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AN ANSWER TO A PROPOSAL OF we will tell the people-our own people, your people, the people
of the world—what we want and what we do not want.
We do not want your territory. We do not want to govern ECENTLY in an American city the police were notified your people. We leave your punishment to natural causes-that that murder had been committed in a club known to be is, to God. We leave you to reap as you have sown. That we
a criminal resort. When they went to investigate, the cannot prevent. We do not wish to interfere with the managedoor was barred against them and their demand for admission ment of your own affairs, and we shall not interfere except as was met with rifle shots from the building, which killed one of interference may be necessary to undo the wrongs you have the police. Attack on a brick building with clubs and rifles was perpetrated and to protect other peoples from future aggresimpossible
. The police brought a cannon from a near-by armory sion. We do not propose when this war ends to initiate a and threatened to batter the building down. Then the club commercial war against you; but we mean to maintain, with members came tumbling out. But the club leader remained. or without your aid, the freedom of the seas. He declared that he would not be taken alive. He was mistaken. We will not return your colonies to you. You are not fit to He was found hiding in a neighbor's cellar, and is awaiting the govern dependent peoples nor to prepare them for self-governjudgment of the Court. The city authorities were probably to ment. blame for the conditions which made the criminal club possible. You cannot undo the evil you have done. You cannot restore The police probably were not saints. To disturb the repose of the dead to life, nor the fields you have devastated to fruitfulthe city by the bombardment of one of its houses was a disaster ness, nor the cities, churches, and libraries you have in mere to be avoided if it was avoidable. Nevertheless there was only wantonness destroyed ; nor put back into the mountains the coal one answer to the request for terms—unconditional surrender. and iron
have carried off. We do not demand of you the We tell the story as we recall the report given in a daily news impossible. But you must restore the booty you have taken to paper. The parallel is plain, the meaning of the parable clear. enrich your own cities. You must repair, as far as reparation
Three and a half years ago two criminal nations declared war. is within your power, the hideous wrongs you have committed ;
privileges for ourselves which we do not desire for them. We In this war the chief criminal has violated the four funda ask no more for the world than German freemen asked for mental laws of social morality :
themselves in the futile revolution of 1848, no more than Ger(1) Thou shalt not kill : She has murdered in cold blood man Social Democrats have asked for themselves in the years thousands of peaceful citizens.
that followed that revolution. But what they humbly asked for (2) Thou shalt not steal : She has robbed industry, and what themselves, we imperatively demand for the world. Our quarrel she could not carry off she has wantonly destroyed.
is with their masiers. (3) Thou shalt not commit adultery : She has given military What Edmund Burke said nearly a century and a quarter support, if not official sanction, to rape.
ago is equally applicable to-day: “ We are at war with a system, (4) Thou shalt not bear false witness. She has lied openly, which, by its essence, is inimical to all other governments, and flagrantly, brazenly.
which makes peace or war, as peace and war may best contribute She has been a robber on land, a pirate on the seas. Her to their subversion. It is with an armed doctrine that we are at crimes have been so efficiently, so courageously, so magnificently perpetrated that they have dazzled the eyes and dulled the con With a power armed to enforce that doctrine on the civilized science of some of our moral mentors. But they have not world, the power that Dr. van Dyke has rightly called the obscured the vision of the plain people.
“ predatory Potsdam gang,” the civilized world neither can nor But she has not succeeded. Her booty has not enriched her. ought to make peace. She has impoverished herself while despoiling her neighbors. Her unsuccessful crimes have united all Christendom against her. Among the Christian nations she has not a friend. All
FREE POLAND peoples, including her own, are weary of the war. She now proposes to the mob which masquerades as a government in the The story of Poland is one of the most romantic in the entire Russian capital the restoration of peace without annexations history of modern Europe. Less than two hundred years ago and without indemnities. What answer should Christian civili Poland was one of the great kingdoms of northeastern Europe. zation make to this proposal ? The people may leave their Gov. Without going into historical details, which would take far more eruments to put the answer of the nations in diplomatic terms. space than we have at our command, it may be said that, partly But if we understand
the public sentiment of the men who are owing to the clash of social forces like that which has so shaken fighting the world's battles for liberty, and of the fathers and Russia, and partly owing to the great military transformation in mothers who sent them to the field, their answers, in diplomatic Europe just preceding the Napoleonic era, the Kingdom of Pophrase, would be something like this:
land was divided into three parts in the latter half of the eight
.eenth century, one part being taken over by Russia, one by We do not want your promises. You break them.
