A good name covers a multitude of sins. Knowing this only too well, advocates of the government reorganization bill to be introduced at the December session of Congress, propose to establish a new cabinet post to be called "The Department of Education and Relief". The title has an intellectual and philanthropic ring which will commend it to many persons, but unfortunately it cannot be taken at face value.
The proposed "Department of Education and Relief" is a mere subterfuge. The existing Bureau of Education entirely inadequate in powers is to be transferred from the Department of the Interior, but not one additional power is granted it. The other functions of the new department are as heterogeneous as the sources from which they are drawn. In brief it proposes to take over the Public Health Service, the Veterans' Bureau, the Civil War Pension Bureau, and numerous other stray functions which have been unwanted step-children to the departments that have administered them.
As a measure for bringing harmony out of incongruity in the Washington be caus, the proposed bill has its decided merits. But by what straining of the imagination the new ministry can be called one of education, none but Senators and Congressmen can see. It should rather he called, what it obviously is, "The Ministry of Odds and Ends". Education should be left to another measure which will treat it with the adequacy its importance deserves.