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THE WAR MACHINE: HOW MUCH POWER IS REACHING
THE REAR WHEELS ?
M HE war machine of a nation can be compared very fairly coats at various cantonments throughout the country, giving to an automobile.
statistics which no defender of the War Department could afford In an automobile the only power that counts is the to pass over in silence. He concluded his address with a depower exerted on the road through the rear wheels. In a war scription of the hospital conditions in some of the camps which machine the only power that counts is the power exerted on the moved the Senate to the depths. Senator Tillman sat in his enemy at the battle-front. Equip an automobile with a hundred seat with the tears rolling down his cheeks; Senator Wadsworth horse-power engine, add a defective transmission, a slipping covered his face with his hands. In the gallery many were clutch, a badly aligned shaft, and a poorly lubricated differen- audibly crying. The climax was reached when Senator tial, and your machine, while the engine is racing its head off, Chamberlain read a letter from a father whose son had died in will only crawl along the ground with the speed of a decrepit the camp from spinal meningitis. This boy was left in a fireless hack. Give a country all the resources of wealth, population, room in zero weather, without sufficient attendance to keep his food, ores, and industry, yet without the organization necessary body covered. After his death, his father, in attempting to to bring these resources to bear on the enemy as the power of enter the room where his son's body was being prepared for the automobile engine is brought to bear on the surface of the burial, felt the door to the room strike something which preroad, and the result is humiliation and defeat. Perhaps the vented its being opened. “I looked,” he wrote," and saw that realization of this fact is the chief reason why we are to-day it was my son's body lying on the floor of the hall, and it was hearing less and less of a once familiar statement. When we his head that I struck with the door.” first went to war, we were told that we could easily defeat Germany because of our vast resources in money and men. Now
THE SURGEON-GENERAL'S TESTIMONY the public is becoming less and less interested in the size of Senator Chamberlain's speech was immediately answered by those resources and more and more concerned with the inten- Senator Kirby, of Arkansas, but his reply on behalf of the sive utilization of those resources against the common foe of the Administration plainly did not carry the weight of Senator civilized nations.
Chamberlain's address. In fact, many Senators left the chamThis concern has been growing throughout the progress of ber during his speech. The chief reply from the War Departthe Congressional investigations into the War Department, ment was to come later. But on the same day on which Senainvestigations which have been watched with extraordinary tor Chamberlain addressed the Senate the Committee over interest from one end of the country to the other. One incident which he presides heard testimony from the Surgeon-General that is significant, perhaps, of the attention with which these of the Army, Major-General Gorgas, which corroborated the in vestigations have been followed, occurred in one of the largest view given by Senator Chamberlain of the conditions in some “ movie " theaters in New York City on the very day on of the camps. General Gorgas stated that, while “the sanitary which Secretary Baker was making his extended defense before conditions were good,” he deplored the crowding of soldiers into the Senate Committee on Military Affairs. When the picture of insufficient quarters and the failure of the War Department to Senator Chamberlain, chairman of this Committee and the most provide adequate hospital facilities. He stated that heating and active critic of the War Department, was thrown on the screen, sewerage in none of the hospitals of the National Guard encampthe theater was swept with a storm of applause. When Senator ments are completed. Contrary to General Gorgas's recommenChamberlain's picture was immediately followed by that of dations, the hospitals for our military encampments were genSenator Stone, who has denounced critics of the Administration erally the last buildings to be constructed. When questioned as allies of the Kaiser, the house was filled with hisses. The more closely as to the reason why the War Department story is told here for what it may be worth to those who believe decided to leave the construction of the hospitals until the that the American people do not want to know, or have no right last, General Gorgas said: “I think the idea was that the to know, the facts.
