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the police power. Chief Justice Smyth in a dissenting opinion held
that the business of renting property in the district, because of the
extraordinary circumstances created by the war, resulting in rental

' This forms part of the Food Control and District of Columbia Rents Act,
66th Cong. 1st Sess. ch. 80. Approved October 22, 1919.

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conditions dangerous to public health and embarassing to public busi-
ness, is affected with a public interest. The commission appealed to
the United States Supreme Court, which, on technical grounds, declined
a writ of error. However, the commission has been able to continue
to function, because of a provision of the law which, in effect, empowers
it to continue its work pending a final decision by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile the acts of the commission are still subject to review by the
courts, and a decision may soon be rendered which can form the basis
of an appeal to the highest court.

The rent laws enacted by the New York legislature in the spring of
1920 have attracted widespread attention. The legislature, following
a special message of Governor Smith, passed eleven laws, which went
into effect April 1. These laws apply to first-class cities and to West-
chester county. The more significant provisions of these measures
are as follows: where summary eviction is sought on the groimd that
a tenant is objectionable, burden of proof is diifted from the tenant
to the landlord; where the duration of a lease is not specified in the
agreement it shall extend until October 1 following occupancy; where
a landlord has increased the rent by more than twenty-five per cent
over the rent of the previous year, the tenant may set up as a defense,
in an action for payment of rent, that the new rent is unreasonable
and oppressive, the court then determining what in the particular case
is a reasonable rent for the landlord; where a tenant can prove to the
satisfaction of the court that he has sought to secure suitable premises
and has failed through no fault of his own, the court may in its dis-
cretion grant a stay of not more than twelve months; where there is
a monthly leasing agreement, thirty days notice to vacate, instead of
twenty, is required; willful failure of a landlord to provide ''natural and
normal service,'' such as water, light, heat, elevator operation, is made
a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $1000 or one year's imprison-
ment or both; the law empowering a lessee or owner to recover double
penalty where a tenant holds over without the former's consent, is

Experience under the New York laws has not been long enough to
give basis for conclusions as to the wisdom of the measures. Hardly
any one seems to consider them at all adequate to meet the chief diffi-
culties of the situation. Although they have apparently mitigated
some phases of the evils of rent profiteering, they have, in the opinion
of some, tended to postpone fulfilhnent of the chief need, namely, active
resumption of building dwelling houses on a large scale. Opponents


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of the laws argue that because they permit rentals of dwellings to be
med otherwise than according to the law of supply and demand, they
discourage investment in apartment houses and other residences.

A special session of the legislature convened in September upon the
call of the governor, to deal further with the critical housing situation.
At this session were enacted several measures recommended by the
joint legislative committee on housmg, the most important being:
(1) giving local authorities power to exempt from local taxation new
buildings to be used exclusively for dwellings, the exemption to apply
. to construction completed since April 1, 1920, or commenced before
April 1, 1922, and completed within two years, and to continue not
longer than until January 1, 1923; (2) striking out the 25 per cent
increase in rent permissible under the laws passed at the regular ses-
sion, and permitting a tenant, sued for non-payment of rent, in all
cases to set up as a defense that the rent demanded is unreasonable,
whereupon the burden is to be upon the landlord to prove by authen-
ticated statements of income and cost of maintenance that the rent
-demand is not unreasonable; (3) forbidding eviction of a tenant by a
landlord except upon one of the three grounds indicated above in the
4iescription of the **Ball rent law"; (4) permitting the state and muni-
»cipahties to invest sinking funds in state land bank bonds.

A movement has been started in Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain from the
legislature an amendment to the city charter authorizing the creation
of a municipal rent commission with power to fix equitable rents. The
city council of Toronto has decided upon the appointment of a housing
commission and upon the construction of 500 dwellings for sale or
rent; the houses will be sold to laborers, to whom loans up to fifty per
cent of the cost will be made.

The legislature of North Dakota in 1919 enacted a law providing
-direct state aid for home builders in both urban and rural sections.
Under the law the North Dakota Home Builders' Association has been
•established; $100,000 has been appropriated to the association; and
another law provides for the issue of bonds to cover. first mortages
«on real estate. The association is operated by the state industrial
<?ommission, which is authorized to acquire by lease or by exercise of
the right of eminent domain all necessary property rights, and to
construct and remodel buildings for the purpose of selling them to
private owners. The commission fixes the rates on both deposits and
loans, the rate not to exceed six per cent'per annum.

