Abbildungen der Seite

ling at terminals, it is clear that, above the twelve-mile limit, a saving over the 50 cents per ton-mile for motor costs can be shown.

But there is one feature essential to the success of this or any other scheme. The railroads must be efficiently operated. Loyalty, team-work, and discipline in railroad operations-all are absolutely vital to any improvement whatsoever. Without these no system, no industrial operation, can succeed. Scientific management and the best of methods are futile if the human element fails. The army of 75,000 men who operate the railroads of New England must be loyal to its commander, or the enemy (high taxes and high manufacturing costs) will drive us from the field.


At the present moment the nation is much agitated by the controversy be tween the railroad executives and the railroad unions, over the question of wages and working conditions - the unions demanding that all such questions shall be settled on a national basis, while the executives plead for the privilege of dealing directly with their own employees. It is beyond the scope of this article to analyze the merits of this controversy; but it may not be amiss to point out that, in the heat of battle, the parties are in danger of los ing sight of the real issue the shadow may be mistaken for the substance. Effective team-work requires loyalty and discipline. Industrial organizations that survive the test of time are organized upon the same principles as an army, in which there must be supreme command and also subdivision into units, to the commanders of which much liberty of action is allowed. The organization of the National Baseball League forms an analogy which is instructive, for the business as a whole is recognized as a close monopoly, controlled absolutely by a small group of

men; while at the same time the individuality of the clubs is not lost, competition is of the keenest character, and discipline is preserved.

But whatever be the form of organization, it is essential to success that each individual who comprises it shall be interested in his work, proud of his job, and loyal to it and to his superior officer. That it is easy to create such a condition, it would be idle to assert; but it will be impossible without the closest and most intimate relations between officers and men, and any system which tends to keep them apart will be fatal. This is, perhaps, the most serious objection to the scheme of national agreements, for which the leaders of the railroad unions contend.

The transportation conditions of New England are peculiar. They are wholly different from the conditions of the South or the West, and a union official living in Cleveland knows little, and is likely to care less, about the special problems of our community. The railroads of New England must be owned, managed, and operated by men whose homes and hearts, as well as their heads, are in New England. The operating men, from the engineer to the freight-handler, must know clearly that the success and the efficiency of operation of the roads is vital to their own lives; that when they strike, they strike their own wives and children; that, if costs are high, they must pay them; and that, if the business is a failure, they and theirs will be the sufferers.

If, in the process of reorganization on which we must now embark, new men are required in responsible positions, they should be sought, and will be found, among the rank and file of the present operating force. The spirit of team-play, which is essential, can be created and kept alive only by making it clear to every man, from water-boy to president, that promotion is the sure

reward of good work; and in addition to this, public regulation must be so administered that responsibility and power will not be divorced; that the men we look to for results shall have freedom of action within reasonable limits, and be given a chance to show what they can do.

Moreover, unless these apparently simple principles are entirely fallacious, they would seem to indicate the solution of the problem of grouping the New England roads, which is now so hotly disputed. Current argument is largely controlled and its lines directed by the hoary tradition that the problem is a financial one, to be settled like a sum in arithmetic, notwithstanding the crop of failures which this method has produced in the past. But one is tempted to suggest that an experiment in dealing with it primarily as a human problem could not be a worse failure, and might succeed.

[ocr errors]

Nothing is more alien to industrial progress than a narrow provincialism, and yet the strongest motive-forces of the race are its personal loyalties to family to clan to State and to Nation. If this motive can be enlisted, it is irresistible, and will sweep aside obstacles that baffle the economist and the banker. So that it might well be found that the slogan, 'New England money, New England men, New England roads,' will lead us to a victory which the bankers in New York who guide the destinies of the TrunkLine Association cannot achieve.

The roads of New England must either be grouped together or parceled out among the Western trunk-lines. The figures point to the latter course; but the powerful popular instinct, which has opposed this in the past, rests upon a sound (if somewhat inarticulate) foundation. New England railroads succeeded when they were local enterprises supported by the loyalty of New

England. As they slipped from this basis, they began to fail, and they have now collapsed. To our old rock-foundation we must now painfully return.

