This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The modern hotel is so far different from the ship and steamer that the steward docs not hire or discharge the housekeeper here as he does the stewardess there. There are a few exceptions among the largest hotels, the few that are conducted as purely mercantile establishments where the proprietor's family does not reside in the hotel, and one of the two or thre stewards employed - purchasing steward, inside steward or wine-room steward - has absolute control over all the employe's outside of the office, but such is not and cannot be the general practice. The hotel housekeeper has a domain of her own. The housekeeper, the lady guests and proprietor's wife, who are accustomed to look to her for attentions, and the linen and laundry department are naturally affiliated together, and the steward has no business to intrude. He would need more than a sheriffs posse behind him who would go up stairs to discharge a housekeeper whom the landlady and lady guests liked, only to put another in her place more suitable to himself.
In other words, the steward could never exercise his authority over the housekeeper if he were invested with it, without coming in direct conflict with the proprietress of the house.