Слике страница
PDF

The majority of those affected by demobilization are regular army men who held commissions as general officers for war purposes only.

The table of expected strength shows six Lieutenant Generals. It was explained at the War Department that this was founded on the terms of the bill for reorganization of the army reported by the House Military Committee which provided for five corps commanders with the rank of Lieutenant General and a Chief of Staff of the same rank, doing away completely with the rank of General on the active list.

PROGRAM FOR LOWER PRICES

Secretary of Commerce Redfield presented on Feb. 23 a proposal for a cooperative movement to which the Government, capital, and labor should be parties, which he felt would aid in the stabilization of prices and the relief of distress which faced many employers and employes as a result of the sudden termination of the war.

The program which Mr. Redfield put forward did not call for the exercise of mandatory price-fixing power upon either raw or finished materials by the Government, but looked forward to the extension of Government influence in connection with price-fixing in so far as a price agreed upon voluntarily by Government and industry might be made to affect the market through the Government's purchases for its own needs.

The theory of this proposal was that prices of raw materials and later of the finished products which reach the consumer would be brought down from the inflated wartime values to something more like a normal level, and that in the course of such readjustment all interests, including capital and labor, would be protected from a crash in values which would involve widespread suffering and discontent among the workingmen and the closing of many industries.

The announcement showed that the Government's participation in the movement was to be vested primarily in what was to be known as "The Industrial Board of the Department of Commerce," to the Chairmanship of which Mr. Red

field already had appointed George N. Peck of Moline, 111., formerly Vice Chairman of the now extinct War Industries Board, who also was head of its raw material division. It was the theory of the backers of the movement that the decisions of the Government in making its own purchases would largely affect the market in other directions, as the Government is a large operator in many of the more important raw materials. In a few words, the theory was that the Government's decisions would guide and stabilize, if they did not completely control, especially if industry, labor, and the consuming public were kept fully acquainted, through intelligent publicity, with the prices which the Government, upon the advice of its experts, believed to be fair.

NAVY WORK ABROAD

Practical demobilization of the American naval establishment in European waters and the sale of the Lafayette wireless station at Bordeaux to the French Government for about $4,400,000 were announced Feb. 24 by Assistant Secretary F. D. Roosevelt, who arrived with President Wilson on the George Washington after having spent a month in Europe liquidating contracts and settling claims.

On the trip over Mr. Roosevelt told the officers and men of the George Washington that the United States spent more than $30,000,000 laying the mine barrage in the North Sea, and that by the naval offensive, which the United States forces helped to bring about, submarines were driven from the coasts out to sea, where their work was more difficult.

Few realize [said Mr. Roosevelt] that the American Navy had fifty-four bases In European waters and the Azores, including destroyer stations and mine-laying bases, although the majority were naval aviation bases from which more than 200 American seaplanes operated. We had more than 70,000 men at those bases and on ships operating them. We leased docks and buildings, and, in addition, constructed hundreds of hangars, piers, hospitals, storehouses, and other buildings. Almost 50,000 officers and men now have been sent home and all the flying stations and bases, with a few exceptions, have been evacuated. All material of future value has been sent home. , Portable houses, provisions, and motor trucks have been sold to the Red Cross and the army, and what remained of lumber and other salvage materials has been sold to the British and French Governments.

The Lafayette radio station, near Bordeaux, was Intended to insure communication between Washington and the army and navy in case the cable system was put out of commission or interfered with by German submarines. It has eight towers and could communicate with the United States day and night. I arranged with the French Government that we shall complete the station, which is twothirds finished, and they will then take it over at what it costs us.

WAR COST TO UNITED STATES

Secretary of the Treasury Glass furnished to the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives a statement showing that American disbursements in the war totaled $26,620,334,803.51.

As the normal expenditures in this period would have been about $1,000,000,000 a year, eliminating $2,000,000,000 assumed as about representing the normal expenditures, it would appear that the war cost to date was about $24,620,000,000.

