Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/160

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

it a matter of international diplomacy. Neither the nation nor the state of California has the slightest control over the schools of San Francisco, unless an action of the school board shall traverse a national or state law or violate a treaty. A treaty has precedence over all local statutes. But the meaning of a treaty can be demonstrated only through judicial process.

The extravagance of the press in both nations stirred up all the latent partisanship in both races involved. On the one hand the injuries to the Japanese children were grossly exaggerated. On the other hand, gratuitous slanders were invented to justify the action of the school board. This action was finally rescinded at the request of the President of the United States, who uttered at the same time a sharp reprimand to the people of California. This again was resented by the state, as only five of its citizens were responsible for the act in question, and the people of the state as a whole had no part whatever in anti-Japanese agitation nor any sympathy with the men temporarily in control of affairs in San Francisco. The net result of the whole affair was to alienate sympathy from Japan. This again was unfair, for the Japanese nation as a whole had no responsibility for what, at the worst, was an error of judgment on the part of a few of its immigrants.

Since this affair was settled I have not heard a word as to the relation of the Japanese to the schools of San Francisco, and I presume that this difficulty, like most others, has disappeared with time and patience and mutual consideration. It is not likely to be heard from again.

Only a word need be said of other matters which have vexed the international air. War scares are heard the world over. The world over they are set going by wicked men for evil purposes. In general the design of purveyors of international slanders is to promote orders for guns, powder and warships. There are other mischief makers, who hope to fish in troubled waters.

A few years ago it was suggested in America that the Manchurian railways, built on Chinese territory, by the governments of Russia and Japan should be sold to China. To this end China should borrow the money of an international syndicate under whose authority the railways should be managed. This line of action was for various reasons impossible to China. The suggestion itself was very unwelcome to the Japan authorities as well as to the Japanese people to whom the leased land between Port Arthur and Mukden is hallowed ground, holding the graves of a hundred and thirty thousand of the young men of Japan. The suggestion itself was personal only. It was never acted upon, never approved by the American people, no official action was ever based upon it, and it should not be a subject of worry to either Russia or Japan.