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Congress has made it possible to put under our flag any foreign-built but Americanowned ships doing a foreign (not coastwise) trade. What is the reason? Briefly, it is because our Navigation Law, so the ship-owners allege, puts ships under American registry at a disadvantage. It is said that the cost of operating an American ship is a third more than that of operating a foreign vessel. This is not only because of higher American wages, but because the officers must be Americans, because the law imposes rules as to seamen's food, and because of certain alleged onerous requirements as to inspection and measurements. It is proposed that as an emergency measure the President should rescind or relax these measures for a time, as he has power to do.
Such a proposal should not be adopted hastily. It is important that our facilities for commerce should be increased at this juncture, but it is at least equally important that the American seaman should be protected. We want our seamen to be decent, self-respecting citizens, skilled in their work, men to be depended upon in the hour of danger. They should therefore be well fed, well paid, and well officered. Congress has just been voting upon a shipping bill drawn for the purpose of protecting American seamen and of insuring safety at sea. That bill is now in conference, and as we write the press despatches state that it is to be deliberately " side-tracked " in order not to interfere with the new registry plan.
The Outlook believes in permitting Americans to buy ships where they will; the prohibition of this has been futile because it has not in the Last fostered American ship-building. But The Outlook does not believe in lowering standards for American seamen nor in driving them off the sea to be replaced by Orientals and the lowest-paid workers of eastern Europe. On the contrary, it believes that the laws in their favor and for safety at sea should be radically strengthened. The just-passed Shipping Bill does this, although doubts exist as to the practicability of some of its requirements. Amend it if needed, but do not abandon it.
Another difficulty about registry is said to be the fear of ship-owners that our Government may itself buy ships—the great German liners now in New York, for instance—and engage in the carrying trade. Congress is still, as we write, considering such a measure, an enlargement of the Panama Act per
mitting the United States to own and operate ships. Ship-owners say that it would be impossible to compete with Government-owned ships, because the Government would care nothing about profit and would sell the ships at a loss after the war is over, as it did after the Spanish War. It is urged also by other than ship-owners that it would be internationally embarrassing for our Government to defend the neutrality of such ships pif the genuineness of the sale were called in question by a foreign admiralty court after seizure; on the other hand, it is said that foreign war-ships would be less likely to seize a vessel owned by our Government.
Meanwhile Great Britain has kept the seas open to commerce in a truly remarkable way; passengers are coming and going and goods are being shipped in considerable quantities; there seems to be some reason in the assertion of many exporters that the trouble is not so much lack of ships as lack of credit and exchange facilities between the United States and the warring nations.
Above all, what is needed is the formulation of a definite policy which the United States can follow in the building up of its merchant marine, so that this Nation will not again find itself in its present predicament of dependency upon belligerent nations for transportation of passengers and goods across the seas.
We do not think that this is a favorable time to urge peace upon the nations engaged in war. But it is a favorable time for making; all the necessary preparations to intervene for the sake of peace when the proper time arrives for such intervention. We are therefore heartily in sympathy with the action which the New York Peace Society has taken, as we are with the spirit of its recommendations.
At the suggestion of this Society, a delegation, representing five Peace organizations, has waited upon the President to suggest to him that our Government request the nations signatory to the Hague Convention not involved in the present war. especially the neutral nations of Europe, to unite with our Government in making " on the first favorable occasion a joint offer of mediation in the interests of humanity, civilization, and lasting peace." The careful reader will observe that this request is not to be proffered until the Administration thinks the occasion is favorable for proffering it. In presenting the suggesdon to the Administration, the Committee rightly urged "that the matter of supreme importance is not to bring an end to hostilities, desirable as this is, but to obtain a settlement of the controversy, when the time comes, on a basis which shall prevent hereafter the mistaken national policies and the hostile armaments which have caused the present war." And it also urges "that the whole civilized world is vitally concerned in securing the right settlement of the questions which will have to be considered and determined at the close of the war."
The Committee also suggests that, while we must wait for a favorable occasion before presenting such an offer of joint mediation, it is desirable to secure as soon as possible a concert of the neutral Governments in order that they may be ready to act together when the time comes.
