A Weekly Review of Literature, The Arts and Public A ffairs

Friday, December 20, 1935




Other articles, reviews and poems by Felix Timmermans, Katherine Brégy, Charles Willis Thompson, Grenville Vernon, Anne Ryan, Kurt Frank Reinhardt and James P. Cunningham


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The Commonweal

December 20, 1935

The New Catholic Dictionary





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Commonwea A Weekly Review of Literature, The Arts and Public Affairs

Epitor1AL Boarp MicHAeEL Editor Georce N. Suuster, Managing Editor Mary Korars, Assistant Editor Frepertc THompson, Assistant Editor

Joun F. McCormick, Business Manager

Published weekly and copyrighted, 1935, in the United States, by the Calvert Publishing Corporation, 386 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y. Entered as_ second-class matter, February 9, 1934, at the post office at New York, N. Y., under the Act of March 3, 1879. Unitel States: $5.00; Canada: $5.50; Foreign: $6.00. Single copies: $.10.


EpiroriaL CouNCcIL Car_ton J. H. Hayes T. Lawrason Riccs RicHarD DANA SKINNER James J. WALSH



Cardinal Hayes Speaks Out.............00. 197. The Campaign Lines Up............. aod Charles Willis Thompson 209

Santa Claus and Science..... G. K. Chesterton 201 Kurt Frank Reinhardt 211 AAA and the Constitution................. Communic 212 Michael O’Shaughnessy 202 Seven Days’ Survey..........eceeceeeeeees 214 Triptych of the Three Kings................ Fhe Vernon 218

Felix Timmermans 204 Tyrol Christmas (verse)......... Anne Ryan 208

Previous issues of THz ComMMONWEAL are indexed in the Readers’ Guide and the Catholic Periodical Index

Friday, December 20, 1935


The James P. Cunningham 219 és The Editors, Katherine Brégy 219


ae CORE to the press accounts given of the affair, the mass meeting conducted under the auspices of the American Birth Control League, in Carnegie Hall, New York, on Decem- ber 2, endorsed unanimously by a rising vote of the 2,500 men and women making up the audi- ence, a resolution “that all agencies administering family relief inform mothers on relief where they may secure medical advice as to family limita- tion in accord with their religious convictions.” Speaker after speaker, described as “religious and social work leaders,” pleaded for dissemination among the needy of knowledge of sources of birth control information. ‘Ranks of the needy had been swollen by the depression, with the result that 250,000 Yahies were born each year to mothers on relief, it was said.” Therefore, so it would seem, the thing to do, in the judgment of these “religious and social work leaders” is not to help the needy parents to care for their chil-

dren, but rather to use their poverty as a club to teach them how to prevent babies being born to them. And in case the poor parents “were too dull to be taught birth control’’—in other words, if the poor parents were normal human beings, believing, as normal human beings always do, that children are desirable, as life even when difficult is always preferable to death, especially suicidal death—why, then, such stupid people should be taught how to mutilate and degrade their man- hood and womanhood by “voluntary steriliza- tion.” It is to be presumed that when they refuse to do so, compulsory sterilization will be the next step to be urged by the birth prevention zealots.

Another speaker, Rabbi Goldstein, chairman of the Commission on Social Justice of the Cen- tral Conference of American Rabbis, “deplored the refusal of the Catholic Church to participate in the conference’’—which, so the Herald Tribune reported, filed into Carnegie Hall as “the organ

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The Commonweal

December 20, 1935

softly played ‘Kiss Me Again,’ and ‘I’m in the Mood for Love.’” But if the Catholic Church refused to be represented in the Manichean sym- posium in Carnegie Hall, the most authoritative spokesman for the Catholic Church in New York,

ardinal Hayes, the Archbishop of the diocese, lost no time in accepting the challenge flung at his Church, by preaching from his cathedral pulpit on the Sunday following the birth prevention demonstration a sermon which most justly ex- posed the perversion of morality, and the insolent treatment of the victims of the depression, and the topsy-turvy economic remedy advocated by the birth controllers. The Cardinal changed the regu- lar assignment of preachers to occupy the pulpit himself. He denounced as “effrontery” the action of ‘a smug Carnegie Hall audience.” Speaking ‘as one who gives place to no man in love for his country,” he denounced the proponents of birth control as ‘‘Prophets of Decadence” who ‘would fly in the face of God and bring ruin and disaster to the land and to the civilization that some among us, at least, still cherish.

