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should not be a candidate for the Presidency, No matter who conceived the plan, Argenthe agreement of all parties to abide by the tina, Brazil, and Chile, representing Latin result of the election, and the support of the America, offered to mediate between the administration chosen by the power of the Mexican factions and the United States, and United States. The offer was rejected by the Niagara Conference was held, with farHuerta. Yet so determined was President reaching consequences of good will and Wilson that the Mexican people should work of confidence re-established between Latin out their own problem that not even the America and English America. The immeembargo on the exportation of arms from this diate consequence for Mexico was the restriccountry was lifted until the Constitutionalists tion of American occupation to Vera Cruz. had shown what they could accomplish by But Huerta was not able to maintain himself winning the whole of northern Mexico to in power, the Ypiranga was allowed to unload their cause. Obregon and Villa defeated one at Puerto Mexico too late to save him, and Huerta army after another, while Zapata con- not long afterwards he sailed away to Europe tinually threatened from the south.
from the same port, and Carranza entered in his desperation, Huerta made his appe the capital in triumph. to Mexican patriotism by picking a quarrel 5. Evacuation of Vera Crus. with the United States. The arrest of Ameri- The revolution now began to “ devour its can sailors in uniform, protected by the own children.” Carranza had long been American Aag flying from their boat, was the suspicious of Villa, and Villa rebellious at the culmination of a series of insults by a respon- exercise of any authority over him by the sible authority. Accordingly, President Wil- First Chief. He remained in his Departson backed up the demand made by Admiral ment of the North, recruiting his army, when Mayo for the salute to the flag, ordered the Carranza marched with Obregon into Mexico fleet to Vera Cruz, and requested authority City. A convention was called at the capital, from Congress to use the army and navy" in but it lacked representatives from the armies such ways and to such an extent as may be of Villa and Zapata, and, finding itself under necessary to obtain from General Huerta and the domination of Carranza, adjourned to his adherents the fullest recognition of the Aguas Calientes, where it fell under the conrights and dignity of the United States, even trol of Villa, whose representatives, with those amid the distressing conditions now unhappily of Zapata, formed a majority of all. The obtaining in Mexico.” The House promptly convention unconditionally accepted the resig. passed the necessary resolution. While the nation of Carranza as First Chief, made conSenate was debating the Lodge substitute, ditionally, elected Provisional President, ably supported by Senator Root, the adoption and adjourned to Mexico City, which Carof which substitute would infallibly have meant ranza had left after stripping it of its defenses. war with all Mexico, the news came of the Villa entered in triumpk December 6, 1914, arrival at Vera Cruz of the German merchant and for the week following reveled in an vessel Y piranga, with 250 machine guns and orgy of lust and blood, proving himself im2,000,000 rounds of ammunition on board possible as the head of the Government. for our prospective enemies. The President President Wilson, with extraordinary insight immediately ordered the seizure of Vera Cruz, and foresight, delivered Vera Cruz, with its at the cost of the lives of nineteen marines precious revenues, to the nearest Carranza and some two hundred Mexicans. But the general. With Vera Cruz retained by the Vera Cruz custom-house was the chief source American army, Carranza would soon have of revenue for Huerta, and the collection of been at the mercy of Villa, made Comthe import taxes by the American authorities mander-in-Chief by his complacent convenwas as fatal to him as would have been the tion. But with the aid of this still loyal march upon Mexico City. Yet the childish officers, Obregon and Pablo Gonzales, and assertion is still occasionally heard that we the Vera Cruz custom-house, Carranza slowly went to war with Huerta to obtain a salute to won back the territory he had lost until the flag and failed to obtain it.
Obregon defeated Villa in a decisive battle, 4. The A B C Mediation.
Villa retiring to the States of the north. And next the miracle was wrought which 6. Recognition of Carranza. stopped an invasion of Mexican soil fol- With affairs apparently at a deadlock as lowed by the shedding of blood, without between Villa and Carranza, with talk of the involving us in war with the Mexican people. division of Mexico into northern and south
RAMSHACKLE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
ern nations, the advice of the Latin-American forces seems to have received universal republics was again asked, and it was deter- commendation. The invasion of United mined that Carranza should be recognized as States territory and the murder of soldiers the de facto head of the Mexican Government and citizens on our own soil demanded swift
Evidently President Wilson has faith in the and effective punishment, which Carranza sifting processes of revolution by which the seemed unable to give. The Senate of the strongest man at last emerges. And recog- United States passed a resolution by unaninition by the l'nited States has proved as mous vote commending the expedition, and necessary to success as the withholding of at the same time deprecating any idea of recognition had proved tantamount to defeat, war with the Mexican people. Yet interboth being important lessons for the Mexican vention may yet be necessary. With Villa people. Villa degenerated into a bandit eliminated, it may yet have to be decided, again, with a few brigands as his followers, as between Carranza and Obregon, which while Carranza has again occupied the cap- is the stronger man, and civil war may ital, with nearly all of Mexico acknowledging start afresh. But if an American army of his authority. He has already put into effect occupation must be sent to Mexico, it will many reforms as military decrees.
