The Project Gutenberg EBook of Proceedings of the Second National
Conservation Congress, by Various

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org


Title: Proceedings of the Second National Conservation Congress
       at Saint Paul, September 5-8, 1910

Author: Various

Release Date: May 5, 2011 [EBook #36031]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND ***




Produced by Bryan Ness, Stephen H. Sentoff and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net






ADDRESSES AND PROCEEDINGS
OF THE
Second
National Conservation Congress
HELD AT
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA
SEPTEMBER 5-8
1910


BERNARD N. BAKER
Baltimore, Md.
President, Second National Conservation Congress


[Pg i]

PROCEEDINGS
OF THE
Second
National Conservation Congress
AT
Saint Paul
SEPTEMBER 5-8, 1910
"Let us conserve the foundations of our prosperity"
(Declaration of the Governors, 1908)
WASHINGTON
NATIONAL CONSERVATION CONGRESS
1911

[Pg ii] W. F. ROBERTS COMPANY
PRINTERS
WASHINGTON, D. C.



HON. J. B. WHITE
Kansas City, Mo.
Chairman, Executive Committee, Second National Conservation
Congress and Third National Conservation Congress


[Pg iii]

OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES FOR 1909-10

President
B. N. Baker, Baltimore

Executive Secretary
Thomas R. Shipp, Washington, D. C.

Secretary
L. Frank Brown, Seattle

Vice-Presidents
John Barrett, Washington, D. C.
James S. Whipple, Albany
E. J. Wickson, Berkeley
Alfred C. Ackerman, Athens, Ga.
Henry A. Barker, Providence

Executive Committee
J. B. White, Kansas City, Mo., Chairman
B. N. Baker, Baltimore
J. N. Teal, Portland, Ore.
A. B. Farquhar, York, Pa.
L. H. Bailey, Ithaca
Thomas Burke, Seattle
Henry E. Hardtner, Urania, La.
W. A. Fleming Jones, Las Cruces
Mrs Philip N. Moore, Saint Louis
Mrs J. Ellen Foster, Washington, D. C.

Local Board of Managers for the Saint Paul Congress
Hon. A. O. Eberhart, Chairman
Frank B. Kellogg, Vice-Chairman
J. S. Bell, Minneapolis
H. A. Tuttle, Minneapolis
George M. Gillette, Minneapolis
B. F. Nelson, Minneapolis
L. S. Donaldson, Minneapolis
Joseph H. Beek, Saint Paul
George H. Prince, Saint Paul
Reuben Warner, Saint Paul
Paul W. Doty, Saint Paul
Theodore W. Griggs, Saint Paul
W. C. Handy, Secretary


[Pg iv]

OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES FOR 1910-11

President
Henry Wallace, Des Moines

Executive Secretary
Thomas R. Shipp, Washington, D. C.

Treasurer
D. Austin Latchaw, Kansas City, Mo.

Recording Secretary
James C. Gipe, Clarks, La.

Executive Committee
J. B. White, Kansas City, Mo., Chairman
B. N. Baker, Baltimore
L. H. Bailey, Ithaca
James R. Garfield, Cleveland
Frank C. Goudy, Denver
W. A. Fleming Jones, Las Cruces
Mrs Philip N. Moore, Saint Louis
Walter H. Page, New York
George C. Pardee, Oakland, Cal.
Gifford Pinchot, Washington, D. C.
J. N. Teal, Portland, Ore.
E. L. Worsham, Atlanta

Vice-Presidents

Alabama, Hon. Albert P. Bush, Mobile; Alaska, Hon. James Wickersham, Fairbanks; Arizona, B. A. Fowler, Phenix; Arkansas, A. H. Purdue, Fayetteville; California, E. H. Cox, San Francisco; Colorado, Murdo Mackenzie, Trinidad; Columbia (District of), W J McGee, Washington; Connecticut, Rollin S. Woodruff, Hartford; Delaware, Hon. George Gray, Wilmington; Florida, Cromwell Gibbons, Jacksonville; Georgia, Hon. Jno. C. Hart, Union Point; Hawaii, Mrs Margaret R. Knudsen, Kanai; Idaho, James A. MacLean, University of Idaho; Illinois, Julius Rosenwald, Chicago; Indiana, F. J. Breeze, Lafayette; Iowa, Carl Leopold, Burlington; Kansas, W. R. Stubbs, Topeka; Kentucky, James K. Patterson, Lexington; Louisiana, Newton C. Blanchard, Shreveport; Maine, Bert M. Fernald, Augusta; Maryland, William Bullock Clark, Baltimore; Massachusetts, Frank W. Rane, Boston; Michigan, J. L. Snyder, Lansing; Minnesota, Ambrose Tighe, Saint Paul; Mississippi, A. W. Shands, Sardis; Missouri, Hermann Von Schrenk, Saint Louis; Montana, E. L. Norris, Helena; Nebraska, Dr F. A. Long, Madison; Nevada, Senator Francis G. Newlands, Reno; New Hampshire, George B. Leighton, Monadnock; New Jersey, Charles Lathrop Pack, Lakewood; New Mexico, W. A. Fleming Jones, Las Cruces; New York, R. A. Pearson, Albany; North Carolina, T. Gilbert Pearson, Greensboro; North Dakota, U. G. Larimore, Larimore; Ohio, James R. Garfield, Cleveland; Oklahoma, Benj. Martin, Jr., Muskogee; Oregon, J. N. Teal, Portland; Pennsylvania, William S. Harvey, Philadelphia; Philippine Islands, Maj. George P. Ahern, Manila; Porto Rico, Hon. Walter K. Landis, San Juan; Rhode Island, Henry A. Barker, Providence; South Carolina, E. J. Watson, Columbia; South Dakota, Ellwood C. Perisho, Vermillion; Tennessee, Herman Suter, Nashville; Texas, W. Goodrich Jones, Temple; Utah, Harden Bennion, Salt Lake City; Vermont, Fletcher D. Proctor, Proctor; Virginia, A. R. Turnbull, Norfolk; Washington, M. E. Hay, Olympia; West Virginia, A. B. Fleming, Fairmont; Wisconsin, Charles R. Van Hise, Madison; Wyoming, Bryant B. Brooks, Cheyenne; National Conservation Association, Gifford Pinchot, Washington.

Standing Committees

Forests—H. S. Graves, U. S. Forester, Washington, D. C., Chairman; E. M. Griffith, Madison, Wis.; E. T. Allen, Portland, Ore.; J. Lewis Thompson, Houston.

Lands—Governor W. R. Stubbs, Topeka, Chairman; Dwight B. Heard, Phenix; J. L. Snyder, Lansing; Murdo Mackenzie, Trinidad; Charles S. Barrett, Union City, Ga.

Waters—W J McGee, Washington, D. C., Chairman; E. A. Smith, Spokane; Henry A. Barker, Providence; J. N. Teal, Portland, Ore.; Herbert Knox Smith, Washington, D. C.

Minerals—Charles R. Van Hise, Madison, Chairman; Joseph A. Holmes, Washington, D. C.; D. W. Brunton, Denver; John Mitchell, New York; I. C. White, Morgantown, W. Va.

Vital Resources—Dr William H. Welch, Baltimore, Chairman; Professor Irving Fisher, New Haven; Dr H. W. Wiley, Washington, D. C.; Dr J. H. Kellogg, Battle Creek, Mich.; Walter H. Page, New York.



HENRY WALLACE
Des Moines, Iowa
President, Third National Conservation Congress


[Pg v]

CONTENTS
page
CONSTITUTIONix
OPENING SESSION1
Invocation by Archbishop Ireland1
Greeting from Cardinal Gibbons3
Address by Governor Eberhart3
Welcome by Mayor Keller13
Address by President Taft14
SECOND SESSION34
Induction of Governor Stubbs as Chairman34
Address by Senator Nelson35
Address by Governor Noel48
Address by Governor Norris52
Address by Governor Deneen59
Address by Governor Hay64
Announcement by Professor Condra71
Address by Governor Brooks72
Remarks by Governor Stubbs75
Address by Governor Vessey77
THIRD SESSION79
Appointment of Credentials Committee79
Action on Constitution of the National Conservation Congress79
Remarks by Director-General Barrett80
Remarks by Governor Stubbs81
Invocation by Reverend Doctor Montgomery81
Address by Ex-President Roosevelt82
FOURTH SESSION93
Address by Miss Boardman94
Address by Commissioner Herbert Knox Smith101
Modification of Credentials Committee106
Address by Honorable James R. Garfield106
Address by Ex-Governor Pardee115
Remarks by Delegate Horr, of Washington120
Address by Ex-Governor Blanchard121
Address by William E. Smythe127
Address by Walter L. Fisher129
Address by Colonel James H. Davidson132
FIFTH SESSION134
Invocation by Bishop Edsall134
Address by President Finley135
Report of Credentials Committee145
Address by Senator Beveridge146
Response by Gifford Pinchot152
Address by President McVey152
Discussion by Chairman White158
Address by Mrs Welch, of the General Federation of Women's Clubs160
[Pg vi]Address by Mrs Hoyle Tomkies, of the Women's National Rivers and Harbors Congress163
Address by Mrs Sneath, of the General Federation of Women's Clubs166
Report by Mrs Howard, of the Daughters of the American Revolution167
SIXTH SESSION168
Induction of Senator Clapp as Chairman168
Address by President Craighead168
Postponement of Call of States171
Address by D. Austin Latchaw171
Address by James J. Hill177
Discussion by Henry Wallace188
Address by Secretary Wilson194
Discussion by Representative Stevens201
Address by Professor Bailey203
SEVENTH SESSION213
Address by Professor Graves214
Address by Alfred L. Baker222
Address by Frank H. Short226
Address by Director-General Barrett237
Address by Honorable Esmond Ovey243
Action on time for election and report of Resolutions Committee246
EIGHTH SESSION246
Appointment of Nominating Committee246
Induction of Governor Eberhart as Chairman246
Address by Dean Wesbrook247
Address by Wallace D. Simmons257
Address by Commissioner Elmer E. Brown264
Address by Mrs Scott, President of the Daughters of the American Revolution270
Action in memory of Mrs J. Ellen Foster276
Presentation by Mrs Howard to Gifford Pinchot276
Response by Mr Pinchot277
Address by Francis J. Heney278
Address by Gifford Pinchot292
Expression by Governor Eberhart298
Statement by Professor Condra298
CLOSING SESSION299
Commencement of Call of States299
Response by Delegate Harvey, of Pennsylvania299
Interlude by E. W. Ross, of Washington302
Report of Nominating Committee303
Nomination by Chairman White303
Second by Gifford Pinchot304
Election of and response by Henry Wallace as President305
Election of other Officers306
Resolution of thanks to retiring President Baker308
Response by Mr Baker308
Report of Resolutions Committee308
Adoption of Resolutions312
Interlude by E. W. Ross, of Washington312
Remarks by Delegate Horr, of Washington313
Ratification of Vice-Presidents313
[Pg vii]Resolution in memory of Professor Green313
Resumption of Call of States314
Response by Delegate Purdue, of Arkansas314
Response by Delegate Bannister, of Indiana314
Response by Delegate Miller, of Iowa314
Response by Delegate Young, of Kansas314
Response by Delegate Baker, of Maryland314
Response by Delegate Thorp, of Minnesota315
Response by State Geologist Lowe, of Mississippi315
Response by General Noble, of Missouri315
Response by Chairman White316
Response by Professor Condra, of Nebraska317
Response by a Delegate from New York318
Response by Delegate Nestos, of North Dakota318
Response by Delegate Krueger, of South Dakota319
Remarks by Delegate Johns, of Washington320
Privileged statement by Land Commissioner Ross, of Washington322
Response by Delegate Fowler, of Arizona324
Response by Delegate Hunt, of District of Columbia324
Response by Delegate Barker, of Rhode Island324
Response by Professor White, of West Virginia325
Response by Delegate Worsham, of Georgia325
Motion for adjournment by Delegate Martin, of Oklahoma326
SUPPLEMENTARY PROCEEDINGS327
Laws that should be Passed, by Senator Francis G. Newlands327
Conservation of the Nation's Resources, by Chairman J. B. White328
Practical Aspects of Conservation, by A. B. Farquhar331
Report from Arkansas, by Sid B. Redding333
Report from Colorado, by Frank C. Goudy334
Report from Florida, by Cromwell Gibbons335
Report from Idaho, by Jerome J. Day336
Report from Indiana, by A. E. Metzger336
Report from Iowa, by A. C. Miller337
Report from Louisiana, by Henry E. Hardtner339
Report from Maine, by Cyrus C. Babb341
Report from Massachusetts, by Frank William Rane and Henry H. Sprague343
Report from Missouri, by Hermann von Schrenk344
Report from Montana, by Rudolph von Tobel345
Report from New Mexico, by Colonel W. A. Fleming Jones347
Report from New York, by J. S. Whipple347
Special report from New York, by Henry H. Persons352
Report from North Dakota, by Professor Waldron362
Report from Ohio, by Professor Lazenby364
Report from Oklahoma, by Benj. Martin, Jr.365
Report from Oregon, by E. T. Allen367
Report from Rhode Island, by Henry A. Barker368
Report from South Carolina, by E. J. Watson369
Report from South Dakota, by Doane Robinson369
Report from Texas, by Will L. Sargent370
Report from Utah, by O. J. Salisbury372
Supplementary report from Utah, by E. T. Merritt372
Report from Vermont, by George Aitkin373
Report from Washington, by E. G. Griggs375
Report from West Virginia, by Hu Maxwell376
[Pg viii]Report from Wisconsin, by E. M. Griffith377
Report of the American Academy of Political and Social Science379
Report of the American Automobile Association380
Report of the American Civic Association383
Report of the American Forestry Association384
Report of the American Humane Association385
Report of the American Institute of Architects386
Report of the American Paper and Pulp Association388
Report of the American Medical Association389
Report of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association392
Report of the American Railway Master Mechanics' Association393
Report of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society394
Report of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks397
Report of the Carriage Builders' National Association410
Report of the Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs411
Report of the Farmers' Union of America411
Report of the General Federation of Women's Clubs412
Report of the Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway Association413
Report of the League of American Sportsmen415
Report of the National Board of Fire Underwriters416
Report of the National Board of Trade419
Report of the National Business League of America420
Report of the Missouri Valley River Improvement Association420
Report of the Upper Mississippi River Improvement Association421
Report of the Washington State Federation of Labor422
Report of the Western Forestry and Conservation Association423
Report of the United Mine Workers424
Timber Conservation, by George H. Emerson424
Forests and Stream-Flow, by William S. Harvey428
The Conservation of Minerals and Subterranean Waters, by George F. Kunz, Ph.D.429
The Question of Land Titles, by Franklin McCray430
INDEX431


1. Gifford Pinchot, Vice-President (1910).
2. James R. Garfield, Vice-President (1910).
3. Henry A. Barker, Vice-President (1909-10).
4. A. B. Farquhar, Executive Committee (1909).
5. W. A. Fleming Jones, Vice-president (1910).
6. E. L. Worsham, Executive Committee (1910).
7. George C. Pardee, Executive Committee (1910).
8. J. N. Teal, Executive Committee (1909-10).
9. Walter H. Page, Executive Committee (1910).
10. L. H. Bailey, Executive Committee (1909-10).


[Pg ix]

CONSTITUTION

Article 1—Name

This organization shall be known as the National Conservation Congress.

Article 2—Object

The object of the National Conservation Congress shall be: (1) to provide a forum for discussion of the resources of the United States as the foundation for the prosperity of the people, (2) to furnish definite information concerning the resources and their utilization, and (3) to afford an agency through which the people of the country may frame policies and principles affecting the wise and practical development, conservation, and utilization of the resources, to be put into effect by their representatives in State and Federal Governments.

Article 3—Meetings

Section 1. Regular annual meetings shall be held at such time and place as may be determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Special meetings of the Congress, or its officers, committees, or boards, may be held subject to the call of the President of the Congress or the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Article 4—Officers

Section 1. The officers of the Congress shall consist of a President, to be elected by the Congress; a Vice-President from each State, to be chosen by the respective State delegations, and from the National Conservation Association; an Executive Secretary; a Recording Secretary; and a Treasurer.

Section 2. The duties of these officers may at any time be prescribed by formal action of the Congress or Executive Committee. In the absence of such action their duties shall be those implied by their designations and established by custom. In addition, it shall be the duty of the Vice-Presidents to receive, from the State Conservation Commissions and other organizations concerned in Conservation, suggestions and recommendations, and report them to the Executive Committee of the Congress.

[Pg x]

Section 3. The officers shall serve for one year, or until their successors are elected and qualify.

Article 5—Committees and Boards

Section 1. An Executive Committee of seven, in addition to which the President of the National Conservation Association and all ex-Presidents of the Congress shall be members ex-officio, shall be appointed by the President during each regular annual session to act for the ensuing year; its membership shall be drawn from different States, and not more than one of the appointed members shall be from any one State. The Executive Committee shall act for the Congress and shall be empowered to initiate action and meet emergencies. It shall report to each regular annual session.

Section 2. A Board of Managers shall be created in each city in which the next ensuing session of the Congress is to be held, preferably by leading organizations of citizens. The Board of Managers shall have power to raise and expend funds, to incur obligations on its own responsibility, and to appoint subordinate boards and committees, all with the approval of the Executive Committee of the Congress. It shall report to the Executive Committee at least two days before the opening of the ensuing session, and at such other times as the Congress or the Executive Committee may direct.

Section 3. A Committee on Credentials shall be appointed, consisting of five (5) members, by the President of the Congress not later than on the second day of each session of the Congress. It shall determine all questions raised by delegates as to representation, and shall report to the Congress from time to time as required by the President of the Congress.

Section 4. A Committee on Resolutions shall be created for each annual meeting of the Congress. A Chairman shall be appointed by the President. One member of the Committee shall be selected by each State represented in the Congress. The Committee shall report to the Congress not later than the morning of the last day of each annual meeting.

Section 5. Permanent Committees, consisting of five (5) members each, shall be appointed by the President of the Congress on each of the following five divisions of Conservation: Forests, Waters, Lands, Minerals, and Vital Resources. These committees shall, during the intervals between the annual meetings of the Congress, inquire into these respective subjects and prepare reports to be submitted on the request of the Executive Committee, and render such other assistance to the Congress as the Executive Committee may direct.

[Pg xi]

Section 6. By direction of the Congress, standing and special committees may be appointed by the President.

Section 7. The President shall be a member, ex-officio, of every committee of the Congress.

Article 6—Arrangements for Sessions

Section 1. The program for the session of each annual meeting of the Congress, including a list of speakers, shall be arranged by the Executive Committee. The entire program, including allotments of time to speakers and hours for daily sessions and all other arrangements concerning the program, shall be made by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Unless otherwise ordered, the rules adopted for the guidance of the preceding Congress shall continue in force.

Article 7—Membership

Section 1. The personnel of the National Conservation Congress shall be as follows:

Officers and Delegates

Officers of the National Conservation Congress.

Fifteen Delegates appointed by the Governor of each State and Territory.

Five Delegates appointed by the Mayor of each city with a population of 25,000, or more.

Two Delegates appointed by the Mayor of each city with a population of less than 25,000.

Two Delegates appointed by each Board of County Commissioners.

Five Delegates appointed by each National Organization concerned in the work of Conservation.

Five Delegates appointed by each State or Interstate Organization concerned in the work of Conservation.

Three Delegates appointed by each Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade, Commercial Club, or other local organization concerned in the work of Conservation.

Two Delegates appointed by each State or other University or College, and by each Agricultural College or Experiment Station.

Honorary Members

The President of the United States.

The Vice-President of the United States.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Cabinet.

The United States Senate and House of Representatives.

[Pg xii]

The Supreme Court of the United States.

The Representatives of Foreign Governments.

The Governors of the States and Territories.

The Lieutenant-Governors of the States and Territories.

The Speakers of State Houses of Representatives.

The State Officers.

The Mayors of Cities.

The County Commissioners.

The Presidents of State and other Universities and Colleges.

The Officers and Members of the National Conservation Association.

The Officers and Members of the National Conservation Commission.

The Officers and Members of the State Conservation Commissions and Associations.

Article 8—Delegations and State Officers

Section 1. The several Delegates from each State in attendance at any Congress shall assemble at the earliest practicable time and organize by choosing a Chairman and a Secretary. These Delegates, when approved by the Committee on Credentials, shall constitute the Delegation from that State.

Article 9—Voting

Section 1. Each member of the Congress shall be entitled to one vote on all actions taken viva voce.

Section 2. A division or call of States may be demanded on any action by a State delegation. On division, each Delegate shall be entitled to one vote; provided (1) that no State shall have more than twenty votes; and provided (2) that when a State is represented by less than ten Delegates, said Delegates may cast ten votes for such State.

Section 3. The term "State" as used herein is to be construed to mean either State, Territory, or Insular Possession.

Article 10—Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Congress during any regular session, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given from the Chair not less than one day or more than two days preceding; or by unanimous vote without such notice.



1. D. Austin Latchaw, Treasurer (1910).
2. Thomas R. Shipp, Executive Secretary (1909-10).
3. James C. Gipe, Recording Secretary (1910).
4. John Barrett, Vice-President (1909).
5. Mrs Philip N. Moore, Executive Committee (1909-10).
6. Frank C. Goudy, Executive Committee (1910).
7. Thomas Burke, Executive Committee (1909).
8. E. J. Wickson, Vice-President (1909).
9. Henry D. Hardtner, Vice-President (1909).
10. James S. Whipple, Vice-President (1909).
11. W J McGee, Vice-President (Editor of Proceedings).


[Pg 1]

SECOND NATIONAL CONSERVATION CONGRESS

OPENING SESSION

The Congress convened in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, Minnesota, on the morning of September 5, 1910, President Baker in the chair, and was called to order on arrival of the President of the United States.

President Baker—Mr President, your Grace, Ladies and Gentlemen: The honor I have today in opening this great Congress is one that will always be highly treasured, for I feel that what we are trying to do is to make our country great and strong by men who see the Nation's wrongs and are giving their time to this great object. We are meeting today for the purpose of using our very best efforts to assist in protecting the interests of this great country in a way that will best protect every man and woman and child in his or her rights, with justice to all. That our great National resources are in danger of being wasted and not fully preserved for the future, I am satisfied is the thought of all the great minds assembled here today to take part in this Congress.

There is a Great High Power that rules and governs for the best in the world, and I now call upon His Grace, Archbishop Ireland, to open our Congress with an invocation to that Great Power for help, guidance, and direction.

Invocation

Almighty and eternal God. We bow before Thee in deep humility. Accept from us, we beseech Thee, from submissive minds and sincere hearts, adoration, praise, gratitude, love, and the promise of abiding recognition of Thy sovereignty and of loyal obedience to Thy laws.

O God, all things are Thine; all things were made by Thee; no thing that was made was made without Thee; "the heavens show forth Thy glory and the firmament declareth Thy power, day to day uttereth speech, night to night showeth knowledge," ever proclaiming that Thou are the Master, that things created are the scintillations of Thy power and wisdom. We are Thine, O God, Thee our Father and our Master; earth and skies are ours through gift of Thy munificence. "Till the earth," was it said to us, "and subdue it and dominate over the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the air and all living creatures that move upon the earth." Earth is ours, not, O Lord, that we use it at our [Pg 2]will and caprice, but that under Thy guidance we bid it turn to our best and truest welfare, to the best and truest welfare of our fellow-men, Thy children all; over all of whom spread Thy love and care.

Grant to us, O Lord, this morning wisdom in our counselings and deliberations, that the intents of Thy providence be our intents, and, Thy will the inspiration of our counselings and our actions.

We thank thee, O God, for the gift to us of America. As to few other lands, Thou hast been prodigal to America of gifts rich and rare. In America skies are serene and health-giving above us; beneath us fields are verdant and fertile; nowhere else are forests more fruitful, hills and mountains richer in imbedded treasure; nowhere else are lakes and rivers endowed with higher grandeur or more ready to proffer to man useful and ennobling service. Of America, through Thy munificence, O God, we are the caretakers. May we be wise and prudent in our duty. We pray that under Thy abiding watchfulness, through our intelligent industry, America grows ever in fairness and in wealth, and be the first and most beauteous of the stopping-places allowed to men in their pilgrimage toward their abiding home in heaven.

Bless, O Lord, America, and bless its people, that they be ever faithful to Thy laws; bless its citizenship, bless its Government, that the spirit of its freedom-giving institutions never die, never lessen in sweetness and in power; that here liberty be ever encircled in order, and order ever wreathed in liberty; that righteousness dominate and permeate prosperity; that whatever the laws we form may be scintillations of Thy own eternal laws—compliance with which is life and felicity, forgetfulness of which is misery and death to men and to nations.

