Henry Louis Mencken, author, critic and editor, whose chief ambition, he said, is “to convert clergymen to Christianity,” returned with his wife yesterday from a two months’ Mediterranean tour on the North German Lloyd liner, Europa, highly enthusiastic in the praise of Jewish achievements in Palestine. Mencken strongly condemned the British government, which, he said, was attempting to “use the Jews as suckers.”
“I was tremendously impressed with the Jewish colonies in Palestine,” Mencken declared. “Jewish achievement in that land of primitive agriculture is really remarkable. The colony of Ain Charod, which we visited during, our tour of the Holy Land is one of the finest I have ever seen in my life. Not only are they farming their land in the most modern scientific manner, but at Ain Charod we also found a self-sustaining community that was also using modern industrial machinery to produce goods they needed.
“Everywhere we went, the contrast between the primitive methods of the Arabs and the fine Jewish farming colonies was evident. It is obvious that the Jews are right when they say that Palestine can hold another million people. Arab fear of the Jews is based not on nationalism, but on the conviction that they cannot compete with the modern scientific methods of the Jewish colonists.
“Of course the political situation there is extremely disquieting and anything may happen. It is a three-cornered contest there between the Jews, Arabs and British. The British are playing their usual politics. They have separated the Transjordan, which really belongs with Palestine, and hope by setting up these petty little Arab states to retain the power.
TELLS OF DANGER
For almost an hour Mencken sat in the ship’s lounge surrounded by a large group of ship news reporters and discussed Samuel Insull, German wines, Coca Cola, Fascism, Mussolini, the New Deal, the Brain Trust and many other subjects.
He predicted that Europe would be ruled by a “Man on Horseback” within a few years and predicted the same fate for the United States within twenty years. He declined to say what form a dictatorship would take here in America other than to dismiss Italian and German Fascism as totally unsuitable.
HIS NEW BOOK OUT
Mencken’s new book, “Treatise on Right and Wrong” was published yesterday by Alfred A. Knopf. The volume is a history of man’s moral and ethical ideas since the dawn of history. It was in order to complete the writing of the book that Mencken resigned as editor of the American Mercury.
Mencken declared that ten years as editor of a magazine was enough for any man. He pointed out that he was editor of the Smart Set for ten years and then editor of the Mercury for exactly the same period.