網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Library. What was novel and interesting about it was the condition under which it was made. The donor withheld his name and address so that an acknowledgment could not be directly sent him. He requested that the acknowledgment be made through the columns of The Outlook. This was done in the issue for the 11th of last July. The condition under which the gift was made was that a bust of Mayor Gaynor be placed in the library building, and that an engrossed copy of certain extracts from Mayor Gaynor's writings be framed and hung in the building opposite the bust.

As we stated at the time, there was no possibility of any decision on the part of the Board of Directors of the Library until this month, because there would be no prior meeting. In printing this acknowledgment in accordance with the donor's request, The Outlook pointed out the serious difficulties in the way of accepting such a gift. As we said at the time, the Public Library could not very well be converted into a repository for statues to the memory of any citizen whom any donor wished 10 honor, and it would be very difficult for a library board to constitute itself an academy for the awarding of memorial distinctions.

We have now received from the Trustees of the New York Public Library, Astor. Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, a certified copy of a resolution adopted by that Board at its meeting held on October 14. This resolution is as follows:

"Resolved, That the anonymous gift of five one thousand dollar par value Commonwealth Edison Company bonds, made on the condition that a marble bust of the late Mayor Gaynor be placed in the library building, and that an engrossed copy of certain extracts from Mayor Gaynor's speeches and writings be framed and hung up opposite the bust, be not accepted, and that notice of this action be printed in The Outlook magazine in accordance with the donoi's request."

A CASH BASIS
FOR NEW YORK

Within four years New York City will be on a cash basis. For the first time in its history, on or about January 1, 1918, the metropolis will be on a really sound financial foundation. After that date New York will adopt the " pay-as-you-go " policy instead of the "charge-it-and-pay-to-morrow" system that has been largely responsible for the

accumulation of a city debt of more than a billion dollars.

The Board of Estimate, the body which controls the city's purse-strings, has contemplated this step for some time, but the difficulty which the city has experienced in meeting its maturing obligations abroad since the outbreak of the war has decided the members of the Board, including the Mayor, to make a virtue of necessity and to put into effect the plan for retrenchment at once.

The " pay-as-you-go plan," as outlined for The Outlook by Mayor Mitchel, is. in his own words, as follows:

"All public improvements that have already been authorized will be taken care of by the issue of a fifteen-year serial bond, which will be retired by fifteen annual installments, carried into the city's tax budget.

"For all future public improvements, except those which produce revenue, we are going in the first year of the new system to carry one-quarter of the expense in the tax budget and three-quarters through the issue of fifteen-year bonds.

"The second year one-half the cost will be borne by the taxpayers, and one-half will be carried through by these bonds.

"The third year the tax budget will take three-quarters of the burden, and bonds the other quarter. From that time forth the whole cost of non-self-supporting public improvements will be carried in the city budget and paid for year by year. After fifteen years those serial bonds will be extinguished and we will gradually reduce the tremendous debt that has been handed down to us largely by those forebears who were so easy-going that it was their custom to issue fifty-year bonds for work of a purely temporary- nature. For instance, we now have a large debt for paving which will not be paid in full till long after the paving in question has worn out."

It has been impossible yet to determine by how much the burden on the taxpayers of New York will be increased during the first years that the "pay-as-you-go" policy is in effect, though there is no doubt that it will be considerable. The Mayor and his financial advisers, however, believe that in the long run this will be more than offset by the reduction in the annual amount of the interest upon the city's bonded and floating debt and the amortization charges through which the long-term indebtedness is paid. Another advantage to accrue from this plan, which Mayor Mitchel points out, is the enlargement of the city's borrowing margin which will result from the reduction of the debt. This will make possible the devotion of larger sums of money than are now available for great public improvements of a self-supporting nature, such as transportation and terminal and harbor improvements.

New York's experiment will be watched with interest by other American cities, and probably undertaken by many of them. The general adoption of such a system of municipal finance is a consummation devoutly to be wished, for in the long run, with cities as with individuals, the " pay-as-you-go" policy is cheapest and safest.

THE MEXICAN
SITUATION

Carranza's delegates to the peace conference between the factions in Mexico at Aguas Calientes are apparently in hot water both in fact and in name. The report has reached the United States that eighteen thousand soldiers under the control of Villa have marched close enough to the convention city to dominate the situation. Whether the report of Villa's hostile activities are exaggerated or not, the rumor concerning the movement of his troops seems definite and substantial enough to make any hope of reconciliation or agreement between Carranza and Villa scarcely more than the remotest of possibilities.

