism ar.d called to lead et-¡hip the men fitt«-«l for the job. iitd* pemieT.t of party. It has been sug-re*t« • • at tht W}l-.-or. Administration -ho.¡:d -it.l’/e Roosevelt’s abilities as a lead«-: ai d > tga:.;z«r in a coalition cabinet, but • n*Democrats have so far smiled a «it precatory -mile of refusal. »r take the case of Major Wood \V(N„;‘* abilities need no proof. Also h ha* i.eCn utterly unsparing in hi* crit: cavil of the inefficiency of the Bureaucratat Washington the men. for instat o* w ho drove the Lew :* gun out of this cou: - y. Woo«i ha* preached preparedne-.:; *ca*or.. and out of sa.-on. He has r.ot preached "head-line” preparedness, but the »'oldier’s preparedness. He was r; cently removed from the important «!•• nartmer t at New York; and or. the. verg« "f war. relegated to an obscure Southern r«>*t. The Bureaucrats have triumphe«!. ;>r take the case of Snowden Marshall, the l r.ited States Attorney for the D:-trat of New York. Mr. Marshall ha* openlv regard«*] the-country as at wa since t: t -Hiking of the I.nxitanin. He habeerelentless in hi* pursuit of Germar plotter-». He ha.resigned. He i* .~uc c«-ed-d b\* a sor.-in-law of the Presider.t’friend.

Dartypsm. bureaucracy, nepotism not make for unior, and defence. If p:e p-tra’ or f«>r war is to go forward in thiT.t-i .of, wht-r«ithe real aid to the

N w that the country is officiary vv .i:. there are strong hopes tha* a 1 -och policies will be -wept aside at d -r.t‘. tin Gov err: nier, t will profit, by tht m. «takes o! the allied lemo«-racu»* ai ¡ pr-eoare for war or; the eflicieut bas;* vliah Britain and France have reached

AR C; »MLS to the United States at v ’ a time when the majority of Uncle •Pam'fog family are on a joy-ride of th> af-t r:oTt>u* prosperity ever known a: y people -n.ee th«* beginning of tin ] h v dor *f tht-torm signs. They won’t see the storm signs. America’s foreign commerce has all but trebled in three years.

The price of cotton, the price of wheat, the price of cupperall have doubled in three years. Steel that u.-ed to be 2 plus •er.ts a pound is now 7 cent*. Certain steel products that used to be to $28 a ton are now $70 to a ton, with more orders ahead for two years than can possibly be filled.

Farmer, miner, factory worker—all are redundantly prosperous.

There is literally not a case of unemployment in the country to-day.

The United States has stored away in hank vaults and fiiints in pure gold almost seven times as much gold as the mines.of the whole world produce in a year. Other nations are pawning their gold ornaments for bread, stripping their street car tracks and kitchens of copper, selling silver and plate for food. Uncle Sam has more gold and silver and copper than he knows what to do with.

Entrenched in opulence, secure against want, with workmen enjoying greater luxuries than royalty can afford i n war-drained Europe, what, then, is there, to fear? Where are the storm signals? It is more than the danger of a burglar breaking into a nation’s bank vault; though a nation with almost three billions of gold in reserve, while the rest of the world is destitute, must face the fact that its very overplus of wealth i-> a magnet drawing danger.

It is necessary again to revert back to the question of the danger within the borders of the United States—and along the borders.

First, in the public mind, no doubt, are the plots of Germany to involve the United States in war with Mexico. If Mexico would join Germany in her world aims—incidentally giving Germany bases for submarine war against the United States — Germany would guarantee to Mexico the restoration of Texas, Arizona ar.d New Mexico These are the promises in the famous Zimmerman note to Carranza intercepted at the border. This note was made public by Wilson at the time the filibusters in the Senate were preventing the arming of American merchant vessels against German submarines. Now the astounding fact is not the rcrelations in the note. It is the suppression of the information by the American (Government for tuo years. Von Papen was in Mexico from 1911 to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. In a letter written by a German Admiralty official at this period, reference is made to the ad-

vantages that may accrue to Germany from the employment of the various Mexican factions. It has been known that German gold—and German gold only— has financed every revolutionary party in Mexico from 1911. It has been known because drafts on German banks have paid for munitions going into Mexico. German funds are to-day being transferred from American banks to Mexican banks. When old Huerta was arrested on the border trying to go back to Mexico, the American Government got possession of evidence connecting Von Rintelen’s plots on the border with the old Indian chief. Huerta died, and Von Rintelen was caught and imprisoned in England; but to pretend that Germany’s machinations in Mexico were unknown to Washington is to act on the assumption that the American public is a fool. In fact, proof exists that the American marines were withdrawn from Vera Cruz solely-because W’ilson got knowledge that Germany was behind the plots to involve the United States in war with Mexico.

'T' HE difficulties extend also to purely ^ internal conditions. Take the great railroad strike which has been postponed by special request of the President. Now. there is no doubt that the mounting cost of living is working a terrible hardship on people of small salaried income. Bread has. doubled in price. Potatoes have trebled. Meat is 50’ higher ; but the prime cause of the increased cost of tiring is the increased cost of labor to the farmer. Wages to farm laborers are to-day $50 a month—twice what they were ten years ago. Farmers have to charge higher for produce or go out of buismess. ft is because so many have gone out of business that certain products have soared in price

—milk and meat, for instance. At time of writing, the railroad leaders declare frankly if the Supreme Court annuls their eight-hour law, they will halt every wheel of commerce and industry in the United States. That a stoppage of exports would paralyze the Allies in their fight for freedom, they—the labor leaders—do not care.

It does not concern me that the railroad operators charge that these strikes are bribed by German gold. What paralyze? me is the fact that labor leaders, who are fighters for freedom, should place their own personal gains before the world's fight for freedom from despotism. These engineers and conductors, who are behind the threatened strike, are to-day earning from $200 to $280 a month— twice the average income of the preacher, têaeher, doctor, who has spent seven years preparing for his job.

Or take the case of the dozen filibusters. who in the closing hours óf the regular session of Congress prevented a law authorizing the arming of American merchant vessels! If you look up the constituencies of these men, you will find they come exclusively from the pro-German sections of the Middle West or the proIrish sections of the East. That is—the love of Germany, or the hatred of England, was stronger in these men than their loyalty to the L'nited States.

It would be easy here to pause and generalize on the why of the suppression of facts as to Mexican plots, as to plots against Cañad a, as to conspiracy against India; on the lack of leadership in the President; and the lack of national cohesion among the people; on labor leaders who seek personal advantage by embarrassing their country when the nation is on the brink of war; on Senators whose hatred of England or love of Germany was greater than their loyalty to the United States. It would be easy to conclude from such evidence that the United States are not a nation, but a congerie of small nations, whose union is a rope of sand.

But the declaration of' war may prove to be the tonic that will Build up the nation and drive these internal disorders from the blood. The causes of dissension are quoted only as proof of the difficult position in which Uncle Sam stands. That he will rise to his stupendous task and take the part in the world conflict that he is capable of. despite the troubles in his own home, is the firm belief of all.