Austria, and one by Prussia.
The spirit of Poland since the Middle Ages has been a peWe cannot deal with you as a moral nation. Your most culiarly democratic spirit. The kings of Poland, for example, popular philosopher has declared that the moral law is not ob were elected by the people. The assembly of the nobles which ligatory, and you have accepted and acted on the philosophy. governed Poland was conducted on the principle which is familiar
Withdraw your armed forces from all European territory to Americans as the principle of the New England town meetwhich you now occupy. Withdraw your Zeppelins from the air ing, where every individual came in, expressed his own views, and your submarines from the sea. `Disband your armies. Dis and even to a remarkable extent had a veto power. After the
your fleet. Then we will talk with you, not before. But first partition of Poland there was still a small section of the
country left independent, but the Constitution, indeed the is small-one not larger in numbers and territory, for example, whole tendency, of this small independent part was so liberal than Serbia. The fact is that Poland when reunited would be and democratic that the autocratic powers of Europe a century one of the most homogeneous peoples in Europe, for it would ago foresaw that it threatened danger to their institutions, and have a territorial area considerably larger than that of France; ; its independence was taken away. The result is that, while to in it there would be over thirty millions of people speaking day there is no such thing as a geographical or a political Po pure Polish, and in addition other ethnic strains like the Slovaks, land, there is a Polish nation with traditions, customs, and who practically speak Polish. Is not the question whether thirty spirit founded in freedom and desiring to perpetuate freedom. millions of people of the same racial stock and speaking the It was believed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria-less by Aus same language shall come justly to their own, which has been tria, perhaps, than by the other two-that the partition of Po- taken away from them by despotic military power, one of the land would destroy its national spirit. By what was probably a great questions of the war? tacit agreement, the autocratic powers of Russia and Prussia The question may be raised as to why we say that there are forbade the use of the Polish language in the schools, in public thirty million people speaking pure Polish in the territory gatherings, and even in public prayers of the people. But, in which should form an independent Poland when the figures in stead of crushing the national spirit, this method, as we have so good an authority as the “Statesman's Year Book” of Engseen in recent times in Belgium, only increased the national land give the number of Polish-speaking people in what are comspirit. Thus we have to-day what may be called the Polish monly regarded as the Polish provinces of Russia, Prussia, and question. That question is, What shall be the status of the Austria as twenty millions. The explanation is simple. Polish Polish people as a result of the great European war?
statistics, as we have already intimated, largely come from GerUnfortunately, during the last century many of the histories man sources and it is to the political interest of Austria and that have been used in the schools of the United States and of Germany, as it was before the war to the Romanoff dynasty, to England have been based on German sources. We now know make the number of ethnically distinct Poles as small as possible, enough about the influence of German autocracy upon the edu- Moreover, the statistics in the “Statesman's Year Book ” account cation of Germans during the forty years since the Franco only for Galicia (or Austrian Poland), Posen (or Prussian Prussian War to know that the purpose of German historians Poland), and so-called Russian Poland, often spoken of as the has been to teach that the Polish people are highly emotional, Vistula province. There are in addition the provinces of East unstable, disputatious, and therefore incapable of governing Prussia (where all the peasants even under the strict control of themselves. Americans, unfortunately, have shared in this im- Germany speak Polish), and Lithuania, Podolya, and Volhynian pression in spite of the fact that they were aware that in the the last three being under Russian control. If the inhabitants field of literature and art and military gallantry Poland has of these provinces, which should rightly form an integral part of produced many great figures. There comes to the mind of the the new Poland, are taken into account, the total number of well-read American in science the name of Copernicus, in Polish-speaking people in what is rightly Polish territory would music the names of Chopin and Paderewski, in literature the undoubtedly amount to about thirty millions. name of Sienkiewicz, in military courage in the cause of free Americans have been puzzled somewhat by the fact that dom the names of Kosciuszko and Pulaski-all Poles. It is clear about a year ago Prussia announced that she had created an that a nation which can produce such great figures as these is not independent Polish kingdom. What she did was to organize a so barbarous as to be incapable of self-government.
