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EDITORS DAILY CRIMSON:- In justice to the present treasurer I feel called upon to answer the recent criticism of the management of last year's finances.
The item of $693.48 was for wages paid John Smyth. It was for fourteen months services and considering the man and his duties, does not seem to me high. Anyone who has had any experience with racing shells knows that there are always repairs and changes to be made. This work Smyth has always attended to, and by saving us the expense of sending the boats away to be repaired, has justified the club in paying him what would appear to one unacquainted with the facts rather high wages.
The cook brings with him three men who make the beds, wait on table, wash dishes, go around to the farmers for eggs and milk and do all work of a similar sort. The cook also brings all the knives, forks etc., and the greater part of the crockery. This year the cook came down June 15th and stayed until July 3rd. Considering the shortness of the engagement and the great importance to the crew of good cooking, the sum paid is not high.
If the CRIMSON editor had been correct about the time $195.01 would have been enormous wages for an engineer. As a matter of fact we had the engineer from May 6th to July 6th inclusive. For a good man for a short job you must pay good wages. It is the poorest sort of economy, with a complicated Herreschoff engine, to engage a second rate engineer. As a matter of economy I should advise hiring the best man to be had, even if were necessary to pay him half as much again as we paid our engineer last spring.
There is no doubt that it costs more to run the University crew than is necessary, but it is a pleasanter way to find the source of the unnecessary expense in careless management than in the place where it really exists; i. e., in the negligence, carelessness, dishonesty, or whatever you may choose to call it, of the men who promise subscriptions and fail to pay them.
To run a crew, or anything else, in the most economical way, it must be run on a cash basis. We have been forced to resort to credit in former years by men who failed to pay their subscriptions on the day they had promised them. The governing committee earnestly desires a reduction of expenses and has pointed out the only sure way to accomplish it: i. e., to pay as we go. The duties of the committee are hard enough under any circumstances. Let men see to it that the debt does not long remain to still further hamper their efforts.
Such hasty and unjust criticism as that of last Saturday can do no good, while it tends to make still harder the disagreeable duties of the men who collect money for the crew.
FRANKLIN G. BALCH.
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