general cantonments, the barracks, would be needed before the
hospitals would be needed, the idea being that we should have SENATOR CHAMBERLAIN BEFORE THE SENATE
troops first, and that the troops would be there a little while The most dramatic event in the campaign to enlighten the before they began to get sick. I think that was the general country as to the condition of its war machine was the speech idea.” Senator Weeks then asked: “Do you think that was by Senator Chamberlain, of Oregon, on January 24, before the good common sense ?”' and General Gorgas bluntly replied, “I Senate. For three hours Senator Chamberlain spoke, and for do not think it was ; no, sir.” this period of time he held the closest attention of his hearers. General Gorgas described the difficulties of caring for the men Every seat in the Senate chamber was filled, the back and in the camps with the untrained orderlies who are generally sides of the chamber were crowded by members of Congress charged with looking out for the less serious cases of illness. Ile arom the lower house, and the galleries were packed to suffoca pointed out that he had recommended the enlargement of two tron. Senator Chamberlain began by a telling presentation of training camps for the officers and enlisted men of the medical the incidents which brought down upon him the wrath of the corps some two or three months ago. When Senator Chamberlain President, as described in last week's issue of The Outlook. The asked General Gorgas, “Why is it that your recommendation Senator showed clearly that the President did not give him the has not been acted upon, especially in view of the fact of these epiopportunity he desired to explain his criticisms of the conduct demic diseases in the camps ?" General Gorgas replied, “ I know of the War Department, and that his motives did not spring of no reason for it except getting a decision from the General from any opposition, as the President said, “ to the Adminis- Staff.” Senator Chamberlain again asked, “ Can you see any tration's whole policy.” Then, having established in the minds reason why there should le delay in reaching a conclusion about of his hearers a vivid impression of the rock-like foundation of a simple proposition like that?" General Gorgas answered, “No, his sincerity and utter loyalty, he proceeded with a summary I do not see any reason." of the testimony given before the Senate Military Committee concerning the deficiencies of the War Department. He told
SECRETARY BAKER'S DEFENSE the history of the Enfield rifle controversy, of the utter failure Senator Chamberlain's attack on the administration of the War of our Ordnance Department to provide our army with artillery; Department, an attack based on just such authoritative testihe summarized the history of the Lewis gun, a history which mony as that which we have just quoted from General Gorgas, Dr. Odell recounts in even fuller detail in this week's issue of moved Secretary Baker to request an opportunity to defend his The (utlook. He told of the testimony which had been given Department by a formal statement before the Senate Military before his ('ommittee concerning the lack of blouses and over- Committee. Secretary Baker's defense was presented to the Committee in a very different manner from that in which he to equip. He did not state that the men in General Wood's laid before the public his original summary of the work of his camp were fitted out with warm overcoats, even though General Department. His first defense was largely undocumented and Wood had to purchase these overcoats practically on his own dealt in glittering generalities which somehow failed to carry responsibility. conviction when weighed against the careful research of the Secretary Baker, in discussing the machine gun question, reSenate Military Committee. Secretary Baker has apparently told the now familiar story of the War Department's decision begun to take the criticism of his Department more seriously, to use only a light and a heavy machine gun; the Lewis gun, for no man would enter upon so extended a defense as that being a medium-weight gun, was not considered for the standwhich Mr. Baker has now put forward who did not regard the ard equipment of our troops. He said that a test made by the criticisms of his opponents as something more than an annoying navy in April proved that the Lewis gun had been perfected interruption in his daily work. A tangible evidence of this for the use of American ammunition, and that large orders for change of heart in the Secretary of War has been shown the Lewis guns had now been given. As the Lewis gun was origi. country by the recent invitation to Mr. Edward R. Stettinius nally designed for American ammunition, and had to be modito enter the service of the War Department with the title of fied for the use of English ammunition, this statement does Surveyor-General of Supplies for the Army. Mr. Stettinius's not carry much weight. The present situation of the Lewis duties have not yet been fully defined, but he is a man whose gun controversy is fully and authoritatively described by cooperation with the War Department should prove of tre- Dr. Odell elsewhere in this issue. Secretary Baker's statements mendous value. He has been the purchasing agent for the Allied as to the number of machine guns in our several camps drew Governments in America for a number of months. We hope it forth many questions from the listening Senators. will prove that he has been asked to enter the service of the Secretary Baker quoted French authorities to prove that our Government in something more than an advisory capacity. dependence on France for our heavy artillery had not handi
Secretary Baker's defense covers nearly twenty-three columns capped the French military machine. He stated that it was the in the New York “ Times," which has in the present instance conclusion of the conference in France which Mr. House attended again rendered valuable service by the publication in full of an that Great Britain and France now had a surplus of ordnance important document, a fact which will make the files of the material. “ Times” for the current years a very important source for On the clothing situation Secretary Baker said: “The reports future historians of the war.