scrap of Russian Poland which she had captured from Russia So we come to the present situation. Americans are deeply into a fictitious or paper state for the sake of impressing her interested in justice to Belgium and to Serbia, for during the own people, and possibly the rest of the world, that she was in three years of the war they have begun to understand their
situ favor of Polish liberty. It was really nothing but an exanple of ation. They ought also to have the same deep interest in the Prussian camouflage. She tried to organize an army of 500,000 present plight and the desired future of Poland.
Poles from the inhabitants of this conquered territory. After To promote an understanding of the Polish question and so weeks of work and propaganda she obtained only five hundred to direct the efforts of the Poles during the war that after peace recruits ! may be declared Poland shall again take its place among the It is interesting to compare this deceptive and futile effort of free nations of the world, a Polish National Committee has Frussia with the work of the Polish National Committee in the been formed, with its executive seat in Paris. The distinguished United States, which has already gathered a contingent of ten Polish artist Paderewski, who has won his way to the affections thousand American Poles who, with the permission of the of the American people as one of the greatest musicians of American Government, are now training in a camp at Fort modern times, is the representative of this Committee in the Niagara in New York State and Niagara-on-the-Lake on the United States. Last autumn Mr. Lansing, Secretary of State, Canadian side. It was not a question with the National Polish wrote to Mr. Paderewski a letter from which we quote the fol Committee of how many recruits they could get, but how they lowing sentences :
could check the various volunteers who wished to join this conI beg to inform you that on October 19, 1917, the American tingent. For when Paderewski sounded the “call to arms” the Ambassador at Paris forwarded the request of Mr. Dmowski, volunteers were so numerous that there was neither equipment President of the Polish National Committee there, that the nor barrack camps to take care of them. It may surprise some of United States Government recognize that Committee as an offi the readers of The Outlook to know that there are in the United cial Polish organization. On November 10, 1917, I took pleasure States four million Polish-speaking people. Of these, fifty thouin instructing the American Ambassador at Paris to extend the
sand have already either volunteered or responded to the draft desired recognition of the Government of the United States.
and are in the service of the American Army. The Polish conTo this official recognition of the “Polish question” by the tingent in training at Fort Niagara and Niagara-on-the-Lake is Government of the United States the Polish National Com- composed of men who are not subject, because of age, to the mittee desires to add the popular recognition and sympathy of United States service, although many are citizens of the United the people of the United States. The prime purpose of the States. This Polish contingent, now in training under AmerPolish National Committee, and the Polish patriots who are ican, Polish, and Canadian officers, with the general supervision co-operating with it, is to make it clear to the world that no of the French Military Attaché in the United States, has been just peace can be established until the Polish question is prop- accepted by the French Government as a unit of the French erly solved. That solution is the re-establishment of Poland by a army. The uniform is a French uniform of the bluish-gray reunion of the three parts now under Russian, Prussian, and cloth which is employed by France. But there are certain inAustrian domination. It is not a matter of importance at the signia on the uniform which mark the contingent as a Polish moment whether this re-establishment of Poland shall take the contingent. For example, the officers wear the Polish white form of a republic or a constitutional monarchy, but it is im- eagle on the collar. On the arm, on a magenta silk brassard, portant that the Poles shall be united and free to determine magenta being the Polish national color, a silver white eagle is for themselves what kind of government they will have. Through embroidered. This contingent will be under the command of German sources of information there seems to have come a pre the French General Staff, but as a mark of recognition of Polish vailing impression in the United States that the Polish nation nationalism by France and her allies the officers immediately in
command will use the Polish language and the unit will carry HARBORING A FRIEND OF THE and fight under the Polish banner of the White Eagle.
