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"In the enactment of a measure benefit in this from the general public point of ing himself, every man of honor in Con- view. Those Congressmen who do little gress should insist that the record contain but soliciting for their districts are of a full statement of the reasons for such an less value than detriment to the general act and the vote of each member, in order public. that responsibility may be fixed."
The work of Congress is done by But, regardless of the method of passing committees. Every member of Congress the measure, the measure itself is un is on several committees. He should questionably wise.
do his best to be an authority on the A Representative should have a place subject considered by at least one of his for himself and his family to live in Wash- committees. Under this committee sysington with the facilities for work and tem, in theory Congress should be an recreation which men in important posi- organization of experts. In practice, tions have elsewhere. He must, in most those who have not the capacity for sober cases, maintain another home in his dis- study and those whose soliciting prevents trict, for part of the time he must be study form so large a percentage of Conthere, and in any case the tenure of office gress that the real workers are in the in Congress is uncertain.
minority. Yet they do exist and the Moreover, a Member of Congress is ex- public owes them much. For example, pected to do two men's jobs. In the first Representative John Rogers spent years place, he is expected to be a solicitor working on the bill for the reorganization for his district and get jobs, appropria- of the State Department and accomtions, and favors from the Government plished an important constructive piece for his constituents. The constituents of work. Representative Albert Johnson demand it. That is primarily what they is a painstaking student of immigration, elect him for. Therefore in many cases and the bill he created is one of the this is the Congressman's primary concern. outstanding pieces of legislation of this Yet the membership of Congress has a generation. Senator Carter Glass is unhigher picture of its duty than its con questionably an authority on the Governstituents have. A great many Senators ment's relations to currency and banking. and Representatives, who can afford it, On the other hand, the aviation comturn over this soliciting work to paid mittee of the House shows signs of acsecretaries and devote their time to the quiring much of the education it should study of national questions. The Gov- have acquired individually and privately, ernment allows them four thousand in public and at great expense. There dollars for clerk hire, but if they have a are of course many truths in the vast secretary for their national work and a mass of testimony for which they have soliciting secretary and stenographers like- acted as a sounding board. But it is an wise, the salary of one of these secretaries ill-balanced, disproportioned picture of must come out of their own pocket. Con- conditions which they have been the sidering the office force they need for effec means of spreading over the country. tive service, the two homes they must For example, great stress was laid upon keep up, and the insecurity of their office, the fact that we did not have airplanes there is no question that members of the to defend the Philippines from an attack House need salaries of $10,000 apiece. by Japan. That is unquestionably true. .
Neither have we military or naval prepEducating Congressional Committees arations for that purpose. One of the
underlying ideas in the Washington ONGRESS being low in the esti- Conference was that we should not or
mation of the public at present, ganize a naval base for the protection of
there was some doubt as to the Philippines because any base suitable whether representatives
for that purpose would likewise be a $10,000 a year or not. There is truth suitable base for offensive operations
flurry about the low moral tone 584
Censorship by a Jury against Japan. This being so, the discus- shocking they were. Her remarks were sion about the Philippines was irrelevant reported at length in the newspapers, but
Much more of the testimony was of a she did not leave the cast, and the New similiar nature. The committee did not York Times reported somewhat cynically show a fundamental grasp of its problem, that those who knew the theater were but seemed eager to have any one and predicting that the play would run on as every one come and talk, without direc- long as the press continued its attentions. tion or control. The committee seemed The figures that were made public disnot to know what it was trying to find out, closed that the campaign against the bad but to be willing to listen in the hope plays increased the patronage of the box that something would turn up. It seemed office. as if the committee might profitably have The effects of the production of plays done more work in private.
presenting morbid and disgusting situMost other national legislatures have ations and characters doubtless are overfound methods to relieve themselves in estimated. Few have a run of longer greater degree from the soliciting business than a few weeks in New York City. than has our Congress. Until Congress Though they do probably attract a few does this a large part of its membership minors whose morals might be impaired, will never have the required time to learn the larger part of the audiences are men enough about their business greatly to and women whose morals have long since impress the public.
passed the stage of either impairment or
repair, and who will have their fling at Indecent Plays
smut, whether they view or hear it in the
theater or in some other place less open O THEATRICAL season in New to the public view. York City is complete without a The bad influence fortunately is
limited in other ways. Few are able to of some of the plays being presented pay the expenses of a tour outside New there, and the only amusing point in this York City, and not many of them reach annual spectacle is that the spasm of the screen because their effects depend reform usually supplies enough publicity upon foul language and stage business and free advertising to enable a few of the that cannot be reproduced in the films worst plays to fill their theaters for a few because the action is not sufficiently vivid. weeks beyond their normal time of de- The play“Spring Cleaning," for instance, mise. It is an assumption not altogether which had a fair run in New York supported by the facts that the theatrical City, was not nearly so objectionable in producers—who are not all Jewish, by the moving pictures as it was upon the any means-frequently invite these at- legitimate stage. tacks so that the press will mention the It is regrettable that some of these names of the clean plays as well as of those plays are attended by young persons who not so clean.
