Imatges de pÓgina
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erase Germany from the map of Europe years, and is already breaking down, could, I think, be conceived.

since Germany simply cannot go on Presently, in view of the impending meeting her obligations. The Loucheur bankruptcy of Germany, it will be nec- Agreement stipulates that Germany essary to decide between her destruc- shall pay in goods, in matériel, a limited tion and her salvation. Should this amount for the next five years, not to nation be broken up into fragments; the Allies in general, but to France in should there be dislocation, economic particular. This means that common anarchy, political chaos? Or should bargaining is abandoned. It means there be an abandonment of the system that France, preparing for the crash, is of coercion, of financial squeezing, and endeavoring to secure for herself, as she such a collaboration be substituted as has in equity an undoubted right to do, would enable all countries to draw spe a certain portion of her credits on Gercific advantages from the continued many, and is anxious at least to have existence of a Germany that may work the North repaired. It is possible that, with hope? This is the terrific question when Germany ceases to pay everyone that must soon be answered in one else, she will continue to pay France in sense or another. The decision will be kind. She can hardly do both, and it determined by the stress that French seems to me that France is contracting opinion lays upon certain things. So- out of the London Agreement. France called security would seem to suggest is coming to a voluntary arrangement the break-up of Germany, politically with Germany. As France for the next and economically. This security, how- five years may be paid more than is due ever, would be fallacious. In a military to her under the London Agreement, she sense, France would undoubtedly be might be satisfied, and might not resort, secure; but there are also economic con- in exasperation, to methods of coercion siderations. One bankruptcy will en- and of sanctions. France, be it noted, is train another, and no man can foresee the only country which could or would the end of the happenings in Europe. resort to serious coercion and sanctions.

On the other hand, it is dreadfully This policy of M. Loucheur, then, is hard to reconcile one's self to foregoing intensely realist, and denotes a comclaims that have been made and prom- plete change in the manner of regarding ises that have been held out. The the Franco-German problem. It forechoice is, or would appear to be, be- shadows a very much wider system of tween two evils. But perhaps the sec- coöperation. It may be the turningond would turn out to be not an evil at point in European affairs. Its bearing all. I must content myself with posing upon the possibility of land-disarmathe problem in an objective manner. ment is obvious. Now, the Loucheur-Rathenau accord

V is of tremendous import. It is pretended that it supplements, and does not It would be foolish to be too optimissupplant, the London Agreement for tic. Not all French statesmen think on the payment by Germany of 132,000,- these lines. There is M. Raymond Poin000,000 gold marks, made in virtue of caré, the ex-President of the Republic,

, the treaty. In reality, however long the who will, in all probability, be called at

. pretense is kept up, it must be taken as

an early date to the premiership, conan entirely new system. The London trolling the destinies of France. I think Agreement asks for impossible sums I am betraying no secret when I say spread over an impossible period of that the ultimate policy of M. Poincaré

is to move toward the same system of people think, the greater embarrasscollaboration with Germany. But he ment of France. It is perhaps wrong to reserves that policy for the future. For

suppose that a statesman in office will the present, to judge him by his writing, behave as a statesman out of office - and he is the most prolific journalist writes. He is bound to modify his conin France, contributing regularly to the ceptions in accordance with changing Revue des Deux Mondes, the Temps, and circumstances and proved facts. Neverthe Matin, - he believes in turning the theless, one must take M. Poincaré to screw on Germany as tightly as it may be what he paints himself to be. be turned. He was thrust aside by M. I should certainly describe him as Clemenceau in the peacemaking. Al- the most formidable of the politicians though President, he was reduced to proper in France. He has a tremendous silence. He had no effective way of pro- force. He has been peculiarly consisttesting, but he has put on record, in a ent in his attitude toward Germany, memorandum addressed to M. Clemen- from the days when he was raised, as a ceau, his strong opinion that the limi- bon Lorrain, to the Presidency in the tation of the period of occupation of year before the war. His prestige is Germany to fifteen years was disastrous enormous. There are living at this for France. He would have the occupa- moment no fewer than four former tion extended to such time as it will Presidents of the Republic. As the take Germany to fulfill all the mone- term of office is seven years, this is a tary obligations of the treaty — which, somewhat remarkable fact. But whobeing interpreted, means forever. ever hears of Emile Loubet, or of Ar

M. Tardieu, the chief assistant of M. mand Fallières? They have gone to Clemenceau, argues that this right is trim their vines or to live quietly in actually conferred by the treaty itself; complete obscurity. After their occubut M. Tardieu's arguments will not pation of the Elysée, there was no place bear examination.