CREDITS TO OUR ALLIES

Future credits to Allies now are limited to $1,158,000,000,' the unused portion of the $10,000,000,000 appropriation, according to a report issued March 8 by the Treasury. Until peace is declared, this balance can be loaned to Allies for any war purpose, but thereafter for a year and a half credits may be extended only to enable Allies to purchase American property in Europe or elsewhere, and to finance allied purchases of wheat, the price of which has been guaranteed by the United States Government.

Since Congress failed to approve the Treasury's recommendations that it be permitted to use the unexpended portion of authorized credits as post-war loans to Allies to finance export from this country, this function will be limited to the War Finance Corporation, which has an appropriation of $1,000,000,000 available for advances to exporters.

Eleven Allies now are debtors of the United States. Credits have been established amounting to $8,841,657,000, but

$410,939,000 of this sum, although subject to draft, has not yet been paid out of the Treasury. Great Britain borrowed nearly as much as all other Allies combined. By nations, credits established and the balances still subject to draft are as follows:

Credits. Balances.

Great Britain. .$4.124,481,000 $72,481,000

France 2,517,477,000 90,000.000

Italy 1,405,000,000 10,000,000

Belgium 338,145,000 60,300.000

Russia 325,000.000 137,270,000

Greece 39,554.000

Czechoslovakia 35,000.000 20.900,000

Serbia 27,000.000 10,000,000

Cuba 15,000,000 5,000.000

Rumania 10,000,000

Liberia 5,000,000 4,988,000

GOVERNORS' AND MAYORS*
CONFERENCE

Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson on Feb. 25 telegraphed invitations to State Governors and Mayors of some one hundred cities to attend a conference at the White House on March 3 and 4. The conference was to take up vital questions affecting business and labor. It was the desire of the President to establish before he returned to Europe a definite nation-wide policy to stimulate public and private construction and industry in general.

The conference assembled March 3 and was welcomed by President Wilson in the East Room of the White House. The subjects discussed covered a wide range and elicited animated and at times bitter discussion. The resolutions finally adopted condemned doctrines which inveigh against God and government; they also recommended that the Government should "not only prepare for the transportation necessities of prosperity but use the railroads as the means of helping private industry" by carrying out the program of improvements.

Expressly disclaiming approval of fixing of costs, the resolutions sanctioned Government approval of price schedules as a step toward establishing a new basis of values. Reduction of freight rates on all building material, especially road material, was suggested. It was declared that reduction of wages should come only as a result of reduced living costs.

Recommendation was made that the Federal Government continue its "helpful offices" with the view to averting "serious consequences" in the financial affairs of public utilities. Settlement of Government contracts, lifting of Governmental restrictions on industry and materials as soon as posible, and continuation of the Federal survey of natural resources started during the war were asked. The conference also deplored discontinuance of Federal employment agencies, and urged demobilization of the army by local draft boards.

ARMY OF OCCUPATION

General Pershing reached Coblenz, Germany, March 14 to inspect the Army of Occupation. On that day he reviewed the 1st and 2d Divisions and presented large numbers of medals to members of the two first ranking divisions of the American Expeditionary Force.

The review of the 2d was an impressive ceremony, held on the broad plain atop the Rhine hills back of Vallendar. Fifteen thousand men of all branches were drawn up in striking array while the commander walked some ten miles along their ranks, giving commendation and praise as he went. The men were in the full equipment of fighting days with the exception of gas masks.

After inspecting troops General Pershing awarded Distinguished Service Crosses to eighty-three officers and men of the division. On behalf of the French Nation he decorated Major Gen. Le5eune, commanding the 2d Division, with the medal of a Commander of the Legion of Honor. This reward was given by France especially in recognition of the 2d's work in freeing Rheims last Fall.

On Feb. 18 the American Army took over the city of Luxemburg, which had been in the hands of the French.

