[The editors are not responsible for statements made i” the correspondence coZttmw. Anonymotts communications cannot be considered. but the names 0/ correspondents will 6e withheld when so desired.] How Russia Plans to Build Up Her Merchant Marine To the Editor of Scientfic American: Perhaps no other nation on the face of the earth approaches the United States so closely as does Russia in the basic economic conditions governing the general trend of development of the national industries. Both countries are at present facing a crop of strikingly similar industrial problems of grave moment, arising directly out of the policy of protectionism per se. Conspicuous among them looms up the problem of a national merchant marine, which formed the subject of thorough-going study and foreign investigations by agents of the Department of Trade and Manufactures, as well as of repeated turbulent discussions in the national Duma. The entire session of the Council of Ministers of August 4th was devoted to dissecting various phases of this problem. Legislative measures were laid before the Council, and commercial aspects discussed, looking to the encouragement of national shipbuilding on the one side, promulgation of a foreign merchant marine on the other, and of the Russian export trade in general. One question was settled with not a dissenting voice, namely, that the idea of promoting national shipbuilding by imposing prohibitory or even discriminating duties on foreign-built ships should be discarded. Like the United States, Russia is at present building enough ships for the coastwise traffic and the internal seas and waterways (Cabotage), but Russian-built ships cannot even dare venture into competition with foreign-built vessels outside of the tariff-shielded Russian domains. And precisely like the United States, Russia must have a merchant marine, if it were but to insure the future of the Russian navy. The two phases of the problem were dealt with separately, and two distinct solutions were finally arrived at by the Council, viz.: Free Ships.—To stimulate Russian foreign navigation and to promote the Russian export trade, saving hundreds of millions annually on carrying freight, passengers, and mails. Differential SaBsidies.—To aid the handicapped Russian shipbuilders to the extent of equalizing as nearly as possible the cost of building them at home and abroad. Foreign-built ships are to be admitted into Russia free of duty until January 1st, 1928, pending further legislation. On the other hand, two separate scales of differential subsidies were adopted, in proportion to tonnage, for home-built merchant vessels, which are to navigate the foreign seas, as well as the river Danube and its tributaries. The first scale relates to iron steamships; the other provides for iron sailing vessels, including the so-called auxiliary craft. The subsidies for the first category range from 105 to 65 roubles per ton of gross capacity. Ships of the second category are subsidized to the extent of 84 to 52 roubles per gross ton. In certain specified instances the schedules are modified in reverse proportion to tonnage. Over and above the tonnage subsidies, special subsidies are provided for motive power—whether principal or auxiliary—to the extent of 35 roubles per horse-power indicated. Further subsidies are to be granted for overhauling and installation of new boilers ai.d machinery, at the rate of 1 R. 50 Kps. per pood (36 pounds) for the boilers, and 5 R. 50 Kps. per pood for machinery. This subsidizing of home shipbuilding is tentatively fixed for the period of fifteen years. The rate of subsidies will remain stationary during the first seven years, whereupon they will be reduced annually by 6 per cent. With the view of obviating the possible artifices on the part of shrewd foreign shipbuilders, contriving to utilize Russian subsidies to their own advantage, a time limit of three years of Russian service from date of registration of the ship hail been fixed. If the ownership of the vessel should be transferred abroad prior to the expiration of this time limit, any subsidies received from the Russian government for -construction or overhauling must be refunded in full to the exchequer. In this way Russia plans to stimulate her export trade, foreign merchant navigation under her flag, and shipbuilding at home. It won't be long before the effect of these measures will become manifest, for the official encouragement in either direction provides sufficiently weighty inducements o promote immediate activity in the field , \ ontemplated. We need not expatiate on the immediate trade-booming effect that the upbuilding of direct shipping between Russia and the United States is bound to produce. The American exports to Russia will go up by leaps and bounds. In fact, they are going up already, owing solely to the development of Russian steamship traffic from Baltic to American ports. Russia imports over $50,000,000 worth of raw American cotton alone, all of which practically has been handled by the British shipping up to the current year. The