WASHINGTON, May 18, 1917 (UP) - President Wilson will sign today the selective service bill by which the United States will raise an army for service in Europe.
The bill was signed today by Speaker Clark and Vice President Marshall.
At the same time he makes the bill a law the president will issue a proclamation, settling a day upon which all men between the ages of 21 to 30, inclusive, must register.
Both branches of congress o k'd the conference report on the bill late Thursday. The senate approved it by a vote of 65 to 8. Senators who voted against approval:
Gore, Grona, Hardwick, Kirby, La Follette, Norris, Stone and Trammell.
Senator Fall was excused from voting.
The provision to permit Roosevelt to lead an army to France was left in the bill as finally approved by congress.
The law does not mention Roosevelt specifically. It merely authorizes the president to permit the organization of a volunteer force of four infantry divisions. But this is understood to mean the Roosevelt plan.
"Because of the depleted state of our war supplies, it will be impracticable to call to the colors the first 500,000 men before Sept. 1," War Secretary Baker has announced.
Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood, commander of the newly created southeastern department of the army, will have direction of 12 of the 33 training camps to be established. He was to be in charge of 264,000 men.
Detailed plans for housing the big army have been completed by the war department. The men will live in wooden barracks instead of tents. It is estimated 6,000,000 feet of lumber will be needed for the barracks, one and two story frame buildings. Each department will build 2000 of these buildings.
Each camp or cantonment will be a small town. It will cover about one square mile of territory. Work of preparing the camps will commence as soon as the departmental commanders can select sites.
Elaborate ceremonies are expected to mark registration in towns and cities all over the United States.
The day will be a legal holiday. It will be designated "Call to the Colors Day." Plans will be made to escort men to the registration places and to accord them many honors. Many cities plan patriotic gatherings and speechmaking.
Every man selected for service will begin to draw pay as a soldier from the moment of his selection.
The war department is considering certain changes in the line organization of the army.
One would be revival of the now extinct rank of general, which has not been used since Gen. Grant's time.
This also would make necessary the appointment of an active lieutenant general.
The lieutenant, next in rank to general, would have active direction of the army overseas. The general would remain in Washington.
Nelson A. Miles, retired, is the only living lieutenant general.