Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

THE READER'S VIEW

other details of operation. We must compete in the open against lines favored by economic conditions existing in their several nations, as well as by legislation by their governments, and frequently by direct financial aid. It is obvious that American capital will not take up foreign shipping under such adverse conditions.

The fundamental requirement of the resuscitation of our oversea shipping is Governmental assistance to reduce the cost of operation, which, under the handicap of American prices, must always be higher than that of other nations. Legislation may do much, but almost every one who examines the question impartially is led sooner or later to believe that the payment of subsidies in some form is the only way in which the normal disadvantageous conditions can be overcome.

Until we can operate ships in the foreign trade at a reasonable profit it is folly either to build or to buy them.

J. B. MURDOCK,
Rear-Admiral U. S. N., Retired.

Danbury, New Hampshire.

WAS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IMPROPERLY

ORGANIZED?

In The Outlook of July 4 there was a letter from Mr. Frank B. Noyes, President of the Associated Press, in which Mr. Noyes took exception to my criticism of that organization published in The Outlook of May 30. In particular Mr. Noyes objects to specific criticism on my part which he says "is practically that the Associated Press is improperly organized under its present form."

I have not said, and do not say, that the Associated Press is illegally organized. Improperly is the word which Mr. Noyes puts into my mouth, and I am willing to let it stay there if by it we mean that the present form of organization of the Associated Press (which tends to let it grow into a powerful, unregulated monopoly) is a source of danger to the public.

Elsewhere in his letter Mr. Noyes says of the Associated Press: "It is organized under the Membership Corporation Law of New York, and that law specifically refers to press associations."

It is true that the law to-day refers to press associations, but it did not refer to them when the Associated Press was incorporated. The organization's certificate of incorporation was dated May 22, 1900. The amendment to the Membership Corporation Law which specifically refers to press associations went into force April 18, 1901. Any one can ascertain these facts for himself. The amendment in question was contained in Chapter 436, Laws of 1901, being an addition to Section 31, Article II, Chapter

[graphic]

559, of the Laws of 1895, as amended by Chapter 205 of the Laws of 1897.

Thus, while the question of the legality of the form of organization of the Associated Press is one for lawyers to settle-for the "omnibus" clause of the Membership Corporation Law may have been wide enough to let the Associated Press in-the fact that within a few months of its incorporation an addition was made to the law specifically referring to press associations seems to indicate that the officers of the Associated Press, feeling that the propriety of their incorporation might be questioned, had determined to (C cover up" without delay. New York City.

GREGORY MASON.

INDUSTRY VERSUS ALCOHOL

"Industry Versus Alcohol," by Lewis Edwin Theiss, in The Outlook of August 8, prompts me to write you of a conversation which I overheard in the smoking-room of a Pullman car on the way from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D. C., some months ago. The ideas expressed were so at variance with those which one would expect from the type of men who were talking that I listened with the utmost astonishment as well as pleasure, and have elicited surprise and satisfaction from many friends to whom I have repeated the incident. The conversation concerned the practical application of "no license" to the industries the men were engaged in, and their views were in entire accord with those of Mr. Theiss, except that they went further and discussed the solution.

One of our townsmen, of large and varied interests, including coal and railway properties in the South, died, and his funeral was attended by superintendents, managers, and other officials of the companies operating these works. I happened to be going to Washington on the train upon which a number of these men were returning South, and as I took my seat in the smoking-room I noticed three men already there engaged in discussing the many lovable and businesslike qualities of the gentleman whose funeral they had just attended. Thus I was able to identify them as a railway division superintendent, a coal mine superintendent, and a coal company manager. The first was a small, slender, sharp-featured old-young man of positive ideas and loud voice. The second was a tall, lank Scotchman with a delightful brogue, a scraggly gray mustache, weather-beaten skin, and great hard fists. The third was a thicknecked, red-skinned, thin, blue-eyed, and roughtongued Irish-American with a four-carat diamond on his finger and an eight-carat one in his shirt.

Soon after I entered their conversation turned to "booze," and it developed that their State was soon to vote on the question of "no license."