establishing of direct steamship service to the Baltic ports has resulted forthwith in a joss to the British shipping trade, amounting to $1,508,000 in the first five months of the current year, and a substantial decline in the volume of the British exports to Russia. For the first time in the history of the American foreign trade, the United States has dispossessed England of her second place among importers to Russia, next to Germany. The British exports to Russia fell off from $27,043,627 in the first five months of 1910 to $24,423,990 for the corresponding period of this year. (This including even the unprecedented advance in the export of woolen yarns, which attained $1,500,000.) In the same time, the exports of the United States rose from $21,043,627 in January to May, 1910, to $28,297,237, respectively, in 1911. An increase 0f almost 35 per cent. The exports in agricultural machinery went up from $4,867,000 to $8,760,000 (an increase of 80 per cent); other American specialties, from $1,217,000 to $2,920,000. Raw cotton went up to $16 546,000, an increase of $1,703,000. These figures are so strikingly decisive and pointed as to stand in no need of any elucidating comment. New York, N. Y. Ed. R. A. M. The Merchant Marine Problem To the Editor of Scientific American: Having read your articles on shipping in the special number of the Scientific American, I feel prompted to bring to your attention a phase of the question not touched upon—the crews. I will say at the outset that I was originally a “subsidy” advocate, and would not denounce some forms of that scheme yet, in fact would at the time have accepted the bill presented by the late Senator Hanna, in spite of its abuses. I fully believe a system of subsidies (make it mail subvention, naval reserve subvention, or what you would) would result in an increase in mercantile marine, as witness the German flotilla in which the German government guarantees a dividend of 7 per cent to the North German Lloyd Company, thus enabling it to operate at cost. (Hon. William Bill Sulzer kindly note this.) So much exaggeration has been made of the evil results of a subsidy scheme, though, that it is useless to try it any longer; further, if we resort to discriminating duties, we must remember that two can play at that game. The one scheme left is to admit foreign-built vessels (of course, only to be engaged in foreign trade). This would be a good idea, but taken by itself would result in nothing if we did not also admit their crews. For purpose of illustration, compare a vessel of the same size in four other prominent marine nations with one of ours, for instance, American steamer Special Fabrics For Sportsmen's Apparel FbM5ryCloth (Shade No. 65) is a unique fabric, made by us exclusively, for sportsmen's clothing. It is strictly pure, all wool worsted of highest grade — the only material entirely satisfactory to the hunter or camper-out. Forestry Cloth comes in a beautiful Olive Green—a more perfect shade for the purpose could not be found — and in various weights. 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The cost of operation show's that the Norwegian boat has a captain at $120 a month ana four able seamen at $10.50 a month each; the Dutch vessel, captain $121.50 a month, and seven seamen at $12.96 each; German, captain $102.11 and six seamen at $13.33 each; British, captain at $92.23, and seven seamen at $20.75; while the American captain gets $175 a month and he has nine seamen at $25 a month. This may not look so formidable a foe for the American, but the wages of the entire crew of the American boat amount to $16,620 a year its nearest competitor, the British vessel, costing but $10,220 per annum, while the total wages on the Norwegian boat amount to but $6,128 per annum. Under the Hanna bill the “Cherokee” could have earned something between $10,000 and $12,000 per annum, if kept constantly in business; this would have made her capable of competing against even the Norwegian boat. Suppose we cut the crews of foreign-going American vessels down to the force required of their competitors. Will they work for the same wages or eat the same food the foreigners put up with? The only way I can see to overcome the difficulty is to allow free registry of boat, crew and pantry, and even “load water line,” an arrangement which allows boats of some nationalities to take in more cargo than those of other countries. Another stumbling block is the insurance. We had quite a lot of information about the great influx of American “clippers” on the British registry when that government granted them permission, but so far as I can find there appears to have been only some 20,000 tons of such vessels that changed flags when the British insurance companies came to {the rescue of the British shipbuilders and refused to insure either ship or cargo unless the ship were built according to their specifications and under' the supervision of. one of their agents. Let us stop scrapping among ourselves and do something, if only to a certain linjit. I can see no reason why