The Aguas Calientes conference, despite the paper reforms advocated by both of the most important factions, gave, from the beginning, litde promise of success. Now if Villa, after the manner of Cromwell, has decided to dissolve this very short peace parliament, even that very faint promise will have vanished. The bauble of authority which Villa has ordered taken away was not a very weighty affair at best. The inability of Mexican leaders to develop a workable, to say nothing of an ideal, plan of national reform proves continuously discouraging.

In the north of Mexico the rebellious factions under General Hill and General Maytorena are both disregarding orders from their supposed superiors at Aguas Calientes to cease hostilities. Across the line from Naco, Arizona, there have been constant disturbances. In the progress of the fighting several Americans have been wounded on the Arizona side of the international boundary.

DEATH OF THE ITALIAN
FOREIGN MINISTER

The Marquis Antonio di San Giuliano, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who recently died in Rome, was often called " Italy's Strong Man "—a condensed description of a very forceful character. He was a Sicilian by birth and of an ancient family ; and something of the stormy quality of the Sicilian nature was in him. His physical and intellectual vitality took him very early into public life. He was for many years a Senator, and at various times served the Government in different positions. He filled the post of Italian Ambassador in London and became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1905. From the very beginning of his public career he was an aggressive advocate of Italian interests both at home and abroad; and his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs was not satisfactory either to Austria or to Germany. Both the Austrian and the German Governments would have preferred a more complaisant Minister. They disliked him as they disliked M. Delcasse* in France, and for the same reasons.

The Marquis knew the Balkan regions, northern Africa, and Italia Irredenta, as the Italians call the Italian territory.still in Austrian hands—Trieste and Trentino. It is believed that he initiated, and he certainly carried on with great vigor, the campaign in Tripoli, and he watched affairs in the Balkans with the closest attention. He was a vigorous advocate of the Triple Alliance, but of late years the diplomats at Berlin failed to take account of changing public opinion in Italy, and were grossly lacking in tact in dealing with Italian relations. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs was not taken into the inner confidence of either country. He was perfectly aware of this, and was also in possession of the diplomatic secrets of both countries. This attitude practically released Italy from the obligations under the Triple Alliance, and left the Prime Minister free to study Italian interests. Less than two years ago he renewed the Alliance, declaring at the same time that it had been a guarantee of European peace, and that it must remain the fundamental principle of the Italian foreign policy. Since that time, however, the indifference of the other members of the Alliance to Italian interests changed his attitude. He was a man of great force both with his pen and his voice, and was the author of a number of volumes of travel and articles on social and economic subjects. On his visit to this country, nine years ago, he showed himself a very keen and sympathetic observer.

The possible effect of the death of this able man on the foreign policy of Italy in the near future is purely a matter of speculation. That the country is alienated from Austria and Germany is quite evident; that it will cast in its fortunes with the Allies is as yet uncertain. The Berlin diplomatists have not treated the relations of Italy to the Triple Alliance with sufficient attention or intelligence. Several years ago France annexed Tunis, and seemed to stand in the way of Italian ambitions on the south shore of the Mediterranean. An alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, which had no ambitions in that section which conflicted with those of Italy, was naturally attractive to the Italians. Berlin paid little attention to Italian desires and to the more friendly relations with France which sprang up through their mutual interests in northern Africa—the French in Morocco and the Italians in Tripoli. When the latter seized Tripoli, Italy came into sharp conflict with Turkey, which Germany took under its wing a number of years ago, and it also awakened the fears of Austria that the conflict with Turkey might end in Italian occupation of Albania.

The breach between Italy and her partners has been steadily widening, and the results of the Balkan War have practically divorced them. Although Italy may not be fully prepared, either financially or from a military point of view, to go to war, there seems to be no doubt about the strength of popular feeling in favor of the Allies. For the time being, however, Italy is likely to follow the policy of neutrality; but circumstances may drive her into co-operation with the Allies.

THE NEW GERMAN
SIEGE GUNS

The attack and destruction of Liege and Namur and the effect produced on the forts at these places have naturally created interest in the new German guns. For some time after the Franco- Prussian War it was thought that artillery fire in itself was sufficient to reduce forts, and that infantry attacks would not be necessary. The introduction of armored concrete forts changed the tactics were thought for so long to be tly effective. It was argued that, e guns of forts might be silenced

by the attacking artillery, it was hardly likely that the armor could be destroyed, and that it was probable that the silenced guns could be.in many instances repaired or replaced by the time the range was shortened and the attacking force thereby placed at a considerable disadvantage.

