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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 05, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-08-05/ed-1/seq-3/

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Investigations of railroad problems T milk supply alone were cut off for 10
for the United States government
have won for him the position of one
of the country's greatest authorities
on American railroads. In view of
the recognition accorded his work in
deed, Prof. Johnson has served on
various commissions, among them
the Isthmian canal commission as
an expert on transportation and in
a. number of cases between railroads
and employes he has acted as an ar
bitrator. "If the railroads of the entire
country become tied up by a general
strike," declared Prof. Johnson to
day, "we will draw dangerously close
to a revolution. The government
naturally would be obliged to put
forth every effort possible to move
trains, the very life of the people de
pending on what the government
could accomplish. All the military
strength the government possesses
would be called to its assistance, and
this would naturally be bitterly re
sented by the railroad strikers and
those in sympathy with them. From
time to time it has been suggested
that in case of a serious strike the
government would be obliged even to
commandeer the railroads affected.
"If the government took that
action it would place itself in direct
opposition to the social forces behind
the strike. Then would come a test
between the government and the
unions."
(The unions have already stated
that they would continue working if
the government took control of the
railroads.)
"The first consideration in case of
a general tie-up of the country's rail
roads is stopping of food supplies to
the largest cities of the. country. Of
the perishable foods the non-delivery
of milk and meats would work tne
greatest hardship and suffering. For
instance, shutting off the milk sup
ply of greater New York would mean
immediate privation and in a short
time starvation. It is hard to con-
days.
"The store of staple, non-perishable
goods is limited in every house
hold, every town, every city. It
would not be many days without
trains before the groceries in every
community would be without sup
plies. The stopping of trains would
immediately throw 50 per cent of the
workers of the country out of work,
and before long most of the working
people of the country would be idle.
It would be the same with small fac
tories and large plants such as for
instance the big steel plants of tha
country, whose operating depends on
the unbroken movement of trains, in
and out.
"The throwing of men out of work
soon cuts off their purchasing power.
Day laborers cannot go very far
without their income, since they havt
little or no credit The result would
be widespread suffering which, in
many communities, it would be dif
ficult, op impossible to alleviate.
"If the strike really takes place this
falf, it Will occur at the time of the
movement of crops. This annual
movement of the crops is a steady
flow out from the farms for a period
of three months. Stopping the rail
way transportation of the country
would not only stop the movement of
the crops but it would cause the loss
of a large part of the crops, especially
where the farmers depend on the
railroads to move their grain and so
have no storage facilities.
"A general railroad strike this fall
will interfere seriously also with our
foreign trade which at the present
time is abnormal. About a third of
it now consists of munitions and
products associated with that trade,
and, since this part of it is temporary
in character, we must, if we are
going to gain by the export of muni
tions, be sure of definite delivery in
order to secure and fill such orders."
o o
Buffalo, N. Y. Prof. Clinton De
ceive what New York would do if its i Witt Smith, agriculturist, dead.
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