[ocr errors]

The mine superintendent said he was having a lot of trouble with his men after pay days, many of them failing to go to work for several days. He had a large number of transients, men without families, who worked a short time and then moved on. The railway man said that most of his men drank, indeed the best of them did, and they would all vote against the proposed law. He said he was going to vote against it also. The coal company manager said that the folly of one State going "no license" when surrounding States did not was twofold, for the booze was brought across the border and the men crossed the State line for it and came back drunk. He didn't think there was anything in" the law, and it wouldn't prevent drinking, it would only change the method of getting booze. The railway man then said that if all the States would prohibit the sale and use of alcoholic drinks he'd be "for such a law," for he was satisfied he would get better results from his men. With this the coal company manager heartily agreed, saying that if his State alone "went dry" all his men would leave the "dry" State for one which remained "wet," but if all were "dry" his men would stay, even many of the "transients," and they would be more industrious, more efficient, and easier to handle. They all agreed that a National law forbidding not only the sale but the manufacture of intoxicating drinks would be the proper solution of the problem; that they would be "for" such a law, and believed they would all live to see it enacted. FARLEY GANNETT.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

MOTORITE

In your issue of July 25 you make the following statement:

Motorite is the name of a yet undiscovered fuel for flying-machines. Hudson Maxim, says Flying," suggested the name several years ago as a suitable one for a compound that might be made from high explosives which would be lighter and give more energy than anything used at present. Inventors have not as yet succeeded in producing such a fuel, but the market for it would probably be enormous, and a fortune awaits the man who finds the lucky combination.

Please allow me to say that there is a little misunderstanding in regard to this matter.

I am the inventor of a material known as motorite, adapted to the use of self-propelled torpedoes. I spent over fifty thousand dollars in developing and perfecting the system, and demonstrated that by means of motorite a torpedo of the Whitehead type may be driven through the water at a much greater speed and range. More than four times the energy may be carried in the torpedo than is possible with compressed air. The expense of the torpedo would also be greatly reduced.

In generating the power for motorite, water would be taken in from the sea and forced into the combustion chamber, into which a steel

[graphic]

THE READER'S VIEW

cylinder, containing a bar of motorite seven inches in diameter and five feet long, is secured. The motorite is sealed into the tube and can burn only at the free end within the combustion chamber. The flame blast drives the water through a series of baffle-plates, thereby instantly evaporating it, and the steam and products of combustion combined are utilized to drive a turbine.

The cost of motorite is far too great for any commercial use. But it is cheap enough for use in torpedoes. It would cost not more than half as much for motorite to charge a torpedo as it would cost for smokeless powder to charge a twelve-inch gun.

In order to drive an engine with motorite, it would cost about two dollars per horse-power hour. Therefore it could not be practically used for flying-machines and automobiles.

Again, the quantity which could be carried by a flying-machine would be too small, as the oxygen is combined with the combustible in an explosive material instead of coming from the air, so that the flying-machine would have to carry both its oxygen and its fuel, and the most powerful aeroplane could not carry more than motorite enough to last it fifteen minutes. HUDSON MAXIM.

HOME RULE AND MR. GLADSTONE

Your editorial "King George and Home Rule" in The Outlook for August 1, 1914, has the following allusion to Mr. Gladstone: "The Liberal party has long been committed to Home Rule; and from Gladstone's day down to the present the political trend has been in that direction." Two letters that I received in 1893 present a picture of "Gladstone's day;" one written by Sir Maurice O'Connell, of Lakeview, County Kerry, Ireland, the son of the Liberator's youngest brother, Sir James O'Connell ; the other by Daniel O'Connell, of Derrynane Abbey, County Kerry, Ireland, the grandson of "the most remarkable Irishman of the nineteenth century." Said the latter: "Would the prosperity of Ireland be increased by Home Rule? In my opinion, it would not, but would be destroyed." The former described the situation in these words: "As a false impression has been created that the contest upon the Home Rule Bill is in reality only a contest between a Roman Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, we have thought it right, in order to make their position clear, that Irish Roman Catholic Unionists should have an opportunity of joining in a separate and distinct petition to Parliament against the bill. The petition was signed by a vast majority-well

229

over ninety per cent of the most highly educated and most influential Roman Catholics of Ireland-peers, country gentlemen, lawyers, merchants-whose interests are inseparable from the interests of Ireland, and who are unanimous in believing that the Home Rule Bill means ruin to this country, if not to the Empire. The entire Home Rule Bill of 1893, as Mr. Spurgeon said of its predecessor of 1886, bears ample evidence of having been hatched in the brain of a lunatic."

