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Operation of the Selective Draft Law and Formation of the
Nation's Military Forces
ONGRESS passed the bill May 18
authorizing the formation of the new army by conscription after
a month's earnest debate. The measure provides for increasing the regular army to 287,000 men and the National Guard to 625,000. It further adopts for the United States the theory and system of compulsory service—which constitutes a revolutionary change-and provides a system of selective drafts between the ages of 21 and 30 years whereby men may be taken by the Government.
The President is authorized to take 500,000 at once and 500,000 later, in addition to the regular army and National Guard increases. In all, this legislation provides an army of approximately 2,000,000 to be raised in the first year following the passage of the law. The vote in the Senate was 81 to 8 and in the House 397 to 24.
President Wilson signed the measure the day it passed, and at once issued the proclamation printed in the preceding pages, calling the nation to arms. In this proclamation he defined the workings of the law, and fixed June 5 as the day for registration. This day is to be made the occasion of great patriotic demonstrations throughout the country.
About 10,000,000 men between 21 and 30, inclusive, are expected to be registered. After the registration and exemptions have been completed, those declared to be eligible for drafting will have their names placed in jury wheels and 500,000 will be drafted for Federal service in the formation of the new national army. It is expected that the second call for 500,000 men will follow within a few weeks. The new army will be completed as follows:
The regular army will be recruited to the maximum war strength of 287,000 men by voluntary enlistment or, as a last resort, by selective enrollment. The National Guard will be recruited to the
maximum war strength of 625,000 men by voluntary enlistment or, as a last resort, by selective enrollment.
The first additional force of 500,000 men will be raised by selective enrollment.
The new army will be mobilized in 16 divisions of 28,000 men each, distributed among the States as follows:
First-Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
Second-Lower New York State and Long Island.
Third-Upper New York State and Northern Pennsylvania.
Fifth-Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and District of Columbia.
Sixth - Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Seventh-Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Eighth-Ohio and West Virginia. Ninth-Indiana and Kentucky. Tenth-Wisconsin and Michigan. Eleventh-Illinois. Twelfth-Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Thirteenth-North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa.
Fourteenth-Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.
Fifteenth-Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Sixteenth Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, and Utah.
National Guard Called Out Coincident with the proclamation, President Wilson issued orders for the mobilization of the entire National Guard, which will immediately be drafted into the Federal service; 60,000 of this force out of a total of 160,000 were drafted into the Federal service prior to May 15. New National Guard units will be expanded to a total of 400,000, to be known as the National Guard Army, consisting of sixteen divisions.
All men taken into the army will serve for the period of the war.
Although local units will be kept intact, so far as possible, the regular army, National Guard, and enrolled men will be welded into a homogeneous army, with
officers appointed and assigned by the President.
Enlisted men will receive pay of $30 a month, an increase of $15, and the pay of the other grades is increased.
Recruits of the regular army will go into training at once. The National Guard units will be in training, it is expected, by July 1, and the 500,000 enrolled men by Sept. 1.
There was a prolonged conflict over a provision authorizing the formation of four divisions of volunteers at the pleasure of the President, which was intended to authorize former President Roosevelt to head this volunteer army; it was finally incorporated into the bill. Announcement was made on May 19, however, that the President had decided not to avail himself of the authority to organize volunteer divisions. He announced at the same time that a division of the United States regulars would be sent to France at the earliest date practicable, to be commanded by Major Gen. John J. Pershing, who had been in command of the expedition to Mexico. The Secretary of the Navy announced May 19 that 2,600 marines would accompany the Pershing expedition.
Training Camps Established Officers' training camps were opened on May 15 as follows:
First-Troops from all New England States, Plattsburg Barracks, N. Y.
Second-New York Congressional Districts 1 to 26, (including Long Island, New York City, and a strip north of the city,) Plattsburg Barracks, N. Y.
Third-Remainder of New York State and Pennsylvania Congressional Districts 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 21, 25, and 28, Madison Barracks, N. Y.