have been proved, first, to both countries 7. The Punitive Expedition.
that it was necessary for the welfare of The resolve to send our troops into Mex- Mexico ; and, second, to both the Americas ico, following the Columbus raid, for the that we have gone on a mission of service capture of Villa and the dispersion of his and not of conquest.
RAMSHACKLE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
BY RICHARD S. CHILDS
Mr. Childs is an original student of governmental problems and is best known in connection with the Short Ballot movement and the Commission-Manager Plan of municipal government. He is now a director of the National Short Ballot Organization. His pioneer article on the short ballot as an instrument of good government was published in The Outlook in 1909. The following article introduces unexpused territory and is his first move in a new campaign for good government. We are glad to have him select The Outlook again, as he did seven years ago, to be the medium through which sires to get his views before the general public. --The Editors.
THE average voter has a lively idea as the Westchester County Research Bureau,
to what he wants in the way of vil. in Westchester County, which lies just north
lage or city government and Na- of New York City. When this association tional government. His theories as to what began its researches several years ago, its the State government ought to do are a little highly interesting revelations of graft and hazier ; but in county government he rarely incompetency were received with delight or gets any further than a general conviction ridicule, according to the partisanship of the that the crowd which runs his dear old party newspapers. Before long, however, both in the county is a little better than the other sides learned that the Research Bureau was bunch and that all candidates bearing the label not intent upon furnishing political capital, of the former crowd shall therefore be unhesi- but on securing the cessation of certain practatingly indorsed on election day.
tices which had always been a source of profit Over all the operations of the county gov- to whichever party happened to be in office. ernment lie a great pall of silence and an Accordingly both parties soon declared war utter absence of public opinion.
on the Research Bureau and inaugurated a should attempt to poke around in this dark- conspiracy of silence so effective that to reach some cave with a lantern, you will find that the people of Westchester with its proposals as soon as your light illuminates something of reform the Bureau now must resort to sendinteresting, the fame is abruptly smothered. ing pamphlets to the voters, an exceedingly Witness the efforts of a little civic association, expensive way of reaching public opinion.
reason has never received any advertising On one occasion the head of the Bureau, from the county since then. a prominent lawyer, issued a painfully specific statement regarding the excessive cost of
SUBSIDIZING THE PRESS certain books, ledgers, etc., which the county By a little intelligent management these had purchased. There were 110 big indexes subsidies to the press may often be jockeyed worth $20 each, for example, which had been up into quite handsome figures. In Suffolk billed to the county at $81.45 ; hundreds of County, for instance, out at the end of Long others worth $6 for which $36 had been paid, Island, certain sandy wastes had been marked and so on. Apparently this statement got off in building lots and sold to distant creduon the nerves of the men who were bossing lous investors as suburban property. When the county business, so they caused a suit for the swindle had run its course, these useless libel to be brought against the lawyer and the lands were abandoned by their owners, and New York “ Evening Post," which had pub- in the course of time they had to be sold for lished his statements. The sixty-six little taxes. A few brief notices of the sale would newspapers with which Westchester County have described the parcels sufficiently for all is cursed heralded the approach of the trial legal and practical purposes, but the county with noisy satisfaction. The fair name of “our politicians arranged for a separate notice for beautiful county" was to be upheld! This each lot, thus running up an enormous series slinger of mud would learn to his cost that he of notices, for which the newspapers rendered must not make such statements! Westchester bills totaling $108,000, a handsome adverCounty at last read the news that to-day this tising appropriation, considering that it was offensive citizen was to be haled into court to for the purpose of collecting, if possible, the answer for his libel. Then abruptly there sum of $34,000 of accrued taxes. was silence Only three of the sixty-six Very little of this public advertising is of papers in Westchester published the results any value except to the newspapers that of that trial, and one of them reversed the print it. It does not advertise. How utterly facts!