we should not, for instance, admit to registry “for foreign trade. only” all vessels of which a majority of the stock was owned by American citizens on the 1st day of July just past and allow them to have the same officers and crews and standard of feeding as they were required to have under their present flag. Btjshrod M. Gordon. Washington, D. C. The Role of the Cruiser Dreadnought To the Editor of Scientific American: In your issue of October 14th, a letter from Mr. A. B. Irvine brings up the oft-mooted question of battle cruisers, and suggests that the United States construct some of this type i'lnmediately or be hopelessly handicapped in a modern naval engagement. The point at once arises as to whether these 30-knot eight-gun cruisers are to be used only as scouts, as your correspondent seems to think. Ten million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a scout, and to my mind scouting was not the primary purpose of these vessels. The Russo-Japanese war and battle conditions in our own navy have shown that swift 35-knot destroyers with a wide cruising radius are best adapted for scouting, being less easily seen and almost impossible of pursuit. The question of commerce destroying has also been considered, but the presence of a couple of wicked-looking destroyers will bring down the flag of a merchantman as quickly as a cruiser dreadnought. These vessels are being built by Great Britain, Germany, and Japan, not as a substitute for dreadnoughts, but an addition to the regular programme, their chief. work being to ope.rate together in a flying squadron, capping the enemy's column, throwing it into confusion, if possible, and then retiring, leaving the heavy work to the dreadnoughts. It is well known that these powerful-looking cruiser dreadnoughts can not stand closer in battle than 10,000 yards to a column of the same number of pre-dreadnought battleships s uch as our i "Connecticut” class, on account of their thin armor. As long as we possess high-speed destroyers equipped with wireless, we need have no fear of not locating the enemy; the disadvantage would appear when the battle was under way. Of course it would be very nice for the United States to have these cruiser dreadnoughts, say one each year, but it would also be nice if we could have more destroyers and the proper number of colliers and other auxiliaries. It is simply a question of money, and being limited in this, it would be folly for the Navy Department to follow any other but its present plan of constructing two super-dreadnoughts a year, equal in power to the latest foreign ships. We will shortly slip back to third place in the naval ranking, and now even this very conservative programme is in danger. No one would think of comparing the cruiser dreadnoughts with our “Washingtons” or “Chesters.” We might as well compare the “Oregon” with the “Neptune” of the British navy. But owing to financial limitations, this type and many other necessary accessories to our battle line will be missing from our building programs for some time to come. Harold M. Kennard. Brooklyn, N. Y. The Pumps Used in Uncovering the “Maine" IN our issue of September 2nd we published an article on the uncovering of the “Maine.” No small share of the credit of the work accomplished is as-cribable to the special pumps employed in the performance of the task. These were of the type technically known as the Jeanesville double-suction split-casing pump. In the double-suction pump, the incoming fluid enters on both sides of the impeller and discharges from the impeller into a common vortex chamber. This double suction construction gives a perfect rotative balance and eliminates all difficulty encountered from end thrust, which is so troublesome in pumps of other designs. The casings and bushing boxes are split horizontally, which permits of ready access to all interior parts of the machine. The design is such as to accomplish this without breaking any pipe joints or other connections and without disturbing the shafting, or deranging the alignment of the pump and prime mover. Two ring-oiling bearings with split renewable bushings are used one on each side of the pump, entirely separated from the casings by deep stuffing boxes, making it impossible for grit or dirt to work into the bearings. These features are of the greatest importance in operations where the conditions are so severe as those encountered in the work of raising the “Maine” and where, on account of the constant liability of various solid and semi-solid objects and materials entering and clogging up the pumps, it is necessary easily and quickly to reach and examine all interior parts of them. The Current Supplement THE question whether other orbs beside our own earth might be inhabited by living creatures is one which appeals to the imagination Vith peculiar interest. A scientific discussion of the conditions on different celestial spheres with this question in view is given by H. C. Wilson in the current Supplement.