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THE OUTLOOK IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY THE OUTLOOK COMPANY,
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The Next Liberty Bond Issue....
A Trade Boycott of Germany ?. The "General Eye".
Next Year's Coal......
Women Successful as Voters...
The Wisconsin Situation..
Battle-ships Are Cheaper than Battles" 438 Music for Children.....
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A PROFITABLE SIDE-LINE OCCUPATION Tells how to provide for the shortage in meat. Our book: The Rabbit; How to Select Breed and Manage the Rabbit and Belgian Hare for Pleasure or Profit," by breeders of long experience with rabbits. Eighth edition, nicely illustrated, enlarged and much inproved. Price 25 cents with sample copy of the AMERICAN POULTRY ADVOCATE containing Rabbit and Pet Stock Department POULTRY ADVOCATE, Dept. 314, Syracuse, N.Y.
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MARCH 20, 1918
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On account of the war and the consequent delays in the mails, both in New York City and on the railways, this copy of The Outlook may reach the subscriber late. The publishers are doing everything in their power to facilitate deliveries
THE NEXT LIBERTY BOND ISSUE
It is very important, both for patriotic and for material reasons, that the next Liberty Bond sale, which will begin some time next month, shall be a complete success. Its oversubscription will be a guarantee that the country has the kind of determination to win the war which General Grant so well expressed in his famous despatch, "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer. Preparations are being made for a country-wide campaign, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, which shall surpass in its enthusiasm and efficiency the work of the two previous loans.
Volunteer committees are being formed and private citizens are preparing in their localities, but it must be frankly recog nized that there are certain difficulties in the way of the new loan which did not present themselves in the two previous Liberty Bond campaigns. Heavy income tax payments are due this summer from the people who so enthusiastically subscribed for the previous issues, and those issues have in many instances depleted the ready cash of buyers. Therefore special inducements are likely to be necessary to persuade subscribers in many instances to make a supreme effort.
Two practical suggestions for making the coming loan especially attractive have come to our attention that appear worthy of favorable consideration. The first is made by Mr. Frank Seaman, which appears in an article on page 457 in this issue. Mr. Seaman is a well-known New York business man of large interests in merchandising and industry. His proposal is to make the new bonds of more than ordinary value to the merchant and business man by exempting them from liens or attachments in bankruptcy proceedings, provided that when they are bought the buyer is solvent. This would make these bonds a kind of insurance for the families of merchants against the inevitable risks of commercial business. We commend a careful reading of his article.
The second suggestion also comes from a New York business man, Mr. N. T. Pulsifer, the head of an important and well-known manufacturing concern. He makes it in a letter to a prominent investment banker of this city, from which we are permitted to quote :
I have read with interest your pamphlet on How to Raise Money for a Third Liberty Bond."
I quite agree with you that the "Baby Bond" [that is to say, the fifty-dollar bond] appeals to a large number of small investors who would not be interested in the War Savings Stamps.
The chief objection I have heard to the " Baby Bonds" is that the people who buy them have no place to keep them.
It has occurred to me, and doubtless it has to others, that if the savings banks could be enlisted to become the custodians of the Liberty Bonds so purchased, so that they would keep them for their depositors, and cut off the coupons when due, and cash them, and carry the proceeds to the savings accounts of their depositors, two things would be accomplished: first, the safe keeping of the bonds themselves, and, second, the saving of the interest paid on the coupons.
If the savings banks and other banks with savings depart ments all over the country would unite on this plan, it would not only be a patriotic aid in the stimulation of Liberty Bond purchasers, but it would without doubt be of great benefit to the savings banks themselves. Small bondholders having savings bank accounts would augment those accounts, and bondholders not having savings bank accounts would be induced to open such accounts. The machinery would be simple.
Let us suppose that John Sraith, of Cornwall, New York, has
three one-hundred-dollar bonds which he has bought in the three campaigns. He takes them to the savings bank, gets a receipt for them, and can get them back at any time on presentation of his receipt. The proceeds of the coupons clipped and cashed by the savings bank will be shown on his pass-book. The increase of deposits would doubtless pay the savings banks for any expense they are put to in taking care of the bonds and coupons. We do not see that there is any way in which the Government can act in this matter, but the Savings Bank Associations in the various States or the American Bankers Association for the United States might well take the matter and up see if it cannot be universally adopted throughout the country.
