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on for itself, else its international relationship will have scant importance."
As an example of the desire for war compensation with pre-war costs he cites the coal and railway strikes. Both of these he condemns as unjustifiable, and he holds both labor and the "heedless forces of reaction" accountable.
By the railway strike the distress of the American farmer was increased. That distress was, however, evident before the strike. So far as it was due to what the President calls "precipitate deflation" it was somewhat relieved by Congressional acts. The President believes that the Farm Loan Bureau should have its powers enlarged and that there should be created in the Federal Land Bank a division to deal with productive credits with special reference to credits for the production of live stock. In addition he urges measures for better and cheaper transportation. To avoid paralysis the President finds it easy to believe that the transportation of the country needs "complete reorganization on some new basis." Incidentally he urges a closer connection between the rail lines and the sea carriers, the utilization of our inland waterways, and the use of the motor truck, not as a competitor, but a feeder and distributer in conjunction with the railway. In securing lower costs of transportation on staple products the five per cent horizontal reduction in rates proved, the President said, futile. What the President desired last summer and proposed informally was a heavier reduction on basic commodities such as farm products and coal, leaving the other commodities untouched. The President opposes Government operation because "it Government operation which brought us to the very order of things against which we now rebel, and we are still liquidating the costs of that supreme folly." Economies must be made out of the margin left over from the fifty to sixty per cent of railway earnings which go into wages. There should be more intercarrier co-operation, with mergers of lines into systems, interchange of freight cars, economic use of terminals, and consolidation of facilities. The President thinks well of the proposal to provide a central agency under the jurisdiction of the Inter-State Commerce Commission as a means of financing equipment. So much for the material side of the transportation question.
But there is a human side. The Railroad Labor Board showed a lack of power to deal with the subject. The President praises the attempt of Congress in establishing that Board, and declares that some such agency must be a guaranty against even the threat of discontinued service. He recognizes the
right of men to labor or to cease to labor
as they choose; but he asserts the right of the Government, which safeguards the men's interests while they work, to insist upon their not leaving work under conditions that destroy the service of the railway itself. This view of the President has been interpreted as the advocacy of a law prohibiting strikes. This is not a statement on the part of the President; it is an inference from what he says. All he asserts is the right of the people to adopt measures to prevent strikes. He distinctly says he wishes he could bring a precise recommendation to that end, but he does not make any recommendation specifically on that point. He believes that such a tribunal as is needed should be, not one composed partly of partisans, who represent managers and wage-earners, respectively, but one wholly impartial. He goes further than this, for he thinks the Railroad Labor Board should be abolished and in its place there should be a labor division in the Inter-State Commerce Commission to decide disputes relating to wages and working conditions. It ought to be relieved of hearing minor disputes which should be left to negotiation.
Evidently in answer to criticism, though not specifically mentioning any, the President refers to the flexibility of the recently adopted Tariff Law as a means not only of safeguarding American interests but of keeping open "the paths of such liberal exchanges as do not endanger our own productivity." Internationally he wants our voice to be heard, but as "that of good counsel, not of dictation."
The President thinks it is important to meet the "recrudescence of hyphenated Americanism," and "to make the alien respect our institutions while he accepts our hospitality;" but he thinks it still more important that all in the United States respect and abide by the Nation's laws. In particular, he refers to the widespread disregard of prohibition, deplores its political effects, and urges rigorous and literal enforcement. If the prohibition statute is contrary to deliberate public opinion, which the President does not believe, the enforcement of it will direct public attention to the requisite change in the law. Since both Federal and State Governments are charged with enforcement, the President purposes to invite the Governors of States and Territories to a conference with the Federal executive
For the regulation of the alien he urges the speedy passage of the Alien Registration Bill and a measure for providing examination of aliens abroad. Especially for the education of the im
migrant he believes in co-operation of the National authority with the States.
The President urges the adoption of two Constitutional amendments-one enabling Congress to legislate against the evils of child labor, the other to provide for the restriction of the issues of taxexempt securities.
After touching upon reclamation and irrigation, upon the fuel problem, which is now under study by a Fact Finding Commission, upon the question of prices, upon the super-power programme drawn up as a result of a recent survey, and upon the plan for drafting all the resources of the Republic in case of war, the President closes with a brief reference to international relations. Again expressing hostility to any "supergovernment" or "armed alliance," he makes a reference to the treaty between the United States, Great Britain, France, and Japan which provides for consultation in case of any dispute arising concerning the islands of the Pacific. Of this he says:
The Four-Power Pact, which abolishes every probability of war on the Pacific, has brought new confidence in a maintained peace, and I can well believe it might be made a model for like assurances wherever in the world any common interests are concerned.
