Newspaper Page Text
APRIL 20, 1918
WASHINGTON EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE ttHaglitnfitcmtotf This MUST Be . The Two-Platoon System It Should Be In Effect In Our Fir Department. THE NATIONAL DAILY ti- ARTHUR BniSBANTi Editor and Owner rnnin ri SHAW- PuDlliner bund ..rnnfl ri. matter at th Potofflc at -Washington. P. C Published Everv r-venlnir (Including- Sunday) by The Washington finfes Company, MunseyBldg., Pennsylvania Aye Uatl Subscription: 1 tar (Inc. 3unda) t7:00: 3 Month. !.": 1 month. 80c SATURDAY. APRIL M. !! WASHI NGTDNTIME S y"xmMmt, . jffimffi&g&j A Forty Million Dollar Express Company Trust Maybe It Ought to Be a Very Big Maybe. Why Fasten Such A Parasite on Government Railroad Control? This announcement appears in a quiet corner of a quiet newspaper: , $40,000,000 MERGER IN EXPRESS SERVICE, MAYBE Below this interesting heading comes the statement: General McAdoo to conduct all the express business in the coun try. 'The corporation -would have capital stock of about 540,000,000, divided among the companies in proportion to the physical valua tion of their properties. Heads of express companies discussed today -with the railroad administration a proposal for consolidating the express com panies into one corporation, which would be authorized by Director Is the fact that the Government has taken over the rail roads to give express companies a chance to form a trust and violate the Sherman law? Are the broken-down express companies to be permitted to violate the law in the name of "war emergency?" If anv power in the country is to control the express .business should it not be the Government, THE POSTOFFIOE of the United States? An express company trust such as is here proposed would put the senders of express matter entirely at the mercy of that trust. There would be no competition, not even pretended com petition. There would be no occasion for spending money to give rood service the senders would have to wait. This express company trust, the mere suggestion of which is outrageous, and discreditable to Government ad ministration of railroads, will not be permitted, unless some body with a great deal of power has listened to extremely interesting arguments from somebody with a good deal of "influence" and wanting more. The people of this country are being taxed to spend bil lions of dollars rebuilding the railroads. Are the private owners of express companies to form a Trust, utilize the spending of this money, use the railroads for which the people are paying, and use those railroads TO EOB SHIPPERS? This thing is being done in the absence of Mr. McAdoo, the Director of Railroads, who is away selling bonds, and would not tolerate such a scheme for public robbery. We hope that one of his secretaries will see the announce ment printed here and telegraph it to Secretary McAdoo. It will not, if Mr. McAdoo can prevent it, be said that while he was Director of Railroads, and spending hundreds of millions of public money to rebuild railroads, a gang of express company owners were allowed, in violation of the Sherman act, to form themselves into a Trust and fasten themselves upon Mr. McAdoo's railroad system. We don't know how express company gentlemen go to work, when they want to defy a law against Trusts, and con vince somebody in office that they should be permitted to exploit Government management of the railroads and the public. But we believe that Mr. McAdoo, who has had consid erable experience in Wall Street, when he was engaged in his important work of building the Hudson tunnels, knows how these things are done and knows HOW TO PREVENT THEM. Mr. Hines, by the way, now in one of Mr. McAdoo's departments, can help Mr. McAdoo to get at the facts. Mr. Hines has information. The express companies should go out of business, for they are incompetent and have no place as parasites on the p.ublicly owned railroads. They have had their day, and their share of profits, and their period of extortion. Any physical property that they have worth while should be taken over by the Government and used, and made part of the parcels post system. That system should carry all packages, except matter under refrigeration, and unsuitable bulky matter, which should be carried by a special Govern ment system of fast freight. Many pieces of rascality will be put through safely and smoothly in the confusion of war. But a rascally undertak ing of this kind, the formation of an express company trust to prey upon the public, the shippers, and