Sir Maurice O'Connell's reference to Mr. Spurgeon suggests the wisdom of giving the exact language of the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, who in his letter to Alderman Cory, of Cardiff, expressed himself thus concerning Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill: "I feel the wrong proposed to be done to our Ulster brethren. What have they done to be thus cast off? The whole scheme is as full of dangers and absurdities as if it came from a madman." Sheridan, Illinois.

JOHN LEE.

THE NAPLES ZOOLOGICAL STATION

In the August 1 number of The Outlook, under the caption "The Marine Biological Laboratory," you mention "the wonderful marine aquarium and laboratory at Naples" and mention further "the notable biological work done there under the auspices of the Italian people."

I visited the Naples aquarium in 1894, and was there informed that the Italian people unfortunately took but comparatively little interest in it. Baedeker's Guide-Book tells us that the Naples Zoological Station, of which the aquarium is a part, was founded in 1872 by the German naturalist Anton Dohry, mostly with his own means, to study the animal and plant life of the Mediterranean. The German Government contributed 100,000 marks towards the expense of the building and its equipment, and since 1880 has also made an annual contribution for maintenance. Several English naturalists gave the station £1,000.

Later the Italian Government contributed funds for an extension to the building. The scientific workers were mostly foreigners and the Director was a German.

RUDOLPH HERING, President American Public Health Association.

New York City.

[The founder was a German; the present Director is an Italian citizen, the son of an Italian mother and a German father, and a very delightful and able man he is.-THE EDITORS.]

"Supervisor McGinnies said that the superintendent of highways was the most important office in a town," writes a correspondent of "Good Roads" in reporting a meeting. "Almost any one," Mr. McGinnies went on, "knows enough to be supervisor. Why, I have been a supervisor for fifteen years. But it takes a man of tact, ability, and hard common sense to be a successful town superintendent. I want to see the time come when this office is out of politics." Sensible men, even if they are office-holders, are everywhere coming to share this opinion that town administration should be a matter of business, not of politics.

Among the humors of war this bit from the "Christian Register's " Mrs. Malaprop has its significance: "I understand,' said Mrs. Twickembury, 'that all the war news is to be censured.'

[ocr errors]

Peking, China, is to have a belt railway to connect its four railway terminals. Later it is to have a central station. Tunnels are to be bored through the ancient walls to facilitate the handling of traffic. Thus Peking will soon have "all the modern improvements."

Writing of the growing use of Roman letters in languages which have heretofore employed other characters, H. L. Bullen says in "The Graphic Arts" that "in the revolt of Albania which preceded and brought on the recent war in Turkey, the Albanians demanded the right to use the Roman geometric forms of letters instead of the Turkish cursive forms." He states also that in Japan the type foundries now make more of Roman types than of the Japanese characters formerly in universal use.

Shiraz, in farthest Persia, might be supposed to be exempt from Western influences; yet a writer in "Travel," in describing the bazaars of that fascinating Oriental city, says that while most of the industries use domestic products, the flourishing coppersmiths of the town, working out fine copper vessels of every description with primitive implements, get their copper in the form of sheets from London !

Who can tell by the sound of railway tracks just what point he is passing? An English commuter says that, closing his eyes, he can tell, by listening to the music of the rails, when his train is on an embankment, when it is in a cutting, when it runs past a station, when it passes through a tunnel or over a bridge, etc. suggestion has pleasant possibilities of amusement for a monotonous journey.

The

A new ferryboat designed to carry trains across the St. Lawrence River between Quebec and Levis, Canada, has a "tidal deck," which may be raised or lowered within a range of eighteen feet so as to take on trains at any stage of the tide. The boat is planned to ply at all

seasons of the year, having a third propeller in front to break the ice during the winter.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, has been disturbed by a salt famine, but it is gratifying to read that it has lately been relieved by the arrival of 4,000 tons of that indispensable article in the curing of fish and that "the war in Europe had nothing to do with the shortage." The principal cause was the immense catches of fresh fish during the summer.

Tom Barron, of England, according to an agricultural paper, is winning egg-laying contests in every part of the world. He has recently been telling the Connecticut Poultry Association about some of his methods. During the poultrymen's convention he sold sixty-two hens that he now has in competition in this country for $2,200. This successful poultry raiser began life as a shoemaker.

