The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 01, 1913, Page 9, Image 9

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The Commoner
Rosslter, formerly Chief Clerk of the Census, aS
special agents to study the present conditions of
statistical work, particularly the unfinished work
of the Thirteenth Census, and to make plans for
the better organization and administration of the
Bureau in connection with its future operations.
As a result of this study several recommenda
tions have already been made the purpose of
which is to insure greater progress in completing
the final reports of the Thirteenth Census. It
has been deemed undesirable to tabulate "Occu
pations" further than has t lready been done and
stopping the work at this point will expedite the
publication about six months and reduce the cost
of completion by about $65,000. The report on
Native or "Mother" tongues has been limited to
the chapter in the forthcoming final volume on
population. The numerous tables relating 'to
Mines and Quarries that were already in b ille
tins, proofs or manuscript have been printed,
same to constitute the final report. The tables
for the benevolent institutions and for prisoners
in jails, the insane and feeble minded, and
paupers are to be published without further
derivative tables or explanatory text. The an
nual compilation of statistics on forest products
has been abandoned, being without authority of
law. The annual report on financial statistics
of cities in 1912 is to be completed and published
by January 1, 1914, and the report for 1913 is
to be curtailed. Both reports are to be printed
only with brief explanatory texts and no further
attempt is to bo made to elaborate future reports
on municipal financial statistics. The reports on
Mortality Statistics for the years 1911 and 1912
are to be published before the close of the pres
ent calendar year and the work upon the stand
ardization qf, death rates, life tables and occu
pational mortality suspended until then.
In the Urgent Deficiency Appropriation Bill
Congress has made provision for the establish
ment of a light station on Navassa Island in the
West Indies. This island lies between Haiti
and Jamaica In the direct route through the
Wihdward Passage to the Isthmus of Panama,
and to Caribbean portfc. For ships bound north
it Is thVflrst'lahdfaU after leaving' the Isthmus..
The "fcurV&rtfc .iii this' region are 'if rqgular and
strong,' 'anciVeamerjs Sometimes 'have . to stop
until the weather clears sufficiently for (them to
pick' up the coast of Haiti. The 'isjand lias been
occupied by American citizens.' ' The increased
traffic makes the establishment of an efficient
aid at this point desirable and this traffic will
be still further increased on the opening of the
Panama Canal.
It is proposed to establish a flashing acetylene
light in a second-order lens on a high tower so
as to prevent obscuration by the plateau when
passing the island close to, as well as to be
equally visible on all sides. The proposed light
on a 150-foot tower will be visible 23 miles,
The light will be of about 20,000 candlepowe'r,
sufficiently bright to be seen at this distance in
clear weather. It is proposed to equip this light
with sufficient acetylene gas to operate for a
year at a time, and it will probably require at
tention after a thorough preliminary watching
at intervals of from three to six months.
Two years ago John McNamara, of "Williams
port, Pa., was shanghaiied on an oyster boat on
the Chesapeake Bay and after inhuman treat
ment endeavored to escape and was drowned.
Twenty-two days later the master of the same
boat was murdered and two members of the crew
were killed. Crews of other vessels were ill
treated, forced to sleep in ill-ventilated and un
sanitary quarters, and other appalling conditions
were alleged to exist throughout the oyster fleet.
To remedy these conditions during the winter
months, the Department of Commerce purchased
the motor boat .Tarragon and .placed her in
charge of Mr. A. Lincoln Dryden, former State
Senator of Maryland and Collector of Customs
at Crisfield, with a crew of three men. Close
supervision of the shipment of seamen, the quar
ters provided for them and their treatment was
begun, and has resulted in a reconstruction of
many of the crew quarters on oyster vessels and
in the betterment of the conditions of not less
than 3,500 men.
