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By Elbert Hubbard
All business men should be public servants, and he who would succeed must be a public servant, not a barnacle, says Mr. Hubbard, apropos of the Inter-state Commerce Commission's investigation of the express companies. Mr. Hubbard also makes some common-sense remarks about the real function of royalty; and, in connection with the trouble in China, he gives an intimate pen picture of the famous Dr.Wu.
N these days we spell Efficiency with a The express companies meet the compecapital.
tition of the Post-office Department on fourAnd as we believe that business pound packages. They also meet the secondmen, all, should be public servants, class rate in certain zones. Above four
the express companies are receiving a pounds, their rates are simply arbitrary. little attention from the Inter-state Com According to the official reports given out merce Commission.
by the express companies, their total capital The intent is to have the Commission fix is $27,000,000. Actual inventory would rates for the express companies, the same as show, however, only $10,000,000 worth of it does for the railroads.
property. There is a very great difficulty to be met The amount of yearly business is $132,here, and it seems doubtful whether the
000,000. Inter-state Commerce Commission will be Of this, $56,000,000 goes for operating able to deal with the proposition.
expenses. The thing is so intricate, and so many Sixty-four million is paid to the railroads alleys are open for the concealment of costs, for transportation. The net yearly profit, that our friends on the Inter-state Com divided among the stockholders of the exmerce Commission will undoubtedly simply press companies, is $12,000,000. throw up their hands and drop the whole The yearly profits of the express commatter, gently pigeonholing it.
panies more than equal the total value of The express companies got their foothold
their property before post-office free delivery came, and Their chief asset is their grip on the thus had an excuse for being.
community. But now the fact is that the express com It is admitted by the managers of the panies are parasites on the railroads and on express companies that a large percentage of the people. They are doing the business the $56,000,000 required for operating exthat the post-office, coöperating with the penses goes for bookkeeping and the adjustrailroads, could do without them, and do ment of payments to the railroads, with the better and at less expense.
added cost, of course, of duplicate offices in A good deal of the capital stock of the a great many cities, which offices could be express companies is owned by railroad men, eliminated if the business were combined which doubles the complexity of the situa under one management. tion for the Inter-state Commerce Com About five years ago, a scheme was on mission.
foot for an express trust. The whole matter There are seven of these principal express was very simple, and could have been companies, and in eight thousand cities of carried out, and one express company have America, from two to seven of these express done the business. The principal objection companies have offices.
was that the excessive profits would then be They pay the railroads a commission out more apparent to the people at large, and a of the amounts that they receive, and often universal protest would undoubtedly follow. three or four express companies will come in And so, after considerable agitation and prefor their share of carrying a forty-cent liminary work, the matter was dropped. package.
There is only one solution that seems prac
tical, and that is for the United States country now, as never before, and it will government to take up the subject of re not down. organization of the express companies under He who would succeed must be a public one management and combine the business servant, not a barnacle. with that of the Post-office Department. In degree, now, the Post-office Department has A Vacation for Royalty the plant for operating express business.
In order not to wipe out property rights, IT T is a great thing for every one to take the Government would have to buy out the a vacation once in a while. One of the stockholders. Although the inventory shows best results of taking a vacation is that the $10,000,000, yet an investment of $40, folks will find that they can get along with000,000 would be required to shut off all out you; and another is that when you talk of confiscation. This amount would be get back you will discover how little you market value. It would appease the stock were missed. holders, satisfy the demands of justice, and By the time this writing appears in print could easily be financed in Washington. King George the Fifth will be in India.
