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And yet should we not expect theoretically that a time of great stress (as a result of armed conflict and depletion of the ranks of labor for military purposes) would be in a large measure at least offset by the utilization of this reserve force? Workmen who had already been employed would work harder and longer. The very necessity of the situation would demand better organization and the utilization of the most economic methods of production, while there is a vast reserve fund of labor which, under ordinary circumstances is not employed, can be called upon at such a period. In other words, the destructive influence of war on industry, which would seem to be a patent fact due. to so large a proportion of the population being removed from the ranks of industry, proves not to be a net loss at all, but is largely made up from the industrial reserve force....
But one cost of war there is which can be measured in cold figures and for which there seems to be no economic offset. That is the actual enormous governmental expenditure frequently entailed. The piling up of government debt is a burden on the taxpayer of the present and future generations which can not be waived aside, and which goes far to offset any argument which can be made in favor of war from the economic point of view. How is this great problem to be met? The obvious answer is by having short wars, and the obvious way to have short wars is to be prepared beforehand to make them short. ...
ECONOMIC WASTE OF LABOR.
How, then, are we to estimate the real cost of an adequate military and naval organization in time of peace, and what is the nature of this cost? In the first place, much is frequently said regarding the economic waste which is involved in peace armaments, due to the fact that so large a number of adult young men are taken out of the ranks of industry year by year, thereby reducing the productive capacity of the community, since they might otherwise be employed in increasing the national wealth....
The same argument might easily be made regarding the number of able-bodied young people in our high schools, technical schoools, and colleges. A few narrow-minded people deny the advantages of education altogether, and a still larger number are inclined to think that from the economic point of view education beyond the grammar school at least is a net loss to the community, and that the productivity of labor is not increased by education of this kind. ...
If now the military training has educational results of the same kind, compulsory army service is nothing more than compulsory education. I think it is now the opinion of most careful observers of German conditions that the military service of so many of her young men for two years acts exactly in this way. Youngsters are taken from the quiescent life of the farm, or from the somewhat dangerous life of factory communities and are trained in promptness, diligence, obedience, cleanliness,
and fidelity to duty. Furthermore, they are given actual instruction in various lines in the way of increasing their general intelligence, and they of necessity become in some measure : familiar with the intricate mechanism of military weapons, which in itself gives a certain training in the knowledge of machinery. Personally, I believe that the efficiency of factory labor in Germany has been greatly increased through this military education, and that the young men who have been through this training become much more efficient in the field of production in later years than they would have been had they not been obliged to undergo this training at all. In other words, the compulsory service might be justified as economically self-supporting on purely educational grounds.
WAR AS INSURANCE.
Another economic phase of the question besides the educational is the fact that preparation of this kind is in the nature of business insurance. It can easily be maintained that, from the education point of view alone, an equally good training could be given for industrial purpose without such vast expenditure for armament and ships, but if it is true, as all history shows, that the safety of the commercal prosperity of any nation may at any time be threatened or overthrown by war, the question as to how this commercial prosperity can be best insured becomes a purely business question.
It is living in a fool's paradise to assume so readily this absence of risk for ourselves if we look ahead for any serious length of time. I suppose none of us anticipates any immediate danger in the nature of international conflict, but the whole point is that if we believe in the possibility of such conflict any time within the next 50 years the time to make a start is now. If we once adopt the policy of delay there is no reason why it should not be extended year by year until the fatal moment comes and finds us entirely unprepared....
WAR AS A TEST OF CHARACTER.
I have sometimes thought that no fairer test of the highest efficiency of peoples could be made than by a duel of two dreadnoughts, each representing the highest scientific skill of its own people. Every capacity of the human mind, except the purely artistic and literary, is tested in a struggle of this kind. Where can a more marvelous result of modern genius be found than in the perfect ship? Even Ruskin was fond of dwelling on this conception; but a duel of two dreadnoughts would not be a test of the vital strength of two peoples. It is not only a question of the relative merits of ships themselves, but also a question of relative members and economic power. That nation which can build the most ships or support the largest armies is the nation which has shown the greatest genius in the acquisition of natural resources and in the accumulation of wealth. In fact, it may well be asserted that war is the most searching test of economic efficiency, and that, on the other hand, economic efficiency is finally the most important factor in determining the issue of military conflicts. ...
What I wish to emphasize is that all of these factors go together in determining victory or defeat, and that here, as elsewhere, the economic efficiency and the military efficiency of the people go hand in hand. Doubtless we all wish peace to be preserved and dread the arbitrament of war. All I claim is that when nations are forced to this arbitrament it becomes a test not only of "brute strength," not only of military virtues and capacities, but a test as well of their success in the manifold "arts of peace.” ..
(H. C. Emery, Some Economic Aspects of War.)
[$251] Linking Up American Industries for Defense.
BY WILLIAM L. SAUNDERS.
I'll show you better what I mean by drawing it. It's a more convincing way for an engineer. See—here's where we begin in this square with President Wilson. He's the fountain head of this innovation in United States economics—the inceptional impulse in this magnificent project for industrial mobilization.
Then we come to Secretary Josephus Daniels, the energetic Cabinet officer who has made the navy and naval affairs his constant study since he accepted the portfolio. That's his square. From here we advance to the square of the Nava! Consulting Board, a body organized a few months ago for the purpose of making available for governmental aid the inventive genius of the country.