And we pray Thee, O God, send down Thy blessing upon the President of the Republic, upon whose shoulders descends the chief responsibility of upholding the salvation and the dignity of America. We pray that Thou bestow upon him Thy precious blessing. The burthen is heavy, often the horizon is dark, often the polar star is hidden from which guidance might come; but in Thee, O God, he confideth,—send upon him the wisdom and the strength of Thy Holy Spirit, the wisdom that he may know, the power that he may do, ever Thy will. In Thee, O Lord, in Thy omnipotent hand—prompt to give aid in single-mindedness of purpose and in rectitude of intention—he puts his trust. Be Thou his teacher, be Thou his guide.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil. Amen.


President Baker—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: His Eminence, Cardinal Gibbons, sends you greeting:

[Pg 3]

Allow me to say how earnestly I wish the Congress every success in the much-needed work of National Conservation.

It is said that the French and Germans could subsist on what we waste; and I fear that to a stranger visiting our country it must seem that in a hundred years we have wasted more of our natural resources than the nations of Europe have done in all the centuries of their existence. But if we have been reckless in the past, wasting like vandals our rich inheritance, it is also most consoling and full of promise for the future that with the strong aid of our President, of Colonel Roosevelt, and of leading citizens in various parts of the country, we may look for a wiser use of our resources in the near future. And I am the more hopeful of a successful Congress from the fact that there is no political issue involved in the great subject before it which might threaten to divide our counsels and breed discontent, but that the sole motive that actuates the Congress is to conserve and increase our natural resources and thereby contribute to the material prosperity of our beloved country.

It is also decidedly my opinion that we should regard our natural resources as the patrimony of the Nation, a sacred trust committed to our keeping to be administered for the good of the whole people, and to be transmitted by us, as far as possible unimpaired, to our posterity. By husbanding and using economically the gifts of Nature, we shall have an abundant supply for our own times, and also make suitable provisions for the future. Mother Earth is not only a fruitful mother; she is also a grateful mother, and repays her children for every kindness and tenderness we exercise toward her. And there are also instances on record to show that she is relentless when she chastises.

Did my many duties allow, I should gladly take a more active part in the greatly needed Conservation labors. However, I trust you will feel assured of my entire sympathy and of the hope I confidently entertain of the very great benefits coming to us all as the fruitful result of these devoted laborers. James Card. Gibbons.


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: The opening of the Congress today in Saint Paul is due largely to the kind assistance and friendly welcome of the Governor of Minnesota, His Excellency A. O. Eberhart, who will now extend you a welcome. (Great applause and cheers)

Governor Eberhart—Mr President, Members of the Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen: When I was invited to appear before this Congress and bid you welcome, it was suggested that I also outline what the people of Minnesota felt when they sought to have this splendid gathering at Saint Paul.

I am sure that no State or city could receive greater honor than to have the President of the United States come fifteen hundred miles to deliver the most important message on Conservation that has ever been presented to the people of this great country. (Applause) Yet [Pg 4]I am not going to take more than the twenty minutes allotted to assure you that the only interest this State has in the Conservation movement is that which every true friend of the movement stands for. Last night I cut out the meat of my remarks, this morning the bones, and now there is nothing left but the nerve, and I have scarcely enough "nerve" to deliver it. (Laughter and applause)

The Conservation of natural resources does not consist merely in the preservation of these resources for the benefit of future generations, but rather such present use thereof as will result in the greatest general good and yet maintain that productive power which insures continued future enjoyment. (Applause) While it is true that exhaustible resources like mineral wealth cannot be conserved for both future and present use, except by economic regulations and the prevention of wasteful methods, Conservation deals with their distribution in such a way as to prevent their control by grasping corporations and individuals, who would monopolize them for their own exclusive benefit at the expense of the general public. (Applause)

It follows necessarily that any theory of Conservation which does not provide for the present as well as the future does not cover the entire field and cannot possibly bring the best results. (Applause) From every economic standpoint it is desirable that the present generation should be preferred, since future discoveries and inventions may render present resources of less value and importance to the coming generations.

In its broadest sense the Conservation movement is not limited merely to the consideration of natural resources. Every great convention called to consider the problems involved has widened the scope of the movement so that today it includes the elimination of wasteful methods in almost every field of human activity and the conservation of all human endeavor so as to confer on all mankind the greatest blessings that a bounteous nature and twenty centuries of enlightenment can bestow.

Every consideration of natural resources for the purpose of eliminating wasteful methods, preserving and increasing productive power, as well as regulating operation and control, has for its ultimate object the conservation of human energy, health and life, the securing of equal opportunities for all, and such dissemination of knowledge as will guarantee the continual possession and enjoyment of these blessings. The subjects for consideration by this Congress should, therefore, include not only the restoration and increase of soil fertility, the protection and development of forests, mines and water-powers, the reclamation of arid and swamp lands by irrigation and drainage, the forestation of areas unsuited to farming, the control of rivers by reservoirs so as to prevent flooding, as well as the elimination of waste in the use of these resources, but also the problems of public comfort, health and life that are so intimately connected with all material and [Pg 5]intellectual development. (Applause) Many of these questions will concern home attractions and management, industrial education in the public schools, public highways, State advertising and settlement, pure food, public health, and sanitation.

By far the most important of all natural resources is the soil, and the maintenance and increase of its fertility must, therefore, be given the greatest consideration. (Applause) As long as food is necessary to human life, agriculture must continue to be the most vital industry of man, and the farm will be the most general and indispensable theater of his activity. We must have manufacture, art, schools, churches and government to round out our sphere of civilized existence, but the foundation of them all is the farm. (Applause) From the earth come all the materials for manufactures, the commodities of commerce, and ultimately the support of all human institutions. During the half century just past our country has devoted its energies to the development of manufacturing and commercial industries to such an extent that the scientific methods of agriculture necessary to insure not only the permanency of our institutions but the very existence of human life itself have been comparatively neglected. The pendulum is now swinging back to the farm, and our great Nation is becoming aroused to the fact that its most vital concern is the elimination of soil waste, the promotion of scientific methods of agriculture, and the conservation of that soil fertility which is the foundation of our entire social, political and commercial superstructure. (Applause)

This new birth of agricultural progress comes at a psychological moment. We have developed American manufactures until the $16,000,000,000 product of our mills and factories exceeds that of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom combined. (Applause) We have built railroads by liberal public and private enterprise until the United States has about one-half of all the railway mileage and tonnage of the world. We have developed banking enterprise and home trade until we have the greatest banking power on earth, and an internal commerce which far exceeds the entire foreign commerce of the globe. We have become the model of the world in our free public schools and our republican form of government. But while we have demonstrated the possession of the greatest agricultural resources on the globe, and have heretofore supplied the world's markets with an unparalleled volume of farm products, we have wasted a wealth that would maintain our population for centuries. The loss in farm values in nearly all of the older States, as shown by the census records from 1880 to 1900, varies from $1,000,000 to $160,000,000 in each State and aggregates the enormous total of more than $1,000,000,000. Is this not sufficient to arouse the entire Nation and cause such a wave of reform as will put into activity every agency and instrumentality for scientific and progressive methods of agricultural reconstruction?

[Pg 6]

The unprecedented agricultural growth of the United States, in spite of wasteful methods, has been caused by the extraordinary fertility of its virgin soil, the great inducement offered by States and Nation to promote settlement and cultivation, the rapid growth of favorable transportation facilities, as well as the great demand for agricultural products resulting from the rapid increase of population, wealth and commercial enterprise.

Minnesota affords a splendid illustration of this development process, and I trust that I may be pardoned for using my own State for that purpose, since I am best acquainted with her conditions, development, and resources. Of her 50,000,000 acres of land area, about one-half is actually tilled, constituting the field area of about 200,000 farms whose aggregate area, including lands not tilled, approximates 32,000,000 acres, or 160 acres each. Nearly 4,000,000 acres of her area are covered by 10,000 lakes. This vast farm area possesses a soil unsurpassed by any State or any country in the world. The great glacier of several thousand years ago was generous to Minnesota. Its fine glacial drift almost wholly covers the old rock formations. Coming from many regions and rock sources, it has given to the soil an excellent chemical composition. This, together with the vegetal mold, accumulated for ages, makes the very best of hospitable soils. The incomparable fertility of the Minnesota soil and its ability to withstand fifty years of starvation methods in cultivation is accounted for by the almost uniform mixture of vegetal mold with all kinds of decomposed rock drift, thus making it possible for less than half of the State to produce farm products aggregating the enormous total for 1909 of more than $427,000,000. (Applause) It accounts also for the fact that, while Minnesota, like all other States, during this period of fifty years has been rather mining the fertility out of her soil than cultivating it, she has withstood the consequent impoverishment without appreciable shrinkage in farm value. There is perhaps not a single representative in this distinguished assemblage who cannot recall the day when the virgin soil in his locality did not produce from 50 to 100 percent larger crops than it does today, when dense forests covered large tracts now a barren waste, and when the bosom of the earth contained untold millions of mineral wealth now represented on the surface by huge spoil-banks and sunken surfaces. We remember only too well when our fertile fields yielded thirty-five to forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and that the same fields produced only about twelve bushels five years ago. In nearly every community there is found that pathetic omen of decay, the deserted farm—even in this young State.

The economic importance of soil conservation is so great that it can scarcely be estimated. In making my estimates I have taken a very conservative view, and while no absolutely accurate figures can [Pg 7]be obtained, the few that I shall give will be found sufficiently reliable to establish the paramount value of soil conservation.

In Minnesota the low tide of soil impoverishment occurred about five years ago. At that time, after several years of apparently unsuccessful effort, the Agricultural College and schools, assisted by the State Farmers' Institutes and the press, succeeded in stemming the tide and arousing considerable interest in new methods of farming along more intelligent and intensive lines. Only within the last year, however, has progress been marked and rapid. When the first State Conservation Congress was called to meet in Saint Paul, March, 1909, nearly every township in the State was represented and all but two counties presented agricultural and industrial exhibits, attracting a total attendance of more than 150,000 people. The wonderful success of that Congress and the enthusiasm it stirred up all over the State gave a great impetus to this new era of agricultural reform in the entire Northwest and insured the complete success of this Congress from a local standpoint. Never before had 6,000 of the most progressive farmers of a State met for the purpose of discussing more intelligent methods of farming, as well as the suppression of wasteful methods in all fields of agricultural and industrial activity.

During the past short period of five years the average cereal yield of this State has been increased more than five bushels per acre; the corn belt has been extended northward more than 300 miles to the Canadian boundary by the production of hardy and early maturing varieties of corn, yielding the State last year over 60,000,000 bushels, and placing Minnesota among the dozen leading corn States of the Union. It is estimated that plant breeding and seed selection alone last year added about $15,000,000 to our agricultural products. The cereal production has also affected clover, timothy and other tame grasses, thus largely contributing to the growth of the dairy industry, which has been increased ten-fold in twenty years until it now yields the State $50,000,000 annually, several counties netting more than $1,000,000 each. Similar progress has been made in the live stock, fruit, and truck gardening industries, and it is safe to conclude that Minnesota has entered in earnest upon a complete plan of agricultural reconstruction.

But let us consider the opportunities for advancement that are still open, in order that we may determine the economy of soil conservation in terms of dollars and cents. The average yield of Minnesota wheat last season was seventeen bushels per acre. At the agricultural experiment stations the same wheat with improved seed selection and better preparation of soil by crop rotation and tillage yielded twenty-eight bushels per acre, climatic and soil conditions, as well as expense of tillage being otherwise similar, a difference in favor of intelligent farming approximating from five to eight dollars per acre, depending on local conditions. Assuming for the sake of [Pg 8]argument that the average difference in the State would not be more than four dollars per acre, it would still increase the agricultural net earning of the State on the basis of the present acreage $100,000,000 annually. These figures do not take into consideration the further increase of soil productivity by various methods of fertilization other than those resulting from planting crops which enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash and calcium, the essential elements of plant growth. Besides, I have not attempted to estimate the value of raising almost maximum yields, where weather conditions are unfavorable, by such drainage, preparation of soil, planting and tillage as will best suit local and climatic conditions. No crop emphasizes the value of seed selection in such unmistakable terms as corn. The average stand of this crop does not exceed 60 percent, which means that the farmer spends 40 percent of his time in the cornfield without result. By selecting the seed in the field at the proper season, testing each ear before planting, and separating with reference to size, so that as nearly as possible the planter will put three kernels in each hill, the stand can be increased to at least 95 percent. Applying this increase to the 2,000,000 acres of cornfield in Minnesota, it would add approximately 30,000,000 bushels with practically no additional cost of production. That the importance of this matter might be more firmly impressed upon the people of the State, I have issued a seed-corn proclamation designating the time when the seed-corn should be selected and calling the attention of the people to the feed value of the corn product as well as corn fodder, which is of utmost importance in a dry season like the one we are now experiencing. This proclamation has received extensive publicity, and it is safe to say that a large number of Minnesota's 200,000 farmers will heed the note of warning.

Of still more vital importance, if possible, is the maintenance and increase of soil fertility as a source of support for future generations. The soil is the only permanent asset of the farmer, and its net returns in crops constitute his annual dividends. Any impairment of this asset will not only reduce the dividends on which his support depends, but will destroy the productive power of the soil to such extent as to deprive future owners of the most essential means of livelihood. A loss of $1,000,000,000 in farm values, such as the older States have already suffered, does not mean merely that this vast sum of money has been wasted, but that its annual earning capacity on which thousands should depend for support has been entirely destroyed, and that these thousands have been forced to seek their sustenance from the fields of commerce and manufacture in the large cities. We enact stringent legislation to prevent the impairment of capital in our banking institutions to protect depositors from loss, but the working capital investment of millions in farm property on which all human institutions must necessarily depend for existence has not been safeguarded in any [Pg 9]manner whatsoever. Without any organized effort to interfere, we still permit millions of farmers to mine out the fertility of the soil, thus increasing the drudgery of farm life, reducing every source of farm income, converting the producers of the farm into consumers of the city, and thus contributing directly to the great increase in cost of living, the scarcity of farm labor, and the congested conditions that breed disease and crime in our large cities. Apply the situation to the country at large and you will find a situation that is simply appalling. There are approximately 500,000,000 acres under actual tillage in the United States. Instead of figuring four dollars per acre waste, which probably would be a fair average, we will place the loss at the extremely low estimate of one dollar. This will still make the total loss through wasteful farming methods in the United States reach the enormous total of $500,000,000 annually. In other words, if the loss were in fact not greater than one dollar per acre, which is unquestionably too low, and that rate could be maintained perpetually without an ultimate depletion of the soil, it would mean that a capital investment of $12,500,000,000 with an earning capacity of four percent per annum aggregating $500,000,000 annually, had been completely destroyed.

At the rate of two dollars per acre, which is a low average, we are every year wasting the income from $25,000,000,000, a sum so great as to be entirely beyond human comprehension. In many of the older States, where farms were sold forty years ago at $150 per acre, the same farms cannot be sold today for $25 per acre, sometimes less than the actual cash value of the buildings and other improvements, because the soil has been robbed of its fertility, making it impossible for the owner to earn the most meager living without restoring the vitality of the soil through expensive methods of fertilization.

It is not at all difficult to see how such wasteful methods of farming must affect the entire industrial situation. The younger generation, inspired with the hopes, aspirations, and energy of youth, stirred by the achievements, opportunities, and general prosperity of a truly great Nation, and encouraged by the possibilities of a liberal education, cannot afford to stake its future on the eking out of a mere existence under the shadow of a rapidly increasing farm mortgage or the threatening omen of a deserted homestead. All honor and credit to that farmer's boy who early realizes the handicap placed upon him by the impairment, and oftentimes utter destruction, of the only safe capital investment of the farmer—fertile and productive soil. Should we complain because he goes to the city to seek more inviting and attractive fields of existence after having been robbed of his only means of livelihood on the farm? This is the proper time for us to think it over. In the younger States, where soil mining has been of such short duration as to be incomplete, and the value of the land through settlement, city growth, and increased transportation [Pg 10]facilities is constantly growing, the young man, who has learned intelligent and progressive methods of farming, should have no fear as to the future, for he has the making of a safe investment; but the young lad who, without experience or training, unexpectedly finds himself possessor of a farm where land values have ceased to rise and the soil has been starved until it no longer can yield in abundance, has a white elephant on his hands, and the sooner he can be brought to the realization thereof the better for himself and the entire community.

Where a certain amount of labor should produce thirty bushels of wheat to the acre, it yields but ten, or even less; and when the farmer cultivates his corn, working ten hours per day, four hours thereof is spent in vain, because 40 percent of the field has no corn—not to speak of the poor quality of the corn grown on account of defective preparation of soil, poor tillage, and the lack of necessary nutritive elements within the soil itself. In addition, he has no knowledge as to diversified farming, the value of live stock, dairying, fruit-raising, truck-gardening, and many other means of livelihood which yield large incomes to the possessor of a well-managed farm, nor does he appreciate the enormous waste committed by unnecessary exposure to the elements of farm machinery and buildings.

The young lady faces a similar situation. Every field of employment bids her welcome at wages from $50 or more per month, and she has already achieved such abundant success in every line of human enterprise, and at the same time enjoyed all the pleasures and delights which bring cheer to the heart of the young, that she cannot afford to even hesitate. Should we complain if she refuses to stay on the farm and take her chances of marrying a $25 man and a ruined farm plastered all over with mortgages, and be chained in matrimonial bonds of lifelong drudgery to a devastated farm homestead, robbed of everything that contributes to the beautiful and good and true in a woman's life? (Great applause) There is only one answer, and its conclusions are just.

Though I have presented a sad picture, it is not pessimistic. The background is altogether cheerful. Two words express the most simple and effective remedy: intelligent farming. This will not only make farming profitable, but it will surround the home life on the farm with so many attractions as to remove all desire for the deceptive allurements of a city. Intelligent farming does not merely guarantee good dividends on a farm investment, but it builds good roads to save cost of transportation, consolidates rural schools where intelligent farming, industry and home economics can be taught by precept and example, beautifies the home and its surroundings and fills it with all the attractions that elevate manhood and womanhood, teaches the younger generation the dignity as well as reward of farm labor, and inspires the laborer with the hope of a bright future.

[Pg 11]

Drainage, farm settlement, good roads, forestry, transportation, industrial education, minerals, cheap heat and power resources, are all important factors in the Conservation movement. Minnesota has successfully drained about 3,000,000 acres in the northern part of the State at an average cost of two dollars per acre, and converted into meadows, grain and clover fields, celery and cranberry gardens, what only a year or two since was a rough wilderness. Every State should have some effective way of making these results known to prospective settlers through exhibits and judicious advertising. No State officer is in a position to bring greater returns to the State than the immigration commissioner, and it is to be regretted that his work is so often crippled by lack of sufficient appropriations.

In marketing produce, distributing material, fertilizer and machinery, the farmers of Minnesota haul annually approximately 20,000,000 wagon loads. Averaging the cost of each load over mostly unimproved roads at $1.50, the cost of highway transportation in the State aggregates $30,000,000. Most experts claim that uniformly good roads would reduce this cost one-half, but conceding for the sake of argument that the reduction would be only a third, the net saving to the farmers of the State in one year would be about $10,000,000. However, this is not the most important result. The building of good roads would build up farm intercommunication and promote the consolidation of rural school districts by making it possible to carry the pupils at all seasons of the year some distance over country roads to the school at a minimum cost.

Several of the north-central border States were the chief shippers of lumber only a few years ago. Now our great forests are largely depleted, and scientific deforestation has become an absolute necessity. One of the most important duties the States as well as the Nation have to perform is the transformation of this vast stumpage area into forests and farms. Practical and scientific reforestation should convert the lands unsuited for farming into forests, so that every acre would produce revenue and furnish some necessity of life. The dry season of 1910 has particularly emphasized another important duty in this connection, and that is the protection of our forests and settlers from fires. It is a well known fact that enough timber has been destroyed by fire within the last four months to pay for the adequate protection of all our forests for a period of ten years or more, not to mention the great loss of human life, which in itself imposes upon States and Nation the duty of protection. This Congress should be instrumental in stirring public sentiment to such an extent that the various legislatures and the Congress will take immediate steps to stop this needless and expensive waste.

Since mineral wealth is exhaustible, it follows that the interest of the people in this important resource should be guarded against the encroachments of greed with the utmost care. Minnesota furnishes [Pg 12]now one-half of all the iron-ore in the United States, and one-fourth of that of the world, exporting this year about 40,000,000 tons. It is estimated that not less than 2,000,000,000 tons of ore has been definitely located, and that the volume of the undeveloped properties is enormous. The State is the owner of very large quantities of ore, and the income from this source alone will increase the State school fund by at least $100,000,000.

No section of our country could profit more by water transportation than that tributary to this great mineral wealth. The canalization of the Mississippi river system with its 16,000 miles of streams would by cheap transportation bring together the coal fields of the central interior with the iron ore of the North, and produce in the Mississippi valley the greatest iron and steel industries of the world, besides opening up the greatest agricultural and industrial sections to the transportation facilities of the Panama canal.

No commercial nation can long retain supremacy unless it has unlimited supplies of cheap heat and power. In the north-central border States are located peat deposits that should furnish cheap heat and power for untold generations, Minnesota alone possessing more than 1,000,000 acres; and as the source of the three great watersheds of the country, with an elevation of about 1,500 feet over sea and gulf level, there is an abundance of water-power to turn the wheels of manufacture and commerce.

Time will not permit any consideration of the strictly human side of Conservation. We have saved millions of dollars annually by guarding against plant and animal disease, and are just beginning to take note of the untold millions wasted every month through neglect of preventable and curable disease, impure foods, defective sanitation and health inspection in homes and schools, unsuitable playgrounds for children, and the lack of safeguards against railway, mine and factory accidents, all of which come properly within the Conservation scope.

The splendid progress made by Minnesota and other States merely emphasizes the importance of the Conservation movement. Warned by the decay of older nations, we must act before the crisis of exhausted natural resources reaches our Nation and commonwealths. Indeed, warned by signs that are only too plain in our own midst, we must take decisive action without delay. Fortunately, we have passed the pioneer stage of development. Our Nation and commonwealths have all experienced many of the disasters resulting from the skimming of natural resources. Having discovered the vast mines of wealth which surround us everywhere, we must now and forever determine that ignorance, selfishness, and greed shall no longer control our governments and exhaust our resources. (Great applause and cheers)

The problems before us are not merely of tremendous importance, but they are also difficult as to solution. They frequently involve sharply conflicting claims and interests as between the Nation and the [Pg 13]various commonwealths. Every State as well as the Nation itself should have a distinct and separate department empowered to deal with all these problems. It matters but little how it should be designated, though it would serve all purposes best to be known as a Conservation Commission. But it is of vital importance that the agency should be given sufficient authority and funds, so as to enlist the strongest and best men in the Conservation service. That such commissions would have sufficient work, and that from an economic standpoint they would constitute good investments, there is and can be no question.

Minnesota, as a distinctly progressive State and a recognized leader in the Conservation movement, heartily welcomes this Congress with its noted guests and speakers. We have the special honor of entertaining and hearing the three truly great men who have contributed so much to the actual achievements of the Conservation movement, and they are the three most distinguished guests of this Congress, President Taft (applause and the Chautauqua salute), Colonel Roosevelt (applause and cheers), and James J. Hill. Minnesota appreciates this honor and will prove herself worthy thereof. As her Chief Executive, I earnestly hope that the deliberations of this Congress may bring results far beyond our hopes or expectations. I am intensely interested in the Conservation of our resources, and will use all my efforts in securing and enforcing the best possible legislation, believing firmly that the Conservation movement, as here outlined, will promote the general public welfare in a far greater degree than any other, and that it is destined to mark the twentieth century as an era of the greatest industrial achievement for the benefit of all mankind. The people of Minnesota feel keenly their duties and responsibilities with reference to their great heritage of unsurpassed natural resources, and will continue as leaders in the only movement that can insure the perpetuation of our country as the greatest agricultural, industrial and commercial nation in the world. On their behalf, I welcome you to the State. I thank you. (Applause)


President Baker—It is now my pleasure to call upon his Honor, Mayor Herbert E. Keller, who will welcome you on behalf of the great city of Saint Paul. (Great applause and cheers)

Mayor Keller—Mr President, Delegates to the Second National Conservation Congress, and Guests: Upon me, as Chief Executive of the city where this body will carry on its labors, the honor of welcoming you devolves. It is a great privilege and pleasure to discharge this duty, and yet my greeting can but inadequately convey to you the appreciation felt by all Saint Paul at being selected as the scene of this great Congress, whose deliberations mark the commencement of a new epoch in the history of our country. (Applause)

The Conservation to and by ourselves as trustees, and the dedication and perpetuation to our children and our children's children [Pg 14]as beneficiaries, of the tremendous natural resources of our country is a duty and trust too sacred and too imperative to be disregarded or lightly considered, once the situation stands revealed in its true light. It is purely and simply a proposition of the greatest good for the greatest number, and the sound judgment of a great people, with the patriotism and unselfish devotion to duty of the founders of our country ever before them, must and shall consider the greatest number to be the countless millions of population to follow after us, and to whom must be handed down a heritage not diminished or impoverished by us, the temporary executors.