FEDERAL RELIEF TO
It is estimated that at the outbreak of the war a hundred and fifty thousand Americans were traveling in Europe. The mobilization of troops so deranged normal conditions that it was beyond the power of individuals in America to help their friends abroad. Almost at once Congress appropriated 52.750,000 for relief, and on August 6 the President by executive order created a Board of Relief, consisting of the , Secretary of the Treasury as .Chan-man', the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy. This Hoard has been administering the appropriation made by* Congress. On Sunday, August 30, there was published in the New York "Tribune" a summary of three weeks of work as reported by the Federal Relief Board. The opening paragraph of this summary should be reassuring to all who have friends in Europe:
The situation is so greatly relieved at the present time that Americans anywhere upon the Continent can, by applying to the nearest embassy or legation, get in touch with people in this country, and get money if they need any, and can get transportation and passage home if they want it.
The Roard reports that the most important thing it had to do was to place at the disposal of marooned Americans the necessary money with which they could support themselves until they could staSt for home; that the next most important thing was to get information concerning the whereabouts of
Americans; and the third most important thing was to secure opportunity for their return.
The only vessels flying the American flag which could be used for the transportation of passengers across the Atlantic were six steamships in the transatlantic service and certain ships engaged in coastwise trade, small in size and mainly devoted to the carrying of cargoes. Two naval vessels were made ready to sail, and twenty-five or more army officers, headed by the Assistant Secretary of War, were detailed to go upon these vessels to lend their aid wherever necessary. Arrangements were made for the sending of $5,000,000 in gold by bankers, and $1,500,000 was sent by the Government. In addition there was money sent by individuals which was placed in the charge of these representatives of the Government. Moreover, a half-million dollars was sent to a designated English bank in Ottawa, and thus a credit to that amount was obtained at the Bank of England. The gold sent on the naval vessels, the' Tennessee and North Carolina, has since reached Europe. The Board believes that with the resumption of sailings that had been suspended it is now '• a mere matter of a comparatively short time" before Americans in Europe can secure transportation home. The Board adds that " wherever it was evident that there would not be a resumption of regularsailings sufficient to take care of the Americans, the consulate agencies were directed to secure ships for this purpose."
We are informed by the Chairman of the 1 Relief Board, Secretary McAdoo, in reply to our request for information,, that Americans in Europe who are without means and need help can obtain assistance by applying to American diplomatic and consular officers; that through these officers the Board endeavors, when so requested, to ascertain the whereabouts and welfare of Americans, make arrangements for their transportation, and arrange for such other help as may be needed; that under the Board's direction the Treasurer of the United States, as custodian, receives deposits from individuals for transmission to Americans in Europe; that the relief expedition sent with the gold from the Government is stationing officials at points in Europe with funds from the Tennessee for relief work and for payments to individuals of money deposited for them; and that communications for the Relief Board
may be addressed to its Chairman, the Secretary of the Treasury, at Washington, D. C.
Every' year Negroes engaged in bus ness assemble to exchange accounts of their experience, and to get the encouragement that comes from knowing one another's success. This year the annual session of this National Negro Business League was held at Muskogee, Oklahoma.
The stories of struggle and success which were told there will be retold again and again by the delegates to Negro youth in the South and elsewhere, and will be the means of starting into new life many who find conditions hard. Negroes who had started with nothing but their bare hands and their ambition to achieve and had succeeded were cross-questioned by their hearers. They told of hardship, but also of persistence; of privation, but also of thrift. They told also of the willingness of good white men to stand behind the struggling Negro and give him advice and help.
Oklahoma and the five adjacent States— Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas—offer their two million Negroes remarkable opportunities in cattle raising, general farming, truck gardening, and poultry raising. These six States have one hundred and thirty million acres of unimproved land. To one who has seen the fields of France, where every inch seems to be utilized, this statement is full of significance for the future of this country, and for the future of the poor of all races here. In those six States there is, as Dr. Booker T. Washington said in his address before the League, room for "a thousand more grocery stores owned by Negroes, five hundred additional dry-goods stores, three hundred more shoe stores, two hundred more good restaurants and hotels, three hundred additional millinery stores, two hundred additional drug stores, and forty more banks." Dr. Washington's address was, in fact, a convincing statement of the opportunities that lie before the colored people of that region, and a summons to the Negroes to overcome their evils with good works and with a constructive policy in business, industry, education, moral and religious life, and conduct generally.