I have now are, and the reports for some time be ve been, that Secretary Baker began his defense by a statement of his the quantity of woolen underwear in the camps is adequate.... gratitude to the Military Committee of the Senate for the per. For some weeks now we have had an adequate supply of overmission granted him to make a comprehensive review of the coats." Secretary Baker seemed to be of the opinion that there activities of the War Department. He told of the earnestness is no such shortage of any garments now as would interfere within the War Department, and the seriousness with which it with the health of the men. had approached its tremendous task. He said that individuals A discussion of these questions occupied all of the morning did not count in the prosecution of this task, and the appear- session of the Committee before which Secretary Baker was ance of any name“ in the casualty list any morning is a negli- appearing, and in the afternoon Secretary Baker continued his gible matter as contrasted with the success of this enterprise." defense with a discussion of the camp sites, the epidemic disHe admitted that the investigations of the Ordnance and eases, the hospitals, and the general military policy of the coun: Quartermaster's Departments bad brought out shortcomings, try. Secretary Baker's description of the situation with regard but he insisted that these shortcomings were not characteristic to hospitals differed widely from that given by General Gorgas. of the work of the Department as a whole. He deplored the It is hard to reconcile Secretary Baker's understanding of the fact that the Committee had felt that on his previous appear situation with General Gorgas's blunt testimony before the ance he was trying to fence or to detend his subordinates. same Committee.
Changing from a general discussion of his attitude and aims, Secretary Baker finished his testimony on January 27 with Secretary Baker first took up the statements which Senator a description of the difficulties confronting this country in its Chamberlain had made in regard to the neglect of the sick in endeavor to send an expeditionary force to France, and stated the army hospitals. He pointed out instances where officers ac- that early in 1918 we shall have half a million men in France, cused of neglecting their patients had been severely punished, and that we now have many more than one hundred thousand. and quoted a letter which he himself had written, in which he Before the end of 1918 it is hoped that we shall have in France had returned for reconsideration the findings of a court martial 1,500,000 men. Secretary Baker concluded his remarks with the because he did not think that the sentence of the offender to following statement: inere dismissal was severe enough. He quoted a long and inter
There will be no division of counsel. There will be all the esting letter from Mrs. Mary Roberts Rirehart, the writer who
criticism there ought to be on shortcomings and failure; there has visited many of the camps for the “Saturday Evening Post,"
will be, so far as the W or Department is concerned, a continuing and who herself has a son in the service. Mrs. Rinehart said: effort at self-improvement and hospitality towards every sugges
There are conditions to be remedied. ... The failure of sup tion for improvement that can come from the outside. plies has been a serious matter. There are not enough women
All of which sounds very hopeful, but somehow one finishes nurses. The quarters of both nurses and doctors must be enlarged in many cases. ...
the reading of Mr. Baker's testimony with the feeling that he Of cruelty and indifference I have found nothing. On the
has avoided the one essential question which the country desires contrary, I have found the medical staffs of the hospitals both to have answered: Is the War Department organized on a soud efficient and humane. . . . The best specialists of the country basis? In an able article in the New Republic” Mr. William have placed themselves at the disposal of the army medical de Hard sums up the demand of the Nation in the following partment, and ninety-nine out of one hundred men are receiving words : better care than they could afford under the best circumstances to receive at home.
