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times the employers make strange demands upon their employees, as, for example, the woman in the Middle West who wrote to the Civil Service Commission asking for the names of the members of the United States Supreme Court, "and will you please send me one of the new buffalo nickels." Her letter was replied to with every courtesy and consideration, as it properly should have been. The employer is entitled to service; he pays for it when he pays his his Federal taxes.
The Federal Civil Service has been much discussed of late in the press, in Congress, in official circles, and by the public generally. A few out-and-out spoilsmen have shown their heads. The number of intelligent American citizens who advocate the spoils system of appointments to public offices is comparatively small. Those who do are not seeking efficiency, but votes; and they are not far-sighted enough to see that patronage is a party liability, not an asset. The friends of the merit system of appointments, and they are legion, know that the present employment system has defects which exist in spite of, and not because of, the laws and rules governing the Civil Service. The friends of the merit system seek to go forward, not backward. They believe that in its employment policy the Government should not be content with striving to equal the best methods of private business, but that the Government should serve as a model for private employers.
It is a mistake to suppose that all Government business is less efficient than all private business. It is also a mistake to expect all Government business to be transacted as efficiently and as expeditiously as the best-managed private business. It can't be done. A certain amount of so-called red tape is necessary in the transaction of public business because it is public business. If you are running a grocery store of your own, you will run it pretty much to suit yourself. You will keep your books on your cuff if you want to. The profits or losses are your concern, and not your neighbor's. But if you are chairman of the board of directors of a corporation operating a country-wide chain of grocery stores, you will see to it that no shareholder has an opportunity to charge you with dishonesty or mismanagement. You will have it all down in black and white, and you will have checks on your subordinates all along the line, and you will insist upon a lot of system and formality. Congress, the board of directors for the one hundred and ten million shareholders in the great business of American government, specifies on the statute-books with particularity how the Government business shall be conducted in order that the interests of the shareholders may be conserved. This makes for "red tape." The big corporations have almost as much. Private business has this advantage, however: delay may mean money loss, and money loss means explanations to shareholders, and pos
sibly a new directorate; or it may mean
a shrinkage of your own purse if the business is yours. Therefore private business is speeded up. In the matter of finance there is no essential difference between public business and private business, but there is a human differ
I have said that the friends of the merit system recognize the weaknesses of Government employment methods. They know that inefficient or otherwise unworthy employees sometimes are not removed when they should be, largely because of outside pressure brought to bear in the interest of employees slated for dismissal. They know that the Government service lacks a definitely planned and well-organized employment policy that follows an employee through his entire official life and sees to it that he does what he is paid to do and is paid for what he does. They know that haphazard practices in assignments of work and in promotions have brought about glaring inequalities; that the salaries paid by the Government are relatively low, and that therefore the rate of "turnover" in Government forces is abnormally high, particularly among the very classes of men and women whose retention would keep the service strong and healthy; that there are legal restrictions on transfers from one department to another that retard the fitting of square pegs into square holes; that excluded from the merit system are too many of the higher offices which should stand as a reward for meritorious service, but which, in fact, are often held as payment for service to the political party in power. They know these things, and they know that the way to correct them is not a return to anything approaching the waste and corruption of the years before the passage of the Civil Service Law of 1883.
Steps are being taken to improve the Federal Civil Service. The Retirement Law, now two years old, was an important move in the right direction. It was aimed at the evil of superannuation in Government offices. It is in no sense philanthropic, but is based upon sound
Two Special Features
Published Next Week
MAR A RAPALLO
A Story by ELSIE SINGMASTER
66 CHRISTMAS EVE ON THE PLANTATION" by
business principles. Under this law thousands of aged Federal employees have been retired with a small annuity, in no case exceeding $720. Already there is ample evidence of the value of this law in promoting the efficiency of the service. The employees contribute 22 per cent of their pay toward the maintenance of the retirement fund, and thus far the Federal Treasury has not been called upon to contribute; but actuaries estimate that eventually the Government must share in the expense of the fund.
