Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/79

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The Chief of Staff Idea.

limits the selection of a chief of staff to about twenty general officers. This prevents playing untrained favorites. It permits any passenger conductor to be made superintendent, but forbids selecting an extra brakeman or the call boy. Furthermore, if conditions change or a new administration arrives, the chief of staff is not penalized for efficiency by losing out entirely, but reverts to his permanent status; the superintendent holds his rights as a conductor and bids in a good run according to his permanent seniority. This feature of good organization, the conferring of definite local superior rank, and the protection of the incumbent from unnecessary degradation, was discovered centuries ago by another effective institution, the Catholic church.

Life is a composite. The Army, like several railways, has been waking up to the fact that a lesson can be learned from the civil courts. A large city may have several courts and judges. A judge may sit for one term in the equity court, then in the criminal branch, and next in a court en banc. All the time there is only one office of record, one clerk of the court, with as many deputies as may be found necessary. When one judge wishes to know what