ENEMY In view of these facts, how is it possible for the Government of the Entente Allies to take the peace proposals just made by So long as we remain at peace with Bulgaria we are allowing Count Czernin, of Austria, seriously? For neither Austria
Germany to keep an agent for propaganda and information at nor Prussia has shown the slightest desire to relinquish the very center of our Government. We are even surrounding despotic control over the millions of Polish people whom they Germany's agent with diplomatic privileges and immunities. govern wholly by conquest. Polish citizens and residents in the The Government of Bulgaria wants Germany to win, and is United States are confident that President Wilson and our helping Germany; and yet we allow the Government of BulGovernment are fully determined to accept no terms of peace garia to have its Minister at Washington and its consuls in which do not include a restitution of the rights of Poland. It
various parts of the country. What kind of service the Bulis not aloue humanity and justice that demand this, but also
garian Minister is performing for Germany will be told next military expediency. For European peace can never be estab week in The Outlook in an article by Demetra Vaka. lished on a firm basis until the Polish question is rightly solved. We ought to declare war on Bulgaria at once.
MAKING BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW
WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONDUCT OF THE
WAR IS DISCOVERING
10 follow the trail of the Senatorial Investigating Commit clear by the following figures. The percentages given represent tees which are trying to determine the wherefore of the the amounts of material lacking :
undeniable shortage of supplies for our troops is like follow Rifles, 59 per cent; bayonets, 65 per cent; pistols, 86 per ing a spider web from its outer edge to the home of its creator. cent; cartridge belts, 59 per cent; machine guns, none on hand Just as all the strands of a spider web lead at last to the center, (twenty Colts shipped); automatic rifles, 88 per cent; 3-inch so do all the lines of inquiry into the shortage of military sup guns, 88 per cent; 6-inch howitzers, none on hand; 1-pounder plies lead at last to the War Department at Washington and cannon, none on hand; artillery harness, 92 per cent; horse to the officials who have tangled their struggling subordinates equipment, 81 per cent; infantry equipment (this includes in a web of red tape as securely as any spider ever entangled haversacks, first aid pouches, and canteens), 78 per cent; small
arms ammunition, 75 per cent; artillery ammunition, 90 per It is of course not at all fair to charge the present Adminis cent. In addition there are no live grenades and none of the tration with the appointment to office of many of the men special carts, including rolling kitchens. within the War Department who have, to say the least, con Similar testimony was given by Major-General Wright clusively demonstrated their inability to live up to the demands concerning conditions at Camp Boniphan, Oklahoma. At of the present situation. The Democratic Administration inher Camp Doniphan are stationed some 24,000 men and nearly ited the War Department bureaucracy from Mr. Wilson's a thousand officers. At this camp serious shortage in clothing predecessors in office. The country has a right to hold the has resulted in an inexcusable number of deaths. Winter clothAdministration responsible for the continuance of incompetenting has, however, now been provided and great improvement in officials in office in the face of an emergency which has tested the health of the soldiers has been noted. But the shortage of vur war-making powers as these powers were never,
ordnance supplies still continues. Among the articles of equip could be, tested in time of peace.
