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mutual relations of the two kingdoms were under discussion, but the year closed without any public announcement on the subject. Earlier in the year the constantly recurring question of British officials in the Egyptian Service was again temporarily settled, the retention for from one to three years of the principal British officers in the Ministries of Communications and Ports and Lights, and in the European Department of the Ministry of the Interior, in addition to the Financial and Judicial Advisers, being approved. In the last days of the year the question of the constitution of the Mixed Courts was raised by the Government.

The Governor-General of the Sudan reported to the League of Nations that slave-raiding in the Sudan had completely disappeared, and the various forms of "domestic slavery" had undergone such rapid adjustment to new ideas that the term was no longer justified. Slavery in the provinces north of Khartum was moribund. The number of domestic slaves still living with their masters was insignificant. In Bahr-el-Ghazal, Mongalla, and Upper Nile provinces, slavery was also non-existent, no slaveowning communities existing there. In one or two of the central provinces, notably Kordofan and Kassala, the progress of manumission had not been so rapid as might have been desired. The matter of slavery in these two provinces has been taken up with the Governors concerned, and it was expected that the rate of manumission would be accelerated.




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CURIOUSLY enough, it was President Coolidge, symbol of national well-being, and Mr. Henry Ford, chief apostle of mass production, who between them shook the pillars of American prosperity in 1927. All through the mounting affluence of 1925 and 1926 thousands had begun to hope that it would be possible, despite the strong tradition against a "third term," to "conscript Mr. Coolidge into becoming a candidate in 1928 and thus continuing him in office and with him the almost universal prosperity. But he was non-committal, and his attitude was disturbing. Finally, on August 2, he broke silence by handing out to the newspaper correspondents assembled in the "summer White House" at Rapid City, South Dakota, slips of paper on which he had typed the single statement: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928." Stocks on Wall Street fell the next day and industrial conditions became increasingly "spotty" for the

remainder of the year. Industry, it was perceived, must face the usual confusion and uncertainty of an American Presidential campaign.

Mr. Ford was the other prime disturbing factor. Finding that the demand for his old car was rapidly falling off, he stopped manufacturing cars on June 30 and permitted his immense plants to remain practically idle for six whole months while he and his engineers toiled to devise a new and "up-to-date " model. This threw thousands out of employment. Rival manufacturers of low and medium-priced cars hastened to take advantage of Mr. Ford's absence from the market, only to discover that the public refused to buy until time had disclosed what the "new Ford "was like. The result was a widespread stagnation throughout the motor industry, which is one of the major American industries, employing three and a half million people. This stagnation affected the production of iron and steel very directly and many other lines indirectly. John E. Edgerton, in his presidential address to the American Manufacturers' Association at Chattanooga on October 25, declared that less than half the manufacturers of the country were earning regular net profits. Some of the giant corporations, he declared, were doing well, but "the common run of manufacturers in America to-day are in about as unhappy a condition as their fellow-producers, the farmers." The year ended with credit as abundant as ever but with widespread uncertainty as to the future.

Mr. Coolidge's decision not to run again promptly quickened the boiling of the never-too-torpid political pot. The chief candidates disclosed for the Republican nomination were Mr. Hoover, who enjoys immense personal prestige but is not particularly popular with the professional politicians; Vice-President Charles G. Dawes, known for his part in the creation of the "Dawes Plan," and Mr. Frank G. Lowden, a millionaire farmer of Illinois. On the Democratic side only one name was mentioned, that of Governor "Al" Smith who, though a Tammany Hall Democrat and a Roman Catholic, has been four times elected Governor of Republican New York State. It was recognised that his candidacy would raise the religious issue. It did. A prominent New York lawyer and Episcopalian, writing in the Atlantic Monthly in April, declared that as a Catholic Mr. Smith would owe supreme obedience to the Pope, and could not as President give complete loyalty to the country. The attack created a sensation. On April 18 the Governor replied with a frank and dignified statement of his faith. "I recognise no power in the institutions of my Church to interfere with the operation of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the laws of the land." The controversy, incidentally, drew from a qualified spokesman for the Vatican" on May 6 at Rome a carefully phrased disavowal of any desire to interfere


in American politics "which would only result in obvious damage to the Church's higher spiritual interests."

Growing dissatisfaction with the "realities " of the Washington Disarmament Treaty, due to the widespread belief that the theoretical parity of American and British naval strength was being seriously undermined by Great Britain's increasing strength in cruisers of the 10,000-ton class, forced Mr. Coolidge into raising anew the question of limiting naval expansion. The spirit of disillusionment was illustrated on January 5, during a discussion in the House Committee on Naval Affairs of the proposal, subsequently ratified by Congress, to elevate the guns on thirteen of the older battleships in order to give them a range equal to that of the British ships. Some one quoted the statement in 1924 of the then Secretary of State, Mr. Hughes, that to elevate the guns would be a violation of the spirit of the Washington Treaty. Mr. Butler, Chairman of the Committee, explained that inasmuch as the "spirit" of the Treaty was already dead" and the race is on," it was high time that the United States should go ahead. Mr. Coolidge, representing a more moderate position and the heir of the Harding disarmament policy, evidently felt that the "big navy" forces were fast getting out of hand. On February 10 he submitted identical Notes to Great Britain, France, Japan, and Italy suggesting that these Powers, with the United States, should facilitate the labours of the Preparatory Commission for the Disarmament Conference by (a) setting to one side the complex questions of air and land defence; and (b) endeavouring "to negotiate and conclude " an agreement for further reduction of naval armaments by applying the 5-5-3 ratio to all auxiliary vessels not included in the Washington Treaties, except that the ratio to be applied to France and Italy might be left to the Conference for discussion, with special consideration for the needs of those two countries. France replied on February 15 that she preferred to work through the League of Nations; Italy similarly declined on February 21. But Great Britain accepted on March 10 and Japan on March 11. As the result a conference of the three Powers began at Geneva on June 20 and lasted until August 4 when it broke up in failure.