We may be likened to children turned loose in some vast Midas treasurehouse and told to go where we would and take what we pleased. A knock at the doors of Congress, a State legislature, or a city council, gives the magical "Open Sesame!" And behold! the lavishing on some private interest or individual of a great National or State property or municipal right or franchise!

The Nation's bounty and generosity has been limitless, for the entire previous history of the whole world provides no precedent for a guide. But, fortunately, thoughtful minds began to work, awakened to what was being done, and the result is the present all-pervasive sentiment and determination to economize, to check improvidence and waste, and to establish a policy whereby future generations, as well as the present, may have equal opportunities to enjoy our natural benefits and advantages; and Conservation is now more than a mere issue: it is an assured, established, sane and universal desire to preserve and perpetuate for ourselves and posterity the treasures of our country.

And so I bid you welcome to the city of Saint Paul. May your labors be fruitful of great good. I know that your stay with us will be enjoyable. Our city limits may be somewhat circumscribed for the immense crowds here this week, but our hospitality and good wishes are as limitless as the ocean. (Applause)


President Baker—Fellow delegates, I am sure we all extend to his Honor, Mayor Keller, a hearty vote of thanks for what he has done in preparing for this Congress.

And now comes a privilege of which I am very proud—as a southern man all my life—that of presenting to you the President of this great Nation. (Great applause and cheers, the audience rising)

ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Ladies and Gentlemen: Before beginning my formal address, I should like to extend to the President and the Managers of this Congress, to Governor Eberhart, and to the Mayor of the city, my sincere [Pg 15]and cordial thanks for the opportunity to come here and address this magnificent audience, and to reach the people of the United States on a subject of the utmost interest to them and to every patriot. (Applause)

Conservation, as an economic and political term, has come to mean the preservation of our natural resources for economical use, so as to secure the greatest good to the greatest number.

In the development of this country, in the hardships of the pioneer, in the energy of the settler, in the anxiety of the investor for quick returns, there was very little time, opportunity, or desire to prevent waste of those resources supplied by nature which could not be quickly transmuted into money; while the investment of capital was so great a desideratum that the people as a community exercised little or no care to prevent the transfer of absolute ownership of many of the valuable natural resources to private individuals, without retaining some kind of control of their use. The impulse of the whole new community was to encourage the coming of population, the increase of settlement, and the opening up of business; and he who demurred in the slightest degree to any step which promised additional development of the idle resources at hand was regarded as a traitor to his neighbors and an obstructor to public progress. But now that the communities have become old, now that the flush of enthusiastic expansion has died away, now that the would-be pioneers have come to realize that all the richest lands in the country have been taken up, we have perceived the necessity for a change of policy in the disposition of our natural resources so as to prevent the continuance of the waste which has characterized our phenomenal growth in the past. Today we desire to restrict and retain under public control the acquisition and use by the capitalists of our natural resources.

The danger to the State and to the people at large from the waste and dissipation of our national wealth is not one which quickly impresses itself on the people of the older communities, because its most obvious instances do not occur in their neighborhood, while in the newer part of the country the sympathy with expansion and development is so strong that the danger is scoffed at or ignored. Among scientific men and thoughtful observers, however, the danger has always been present; but it needed some one to bring home the crying need for a remedy of this evil so as to impress itself on the public mind and lead to the formation of public opinion and action by the representatives of the people. Theodore Roosevelt (great and prolonged applause) took up the task in the last two years of his second administration, and well did he perform it. (Great and prolonged applause)

As President of the United States I have, as it were, inherited this policy, and I rejoice in my heritage (great applause). I prize my high opportunity to do all that an Executive can do to help a great [Pg 16]people to realize a great national ambition; for Conservation is National. It affects every man of us, every woman, every child. What I can do in the cause I shall do, not as President of a party, but as President of the whole people (enthusiastic applause and cheers). Conservation is not a question of politics, or of factions, or of persons. It is a question that affects the vital welfare of all of us—of our children and our children's children. I urge that no good can come from meetings of this sort unless we ascribe to those who take part in them, and who are apparently striving worthily in the cause, all proper motives (applause), and unless we judiciously consider every measure or method proposed with a view to its effectiveness in achieving our common purpose, and wholly without regard to who proposes it or who will claim credit for its adoption (great applause). The problems are of very great difficulty, and call for the calmest consideration and clearest foresight. Many of the questions presented have phases that are new in this country, and it is possible that in their solution we may have to attempt first one way and then another. What I wish to emphasize, however, is that a satisfactory conclusion can only be reached promptly if we avoid acrimony, imputations of bad faith and political controversy (cries of "Hear, hear," and great applause).

The public domain of the Government of the United States, including all the cessions from those of the thirteen States that made cessions to the United States, and including Alaska, amounts in all to about 1,800,000,000 acres. Of this there is left as purely Government property outside of Alaska something like 700,000,000 acres. Of this the national forest reserves in the United States proper embrace 144,000,000 acres. The rest is largely mountain or arid country, offering some opportunity for agriculture by dry farming and by reclamation, and containing metals as well as coal, phosphates, oils, and natural gas. Then the Government owns many tracts of land lying along the margins of streams that have water-power, the use of which is necessary in the conversion of the power into electricity and its transmission.

I shall divide my discussion under the heads of (1) agricultural lands; (2) mineral lands—that is, lands containing metalliferous minerals; (3) forest lands; (4) coal lands; (5) oil and gas lands; and (6) phosphate lands. I feel that it will conduce to a better understanding of the problems presented if I take up each class and describe, even at the risk of tedium, first, what has been done by the last Administration and the present one in respect to each kind of land; second, what laws at present govern its disposition; third, what was done by the present Congress in the matter; and fourth, the statutory changes proposed in the interest of Conservation.

AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Our land laws for the entry of agricultural lands are as follows:

[Pg 17]

The original Homestead Law, with the requirements of residence and cultivation for five years, much more strictly enforced now than ever before.

The Enlarged Homestead Act, applying to non-irrigable lands only, requiring five years' residence and continuous cultivation of one-fourth of the area.

The Desert-land Act, which requires on the part of the purchaser the ownership of a water-right and thorough reclamation of the land by irrigation, and the payment of $1.25 per acre.

The Donation or Carey Act, under which the State selects the land and provides for its reclamation, and the title vests in the settler who resides upon the land and cultivates it and pays the cost of the reclamation.

The National Reclamation Homestead Law, requiring five years' residence and cultivation by the settler on the land irrigated by the Government, and payment by him to the Government of the cost of the reclamation.

There are other acts, but not of sufficient general importance to call for mention unless it is the Stone and Timber Act, under which every individual, once in his lifetime, may acquire 160 acres of land, if it has valuable timber on it or valuable stone, by paying the price of not less than $2.50 per acre, fixed after examination of the stone or timber by a Government appraiser.

In times past, a great deal of fraud has been perpetrated in the acquisition of lands under this Act, but it is now being much more strictly enforced, and the entries made are so few in number that it seems to serve no useful purpose and ought to be repealed. (Applause)

The present Congress passed a bill of great importance, severing the ownership of coal by the Government in the ground from the surface and permitting homestead entries upon the surface of the land, which, when perfected, gives the settler the right to farm the surface, while the coal beneath the surface is retained in ownership by the Government and may be disposed of by it under other laws.

There is no crying need for radical reform in the methods of disposing of what are really agricultural lands. The present laws have worked well. The Enlarged Homestead Law has encouraged the successful farming of lands in the semi-arid regions. Of course the teachings of the Agricultural Department as to how these sub-arid lands may be treated and the soil preserved for useful culture are of the very essence of Conservation. Then the conservation of agricultural lands is shown in the reclamation of arid lands by irrigation, and I should devote a few words to what the Government has done and is doing in this regard.

By the Reclamation Act a fund has been created of the proceeds of the public lands of the United States with which to construct works for storing great bodies of water at proper altitudes from [Pg 18]which, by a suitable system of canals and ditches, the water is to be distributed over the arid and sub-arid lands of the Government to be sold to settlers at a price sufficient to pay for the improvements. Primarily the projects are and must be for the improvement of public lands. Incidentally, where private land is also within the reach of the water supply, the furnishing at cost of operation of this water to private owners by the Government is held by the federal Court of Appeals not to be a usurpation of power; but certainly this ought not to be done except from surplus water not needed for Government land. About thirty projects have been set on foot, distributed through the public-land States, in accordance with the Statute, by which allotments from the reclamation fund are required to be, as nearly as practicable, in proportion to the proceeds from the sale of the public lands in the respective States.

The total sum already accumulated in the reclamation fund is $60,273,258.22, and of that all but $6,491,955.34 has been expended. It became very clear to Congress at its last session, from the statements made by experts, that these thirty projects could not be promptly completed with the balance remaining on hand, or with the funds likely to accrue in the near future. It was found, moreover, that there are many settlers who have been led into taking up lands with the hope and understanding of having water furnished in a short time, who are left in a most distressing situation. I recommended to Congress that authority be given to the Secretary of the Interior to issue bonds in anticipation of the assured earnings by the projects, so that the projects, worthy and feasible, might be promptly completed and the settlers might be relieved from their present inconvenience and hardship (applause). In authorizing the issue of these bonds, Congress limited the application of their proceeds to those projects which a board of army engineers, to be appointed by the President, should examine and determine to be feasible and worthy of completion. The board has been appointed, and soon will make its report.

Suggestions have been made that the United States ought to aid in the drainage of swamp lands belonging to the States or private owners, because, if drained, they would be exceedingly valuable for agriculture and contribute to the general welfare by extending the area of cultivation. I deprecate the agitation in favor of such legislation. It is inviting the general Government into contribution from its treasury toward enterprises that should be conducted either by private capital or at the instance of the State (applause). In these days there is a disposition to look too much to the Federal Government for everything (applause). I am liberal in the construction of the Constitution with reference to Federal power (applause); but I am firmly convinced that the only safe course for us to pursue is to hold fast to the limitations of the Constitution, and to regard as sacred the powers of the States (great applause and cheers). We have made wonderful progress, [Pg 19]and at the same time have preserved with judicious exactness the restrictions of the Constitution. There is an easy way in which the Constitution can be violated by Congress without judicial inhibition, to-wit, by appropriations from the National treasury for unconstitutional purposes. It will be a sorry day for this country if the time ever comes when our fundamental compact shall be habitually disregarded in this manner. (Applause)

MINERAL LANDS

By mineral lands, I mean those lands bearing metals, or what are called metalliferous minerals.

The rules of ownership and disposition of these lands were first fixed by custom in the West, and then were embodied in the law, and they have worked, on the whole, so fairly and well that I do not think it is wise now to attempt to change or better them. The apex theory of tracing title to a lode has led to much litigation and dispute, and ought not to have become the law, but it is so fixed and understood now that the benefit to be gained by a change is altogether outweighed by the inconvenience that would attend the introduction of a new system. So too, the proposition for the Government to lease such mineral lands and deposits and to impose royalties might have been, in the beginning, a good thing, but now that most of the mineral land has been otherwise disposed of—I do not refer here to coal land or gas land or oil land or phosphate land—it would hardly be worth while to assume the embarrassments of a radical change.

FOREST LANDS

Nothing can be more important in the matter of Conservation than the treatment of our forest lands. It was probably the ruthless destruction of forests in the older States that first called attention to the necessity for a halt in the waste of our resources. This was recognized by Congress by an act authorizing the Executive to reserve from entry and set aside public timber lands as National forests. Speaking generally, there has been reserved of the existing forests about 70 percent of all the timber lands of the Government. Within these forests (including 26,000,000 acres in two forests in Alaska) are 192,000,000 acres, of which 166,000,000 acres are in the United States proper and include within their boundaries something like 22,000,000 acres that belong to the States or to private individuals. We have, then, excluding Alaskan forests, a total of about 144,000,000 acres of forests belonging to the Government, which are being treated in accord with the principles of scientific forestry. The law now prohibits the reservation of any more forest lands in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, except by act of Congress. I am informed by the Department of Agriculture that the [Pg 20]Government owns other tracts of timber lands in these States which should be included in the forest reserves. I expect to recommend to Congress that the limitation herein imposed shall be repealed (applause). In the present forest reserves there are lands which are not properly forest land, and which ought to be subject to homestead entry. This has caused some local irritation. We are carefully eliminating such lands from forest reserves or, where their elimination is not practicable, listing them for entry under the forest homestead act.

Congress ought to trust the Executive to use the power of reservation only with respect to land covered by timber or which will be useful in the plan of reforestation (applause). I am in favor of each branch of the Government trusting the good faith of the other (applause). During the present Administration, 6,250,000 acres of land, largely non-timbered, have been excluded from forest reserves, and 3,500,000 acres of land, principally valuable for forest purposes, have been included in forest reserves, making a reduction in forest reserves of non-timbered land amounting to 2,750,000 acres. But had we had the opportunity to include reserves in the forbidden States, the balance would have been otherwise. The Bureau of Forestry since its creation has initiated reforestation on 5,600 acres. A great deal of the forest land is available for grazing. During the past year the grazing lessees numbered 25,400, and they pastured upon the forest reserves 1,400,000 cattle, 84,540 horses, and 7,580,400 sheep, for which the Government received $986,715—a decrease from the preceding year of $45,000, due to the fact that no money was collected or received for grazing on the non-timbered land eliminated from the forest reserve. Another source of profit in the forestry is the receipts for timber sold. This year they amounted to $1,043,000, an increase of $307,000 over the receipts of last year. This increase is due to improvement in transportation to market, and to the greater facility with which the timber can be reached.

The Government timber in this country amounts to only one-fourth of all the timber, the rest being in private ownership. Only three percent of that which is in private ownership is looked after properly and treated according to modern rules of forestry (applause). The usual destructive waste and neglect continue in the remainder of the forests owned by private persons and corporations. It is estimated that fire alone destroys $50,000,000 worth of timber a year. The management of forests not on public land is beyond the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. If anything can be done by law it must be done by the State legislatures. I believe that it is within their constitutional power to require the enforcement of regulations, in the general public interest, as to fire and other causes of waste in the management of forests owned by private individuals and corporations. (Applause)

Exactly how far these regulations can go and remain consistent with the rights of private ownership, it is not necessary to discuss; but [Pg 21]I call attention to the fact that a very important part of Conservation must always fall upon the State legislatures, and that they would better be up and doing if they would save the waste and denudation and destruction through private greed or accidental fires that have made barren many square miles of the older States. (Great applause)

I have shown sufficiently the conditions as to Federal forestry to indicate that no further legislation is needed at the moment except an increase in the fire protection to National forests and an act vesting the Executive with full power to make forest reservations in every State where Government land is timber-covered, or where the land is needed for forestry purposes.

OTHER LAND WITHDRAWALS

When President Roosevelt became fully advised of the necessity for the change in our disposition of public lands, especially those containing coal, oil, gas, phosphates, or water-power sites, he began the exercise of the power of withdrawal by Executive order of lands subject by law to homestead and the other methods of entering for agricultural lands. The precedent he set in this matter was followed by the present Administration. Doubt had been expressed in some quarters as to the power in the Executive to make such withdrawals. The confusion and injustice likely to arise if the courts were to deny the power led me to appeal to Congress to give the President the express power (applause). Congress has complied. The law, as passed, does not expressly validate or confirm previous withdrawals, and therefore, as soon as the new law was passed, I, myself, confirmed all the withdrawals which had theretofore been made by both Administrations by making them over again (great applause). The power of withdrawal is a most useful one, and I do not think it is likely to be abused.

COAL LANDS

The next subject, and one of the most important for our consideration, is the disposition of the coal lands in the United States and in Alaska. First, as to those in the United States.

At the beginning of this Administration there were classified coal lands amounting to 5,476,000 acres, and there were withdrawn from entry for purposes of classification 17,867,000 acres. Since that time there has been withdrawn by my order from entry for classification 77,648,000 acres, making a total withdrawal of 95,515,000 acres (applause). Meantime, of the acres thus withdrawn, 11,371,000 have been classified and found not to contain coal, and have been restored to agricultural entry, and 4,356,000 acres have been classified as coal lands; while 79,788,000 acres remain withdrawn from entry and await classification. In addition, 336,000 acres have been [Pg 22]classified as coal lands without prior withdrawal, thus increasing the classified coal lands to 10,168,000 acres.

Under the laws providing for the disposition of coal lands in the United States, the minimum price at which lands are permitted to be sold is $10 an acre; but the Secretary of the Interior has the power to fix a maximum price and to sell at that price. By the first regulations governing appraisal, approved April 8, 1907, the minimum was $10, as provided by law, and the maximum was $100, and the highest price actually placed upon any land sold was $75. Under the new regulations, adopted April 10, 1909, the maximum price was increased to $300 except in regions where there are large mines, where no maximum limit is fixed and the price is determined by the estimated tons of coal to the acre. The highest price fixed for any land under this regulation has been $608 per acre. The appraised value of the lands classified as coal lands and valued under the new and old regulations is shown to be as follows: 4,303,000 acres valued under the old regulation at $77,000,000—an average of $18 an acre—and 5,864,000 acres classified and valued under the new regulation at $394,000,000, or a total of 10,168,000 acres valued at $471,000,000. For the year ending March 31, 1909, 227 coal entries were made, embracing an area of 35,000 acres, which sold for $663,000; for the year ending March 31, 1910, there were 176 entries, embracing an area of 23,000 acres, which sold for $608,000, and down to August, 1910, there were but 17 entries, with an area of 1,720 acres which sold for $33,900; making a disposition of coal lands in the last two years of about 60,000 acres for $1,305,000.

The present Congress, as already said, has separated the surface of coal lands either classified or withdrawn to be classified from the coal beneath, so as to permit at all times homestead entries upon the surface of lands useful for agriculture, and to reserve the ownership in the coal to the Government.

The question which remains to be considered is whether the existing law for the sale of the coal in the ground should continue in force or be repealed and a new method of disposition adopted. Under the present law the absolute title in the coal beneath the surface passes to the grantee of the Government. The price fixed is upon an estimated amount of the tons of coal per acre beneath the surface, and the prices are fixed so that the earnings will only be a reasonable profit upon the amount paid and the investment necessary. But, of course, this is more or less guesswork, and the Government parts with the ownership of the coal in the ground absolutely. Authorities in the Geological Survey estimate that in the United States today there is a supply of about three thousand billion tons of coal, and that of this one-third, or about one thousand billion, are in the public domain. Of course, the other two thousand billion are within private [Pg 23]ownership and under no more control as to the use or the prices at which the coal may be sold than any other private property.

If the Government leases the coal lands and acts as any landlord would, and imposes conditions in its leases like those which are now imposed by the owners in fee of coal mines in the various coal regions of the East, then it would retain over the disposition of the coal deposits a choice as to the assignee of the lease, a power of resuming possession at the end of the term of the lease, or of readjusting terms at fixed periods of the lease, which might easily be framed to enable it to exercise a limited but effective control in the disposition and sale of the coal to the public (applause). It has been urged that the leasing system has never been adopted in this country, and that its adoption would largely interfere with the investment of capital and the proper development and opening up of coal resources. I venture to differ entirely from this view (applause). My investigations show that many owners of mining property of this country do not mine it themselves, and do not invest their money in the plants necessary for the mining, but they lease their properties for a term of years varying from twenty to thirty and forty years, under conditions requiring the erection of a proper plant and the investment of a certain amount of money in the development of the mines, and fixing a rental and a royalty, sometimes an absolute figure and sometimes one proportioned to the market value of the coal. Under this latter method the owner of a mine shares in the prosperity of his lessees when coal is high and the profits good, and also shares to the same extent in their disappointment when the price of coal falls.

I have looked with some care into a report made at the instance of President Roosevelt upon the disposition of coal lands in Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. These are peculiarly mining countries, and their experience ought to be most valuable. In all these countries the method for the disposition and opening of coal mines originally owned by the Government is by granting a leasehold, and not by granting an absolute title. The terms of the leases run all the way from twenty to fifty years while the amount of land which may be leased to any individual there is from 320 acres to 2,000 acres. It appears that a full examination was made and the opinions of all the leading experts on the subject were solicited and given, and that with one accord they approved in all respects the leasing system (applause). Its success is abundantly shown.

It is possible that at first considerable latitude will have to be given to the Executive in drafting these forms of lease, but as soon as experiment shall show which is the most workable and practicable, its use should be provided for specifically by statute. The question as to how great an area ought to be included in a lease to one individual or corporation is not free from difficulty; but in view of the fact that the Government retains control as owner, I think there might [Pg 24]be some liberality in the amount leased, and that 2,500 acres would not be too great a maximum.

By the opportunity to register the terms upon which the coal shall be held by the tenant, either at the end of each lease or at periods during the term, the Government may secure the benefit of sharing in the increased price of coal and the additional profit made by the tenant. By imposing conditions in respect to the character of work to be done in the mine, the Government may control the character of the development of the mine and the treatment of employees with reference to safety (applause). By denying the right to transfer the lease except by written permission of Government authorities, it may withhold the needed consent when it is proposed to transfer the leasehold to persons interested in establishing a monopoly of coal production in any State or neighborhood (applause).

As one-third of all the coal supply is held by the Government, it seems wise that it should retain such control over the mining and the sale as the relation of lessor to lessee furnishes. The change from the absolute grant to the leasing system will involve a good deal of trouble in the outset, and the training of experts in the matter of making proper leases; but the change will be a good one and can be made. The change is in the interest of Conservation, and I am glad to approve it. (Great applause)

ALASKA COAL LANDS

The investigations of the Geological Survey show that the coal properties in Alaska cover about 1,200 square miles, and that there are known to be available about fifteen billion tons. This is, however, an underestimate of the coal in Alaska, because further developments will probably increase this amount many times; but we can say with considerable certainty that there are two fields on the Pacific slope which can be reached by railways at a reasonable cost from deep water—in one case of about 50 miles and in the other case of about 150—which will afford certainly six billion tons of coal, more than half of which is of a very high grade of bituminous and of anthracite. It is estimated to be worth, in the ground, one-half cent a ton, which makes its value per acre from $50 to $500. The coking-coal lands of Pennsylvania are worth from $800 to $2,000 an acre, while other Appalachian fields are worth from $10 to $386 an acre, and the fields in the central States from $10 to $2,000 an acre, and in the Rocky mountains from $10 to $500 an acre.

The demand for coal on the Pacific Coast is for about 4,500,000 tons a year. It would encounter the competition of cheap fuel oil, of which the equivalent of 12,000,000 tons of coal a year is used there. It is estimated that the coal could be laid down at Seattle or San Francisco, a high-grade bituminous at $4 a ton, and anthracite at $5 or $6 a ton. The price of coal on the Pacific slope varies greatly [Pg 25]from time to time in the year and from year to year—from $4 to $12 a ton. With a regular coal supply established, the expert of the Geological Survey, Mr Brooks, who has made a report on the subject, does not think there would be an excessive profit in the Alaska coal mining because the price at which the coal could be sold would be considerably lowered by competition from these fields and by the presence of crude fuel oil. The history of the laws affecting the disposition of Alaska coal lands shows them to need amendment badly. Speaking of them, Mr Brooks says:

The first act, passed June 6, 1900, simply extended to Alaska the provisions of the coal lands in the United States. The law was ineffective, for it provided that only subdivided lands could be taken up and there were no land surveys in Alaska.

I do not like to criticise a coordinate branch of the Government. The Executive makes mistakes, and so does Congress, but I do not think it reflects greatly on the intense interest that Congress had in Alaska and her development that they should go to work and pass a law affecting the coal lands in Alaska that didn't operate there at all [applause]. The matter was rectified by the act of April 28, 1904, which permitted unsurveyed lands to be entered and the surveys to be made at the expense of the entrymen. Unfortunately the law provided that only tracts of 160 acres could be taken up, and no recognition was given to the fact that it was impracticable to develop an isolated coal field requiring the expenditure of a large amount of money by such small communities. Many claims were staked, however, and surveys were made for patents. It was recognized by everyone familiar with the conditions that after patent was obtained these claims would be combined in tracts large enough to assure successful mining operation. No one experienced in mining would, of course, consider it feasible to open a coal field on a basis of a single 160-acre tract. The claims for the most part were handled in groups, for which one agent represented the several different owners. Unfortunately a strict interpretation of the statute raised the question whether even a tacit understanding between claim-owners to combine after patents had been obtained was not illegal. Remedial legislation was sought and enacted in the statute of May 28, 1908. This law permitted the consolidation of claims staked previous to November 12, 1906, in tracts of 2,560 acres. One clause of this law invalidated the title if any individual or corporation at any time in the future owned any interest whatsoever, directly or indirectly, in more than one tract. The purpose of this clause was to prevent the monopolization of coal fields. Its immediate effect was to discourage capital. It was felt by many that this clause might lead to forfeiture of title through the accidents of inheritance, or might even be used by the unscrupulous in blackmail. It would appear that land taken up under this law might at any time be forfeited to the Government through the action of any individual, who, innocently or otherwise, obtained interest in more than one coal company. Such a title was felt to be too insecure to warrant the large investments needed for mining development. The net result of all this is that no titles to coal lands have been passed.