A bill providing for the reclassification and readjustment of salaries and duties in the Government service has passed the House and is now being considered by the Senate. This bill is commonly known as the Sterling-Lehlbach Reclassification Bill, being sponsored in the Senate by the Hon. Thomas Sterling, Chairman of the Senate Civil Service Committee, and in the House by the Hon. Frederick R. Lehlbach, Chairman of the House Civil Service Committee. The outstanding features of this bill are a standardized system of positions, with qualifications defined and compensation fixed, applying to all departments and offices alike and taking the place of the present statutory and lump-fund posi tions; provision for amending the specifications or adding new positions from time to time as needed; rates of compensation more nearly adequate than those now in effect; removing present restrictions on transfers from one department to another; and efficiency ratings under central jurisdiction, upon which ratings increases or decreases in compensation and retention or dismissal will depend.
It is hoped that this bill will become a law before the present session of Con
gress adjourns. It has indorsements
enough, including that of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, to effect a Constitutional amendment. It is regarded as a most important step toward a genuine merit system in the Federal service, a merit system that contemplates not only appointment, but promotion or reduction and retention or dismissal strictly on the worth to the Government of the individual.
In the auditorium of the National Museum at Washington, at three o'clock in the afternoon of July 11, the President and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget addressed the third semiannual meeting of what the President calls "the business organization of the Government," expressing appreciation of economies effected during the fiscal year just closed and urging further effort in that direction throughout the new fiscal year. The gathering consisted of Cabinet officers, bureau chiefs, chief clerks of departments and independent offices, officials of the Bureau of the Budget, co-ordinating boards, Army and Navy officers, and budget officers attached to the departments and offices who were appointed to serve, in addition to their usual duties, as auxiliaries to the Bureau
of the Budget in their respective offices -about five hundred in all. The expenditure of billions of dollars is in the hands of these men and women.
Of these five hundred Federal employees, easily four hundred hold positions in the competitive classified Civil Service, or Presidential appointments through promotion from competitive classified positions. Most of the four hundred came up from the ranks; great numbers of them secured the major part of their higher education through night study in the universities of Washington. Many schools of special class or collegiate grade in Washington are practically supported by night students who work in the departments. This is the
kind of Federal employee who does not seek the nice, quiet eddy.
The Bureau of the Budget is real busi
can't imagine his writing anything sweeter than "Where do you go from here?" I have it on good authority that while in France during the war Dawes did nothing but play a piano for two days to get his nerves in shape. But that has nothing to do with the Civil
It is saving real money for taxpayers. General Charles G. Dawes resigned from the directorship of the Bureau on June 30 to engage again in the banking business in Chicago. He was suc-Service. ceeded by General H. M. Lord, formerly Chief of Finance of the War Department.
Dawes was a go-getter in the Government service, if there ever was one. A remarkable thing about General Dawes is that he writes music. I heard some of it played by Fritz Kreisler, and it is good music. When Dawes has you on the carpet shaking his finger under your nose and calling you a pinhead, you
I repeat, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, your civil servants are your concern. Keep your eye on them. If they don't return a just stewardship, raise thunder about it. But remember, they are human, and, being human, they need the most human of all incentives to good work-promise of reward for work well done. If you hold that before them, they can't kick if you fire them when they fall down.
