22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 23

Anglo-American Relations

AmErucArcs are intensely conscious of their wonderful indus- trial advance ;' their increase of exports is the most striking economic fact of the present century. This affects different Americans in different ways ; some are filled with a painful awareness of responsibility, but the new pride of conquest has flown like wine to the heads of others. Two of the three books before us provide interesting illustrations of these opposite results.

Mr. Nicholas Roosevelt writes with a high sense of respon- sibility, sensitively recognizing that the economic clash between Great Britain and the United States may cause a dangt rous rift if both skies do not set seriously about the business of understanding one another. He lays bare the faults of his own countrymen—mainly inexperience, clumsiness and vain- gloriousness—but he is also very candid about Great Britain who, he thinks, often pursues .a strong nationalist policy under the guise of something international and altruistic. Having dealt out impartial justice to both he appeals to both in an admirable temper to work out a partnership which shall be based on common interests. He has gone straight to the heart of the matter. It is only too true that the economic rivalry might easily become the equivalent of the old rivalry conducted by armies and navies. Indeed, we might go farther and say that if it is allowed to-do so for want of such direction as tan be provided by public opinion on both sides, our new state will-be worse than the old. The essential thing to remem- ber is that economic nationalism, as much as political nation- alism, needs to be transmuted from introspection and indi- vidualism into a regularly planned international co-operation. If we can get so far as that we need not worry jealously about the economic rise of nations. It will be admitted that every country profits by the prosperity of the others.

Mr. Roosevelt gives some valuable diagrams showing the balance of advantage and disadvantage between the United States and Great Britain. The advantage is enormously on the side of the United States in regard to fuels and metals. Great Britain has it almost all her own way in the control of tropical raw materials. In the science of production the United States has run far ahead of Great Britain, though she is so much impressed by quantity as often to forget quality. In international finance Great Britain still possesses the lead, being helped to hold her position by experience, tradition, and an incomparable technique.

Mr. Roosevelt's positive suggestions are thoughtful and could come only from one who is sincerely concerned to prevent any check to the progress of mutual understanding. He says that Freedom of the Seas, though a very popular doctrine in America, is really the political inheritance of an inferior naval Power, and that if the dispute can be left quietly alone for a time it will solve itself. His other recom- mendation is that Great Britain should think about America in the terms of her experience with the Dominions. There is a natural-fellow-feeling, he says, between the Dominions and the United States, and particularly between Canada and the United States. This approach to the American problem may be a little circuitous, but it is less liable to error than the old one.

Mr. Ludwell Denny at greater length covers the same field that Mr. Roosevelt has explored, but his manner is utterly different. His book is a song of economic victory, not only in industry but also in finance. Of course, he does not want war, but he is more expansive upon the danger of it than upon the manner of avoiding it. There is, however, a little illogi- cality in his argument. He thinks that -Great Britain is declining steadily towards the position of a second-rate Power, but, if that be so the .clanger of economic but armed war=would become gradually less serious. In spite of defects in reasoning and in tone 'the book is a store of very valuable information. We had supposed that there was no Elijah Pogram left, but the " Great Economic Defiance " of Mr. Denny's last pages provokes us to say at least that here is an example of the spirit which Mr. Roosevelt condemns in his own countrymen :— - " Travel where you will you can't escape Anierican customs and fashions. Tokio munches atau keiki (American hot griddle cakes with syrup). Berlin flocks to its first elaborate soda fountain for nut sundaes, served by snappy soda jerkers.' Moscow crowds around the first bright red gasoline filling station put up in Arbat Square. American movies, automobiles, dental schools, type- writers, phonographs, and even its prize fights lead in spreading American fashions and customs throughout the world. American automobiles have spread the gospel of mass production and have influenced some European countries to change from left-of-way ' to `.right-of-way' driving. The excellence of the dental schools in the United States .attracts students from all over the world, who return to their iieople as ambassadors of the fme old American custom of brushing teeth. Typewriters have pioneered the way for a whole battalion of office equipment devices which have con- verted many peoples to doing business according to American n-iethods. The phonograph has made jazz a world folk song and is returning the Oriental ear to the Occidentil 8-note scale, while millions won by Dempsey and Tunnay prompt young mon, white, yellow, brown,' black, or red, with two gocid fists to try them out and incidentally equip themselves with the necessary 'gym 'shoes and boxing gloves from the ' land of champions.' " - " The pride of the British Navy, H.M.S. Nelson,' has an American soda fountain ; Britain's fighting men have gone Yankee. When that happens it is perhaps no longer an exaggeration to use the trite phrase—which is sweet music to American' capitalists but the dirge of culture to British and European critics—' the Ameri.

canization of the world.' " .

Mr. Oscar Newfang at first sight seems unduly " cool " in advising the League of Nations to model itself on the United States, but the excellence of his intentions should save him from this reproach. He believes that -the League cannot prosper until it has developed. into an actual federation of States. The inevitable British answer will be that the League, with its consultative system, is' much more like the British Commonwealth and had better remain so. But Mr. Newfang moved, no doubt, by the American love of a written Cons-titer, tion, with all its logic, would equip the League with an inter- national constabulary at the disposal of the League Council, and ready to enforce the decisions of the World Court. It might be a Frenchman writing.