Ever since the beginning of the war we have been trying to
get things done by putting people over other people whom they Secretary Baker declares that the Surgeon-General had the
have no power to compel." We did it in the committees of the unqualified support of every officer in the War Department from Advisory Commission. We did it in the General Munitions the Secretary down.
Board. We did it in the War Industries Board. And we reached Following his discussion of the situation in the hospitals, a failure every time. And now Mr. Baker is doing it all over Secretary Baker took up the question of the small arms
again in the Directorship of Purchases and is calling it reforto. deficiency. He pointed out that General Persbing himself had
It is not reform. It is a repetition of a failure already several been present at the conference which decided on the adoption
times repeated. of the modified Enfield. This decision and the further decision
The gentlemen of the Senate might well say to Mr. Baker :
“ If we ask you to resign or reorganize, we mean really tt to make the new rifles interchangeable as to most of their
organize. We do not mean give us a phantom of civilian-headed parts caused the delay in the equipment of our soldiers. He control in the War Industries Board. We do not mean give 125 stated that General Wood urged the advisability of calling out a phantom of single-headed control in the directorship of pir a laiger army than the Government was at that time prepared chases. Those controls are not controls, and we know that they
are not controls, and you know that they are not controls. The only control worth talking about is executive control, control with power to hire and fire and compel. We want that kind of control, and we want it lodged in one man, and we want that one man a civilian. That system, that one-civilian-executive system,
has worked. Your successive systems have not worked. Stop pretending to change. Change!"
And this is the demand which Mr. Baker has as yet failed to meet.
STAKING AMERICAN LIVES ON A MACHINE GUN!
BY JOSEPH H. ODELL
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE OUTLOOK M H E American people are desperately interested in machine Instead of following this obvious line, instead of accepting
guns--those almost devilish devices which spray death like the most deadly machine gun now in the hands of our allies,
dew upon armies. Statistics are dull! But not when those what did the War Department do in April, 1917 ? It decided statistics are the dreaded figures of the casualty lists. In this to wait for the report of a machine gun board on tests of mawar ninety per cent of all casualties in battle are caused by chine guns to be made the following month. One clear month machine gun and artillery fire, and at least sixty per cent of this lost! A month! The German army had raped and ravished and ninety per cent are the result of machine-gun fire.
ruined Belgium in a month! And then, after the precious In April, 1917, our army had approximately 900 machine month had gone, notwithstanding the favorable report made guns firing American ammunition. The great majority of these upon the Lewis gun—which had fired American ammunition in guns were of the Benét-Mercier type, which had been found the tests—it was decided to equip our National Army exclusively ineffective in the hands of the troops and had been officially with with a new and untried type of machine gun—the Browning drawn from service some mop ihs previously. Among them also only one single complete sample of that new gun being then in were a number of the heavier Maxim and Vickers water-cooled existence. The result? In January, 1918, nine months after type, some of which had been in service many years. In addi. America became officially involved in the war, there are now just tion, the army had 353 Lewis guns of the British model firing nine Browning hand-made guns in existence for the equipment of British ammunition, which had been purchased during the the thirty-two divisions which Mr. Baker has testified are ready Mexican trouble the previcus summer when the Benét-Mercier to go to France. Nine months! Nine guns ! One gun per month, guns had failed to function.
and a million and a half men under the Stars and Stripes, with In April, 1917, the Lewis gun, invented by an American hearts aflame to save democracy from the fangs of autocracy! army officer, was ir daily use on practically every battlefield in Nine Browning guns when there might have been 17,500 Lewis Europe—to the number of 60,000 guns or more. Whatsoever guns—the guns which beat back the Huns at Loos, Ypres, victories came to British, French, or Italian arms came largely · Neuve Chapelle, Cambrai, and along the Somme, the guns which because this American gun spat death along more than a thou- cleared the desert from Kut to Bagdad, and the guns which broke sand miles of trenches. No one, to my knowledge, has yet pro the hold of the Turk upon the environs of Jerusalem! Nire duced a British, French, or Italian commissioned or non-com- Browning guns which have never seen actual fire service, when missioned officer or enlisted man who has faced the onslaught there might have been 17,500 of the Lewis guns which have of the lantonic armies who has anything but praise for the saved civilization upon a score of bloody battlefields in three Lewis gun. If there is any valid testimony against the terrific continents! Nine Browning guns, which have already cost the effectiveness of this weapon upon the actual fighting field, it has Government, according to the testimony of General Crozier, not yet found its way into the court of public opinion. All the $1,250,000 as a lump royalty to the inventor, Browning, when evidence I have seen is enthusiastically positive.