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Organizations and Publications. Several changes have been made
recently affecting the National Municipal League and the National
Municipal Review. Dr. Harold W. Dodds, formerly of Western Reserve
University, has been made secretary of the league, succeeding Clinton
Kogers Woodruff, who resigned in December, 1919, after twenty-five
years service in that office. Mr. Dodds is now also one of the editors
of the Review. The official headquarters of the league and the Review
have been moved from Philadelphia to 261 Broadway, New York City.
Dr. A. R. Hatton has been made field secretary of the league. R. M.
Goodrich, legal member of the staff of the Detroit Bureau of Govern-
mental Research, has been made editor of the ''judicial decisions"
department of the Review. The Short Ballot Bulletin^ which for about
ten years had been published bimonthly by the National Short Ballot
Organization, ceased publication with the April issue, and was con-
solidated with the National Municipal Review in the May issue of the
latter. Beginning with the February issue, the Review has contained
a special section devoted to the ''City Manager Movement," edited
by Harrison Gray Otis, secretary of the City Managers' Association,
and presenting information as to the progress of the movement and the
experiences of cities operating un^er that system. The annual meeting
of the National Municipal League will be held in Indianapolis, Novem-
ber 17-19; discussion of the league's model state constitution will form
part of the program.

The eleventh annual meeting of the New York State Conference of
Mayors and other city officials was held in Jamestown in July.

In February a bureau of municipal research was established in
Cleveland, imder the auspices of the Welfare Federation of Cleveland,
the board of trustees of which selects the controlling committee of the
bureau. Mr. Leyton E. Carter, formerly assistantnaecretary of the
Givic League of Cleveland, is director of the bureau. Mr. G. A.
Gessell has been made secretary of the Civic League, succeeding Mr.
C. A. Dykstra, who in May resigned that post to become executive
secretary of the Chicago City Club.

The special joint committee on taxation and retrenchment, of the
New York le^slature, has recently made a report embodying the results
of its investigation into the problem of the cost of city government.*
It gives eight causes for the increased cost and makes eleven recom-
mendations for retrenchment. Besides recommendations on such sub-

■ Taxation and Retrenchment: Report of the Special Joint Committee. State
of New York, Legislative Document No. 80, 1920, 155 pp.

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jects as those of budgets, pensions, purchasing, taxation and assessment,,
and educational administration, it makes definite reconmiendations
with respect to the general structure of municipal government, advo-
cating the centralization of all executive functions under a single execu-
tive officer directly responsible to the electors, and the conceding of
a wide latitude to local authorities in prescribing internal departmental

A municipal reference library has recently been established by the
Toledo commission of publicity and efficiency, which is an agency of
the city government. The librarian of the city library has made the
office of the commission a branch library for books on municipal govern-
ment and related subjects; in addition the conunission collects pamphlet
materials, reports and magazines relating to municipal matters. The
Toledo City Journal^ a weekly periodical which has been published by
the commission for about five years, is one of the most useful amon^
municipal journals. A bureau of municipal efficiency and economy
has recently been established in Sacramento, Calif. This commission
is composed of thirty unsalaried members appointed and removable
at pleasure by the city commission. Its duties are ''to investigate both
the social and economic conditions and the efficiency and best manage-
ment of the city, with a view to promote the economy and efficiency
of its' administration." The Alameda Municipal Journal is one of
the newest municipal publications. It is to be published monthly
and distributed free to every home in the city. Its declared object
is to keep each resident ''posted, in readable form .... on the
work and progress of the various departments functioning under the
city government."

Public Business — the bimonthly publication of the Detroit Bureau
of Governmental Research — contains in its issue for July 15, 1920,
a useful "partial list of citizen and semi-official oi^anizations" devoted,
in part, to investigation and reporting upon problems of governmental
— municipal, primarily — organization and administration.

Miscellaneous Items. In April of the year Mayor Hoan, the
wellknown Socialist mayor of Milwaukee, was reelected. At the same
election 14 Socialists and 17 nonpartisans were elected to the council.

An interesting recall election was recently held in Charlotte, North
Carolina, and brought out the largest nimiber of voters that had ever
taken part in a municipal election in that city. The movement for
the recall was in first instance instigated by an anti-administration

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element who took advantage of the dissatisfaction of two limited groups
of the population — one charging the mayor and commissioners with
having neglected to display proper vigor in preserving order during
strikes at the cotton mills, the other disgruntled because of the adoption
by the administration of a plan for stricter sanitary regulation of milk
distribution within the city. Later the troubles in connection- with a
strike of street-railway employees gave the recall movement a diflferent
turn. The action of the administration in this strike aroused the
opposition of organized labor, which now took the lead in furthering
the recall movement. This latter circumstance turned the issue into
one of law and order, with the result that the mayor and commissioners
were retained in office, by large majorities.

The new council of Philadelphia, acting under powers conferred by
the new charter, appointed early in this year a new civil service commis-
sion. The members appointed are Chnton Rogers WoodruflF, chair-
man; Lewis H. Van Dusen, who had served as civil service commissioner
during the administration of Mayor Bknkenburg; ^nd Charles W.
Neeld, a business man. The commission has been engaged in the work
of devising a plan of classification and salary standardization. It has
employed an expert staff to assist in this work.

