The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on April 28, 1935 · 37
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 37

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 28, 1935
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SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: SUNDAY, AFRIL 28. 1935 Water and Dust Storm Erosion Costs I British Empire Qrateful . for 25-Year U.S. $400, 000, 000 a Year, SaysWallace Reign of King Qeorge, Says Ex-Premier Agriculture Secretary Blames Abuse of Land; Tells Remedies By Henry A. Wallace Secretary of Agriculture The rise and fall of civilization throughout the world is in some degree a record cf how men have abused the land. But whereas the men of ancient China and Syria took thousands of year3 to pile up serious consequences, the white man in America has done almost as much damage In a couple of hundred years in less than 75 years for most of the area. A couple of years ago, on the basis of existing surveys, it was estimated that at least 85 million acres of formerly cultivated land, mostly good land, has been essentially destroyed by erosion in the United States. Today, on the basis of a special survey completed for the National Resources Board, we know that the area of formerly cultivated land most of which has been essentially ruined amounts to around 100 million acres. This is the equivalent bf 625,000 farms of 160 acres each, an area nearly equal to the combined extent of Ohio, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina. Patch Farming To be sure, in this vast area men are still trying to farm, but it is on a patch-farming basis. Because of severe gullying, mostof the land cannot even be cultivated successfully. But this is not the whole story. An additional 125 million acres now in cultivation has lost all or most of its productive top soil, and therefore is only half or perhaps one-tenth as productive as formerly, besides being hard to plow and cultivate. Rainwater flowing over this exposed clay Is not absorbed, but instead runs down any slope, increasing the rate of erosion as it goes, silting up streams and channels and reservoirs, Increasing the volume and de- mmmmmmmmmm structiveness of floods. Finally, on still another 100 million acres of land erosion is beginning to take its toll of priceless topsoil, and will continue unless certain farm practices are changed. On the 11th of May last year, residents of the eastern seaboard got their first taste of the results of wind erosion , combined with drought, when a great dust storm from the Western plains covered Eastern cities like a blanket. This year, though the East has not seen a repetition of that storm, it has seen its newspapers carry news stories, day after day, of the plains country struggling to live in the midst of blinding, stifling dust. In terms of financial damage to cities and homes in that region, the cost is already high. But in terms of damage to farmers, whose crops have been stricken by a combination of drought and dust, the cost is high; but in terms of damage to the nation's basic resource; the cost is highest of all. f - V" T"""l ... - 7 - .. .- .-,,v.,,-.. . 1 V 1 lNl 1 - - ' ' f. -"t , & ' i- " - v -J iff T '!, f V I.Ta ,t? - iiV ; - f 7 -"1 1 n ,- f iL i ........... :": If ' . I i v f " ; S i!;... L OND ON LO VES PA GEA NTR 17 Tk famous old coach of Imperial Britain, bearing King George V and Queen Mary, leading mmmimmmummmmmmmmsmmmmtmmmmmmmm the royal procession on Coronation Day, June 22, 1911. Scenes like this are to be repeated in London at the Silver Jubilee mmtimmmmmmmmmmmmmiwmmmmmmmmimmmim iiibbiiii iiii.n,iii..n,ui.i iiihiujj celebration on to the throne the International May 6. George V. succeeded on May 6, 1910. Picture from News Photograph Service. Blown to Sea It has been estimated that the dust storms of May 11, 1934, removed some 300,000,000 tons of fertile soil from the great plains to the eastern seaboard and out over the Atlantic. At least three billion tons of Koil are washed out of the fields and pastures of America very year. To haul this mass of soil by railroad would require a train of freight cars long enough to encircle the arth 37 times at the Equator. More than 400,000,000 tons of solid matter are dumped Into the Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi alone ( each year. And this material comes from the heart of our bread basket, the rich, fertile Mississippi Valley. The total damage done by rosion is incalculable. I have seen the figure of $400,000,000 a year, and doubtless that is conservative. The two kinds of man-made erosion need a v ord of explanation. Back of the gigantic dust storms is this series of events: In a region where rainfall is always low, and climate subject to tremendous variations from year to year, Nature kept most of the soil in place by covering it with grass and trees, or other vegetation. Loam Laid Bare When this vegetative cover was broken by the plow, and . the soil exposed year after year to cultivation, the loosened loam was laid bare to the driving force of the wind. Its natural humus supply dried out by repeated exposure to wind and sun, as the years went by, it offered less and less resistance. Periodic drought, of course, we have always had; but the wide-pread dust storm is a product of the new combination drought plus abuse of the land. What nature takes centuries to build up, man can destroy in a lifetime, if he is persistent Dough about it We know from actual measurements on experimental plots in Missouri, in a region of rich corn land, that a 7-inch layer of topsoil can be washed off in 49 years. If the same sloping field is kept in bluegrass sod, 2320 years would be required to remove this much soil. And at this latter rate, nature can rebuild fast enough to avoid damage. Governments