The next step is to the square occupied, as I show here, by the Committee on Production, Organization, Manufacture, and Standardization of the Naval Consulting Board. Out of this square, you will note, radiate forty-eight other squaresmeach square a State. And out of these forty-eight State squares branch 240 sub-squares, each representing the individual field of investigation of that number of committeemen selected by the five leading scientific bodies of the country—the American Intitute of Mining Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Electric Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. See—there you are, not to exact scale, but there you are....
The task as mapped out will be conducted thus: Each of the five scientific bodies already named will select a representative from its resident members in every State of the Union. That is, the mechanical engineers will have forty-eight representatives in all. So will the electrical engineers, and the chemists, and the civil engineers, and the mining engineers.
Thus, collectively, there will be a representative body or board of five members in every State, one from each of the five societies or institutes.
Now these men will be, without doubt, the leading men in their professions. It will not be a case of politicians selecting them. Their professional associates will do the selecting, and they will come pretty near to knowing the standing and ability of those who are named....
... Then the 240 appointees—five in each State—will get busy. This investigation will not be done by mail. It will be a case of personal visit to plants and manufactories. And here will be a great advantage—it will be done simultaneously, Nobody will wait for movement elsewhere. As I say, it will be personal visit and simultaneous visit. You know how much this beats attending or trying to attend to matters by mail. You know how much attention some men pay to mail inquiries.
DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEES. Now, these five men in each State will go forth to learn and to list everything in their commonwealth that will be available for the use of Uncle Sam in an emergency. They will locate and classify all our coal, iron, and other mineral resources, so that they may be protected at their source. They will gain a knowledge of the capacity of the mines and mills of the country, and the extent to which they will be able to respond when called upon. They will gather inforination as to the capacity of every industry which may be capable of supplying things that are needed for the sinews of war.
Industrial preparedness means something more than mere capacity to make shells. The field covers food, clothing, hospital equipment, motors, animals, and telephone, telegraph, and railway accommodations. It also means that the Government should not only know where these industries are and what they can do, but those in control of the industries should know what is expected of them—that is, the exact nature as well as the volume of the requirements.
Soldiers trained for a lifetime are not in a position to rerder effective service unless they are well equipped with food and supplies. It is better to have one ship of war well supplied with munitions than two with an insufficient supply. Likewise, it is better to have one warship built on modern lines, with all the improvements that the skill of the engineer can devise, than to trust to obsolete conditions. ...
We don't want the United States to be the manufacturing monopoly of the planet. What if we are inconvenienced through the lack of dye imports? What does the need of dye count in comparison with the need of things that go to repel an invader, or prepare us to stand our ground in an emergency? Other countries ought certainly be allowed to manufacture some things, without making importation prohibitive through high tariff, so that a comparatively artificial industry be erected here. Let them do some of the manufacturing. That's the way they will earn some of the money they need abroad to pay off the heavy bills for what we sell them. Consider the total of our trade$2,000,000,000 before the war per annum. Since the war began no doubt it's near to $5,000,000,000. Can we complain of anything in the way of trade because of war, even though there be some things like dyes we need ? No, but we do need to get ready to manufacture anything the United States will need in time of war when it is not a neutral. ...
SCIENTIFIC CO-OPERATION. . Germany reveals how high a plane of effectiveness may be reached when there is scientific co-operation between Government and national industries. Government inspectors go about among the plants and manufactories of the country and ascertain exactly just to what extent the plant or the factory can aid in Government work. Even in the case of toy manufactoriesand it will be agreed that such plants seem but remotely equipped for Government aid-the Government officials have apportioned a section that is devoted to a particular kind of work. This work is measured and fitted to the limits of the plant's machinery and facilities. I am informed that even in the case of the top manufactory there is a decided increase in tone, enthusiasm, and prestige because the plant has been made a part of the great Government preparation scheme. To a considerable degree I have no doubt co-operation with the Government will have the same effect in the plants of the United States. It will be a nobler pride in such co-operation, because it will have been undertaken willingly and not at the autocratic mandate of imperial rulers.
THE CHEMIST IS KING. Getting right down to the nub of the things, when you talk of preparedness for possible war, it resolves itself into this dictum: the chemist is king. Nitrate of soda is the basis of all our explosives. This is the form in which Chilean nitrate occurs. In the past we have turned to Chile for her nitrate to feed our guns. She has been the source of the nitric acid of explosive industries and general commerce. This war proved that nitric acid could be obtained from the element nitrogen segregated from the air. Germany established great manufactories on the Rhine and has been supplying all her explosive needs. Had she not been able to do this she would now be on her knees to the Allies, for Great Britain is guiarding the nitrate beds of Chile very carefully. Why, Germany uses more explosives in a couple of months now than she used during the entire Franco-Prussian war.
This peremptorily points the wisdom of our establishing a plant similar to that of the Germans. It is a vital feature of industrial preparedness. It should be done. In time of war we would have no guaranty that we could gain access to the nitrate of Chile-even if that nitrate could be obtained with the speed and in the quantity desired.
(The New York Times Magazine, Feb. 6, 1916.) (c) [$252] Relation of the Government to War Industries.
BY PROFESSOR JEREMIAH W. JENKS. Contrary to a common understanding in the United States there has been very little direct management of business by the governments of Great Britain or France. Great Britain especially has done little in this direction. There has been a rather strict regulation of industries producing or handling war supplies, but practically no direct management of business out