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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - October 18, 1917, Des Moines, IowaOwa ome lbs Moines Iowa thursday october our duty to our Soldier boys. There Are some things in connection with our War policies that Are perfectly proper questions for argument and debate but there Are ethers which Are not debatable. They Are to self that they Are not open to question. One of them in the fact that those of us who Are left at Home should see to it that the families of the Farmers who slave been drafted into military service do not suffer. It makes my heart fairly ache As i read my daily mail to learn of cases where farm families have been left in almost destitute circumstances because their head and their support has been called to the colors. I have often expressed my regret that the government has seen fit to further reduce our Al ready too limited farm labor Supply by drafting Farmers for military service at this time and every letter which i get telling of some big crop Farmer who Mii St sell his live Stock and close out his Busi Ness because he has been summoned for military Fluty impresses on me anew the Short sighted National policy which i think the government is Fol lowing. But at the same time i know that in the average Case the Farmer s family will have sufficient to live on and that they will not want for necessities of life while he is gone. But there Are Many instances especially in Tho families of farm hands and of Young renters and even More frequently of Labouring men in the cities and towns where the family has acquired no surplus for Rainy Day where no matter whether through poor management or indifference they have led a hand to Mouth existence and the daily wages of the Man is the sole support of the wife and of Little babies. In such Homes As these absolute want for the Bare necessities of life is staring them in the face and the wolves of cold and hunger Are gnawing at the door. It is for such As they that my Keart bleeds most. General Plummer who is the commanding officer at Camp Dodge has called this matter to the Atten Tion of the councils of National defense in Grain Belt whose sons Are preparing to do their bit for their country at various Camps. As i happen to be it member of one of these bodies i have had the privilege of seeing his Clear Cut Plain statement of facts such As one would expect an officer of his Eminence and experience to write. It reads As follows dear Large number of letters Are being received at these Headquarters from the wives of drafted men which indicate that Many families Are being left in a destitute condition. We Are unable to release these men under present conditions and we Are equally unable to determine How serious Are the real conditions in these Homes. It would be a Ireat help to us if your state Council of defense appoint a responsible person in each county of the state to whom we could refer such cases for investigation and Relief. We would like to have on file a list of such representatives of your organization by counties with their addresses. Such re Lief As is Given must for the present be local. Until these men Are released from military service or Congress shall arrange for a dependent allowance the committees from which these men come will Bave to take care of them. But these people really in need should not be allowed to suffer. Content ment at Home is just As necessary As Contentment at if the morale of the men is to be kept at a High Point. Tour organization can perform a splendid patriotic service by enlisting the forces of the which Are sending men Here to investigate and relieve All legitimate cases of need among the families of the men of the National army. Very truly yours e. H. , major general commanding. I cannot understand How Congress could have adjourned without making ample preparation for meet ing just Buch unfortunate conditions As general Plummer describes but i can understand fully that what he Days about Contentment at Home being just As essential As Contentment at Camp if the spirit and morale of our Soldier boys Are to be maintained at Par. My friends it is our it is our High fulfil the obligation which Congress should have discharged for the whole country. It is an individual responsibility that we have and we must meet it no matter what the Cost. These Young Soldier boys who Are to be the Backbone of our National army Are fighting your Battles and mine they Are the defenders of our families and our firesides they Are the protectors of our herds and our farms. I can think of no form of ingratitude More base no slacker More contemptible than one who would let them sacrifice and suffer without doing everything his Power to relieve the worries and sufferings of those whom they have left behind. I Wlson that every Reader of my papers would con Sider himself a committee of one to investigate conditions in his Community among the families of those who have gone into the army for As general Plummer has pointed out this service must for the present be a Community one until Congress wakes up and does its duty by the boys in Khaki and their families. Then if any Reader finds cases of dire need and want in his Community which Are not being properly relieved by local help and will report them to me i will personally see to it that the matter is called to the attention of their state Council of National defense and do everything in any Power to pro vide Relief. Tonight in scores of thousands of farm Homes throughout the Grain Belt where these words will be read families will Eit Down to warm meal that would Delight the appetite of the richest in the land. They will be warmly clothed and the whole House will hold Comfort and cheer for every Mem Ber of the family. Jothen the family Circle Breaks up it will be to go to clean Beds to sleep the Bleep of Comfort if not of absolute luxury. Perhaps there will be an empty chair at the table and around the Reading lamp because of the absence of one who a doing his duty for his Flag and country at some Distant army Camp. But he too will Roll up in his army Blanket with pleasant thoughts of Home know ing that although he it Malsed in the daily farm work and around the fireside All in Well with the Home folks he left behind. But there is another Elde to that picture my friends. In Many a Home Over this Broad and Fer tile Grain Belt mothers and Little children will go hungry and cold to bed weeping for the support of their husband and father or their brother who tramps a lonely beat on guard duty or tosses sleep Lessly on his hard bunk torn with the anguish of the thought that because he is doing his duty inno cent loved ones at Home Are buffering. That Man my friends la not a stranger to you and to me. He is our Friend our Comrade our brother by whose sacrifices we shall live to enjoy our comforts and our Prosperity let us this tonight and Start out Tomor Row resolving that we will do our part and not Only give to Liberty Loans and red Cross they must