On November 12, 1906, President Roosevelt issued an Executive order withdrawing all coal lands from location and entry in Alaska. On May 16, 1907, he modified the order so as to permit valid locations made prior to the withdrawal on November 12, 1906, to proceed to entry and patent. Prior to that date some 900 claims had been filed, most of them said to be illegal because either made fraudulently by dummy entrymen in the interest of one individual or corporation, or because of agreements made prior to location between the applicants [Pg 26]to cooperate in developing the lands. There are thirty-three claims for 160 acres each, known as the "Cunningham claims," which are said to be valid on the ground that they were made by an attorney for thirty-three different and bona fide claimants who, as alleged, paid their money and took proper steps to locate their entries and protect them. The representatives of the Government, on the other hand, in the hearings before the Land Office have attacked the validity of these Cunningham claims on the ground that prior to their location there was an understanding between the claimants to pool their claims after they had been perfected and unite them in one company.

The trend of decision seems to show that such an agreement would invalidate the claims, although under the subsequent law of May 28, 1908, the consolidation of such claims was permitted, after location and entry, in tracts of 2,560 acres. It would be, of course, improper for me to intimate what the result of the issue as to the Cunningham and other Alaska claims is likely to be, but it ought to be distinctly understood that no private claims for Alaska coal lands have as yet been allowed or perfected, and also that whatever the result as to pending claims, the existing coal-land laws of Alaska are most unsatisfactory and should be radically amended (applause). To begin with, the purchase price of the land is a flat rate of $10 per acre, with no power to increase it beyond that, although, as we have seen, the estimate of the agent of the Geological Survey would carry up the maximum of value to $500 an acre.

In my judgment it is essential to the proper development of Alaska that these coal lands should be opened, and that the Pacific slope should be given the benefit of the comparatively cheap coal of fine quality which can be furnished at a reasonable price from these fields (great applause); but the public, through the Government, ought certainly to retain a wise control and interest in these coal deposits (applause), and I think it may do so safely if Congress will authorize the granting of leases, as already suggested for Government coal lands in the United States, with provisions forbidding the transfer of the leases except with the consent of the Government, thus preventing their acquisition by a combination or monopoly, and upon limitations as to the area to be included in any one lease to one individual, and at a certain moderate rental, with royalties upon the coal mined proportioned to the market value of the coal laid down either at Seattle or at San Francisco (applause). Of course such leases should contain conditions requiring the erection of proper plants, the proper development by modern mining methods of the properties leased, and the use of every known and practical means and device for saving the life of the miners.

The Government of the United States has much to answer for in not having given proper attention to the Government of Alaska and [Pg 27]the development of her resources for the benefit of all the people of the country. I would not force development at the expense of a present or future waste of resources; but the problem as to the disposition of the coal lands for present and future use can be wisely and safely settled in one session if Congress gives it careful attention. (Great applause)

OIL AND GAS LANDS

In the last Administration there were withdrawn from agricultural entry 2,820,000 acres of supposed oil land in California, about 1,500,000 acres in Louisiana (of which only 6,500 acres were known to be vacant, unappropriated land), 75,000 acres in Oregon, and 174,000 acres in Wyoming, making a total of nearly 4,000,000 acres.

In September, 1909, I directed that all public oil lands, whether then withdrawn or not, should be withheld from disposition pending congressional action, for the reason that the existing placer mining law, although made applicable to deposits of this character, is not suitable to such lands, and for the further reason that it seemed desirable to reserve certain fuel-oil deposits for the use of the American Navy. Accordingly the form of all existing withdrawals was changed, and new withdrawals, aggregating 2,750,000 acres, were made, in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Field examinations during the year showed that of the original withdrawals, 2,170,000 acres were not valuable for oil, and they were restored for agricultural entry. Meantime other withdrawals of public oil lands in these States were made, so that on July 1, 1910, the outstanding withdrawals then amounted to 4,550,000 acres.

The needed oil and gas law is essentially a leasing law. In their natural occurrence oil and gas cannot be measured in terms of acres, like coal, and it follows that exclusive title to these products can normally be secured only after they reach the surface. Oil should be disposed of as a commodity in terms of barrels of transportable product rather than in acres of real estate (applause). This is, of course, the reason for the practically universal adoption of the leasing system wherever oil land is in private ownership. The Government thus would not be entering on an experiment, but simply putting into effect a plan successfully operated in private contracts. Why should not the Government as a land-owner deal directly with the oil producer rather than through the intervention of a middleman to whom the Government gives title to the land? (Applause) The principal underlying feature of such legislation should be the exercise of beneficial control rather than the collection of revenue.

As not only the largest owner of oil lands, but as a prospective large consumer of oil by reason of the increasing use of fuel-oil by the navy, the Federal Government is directly concerned both in encouraging [Pg 28]rational development and at the same time insuring the longest possible life to the oil supply. The royalty rates fixed by the Government should neither exceed nor fall below the current rates. But much more important than revenue is the enforcement of regulations to conserve the public interest so that the inconvenience of the lessee shall specifically safeguard oil fields against the penalties from careless drilling and of production in excess of transportation facilities or of market requirement.

One of the difficulties presented, especially in the California fields, is that the Southern Pacific Railroad owns every other section of land in the oil fields, and in those fields the oil seems to be in a common reservoir, or series of reservoirs, communicating through the oil sands, so that the excessive draining of oil at one well, or on the railroad territory generally, would exhaust the oil in the Government land. Hence it is important that if the Government is to have its share of the oil, it should begin the opening and development of wells on its own property. (Laughter and applause)

In view of the joint ownership which the Government and the adjoining land-owners, like the Southern Pacific Railroad, have in the oil reservoirs below the surface, it is a most interesting and intricate question, difficult of solution, but one which ought to address itself at once to the State law-makers, how far the State legislature might impose appropriate restrictions to secure an equitable enjoyment of the common reservoir, and to prevent waste and excessive drainage by the various owners having access to this reservoir (applause). It has been suggested, and I believe the suggestion to be a sound one, that permits be issued to a prospector for oil, giving him the right to prospect for two years over a certain tract of Government land for the discovery of oil, the right to be evidenced by a license for which he pays a small sum. When the oil is discovered, then he acquires title to a certain tract, much in the same way as he would acquire title under a mining law. Of course, if the system of leasing is adopted, then he would be given the benefit of a lease upon terms like that above suggested. What has been said in respect to oil applies also to Government gas lands.

Under the proposed oil legislation, especially where the Government oil lands embrace an entire oil field, as in many cases, prospectors, operators, consumers, and the public can be benefitted by the adoption of the leasing system. The prospector can be protected in the very expensive work that necessarily antedates discovery. The operator can be protected against impairment of productiveness of the wells which he has leased by reason of the control of drilling and pumping of other wells too closely adjacent or by the prevention of imperfect methods as employed by careless, ignorant or irresponsible operators in the same field, which result in the admission of water to the oil sand; while, of course, the consumer will profit by [Pg 29]whatever benefits the prospector or operator receives in reducing the first cost of the oil.

PHOSPHATE LAND

Phosphorus is one of the three essentials to plant growth, the other elements being nitrogen and potash. Of these three, phosphorus is by all odds the greatest element in nature. It is easily extracted in useful form from the phosphate rock, and the United States contains the greatest known deposits of this rock in the world. They are found in Wyoming, Utah and Florida, as well as in South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. The Government phosphate lands are confined to Wyoming, Utah and Florida. Prior to March 4, 1909, there were four million acres withdrawn from agricultural entry on the ground that the land covered phosphate rock. Since that time 2,322,000 acres of the land thus withdrawn was found not to contain phosphate in profitable quantities, while 1,678,000 acres was classified properly as phosphate land. During this Administration there has been withdrawn and classified 437,000 acres, so that today there is classified as phosphate rock land 2,115,000 acres.

The rock is most important in the composition of fertilizers to improve the soil, and as the future is certain to create an enormous demand throughout this country for fertilization, the value to the public of such deposits as these can hardly be exaggerated. Certainly with respect to these deposits a careful policy of Conservation should be followed. Half of the phosphate of the rock that is mined in private fields in the United States is now exported. As our farming methods grow better the demand for the phosphate will become greater, and it must be arranged so that the supply shall equal the needs of the country. It is uncertain whether the placer or lode law applies to the Government phosphate rock. There is, therefore, a necessity for some definite and well-considered legislation on this subject, and in aid of such legislation all of the Government lands known to contain valuable phosphate rock are now withdrawn from entry.

A law that would provide a leasing system for the phosphate deposits, together with a provision for the separation of the surface and mineral rights as is already provided for in the case of coal, would seem to meet the need of promoting the development of these deposits and their utilization in the agricultural lands of the West. If it is thought desirable to discourage the exportation of phosphate rock and the saving of it for our own lands, this purpose could be accomplished by conditions in the lease granted by the Government to its lessee. Of course, under the Constitution the Government could not tax and could not prohibit the exportation of phosphate, but as proprietor and owner of the lands in which the phosphate is deposited it could impose conditions upon the kind of sales, whether [Pg 30]foreign or domestic, which the lessee might make of the phosphate mined. (Applause)

The tonnage represented by the phosphate lands in Government ownership is very great. But the lesson has been learned in the case of such lands as have passed into private ownership in South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, that the phosphate deposits there are in no sense inexhaustible. Moreover, it is also well understood that in the process of mining phosphate, as it has been pursued, much of the lower grade of phosphate rock which will eventually all be needed has been wasted beyond recovery. Such wasteful methods can easily be prevented, so far as the Government land is concerned, by conditions inserted in the leases.

WATER-POWER SITES

Prior to March 4, 1909, there had been, on the recommendation of the Reclamation Service, withdrawn from agricultural entry, because they were regarded as useful for power sites which ought not to be disposed of as agricultural lands, tracts amounting to about 4,000,000 acres. The withdrawals were hastily made and included a great deal of land that was not useful for power sites. They were intended to include the power sites on twenty-nine rivers in nine States. Since that time 3,475,442 acres have been restored for settlement of the original 4,000,000, because they do not contain power sites; and meantime there have been newly withdrawn 1,245,892 acres on vacant public land and 211,007 acres on entered public land, or a total of 1,456,899 acres. These withdrawals made from time to time cover all the power sites included in the first withdrawals, and many more, on 135 rivers and in 11 States. The disposition of these power sites involves one of the most difficult questions presented in carrying out practical Conservation.

The Forest Service, under a power found in the Statute, has leased a number of these power sites in forest reserves by revocable leases, but no such power exists with respect to power sites that are not located within forest reserves; and the revocable system of leasing is, of course, not a satisfactory one for the purpose of inviting the capital needed to put in proper plants for the transmission of power.

The Statute of 1891, with its amendments, permits the Secretary of the Interior to grant perpetual easements or rights-of-way from water sources over public lands for the primary purpose of irrigation and such electrical current as may be incidentally developed, but no grant can be made under this Statute to concerns whose primary purpose is generating and handling electricity. The Statute of 1901 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to issue revocable permits over the public lands to electrical power companies, but this Statute is woefully inadequate because it does not authorize the collection of a [Pg 31]charge or fix a term of years. Capital is slow to invest in an enterprise founded upon a permit revocable at will.

The subject is one that calls for new legislation. It has been thought that there was danger of combination to obtain possession of all the power sites and to unite them under one control. Whatever the evidence of this, or lack of it, at present we have had enough experience to know that combination would be profitable, and the control of a great number of power sites would enable the holders or owners to raise the price of power at will within certain sections; and the temptation would promptly attract investors, and the danger of monopoly would not be a remote one.

However this may be, it is the plain duty of the Government to see to it that in the utilization and development of all this immense amount of water-power, conditions shall be imposed that will prevent monopoly, and will prevent extortionate charges which are the accompaniment of monopoly. The difficulty of adjusting the matter is accentuated by the relation of the power sites to the water, the fall and flow of which create the power.

In the States where these sites are, the riparian owner does not control or own the power in the water which flows past his land. That power is under the control and within the grant of the State, and generally the rule is that the first user is entitled to the enjoyment. Now, the possession of the bank or water-power site over which the water is to be conveyed in order to make the power useful, gives to its owner an advantage and a certain kind of control over the use of the water-power, and it is proposed that the Government in dealing with its own lands should use this advantage and lease lands for power sites to those who would develop the power, and impose conditions on the leasehold with reference to the reasonableness of the rates at which the power, when transmuted, is to be furnished to the public, and forbidding the union of the particular power with a combination of others made for the purpose of monopoly by forbidding assignment of the lease save by consent of the Government (applause). Serious difficulties are anticipated by some in such an attempt on the part of the general Government, because of the sovereign control of the State over the water-power in its natural condition, and the mere proprietorship of the Government in the riparian lands.

It is contended that through its mere proprietary right in the site the central Government has no power to attempt to exercise police jurisdiction with reference to how the water-power in a river owned and controlled by the State shall be used, and that it is a violation of the State's rights. I question the validity of this objection. The Government may impose any conditions that it chooses in its lease of its own property, even though it may have the same purpose and in effect accomplish just what the State would accomplish by the exercise of its sovereignty. That is shown frequently in leases of [Pg 32]houses containing a covenant against the use of the house for that which under the law of the State is an unlawful use; and nevertheless, no one has ever contended that that condition, though it be for the stricter enforcement of the State law, is without the power of the lessor as a proprietor of the land which he is leasing.

There are those (and the Director of the Geological Survey, Mr Smith, who has given a great deal of attention to this matter, is one of them) who insist that this matter of transmuting water-power into electricity which can be conveyed all over the country and across State lines, is a matter that ought to be retained by the general Government, and that it should avail itself of the ownership of these power sites for the very purpose of coordinating in one general plan the power generated from these Government-owned sites. On the other hand, it is contended that it would relieve a complicated situation if the control of the water-power site and the control of the water were vested in the same sovereignty and ownership, viz: the State, and then were disposed of for development to private lessees under the restrictions needed to preserve the interests of the public from the extortions and abuses of monopoly. Therefore, bills have been introduced in Congress providing that whenever the State authorities deem a water-power useful they may apply to the Government of the United States for a grant to the State of the adjacent land for a water-power site, and that this grant from the Federal Government to the State shall contain a condition that the State shall never part with the title to the water-power site or the water-power, but shall lease it only for a term of years not exceeding fifty, with provisions in the lease by which the rental and the rates for which the power is furnished to the public shall be readjusted at periods less than the term of the lease, say every ten years.

The argument is urged against this disposition of power sites that legislators and State authorities are more subject to corporate influence and control than would be the central Government. In reply it is claimed that a readjustment of the terms of leasehold every ten years would secure to the public and the State just and equitable terms. Then it is said that the State authorities are better able to understand the local need and what is a fair adjustment in the particular locality than would be the authorities at Washington. It has been argued that after the Federal Government parts with title to a power site it cannot control the action of the State in fulfilling the conditions of the deed, to which it is answered that in the grant from the Government there may be easily inserted a condition specifying the terms upon which the State may part with the temporary control of the water-power sites, and, indeed, the water-power, and providing for a forfeiture of the title to the water-power sites in case the condition is not performed; and giving to the President, in case of such violation of conditions, the power to declare forfeiture and to direct proceedings to restore to the [Pg 33]central Government the ownership of the power sites with all the improvements thereon, and that these conditions may be promptly enforced and the land and plants forfeited to the general Government by suit of the United States against the State, which is permissible under the Constitution (applause). And that by such a provision, in terrorem, the edict of States and of the legislatures in respect to these lands might be enforced through the general Government.

I do not express an opinion upon the controversy thus made or a preference as to the two methods of treating water-power sites. I shall submit the matter to Congress with all the arguments, and urge that one or the other of the two plans be promptly adopted.


At the risk of wearying my audience I have attempted to state as succinctly as may be the questions of Conservation as they apply to the public domain of the Government, the conditions to which they apply, and the proposed solution of them.

In the outset I alluded to the fact that Conservation had been made to include a great deal more than what I have discussed here. Of course, as I have referred only to the public domain of the Federal Government, I have left untouched the wide field of Conservation with respect to which a heavy responsibility rests upon the States and individuals as well. But I think it of the utmost importance that after the public attention has been roused to the necessity of a change in our general policy to prevent waste and a selfish appropriation to private and corporate purposes of what should be controlled for the public benefit, those who urge Conservation shall feel the necessity of making clear how Conservation can be practically carried out (applause), and shall propose specific methods and legal provisions and regulations to remedy actual adverse conditions (applause). I am bound to say that the time has come for a halt in general rhapsodies over Conservation, making the word mean every known good in the world (applause), for, after the public attention has been roused, such appeals are of doubtful utility and do not direct the public to the specific course that the people should take, or have their legislators take, in order to promote the cause of Conservation. The rousing of emotions on a subject like this, which has only dim outlines in the minds of the people affected, after a while ceases to be useful, and the whole movement will, if promoted on these lines, die for want of practical direction and of demonstration to the people that practical reforms are intended. (Applause)

I have referred to the course of the last Administration and of the present one in making withdrawals of Government lands from entry under homestead and other laws, and of Congress in removing all doubt as to the validity of these withdrawals as a great step in the direction of practical Conservation (applause). But this is only one of two necessary steps to effect what should be our purpose. It has produced a status quo and prevented waste and irrevocable [Pg 34]disposition of the lands until the method for their proper disposition can be formulated, but it is of the utmost importance that such withdrawals should not be regarded as the final step in the course of Conservation, and that the idea should not be allowed to spread that Conservation is the tying up of the natural resources of the Government for indefinite withholding from use, and the remission to remote generations to decide what ought to be done with these means of promoting present general human comfort and progress (great applause). For, if so, it is certain to arouse the greatest opposition to Conservation as a cause, and if it were a correct expression of the purpose of conservationists it ought to arouse such opposition. (Applause)

Real Conservation involves wise, non-wasteful use in the present generation, with every possible means of preservation for succeeding generations; and though the problem to secure this end may be difficult, the burden is on the present generation promptly to solve it and not to run away from it as cowards, lest in the attempt to meet it we may make some mistakes (applause). As I have said elsewhere, the problem is how to save and how to utilize, how to conserve and still develop; for no sane person can contend that it is for the common good that Nature's blessings should be stored only for unborn generations. (Applause)

I beg of you, therefore, in your deliberations and in your informal discussions, when men come forward to suggest evils that the promotion of Conservation is to remedy, that you invite them to point out the specific evils and the specific remedies; that you invite them to come down to details in order that their discussions may flow into channels that shall be useful rather than into periods that shall be eloquent and entertaining without shedding real light on the subject (prolonged applause and cheers). The people should be shown exactly what is needed in order that they may make their representatives in Congress and the State legislatures do their intelligent bidding. (Great and prolonged applause)


President Baker—The Congress is now adjourned to reassemble at 2 oclock this afternoon.


SECOND SESSION

The Congress was called to order by President Baker at 3 oclock p.m.

President Baker—It gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce that Governor W. R. Stubbs, of Kansas, has kindly consented to preside at this session. Ladies and Gentlemen, Governor Stubbs. (Applause)

[Pg 35]

Governor Stubbs—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am very grateful for your liberal recognition. And I present to you a man who knows much about the laws pertaining to land in the United States, one better fitted to speak on this subject than any other, Senator Knute Nelson, of Minnesota. I take great pleasure in introducing him. (Applause)

Senator Nelson—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I could not help thinking this forenoon as I looked at the magnificent audience how every delegate and visitor from abroad must conclude that in one respect Conservation in Minnesota has been a success—Conservation of our prosperous and growing humanity.

I am here to speak briefly of our public-land system, past and present, in the hope that we may derive some lessons from the mistakes of the past and have something to guide us in the future. I shall say little of Conservation in general. My aim will be to draw attention to what I deem of importance for the legislative branch of the Government to do in the future, and I shall do so only in general terms, seeking—on account of my position as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Lands—to avoid all matters that will lead to controversy.

As those know who have had experience in public affairs, particularly in legislation, all reforms are matters of compromise. Legislation is largely experimental and those who are most progressive and advanced in seeking reforms for the future often find themselves handicapped by those who would make no change; and the result is oftentimes a compromise in which the reformers get only half a loaf.

The natural resources of our country should be conserved by the individual, by the State, and by the Federal Government. For each there is an appropriate field. The farmer must conserve the resources of his farm; the State the resources of its lands, its forests and its waters; and the Federal Government the resources of its mines, its forests, and its lands with all their appurtenances. When the several forces act in harmony, beneficial results of a far-reaching and permanent value will be attained for the preservation and utilization of our resources. Practical and beneficial Conservation of natural resources on the part of the Federal Government and the State should include and provide for due and efficient utilization of the same for the benefit of the masses of the people. The mere conservation and retention of ownership, the mere securing of a larger price for the resource, may prove burdensome rather than a benefit to the public. The ultimate question is not so much how to hold and conserve as how to properly utilize our resources. The mere holding, or the mere securing of a higher price seems to me to be entirely futile (applause). The aim should not be so much to secure a higher price [Pg 36]for the Government as to secure lower price for the consumer and to prevent monopoly (applause). Hence, in the disposal of a resource, care should be taken to prevent combination and monopoly in restraint of trade in respect to the same; and the right, as in the case of railway rates, to regulate the price to the consumer should be retained; in other words, care should be taken and provision should be made that the consumer can obtain the product of the resource at a fair and reasonable rate. To merely conserve and hold at a high price retards development and enables those who have already secured a large share of a resource to monopolize the market and to secure an exorbitant price for the product of the resource. (Applause) The ultimate object of the conservation of a resource should be to utilize it for the best advantage of the consumer. True Conservation means beneficial use—means utilization.


The close of the Revolutionary War found our country with an empty treasury and a large public debt, but possessed of a large quantity of valuable public lands northwest of the Ohio river and elsewhere, ceded by Great Britain, supplemented by a cession from Virginia and some of the older States, from which were afterward carved great States, though the public domain was at that time regarded chiefly as an asset from which the Government could obtain revenues for its wants and needs.

The first general land law of a public nature for the disposal of our public lands was passed in 1796. This law, after prescribing a system of surveying the public lands, substantially the same as has been since adhered to, provided for the sale of the lands at public auction to the highest bidder, partly for cash and partly on credit.

By the Act of 1800 the minimum price was fixed at $2 an acre, and land not sold at public auction could be bought at private sale at that price.

The Act of 1820 abolished sales on credit and fixed the minimum price at $1.25 per acre, at which rate it has since remained. Lands offered at public sale became known as "offered land," and if not sold at public sale could be obtained at private sale or entry at the minimum price.

The result of this system was that, owing to the great scarcity of money in the country at that time among the masses of the people, large blocks of land were purchased by speculators and held by them indefinitely for an excessive profit, and the masses of the people—the settlers, the real home builders—had to purchase the land from these speculators instead of securing it from the Government. The Government got but scant return for its valuable public land. The chief profit was made by the middlemen, [Pg 37]those speculators who bought it up in large blocks; they reaped a rich harvest. But in the midst of this system the settlers pressed on to the frontier. They were without money, but they settled on the public lands, squatted there without authority of law; and finally the Government, to help these settlers, to relieve them and give them a little breathing time, in 1841 passed what was known as the general Preemption Law. Under this law the head of a family, a widow, or a single person over twenty-one years of age who was a citizen or had declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, could secure 160 acres of public land by settling upon, improving and cultivating it, and by paying for and entering the same within from one to three years after settlement, the time of payment in each case depending on whether the land was offered, unoffered, or unsurveyed. This law (the Preemption Act of 1841) was clearly intended to help the pioneers and the settlers, and it proved of great advantage to them; but owing to the lax procedure that prevailed (under which a man could go on a preemption claim, make a few limited and pro forma improvements, and at the end of six months appear in the land office and prove up and have his final entry made and ultimately get a patent), the Preemption Law itself became a great instrument in the hands of speculators and land grabbers, and in consequence Congress concluded to repeal the law.

