The Star Delivered every evening by 6 o'clock In Hawera, Manaia, Normanby, Okaiawa, Eltham, Mangatoki, Kaponga, Awatuna, Opunake, Otakeho, Manutahi, Alton. Hurleyville, Patea. Waverley. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28. 1913. THE WEEK/
The main points in the news of the week concerning Europe are: that there is evidence that the good understanding between Germany and Britain is broadening and deepening; that the Balkan Allies —whose cross purposes and conflicting interests have been on the whole favorable to Turkey, and calculated to jeopardise the larger international relationships—are submitting their differences to the judgment of the six Powers —Germany and Austria, France, Kussia, Britain and Italy; and that Montenegro, who fired the first shot in October in the BalkanTurkish war, has practically withdrawn from the contest, her resources exhausted and her people seething with -revolutionary discontent. Then, on the side of Turkey, we have the statement ascribed to Hakki Pasha, that "Turkey has no interest in continuing the war, as the territory whichhas already been lost cannot be recovered." On the whole, the conditions and developments appear to be favorable to what is all the time the main issue—the continuance of peace amongst the Great Powers.
There are, it is true, some things, which though, minor in themselves, are yet provocative of irritation in international feeling. For instance, the appointment of M. Delcasse as French Ambassador at St. Petersburg is spoken of by the Berlin newspapers as "a blow against Germany," and as "underlining the sharpening gravity of the international situation." It is also added that the feeling caused by the appointment has temporarily affected the Berlin Bourse. M. Delcasse, who is 61 years of age, Is a well-known French politician. He has held positions in several Cabinets, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1898 until 1905 he achieved considerable distinction. He was the prime promoter of the Alliance between France and Russia, and so openly and so ably favorable to the co-operation of Trance with Britain with respect to Morocco— to the prejudice of Germany—that Germany deliberately developed conditions which led to his resignation. Probably Germany now feels that his appointment to such an important post as that of Ambassador at St. Petersburg is not favorable to herself. Hence her tears.
A University, like every other community, must have laws and regulations for its internal government, but surely it belies its name and its purpose if it refuses to admit to its privileges any would-be student, unless he is a criminal or incapable of study. Millions of people throughout the Empire have probably been thinking to this effect since it was reported that Oxford desired to make the admission to her degrees dependent on efficiency in the Territorials, or in officers' training corps. Probably just as many will have been pleased to learn that members of the Senate of Cambridge University are opposed to co-operation with Oxford in the matter. This is of direct interest to New Zealand, because it may lead to a reconsideration of the desire of the Minister of Education (who is also Minister of Defence), to make the enjoyment of free places and scholarships in secondary schools dependent upon the holders submitting to military training. Surely it is impolitic to propose this, and would be essentially unjust to enforce it. Military training is desirable, oven necessary, in the nation's interest, but the penalties for neglecting it surely should not include arbitrary interference with the education of any capable, prospective citizen of the country. As the Lyttelton Times says, the >posal "»ftan« that any number of bright boys, with their whole future depending upon the advantages they would obtain at a secondary school, might be cast adrift half educated as punishment to their parents for having perverted consciences on the question of military training." Then a London journal has aptly observed with respect to the action of Oxford that "to declare that no man shall have know~ ledge unless he becomes a soldier is to institute blackmail, and be guilty of treason to science."
If the story of the state of Mexico during the past two years is ever humanly written, with nothing extenuated and nothing set down in malice, it will indeed be a moving record — partly of ideality, but chiefly of teaching, sordidness, and butchery. There is little doubt that General Porfirio Diaz gave that country for over thirty years the kind of government most suited to the bulk of the people —an almost paternal despotism; but when the series of revolutions which set in two years ago, broke out, he was in his 82nd year, and latterly his administration, it is said, had given undue and somewhat suspicious countenance to foreign financial exploiters, at the expense of the people and the public interests. At anyrate, this was made the excuse for the revolution which led to a counterrevolution, and this, in its turn, ended in General Madero becoming President fifteen months ago. For a time he was the idol of the people, in consequence of promising them great and millennial changes. These, however, were such as must take generations to accomplish, and, like children, the Mexicans seem to have expected them to be brought about as by -the stroke of a magician's wand.
General Madero was lionest, and warned the country not to expect immediate results, but his enemies, who were numerous and active, soon developed a spirit of impatience and dissatisfaction in the minds of the populace, and still another revolution was set on foot. This is said to have been helped with money by General Porfirio Diaz, the old Dictator, and his grandson (the General Diaz mentioned in recent cable messages) has certainly had a large hand in leading it to success. It is, however, doubtful whether he and his associates would have succeeded had not Madero's right-hand military commander, Pascwal Orozco, gone over, bag and baggage, to the enemy—it is said, for a price. This left President Madero weakened actually and morally, with the result that he has been de-
feated, compelled to resign, and obviously enough—notwithstanding denials to the contrary—murdered by his enemies, or at least while in their custody. The real fact of the matter is that General Madero was too advanced, too fine a man for the unenlightened Mexicans, the filibustering brigands, and the rascally foreign exploiters who have the country in their clutches.