Busy Wherever the problem of soil erosion exists which includes nearly every civilized part of the globe you will find governments struggling desperately to stave off the worst consequences. But in the United States, a widespread, national attack on soil erosion goes back no farther than 1933. The forest service, the bureau of chemistry and soils and other branches of the Department of Agriculture and the state colleges had donewhat they could in the past, but it remains true that a vigorous, nationwide ap proach was not undertaken until two years ago. Conservation of natural resources, and notably land, it so happens, has always been a prime interest of President Roosevelt's. He spoke of it In the 1932 campaign, and he puts his words into action in 1933 through such agencies as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the soil erosion service, and the national resources board. He saw in the adjustment programs of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration an opportunity to rest much overworked land, and get it back , into grass and trees. Only a few weeks ago the soil erosion service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, and is now the spearhead of a more centralized, long time attack, involving many Federal agencies, cooperation with state agencies and with thousands of individual farmers. The soil erosion service is today demonstrating how to control erosion on 35,000,000 acres of public land (including Indian reservations) and 4,000,000 acres of private land. Some 10,000 farmers in these demonstration areas have already agreed to practice approved erosion control measures, soil-saving crop rotations, and the like, under the guidance of erosion control specialists. These demonstration areas, being located in thirty-one states in the areas most subject to prosion, can serve as examples for neighboring farmers. Land Terraced . Already, with the help of erosion control camps of the Civilian Conservation Corps, hundreds of thousands of acres of eroding land have been terraced, strip-cropped (alternate plots of sod and row crops) or planted in erosion-resisting crop rotations. Under cooperative agreements with farmers, nearly a hundred thousand acres will be retired from cultivation, and an equal amount put in permanent hay and pasture. Temporary cheek dams, 161,000 of them, have been constructed in gullies to check water erosion and permit vegetation to recover. At the moment, public attention is centered on the sixty million-acre area out in the great plains where severe wind erosion is giving rise to disastrous dust storms. The most satisfactory remedy for these storms, of course, would be plenty of rain. The next best thing is to roughen the surface of the soil, at an angle across that of the prevailing winds, so that the wind no longer has unobstructed sweep. The permanent solution in this area, of course, involves a carefully planned rearrangement of crop rotations, and probably the retirement of some areas to grass. On the wind erosion front, listing is already under way, governmental agencies, state and Federal, are joining their forces. The program of action includes, in addition to listing hundreds of thousands of acres, shipping feed, food, and water into stricken areas; starting work-relief projects on roads, private and public lands: and planting fast-growing, hardy plants to furnish vegetative cover wherever and whenever this can be done. Because of the damage drought has done to winter wheat in this area, the AAA has removed restrictions in the spring wheat area farther north, to insure a plentiful wheat supply. Land Misused The dust storms, however, are no more than a symptom of the disease. The disease is misuse of the land. The only permanent cure is careful, scientific planning, region by region, the nation over, and the development of a mechanism for carrying out those plans. Such agencies as the Soil Erosion Service and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration are daily developing the necessary plans and mechanisms, but whether or not it will be possible to carry them out depends upon the wishes of the American people. (pyrltht. loss, AmiMlriin Nrwipap-ri, Int., tl I I nlvt'M! SCI tirf. ( 'Qerman Rearmament Marks Decline of France and Britain By GugUelino Fcrrcro Foremost Historian of Europe GENEVA. Germany is revenging herself on her conquerors, and in what a manner! In a manner which no one, not even Germany herself, had dreamed of, a manner which one is almost tempted to define as diabolical. Since Germany declared that she would burn Part V of the Treaty of Versailles and reestablish conscription, everyone has been in a state of anxiety. People believe that war is at the gates; they expect to live through the days of August, 1914, again. That is a delusion! If war depends on Germany alone, Europe will continue for some years to endure the dreadful peace from which she is suffering. Germany's act means something different from and more serious than war tomorrow. It is the heaviest blow that France and England have received to their prestige as great powers. Germany has not needed to mobilize millions of men in order to strike this blow at her powerful adversaries. It has sufficed for Hitler, choosing the right moment, to sign a paper of twenty lines. Why? Before 1914 Several times before 1914 it happened that France and England recoiled before Germany, without any injury to their prestige as great powers. It was known that the German army was much stronger than the French and English armies, and it was thought that the two powers were right to proportion their actions and pretensions to their strencth. In th world's opinion France and England remained what they were: two great powers, but a little less s.trong than Germany in certain directions. The