Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

dustries is bound to successfully knock at the door of all public and non-public schools, including our rural schools and our city primary schools. Those boys and girls who are to be the practical workers and home-makers can afford to and will remain longer in the school if the schools give them more of technical preparation for the practical work they are to do for a living. The general public

has come to see that its money used in industrial studies in high schools will prepare many leaders in farm and city industries and in home-making, and, most important of all, that these high schools which emphasize agriculture, mechanic arts and home economics will prepare many who can successfully introduce industrial subjects in the primary rural and city schools.

THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION AND PEACE
CONGRESS IN NEW YORK.
BY W. T. STEAD.

THE National Arbitration and Peace Con- 15th of June the representatives of all the
gress, which met in New York early South and Central American republics will
in April, was in many respects the most assemble in the old Dutch capital. The con-
notable congress of its kind that has ever been ference, indeed, may be said to mark the dé-
held in the Old World or the new. The but of the South-American republics upon
exceptional importance of this gathering de- the stage of the great world's theater. Hith-
pends upon the circumstances of the time and erto, even the greatest of them have been re-
upon the personality of those who took part garded as geographical names for vast sec-
in it; and, like most peace conferences which tions of American wildernesses, inhabited
are summoned for the purpose of "blowing chiefly by half-breeds speaking Spanish or
off steam" and affording a more or less satis- Portuguese. The arrival of the learned, pol-
factory mode of using its surcharged senti- ished, and statesmanlike delegates whom the
ments of good folks scandalized, and rightly great South-American republics will send to
scandalized, by the wasteful preparations for the Hague Conference will be an "eye-
war and the horrors of actual combat, the opener to the rest of the world. If Japan
conference that met at Carnegie Hall under made her début at the conference of 1899, that
the presidency of Andrew Carnegie had a distinguished rôle is reserved for South Amer-
distinct political objective. It was the pio-
neer or John the Baptist of the second inter-
national conference which will meet at The
Hague on the 15th of June. It represented
the first rudimentary, crude, but nevertheless
definite, effort on the part of the New World
to impress its will on the Old World.

This task was undertaken in no spirit of arrogance. The right of America to leadership in this matter is nowhere more cordially recognized than in the nations of the Old World. This is due to several causes. In the first place, the initiative of calling the conference was taken by President Roosevelt at the suggestion of the Interparliamentary Union when it first met on American soil. This is the first conference in the world in which all the American states will be represented, with the solitary exception of the republic of Panama. At the Hague Conference of 1899 Mexico and the United States alone represented the New World. On the

[ocr errors]

ica next June. It is but natural that the people of the United States of America should regard such an event as the meeting of the Hague Conference under such auspices. and composed of such constituents with interest and enthusiasm. It was a happy idea to afford this interest and enthusiasm an opportunity of organized and articulate expression at the great series of meetings which were held in New York from April 14 to April 17.

[ocr errors][merged small]

it could be the strenuous and militant person- presence of distinguished guests whom Mr. ality who is so often caricatured as playing the part of Orlando Furioso in American politics. The Presidential message was earnest, lucid, and practical, but it erred, if at all, on the side of caution, and carefully abstained from revealing any of the characteristic fire-flashes which often illuminate the utterances of the American President. The event of the conference, however, regarded as a field for the serious discussion of international policy by international statesmen, was the address by Secretary Root upon the American sentiment of humanity.

Mr. Root was followed by Mr. Hughes, the Governor of New York State, who received as warm a welcome as any other person on the platform, Mr. Carnegie and Mr. Root not excepted. The opening meeting was closed by an address by Mr. Carnegie, who was the central and most picturesque figure of the conference. Mr. Carnegie arrived at New York fresh from his glorification or apotheosis at the dedication of the Carnegie Institute at Pittsburg, and he was received with the enthusiasm and respect properly due to one who has displayed so keen an interest in the promotion of international peace. Mr. Carnegie has a humorous gift of speech. His sympathetic spirit overflows with compassion for those martyred mortals who have been doomed by fate to own millions. This is no doubt a serious matter for him. As in the days of the ancient myth, when the vulture which fed upon the vitals of Prometheus found it impossible to consume the ever-renewed substance of the Titan's body, so Mr. Carnegie, after making the most desperate efforts to disembarrass himself of his millions, has only been able to succeed in distributing the interest upon his fortune. We are therefore periodically asked to pity the sorrows of a poor millionaire who has made the one failure of his life in his attempt to disembarrass himself of his millions, but who, with that solitary exception, is ever pleased with the world and all the things that are therein. The indomitable and insatiable activity of the boy born seventy years ago in Dunfermline cannot rest content with merely American financial strifes. Andrew, like Alexander, pines for fresh worlds to conquer, and he finds a wide and spacious field of battle lying before him in the campaign for international peace.

