Before an audience that crowded the Living Room of the Union last evening Mr. Philip Kerr spoke on "The Situation in Europe". He was introduced by Professor M. O. Hudson '10 of the Law School.
Introducing his speech with the statement that he had come here to learn. Mr. Kerr said that in the course of his learning he had concluded that America was no longer the land of the pioneer. The people of the United States are not seeking land for settlement, nor are they seeking an increase in population through the channel of immigration. America is today approaching the same economic stage which England reached in 1840, when her manufactures surpassed her agricultural interests. Foreign trade will increasingly become the great interest of America.
Present Situation Discouraging
Everyone must look with disappointment upon Europe, Mr. Kerr continued, for the world has been disillusioned in its expectation of universal peace. France, in entering the Ruhr Valley, is about to paralyze the great industrial heart of Europe, which policy can only be accompanied by serious consequences. Furthermore the Turk is back, and Russia, although advanced in social theories, is still politically in the Middle Ages. The real gains from the war, gains in democratic thought, are very truly endangered, and their loss will affect the whole world. In answer to the question who is responsible for the chaotic state of Europe, Mr. Kerr said that France, Great Britain, and the United States share this blame; France, because she is animated by the fear and hatred of Germany; England, because she insisted upon forcing reparations to an impossible height; and the United States, because of the withdrawal of her moderating influence. America must play its part in world politics to avoid a future world war, which is inevitable unless the causes of war are removed. They can be eliminated only by a return to the idealism which signalized the last days of the war.
At the close of Mr. Kerr's address the meeting was thrown open for questions from the floor.