“Who are these people that sit in soft garments and offer affront to the poor? Are they a race apart, superior beings with a special commission to order the lives of others less fortunate in worldly goods than themselves? And the women among them, who would enjoin the poor from motherhood, are they taking over from the poor the responsibilities of motherhood because they are the better able to bear the burden? You know that they are not. The true lover of the poor today,” he asserted, “and the true social scientist, knows that the right approach to the whole problem is not to keep people from having children, but is so to pi our economic and social structure as to make it possible for people to have children and to rear them in keeping with their needs. Therein lies true social leadership; in birth prevention lies social degradation.

“In the deliberate frustration of the marriage rivilege the Church sees an act intrinsically evil. t is wrong not because of ill effects that may fol-

low in its train, not because of any conceivable set of circumstances that might attend it. It would be equally wrong even though in a particular in- stance it might be thought to effect material good. Evil is not to be done that good may come of it, as Saint Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome.

“For the preservation of the race God has given man the natural faculty of reproducing his kind. The exercise of this faculty for pleasure alone, with the natural result prevented by arti- ficial means, is a perversion of this faculty, and he who does so is as the liar, the glutton and the drunkard. He misuses a gift of God, he offends against nature, and so performs an act which is condemned by God and by His Church, and which nothing can make right.

“This teaching of the Church does not mean, as sometimes those ignorant of the Church’s doc- trine or hostile to her assert, that Catholics are required to have as many children as they can, nor that husband and wife must, each time they make use of the marital privilege, intend that relationship solely for the purpose of procreation. Canon law recognizes a secondary end to mar- riage, that of mutual love and assistance. It re- quires only that the primary end, which is the procreation of children, never be excluded, nor means be taken to prevent the natural conse- quence of the marriage act from ensuing. It is this positive interference with the normal processes of nature that constitutes birth control, or more ac- curately birth prevention, as condemned by the Church. President Theodore Roosevelt called birth control by its right name, race suicide. His- tory bears testimony to the part that the refusal of parenthood has played in the decline and fall of great civilizations. Today in our own country the same process is already well under way. Our

opulation is no longer reproducing itself. If judged by this standard, the United States is already a dying nation. Yet these Prophets of Decadence call for fewer and fewer births. As one who gives place to no man in love for his country, I regard such as false prophets.”

Once again the Cardinal stressed the fact that this nation is under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, fountain of purity and exemplar of motherhood.

In a recent publication entitled, ‘Population Trends and the National Welfare,” by O. E. Baker and T. B. Manny, issued by the federal government, the rapid decline of the population of the United States is startlingly proved. Since 1924 there was a decrease of 55,000 births a year until 1930, when the depression effects lowered the figures about 100 percent; that is, from 1930 to 1933 there was a yearly decrease of 100,000. For 1934 there was a slight increase in births, because of the greater number of marriages in 1933 over those of the worst depression years. In 1934 itself, however, while the births were slightly more, marriages again declined, so that births are unlikely to have increased in 1935. The declining “cae diol first began, of course, in an industrial region, Southern ta England, and “gradually spread, with the development of in- dustry and commerce,” throughout the land. The birth prevention advocates, no doubt, have aided the Moloch of materialistic industrialism; but, as the Catholic Church steadfastly has taught, and as the Cardinal Archbishop of N ew York now so powerfully proclaims, not birth prevention but the reconstruction of our economic and social structure is the only true and just method of aid- ing the poor and stemming the tide of national decadence which has already so menacingly begun.



