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“How long will you give me to think it Mr. Garrison has hardly time to do over?” Mr. Garrison asked.
the first job thoroughly, and until the Twenty-four hours, was the President's long session of Congress meets he will have reply.
no opportunity to try the second. But Mr. Garrison decided the case in that in the first two months he has done a time and accepted.
very striking act: His first great task is to get hold of the The first criterion of any man in a organization of his department and make position of power in the first six months of
an administration is his treatment of the job-hunters and other patronage seekers. It is a thermometer of political and moral courage. Any one who knows anything about the army knows that the most demoralizing influence upon the conduct of officers is that political influence which is used to obtain promotions, transfers, and desirable details. Mr.
Mr. Roosevelt when President issued two executive orders intended expressly to stop this abuse. But the abuse continued. Senators, Representatives, and other people with political influence were constantly bombarded with requests from army officers or their friends, and in many cases they carried the requests on to the War Department. This condition existed when Mr. Garrison took office. The incoming of the new Administration made it particularly acute. This was the form in which the question of patronage — the conflict between the personal interest of influential people and the welfare of the Government service came up to Mr. Garrison.
It was an insidious form. The regulations were clear that prohibited an officer using political influence for his advantage, but the War Department could not prohibit an influential friend from voluntarily exerting his influence.
While he has not prohibited it, the
Secretary has found a way to prevent it. MEETING HIS FIRST BIG PROBLEM He has issued a general order that whenGARRISON,
ever a request for an officer's promotion, AIDE, DIRECTING
transfer, or detail comes to the department, QUARTERS AT DAYTON, 0.
except through the proper military chan
nel, the request shall be referred to the it work for him. His second task is to officer and the officer be required to state know his department and his plans well whether it was made "directly or indirectly enough to lay them before the committees by his procurement, and whether he avows of Congress so that even the busiest men or disavows the request as one on his bemay read and understand. The coöpera- half." If he admits that he instigated it the tion and understanding of Congress is law provides that he is disqualified from particularly vital to the successful adminis- the service that he improperly tried to get. tration of the War Department. Of course, If he disavows the act the department
merely has to forward the disavowal to the person who made the request. Since this order went forth not a single improper request has reached the department, and a member of Congress whom I asked about it told me that in one week it had put an end to nine requests that he was asked to make upon the Secretary of War. The army is delighted. Even the officers who instigated improper requests under the old conditions would, most of them, rather trust to merit than
“pull” if they only felt sure that everyone else was on the same basis. With few exceptions Congressmen will welcome the end of an onerous burden which wasted time onundignified, embarrassing errands that received much censure and little thanks. In one particular at least the new Secretary of War has divorced politics from the army and the army from politics to the great relief of both.
Mr. Garrison had no military training. He has no military
WITH HIS DOG, “TRIX AT HIS SUMMER COTTAGE AT SEABRIGHT, N. J.
whether from revolutions on the border or catastrophes at home. The army's Mexican work the Secretary sees at second hand. The army in the stricken field of the flood the Secretary saw for himself.
Major J. E. Normoyle and Capt. James Logan were in charge of the relief operations on the Mississippi in the summer of 1912. During the four months the army cared for 272,752 refugees and 54,525 head of live-stock. On Thursday, March 27, 1913, these two men went to the War College in Washington armed with daily papers containing full accounts of the floods in Ohio and Indiana. They got down their maps and began to plan, for they thought that they might be needed. In a little while a telephone message from
tendencies. He is a Quaker by descent. Most of his time is quite properly taken up with the other responsibilities of his department — the river and harbor work (though this is done by army engineers it is not military work), the Philippines, Porto Rico, the Canal Zone, etc. Yet the army has at once taken hold of his imagination. He sees the records of the soldiers along the Mexican border who for two years have handled a most difficult situation almost perfectly. There was one complaint from the Mexican Government of an American officer who had crossed the Rio Grande. The investigation proved that he had done so — and more — that he had risked his life to save the lives of the remnant of a Federal garrison The Mexican Government changed its complaint to a request that the officer's bravery be rewarded.
The Secretary confessed that when he first took up his responsibilities he was a little fearful that some of our fighting men along the border would let provocation lead them into a fight. But he has come to view the border patrol as the chief guarantor of peace in that troubled district. The army has come to be the handy instrument to restore normal conditions
MR. GARRISON'S SMILE
the Wa: Department sent them on their the papers had ceased to talk of floods. way to Columbus with full power to take From Parkersburg, W. Va., to New Orcharge of relief operations.
leans, Major Normoyle had the flood relief The next day the Secretary himself and organized, and this with less than 200 offiGeneral Wood left for the scene — left so cers, of whom many were non-commisquickly that Major Rhoads, the President's sioned officers — sergeants and corporals. aide, went in a full dress uniform that was State governors, health officers, town offimeant to grace a White House tea. cials, relief committees, the national guard,
“We can't guarantee any schedule,” all did tremendously effective work. But said the railroad officials.
the ability to organize to meet catastrophe “I don't care a continental about lay with the army; and letters from goverschedules," answered the Secretary. "All nors, health officers, and commercial orgaI want is to get to Ohio in the best way nizations in all parts of the flood district you can get me there."
testify that the people who were in the It was a slow trip. The floods delayed stricken country realize what the little the special, but in spite of this he was handful of army officers and doctors did. able to get in touch with the state and Mr. Garrison saw it, too. I think it local authorities and to straighten out the must have been what he saw in the flood channels of communication and relief.