Gold, it is reported, has been discovered in Broad Pass on the Sustina River, in Alaska. A rush of prospectors has already started for the new fields. The discovery will probably give an impetus to the construction of the railways which the Government is building in Alaska.

Among the joys of middle-aged women, as enumerated by the "Progressive Farmer," are these: They can do the things they desire without criticism; can accept any position for which they are fitted; can travel anywhere; are comparatively free from fashion's dictates; can have men friends "without their vanity making them think we are coquetting;" and, lastly," we are worth talking to; we have humor, a fund of information, opinions on most subjects, and, what is more, freedom to discuss them."

A correspondent writes that the cold-storage eggs reported in our "War Notes" to have been shipped to Liverpool by the New York arrived there "in horrible condition, unsalable." As this description is sometimes supposed to apply to the cold-storage eggs which our own longsuffering people are compelled to buy and use, it looks as though our British cousins were not very far on the road to famine as a result of the The eggs shipped, our correspondent says, numbered 21,000 dozen, not 36,000,000 as the newspapers stated; the latter number would comprise 250 car-loads and cost $750,000!

war.

The railways centering in Chicago now employ fifty inspectors to keep locomotive smoke at a minimum. This season's returns, says the "Railway Age Gazette," show "the best record for summer reading since the department was established." Among thirty-one roads the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy occupies the place of honor as to the suppression of the smoke nui

sance.

Redondo Beach

[graphic]

The Outlooklic Library.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1914

HAMILTON W. MABIE, Associate Edito❤

R. D. TOWNSEND, Managing Editor

THE STORY OF THE WAR

BY ARTHUR BULLARD

THE OUTLOOK'S WAR CORRESPONDENT AT HOME

LL through the seventh week of the war-September 16 to 23-we have waited for decisive news from the Battle of the Aisne. We have heard that the marvelous old Cathedral of Rheims has been damaged by shell-fire, but very little

On the evening of the 21st the headlines announced that the Allies had in one place advanced seven miles. Such information is meaningless. As I said at the outset of the war, we must get into the habit of calling up to mind an entirely new "mental picture' for the word "battle." This change is well typified by the names which have been given to the great struggle now in progress and the earlier one along the banks of the Marne. Napoleon's battles were named after towns. In most cases a person in the steeple of the principal church could have seen all that happened. To-day we name battles after rivers. And an observer in an aeroplane a mile up can see only sections of them.

In this Battle of the Aisne the left wing of the Allies on the south of the river faces the right wing of the Germans on the north, looking out from almost equal heights across the broad, low valley. An advance of half a mile and a couple of hundred feet up hill might well be worth an advance of seven miles on the level. In some places the hills are close together, in others the valley widens out. Every height is a strategical position. An advance of ten miles by either side at Rheims would be decisive; it would mean that points of great importance had been captured and the opposing line broken near the center. But in other places along the far-flung battle front a dozen miles might not mean anything.

This "seven miles" of gain announced by

the French War Office may mean the beginning of a victory; it may mean nothing at all.

It is on a par with the announcement that a flag has been captured. When a war office which is directing an army of more than a million men finds time to announce that the flag of the One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment of the enemy's dragoons has been taken, we may be pretty sure that the army has taken little or nothing of real importance.

That the present German position is immensely strong is admitted by the Allies. General von Kluk's retreat has been as masterly as that of his chief opponent, Sir John French. The German staff officers, famed for their intimate knowledge of French geography, had picked out one of the strongest natural positions for defense in France. The moment the tide of battle turned against the Germans on the Marne their engineers began work strengthening the line, and when the retreating forces were shoved back to it the trenches and guns were ready to protect them.

It looks as if their line was impregnable from a frontal attack according to the accepted tactics of the Allies. A German general in Joffre's place would hurl men in close formation, a human battering-ram, at the enemy's trenches. It would be brutal, but it might succeed. There is very little chance that well-planned modern field fortifications, properly supported by artillery, can be taken by open order assault.

Hence it is extremely probable that the Allies are planning a movement to flank the German position. The worst possible weather is said to be seriously retarding any largescale movements. But, provided the Allies can hold their present line indefinitely and

« PredošláPokračovať »