Fourth-Remainder of Pennsylvania State, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Fort Niagara, N. Y,
Fifth--New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia, Fort Myer, Va.
Sixth-North and South Carolina and Tennessee, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., near Chattanooga, Tenn.
Seventh-Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, Fort McPherson, Ga., near Atlanta.
Eighth-Ohio and West Virginia, Fort Benjamin Harrison, near Indianapolis.
Ninth-Indiana and Kentucky, Fort Benjamin Harrison.
Tenth--Illinois, Fort Sheridan, nea Chicago.
Eleventh-Michigan and Wisconsin, Fort Sheridan.
Twelfth-Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Fort Logan H. Root, Ark., near Little Rock.
Thirteenth-Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska, Fort Snelling, Minn., near St. Paul.
Fourteenth-Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, Fort Riley, Kan.
Fifteenth Oklahoma and Texas, Leon Springs, Texas, near San Antonio.
Sixteenth-Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, and New Mexico, Presidio, San Francisco.
In addition there will be two separate cavalry divisions which probably will be situated in the Southwest, near the Mexican border. Officers for the cavalry divisions will be trained at all of the sixteen officers' training camps, which will open with 40,000 prospective officers under training.
Each infantry division consists of nine full regiments of infantry, three regiments of field artillery, one regiment of cavalry, one regiment of engineers, one division hospital, and four camp infirmaries. The total strength of the sixteen is 15,022 officers and 439,792 men.
The two cavalry divisions combined will have 1,214 officers and 32,062 fighting men, including mounted engineers and horse artillery units, and each will have also its divisional hospital and camp infirmaries.
The proportion of coast artillery troops to be provided out of the first 500,000 will be 666 officers and 20,000 men, with requisite medical troops.
Supplementing these tactical units will be: Sixteen regiments of heavy field artillery, strength, 768 officers and 21,104 men; eight aero squadrons, or one new squadron to each two new infantry divisions; eight balloon companies, ten field hospitals, ten ambulance companies, twenty-two field bakeries, six telephone battalions, sixteen pack companies, six ammunition trains, and six supply trains.
Provisions of Conscription Bill Under the provisions of the conscription
men without dependent wives or children are required to serve unless exempted on some other ground. Unmarried men with dependents, on the other hand, are not required to serve. Unmarried men belonging to exempted
classes under regulations to be pre- solely by the President, have authority scribed by the President also may be ex- to review on appeal, affirm, modify, or empted, even if they have no dependents. reverse the decision of local boards, as to
The President himself is the final au- any individual or any class of individuthority on all questions of exemption or
als. Those not satisfied with the decision discharge. The law authorizes him to of the Board of Review may appeal appoint a local board for each county or
directly to the President. In appointing similar subdivision and a local board for all boards, the President has absolute each 30,000 population in cities of 30,000 control at all times of the exemption maor more. These local boards will consist chinery. The exemption work is a purely of three or more persons, none of them civil procedure. The army has no part in to be connected with the military estab- the matter until after all questions of lishment. The members of these boards exemption or discharge of individuals or will be chosen from local authorities or classes have been finally disposed of and other citizens of the subdivision in which the new draft army, is called to the the board has jurisdiction.
colors. Local boards have power to hear and The specific exemptions fixed by the determine, subject to review by district bill include State and Federal officials of 'boards to be appointed for each Federal the legislative, executive, and judicial judicial district, all questions of exemp- branches, persons in the naval or military tion and all questions of including indi- service, members of religious sects with viduals or classes in the selective draft conscientious scruples against war. The or of discharging them from it.
President is authorized to exclude from In densely populated judicial districts, the draft or to draft for “partial milias in New York City, more than one tar service only,” county and municipal board will be appointed to revise the officers, Custom House clerks, persons findings of local boards in each district employed by the United States in the when appeals are taken.
transportation of the mails and certain The entire scheme is to localize the other designated classes, together with exemption boards and boards of review as persons engaged in industries, includmuch as possible, officials feeling that in ing agriculture, found to be necessary to this way, and by keeping military men the maintenance of the military estaboff the boards, the minimum of friction lishment or the effective operation of the will result.
military forces or the maintenance of the The district boards, also appointed national interest during the emergency.”
