Bruce Barton in The Toronto Star WeeklyOctober151931
A Plan to Stop War
REVIEW of REVIEWS
Bruce Barton in The Toronto Star Weekly
MY FRIEND, Admiral Samuel U. S. McGowan, purchasing agent for the navy during the World War, sends me his plan for preventing war, to which I am glad to give wide publicity.
“Amend the law now,” he urges, “so as to require that before war can be declared or participated in (except only in the event of attack or invasion) there shall be a referendum:
“That if a majority of the votes cast be for peace, there the matter ends; if for war, every able-bodied male citizen between eighteen and thirty-five shall be drafted, and “That from the day war is declared until peace is finally concluded, no price or wage shall exceed what it was ninety days prior to such declaration;
“That all profits in excess of five per cent shall be forfeited to the Government, and that no person, firm or corporation shall in peacetime or war-time be received as a contractor who is not a manufacturer, or a regular dealer, in the articles to be supplied—a regular dealer being none other than one who, at the time the offer is submitted. either owns outright the articles offered or dependably controls their source of supply.”
I cannot see how any intelligent patriotic person can object to that proposal. If we had the sense and courage to write it into the constitution at once we should destroy war propaganda, for no one would be so foolish as to spend money on propaganda when no money could possibly be made from war.
We should entirely remove the present premium on war and in its stead impose a very heavy penalty.
The silliness of war, under modern conditions is appalling.
Napoleon liked to tell the story of the Dey of Algiers who. on hearing that the French were fitting out an expedition to destroy the town, sent word that if the king would give him half the money that the expedition would cost he would burn the town down himself.
Our experience with war cost and war debts ought to have taught us that the Dey was a wise old owl!
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