there might have been 17,500 Lewis guns upon which the inIn April, 1917, the Savage Arms Company, of Utica, New ventor, Colonel Lewis, has patriotically offered to turn over all York, was manufacturing and delivering to the British Govern his royalties to the United States Government! ment 80 Lewis guns per day, or 2,000 per month. If the Savage Is there not something radically and profoundly wrong in the Arms Company had been producing machine guns for our own situation? The Government was reluctant concerning the Lewis Army at that rate, on the British model, we should now have gun but was manifestly hasty in making contracts and payments 18,000 in the hands of our men at the front. This would be for the Browning gun—the gun of the one sample, the gun that fighting equipment for 400,000 men.
managed to multiply itself by nine in nine of the most fearful It has been objected officially that the Lewis gun in April, and fateful months of human history. Not only did the Gov. 1917, was adapted to British ammunition. This is true; but the ernment pay Browning $1,250,000 for his royalty rights, but the Germans killed by British ammunition fired from an American Government also paid the Colt Patent Firearms Company, of gun are still dead, and the British soldiers saved from defeat Hartford, Connecticut, $1,000,000 for its share of the Brownand death by British ammunition fired from an American gun ing royalty rights. According to General Crozier's testimony are still alive-very much alive. And, unless logic has utterly before the Senate Military Committee, these payments were failed me, we can win the war only by killing Germans. Amer- · approved by the Secretary of War and the Chief of Ordnance ieans want to win the war, they expect to win the war, and it even before patents had been issued on the Browning gun. would be quite as satisfactory to them to win the war by shoot- Notwithstanding the official rejection of the Hotchkiss gun ing British ammunition from an American gun as to win the war (the Benét-Mercier) after thorough trial by our troops in the by shooting French ammunition from a borrowed French gun- field, these same troops are now being armed with these same the gun we shall have to use if the scrap envelops us within the Hotchkiss guns in France. For the American Benét-Mercier next six months or so.
gun is practically the same weapon as the French Hotchkiss, If the War Department had insisted, in April, 1917, upon which we are now borrowing from the French Government to the Savage Arms Company making the Lewis gun adapted to arm our Regular and National Guard troops already in France. American ammunition—which the Lewis gun was originally There is a very pertinent and perhaps prophetic parallel designed to shoot—the Savage Arms Company could have made between the adoption of the Benét-Mercier gun and the adop che necessary changes in model in about three months, and then tion of the Browning gun. The Benét-Mercier machine gun could have turned out the Lewis gun at the rate of 100 per day, was adopted, after tests, in 1908. Those tests, however, were which wonld have equipped our Army by now with at least armory tests, but in no sense service-fired tests. That is, ac17 500 guns. And, under speeding-up pressure and with the cording to General Crozier's report as Chief of Ordnance for 2014 encouragement and aid given to the Savage Arms Com- the year ending June 30, 1909 (page 39), the Benét-Mercier
as the Government has given to other concerns making gun was formally adopted after tests at Springfield Armory June gams, the capacity could have been increased by now and the School of Musketry. But how did the Benét-Mercier at least 200 per day, or 5,000 per month.
