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Agriculture on the Board for the Comptroller of the Currency; but he is clearly right in saying that ignorant or uninformed attacks upon the system are not the way to promote its efficiency.
THE DOOR TO THE
HE United States is committed to the maintenance of a small stand
ing army. It ought, therefore, to make certain that this small standing army shall be of the highest possible efficiency. To insure such efficiency it must be organized and developed in accordance with correct principles.
Modern military enterprise requires specialized training, just as does modern surgery or modern industry. That is why, in addition to West Point, the Army maintains various schools for the training of its officers along particular lines.
At the head of this system of schools
is the school which prepares men for
We find in the "Army and Navy Jour-
First of all, an officer must be selected to go to the School of the Line. This selection is based on the officer's complete record of service and is eminently correct. The cases of officers going into the Staff Class without graduation from the School of the Line are so few as to be negligible for the purpose of this discussion.
From the graduates of the School of the Line the elass for the Staff School is selected, the basis being the marks made in the former, and not the officer's complete record, including his school record. When, as may be the case, sixty or seventy per cent of one Line Class are taken into the Staff Class one year and only forty or fifty per cent another year, depending largely on the quarters situation at Leavenworth, surely it cannot be said that the door to the Staff School is open to all.
Major Lentz further points out that, even if all officers who wished to attend the General Staff School could do so, it would still be undesirable to base eligibility for General Staff service solely upon school records. For such a system operates in favor of the officer who understands the theory of his profession and against the man who is master of its practice. As John Hay once re. marked in his “Pike County Ballads," there are times when “theory and practice don't gee.” In army work it is practice which counts.
BOUT two hundred investors, man- scientists; and a few were officials of its various uses. He has to plan and agers, and laborers met in Wash- the States or the Federal Government; direct the work. In order to do this he
ington while the Agricultural one certainly, and perhaps two or three, has to know something about the appliConference was in session.
could be classed with organizers of cation to agriculture of various branches Ordinarily it is thought that the labor; but some of these and virtually of science. He has to know something interest of the investor, who puts his all of the rest of those who were not about costs, and prices, and markets. money into an enterprise, conflicts with farmers themselves (for example, the He has to make the master decisions in that of the laborer, who puts muscular fifteen women) had the same interests his business. For his management, in effort into it; and that the interest of in agriculture that the two hundred some proportion to the responsibility the manager, who puts brains into it by farmers had the interest of the inves- assumed and the intelligence exercised. planning and directing it, is too often tor, the interest of the manager, and the he might reasonably expect remunerasubordinated to the investor's interest interest of the laborer.
tion. and set above that of the laborer. These Virtually every farmer in America (I In addition to being an investor and men came together, however, to consider am not speaking of farm laborers) is an a manager, every farmer—with only their common interests. Not once in investor in agricultural property. If he here and there an exception-is also a their councils did the laborers among is a farm owner, he has an investment laborer. He is as much a laborer as the them criticise the managers in that in land and buildings. If he is a tenant, man in the factory or at the throttle. group for being too dominant, or the he has investments in implements, or He receives no weekly wage, but he is investors for being too greedy; and not animals, or seed-probably all of these a laborer nevertheless, and one who can once did the investors or managers ob- and other things besides. Most American set for himself no arbitrary limits to his
to the claims of the laborers. The tenant farmers make investments with hours of labor. He produces wealth reason for this extraordinary harmoniz- a view to ownership. The farmer, with his hands. And to do his work he ing of apparently diverse interests is whether tenant or not, has his invest- has to have both strength and skill. As simple. Every one of the two hundred ments in a business that is especially a skilled laborer he seems to be entitled was at the same time an investor and subject to hazard. He repeatedly sees to a skilled laborer's wage. a manager and a laborer.
his property destroyed or injured by As a part of his return on his investThat is, every one was a farmer, or a weather and by pests, against which he ment and of his reward as manager and representative of farmers.
has no sure protection. Like any other laborer he gets the shelter of his farmThere were no separate meetings of investor, he might reasonably desire a house and in most cases some of the these two hundred. Their meetings return on his investment somewhat in food that he and his family require: were the meetings of the Agricultural proportion to the risk it incurs.
but for all his other needs and for the Conference. There were others present. Every farmer, moreover, whether ten- replenishment or enlargement of his A few of these others were officials of ant or owner, is a manager of agricul. capital he needs more, and in his threecorporations in industries allied to agri. tural property and operations. He has fold capacity-unless of course he is inculture; a few were economists or to apportion each part of his property to competent-he evidently merits more.