The holding of the Duchy's capital by the Americans followed the series of revolutions and counter-revolutions of a bloodless nature which the city had had since General Pershing first entered it, last November. A few hours after the American officials took charge, word

was brought that a revolution was about to start. The American commander sent forth word that there must be no mobs, no riots, no bloodshed, otherwise the Luxemburgeois might revolt to their hearts' content. But the revolution, as in the similar case three months before, failed to come off on schedule.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO PLAN

All indebtedness contracted by Americans within the occupied territories of Germany is to be paid immediately. Authorization to this effect was secured by the Third Army March 6, and from that date on the Americans have paid their way as they went. The money to pay the back bills and the bills of the future is requisitioned from Berlin, the army thus relieving the civilians of the occupied territory from taking the chances of collecting from the German Government.

When the Americans eventually sxaTt homeward not one pfennig will be owing to civilians who have claims for services rendered or for billets in hotels or houses, or claims of any other kind in connection with the upkeep of the United States troops, so far as the army records are concerned.

Before the departure of the forces the commanders of the various units will confer with the Burgomasters of the respective cities and villages in the district, and as a final formality will receive from the Burgomasters receipts in full, showing all debts cleared up under this plan.

Since the Americans came the Burgomasters have been paying the civilians their bills, but in February the Germans reported that their funds were exhausted and that they were unable to obtain more money from Berlin. The Coblenz Burgomaster's office thus owed more than 500,000 marks for bills contracted in connection with the maintenance of Americans. The latter had been for some time in favor of putting the immediate-payment plan in practice, but before this could be done it was necessary to gain the consent of the allied commission.

The ground taken by the Americans is that it would be more worthy of them to pay as they went than to leave debts in the hands of civilians, who might or might not in the course of time be able to collect from the more or less unstable Treasury in Berlin. Therefore the Americans will do the collecting from the German Government.

In general the administration of af

fairs in the occupied zone has been orderly and marked by no untoward incident. Fraternization was reduced by the stringent enforcement of the regulations. The sale of Iron Crosses was stopped and smuggling was largely stamped out by a system of heavy fines. The health and morale of the army continued excellent.

Demobilizing the British Army

Plans for Armies of Occupation

THE British Government announced on Jan. 29, 1919, that the British Armies of Occupation would be reduced to about 900,000 men, or only one-fourth of the number on the various fronts when the armistice was signed. Of the 2,500,000 men to be released, 750,000 had already been demobilized or discharged. Those remaining were to be set free as quickly as possible. The work of organization was begun Feb. 1, and was expected to last three months.

Bonuses were to be paid to all ranks of the new army and air force and to those of the navy as well. The lowest increase was to be 10 shillings weekly, making a yearly total of £36,500,000, of which £29,000,000 was to go to the army, £3,000,000 to the Royal Air Force, and £4,500,000 to the navy.

Colonel Winston Spencer Churchill, the War Secretary, issued an explanatory note in which he said:

The new army will be composed, In the first instance, only from those who did not enlist before Jan. 1, 1Q18, who are not over 37 years of age, and have not more than two wound stripes. If any one has to stay, it m t be those who are not the oldest, not those who came the earliest, not those who have suffered the most. This method should give us about 1,300,000 men, out of which it is intended to form the army of 000,000. Should there be a surplus of men, after dealing with a certain number of pivotal and compassionate cases, we shall reduce to 900,000 by reducing the age of retention to 38 to So, next releasing the men with twowound stripes, and then on to 34. Later It will be possible to continue making reductions on the principle of releasing the Oldest men by the years of their age.

• • • The sixty-nine battalions of young soldiers of 18 and upward who are now at home will be sent at once to help guard the- Rhine bridgeheads.

The pay of the Armies of Occupation will be substantially increased. Each man posted to these armies will draw a bonus, with arrears from Feb. 1, ranging from 10s 6d a week in the case of a private to £2 2s in the case of officers above the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The total extra cost for one year is estimated at £20,000,000, of which £26,000,000 will go to the rank and file. Officers and men not selected for retention, but not released by May 1, will receive half the bonus from that date.