The city service commission of Milwaukee is conducting a salary
survey, under the direction of the secretary of the commission and the
director of the citizens' bureau of municipal efficiency. Efforts will
be made to make the new salary schedule, to be proposed, confonn
essentially to the Jacobs salary standardization plan of 1918. The
pension committee for Milwaukee, appointed in 1919 under authority
of an act of the legislature, is formulating its plan for the pensioning
of all employees of the city, and expects to present its complete report
to the city council in December. If approved by the council, it will
be submitted to the state legislature for enactment into law. Under
the tentative scheme now under consideration by the commission, with
frequent consultation with advisory committees of city employees,
there will be no common pension fimd, but an individual fund for each
employee, made up in each case from assessments upon the employee
supplemented by contributions from the city treasury; and there will
be provision for pensions for widows and children and disabiUty

Columbus, Ohio, Jersey City, New Jersey, and Somerville, Massa-
chusetts are cities which have recently adopted the two-platoon system
in their fire departments.

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St. Louis and Baltimore furnish two interesting instances in the
extension of municipal activity in the dramatic and musical field. The
city government of St. Louis, with the cooperation of numerous busing
and civic organizations, provided a season of open-air opera last summer.
The city constructed an attractive stage and seating system in a natural
amphitheatre in one of the city parks, and well known light operas
of the better sort were given. The city of Baltimore has recently
established a municipal community theatre on its municipal recreation
pier. It is to be financed by the city government, and folk pla3rB and
American plays for children and adults are to be given -at popular

Milwaukee has definitely adopted the policy of a civic center for
the grouping of public buildings. An ordinance embodying the pro-
ject, promoted by the City Club and various other civic and labor
organizations, was submitted by initiative petition at the April election
and was adopted by a three to one vote. It is not at present intended
to abandon any existing public buildings, but only to locate new build-
ings, county and city, as they are needed, upon the area selected for
the center. The board of pubUc land commissioners, which is at work
upon a general city plan, is now planning a survey of the area to deter-
mine locations for the various buildings. Condemnation eventually
of about eleven city blocks is involved in the plan for the civic center.

The city council of Toledo has recently enacted a drastic billboard
ordinance which, following closely the Chicago ordinance (sustained
by decisions of the lUinois supreme court and the United States Supreme
Court in 1917), prohibits the erection of billboards in residence districts
without the consent of the owners of a majority of property fronting
on the street; the ordinance contains general regulations as to safety
of construction and requires that a permit be secured from the com-
missioner of inspection for the erection of each billboard. ^

An important instance in the extension of municipal ownership is
the recent acquisition by the city of Omaha, Nebraska, of the gas
plant in that city. The proposal to purchase the plant (having been
defeated in 1907) was adopted by popular vote in May, 1918. The
condemnation court made its report in February of this year, fixing
the price to be paid to the gas company at $4,500,000; and the city
commissioners have subsequently taken over the plant at that figure.
The plant is operated by a bi-partisan board of directors, who also
operate the municipal water plant. Omaha is the largest of the one
hundred or more cities in the United States now operating gas plants.

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Personal and Miscellaneous

edited by frederic a. ogg

University of Wisconsin

The editor of this department of the Review will be glad to receive

items suitable for publication from any member. of the American

Political Science Association, or from other readers. Such matter

. should be sent in before the middle of the second month preceding


The headquarters of the American Political Science Association
during its coming meeting at Washington, December 28-30, will be at
the New Willard Hotel. The headquarters of the American Historical
Association will be at the same hotel. The program of the Political
Science Association's sessions will be distributed to members early in
December. The chairman of the conmiittee on local arrangements is
Dr. Leo S. Rowe, of the Pan American Union.

Mr. Alpheus H. Snow, of Washington, D. C, died on August 1 in
a New York hospital. Mr. Snow was an active member of the execu-
tive council of the American Political Science Association from 1915
to 1918. He was at the time of his death a member of the executive
board of the American Society of International Law and of the American
*1bar Association. His principal interest was international law and

Professor C. D. Allin, after some months of travel and study in
Europe, has resinned his work at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. W. B. Ryland, of Middlebury College, has been appointed pro-
fessor of political science at Hamline University.

Mr. John M. Gaus, who recently completed his work for the doctor's
degree at Harvard University, has been appointed instructor in political


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science at Amherst College. Mr. Gaus has been a fellow at the South
End House in Boston, and has served with the War Labor Policies
Board and with the New York State Reconstruction Commission.
During the past year he was a tutor in government at Harvard. At
Amherst he has charge of the courses in state and local government.