We could issue bonds to the extent of This is the first time, since India became $40,000,000 at three per cent, and the vassal to the British Crown, that a reigning bonds would be quickly taken by the people, Emperor of India has journeyed thither. and undoubtedly, in a great many instances, The business of the King of England is the holders of express stock would be willing ninety-nine per cent. social. The more to sell their holdings to the Government, commonplace the man, the better he is as taking United States bonds in payment. king. A king that interfered and really
The express companies see the handwriting ruled would not be tolerated. Practically, on the wall, but they are not going to re England is no more a monarchy than is the linquish the juicy graft unless they have to. United States of America. There is no use in blaming individuals in When George Washington invited Lord this matter. Men are men, and when they Cornwallis to be his guest of họnor, having see a chance for profit, they avail themselves first taken Milford prisoner, Washington of it, and justify their action.
drank to the health of his guest. Then the This immense graft can not continue for guest arose and proposed a toast. He ever. It has gone on thus far only because asked all present to join him in drinking to the attention of the people has not been the King of England. All arose and George called to it, so busy have we been with our Washington said, “Here is to the King of private affairs.
England! May he stay there!” Even Recently, the whole express contingent Cornwallis laughed. have been wearing gum shoes, and it has There are people in England to-day who, taken a vast amount of “blind pool” money if called upon to drink to the Emperor of in order to keep the thing quiet in Con India, would comply, and then add, “May gress.
he stay there!” The fact is, however, that The people have never before been edu the man is not dangerous. His business is cated in the matter of economics, to the to liberate the conventional bromide, and to point where they took a personal interest in pass out the neutral daffydill. the matter and were intelligent enough to England is a great and magnificent councomprehend ways and means. The matter try, too splendid, too powerful, too glorious was simply left to agitators and reformers, to tolerate hypocrisy, but precedents tether but agitation and accusation without action her hand and foot, and so we have the are nil. Now the agitation has sobered itself paradox of a king without power. to a matter of figures, and we plainly see that the people are being exploited.
An Honorary Ad-Man No other post office department in the world divides its paying business with competitors thus.
Nebraska, is an honorary member of the Huge animals are able to nourish huge Chicago Ad-Club, having recently addressed parasites, but the subject of parasitism, that honorable body on the subject of political theological, educational, financial, legal, and publicity, and been elected to membership. commercial, is up before the people of this Dr. Bryan stated that he knew nothing
William Morgan Shuster, the American Treasurer-General of Persia (center), and the four young Americans who have been helping him reorganize the finances of a bankrupt nation. At the left, Prank S.Cairns, Persian Director of Taxation,
about the subject, but this barring his modesty-was probably because he is so thoroughly immersed in the theme that he is unable to get a perspective on it. The
Certainly, Dr. $13,000,000 Bryan is surpassed of Persia, and its as an advertiser by present occuonly two individuals in America. There is no use in naming these two persons, for those who do not know who they are would not believe it, anyway.
Dr. Bryan's latest advertising ex
ploit is to get shipwrecked in the Bahama Islands, and the wireless has sent the news all over the world that our candidate is safe.
We remember the story of the man
at the late presiAhmed Mirza, dential election the eleven-year
who said that he old son of the exShah, Mohammed Ali was going to vote
for Tait because he could vote for Bryan any time.
The remark sounds like a superfluity when we consider the fact that Dr. Bryan has been in four railroad wrecks, and live times has
been cast upon the rocks, besides the poli Then it was that our old friend Wu Tingtical ditching that has been his on several Fang got the cue, literally and poetically, occasions. Yet out of it all he emerges, and evolved into the guileless heathen who smiling expansively, unconcerned.
looks at everything with wide-open, curious
eyes, to compare inwardly the things he sees The Republic of China with the things at home across the sea.
All of the questions asked by Li HungIT.
T looks now as if Wu Ting-Fang, our old Chang were repeated by Wu Ting-Fang.
college chum, would be the first president When Dr. Wu asked Dr. Chauncey M. of the Republic of China.
