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"The nations of South America will soon be side by side with the United States in working out the world problems of today," said ex-Secretary of War John W. Weeks in an interview granted to the CRIMSON yesterday.
Mr. Weeks has recently been on a trip through South America, traveling down the East Coast to Buenos Aires, crossing the Andes and returning via the West Coast.
"Many of them have what seem to be stable governments and are developing physically with great rapidity," he said. "This, I think, applies especially to the Argentine, which, in its physical qualities, is very like our Western claims and which are developed about as our great West was forty or fifty years ago. She has the same general make-up as the United States. She has large cities on her eastern coast, and wide plains stretching to the west which are excellent for cattle raising purposes. She is now rapidly increasing her exports, and is especially thriving in the raising of cattle. This year she will export 1,000,000 tons of wheat."
Bull Sold for $66,000
Mr. Weeks illustrated this point by an instance which occurred while he was in the Argentine capital. "While I was there," he declared, "a bull was sold at auction for $66,000, which I think is the largest price ever paid for such an animal." He said that it was not for a bull fight, as we would commonly suppose.
Mr. Weeks came over the mountains to Chile after his visit to the more southern countries, and was a quiet spectator at the Tacna-Arica tribunal being conducted under General Pershing. "Very little has been accomplished there to date," he said, "and General Pershing will undoubtedly return at least temporarily to this country."
The next topic of discussion about which he was asked was the question of disarmament.
"Those who are big and strong", he remarked, "do not ordinarily engage in fights to settle differences. This applies to individuals as well as to nations. However, the big nations of the world went to war ten years ago and there is no doubt that they and all others are tired of war. Therefore, this is the best time to undertake any action that will prevent wars in future. The best way to prevent the action is for the principals to get together and honestly talk over the methods which may be adopted to bring about the result.
"I am therefore, in favor of a method to discuss the disarmament question at this time. Not that I favor complete disarmament, for that question should always be considered from the standpoint from what others are doing and what may be the necessities of the particular nation to which we belong, but this would seem to be a time when the question may properly be thoroughly thrashed out, for I am convinced that another great world war would come very near destroying our present civilized nation."
Mr. Weeks was then asked about the Tax Bill now pending in Congress, about which he said, "the exact tax which should be imposed in all cases would not ordinarily be agreed to by any two men. It must, therefore, be treated as is most other legislations in Washington, from a compromise standpoint. The tax hill which has recently passed the House of Representatives, seems to me to be a relatively good one and should be passed in substantially that form. That does not mean that I am in favor of every item in it or that any other man may be, but it is a better law than the one which is now in force.
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