28 SEPTEMBER 1929, Page 13


Opinion is divided as to the significance of the disclosures which have resulted, so far, from the Senate investigation into the activities of the Naval propagandist, Mr. William B. Shearer. The Springfield Daily Republican remarks that the business men involved were " very simple-minded if they thought they could block negotiations for Fleet limitation between the two countries by such methods " as those which Shearer employed. Although it is admitted that Shearer was employed as a reporter, it seems highly unlikely that any responsible person could imagine his influence sufficient to account for the failure of the Geneva Conference. Neverthe- less, President Hoover's action in bringing propagandist activities into light is generally commended, although the commendation is accompanied by the demand that the investigation shall not be confined to one side, but shall embrace equally the activities of Pacifist and other organiza- tions which also indulge in persistent lobbying. The chief evil in these things is the hidden authorship. Everyone has the right to state his case, but he must accept responsibility by coming into the open and saying what he has to say in his own name. * *