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The Commonweal

Week by Week

gtk na skies were gloomy as the London Naval Conference opened.. In Africa an old native kingdom was fighting for its life, as thou-

sands of bombs tumbled from the The sky upon men, women and chil- Trend of dren. Another section of ancient Events China was being entered in the

credit side of the cayasiring ledger. These facts—and they are not the only facts of the same kind—indicated that the diplomatic policy of the past fifteen years has not managed to check even rampant imperialism. Reliance upon war as the sole effective international instru- ment is manifestly spreading, and the last-minute stand by the League of Nations is all that has prevented the application of the principle of terri- torial expansionism to Europe. Under circum- stances like these, it is scarcely to be hoped that so vital a matter as the regulation of naval arma- ment should be easily disposed of. The three major sources of disagreement are: first, the un- willingness of Japan to accept less than absolute parity with the {nited States; second, the per- mission accorded Germany by Great Britain to construct a navy rivaling those of France and Italy; third, the dissatisfaction of other countries with the status of German sea power. It is only too probable that a race for domination may be just around the corner, limited only by the will- ingness of the several nations to raise large sums for construction. The effect of such a finale to the debates now in progress upon the peace and pros- perity of world society might well be incalculable.

SEVERAL declarations by Mr. Roosevelt indi- cate that he considers the offensive taken by the

New Deal to be complete. The Mr. Roosevelt legislation enacted is to form the on the charter of an America conscious of Defensive having outgrown the horse-and-

buggy days, and determined to master social problems according to the recipes laid down. It must be admitted that in bulk the new laws are impressive, and that understanding them is hardly yet a popular pastime. Neverthe- less the consequence of reaching a halt is to find oneself on the defensive. The present is a time when almost every enactment is Bein challenged, either by those who resent the administration’s experiments in collectivism or by those who feel that not enough has been achieved. We are in- clined to think that in many respects the chal- lengers will triumph. The New Deal was by and large in too great a hurry, governed as its ex- ponents were by the fear that resistance would eventually prove insurmountable. But whatever else may fall by the wayside, the following dis-

coveries will surely remain. The nation has found out that the information about its basic economic activities is insufficient, and that regulating some- thing one does not fully understand is precarious. Doubtless it was for this reason that NRA, in numerous ways the best part of the Roosevelt program, was fated to fail. The nation has like- wise found out that its fundamental constitutional law is still unexplored, and that its courts badly require a fresh interpretation of attitudes quite legitimate though not inherited from Marshall and Taney. Finally the nation has learned—and this is at the moment so impressive—that the question of the administrative function of govern- ment is an exceedingly complex and difficult one. Sound principles of engineering practise must be applied to the federal system as a whole, if yg is not to break down at critical moments (as it has been breaking down) or if inter- lapping powers are not to indulge in constant an fam quarreling. Should the Roosevelt ad- ministration concentrate on these matters, the job of being on the defensive would be far less haz- ardous and immensely more interesting.

WE WERE considerably surprised that those who oppose participation in the Berlin games of 1936 mustered so much strength

The at the convention of. the Amateur Olympics Athletic Union of the United Decision States. What the convention did was to adopt by a margin of two

and a half votes a resolution expressing “hope and desire”’ to participate in the games, but recog- nizing that “conditions still exist in Germany under which it would be difficult for the Olympic Games to be held in accordance with the funda- mental principles thereof.” It voted down a pro- posal to send an investigating commission of three to Germany for the purpose of ascertaining whether conditions favored American participa- tion. With these decisions, we find ourselves reasonably content. A ringing refusal to under- write the trip was out of the question, since in athletic circles unanimity toward Hitler does not exist. To have pushed through a non-participation policy by a narrow margin would have created a reat deal of bitterness which can now be avoided. We have every reason to believe that the antis will not give up the fight, but will devote their impressive energies toward promoting rival games. ‘Thus they will avoid giving offense to those who feel that in accordance with American ideals freedom of choice should be granted. To this last we dedicate ourselves anew. We believe that the Catholic cause is aided primarily by the sacrifices made for it. And we are convinced that if one Catholic athlete renounces the opportunity accorded him there will be more reason for re- joicing than if a dozen others win athletic laurels.

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The Commonweal

December 20, 1935

‘In accordance with this philosophy we shall de- vote ourselves during coming weeks to demon- strating as effectively as we can that solidarity in the Faith is the remedy for ills like those which Catholic Germany is experiencing in such over- flowing measure.