A TRADE BOYCOTT OF GERMANY?
The worst that can happen to the detriment of the German people is this-that if they should still, after the war is over, continue to be obliged to live under ambitious and intriguing masters interested to disturb the peace of the world, men or classes of men whom the other peoples of the world could not trust, it might be impossible to admit them to the partnership of nations which must henceforth guarantee the world's peace. It might be impossible, also, in such untoward circumstances, to admit Germany to the free economic intercourse which must inevitably spring out of the other partnerships of a real peace.
This defines the unvindictive spirit with which all men of good will regard this economic question. It defines in especial the spirit which animated the United States Chamber of Commerce, which has now passed, by a vote of 1,204 to 154, a resolution warning Germany that unless she abandons her militaristic policy an economic combination may be formed against her. The Chamber has wisely resolved to bring this to "the attention of the business men of Germany," so that they may take steps to prevent a "disastrous economic war," the kind of war which the overwhelming sentiment among a thousand of our local commercial organizations would visit upon Germany. Why should we aid economically in rebuilding a militaristic Germany?
THE "GENERAL EYE”
President Wilson has appointed Mr. Bernard M. Baruch Chairman of the War Industries Board.
This Board is an outgrowth of the Council of National Defense, and that Council is an outgrowth-though incompleteof the popular demand for a body representing the best brains of industry, of the Army and Navy, of Congress and of the Federal Executive, to co-ordinate our industrial, military, and National resources and policies.
The functions of the War Industries Board are the seeking for additional sources of war supplies, the conversion of existing facilities to new uses, the conservation of resources, the giving of advice regarding prices, the determination of priorities of delivery, and now the supervision of purchases for the Allies.
The War Industries Board has developed especially along the lines of prices and priorities. This development the President further emphasizes in his letter to Mr. Baruch asking whether he would accept appointment. The new Chairman is to be at least a general surveyor if not a final arbiter, for, in fact, as the President says, "he should act as the general eye in all supply departments in the field of industry."
In the determination of prices, however, from the terms of
the President's letter, we assume that Mr. Baruch must be erned by the advice of the members of the Materials Board of the Council of National Defense, the Labor member of the Council, the Chairmen of the Trade and Tariff Commissions, and the Fuel Administrator.
In the determination of priorities Mr. Baruch will be assisted, we assume from the President's letter, in addition to the present priorities organization, by representatives of the Food, Fuel, and Railway Administrations and of the Shipping and War Trade Boards.
If competition for supplies among the Government departments and among the Allies is thus eliminated, the new order of things may materially contribute toward satisfying the demand for centralization of Governmental powers.
NEXT YEAR'S COAL
The regulations recently issued by the Fuel Administration at Washington are interesting in themselves and welcome because they show that a definite plan is already under way for handling next year's coal problem. It is none too soon to provide for this, even though this year's coal problem is not yet out of the way.
The average citizen is most immediately interested in the question as to how he may and can get coal into his cellar for domestic use. He will find that after April 1, when he files his coal order, he must file with it a certified statement. In it he must tell how much coal he wants for the coming year, how much he used in the past year, how much he has on hand, what kind of heating plant he uses, what sort of house he has and how many rooms, what dealer he has bought from, and what he has paid. In the smaller places coal cards may be used instead of certifi
The Fuel Administration urges consumers to put in their orders early, and suggests that April is none too early. Whether the consumer will find coal ready for delivery in April in quantity is another question. The plan is that the consumer shall receive only two-thirds of what seems to be a fair year's supply for him, and that after all the orders have been filled to the extent of two-thirds, then a second round, so to speak, shall supply the remaining third to each. In this way it is thought that a more equitable division of the coal will be made and that no shortage will occur.
The regulations provide that an average reduction of thirty cents a ton is to be made by all retailers on coal sold between April 1 and September 1. Penalties are to be inflicted upon the consumer who signs a false certificate and on the retailer who violates the law.
