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d'une opinion publique vraiment américaine dont
En Europe, il n'existe rien qui puisse égaler une
ternationaux des États du Nouveau Monde. But, adds Dr. Alvarez in a footnote, "Plusieurs ont vu dans ce Bureau une espèce de ministère des Etats-Unis, destiné à informer ces derniers sur tout ce qui intéresse la vie économique des Etats de l'Amérique latine.” Various foreign critics—in particular, Spanish critics—have even spoken of the Pan-American Union as a semi-political institution directly controlled by the United States government and bent chiefly on the dissemination of views favorable to the United States.
To anybody familiar with the publications and activities of the Pan-American Union, such criticism must seem highly prejudiced. What, indeed, has struck the present writer in the long course of years during which he has followed the work of this international institution has been the careful avoidance of publications or actions at which any member of the Union might take offense, the care with which all politics not simply informational has been eliminated from its public work, and the vast amount of useful information about each of the member countries which has been disseminated among the readers of its English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French bulletins and studies. Its educational work, both among teachers and with the general public, has, in fact, been stupendous; and it may be said without much exaggeration that such knowledge of Latin-America as Americans now have is due principally to its efforts. Likewise, much of the information that the Latin-American countries have about one another and about the United States has been due to its efforts.
Two important pieces of work which it might be well for the Pan-American Union to undertake in addition to its routine duties are: (1) the adoption of some plan whereby the fact of the location of its headquarters in Washington may be mitigated in the eyes of some Latin-American and foreign observers and (2) the extension of the educational work which it has successfully prosecuted in other directions into the public elementary and high schools. It is in the public schools that most of our citizens finish their scholastic training; and no present-day school training should be considered complete without the study of LatinAmerican civilization through courses in history and general reading.
The adoption of the plan for placing the Pan-American Union on the basis of a convention is highly to be recommended as the only practical means of assuring the PanAmerican Union a firm and permanent foundation and makîng it in reality what Dr. Alvarez calls “the directive center of a truly American conscience and public opinion whose influence, especially on the moral side, will make itself felt in the whole New World.”
Consideration of the Reduction and Limitation of Military and Naval Expenditures on Some Just and
The subject of the limitation of armaments will gain added significance at the Fifth International Conference through the presence of Secretary of State Hughes at Santiago. In general, the topic is of the kind dear to LatinAmerican hearts. Its idealism is in itself attractive, and its connection with all the progressive movements of the age should make it admirably suited to keen analysis and lofty, altruistic eloquence. Moreover, South America furnishes one of the earliest examples during our contemporary period of a practical attempt to solve the problem of reduction of armaments. In 1902 Argentina and Chile concluded a “Convention on Naval Armaments” whereby the governments in question agreed to limit their fleets until “a prudent equilibrium” should be secured.
Theoretically, nearly every thoughtful Latin-American may be said to be an enthusiastic advocate of any project resembling that of the reduction of armaments. The LatinAmerican republics are not pressed for room and will not be for a time too remote to be considered among immediate probabilities. None of them can encroach on the territory of another in the face of the watchful great nations of the world. The Monroe Doctrine, as it is maintained at present, and the relations of the Latin-American republics with the European powers preclude the possibility of foreign aggression. The settlement of disputes by arbitration and the sentiments exemplified by the erection in 1904 of the statue of the Christ of the Andes-on the base of which is inscribed this splendid sentence, “Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than the people of Argentina and Chile break the peace to which they have pledged themselves at the feet of Christ, the Redeemer"-appear to make armies and navies a wholly unnecessary item in LatinAmerican civilization, except for policing purposes.
In spite of these good reasons, nevertheless, the limitation of armaments is likely to meet more opposition in LatinAmerica than among the signers of the major disarmament agreement. The question of the burden of taxation imposed by the maintenance of armies and navies will not bother Latin-American administrations nearly as much as it has bothered the great powers. The traditional feeling of security consequent on the control of the strongly entrenched military system will not voluntarily be dropped by many of the Latin-American executives. The sentimental appeal of military pomp to large sections of the LatinAmerican public and the ambition of aspiring leaders to have the backing of an actual or prospective “army” are also strong factors against the probability of military curtailment at the present time.
Above all, certain practical considerations stand in the way of the adoption of a definite plan for limitationthough a resolution favoring limitation in a general way may well be passed ať the Conference.
In the first place, international suspicion—which is a highly practical consideration — still reigns over LatinAmerica. Mexico does not feel sure as to the ultimate aims of the United States and resents the withholding of recognition; Chile and Peru, though the Tacna-Arica controversy is virtually settled, President Harding having accepted the invitation of both disputants to serve as arbitrator, do not feel cordially disposed toward each other, and claims have already been made by a Peruvian official that Peruvian residents in the Tacna-Arica region are not being properly treated by Chilean authorities; and the Central American Conference held at Washington during the past few months has led to no definite result with regard to union. In the second place, Brazil has lately suffered from internal disturbances, and the A. B. C. powers of South America, in recent preliminary discussions regarding the question of reduction of armaments, have failed to strike the note needed to persuade or convince Latin-America as a whole of the present utility of reduction of land and naval forces. The situation in Latin-America is much the same as that existing in a large area of Europe, with the difference that the smaller republics are more likely to lean toward limitation of armaments than the larger states. The only outstanding prospect of agreement on limitation of armaments would seem to rest on such personal triumph as Secretary Hughes, preceded by the prestige of his remarkable success in this field, may score at the Conference.
The foregoing is not sketched for the purpose of intimating that international peace and friendship in Latin-America are in a precarious position today. In fact, as Secretary Hughes declared in his Cleveland speech of November 4, 1922, it should be a source of self-congratulation to the American countries that peace reigns on the whole Western Hemisphere. Nor can there be any justification for belief of serious disturbances in the immediate future. Interna
6As this paper goes to press, it is reported that the Central American republics have signed an agreement on limitation of land armament. The writer does not think that this action will lead to a similar agreement at Santiago, but does believe it vital for future treatment of the problem.
tional relations, immigration, commerce, communications, and the silent pressure of the great powers of the world encourage the feeling that serious conflict is almost an impossibility. But the growth of nationalism, material progress, lack of a genuine public opinion in most of LatinAmerica, the age-old power of individual politicians and political orators, and the fanatical devotion to party which has always characterized Latin-Americans, keep alive a sense of uncertainty and the expectation that something may happen some day somewhere. It is this combination of feelings and circumstances which evidently inspired the following paragraphs in an article in the Revista de Revistas (Review of Reviews) of Mexico some years back:
Nations are like persons: they need to measure themselves with somebody, to have a rival. I do not venture to assert that the rivalry of Argentina and North America is as yet a fact, but it will come to pass inexorably. The Yankees are the obsession, at present unexpressed and secret, of Argentinians.
One can even surmise a certain tendency toward jingoism in Argentina. This country will probably feel very soon a sensation of superabundance; and then there will ensue an ostentatious and arrogant nationalism whose consequence will be imperialism. It will want to dominate, to absorb, and to spread out. It is then that the small republics which border on the Plata and the Paraná will be fused with Argentina, forming the United States of South America. Two wars will be inevitable: one against Chile and the other against Brazil. When the great nation of the Plata is thus constituted, the two colossi of the North (the United States) and the South will stand face to
face. They will be two fatal adversaries. If this seems fantastic to us in so far as it involves the United States, and certainly not typical of the best LatinAmerican prophecy, we must not forget that many LatinAmerican observers foresee periods of intense jingoism in each of the A.B.C. countries. There are trained thinkers in all the Spanish-speaking countries of South America who are apprehensive of the absorption by Portuguese-speaking