for them in public life. M. Deschanel, M. Poincaré, in addition, has always it is true, is a member of the Senate, shown himself to be one of those ardent, but he is only nominally in politics. patriotic Frenchmen who believe that M. Poincaré is made in another mould. the contemporaneous existence of a Still comparatively young, with an alert strong Germany and a prosperous, se- mind, full of ambition unsatiated, becure France is impossible. After he re- lieving that he is the strong man that tired from the Presidency, he was made his country needs, he declines to be burChairman of the Reparations Commis- ied alive, and is taking a notable resion. He resigned because the Repara venge for his impotence during the latter tions Commission showed a tendency years at the Elysée. He is the indefatto reduce the German debt to more igable critic. manageable proportions. At each suc

VI cessive abandonment of some French right, he has fulminated against the I regret that my space will not perPremier in office. One can only suppose mit me to treat of other French politithat, when he becomes Premier himself, cians so fully, but these men are, after he will carry out his policy of no conces- all, the really representative men of sions. No concessions, now that the French politics. M. René Viviani is a original demands are shown to be, how- highly successful lawyer, gifted with ever justified, inexecutable, spells the the most amazing flow of language that final ruin of Germany, and, as most it has ever been my lot to listen to. The

words simply pour out. He has been riority, that makes him unpopular, but Premier, and during the early part of he will probably come into his own again. the war performed good service. He There are two officials who will, unhas been sent to America on missions less something unexpected happens, not clearly defined — the vague kind of play extremely important parts, whethmission that is meant to awaken sym- er at Washington or at Paris. pathy, and, indeed, does so. It was

Of M. Jules Jusserand it is necessary hoped that he might influence Wash- to say only that he is respected as the ington with regard to the cancellation most adequate ambassador that France of debts; but as it was afterward found possesses. He is too well known in an inopportune moment to broach this America to need my eulogy. England delicate subject, he came out with a de has long envied America his possession. nunciation of those who made such He is tactful, active, and has a unique proposals, on the ground that Germany knowledge

knowledge - an altogether indispensamight also ask for the cancellation of ble man. He occupies far too strong a her debts.

position ever to be displaced. If he is M. Barthou is an impetuous patriot, left in charge of part of the proceedings a somewhat fiery man, conspicuous as at Washington, France will be reprea supporter of the Three Years' Mili- sented by a judicious, sagacious, likable tary Service Law. He has written, with man, not likely to make any mistake rather more intimacy than some of us from the diplomatic standpoint. think justifiable, of the private affairs At the head of the permanent staff of Sainte-Beuve and Victor Hugo. at the Quai d'Orsay is Philippe Ber

My own favorite French statesman thelot. Berthelot has a memory that - a man whom I consider to be the is an encyclopædia of foreign affairs. finest, the noblest, of our time - is M. There are archives at the Quai d'Orsay, Léon Bourgeois, the colleague of M. but the real archives are under the Viviani on the French delegation to the cranium of Philippe Berthelot. In League of Nations. His has been a well- France ministries change frequently. filled life, singularly free from intrigue, Often no record — or an insufficient singularly free from ambition (he might record-is kept of negotiations engaged have aspired to any post, including the in by the predecessors of the ministries Presidency), devoted solely to the in power. But Philippe Berthelot furtherance of the idea of the League. knows. He can supply the information. Before Mr. Wilson had ever made the He is sometimes the only man who can suggestion of such an organization, he supply it. It may be urged that it is was already old in its service. He took bad business to give one man the extrathe leading part in the deliberations of ordinary power that is thus given to M. The Hague. I know him well and am Berthelot; but he is sound and shrewd, happy to pay a tribute to his kindliness, and whenever he is directly responsible his simplicity, his unselfishness, and his for policy, his judgments are excellent. generous thought for humanity. There He is the son of the famous chemist who are not many Bourgeois in the world, instituted and developed research work so hard-working, so self-sacrificing, so in the properties of coal. M. Berthelot single-minded.

in his early days explored and studied Among the younger men, M. André China, and is an authority on Asiatic Tardieu is undoubtedly the ablest, matters. Ministers may come and minwith the best-stored mind. He is in- isters may go, but Philippe Berthelot clined to a sort of priggishness, of supe- remains.

