A handy crow's nest from which to follow the doings, or lack of them, at the London Naval Conference was found by President Hoover last week in his temporary offices in the State, War & Navy building. Acting Secretary of State Cotton was just down the corridor and around the corner. The President's door was open to him at any hour with despatches from Chief Delegate Stimson at St. James's palace. Downstairs in the cable room were expert telegraphers. Code clerks filled the code room from which all snoopers were shooed away. Tall, curly-haired Pierre De Lagorde Boal of Boalsburg, Pa., chief of the department's conference secretariat, sat in his office like a traffic officer directing the two-way flow of messages. In the office labeled "Division of Current Information" waited Robert McGregor Scotten beside his well-oiled mimeograph, primed to reel out press releases from London.
All the complicated machinery for quick diplomatic communication was tuned up for the conference rush of business. Only lacking was the rush of business. The President could ask Statesman Stimson a question in London and get an answer in ten minutes, if necessary. But last week it was not necessary. President Hoover had few questions to ask because Statesman Stimson was doing little. And that was just what President Hoover wanted Statesman Stimson to do at first.
But this did not mean that President Hoover was not vitally interested in all that went on at the conference. On its opening day, he arose before daylight, put on a bulky sweater, a pair of old trousers and sneakers, went down into the china room in the White House basement.* There his medicine-ball playfellows awaited him around a radio loudspeaker. In attentive silence the President sat listening to the address of George V, King and Emperor. When the program from London was over, the President arose, remarked upon the clarity of the reception but not upon its substance, led his medicine-ballers out upon the south grounds for their morning exercises.
¶ A President receives abundant advice. Last week Missouri's representative Leonidas Carstarphen Dyer, No. 2 Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, urged the President to declare for 2.75% beer as a Prohibition solution. The President shunted beer to the deep-bottomed repository of the Wickersham committee.
¶ President Hoover appointed two more newspaper publishers to diplomatic posts: Edward Everett Brodie of Oregon (The Oregon City Morning Enterprise), to be Minister to Finland; Ralph Harman Booth of Michigan (Grand Rapids Press and seven others in a chain), to be Minister to Denmark.
¶ The President elevated the U. S. diplomatic post at Poland from ministerial to ambassadorial, appointed Alexander Pollock Moore, lately Ambassador to Spain and then to Peru, as First Ambassador to Poland.
*Directly under the Green Room. On the circular walls are displayed samples of state crockery used by long-dead presidents.