The law allowing lands to be secured at private entry was repealed in 1889; the law allowing public sales was repealed in 1891, and the Preemption Law was also repealed the same year. These laws were repealed none too soon, because by that time they had got to be the instruments by which those who were seeking valuable coal lands, timber lands, and other lands would hire a lot of people to go and make preemption claims, and then, as soon as they obtained title, secure the title, whereby thousands and thousands of acres of the most valuable timber and mineral lands, coal lands, and other lands passed into the hands of speculators for little more than a dollar and a quarter an acre, and sometimes even less, for there were various kinds of scrip issued—agricultural college scrip and other scrip to which I will call attention later—put on the market and sold. That scrip would be used instead of money in paying for and entering land; and through it much valuable land passed into the hands of speculators at a cost of even less than one dollar an acre. You who have lived here have all observed that the low price at which the lumbermen secured timber in those early days under the Preemption Law, by cash entry, and under agricultural and other scrip, did not help much to get cheaper lumber. The result was to enable owners of large bodies of pine land to hold them indefinitely for the purpose of securing a higher price for their stumpage.

[Pg 38]

In 1874 an Act was passed "To encourage the growth of timber on the western prairies." The purpose of this Act was laudable and had it resulted in supplying the prairies with timber the gift of the land would have been amply compensated for. But in its practical operations the law proved a failure. Only a comparatively few of the many claims entered were ever successfully forested, or ever became real timber land. A large share of them were merely taken and held by speculators with no real purpose of complying with the law in respect to the planting, culture, and care of timber. Claimants would secure these claims, enter them under the timber-culture law, make the first entry, and then hold them just as long as they could, waiting until some land-seeker came around, when they would tell him, "I have a timber claim here, and might relinquish it so you can take it as a homestead; how much will you give me for my relinquishment?" And for a time under this law there was a great speculation in the sale of what we call timber relinquishments. No timber was raised. Speculators had held the land for four or five, maybe six, years as a timber claim. Then when a real settler came along, why, for a consideration of one, two, three, four or five hundred dollars, or whatever the settler was able to pay, the holder would relinquish his timber claim to the Government so that the real land-seeker could secure the same under the Homestead Law, or under the Preemption Law, while that was in force.

In 1862 an Act was passed giving to each State 30,000 acres of land for every senator and representative in Congress for the purpose of establishing and maintaining agricultural and mechanical colleges. In States where there was a sufficient quantity of public lands the State was required to select the land from the public lands in the State, but in States where no such lands could be secured land scrip was issued in place of the land. This resulted in placing an enormous amount of land scrip on the market, which was sold by the State in many instances in bulk to speculators at a greatly reduced price, netting the States from fifty to one hundred cents per acre—perhaps the average did not exceed seventy-five cents per acre. The scrip could be used in entering land or in paying for land under the Preemption and Homestead Laws at the rate of $1.25 an acre. So far as the States to which the scrip was issued were concerned the grant was a wasteful one. It would have been much wiser and better for the Government to have appropriated $1.25 per acre in cash to the States instead of giving them the scrip, and reserving the lands which could be entered with the scrip for actual settlers under the Homestead Law. In addition to this college scrip, we have had from time to time various kinds of other scrip, Chippewa half-breed scrip, Sioux half-breed scrip, and Supreme Court scrip, and others that I cannot at this moment recall. Most of this scrip, fortunately, is now about exhausted; [Pg 39]very little of it is still afloat and at large. There was also what we called "soldiers' additional" scrip of which there was a great deal; a soldier could take a homestead of 40 or 80 or 120 acres, and if he had no more in his homestead entry, he could take the residue and make up 160 acres anywhere on the public lands of the United States, without residing on the land; and he could dispose of his interest by power of attorney, by which speculators succeeded in getting that. And the records of our soldiers' homes will show how land speculators have been searching among the veterans for this kind of scrip. Why, I got a letter some years ago from a gentleman in Missouri—I can't recall his name—reminding me of the fact that I had had a homestead; and he told me that I was entitled to forty acres more under my right, in addition to the 120 acres, and that he was willing to buy the land of me. He had hunted up the records, and found a man by my name, but unfortunately the homestead and all the rest transpired and existed in Wisconsin.

In 1878 Congress passed the so-called Timber and Stone Act, originally limited to four western States, but by the Act of 1892 extended to all the public-land States. Under this law land unfit for cultivation and chiefly valuable for timber and stone could be secured in tracts of 160 acres for each entry-man at a price of $2.50 per acre. Under the law the purchaser is prohibited from buying the land on speculation or in the interest of any one but himself. On its face this law seems fair, harmless, and just, but in its practical operation it proved the means of a good deal of fraudulent land speculation. In the first instance, valuable agricultural land fit for agriculture was entered under the law on the theory that it was only good for the timber or stone on it. In the next place—and there was where the great iniquity occurred—speculators would hire men and women in different parts of the country to go and enter stone and timber claims, furnishing them money through outside friends, and then as soon as they had secured title get a transfer of the land to themselves by paying a bonus of one or two hundred and in some cases up to five hundred and a thousand dollars. Why, I remember how, in a city not a thousand miles away from Saint Paul, one year some twenty-five or thirty school teachers entered stone and timber claims in the State of Oregon! This law finally proved simply a source of speculation to the men who were trying to secure large bodies of timber; and under it a large share of the valuable timber lands now in private holdings were secured. The law should have been repealed immediately; but while the Senate passed a bill repealing it some five or six years ago, the bill failed to pass in the House of Representatives. Since then the Secretary of the Interior has come to our relief to some extent. The Stone and Timber Act said that this land could be sold at not less than $2.50 an acre; and [Pg 40]up to 1908 the Government had always treated that as the price, and never exacted any more. In 1908 the Interior Department adopted the rule of appraising the lands for the timber and stone on them and selling them at the appraised value, and the result of that policy has been to stop speculation in those kinds of lands. A very limited amount of timber and stone lands have been entered since for now it does not pay big lumber operators or land speculators to hire anybody to go and enter these lands because under this rule they have to pay pretty nearly what the land is worth. But while this administrative order has given us some relief, I am clearly of the opinion that the law should be entirely repealed to the end that we can make suitable provision for the disposal of our stone and timber land under more appropriate legislation and at a fairer rate, both to the purchaser and to the Government. (Applause)

In 1862 Congress passed the Homestead Law, with the general provisions of which most of you are familiar. This law makes a gift of 160 acres to each settler and home-builder who will occupy, improve, and cultivate his claim for a period of five years. Of all our public land laws this has, on the whole, been the most beneficent and productive of the best results. Under its provisions hundreds of thousands of poor and industrious men and women have carved out happy homes for themselves and their children, relieved the pressure of labor in our large cities and great industrial centers, and rapidly laid the foundation for and built up great States in the middle and far West. Judged by results, it is doubtful whether the Government ever received a better return for any of its lands than it has received for these lands given as a free gift, under the Homestead Law, to our farmers and settlers. A happy, prosperous, and industrious rural population will ever prove to be the sheet-anchor of our industrial, social and political well-being, and will ever afford a solid foundation for the integrity and perpetuity of American institutions. The Homestead Law, with all its blessings, had one defect which has, to some extent, marred its usefulness. I refer to the privilege of commutation—the privilege of proving up and paying for the land at $1.25 per acre prior to the five-year period for final free entry. Originally and for many years after the law was passed, the privilege of commutation could be exercised after the lapse of six months from date of entry. This period was extended to fourteen months some years ago and this fourteen months' period is still the law. The vice of allowing a homestead entry to be commuted as stated, consists in opening the door to the speculator, who, in the space of fourteen months can secure title to the land on scant and temporary improvements and then move away and hold the land for merely speculative purposes, leaving the surrounding settlers to enhance the value of his land by their continuing and permanent [Pg 41]improvements. When they have erected dwellings, barns, school houses, and churches, and have laid out roads and organized school districts, the petty speculator and commutator, who has done nothing to build up the country, stands ready to sell his land at a greatly enhanced price to an actual home-builder and settler. The commutation privilege should not have been included in the law, and should be repealed, in my opinion, as soon as practicable. None but permanent and bona fide settlers should be permitted to secure land under the Homestead Law.

In 1872 Congress enacted a law for the location, purchase, and entry of land containing gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals, commonly called the mining law of the United States, which became a part of the Revised Statutes. Mining claims are of two classes: (1) lode or quartz claims, and (2) placer claims. Both are initiated by discovery, staking out on the ground, and filing notice of location. After these preliminary steps have been taken, claims can be held indefinitely without purchase as long as $100 worth of work is done each year on each claim; and as a matter of fact, only a small proportion of mining claims, especially placer claims, are ever purchased from the Government. Placer claims are soon worked out and exhausted, while good lode claims are workable and profitable for many years. There is a difference in the size and in the price of lode and placer claims. Placer claims are larger in area and can be purchased at $2.50 per acre, while lode claims cost $5 an acre.

In 1873 Congress passed a law for the purchase and entry of coal lands, which also became a part of the Revised Statutes. Under this law every person above the age of twenty-one years, who is a citizen or has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, may purchase and enter 160 acres of coal land; and an association of such persons may purchase and enter 320 acres, and an association of not less than four such persons, if they have first expended not less than $5,000 in working and improving a coal mine on the land, may purchase and enter not to exceed 640 acres in one claim. The price in each case is not less than $10 per acre where the land is situate more than fifteen miles from a completed railroad and not less than $20 per acre if the land is within fifteen miles of a completed railroad. Only one entry can be made by the same person or association of persons; and no association or any member of which shall have taken the benefit of the law either as an individual or as a member of any other association, shall enter or hold any other lands under the provisions of the law; and no member of any association which shall have taken the benefit of the law shall enter or hold any other land under the provisions of the law. A preference right of entry for the period of one year is given to any person or association that has opened and improved a coal mine on the public lands. The provisions of the law as to [Pg 42]the acquisition and holding of more than one claim are clear and stringent, and have been applied and enforced in the courts in several instances where great corporations have sought, through dummies and otherwise, to acquire vast holdings of coal lands. It is conceded, too, that the minimum price fixed by statute is, in many instances, altogether too low and much below the real value.

In 1907 the Interior Department cured this defect by adopting the policy of classifying and appraising the coal lands and selling them at the appraised value, a value in most instances far in excess of the minimum statutory price. This new policy is continued, and under it something over 100,000 acres of coal lands have been entered. Further legislation is urgently needed in respect to the disposal of our coal lands. If the policy of selling the land is to be continued, not only should the system of appraisal now in vogue be adhered to, but provision should be made to protect the people—the consumers—against the monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade and against unreasonable and exorbitant prices. Many good men, however, who have given the subject great consideration, favor a well-guarded system of leasing instead of sale for coal lands. Their contention is that under a leasing system more careful and less wasteful methods of mining will be pursued and that better protection can be thereby secured for the miner, the consumer, and the Government. I am not prepared to take issue with this contention. A leasing system is clearly preferable where the surface of the land is disposed of for agricultural purposes, for under such a system the conflicting interests of the miner and the farmer can be best adjusted, regulated, and controlled. Perhaps it would be wise to adopt both sale and leasing systems, leaving it optional with the Government to select the mode of disposal in any given case; for there may be cases where the one method would be preferable to the other.

In 1900 Congress passed an act extending the coal-land laws to Alaska, but the act proved of no value as only surveyed lands could be purchased and entered under the general law, and there was no surveyed land in Alaska, and no provision was made in the act for surveys. By the act of April 28, 1904, the general coal-land laws were extended to Alaska in a more effective and rational manner. Under this act any person or association, qualified to make entry under the coal-land laws of the United States, who opens and improves a coal mine on the unsurveyed public lands in Alaska can locate the land on which such mine is found by staking the same out on the ground, and by filing notice of location in the recording district and in the land office of the district in which the land is situate, within one year after staking out the claim. After these preliminary steps are taken, the locator must cause a survey and plat of the land to be made by a deputy United States surveyor, and thereafter, within three years from date of the location notice [Pg 43]he must make application for a patent of the land, prove a compliance with the law, and pay the price of only $10 per acre for the land. Aside from these provisions all other provisions of the general coal-land law apply to coal lands in Alaska. Under this law between eight and nine hundred coal-land locations have been made, but of these only about thirty-three cases (perhaps a few more) have passed to final entry at the local land office. The time for making entry and securing patents on the other locations has, in most, if not in all instances, lapsed, and they cannot be relocated owing to the fact that by executive orders of November 12, and 27 and December 17, 1906, and by a recent executive order of President Taft, all coal lands in Alaska are withdrawn from location, sale, and entry. This withdrawal was no doubt made in pursuance of recent legislation by Congress and for the purpose of giving Congress an opportunity to enact better coal-land laws for Alaska than those now in force; and such legislation, to my mind, is clearly and urgently needed, and I am in hopes that Congress will take steps at its next session to enact suitable coal-land laws for Alaska in order that the people there may have an opportunity to utilize the coal that is within their own boundaries. (Applause)

By the Act of March 3, 1877, amended in 1891, provision was made for the entry and reclamation by irrigation of desert or arid land in the Pacific coast and mountain States and Territories. Under the original act 640 acres could be entered in one claim, but since the act of 1891 was passed only 320 acres can be entered in one claim under this law. Water for irrigating the land must be secured and the land must be reclaimed and cultivated by means of such water for the period of four years after the preliminary entry, and the price of $1.25 per acre must be paid before patent can be secured for the land. This law has not proved very effective or beneficial, especially on account of the difficulty, in many instances, of securing the necessary water supply by a single entryman. In many instances the conditions of the law have not been complied with, and as a whole the law may be said to have to some extent failed of its purpose.

In view of the comprehensive character of the general Reclamation Act of 1902, which makes due provision for securing a water supply and provides for limited homesteads under a qualified homestead law, the desert law referred to, could well be repealed. The Federal reclamation system is more certain and effective than reclamation by individuals in isolated cases.

Under the so-called Carey Act of 1894, desert and arid lands are granted to certain States, in limited quantities, for reclamation and cultivation by means of irrigation, this to be done under the auspices and direction of the States to which the grants are made. This law has in some respects proved more effective and of more [Pg 44]value than the general desert law, but it cannot be regarded as equal in value and efficiency to the general Reclamation Act of 1902, and therefore it seems to me it is not advisable to make any more grants of this nature to any of the States.

No effective or systematic effort was made to preserve the forests on the public domain until March 3, 1891, when an act was passed giving the President the power to set apart and reserve, from time to time, public lands for forestry purposes. This was supplemented by the act of June 4, 1897, providing for the administration and care of the land so reserved and set apart, which lands are now termed National Forests of the United States. Under this law nearly two hundred million acres of public lands in various States and Territories, including Alaska, have been withdrawn and set apart for forestry purposes and are now embraced, most of them, in our National Forests and their administration and care has been placed on a sound, workable, and safe basis through the initiation, prudence, and wisdom of our great forester, Mr Pinchot (great and prolonged applause), who has laid the foundation and is the father of our forestry system. This legislation and administrative action came none too soon. Had there been more delay, our timber lands would, long before this, have passed into private ownership and there would have been nothing left for the Government to conserve (applause). No land legislation in recent times has been productive of such beneficent and far-reaching blessings and results as our forestry legislation. While occasionally there has been a little grumbling and friction on the part of settlers and cattlemen as to the administration of the law in some of its details, yet it can be fairly said, when it is borne in mind that it is a new system, that there has been little, if any, valid ground for serious criticism or complaint. The conduct of a few over-zealous forest rangers and a few over-strenuous settlers and cattlemen ought not to militate against the value and usefulness of the forestry system as a whole and in its entirety. (Applause)

Under the act of March 3, 1891, as amended by the act of January 21, 1895, and May 11, 1898, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, under general regulations to be fixed by him, to grant, without exacting compensation, permits for right-of-way on the public lands for canals and reservoirs which may be used for furnishing water for domestic, public, and other beneficial uses, and for the development of power. Several valuable water-power sites have been secured under these laws as well as under the homestead and timber and stone laws. To put a stop to such practice the Interior Department, in the later part of 1908 and in the early part of 1909, withdrew all power sites from every form of disposal under our land laws and these sites have remained thus withdrawn ever since, except during an interval of a few days or perhaps a few weeks in [Pg 45]the spring of 1909; and during that interval no power sites were secured or disposed of. Most of these power sites are of considerable value, and they ought not to be disposed of under any of the existing land laws. Adequate provision should be made by law for the utilization of these water-power sites to the end that the Government may receive fair compensation for the same, and to the end that the public may receive the beneficial use to be derived from the development of any water-power in connection with such sites, at fair and reasonable rates (applause). The problem under our dual system of Government, State and Federal, is not free from embarrassment, as it is the opinion of men versed in the law that while the general Government may own the power site, with all the rights of a riparian owner, the water in the streams, except for purposes of navigation, belongs to the State, and that the State may allow its citizens to appropriate such water for their beneficial use and thereby render the power site of no value; for without a sufficient supply of water the power site will not be worthy of improvement or development. It seems to me (though perhaps I may err) that the problem of developing and utilizing water-power in such cases can be properly solved only by the cooperation of the State and the Federal Government (applause): the one owning the power site and the other the water in the stream, it strikes me that cooperation is essential and furnishes the only practical solution. And some plan should be devised by which the Federal and State Governments could act in harmony and in unison in such cases. Of course, when the State owns both the water and the power site, the problem is of a less complex character, and is one exclusively for the State to solve except as to the question of navigation. And I may also add in this connection that Congress, at its last session, passed a general law to regulate the construction of dams across navigable waters, by which ample provision is made for protecting the interest of the general Government in all such cases.

Most of our remaining public lands, suitable for agricultural purposes, are within the arid or semi-arid parts of the country. These lands can be successfully farmed only by means of irrigation or by so-called dry farming methods. To aid in developing and successfully farming these lands, the Reclamation Act of 1892 was passed setting apart the proceeds of the sales of public lands within the arid and semi-arid States for the construction of dams, reservoirs, canals, and ditches for the impounding and distribution of water. A considerable number of irrigation projects have been entered upon under the act. A few of them have been completed, but the majority of them are still in an incomplete condition; and there being an insufficiency of funds available for their speedy completion, Congress, at the last session, in order to expedite the work on the incomplete projects, provided for a loan of twenty million dollars, to be immediately [Pg 46]available, and to be reimbursable out of the future income of the reclamation fund (applause). This will hasten the completion of the projects and will aid the homestead settlers of whom there are many, to secure a supply of water on their claims at an early day.

For the purpose of promoting the farming of arid or semi-arid lands by dry-farming methods or otherwise, where no water supply for irrigation is or can be found available, Congress, by the Act of February 19, 1909, provided for enlarged homesteads of 320 acres of non-irrigable lands. The theory on which such legislation was based was this, that such lands to be farmed must be summer-fallowed, so that a crop could be raised only every other year, and therefore a larger quantity of land was needed, as only one-half of the cultivated land could be cropped each year.

Investigations by the Geological Survey have shown that considerable areas of public lands suitable for agricultural purposes are underlain with more or less valuable beds of coal. Such lands, on account of their mineral character, are not technically subject to entry under any other than the coal-land laws of the United States. A considerable number of homestead settlers had settled upon such lands and had made the preliminary homestead entries of the same without any previous knowledge of their mineral character. For the relief of such settlers Congress passed the Act of March 3, 1909, which provides that such settlers may enter and receive a patent for the surface of such land, reserving to the general Government the coal underlying the same to be disposed of under the coal-land laws of the United States. This was supplemented by Congress at its last session by the Act of June 22, 1910, which permits the entry of the surface of coal lands under the Homestead Law, the Reclamation Law, the Desert Law, and the so-called Carey Law, reserving to the Government the coal beds underlying such lands, to be disposed of under the general coal-land laws in existence or to be passed in the future, and authorizing the exploration of the same.

One of the most important of our late land laws and which will prove to be the key to future reforms in our land system is the Act of June 25, 1910, passed at the last session of Congress. This act authorizes the President, in his discretion, to withdraw from settlement, location, sale, or entry any of the public lands of the United States and reserve the same for water-power sites, irrigation, classification, or other public purpose. There was some difference of opinion before the enactment of this law as to the power of the President to make such withdrawals in all cases. This act removes all doubt and controversy on the subject and enables the President to examine, classify, and appraise the lands and to reserve them for necessary and appropriate legislation by Congress. Many of our lands and their appurtenances are of such a character that they ought not to be disposed of under any of our existing land laws. Good laws are [Pg 47]needed for the disposal of our timber and stone, our water-power sites, and our coal, oil, asphalt, and phosphate lands. There was considerable opposition to the passage of this act in both Houses of Congress, and at one time it seemed as though it would not pass, and it would not have passed but for the active, continued, and persistent help of President Taft (applause). He labored for its passage, in season and out of season, to my certain knowledge, and but for his help, I can say with all truthfulness that that important law would never have passed (applause). And since its passage the President has availed himself of it by making new withdrawals, and rewithdrawing many lands which had been withdrawn before but in respect to which some question was raised as to the validity of the withdrawal.

I have not called attention to the various grants of land that have been made, first for wagon roads and canals, and afterward for railroads, nor to the large grants of land that have been made to the several States for educational and other purposes, for the reason that such grants are not likely to be repeated in the future. Provision has already been made, with ample land grants for the admission into the Union of our two remaining Territories, Arizona and New Mexico; and it is not probable that any grants of public lands, except for right-of-way, will be made to any railroad in the future, especially the railroad grants, may seem to have been prodigal and too lavish; but to the legislators of those early days, who were anxious for the speedy settlement and development of our great West, they seemed justified and called for. And it is evident that, in consequence of these grants, the country was more speedily settled and the settlers afforded transportation facilities at a much earlier period than otherwise would have been done. The grants made to the States, especially for educational purposes, have from every point of view been fully justified, and have been, and will continue to be, of great help in maintaining ample and liberal educational facilities in the several States.

In conclusion: I have given you this brief summary and outline of our public land laws, past and present, obsolete and subsisting, in order that from a consideration of the same we may avoid the mistakes of the past, and gather inspiration and instruction for our future guidance. In view of the diminishing supply and rapidly increasing demand it behooves us to husband, with discrimination and care, all our natural resources, beginning as promptly as possible, and this work must be done by legislation, by administration, and by individual effort. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—If there are any pessimistic citizens in the United States they should hear the Senior Senator's story of the lavish management of public affairs in the past, and the splendid change made under that great leader—the greatest man on earth [Pg 48]today—Theodore Roosevelt (applause and cheers) and Gifford Pinchot (renewed applause).

I now take great pleasure in presenting to you a typical southern gentleman, Governor Noel, of Mississippi (applause).


Governor Noel—Mr Chairman, Brother Governors, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: Some months ago I received an invitation to attend this Congress, which I promptly accepted; also an invitation to deliver an address, which I immediately declined. Since entering the hall this afternoon I have been informed of my selection for the first address on my State—each Governor speaking for his State in succession—and my State's views on questions pertaining to our natural resources.

Of course the greatest natural resource of every city and county, as of State and Nation, is the productive energies of its people. Their development, through proper training of mind and heart, should be the chief aim of all people and of the Government. In those resources, however, our interests are the same as those of all other parts of the country, and they open too broad a field for me to enter.

When we take up the question of the natural resources pertaining to our domain, Mississippi occupies a widely different attitude from that of some States in the Northwest whose Governors are here to speak for them. We are an agricultural people. Not a city in Mississippi will much, if at all, exceed 30,000 inhabitants; more of its population and its wealth, proportionately, than of any other State in the Union are engaged in agriculture. We have no mines, no minerals except some clays and stone, no oil, no gas, no coal. We acquired agricultural lands, and our natural resources are from those lands as agricultural soil and standing timber.

Before the question of Conservation was understood, or at least before it had become of any force in State or Nation, both Mississippi and the Federal Government had parted with their lands and with their forests. Much to our regret now, it is a question of the past, and has to be handled by individuals and by corporations, to whom our lands and timber chiefly, almost entirely, belong. We are interested; we try to regulate our resources in some measure, within the powers of the State Government; but our interest is largely confined to our public lands. We have no coal or metals, our streams are sluggish, and there are few water-power sites. We have little beyond the surface values of the timber and the soil. We are interested in coal because it is necessary for our industries; we are interested in oil because we need it; we are interested in all the elements of the soil spoken of this morning, phosphorus and all the rest. We are greatly interested in all these things notwithstanding the land which contains them happens to be in other States. We have not lost interest in them on that account; and, speaking for our [Pg 49]State—which has stood for State rights as it understood them, and stands for State rights still—our only way of securing these rights we believe to be through the Federal Government (applause); our only voice must be through Congress and the President, and we do not care to surrender that to which the Government is now properly entitled. If the choice goes to the State we know how it will go, for past experience has taught that lesson well—local interests will control, and the general good will be subordinated to personal pride and local considerations. We have learned much and suffered much in that line. The Government gave to us, as to others, the sixteenth section of land in every township, one-thirty-sixth of the whole State. We put it in the power of a majority of the householders and patrons of schools in each township to vest the school lands by lease, thinking that local interests, being circumscribed and vitally concerned in education, would at least prevent spoliation of this magnificent donation to the school children; but we were mistaken. In a great many instances a few who were shrewd and sharp and designing used a law by which a lease could be made from one year to ninety-nine years, and until that law was repealed leased the lands for the largest possible term.

