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The naval parley has at last been formally opened as King George "fired the shot heard round the world" which is theoretically to start the five power race for disarmament. But the few idealists who hoped to see some really startling developments as a result of this latest peace move were disappointed long before the opening speeches.
The relentless advance of modern science, the daily invention of some new potential for wholesale slaughter, make the very thought of another war too appalling to consider; and yet seventy two cents out of every dollar paid in taxes in this country is diverted from productive channels to provide for just such an event or to pay for a similar one in the past. That there is something wrong with a world, supposedly civilized, which spends its energies in such a primitive manner is becoming obvious to everyone, even peace delegates with their chess-like conception of statesmanship. But at the first suggestion to destroy these relics of a barbarian age, to junk battleships and to stop building them, to abolish the submarine, like wary hermit-crabs the delegations retire within their shells. And when they venture to creep out again, it is with the cautious suggestion that weapons of war should be merely limited. Carried to its logical conclusion the absurdity is almost funny, and admirals might fight their duels with swords. But the situation is too pitifully serious.
The nations of the world still want to dance to martial airs but don't want to pay the fiddler; must they needs have one more lesson--another Great War? From this Humanity would surely learn, but the price to the survivors would be dear.
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