The conference was remarkable not only on account of the presence of delegates from all parts of the United States, but also for the

Carnegie had invited to attend the opening of the Carnegie Institute and who also were invited to the meeting of the peace conference. Baron d'Estournelles de Constant was the most conspicuous of the foreign guests. He co-operated loyally with Lord Pauncefote and Mr. Holls at the Hague Conference in 1899 in elaborating the high international court of arbitration. It was he who declared that it was the duty of mutual powers to use their best efforts to fight the outbreak of war, and it was he, more than any other man, with the doubtful exception of King Edward VII., who deserves the credit of having brought about the Anglo-French entente cordiale. He is a member of the Hague high court and one of the French delegates at the approaching Hague Conference. He was, therefore, obliged to speak with considerable reserve, but his geniality, his humor, and his mastery of the English language made him a very welcome speaker at all the meetings. Count Apponyi, of Hungary, was detained at Budapest by his ministerial duties. Otherwise Americans would have had an opportunity of hearing once more the most finished of European orators addressing them in their own tongue with an ease and mastery little short of marvelous. Of Mr. Carnegie's German guests, few put in appearance at the conference.

Of the other distinguished foreigners, Mr. Maarten Maartens, the well-known Dutch novelist, astonished every one, himself most of all, by the fluency and force with which he spoke in public. Sir Robert Cranston, ex-Provost of Edinburgh, a bellicose Scot, whose breast was starred with many medals won in African wars, was a picturesque addition to the group of peace men and a reminder, when one was needed, that the conference was by no means composed of old pacifists who are out of touch with the patriotic sympathies and sentiments of the majority of the population. Sir Robert Ball, the astronomer, always a welcome speaker, based his advocacy of peace upon the scientific doctrine of evolution. Mr. W. J. Bryan made the witty retort that he had always believed that peace rested upon the principle that all men were made in the image of God and that he was glad to know that it was equally soundly based upon the doctrine that war had originally descended from the ape.

The proceedings of the conference were brought to a close by the adoption of a series of resolutions which Mr. Carnegie was asked

to present in person to the President of the the omission of the word "all" before interUnited States and Secretary Root. The fact national differences. that a peace conference of the United States The conference recommended that the could exercise any influence upon the peace- Hague Tribunal should be converted into a loving citizens of other countries was ig- permanent court, always in session, whether nored. Yet so tremblingly responsive are or not there is anything for it to do. It recthe nations to each other, it might have oc- ommended the periodical assembling of the curred to some of those who drafted the reso- Hague Conference, and condemned the right lutions that they would miss a great oppor- of the capture of private property at sea. It tunity and ignore a great responsibility if shrank from urging that Mr. Holls' clause on they did not endeavor to make the influence special mediation should be made obligatory of the American people felt throughout the by refusing war loans to nations that drew Old World in support of the initiative of the the sword without first appealing to special American President. That they did nothing mediation. The resolutions as a whole were whatever to rally international support for hardly worthy of the importance of the ocproposals which can only be carried out by casion or the representative character of the international co-operation was only one conference. Possibly it was from a consciousamong many illustrations of the distinctively ness that they had added nothing to the national, not to say provincial or parochial, weight or the value of the recommendations. attitude which characterized the proceedings of the Interparliamentary Union that the of the conference. There was no desire to committee took no steps for pressing their hear reports as to the state of opinion in other adoption upon other governments than their countries, and when one speaker voiced with own. perfect accuracy the prevailing opinion of None of the many meetings held during the German official classes he was promptly the conference was more interesting and posjumped upon as if he were a public malefactor. Nevertheless, the conference was an immense improvement upon all previous conferences of the kind. Its meetings were crowded. Even the professional pacifist was placed under severe restraint, and we heard little or nothing of the impracticable theories of the heroic non-resisters.

