Governor "Al" Smith has always exhibited a knack for writing good political "copy". Nor is his recent letter to Governor Pinchot, in which he champions all users of hard coal against the monster Pennysylvania, an exception to this rule. His pointed suggestion that the increase in the price of anthracite be entirely absorbed inside the state mining it, will appeal to the citizen with a furnace-and a ballot.
But this lightly sarcastic communication may be characterized as a bit hasty. The settlement effected by Governor Pinchot was admittedly a necessary expedient. Inactive mines were being flooded; stores of winter coal were disappearing in early autumn; unemployed miners and their families were starving. Upon one side was the consumer who said he could pay no more, upon the other the miner who could accept no less. From this mess the Governor of Pennsylvania produced a compromise settlement, and cars of coal were once again seen on out-bound tracks.
Unfortunately this coal was costing sixty cents more per ton. Obviously, now that the voters minds were no longer preoccupied by the shadow of an empty bin, it was a propitious moment for Governors "Al" et al to despatch notes of protest. Their suggestion that she has been collecting from this monopoly, netting her fourteen cents a ton, is worthy of consideration. Also the demand that the operators themselves absorb a large part of the increase, in the light of such flexible profits recently betrayed in gasoline production, is excusable. Both of there are being considered by Governor Pinchot as he rounds a makeshift into a more satisfactory arrangement. There are still many open sores in the hard coal industry, but the coal is moving. Under the circumstances sharp criticisms seem untimely.