are deluded with the idea that they are A peculiar anomaly was disclosed in the “seeing life” when they view plays that last bad-play publicity campaign. One are only morbid and unclean. But the of the leading actresses in a play under audiences that viewed the obscene shows criticism said that she would not have on the old Bowery in New York City also undertaken the part if she had known had their admixture of young persons the real meaning and effect of the lines intent upon "seeing life.” Some of these and words in her part. She explained at young persons can no more be prevented length that, realizing at last the real from hunting scenes of that character import of her lines, she could not break than producers can be prevented from her contract, and that she was forced to showing them. It may be possible to stay and speak lines which became reform the producer, but is it possible to abhorrent to her after she realized how reform the audience?
The play jury system is a form of say that this increase in the popularity censorship that may go too far in taking of the multiple dwelling is the doom plays off the stage. It may ban many of something fine in American life. That worthy plays, along with the unworthy. may be true; it is futile to argue about If it really stops all the bad plays the loss that, because economic facts made the of a few worthy productions might be change imperative and our civilization overlooked, but when trained critics vary must face the change. widely in their opinions of plays how may But it may be pointed out also that the infallible judgment be expected of a jury? two-family house marks a new developOne sure way of limiting the patronage of ment in thrift in American life, and a unworthy plays is for critics to declare change toward the home ideals so admired them stupid and untrue to life, as most by those who laud the old-style home. of them are, and then to refuse to be One man in the two-family house is the gullible when the publicity campaigns landlord, the other is the tenant. The start.
tenant with his rent pays the rent and
carrying charges for his landlord, and The New American Home when he realizes that he is paying for the
house and its upkeep, though not acquirHAT is happening to the ing title for himself, he is moved to buy or American home has been the build his own house and become his own
topic for writers and lecturers landlord and the landlord for the tenant since the beginning of that recent epoch on the less desirable floor. which most of them term “the age of In sixty-eight cities of more than jazz.” They have told us that with 100,000 population, the proportion of radio and prohibition and various other two-family house construction rose from innovations in American life the old 18.5 per cent. of the total in 1923 to 23.4 fashioned home-whatever they may in 1924. Though figures for direct commean by that term—has passed away and parison are not available that is about that its place has been taken by a noisier half of the multiple-family construction. and less decorous place of abode. Their This shows that the average American observations have been interesting, but citizen still has his mind intent on having not particularly explicit or helpful; in a home of his own. In many cases he stead of describing changes in the home cannot afford to build a single-family they have merely told what was new in house on his small plot; he must accomthe physical appearance of the home. modate another family to pay his overThey have forgotten that the term head expenses. But the salient and "home" includes as much the spirit and outstanding fact is that the average atmosphere of the family as the mere citizen still wants to own his home-a physical characteristics of a house or significant fact for those who prate of the place of abode.
decay of American family life. But the National Association of Real Estate Boards tells us that the American The Post Office and Magazine Postage home, considered alone as a house or place of abode, really has changed, and HE President in his efforts for is changing all the time, and not neces
economy objected to the bill to sarily becoming worse. The American increase the pay of the post office home is becoming more and more a employees. He wished to raise the pay multiple dwelling, as everyone knows, in the big cities, where living costs were but it is a fact hitherto overlooked that high, but not elsewhere. In this he was the two-family house is becoming one of right but unsuccessful. But if the cost the most popular types of building. of the post office had to be increased he
Those who lament the passing of what asked Congress to find the money to pay was termed the old-fashioned home might the increase. It is a sound theory to
Imposing a Check on National Circulation
make Congress assume the responsibility zone system from the national point of for raising the money it wishes to spend. view. And in this he was successful.
The plan for raising the money was Railroads From the Investor's partly to increase the postage on the ad
Standpoint vertising carried in second class mail matter--newspapers and magazines. The AST November, by their votes, five increases were not made upon the zones million people seemed to favor govnearest the publication, so that the news- ernment ownership and operation of papers which usually circulate within one the railroads, while there were twenty milzone are little affected. Magazines of lion votes that could be interpreted as opnational circulation are chiefly hit. posed to such a venture. That vote has
The theory on which the bill is framed given new courage to railroad operators. is that a tax on advertising is a tax on An even more practical vote of confidence profits. That is in some measure true, has been a wider public demand for railbut it is also true that hardly any maga- road securities than we have seen for zines get from their subscribers the cost many years in this country. of their reading matter. Practically all Freight traffic in the United States has of them use a large part of their advertis- grown more than 800 per cent. in the last ing profits to make up the losses incurred forty years, has more than doubled in the on their reading matter. The advertiser last twenty, and grew 38 per cent. in the pays and the reader saves.