This has been regarded as the most significant statement in the whole Message. We do not think it is necessarily an announcment of any plan for a similar treaty dealing with European questions or questions concerning the Atlantic area. The President hoped, as he plainly stated at the time, that out of the Washington Conference might come other conferences based on the same principle, and as a consequence of the treaties there made other treaties might later be drafted in the same spirit. Whether this statement in the Message is anything more than a reiteration of that wish we do not know; but, even if it is only that, it is significant as an indication that the American Government believes that treaty has already proved its value.
THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL
It is impossible for us to discuss all the President's recommendations here. With the purpose of them all we find ourselves in general agreement. On the most controversial subject in the whole Message, the prevention of strikes on such public utilities as the railways, the President has spoken with courage, for he must have known that it would arouse the antagonism of leaders of organized labor; but he spoke not as a representative of any group in the Nation, but as the representative of **
whole people. And his position on the tenance. subject is impregnable. No group has the moral right or ought to have the power to cripple the transportation of the country. Whether, lacking that right but trying to exercise the power, any group should be restrained by law or should be brought to a better mind by persuasion is, after all, not a question of principle but a question of means. We are of the opinion that the greatest progress toward the prevention of such strikes is by means which will bring managers and men together about a common table and to a common understanding. If in the meantime, for those who are obstinate and recalcitrant, a law making a strike on a railway a criminal conspiracy is necessary, the people have the right to enact such a law. We doubt, however, whether such a law would prove of any great avail toward a permanent solution. We expect much more from what has already proved the more efficacious-such an organization of men and managers as has been in operation on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
With the other recommendations of the President we expect to deal as they come up for action in Congress.
CAN A POET MAKE A LIVING?
E are gratified to discover that this important question has been answered with enthusias
tic affirmation by a writer in a magazine called "The Poet and Philosopher," which drifted into The Outlook office not long since. The issue in which this answer appears is some months old, but the question and answer are eternally pertinent.
Rightly enough, the author of this important document says that the question of a living is of the greatest moment to the poet. There have been three answers, we learn, to this question. The first is that the poet will not receive reward enough to pay for his postage stamps. The second is contained in the rosy-colored picture painted by literary sharks and teachers of the trade of literature. And the third is the more modest and intermediate answer which the author himself puts forth.
He is a very cautious soul, this writer; he is frank enough to say that it will take the poetic apprentice three or four years of unremitting application before he can expect much remuneration from his efforts. In this period before the future poet bursts from his chrysalis the writer recommends stenography, printing, reporting, teaching, proof-reading, or photography as a means of sus
Trades like that of "the butcher, the baker, and the grocer" are to be avoided "as getting away from that atmosphere of imagination and refinement in which the poetic art most flourishes." It is a pity that Mr. Masefield did not know of this before he missed his chance of success by serving as a bartender in New York. We feel, too, that there is something to be said for the trades of butchers and bakers and grocers, despite the fact that they lack the atmosphere of imagination. A surreptitious chop, a loaf of bread, or a pound of chocolate borrowed on occasion might be used as an offset to the air of materialism surrounding such trades. The period of preparation is divided conveniently into three sections-"the first year the poet will devote all his energy to making himself a master of the art of poetry, . . . the two following years he will be solicitous mainly in making his name known." We suspect that this latter period is too short. We have seen poets solicitous over this important item long beyond the period of two years.
Some of them have been more solicitous over this than over the quality of their workmanship.
The schedule for the poet during this period requires him to have one hundred poems published in some fifty magazines and newspapers and printed gratis if pay is not forthcoming. The fourth year is consumed in the preparation of a volume of poems, and full details are given as to the size of page, print, length and number of poems. One hundred pages, or 80,000 ems, is the allowance for the achievement of at least pecuniary sufficiency. This book is to sell at a profit of $200 for the first year's sale and $50 for each succeeding year. As a new volume of poems is thereafter to be printed each year, of course the total will soon mount to a living income. The proposition is even simpler than the minds of those readers who accept it as a gospel of success.