It is idle to suppose that the controversies which have destroyed the morale of our railroad organizations are between Labor and Capital, or that one class in the community is more vitally interested in their solution than another. The penalty of failure will not fall most heavily upon the big business man or the banker. These can, and will, escape and win a livelihood in other fields. It is the workingman - the man in the street-who will suffer. New England is his home; its future and his are one. If New England suffers from the failure of its transportationsystem, these men and their wives and children must bear the consequences. And if these men fail to realize the true nature of the problem, as they have failed hitherto, and to coöperate in its solution, they, and chiefly they, will suffer.

The present attitude of railroad labor, which seems to be striving for high wages and limited output, is suicidal. These men behave as if efficient and economical operation of the railroads were somebody else's business. In fact, it is their own. If they maintain their present attitude, they will destroy themselves and force their fellow citizens to shatter them and their organizations as a measure of self-preservation. The remedies will have to be drastic, for it is a matter of life and death.

To sum up the situation, then, and put a point upon the spear, we are faced with a vital problem, upon the successful solution of which hangs the future of New England. We are to-day a manufacturing community, to which cheap and rapid local transportation is essential. Owing to the collapse of our railroad system, we have not got it.

Transportation by motor-truck, except for short distances, is too expensive. Our goods must be transported by rail, if at all, and we must either provide cheap and rapid railroad transportation, or perish as a manufacturing


This conclusion does not imply that the policy of the Commonwealth regarding the construction of state roads has been unwise. On the contrary, such construction, properly planned and administered on the basis of payment by the automobile of its share of cost and maintenance, through a system of registration fees, is sound and popular. But these roads were designed for relatively light traffic; their foundations and bridges are wholly inadequate to withstand the blows of a five-ton truck, and their use for freight-service of this character is wantonly wasteful. The $25,000,000 investment of the taxpayers' money is being destroyed by a use that was never intended. Your pocket-knife makes a poor claw-hammer, to say nothing of the effect on the knife.

That the task is not beyond our power, there is no question. Brains and energy of the sort that have made New England, if applied to this problem, will solve it. A small commission, composed of the leaders of our industrial life, could, in a very short time, verify the facts of the case and draw up a statement which

every citizen in New England could understand, and which should be published and advertised in such a way as to drive it home in every section and in every class. The tax-payers, once aroused, will then insist that the necessary steps be taken at once. Different methods of handling goods and of handling men must be put in operation, but these methods need not of necessity be invented. To a large extent, the laborsaving devices which we need are already in existence and in use in other industrial or construction organizations. The future methods of handling men need not, in fact must not, be new. They must be the methods now in use in other great, efficient, and successful industries.

Whether these changes can be carried out by the men who now operate the roads remains to be seen. With a clear mandate and a fair chance, which they have not had heretofore, they should be given time to show what they can do. If they fail, they must be replaced by men who will not fail. Needs must when the Devil drives. Our need is desperate, and the right men can be found. Management, and not money, is what we need. The motor-trucks for local deliveries, the terminals, the railroads, and a large part of the necessary equipment are at hand. We have the tools - our problem is to use them with the requisite skill.



THE story of the Paris negotiations about the Adriatic has not yet been written; perhaps all of it cannot be told until we read the papers of Orlando and Lloyd George, of Sonnino and President Wilson, and of some other figures who, at times at least, played a part in the drama; but certainly an attempt can now be made to outline the picture and to reconstruct the progress of one of the failures of Paris, a failure, however, which paved the way for the final ending, by the Treaty of Rapallo, of the differences between Italy and the kingdom of the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes.

First of all, let us recall to our minds just what the Adriatic problem was. When Italy became at once a united nation and a great power, her situation geographically was both singularly satisfactory and unsatisfactory. That great peninsula, which looks on the map like a gigantic boot projecting into the Mediterranean, has a coast-line with an extraordinary opportunity for commerce. On the other hand, the Italian frontier on the north and northeast was almost hopeless for defense, and, indeed, seemed drawn so as to invite attack.

