Mail, Wednesday, June 27th, 1934
WORLD PEACE IN HANDS OF ANGLO-SAXONS
But Mr. Hearst Wants Debts Question
By Gareth Jones
“If the British
Empire and the United States had the greatest sea and air forces in the world they
could probably (if the had the sense and unselfishness) work together to make
sure that peace and security of the world be maintained.”
Hearst, the biggest figure in the American newspaper world made this confession
of his faith in the Anglo-Saxon peoples to me in an interview yesterday at St.
Donat’s Castle, his Welsh seat.
“ There has not
been universal peace in the world since the ‘Peace of Rome‘ 1,800 years ago,
when Rome dominated the world and compelled for some centuries at least
conditions which fostered peace and progress,” he said.
“I have always
hoped that a cooperative union of English-speaking peoples could accomplish the
same beneficial results.”
Then I asked a
few questions. Here they are, with Mr. Hearst’s replies: -
Barrier to Union
Is not the
continuation of the war debts question a barrier to this union?
Unfortunately, the repudiation of the debts has to a degree destroyed mutual
confidence and esteem. I wish it could be settled fairly.
not America’s contribution to the War millions of dollars, whilst that of
Britain and France was millions of men?
Mr. HEARST: It
was their war, not ours. The Allies said: “Our backs are to the wall,
and it you do not come in we shall be destroyed.” But now they have
their obligation to us.
Wales were amused at your statement that England had “welshed on her debt.”
Now that you have lived in Wales do you think that “welshing” is a Welsh
Mr. Hearst has
definitely a sense of humour. He twinkled in the first part of his reply
and then grew serious.
a debt’ is a phrase devised by Englishmen to gratify the vanities and
prejudices of Englishmen,” he said.
“But I said on
Sunday, in an interview, that since England had defaulted on its debt it would
be more proper and more accurate and more definitely descriptive to say that a
man who had repudiated his obligations had ‘Englished’ on his debt.
not know any occasion, public or private, when the Welsh have repudiated
obligations. Certainly there has never been in all history such a conspicuous
example of national default of honourable obligations voluntarily incurred and
advantageously employed as the repudiation of England’s debt to America.
League of Nations
Do you believe that the League
of Nations can preserve peace?
I do not believe that peace is to be established in a League of Nations the
majority of whose members are warlike. The present League of Nations is
not a Peace League, and the peaceful nations, instead of influencing the warlike
nations and leading them into peaceful paths, will inevitably be dragged into
the wars of the warlike nations.
For this reason I
have urged that America should keep free from all entanglements with the present
League of Nations, which is controlled - and selfishly controlled - by the
I should think
that the people of the British Empire would feel the same way, and I am already
confident that the people of the Dominions do feel the same way.
I next mentioned
Lord Davies’s ideal of an international police force, but it aroused no
enthusiasm in Mr. Hearst.
“I should be
opposed to an inter-national police force,” he said. “I do not want anything
that would commit us to the possibility of being dragged into another war.
of the League of Nations advocate that we must put our teeth into the Kellogg
Pact. That means that we must put bayonets into the Kellogg Pact. Those
are the teeth of war.”
do you think of President Roosevelt’s naval plans, in view of the Japanese
Mr. HEARST: I
think the President’s idea is that the world should disarm in the interests of
peace and civilisation, but if there is to be a world race in armaments the
United States is not going to be outdistanced and endangered in the race.
The Congress has
given the Roosevelt Administration billions to spend in providing employment for
the people. The people who need work might just as well be employed
in building ships for the defence of our nation as in any other way.
Japan says she
wants a great navy and can afford it.
I don't think
that any civilised nation can really afford to spend in armaments the money
which should be devoted to developing the arts of peace, but the United States
will surely not allow the forces of Japanese aggression to surpass our forces
Japan is a
warlike nation. The United States is a peaceful nation. We are so
much opposed to war that we are willing to spend freely our treasure and our
blood to keep our shores free from warlike attack and from the horrors of
is to be a contest in shipbuilding and aeroplane building the British Empire and
the United States will win the contest.
because they have the determination and the endurance.
they have the money.
the extent of their territory and the necessity of maintaining and protecting
communication all over this territory provide the necessity for great fleets on
the sea and in the air even in peace, and those flotillas of peace may easily
be transformed into squadrons of war.
Case of China
I have advocated
that we keep our hands off the situation in the Far East, for I believe that we
should not entangle our nation in the disputes of aliens. If China cannot
take care of herself it is her own fault, and it is due to an ultra-pacifist
policy that prevented China from adequately protecting herself. If a
nation of 350,000,000 people cannot defend herself from the aggression of a
nation of 90,000,000 people, that is her misfortune. We can sympathise
with her; we can sorrow at her folly; but there is no reason why we should
entangle ourselves in her disaster.
My final question
was: “What do you think of President Roosevelt’s influence?”
replied: “Roosevelt’s cheerfulness has been a fine factor in his
work for the American people. Wilson said that a depression was largely
psychological. It helps to end the depression if the public can be kept
from being depressed. Mr. Roosevelt exercises a heartening and inspiring