useless it may be is illustrated by the fact The political machines not only control the that corporations when desiring to keep a press, but the public furnishes the money cranky minority stockholder from making with which to finance the operation.
trouble at the annual stockholders' meetings Westchester County expends each year will exercise the option allowed to them by over one hundred thousand dollars for the the law and, instead of mailing a letter to publication of political piffle at an exorbitant the stockholder, will advertise” their anrate. If there were not so much velvet in nual meeting in order to conceal it from him. this advertising, some of the newspapers no Such a notice is as safe from observation as doubt could afford to kick over the traces and the proverbial neethe haystack. set themselves up as a real free press for the Various cities save most of such money enlightenment of the public on county affairs, through the publication by the city itself of a but it would be pretty hard for such a paper “City Record," into which all such notices, so to live when the county is so liberally financing far as the laws permit, are inexpensively put; its rival. There was, in fact, one editor in but a county gazette is far, far away. Charles Westchester who received his slice of the E. Hughes has about as much backbone as county advertising and proceeded to render any Governor ever had, but when it was his bill for it at a fair rate. The other pub- suggested that he take steps to abolish the lishers heard of this with dismay and went printing of the session laws in all the counties around to reason with him. He was very of the State it is reported that he smiled stubborn. “No," he said ; " that is the legal sadly and affirmed that there were some rate, and, what is more, it is exceedingly good things which even he would not venture to pay.” It was explained to him patiently that tackle unless he was prepared to sacrifice his the county could not very well pay him at whole legislative programme. that low rate and pay all the other papers at Ofttimes little papers are published solely a higher rate; but the editor insisted on spilling for the purpose of getting this public adverthe beans, so all the other papers had to suffer tising. Certainly it is an important asset the cutting of their bills to the low rate also, to any paper. The honest rural editor gets to the great regret of all concerned except a meager living out of his little weekly, but a the recalcitrant editor, who for some strange county politician can come along, buy the
RAMSHACKLE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
paper from him, and make a very much better ting all the interest it should on his balances living from it. The publisher can very well of $10,000,000 (little details like this not afford to make the county boss a present of being made public), he refused. They tried a nice block of stock or to run free of charge to find out what they could do about it, and the advertisement of the boss's private busi- ended up by publishing a pamphlet. When ness if he gets this public advertising.
the treasurer's term finally expired, they So it comes about that the first practical easily obtained signed and detailed promises steps toward the reform of county politics of reforms from all the thirteen new candimust usually take the shape of an attempt to dates for this post. The winner, the present buy the control of a newspaper and run it incumbent, was especially conciliatory. His uncontaminated by public advertising patron- zeal seems to have petered out, for he fought age-a highly precarious business venture. off a proposed law to make him keep his
pledge by getting it amended so as not to BEHIND THE CENSORSHIP
take effect until after his term expires in Now let us lift a corner of this blanket of 1918, and he did not let the public into his silence that covers county government and precious secret at the end of 1915. see what we find. The Comptroller of the In 1910 the State examiners went through State of New York has power to send exam- the affairs of a certain county in the Hudson iners to any county to investigate and report River district, New York, and reported that upon its financial methods. The law was a the county treasurer was keeping certain fees dead letter until Mr. Glynn, afterwards Gov- that belonged to the county. When they ernor, became Comptroller and secured an came around again in 1914, they found that appropriation for the salaries of a few exam- their 1910 report had not disturbed anybody iners. They had no difficulty in finding wan- sufficiently to prevent several thousand dolton use of the taxpayers' money in nearly lars more from going the same way. every county, not with criminal intent, to be In one such case in another county the sure, but in a spirit of simple recklessness. supervisors loyally voted to the incriminated They found irregularities in every county. officer his regular salary of $10,000 “plus They have now covered fifty-seven of them, such sums as he may have illegally taken in and the head of the staff says: “ In not a the past.” single county examined has there been found Which shows what you can do about it if compliance with every provision of law."