We know that the smaller the area the greater the influence of personages, and of local and private considerations. Therefore, as we look on this question of the Conservation of our natural resources, it is a question of rights, and how those rights can best be maintained and perpetuated; the means, whether through State or Federal Government, is but a minor consideration; and believing that our rights can best be preserved and utilized, now and for all time to come, without waste and without destruction, both for the present and in the future, we think it can best be done under Federal supervision (applause). The only rights we have in coal and oil and metals must be exercised through the Federal Government.

We may not fully understand the water-power problem. It has been said to be only a local issue anyway. We do not understand it that way. The river which rolls by this city smiling, smooth, and clear, after it is joined to the Missouri is muddy, deep, and uncertain; not only all of your waters but all of the waters east of the Rocky Mountains roll past our western boundary. While at some seasons the water is low, at others it is over fifty feet higher, and more than one-sixth in value of the land in our State is subject to overflow. Your waters, which through proper forestation and proper handling by dams and other means would give us a more equable flow throughout the year, come down upon us at a time when we do not need them, and in a degree greatly in excess of any possible need at any time, and we have to bear the sins of deforestation and all of the other evils that come from the wholesale spoliation and destruction of your forest lands (applause). We are vitally interested in that question. We believe [Pg 50]in forest reservations; we are sorry we cannot furnish the basis for it in our own State, but so far as the Government lands we have can be availed of for that purpose, we would be more than glad to see the Government take hold of the matter and set our people an example of how forests should be handled and preserved for the present and for the future.

When it comes to water-power, to me, at least, and to many of us, the question of conflict between State and Federal Governments, about which so much has been said—especially with a view of eliminating the Federal Government—we hardly understand that view of it. We trace our title through the Federal Government (applause). As a lawyer of more than thirty years' practice, whenever I have been given a question for investigation pertaining to the title of land, the first thing I have done was to examine the tract-books to see whether the Federal Government had ever parted legally with its title. If it had not, the question was ended; if it had, then we could proceed to deraign to those properly entitled to it. So when the Federal Government owned the lands and was the source of title, we do not understand how, even though the lands may be within the State, its right as a land-owner is less on a river bank than it is in the interior, or when the Federal Government, as the owner of the lands, should not exercise riparian rights which any other owner tracing title through it might exercise.

Now, we would like cooperation of the States, but we would like the Federal Government to retain where it still possesses them those rights of which the people could not be robbed through control of State legislatures or local authorities (applause). You may say, What interest have we, who are not a manufacturing people, in the mines and the water-powers of other States? Why, we are all in a common country. State lines may be changed; they are accidental; they are artificial; but the national boundary is fixed. When we look for coal or iron, or commercial or industrial products which we do not manufacture, we must look, primarily, within the bounds of the United States. It is within the power of the Government and beyond ours practically, through tariff legislation, to exclude the minerals from outside. We have but one open field, we have but one certain route to any natural or manufactured product, and that is within the boundaries of the Union itself; and we do not want, through monopolization of either coal or oil or water-powers, to be hampered in the protection of the country as a whole so that as consumers we shall have to bear the brunt of evils from which the National Government, through the little influence we might have with it, might protect us, and of which our State government, in the past at least, has been very neglectful. Hence we stand for State rights and Federal control in cooperation (applause). But if it is within the power of the Federal Government, through leasing or otherwise, [Pg 51]to retain control of its mineral and coal lands and its water-power sites, to put them beyond the possibility of handling by a State and its legislature, to regulate corporations' rights so as to prevent monopolization, and at the same time to prevent the Nation as a whole from being deprived of any productive agency in our midst, we want the benefit of it. (Applause)

Our patriotism on this score may be of that questionable type described by Artemus Ward, who said that during the Civil War, when the stress was great, he listened to a magnificent speech from an orator on the subject of enlistment, and became so enthused that when the call for volunteers came he, with others, went up to sign the roll; but when he observed that the orator had not signed nor was likely to sign, because his province was simply that of speaking while other's would be fighting, his own ardor was somewhat cooled, and when he reflected that the orator's eloquence had carried his hearers where he would not go himself, it became cooler and cooler. Still, his patriotism did not entirely vanish, for when his time came to sign the roll for enlistment, he signed it with the name of his mother-in-law and offered her as a sacrifice to his country (laughter). Yet we are not exactly in that category, though we may seem to view the situation from a local standpoint. But knowing of our own condition, knowing of the rights which the Federal Government conferred upon the school children of our State—the sixteenth section and other lands of which you heard in Senator Nelson's address today,—and remembering how in a great many instances, through local influences, legislative or otherwise, the intended beneficiaries were largely deprived of the benefactions intended for them we really think, What has gone is gone, except as a lesson to us; and so far as we are concerned, we shall stand for the right of the people as a whole for the enjoyment of its great resources of coal, of oil, of water-power and other natural wealth, and we want to be protected in such a way that no State or local influence shall be able to take it from us forever (applause). That is our position on this question.

In regard to the water-power question. A while ago I spoke of the Mississippi rolling by; we have never been jealous of the Federal Government's dealings with that river, not a bit (laughter). We are not now. So far as we are concerned, we would be delighted if the Federal Government would acquire the riparian rights, with all the liabilities, from one end of the State to the other (laughter). The county in which I live, that part of it in the Delta, as well as six or seven other counties, have had to keep up, without Federal aid until this year—and then only incidentally for the protection of navigation against some caving banks—for five years more than 200 miles of levee, and it has required an acreage tax of from three to five cents, an ad valorem tariff of about ten mills, and a cotton tax besides; and while some of this is among [Pg 52]the finest agricultural land in the world, it is almost wrecked by the taxes on it. Missouri has fared better. Her levees are not as extensive as ours; her people put them in good condition, and the general government afterward took charge of them in the interest of navigation; and if the Government will relieve us of the whole burden from the waters which you send down upon us from the North and from east of the Rocky Mountains, and will take the riparian rights from end to end and preserve and use them for the benefit of the whole Nation, all the people of our State will greatly rejoice (applause), and not a voice will be raised on the question of State rights as to any use for the people as a whole to which the Government may put those lands.

So, as we come to voice our wishes, our interests, our desires, they are for cooperation of State and Federal Government, but of absolutely no relinquishment on the part of the Federal Government either of its water-power sites, its coal lands, its phosphate lands, or of any of those other natural resources to which the people of the whole country are looking for future development and prosperity (applause). We are in the country, we are a part of it; not merely a part of the Government of the States but a part of the Government of the whole Union (applause), and all that concerns the Union, or any part of it or any of its people, affects us to a greater or less degree. And speaking for our share and our part in the national destiny which invitingly presents itself before us, we say that we stand for Conservation of natural resources by all governmental agencies, State and Federal, which will not only develop now but protect in the future for the proper use and progressive benefit of the people of the whole country to whom they now belong and from whom they should never depart. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—Ladies and Gentlemen: I am very glad indeed to introduce to you as the speaker to follow our distinguished friend from Mississippi, the only other democratic Governor in the Congress, Governor Norris, of Montana. (Applause)

You will see whether the views of the southern democrat and the northern democrat are the same after the two get through speaking. (Laughter)


Governor Norris—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen: A feeling has prevailed in the West, or did a few days ago, to the effect that no enlarged opportunities were going to be given to express ideas here which were contrary to those held by the program committee of this Congress (laughter). However, I am pleased to note that such is not to be the case, and whether the conference of the Northwestern Governors at Salt Lake City, recently held, has had anything to do with it or not I don't know. [Pg 53]Anyhow, we are thankful for small favors. If it had been the intention and had been carried out, it would have been a mistake, for the reason that the Conservation movement is national in scope, and is a part of no section and no State alone. The Conservation movement—in other words, the public conscience—received its awakening some two years ago, and Theodore Roosevelt did the awakening (applause); and I am pleased to note that the sentiment created by President Roosevelt has ripened into practical action by President Taft (renewed applause). I resent the insinuation that Montana and the Northwest, and in fact the entire West, is opposed to Conservation; in fact, I insist that the Northwest is the leader of the Conservation movement (applause), and that the first practical act in Conservation was taken by a western State, Montana (applause). I am proud of the fact that the first Conservation commission, either State or National, was appointed by me, in the State of Montana (applause). I am further proud of the fact that the first Conservation law, comprehensive in extent, was, under my recommendation, passed by the Legislature of Montana; and in that respect we have led the National Government in the Conservation movement (applause). Therefore, just for a moment, and not desiring to be personal, permit me to state what we have done. And in every respect we have kept step with the National Government and in the majority of cases we have led the National Government, and you can come to us for a lesson as to how to properly conserve the natural resources of the country (applause).

The Legislature which assembled in Montana in 1900 enacted a law conserving the resources possessed by us in our public lands, so generously given us by the Government on our admission. That measure provided for the disposition of the land to actual cultivators of the soil, in 160-acre tracts where irrigated, in 320-acre tracts where it is suitable for dry farming, and in 640-acre tracts where it was only suitable for the raising of hay or for grazing purposes—that is, in the high altitudes, in the mountains. So in that respect we have gone hand in hand with the Government in the passage of the 320-acre homestead act, applicable to entries where irrigation could not be had. In that same law, passed in 1909, some eighteen months ago, Montana forever reserved from sale, and in every patent on every acre of its lands that might thereafter be issued retained the coal rights, and provided for the leasing of those rights from time to time and for periods not exceeding five years (applause). So today, when President Taft says he hopes Congress will do the same with the Government coal lands, we say, Mr President, we are with you and hope Congress will do this (applause), and if you wish an illustration proving that the title to coal lands can be retained and the coal rights leased from time to time, providing for the right to mine the coal [Pg 54]at not less than 121/2 cents per ton, come to Montana and we will show you half a dozen coal leases with such provision which have been in force for the last sixteen months (applause). Have we lagged behind the National Government? Oh, no! In fact, we have led the National Government in the matter of Conservation. (Applause)

And as to the metalliferous ores of the mines—the same laws are applicable to State lands that are applicable to Government lands. As to the forests: in the making of those laws, I corresponded, and our commission corresponded, and we made those laws with the consent of, and they were afterward approved by, Mr Gifford Pinchot (applause). There is but one provision which we made then differing from those of the Government. We provided in that law, passed eighteen months ago, that lands more suitable for agriculture than for reforestation should be used for agricultural purposes and not for reforestation purposes. President Taft described this morning how the Government had in the last few months been doing the same thing, so it seems that, after awhile, the Government will catch up to Montana in that respect (laughter and applause).

Now, then, on the water-power question: That same commission is now operating, and it is going to prepare suggestions for submission to the next Montana Legislature with reference to adequate provisions for conserving the waters of the State of Montana, and I have no doubt that the recommendations of the commission will, at the next session, be adopted. We would have done that two years ago except we cannot do all these things at once; our session only lasted sixty days, while Congress is in session all the time (laughter and applause). If we had even six months instead of two years for it, we would have had those water resources conserved long ago (laughter). Is Montana entitled to take a place in the kindergarten class in the school of Conservation? And are we who have conserved our resources to be distrusted as Governor Noel says you must distrust the Legislature and the people of the State of Mississippi? (Applause) I thank my God that I can trust the people of Montana to protect their own! (Applause) And let me tell you one thing: the whole can never be greater than the sum total of its parts, and the Federal Government can never adequately preserve its resources until you get at least a majority of the people in a majority of the States to so agree, because it takes a majority for the Federal Congress or the Federal Government to act (applause). You start at the wrong end. You have got to start with the people of the State and build up.

Now, are we capable of passing legislation to preserve our water resources? I think we are; and let me tell you some of our plans. In the first place, the water and the land, during the territorial [Pg 55]days of each State, belonged to the Federal Government. When the State was admitted, the lands were reserved by the federal Government, but the waters flowing in the streams of the State passed into the control of the State. You heard Senator Nelson, an able lawyer, refer this afternoon to the fact that that was the law. Now, they tell us that you cannot trust the States, you must trust the Federal Government; and yet I listened for nearly an hour to one of the ablest presentations I ever heard of how the Federal Government for a hundred years wasted its resources with all the prodigality of a drunken sailor (applause). Trust the Federal Government! Why, the Federal Government has been the greatest sinner in that respect. I am glad the Federal Government has awakened and is going to preserve its resources, but Montana, at least, woke up a little before (applause). In this matter of the water-power: The most valuable use that water can be put to, or, in other words, the most valuable function that water can perform, is not the development of electrical power; in the semi-arid States it is the applying of that water to irrigation and the reclamation of the arid lands of the West (applause). So bear that in mind.

In the State of Montana—and what is true in that State is true largely in every other State in the West—not one-third of the arable lands that can be irrigated have as yet been reclaimed; less than 2,000,000 acres have been reclaimed in Montana, while there are 6,000,000, in fact there are 10,000,000 acres that can be reclaimed. In other words, there are from six to ten million acres yet to be reclaimed by use of the water that flows in the streams of the State, and that is largely Government land. So that when you talk about conserving the water for water-power purposes, we say conserve it for reclamation purposes (applause); for the reclamation of Government land, too (applause), that may make homes for settlers who will come in and take it under the Homestead Act. There is the reason why we say that the Federal Government must not by its superior power step in and insist upon using the waters of the streams of the West for power purposes, unless when it so does it makes provision that the rights for irrigation purposes shall forever remain inviolate; otherwise, what does it amount to, the building of a dam across the stream? When the Government conveys the right to build a dam across a stream, it means that the amount of water flowing over that dam will determine the amount of power that may be developed; hence, when that dam is built the Government, if it conveys anything of value, must convey the right to the use of that water, and the right to the use of that water flowing over that dam must accrue as of that date, and forever thereafter the franchise-holder will have the right to demand as a concession from the Federal Government that the same amount [Pg 56]of water, all the natural flow of that stream, must go over that dam forever. You thereby absolutely prevent the diversion of any water on that stream above that point for irrigation purposes. The use of water for irrigation purposes does decrease the amount flowing in the stream. That is the reason we object to the Federal Government coming in and taking charge of our water-power and giving it out—we do not care so much about the little income that may be received: that is the reason we are insisting upon the rights of the State.

Now, remember this: In the first instance, there is no contention but what the regulation of water for irrigating purposes is absolutely vested in the State, and that the Federal Government cannot acquire that right; hence a number of irrigators have already appropriated a part of the flow of the stream. The Federal Government grants the right of franchise for the building of a dam. Suppose we assume, for the sake of argument, that it can grant the right to the remaining flow of a stream; it not only thereby forever thereafter prohibits the use of that stream above that point for further reclamation purposes, but the rights of every irrigator, either before or after appropriation is made, comes in conflict, or may come in conflict, with the Federal franchise-holder? In other words, you transfer from the State courts and from the State forum the right of every irrigator to use the waters of a stream to the seat of power of the Federal Government at Washington. In other words, you practically stop irrigation in the arid West when you insist upon having that power (applause). Is that Conservation? True Conservation demands that every acre of land shall be used for its highest purpose and be made to serve its highest productive function (applause), whether in a forest reserve or out of it. Therefore, in order to serve its highest productive function in the West, water must be applied to the land.

Now, take the 6,000,000 acres of land that may be reclaimed in Montana. If you do not insist upon the Federal Government taking charge of the water-power and preventing its further reclamation, it means 6,000,000 acres of land reclaimed. It is fair to say that each year those reclaimed lands will produce a total of $25—yea, and if I did not want to be ultra-conservative, I would say $50—per acre; and at $25 per acre, you have an annual income from those 6,000,000 acres of land of $150,000,000. Isn't that worth thinking about? Isn't that a resource worth conserving? Why, the 6,000,000 horse-power that might be developed in Montana is not worth one tithe of that. You say, Give to the Federal Government the right to the water-powers of the State and forever prevent the further reclamation of our land? Why, you are asking of us the most priceless gift that we have to convey—far more priceless than our mines yielding [Pg 57]$50,000,000 yearly, possibly the richest in the world—because you ask us to surrender not $50,000,000 a year but the opportunity to make $150,000,000 a year. Has the Federal Government this right? We insist, as a matter of law, that the Federal Government has no authority to grant any right to the use of water on any power site that it may have. If the power site is situated along a stream, the title to the power site rests in the Federal Government and it can grant the right to erect a dam on that site, but the water that flows down the stream by that power site belongs to the State, and unless the State gives you the right to appropriate and take water you will develop no power by a dam-site! (Applause)

Now, is the State ready to surrender any rights that it may have in the waters of the stream to the Federal Government? The State of Montana is not ready to so do, for the reasons I have given. The State of Montana will insist upon every right it has. Let the Federal Government have that which of right or in law belongs to it, but let the State keep that which of right or in law belongs to it (applause). So sure am I that the State has the right to use of its water that I think the next Legislature of Montana will pass a law to regulate the use of water, making its use for power forever subordinate to its use for irrigation purposes, and then say to the Federal Government, You own your power site, but you do not own the water; we own the water, but we do not own the power site. Your site is worth nothing to you because it is valuable only for power in connection with the use of water. We cannot develop power on that site, but we can go a little farther down the stream and divert that water for the irrigation of land, and it is valuable to us. Now, that is what we mean by the rights of the State in and to the waters of the State. You cannot trust the State? Why not? If you cannot trust the people of Montana to conserve its resources, if you cannot trust the State of Wyoming to conserve its resources, can we trust the State of Maine, or the State of Florida to conserve them for us? What reasons have we to assume that the people of the State of Massachusetts or the State of Louisiana are more patriotic in that respect than are our own people?

The creation of the forest reserves was the greatest act ever performed in recent years. We would not have that act repealed. We have a double purpose in supporting the forest conservation policies. You think of it as valuable for the timber that it will grow. That timber is worth just as much, and will shelter just as many people, in Montana as it will in the Mississippi valley, but we desire it for a further purpose. The forests of these mountains are Nature's reservoirs, builded there by an Omnipotent Creator, and can better conserve the waters that fall in the form of rain and snow than these artificial [Pg 58]reservoirs that men may build (applause). We want those waters. The water that comes from our mountains and is conserved under those forests is the very life-blood of the State of Montana. Would you take the water away and stop the reclamation of the arid West? I know you would not; yet you would do so did you not at the same time that you were saving the timber make a provision that the rights to water for power purposes should forever be subject to the rights for irrigation purposes.

Bear this in mind, also. The doctrine of riparian rights does not prevail in the arid West; therefore the owning of the soil on each side of the stream does not convey the right to have the water flow down that stream undiminished in quantity or quality. In other words, the first appropriator is the first in right. I think there has been a misunderstanding as to the position of the West in this respect, as to why we are insisting upon the rights of the State. We insist upon the right of the State to control the waters of the State, not the water-power particularly. There is a decided difference between the waters and the water-power. The waters will irrigate land, the water-power will develop electricity. Such is the position the West takes. Will you not help us in that, and so help develop the land and make it productive? Do you know it is your own salvation to do so? Ye people of the populous East, where is the produce to come from to feed the ever-increasing millions, unless it be from the reclamation of the arid lands of the West? The time will soon be here, and it is not over four years removed, when we will cease to be a wheat-exporting nation, and in only a few years it must come that the children will cry for bread, and the land must be made to produce it. Therefore we must husband our resources and conserve our water for use for the purpose which will permit the growing of something that will feed human beings; and pine trees do not do it (applause). You of the Mississippi valley who for years have wept great crocodile tears that your lands have been cleared, suppose those lands had not been cleared, whence would come the produce to feed the millions of today? So bear these things in mind that when you come to conclusions you will take all these questions into consideration. And I want to say to you that in the future, as in the past, Montana will not lag in the Conservation movement, but will continue to lead the Federal Government (applause).


A Delegate—Mr Chairman, are the propositions advanced by the Governors to be discussed? I see no reference in the program to such discussion, and ask for information.

Chairman Stubbs—The understanding of the Chair is that this afternoon was turned over to the Governors. The intention is to give them an opportunity to relieve their minds this afternoon (applause) and get the way clear for the greatest man you will hear talk in thirty [Pg 59]years—Theodore Roosevelt (applause). We are clearing out the brush and getting ready for the real thing that you will have tomorrow. (Laughter and applause)

You can readily see that they have too much water in the South and not quite enough water in the Northwest, judging by the views of the last two speakers.

I now have the pleasure of introducing one of the greatest Governors in the United States, and of one of the greatest States in the Union, Governor Deneen, of Illinois (applause).


Governor Deneen—Fellow Delegates, and Ladies and Gentlemen: The Governors here have been somewhat confused regarding this program. I was invited by my good friend Governor Eberhart, of this State, to prepare a speech. I have it concealed about my person like a deadly weapon, and I have been wondering whether I dare read it; for if I do, those who follow me will, I fear, have no audience to address, while if I do not follow the text already given to the printer there will be the traditional print-shop "devil" to pay; but I have concluded to talk rather than read, and I hope that my good friends the reporters will publish what I should have said rather than what I shall say. I will follow the example of a very distinguished statesman in our State, who on a great occasion handed his speech to the reporters and said, "Now, having given my speech to the reporters, I shall proceed to ramble;" and so he did. (Laughter)

It is a pleasure to follow the two distinguished gentlemen who have preceded me, the Governor of Mississippi and the Governor of Montana. It is a pleasure to note how the conditions have reversed the attitude of their States regarding State rights (laughter and applause). I am interested in both States. A year or more ago I purchased a farm in Montana where the three rivers join to form the Missouri river, and I discovered after the spring freshets that I now have a farm scattered all the way from Montana to Mississippi (laughter). I am interested in all the States because of that, because I now own property in all. But I cannot quite agree with my distinguished predecessor about the Legislature—we, too, have a legislature (laughter), and whatever value it may have had at one time it is not considered at par at present. (Laughter and applause)

We have a water-power proposition, too, strange to say, even in the flat, level, horizontal State of Illinois. Some time ago when the Government was considering the matter of the Lakes-to-Gulf Waterway, our State supplemented the investigation of the Government in considering the by-products of that great channel which was to be built (and I hope will be built), and we proceeded on the theory announced by the President this morning; instead of going from agitation to legislation, we considered it better to go on this theory: investigation, then agitation, and [Pg 60]later legislation. So our State appointed a very distinguished commission to investigate some of the by-products that would accrue to Illinois by reason of the Lakes-to-Gulf deep waterway.

We soon found we had several questions. First, the matter of reclamation. We have the problem they have in Mississippi, of too much water for too much time out of the year; an even 5,000 square miles of our State is under water too much of the time—an area larger than the State of Connecticut or the island of Porto Rico. We worked out a plan by which, as an incident to the great waterway, we expect to reclaim land which has been estimated to be of the value of $150,000,000 to the State.

Then we found that in part of that waterway (in 621/2 miles of it from Lockport to Utica) there is a fall of 106 feet, and that water-power can be created to the amount of about 130,000 horsepower, worth about $2,500,000 or $2,750,000 a year to begin with, and our engineers estimated that by availing ourselves of that power we would be able to contribute to the Government the entire expense of the waterway between Lockport and Utica, and could afford to expend $20,000,000 in doing so by reason of the by-product that would come to us; and that we would be able, if the Legislature did as it should do, and the Governor did as he should do, and the commission to be appointed would do as it should do—to repay that vast expense in fourteen years as a minimum period, and that in fact we could loan our credit and have the water-power pay for the bonds as they matured. The question was submitted to the people, and after an exhaustive discussion they approved the plan by the largest majority ever registered on any issue in Illinois or in any State in the Union, a majority of nearly 500,000 (I believe it was 497,345 to be exact). Then we presented it to our Legislature. Now, this is the point. When we presented it to our Legislature, what do you think has happened? Why, nothing happened. (Sensation) We have talked, and talked, and talked, but we haven't acted. We have had several sessions, regular and irregular (laughter), on this subject, general and special, but we have failed to act. After the failure of the regular session to act, on December 14 last I called an extra session to determine the State's part in this water-power and waterway subject. It adjourned on March 2 following (I want you to keep these dates in mind because they are significant); the Legislature was in a deadlock—I am not blaming the republicans for this, although Illinois is a republican State, and I am not blaming the democrats; the fact is that a band of republicans and a band of democrats joined to repudiate the pledges of both parties, and they did it, effectually did it. They adjourned on March 2; on April 29 following (this year) a little corporation with a huge name was formed in our State—the Illinois Valley [Pg 61]Gas, Light & Electric Power Company, I believe is the name—you are nearly compelled to take a vacation to pronounce the name all at once—with a capital stock of only $1000; a huge name for small capital. Then, on May 12 following—thirteen days later—the organizers of the corporation met, and decided they had made a mistake in capitalizing at $1000; so they made the capital accord with the dignity and length of the name and increased it from $1000 to $6,250,000. Since that time they have acquired fifty-year franchises in the following cities: Joliet, Morris, Seneca, Ottawa, Wilmington, Streator, Dwight, Odell, Gardner, Pontiac, Plainview, Yorkville, Coal City, and Bridgewood. Now that has been doing a good deal of work in a warm, humid atmosphere, such as we have in the summer time in Illinois (laughter). They have not only done that, but they have also acquired the other corporations that have had to do with the developing of water-power in Illinois; and not only that, but they have reached out and acquired certain riparian rights necessary to develop fully the power at Marseilles. Now, what will happen? Our sanitary district of Chicago has already expended $53,000,000 on this channel, and will expend $20,000,000 more in its full development, and our State will spend $20,000,000 on its part. In other words, Illinois will contribute $100,000,000 to this Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway, and a corporation which has not expended one dollar to create this power comes along and puts a toll-gate across it and collects the toll. Bear in mind that none of this power is created by the surface or drainage water of the State; all of it is created by diverting the waters of Lake Michigan to the Illinois and the Mississippi. What would be thought, for instance, if our State should expend $100,000,000 in building a road from Chicago to Saint Louis and then some one who had not expended a dollar would throw a toll-gate across it and collect a toll of every person and vehicle that passed, and then when he tried to buy our own road back, charge us $100,000,000 for it? That would be going some, even in these days of "frenzied finance," wouldn't it? Yet that is exactly what they are doing with the water-power situation in our State. For several reasons (fancied or otherwise; it doesn't take much of a reason to occasion debate) there is a strong effort being made to prevent the State from acting, and our State is in the situation (and Chicago will be in the same situation soon) where we will be compelled, in order to acquire the riparian rights, to condemn them at their market value, and you can see, from the array of towns I read you, that the market value is steadily increasing (I collected their names about two weeks ago, and had not time this morning to wire inquiring whether it was up to date, but give you the list as an indication).

