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For the present, therefore, the plan of the Navy Department to have a large repair plant and war base in Narragansett Bay, instead of the three yards at New York, Boston, and Portsmouth, will probably come to nought.

THE Department is considering the advisability of changing the enlistment period from four to five years. The plan suggested is to add a year, at the beginning of the period, to be known as a trial period, at the end of which an enlisted man, if he finds himself unsuited to the navy, may obtain his discharge without cost; or, if the Government considers him undesirable, may be honorably discharged.

It is believed that such a plan might reduce desertion. Enlisted men who have not adjusted themselves to the service within a year from their entrance, are not likely to do so afterward, and had best be dropped.

Change in Enlistment Period

THE December issue of the Proceedings of the U. S.
Naval Institute contains an article by Captain W. F.
Fullam, U.S.N., on the subject of absence
Absence
over leave by men of the fleet.

Captain Fullam states that absence over leave is so prevalent to-day among enlisted men in the fleet as to seriously injure the discipline and morale of the personnel. He furnishes absolute data and deals with specific facts and tries to omit generalities in the discussion of this subject.

"During one period of five months there were 7,150 reported cases of absence over leave among sixteen battleships, more than one case for every two men in the fleet."

The average per ship is given as 447 and the maximum

774.

over Leave

The author ascribes the reason for the evil of overstaying leave to the fact that there never has been any determined effort to put a stop to it, and that the blame rests, not upon the enlisted men, but entirely upon the officers, for not requiring a standard of discipline befitting the average modern man-of-war's man's character and intelligence.

"The average American boy is so brought up, as a rule, that he is not naturally military; but it has been conclusively demonstrated at the training stations that these lads are amenable to the highest standard of military discipline. Their personal independence is not prohibitive of military efficiency, because their intelligence is exceptionally good and they can readily be made to see the reason for things. They use their brains."

"They are better than men who are more pliable, but less intelligent. The material is all right. It only needs to be properly instructed, strictly disciplined, and fairly treated."

As to the bad effects of liberty breaking, the author states, "it is plain that it conduces to debauchery and to a general disregard of the fundamental principles of duty. In fact, it involves a combination of offences, and it leads men, most naturally, to a contemptuous view of their obligations to the ship and to the service."

The attitude of those in authority, to condone liberty breaking, is pointed out as practically encouraging a disregard of obligations that no private corporation would tolerate for an instant.

He submits a remedy for the evil, in the following general plan, followed in the Mississippi, under his command:

(1) The men have been given to understand, by frequent warnings in good plain English, with all hands at muster, that absence without leave would not be tolerated — that it would be punished to the limit of the law in every case.

(2) Men have not been classed nor restricted to the ship as a punishment for liberty breaking, except when awaiting their turn for confinement — all hands have been given leave and liberty, and as much of it as possible. Extensions of liberty and leave have been granted when the circumstances warranted such extensions.

(3) Men not more than three hours over time, who show no intent to remain away, and give some reasonable excuse, get extra duty on the quarterdeck under arms from 8.00 to 11.00 P. M.

(4) Men more than three, and less than twenty-four, hours over time, get a deck court, as a rule; though in some cases a summary court is assigned.

(5) Men who are twenty-four hours, or more, over time get a summary court.

(6) The record of a man is always considered, but the general tendency of the courts is to give as severe sentences as the circumstances will justify in all cases, by reason of the liberal privileges allowed, and the utter lack of excuse for such offenses.

(7) Bad conduct discharge is given in cases of incorrigibles, or when the man's record justifies it.

(8) Acting appointments of petty officers who break liberty are withdrawn, not as a punishment, but for "unreliability."

(9) Permanent appointments are revoked by sentence of summary court-martial.

To which he adds certain admonitions to the officers, to the effect that they must actively exert themselves to protect their men against petty, harrassing and unnecessary vexations; and warns the service that procrastination in concerted action to check this evil may affect very disastrously the efficiency of the service.

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The

Accident

WHILE the torpedo boat destroyer Warrington, in command of Lieut. W. M. Hunt, U.S.N., was proceeding to New York from Charleston, S. C., she was struck by an unindentified schooner twenty Warrington miles south of Hatteras, on December 28. Twenty-five feet of her stern was torn away and two of her crew were injured. The Warrington left Charleston with other vessels of the 8th and 9th Divisions of the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet on December 27. The ramming occurred at half-past one in the morning, during a 45-mile gale. Had it not been for the strength and good working condition of the bulkheads, the vessel would have sunk immediately.

The revenue cutter Onondaga and scout cruiser Salem were despatched to the l'arrington's assistance, the Onondaga towing her to the Norfolk yard, where she was immediately docked.

After towing the Warrington to Norfolk the Onondaga proceeded to sea to search for the vessel that rammed the torpedo boat. A three-masted schooner was reported sunk 14 miles off Hatteras the day following the accident, only her topmasts showing, and it is thought this vessel may be the one which struck the Warrington, and may have been so disabled herself that she afterwards went down.

It is believed that Congress may take some action at this session to relieve the pay corps of the Navy, the personnel of which should be increased. Need of The amount of money, stores and proviIncreasing sions to be handled are increasing every Pay Corps year, with the regular growth of the Navy. The Secretary has asked that the following be enacted into law:

"That the grades of the active list of the pay corps of the Navy are hereby increased by ten additional paymasters — in all, 86 paymasters and by 20 additional passed assistant and assistant paymasters-in all, 116 passed assistant and assistant paymasters: Provided, the total increase shall not exceed 20 during the first fiscal year."

The paymaster general's statement, transmitted to Congress by Mr. Meyer, is in part, as follows:

"This special appeal is made in the interest of the Government; for with the present force it is simply impossible to have the duties of the pay corps performed as they should be.

"The corps has not been increased since 1903, when the appropriations were $81,876,791.43; while the appropriations are now over one hundred and thirty-one millions, an increase of about sixty per cent, with a corresponding growth in the activities of the naval establishment."

It is unlikely that Congress will permit the proposed abandonment of certain yards suggested by the Secretary of the Navy. For political reasons, RepreAbandonsentatives and Senators are desirous of ment of maintaining these establishments, inasmuch Navy Yards as they provide employment for many workmen whose votes count in elections.

Parcels of the ground upon which the Boston Yard is situated passed from the original private owners to the Government, with clauses in the titles which require. the land to be used for public purposes. The Department is studying this question of titles, although, if the government should eventually decide to abandon the yard, condemnation proceedings could be instituted and any land disposed of.

With reference to the New York Yard, which Mayor Gaynor desires to see abandoned so that the space may be used by the city for docks, and about which he recently consulted with President Taft, it happens that the chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the House is opposed to the plan.

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THE December issue of the Proceedings of the U. S.
Naval Institute contains an article by Captain W. F.
Fullam, U.S.N., on the subject of absence
Absence
over leave by men of the fleet.

over

Leave

Captain Fullam states that absence over leave is so prevalent to-day among enlisted men in the fleet as to seriously injure the discipline and morale of the personnel. He furnishes absolute data and deals with specific facts and tries to omit generalities in the discussion of this subject.

"During one period of five months there were 7,150 reported cases of absence over leave among sixteen battleships, more than one case for every two men in the fleet."

The average per ship is given as 447 and the maximum

774.

The author ascribes the reason for the evil of overstaying leave to the fact that there never has been any determined effort to put a stop to it, and that the blame rests, not upon the enlisted men, but entirely upon the officers, for not requiring a standard of discipline befitting the average modern man-of-war's man's character and intelligence.

"The average American boy is so brought up, as a rule, that he is not naturally military; but it has been conclusively demonstrated at the training stations that these lads are amenable to the highest standard of military discipline. Their personal independence is not prohibitive of military efficiency, because their intelligence is exceptionally good and they can readily be made to see the reason for things. They use their brains."

"They are better than men who are more pliable, but less intelligent. The material is all right. It only needs to be properly instructed, strictly disciplined, and fairly treated."

As to the bad effects of liberty breaking, the author states, "it is plain that it conduces to debauchery and to a general disregard of the fundamental principles of duty. In fact, it involves a combination of offences, and it leads men, most naturally, to a contemptuous view of their obligations to the ship and to the service."