you try! In Broome County the county boss had so manipulated things that he was able to
ANTIQUATED STANDARDS draw upon the county's funds for his private The work of the county has become expert benefit whenever he pleased, and he pleased work. In the simple days of our grandrather often. The unexpected visit of the fathers a man of common horse sense could Comptroller's examiners caught him with a run an almshouse or a county jail or a taxlarge shortage and he committed suicide. collector's office or build a road, and easily The impression which the event made upon achieve the primitive standards of those times. the people of Broome County was probably Nowadays the proper care of the unfortuquite fairly expressed by his successor in nates in an almshouse, for instance, is a office, who stood before a committee of the highly specialized and technical profession. Constitutional Convention not long after and Men and women train for such duties in asserted that there was no popular unrest in special schools and make it their life work. Broome nor any desire to change the system ! Even such trained social workers will find an
Graft in county government is just as old- almshouse full of unsolved human problems fashioned as county government itself, just requiring the most elaborate study, though the as much behind the times, just as lacking in honest village merchant who takes for a few modern refinement. When you enter county years the position of superintendent of the politics, you step back into the days of Tweed. poor would not recognize the existence of If you protest at things you find, you get the any problems at all. The untrained visitor same answer, “ What are you going to do to an almshouse sees a clean and airy building about it?” And there isn't much you can do. containing a varied assortment of unfortunate
When a committee of citizens ventured to humanity who are being well fed and kindly ask the treasurer of Cook County, Illinois, treated, and he goes away with a feeling that to let them see whether the county was get- the county administration is excellent. The social worker, however, observes epileptics into the treasury, but there is no assurance without scientific care, undetected cases of that the plan would work. Hudson County, feeble-mindedness, inebriates and drug vic- New Jersey, tried that, and, instead of derivtims who are not being trained out of their ing a nice revenue from the sheriff's office, habits, victims of tuberculosis without the the county acquired an annual deficit, for special system of treatment which their cases patronage multiplied and thrift declined when require, sufferers from chronic diseases, the fruits of economy were no longer the such as heart cases, rheumatism, cancer, and sheriff's private perquisites. the more sinister ills, cripples who could be taught a trade if there were anybody avail
COUNTY BOUNDARIES able who knew how to teach them, and aged Cities change their boundaries incessantly poor whose relatives have never been ade- to keep in correct adjustment with shifts of quately looked up, the system for admissions population, but county boundaries remain being so lax that practically the county sup- immutable as they were a hundred years ago, ports any one who applies.
except when one county is divided into two All this is not the fault of the superin- in order to make an extra set of jobs. That tendent of the poor ; it is the reasonable is the way Bronx County was erected within result of a ramshackle system of govern- the boundaries of the County of New York. ment. The superintendent is elective ; that Bronx set up in business separately at a new guarantees that he will not be an expert, expense of $700,000 a year, but the expenses but a local and transient amateur. He is of the remaining half of the county have conforbidden to use his common sense by the tinued undiminished. Legislature, which, in its complicated poor The most offhand study of the county map law, provides written rules for every con- in any State will disclose many misfits. The tigency, with results that may often be county seat is often remote from the center pathetic or ludicrous. Admissions to the of the county, perhaps down in one corner. almshouse are governed by the easy personal Often it is in a little village far from the main standards of a dozen to ten dozen local offi- routes of modern transportation. Sometimes cers, scattered around the county, the jus- the county will straddle a mountain range or tices of the peace and the overseers of the will in other ways attempt to ignore topogpoor, who have authority to commit to the raphy. In numberless cases the counties almshouse. The money to operate the alms- are too small in size or in population to be house properly must be solicited from the economical and could save a large part of Board of Supervisors, who, if they choose to their annual expenses by consolidation. Yet make offhand slashes in the requested appro- it never seems to occur to anybody to work priation, take no responsibility for the results. for a readjustment and modernization of
county geography. AMATEUR PENOLOGY Or take the sheriff's office. Did you ever
MISFIT UNIFORMITY hear of a sheriff who was a penologist ? So The same spirit of complacent stagnation the typical county jail is a horror, a school for permits the inflexible framework of governcrime and unnatural sexual vices where men ment which took its present shape amid the who are innocent, or at least not vicious, simple conditions of seventy years ago to cannot possibly remain without becoming remain uniform for all kinds and shapes of contaminated or callous to things that at the counties, regardless of differing conditions. beginning of their incarceration they find re- One great county has a trifling population volting. At Utica a recent scandal brought scattered over an immense territory, another the sheriff's office into the courts, where it was county may consist of a compact group of learned that the jail had seen scenes of open little villages, a third will be co-extensive with debauchery with women prisoners, officers of a city government, while another is half metthe jail, and friends of the latter from outside. ropolitan and half rural, and the framework
The sheriff is commonly compensated by of county government is identical for all of fees. This still survives even in New York them. County, where the fees net the sheriff $60,000 Any form of organization which attempts a year in addition to the comfortable salary to be a common denominator for so many of $12,000. Efforts are made from time to different types of counties ought to be primtime to amend the law and steer these fees itively simple, a mere skeleton, and a model