WE REGRET that it is not possible to issue “The Triptych of the Three Kings,” our Christ-

mas “feature’’ for this year, in one

A Man instalment. But though the reader Worth will have to piece the two parts Knowing together with a week hoe

we believe that he will feel amply

rewarded for the trouble. Felix Timmermans has appeared once previously in American print, the occasion being ‘Peter Brueghel,” a biographical novel. Unfortunately few read the book, despite its quality and interest. We believe that fate will be kinder to the present tale, which the translator hopes to issue soon in book form. At any rate, Timmermans is one of the genuinely impressive among living Catholic creative writers. Flemish is his language, and the circumstance that it is relatively unused—that its nouns and adjectives have not been worn smooth by constant use— doubtless helps to give his prose the extraordinary colorfulness and magic which it keeps for all who read the original. He resembles his countryman Rubens in a flare for the sheer joy of living, but is as careful of detail and as fond of symbolism new style as Van Gogh himself. The world he summons up is different from that in which we live. It retains a peasant flavor, but is rich in the beauty of our earth and in the beauty not of earth. But one would be mistaken in fancying that Timmermans ever relinquishes his allegiance to Brueghel, whose thought plunges upon occa- sion like a cork. We are grateful for the chance to introduce him to readers who, we hope, will be the nucleus of a future audience of generous size.

THE PRINCIPLE of punishment in kind has a good deal to commend it. Of course its use

must be adjusted to the present “To Make thelevel of law and accepted tradition. Punishment It is no longer morally, let alone Fit the Crime” legally, possible, for example, to

cure the thief by cutting off his hand—if, indeed, that drastic measure ever did cure him, collectively speaking. But, considering the matter in terms of the present, there are other interesting things which may be done with the idea; as has been demonstrated more than once in late years by the experiments of this or that judicial mind. Graver examples might be cited, but our present interest lies in the increasing appli- cation of the principle to the problem of the un- inhibited motorist. The chief punishment, of course, is the temporarily revoked or the perma-

nently canceled driving license; and while it is not so widespread as we ourselves should like to see it, still it is a definitely recognized expedient, and will probably be more generally applied in the future. A lesser penalty, which yet should effec- tually supplement fixed legal punishments, is the requirement laid by certain magistrates upon those guilty in motor crashes to visit and observe their victims. And now one of the municipal judges of Los Angeles has devised a treatment for drivers whose strange mentality prompts them to run through stop signals. ‘They must stand in a dunce cap before a court blackboard and write out their promise of amendment a thou- sand times. This, in its suitability, is worthy of “The Mikado.” It may not be productive of ‘‘in- nocent merriment” in the non-stop maniacs under correction; but it is on the level which they under- stand, and is probably the only conceivable method which can produce salutary results with them.

MUCH time has been spent diagnosing the athlete, but little progress has been made toward curing him of a major ill. “We are,’ said Dr. Wilson Ferrand re- cently to a convention of profes- sors and teachers, “reluctantly forced to the conclusion that it is not feasible to enforce the standard we have set up, against the evident belief on the part of a number of colleges that the subsidizing of ath- letes is a proper procedure.” That statement is as plain as day. The colleges have stated that their teams are amateur aggregations of students who, since Jack would not be a dull boy, have staged contests between hours devoted to hard study. But in the realm of plain fact, they have found out that the stadium is their best promo- tion medium. It not only advertises and sells the institution, but actually pays money into the treasury. The teams are professional excepting that a blanket of decency enfolds the goings on. Morally speaking, frank and free hiring or firing would doubtless be preferable to the careful! evasions which so often characterize the remarks of prexies on the topic. Why shouldn’t the cam- pus hero capitalize on his punting ability, or get a raise if he cracks the line harder? Yet one must not unduly simplify the problem. Few college athletes (excepting a number of genuine ringers) look upon themselves as professionals. They have a touching willingness to be taught, and are generally animated by an ardent love for Alma Mater. “Gifts” are to them not pay, but forms of first aid. To alter their status would mean depriving them of a great educational oppor- tunity. Why should it not be possible to come clean, put the actual facts down in print, and see what could be done thereafter? Why give the impression that a skeleton dwells in the closet?