ten years from 1913 to 1923. The outNow the theory on which a two cent look is for a continued increase as the stamp will carry a letter from Portland, general business of the country grows. Oregon, to Portland, Maine, just as well The more adequate expenditures which as from Portland, Oregon, to Salem, the railroads have made in the last two Oregon, is that this universal postal rate years to improve their properties and add helps to bind the country together. The to their equipment and the coöperation same reasoning applied to the magazines which has been established with shippers, of national circulation would suggest a flat the importance of which is pointed out in rate for them also. Their chief usefulness a special article in this number of the is that they tend to spread a common World's Work, places the railroads in knowledge, that they tend to give the excellent condition to handle this larger whole country a homogeneous point of business. And the prospects are that view, that they are national and not local. they will be allowed to make a better When it costs the publisher of such a profit out of it. magazine from fifty to sixty cents a year The present situation is probably most more (out of a four dollar subscription) comparable to that which followed the to send a magazine to Los Angeles, defeat of Bryan in 1896, when several California, than to send it to Albany, New leading railroads had recently been reYork, the inference is that Congress organized and their financial structures wishes him to expend his energies in strengthened. Railroad stocks moved up getting subscribers in his immediate in market price for six years following locality.
Bryan's defeat, with some little reaction This kind of analysis of the situation is in 1899 and 1900, even though industrial not in the least a plea for the post office stocks did not advance with them in the to carry magazines at less than cost. The last two years of that period. At the end World's Work does not desire any gov- of that advance the average price of ernment subsidy. It wishes to pay the twenty railroad stocks was around 130, full cost of the service rendered it. It while at the same time twelve industrial sometimes questions whether the Post issues were selling at 68. Early in March Office knows what that cost is and it this year, the average of the railroad particularly questions the wisdom of the stocks was 100 and of the industrials 122,
To improve further the condition of tion of fraud cases. The successful prosethe railroads, the Government insists that cution of the Texas oil fraud cases, which the roads be consolidated into a limited resulted in the conviction of Dr. Cook number of systems. The public's opinion and others, must have shown the Departof consolidations is best seen by the rise ment of Justice the value of adopting in the price of the stocks affected in the some such plan, even temporarily, and case of the Nickel Plate merger of the it is to be hoped that it will be made Van Sweringens. With the shadow of permanent. The creation of an effective government ownership removed from the national agency to assist the able but railroads, with their operating problems overworked Post Office inspectors in well in hand, and with prospects for better gathering information and the appointearnings, their ownership becomes again ment of an able corps of prosecuting more attractive to the public.
attorneys to specialize in fraud cases
would be the hardest blow the crooked A Unified Front in the Fraud Fight promoters have yet received.
T PRESENT in this country there Dr. Eliot on the Irish and the Jews are several organizations, as well
as many state and Federal officials, 'S IT desirable that the American fighting fraudulent promoters. Yet that nation should be comprised of a low type of individual, who lives on the homogeneous population, speaking the savings of those "whose only fault is same language, practising the same over-trustfulness in their fellowman."
religion, representing the same social continues to prosper and go free. It has ideals and the same attitude toward life become evident, as it did in France, that and its problems? Dr. Charles William a more effective campaign can be waged Eliot, ex-President of Harvard, thinks if these separate operations are brought not. He believes that there are certain together under one control.
races in the United States which are not In Chicago, in February, a meeting was assimilated and which it will be practiheld to discuss the creation of a national cally impossible to assimilate. These fraud-fighting organization, and a com races, he insists, can live outside the mittee was appointed to draw up plans current of “American life" and yet refor such an organization. Mr. E. H. H. main an important part in it. He Simmons, president of the New York instances the Irish and Jews. It is perStock Exchange-one of the organizations haps not surprising that the two races engaged in the fight-strongly advocated concerned should have protested against the consolidation of forces. He said: this sweeping generalization. The impli
cation that there is such an entity as an The inevitable reflection is, why cannot all these at present separate campaigns against
"American people" and that they are not security frauds be coördinated into a single, parts of it, is particularly resented. concerted, nation-wide campaign in the inter
The immigrants who have come to this ests of economy and efficiency? It would country in the last forty years from surely seem that, between us all, there are eastern and southeastern Europe-Posufficient funds, sufficient expert employees lish and Russian Jews, Poles, Italians, and directors, sufficient knowledge of the Greeks, Syrians, Slavs of several kinds, existing evil, and sufficient determination at Hungarians--as well as French Canaleast greatly to reduce its present magnitude, dians and Mexicans, have not been if all these resources could be brought simul- absorbed, except to a slight extent, in the taneously to bear upon the problem.
American composite. The presence of Mr. Simmons made another practical so many diverse elements in the popusuggestion of great value. It was the lation, marked especially, in our large setting up in the Department of Justice cities, has caused too general an impresof a special bureau devoted to the prosecu- sion that there is no such thing as an