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1916

THE WEEK

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National defense upon the organized militia of view as well as other points of view for of the States, these three bills will, perhaps, the encampment of boys. Yet, as this bill make it somewhat more effective. Such bills provides only a hundred thousand dollars for as these, however, ought to be made entirely all expenses, it is hardly conceivable that any unnecessary by the development of a real other sites will be obtainable. The whole National Guard under Federal control and scheme is amateurish to a degree. All who based on universal military service.

believe in real military training and all who The other two bills relate to the physical have the interest of the boys of New York and military training of boys and girls. One State at heart should urge the Governor to of these bills, known as the Welsh Bill, is veto this measure. good in that it provides for an experiment These five military bills serve to make it worth trying; the other, known as the Slater more than ever evident that the several States Bill, is bad and ought to be vetoed.

should be relieved of the problem of National The Welsh Bill provides that after the first defense, and that the whole question of miliof next September all boys and girls over tary training and service should be left solely eight years of age in public and private ele- to the Federal Government under the direcmentary and secondary schools of the State tion of a Council of National Defense. shall receive physical training. This shall include not only training in physical posture A NEW PLATTSBURG CAMP and bearing, mental and physical alertness, The “ Plattsburg idea" is growing. It and so on, but also training that will develop originated, we believe, with Major-General “self-control, disciplined initiative, sense of Leonard Wood. Its primary purpose is to duty, and spirit of co-operation under leader- train men in civil life by giving them instrucship.” The courses of instruction shall be tion in summer camps so that we should have determined by the Regents in conference in this country a reserve body of civilians with the Military Training Commission. competent to furnish officers for volunteer

The other bill, introduced by Mr. Slater, regiments in time of military need. It is a provides for military drill for boys. It applies volunteer and civilian movement, although it not only to boys in school, but also to other has the approval and supervision of the War boys of school age unless they are lawfully Department of the Federal Government. It employed in an occupation for a livelihood. is a successful attempt to put into practice by This bill is bad, not because it provides for voluntary action the principles of military and such military drill, but because its provisions civic training which the Swiss people have are so faulty and the money it provides so adopted as a part of their fundamental political absurdly inadequate that it exposes the boys structure. These military training camps, of the State to very real physical and moral which are popularly known as “ Plattsburg danger. The bill bears on its face Camps," because of the great success last evidence of being the product of a well- summer of the camp at Plattsburg, New thought-out plan of military experts who are York, are peculiarly American because they acquainted with the whole problem of mili- are at once voluntary, civil, and military. tary training and service, but appears rather Although promoted by associations of citizens, to be a well-intentioned attempt to provide they are directed and managed by the Federal military instruction somehow.

Government, through the War Department. The most dangerous feature of the bill is The function of the citizens'associations is to that which relates to the field training. This distribute information, arouse public interest, provides that the State Military Training and obtain the volunteers; the function of Commission (which is created by the bill the War Department is to have control of itself) shall establish and maintain State the moral, intellectual, military, and disciplimilitary camps for the field training of boys. nary education in the camp. The location of the camps is left to the deter- We have already reported how the attendmination of the Commission ; but the bill ance at these camps has grown from eighteen provides that fair grounds held by an organi- hundred in 1913 to an estimated thirty thouzation receiving moneys from the State shall sand in 1916. As originally planned, an age be subject to use for this purpose of military limit was set for the Plattsburg camps this training. Of course fair grounds are not summer. No applicant under eighteen or selected because they are good camp sites, over forty-five years of age was to be acand may be totally unfit from a sanitary point cepted. But some of the head masters of the

no

prominent preparatory schools of the country general election of importance between two believed that school-boys under eighteen parties. But the recent spring contest for years of age should receive the benefits pro- the Governorship between Colonel Ruffin G. vided by the Plattsburg camps. Under the Pleasant, the regular Democratic nominee, leadership of Dr. Drury, of St. Paul's School, and John M. Parker, the nominee of the Concord, New Hampshire, a committee was Progressive party, is worthy of more attenorganized some weeks ago to plan a train- tion than we have seen given to it except in ing camp for school-boys between fifteen the New Orleans newspapers. John M. and eighteen. The plan has been approved Parker is a close friend of Colonel Rooseby General Wood and by the War Depart- velt's, and was the Progressive leader in 1912 ment, and such a camp will be maintained on in the State of Louisiana. His total vote in the Government reservation at Fort Terry, the election for Governor the other day was on Plum Island, Long Island Sound, New close to 50,000, while his Democratic oppoYork. The Fort Terry Camp is an exten- nent received between 75,000 and 80,000. sion of the Plattsburg idea and will be man- The city of New Orleans gave Parker about aged on the same basis and under the same 15,000, and Pleasant about 28,000. In the general regulations as the camps at Platts- country districts of Louisiana Parker received burg. It will be held from July 6 to August about 33,000, and Pleasant about 47,000. 10, inclusive. All applicants must have had The Third Congressional District, which now a grammar school training or its equivalent. has a Progressive Congressman, as a result It is hoped and believed that there will be a of the fight over the sugar duty, increased its large representation from the public high Progressive majority over 1914, and the schools and grammar schools of the country, Progressives also made a strong entering as well as from the private preparatory wedge in the Seventh Congressional District, schools. The camp will be educational, which has protective tariff inclinations and democratic, and civic in the very best sense of many Northern-born people. these words. The instructors of the camp In the estimation of the New Orleans will be officers of the regular army, and the " Times-Picayune " several important politiphysical condition of each attendant will be cal facts stand out, the first being that forty given the close personal attention of compe- per cent of the biggest vote cast in Louistent medical authorities. The total cost to iana since the Negro was deprived of the each boy, exclusive of transportation to and suffrage was polled by the Progressive canfrom the camp, will be in the neighborhood didate. In the second place, the Progressives of fifty dollars. This sum will cover board, very greatly strengthened their previous hold camp expenses, ammunition, uniform, and upon certain portions of the State. In the shoes. The Federal Government will pro- third place, the vote in the city of New vide tents, blankets, cots, pillows, ordnance, Orleans was very large, considering the etc.