Hiring Athletes

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December 20, 1935

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article could be discussed in a big book, or a long series of books. I rather fancy that, if it could really be reduced to its elements, we should find the elementary truth about Catholi- cism and Protestantism and the present problem of our civilization. It would perhaps explain why, in the coming Christmas, many millions of our mature fellow creatures, so far from hang- ing up their stockings to have them filled, will rather hang up their hearts and heads and find them empty; and why they will continue to enact a fable for children to believe in, and for chil- dren who do not believe in it. For the sake of brevity, let me sum up such a scientific monograph under the heads of three or four questions. First, who was Santa Claus or who was he sup- posed to be? Why do we actually describe this domestic and Phare: i figure by a name in a for- eign language that few of us know? Why should a sort of uncle or grandfather so intimate that he is allowed to enter by the chimney, instead of the front-door, have on his visiting-card the rather florid name of a distinguished foreigner? The answer is important. It is because in my country the saints really have crept back again like spies. Saint Nicholas of the Children may not come through the chimney like a burglar; but he was really admitted through the front- door only as a foreigner. It is part of a para- dox, that Protestant England satisfied its intense insularity mainly by the use of foreign words. For instance, men cannot do without the image of the Mother of God; the veritable Queen of Hearts, with every sort of lovers in every sort of land. But the Victorians got over her omni- presence in all art by calling her “a Madonna,” whatever that may mean. As it was British to talk of Mary only in Italian, so it was British to talk of Saint Nicholas only in German. So we could tap all the traditional poetry of Christen- dom, without calling it Catholic or even Chris- tian. It was a sort of smuggling; we could im- port Nicholas without paying the tax to Peter.

Second, everybody could then dispose them- selves in elegant attitudes of sad sympathy and patronizing pity; over a mere fairy-tale for chil- dren, which children themselves must soon aban- don. Santa Claus has passed into a proverb of

I WISH the subject I discuss here in a short

illusion and disillusion. A man wrote a poem about how he had ceased to believe in Santa Claus at the age of seven and in God at the age of sev- enteen; and explained how he really regretted God not much more than Santa Claus.


notion that the thing had ever had any relation to any religion, or that that religion had ever had any relation to any reason, or that it had been a part of a real philosophy with a fringe of popu- lar fancies but a body of moral fact, never oc- curred to anybody. And I startled some honest Protestants lately by telling them that, though I am (unfortunately) no Coe a child, I do most definitely believe in Santa Claus; though I prefer to talk about him in my own language. I believe that Saint Nicholas is in heaven, acces- sible to our prayers for anybody; if he was sup- posed to be specially accessible to prayers of chil- dren, as being their patron, I see no reason why he should not be concerned with human gifts to children. I do not suppose that he comes down the chimney; but I suppose he could if he liked. The point is that, for me, there is not that com- plete chasm or cutting off of all relations with the religion of childhood, which is now common in those who began by starting a new religion and have ended by having no religion.

Third, do our contemporaries really know even the little that there is to know about the roots, or possible origins, of such romances of popular re- ligion? I myself know very little; but a really complete monograph on Santa Claus might raise some very interesting questions. For instance, Saint Nicholas of Bari is represented in a well- known Italian picture of the later Middle Ages, not only as performing the duty of a gift-bringer, but as actually doing it by the methods of a bur- glar. He is represented as climbing up the grille or lattice of a house, solely in order to drop little bags of gold among the members of a poor fam- ily, consisting of an aged man and three beautiful daughters who had no money for their wedding dowries. That is another question for our con- temporaries: why were celibate saints so fright- fully keen on getting other people married? But anyhow, I give this only as an example out of a hundred, which might well be followed up if only grown-up people could be induced to take Santa Claus seriously. It looks as if it might be the root of the legend. To see a saint climbing up the front of our house would seem to most of us as odd as seeing a saint climbing down our chimney. Very probably neither of the things happened; but it might be worth while even for scientific critics to find out what actually did happen.