The Armies of Occupation will include the Home Army, Army of the Rhine. Army of the Middle East, Detachment of the Far North, and garrisons of the Crown Colonies and India. Soldiers under 20 will serv> only at home or In the Army of the Rhine. • • •

During 1019 we must remake the old British regular army so as to provide on a voluntary basts the overseas garrisons. It remains for all classes to work together with the utmost comradeship and energy to safeguard the final victory of our cause.

On Nov. 11 there were in the Royal Air Force about 30,000 officers and 265,000 airmen. Of these, 1,742 officers and 51,727 airmen had been demobilized by Jan. 24, 1919. During the year, 6,500 officers and 75,000 other ranks will be retained.

The principles governing their retention, it was announced, would be the same as those for the army. Officers and men would be retained who were not enlisted and posted before Jan. 1, 1916, had not attained their thirtyseventh birthday, or were not entitled to

S

three or more wound stripes. The remainder would be demobilized as quickly as possible in the order of their industrial groups now open.

Each airman pus ted to these armies is to draw a bonus, with arrears from Feb. 1, ranging from 5s 3d in the case of a private to 38s 6d in the case of a staff officer of the first class. The total estimated cost for one year is £3,000,000.

Captain F. E. Guest introduced a bill in the House of Commons March 7 which proposed compulsory service for the British Army of Occupation. This army, according to the bill, would be composed of 900,000 men and the enlistment period would expire on April 30, 1920. Alexander Shaw, Laborite, moved the rejection of the measure because the Labor Party

is opposed to a continuance of conscription.

Colonel Winston Spencer Churchill, defending the bill, argued that the Government, in providing for an army to insure peace, was " pursuing a path toward universal voluntary service." He added:

Our delegates to the Peace Conference are fighting for the complete abolition of conscription in Europe. A formal demand haa been made that Germany be permitted to have only a small voluntary army on a long-service basis, but it is uncertain whether this point will be carried. Our representatives stand almost alone in this matter and it is not at all impossible that Japan, France, and Italy, and even the United States, will be nations Into whose military systems some element of compulsory service may enter.

The bill passed second reading by a vote of 304 to 71.

Feeding Hungry Europe

Measures Taken by the Allies to Bring Food to All the

Famished Nations

HERBERT HOOVER, Director General of Allied Relief, in a statement issued Feb. 2,1919, set forth the measures already taken, or being taken, to relieve the food distress in the various European countries, and described the organizing and equipping of the Allied Supreme Council of Supply and Relief with a staff of officials representing the allied and associated powers, with the object of securing co-ordination and unity of effort from all the Governments striving to ameliorate the distressing conditions contingent on the dearth of food.

On Feb. 24 the United States Congress, following an urgent plea sent by President Wilson from Europe, appropriated $100,000,000 for the relief of the ever-increasing famine in Europe.

On March 2 Mr. Hoover was appointed by President Wilson Director General of the American Relief Administration created under the $100,000,000 European Famine Relief Bill, and Edgar Richard and Theodore F. Whitmarsh, who had

been directing the affairs of the Food Administration during Mr. Hoover's absence in Europe, were appointed joint Directors in the United States of the newly created Relief Administration. The text of the President's order appointing Mr. Hoover follows:

In pursuance of an act entitled " An act for the relief of such populations in Europe, and countries contiguous thereto, outside of Germany, German Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, as may be determined upon by the President as necessary," approved Feb. 24, 1919, I hereby direct that the furnishing of foodstuffs and other urgent supplies and the transportation, distribution, and administration therefor, provided for in said act, shall be conducted under the direction of Herbert Hoover, who is hereby appointed Director General of the American Relief Administration, with full power to determine to which of the populations named in said act the supplies shall be furnished and in what quantities, and further to arrange for reimbursement, so far as possible, as in said act provided.

He is hereby authorized to establish the American Relief Administration for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of said act and to employ such persons and

« ПретходнаНастави »