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So the criticism about the loss of interest and the falling off of recruiting is not altogether fair. The method employed was not well adapted to the end in view. It was a defect in policy rather than any defect in the law.
The CHAIRMAN. Was the same system adopted in other States? Gen. STOTESBURY. I was told by the officer assigned by the Eastern Department, at the time he organized the recruiting-depot system, that the Federal system had worked well in other States. It could not have had very long tests at that time, because that was only about a month after the call.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that was any part of a scheme on the part of the Regular Establishment to discredit the National Guard?
. Gen. STOTESBURY. Not at all, Senator. I believe it was a lack of appreciation of conditions and an attempt to apply to the National Guard, a branch with which they seemed to be unfamiliar, a method which was thought to be perfectly natural and normal and well adapted to the regular service.
The CHAIRMAN. The suggestion has been made once or twice during the hearings that the Regular Establishment undertook to do things that would handicap the National Guard for the purpose of bringing them into discredit. I would like to have your views about that.
Gen. STOTESBURY. I would like to go on record emphatically as against any such belief. I do not believe there was that attitude. I saw no evidence of it whatever.
The CHAIRMAN. How was it on the border as between the enlisted personnel of both forces and the officers as well?
Gen. STOTESBURY. When you come to a discussion of the border, my visit there was a very short one, and I was engaged while I was there in paying the New York troops the difference between the Federal pay and the State pay. As to that feature, I think Gen. O’Ryan will be much better able to advise you.
But I did see evidences all along of a system that tended to discredit the National Guard, but it was not intended to do so. This matter of equipment I have already referred to. All our efforts to get the war-strength equipment in the State failed. It was not because the officers of the Eastern Department or of the War Department opposed it, but it was urged that there was a legal obstacle which prevented the deposit of this property in the State. There was no provision of law, so far as I know, that made it necessary to maintain organizations at one strength and then to disorganize them by the introduction of an untrained element just when you wanted to use them; but that was the policy and that is what was done.
Of course, it operated to reduce the efficiency of the organization at once. No matter how well trained the original organization might have been, the introduction of an untrained increment of from 30 to 50 per cent necessarily lowered, if it did not destroy, the efficiency of the whole.
The CHAIRMAN. That would have the same effect on the Regular Establishment as well ?
Gen. STOTESBURY. Absolutely. It should be taken as a fundamental maxim that any force that is to be used as a first-line force
must be used at the strength at which it is maintained for training and that no other element should be introduced into that force until it has had a sufficient amount of preliminary training.
The War Department does not permit men to participate in encampment and maneuvers who have not had at least 60 days' training, and that on the principle that until a man has had at least 60 days' training it does not pay even to take him into a camp for a limited period of 15 days. Yet in this enterprise of actual service, to repel or to prevent an invasion, men were taken in overnight-men who had had no training and no discipline whatever and with no opportunity for training were moved off to the border.
The States were not to blame for these conditions, the nationaldefense act is not responsible, and assuredly it was not the fault of the National Guard.
Senator BRADY. The fault was with the law and the conditions rather than with the National Guard ?
Gen. STOTESBURY. I will agree with you that it was not with the National Guard, and in only a few respects was it with the law. It was, rather, a matter of policy, the attempt to apply a system which had been worked out for one condition and one kind of a force to entirely different conditions and a wholly different kind of a force.
Senator BRADY. Do you think this law we had at the time could have been applied in a manner that would have caused more efficiency on the part of the National Guard ?
Gen. STOTESBURY. Absolutely, Senator, absolutely. This act went into effect only a short time before the call. Little, if anything, had been done in respect to putting the law into operation before the call.
The method of carrying out this call and mustering the forces into the service was applied under a system which was intended for a volunteer organization; the whole scheme of this defense act is that organizations of the National Guard should be called into the service as they are. Yet they were required to go through all the forms of preparing muster rolls and conducting physical examinations and transferring property and doing all of those things required of new units. They were treated as volunteer organizations rather than as National Guard under the scheme contemplated by the national-defense act.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not probable, too, that they did not have time between the date of the enactment of the national-defense act and the call to have gotten all these appliances ready under any system?