weakness of the Parker political organization We can think of no better way in which there, and it seems to presage a fight of an American school-boy can spend five weeks the reform element for civic control. out of doors than at the Fort Terry Training There is strong opposition in Louisiana Camp. Further information about this camp to the Wilson tariff policies and strong may be obtained by addressing The Officer- sympathy for protection. There is also great in-Charge, Fort Terry Training Camp, 475 opposition to the old Democratic ring Fifth Avenue, New York City. The Military

The Military methods in that State. It is much more Training Camps Association, 31 Nassau difficult to set up the two-party cleavage in Street, New York City, will supply full infor- the South, because of the fear that the mation regarding the Training Camp move. Negro may hold the balance of power, but ment throughout the country, with records of where the elements of economy and moral its growth and success.

protest are sufficiently strong the cleavage

is nevertheless sure to come. THE SPRING BLECTION IN LOUISIANA

THE NEW YORK There are sometimes interesting and ex- POST-OFFICE citing primary elections within the Democratic When will the people of the United States party in the Southern States, but it is not learn to treat their public business as they often that we are called upon to record a treat their private business? The New York

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City Post-Office furnishes just now a striking kind of Democracy in the New York Postillustration of the inefficiency of the American Office, no matter how much we have to pay public. The New York Post-Office is an for it. When Postmaster Morgan, who has efficient and successful institution. In the served the people of the United States in calendar year ending on December 31, 1915, the New York Post-Office efficiently and sucit did a gross business of $30,000,000. Its cessfully for forty-three years, is supplanted operating expenses amounted to $10,000,000. by an ideal Democrat, some sordid private These figures show a gross profit of corporation will undoubtedly avail itself of $20,000,000. The executive under whom Mr. Morgan's great abilities as a business this remarkable showing has been made has executive. The private corporation will not been trained to the postal business from his ask him whether he is a Democrat, a Repubyoung manhood. He began his work as a lican, a Progressive, or a Socialist. He will letter-carrier in the New York Post-Office, be simply asked to do the work intrusted to and to-day is the head of this institution, him, to do it well, and present his balancewhose figures we have just quoted. The sheet as the best testimony of his efficiency. stockholders of any private manufacturing or But no true American wants the Post-Office merchandising corporation which made such conducted upon the sordid basis of a private a financial showing and had such an execu- corporation. Its great function, of course, tive would be literally tumbling over one is, not to carry letters and newspapers, but to another to retain his services if they possibly carry elections. could. But we Americans do not handle our public business in that way. What we must

OUR PUBLIC BUILDING have just now in the New York Post-Office is POLICY not a good postmaster but a good Democrat. Whenever Congress appropriates money

The President of the United States and the for a site for a public building the value of a senior Senator from the State of New York, possible site for such a building doubles or realizing that what we want is primarily a trebles. And when Congress appropriates a good Democrat and secondarily a good post- sum for the building itself, or a lump sum master, are doing their level best to fulfill our for both site and building, it is a familiar fact wishes. Senator O'Gorman would like to

that the value of the land and the cost of the have Mr. Joseph Johnson take Postmaster structure are quickly adapted to coincide with Morgan's chair. Mr. Johnson was formerly

Mr. Johnson was formerly the appropriations. a newspaper man in Atlanta, Georgia, and Last January, in the House of Representabecame Fire Commissioner of the city of New tives, Representative Clark, of Florida, ChairYork under Mayor Gaynor. When ex-Judge man of the Committee on Public Buildings, McCall became Tammany's candidate for said, as reported : Mayor, Mr. Johnson became Mr. McCall's

In the very nature of things it is utterly imcampaign manager, against Mr. Mitchel, who

possible for Congress to determine to the dollar was elected on the Fusion ticket.