sibly more pregnant with future usefulness than the great gathering of school children which assembled in Carnegie Hall under the presidency of Superintendent Maxwell, of New York. It is to the youth of America, rather than to the old and middle-aged men who dominated this conference that we must look for any generous or original initiative The resolutions drawn up by the confer- in the task of bringing the more advanced ence committee differed from those of the ideas of practical progress toward internaInterparliamentary Union in two important tional brotherhood before the attention of the particulars: The first was the deliberate other nations of the world. The youth omission, apparently out of pure parochial of the universities of the world form a conignorance, of the recommendation that the Hague Conference should request all governments to undertake active work for the propaganda of peace and the promotion of international brotherhood and provide for this purpose a regular appropriation as for any other department of state. The second was the extraordinary and reckless extension of the demand for universal arbitration for all questions not involving national honor or vital national interests into a demand for the arbitration of all questions, no matter how vital they might be to the very existence of the nation. Fortunately, the mistake was discovered and rectified at the last moment by hands.

stituency which has not yet been internationalized. No field offers a more promising harvest. Peace has hitherto been regarded as little more than the mere regulation of war. Negatives are never popular, especially with youth. When peace is prosecuted with the skill of a campaign and the enthusiasm of a crusade, the young men and women of the world will throw themselves into the movement with the energy and the élan of youth. There is much to be done in this direction, and the task from which this peace conference has shrunk may yet be carried to victory by younger and more vigorous

FURTHER DISCUSSION OF RAILROAD ACCIDENTS.

IN the April issue of the REVIEW OF RE- ing trains; use of the railway as a highway by VIEWS, under the caption, "Protection of pedestrians; grade-crossings; low standards Human Life on American Railroads," we of efficiency for employees; overwork, and devoted much space to the frightful in- employing men physically unfit had much to crease in the number of railroad accidents in do with railroad casualties. He favored this country, and to a discussion of a means block signals, and scored the railroads for to check their further spread. Three dis- the general lack of discipline among their emtinct presentations were given: "Can the ployees. Railroad Death-Rate Be Reduced?" by "Arthur M'Tavish "; " Railway Accidents and Railway Personnel," by Wyatt W. Randall; and "Psychology of the Railroad Accident," by Charles R. Keyes.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Mr. M'Tavish" contended that the needed remedy is the enforcement of block signaling on all our railroads and the interlocking of all main-track switches under the control of one man, so as to centralize the responsibility for their proper manipulation." The expense would not be prohibitive, probably, "about eight-tenths of 1 per cent. of the gross earnings of all railroads."

Mr. Randall believed that lack of safety appliances for signaling, switching, and halt

LET THERE BE LIGHT ON THESE DISASTERS.
From the Spokesman-Review (Spokane).

Mr. Keyes placed the responsibility primarily on the higher officials and favored criminal prosecution. The fallible human element among subordinates should receive more attention. One man's obliviousness, said he, should be made an impossibility to occasion disaster, and operative methods that are now antiquated should be abandoned for a logical and adequate system.

Discussed from separate viewpoints, there was, nevertheless, a consensus on three vital points: Necessity for block signals, better discipline, and a belief that economy in time and money would follow the institution of these reforms. Two exhaustive discussions of this subject: "The Growing Railway Death-Roll: Who Is Responsible?" by Mr. Carl Snyder, in Everybody's for April, and "Railroad Accidents," by Mr. Frank Haigh Dixon, in the current Atlantic Monthly, are valuable contributions to a subject that has aroused the public to a spirited inquiry into the causes of modern railroad perils,-to determine if the same are inevitable, or avoidable. A more thoughtful, impartial, and helpful symposium on this issue than that embodied in the five articles mentioned the reader cannot readily procure.

AMERICA'S BAD SHOWING.