WANTED A BUDGET
The Outlook has long favored a budget system for America similar to that used by England.
At present all our Governmental estimates are made by the heads of the executive departments and go to the Secretary of the Treasury, who transmits them to Congress. He has no power to change them, or even to review them.
What we need is, first, that these estimates should be reviewed at a Cabinet council in their relationship to each other and co-ordinated so as to save duplication and extravagance; and, second, that the Secretary of the Treasury should be empowered to act as a true financial head, supervising all estimates.
These reforms should have long since been undertaken by the Executive. Until they are, any reform undertaken by Congress in its treatment of the estimates is only one step in advance, although a desirable step.
In the Billion Dollar Urgent Deficiency Bill, now being debated by the House, Representative Sherley, of Kentucky, said that there was nothing really required except such executive action. In his Message last December President Wilson, ignoring the more elemental reform, recommended to Congress that all its committees now handling appropriations be merged into one. A joint committee of the two houses should be appointed, we think, so as to prevent unconsidered items being attached to appropriation bills in the Senate. If this cannot be done,
however, then we favor one such committee for the House itself.
Mr. Sherley added:
We have always been more or less under the tyranny of phrases. Many people speak about a budget without any contemplation of what is involved. . . . I have always favored a concentration of appropriating power.... I have not sought to press it at this time because of the tremendous tasks that are placed upon Congress in connection with the war. To undertake reform of that magnitude, and reform that did not meet with universal acquiescence of the House, would be simply to cripple and not to help in the presentation of great financial bills. . . . The true duty of the budget is to consider expenditures in relationship not simply to the needs or desires of the Government, but to the ability of the country properly to stand the taxation necessary to pay for the expenditures. But you make appropriations at this time, during a war, not with regard to the burden that it will place upon the people of America; you make it with regard to the sole requirements of prosecuting and winning the war... The need for a budget in a peace-time sense does not exist in war time:
We differ from Mr. Sherley. Doubtless there is a difference between peace time and war time. But we feel that the present war time is precisely the time when a budget is most needed. The urgent necessities of the war, the enormous growth of the National expenditure under present conditions, and the reduction of the Nation's power occasioned extravagance and waste, give the matter an importance far greater than it ever had before.
We are also sure that there is something quired besides executive action. Congress could, by a just rules President Butler of Columbia University recently pointed out, hold in abeyance its Constitutional power to increase or add to the items of the estimates for expenditures, leaving only the power to reduce or strike out-the plan followed in Great Britain.
Nor is this all. In order to enjoy the benefits of the British system Congress should also enjoy the advantages of the British Parliament. In the House of Commons Cabinet members sit and answer questions concerning the estimates they have re ommended. In this country, not only Cabinet members, but also such officials as the Governor of the Federal Reserve Board,
the Chairmen of the Tariff and Trade Commissions, of the Shipping Board, and of the Civil Service Commission, together with the Food and Fuel Administrators, might well occupy seats in the Senate and House of Representatives, with the right to participate in debate on matters relating to the business of their respective departments.
By the daily reports in the papers of such discussions the man in the street might at last understand just how the growth in our expenditures has come about.
The March number of the "Metropolitan Magazine. with which Theodore Roosevelt is editorially affiliated, has been barred from the mails by the Postmaster of the City of New York. This issue of the "Metropolitan" contains two articles either or both of which may have led to its exclusion from the mails.
The first is an article by William Hard entitled " Is America Honest?" It reports an imaginary conversation between the Kaiser; President Wilson; Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece; and Evangelista, a bandit of Santo Domingo. In this article the Kaiser, the Greek Minister, and the Dominican revolutionary quote verbatim from the President's various addresses and messages during the last three years and attempt to show their inconsistency. The President, on his part, endeavors to interpret and reconcile his utterances. The article is a brilliant and often amusing one, and it must be said that the President is made to hold his own very well in the face of what are apparently some knock-down blows. But of course its manifest purpose is to satirize the variability and uncertainty of the President's war policy.
The other article is an editorial by Mr. Whigham, the editor-in-chief of the "Metropolitan." It is an attempt to "Put the Blame Where It Belongs" for our War Department and administrative blunders during the past winter-namely