ment lacking at present are more than 5,000 rifles, 10,000 The cost of the state of unpreparedness permitted to exist automatic pistols, 9,000 bayonets, 160,000 bayonet scabbards, even after the outbreak of the world war in 1914 becomes daily 16,000 haversacks, 12,000 cartridge belts, 56 batteries of more painfully evident. Two striking instances of what this artillery, and 234 machine guns. lack of preparedness has cost the country were recounted to a The shortage of such equipment means a psychological loss Senatorial Investigating Committee by Major-Generals William almost comparable to the physical loss. A soldier must not only M. Wright and Edwin St. John Greble, commanding officers be supplied with equipment when he needs it for purposes of at Camp Doniphan, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Camp Bowie, drill and instruction, but he is very much further along in his at Fort Worth, Texas.
development as a soldier if he is provided with equipment which General Greble told of his efforts to secure from the War he can regard as his own peculiar property, and which he can Department enough clothing to supply his troops with the cherish as such. minimum amount required to maintain their health. He told A writer in the New York “Sun” quoted a retired colonel low he had warned the War Department that the lack of in the United States Army as commenting upon the testimony vlothing would result in serious loss of life. In September he which has recently been heard within the halls of the Capitol sent word to four War Department officials informing them in the following language: fully of the conditions in his camp, but he failed to get any “I wish some of the Senators who were asking Greble and action before November 14. He recounted the fact that he had Wright why an enlisted man couldn't be trained as well with a reported to the War Department that he was forced to put broomstick as with a regulation rifle could know just a little twelve men within tents designed to accommodate eight men.
bit what a West Pointer learns when he joins his first command. Any one who has slept in an army tent knows that the placing “Let me tell you: An infantryman's rifle is to him what his of twelve cots within its narrow walls requires the abandon favorite bat is to a baseball player. And then some. An enment of practically the whole floor space to sleeping purposes. It listed man will fight even his bunkie quicker than you can drop means that twelve men are compelled to sleep as closely
together a hat for monkeying with his rifle. He knows there is no other though the whole tent were one large bed.
rifle just like it in the world. As a matter of fact, no two rifles General Greble stated that he informed the War Depart are precisely alike, and a soldier finds more difference in rifles ment of the crowded conditions within his encampment on
than a batsman finds in bats. He studies all its little peculiarities September 11, and that on November 14 he received a telegram until he thinks of them as evidences of human temperament. from the Adjutant-General (in reply to his letter of September He actually believes they are... 11) telling him to put fewer men in the tents !
“Broomsticks! Why, a recruit is not a soldier until he has Figures make dull reading, but it is worth while to record lived a year with a rifle, and will fight for her reputation." here the percentage of equipment needed at Camp Bowie as The shortage of overcoats which caused such suffering to the compared with the actual amount of equipment provided for
men at Camp Bowie and Camp Doniphan is even less excusable, the troops stationed there. The shortage of equipment is made perhaps, than the shortage of military equipment of a more
be draft ish of
, to the
technical variety. Any American familiar with our National from all over the country, stating that they had been ordered disregard of military preparation can find a dozen reasons why to report at an ordnance depot at Raritan for duty. The citiwe should not have been able to manufacture arms and am zens of Raritan would have been very glad to provide these sol. munition upon an instantaneous demand-even though that diers with the object of their desires, but, so far as they knew, instant happened to be nine months long. But in the matter of no ordnance depot existed within the boundaries of their town. overcoats our civilian requirements have caused us to develop They did, however, take the soldiers into their homes and pro a vast machinery for the manufacture of woolen cloth which vide for them until the mystery was unraveled. ought to have been available without serious delay for the crea It later became known that the ordnance depot to which tion of the necessary military supplies. We have, too, in this the men had been ordered was in process of construction at country a great industry devoted to the manufacture of ready- Metuchen, New Jersey, some miles from the town of Raritan, made clothing of all kinds, an industry which, it seems to the but situated on the Raritan River. It seems that the War lay mind, might have been mobilized for the present emergency Department had been under the illusion that it possessed an with considerably less creaking of official wheels than has been ordnance depot at Raritan for several weeks, for mail had manifest.