THE DISSOLUTION OF PETROGRAD

BY JEAN SOKOLOFF 1

DEAR MARGARET, —

tionalized. I dismissed my last servCut off, as I have been since the spring ant, and soon I was suffering privations of 1918, from all my friends in England and hardships I had never dreamed and Scotland, I must seem to you now of, and living amid horrors that I had as one who has returned from the Land

never seen in my wildest delirium. of the Dead. And truly I feel, since my Of the political and social changes release from the terrors of Soviet Russia, that took place in Russia, and of that I have escaped from an existence the ruin into which the poor country hardly better than death. Of all my rapidly sank, you have read much in dreadful experiences in Petrograd I recent months, for the Bolsheviki could cannot write, but I must tell you of not conceal these changes forever. I will some which, here in far-off America, tell you, therefore, of only some of the still haunt me like awful nightmares. things I saw and some of the hard

After the Revolution of February, ships I suffered in Petrograd. This ac1917, and particularly after the fall of count I have taken pains to make simple Kerensky, eight or nine months later, and unvarnished. As I look back now the position of the moneyed classes be- upon my experiences, I do so without came rapidly desperate, and I soon spite or resentment against the misfound myself in a precarious situation. guided people who were the cause of so What a change had come over my for- much sorrow. Perhaps my sufferings tunes! Here I was, the elderly widow have made me apathetic; but it seems of a Russian naval officer, British by to me now as if I and the Jean Sokoloff birth but Russian by marriage. My of the last two or three years in Russia husband had left me at his death with were not the same person. an ample income from several invest- At the beginning everybody spoke of ments which seemed perfectly secure. the Revolution as bloodless, and so it In my long years of residence in Petro- at first; but, later, dreadful traggrad I had come to love the beautiful edies were enacted. All police officers city, and I had no intention of leaving and government officials who showed it. Why should I? In Petrograd I had loyalty to the Tsar were immediately friends, possessions, money, servants, shot. Not far from my house nine were and heart's ease but for my

husband's executed on the second day of the Revodeath. I could look forward to declin- lution. For a long time it was quite ing years of comfortable leisure.

unsafe to go out into the streets, as Then came the Revolution and Bol- there was a great deal of shooting; shevist rule, and my prospects melted quick-firing guns were mounted on high like mist in the sun. My investments buildings, and no one knew when there became worthless, my chattels were na- might be a rain of bullets. In the Nev

1 This letter recounts, of course, authentic sky Prospect and other principal streets personal experiences. -THE EDITORS.

motor-lorries, bristling with rifles and

.

was

quick-firing guns and packed with stu- renting a house could claim for himself dents and other revolutionists, caused more than two rooms at most; the excitement and terrorized the people. rest of the house, furnished and with

The opening of the prisons and the the use of the kitchen, must be given to release of all criminals made both life whoever from the working class might and property very unsafe, especially want to use it. Soon there appeared at since there were no police officers. Rob- my door a workingwoman, dirty and beries were frequent, and after dark unkempt, but arrogant, who demanded pedestrians were often stripped of their that I give up a certain number of rooms boots and their upper garments. One to her. The house-porter told the lady whom I knew was coming home woman and the Bolshevist official who one evening wearing a long coat of supported her in her demand, that I black Persian lamb. Two men stopped had a male lodger; I showed them some her and asked her if she wished to buy a of my husband's clothes and a man's fur coat. She replied that she did not hat and walking-stick which I had laid require to, as she had the one she was out in one of the rooms, and the porter wearing. "Why,' they said, 'that is the exhibited a false entry which he had very one we mean’; and as she did not made in the house-book. The invaders have the money to redeem it, they took were satisfied and departed. it from her. At length the people took Some time after this experience I was matters into their own hands, and when obliged to give up my home and rent a they caught a robber, they lynched him room in the dwelling of a friend. As my straight away, and threw his body into investments had become worthless, I a canal. A decree was issued that every- had applied, many months before my body over sixteen was to take his turn removal, for permission to sell my furnias night-watchman. That is, if a house ture; as all property had become nawas rented in seven flats, let us say, tionalized, I could not sell my own each flat had to provide a watch for one chattels without a permit. This was night in the week.

finally granted to me on the ground I shall never forget my first expe- that I was a widow. Shortly after I had rience as watchman. Imagine me, an moved to my friend's house, we expeelderly lady with no bloodthirsty ideas rienced our first armed raid. We were whatever, sitting at the great gate which roused from our beds at about two in led to the inner court, with a loaded gun the morning by five armed men and across my knees! My watch was from 11 two women, who said they had come to P.M. to 4 A.M., and I was under instruc- search for firearms. They nosed into tions to shoot if anybody refused to give every corner and examined all photohis name or to tell why he wished ad- graphs. My husband's photograph in mission. I was far more afraid of the naval uniform they left, after I had told gun than I was of any robber who might them that he was dead; but the photoappear; and taking pity on me, our old graphs of King George and King Edhouse-porter hung up a battered tea- ward and the Tsar they tore into bits tray near me, and, giving me a stick, and stamped under foot. Some money told me to bang on the tray if I needed and jewelry I had hidden behind pichelp. Fortunately, I did not have to tures and among the tea in the tea. make use of either the gun or the tray. caddy. These valuables they did not

On another occasion, the good old discover, and, strange to say, they erporter did me an even more valuable amined all my boxes excepting the one service. A decree was issued that no one in which I had packed what table silver

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