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The Plight of the British Miners

Sir: We are enclosing an appeal which has just come to us from the five men whose names are signed to it, with the request that we ask you if you will not give it prominent place in your pages. We gladly ask this of you, first of all because of our confidence in the men whose names are appended to the appeal. Miss Evelyn Preston, who has just come to this country to represent the British Committee of Women for Relief of the Miners’ Wives and Children, was also asked to try to bring this appeal before the churches of the country. She informs us that in England it is not a matter of whether the strikers are justified in certain demands or not, but a case of perplexing industrial situations in which there is right on both sides. She says that the British public, regardless of strikes or lock-outs are doing everything in their power to help care for the women and children dependent upon the miners until the case is settled by the government.

May we not ask you to do everything in your power to further this gesture of goodwill from America to England.

Rev. S. Parkes Cadman, President, Federal Council of Churches; Bishop McConnell; Mr. Sherwood Eddy; Dr. Henry A. Atkinson, General Secretary, World Alliance for International Friendship; Mr. Fred B. Smith, Chairman, Executive Committee, World Alliance for International Friendship; Dr. Frederick Lynch, Educational Secretary, World Alliance for International Friendship; Dr. John M. Moore, Pastor, Marcy Avenue Baptist Church, Brooklyn; Dr. Worth M. Tippy, Commission, Church and Social Service, Federal Council; Dr. Peter Ainslie, Pastor, Christian Temple, Baltimore, Md.; Dr. James H. Franklin, Secretary American Baptist Foreign Mission Society; Rev. Samuel McCrea Cavert, General Secretary Federal Council.
New York, N.Y.

To the Christians of America:

Whatever your opinion as to the justice of the strike of the coal miners of Great Britain, you are not going to stand idly by while “lions of British workers and their families are facing starvation. For that is the truth of the situation in the coal fields of Britain today. Four million miners, their women and children arein the most desperate straits. Last year they averaged the Pitiful weekly earnings of from $15 to $11. This year 300,000 men have been averaging only $7.30 per week. No chance to save on such earnings. Strike relief has been given only in a few areas.

And on top of this—the lock-out and the threat of starvation. Lady Astor, the Prince of Wales, men and women in all walks of life have been giving to the miners’ relief irrespective of their opinions. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the true spirit of brotherhood. Whatever funds you give will be distributed in the form of food to the women and children of the British miners, the innocent victims of a cruel industrial disaster.

Show the world that the church people of America are not deaf to the bitter cry of the women and children. Give generously and give now. Your prompt action will save countless lives. Send your check or money order today to Miss Evelyn Preston, Treasurer, British Miners’ Relief Committee, 799 Broadway, New York City.

Bishop Gore; Bishop Temple of Manchester; Dr. F. W. Norwood, Pastor of City Temple, London; Dr. A. E. Garvie, Principal of New College, Hampstead; Dr. Thomas Nightingale, Secretary of the Evangelical Free Church Council

The Farmer Question

Sir: As a reader of the New Republic, I am sorry for the article appearing in the number thereof under date June 2 under the caption. Another Farmer Defeat. During the several years that I have read the New Republic, I have come to depend on it as well informed and fair. It is however difficult to draw such conclusions from the article in question.

What agriculture seeks in Congress is a measure of economic equality with industry and labor in so far as legislation is responsible for economic conditions now prevailing. It is not within the power of the farmer to “prevent the growth of top-heavy and Inefficient cities” nor to “decentralize industry geographically” as suggested by the New Republic.

By enacting into law the high protective tariff, a higher price level on industrial products in America obtained and by enacting into law the present restriction on immigration, a higher wage obtained; the prices of both commodities enter into the farmers’ cost of production. Higher prices on industrial products and higher prices on labor mean a higher cost of production to the farmer. If the present high protective tariff on industrial products is wiped out, what would happen to prices on such products; if the present immigration law was repealed giving to foreign labor free influx to our country, what would happen to wages? It is obvious. Would not as unfavorable economic conditions as farmers are struggling with today reign supreme in industry and among labor as a consequence? Now, the farmer does not ask these things, but asks that the principle of protection be made effective in our local markets on that which they produce. He, too, likes to sell in local markets at foreign prices plus an import tax—he is now selling at foreign prices minus transportation and other charges. Not only does he like to sell plus, but as a matter of fact he must sell on these bases if he is to exist and live like other white people. He can no longer subsidize industry by providing necessities of life at a loss. His land no longer advances in price and he must look to receipts from what he produces alone to meet the cost of production.

It is because of these facts that the farmer appeals to Congress for relief and it would seem to the writer that no fair minded person who understands that issue would oppose him.

Israel Sjoberg
Roseau, Minn.

[We repeat that in the Haugen bill the farmers were not asking too much; they were asking too little. Our correspondent’s reasoning is good so far as it goes. But the Haugen bill was not the remedy: first, because of the practical difficulties involved in the apportionment and collection of equalization fees; second, because of the difficulty of preventing increased produiction as the domestic price rises; third, because even if the plan did work and the prices of agricultural products rose permanently, those price increases would straightway be translated into increased land values, and a considerable percentage, if not a majority, of the farmers, would be as badly off as ever. We believe that in supporting the Haugen bill the farmers’ efforts were misdirected. The positive aims we suggested as substitutes were necessarily stated in general language on account of the requirements of space; we hope from time to time to elaborate on them.—The Editors.]


Sir: Is Mussolini a superman of the Nietzschean type? He is a romanticist without a hard sense of reality, save that just before his eyes, a dreamer—a superman is not.

He is a blusterer, a swashbuckler—a superman is not. Eloquence is no particular mark of a superman—it is cheap; witness the frequent American brand.

Mussolini is Machiavellian (in the sense of shrewd, wily, crafty) enough, takes short range views, is not properly a thinker at all, and intellect is the supreme mark of Nietzsche’s superman. Undoubtedly he has good points, e. g., energy, but energy without intellectual guidance may make waste in the world.

William M. Salter
Washington, D.C.

These letters originally ran in the July 7, 1926 issue of the magazine.