Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Today -100: February 23, 1921: Why should a great empire wish to sell any part of itself?


Harding’s “tentative” cabinet picks: Charles Evans Hughes for secretary of state, Harry Daugherty attorney general, former senator John Weeks secretary of war, former congresscritter (and third gunner’s mate during the Spanish-American War) Edwin Denby secretary of the navy, Sen. Albert Fall secretary of interior, banker Andrew Mellon treasury secretary, businessman/philanthropist Herbert Hoover secretary of commerce. Harding will leave under-secretary appointments to the secretaries. Not all of these men have accepted yet – Hoover’s being especially coy – but they will.

German War Minister Otto Gessler says Polish troops are massing on the border as part of a threat by the Entente that if Germany doesn’t agree to its terms on reparations and disarmament, Poland will be allowed to invade Silesia.

Brig. Gen. Frank Crozier, commander of the Royal Irish Constabulary’s Auxiliary Division (the Black and Tans), resigns to protest the reinstatement of 21 auxiliaries he’d fired for looting. There’s some confusion about this: Ireland Secretary Sir Hamar Greenwood tells Parliament that Crozier has it wrong and they were actually sent back to Ireland to be court-martialed. We’ll see.

There’s a coup in Persia.

There’s been talk, from ex-senator Arthur Beveridge and current Sen. James Reed that Britain and France should give the US some of their Caribbean colonies to pay off their war debts. The Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica) asks “Why should a great empire wish to sell any part of itself?” Why indeed.

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