Fourth, what do our great modern education-

ists, our great modern psychologists, our great makers of a new world, mean to do about the

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The Commonweal

December 20, 1935

breach between the imagination and the reason, if only in the passage from the infant to the man? Is the child to live in a world that is entirely fan- ciful and then find suddenly that it is entirely false? Or is the child to be forbidden all forms of fancy; or in other words, forbidden to be a child? Or is he, as we say, to have some harmless borderland of fancy in childhood, which is still

a part of the land in which he will live; in terra viventium, in the land of living men? Cannot the child pass from a child’s natural fancy to a man’s normal faith in Holy Nicholas of the Children, without enduring that bitter break and abrupt disappointment which no wmarks the passage of a child from a land of make-believe to a world of no belief?



T HAS not escaped the notice of the ‘‘man on the street” that the owners and managers of capital, as an economic group in our

population, oppose the power of government to regulate the conduct of individuals in the conduct of the nation’s business. They oppose social leg- islation of every type. Their chief reliance in maintaining this anti-social attitude, strange to say, is the Constitution of the United States.

This highly privileged class stresses the ‘“‘due process” as against the “welfare” clause of the Constitution, the letter against the spirit; in effect, they maintain that property rights are superior to Seite rights, unmindful of the fact that the maintenance of property rights depends upon the protection afforded the individual citizen by the Constitution. They seek to circumscribe the powers of the federal government under the com- merce clause to the regulation of the transport of merchandise and commodities from one place to another across state lines. Every effort by the federal government, under the commerce clause of the Constitution, to regulate the business rela- tions of the citizens of one state with the citizens of another, is met by the smug reference to the pronouncement by the Supreme Court that “‘pro- duction is not commmerce.” This is self-evident, but methods of production within a state can be such as to retard or destroy interstate commerce, in which case the Congress, in our opinion, has the power to exclude goods so produced from in- terstate commerce without in the least abridging the rights of citizens of any state to conduct pro- duction in any manner permitted by the laws of such state, provided of course that the goods are for consumption within that state.

The principal difficulty seems to be in agreeing upon a definition of commerce. The Supreme Court in its Cecision in the case of Gibbons v. Ogden (9 Wheaton, page 68), gives a definition p? commerce of paramount importance in the de- bate over the reciprocal powers and duties of the federal government and the states in the matter of interstate commerce. The Court’s definition in part is as follows: “Commerce, undoubtedly, is

traffic, but it is something more: it is intercourse. It describes the commercial intercourse between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches, and is regulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that intercourse.’

It is clear that in the mind of the Supreme Court, at least in the above decision, interstate commerce is business intercourse between citizens of the several states in the Union. It would follow that Congress has the power under the Constitu- tion to prescribe rules for carrying on business intercourse among the citizens of the several states to promote and preserve interstate commerce. Such rules perhaps could be most effectively pre- scribed by the Congress requiring federal char- ters for corporations doing an interstate business.

The statement was frequently made in the lowest depths of the depression in 1932, by many, even the most reactionary financiers and captains of industry, that the system of distribution (of

oods and services) had broken down in the

nited States. It had broken down because the owners of capital insisted upon so large a propor- tion of the national income that the purchasing power of workers and farmers had been curtailed to the point that the exchange of goods and ser- vices between the citizens of the various states (interstate commerce), was so obstructed that the economic machinery of the nation had all but collapsed.

The preservation of commerce between the several states depends upon the workers and farmers, the major consuming groups in our population, receiving a larger proportion of the national income to maintain purchasing power at a level at which capital can be profitably employed in industry. It is clear that the preservation of interstate commerce depends upon the establish- ment of a just relation in the income of the num- erically small group of owners of capital and the vast majority of the population, as represented in the worker and farmer groups. The power to regulate interstate commerce most certainly in- cludes the power to “prescribe rules” of business intercourse to establish this just relation.

