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BY LORD BEAVERBROOK
So long as Bonar Law remained Prime have come out square. Naturally, Minister the Daily Express gave his therefore, Lord Balfour and Mr. Lloyd Government unswerving support. This George and Bonar Law all took the was not merely the result of personal view that the settlement should be friendship between Fleet Street and general. Those who knew American Downing Street, for this record has opinion best thought that the United shown that I often disagreed with and States, after a period of negotiation opposed my greatest friend. The fact and preparatory education of its own was that I agreed completely with what public, would agree to the all-round was in Bonar Law's mind at that pe- settlement. riod. His fundamental idea that inter- In these circumstances Mr. Lloyd nal peace and a freedom from external George's Cabinet was about to dispatch strife could alone heal the wounds of Sir Robert Horne to Washington to get war was my own conviction — arrived into touch with the United States at by different methods. I was in sym- Government, when it fell. He had no pathy with his refusal to be rushed by the banking and moneyed interests into an attempt to force down wages and precipitate industrial warfare at home by an unnatural attempt to drive sterling up to the parity with the dollar.
It is true that the Daily Express fought the Ministry on the question of the settlement of the Anglo-American Debt in the spring of 1923. But we were not attacking Bonar Law, nor indeed the Cabinet as a whole. The Premier disliked the settlement as much as any man in England. And so, I may add, did Mr. Reginald McKenna. The agreement was the work of Mr. Baldwin and of no one else. The story of the American Debt is
THE NEW GARDEN OF EDEN quite a simple one. The European Allies owed us more money than we
(London Saturday Review] owed America. The solution, there- authority to make a settlement of any fore, was an all-round settlement — in kind — least of all a direct Anglowhich, whatever its character, we must American settlement independent of 1 From Politicians and the Press, by Lord
the European debt to us. Mr. Baldwin Beaverbrook. London: Hutchinson, 1925
succeeded Sir Robert Horne at the
Exchequer when the Bonar Law Min- American terms. Bonar Law wanted istry was formed, and his mission and passionately to resign rather than set instructions on going to America were his hand to the document, and he was exactly the same as Sir Robert's. only restrained with the greatest diffi
Bonar Law was from start to finish culty by the arguments of his friends vehemently opposed to a separate and his sense of duty to the country. Anglo-American settlement. On De Mr. Baldwin is believed to have said cember 14, 1922, he had said in the subsequently that he would rather House of Commons: 'I am convinced have bitten his tongue off' than made that to make this payment without his statement before a meeting of the receiving anything from outside sources Cabinet had taken place. I accept that would reduce the standard of living in as an absolutely honest and truthful this country for a generation. In an statement. But the mischief was done. interview he remarked: 'If I sign the The Daily Express, the moment the terms suggested at Washington, I shall interview was published, came out be the most cursed man in England.' with its first attack on Mr. Baldwin
Suddenly a perturbed Premier and and a protest against the proposed Cabinet discovered that Mr. Baldwin, funding settlement. fallen under potent American influ- But the truth was that the Daily ences, was trying to do exactly what he Express was given no time to rouse had been told not to do - that is, to public sentiment against the imposiarrange the terms of a separate settle- tion of this one-sided and terrible ment between the British Empire and burden. the United States. In fact he had got I may add, for the benefit of those the American offer in black and white. British statesmen and publicists who He either hurried home with this or was care to make any study of American hurried home — I am not quite sure psychology, before entering into dealwhich. At dinner in his company, at ings with the diplomatists and business the house of one of his supporters, later men of the United States, that my in the year, no direct reference to vigorous attack on the American Debt the American Debt Settlement passed Settlement was in no way resented between us; but one of his entourage across the Atlantic. remarked to me that they had to hurry Since this was the first disagreement home because they learned they were between Mr. Baldwin and myself, it being betrayed in England — presum- will be convenient to deal here with the ably a reference to my