The failure did not improve Anglo-American relations. The "big navy" group in Congress and the Press pointed to the breakdown of the negotiations as proof that Great Britain was determined to maintain superiority at sea under the plea of her peculiar necessities. Since 1924, they declared, Great Britain had started the construction of thirteen 10,000-ton cruisers, some of them of most formidable design, while the United States, dwelling in a fools' paradise based on the atmosphere of the Washington Convention, had only two such cruisers. Further, they pointed out that the United States, too, has "peculiar necessities;" she has few naval bases or coaling stations and must

therefore build large cruisers with long cruising range, and she needs 8-inch guns, because she must be able to out-range any theoretical opponent say Great Britain-enjoying a vast merchant fleet of "ocean greyhounds" equipped with 6-inch guns.

Vice-President Dawes, at the dedication on August 7 of the International Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie, Canada, addressing a distinguished audience which included the Prince of Wales, Prince George, Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and other notables, said tactfully that the failure of the Three-Power Conference at Geneva had been partly due " to lack of preparation." But whatever the cause, the result left the "big navy " forces jubilant and full of plans for building eighteen or twenty big cruisers to achieve a real, as against what they called a specious, equality with Great Britain.

With this there grew up and spread a new doctrine, that in the "next war"-in which the highly pacific United States would, of course, be a neutral-it was imperative to have a navy sufficiently strong to defend the rights of Americans and other neutrals on the high seas. Those rights, the new doctrine asserts, were very shabbily disregarded by both sides in the Great War. American ships were stopped, searched, and detained; American "neutral and non-contraband" cargoes were confiscated; American mails were impudently searched. Two-thirds of the small nations who joined the Allies did so, it was asserted, not because they had any real grievance against Germany or Austria, but solely because as neutrals their commerce was cut off and their rights cavalierly treated. They were coerced into it. But that must never happen again; neutrals have rights under international law, and somebody must be strong enough to defend those rights against any Sea Power.

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On December 14 the administration's naval budget was presented to Congress. It included a programme, to be carried out at leisure and to be altered or curtailed when the President saw fit, providing for twenty new cruisers, nine destroyer leaders, thirty-two submarines, and five aircraft carriers. The total cost was estimated at 700,000,000 dollars. At first the "big navy forces demanded that the programme be definitely adopted and carried through, regardless of any possible intervention by the President, but they were defeated on this point. The programme, therefore, remains something with which to bargain in 1931, or sooner, whenever the Washington Treaty comes up for revision.

On April 13 Mr. Hugh Gibson at Geneva explained that the United States was unwilling to accept the supervision of the League in carrying out any treaties dealing with the limitation of armaments. On December 1 the United States declined an invitation to send an "observer" to the League's Preparatory Commission on Limitation of Armaments at Geneva.

When Great Britain, on February 9, informed the League


that it was unable to accept the United States' reservations as to the World Court (see ANNUAL REGISTER for 1926, p. 297), the Senate took up the question of rescinding its reservations but the proposal was defeated by 59 to 10.

In one way or another the issue of the war debts came up at various times throughout the year. In his message to Congress on December 6, 1926, Mr. Coolidge paid a graceful tribute to the countries which were paying their war debts to the United States :


when we consider the real sacrifices which will be necessary on the part of other nations, considering all their circumstances, to meet their agreed payments, we ought to hold them in increased admiration and respect. It is true we have extended to them very generous treatment, but it is also true that they have agreed to repay us all we loaned them and some interest. On February 9 the World War Foreign Debt Commission, of which Secretary Mellon had been chairman, passed out of official existence, after having made debt-funding agreements with thirteen of the twenty original borrowers. Of the remaining seven, Cuba and Liberia paid in full; Austria was granted a moratorium by Congress until 1943 on her debt of 11,959,917 dollars; Greece reached an agreement with the Treasury Department on December 5, 1927, which must be submitted to Congress for approval. This left three debts unsettled: that of Russia, who was loaned 192,601,297 dollars under the Liberty Bond Acts; Armenia, for 24,055,709 dollars; and Nicaragua, for 170,585 dollars for surplus war supplies.

The agitation for the cancellation of the debts (see ANNUAL REGISTER for 1926, p. 294) led Secretary Mellon, on March 17, to issue a lengthy reply. His main arguments were threefold: first, that the American loans were merely devices to enable the Allies to borrow, with the Government's endorsement, from American investors, exactly as though they were floating their own bonds-which they would not dream of repudiating-on the American investment market; secondly, that if it was argued that the United States should regard the advances made after its entry into the war as mere contributions to the common cause a position which he admitted was arguable then the question arose as to the willingness of the Allies to apply this standard to themselves. He contended that while the Allies sold for cash" their supplies and services to the United States. "by hundreds of millions," the United States was asked to sell its supplies and services for credit. "Here is the fundamental reason," said the Secretary, "which explains why we ended the war with every one owing us and our owing no one. . . . We are now urged to cancel these debts because it is alleged that they were incurred in a common cause, but neither abroad nor in this country has it been suggested that if this is to be done we are to be reimbursed for the dollars actually expended by us in France

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