Gen. STOTESBURY. Yes; it may have been. Of course, there was a good deal of pressure between those dates and a good many things to be attended to.
The CHAIRMAN. The call was about the 18th, was it not?
The CHAIRMAN. The act was approved on the 3d ?
The CHAIRMAN. So there were only about 15 days to get all this done?
Gen. STOTESBURY. There was not the opportunity to work out the plan of mobilization under that defense act.
Senator BRADY. A great deal of confusion was caused on calling out the troops so soon after the bill was passed ?
Gen. STOTESBURY. Undoubtedly, if they had had time to formulate a scheme of mobilization consistent with the terms of that act, the whole thing would have been conducted on a different basis.
The CHAIRMAN. I think, as a matter of fact, the Regular Establishment is to blame a great deal for this mobilization, but I think the Congress of the United States is to blame a great deal, too, because while the heads of these different departments or bureaus have been asking for money for equipment, they have been turned down in the amount necessary to equip either the recruits of the Regular Army up to its war strength, or the National Guard up to its maximum
Gen. STOTESBURY. There is no doubt of that. It is generous for the Congress to assume the blame, and I am willing to go back of that. The blame is with the people; Congress would respond if the people demanded it; and the people would demand it if the situation were realized. There is no doubt that many difficulties have arisen because the War Department was not supplied with sufficient funds for the purpose.
There has not been money to enable the War Department to organize the authorized units of the Regular Army, to provide for the separate organization of the supply companies, the headquarters companies, and the machine-gun companies. In order to have these commands, it was necessary to adopt the scheme of detailing men from the other line companies to make up these units. On account of the requirement that the National Guard shall have an organization conforming to that of the Regular Army, it was necessary also that the National Guard should resort to that expedient.
The CHAIRMAN. The Regular Army had the same difficulty ? Gen. STOTESBURY, The Regular Army had the same difficulty; yes; and the reason was that they did not have money enough to maintain these other units, and they had to utilize what they had.
Senator BRADY. That was because of lack of appropriations?
Gen. STOTESBURY. Yes. That condition has been provided for under the reorganization act, and now we are enabled to maintain these units as separate organizations. The national defense act provided for quite material changes in organization. Undoubtedly, if a year had intervened between the approval of the act and the date of the call the result would have been very different.
The CHAIRMAN. With your knowledge of the situation, do you think the National Guard can be depended on as a first line of defense after the Regular Army?
Gen. STOTESBURY. I believe that the National Guard can not be made a first-line force unless there be unified, coordinated, Federal control and the right to govern in time of peace; that is, the Federal Government must have the right to govern in time of peace if the unit is to be used as a part of the first line. There can not be government of the National Guard by the Federal authorities in time of peace—there can not be a unified, coordinated Federal control—unless you remove the National Guard from the militia defini. tion. As long as you retain the National Guard under the militia definition of the Constitution of the United States it can not be used as a first line, and you might just as well abandon it for any such purpose.
Senator BRADY. Do you think it should be entirely federalized ? Gen. STOTESBURY. Yes; I am willing to have that federalization carried to its ultimate conclusion. I am ready to assume that from the standpoint of efficiency the best force for the first line would be a Regular Army large enough—large enough—to meet any emergency which we might be required to face, but we can not get it. The expense is too great. There is a prejudice in the public mind against maintaining a force large enough for that purpose. We must, therefore, supplement the Regular Army of the size the Congress is willing to provide by some other force as nearly like the Regular Army as it is possible to make it on a basis that the people will accept. If you will proceed under the army clause of the Constitution there is no difficulty. As Congress has the right to raise and maintain a full-time army such as the Regular Army, they have the right also to raise and maintain a half-time army on the basis of the National Guard, a force of which the personnel, for the greater part of the year, is engaged in ordinary commercial and industrial pursuits, but which devotes enough time to training and discipline each year to make it a useful and available adjunct to the Regular Army, which devotes all its time to military service.