Mr. William E. Butt, assistant professor of history and political
science in the University of Kentucky, has accepted a position in the
reorganized department of political science at Pennsylvania Stat«
College. His place at Kentucky has been filled by the appointment of
Mr. J. C. Jones, of the graduate school of Columbia University.

Mr. Frank M. Russell, of the University of Washington, has been
appointed acting assistant professor of political science at Stanford

Professor Amos S. Hershey, after a two-year leave of absence, has
resumed his work in the department of political science at Indiana
University. Professor Hershey served as a technical adviser to the
American peace commission at Paris.

Dr. A. J. Lobb, assistant professor of political science at the Uni-
versity of Minnesota, has discontinued teaching and has been made
comptroller of the university.

The following men have been appointed instructors in political science
at the University of Pennsylvania: C. V. Wolfe, formerly principal
of the Urbana High School, Urbana, Ohio; W. L. Godshall, transferred
from the department of anthropology at Pennsylvania; L. W. Lan-
caster, formerly of the department of history at Pennsylvania; M. L.
Faust, recently connected with the Gettysburg Academy; A. F. Saun-
ders, recently an assistant in political science at Wisconsin; and R. B.
Watson, a recent student at Pennsylvania.

Mr. R. C. Journey has resigned his assistant professorship of political
science at the University of Missouri to accept a professorship of politi-
cal science and economics at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Mr. Robert L. Howard has been appointed instructor in political
science at the University of Missouri.

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Mr. Thomas L. Barclay, formerly instructor in political science at
the University of Missouri, is pursuing graduate studies at Columbia

Mr. Frederic H. Guild, who has been the statistician in the Indiana
legislative reference bureau since September, 1919, has resigned to
accept an instructorship in political science at Indiana University.

Mr. Otto Kirchner, president of the Detroit Bureau of Governmental
Research, and former president of the Governmental Research Con-
ference, died at his home in Detroit, July 21.

Mr. G. A. Gissell, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and
recently engaged in civic work in the Northwest, has been appointed
secretary of the Cleveland Civic League succeeding Mr. C. A. Dykstra.

The department of history and political science at the University
of Kansas has been divided into two departments. Professor Blaine
F. Moore has been appointed chairman of the department of political
science. Mr. A. A. Long, secretary of the Kansas League of Munic-
ipalities, is giving courses in municipal government in the department
this year.

Dr. E. M. Salt, formerly assistant professor of poUtics at Columbia
University, has been appointed professor of political science at the
University of California. Professor Sait was lecturer in political science
at California during the spring semester.

Dr. Edward Elliott, professor of international law and politics at
the University of California, has returned to that institution after a
two-year leave of absence. During this period he has done special
work for the federal reserve bank of San Francisco.

Dr. J. R. Douglas, of the University of CaUfomia, has been promoted
from instructor to assistant professor of American government and
administration. As director of the bureau of public administration, he
has been conducting a survey of the state administration of California
to determine to what extent scientijSc research is employed by the vari-
ous agencies. This study is being made on behalf of the National
Research Council of Washington, D. C.

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Dr. Leonard P. Fox, assistant professor of political science at Carnegie
Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, has been appointed director of
the research bureau of the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce,
with headquarters at Harrisburg.

The following members of the American PoUtical Science Association
were appointed to represent the association on the "New York City
committee which aided the Sulgrave Institution in carrying out the
Tercentenary Pilgrim Celebration, September 27^0: C. A. Beard,
J. P. Chamberlain, R. S. Childs, H. W. Dodds, Mayo Fesler, M.
E. Loomis, T. R. Powell, Albert Shaw, Munroe Smith, and C. C.

Dr. Walter F. Dodd, formerly secretary-treasurer of the American
Political Science Association, has opened an office in Chicago for the
general practice of law.

A School for Social Service Administration has been established
at the University of Chicago imder the direction of Professor L. C.
Marshall. In consequence, the Chicago School of Civics and Phil-
anthropy, incorporated in 1908 by Graham Taylor, went out of existence
at the close of the summer term.

The Bureau of Municipal Research at Akron, Ohio, has undertaken
a complete survey of coimty government with a view especially to
obtaining data for use in the preparation of county budgets.

Lafayette College has received an endowment for the purpose of
establishing and maintaining a new professorship of civil rights.

A course in the problems of citizenship has been established at the
University of Missouri and is required of all freshmen in the university.
This course consists of three lectures a week throughout the year on
the fundamentals of the social sciences, and two additional meetLogs
each week, in sections, in which the students write themes on the subject
matter of the course. These themes serve as the basis for instruction
in English. The purpose is to combine the freshman work in English
with a general course in citizenship, to which students in their first
year in the university will devote one-third of their time. The lectures

Online LibraryWestel Woodbury WilloughbyThe American political science review → online text (page 70 of 77)