—A new type of continuously working filter press which is described, should prove of interest to those engaged in industrial operations. —Liquid fuel is now being used in the production of steel. An illustrated article deals with this subject.—Mr. A. C. Rateau writes on the subject of turbines in warships.—We have all heard of the importance of proper mastication of food as a necessary step for a complete and healthy digestion. There are, however, other reasons why thorough mastication is essential to the general health of the individual. This subject is discussed very lucidly in an article derived from the Dominion Dental Journal.—An article illustrated with very fine views of the historic Sea of Galilee is contributed by Harold J. Shepstone.—Our Paris correspondent writes on the future of the aeroplane in army service,—An interest- CTAD” Foot and Po« Olrill Screw Cntti Power us Automatic I • TIII7C Cross Feed L/11I1E3 For Fine, Accurate Work Send for Catalogue B SENECA FALLS MFG. CO. 695 Water Street Seneca Falls, N. Y., U. S. A. SEBASTIAN LATHES 9 to 1 5 Inch Swing High Quality Low Prices Catalog Free THE SEBASTIAN LATHE CO., 120 Culvert St., Cincinnati, O. Friction Disk Drill FOR LIGHT WORK. 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An abstract translation of these articles appears in our current issue.—Dr. J. A. Harker of the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, England, gives a- most instructive review of recent advance in high temperature measurement. Phosphates in the Pacific IT was 'thought a few years ago that all the phosphate and guano beds of the Pacific Islands, after yielding millions of dollars worth of fertilizers, were at length exhausted. This view has been changed by the discoveries made since 1907. The largest phosphate industry that the Pacific ever saw is now in progress on two neighboring islands, the German island of Nauru, the most southern atoll of the Marshall group, and the British island of Banaba. Hundreds of islanders as well as Chinese and Japanese laborers are working in these phosphate diggings, and though the industry is still very young, it is yielding over 2,000 tons of prepared phosphates a year. The yield is increasing as fast as improvements are made in mining the rock and in facilities for 'shipping it. The beds in the two islands seem to be similar in the quality of the rock, and though their thickness has not yet been ascertained the quantity of phosphates is enormous. Numerous borings have been made all over Nauru, which comprises about 5,000 acres. These borings were 'not meant to ascertain the total phosphate content, but merely to determine if there was enough of the rock to pay for the erection of expensive works. They were sunk, therefore, only to a depth of ten to fifteen feet. The Germans report that under the superficial earth the entire 5,000 acres are covered with phosphate beds to a depth of at least ten or fifteen feet, and they do not know how much deeper the beds may go, for they have not explored lower levels. They add that it will take some generations to remove the phosphates already revealed. The two companies, German and British, that secured concessions to mine the 'rock, have joined their interests and are working together. The outside public has nothing to do with their enterprise except to buy the product. When the German flag was raised over Nauru, twenty-five years ago, the 1,500 natives had no relations with the whites except to sell their cocoanuts for brandy and wretched firearms supplied by two or three unscrupulous traders. The Germans stopped this trade, but it was long before the real wealth of the little island was discovered. Now a great transformation has come. Large steel framed buildings in which the rock is prepared for commerce ha've been erected, an iron pier has been extended out into the sea beyond the breakers, and lines of steel tracks lead down from the mines to the piers. But the rock is as yet taken out to the anchored steamships in small boats and the Germans have little hope of discarding this primitive method. They say the surf runs too high for ships to tie up at the landing wharf. Influence of Chewing on the Condition of the Teeth.—Investigations on the children in the town of Kotzling in Bavaria showed that of those who eat hard bread the percentage with bad teeth was 6.9; of those who eat both hard and soft bread, 8.2; of those eating only soft bread, 10.5. In the town of Ihringen (Baden) the percentages before and after the introduction of soft bread were as follows: In 1894, when only hard bread was eaten, 12.4 per cent; in 1897, just after soft bread had been introduced, 12.9 per cent; and in 1901, where most of the bread consumed WIJ'I soft, 20.9 per cent. What Is Your Family Worth? I F IT IS worth the best you can give in house and food and clothes, is it not worth the b est read i n g as well? And the best of reading, week in, week out, fills the columns of The Youth's Companion Do you realize that the contents of The Companion for a year, published in book form, would make 30 volumes of the best and most varied reading? 