The CHAIRMAN. You would not do that under the National Guard system as at present organized ?
Gen. STOTESBURY. No; not as at present organized. If you are going to make the National Guard useful for that purpose, it must first be completely federalized and brought under unified Federal control, and you can not do that without taking the National Guard out of the militia definition.
Senator Brady. Your thought in that case is to make them a second line of defense?
Gen. STOTESBURY. No. They could then be called, when necessity required, to perform the same sort of duty that is performed by the Regular Army, provided the training prescribed and carried out is adequate to make them useful, or it would take a very short time to whip them into shape. But the thought is that they are a firstline force, the force that is to provide the peace-time force of the country. We must have a sufficient force to garrison our coast defenses, our oversea possessions, and a mobile force for continental United States. The average in the over-sea possessions is that for every man in the coast defense you should have. 10 in the mobile army. In Continental America it takes between five and six men in the mobile army to one in the coast defense to provide the necessary support. This is some of the work that has to be performed by the Regular Army in ordinary peace time and in case of war there must be other forces ready to augment them.
We need 500,000 organized and trained men-I mean permanently organized—a peace-time strength. I doubt that Congress will make provision for a Regular Army of 500,000 men. I doubt if you will provide for 280,000, which is what the General Staff believes to be the irreducible minimum requirement of a peace-time force.
The CHAIRMAN. If we get such a law through Congress, we would not get the men.
Gen. STOTESBURY. I want to speak of that, Mr. Chairman. I believe you could get the men. I want to reiterate a suggestion I made
early in my statement, that no system of compulsion should be applied to less than all of a class. I do not believe in selective conscription; compulsion should not be applied to fill up the Regular Army or to fill up the National Guard. So long as the service in the Regular Army and so long as the service in the National Guard depend upon a voluntary enlistment, it must be made attractive before it can be made efficient. Service in the National Guard and in the Regular Army is purely upon the basis of self-interest. There are undoubtedly occasions when patriots rush to the colors; but we can not depend on that. The service must be regulated upon the basis of self-interest. Men that go into the Regular Army in times when there is no employment for them in industrial lines may be many, but just as soon as there is a wide industrial demand for labor, you can not get them to go into the Regular Army; that is, you can not get them on the present terms. But if you can not get them at $15 a month, you must try to get them at $30 a month. If you can not get them at $30 a month, you may have to meet it in some way, either by the amount of compensation or reward in some form.
In order to maintain the Regular Army and the National Guard the service must be put on a basis that will attract men in sufficient numbers to meet its requirements.
You will find much difference of opinion. Some think the Regular Army and the National Guard ought to be maintained by a system of selective compulsion. I do not believe in compulsion except when applied to all of a class. Avoid the application of a selective draft. Compulsion when equally and generally applied is subject to no just complaint, but compulsion applied only to a part of the whole, which determines one's service by chance or lot, that is the situation which leads to draft riots and all the other objectional features of the draft and conscription, bounties, and substitution.
I want to be understood in this: Discussion of the Regular Army, either as to its strength or the nature of its service, or of the National Guard as to its system of organization, does not touch at all the proposition of the common defense, in the discussion of which we are now primarily engaged. The Regular Army and the National Guard constitute the peace-time force. Call it the national police force if you will.
The larger problem is that of adequate provision for the common defense. A system that will produce millions where we have been talking of thousands or hundreds of thousands, such a system can only be carried out by a policy which compels every citizen of this great country, whether he will or not, to assume the obligations of citizenship and to recognize that his rights as a citizen are reciprocal only to his obligation of service.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for being so patient and allowing me so much time. Unless there is some question that you desire to put to me, I believe I have nothing further to say at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you, Gen. Stotesbury.
Senator Brady. Mr. Chairman, I would like very much to hear from Gen. O’Ryan at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Gen. O'Ryan, do you desire to make any statement to the committee at this time?