Mobilizing America's Resources
HE mobilizing of America's fense. These committees assisted in the
sources and the organizing of its co-ordination of industries. Judge El
man power for the war proceeded bert H. Gary was appointed Chairman in earnest in May. In every direction
of the Committee on Steel, and among new forms of co-operation in industry
the members of the committee were established with the help of leading Charles M. Schwab of the Bethlehem business men, technical experts, and men Steel Company. A. C. Bedford, Presiwhose organizing abilities had been pre
dent of the Standard Oil Company, was viously employed in private enterprise. appointed Chairman of the Committee on
Committees to serve under Bernard M. Oil. Other committees to handle alcohol, Baruch, Chairman of the Committee on aluminium, asbestos, magnesia, and roofRaw Materials of the Advisory Commis- ing; brass, coal tar by-products, lumber, sion, and Julius Rosenwald, Chairman of lead; mica, nickel, rubber, sulphur, wool, the Committee of Supplies, were ap- and zinc, were selected from the chief pointed by the Council of National De- leaders in those lines.
The Commercial Economy Board of the spokesmen of capital and labor went in a Advisory Commission to promote effici body to the White House, and were reency, eliminate waste, and especially to ceived by the President, who said that assist commercial houses in releasing em this was a most welcome visit, because it ployes for Government service without
meant a most welcome thing—co-operadislocating business, proceeded with its tion of the whole nation. The labor union work. A committee was appointed to in leaders of America have also conferred crease output of coal and by co-operation with the British labor representatives with the Committees on Raw Materials who have been visiting Washington and and Transportation to accelerate the learning how in England employers and movement of coal to points where the
workers have co-operated for the proseneed is greatest.
cution of the war.
The Government received invaluable Medical men organized a board to
assistance from the iron and steel prowork with the Council of National De
ducers, who formed a central organizafense.
tion and took charge of all orders for The Women's Committee, presided over
war munitions. All steel mills were clasby Dr. Anna H. Shaw, endeavored to
sified according to tonnage, so as to make prevent overlapping by the numerous
a proper distribution of the financial women's organizations, and to organize
burden. The copper producers made an their work in an efficient manner.
agreement with the Metals Committee of Measures were undertaken to recruit
the National Defense Council to supply for farm work boys between the age of
copper at the average market price for 16 and the age of enlistment, of whom
the last ten years, instead of the current there are 5,000,000, with 2,000,000 esti
market prices. Secretary of the Navy mated as idle. This was directed by the
Daniels stated that his department is Department of Agriculture through the
thereby saving $850,000 in the cost of United States Boys' Working Reserve.
cartridge cases under contracts just The leaders of capital and labor on awarded. The agreement was brought May 15 met at Washington, and, putting about by Bernard M. Baruch. Satisfacaside all differences, agreed to co-operate. tory arrangements were also made by the Samuel Gompers, President of the Amer Navy Department with the petroleum inican Federation of Labor and Chairman terests to supply the navy's needs at of the Labor Committee of the Advisory reasonable cost. Judge Gary, Chairman Commission, invited a group of America's of the United States Steel Corporation, greatest industrial magnates to discuss announced that the Government was to methods of co-operation between employ obtain the steel it required at lower ers and workers. Those who accepted prices. Other branches of trade and inincluded John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Emer dustry also acted on the principle that son McMillan of New York, Daniel Gug patriotism demands the subordination of genheim, Theodore Marburg of Balti profit-seeking to war needs. more, and Colgate Hoyt of New York. The State Governments began to orThe meeting in the Labor Federation ganize so as to help the National Governbuilding at Washington was unprece ment, New York in particular being well dented. Mr. Rockefeller promised that advanced with its scheme of defense he would do all he could to co-operate work. Early in May a conference of with labor. Similar pledges were re
Governors and State delegates was held ceived from other men representing great at Washington and received explanations industrial interests, who were not present regarding the various projects of comat the meeting. At its conclusion the mittees of the National Defense Council.