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We further conclude from the above that the power of the federal government to regulate in- terstate commerce must necessarily include the power to regulate business intercourse among the citizens of the various states by enunciating social standards for production in industry and agricul- ture that are necessary to preserve interstate com- merce. The attempt to raise the purchasing power of the worker group through the NIRA was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court principally because it did not enunciate social standards. The result is that business is getting better, profits increase faster than real wages, unemployment continues to be our paramount social and economic problem and no progress is made in attaining a wider distribution of the national income to increase purchasing power.

The Court of last resort will, within a com- paratively short time, render a decision as to the constitutionality of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This was emergency legislation to rescue agriculture from the collapse which overtook it in 1932. The original Act was amended in the last session of Congress to meet Constitutional objections. The increased purchasing power among the farmers since its enactment has con- cededly been a determining factor in recovery through an increased demand for the products of industry. The AAA was an attempt to raise the prices of agricultural products to a parity with the prices of products of industry, so that the farmer would receive for his product a price com- parable to that which he paid for the products of industry.

It should be remembered that through tariff protection the federal government imposes a duty on imported manufactures, theoretically to pro- tect American labor from the lower wage scales for labor in foreign countries. It is a tax levied by the federal government on the consumer through the maintenance of artificial prices, the greater proportion of which, however, has been taken by the owners of capital instead of being

assed on to labor. The principle of the AAA is the same. The government levies a tax on con- sumers through processing taxes, which is paid to the producers of agricultural products to bring their prices up to a parity with prices for the products of industry. There are differences in detail in the application of the protective tariff to benefit industry and labor and the AAA to benefit farmers, but the principle is the same. If the former is justified it would seem that the latter is necessary. It is worth considering what might be the effect if both were gradually abolished.

Should the AAA, as amended in the last ses- sion of Congress, be found unconstitutional b the Supreme Court, it is conceivable that agri- culture may again sink to the depths of its posi- tion in 1932, when the farmers had no incentive

to feed the nation as their products were selling substantially below the cost of production.

It is inconceivable that the small group repre- sented by the owners of capital, insist upon the perpetuation of its privileges at the expense of workers and farmers, which will eventually de- stroy it. In the effort to preserve their unjust privileges the owners of capital are “killing the goose that lays the golden egg.” Half a loaf is better than no bread, particularly when the loaf is twice as large as it ever had any right to be.

It is certainly within the power of Congress, acting under the commerce clause of the Consti- tution, to regulate “‘business intercourse” between the citizens of the various states in a manner to insure a more equitable distribution of the national income as between the owners of capital, workers and farmers to prevent the collapse of the eco- nomic life of the nation. This cannot be accom- plished by increasing the national debt to pay doles to the unemployed as government thereb engages itself to pay interest indefinitely on suc borrowings to the owners of capital on unproduc- tive loans. It cannot be accomplished by con- stantly increasing taxes which diminish the na- tional income, eventually to the detriment of workers and farmers. It can be to a considerable extent accomplished (1) by Congress enunciating social standards, nationally, in establishing living wages by the year, of a stipulated number of work days, for workers engaged in the production of goods, adequate to provide consumption needs, that are destined to move in interstate commerce; (2) by abolishing tariff subsidies to industry; and (3) by creating a federal agency to provide con- sumers with continuous and accurate information on demand and supply, production costs, prices, etc.

Minimum wages by the hour for a fixed num- ber of hours per day is a cruel delusion. Subsidies to industry aggravate the maldistribution of wealth and the ignorance of consumers breeds fraud and social injustice. Increased purchasing power for workers with equality established be- tween industry and agriculture and consumers intelligently informed, would go a long way to- ward creating a commodity price structure in which all classes of the citizenry would receive just rewards for the contribution each makes to the welfare of the people as a whole. Somewhere between the extremes of the unregulated profit urge and “production for use,” a compromise is possible, which may retard the disintegration of our social and economic order until such time as a fundamental solution could be attained.

Unless an equitable distribution of the national income, envisaged above, can be brought about by congressional action, the Union of forty- eight states in the United States of America will eventually be destroyed by sectional greed and class strife.

~ Pe ag : q q ra he ns oF a en # 1g ne te Ww u- ss eS e- re s. le 18 g d e d if r t