present case is quite different. France, England and Italy are three super-armed powers on land and sea, and they are in league against Germany. France is, moreover, the center of a system of alliance which group a part of Europe round her. Germany is alone, without friends and without allies. She is ruined to such an extent that she has to invent the most complicated expedients to buy the raw materials necessary for her industry. In First Phase She is not disarmed, as the Treaty of Versailles desired, but she is only in the first phase of her rearmament. That is to say, she is still in an inferior position and considerably Inferior to the thre adversary powers, and to the coalition grouped around France. Yet she ran tear up the Treaty of Versailles, and the three allied powers, who have the backing of nearly the whole of Europe, are not able to do anything to stop her. They were not even able to agree immediately on any line of conduct. They required four days to decide that they would seek to come to an agreement and this after England had begun negotiations with Germany on her own account. France and Italy have decided that they will have recourse to the League of Nations; but who does not know that the League of Nations is a cannon loaded with powder? If the cannon is fired it will make a certain amount of noise, but no damage will be done. The accomplished set will remain: The Treaty of Ver sailles will have come to an end; Germany will have torn It up without running any serious risk and without meeting any resistance. The event is of very great importance; its consequences will sooner or later be seen not only in Europe, but also in Asia and Africa, wherever England and France have colonies. But however strange and paradoxical the event may be, it is not difficult to explain. It is the consequence, after fifteen years, of an error committed by the Allies when they made peace: the error of thinking that Europe could be reorganized without the collaboration of Germany. : . ' . - i i " I -. F r f i k v : i 1 j. GUGL1ELMO FERRERO (Content, on tbli p Europe is a small, overpopu-lated continent, where a great number of large and small states live crowded together; and they can only live and develop thanks to a complicated system of exchange of all kinds economic, political, intellectual. In order for them all to live there must be a rule that a certain balance of power and relations of friendly independence exist between them, on the basis of moral equality. War may disturb this equilibrium and these relations, but only temporarily and as an exception. A regime of permanent inequality and chronic hostility is impossible. It would end by becoming fatal to all and by provoking formidable crises. The coalition which defeated Napoleon in 1S14 understood this very well. It freed Europe from the great fool who, thanks to the revolution, had taken possession of France; it overthrew his embarrassing empire, but it respected France and associated her with the great reconstruction of Europe which it brought about. Deluded Victors The victors in the World War, on the contrary, understood nothing of this. They had the delusion that they could settle the affairs of Europe without or against Germany. They subjected Germany to a special regime which was not that to which the other powers were subjected, and which implied a sort of control by Europe of Germany's military forces. And this is the result! Germany has placed herself in a state of revolt against Europe, and Germany and Europe are i eopyrijrht. 1635) declining together! For Nazi-ism, in its foreign policy, Is merely the revolt of Germany against Europe. The epoch of the great powers is ended In Europe. That is what all these events signify. Russia and Austro-IIiiiigary have disappeared. Italy and Germany are ruined; their governments are no longer legitimate governments; their armies seem to exist much more in appearance than In reality. Prestige Waning France and England, which have upheld themselves hitherto, are declining rapidly. Their prestige and their strength are fast diminishing. The economic situation of England seems to be improving, but will it be a permanent improvement? France, on the contrary, has begun to grow poor, like the rest of the world. The law which reduces all the nations of Europe to the same level works both ways; instead of all prosjiering together, as before 1914, they arc all growing poor and declining. There are no more great powers in Europe, but only states equally incapable of making war or peace, all leveled more or less by the same misfortunes. In this community of suffering the new Europe is preparing. Europe cannot live without am equilibrium of states and peoples. She is suffering because the equilibrium has been broken by 25 years of revolutions and ' wars and because she cannot succeed in reestablishing it. The new Europe will be that which discovers underneath all this suffering the foundations of a new equilibrium. (CoFjrijIit. 