not be give and give and give till it hurts to keep that Man s family from want and privation. And let us not give As one Ren Dering Charity let us not contribute grudgingly As one performing an unpleasant duty. But let us give As one meeting the High privilege of paying just a Little interest on a debt of obligation whose Princi pal we can never Hope to discharge no matter How hard we try. A tax upon us All. War Revenue Bill which Congress passed and the president signed last week imposes a tax upon every one of my readers even the Little ones who tug at their mothers a karts and Are too Young to understand what is told them. We must All do our bit to make up the billions of Dol Lars which Uncle Sam needs to carry on the War. I cannot go into the new tax Law in All its details for they Are innumerable. It will have to suffice to mention a few of the More important and the More frequently encountered taxes. To begin with on and after november 2d we shall All of us have to affix a three cent stamp to a letter instead of a two As we have done for years moreover postcards will demand a two cent stamp instead of a one As heretofore. I doubt if there is another provision of the new Law which will affect More people of farms towns and cities alike than this. We All of us write letters we must All of us pay Uncle Sam More for taking them to their destination. I sincerely Hope that this 60 per cent increase in postage will not Cut Down the personal letters from my readers to any degree there is no portion of my daily labors which i enjoy More than the opening and Reading of the hundreds of subscribers letters which come to me every Day. Save your pennies for the increased postage but write to me As often and As voluminous by As you have in the past. After the first Day of november we will All of us have to pay a tax on Railroad tickets Telephone and Telegraph messages and premiums on new insurance policies. For Telephone and Telegraph messages costing Over fifteen Centa a War tax of five cents is to be added. When we buy a Railroad ticket to Chi Cago or Milwaukee or even to the next town we shall be obliged to pay the regular fare to the rail Road company and eight per cent of the ticket s Cost to Uncle Sam As a War tax. When we go to a the Ater in town we will be taxed one tenth of the Cost of the ticket for a Revenue stamp that is in All cases As i understand it except moving picture houses the proprietors of which have thus far shown an intention of paying the tax themselves rather than assessing it to their patrons after the first of december we will be obliged to affix a Revenue stamp to express and parcel Post shipments. And so on and on. Second class postal rates those which apply to newspapers and Maga Zines Are to be greatly advanced in some cases being made from four to eight times higher than now on july 1, 1918, unless Congress can be brought to see the error of its ways at the Forth coming Winter session. A along the line of life and work from the Talcum powder which the Mother uses on her infant to the coffin in which we Are buried we will find the War tax looming up causing us to dig Down deep into our pockets. We Are in the thick of the greatest War the world has Ever known a War which is costing us Many millions of dollars a Day. The debt must be met somehow Uncle Sam proposes to raise about one half of it by taxes and the other half by Bonds. These taxes will fall As heavily upon the Farmer the City Man but we must All of us remember that we Are americans first last and All the time and meet the duty of the hour in the big Frank Manly Way it should be met. Shall the Farmer build now the daily mail presents an interesting study to me. It brings me the opinion of Many men and women on divers matters it new subjects to arise in my mind and old ones to take on renewed interest it is a never fading Kaleidoscope of views and reviews. But la a larger Cense it is far More than All this its great est value is that it enables me to keep in close per anal touch with my million Strong army of farm readers and that i take it is the real test of successful journalism. No Man can give sound prac tical advice week after week year after year who isolates himself from those he advises who does not know what they think and feel to what degree they can practice what be preaches. Therefore the immense incalculable value of the daily mail to me. Sometimes the letters Are so directly related they come to my desk it is hard to realize it it merely a coincidence. One correspondent will com mend me on something i have written and the next letter i open takes Issue with me on the selfsame subject. One correspondent asks a question tha next letter presents an answer to that very ques Tion. And so on and on. Seldom however have two letters in the same mail been More closely connected than two which came to me one Day this week on the highly important question of farm building. I was going through the letters Agib my custom one by one without regard to their possible contents. In the course of my Reading this letter turned up unsigned save by the general name of a Farmer and his but so interesting i must break my Rule against printing Anonymous communications and give it to you exactly As it came to me Tonganoxie Kansas october 1, 1917. Dear or. Pierce what do you think of the advisability of building1 during these War times we have been making extensive improvements on our farm during the last eighteen months and had just gotten ready for the last and most important our House when War was declared. What do you think of the advisability of our continuing our plans we would be hard hit by the great increase in the Price of All building materials but we could manage it. We can live with out the new House but we need it badly. We Are not Boyoung As we used to be and we feel we ought to be getting the Good out of a new House if we Are Ever going to build. We have been planning for this House for a great Many years and never saw our Way Clear to build before. I am sure there Are other farm ers who will be interested in your answer. Will you please give it in your interesting department of per onal views i was formulating my ideas on this very inter Esting subject As i picked up the next letter. Would you believe it this letter gave the answer to the very question my Kansas correspondent asked an answer which went further than any Mere opinion of mine could have gone for it gave facts and Fig ures available Only to the Trade. The letter was written to me by the vice president of one of Tho largest retail lumber and building material firms in the Grain Belt and reads As follows dear or. Pierce the present time offers one of the greatest business opportunities for building Ever known in farming districts but it depends entirely on the Farmer whether he takes advantage of these opportunities. Thus far j regret to say the farther has not shown any great desire to build. In fact it concluded on Page 8.
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