"How little that is, how much less than nothing it has been in uncounted thousands of cases during recent months, this Conference showed impressively. It showed this not only by accumulating statistics, bringing together reports from all sections of the country, presenting the facts as observed by economists, and picturing conditions by means of graphs and charts and tables, but also by reporting the typical experiences of individuals, so that no one might imagine that the conditions affected merely things like crops and dollars but affected chiefly the lives of human beings.
In 1918 the farmer was supposed to be prosperous; he was, as farmers count prosperity. He had as a rule a larger income than he had had for years. Yet in that year of exceptional prosperity he was receiving, as investor, manager, and laborer, almost exactly the annual income of the coal miner, and less than the average employee on a railway. Now even such prosperity is gone. Not only has his income above (0) Underwood
LEADERS AT THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL CONFERENCE operating expenses—the income from
Left to right: Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace (formerly of Des Moines, Iowa); A. F. which he must get support for himself
Lever, of Lexington, South Carolina, Chairman of the Farm Loan Board of the United States; and his dependents-been reduced to an
Congressman Sydney Anderson, of Minnesota, permanent Chairman of the Conference absurdly small sum (in 1920, after allowing five per cent on his investment,
farmers are in straits. In the cotton injustice. How can it have any other it was, according to the Report of the belt the conditions affecting farm pro- effect? Perhaps this can be stated as Congressional Joint Commission of duction throughout the country have clearly in the terms of taxes as in any Agricultural Inquiry, only $311), but it been rendered more difficult still by the other way. This year, for most people, has during the past year been disappear- damages caused by the boll weevil. taxes have been reduced; but because ing, and in a large proportion of cases "There are counties in Georgia," one of the loss of the purchasing power of been replaced by a deficit.
speaker at the Conference declared, his dollar the taxes of the farmer have There were no "sob stories" told at
“which two years ago made twenty-five been increased. One farmer from Illithis Conference—at least if there were thousand bales of cotton and last year nois, for example, stated at the AgriculI did not hear them— no emotional ap- less than one hundred bales.” This tural Conference that last year he paid peals to human sympathy; but there
speaker's comment upon the situation is in taxes four thousand bushels of corn, were many cases presented to show how
worth quoting none the less because, it while this year he will have to pay the conditions at present in agriculture is obvious: “The farmers of this coun- twenty-one thousand. were affecting individuals, communities,
try cannot go on much longer producing The people who are in this predicaand indeed whole sections of the coun
crops and disposing of them for less ment are not a small group. They contry. A farmer whose case was presented than the cost of production.” Even in stitute more than one-third of the whole by one of the Conference committees as the Northeast, which did not feel the population, and their purchasing power typical of thousands of cases in the present economic prices as quickly as is forty per cent of the purchasing Corn Belt, and was stated by himself as the West or the South, the fruit growers power of the country. They are engaged representing the average condition in and poultrymen are now finding the in the Nation's basic industry; it is his county, where county institutions
prospect gloomy; while potato men have they on whom the Nation depends for are burning corn because it is a cheaper had to sell their crops at ruinous prices self-support. When a nation depends on fuel there than coal, gave the following and the grain growers and beef-cattle other nations for its food and for the financial statement, in which the invenmen are in a serious condition.
materials of its clothing and shelter, it tory excludes the investment in his
Not only has there been a reduction must have a relation to the peoples of farm of three hundred and twenty of the farmer's cash income, a reduction other parts of the world of either suboracres:
so large as in many cases to become a dination or control. Whether a nation Operating Expense. Inventory.
deficit, but the cash that he receives has becomes a dependent or dominant na$9,319.00 $3,026.13 $21,460.00 $4,292.87
been losing its purchasing power. The tion, or an independent, neither depend6,870,00 6,528.00 21,581.00 •3.52.00 1921 2,868.07 5,647.73 12,338.00 +2,779.66 farmer's dollar is worth less than other ent nor dominant, nation depends upon 1922...
people's. That is what it means when the ability of its agricultural population "Obviously a misprint here; possibly this figure should be 342.