5GP< 'o's. 2vols Articles I vol. Medical & 'Religious Departments for BCU's-Girls Current Events •the FamilY Nature 11 Science 8 vols. Stories s 1.75 All for $1.75 and every line worth while. The best gift to a family or anybody in it. ARTICLES by famous writers, nearly 250 splendid stories, serials the k. year through, the Boys' Page of Athletic Sports, the Girls' Page, the Doctor's Corner, etc., etc.—all for $1.75 if you subscribe now for 1912. ffll^S^ Your last chance to get The Youth's Companion at the present price. On January I, 1912, it will be advanced to $2.00. Subscribe now, to-day, sending $1.75 for the 52 issues of 1912 and get, free, all the remaining 1911 issues. HOW TO GET THE FREE ISSUES NEW SUBSCRIBERS who cut out and send this slip (or name this paper) with $1.75 for the 52 issues for 1912 will receive ALL THE REMAINING ISSUES FOR 1911, including the beautiful Holiday Numbers for Thanksgiving and Christmas. THE COMPANION'S PICTURE CALENDAR FOR 1912, lithographed in ten colors and gold—an extra copy going to every one sending us a gift subscription. fd 127 THEN THE YOUTH'S COMPANION for the 52 weeks of 1912 —from now until January, 1913 — for $1.75. THE YOUTH'S COMPANION, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 1-—-i_^y DURYEA BUGGYAUT You may experiment with many, but for simplicity and durability you will use a Buggyaut. “ITS THE ULTIMATE THING/' C. S. DURYEA AUTO CO., SAGINAW. MICH.FREE SAMPLE Goes With First Letter Something new. Every firm wants it. Orders $1.00 to $100. Big demand everywhere. Nice pleasant business. Write atonce. METALLIC SIGN CO., 438 N. 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Address: international harvester company of america (incorporated) 15 Harvester Bldg Chicago USA NAVAL NUMBER DECEMBER MAGAZINE NUMBER of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN ISSUE OF DECEMBER 9th, 1911 List of Contributors: Hon. G. von L. MEYER . ........"The Business Management of the Navy" Secretary of the Navy Rear-Admiral ALFRED T. MAHAN, U. S. N........"The Command of the Sea'' Rear-Admiral RICHARD WAINWRIGHT, U. S. N....."The Fleet and Its Read iness for Service" Aide For Operations of the Fleet Rear-Admiral RICHARD M. WATT, U. S. N. . “Influence of the United States on the World's Battleship Design" Chief of Bureau of Construction and Repair Rear-Admiral H. I. CONE, U. S. N...... . . “ Propelling Machinery for Naval Vessels" Engineer-in-Chief United States Navy Rear-Admiral N. C. TWINING, U. S. N........"Recent Developments in Ordnance" Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance Capt. T. M. POTTS, U. S. N. . ......"Our Rank Among the Naval Powers" Chief of the Office of Intelligence Capt. ALBERT CLEAVES, U. S. N..........."On Board a Battleship" Commanding U. S. S. North Dakota Commander PHILIP ANDREWS, U. S. N......, . . “The Future Sea Fight" Aide to the Secretary Lieut.-Com. LEIGH C. PALMER, U. S. N. “Target Practice-How Our Men AreTaught to Shoot Straight in RoughWeather" Director of Target Practice and Engineering Competitions Lieut. D. C. BINGHAM, U. S. N........... “The Modern Submarine" Commander Third Submarine Division Colored Cover by H. REUTERDAHL PHOTOGRAVURE INSERT Illustrated by Photographs Taken During the Late Autumn Maneuvers The period of American history which opened with the Spanish war will always be reckoned as one of the most momentous in the growth of the United States. Then it was that this Republic moved forward into its present commanding position as one of the leading nations of the world. Two events contributed to this. First: The enormous growth of our industries, far outstripping the demands of home consumption, led to the upbuilding of our present extensive foreign trade. Second: The acquisition of Hawaii, the Philippines and our West Indian possessions, by extending our coast line into distant seas, broke down the geographical isolation of the United States and threw us into an intimate political and military relation with the whole world. As one immediate result our Navy assumed an importance which it had never before held. The growth of our fleets since 1898 has been steady, and, until the past two or three years has been fairly well adequate to our necessities. During the period referred to the Scientific American has lent its pages freely to the work of describing the growth of our Navy, and we believe that the intelligent interest in the Navy and its undoubted popularity have been due in no small degree to the efforts of this journal. As a fitting climax we are in a position to announce that on December 9th we shall issue a magazine naval number, which will be written entirely, by leading officials in the Navy, each of whom stands at the head of the particular branch of the service of which he treats. No journal has ever presented an issue, dealing with naval affairs of such value and authority as this. A perusal of the above list of writers and subjects will show that this edition will constitute a brochure on the Navy, written within the Navy, by its most distinguished officials. Price Fifteen Cents on All News Stands