Snap-shot by the Author
WU PEI-FU'S PERSONALITY
BY UPTON CLOSE
"GENERAL WU PEI-FU'S AFFECTATIONS ARE GOLD-PLATED TEETH AND A SPORTY MANNER OF HOLDING A CIGARETTE WHICH HE PRETENDS TO SMOKE" General Wu can be identified by his cigarette in this picture. He is overshadowed by the big Moslem General Ma Fu-hsiang, who stands next to him. This Mohammedan "caliph" of northwestern China, whom the author had known upon the borders of Tibet, happened into the Loyang General's headquarters on the same day that the author did. Next to General Ma is Hsiao Yao-nan, the Tuchun of Hupeh, one of Wu's commanders. Wu Pei-fu became interested in the correspondent's camera and ordered a hundred of them for his Intelligence Department
ENERAL WU PEI-FU'S headquarters are reached by a trip either northward from Hankow or south ward from Peking to Chengchow, the junction point of the Peking-Hankow Railway with a little Sino-Belgian line which is working its way into the heart of China. From Chengchow (just south of the Yellow River), which is a boom city of gaudy-fronted shops and hastily erected mud hovels, the road picks its way westward, sometimes on top, sometimes through, and sometimes under the hills of soft loess, which may be described as a plastic, non-sticky fertile clay that, owing to the continual action of wind and water, refuses to "stay put." Here and there, framed between the steep sides of grass-carpeted ravines, appears a pleasing picture of the almost
dwelling which sheltered the forebears of the race of Han and which houses thousands of their descendants in the provinces of Honan, Shensi, and Kansu to-day.
Shortly before arrival at Loyang one sees out across a little plain between the railway and the river the immense stacks and buildings of the arsenal which Yuan Shi-kai planned to make the greatest in China and which Wu Pei-fu is striving to complete. Honanfu, or Loyang, itself is a straggling lowwalled town of one-storied huts and wear-hollowed muddy streets, with nothing to remind the visitor of its ancient glory but the flat rock upon which may be seen the eight fundamental geometric figures said to have been carved there four thousand years ago, a bent and hoary oak tree of the Han dynasty two thousand years old, and eight miles to the south of the city the Grottos of Buddha, unparalleled for both the immensity and multiplicity of figures carved from the limestone cliffs.
One may take a Peking cart through the canal-like streets to the headquarters of General Wu, which stand on the plain four miles to the southwest of the city, and which are connected by a spur to the railway. Reaching the barracks which stand row upon row, he passes down the wide tree-lined avenues between them, and enters a building no different from its neighbors, which is distinguished as the General's headquarters only by the two flags crossed over the gateway. Here, in a style which appears to border upon hardship, Wu Pei-fu lives in a most informal manner among his staff and men. He usually begins the day by drilling before breakfast with his men on the field. This fraternization is in strong contrast to the austere isolation and armored motor cars of Chang Tso-lin, and is an important factor in Wu Pei-fu's military strength. The confidence which Wu's officers have in him and their personal devotion to him make his organization
capable of sustaining severe reversean unusual thing in Chinese armies.
Wu Pei-fu, now forty-seven years of age, is an exceptional Chinese in many personal characteristics. He has the golden-brown eyes occasionally found among the race of Han. He is direct in his gesture and speech, and dispenses entirely with that circumlocution which is the ordinary basis of Oriental courtesy. In his cotton Chinese gentleman's gown he looks anything but a military commander, but in uniform his features and bearing take on an austerity which borders on cruelty. His affectations are gold-plated teeth and a sporty manner of holding a cigarette, which he pretends to smoke. Nothing in the line of luxury at his headquarters is to be seen greater than a Ford car, in which he travels back and forth to the railway spur.
General Wu is a native of Shantung, which has produced so many of China's men of fame and notoriety. His parents 'still live as small landed proprietors in Tungchou, on the Shantung Peninsula. He was graduated with a Hsiutsai or "B.A." degree, about the time of the Manchu overthrow, from the old Chihli Military Academy. From then until he became a national figure he was engaged as an officer in the various civil wars of the past Manchu régime, it having always fallen to his lot to take part in arduous border expeditions in Shensi, Szechuan, and Hunan.
Even Wu Pei-fu's enemies admit that he is one of the few men in China who cannot be bought. Indeed, if he could, he would have proved much less troublesome to Chang Tso-lin, who accumulated in Mukden a sum of thirty million dollars in silver for buying off opposition not otherwise removable. Certain it is that if Wu Pei-fu has made money out of his power, as has every other Tuchun of recent years, he has not spent it upon personal adornment or comfort.