emergency that made Mr. Garrison tell But in a way what the Secretary saw was me how much impressed he was that we more important than what he did.
have 3,500 men — the officers of the Almost as soon as Major Normoyle and United States army-trained to emergency Captain Logan left Washington a train of and responsibility, men who can be called supplies left Chicago. The Major tele- upon to do anything from establishing an graphed officials of the Pennsylvania Rail- accurate and efficient custom house at a road urging that it be rushed. It even had Philippine port to revising the laws of right of way over passenger trains. Cuba or to handling epidemics and floods, Officers at all the posts near the disaster and who incidentally at any time are ready were notified to report for duty, and the to risk their lives in any of these services. engineers, all the way from West Virginia To give an added incentive to efficiency to St. Louis, were asked to collect river the Secretary is carrying out a plan to steamers, launches, scows, etc.
make merit the sole criterion of promotion. Of course, the flood in Ohio and Indiana He is sending out letters to all officers of had done its worst before the army officers a certain grade with a set of questions arrived on the scene, but in the trail of the for them to answer. The questions all flood follow epidemics. This year they refer to the fitness of the officers who never came. They were nipped in the bud. have become eligible for promotion to the Down the Muskingum and Scioto came higher grades of the army. In the past hospital relief ships, loaded with doctors there has been talk of "swivel chair" and vaccine for typhoid, small-pox, and officers who attained high rank by their spinal meningitis. They organized the residence in Washington and not by service local health authorities, planned a defence with their commands. Whether this talk against epidemics, left the towns fortified, is justified of the past or not, it ought to and moved on. And while the army doc- have no foundation for the future because tors (the navy and the marine corps were it is not likely that an officer who has long also represented) were organizing the held a pleasant and easy post in Washingdefence against epidemics, Major Nor- ton will get the same endorsement from moyle, with his relief plans, got ahead of his fellow officers as a man who has been the flood. All the way down the Missis- with his regiment — or with as much of sippi, where breaks were likely to occur, his regiment as the present scattered were steamers, launches, and scows. They condition of the army allows. The men rescued thousands of people and the who get the endorsement of their fellow officers provided food and shelter for tens officers will be the men who are recomof thousands — all this going on long after mended for promotion.
The Secretary talks freely, fluently, in the ninety millions theory. He thinks enthusiastically about the army and he that so far as the army is concerned: a takes a great pride in the efficiency with well equipped enemy could take the which it does all the extraordinary services Philippines or Alaska. Even' our : coast that it is called upon to perform. But cities are not protected. In answer to like everyone else who has looked at the a recent article about our:coast defences question seriously he realizes that it is Mr. Garrison was frank: enough to tell not prepared for war. It is truly an army
the blunt truth about them: of peace. That might not be as bad a situation as it is if it were not for a peculiar
All systems of coast defense which look to delusion that most Americans secretly security through fortifications alone are des
tined to be of little use in time of real war. . cherish, the delusion that if you hand an
The fortifications are only a part of the defense, American a rifle you have made him a
and while they are entirely adequate for the thoroughly competent soldier.
purpose for which constructed, they are fixed Mr. Garrison explains this state of defenses, effective only over the area within mind in some such way as the following, range of their guns;: beyond this range an for he is fond of making his points by enemy is entirely free to operate, unless he is concrete illustrations or anecdotes:
opposed by mobile troops, You will see a man in the morning and
It was to demonstrate the fact that the he will tell you that he is against war
great mass of fortifications guarding "Boston
was helpless to prevent the capture of that city expenditures. He doesn't believe in mili
by land attack that thê' Massachusetts man tarism. He does not know much about
æuvres of 1909 werë held. The Sattacking the army and he does not want to know
troops were landed at New Bedford," and any more. In the course of the day he occupied Boston from the soar. This is feasible hears that some of his Mexican invest- at any of our seacoast: cities, unless the coast ments have been disturbed by the revolu- defenses are supplemented by an adequate tion in that country. When you meet
mobile force. The well-trained and armed him in the evening he is all excited. soldier on his feet is the determining element, “What's the Government thinking about?”
and any country which trusts itself to defenses he says. “We'll have to go in there and
unsupported by a mobile army is destined
to disaster. straighten things out.”
You remind him that even if we should The Secretary knows that we have no wish to intervene in Mexico, we are not mobile army. That part of our army very well prepared to do so.
which ought to be mobile is normally "I don't know about the army,” he'll fixed in small detachments in an absurd answer, “but there are ninety million people number of posts, though at present behind Uncle Sam. I guess that's enough." on account of the Mexican situation there
Not an hour after Mr. Garrison told me is a mobile force of about 12,000 men at this I had it amply verified. I took Galveston. Both for economy and effilunch with a well informed resident of ciency many of the army posts should Washington. Something in the despatches be abandoned and the troops concentrated from Tokio had angered him. He thought into tactical units and kept in a state of that there was no more reason why we preparedness. According to the military should be anxious to mollify public opinion plans of the General Staff of the army, in Japan than there was for them to about 80 per cent. of the present posts mollify public opinion here. He was should be abandoned. But this measure quite belligerent. Remembering the Sec- does not meet with the approval of Conretary's story, I asked him:
gress. The places in which these many “If we should have a war what should posts are situated do not want to lose we do for an army? Ours is not prepared them. Every state is bent upon keeping to fight.” “Fight them with ninety all that it has. This situation Mr. Garrimillion people," he
he answered, “what son inherited from his predecessor. When more do you want?”
I asked him what he was going to do about The Secretary does not believe much it he reminded me that the doing had to