Depew how many wives he had, the reportDr. Wu is the canniest Chink that ever ers got busy and the wires flashed the emcame over the cosmic pike.
barrassing interrogation. Wu Ting-Fang He has certain qualities that make him was great copy! akin to Benjamin Disraeli. He is clever, Of course, no white man, or any other man witty, rapid, satirical, patient, ambitious, wearing English clothes, could have had the and possesses purpose, plus.
brass-plated effrontery to ask these quesHe is a man who mystifies everybody and tions, but a man in Oriental costume, prois deceived by none.
tected by a seemingly imperfect knowledge Wu Ting-Fang is a walking certificate as of the language, could ask questions that to the effectiveness of American journalism. would put us all to the bad. Dr. Wu de
Twice has he been minister from China lighted in getting some one to talk to him in to the United States. When he first ar pigtail, thus, “No checkee, no washee,” and rived, he wore English-made clothes, a chim then answering them in faultless English. ney-top hat, and a top coat. He carried It is a well-known fact that a foreigner a cane, and his manner was that of the edu with an innocent outside is received by cated cosmopolitan.
many ladies in good society with a fearlessAnd why not? The father of Dr. Wu ness that they never manifest in dealing with was a convert to Methodism. He became an equal of the genus gent. a member of one of the mission colonies and The East Indian pundits have innocence was spoken of as a “rice Christian.” In this to incinerate and are usually regarded as colony, Wu Ting-Fang was born, and little incapable of guile. And this was the pose Wu spoke English before he did Chinese. of Wu Ting-Fang, the man educated in
When a youth, Wu was sent to England England, and versed from babyhood in and, for a time, was at Oxford.
Christian ways. Dr. Wu is now. sixty years of age. When Wu Ting-Fang, in his youth, professed he first came to America he was forty-five. the Christian faith, but he sloughed his Very soon after landing here, he discarded religion with his Christian clothes. Now he Christian clothes for those of the heathen is a Confucian, and it was delightful to see Chinee. We are also told that he evolved the naïve way in which he discovered spots a pigtail in a single night.
on our religious sun, and found that EmerAbout this time Li Hung-Chang appeared son only echoed the high ethics of Confucius. on the American horizon. Li was a genuine Americans are a pioneer people. There is Celestial-Wu an imitation. Li could not much here, no doubt, that is very rude and speak the English language and did not crude and absurd. Wu Ting-Fang pricked want to. He had, however, a very able our bubbles without our discovering what interpreter.
had been done until after he had gone. Li it was who set the example of asking The man must have gone home every those delightful, esoteric questions. For night, and after he had locked himself in instance, Li Hung-Chang asked Mr. George his room, waked the echoes in laughter at H. Daniels what his salary was, and then the way he had taken in American society. followed this up with, “How much do you Although we might have known that he was steal and yet not be caught?”
not so unsophisticated as he seemed, for he He asked ladies as to how many children was constantly springing our American they had, why they didn't have more, slang, and voicing our idioms. whether they were on good terms with their I once was seated near him at a banquet. husbands, and did they love their lovers more He had the whole table in an uproar by inthan their husbands. If so, why?
terrogating the toastmaster as to how many
wives he had. He questioned the guests
The dishes brought
He has an quisite sense of humor. He sees the sham in our institutions. At the same time, he is able to appreciate the best, and out of the mass of our enterprises, which we claim as democratic, he perceives that the trend is right, proper, and altogether beautiful. The good that is in America he is try
Gates; below. Wharton Barker (cenSteel Investi
ter), who charges Roosevelt with havgation Commit
ing made a deal with the Steel Trust tee. From left to
prior to his election in 1904, right, Representa
Martin W. Littleton (right) tives Young, Bart
of the Stanley Committee'. lett, Stanley. Beall,
and Henry B. Martin (left), Littleton, and McGilli
secretary of the Anti-trust cuddy. Above are shown the
League, who is accused Merritt brothers. Leonidas and
by Littleton of har Alfred, who recently preferred
ing used the Stanley sensational charges before the
Committee Committee against John D. Rocke
force down feller and his agent, Reverend F.T.
price of steel stocks the things he refused to
ing to transfer eat, simply pecking at them
to China. and making remarks about
There is no them, for our great amusement.
doubt that we have All of this was straight play-acting.
a deal to learn from The man, nevertheless, is a strong and these people across the sea. If missionable individual. He is filled with the idea aries had been sent to the Chinese in order of republicanism. At heart he is a demo- to learn from them instead of trying to