General Wu, in addition to being China's only military chief who is an accomplished soldier, is one of the few Tuchuns who is regarded as a classical scholar. His application of Confucian dictums to China's present political situation gives a new turn to that ancient philosophy. Here is an example:
Speaking at the reception given in his honor by the Wuchang and Hankow Chambers of Commerce, Wu Pei-fu inculcated upon the audience a basic principle of classical Chinese philosophy contained in "The Great Learning" of the Four Books. Instead of discussing general political topics in the ruling Mandarin tone, General Wu gave scholarly discussion of the Ta Hsioh theory as it applies to modern politics in China.
The principle brought out from the Four Books reads: "Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.
Their families being regu lated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the
whole Kingdom was made tranquil and happy."
The above theory was propounded by Wu Pei-fu as the only panacea for salvaging China politically. He began his classical harangue by emphasizing the importance of following the Ta Hsioh theory and discrediting all high-sounding political theories advanced by Chinese political aspirants, who only threw the state into chaos. Let all those who claim to be anxious to save China set upon the task by beginning from the bottom up-let them make their thoughts sincere, rectify their hearts, cultivate their persons, regulate their families, rightly govern their states, and then bring the nation into a state of tranquillity and happiness. Here, again, Wu Pei-fu is in strong contrast to Chang Tso-lin, whose youthful education con sists of what he could pick up as a bandit's apprentice and who is now taking lessons in conventional Chinese courtesy with a view to fitting himself for more gentle society.
General Wu is too matter-of-fact to be good company. There is one time when
he is interesting. That is when, at the end of a meal with his officers and guests about the table, he leads them in singing his version of the "Marseillaise" or the patriotic and military songs which, with some of his student soldiers, he has composed and set to music. The enthusiasm with which he takes part in these songs convinces the onlooker beyond a doubt of his sincerity. For it is easy to simulate sentiment in speech, but harder to do so in song.
I give below a rought but literal translation of a marching chant composed by Wu on the foundation of an ancient battle song. The metrical form is faultless, being the ancient 9-7-5-5-4-4 play on synonyms. An insight into the little commander's psychology can perhaps be gained through this composition of his. Čertain it is that one who has seen him at the table, with his military band behind him, directing his officers and guests in the chant which varies in content from historical allusions and international relations to the war-cry of savagery, will never forget the sight. It is called:
Break down the defenses!
You are like a tiger in his lair?
Stick the banner on high
IX. THE TRIUMPH
Cover the smoke, suppress the war spirit, in obedience to orders, return. Trumpets and drums shake the earth with their thunder.
To-day the victors
Yesterday the Battalion of Death!
With three glasses of old wine.
X. THE COUNTRY'S ARMY The ancients said, Will may overcome destiny;
A thousand of the same heart can fill in the sea.
Japan has her "Society of Welded Spirits."
The West has its oaths of blood and iron.
Our oath is eternal, changeless.
4 The Chinese Amazon who rid the land of tigers.
The Chinese "Banzai."
I-ONE YEAR AFTER THE NAVAL CONFERENCE
MERICA'S great experiment of trying by example to bring about general reduction of naval armaments and cessation of competitive naval building appears to have failed. Both at the Washington Conference and during the nine months since its adjournment we have set an eminently fine example in these respects, but there has been no commensurate response from the other naval Powers.
America's naval strength has steadily declined relative to other Powers and continues to do so. The passing of the recent elections now permits a survey of the whole question and an estimate of necessary remedies for such an unsatisfactory condition, free from any color of political bias.
Mr. Hughes's initial proposals for the scrapping of ships and the subsequent limitation of new construction was extraordinarily generous. It contained no element of selfishness. America offered to set the pace, to sacrifice relatively much more of her naval power than was suggested for any other nation.