One thing we neglected to note. It is the subject matter of those poems upon which the poet is to mount the ladder of success. He is advised to "sing of the deeds of great men, of the deeds that they have accomplished, of their hills, dales, valleys and streams." Apparently, however, one must be careful of one's choice of great men, their hills and dales and what grows upon them. Elsewhere in this same issue of "The Poet and Philosopher" we find a sonnet submitted to the editor of this magazine in a prize contest. The poem received only a second prize, largely, it seems, because it was addressed to Luther Burbank. The explanation follows:
Luther Burbank is an American, and, in his field of Horticulture, justly
celebrated, still the cultivation of potatoes, which first brought him fame, places him rather in the ranks of commonplace personages; and poetry always eschews the commonplace. Cultivating potatoes, and vegetables, even though subsequently he turned his genius to the rose, is not a topic that is going to spur Pagasus [sic] to the top of Mount Parnassus.
Theocritus and Virgil please take
ADOPTING A VILLAGE
-N her account of "Christmas at Hattonchâtel," printed elsewhere in this issue, Miss Skinner keeps herself modestly in the background. From her story it would be impossible to derive any idea of the part that she has taken in the resurrection of that ancient and picturesque French village. The story which she tells would not have been possible except for the work that she has done.
That work started while this town in the St. Mihiel sector was still occupied by the Germans. Miss Skinner was then within the French lines. She saw the little town through a field-glass, and then and there adopted it.
At that time there was little left of it but the hill, for the village had been under bombardment for four years and a French officer told her that the Germans would probably blow that up when they left it. "Then," replied Miss Skinner, "I will rebuild what is left of it."
In the meantime she made arrangements with the French Government for finding and caring for the scattered population and for putting into proper institutions at her expense all the little children and old people until the Germans were driven out and rebuilding could begin.
As Miss Skinner has herself explained, France rebuilds her own villages and expects to refund all that has been spent by her friends in actual rebuilding. "But," adds Miss Skinner, "there are 'luxuries' that France cannot afford." Among these luxuries is a public lavoir. This is something that Miss Skinner has supplied, and now, instead of carrying the family wash down the six-hundredfoot hill to the little pool in the plain and up again, the women of the village can do their washing in an inclosed Gothic lavoir with running water at the top of the hill. There is also in the town now a dispensary. In the fields are a threshing-machine and a reaper. There are cattle and poultry and rabbits. And men and women whose homes were there are taking heart again.
Hattonchâtel is not the only village
which Miss Skinner has helped to bring back to life. At the request of the French, she has become the president of an American branch of the French committee for the liberated villages, and has been speaking and writing to Americans in behalf of the adoption of French villages, not in order to put Americanmade villages in their place, but to re
build ruined French villages in the
Miss Skinner is a graduate of Vassar
and of his means for the community in which he lived-Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is true that Miss Skinner had means which she could devote to this purpose; but it is herself that has counted rather than anything that she had.
This is a story of what one American woman has done and what other Americans can help to do.
A STUDY OF SENATOR COUZENS
INTERVIEWED FOR THE OUTLOOK
RUMAN NEWBERRY, ex-Senator
from Michigan, has, I have been told, about three or four million dollars, only. His successor, James Couzens, late Mayor of Detroit, received in 1915 from Henry Ford a single payment of thirty million dollars for the outright sale of his stock in the Ford company. Before he received that sum he had as much money as Newberry
more. Compared to the former Senator from Michigan, the present one is a vastly richer citizen.
Yet the arrival of the two men in the United States Senate strikes exactly opposite reactions from the public. The election of Newberry through a use of money which was widely deemed improper created a scandal which cost some of his friends their political lives and eventually forced him to resign. The appointment of Couzens (into which the question of his money does not enter) is greeted with a chorus of approval from both press and public men. Henry Ford, from whom he parted in anger seven years ago, says he is the best choice that could be made. His Democratic colleague, Ferris, the first Democratic Senator ever elected from Michigan, says he is the best man the Republicans in that State have. From the dominant party there is no publicly voiced dissent.
No man could begin his career in the upper house at Washington more auspiciously than does Senator Couzens, and yet there is that millstone of thirty-odd millions around his neck. How did he do it?
To answer that question and to suggest to the readers of The Outlook what may be expected from Couzens in his new environment I recently spent part of an afternoon with the new Senator, and found him vividly frank and copiously willing to assist in an articulation of his energy and purpose in public life. For several days the reporters had been striving to secure from him expressions of opinion on moot subjects likely to engage the attention of the Senate in the near future-on ship subsidy, on
BY RICHARD BARRY
prohibition, on farm credits, on railway legislation, and so on.