In connection with this meeting there was a spectacular industrial parade to show the Negroes' progress in Oklahoma. Decorated floats carrying men, women, and children
showed the Negroes' progress in the home, school, church, and various organizations; fine specimens of horses, mules, and cattle, and wagons containing cotton, grains, fruits, and vegetables, showed what the Negro is doing in agriculture; and demonstrations by Negro artisans showed what the Negroes were doing in industry.
At the Convention of the American Medical Association in Atlantic City recently emphasis was laid on the importance of securing a higher standard of " railroad sanitation " in the United States. The railways offer a comparatively new field for the efforts of the sanitary expert.
Some of the precautionary measures which the Association urges are the ventilation and fumigation of cars, the examination of railway employees for contagious and infectious diseases, the examination of all food and water offered to the traveling public, the abolition of the common drinking-cup and the roller-towel—which have already been abolished by many State Legislatures—the sanitation of railway lavatories, and the adoption of ordinary health measures in railway camps.
The Treasury Department has already established a regulation that on trains only ice and water shall be used for drinking purposes which have been certified by the State or municipal health authority within whose jurisdiction they are obtained; and as far as some of the other reforms urged by the convention of physicians are concerned, many of them have already been adopted by some railways —much to the credit of the wisdom and humanity of the officers controlling these lines. For instance, the Illinois Central, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy, the Chicago and Northwestern Railways, and the Pullman Company each already employ a man called a " sanitarian," who serves as general health officer for each of these corporations. For some time dining-car employees on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford, the Pennsylvania, and other large systems have been subjected to periodical examinations for signs of tuberculosis or other diseases that might be communicated to diners, and the Lehigh Valley—which has been a pioneer so far as health measures are concerned—employs a physician whose sole duty it is to examine employees for indications of disease.
Some of the signs indicating that " sanitation first" is becoming a railway watchword are the disappearance of the old germcatching carpet in favor of the cement floor, the adoption of up-to-date car ventilating systems, of separate freight cars for separate commodities, and of cleaning platforms with hot-water connections at terminals for freight and live-stock cars. In this last particular the apex of reform has been accomplished by the Baltimore and Ohio, which has established "shower baths for hogs," to keep down the odor from stock cars, usually so annoying to citizens who dwell close to leeward of railways.
A BLIND MAN WHO
As an example of the power of the spirit of man to triumph in the battle of life in the face of tremendous physical obstacles, the career of the late Sir Francis Campbell, teacher of the blind, and for many years Principal of the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind in London, is an inspiration to every one.
William T. Stead said of Francis Joseph Campbell: " He is American by birth, Scotch by origin, English by residence; but his real fatherland is the Kingdom of the Blind." Sir Francis, however, was not born to this kingdom, but became sightless at the age of four, after having one eyeball pierced by an acacia thorn on his father's farm in Franklin County, Tennessee, where he was born in 1832. This affliction seemed to act as a spur to the boy's tremendous will power and ambition, for, in spite of his handicap, he worked with his brothers on the farm, and, later, when a school for the blind was opened at Nashville, he began to attend it, specializing in music, and becoming so proficient that at the age of eighteen he was made instructor in music in this institution.
The blind youth was never idle, and had soon sufficiently educated himself to enter Harvard. From college he returned to Tennessee as director of music in a large girls' school, and then went to Boston, where for eleven years he was in charge of the musical department of the Perkins Institute for the Blind.
While in London in 1871, at a "blind tea party," Dr. Campbell met Dr. T. R. Armitage, who had founded the National Institute for the Blind, and as a result of this meeting the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind was founded, with Dr. Campbell
as principal, a position which he held until his retirement from active life two years ago. He was knighted in 1909 in recognition of what he had done for the men and women who, like himself, lived in constant shadow.
The great contribution of Sir Francis Campbell to the education of the blind lay in his insistence on the principle that the sightless should have a training at least equal to, and if possible better than, that given to the seeing. An athlete himself, he realized the importance of physical training in getting the usually poor physique of the blind up to par, and at the Royal Normal College to-day, where preparation is given for several vocations, the importance of physical training is constantly emphasized.
