CAKCELUTION OF WAR IDANS
S. B. BRnHTRT.
January 21, 1927
In considering this question of War Loan Cancellation it is well
to recognize at the beginning that the great majority of -Americans are
opposed to such action, but to any one inquiring the reason for such
opposition will find it is not based upon known facts.
Have you ever paused to think how often opinions are formed from
KSST*^- Pre^icw and impressions and how easily such opinions become settled
***"«• convictions which we fondly believe are well formed conclusions based on
!Z= facts and ^gical reasonings?
iZmJS Most of us do not think deeply upon general subjects, but allow
Cf^^l ourselves to be blindly guided by our impressions picked up here and
there our prejudices, feelings and other emotions, which of themselves
prevent logical reasonings and justifiable conclusions. As Americans,
we are intensely and justly proud of our country, its accomplishments,
its resources, its institutions and its people, but this intense pride
often makes us easily misled into wrong opinions by orators, magazine
writers, editors and politicians who have a selfish interest to promote.
How familiar we are with the stock phrase of "altruistic America"
"we won the war," "saved the soul of civilization: and "we made the world
safe for democracy," all designed to put us in a proper state of lethargy
of mind to not see the realities facing us.
Our subject today is not a simple one of the collection of
monies owed, but is as complex as the human mind, and as far reaching
as the future of man and nations. For upon tis proper decision depends
the future of the middle classes of Europe, with it's inevitable reflect
upon the whole world. Mixed up in the question is the fundamentals of
future wars or future co-operation of peoples. We cannot afford to let
ourselves be swayed by our feelings or prejudices, but should bring to it
every bit of our ability for concentrated thought and reason, a knowledge
of the facts and a consideration of the §ffeets upon the future before
we attempt to reach a definite conclustion.
First, let me say, for the purpose of this paper, we will consider the
co-called war loans only, i.e. money advanced to our allies out of the
national treasury for the prosecution of the war, and does not include the
later obligations for pruchase of war materials and supplies and for
grain and other relief supplies, which, I believe, are in an entirely
Next, let us consider the situation at the time the war loans were
made. We declared war against Germany April 6th, 1917, not because of the
high ideals or altruistic humanitarism afterward claimed, or to help
put out Europe's fire when we were in do danger, for we cannot forget the
position taken previously of "being too proud to fight," and the slogan
of 1916, "he kept us out of war," but we entered the World War because
we had slowly come to see our peril. lou remember the shock that came to
us when hundreds of American lives were lost in the Lusitania disaster,
and over a period of two years following it German submarines almost daily
took their toll of American shipping and American lives; our citizens
lives and freedom of action were threatened; our interests at home and
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