the farmer has to buy at high prices and to provide for the whole population the Loss
sell at low. According to the Congres- things that are necessary for life. As Similar experiences were told about sional report already referred to, the Secretary Wallace, of the Department of other regions. In the range country farmer's dollar in 1921 as compared Agriculture, stated in his address to the conditions were described as most de- with 1913 was worth seventy-six cents. assembled delegates, the ability of the plorable. The men engaged in the cat- This is barely two-thirds of what it was farming population to sustain the Natle industry are finding it necessary to in 1918. In other words, the product of tion will determine whether the Nation dispose of their breeding stock, thus in his labor, management, and investments itself will remain as a self-sustaining juring not only their present but also can buy only two-thirds of what it was nation or go the way of all the other their future property, and are finding it able to buy three years ago.
great nations of the past. impossible to finance their "feeders"- The effect of this on the farmer is As long as the Nation remains selfthat is, cattle held from the market what it would be on any other man in supporting it will have at least occawhile being fattened-and are flooding the same position. It makes him feel sional surpluses of agricultural prodthe market with "half-fat” instead of helpless in spite of honest effort, and it ucts; as a matter of fact, the United prime cattle. In the wheat country the raises in his mind a reasonable sense of States has been one of the great sources
Year. 1919.. 1920...
- Е. Н. А.
of agricultural products upon which the rest of the world has depended. There has been during this critical time such a surplus upon which the rest of the world might draw; but, though the world has needed it, though there are people starving for lack of the food which American farmers have produced, it has not been able to draw upon it for lack of purchasing power. The Agricultural Conference made it clear that the farmers of the United States generally recognize that their predicament is a world predicament, and that it is the existence of this surplus of food products, cotton, and other things that come from the farm--a surplus the world needs, but cannot get-that has depreciated the value of what they have to sell.
If the farmer could hold this surplus product in his own hands until the demand for it became effective, and if those who needed this surplus product could be enabled to get it as they need it, much of the farmer's difficulty would disappear.
For this reason, the farmer, as repre sented at the Agricultural Conference, looks at his problem as primarily a problem of credit,
It is a peculiar kind of credit that the farmer needs, because his is a peculiar kind of business, From one harvest to another it is a year. From one generation of live stock to another the period varies from two to eight years. In the growth of trees, from the time of planting to the time of harvesting-whether the harvest. is fruit or timber-the period may extend to twenty or thirty years. It is therefore plain that forms of credit which are applicable to the sale of goods that can be disposed of in thirty or sixty or ninety days do not serve the farmer.
It is not the farmer, however, who alone needs a long term of credit. It is the people in other lands who want to buy the farmer's products. At least that seems to be the overwhelming opinion of the farmers of this country if the Agricultural Conference is a true measure of that opinion. There was nothing parochial about the view of these farmers. They were thinking not only of their own difficulties, but also of the unfed millions of Russia and the apparently impoverished millions of Germany and other countries of war-bled Europe. The curious paradox appeared to be that if the United States is to continue as an independent, self-sustaining nation, it must concern itself with the economic conditions in other nations.
Having diagnosed their own difficulty, the men of this Conference proceeded to consider remedies.
I doubt whether any other body of men with a common economic interest other than agriculture would have carried on their discussions and reached their decisions with equal sanity and self-control. There was no evidence that even a large proportion of those in attendance bad any faith in panaceas.
prices corresponding to the price of his product. He must therefore receive more for what he sells, and the only way he can get more is to have that Governmental assurance. The argument against this price guaranty, stated briefly and inadequately, was twofold: First, a minimum price, unless it is placed so low as to be of practically no use, tends to become a maximum price, and therefore works to the disadvantage rather than to the advantage of the producer. Second, if the maximum price is established as a temporary measure it only postpones the evil day, for the higher price will stimulate further pro
duction, and when the guaranty expires In next week's issue of
that surplus will remain to cause anThe Outlook
other depression, like the one at present.
With good sense, the Conference voted SHERMAN ROGERS not to support the demand for a mini(Industrial Correspondent of The Outlook)
mum price, but appealed to the Presi
dent and Congress to take such action writes of one of the most im- as would stabilize prices and prevent portant developments of the the disparity between the price that the spirit of co-operation between consumer has to pay for what he eats industry and agriculture.
and wears and the price that the farmer If you want to know how to
receives for producing it.
