NECESSITY OF PERMANENCE.
The desirability of having as nearly as possible a permanent body of men for our ships of war has probably been recognized since the formation of the navy, but before the advent of steam and modern ordnance the similarity of many of the duties performed by merchant seamen and men-of-war's-men rendered this matter of less importance than it is at the present time.
1. A solution of this feature, which has been in successful operation, was the appointment by the commissary officer of what he termed a "kicker " at each table and a "chief kicker" for the crew. The kickers would submit their complaint to the chief kicker who would investigate and, if it was of importance, report it to the commissary officer. In this way complaints which neutralized each other were settled to the men's satisfaction among themselves, while justifiable complaints received proper attention. Contentment was promoted because the men had, so to speak, a " representative form of government," and the effect of the "chief kicker" (who of course should be in no way connected with the commissary department) not taking action on a trivial complaint was much less than had the same complaint been submitted to the paymaster and no action taken.