But we are concerned only with the Adriatic, whose western waves wash the coasts of Italy for five hundred miles, from beyond Venice to the Mediterranean. From the point of view of modern naval warfare, no sea is more one-sided. Every advantage is with the


east: the many islands, often with concealed channels and with an indented shore behind them, protected by an almost impassable mountain range along the coast, not only are beyond all attack, but, with their deep harbors and their hiding-places, make an ideal haven for warships; but the unbroken coast-line on the Italian side, with its shallow waters and almost no ports, affords no naval base. Moreover, the waters of the Italian shores are shallow, while those leading to the Mediterranean by the Straits of Otranto are deep and the currents swift, so that mines in that twenty miles of channel are hardly possible. No wonder that, despite the Allied fleets, Austria controlled the Adriatic throughout the war.

But the Adriatic problem meant more than this. The shores of the Adriatic that were not Italian were largely within the Empire of Austria-Hungary. Before the war, the peninsula of Istria, coming down east of Venice, had to the north the great Austrian port of Trieste and near its southern tip the famous naval base of Pola. Hungary reached the sea just below, at Fiume, the outlet for a hinterland of varied races under different governments. Farther south, Austrian territory extended along the coast, in the narrow strip of Dalmatia, that Adriatic wall along which Serbia was looking for a window. And when one thought of the Adriatic, one could not but think of the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, annexed by Aus

tria-Hungary with a cynical contempt for treaties; and one must think also of two other countries on the sea below Dalmatia Montenegro, that superb anomaly of independence, and Albania, a land that had always lived its own life in the Balkans, but apart from the rest of the world and of Europe till 1913.

With its memories of Italian civilization and culture, where Italian power had long since lost sway; with its medley of races, of religions, and of governments; with the conflicting strategic positions and ambitions of the great powers bordering on its waters; with its cross-currents of commercial rivalries, and with ancient hatreds smouldering under modern injustice, the Adriatic presented a situation which, at any static stage, it might well seem impossible to change without disaster, but which, in the state of flux created by a great war, became a problem whose solution was well worthy of any wisdom.


The diplomatic history of the Adriatic in the World War is usually dated from the Pact of London. But I put it farther back. I date it from that night in August, 1914, when the Italian Ambassador at Paris woke the French Minister of Foreign Affairs in his bedroom, and told him that the attacks by Germany on France and on Russia were not a casus fœderis within the terms of the Triple Alliance, and that Italy would remain neutral. Then was taken the great decision by Italy, a decision which really put the Adriatic question on the lap of the gods, and which, by permitting the withdrawal of French troops from the Italian frontier, made possible the first victory of the Marne.

Now, the Pact of London has been denounced by almost every recent crit

ic; and, in particular, it has been denounced by every so-called 'liberal,' a term which seems to me often to mean one who is very tolerant of his own point of view. We have been told that the Pact of London was secret, that it was a bargain—a hard bargaindriven by Italy with the Allies, and that it violated every principle of self-determination and of justice. Well, despite the critics and despite the fact that they charged me at Paris with the crime of being pro-Italian, I think I can consider the Pact of London by an examination of its provisions in the light of the circumstances surrounding its creation; and that is how any international document should be considered.

That treaty was signed on April 26, 1915, between Italy, Great Britain, France, and Russia; and one of its provisions was that Italy should enter the war on the side of the Allies within one month thereafter. This fact alone repels all criticism on the ground of secrecy at the time; for it could hardly be expected that public announcement would be made of a future move in the


Of course, no one can defend secret treaties in principle, for the principle of secrecy in diplomacy is an evil one. But the evil was not generally recognized in Europe in 1915; we are apt to forget the great change which has taken place in world-sentiment in this matter. The Covenant of the League of Nations contains a clause for the public registration of treaties; any such idea would have been wholly illusory and impossible only a few years ago, for the fundamental law of almost every continental state made provision for secret treaties. Indeed, if we go back a century in our own history, we find the Congress of the United States under Madison passing secret laws, which for years were kept off our statute-books.

By the rest of the Pact of London it

« ZurückWeiter »