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"Our best assurance is not a great army, but an export nucleus, not great gatherings of war material to fret us in peace, not great mobilizations of men-at arms, but rather a well-conceived, all inclusive, and expert structure of emergency plans, which when the people through Congress declare war, will unite the nation into one mighty and over whelming company," said Colonel Hanford MacNider '11, Assistant Secretary of War, in an interview with a CRIMSON reporter, yesterday afternoon.
Supply System Must Be Elastic
"I say this," he went on, "because of necessity our future supply organization must be so built that, like a rubber band, it can in a moment be stretched to a hundred times its size without breaking under the strain. It must be just as effective in the new shape as in the old, and must carry a heavier load at every point. It must be kept alive in times of peace, so that it may not succumb to dry-rot. Incidentally, it has had a very active life in the past few years, trying to stretch itself to cover the many new army activities born since the Great War.
War Demands Huge Acceleration
"There is another picture in between, which is of vital interest to the whole scheme of national defense, and of tremendous import to the safety of our country. The difference between the plotted curve of production and that of munitions as they must be supplied to make men effective in case of war, is such that it would take almost a year to balance them, and wars can be won or lost many times during those months."
Colonel MacNider went on to say that it is the duty of the Assistant Secretary of War to look after this emergency surplus. "If it is not there when the day arrives he will be the first one to be stood up against the wall and shot," he declared. He remarked that he was not willing to be shot until every one was lined up together.
Assistant to Secretary Davis
Colonel MacNider is the Assistant to Dwight F. Davis '00, a recent nominee for the Board of Overseers of the University. He spoke next on the work which Mr. Davis has been carrying on.
"He has during the past three years developed and organized a magnificent foundation along the lines of industrial preparedness. I coreeive it my duty to follow as best I can the wise policies and sound lires of his work. Every citizen should be interested, because the safety of his posterity is most affected, and we must have his active interest and cooperation if we are to insure against disaste."
"The last war proved that man-power is available for every need. Four million men can be sworn in as fast as they can raise their right hands. However, it was also demonstrated that there must be seventeen men backing up each man with material, if he is to be effective on the front."
While a student at the University, Colonel MacNider was and editor of the CRIMSON, and used to go after his news on a bicycle, which was one of the requirements of his competition. He entered the banking business after graduation, and later fought in the Mexican and World Wars. After the last war he was elected National Commander of the American Legion. He took the post of Assistant Secretary of War when Secretary Weeks resigned and Mr. Davis moved up to the Cabinet
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