THE WESTERN MAIL, June
World Conference -London
- CHIEF QUESTION AT THE WORLD CONFERENCE
Effects of Industrial Recovery Bill
RUMOURS OF A
SURPRISE BY RUSSIA
Special Correspondent at the World Conference)
corridors and the lobbies of the Geological Museum like the grounds around an
Eisteddfod pavilion. Old friends
greet each other with “I haven’t seen you since the Lausanne Conference.”
Distinguished diplomats fight out verbally their points of view.
plump, witty Litvinoff is joking with an old - I nearly said eisteddfodwr -
Geneva habitué. A few yards away
Mr. Henderson - who looks shrunken and ill - is recalling the Disarmament
Conference. Journalists who year
after year have met at the. Assembly of the League of Nations compare speeches
as if they were the chief choral or the bardic chair.
is in these corridors and not in the conference-hall that the news is to be
found. As you walk along you bear snippets of conversation –
“America … War Debts … But it’s Fascism … Roosevelt. … It will,
wreck the Conference. … What do they care about London . . . Will he be able
to do it? … O, there’ll be a pious resolution. … Congress …The Middle
you join a group of journalists you find that the one absorbing subject is not
what M. Daladier said this morning, nor Signor Jung’s defence of sound
currencies, nor General Smuts’s warning, nor the black storm clouds which
darkened the sky outside when the Japanese delegate was speaking, nor even the
German Foreign Minister Neurath’s vei1ed support of economic nationalism.
great question mark is America. America
is now going through a revolution, the extent of which few people, in Europe
country is seething with discontent, and I am assured that the misery is.
desperate. To-day I lunched almost
within the shadow of the Bank of England with an able City man who, since the
war, had visited, twenty-one countries to study their finances.
expert, who is not prone. to exaggeration, said, “You do not know what hunger
there is in the’ United States. British
people have no inkling, of the forces which are at play there. I have reports which state that men are working a whole day for less than
the match to get a scrap to eat. Girls are being employed for fifty hours per
week for one dollar, which is 4 shillings. There is sweated labour and starvation.”
U.S. Position Tragic
left this conservative financier and returned to the Conference, where almost
the first words I heard in the Lobby were:
Americans have so many troubles of their own, so much misery, that they can’t
give a moment’s thought to this Conference.” Journalists
fully confirmed the tragic reports I had heard of the American situation.
has that to do with the Conference? It
has the power to bar any progress in London - not over the war debts question,
for that is now less important, but over the question of tariffs.
misery in the United States is making the people say, “We must live for ourselves
alone. We must plan our national
As a result America in the last
few months has made many steps towards a kind of Fascism.
revolution has been almost ignored in this country, for it coincided with the
far more spectacular advent of Hitlerism in Germany. But it is none the less true that Roosevelt is moving rapidly towards
State planning and State control of industry. America’s beloved “rugged individualism,” which her leaders have
vaunted so often, is dead and buried and an era of American Fascism seems to be
on the horizon.
does that mean for the Conference? It
means this - that American national planning is going along the lines of
world is going smash around us. So,
let us try to live to ourselves.” That is what millions of Americans are
NEW TARIFF WAR MENACE
There is now before the American
congress - by the time this article comes into print it may have become law - an
Industrial Recovery Bill, which definitely puts this policy of economic
nationalism into practice.
Bill will give the President great powers over American economic life and will
lead to more quotas, embargoes, and tariffs, which means that the world stands
before a still greater tariff war unless the Statesmen rapidly take heed.
is far more interested in this Industrial Recovery Bill than in the London
Conference, and it 1ooks as if the policy of economic nationalism now carried on
in America makes the prospects for lowering tariffs exceedingly black.
is why the word most used in the lobbies of the Conference is “America.”