make the present bad service still worse, should not be carried out in the shadow in the offices of the national railroad administration. It could not be carried out anywhere else, consequently there will be no difficulty for Mr. McAdoo to place the blame if the thing goes through in his absence, and if Government control of railroads, a step toward the inevitable Govern ment ownership, should be used by private individuals for the formation of a dangerous Trust made up of incompetent, shipwrecked, inefficient concerns. The parcels post now carries packages weighing seventy pounds. It should carry ALL PACKAGES. SflmWI ' lHt.V IKS-WHV V. liKZEtisft VsssHw jLtV EHSjaSPS jmwmtmamw - ssBBBBBvBBBBspjriL vPtfjjSfTpfy' Jjj? r yv'BBBIBBr fJ??Qyf i'jfMJBFi By EARL GODWIN. Our fire department needs n two-platoon system. To this end I would impress on Congress the importance of providing in District appropriation bill money to take care of this modern method of conducting a, fire-fighting depart ment. The two-platoon system requires more men than the present method. It means two complete crews to be worked alternately. The present method provides one crew, and the men live in the engine house day and night with little time off, and nothing to do between fires but play checkers and sleep. Unless a man is full of pep, a fireman's career in a fire proof district is about as enlivening as the life of a prisoner in solitary confinement. He is on duty ninety-six hours con tinuously and gets twenty-four hours off, provided his turn is not blocked by fire duty or illness of some other member of the company. Each man has three houra for meals in every twenty-four hours, and has a twenty-day furlough annually. Fire departments all over the country are discarding tha old-time bystem for the new two-platoon system. In addition to working for the retirement of the members, it would pro vide a reserve force for Washington much bigger than any thing now possible. For instance, if all our apparatus should be called out today on a city-wide fire, the men would be tired to the point of complete exhaustion by night, and there would be no relief in sight. Under the two-platoon system a fresh duplicate fire department would be waiting for the word to rush in. See what Congressman. Van Dyke of Minnesota has to say about the proposed system in writing his report on the- j iegislation providing for the change: J.UO V TV JHfcWA OJOtUI AS AlVWHII AAAUAU 141 BXJimL tific adjustment of the fire force, serving two purposes. First, using the fire fighting apparatus to the utmost capacity, thereby decreasing the expense of purchasing and operating additional apparatus. Second, permitting the members of the department more time off duty, which will make for efficient service by reason of a contented personnel. This system would also place a reserve fire-fighting force at the command of the chief em drawn ont fir shift already fatigued afte duty would' work with m 1a - which, in the event of -a large and long 'Med into service and relieve the fire, which would be more or less en hours, and the shift coming'on . ! vi,orouB and could continue the i ogress." AND SEEN Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory Got the Calendar in Shape T AM asked to give an opinion j By Garrett 1 AM asked to give an opinion concerning a proposed new calendar by 'which the year would have 366 days, divided into twelve months, six of -which would have thirty days and the other six thirty-one days each. The week -would consist of six days, including five, "working days" and one "resting day." Thus there would be sixty-one weeks in this new calendar year. My opinion is that Julius Caesar whose greatest achieve ment was not laying the founda tion of imperial Rome, but put ting chaos out of the calendar would turn in his grave at the suggestion of an attempt to thrust 66 days into a space of time that cannot contain even the 36514 days that he assigned to it without overcrowding. Negligent Nature. When nature sets the earth spinning on its axis and at the same time speeding around the sun, she saw no necessity for making the two motions chrono logically commensurate i. e., she took no pains to have an even number of days in a year. To have done so would have been somewhat like requiring an ath lete, in running a mile, to tako exactly 1,760 steps each three feet long. Although such an ar rangement would unquestion ably be a great convenience for almanac makers, as well as for racetrack timekeepers, the