Page 0012


Swiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, who

starved himself to death in prison.

Following the elections there was a

slight recrudescence of disorder. At Ballycastle, County Mayo, on September 1,

Republican guerillas fired upon a Free

State patrol and killed a corporal. Another

party of Free State troops was fired upon

at Castleconnel in Limerick, but there

were no casualties. On September 3,

attacks were made in Dublin upon Mountjoy Prison and other places, and the exchange of rifle shots lasted about forty


The new Parliament assembled in Dublin on September 19.

An interesting bit of news of another

character came out of Ireland about the

end of August. It concerned salvage operations on the liner Laurentic, which had

been sunk in twenty fathoms of water off"

the coast of Donegal during the war by a

German submarine. The Laurentic carried

down with her gold and silver treasure

worth nearly twenty-five million dollars.

The salvage operations occupied about

three years but proved very successful.

Up to August 29, 2,849 out of 2,879 gold

bars had been recovered. Owing to the

disturbed state of Ireland the work had

been shrouded in great secrecy, as there

existed a fear that the Sinn Fein forces

might make an attack from the shore. The

Laurentic was only one of numerous vessels

that were - sent to the bottom carrying

treasure. In some other cases it has been

possible to recover the treasure, but many

others sank in water too deep for salvage

operations to be possible.

Throughout the spring and summer of

1923 the French and Belgians continued to

hold the Ruhr region, and the Germans

continued their policy of "passive resistance." In order to enable workers in the

occupied district to remain idle, funds were

furnished them by agents of the German

Government. Meanwhile Germany protested vociferously against the occupation,

and it was apparent that she hoped to

influence Great Britain and other nations,

including the United States, to use pressure

upon France in her behalf. The contest

"became a test of wills between the German

nation on the one hand and the French and

Belgian nations on the other. The Germans determined to hold out until the

occupation had failed. The French and the

Belgians resolved to remain until German

resistance was broken." By Germans the

conflict was regarded as a revolt not only

against the payment of reparations but

against the whole Treaty of Versailles, while

the French and the Belgians considered that

they were striving to preserve the fruits of

victory won at bloody cost in the Great War.

The British people, for the most part,

viewed the occupation of the Ruhr with

disfavor, the more so because the prostration of German industry resulting therefrom reacted upon British business conditions. In July, the British Premier, Stanley

Baldwin, in the House of Commons, and

Foreign Secretary Curzon, in the House of

Lords, made speeches condemning the

Ruhr policy of their allies as wrong in

principle, as a failure as a method of collecting indemnities, and as constituting a

grave menace to Europe. But the French

and Belgians resolutely refused to change

their policy, and all British protests proved

unavailing. Relations between Great Britain and France became very much strained,

and there was even some talk of war between the two nations. In the United

States many people doubted the wisdom of

the occupation of the Ruhr, but, despite

German and British propaganda, the French

and Belgian policy received much support.

It was very generally said that if Great

Britain had a common frontier with Germany,

as does France, British opinion would be

decidedly different.

German finances, already in a desperate

condition, proved unequal to the strain of

keeping millions of workers in idleness, and

of procuring abroad at ruinous prices coal

to supply the place of that which could not

be obtained from the Ruhr. Inflation of the

currency reached heights never before attained in any country, not even in Russia,

new misery and suffering resulted, and the

situation "foreshadowed the paralysis of the

whole industrial system, opening prospects

of political disturbance inescapable when