The siege of Port Arthur in the RussoJapanese War is credited with having had considerable effect on the changing of German tactics. German regulations are now particular in stating that the chief object to be attained in a campaign is the destruction of the main body of the opposing army, and that every move must be made to further the possibilities of obtaining that result; that no fort or city must ever be attacked unless the capture or destruction of it may result in a step toward the defeat of the hostile force as a whole. The German attack has as a basis quickness of movement and aggressive ness. Hence the German army is abundantly equipped with draught animals, tractors, and auto trucks, which puts them in a position to reinforce quickly with field batteries any part of their line when more weight will be effective.

Of the 11.2 howitzer used at Liege and Namur little authentic knowledge has been available. The following information, although not actually authoritative in even point, is known to be partly true, and in every detail may probably be accepted as close to the facts:

The German 11.2 inch howitzer is ten caliber. That is, its length, or rather the distance the shell travels in the barrel after the firing of the gun, \s9yi feet, or ten times the bore. One account is that, in order to facilitate transportation, the barrel is built in two sections; but Captain Kilbourne, of the United States Coast Artillery, as well as several naval officers, is quite positive that such cannot be the case, as the tremendous press ure, which probably reaches twenty thousand pounds to the square inch, would be more than the fastenings holding the two sections together could stand.

HOW THE SIEGE
GUN TRAVELS

As may be seen from the picture on another page, this German siege gun has as part of its equipment two tractors for transporting it with an advancing army. One o: these pulls the gun itself, which weighs aboui twenty-five tons, and is mounted for move merit on a special carriage. The other pulls the gun carriage, which weighs slightly less than the gun. The ammunition is carried separately, and, as each shell weighs in the neighborhood of eight hundred pounds, it will be seen that this creates a transportation problem only less difficult of solution than that of the gun and carriage. The wheels of this outfit are of the pedrail type, which are remarkably effective on soft ground, and the whole is capable of surprising movement over good roads.

[graphic]

Each battalion of what is known to the Germans as fortress artillery has also as a part of its equipment 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) of narTow~gauge railway, which uses draught animals for motive power. Captain Kilbourne, whom The Outlook has to thank for special information, suggests that this railway is to assist the movement of the guns over particularly bad stretches and to facilitate their movement from one place to another when, for instance, a fort is being attacked and the enemy shows signs of getting the range of the attacking guns.

A mortar of 11.2 inches bore uses a shell weighing about eight hundred pounds. The range of such a gun is thirty-three thousand feet. The bursting shell has a deadly effect, due to flying fragments, over a radius of about fifty feet, while the poisonous gases which are generated probably take effect for a distance of thirty or forty feet more. The effect of one such shell, therefore, covers an area of about eighteen thousand square feet. These poisonous gases are not, of course, as deadly in the open as in inclosed places, such as passages in forts.

The use of such shells and such guns at Liege and Namur could have but one result. The forts at these places were armed with 6-inch and 9.7-inch guns, which were incapable of the great range of the German guns. It was only necessary, therefore, to batter the Belgian forts into shapeless masses with the huge attacking artillery, the fire of which was ably directed by aeroplanes flying over the defenders' heads, and then by an overwhelming infantry assault to capture the tangled piles of masonry and steel.

The effect of these huge German mortars is more easily grasped when we stop to think of the weary days of terrific fighting at Liege before the arrival of these guns, during which time the attacking force made practically no headway, and then of the suddenness with which Liege fell and of the dis

appointing capture of Namur, from which we expected to receive news as remarkable as that which came from Liege. The reason for the fall of these two cities is directly to be attributed to the deadly effect of this German artillery, of which we have hitherto known so little.

JAPAN AND GERMAN
SHIPS

In accordance with both the letter and the spirit of the "convention relative to the status of enemy merchant ships at the outbreak of hostilities " concluded at the second Peace Conference at The Hague in 1907, Japan has promulgated an Imperial ordinance worthy of attention by those who hailed her entrance into the European war as the gratuitous introduction of a " barbarous nation" into a white man's affair. With the events on the Continent freshly in mind, Germany's cause for complaint against England on this score becomes of increasingly diminished importance.