machine gun act in its first test of war? This real test—the only test which is worth consideration did not occur until our reason or rule of logic should we commit ourselves to another Mexican border trouble in 1916, eight years after its adoption as machine gun which has had nothing but armory tests? Must our service weapon. The Benét-Mercier gun at that time failed experience teach every one in the world except our Ordnance utterly, and, thank God, our American boys were up against Department? Here is the solemn, awful, final fact: The BrownVilla and not Hindenburg! And then, in spite of the armory ing gun has not sprayed lead on an advancing foe. It is as tests and in spite of the fact that the gun bore the name of and innocent of experience as a new-born babe, and our Governprobably carried royalties to Mr. A. V. Benét, the son of a ment has petted that innocency to the tune of $2,250,000 former Chief of Ordnance of the United States, it had to be already. The Browning gun is an adventure in sublime theory withdrawn from service. Curiously, it is reported that Mr. and sweet credulity. When it has come to years, come to maBenét, whose gun was rejected after the Villa raid, is the man- turity through experience, it may be all right and a giant in aging director of the Hotchkiss Company in France. It is the might; but we are going to stake a million or more American duty of Secretary Baker to give the country fully, frankly, and lives on the possibility. What do the parents, wives, brothers, without reserve all the facts concerning the machine gun situ- sisters, and sweethearts think of the speculation ? ation. This he has not done at this writing.
This is the first time in the history of the world that a great The Browning machine gun has had armory tests, too. As a Power, called to exert its utmost of resources for its own mateweapon of war it has met the same standard as that met by the rial and spiritual preservation, has decided, in the midst of the Benét-Mercier gun, which so disastrously failed us on the struggle, to arm its men with a weapon which has not had Mexican border. But after we have been fooled and punished actual field tests in the hands of soldiers. for adopting one gun on armory tests alone, by what canon of New York City, January 29, 1918.
A PLEA FOR A WAR CABINET
BY AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST
YEAR ago Germany began open warfare upon the Because, it is said, wt entered the war unprepared. True.
United States. Her announcement of practically unre. But so did England. Practically as unprepared as we. In I I stricted, ruthless submarine piracy was equivalent to a some respects much more unprepared. declaration of war, Our own declaration of war on April 6 was Because, it is said, there are incompetents in official position. simply and explicitly only the official recognition of the state of True. They ought to go. Unfortunately some are kept in their war that Germany bad already instituted. So far as open hos place virtually by law, and others by the unwillingness of the tilities constitute war, then, Germany has been since February 1 President or other high officers of the Government to make at war with the United States for a full year.
certain needed removals. But the United States has no mo In that time what has Germany done to us?
nopoly on incompetents. There have been incompetents in She has sunk our ships.
England, in France, in Germany. There is no reason to believe She has continued to kill our citizens.
that there has been any larger proportion in the United She has, through spies, blown up munition works and destroyed States. vast stores.
Neither our unpreparedness nor our incompetents in office And what have we done to Germany ?
can furnish sufficient explanation for our delay, for the breakBeyond what our destroyers have done to help the British ing down of our military establishment; for in neither respect navy in hunting down German submarines, practically nothing. are we peculiar.
When we went into the war, great things were expected of us There is, however, one respect in which we are peculiar, by those who had been fighting the Huns. Our strength was Every other country- even rigid, autocratic Germany--bas needed.
found that its governmental machinery has had to be altered, It is true that we were unready and had to take time to prepare. refitted, in some respects redesigned, while we have been trying Fortunately, we have been meanwhile safeguarded by the armies to do our war work with the same machinery we had in time of and navies of our allies (or “associates," as President Wilson peace. calls them ; our“ guardians” or “protectors ” they perhaps had And it simply won't work. better be called). We have been allowed by circumstances twelve In peace there are a great many unrelated things to be done, months in which to prepare.
but no one thing to which the whole power of the Government In that time we have raised, partly by volunteering, partly must be directed. So the Agricultural Department and the by draft, an army of approximately a million and a half men. Shipping Board and the War Department can each do its work In the same period Great Britain enlisted (wholly by volunteer- under a separate head without confusion. But when food has to ing) two millions.