At first the response to our unprecedented example was encouraging. All accepted the proposals "in principle." But when it came to detailed specifications, so many modifications were insisted upon by Great Britain, France, and Japan as to destroy the cardinal principle of mutual concession upon which Mr. Hughes's comprehensive plan chiefly depended. There was no appreciable tendency to follow America's lead in offering more than was asked. On the contrary, the foreign attitude appeared to be one of accepting advantages that had been offered and then of seeking to gain still more.
For several weeks Japan strove diligently to demonstrate that this status quo basis of limitation entitled her to a ratio of 7 to 10 instead of the proposed 3 to 5. It was finally proved to her satisfaction that by every method of calculation that could be devised her correct ratio was even less than 3 to 5. Japan then insisted upon a drastic limitation of naval bases in the western Pacific, the effect of which was greatly to enhance the strength of her navy relative to others in that region.
Great Britain strenuously sought the abolition of submarines or their limitation to small numbers and dimensions. The advantage which she would derive from such provisions, especially over France, caused the latter to interpose such vigorous objections, sustained by Italy, as to defeat the British proposals.
NAVAL EDITOR "ARMY AND NAVY JOURNAL'
Thereupon Britain flatly refused to consider any limitation whatever upon cruisers, destroyers, and other auxiliary types of ships suitable for anti-submarine warfare.
Thus was America's example of unselfishness ignored. In spite of her demonstrated willingness to go even further against her own interests than the very generous initial proposals, still none would follow. The influence of a good example failed to bring about effective reduction of armaments.
It was one of the cardinal features of Mr. Hughes's original plan that the reduction and limitation was to include all naval types of ships. If this element of completeness had been retained, then, regardless of details, the final agreement would have been effective in its main purposes of reducing naval strength to a fixed limit and abolishing competitive building. The exclusion of the auxiliary types and the inclusion of only capital ships and airplane carriers in the final agreement opened the door to nullification of such purposes, which were then made dependent upon the individual future choice of the nations.
The nullifying effects of the omissions regarding auxiliary naval ships arise from the inherent possibility of substituting strength in auxiliaries for strength in capital ships. For example, a single battleship reinforced by a great number of light cruisers, destroyers, submarines, mine-layers, etc., may be many times stronger than two or more battleships accompanied by only a small force of such auxiliaries. The inadequacy of partial limitation by agreement is manifest, unless the nations individually should freely choose to extend such limitation to include all types of ships.
Under these circumstances of partial failure of the Conference America again set a conspicuous example of sacrifice, in the hope of giving permanence to the spirit of the limitation, even though its letter was deficient. Such hope was translated into no uncertain terms. The naval enlisted personnel was reduced almost immediately to more than thirty per cent below the minimum peace requirement for a 5-5-3 navy of all types. Out of a total of 280 first-line destroyers more than 170 were laid up out of commission, with practically no naval personnel on board, and a risk of serious deterioration thus incurred. This notwithstanding a great deficiency relative to other Powers in light cruisers, for which destroyers may serve as a partial substitute. More than seventy other
ships of various types permitted by the Treaty to be retained were also placed out of commission. The letting of contracts was suspended for a number of additional destroyers and submarines whose construction was already authorized by Congress and was not prohibited by the treaty. In spite of a complete lack of modern light cruisers in the Navy compared with 41 of this type possessed by Great Britain, 11 by Japan, 4 by France, and 5 by Italy, we refrained from undertaking or projecting the construction of any new ones. It is true that work upon 10 already in an advanced state of completion was continued, but these had their counterparts in the new construction in hand in other navies. In general substance, the United States reduced her Navy as a whole to less than seventy per cent of that allowed her by the letter and spirit of the treaties.
The hope that this impressive postConference example might influence other nations to extend the principle of limitation to all classes of ships, and to reduce their aggregate forces substantially below the strength fixed by the Treaty, seems to have been vain. The resumption of competition has already begun.