He natu- what a public building for each and every city rally ceased to be Fire Commissioner when and town in the United States should cost, Mayor Mitchel took office. So far the Presi- and therefore a measure of discretion had to be dent has refused to appoint Mr. Johnson, lodged in the executive department charged apparently because he is not the right kind with their construction. of Democrat. He has asked the Hon. In February Representative Garner, of Robert Wagner, whom he thinks is the right Texas, spoke as follows, as reported : kind of Democrat, to accept the postmaster- There are half a dozen places in my district ship, but Mr. Wagner has declined.

where Federal buildings are being erected or While the President and Senator O'Gorman have recently been constructed at a cost to the are discussing the exact degree of Democracy Government far in excess of the actual needs which the New York Post-Office ought to , of the communities where they are located. have, the present Postmaster, Mr. Morgan,

Take Uvalde, my home town, for instance. We goes right on doing a business of nearly

are putting up a post-office down there at a cost $100,000 a day, at a gross profit to the peo

of $60,000, when a $5,000 building would be

entirely adequate for our needs. This is ple of over $50,000 a day. But we are an

mighty bad business for Uncle Sam, and I'll idealistic Nation. We do not care for the

admit it; but the other fellows in Congress have almighty dollar. Revering the memory of been doing it for a long time and I can't Jefferson as we do, we must have the right make them quit. Now we Democrats are in

at once

charge of the House, and I'll tell you right now, ARCHITECTURE AND every time one of these Yankees get a ham I'm

PUBLIC BUILDINGS going to get a hog.

“ It would be hard to locate a public In providing public buildings the country pronouncement which was

so full is thus confronted with two problems : first, of meat and yet which seemed to betray so the impossibility of supposing that Congress great a misunderstanding of the relations can determine, within many thousands of dol- of architecture to the public buildings of a lars, just the sum required for a public build- great nation," comments Mr. Charles Harris ing; and, second, the fact which Mr. Garner Whitaker, of Washington, the editor of the points out in homely but forceful language, “ Journal of the American Institute of Archithat so long as public buildings are provided tects." He adds : as a basis for political prestige and as a satis- How is it possible that men have come to faction for private greed, a system of graft think that because a building is to be erected must continue. As an evidence that one or for utilitarian purposes it has no connection both of these defects are involved we have

with architecture-except to satisfy the archibut to glance at some examples from the

tectural requirements “in a reasonable degree." latest building appropriations of Congress.

The House of Representatives betrayed the We find, for instance, that the town of Vernal,

same attitude when it applauded the reference

to the "æsthetic dreamers” in the supervising Utah, with a population of 836, with postal

architect's office. Æsthetic dreamers indeed ! receipts of about $6,400, and with a yearly What else can they be when they are handed rental for its present quarters of $836, is to the order to design a $50,000 building, and when have a new building costing no less than the most elementary knowledge of architecture $50,000. Nor is this all. It will cost the tells them that a $20,000 building would serve Government $3,565 yearly to maintain that every purpose and permit architecture to play building

an honest rôle? ... This is the kind of thing which has been

For years they (Congressmen) have encourgoing on in shameless fashion for years. In

aged a public building policy which ignores the

first elements of architecture-that the building his minority report. to the Public Buildings

shall be worthy of the purpose and the purpose Commission, appointed by Congress in 1913

worthy of the building. ... to make a study of this whole question, Post- I on every public building authorized for a master-General Burleson stated :

community . . . where the appropriation proNo standard whatever has apparently been vided for a building is out of all proportion to the observed in authorizing buildings or determin- needs of the community, every participant being in advance the limits of cost. As a conse- comes a party to the crime against architecture. quence many expensive buildings have been Wherever an architect allows his love of the authorized for places where the needs of the monumental to interfere with his duty of planGovernment do not warrant their construction, ning and designing a building which shall give and widely varying limits of cost have been the maximum convenience, comfort, and effifixed for buildings in which the needs are the ciency with the minimum of expense . . an

other crime is committed in the name of archiMr. Burleson recommended, therefore,

tecture. that no appropriations be made where the How may inaccuracy of estimate, eliminapostal receipts were less than $15,000, where tion of graft, and proper æsthetic embodithe population was less than five thousand, ment be attained ? Mr. Whitaker suggests or where the annual rental was not in excess the following method: of $1,000. As to determining the size of The supervising architect's work should the building, Mr. Burleson said :

begin with a bureau of estimates. This The definition of the public building policy bureau should examine and report upon must rest upon the decision of the question as every request for a public building, and to whether authorizations of buildings shall be would thus provide Congress with an intellibased upon political or economic grounds. If 'gent survey of the situation. In the case of the former, the policy depends for its justifica

a post-office, for example, the bureau would tion upon the Nationalizing influence of Govern.

make a study of the needs of the town ; its ment architecture. ... The true policy is one under which buildings will be authorized pri

past and probable future rate of growth ; the marily for utilitarian purposes. . . . At the

amount of postal receipts ; the character of same time requirements of broad public policy

the postal service, whether concentrated or as well as ideals of architecture may be satis widely distributed ; the floor space required fied in a reasonable degree.

to take care of present needs and provide for

same.

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