Page 3735

3735 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

They placed bombs in factories, injured

machinery, incited strikes of workmen,

especially of ship builders, and set fire to

forests, grain elevators, and crops. Many

of the 1. W. W.'s were arrested, and some

of them, including their chief leader,

William D. Haywood, long prominent

as a labor agitator, were sentenced to the

penitentiary. Others were interned as

dangerous to the peace and safety of the

country. Many of the I. W. W.'s were

really foreigners, and after the armistice

was signed hundreds of these undesirables

were rounded up and were deported from

the country, to the satisfaction of all true

Americans.

The railway situation in the United

States had long been bad. Railway magnates had too often been interested in

manipulating the stocks and bonds of

their roads in such ways as to rob the

general public and even their own stockholders, while their attitude toward the

public was often the reverse of obliging.

In consequence a feeling of hostility had

developed toward the roads and this was

sometimes translated into restrictive legislation that fixed passenger and freight

rates at so low a figure that the roads

were unable to make needed repairs

and extensions. Furthermore, the roads

for a long time had found it difficult to

borrow or otherwise obtain sufficient: money

for this purpose. The railway stock had

deteriorated in consequence. The situation grew worse after the United States

entered the war, and there was great

congestion of freight and inability of the

roads to perform the transportation work

of the country.

The traffic congestion ultimately became

so great that, on December 26, 1917, the

Federal Government abruptly assumed

full control of the railroads under an

act of August 29, 1916, which authorized

such a step in time of war. Over 400

separate corporations, 650,000 share holders, 260,000 miles of road, property valued

at $17,500,000,000, and about 1,600,000

employees were affected by this order. To

manage the roads the President designated

his son-in-law and Secretary of Treasury,

William G. McAdoo, as Director-General

of Railroads. The property rights of

stockholders and others were guaranteed,

and in a message to Congress, January 4,

1918, the President recommended as a

basis of compensation the average net

income of the three years ending June 30,

1917, which, according to the returns of

the Interstate Commerce Commission,

was $1,049,974,977. Legislation for managing and financing the railroads and compensating the owners was passed by

Congress. The step was defended by

President Wilson as a war measure and

as necessary to increase the efficiency

of the roads and the handling not only

of domestic business but also of war

supplies.

Various steps were taken to render

the railroads more efficient. Unnecessary

trains were taken off, competition between

different lines was reduced, and the

most direct lines were used in transporting