things are not done that way. The length of a day is a fixed By quantity of time, and so is the length of a "year." Both depend upon movements of the earth, over which we nave not me slightest control and which pay no attention to our arithmetic To count 366 days for a year would be putting the calendar ahead of the sun at a rate so rapid that in a few years the seasons as shown by the alma nac would drift out of all con nection with those recognized by the weather and the planets. When Caesar established the "Julian year" ho gave the world its first scientific calendar, al though ha got the fundamental idea from the old Egyptians. The problem was, and always will be, to keep the calendar dates as close as possible in ac cord with the natural point of beginning of the year (for the Northern Hemisphere, which is the populous half of the globe), that point being the vernal equi nox, when the sun crosses the equator coming northward after its winter excursion into the southern sky. To start with wo might have the vernal equinox fall in any month we chose, and on any day of that month, but. once fixed it ought to remain con stant. Thus, as now arranged, the equinox falls on March 21, and all our almanac dates are set on that frame. If the equinox drifted forward or backward in the calendar, agricultural, as well as all other affairs, would be up-sot Jr. b e r v i 8 s. Caesar brought his new calendar into accord with the vernal equi nox, and undertook to keep it in accord for the future. For this purpose he ascertained that there are about 865U days In a year. He therefore adopted that as the true length of a year, but to avoid fractions of days he ordered that three-quarters cf the years should consist of 365 days and one-quarter of 366 days. In other words, the year was to comprise 365 days for three years in succession, but every fourth year was to contain 366 days, thus conveniently dispos ing of the fraction oif one-fourth of a day, but not counting-it until it added up one whole day. These fourths, or long years, were called leap years, the same term that we use today. But now mark what happened to Caesar's calendar because of a slight excess of the length that he had calculated for the true year over the real length. The real length, with a decimal fraction, is 365.242197 days. But Caesar's estimate was 365.23 days. Subtract the real length from Caesar's and you have for remainder .007803, or say 78-10000ths of a day, which is ' only about lli minutes. Yet this very small excess, accumulat ing with the passage of the cen turies at the rate 'of about three days in 400 years, had, by the year 1582, caused the vernal equi nox to fall back, on the calendar, to March 11. This was not very inconvenient for agriculture, but it was inconvenient for the cal culation of Easter, and so Pope Gregory XIII, readjusted Caesar's calendar by dropping out ten days. Catching Up. In Protestant countries like England the Gregorian reform was not adopted until 1752, by which time it had become neces sary to drop eleven days from the calendar. The readjustment was perpetuated by simply changing Caesar's rule for leap year, so that instead of adding a day every four years the additional day should be omitted in every cen tury year not divisible by 400. Thus 1000 was not a leap year, and 2100 will not be one. By this simple device the re formed Julian year, or Gregorian year, was brought so near the real year in length that it is only twenty-six seconds too long. Now, imagine putting 366 days into a year. It would send tha calendar aherd of the equinox more than eighteen hours every year, so that only 120 years would elapse before the calendar would be three months ahead of the equinox, and the snows of mid-winter would be covering the ground at the time when, if tha calendar were to bo believed, tha farmer ought to be beginning his spring work. The best thing to do is to let the calendar as it now stands be, and 3.000 year from now. if our descendants find that a single day discrepancy between the equinox and the almanac is too trouble some, they can easily correct it. GEORGE AUTHIER says the road- way on Pennsylvania avenue 10 Georgetown Is the worst In the world and has been for three years. "JAKE" BERMAN. our well-known and energetic detective. Is on duty In connection with the D. A. R. con vention this week. Went downtown In a car with a lady yesterday and she said TRAF FIC OFICER LAMB, at Fourteenth and New York avenue. Is the best looking man In Washington. Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, Is open to -visitors every day bat Sunday. Xon that this city Is thronged with strangers and newcomers, I moTe that the historic old nlace, so often called "the shrine if American liberty" be open to the public every day In the week, especially SUKDAY. What do YOU say about It! Leavic the ew -of my nelgh t. ?. V H. CLAl aadstant com VJ.W of patents, I ran head-on into tha $; nlv chest of JOSH CAL LAHAN, vio regaled me with the facta in his pursuit of a pair of shoes costing less than $12. And while regaling, we bumped into BILL HART, with whom wa topped to talk for a minute, when along came WILLIAM BURNS, tha great detective, which made me re member I had lost my keys and wondered if I dared ask Mr. Burns to find them. A. R. PINCI. who started ten years ago this month to have an Italian dinner, successfully handled the af fair last night In his apartment In the California. Among those present were CHARLES COTTERILL. ED CAR RINGTON. W. A. POLLARD. RUS3 YOUNG. DR. R. GIORGIO. PAUL L. WRIGHT, and Private Frank God win, U. S. A. FRANK WOODFIELD says that all this talk about pedestrians be ing careful at crossings makes him tired. "Did vou ever notice how many automobiles ru.n by the white chalk lines at street intersections! ne asks. If pedestrians have any rights at all it is at crossings." I am for JOHN ENGLAND, high school student, who petitions the Board of Education to abolish Ger man as a language study. Taboo the Teutonic. ,-. LET THE WEDDING BELLS RING OUT. 7 SUCH I I VOU WOW I - AMD VOU CAM'T 1 I r.NWP.i AMVWAV ty3RAMA6AMrt V-KXTjbsi I JPD J I I NEED WHES s T Q NouGMT a X X SrJ--J wFt,i-miMk -&) L (YvseFLFR Jf ( Bun izofc. WX I wiu-Buy ,, S 'XjV ' Q 1 VE Got i A rJEuJ Ji V, V tk THE , fc L J,, fl ) I MOMEV A . MM DAVE BOSE, former mayor of Milwaukee, breezed along and be gan to talk of this and that, wind ing up by saying: "I did know a lot of good fellows, but they're all dead." Would suggest yon call the "Tub" "The Wart,' as no one seems to know what else it is "bat a bump on the avenue." MRS. A. VAN REUTH, 402 Tenth street northeast. Have job teen Jonrman Parsons I L. B. PERKINS, whose office U In the RIggs building, has been appeal ed to by his old colored "mammy" to look about Washington to see If ha can locate her son. Jourman Par sons, who came to Washington sev eral months ago and has not been heard of by her since. "Will you help me find him? says Mr. Perkins to me. "I would rather bring some good cheer Into the heart of this, my good old mammy, than to have the finest home In the city of Washington." HARRY B. GOODWIN, of tha Marine Corps, suggests naming on of the "tubs" Semper Fldelis, ths motto of the corps. JACK DALY, who has been tem porarily editing a paper somewhara in the pie belt of New England. Is la the city en route to the army. U has enlisted and Is the second pri vate I have heard of In tha city. PEYTON B. FLETCHER says ha has a little boy who sings in tha choir and buys W. S. S. with th money the choir pays him, and here's hoping the choirmaster raises his pay. Perhaps the Boas Knows Something. Orrrtitt. IMS. lattmtUatl Jfr SrTl. Kvary tlm Tonr superior objaets to the way yon have dons a cer tain piece of work do you feel that yoa would Ilk to tn hla what ran think of him and resign? If you do yon hav tha wrong spirit. In tha big majority of cases tha man ahead Is ther baeaos a has demonstrated that he Is oapabla of filling the superior position. Ha has shown himself able to advtsa and correct errors. Of course, he Is not free from errors himself, and, In tarn, his ra perior corrects and obJacU and overturns som of the things ha does. It Is so all the way up and down th Una. It ha wera not spoken to about his mistakes and yon war net stoprd from making your mistakes, you can s vary rsadtty what & botch this world would ba. In certain ways your method may b superior, but ft la w to ys to do as tha boti directs while you ar under him. You know It you war In his plac you would Insist upon your plans being csrritd out to tha latta. Do yeu g4 tha ideal H. B. K. WILLIS, formerly of Cali fornia, now In the office of the Chief of Staff, says he was amazed to find that he was charged $75 a month for a "bathless primeval two-room suite on the top floor of an antebellum abode," and amazed further when the woman renting them said she had been told by the local rooming com mittee that they were worth that much and that with a bath they would be worth $100 a month! Once Overs '