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That neutrality legislation looks too much at past causes and not at traces of future ones, was the accusation of James P. Baxter, Professor of History, in a talk before the Anti-war Group at the Union last night. It is his belief that bills such as the Nye-Kvale bill are based on the erroneous assumption that our entrance into the world war was caused by carrying too much trade with one of the belligerents.
Current legislation has attempted to curtail our wartime economic relations with fighting powers. In the opinion of many authorities this will keep us out of war. They assume that business likes a war. Professor Baxter pointed, however, to the last war before which, he claims business, fearful of increased government legislation, was decidedly in favor of peace.
Even if the assumption of the framers of these bills were right, they have left many weaknesses in them. Although they say that trade of war materials must cease in wartime, and that ships under the American flag cannot export certain other commodities, those bills do not actually stop trade in Baxter's opinion.
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