be raised and shipped abroad, for the use of our allies and our We have now in France an unknown number of men, some soldiers, these three limbs of the Government have got to act of whom are trained, but none of whom are fighting ; but not a from one common impulse, or else there is delay. single division of them is fully equipped except as we have Our Government now has just one big supreme task-war. drawn upon the none too adequate supplies of our “ guardians” It ought to have one piece (not a dozen pieces) of machinery '' and “protecto:s.” In the same period England had not only to devote to that one task. put into France and equipped enough men to start an offensive That is what the War Cabinet of the Chamberlain Bill in** in September, 1915, at Loos, with a then unprecedented artil designed to provide. lery fire, but had sent supplies to her other armies.
It would be the common nerve center for the whole body. We have in twelve months' time no heavy artillery and cer It would select from among all the things that each depart. tainly no great quantities of high explosives, and virtually no ment of the Government has to do, the things that have to be machine guns-even for training purposes. In the same period done together and see that they were done together. "ne : 1 England not only had produced enough artillery and ammuni It would take the ideas of the brain (which is the Piesideit), ? tion to protect miles of trenches, but also supplied her troops translate them into directions for action (as a central vette a with rifles and machine guns.
center does), and then convey them to the various nerve centets # Those who wish to follow the parallel further can do so by (that is to say, to the heads of departments) for common and reading what the military expert of the New York “Times" had related action.
- Sera to say on Sunday, January 27.
We should not then have one nerve center sending aneboks -1 Slow old England-is that what we have called her? What, in haste for ships for which another nerve center has not dvehre then, shall we say of our own country?
ordered the keels laid. Why are we thus behindhand ?
We should not have the railways congested because halflgte
dozen or a dozen department, had given orders, each inde resign in protest; but if he resigned out of a sense of personal pendently designating a different class of freight to have prece- affront his resignation would be good riddance. dence over each of the other classes of freight.
Sir Eric Geddes does not object to serving as civilian head We should still have incompetents in office, doubtless; but of the navy under the British War Council. Josephus Daniels, there would be a chance that their incompetence might be dis- Franklin K. Lane, and William G. McAdoo could with entire covered and corrected. We should still see mistakes made, but self-respect follow Sir Eric's example. they would not be the mistakes of mere helplessness.
. It is objected that the President might not use the War At present the only one that can order this unity is the Cabinet even if it were created. It is hard to answer that arguPresident, and he simply cannot make all these decisions and ment without seeming to accept the premise on which it is follow them up.
based. No President would think of withstanding or ignoring Not even the Kaiser, autocrat though he is, does that. He the expressed will of a hundred million people solemnly incorhas his Chancellor and his Staff who advise him, but command porated in a law of the land. The suggestion that he would others.
do so is not one that any defender of the President would natuEvery railway company has not only a president, but also a rally make. There are provisions in the Constitution for meetchairman of its board of directors.
ing such an exigency. With such a man in the Presidency as Every newspaper has not only an editor-in-chief, who deter- Woodrow Wilson such an exigency cannot be regarded as mines its policy, but also a business manager.
within the range of the possible. Every constitutional monarchy has not only its king, but It has been objected that a War Cabinet has been rendered also its prime minister, and England has, in addition, a war unnecessary by the selection of Mr. Stettinius as a general cabinet or council.
purchasing agent of the Government. This objection is based Our scattered, heterogeneous system was well enough for the on a misconception of the problem—the terribly grave probscattered, heterogeneous tasks of peace. But
lem-before the country. It is not merely a question of orderWe must organize for war.
ing and buying munitions- that is a big problem, but it is If we do not, we shall not win. We may force a deadlock, only one part of the incalculably bigger problem of organizing but we cannot win.
for war. The thing we have got to do is turn the whole power It has been objected that a super-Cabinet was not needed in of the country against Germany. We have got to build for the the Civil War. That is not true. It was needed; but we man President a central station which for that purpose can draw on aged without it. We lost thousands of men and months of every power the Government possesses. peace because we lacked such a war cabinet.