been received at the Raritan post-office addressed to the nonAccording to testimony given before an investigating commit existent depot covering the period of nearly one month. Just tee, General Sharpe was generally empowered by the Secretary as fast as it had been received' it had been returned to the War of War to let contracts on last April 4 for two million over Department marked “Misdirected.” coats. Yet Senator McKellar has received telegrams from the When the War Department learned that it had no depot at commanding officers of eight camps stating that they are short Raritan and that the depot at Metuchen was not yet ready for some forty-six thousand woolen overcoats, and General Sharpe the troops assigned to it, the War Department quickly decided has himself admitted that the army is to-day short one hundred to transfer its soldiers elsewhere and to telegraph the draft thousand overcoats of the number required for the clothing of boards previously ordered to assign men to Raritan to regard the men now in the service. Orders have, it is said, been placed these orders as canceled. General Crozier reported to the Senfor overcoats for about a million and a half men, but the Sena ate that the explanation for the mistake was as follows: torial investigation has so far developed no information of the
One of the seven hundred of the younger ordnance officers existence of a really business-like plan within the War Depart who have been assigned to duty in the department evidently took ment looking towards the actual co-ordination of the call which too literally a promise that the barracks would be ready last is bringing this large number of men into the service and an week. I find that the word was communicated to the Draft available supply of clothing necessary to keep these men in Boards to send men to Raritan, so as to be on hand when the health.
base is completed. They ought to have been directed to Metuchen In addition to the revelations before the Senatorial Com
instead. But I am told the barracks there are not quite ready.
It was a mistake that was corrected as soon as we learned of mittee of inadequate management within the War Department a striking instance of the workings of the bureaucratic mind
the advance guard of soldiers arriving at Raritan.
We've headed the others off. They won't be sent there until was made manifest on a recent occasion to the citizens of the
the barracks at Metuchen are ready. town of Raritan, New Jersey.
Into this town drifted the other day a number of recruits The explanation is published here for what it is worth.
THE RAILWAYS AND THE GOVERNMENT
A POLL OF PUBLIC OPINION OVERNMENT operation of the railways has been the In voicing the particular opinion of the Socialists the “Call” subject of political discussion in America for many years. · says of them : Now it has become suddenly an accomplished fact.
Many of them object to that guarantee of the average of Many Americans, naturally conservative, have regarded the three years' big profits, but ... here is a clause that ... will proposal that the Government operate the railways as the sug exact more admiration when its purport is more fully understoorl
. gestion of a dangerous Socialistic experiment. Now war has cre
As a matter of fact, most Socialists have not noticed it yet, and ated conditions which have made the transfer of the railways
that is why we reprint it here (the italicizing is the “Call's”]: from private to public management a necessity.
“Regular dividends hitherto declared, and maturing interest In order to ascertain how this revolutionary change has
upon bonds, debentures, and other obligations may be paid in
due course; and such regular dividends and interest may conaffected public opinion in America we have sought for the ex
tinue to be paid until and unless the said director [Mr. pression of views from a representative Socialist organ, from
McAdoo) shall from time to time otherwise by general or special representatives of organized labor, from railway operators, from orders determine.” newspapers and individuals who have the point of view of the
The “ Call” makes this comment: capitalist, and representative newspapers of the North, the
Spoken like a real dictator!... A genuine dictator obligates South, and the West.
himself to nothing. . . . Why should we Socialists not rejoice THE OPINION OF THE SOCIALISTS
too? ... The
The age of miracles is not past: it's just a-coming :: Concerning a change which only a few years ago would have
you will still see more wonders ; things that you thought the been widely regarded as Socialistic, it is natural to inquire what
Government could never do. the Socialists think. Perhaps as representative as any Socialist
That the Government's taking over the railways is an episodie organ is the New York “ Call.” This paper is inclined to be change which will be permanent and that better and more effislightly ironical in the course of its remarks. It says:
cient service would result was stated by Mr. Henry Bruère. Labor-resentful, sullen, implacable labor! And those awful
the former City Chamberlain of New York City, at the recent brotherhoods of railroad trainmen that have come so near up
Intercollegiate Socialist Society's meeting as reported by the setting society with their insatiable demands! Those children
Boston Christian Science Monitor." Government control of of the horse-leech, continually crying “Give!” What about the roads, he said, would have also a great influence on city them? Look at them now! All their greed and rapacity has governments. Public control of street railways, food, fuel, and fallen from them as filthy rags, and they now stand forth in the housing problems was predicted. Mr. Bruère foresaw a city shining raiment of economic righteousness! Oppose Mr. McAdoo? No, sir! They are loyal and patriotic men, and they
composed of persons who would see that things got done ani will make no demands that will embarrass the Administration.