It is altogether a very lurid tale of treachery and butchery and barbarism. Yet it might have been otherwise had America intervened, but President Taft announced that only the wholesale murder of Americans would induce him to sanction intervention; though the humanity at stake, as well as the investment in Mexico of £200,000,000 belonging to the American people, would surely have justified action as would have modified the recent bloodshed in the Mexican capital, and averted the murder of President Madero. Yet, after all this has happened, and notwithstanding President Taft's repeated statements that America would not intervene, it is reported from Washington that "American troops have been ordered to assemble at Galveston, in order to embark (if necessary) 10,000 men for intervention in Mexico." The moral sense of the world would have been better satisfied had this order been issued at least three weeks ago, and history might have been spared much pitiless bloodshed, and the shuddering, shameful tragedy of President Madero"s death.
There is real pathos in the death of the Dowager Empress of China. Throughout the revolution nothing said of her was to her discredit; indeed, all that was eaid represented her as acting; with good-sense and with the dignity becoming in a gentlewoman of the first order. It is true chat the revolutionists seem to have treated her with the utmost consideration possible under the circumstances; still, she must have had much to bear, and she bore it with magnanimity. And now, after a year of sorrowful isolation with her son, the dethroned child-Emperor, she is reported to have passed away with the dying words: "I and my boy are alone in the world. I must leave him. How shall my spirit find rest'in tne next world: What face ghall when I rejoin my ancestors? The last Empress ruined the dynasty." Some of this phraseology is figurative, bjit its pathos is plain enough; and the verdict of history will probably agree in substance with the last sentence. One thing i s satisfactory —that at her death, as during the revolution, the authorities of the new Republic have behaved like gentlemen with respect to the Empress, her child, and her dead husband; and, following her Majesty's death, we are told from Pekin that "a semiofficial statement is to the effect that both the late Emperor and Dowager Empress were of unblemished character and not responsible for the downfall of the dynasty." This is in the right human vein, and worthy of the world's respect and admiration, .for it is in keeping with fact, and not mere rhetoric.
The news of the death of Lieutenant iNinnis and Dr Merz, of Dr Mawson's Antarctic exploration party, will be sincerely regretted by all generous minds capable .pf appreciating the value of scientific exploration and research in the Polar legions, and the courage and self: sacrifice required in those who undertake them. There is satisfaction in knowing that, otherwise, the expedition has, apparently, been successful in a nigh degree. It has discovered a large area ot land between Victoria Land and Adeiie Land, and has, with a small three-eights Kilowatt wireless outfit proved It possible to communicate with ease and accuracy over the 2000 miles between Sydney and Macquarie Island Better still, Macquarie Island has communicated distinctly with stations 3000 *""«« avL*J in Fiji and West Australia, bo Dr Mawson. and his staff must be given credit for some new proofs as to what good work can be done by a low power station. But what they had most at heart was to establish communication with another small station at Dr Mawso:i s headquarters far away south in Adeiie Land, on the edge of Commonwealth Bay, and that they have succeeded in this is proved by the news ]ust received in Australia, from Dr Mawson m Adelte Land, via Macquarrie Island.
Mr King O'Malley, Minister of Internal Affairs in the Labor Government or the Australian Commonwealth has been advising labor unions to oppose strikes, as these merely play into the hands of the "boodler"—a cunning, plausible person who schemes but never does a half-day's work himself, though he contrives to make "boodle"—mo nev cunningly secured without giving an economic equivalent in manual labor or anything else. In fact, a "boodler" in labor matters gains his ends by "working" the workers. Mr O'Malfey's advice will perhaps be as useful to labor unions in New Zealand as to their kindred bodies in Australia.
The people of Westport will have the sympathy of the whole Dominion in consequence of the considerable damage done to property and the very natural disturbance ,of their feelings by the earthquako which they so unexpectedly experienced last Saturday. Even a slight earthquake is not a trivial thing, and the shock at Westport was not, strictly speaking, a slight one, though, to thencredit, we are told that "the business people are generally of the opinion that things might have been very much worse, and are taking their losses philosophically." This is worth remembering chiefly perhaps, because it is also &a thing to be remembered that practically anj part of New Zealand may at any moment be subjected to a similar experience.
One circumstance is worthy of special notice, namely, that the disturbance seems to have originated in the oceanbed some distance off, with Westport in the direct line of the main vibration ihjs hypothesis is supported by the 1 ress Association's Auckland telegram While the Katoa, from Westport to Auckland was off Westport at 12 38 on. Saturday, she was lifted by a submarine disturbance, and shaken from stem to stern. The disturbance was as though the steamer,had been raised from under, and was scraping her way over a derelict. The shock lasted only four seconds, but had no appreciable effect on the sea. Captain .North is of opinion that the centre was out at sea. Again, the experierce thus described accords with that of other seafarers For instance, on January 19, just about a month before the Westport episode when the G. M. Scharnhorst was 700 miles on her way from Colombo to Fremantle: All of a sudden, like a shot (said the master, Captain Textor, in afterwards describing the incident) we struck a submarine earthquake. The ship vibrated violently from one end to the other, and it -was just as if we ha<l set the engines going full speed astern. She pitched and shook until everything that could rattle did so, and if I had not been sure we were in deep water, I would have thought she had &truck some submerged object. The surface of the water was not disturbed in any way, although the shock In steel for 45 seconds. The passengers got a bit of a fright, as was only natural, but no damage was done.
The eirashiTty betweon this* experience and that of tne Katoa in connection with the Westport earthquake is so close as to be fun of suggestiveness to those who study, however slightly, the conditions under which earthquakes occur, or their results.