13S. Amtrtc-n Kj-riMDf. lie.) duties of immense value to our progress and well being. True, our King is not now a political autocrat, as constitutional sovereign. He acts in accordance with the advice of his ministers, in whom practical responsibility for governing the country is vested. He has far less political power than the President of the United States. Therein lies the strength and permanence of his position. He is not personally identified with the passing political movements and acts of the Government. He is head of the nation in all its vicissitudes he represents its abiding life and civic order. Our King serves as the concrete, personal embodiment of the whole nation. The Government is carried on and justice is administered in his name. Live Constitution Our Constitution is not a paper document, but a living thing that grows and changes with the nation's growth, and we prefer to have a living personality as its center. The monarch has descended from the ages centuries before the oldest political parties which choose Presidents or premiers were ever thought of. But the King is in reality far more than the nation's personification and figurehead, to whom it can express its loyalty and around whom it can array its pageantry. He embodies and preserves a richer tradition that of kingliness and nobility. He is the fount of honor, the head of society, and, so long as the nation places royalty at the apex of the national life and finds a real imperative in the phrase "noblesse oblige," It has to have a set of motives and Ideals to inspire public service and private conduct. Our King is not a tyrant or dictator. He is the titular head of the national family. A healty, normal family likes to have a head. Meantime the British crown strengthens our national cohesion and imperial units, satisfies certain deep-rooted instincts and Ideals and social agencies which we should be sorry to lose. Ruthless Rulers The sternest and most ruthless autocracies of Europe are republics Russia and Germany. The freest communities in this hemisphere are monarchies D enmark, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Britain. But there are other reasons why the silver jubilee of King George V will be celebrated this year with unforced rejoicing and profound thanksgiving. The rejoicings which will ring out for King George's jubilee will voice the nation's affectionate gratitude for the quiet sagacity in which he, throughout his difficult and troubled reign, exhibited those more valuable and less debatable gifts. All through these twenty-five years King Georce had Identified himself with his people, with their problems, strug- Lloyd George Says Ruler Has Endeared Self to All by Quiet Sagacity By David Lloyd George Wartime Prime Miniittr of Great Britain LONDON (Special Cable) Twenty-five years have passed since King George succeeded to the British throne; twenty-five years of the most pretentious years in human history. And on the sixth of May, the anniversary of his accession, through streets packed and banked high with cheering throngs, King George and his consort will pass in state to St. Paul's Cathedral That ancient sanctuary in the heart of the city of London, to join their people in a service of thanksgiving. All over the country and throughout the British Empire, the King's jubilee will be made the occasion for fetes and celebrations, some of which will be spread over following days and , weeks. Maybe all this pageantry and royal pomp will seem strange to transatlantic eyes. The vast republics of America have abolished Kings and crowns, which they associate with tyrannies and superstitions of a bygone age. Vital to National Life How comes it, they may ask, that so pro- . gressive, enlightened and free a nation as the British continues to cherish in this manner a relic of medievalism? What use is a King to a nation which has grown up and learned to govern itself? Isn't the monarchy just a tedious anachronism and the festivities surrounding the silver jubilee a bit of childish make believe? That view may be excusable, but it is profoundly misinformed. The British monarchy fills a highly import ant place in our national life and discharges : 13!:in.:asliK;,ii:rsiui;d!.. gles and hopes in a manner supremely wise and courageous. They have been anxious year3 for Kings. We have had internal and external troubles. When King George ascended the throne in 1910, the nation was In the throes of a constitutional struggle as to the legislative veto of the House of Lords. eads New Order The new King was faced with the painful dilemma of either abandoning the privileges of the hereditary aristocracy which stood about his throne or defying the demands of Commons, backed by the main body of the nation. He had the vision and wisdom to see the march of the new order and to make himself its mouthpiece. Four years later came the great war. During the desperate and anxious years which ensued, King George and Queen Mary both spent themselves lavishly in encouraging and heartening the nation for Its tasks. I can bear testimony to their untiring work and to its immense value, for throughout the war I was a minister of the crown and for the last two years I had supreme responsibility, as Prime Minister, for the nation's government; and I gratefully remember the courage, energy, wisdom and sympathy shown by the King, alike in the council chamber and among the people. It was sound instinct which led those vast crowds, on the day the Armistice was at last signed, to mass themselves before Buckingham Palace end cheer and cheer without ceas- ' ing. Anxious Years The following years of peace have been only less difficult and anxious than those of war. Distress has marched through large areas of the land and political problems have at times grown acute. The King has shown himself an example to his statesmen in the keen, sympathetic interest he has shown to our social distresses and in the wise and unobtrusive manner in which he has promoted the solution of political difficulties. His sons, too, have shown themselves fit heirs to the royal tradition and, alike in the homeland and throughout the empire, they have passed as princely ambassadors, strengthening the bonds of the commonwealth and fostering movements of benevolence and reform. Memories of all this will Inspire the rejoicing of the nation when our King celebrates his silver jubilee. Ha haa sought not personal glory or power, but service for ht3 people's good. And his people re grateful. m l'l ::.V ritrv-'s-l Srvt.- a-i -r Yr( A-ir". Afl r rvM. Rr"iucliw in mti. or 1

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