"NOBODY'S MORON"

The wily Turk, "nobody's moron" as he has been called, manipulated the claims of France and England at the last Lauzanne conference so as to bring those two governments upon the verge of a diplomatic break. Even the efforts of Ambassador Child as a neutral observer could not avert the deadlock which resulted. And as the second conference opens the Turk believes he has made his own position even more secure by tossing a bone in the form of the Chester concessions to the United States.

When an American citizen is given some control over the greater part of the economic resources in Turkey, it might seem indeed that the United States must come in conflict with the rival claims of France and Great Britain. Turkey, with the smartness of a child, has admitted that she aimed at some such complication in giving to Rear-Admiral Chester railroad and harbor privileges previously promised to France and extensive oil rights held out at one time to Great Britain.

Whatever the outcome may be, it is certain that these concessions will form an important part of the discussion at Lauzanne. The opinion was current last winter that oil rivalry broke up the first conference. Great Britain was accused of reaching too eagerly for Mosul oil when the Standard Oil Company became interested in the same field. Even before that conference writers were pointing out that any serious difference between England and America would arise through commercial rivalry, and they singled out the Near East as a likely location for the clash.

The Turkish intellect was able to foresee these possibilities in economic rivalry at Lauzanne, but it failed to realize that some countries can settle differences by compromise rather than by war. It failed to see that the United States need not abandon the "open door" policy which Secretary Hughes enunciated last fall, and which leaves a territory as open to French or British as to American citizens. Turkish politics seem not to have developed along with the politics of western countries, and appear unaware that "international improvement", as Lord Robert Cecil puts it, "is progressing from rivalry to cooperation".

"* * * * *"

Those playful English collegians, in one of their famous rags, succeeded in convicting Mr. Wells of using too many "dots" in his novels. The penalty, which hardly fitted the enormity of the offense, prescribed the delightful task of transcribing his "Outline of History" from Morse to Semaphore code--or of working it out in "cuneiform, without the assistance of the Moabite stone"--or the hand-writing on the wall.

Other authors should regard the fate of Mr. Wells with trepidation. Recently writers have become content with pages that resemble Democratic campaign speeches with all the references to Wall Street expurgated. The old masters never relinquished their ascendancy in the reader's mind by such degradations of language. They found words to express even the complex internal phenomena that cause the modern writers such difficulty. But with the other kinds of freedom which are by-products of democracy, comes the liberty to fill in the spaces for oneself. Apparently, authors trust in the reader's imagination to bridge the gaps, leaving only on "Ah . . .", or a "God . . ." for a sign-post. And it is conceivable that the average reader can follow the average writer with even less guidance. Their minds run too often in the same mundane channels.

The revolt against the growing use of the Morse code in literature is not, then, prompted by a feeling that the public is being cheated of worth-while sentiment. The English students objected (if they seriously objected at all) to the sloppy writing which permits a few dots to replace vivid language. Effective as the imagination may be the pantomime of snapping one's fingers can hardly rival a few hearty words in expressing vigorous emotion of any sort.