During the past summer the Tarragon was
sent into the Philadelphia and New York cus
toms districts where over 15,000 small motor
boats were navigating dangerous waters and in
many instances carrying large numbers of men,
Women and children. During the month or
August in. the New York district alone 1,574 in
. spections were made and 605 vessels were found
without the life-saving equipment required by
law. One hundred and sixty-four of these vessels
had no means for extinguishing burning gasoline
and had the gasoline exploded or caught flro
the safety of those on board would have de
pended on ,the vessel getting ashore or on the
life-preservers. Two hundred and fifteen vessels
carrying 1,284 persons were found without such
life-preservers. Many vessels wore navigated,
without lights after sunset and without whistles
with which to sound passing signals if collisions
These figures furnish an outline of the benc
ficient work of the Tarragon in its mission oT
safeguarding life on small vessels. A campaign
of education was conducted in. which the owners
and operators of vessels cordially cooperated and
the efforts of the Department met with general
approval. Penalties in most Instances wore
mitigated to nominal sums and the owners of
motor boats made to realize that the safe navi
gation of their vessels was the object of tho
Department and only such penalties were im
posed as were necessary to that end.
' As the motor boat Season in the northern
ports is closed, tho Tarragon is again in the
oyster fleet supervising the shipment of crews,
their treatment and the quarters and food fur
nished. After this work is done the vessel will
proceed through the sounds in South Carolina
and as far south as Key West, Fla., admonishing
owners of motor vessels as to the navigation
laws, looking after the interests of the crews
and seeing to it that vessels are equipped with
every means of safeguarding the lives of those
who travel 6n the water.
The six vessels of the Coast and Geodetic Sur
vey employed on the coast of Alaska during the
summer have closed work for the season. The
steamer Patterson is upder instructions to pro
ceed direct lothe Hawaiian .Islands and to con
tinue the survey of .the.,shores of those islands.
Tho steamers. r, Gedney anc'. Explorer
will proceed to Seattle, while the Yukon, and
Taku are to be laid up in Alaska.
During the fiscal year t,l 94.3 and during the
season v Just. closed, the principal work .oE these
vessels in .Alaska has been a-survey of the en
trance to the Kuskokwiin. River by the steamers
Explorer and Taku; surveys in Kasook Tnlet,
Sukwan Strait, Tle'Vak Strait and San Cristoval
Channel by the steamer Gedney; surveys in Cook
Inlet,- in the vicinity of Alalik Bay', between
Al'alik Bay and Resurrection Bay, at Nakat Har
bor,' Burriett Inlet and .Iniskin Be by tho
steamer' 'MeArthur; surveys of Clarence. Strait
and of the Shumagin islands and in the vicinity
of Unihiak Pass by the' steamer Patterson; sur
veys of the northwestern part of Prince. "William
Sound between Naked Island and Port Wells,
artd in the north arm of Simpson Bay and thence
to the southward and westward by the steamer
Taku; and surveys of Turnagain Arm, Cook In
let, and in the approaches to the Kuskokwim
River by the steamer Yukon.
The Survey of Tlevak Strait by the" steamer
Gedney has made available a passage formerly
feared and avoided by navigators. By its use
the steamer route for vessels along that part of
the coast may be considerably shortened.
The inspection of the 3 41st meridian boundary
between Alaska and Canada has been completed.
The two parties at work in the Mt. St. Ellas
region and the party on Portland Canal have
closed work. In the course of the survey in
the Mt. St. Elias region, that peak, which is at
the southern extremity of the 141st meridian
boundary, was ascended to within 1,500 feet of
the summit.
For the benefit of the readers of the Com
moner the following statement is made in regard
to the more important appointments that come
under the control of the Department of State.
The foreign service is divided into three
classes". The Ambassadors and Ministers come
in the first class. There are 11 Ambassadors and
32 Ministers. These are not under the civil
service and appointments are therefore made di
rectly by the Presfdent, with the approval of the
Senate. - , ,
In the second class come the cecretaries of
embassies and legations. There are 0G secre
taries. These are under civil service and en
trance is by 'examination and appointment from
the eligible list the appointments being made by
the President and confirmed by the Senate.