VISIT OF NOTED DIPLOMATS Marshal Joffre and Ministers Balfour and Viviani
Welcomed by the United States
Text of Their Most Eloquent Speeches
HE entrance of the United States
into the great conflict was immediately followed by a decision on
the part of the British and French Governments each to send on one of its warships a high commission to convey the greetings and sense of appreciation of those Governments to this country, and also to discuss ways and means for securing the most effective co-operation of the United States.
The British Commission was headed by Arthur J. Balfour, Foreign Minister and former Premier; his personal staff included the Hon. Sir Eric Drummond, K. C. M. G., G. C. B.; Ian Malcolm, M. P.; C. F. Dormer, and G. Butler. Sir Eric Drummond is a half-brother and heir presumptive of the Earl of Perth. Mr. Malcolm at different times was an attaché of the British Embassies in Berlin, Paris, and Petrograd, and during the war has been the British Red Cross officer in France, Switzerland, and Russia.
Other members of the party were Rear Admiral Dudley R. S. de Chair, K. C. B., M. V. 0.; Fleet Paymaster Vincent Lawford, D. S. O., Admiralty; Major General George T. M. Bridges, C. M. G., D. S. 0.; Captain H. H. Spender-Clay, M. P.; Lord Cunliffe, Governor of the Bank of England. Admiral de Chair is one of the naval advisers of the British Foreign Office. General Bridges was the head of the military mission with the Belgian field army and served in both the Boer war and the present conflict. Captain Spender-Clay married the daughter of William Waldorf Astor. The commission also included the following:
War Office.-Colonel Goodwin, Colonel Langhorne, Major L. W. B. Rees, V. C., M. C., Royal Flying Corps, and Major C. E. Dansey.
Blockade Department Experts.-Lord Eustace Percy of the Foreign Office. A. A. Paton of the Foreign Office, F. P. Robinson of the
Board of Trade, S. McKenna of the War Trade Intelligence Department, and M. D. Peterson of the Foreign Trade Department, Foreign Office.
Wheat Commission.-A. A. Anderson, Chairman, and Mr. Vigor.
Munitions.-W. T. Layton, Director of Requirements and Statistics Branch, Secretariat of the Ministry of Munitions; C. T. Phillips, American and Transport Department, Ministry of Munitions; Captain Leeming, Mr. Amos.
Ordnance and Lines of Communication.Captain Heron. Supplies and Transports.-Major Puckle.
The French Commission was headed by former Premier Viviani, Minister of Justice; General Joffre, Marshal of France; Vice Admiral Chocheprat, Senior Vice Admiral of the French Navy, and Marquis . de Chambrun, a member of the Chamber of Deputies, a lineal descendant of Marquis de Lafayette. The party also included M. Simon, Inspector of Finance; M. Hovelacque, Inspector General of Public Instruction, and the personal staff of Marshal Joffre, comprising Lieut. Col. Fabry, Chief of Staff; Lieut. Col. Remond, (artillery,) General Headquarters; Major Rerquim, Ministry of War; Lieutenant de Tossan, Tenth Army, and Surgeon Major Dreyfus of the Medical Corps. The other members of the party are Lieutenant A. J. A. K. Lindeboom of the Ministry of Marine, a specialist in sea transport, and Captain George E. Simon, Aid de Camp of Admiral Chocheprat.
Arrival of British Mission The visit of these eminent men meant to fulfill two separate functions, the one to express to the people of America the gratification of the allied Governments over our action, and the other to discuss practical ways and means with our Government to secure its most effective co-operation with the Allies.
The British Commissioners stole secretly away from England April 11 on a