The debate over the relation between help your town or city to grow,
the farmers, the wage-earners, and the if you want to know why it
railways was precipitated by a resolucannot grow without a prosper- tion submitted by one of the committees ous surrounding territory, read
to the Conference advocating the repeal Mr. Rogers's article.
of the Adamson Law (establishing the It should be in the hands
eight-hour day as the standard for railand thoughts of every member way labor) and the provision in the of every Chamber of Commerce Esch-Cummins Law guaranteeing, as is in the country.
generally understood, a return on railway investments. Against these pro
visions Mr. Gompers, President of the There was no evidence that the farmers American Federation of Labor, made an of the country believe that they can pull impassioned speech which left upon his themselves up by pulling others down. hearers the impression that organized There was no evidence that the majority labor, and particularly the railway were any more disposed than any other brotherhoods, would regard the passage body of Americans to look to the Goy- of the resolution as the farmers' hostile ernment to do for them what they might challenge to the wage-earners. Among do for themselves.
the farmers present were representaIn the discussions four subjects pro- tives of the Farmers' Union, which has voked especially vigorous debate. These some of the points of view of labor four subjects were: The question of organizations. These supported Mr. price guaranty; the relation between the Gompers's arguments. Obviously on the farmer, the wage-earner, and the rail- ground that the farmers of the country way; Henry Ford's proposal to develop had no desire to seek their own profit at the water power of Muscle Shoals; and the expense of any other group, the Conthe St. Lawrence waterway project. ference rejected the proposal and re
Very briefly and inadequately, the ferred it back to the committee. When, argument for the establishment by the however, another committee proposed Government of a minimum price for for adoption a resolution which stated farm staples was this: During the war, “That the railroad corporation and railwhen'the demand for breadstuffs was so road labor should share in the deflation great as to enable the farmer to charge in charges now affecting all industries,” a very high price, the Government put a and Mr. Gompers moved to strike that limit upon the price and the farmers expression out, the Conference made it cheerfully acquiesced and went to work, plain that it was a conference of farmers enormously increasing their production. and not a labor meeting, and that it did Now that the consequent productiveness not want its expressions of courtesy and of the farms has brought a surplus into consideration to be interpreted as exexistence, it is only fair that the farmer pressions of subserviency. With a unashould have a guaranty of a minimum nimity that was only emphasized by Mr. price. This will enable him to get for Gompers's sole vote in its favor, it rehis product a cash return which will jected Mr. Gompers's amendment. give him a basis for the credit that he With an almost childlike, but not at needs. He cannot continue to produce all a childish, faith in the honesty and at a loss. He cannot buy his tools, or public spirit of Henry Ford, the Conferhis clothing, or his other equipment, at ence voted with a shout in favor of
recommending to Congress the accept- ect, which its sponsors promise will No report of this Conference could be ance of Mr. Ford's offer to develop the make of Chicago and Detroit and other fair without a reference to the just, water power at Muscle Shoals, on the ports on the Great Lakes virtually ocean firm, and considerate manner in which Tennessee River in Alabama, on the ports, where ocean steamships may load the Hon. Sydney Anderson, Representaunderstanding that it would be used to and unload, there was a one-sided argu- tive from Minnesota and Chairman of manufacture a stated quantity of fixed ment and a one-sided vote. This was well the Joint Commission, presided as Chairnitrogen for fertilizer. After years of balanced, for the vote was on the oppo- man of the Conference. And no report effort Congress has put a limit upon the site side of the argument. Representa- of it would be fair without a recognition period for which a lease of water power tive Ten Eyck, of New York, set forth of the self-effacing but efficient manner on navigable streams be made. the rival claims of the barge canal, gar- in which the Secretary of Agriculture, Congress did this in order to prevent nished with pleas for the development Mr. Wallace, organized it. He frankly the establishment of monopolies with a of other inland waterways within the acknowledged that the membership was life much beyond a generation. And yet territory of the United States. But, "hand-picked;” but he explained that this group of farmers, outspoken against after listening to his arguments with the members were selected in no case the Packing Trust and the Fertilizer patience, the farmers of the interior with a view to their opinion, but only Trust and the Implement Trust, was (and they were the only farmers who with a view to their representative chareager to create for Mr. Ford a monopoly had interest in either project) carried acter. The selection was made by a of an enormously valuable water power the Conference in a resolution support- non-partisan group in the Department for a hundred years. Is there any other ing the development of the international of Agriculture after consultation with man in the country, on his own behalf water highway.
representatives of various groups and and on behalf of his great-grandchil. The records of this Conference, to- interests in agriculture. Every State dren as well, who has such command gether with the report of the Congres- was represented, and all the principal over the faith of the farmers?
sional Joint Commission of Agricultural farmers' organizations, including about quiries for information concerning the Inquiry, which will be published in a dozen organizations of men engaged in specifications in the contract which Mr. four parts, of which two have already specialized branches. The representaFord was willing to sign were answered appeared, will constitute a source of
tive character of the gathering was by a vote which silenced, if it did not information for students of American proved by the list of delegates and by satisfy, all doubt.
agriculture. It ought to have a wider the freedom of discussion and the wide Over the St. Lawrence waterway proj. circulation through the press.
varieties of opinions expressed.