The point I want to make is that our State is a good deal like other States: we are neither abnormally good nor abnormally [Pg 62]bad—just an average. Sometimes we are attending to things in such a way that we would prefer to have no metropolitan newspapers to circulate and mislead us; at other times we do things in a grand style in that great State, and we are then very glad that we have such means of disseminating knowledge about what is being done.

In regard to the Conservation movement: I sympathize very strongly with my good friends here from the West. It has been a delightful pleasure to meet them on a number of occasions, on the waterway trip down the Mississippi from Saint Louis to Memphis, then at New Orleans, and again at Washington, where we were all together at the Conservation Conference in Washington called by Theodore Roosevelt. I believe that the Government should not interfere to prevent the full development of the States. A long time ago it was said that he was a benefactor who made two blades of grass grow where only one had grown before, and the man who can put two acres in cultivation where only one was cultivated before is certainly a friend of mankind. So I think we want all the acres put in cultivation by irrigation or dry farming. But the general Government owns certain things: it owns coal lands, oil lands, gas lands, phosphate lands, and forest lands. We heard the President say this morning that the Government owns about a third of the forests that we must have in the north in order to allow the Mississippi to have enough water. The Government owns about a third of the coal, and if I recall correctly, about a third of the phosphate lands, which will become more and more necessary as we develop our agricultural resources. Now the Federal Government should not permit itself to be put in a position where these great natural resources could be wasted (great applause); it ought to be in a position to develop the States by irrigation, and in all possible ways, but it should not permit itself to be put in the position where a Legislature of a State would take from it power to control some of the very necessities of advanced civilization (applause). They can have a crop of corn every year, they can turn on and off water-power every year, and the rains will come again; if by lack of attention the forests are burned or removed, they can be grown again; but the great Creator provided there should be just one crop of coal for all time, and provided, so far as we know now, that there would be just a certain amount of phosphate lands, and they are for all time and all men. These crops are not growing in Montana just now, they are not growing in other States; and because they were meant for us all, this great continental Republic ought to be able to conserve them so they shall not be abused. We all have the right to use them now, and the Government, in my judgment, should see that there is no possibility of abuse.

[Pg 63]

It seems very likely that, so far as water is concerned, the State and the Nation will have to cooperate and work together (applause). The State may own the water in Montana because the streams are not navigable, and I assume this is so in Wyoming and Idaho and the other mountain States. The Government at present owns much of the land. The Federal Government may not say to the State, "You cannot use the water because you cannot get in my backyard," and the State may not say, "Water is valueless without the use of the land that is situated adjoining;" so they will have to work together, and they should work together. That is the way it ought to be, and that is the way it will be; and I believe that we here in the West, and in the East and in the South, who have had our States developed by a vast expenditure of these natural resources and vast waste, will have patience and consideration for the views of these men who are somewhat fearful lest we do not permit them to develop their own resources. I believe the Nation will permit them not only to develop the resources, but will encourage them in that development (applause).

Now, just a word about Illinois: I have told you so many bad things about our State that it is not proper to cease speaking without saying some good things. I was delighted with the statements made by Governor Norris about Montana. It is a proud record. It has set a good example to the Government. Our State has done something, too (laughter). Our State, a long time ago, before we heard of this Conservation movement, had at least six or eight commissions out doing this very work. We have an agricultural experiment station that has explored every foot of our land, I may say, in a phenomenal way; the fact is we are laying off our State in ten-acre plats, and the University of Illinois is surveying each ten acres and making a record indicating the kind of soil, later to give advice as to the development of each ten acres; and the gentleman under whose supervision that is done is a Delegate to this Congress and likely to address you. He is a specialist on soil. And we have had a geological commission that has taken stock of all of our minerals, and although we are a prairie State we are the third in the Union in our mineral output. We are not only locating and taking stock of our coal but showing how to mine it, how to send it by freight, how to store it, and how to burn it—for nine-tenths of its energy is wasted before you get it to the place where you should apply it. We have made a survey of our rivers, studying the fishery question; Illinois river is the second in its output of food products in the United States, being only exceeded by Columbia river in the remote West; it has more than doubled in the last eight years. We have a commission on floriculture and horticulture; and we have an internal improvement commission that is studying every stream in our State and giving the information to our counties and districts for the purpose [Pg 64]of forming drainage districts so that the land may be drained and more of it cultivated. In every department—water, soil, minerals—our State has made a most careful investigation, so that we feel we have a complete stock of our resources; we believe, too, in their development, and we are developing them. All the departments of our State work are going along as they should, and our resources are being well conserved.

I have dwelt on a disagreeable feature only because I believe that the example of Illinois should be beneficial elsewhere. We are having trouble in attending to our public utilities, as other States will. Illinois will have expended a hundred million dollars in the making of a water-course that creates water-power, and you are all familiar with the disgraceful story as to how the State has tried to cope with that water-power monopoly through its Legislature and conserve to us what we created ourselves. It is likely that we shall be compelled to see certain corporations or private individuals sowing where they didn't reap, and levying a toll upon a vast expenditure of money made by our commonwealth; and other States may profit by our experience. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—I am very glad indeed to have the opportunity of introducing Governor Hay, of the great State of Washington (applause).


Governor Hay—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I desire to take this opportunity to thank the good citizens of Saint Paul for seeing to it that the Western States were given representation at this Congress (applause). It was not, and never was, the intention of the managers of this Conservation Congress to allow those who differed with them in opinion to be heard at this meeting, as I know by long correspondence myself with the management. In reading the numerous papers published here in the East relative to the "wild and woolly western men" and their ideas on Conservation, I said to my wife, before leaving home, "It looks to me that I am going down to Saint Paul to get the most glorious spanking a white man ever got." My wife said, "Go down and take it" (laughter). But since arriving here, I am pleased to say that I have found innumerable people who look upon this Conservation question exactly the same way as do the majority of the people of the Pacific Coast.

All that is needed to solve the problem of conserving our natural resources is common sense and the application of the square deal (applause). It is because of a departure from these two essential elements in the consideration of Conservation, that an unsound, unjust, and impracticable policy has been advanced in this country. Common sense has given place to humbug and fairness to intolerance. Instead of calm, dispassionate, logical discussion [Pg 65]of the subject, we hear and read on every hand exaggerated statements, misrepresentation, false accusation, dire prophecy, and passionate appeals to prejudice, avarice, and lawlessness. This has given rise to a wholly perverted notion of true Conservation, and has brought about a condition hurtful to the West, and one that, if persisted in, is bound to prove injurious to the Nation. The only sane and sensible kind of Conservation is that which permits the fullest and freest development of our natural resources under provisions that will perpetuate those resources that can be renewed, and that will obtain the greatest economic good from those that cannot be replaced. But to many of us of the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States, Conservation, as practiced, means to tie up and not to utilize. It signifies to us the letting of our waters run unfettered to the sea for fear some one might develop their power and turn their energy to the benefit of mankind in this generation. To us it means the locking up of our vast forests that they may go to decay or become the prey of the fire king. It means that, to please some bureaucrat, the people of our section are held up to allow the timber trust to secure a profit of a few extra millions each year. It means that our vast coal areas must go undeveloped, and that we be compelled to spend our money with foreign mine owners for fuel, importing the coal at no small expense for the item of transportation alone. It means that the State of Washington is robbed of the use of 500,000 acres of land that the Federal Government granted to it for educational purposes at the time it was admitted to the Union. Conservation as practiced in the past developed into a vast profit-making scheme for certain southern land grant railroads, which under it were given scrip in place of worthless desert land included in forest reservations, treeless since time began and bound to remain treeless to the end of time. And we have seen this scrip brought north and placed upon our timber lands that will cruise from 5,000,000 to 50,000,000 feet per section, and are worth from $20 to $100 per acre. This brand of Conservation means to us that 271/4% of the total area of the State of Washington paid a paltry $16,000 into the public coffers in 1909. It means we are called upon to expend large sums each year for policing these Federal reserves, which contribute practically nothing to the cost of State government, while at each session our State Legislature is compelled to appropriate large sums to build roads through Federal reserves. Last year we appropriated $205,000 for this purpose. To us, Conservation means that settlers within forest reserves who have taken up homesteads in good faith are harassed, browbeaten, and often forced to abandon their claims and lose the fruits of the labor of years. As an illustration of this, permit me to read a letter I received recently from a fellow citizen of mine who, by the way, is a prominent logger, and while a very wealthy man and a large [Pg 66]timber owner, is one of that kind of men who came up from the bottom; he started in at day's wages in the State of Washington a little over thirty years ago. This is what he says:

Speaking for myself and from a selfish standpoint, the present Conservation by our National Government suits me fine, but in the interests of the poor settlers who make our country, a change should be made. Four-fifths of these settlers come out here from Eastern States and endeavor to take up homesteads, but they are so harassed and driven from their homesteads through technicalities and forest rangers under orders that are absolutely foreign to the best interests of our country and the settler, that instead of making good citizens the Conservation laws have made anarchists, and if the thing is kept up, everything that will burn I expect to see burned within the next ten years. You cannot drive a man from his home, with a wife and from one to six children, penniless and hungry and the children in rags, while the land that would support them lies idle and wild just to gratify the theory of some man who may be honest but who is ignorant of the conditions of the frontier. I will name a case of a man I met in Aberdeen, who told me that he tramped forty miles three times to make proof on his claim. He had lived with his family on his homestead for seven years and endeavored to make proof, coming out with witnesses and spending money he needed for his family, only to be told the last time he came out that his hearing was indefinitely postponed. This man came out a good, loyal, American citizen; went back a fire-eater. I know another case on the head of Nooksack river where a man endeavored to take up a homestead on meadow land, and after he made application it was set aside for forest rangers' quarters No. 1. He then tried to take a second homestead and it was set aside for Forest Ranger No. 2; he then endeavored to take a third, and that was set aside for Forest Ranger No. 3. The land is fertile beyond description, but there is nothing living on it, and it is supporting no one.

On the head waters of Skagit river there are tracts of land that will support from three to four hundred homesteads. This is purely meadow land with brush and worthless scrub timber, like all our western Washington meadows. Any five acres of this land will sustain a family in comfort. This land is held in the forest reserve, absolutely worthless so far as sustaining people is concerned, or paying taxes to the State. If our State is to give up one-third of its taxable property and carry on its government with two-thirds, she has very little interest, if any, in that portion of the State reserved by Conservation, and naturally will not aid in the preservation of the same as she would were the revenue from these resources to become the revenue of the State. Up on Quinault river, ten years ago, there was a flourishing settlement with every prospect for opening up the country. Since this Conservation law has been in force, many of these settlers have left their homesteads, others have been driven off and gone to British Columbia. The United States Government does not build a road into the settlement, and the people are too poor to build out. Take it up in the Northern Peninsula (the greater portion covered by forest reserve), the land would sustain hundreds of thousands of comfortable and independent homes; but today it is a howling wilderness, and the meadow land is as wild as it was a hundred years ago. The people are too poor to build roads in and across the forest reserve, and the Government does not.

I sincerely hope and trust that the people of the East who are not acquainted with the conditions in the State of Washington will permit this State to control and conduct her own Conservation, both water, timber, coal and oil, if necessary, to the best interests of the State and Nation. We have a State that has upwards of ten million horse-power in our waterfalls going to waste every minute. With proper State laws this could be utilized, and so protected that monopoly could not control it. We have millions of tons of cheap anthracite and bituminous coal on our coast. Still, the people of Alaska are buying British Columbia coal and shipping it up to themselves two thousand miles, while the coal is sticking out of the mountain-sides of Alaska and cannot be touched. We are shipping hundreds of thousands of tons of Maryland coal to our navy on the Pacific Coast, in foreign ships, while we, of the State of Washington, are prohibited from shipping our cheap lumber to our own people on the Atlantic Coast, and are compelled, if we ship at all, to ship it by rail to New York and the thickly settled portions of the East at a freight rate that is prohibitive. The only people receiving the benefit of our lower grades of lumber and cheap prices are the Chinese and Japanese. If we were permitted to ship our lumber in foreign vessels from Washington to New York or other ports on the Atlantic Coast, we could give them lumber that they all need and that we would be glad to sell at a very reasonable figure. It is the fool laws that are oppressing the people, both of the East and the West, and many of them have been made in the interest of monopoly and many through ignorance.

[Pg 67]

The West is not here to fight Conservation, for, properly directed, it is one of the greatest movements inaugurated in this country since the abolishment of slavery. Our former President instituted many reform movements that, properly directed, mean happiness and prosperity for our people; and of all the movements started by him, in my opinion none means more to the financial welfare of ourselves and our children than Conservation, as vouched for by President Roosevelt (applause). The complaint we have is not against the principle of Conservation, but against the prostitution of that great movement to the impractical ends of certain men out of sympathy with our institutions. They would disregard the rights of the people of the Western States to regulate affairs within their borders; they would retard development of the younger States; they would compel the citizens of the Western States to contribute annually large sums of money to the timber, coal and power companies operating in those sections. While these bureaucrats claim to be working in the interest of the people, they could not better serve the Special Interests if they were employed by them. In the past they laid unusual burdens upon the Western States, and have ruthlessly crushed and brushed aside the honest homesteader who did not have funds to fight or carry his case to the highest court. They are attempting to bottle up and make useless the natural resources of our Western States, and have our local affairs administered through an irresponsible bureau located 3,000 miles away. All the people of the West ask is a chance with the older communities and an honest shuffle—a square deal above the table—and a show to develop our resources and build up prosperous communities made up of innumerable happy homes. I believe the people of the West are as good citizens, and are just as true and loyal to the interests of the Nation as are the citizens of any other locality. As States we do not like to be looked upon as provinces or colonial possessions to be exploited for the benefit of the other sections of this Nation. I have faith enough in the fairness of the citizens of the other sections of this Nation to believe that they do not covet or desire to rob us of what rightfully belongs to us. We believe the profit arising from the development or exploitation of the natural resources of each State should be applied to the benefit of and to the cost of government of that State.

Let me get this fact set in your minds: 951/2% of the national reserves are located within the eleven Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain States, and 271/4% of the total area of the State I have the honor to represent is taken up by forest reserves, an area in which could be placed the States of Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, with room enough to spare to accommodate another Rhode Island. The extreme Conservationist argues that the people of the Western States are not competent or qualified to manage the natural resources within their borders and that a [Pg 68]guardian in the shape of a Federal bureau should be appointed to handle them for us. This is a gratuitous insult to the intelligence and integrity of the people of the West. Almost the worst kind of government that can be placed upon a people is a bureaucracy. Let me call your attention to the fact that practically all of the land, mineral, coal, timber, and power-site steals perpetrated upon the people were made when these titles were vested in the Federal Government.

Now, let us deal a little with common-sense Conservation: The people of the State of Washington started a practical system of Conservation long before Conservation became a national issue. The Governor of Montana has said that Montana was the first State in the Union to practice Conservation. Evidently the Governor of Montana is not up on the laws of the State of Washington or he wouldn't have made that statement (laughter). One of the great natural assets of our State is our fisheries. Because of over-fishing it became evident to our people some years ago that, unless proper steps were taken, our fishing industry would be ruined. Laws were passed regulating the taking of fish, and numerous hatcheries were established throughout the State. We are now putting more salmon fry into salt water than is the Federal Government, and today the State of Washington stands first in the Union in the value of the products of its fisheries, all because our people a few years ago started a practical system of Conservation. The expense of enforcing our laws regulating fisheries and the cost of maintaining and operating hatcheries is assessed against that industry. We cannot bring ourselves to consent to turn over the management of this industry to the Federal Government. In fact, so opposed are the fisher-folk of Puget Sound to Federal control of the fishing industry, which is threatened because of the proposed treaty with Great Britain, that they are fighting the ratification of the treaty by the United States Senate.

Let us now take up the question of the national forest reserves as administered in the western States. I doubt that there is a thinking man who does not love the trees, the deep woods and vast forests of our land; but a tree, like everything else that grows, has its youth, its maturity, its old age and death. A tree not used at maturity decays, falls, and becomes a fire-trap and is a serious menace to standing timber. I believe that when a tree reaches its maturity it should be used and not allowed to go to decay (applause). Failure to make use of our natural resources which are going to waste is the antithesis of Conservation. I believe that all non-forested lands adapted for agricultural purposes should be opened to settlement and homesteaders allowed to file upon them. Within the national forest reserves are vast areas with not a stick of timber on them, and on which timber can never be made to grow profitably. These tracts should be thrown open to settlement. It is people we want in the West, not game preserves (applause); it is happy, prosperous communities, [Pg 69]not idle wastes. I would not advise the acceptance of homestead filings upon timbered areas until after the timber is removed and it is found the land is suitable for agriculture. If it is valuable only for timber raising, then the land should be turned over to the State for reforestation. It is the duty of the State to all the States to start a system of reforestation. At the last session of our Legislature, an appropriation was made to start a survey and have maps made showing the areas of our State better adapted for timber-growing than for any other purpose. This work is now well under way. A commission composed of twelve of our leading citizens, interested in forestry, have been appointed to draft a forestry bill to be submitted to the coming Legislature, when, without doubt, the State will start in upon a plan of reforestation; something which every State of the Union should take up. It is the duty of the States to attend to the growing of forests within their borders, and not the duty of the Federal Government. I am not in favor of abolishing the Federal forestry department. This department should stand in the same relation to the State forests as the Department of Agriculture stands to the farming interests of the Nation (applause). We would hardly expect Secretary Wilson to go around the country, preparing the ground, planting and harvesting our crops, and collecting the revenue therefrom, and we do not expect the Federal Government to go inside of the State and start a system of reforestation where it is absolutely the duty of the State itself to undertake that work (applause).

The greatest infringement upon the rights of the State to handle their own internal affairs is the attempt on the part of the Federal Government to gain control by indirection of our water-power for the purpose of supervising and deriving the revenue from any possible development of the powers. This, by the way, is a policy particularly waged by the National Conservation Association, an organization which is making of this Conservation question a cult, which has practically set up a dogma, and whose members are now quarreling over their claims to orthodoxy. So far about all it has done has been to play into the hands of the power monopoly, which the first apostles of Conservation claim to fear so greatly.

Of all the lame arguments I have heard, the one that the people of the country have not the brains or authority to regulate the charges of any public service corporation, is the worst. We have two means of reaching them: by regulating the rates, and by taxation. No State in the Union was probably ever more troubled than was the State of Washington a few years ago with a railway lobby. In the year 1905 the Legislature of the State of Washington passed a railway commission law, and placed the regulation and control of railroads under this commission. Three years this commission studied the conditions in the State. It was one of the first States in the [Pg 70]Union to make a physical valuation to determine the cost of these plants. In 1909 the railway commission of Washington placed an order into effect that saved to the farmers of the State, in the hauling of wheat and other grains alone, $750,000. At the same time they placed an order reducing the general distance tariffs of the railroads, which cost the railroads of the State $75,000, and the railroads have never appealed from its decision and those rates are in effect today. In 1909 the railway commission traveled over every mile of road in our State, visited every station, held hearings, and as a result of that trip they made 250 orders ordering new stations, enlargement of waiting-rooms and train facilities; all those things that the people complained about they remedied, and of the 250 orders put into effect—which cost the railroads hundreds of thousands of dollars—they never have appealed from but 16, and 234 have gone into effect; so the argument that the States cannot control affairs within their own borders, it seems to me, is very fallacious (applause). If we are not competent to handle affairs within our own borders, if we are not competent to regulate corporations, then let us surrender our Constitution and go back to territorial days and let the Federal Government administer our affairs for us. (Applause)

Now, with reference to the water-power bill: The bill before Congress introduced by Senator Smoot, of Utah, and a similar bill introduced by Senator Jones, of Washington, are perfectly satisfactory to the people of the Coast, so far as I know. Governor Norris has explained to you that the beds and banks of all streams, up to the limit of medium high tide and medium high water, belong to the States; they do not belong to the Federal Government. That property is just as much ours as is the jack-knife in our pockets. Senator Smoot's bill provides that all the interest the Federal Government has in this is that it owns the sites. We own the water, we own the power. There is no question about that. The Supreme Court has passed upon it time and time again. The Government owns the sites. The Smoot bill provides that the sites in the Federal reserves shall be turned over to the State government, but that in no instance shall the State pass the fee-simple title to the land, and no lease shall be longer than fifty years. This is perfectly satisfactory, and the people of the State of Washington have no objections to that form of relinquishment to the State.

The high-handed manner in which a Federal bureau attempted to hold up the development of the western States was the result of a false conception of the principles upon which the Government is founded, and a dangerous assumption that honor and efficiency existed nowhere but in one self-appointed guide, philosopher, and so-called friend of the people. I believe it is the intention of those now in authority to administer the natural resources of the West according to law and with some respect for the welfare of the State in which [Pg 71]the resources are located. But outside of governmental and administrative circles, an element composed of faddists, dreamers, and enthusiasts is striving to bend popular sentiment to certain impractical and unfair policies of applying Conservation, and it is against this element that the West has taken arms. We want Conservation that benefits all the people, not a Conservation that plays into the hands of a few. Conservation that does not make use of resources rapidly going to waste is Conservation gone daffy. I have noticed that there are some States down here shouting loud for Federal control of our natural resources. I want to say that those Governors who are here shouting the loudest for Federal control are from the States that have the least amount of natural resources. It is the desire of these people that the revenue received from these natural resources shall be surrendered to the Federal treasury. That is what the western States certainly object to. Some people and papers here are charging that "the interests," whatever you may call them, are favoring State control of the natural resources. I want to say to you that "the interests" are always against local control in any case, and always prefer that monopoly of all kinds shall be placed in the Federal Government and as far away from the people as it is possible to get it.

The address made here by President Taft this morning is in line with the western idea of Conservation as I understand it, and I believe those of us from the West who look at this question as I do endorse the same safe statement that has been made by our great President (applause). Let western men, using up-to-date western methods and familiar with western conditions, deal with and manage western matters. I thank you. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—Professor Condra will make an announcement before I introduce the next speaker.


Professor Condra—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen: You know that we have State Conservation Commissions and associations representing various States. We have recently perfected an organization of these with a view to cooperation among States and with the Federal departments. The Federal representatives forming our national committees have thought it better not to issue any suggestions to the State delegations, preferring to leave this duty to the committee of the interstate organization, of which I have the honor to be Chairman, as the more democratic method. We propose that the chairman of each State Conservation Commission or Association call his State delegation together at some stated time and place (in the absence of the chairman the secretary or some other commissioner may act) to organize the delegation and select representatives to serve on the resolutions committee and any other committees, to the end that we may have fair discussion and full representation of all our States.