"I told them all," he said as we disposed first of this momentary phase of his mental attiude, "that I am refusing to commit myself on National problems until I get to Washington and have a chance to study them. I am frank to say that I don't feel certain enough of my opinion on any of these subjects to commit myself now. I am open to conviction. When the proper time comes, I will decide."
"Many are assuming, however," I objected, "that, as Governor Groesbeck appointed you to heal a sore occasioned by a so-called reactionary, and especially because of your record as the most conspicuous champion in the country of municipal ownership, that shortly you will become classified as a progressive."
"I don't want to be classified at all," was the sharp rejoinder, spoken like an executive of big business across his desk, and little like any brand of politician to whom the interviewer is accustomed. "I am not begging the issue when I say I don't know what progressivism is."
"You are familiar with the history of American politics for the past ten to twenty years?"
"Yes and no. I have never belonged to any political organization; have never taken any active interest in National politics, have never written or spoken a word on any National issue. It may have been a mistake to appoint a man like me to the Senate. I don't know. We will see."
He said this with impersonal naïveté the sincerity of which could hardly be questioned. In fact, the whole impression taken from him was that here is a mentality of simple strength and lucid candor long accustomed to deal in materialisms, only newly adjusted to the humanities, but eager to transfer his physical yardstick to impalpable problems, and unhesitant in his certainty of the outcome.
"But when you reach Washington," I insisted, "you will immediately confront
a practical question which will require an immediate answer. The progressive bloc is organizing for tactical legislative procedure in the new Congress. Whether you desire to or not, you shortly will be compelled to declare yourself for or against it. Can't you tell me now where you will stand when that time comes?"
"No, I can't, because I don't know myself. If this bloc you call progressive is for something I believe in, then I'll be with them, but I'll not commit myself to any group for all its programme. I may be with the farm bloc on some things, but not necessarily on all things. By this I don't mean that I have figured out just how much I am with them, for I haven't. This goes for the standpatters, too. I'm likely to be with them in some things. The standpatters are not always wrong."
Which seemed to the writer in the nature of an epigram, but, as with many good epigrams, its author was unconscious of the creation of a mot.
"There is one National problem on which you can hardly fail to have a very important opinion," I continued; "that is concerning the railways. You are an imposing authority on city transportation. What, then, do you think of National transportation? For instance, as you are thoroughly committed to municipal ownership, do you extend that belief to include Government ownership?"
"No." The answer was decisive and inclusive as he elucidated. "The two things are radically different. The car lines of a city are a simple problem, comparatively. I mean they are a single unit, comprehensible in the view of all the citizens of the municipality. It is right, in fact inevitable, that the community should own and operate them, for then at all times it can have control of the officers and methods of operation.
"With National transportation a new element is injected. The people directly and vitally concerned cannot at all times or at any time have supervision and control. That is why I am against Government ownership of the railways. I
P. & A. Photos
don't believe in absentee landlordism. Government operation has to be managed at a distance, presumably from Washington, by men who do not come in direct contact with the people and the problems they affect. Besides, it was tried and failed."
For the moment we dropped the subject there, but later we came back to it, and then it appeared that the opinions of the new Senator, on this subject at least, might be open to change. It was after he had told me of the many failures of the city of Detroit, over a period of twenty-five years, to secure municipal ownership, including the failure of several of his own early plans, that I referred to the alleged failure of Government operation of the railways during the war, and asked him if he did not see some new way in which to overcome the objections to Government ownership to be read by practical men in the lesson of experience.
"I think Government ownership is quite likely to become a fact," Couzens continued, "and I don't know that I'll oppose it; but there will have to be some change from the late war-time
ration to remove it from the danger reaucracy. Perhaps regional opera
tion may be this solution. Cut the country up into zones, and make each rule itself with local men, local methods. Then you might avoid absentee control, absentee ownership. The evils of either will kill any enterprise."
"Pursuing this line of thought," said I, "we come naturally to the question of ship subsidy. Ships are but an extension of land transportation. What about 'Government aid' there, to use the words of President Harding?"
Senatorial whistle, but quite confident that he can build a locomotive under and to fit it.
