If President Coolidge continues to abide by his recent decision to withhold for the money "authorized by Congress for the National Guard drill pay, it will amount to as dishonourable an act on the part of the Government as that of a father refusing to pay his small son for doing chores, after he had agreed on a set price.
The national defense act prescribes for the Guard one drill a week and says that the men shall be paid for it. Commissioned officers, as a consequence of the President's action, will be placed in a highly embarrassing position with their men, for they promised the latter in good faith at the time they enlisted that they would be paid. Similarly, if the pay is withheld and the enlisted men refuse to appear at authorized drills, it will be the duty of these officers to prosecute them according to military law.
Economy is the President's ever-repeated cry. He is further influenced by a certain resentment towards those high officers of the Guard, who went before Congress to urge the appropriation, albeit directly against the President's expressed opinion.
No one can predict his final decision, but everything argues against his with-holding the money merely because he wishes to discipline these officials. It seems unfair to put thousands of men's roses out of joint in order to admonish a few individuals. Besides, much as the President may sincerely demand small military budgets, and obedience in subordinates, as long as the government continues to use the National Guard as a substitute for increasing the regular Army and as a vital protection in time of civil disorder, he should not withhold pay appropriations and put the morale, as well as the efficiency of the organization in jeopardy: