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INDIANS OF THE GREAT FUR COUNTRY OF THE NORTH, The aborigines initiated the white men into the mysteries of trapping, and made possible the big fortunes
derived from the fur industry.
In the closing hours of the session the "rider" increasing magazine postage was withdrawn and provision was made for the appointment of a committee to investigate the whole subject
of second-class mail matter and its cost.
HE TECHNICAL WORLD MAGA- said that the TECHNICAL WORLD MAGAZINE-like every other estab- ZINE does not ask-nor will it knowingly lished standard magazine— accept-anything in the shape of a subrepresents an investment of sidy from Congress. President Taft and
several hundred thousand his advisers may urge the granting of dollars. On this large investment the ship subsidies; they may approve in the present net return is very modestless highest terms the passage of a tariff bill than could be safely secured in other which gives vast subsidies to wool trusts, lines of business.
steel trusts and other dropsical infant The increase in postal rates from one industries. This magazine prefers to to four cents a pound on all magazine stand or fall on its own merits. It is not advertising pages, which the administra- only ready. but anxious to pay a fair tion attempted to force through Con- price for postal service. gress, would probably wipe out the profit. But it submits to the fair-minded pubentirely and might leave a deficit. lic that in determining what is a fair
It is admitted, then, in the first place price for postal service and in putting that this magazine opposes the postal in- any change into force, the following crease for purely selfish reasons. But if principles, among others, should be folthere was nothing more involved than a lowed:
cial loss to its publishers they would 1. The fair price should be-can bemake up the deficit-or go out of busi- determined only after a full and careful ness—and not attempt to bother the investigation, such as would satisfy any reading public with a statement of the reasonable business man. case.
Postmaster General Hitchcock deBut, with no desire to make rash clares that the present postal deficit of charges, with every wish to be gener- $6,000,000 is due to the fact that it costs ous and fair in its judgments of public many millions more to carry second class men, this magazine is forced to the con- matter than is paid for the service. clusion that there are involved in the Mr. Hitchcock is an ambitious polipostal increase consequences of the grav- tician who has been Postmaster General est import to all the people of the United for about two years. His statement is States.
questioned by Senator Boies Penrose of By way of clearing the way, let it be Pennsylvania, the chairman of the great Post Office committee of the United impossible to make such an investigation States, who, speaking in the Senate as to fairly apportion the cost of transwithin a year, said:
porting and handling any class of mail "It is idle to take up such questions as matter. apportioning the cost for carrying second Since, however, Postmaster General class mail matter or the proper compen- Hitchcock insists on biaming the magasation of railroads for transporting the zines, it is to be noted thai in 1870, before mails until we shall have established second class mail matter was put on the business methods in postoffice affairs by pound basis, at all, the deficit was more a reorganization of the
than twenty-one per cent whole postal system.”
of the gross receipts of the Senator Carter of
department. In 1880 the Montana, also speaking
first year after the pound in the senate, said in
rate went into effectMarch, 1910:
when there was a sudden "I deeply sympathize
jump in the amount of with the earnest desire
second class matter—the of the department of
deficit was less than ten ficials to get rid of the
per cent of the gross redeficiency they are fated
ceipts. to encounter every year,
Five years later-in but I submit that the
1885 — the law was first real movement to
passed which reduced ward that end must
the postal rate on second begin with the substitu
class matter to one cent tion of a modern, up-to
a pound. And between date business organiza
1880 and 1890 the total tion for the existing anti
weight of second class quated system."
matter had been multiSenator Carter is also
plied by three. Yet in an old member of the
1890 the postal deficitPost Office committee
staggering as it should and is thoroughly ac
have been under this quainted with its prob
awful burden — dropped lems.
to less than nine per cent. The total gross re
After 1900 the inceipts of the post office
crease in the weight of department for the last
second class matter was fiscal year were $224,
stupendous. And with 000,000. The total de
each year's increase the ficit for the same year
postal deficit decreased, was 2.6 per cent. To the
INCREASED POSTAGE RATES
until in 1902 it amounted man on the street, who
to only 2.4 per cent of knows something of the
the gross receipts. Deway politics has entered into the admin- ficits since then have been due to the istration of the post office department, appropriation of millions for free rural it will appear perfectly reasonable to be- delivery — in which the TECHNICAL lieve that a saving of less than three per WORLD MAGAZINE fully believes. The cent of the gross receipts of such an loss on free rural delivery in 1910 was enormous and complicated business may nearly $30,000,000—the total deficit of easily be made by the adoption of ap- the department was less than $6,000,000. proved business methods.
It would appear hard indeed to show In the meantime it is safe to take the any connection between magazine adword of Senators Penrose and Carter vertising and deficits in the postal de
—both experts in postal matters—that partment. until the post office is put on a non- 2. The same rate of postage should political and business basis it will be apply on all varieties of mail matter
falling under the same class, without, at four or five average newspapers to weigh least, unfair discrimination among them. a pound. Therefore there is four or
The gross weight of newspapers five times more work to be done in hanmailed yearly in the United States is dling and distributing a pound of newsseveral times greater than the gross papers than a pound of magazines. weight of magazines. Both come under Mr. Hitchcock's own figures—which the head of second class matter. Yet we think inaccurate and misleadingPostmaster General Hitchcock says that make his argument ridiculous. To haul the increased cost of postage shall apply and handle a pound of magazines, as only to magazines and that newspapers derived from the figures of the departshall be carried at the old rate of one ment-costs 6.4 cents; to haul and handle cent per pound. His reason for this a pound of newspapers costs 8.75 cents. discrimination is that the magazines are And the magazines make up—again acon the average carried through the mails cording to Mr. Hitchcock-only about for a longer distance than the news one-third of the total weight of the secpapers. Therefore they should pay more ond class mail. for the service. It costs, says Hitchcock, . In other words the department's own five cents to transport a pound of maga- figures show a loss in hauling and hanzines and two cents to transport a pound dling newspapers of more than $33,000,of newspapers.
000, against a similar loss of $8,400,000 But the handling and distribution of in hauling and handling magazines. mail matter costs much more than its Why should this discrimination be mere railroad transportation. The av- shown in favor of the newspapers ? A erage magazine weighs a pound. It takes cynic, knowing the tremendous political
IS THE POSTAL DEFICIT DUE TO SECOND CLASS MAIL? THESE FIGURES SEEM TO
DISPROVE THAT CONTENTION. Note that, with one exception-1909-an increase in the quantity of second class mail produced a decrease in the deficit:
POUNDS OF NEWSPAPERS
154,719,317 POUNDS OF MAGAZINES MAILED IN
1910 POSTOFFICE LOSSES ON MAILING AND HANDLING $8,354,843
POSTOFFICE LOSSES ON MAILING AND HANDLING $33,032,844.73
WHY RAISE THE RATE ON MAGAZINES AND LET NEWSPAPERS GO AT THE OLD FIGURE?
power of the newspaper press, might S o far as the present business organsuggest an answer.
ization of the department is concerned, Again it may be stated, in passing, it is a matter of common knowledge that that under the present law all newspapers a large percentage of the postmasters and other periodicals which are mailed appointed by every successive president for distribution to actual subscribers in are really nothing but the political agents the county of their publication are car- of Congressmen and of other officeholdried absolutely free, provided only that ers. In many cases—every man will be they are not mailed at a letter-carrier able to recall them in his own experience office. The object of this exemption is, these political postmasters practically of course, to provide for the circulation turn over the management and operation of the small country newspapers, chiefly of the postoffices to subordinates and deweeklies. And this magazine, for one, vote almost all their own time and atthinks it a perfectly proper provision of tention to their individual business or to the law.
political work. Certainly if every postAnother reason which Mr. Hitchcock master were compelled to give his indigives for putting the whole burden of the vidual attention to the postoffice, a conincreased cost of postage on the maga- siderable saving in clerk-hire and other zines, is the alleged fact that they carry expenses could be made. a greater percentage of advertising than Postmaster General Hitchcock and the newspapers. This statement is not President Taft apparently recognize the accurate. A comparison of the volume of fact that this great opportunity for savadvertising in newspapers and maga- ing exists, for they have recommended zines is obviously hard to make. But, that first class postmasters be put under by careful measurements, it appears that the protection of the civil service law. the newspapers contain about four per This will remove them from politics and cent more advertising than the maga- insure to competent and honest public zines, in proportion to the amount of servants, permanent positions in the reading matter.
TOTAL LOSS ON
TOTAL DEFICIT IN
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS OF POSTOFFICE DEPARTMENT
THE PRESENT DEFICIT IS LESS THAN THREE PER CENT OF GROSS INCOME, Could not a non-political post office department, organized and run on a business basis. save that per cent in the
expenses of administration alone?