After a diligent and searching investigation, Mr. Snyder declares, in respect to safety for passengers, that American railroads are twenty years behind England, France, Germany, and other civilized countries, and the risk to life and limb is ten times greater in an American than in an English train. In nineteen years 154,000 persons have been killed and nearly 1,000,000 injured in all kinds of railroad accidents in America. "In 1905 it was twice as dangerous to travel on a railway train or to work for a railway company in the United States," says he, "as it was in 1895." In 1907, this is still worse.

[graphic]

The number of English railway employees killed in train accidents in the last five years, according to this writer, was seven; in this country between seven and eight hundred.

From 1895 to 1905 the increase in the number. of passengers killed on American railroads was 216 per cent., the figures being: 170 in 1895, and 537 in 1905. Among employees the killed and injured rose from 27,507 to 70,194 in same period, an increase of 15 per 1,000 in ten years! And all this time dividends have been climbing at a much higher rate. Some roads have earned 15 per cent., others 25, and a few between 30 and 40 per cent., which, the writer points out, should enable them to introduce safety appliances.

THE BLOCK SYSTEM.

Notwithstanding this, not one-quarter of our total mileage is covered by any block signal system at all. We have only 53,000 miles so protected out of 220,000, and 41,227 miles of this is only primitive manual telegraphblock, extending from one station to another, in which one operator has no mechanical control over another, and is used in great part only in daytime. Our system is mainly the antiquated telegraph train-order system in vogue since 1845. One-tenth of the net earnings of all our railroads last year would equip our entire system with block signals, and it would be a five-years' undertaking, because the apparatus could not be installed earlier.

That this would pay the railroads and increase the capacity of our systems he emphasizes, and quotes eminent railroad men in his support. While doubts have been entertained as to the availability of the block signal as a preventive against accident, his summary is: Probably it would be no overstatement to say that complete block signaling, such as obtains in England, would wipe out at least three-quarters of all collisions and fatalities resulting therefrom."

[ocr errors]

creased money they remain on duty twentyfour hours at a time.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Again, mechanical matters are slighted in the rush," and necessary repairs are negligently made, leading to delay and accident. Block systems are not operated with efficiency, and this is another source of disaster. Labor unions likewise. When an engineer or flagman is "disciplined," his reinstatement is demanded at risk of a 'strike" in the event of a refusal. Discipline is therefore impossible. To secure effective operation“ military discipline" is necessary. The automatic stop, in use on the New York subway and on the Boston Elevated, Mr. Snyder believes, should be given a trial, and, also, the English audible-cab system, which blows the engineer's whistle violently if he runs past a signal. Referring to the necessity for improvement and the difficulty in bringing it about, he concludes:

66

[ocr errors]

The work is not easy. But this is clear: The American train-order system is a failure. It is clumsy, costly, out of date. It is damned and doomed. Change will not bankrupt our able them to move considerably greater traffic railroads; it will not cripple them. It will enover a given length of road. They will operate more cheaply; they will not be killing 500 passengers and 4000 employees a year, nor injuring 60,000 or 70,000 more. And their dividends will be higher, rather than lower.

The Value of Safety Appliances.

Mr. Dixon reaches similar conclusions in his paper, and sheds much historical light on this question. He outlines the inception of the movement for safety appliances on railroads in the States and by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and follows it through all its gradations to the present time. The part played by the American Railway Association, the Master Car Builders' Association, and others is interestingly shown. The first national safety-appliance act was passed on March 2, 1893, and dealt with train equipment. Today 75 per cent. of all freight cars have been brought under its provisions as amended from time to time. The neglect to keep in repair the appliances demanded thereunder Discipline of the employees is a factor for has been a fruitful source of accident, but, consideration side by side with the block-sig- nevertheless, the results have been beneficial. nal question. The enormous amount of traf- In 1893, in coupling accidents, 50 were fic has bred a demoralization in discipline killed and 1296 were injured; in 1906, among railroad employees that is probably 17 were killed and 257 injured. This is responsible, in large part, for the increase in all the more remarkable when allowance is accidents in the last year or two. Overwork made for the wonderful growth and expanand excessive strain through long hours lead sion in railroad traffic in the interim. to a failure to observe signals. The men themselves are partly to blame. For the in

THE QUESTION OF DISCIPLINE.

Time is saved in making up trains by means of these devices; damage claims have

« AnteriorContinuar »