It is objected, finally, that Congress is not likely to pass, cerBut the other side lacked it too.
tainly not over a Presidential veto, the bill for the War CabWe fought an amateur war; but the other side were amateurs inet, and that therefore it is useless to advocate it. If that argutoo.
ment were always accepted as decisive, there would be very little Now we are not up against amateurs; we are up against pro essential progress made. Those who.concede defeat in advance fessionals. Some of our people—some of our officials-do not seem never win victories. As a matter of fact, public opinion has only to realize that. Belgium does. France does. Even England does. to be emphatic in demanding that the Government organize for Some day we shall realize that; but so long as we talk in terms war, and Congress will provide the law and the President will of our Civil War experience we show that we don't yet realize sign it. The real rulers of the United States are still the Amerthat our enemy is the Hun.
ican people. It is objected that a War Cabinet would deprive the Presi. There may be something better than a War Cabinet to clent of some of his Constitutional powers. When Congress estab- create as a central power station of the war machine. It lished the various executive departments, it did not deprive the might be better to create a Prime Minister—a sort of superPresident of any executive power. It provided him with agents Cabinet officer. It might be better to provide him with associthrough whom to exercise his power. Without such agents the ates and assistants, subordinates rather than colleagues, who President's power is not a real, but only a latent, power. The would act as his staff in drafting his plans and conveying his thing that makes it real is the agency through which it can be directions to other departments, while he in turn would be exercised. The President's power has been enormously increased responsible solely to the President for speeding up and directby the creation of executive officers. The more efficient the ing the war machine, leaving the President free for determining executive machine is, the greater is the President's power. The general policies and marking out in broad lines the war plans creation of a War Cabinet, so far from depriving the President of the Nation. It might be better to create such a Prime Minisof power, would give him power which he cannot possibly exer ter as the President's chief war aid than to create a War Cabi(ise now.
net. And some other plan might conceivably be devised. But It is objected that this would make the machine more com the country cannot wait indefinitely. The War Cabinet plan plicated. Even if that were so it would not be an objection. A is before the country. No alternative plan has been proposed. modern printing-press is very complicated, but it turns out It is that or nothing. And “nothing ” means continued disornewspapers as a simple hand-press could not do. As a matter of ganization, delay, and failure. fact, though the bill creating a War Cabinet would add a new How much longer are we going to lecture Europe about part to the machine, it would simplify its workings. It is simpler what ought to be done and remain dependent upon England for one man or committee to give orilers than for a dozen differ- and France for protection against the barbarous Germans ? ent men and committees to give conflicting orders. The more How much longer are we to remain under the guardianship of complicated a machine is, the more it needs a “governor," a the nations we profess to be rescuing? When do we propose “ self-starter,” a “fly-wheel," or whatever else is necessary to to pull ourselves together and organize for the business of make it go and keep it going steadily. A machine that lacks an war? essential part is not really made more complicated by having Some day, when our real casualty returns begin to come in, that essential part added.
the American people will ask of their servants an accounting. It is objected that the War Cabinet would be unconstitutional. They will brush aside those who merely obstruct the reorganizaIt would have the same Constitutional status as any other tion of our Government for war and will insist that what is department of the Government-no more, no less. It would be now proposed be in some form done. created under the same Constitutional provisions under which (ver Gallipoli England has had to write “ Too Late." the Department of State, the Department of Labor, and every Over Salonika France has had to write “ Too Late." other department has been created.
Over the Isonzo Italy has had to write “Too Late." It has been objected that the creation of the War ('abinet What is ahead of us this summer we do not know; but if we would affront the amour propre of present Cabinet members fail now to make some such radical reorganization of our GovIt is hardly conceivable that any man who is serving his country ernment for war purposes, we may find that those words “ Too in the time of her peril would allow his personal dignity to weigh Late” will have to be inscribed by America over some ghastly for a moment against his country's safety. lle might feel that defeat where but for our failure there might have been written : War (abinet might not serve a good purpose, and therefore - Victory."