would regard the Government as an instrument to work with They will stand by Mr. McAdoo to the last man. They are con
and not an outside thing. fident that the Government will give them a square deal in the
ORGANIZED LABOR matter of wages. Slaves of the State? Nonsense! Labor accepts Opinion on the part of labor leaders and trade unionists haState control of the railroads with a joyful whoop.
been, so far, not publicly expressed. Before the war organized
1918 labor was inclined to oppose government ownership and opera the economies and increased efficiency from unified operation will tion of public utilities—including railways. This was largely greatly increase the transportation power of the country. herause the railway brotherhoods, who constitute the unions of
The most emphatically approving opinion of any railway railway employees, saw in government operation a menace president, however, seems to be that of Mr. Frederick D. Underto their accustomed freedom of action. The war, however, has
wood, of the Erie System. He said, according to the “Sun :" bronght about a change in the point of view of many railway
This is the best news that I have heard in many a day. It is presiilents and other officials, and may have likewise changed
the biggest and finest thing that has ever happened to our rail. the point of view of many railway employees. Whether it has
roads. . . . On the basis of the general announcement I would actually done so or not it is too early yet to tell. Labor leaders
say instantly that it will be a grand thing for the country as are slow in expressing personal views before consulting the organi
a war-time measure, a grand thing for the railroads themselves, zations they represent. At the time this issue of The Outlook
and a grand solution of the labor problem. . . . It will be goes to press no labor papers published since the President's accepted enthusiastically and of course loyally by the manage
ments and stockholders. proclamation have come to our notice. THE OPINION OF THE RAILWAY OPERATORS
THE OPINION OF CAPITAL In seeking the opinion of railway managers,, one naturally the New York Commercial and Financial Chronicle.” Noting
In obtaining the opinion of capitalists one naturally turns to turns to the New York-Chicago “ Railway Age.” It says:
that the President's act has two distinct aspects—the one bearRailway facilities have now become inadequate because the
ing upon the operation of the roads as a transportation system, various regulating bodies have refused to let the railways earn
and the other bearing upon the treatment of the security-holdenough of return to raise the capital required to make facilities
ers-it thinks the latter in its immediate influence much the adequate
. The breakdown is not a breakdown of railway management, but of railway regulation. ...
more important of the two aspects because of its intimate bearThere is grave uncertainty as to whether the Government has ing upon the general financial situation. It proceeds: proceeded along all or, indeed, most lines with real efficiency. And Every one will accept the situation in a patriotic spirit ... yet it is soberly contended that it should take over the operation even though under Government control and management the of the railways in order to increase their efficiency..
efficiency of the roads . . . shall not be improved. ... The AdGovernment does other things badly, therefore it would operate ministration does not mean to repeat the mistake of the Interthe railways well.
State Commerce Commission, or continue the latter's destructive Among railway presidents one might select at random Mr.
policy, a policy the failure of which has become so palpably evi
dent at the present crucial period in the country's history. E. P. Ripley, of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fé, or Mr.