The destruction of Louvain by an unknown German military commander is an act of brutality absolutely unjustified by the rules of war. Nor is it any excuse for this act of brutality to say that war is brutal. Civilized war is cruel, but not brutal. The difference between a man and a brute is that the brute acts under impulse, guided only by his instincts, while the man guides his action by intelligence. The cruelty of civilized war is an intelligent cruelty—that is, it is crueltydirected by intelligence to a definite purpose. Any cruelty in war not so directed is justly termed brutal. We do not attempt in this article to judge acts in war by the ethical standards accepted in times of peace. We judge warlike actions by war standards. To all Americans familiar with military literature the volume of General W. E. Birkhimer, of the United States General Staff, on " Military Government and Martial Law" will be recognized as an authority. The principles assumed in this editorial are derived from and based on this volume.
The object in war is the destruction of the enemy's army. Any military acts necessary for the destruction of the enemy's army are in general justified by military law— that is, by the customs of civilized nations. Any acts not directly tending to aid in the destruction of the enemy's army are unjustified.
The destruction of Louvain had no tendency to promote the objects which the German army has in view. It was an unintelligent act of vandalism. Therefore it was an act of brutality.
The destruction of Louvain did nothing to aid the army of invasion. For Louvain was not a strategic point which might be of advantage to the armies of the Allies if it was left intact.
The destruction of Louvain did nothing to weaken the army of the Allies. It added strength to them; for it has filled the Belgians and the French with an enthusiasm of wrath, and enthusiasm of wrath adds greatly to the fighting force of an army.
The destruction of Louvain did nothing to protect European civilization from the Slav. On the contrary, it has aroused in the Slav a spirit of revenge, and Germans are fleeing from Berlin in fear of Russia's retaliation.
The destruction of Louvain has done nothing to aid Germany to make herself a world power. By that destruction she has aroused the indignation of the civilized world, an indignation which will outlast this terrible war. This is not the way to secure a world power.
The destruction of Louvain has done nothing to unite Germany against a united Europe. On the contrary, it has brought from the Berlin Socialist" Vorwaerts " a protest which warns the Germans against putting the struggle in a wrong light in the eyes of all the world and which calls upon the working class who are fighting at the front to remember their brethren on the other side and behave toward them in chivalrous manner. It is safe to assume that no paper in Germany would venture to suggest such a protest if it did not voice the sentiment of a considerable section of the German people.
The defense offered for this act of vandalism is that civilians, after Louvain was occupied by the German army, shot German soldiers, and the city was destroyed as an act of reprisal. The shooting of soldiers in an occupied town by unorganized civilians is an act of murder, and should be treated accordingly. But the criminal acts of a few individuals do not justify the destruction of a city. Says the Ilague Conventions (Section 3, Article I) : " No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, can be inflicted on the population on account of the acts of individuals, for which it cannot be regarded as collectively responsible." And in this declaration the Hague Conventions simply affirmed concisely a principle recognized by the customs of civilized nations in warfare.
The wave of indignation which has swept over America because of this criminal act cannot be regarded as an anti-German prejudice. Our soldiers when in occupation of Vera Cruz were shot at and killed by civilians. By vigorous police measures this "sniping" was speedily stopped. If the American troops had burned Vera Cruz, the American indignation would have far exceeded any indignation which Americans have thus far expressed at the act of the German troops in Louvain, and yet the loss to the world in the destruction of the beautiful city of Louvain far exceeds any loss that would have been suffered by the destruction of Vera Cruz. And if the Russians should reach Berlin and should do work of destruction in that city in any respect resembling the work done by the unknown commander in Louvain, The Outlook would condemn such act of reprisal as vigorously as it here condemns the destruction of Louvain, and we believe it would be equally condemned by all civilized peoples throughout the world.
"My great maxim," said Napoleon, ° has always been in war, as well as in politics, that every evil action, even if legal, can only be executed in case of absolute necessity; whatsoever goes beyond that is criminal."
We do not believe that any great number of German-American citizens, we shall not believe without conclusive evidence that the majority of Germans in Germany, or that the Kaiser himself, justify what history will call the crime at Louvain.
GERMANY'S OBJECT IN THE WAR
AS INTERPRETED BY A PRUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICER
Mr. Wile, in his interesting article in last week's Outlook, told us that sixty-five million of the sixty-six million Germans did not want war: but that the other one million not only wanted war but got it. Among the names of the leaders of this war party given by him is that of General Bernhardi. General Bernhardi wrote in 1911 a volume entitled " Germany and the Next War." The forecasts of this volume have been so singularly fulfilled by the action of Germany under the leadership of the war party that the' book may properly be regarded as an authoritative interpretation of that party's spirit and purpose. As an