ITEMS OF INTEREST

Secretary of State Bryan explained to the Senate committee on foreign relations last week his plan for avoiding war between nations by giving their passions six months or a year in which to subside before proceeding to hostilities. Mr. Bryan proposes that when a situation arises where two or more nations, having exhausted all the expedients of diplomacy, are virtually on the edge of war, an inquiry into the merits of the case may be made by an international commission of inquiry which shall study and report upon the case, the parties involved pledging themselves meantime not to go to war with each other within a period of six months or a year, as may be determined in the treatics the secretary of state proposes to negotiate. Two new features are introduced, one providing that the international committee of inquiry may undertake investigation upon its own initiative, and the other that, pending the report of the commission, or within the period specified by treaty, neither party involved shall increase its military or naval program. The machinery to carry out the Bryan plan of investigation is already in existence, in the form of the international commission of inquiry appointed under authority of the Hague convention, hence all Secretary Bryan now has to do is to go ahead and make his treaties. He was informed by the committee that they cordially approved the principle embodied in his plan, and that he would have their hearty good will in attempting to negotiate the new treaties. He also laid his plan before the diplomatic corps, and almost every ambassador and minister in Washington responded to his invitation to hear his explanation.

The completed Democratic tariff revision bill, presented to the House last week by the Democrats of the ways and means committee, contemplates a radical readjustment of the entire fiscal policy of the nation. They propose to make an income tax the means of accurately adjusting the funds to be raised by taxation to meet the necessities of government expenditure. The Democrats, outlining their policy in the preparation of the bill, announced an absolute disregard for the cost-of-production theory as regulatory of tariff rates, and declared that in the pending bill they had attempted:—

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CHARITY
May 3, 1913
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