To this the well-known and influential New York "Journal Ralph Peters , President of the Long Island. As reported by
of Commerce” adds : the New York “ Evening Post,” Mr. Ripley says, in line with the “ Railway Age's " criticism :
There ought really to be improvement and enlargement of
facilities during this period of government control and a stronger As to Government ownership of railroads in the future, and what it would mean to the efficiency of railroad operation, ..
and more harmoniously working system thereafter.... the United States Government has never yet transacted any
busi “Wall Street” has come to be in many minds a sort of ness as economically, or as efficiently as private interests have synonym of capital. Hence the opinions of men who work in or done. I say this advisedly and with full recognition of what it near Wall Street are significant. Mr. J. P. Morgan's name did in the case of the Panama Canal. ... The Government of the would occur first to many inquirers. He says, as reported by United States is a great political machine. The business of rail the New York “Sun:" roading is a science. The mixture of one with the other would
In destroy the science and corrupt the machine.
my opinion, the President's action should be a great relief And Mr. Peters says:
to the situation. The railroads, with every desire to help as much
as possible in winning the war, have found themselves hampered I do not see Government ownership of the railroads in the
by division of authority and by the competitive policy imposed on future. In many States we have tried it and it failed and was them by law. As this situation could be relieved only by Federal costly. The people will not trust any one party with the great
action, it is a great satisfaction to see that action taken. I am power of perpetuating itself in office that would surely result sure that Mr. McAdoo will have the heartiest co-operation from from Government ownership. Government ownership might every one in the great task he is undertaking. mean full protection for the holders of railroad securities, but it The “Sun” also reports Mr. Alexander J. Hemphill, Chairmeans no continuous policy or responsibility for results, and it man of the Board of the Guaranty Trust Company, as calling would not mean efficiency in railway operation nor wisdom in capital expenditure. Abroad it has resulted in freight rates
the President's proclamation “ the greatest constructive thing twice as high as those here, and, if the wage scale be considered,
that has happend in years for the railroads." foreign freight rates are four times as high.
And Mr. Charles H. Sabin, President of the Guaranty According to the New York “Sun," other railway men have change but as saying in particular:
Trust Company, is also reported not only as approving the expressed themselves as follows: Mr. C. Stuart Patterson, a director of the Pennsylvania System, said: “The President has
Perhaps the most cheering feature ... is that this action acted wisely. He patriotically has done that which he deems
means a quickening of our National efficiency for the winning pobūzu best for the entire country.
of the war. And another director, Mr. T
GENERAL OPINION Rot Ta Dewitt Cuyler, asserted : “All will give the Government the fullest co-operation.” The same paper reports Mr. Charles S.
The opinion of the newspapers throughout the country is Mellen, former head of the New Haven System, as follows:
practically unanimous in approval. The editorials in the SpringA single directing head for all the railroads of the country will
field“ Republican ” are always read with respect, and it says: serve to cut out the hauling of the thousands of cars empty
Because of the absolute power which the Federal Government one way a waste of transportation effort which has been so
may now exercise over the routing of traffic ... centralized prevalent under private ownership through the competitive war
control should be beneficial in various industries at an early day, fare of the different railroads to get business. Now, under Gov.
especially in the transportation of coal. ernment control, freight will be shipped by the shortest and most The New York press is so emphatic in its approval that the expeditious route without regard to which railroad benefits by
Socialist“Call " pokes fun at it. “Even the New York
* Times,'” it remarks,“ swallows the previously supposed nasty Tise " Sun” also reports an. opinion from Mr. Theodore P. medicine with a fairly good grace, and professes to find it quite Shonts
, President of the Interborough Consolidated Corporation tasty and not at all disagreeable.” The Times” itself declares : et die of New York City, who has had large experience in operating President Wilson has put an end to a period of uncertainty
and disquieting rumors by which quite enough harm has been With the security-holders protected by the Government guar done. It was time for the decision and the decision will be welantee on a reasonable basis, and with the railroad systems of the comed by the people and by the railways. country operated as a whole, I can see nothing but good as a
Director-General McAdoo appeals for the support of public result. " The guarantee of zecurity should encourage investors, and
sentiment. He was sure of it before his appeal reached the eyes