This Japanese ordinance declares that the German vessels lying in the ports and roadi steads of the Empire of Japan at the outbreak of hostilities shall be given two weeks to discharge their cargoes and to take on board cargoes other than contraband of war, and that they shall then be permitted to*take out clearance papers for designated and presumably neutral ports. Japan likewise has permitted German vessels which have entered Japanese ports in ignorance of the existence of a state of w?r to depart unmolested. German vessels met with by Japanese war'ships upon the high seas which are in a like state of ignorance have also been exempted from capture. Japan naturally reserves the right to repeal this ordinance, in whole or in part, if Germany fails to mete out similar fair treatment to Japan's ships and commerce.

An ordinance so in accord with modern standards of conduct in warfare lends confidence to those who believe that Japan, after the termination of hostilities, will faithfully carry out her promises in respect to the acquisition of territory.

APPLES

"Current Affairs," the organ of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, has a suggestion to offer supplementing the "buy a bale of cotton" slogan of the South. It is, "Buy a barrel of apples." "Apples are cheap this year," says " Current Affairs." "The crop is one of the largest in the history of the industry, and the markets—on account of the European war's halt on export business— are more diminished than ever before. Under these circumstances of more apples and fewer buyers, the opportunity exists to buy apples at a price far below that asked in ordinary times. It is a double-action opportunity: the man who buys a barrel of apples now helps the farmer and helps himself. He gets his winter fruit at a low price, and the farmer gets some real money for a valuable product which otherwise would probably rot on the ground. This is not a deed of charity; nor is it an act of speculation; the buyer can make immediate use of his purchase."

Why not, indeed? Cotton will keep, apples will not—particularly in any household properly supplied with boys and girls. Let us eat them, then (the apples, not the boys and girls), and be merry, for to-morrow all that will remain of this year's best fruitage will be the bloodless and indestructible regiments of Ben Davis newly exhumed from cold storage to haunt us with ghostly memories of Northern Spies long since passed into the region of vain regret.

Baldwin and Greening of winter delight, Astrachan of midsummer, Newtown Pippin and Russet, Macintosh Red and Porter—how many trees of this last remain ?- each and every one as healthful a joy as the warm earth from which they spring. Even the tart wild apple, small and waxy white as it lies under its covering of frosty leaves in late October, has a character and flavor not to be despised of men. Did not Thoreau hail it as a treasure trove and an experience to be cherished for many days?

"Buy a barrel of apples." If you live where cellars are deep and wide and cool, as cellars were in the days of Huldy's apple parin', you will have room enough and to spare for. such a well-bidden guest. If you live where cellars are deep and wide, but inaccessible and filled with janitors and steam heat, or apparatus alleged to produce the same, there is still hope for you in the peck measure and the paper bag. If you are persistent and faithful in your allegiance, housing commissions may yet demand not only that each dweller in Babylon shall have his due share of water, sun, and air, but that to each shall be given cool storage for at least one barrel of apples. Nothing less will be accepted as a fitting tribute to the rose's most delectable

THE AMERICAN BOARD
OF FOREIGN MISSIONS

The one hundred and fifth annual meeting of the American Board, held at Detroit, October 13—16, convened under both encouraging and perplexing circumstances —encouraging because of past prosperity, perplexing because of the present world-wide war.

Despite adverse business conditions, the Board's total receipts for the year, upwards of a million dollars, have been the largest in its history, especially large during July and August last. New enlistments for the foreign field have also been unusually .numerous, twenty-three more than in 1913. Never before has the Board been at work under so many national flags for the 75,000.000 people included in its various fields. New calls to enter inviting work have come with embarrassing abundance, as in the offer of the Chinese authorities to hand over to the Board the work of education in eight counties of the Fenchau district of Shansi Province. Co-operation has become the rule of denominational missionary societies, and union is advancing among the churches they have planted, out of which national evangelical churches are beginning to arise. Furthermore, these young churches have become independent propagandists of Christianity in Japan, in China, in India, and have begun home missions among their countrymen. In north China a great advance toward independence has been made by putting the main mission administration into Chinese hands, with missionaries as co-operators. The President of the Indian National Missionary Society is a man of princely birth. The spirit of Jesus is now modifying Hindu society and thought. This in a country where during the first twenty years of the Board's work the number of missionaries who died was larger than the number of converts made. During the past year the churches in its various fields have given for Christian work at the rate of about one thousand dollars per day for every day of the year.

MISSIONS AND WAR

War has seriously affected missions. Their stoppage in Mexico still had some compensations. Eleven denominations got together here to plan for a more united work and one evangelical Mexican church. The derangement of work caused by the Balkan War seems lessening, but in Turkey perilous condition? must yet be overcome. If the recent abro

« 上一頁繼續 »