Five months after the Conference ad
journed Japan announced a revision of her pre-Conference building programme for auxiliary naval types. To the 10 or 11 light cruisers already under construction were added 8 or 9 more. Similarly, about 24 destroyers and 24 large submarines
were projected to augment nearly the same number then on the stocks. It was not made clear that the above is the maximum in these types which Japan intended to complete before 1927.
The eminent British naval authority, Mr. H. C. Bywater, states that this building programme revision was made by the Japanese with the object of rectifying the deficiency in battleships as represented by the 5-3 ratio. He states further that the characteristics of the
newly projected Japanese ships preclude the assumption of purely defensive objects; that "no reasonable doubt exists as to the purpose for which all these swift Japanese cruisers and huge underwater boats are being built; ... they are designed for attacking an enemy's communications and merchant shipping, for carrying out oversea raids, and generally for offensive operations at a great distance from their home ports." The same authority estimates that, considering
A NAVAL SEAPLANE ON THE LOWER DECK OF THE U. S. S. LANGLEY. SEAPLANES ARE CARRIED TO THE UPPER DECK BY AN ELEVATOR AND THERE LAUNCHED BY A CATAPULT
Japan's new programme, the ratio of strength in light cruisers is: Japan, 3; United States, 1; and in submarines Japan 7, compared with about 5% for
Four months after Japan's decision for new construction was published Great Britain announced a programme for two new great battleships. There is absolutely no need for such additional vessels to maintain Britain's overwhelming preponderance against any possible combination of European navies, or against any other navy except that of the United States. Even against us the building of these ships means much more than an endeavor merely to preserve an equality. The naval status under the treaties gave England a substantial superiority over us by reason of her surplus of auxiliary naval vessels, her luxury of overseas bases, her great merchant marine, her superabundance of seafaring population, and other important elements of naval strength. Yet, in spite of all this, and in addition, notwithstanding our drastic reductions of naval strength below Treaty limits, Britain now decides to maintain her full treaty quota of battleships. Like Japan, she fails to respond to our example of cutting armaments below the allowances and ceasing competitive building.
It is not alone in new construction that Britain and Japan have failed to follow our lead of downward competition. Their last naval budget, which would exclude the projected construction, was in each case roughly forty per cent greater than ours on a 5-5-3 basis. Yet, relatively speaking, they are paupers and we are rolling in wealth. The personnel question furnishes another example. Our cut to less than seventy per cent of the peace requirements of personnel for the "Treaty Navy" has not been met even approximately. Both Britain and Japan have kept practically full peace complements. The significance of this cannot be appreciated with out considering that Britain's Naval Reserve is three times greater than curs, and Japan's more than twice as great. Moreover, the reservoir of maritime population of both these Powers is very much greater.
From time to time misleading headlines and statements in our press have given the impression that Japan and Britain are anticipating ratification of the Treaty in the execution of their scrapping programme. It is true that they have scrapped some obsolete vessels of no practical value, and have taken a few steps preliminary to scrapping other somewhat antiquated ships of
very doubtful value. But the United States has done likewise. None of us have substantially altered our battleship strength. Most of the preliminary work can be easily restored at small cost in case the Treaty ratifications fail to be exchanged. The evidence afforded by the scrapping situation is inconclusive as to the influence of the spirit of the treaties upon the nations that are concerned.
Now that the election is past, there is opportunity for America to review her naval situation exclusive of any political element. The question is properly National, and not partisan. Persistence in the effort towards progressive disarmament by example appears certain to result in an early reduction of our naval power out of all proportion to our National interests and welfare. Already the true ratio of naval strength, disregarding any consideration of strategic theaters of operation, stands at about United States 4, Great Britain 5, Japan 3. For operations in the western Pacific, where an effort to defend the Philippines would necessarily take our fleet, the existing ratio is about Japan 3, United States 2. Moreover, we are steadily losing aggregate strength while the others are gaining. The deterioration of our ships is much more rapid than theirs,