Aside from the journalistic interest inhering in Couzens just now, due to his succession to the dethroned Newberry, and the collateral question (already tentatively answered) of how far he may try to carry his theories of public ownership of public utilities, another National development or trend of development is imperatively suggested. I refer to the entrance of the big business man into the realm of practical politics, not indirectly, but as an actual executive. Mr. Couzens is a conspicuous exception to the rule that our captains of industry avoid political office. Therefore I asked him what it is that prevents business men, as a rule, from seeking or accepting political office.
"Very few of them are fitted for it at all," he replied, without the slightest hesitation, "and there is one fundamental reason which is very clear. Of course I mean men at the top, men who have made good in commerce and industry on their own, men who have had the responsibility of directing large enterprises. Men like this have become accustomed to dealing with things as things. A dollar means just a hundred cents, no more, no less. Machines mean just so much, no more, no less. Inevitably and automatically they reduce the value of men, and without ever meaning to be inhumane or inconsiderate, to one common denominator. What is worse for them if they ever get into politics, as business men, if successful in a large way-nobody ever talks back to them. They give orders, and the orders are obeyed. That is all there is to it.
"In politics you reverse this process. You take orders, and you take orders from the people, and it is pretty hard for a man who has all his life given orders and who has been taught by every one with whom he came in contact that his orders are just, and that even if unjust they have to be executed without delay or criticism; it is pretty hard for that type of man to begin all over again. He has to, or he can't succeed in politics.
"Take my own case, if you will. I don't mind telling you exactly how it "Can't say. Haven't thought of it- has been with me. Until 1915 my whole haven't studied it."
"You'll have to vote on it." "There's time enough for that after I get to Washington."
Which recalled a remark Kitchener made to me in his Calcutta office many years ago in describing why he preferred American engineers to all others. "European engineers," said K., "may be more carefully trained and more certain of procedure, but I found in the Sudan that when other engineers refused to go ahead because they saw no way of operation the American was willing to start in with a whistle and then build a locomotive up to that."
Senator Couzens is starting in, as I came to the conclusion, with only a
life was concerned exclusively with business. For a long time before that Henry Ford and I had divided the responsibility of the Ford Motor Company. He had charge of manufacture; I had charge of finance, purchase, and sales. My sway in my department was the same as his in his. If he wanted to put five wheels on the Ford car, I was not consulted. If I wanted to buy ten million tires or open a branch in South Africa, I did not consult him. When he built his new factory, his office was placed in the end near the power house, mine in the end near the bank. In my department I was the Ford Company, and I never had occasion to brook interference or criticism. This went on
without one single word of inharmony between us, until one day during the war he took occasion to countermand one of my orders concerning material going into the paper he published. A quarrel resulted that lasted no more than thirty seconds, and that is the only time I ever had the slightest misunderstanding with Henry Ford. I resigned instantly, and sold out to him shortly after.
"What was I to do? Still young. barely fifty, in perfect health, with more money than I knew what to do with, my taste for business suddenly seemed satisfied. I might have founded another motor company, but that didn't appeal to me. While in this frame of mind I was appointed Police Commissioner without the slightest idea of what it might mean. Then for three years I fought thugs, prostitutes, and the press. At least I began by fighting the press. I kept that up until I learned that the thing to do is to ignore it.
"A public man is a fool if he tries to control the newspapers, and he is a big ger fool if he is controlled by them. Those first years I was very deeply hurt by things printed about me. I knew they were unjust. I was giving my time and the best of my ability to the city of Detroit, and so far as I could see was receiving only public misrepresentation. But I thought it over, and came to the conclusion that, while the experience was new for me and hurt, still nearly all public men who did their duty had to endure about the same sort of stuff. A man can't set himself up as a target if he don't want to be hit.
"I was kidded into standing for Mayor. Some of my friends said I was so unpopular I couldn't be elected dogcatcher. Indeed, it did look that way. But I was elected Mayor, and then came the practical proposition: Was I to float through that job, or was I to set myself at it the same way I had set myself at being Henry Ford's partner?
"Nobody could answer that except my. self, the same as nobody could ask it except myself. Now, I have been called all sorts of things. I have been called a Socialist and I have been called crazy. But I am certainly not a Socialist and I leave you to judge as to whether or not I am crazy. I had no theories at all about municipal ownership when I first went into office. In fact, I had never given the subject any thought.