consistent op- theory that the whole of my political position to any direct deal with Amer- action in recent years has been based ica. Anyhow, Mr. Baldwin landed at some obscure and inexplicable Southampton in the last week of Jan- vendetta against Mr. Baldwin. To uary 1923, and, without consulting his begin with, it is not true; and, in the colleagues or chief, published the Amer- second place, it can be refuted by patent ican terms to the press interviewers and facts. As a matter of fact I recommendannounced that in his opinion they were ed Mr. Baldwin to Bonar Law as his the best that could be got! It seems to Parliamentary Secretary — the first me that the betrayed person was not step in his upward career. I admit I did Mr. Baldwin, but Bonar Law and the not foresee in any way the remarkable Cabinet, for after this the only choice talents he was going to develop. He was between the break-up of the Gov- seemed simply a sound, steady man ernment and the acceptance of the who could be absolutely depended upon
by his Parliamentary chief. In the last three years I have frequently supCarlton Club battle we had been on the ported Mr. Baldwin both personally same side, if for slightly different rea- and politically, and have twice opposed sons. My views on the American Debt him in public issues on which my
views had been formed and expressed long were well known long before Mr. Baldbefore there appeared to be the remot- win was in the least likely to have to est chance of Mr. Baldwin being take any decision, adverse or otherChancellor of the Exchequer. Had the wise, on them. Coalition Ministry lasted longer, and It is, of course, impossible to avoid Sir Robert Horne acted in the same a reference to the celebrated 'intermanner as his Conservative successor, view' episode. I refer to it unwillingly. I should have assailed him in exactly I met Mr. Baldwin afterward at his the same way.
request and accepted completely his If there was any chance for a ven- repudiation of the words placed in his detta policy, it would have been when mouth with reference to myself. In the late Lord Curzon and Mr. Baldwin fact they were, on the face of them, seemed to possess equally balanced incredible and absurd. claims for the Premiership. As the next I saw Mr. Baldwin more than once chapter relates, the Daily Express sup-, after Bonar Law's resignation, and was ported Mr. Baldwin. I came into no able in fact to inform him of Bonar conflict with Mr. Baldwin whatever Law's intention on certain matters had during his first tenure of the office of he remained Premier. This was after Premier, until he suddenly decided to Bonar Law had become too ill to talk end it by the Protection Election, and politics. In dismissing as false the struck Imperial Preference out of the theory that I have any vendetta against Conservative programme. Here again Mr. Baldwin, I equally repudiate the my views in favor of Preference had suggestion, made in the famous interbeen proclaimed for years. In the view, that Mr. Baldwin has any General Election of 1924 the Daily vendetta against me. Express fought hard for the Conserva- The plain fact is that I believe the tive Party with Mr. Baldwin as its Prime Minister to be a man of the leader. On the Budget issue I was utmost honesty of intention, but I fighting Mr. Churchill.
am compelled by experience to think So that the 'vendetta' accusation that he frequently errs in his judgresolves itself into this that in the ment.
TROUBLE IN MUKDEN 1
BY PAUL SCHEFFER
[This article was written shortly before of oil over the waters of Mukden into General Kuo Sung-lin was defeated, which I wish to plunge. I am told that captured, and executed by his former Chang was expected in Dairen yesterchief, Chang Tso-lin.]
day. Kuo Sung-lin had won a victory
halfway between Tientsin and Mukden Ar Peking everything depended upon
Chinese strategy. The division that that great procrastinator, Feng Yu- a few days ago deserted from Kuo to hsiang, whom everybody calls the Chang went back to Kuo. Now it is Christian General. At Tientsin, nearer reported that Chang will not come to Manchuria, which was crowded with, Dairen after all. He is planning his derefugee adherents of Chang Tso-lin, fense farther upcountry. In the evethe picture began to change. We were ning the luxurious express train leaves evidently approaching a fighting-zone. on schedule time for Mukden. It is In fact, skirmishes had already been more than luxurious — it is hyperfought between the advancing troops American. of General Kuo, the revolting subordinate of General Chang Tso-lin, and The foreign quarter in Mukden — those of his former commander. I Japanese and international — covers noticed, too, that the foreigners here several square miles. It has a Russian were betting on Chang.