The consular service is made up of consuls
general consuls, vice consuls, consular assist
ants consular agents, and clerks. There Afft
57 consuls general and 241 consuls. Tho, posi
tion of vice consul is honorary rather than one
of pecuniary value; ho receive no salary excopt
in the absence of the Consul. These places are
appointive and are not covered by the civil serv
ice; neither arc the clerks and consular agents
but the salary for these places is so small that
one can hardly afford to accept such a position
unless he has somo reason for desiring to ac
quaint himself with the country to which Uq
goes. Consuls Ubnoral, Consuls, and Consular
Assistants are under tho civil service. Entrance
to this service Is through examination, the Presi
dent making appointments from the eligible list
with confirmation by tho Senate. Tho appoint
ments, according to tho regulations, aro for tho
first and second classes, in which the salary In
$2,000 and $2,300, respectively. 'Promotions
aro made In .the service according to merit, all
promotion!; being by appointment and with the
confirmation of tho Senate. Tho President has
the right to appoint by special order, subject, of
course, to confirmation, but linn announced that
this will only bo done In extraordinary cases and
when available men cannot be found in tho
There Is a long-standing dispute as to whether
Ambassadors and Ministers should bo put under
civil service. In most European countries the
diplomatic service is a career and men outer with
the expectation of remaining In It for life, Thoro
are some in this country who favor tho adoption
of this plan but they have not thus far been able
to alter tho system. The President has changed
considerably more than half of the Ambassador?
and Ministers and the appointees will not suftor
in comparison with tho men whom they suc
ceeded. Tho criticisms that have been in ado
have not been directed against the charncter of
tho appointments; these have not only com
mended themselves to the American public, but
the appointees have been well received abroad,
occasionally some newspaper complains that "ex
perionced men" aro being dismissed and that
men without diplomatic experience aro being
substituted -it must. bo remembered that tho
Democrats have not ha'd much chanco during tire
last twenty years ttf secure diplomatic' experience;
and tho fair minded will not give much weight
to the Republican contention thnt the serVlcd
suffers when a .Democrat takes the place of a
Republican. The Democrats who have received
appointment have either been journalists ok
literary men of high standing or men of- ex
perience in political and business life. It Is a
great mistake to suppose that experience in the
diplomatic service necessarily fits one for a diplo
matic appointment. Experience may acquaint
one with the formalities of such a life but these
aro of little importance compared with the more
substantial qualities required. An ambassador
or minister can soon learn .enough of the
formalities from tho secretaries, whose !)osltios,
being under, the civil service, are permanent, but
he cannot absorb from others the things thnt
make a successful diplomat. To properly repre-
sent one's country abroad the ambassador or
minister must have a thorough acquaintance
with his country, must be In sympathy with,
American institutions, and in harmony with tho
polcies of the administration. No : resident can
hope for great success In his foreign policies it
he has to work them out through men who are
at heart antagonistic to him. Moreover, long
absence from home may greatly impair one'a
ability to properly represent his country's ifl
interest. If the civil service were applied to,
ambassadors and ministers the President would
have to take those ho found In office and make
such use of them as he could, regardless of tbcli4
fitness or unfitness for the particular work to be.
done, whereas, under the appointive system,
which we ndw liave, the President can select
men who are especially qualified for the work ta
be entrusted to them, it is tho difference be
tween a ready-made suit and clothes cut to fit."
.Before Nebraska passed a lav,- requiring state
banks to contribute to a fund which guaranteed
the payment In full of depositors in any state
bank that failed it was asserted with so muck
emphasis and repetition ttut it convinced a great
many persons that it would mean that most ot
the banks would surrender their charters aatl
become national banks. Nothing of tho kind
happened. Tills fact may be cited to allay any
fears that might arise because the national bank
ers, are. pow declaring their solemn belief that
the passage of the Owens-Glass currency bill -will
force many national banks to become state banks,
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