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The most objectional feature of the activities of the Bureau of Standards, aside from the attempt to mutilate the Food Law, is seen in employment of research assistants. This activity seems to fly directly in the face of the statements of President Coolidge, at the beginning of this chapter.
In Circular No. 296, Bureau of Standards, Page 3, is the following statement:
"Devices developed during the research are for the free use of the industry, the government, and the public and will not be patented unless the patents are dedicated free to such use."
Immediately following this statement is another to this effect:
"The work of a research associate is one of peculiar trust, often confidential, on problems of concern to an entire industry."
It is thus seen that much of the research work done may be of this confidential character and if so would not be published in any manner to, prejudice the interest of the industry concerned. While associate scientists conform to government regulations in regard to conduct, hours of work and leave of absence, they are paid by the industries interested in their work. I can find no statement in Bulletin 296 as to the total amount of compensation of these workers. Correspondence with the industries is sent free of postage, and all facilities of every description for the work are provided by government appropriation. No estimates of the total value of these contributions by the government are given. The total number of research associates in 1926 is given at 62. On page 8 the amounts saved by the researches of the Bureau in many instances are stated. From study of brakelining methods fifteen million dollars, from tire studies forty million dollars, and from motor-fuel investigations one hundred million dollars are saved annually. With such savings as these the pitifully meager $2,000,000 appropriation granted to the Bureau of Standards proves Uncle Sam a. piratical piker.
The limit of activities seems. to have been reached in the following case copied from the Washington Star, April 4, 1927. It is an illustration of one of the experiments of the Bureau of Standards with a machine intended to measure the shock absorbed by the driver of an automobile. The description is as follows:
"To find out how much shock the driver of an automobile absorbs through the bumping and rolling of his car on the road is the purpose of this delicate measuring device designed by the Bureau of Standards. The information will be given to manufacturers for its bearing on driving efficiency.
The following pertinent suggestions find an appropriate place here:
From "YOUR MONEY'S WORTH," by Stuart Chase and F. J. Schlink, published by The Macmillan Company, comments on the Bureau of Standards.