"But Detroit needed new railways and she needed to have the old ones better run. It was the biggest problem we faced. I said to myself: 'I am Mayor of all the people, so I am going to try to find out what they really want, and then I consider it is my job to discover the most economical way to give it to them.' Same mental operation I would have used at the Ford factory in contracting for a year's supply of rubber or steel. The only difference was that, instead of dealing with a single man who never questioned my judgment, I was dealing with a million people whose
ideas on the subject were open to prejudice by innumerable journalistic and other attacks.
"However, it was clear to me that the people of Detroit wanted municipal ownership. They had been trying ineffectually and half-heartedly to get it for twenty-five years. It was simply a question of having some one point the way. Somebody had to make it a practical business proposition. That seemed to be my job. The logic was so plain that I couldn't possibly have escaped it. If I remained Mayor, I had to do that or stultify my conscience.
"Yet, don't think it was easy. The people turned down proposition after proposition I put up to them. That didn't discourage me. It only made me conclude that I hadn't found the right way. Finally I got the railways to agree to a court appraisal of the existing property. This came to thirty-one and a half millions. I thought it was three or four millions too much, but, as a business man, I had learned that it is sometimes well to pay a little more than a thing is worth if you have to have it. So I recommended the purchase at the appraised figure.. Again the people turned me down. Then I said to them: 'You have been crying for municipal ownership all these years, and yet you turn down every practical proposition I put up to you. Now it's time for you to put up or shut up. Give me fifteen millions, and I'll build some lines of our own.'
They did, and then the fun commenced. By the time I was building a mile a day the privately owned lines capitulated and were ready to sell at any price. Finally the city bought them in for nineteen and a half millions.
"Perhaps that experience did me good. The people weren't so far wrong, after all. As a business man I'd have paid twelve millions more for those lines than we were obliged to pay for them, although I must say that the twelve millions was not clear gain, for we wasted some money building our own lines.
"The seven years has taught me that in politics it is give and take. You don't get the quick results you do in business, but in the long run they are just as, or even more, satisfactory. Moreover, a man cannot hold political office without expecting to have his every act subject to criticism and repeal. I don't mind saying it's a hard lesson for a successful man to learn."
The writer had heard two rumors concerning the motive prompting Governor Groesbeck in the appointment of Couzens to the Michigan Senatorship. One was that he had been selected as the best man to block the political aspirations of Henry Ford. Another was that the amalgamated traction interests of the country had engineered the appointment so as to remove Couzens from his (to them) dangerously successful sphere of influence in the operation of the municipally owned street railways of Detroit. The new Senator was frank in
discussing both, neither of which he credited.
"I don't see how I can block Henry Ford's political aspirations," he said. "I can never be a candidate for the Presidency, for I was born in Canada. Besides, I am confident that, if the Democratic party does not nominate Mr. Ford, he will run independently in the next campaign. He cannot see that a man must have a career in politics, just as in business. A man cannot start at the top in one any more than in the other. Mr. Ford would be the last one in the world to expect that any one should begin his business career at the . head of a company, say, like his own. Yet he thinks he can begin in politics as President of the United States. If I had been appointed Senator straight from the Ford office, it would have been a foolish political blunder. I doubt if I would have been considered at all if I had not been first Police Commissioner and then Mayor of Detroit."
"Do you think the Governor was influenced, even unconsciously, by the traction interests who want you out of the Mayoralty?"
"No; but, even if so, it does not make much difference. The justness of the principle of municipal ownership is not dependent on the retention in office of any one man, or any two, or any three men. And my leaving the Mayoralty will not affect the operation of the street railways of Detroit. Municipal ownership is established there for all time to
"It will spread to other cities, too. I am satisfied that the people of all large cities want to own their own street railways. It is simply a question of finding out how to do it. I also believe in the municipal ownership of other public utilities, but only where that ownership can exercise an immediate supervision.
"Some people confuse this idea with that of Socialism, with which it has little in common. At lunch to-day a high official of one of the New York gas companies, who was ridiculing my ideas, said to me, 'How would you like it if some one proposed that the Government should take over the operation of the Ferd company?'
"'What shallow thinking!' I replied; 'the Ford company has no monopoly unless it be one self-created by superior skill and energy and organization in a field naturally open to all. I am for the widest possible freedom of opportunity in any such class of enterprise.
""But when you come to street railways or gas or electric or telephone companies, there is no field for competition. There is an inherent monopoly in the nature of the business itself, and the people not only have a right to own and operate it, but it is a duty they owe themselves, and one which is absolutely certain to be observed universally sooner or later.'
"My gas company friend then asked me if I didn't think private companies