II–THE CAMEL'S NOSE IN
IN THE SIBERIAN TENT
from the Tidal Reservoir extends the open space occupied
by the Washington Monument Grounds, by the President's Park, where the State, War, and Navy, and the Treasury Buildings flank the White House, and farther north by Lafayette Square. Immediately eastward of this open space is the central business portion of Washington. Immediately westward are the monumental structures of the Corcoran Art Gallery, the Red Cross headquarters, the Memorial Continental Hall, the PanAmerican Building, and the new Navy Building. To go from east to west through this open space is to go from a busy, active, American community with its shops and hotels to an environment of almost exotic placidity. It is almost equivalent to a brief trip abroad.
That has been my route as I have gone from the Agricultural Conference in the gilded ballroom of the New Willard Hotel to the environs of the PanAmerican Building, where the Chinese and Japanese have been keeping the rest of the delegations waiting while they have bickered over the terms of the sale of a railway that was built in China by the Germans and taken over by the Japanese. It has been a change from the healthy, outspoken common sense of an American debate over most practical questions involving billions of dollars and affecting immediately the lives and fortunes of the most progressive farm population on earth to the evasive intrigue of two Oriental Governments concerning a question which had been reduced to a dispute over a traffic manager for a two-hundred-and-eighty-mile railway for a term of five years.
During this debate over the Tsingtao- Governments, the American troops were Tsinanfu Railway, in the Chinese Prov- withdrawn from Siberia; but the Japaince of Shantung, the sympathies of nese troops were actually increased so most American observers have been that at one time, at least, they numwith the Chinese; but they have been bered ten times as many as the Amerisomewhat cooled by the chilly thought can troops at any time in Siberia. The that if the Chinese for a trivial reason presence of these Japanese troops has declined to take advantage of the enor- been excused by the Japanese Governmous concessions granted by the Japa- ment on the ground that they were renese they would endanger the whole tained there to keep order and protect result of the Armament Conference. Japanese subjects, and (so far as the Fortunately, as the twelfth week of the Japanese troops in the northern part of Armament Conference opens the pros- the island of Sakhalin are concerned) to pect is that the Shantung question is secure retribution for the loss of Japasoon to be settled to the satisfaction of nese lives. These excuses, presented to the Chinese, which means the satisfac- the Conference in a statement by Amtion of the only Americans who are bassador Baron Shidehara, have been inclined to make an issue of Shantung. obviously unsatisfactory to the Ameri
In the meantime Siberia has appeared can Government. in the proceedings of the Conference All that could be done at this Conferand has passed from the category of ence has been to record Japan's excuses agenda to that of ucta—from things to and her solemn promise of withdrawal be done to things finished, so far as the from Siberia, and America's plain but Conference is concerned.
diplomatic expression of her dissent More space than I have at my com- from Japan's policy and even an intimand at this time would be required to mation that Japan's good faith is in tell adequately the reason for Siberia's question, and to leave those statements appearance on the list of agenda of the on the minutes of the Conference in Conference. It is enough to say here such fashion as to make it clear to all that America, after the Russian col- the world that Japan cannot continue in lapse in the war, invited Japan to join her Siberian policy without incurring the her in sending a few thousand troops danger of moral and diplomatic isolation. to Siberia to protect the Allies' stores Very little doubt remains that the of munitions, to aid the Russians in pro- work of the Conference will soon be tecting life and property, and to help finished. The agreements as to naval the Czechoslovaks consolidate their armaments and as to the measures for forces. When the war ended and the dealin; with Far Eastern affairs have Czechoslovak troops had departed, the virtually been completed for some time objects of the joint American-Japanese and are waiting only for acisions on expedition were accomplished.
minor points in order to find their final cord with the expressed intention of form. both the American and the Japanese January 28, 19:22
FLEET OF AMERICAN SHIPS
Here, at Jones's Point, not far from West Point, are scores of ships constructed by the United States Shipping Board for war-time service. They have been idle for many months in this safe
haven, and are probably destined to continue indefinitely in "cold