The attitude of those in authority, to condone liberty breaking, is pointed out as practically encouraging a disregard of obligations that no private corporation would tolerate for an instant.

He submits a remedy for the evil, in the following general plan, followed in the Mississippi, under his command:

(1) The men have been given to understand, by frequent warnings in good plain English, with all hands at muster, that absence without leave would not be tolerated that it would be punished to the limit of the law in every case.

(2) Men have not been classed nor restricted to the ship as a punishment for liberty breaking, except when awaiting their turn for confinement - all hands have been given leave and liberty, and as much of it as possible. Extensions of liberty and leave have been granted when the circumstances warranted such extensions.

(3) Men not more than three hours over time, who show no intent to remain away, and give some reasonable excuse, get extra duty on the quarterdeck under arms from 8.00 to 11.00 P. M.

(4) Men more than three, and less than twenty-four, hours over time, get a deck court, as a rule; though in some cases a summary court is assigned.

(5) Men who are twenty-four hours, or more, over time get a summary court.

(6) The record of a man is always considered, but the general tendency of the courts is to give as severe sentences as the circumstances will justify in all cases, by reason of the liberal privileges allowed, and the utter lack of excuse for such offenses.

(7) Bad conduct discharge is given in cases of incorrigibles, or when the man's record justifies it.

(8) Acting appointments of petty officers who break liberty are withdrawn, not as a punishment, but for "unreliability.”

(9) Permanent appointments are revoked by sentence of summary court-martial.

To which he adds certain admonitions to the officers, to the effect that they must actively exert themselves to protect their men against petty, harrassing and unnecessary vexations; and warns the service that procrastination in concerted action to check this evil may affect very disastrously the efficiency of the service.

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THE AIDS AND THE BUREAUS

THE NAVY is pleased to find itself in entire accord with the correspondent who has favored it with the communication printed on p. 7. As will be seen, the letter is written in reply to an editorial which appeared in THE NAVY for December. A reference to that editorial, however, will show that the only question raised in it which might be construed as adverse to Secretary Meyer's recommendation concerning the aids, was as to whether or not the aids are to be given actual authority over existing bureaus.

Reference to Mr. Meyer's report of 1910, as well as to his report of 1911, fails to show that he has recommended that the aids be given such authority. The comment on this question in THE NAVY for December was merely intended to point out the danger which might exist if legislation touching the aids should confer on them actual authority over the bureaus.

THE NAVY regards the point made by its correspondent as affirming and supplementing the position that THE NAVY itself took in its editorial for December. i.e. that the bureaus should continue as executive agencies, to be supplemented by the aids acting in a purely advisory capacity.

It may be added, that it would be well if the advisory functions of the aids should be recognized by law; for, while Mr. Meyer has seen fit to provide himself with aids.

of experience and ability, some later secretary, in the absence of any provision of law covering this point, may chose to do without them.

In that event, much that has been gained in the past three years would be lost: the bureau chiefs being largely -occupied with details of administration of their own bureaus, the Secretary would lack thoroughly disinterested advice on the many problems of naval administration which a layman can hardly be expected to solve without the best professional advice.

OUR TREATY WITH RUSSIA

The recent 300-to-1 vote in the House of Representatives on the resolution to abrogate our treaty of 1832 with Russia, is an example of the fact that, though usually it is the people who become excited and Congress has to keep its head, sometimes the conditions seem to be reversed. In this case, the President, acting for the people, had to take the matter into his own hands, in order to terminate the treaty and at the same time to prevent any more unnecessary offense to a country with which we have always been upon the most friendly

terms.

Unfortunately, this is a period in our national politics when each of the great parties is trying in every way to gain an advantage over the other, and nothing is allowed to escape that can possibly be turned into political capital.

The following is the form in which the resolution was finally passed as a joint measure by Congress:

Whereas, the treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and Russia, concluded on the eighteenth day of December, eighteen hundred and thirty-two, provides in Article XII thereof that it "shall continue in force until the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, and if, the year before that day, one of the high contracting parties shall not have announced to the other, by an official notification, its intention to arrest the operation thereof, this treaty shall remain obligatory one year beyond that day, and so on until the expiration of the year which shall commence after the date of a similar notification"; and

Whereas, on the seventeenth day of December, nineteen hundred and eleven, the President caused to be delivered to the Imperial Russian Government, by the American Ambassador at Saint Petersburg, an official notification on behalf of the

Government of the United States, announcing intention to terminate the operation of this treaty upon the expiration of the year commencing on the first of January, nineteen hundred and twelve; and

Whereas, said treaty is no longer responsive in various respects to the political principles and commercial needs of the two countries; and

Whereas, the constructions placed thereon by the respective contracting parties differ upon matters of fundamental importance and interest to each: Therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the notice thus given by the President of the United States to the Government of the Empire of Russia to terminate said treaty in accordance with the terms of the treaty is hereby adopted and ratified.

Approved, December 21, 1911.

Although it is true that the treaty is "no longer responsive in various respects to the political principles and commercial needs of the two countries," the immediate cause of our action in this matter is the unwillingness of Russia to accept our construction thereon.

The question at issue, upon the construction of which the two countries have not been able to reconcile their interpretations, is contained in two articles, as follows:

ARTICLE I.

There shall be between the territories of the high contracting parties, a reciprocal liberty of commerce and navigation. The inhabitants of their respective States shall, mutually, have liberty to enter the ports, places, and rivers of the territories of each party, wherever foreign commerce is permitted. They shall be at liberty to sojourn and reside in all parts whatsoever of said territories. in order to attend to their affairs, and they shall enjoy, to that effect, the same security and protection as natives of the country wherein they reside, on condition of their submitting to the laws and ordinances there prevailing, and particularly to the regulations in force concerning commerce.

ARTICLE X.

The citizens and subjects of each of the high contracting parties shall have power to dispose of their personal goods within the jurisdiction of the other, by testament, donation, or otherwise, and their representatives, being citizens or subjects of the other party, shall succeed to their said personal goods, whether by testament or ab intestato, and may take possession thereof, either by themselves, or by others acting for them, and dispose of the same, at will, paying to the profit of the respective Governments, such dues only as the inhabitants of the country wherein the said goods are, shall be subject to pay in like cases.

.. But this Article shall not derogate, in any manner, from the force of the laws already published, or which may hereafter be published by His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias: to prevent the emigration of his subjects.

In plain teras, it seems that Russia, as a sovereign state, simply claims the sovereign right of regulating her own affairs, and that if a foreign citizen desires to visit or reside within her territory, he must submit to her regulations governing such sojourn or residence.

In our humanitarian ideas of how other nations should conduct their affairs, it is well to realize that even we are not entirely free from prejudices. In certain parts. of this country, for example, we have good, law-abiding, free-born, native citizens of the United States, who experience certain diseri ninations on account of their color; while in other sections, there are regulations of a discriminating character against certain alien races.

Whether this be right or wrong, we should be quick to resent any foreign interference in such matters.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

"AGE FOR COUNSEL, YOUTH FOR ACTION"

To the Editor of THE NAVY:

It is evident, from your editorial on the Report of the Secretary of the Navy, in the December issue of THE NAVY, that you are not in accord with the Secretary's recommendation that the present system of appointing aids be recognized and authorized by law.

Your fear, as expressed, is that the destiny of the aids will be to assume authority over the existing bureaus.

Clearly, however, the essence of the Secretary's recommendation is that the aids should constitute an advisory Board, and not an executive one.

It may be well to remember that, when the bureaus were first created, there was not as much for the bureau chiefs to do, and they, in fact, formed an advisory board to the Secretary, very much as the Sea Lords of the Admiralty do in England. But now, the navy has become the great manufacturing branch of the government, and the chiefs of the several bureaus find their time so completely occupied by detail work that they have no time for consideration of, or consultation on, general subjects. In selecting aids from older and more experienced officers, and bureau chiefs from younger officers, Secretary Meyer has returned to the old custom, and is carrying out the maxim of "Age for counsel, youth for action.”

It is to be assumed that, if there be any legislation recognizing the aids, it will be along general lines, which may possibly include some reorganization of the bureaus; and I trust that THE NAVY will see its way to support fully the Secretary's suggestion, for it is one of the most, if not the most, important in his Report,

ROBERT M. THOMPSON.

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