spaciousness. But the old Manchu Railway traffic from Tientsin to town is a dense cluster of buildings like Mukden is suspended. Everything is a mediaval city. The Chinese veneer in possession of the troops. Conse- grows thinner, and rude, barbaric quently I had to take a cranky little Manchu frontiersmen emerge from the boat directly to Dairen — a miserable picture. In fact, however, these husky trip. Here the Japanese are running fellows are under the slender, sensitive things. No extraterritoriality confer- thumbs of the Chinese. The Japanese ence will drive them out. It is a relief also will be there some day, as well as to get here. Dairen was Japan's com- any other aliens who court too close pensation for capturing Port Arthur. contact with these marvelous people. Her South Manchurian Railway Com- Beyond the town lies the arsenal. I pany, an imposing enterprise, is the ride for a couple of miles along a new, net that the Island Empire has thrown well-constructed wall built by Chang. over the mainland. Chang himself is The moment it is dark every shop more or less in its meshes.
closes. The deserted, unlighted streets The officials, when they examine my have an atmosphere of foreboding. passport, inquire courteously whither Everyone dreads bad news from the I am bound. The Japanese are the film front, and a mob of defeated, muti1 From Berliner Tageblatt (Liberal daily),
nous, plundering soldiers sacking the December 29
Only in Chang's yamen is there light Prince,' played a rôle in the affair, as and life. It is the centre of the city, did Yang Hu-ting, the young Chief of and of a province twice as large as Ger- the General Staff. Young Chang is remany - the residence of the most ab- garded as his father's pet. He is vain, solute ruler China has seen for cen- pleasure-loving, and incurably boyish. turies. But he is slipping, and no one Papa had made him commander of the knows whether he will recover his foot- best corps in his army; but Kuo, who ing. The inner history of the catas- was twelve years older and had given trophe is a secret that even the best the ‘Crown Prince' his military ininformed do not profess to penetrate. struction, was to be the real man in
So I can only infer what has hap- charge, representing old Chang, who pened from externals, although per- never quite trusted anybody — even sonal factors are doubtless more im- his own blood and kin. The young man portant as well as more interesting. had a care-free good time at Tientsin. At the time Kuo deserted him, Chang's He was shown great attention by cause was looking up after its recent Chinese and foreigners, often in the unsetback near Shanghai. General Sun becoming ways that he particularly had halted to reorganize his battalions liked. and to drive back the Canton troops One day Chang Tso-lin's telephone that were harrying him in the rear. messages to Kuo were not answered. Shantung and Chihli still seemed to be A few hours later this was explained. loyal. Feng Yu-hsiang was the only un- Kuo's first demand was that Yang Hucertain factor, and he had refused battle. ting be removed from his position, but
Chang saw that he must throw out almost immediately he announced that ballast. He surrendered the Hankow he was about to march on Mukden. district to Feng, whom he had hitherto The 'Crown Prince' was in the latter kept isolated from the Yangtze as well city. He and Kuo were equally enemies as from the sea, thus cutting the Chris- of Yang Hu-ting; for did not that tian General off from communication officer have the whole technical departwith any foreign power but Russia. In ment in his control, including the fact, the two commanders even organ- arsenal and all that went with it? ized some sort of joint-staff office at Was n't he enjoying the huge squeeze Peking. But it lasted only three days. that such a post ordinarily yields a man Then it was not abolished it simply in China ? Kuo, to be sure, had control changed its name, in true Chinese of certain banks, but not of the heart fashion. For Kuo had deserted Chang of the whole organization. Besides, with eighty thousand of his best sol. Yang was Chief of the General Staff, diers, almost all of his famous artillery, post that the ‘Crown Prince' coveted. and a large share of the equipment that Chang Tso-lin has a quick temper. had come out of his famous arsenal. His son was at least implicated in Kuo's Chang was left with one hundred and plot. He was conversant with all that twenty thousand men, poorly equipped Kuo was doing. He had taken part in and unready for battle; but he had it, and he had not warned his father. ample ammunition, which Kuo sadly The old man threatened his son with a lacked.
court-martial unless he brought Kuo Kuo's desertion was first and fore- back to Mukden. But the young man most a personal matter, and a tragedy. returned from his mission merely with Chang's son, twenty-seven years old the message that Kuo had deserted and popularly called the ‘Crown and was marching against his former