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superior officer. He can do no more than deliver the orders of the Governor and act as his representative. The Major-General has the power, and he should be given every possible facility for the exercise of this power. If he fails to do his duty, or fails to bring the Guard up to the proper pitch of efficiency, he should be removed and another put in his place; but so long as he is in office he must be given a free hand. In other words, he must be given full power, so that the responsibility can be settled upon him, and then he should be held responsible for the exercise of this power and responsibility.
I call your especial attention to the arms of the Guard. The lamentable result of keeping the Guard armed with archaic weapons, utterly unfit for modern warfare, was shown very conclusively in the late contest with Spain. It is an under-statement of the case to say that a single tirst-class regiment, armed with, the Krag-Jorgensen, is worth three regiments armed with a low power, single shot, black powder piece like the Springfield. The National Guard should be armed with a small calibre, high power rifle, preferably that used by the regular army. In any event the cartridge should be the same. The last point is of the utmost importance. All the fighting forces of this country should use the same cartridge. It is a great mistake for the army and navy to use different rifles, but it is an even greater mistake for the army and the National Guard to use different rifles. The Springfield musket as a modern arm has two drawbacks. First, owing to the limited range, it is of small value against a foe armed with high power, repeating rifles. Second, owing to the black powder, it is a source of utmost danger to whoever uses it, as the smoke that it makes serves as a target, and the body of men using it immediately become the object of all the hostile fire from every part of the field within range. This was shown not merely by the experience of the National Guard in Cuba, but by the experience of the regular artillery, which also had black powder weapons, and which suffered in consequence exactly as the Guard did. It has been proposed as a remedy to supply smokeless powder for the present weapon. It is doubtful whether or not this could be done, but if done it would merely render the weapon less dangerous to the user without rendering it much more formidable to the foe. Any such half measure would be a failure. Our National Guardsmen are entitled to the best type of weapon. In a riot they could probably do the best work with shotguns; but we must have rifles, and these rifles should be of the highest type, and should take the same cartridge that is used by the United States regular troops.
The regimental hospital corps should be kept up, and encouraged. The war with Spain has demonstrated the necessity of the regimental hospital.
The Red Cross, and kindred organizations, have done admirable work for our soldiers during the summer just past. The Red Cross Society should be the right hand of the medical department of the army, in peace and war; for even the best medical department will always need volunteer aid in the case either of battles or of camp epidemics. In America the Red Cross should have a federal organization, with, in every State, chapters which should be in close touch with the National Guard, attending the encampments and forming schools of instruction in military methods. We should then have in this State, for instance, "The Red Cross of the National Guard of New York;" which should be recognized by the National Government.
The Naval Militia The Naval Militia did admirable work in the late war, justifying their existence as completely as the National Guard did. The New York Naval Militia furnished practically the entire crew, and all but two of the highest officers, on board of the war ship "Yankee." They were fortunate in having in the person of Commander Bronson one of the most gallant and efficient captains in the United States Navy; and they did their duty in first class style. It would be difficult to parallel in the history of other naval nations what was done in this war by those naval militia organizations which, in addition to helping provide for our coast defense, actually furnished the entire crews of four large warships, thereby supplying a pressing need, due to the inadequate size of our splendid regular navy. The State should carefully preserve and build up this arm of the service. It must be remembered, however, that it is exactly what its name shows, namely, a Naval Militia, and not a Naval Reserve. It was called upon in the late war to do duty which should ordinarily be done by the regular navy, or by a proper naval reserve, one composed of sea-faring men similar in type to those who actually man our war ships. The Naval Militia ought normally to be used for coast defence purposes. In a war with a more formidable power than Spain it would be highly undesirable to put any part of our naval force to the use for which it is not best fitted, though it may always be necessary to do this if we do not greatly enlarge our regular navy, so that in number of ships and men it may more
nearly than at present correspond to the greatness and the needs of the nation. Our Naval Militia should be kept up and built up, but it is to be earnestly hoped that they will be supplemented by a naval reserve proper, called into being by the action of the Federal Government.
The Civil Service The methods of appointment to the civil service of the State are now in utter confusion, no less than three systems being in effect — one in the city of New York, one in other cities, and one in the State at large. I recommend that a law be passed introducing one uniform practice for the entire State, and providing, as required by the Constitution, for the enforcement of proper civil service regulations in the State and its sub-divisions. This law should be modeled in its essential provisions upon the old civil service law which was repealed by the civil service law now upon the statute books. The inquiries I have made have satisfied me that the present law works badly from every standpoint, and the half mark given upon the so-called fitness test represents not a competitive examination at all, but the individual preference of the appointing officer, or rather of the outsider who has requested the appointment. It would be much better to have it stated outright that this was the case and that the examination was merely a pass or non-competitive examination, instead of going through the farce of a nominally competitive examination which is not such in reality. Where there is a large list of eligibles, as is the case now on some registers, it is practically impossible for the appointing officer to examine the whole list, and if he tried, it would merely result in a great loss of time to him, and a loss of both time and money to the unfortunate candidates. For the head of a department to try to examine at Albany a list of three hundred applicants for a $i,ooo clerkship, these applicants coming from all over the State, would mean, if they all came, an expenditure of about $3,000 by them, and the loss of several days by the appointing power. Practically, in the great majority of cases, only the applicants from the neighborhood of Albany come, and in most cases the appointing officer has made up his mind before he examines a man; so that the result is in effect to work a fraud upon men who enter the examination trusting to their own merits and not to favoritism. Where competitive examinations are to be held, they should be competitive in fact and not in name only. Where it appears after trial, or after careful investigation, that competitive examinations will not work well, then the places should be exempted from examination, or pass examinations substituted, the reasons for excepting them being set forth in full. I do not make a fetish of written competitive examinations for admission to the civil service. There are situations where these written competitive examinations are not applicable at all. There are others where they can be used simply as makeshifts; that is, as being better than a system of appointment through political favoritism, but a? being very far from perfect, and not as good as if the appointments were made by an unhampered official trying to get the best man without regard to political considerations. Physical examinations, and technical examinations into the capacity of the man to do the work sought, shou'd, wherever advisable, be used to supplement or even to supplant the written examination proper, and this written examination itself should be of as practical a type as