[Pg 72]


Chairman Stubbs—I now take pleasure in introducing Governor Brooks, of Wyoming. (Applause)


Governor Brooks—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It has been my good fortune to visit nearly every State in this great Union, and to spend considerable time in nearly all the larger cities, though, strange to say, this is the first time I have ever visited this particular spot; and yesterday, while enjoying a beautiful ride through the Twin Cities and around the great parks and other resorts, I felt that my education had been sadly neglected (applause). This is certainly one of the garden spots of the Union, and I think the people here showed the proper spirit when their Governor in his address this morning stated that a State convention on Conservation had been held, at which the attendance numbered some 7,000 people, to consider the proper conservation of the soil and to bring about increased production of the farms. I know that the State of Minnesota is on the right track—that is the important thing, after all. (Applause)

A few days ago the western Governors held a meeting at Salt Lake City, and spent two days discussing this question of Conservation. After full and complete discussion they adopted, unanimously, a brief set of resolutions, which I think express their views in this important matter. Colorado, Utah, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming were represented; and since the resolutions, which have been published in all the western papers, have met with unqualified public endorsement, and as it will only take me about a minute, I am going to read them, as embodying the views of the western Governors—and, I might add, of 95 percent of the citizens of the great western States:

Resolved, that the Governors of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast States affirm as a platform of principles to be urged upon the National Conservation Congress to be held at Saint Paul, September 5-9, 1910

First, that in legislatively solving the problem of Conservation the National Congress adhere to the doctrine of Abraham Lincoln that the public lands are an impermanent national possession, held in trust for the maturing States.

Right on that point, I wish to refer to the splendid paper read here at the opening of this afternoon's session by that brilliant, honest, and patriotic statesman, Senator Nelson (applause), outlining the public land laws. I call your attention to the fact that at the beginning of this great Nation of ours the Federal Government acquired, by cession from the States, by treaties with the Indians, and by purchase and conquest, all this vast public-land territory, the early idea being that this public domain was to be sold for the payment of the Revolutionary War debt and for the running expenses of the Government; though that early idea was quickly transformed and changed, owing to the insistent demand of the settlers, and the pre-emption laws (with which you are all familiar) followed as the second step. They were a sort of settlement and revenue measure combined; but still the insistent demand of the settlers would not stop, and gradually we [Pg 73]reached that stage where the homestead law was passed, and signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, giving the settlers 160 acres of land as the result of settlement and cultivation, doing away entirely with the old revenue idea; and under that one law this great State of Minnesota, and every other State in this central country, has developed to a degree unparalleled in the history of human progress (applause). Now, all the West asks is an even break; all the West asks is an equal opportunity. How can we educate our children, how can we maintain good government and good law, how can we do all those necessary and essential things to maintain a high state of civilization and progress, if over one-half of the State is to be held permanently as a Federal resource, giving no taxation or revenue whatever to the support of our State governments? (Applause) It is utterly impossible. We of the West are just as bitterly opposed to monopoly, just as bitterly opposed to any misuse of the natural resources of this country as any of you gentlemen here assembled (applause); but we do believe that the States themselves can in a great measure work out the safest and best conservation. I might get started here and go on talking, and I do not want to do it; I want to read the other resolutions:

Second, that State government, no less beneficently than National Government, is capable of devising and administering laws for the conservation of public property; and that the National and State governments should legislatively coordinate to the end that within a reasonable period of time the State governments be conceded full and complete administration of such Conservation laws as may be found adaptable to the varying conditions of the several States.

The idea being that conditions vary so tremendously—just as you have heard from the Governor of Mississippi and the Governor of Illinois, the latter of whom told you about a monopoly stepping in and stopping the State development of the water-power along one of their streams. Such a condition is absolutely impossible in the West, because that old law of riparian rights does not apply; there is no law in the West whereby we are compelled to allow the water in the streams to flow by your property undiminished in quantity and undefiled in quality. In the West the law of appropriation applies, the law of use. Under the Constitution of Wyoming, granting twenty years ago, we were given all the water of the State, everywhere and every place; we cannot part title with it, we hold it, and we will always hold it. Talk about monopoly! How absolutely impossible, under the laws of Wyoming! We have used this water wisely and well. I picked out of a paper this afternoon a certificate of appropriation for power granted in 1900, ten years ago: "Whereas, F. V. Andrews has presented to the Board of Control of the State of Wyoming proof of the appropriation of water from Sand creek, tributary to the Redwater territory, for enlargement of Beulah flouring mill ditch, under permit 517 (enlargement for power and milling purposes), now, know ye, that the Board of Control under the provisions [Pg 74]of Division 1, Title 9, Chapters 10 and 14 of the Revised Statutes of Wyoming, 1899, has, by an order duly made and entered on the 28th day of December, 1909, in order record No. 4, page 287, determined and established the priority and amount of such appropriation as follows: name of the proprietor, F. V. Andrews, postoffice, Beulah, Wyoming; amount of appropriation, 145 cubic feet of water, date of appropriation, April 6, 1900. Said ditch so located, the right to use water herein defined, shall not at any time exceed the volume of 145 cubic feet per second, and the right shall at all times be subject to any future regulation and restriction that may be placed on the same by the Legislature of the State of Wyoming." (Applause) It is absolutely impossible to get a monopoly of water-power in the State of Wyoming, and such an instance as referred to by the Governor of Illinois would be impossible. The State of Wyoming could simply refuse to allow that company to use one drop of water; they have the power to do it, it is so provided for in the Constitution, just as the State of Wyoming, if it chose, could absolutely refuse to permit the general Government itself to use one drop of water for power purposes. We have never had any power monopoly in the State of Wyoming, and we do not intend to have.

Third, that experience of the Conservation States demonstrates that dispositions of public property made under existing National Conservation laws and regulations have tended to intrench monopolies and interests menacing the common welfare; and that modifications of such laws and regulations should be promoted by the Conservation Congress.

Our great President this morning stated a great truth, and it came right to the hearts of the western people. You can't understand it here, perhaps, but we realize the importance of Conservation; but we have been talked to death on it. What we want is action! We want the people to get busy; we do not want all these things bottled up in cold storage; we want them used for the generation of today. That is the important thing. As it is now in Wyoming, every big coal company in the State is adding an increased price to its coal to the consumer, who is already burdened beyond the point of endurance, simply because there is no further development in these coal lands as they stand today under the withdrawals; every ranchman in the State of Wyoming is paying ten dollars a thousand more for his lumber than he had to a few years ago—ten years ago, five years ago—owing to the fact that development has ceased. The only monopolies that we are troubled with out there are those that are unable to appraise their capital at present simply because competition cannot come up and meet them on the markets under present conditions.

Fourth, that the elimination from the forest reserves of all homestead and untimbered grazing lands is immediately expedient.

Fifth, the use and control of all water-power inheres of right in the States, within restrictions insuring perpetual freedom from monopoly.

Sixth, that the privilege of American citizens to seek and develop mineral wealth wherever it may be found should be fully amplified and secured by laws.

[Pg 75]

Seventh, that the idea of deriving Federal revenue from the physical resources of the States is repugnant to that adjustment of constitutional powers which guarantee the perpetuity of the Union. (Applause)

And with only one thought more I leave you: If the western States, never having had the opportunity so far to develop their great natural resources as you people of the East have, as Minnesota and the Atlantic States have, are now to be changed entirely from the time-honored policy that has made these States great and powerful; if now we are to be taxed, as we have been, $150,000 a year for the forest-reserve grazing privileges, when that same money is used in the great Empire State for forest protection free of cost, then we of the West have a hard row to hoe. We simply ask the same fair treatment as accorded every central and eastern State of the Union. It is not right to tax the West for anything which you would not apply in one of the great eastern States. We want our resources protected, we want them safeguarded for our children and our children's children, but we want the opportunity to make our young States grow and be prosperous, so that we of the West will have those things of which we can be as proud as you people of Minnesota are when you take a gentleman to your magnificent State Capitol, to your great Agricultural College, and to your other great schools—we want the same for our children and our children's children, without Federal interference. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—I want to say a word here about a suggestion made by the Montana Governor. I would like to ask Governor Norris if it is not a fact that the Federal Government has led in irrigation in Montana?

Governor Norris—Has led?

Chairman Stubbs—Yes sir. Haven't they done a great deal of work to develop your irrigation projects?

Governor Norris—For the last three or four years, yes.

Chairman Stubbs—Well, it is within the last three or four years that this Conservation idea has been spreading out, taking root, and going out from Washington; they didn't get started until Theodore Roosevelt got hold of it (applause). As to the Federal Government undertaking to dominate the West and discriminate against the West, I don't believe that it is in the heart or mind of Gifford Pinchot or Theodore Roosevelt or anybody else to do that (applause); but Gifford Pinchot has stood like a rock and fought like a tiger to keep the thieves out of the Alaska coal fields (applause), and you ought to build a monument to his memory for keeping the Cunningham claims off the statute books and from legalizing by Congress, for it would have been an everlasting disgrace to the American Nation to have millions and billions of tons of coal stolen there. What did President Taft say this morning? He said, "We believe in leasing those lands out [Pg 76]there in Montana and in Wyoming and all over this country." He does not believe in selling those things; he doesn't believe in turning them over to the State, either. He said as much here this morning (applause). He says, "Lease them for the benefit of the people they belong to."

I tell you this Conservation idea, when it is put on the right sort of basis, is the biggest thing that we have struck in a financial way in a long while; and I tell you right now (I do not know how it happens, but it is a matter of fact) I do know that the great syndicates and the great corporations that want to gobble up all these coal lands and control these power sites, every bloody one of them, want State control. (Applause, and cries of "Right, Right!") And the reason they want State control is because the meshes are too small in the national net; the Federal Government has given them genuine supervision and genuine control of national resources, and I thank God for it, too (applause). I want it to keep coming right along. I would not stand for one minute to see the West discriminated against; I do not believe in taxing Montana or Wyoming for anything that you would not tax New York or Pennsylvania for; neither does Theodore Roosevelt, for he grew up out in that country and he is one of them and his whole heart is with them; he wouldn't see one iota of discrimination, and nobody else would; but I say to you that it is the great electric power organizations and combinations—it centers down to four or five or six fellows—that are trying to monopolize all the power sites in the United States! That's what's the matter now; and those fellows think if they could get the whole thing in the hands of State legislatures they could dicker and trade with them (applause and cheers). They know they cannot do it at Washington. That is all there is to this whole problem; and I say to you today that the American people ought to build a monument to Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot for the work they have done in this line (great applause), to say nothing about the other great work that has been done. I would like to see those Alaska coal thieves sent to jail (laughter and applause), and for my part I do not take any stock in the Ballinger idea of running things up there, either (tremendous applause). If I were President of the United States, I'd kick Ballinger out of that Cabinet in five minutes, that's what I'd do. (Great and enthusiastic applause) We might as well tell the truth about it, too. I say to you that this work has started, and it has started along broad, decent, National lines; the States have plenty to do right now if they will attend to business; they have seventy-five percent of the forests now in private hands with only about twenty-five percent under Federal control, and two-thirds of all the great coal interests of this country in private hands with only one-third vested in the Federal Government; I'd like to see [Pg 77]the Federal Government look out for these power sites, and when the contract is made, let it be made in such a way as they can control it. Taft made some good suggestions this morning, and I want to give him credit for it (laughter and applause).


I did not mean to make a speech; I meant to introduce Governor Vessey. (Laughter and applause, and cries of "Go on, go on") We have great men here that are ready to talk, and I must close in a few minutes. Governor Vessey, of South Dakota. (Applause)


Governor Vessey—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: You can readily see by the color of that man's hair (indicating Governor Stubbs) that he wears the Kansas emblem on his head (laughter and applause) and is not afraid to say something.

Now, in regard to Conservation, I am a good deal like John was the afternoon he was out riding with Mary. For some reason or other he wanted to know whether Mary thought enough of him to marry him, and yet he wasn't quite ready to make her his wife. But he put the question anyway, and she immediately accepted him. They rode along for some distance in silence. Finally she asked, "John, why don't you say something?" He replied, "There's been too much said already!" (Great laughter and applause) And there have been lots of good things said today.

South Dakota is in a peculiar position. It is not in the southern part of the United States, neither is it in the extreme northwestern part; it doesn't even join Kansas (laughter), though it has some of the same kind of spirit (applause). The eastern part of South Dakota is a strip of country two hundred miles square, and there is no richer, no more uniform, no better farming land in the United States than that part of South Dakota; the western part of the State goes into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. In this western part is a great forest reserve; and I want to say I believe that in the State of South Dakota the National Government is doing the best work in preserving the natural forest done anywhere in the United States. Still you find in the western part of our State a great deal of the same spirit that you find in Wyoming, Montana, and Washington. Why? Because of local interests. You see this is largely a local question; and what suits Kansas or Mississippi, somehow or other does not suit Wyoming. It is like the tariff question; and it will probably never be settled until it is settled by an expert commission which will deal with the matter as a whole. (Applause)

I believe largely—very largely, indeed—in State rights. I believe the State should control and own the water-power of streams that are not navigable and that it should be within its province to provide that the waters should first be used for the soil [Pg 78]and secondarily be used for furnishing water power to turn the wheels of industry and thereby make the State richer. For we must admit—just as your great Governor of Minnesota has said—the first duty of the people of the United States is to preserve the soil (applause), because the crop that comes annually from the soil yields the greatest revenue that the United States will ever have; and we must have it, and must have it increased if we expect to support the increasing population of the United States at a reasonable cost so that they can work at reasonable wages and support homes—possibly not of luxury, but of all the comforts that citizens are entitled to.

I appreciate the position that has been taken in the conservation of coal; I appreciate the conservation of timber, of phosphate lands, of oil, and of gas; but I want to say that the same conditions that have been referred to upon this platform with reference to the disposing of power from water-power plants at the lowest minimum cost should apply in the same way to these other natural resources—yet you will notice that in the report of the National Forester it is shown that we have been selling stumpage at market prices. They propose to sell the coal and the gas and the oil, and possibly the phosphate, at market prices. If that is true, it is not real Conservation in the interest of the consumer; because if we only own one-third of the coal and the private individuals who own two-thirds fix the prices, and if the Government follows them in fixing the prices, where does the consumer derive any benefit (applause). The same rule should apply to timber. I can show you, in our own State, where there are parts of the national forests that are ripe and should be cut into lumber, and that lumber should be building homes on our broad prairies. But the price the Government has fixed on the stumpage is too great for mill-men to buy it and manufacture it and sell it, even at the high price of lumber out in that country. Now, who is suffering? The men that are endeavoring to build homes on that prairie. I think we ought to be intelligent on those things. I think we ought to use the timber, and we ought to use the coal, and we ought to use the phosphates, in the upbuilding of this country, and give it to the consumers, if possible, at a price at which they can use it, and not at a price that may be set by the large combinations or trusts that control these products. I thank you. (Applause)


Chairman Stubbs—We were expected to get through here at 5 oclock and it is now ten minutes after 6. I regret that there is not time to allow a dozen or fifteen mighty fine men to continue this discussion. The session is adjourned.


[Pg 79]

THIRD SESSION

The Congress convened in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, on the morning of September 6, 1910, and was called to order by President Baker.

President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen. We have a few minutes before our honored guest Colonel Roosevelt arrives. We shall occupy that time in routine business. At Seattle, where this Congress was formed, the organization was left to an Executive Committee and a Board of Directors. They are now prepared to submit a report; but the first and most important question relates to credentials, on which the Congress at large may properly act.

A Delegate—Mr Chairman, I move that the Chair be authorized to appoint a committee of five on credentials.

President Baker—Gentlemen, you have heard the motion. Is it seconded? (The motion was seconded) If there is no discussion, the motion will be put. All those in favor of the motion will signify their pleasure by saying aye.

A Voice—What is the question?

President Baker—The motion is that the Chair be authorized to appoint a committee of five on credentials. All in favor will say aye. Contrary nay. It is a unanimous vote.

The Chair will appoint on that committee Edward Hines, of Chicago, chairman (and will ask him to call his committee together as soon as possible); George K. Smith, of Saint Louis, R. W. Douglas, of Seattle, Charles H. Pack, of Cleveland, Lynn R. Meekins, of Baltimore.

The next important business will be consideration of a Constitution and By-Laws, which Professor Condra will read.

Professor Condra—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am asked to read the draft of a constitution that you may know that it comes from the State organizations. Your various State committeemen met and adopted the draft submitted to us by the Executive Committee; therefore the proposed Constitution has the approval of two bodies, one State and one National.

(Professor Condra proceeded with the reading of the Constitution as submitted; after reaching Article VI—)

A Delegate—Mr President, as the time is late, and as the Executive Committee have passed upon Constitution and it has been approved by the representatives of the States in the form presented, I move that the further reading be suspended and that the Constitution be adopted. (Applause)

President Baker—Is the motion seconded? (Several voices seconded the motion) All in favor will say aye; contrary nay. Carried without dissenting voice. (Applause)

[Pg 80]

Some announcements will now be made by the gentleman from Nebraska.

Professor Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: In order that there may be proper representation of the various delegations in the Committee on Resolutions, it is again urged that all members of each delegation meet and select their representatives. If chairmen of delegations will give us the place and time of meeting we will gladly announce it from this platform. Thus far we have not heard of time and place for meeting of delegations from New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, or Nevada.

[Several announcements of meetings of delegations were here made.]


President Baker—We will now listen to an address from Honorable John Barrett, a man known around the world as the Director of the Bureau of American Republics. (Applause)


Mr Barrett—Ladies and Gentlemen: If I had the fascinating capacity of Governor Stubbs, of Kansas (applause), I might be able to do justice to this occasion; but I have been sitting in yonder corner, behind three noble Governors each ready to speak, beside the representative of the British government—which today is watching with great interest this gathering—not expecting for a moment that I would be called upon today; and it is only that I may be true to my New England birth and my western training that I rise in response to the suggestions of your Chairman. (Applause) If any reason renders it at all fitting that I should say a word, it is because perhaps I have the honor of representing here today some twenty nations as showing their interest in this great Conservation movement which is sweeping over the wide world (applause). I want to tell you that as this movement grows, under the splendid leadership of the men who are blazing the way, it will become the policy of every American country from Alaska and Canada on the north to Argentina and Chile on the south (applause). We shall hear not only from the United States but from our sister nations of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile in this effort to make the world realize that if we are to provide for ourselves and for all men who are to come, we must be minute-men—the minute-men of the present day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, all the world is listening to what was said yesterday, on this platform, and all the world will listen, even more earnestly, to what is said today (applause and cheers); and these two great pronunciamentos on Conservation will be read in every corner of the globe, and you and I will be proud that we have participated in this great movement. (Applause)


[Numerous calls were made for Governor Stubbs.]

[Pg 81]

Governor Stubbs—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It gives me great pleasure to be here this morning in anticipation of hearing a great speech from the greatest American and the greatest citizen of the world. (Vociferous applause) I am proud of our country; I am proud of her achievements; I am proud of the great State of Kansas, the greatest State in America (great applause), and I am proud to tell you that we won't meet in a bar-room today (laughter and applause), and that we do not have bar-rooms to meet in down in Kansas (great applause and cheers); and I want to tell you that in Kansas the idea of letting men spend their money for shoes and clothes and schools and homes has proved a blooming success (laughter and applause and cheers) as compared with the fellow who works by the week and makes ten or twenty or forty dollars and spends it in a saloon Saturday night. (Renewed applause)

You have come here today to consider one of the great problems of the age and you will hear from a master mind, from the great leader of this movement, the policies and the plans and the propositions by which the work will be carried forward. I do not propose to take up your valuable time this morning in any discussion of a question of such splendid proportions that I would not have time to get started nor time in which to stop. (Applause)


Ex-President Roosevelt here entered the hall amid cheers and rousing enthusiasm and mounted the platform.


President Baker (when silence was restored)—Reverend Doctor J. S. Montgomery, Pastor of Fowler Methodist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, will now offer an invocation.

Invocation

Almighty God, Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Thou art the source of all mercy, love, and blessing. Lift upon us all the light of Thy holy countenance.

From the beginning Thou hast never been without a witness in the world, and Thou hast never left us comfortless. Give unto us, O God, the Source of all wisdom, a great measure of Thy wisdom, truth, and blessing. We recognize in Thee the source of every good and perfect thing in all the world. Thou hast opened up this new great world; and on this auspicious occasion, look Thou upon us in mercy. Bless our great land. Grant that every source of material blessing may be conserved to serve all the people; grant that our citizenship may be blessed and directed from border to border. Remember our country; remember the great Southland, the great Northland; bless the great East and the great West; and may all of our people everywhere have bread enough and to spare, and may we recognize [Pg 82]that our supremest duty is not to build up institutions fit for man but to build up man fit for institutions.

Bless Thou the Governors of all the States. Remember our great Government, its legislative, its judicial and its executive branches.

Remember in mercy the President of these United States; and bless Thou our most distinguished guest and most conspicuous citizen in all the world, who is with us this day. Look upon him in mercy, guide him and direct him in wisdom, and grant that no peril may come nigh him.

Bless Thou our flag; may it float on until all nations see the blessings of our great Republic; may it float on until all selfishness dies out of the world's heart; may it float on until all ignorance shall be gone; may it float on until the nations of the earth shall be united in a brotherhood around and about which are wreathed the blessings and the wisdom of Thy holy and undying self.

Be Thou in the deliberations of this great body; grant that wisdom and truth may be uppermost in the minds of all who are here. Accept Thou our gratitude for thy abiding mercy, and at the last, O Lord, gather us all into the haven of eternal rest. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we ask it. Amen.


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: It is now my pleasure to present that citizen of our country who in three continents has evoked the greatest enthusiasm, and who has done for this country no greater service than in forwarding and extending the work of Conservation to protect the natural resources and in carrying out the principles of fair dealing between man and man; our most honored citizen, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. (Great applause and cheers for many minutes)

ADDRESS BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Mr Chairman, and Governor; Governors, and fellow-guests; Men and Women of Minnesota: It is a very great pleasure to me to be here in Minnesota again, and especially to come here to speak on this particular subject of "National Efficiency." (Applause)

Minnesota is one of the States that almost always takes the lead in any great work (applause), and Minnesota has been one of the first to take hold of the Conservation policy in practical fashion; and she has done a great work and set an admirable example to the rest of us (applause)—a work representing a policy well set forth in your Governor's address yesterday—and I am glad that this Congress is held in such a State, where we can listen to such an address made by a Governor who had the right to make it. (Prolonged applause)

Much that I have to say on the general policy of Conservation will be but a repetition of what was so admirably said on this general policy [Pg 83]by the President of the United States yesterday (great applause); and in particular all true friends of Conservation should be in heartiest agreement with the policy which the President laid down in connection with the coal, oil, and phosphate lands (applause), and I am glad to be able to say that at its last session Congress finally completed the work of separating the surface title to the land from the mineral beneath it. (Applause)

Now, my friends, America's reputation for efficiency stands deservedly high throughout the world. We are efficient probably to the full limits that are permitted by the methods hitherto used. The average American is an efficient man; he can do his business. It is recognized throughout the world that that is his type. There is great reason to be proud of our achievements, and yet no reason to think that we cannot excel our past (applause). Through a practically unrestrained individualism, we have reached a pitch of literally unexampled material prosperity. The sum of our prosperity in the aggregate leaves little to be desired, although the distribution of that prosperity, from the standpoint of justice and fair dealing, leaves a little more to be desired (laughter and applause). But we have not only allowed the individual a free hand, which was in the main right; we have also allowed great corporations to act as though they were individuals, and to exercise the rights of individuals, in addition to using the vast combined power of high organization and enormous wealth for their own advantage. This development of corporate action is doubtless in large part responsible for the gigantic development of our natural resources, but it is also true that it is in large part responsible for waste, destruction, and monopoly on an equally gigantic scale. (Applause)

The method of reckless and uncontrolled private use and waste has done for us all the good it can ever do, and it is time to put an end to it before it does the evil that it well may (applause). We have passed the time when heedless waste and destruction and arrogant monopoly are longer permissible (applause). Henceforth we must seek national efficiency by a new and a better way, by the way of the orderly development and use, coupled with the preservation, of our natural resources; by making the most of what we have for the benefit of all of us, instead of leaving the sources of material prosperity open to indiscriminate exploitation (applause). These are some of the reasons why it is wise that we should abandon the old point of view, and why Conservation has become a great moral issue, and become a patriotic duty.

One of the greatest of our Conservation problems is the wise and prompt development and use of the waterways of the Nation (applause). There are classes of bulk freight which always go cheaper and better by water if there is an adequate waterway (applause), and the existence of such a type of waterway in itself helps to [Pg 84]regulate railroad rates (applause). The Twin Cities, lying as they do at the headwaters of the Mississippi, are not on the direct line of the proposed Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway, and yet Minnesota, with its vast iron resources and its need of abundant coal, is peculiarly interested in that problem (applause); and the Twin Cities, therefore, have their own real personal concern in the deepening and regulation of the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri and on to the Gulf. (Applause)

Friends, I have spoken on how progressive Minnesota is and how progressive these Twin Cities are, but there are other progressive cities in the West, too (applause). I have just come from Kansas City (applause)—it's a pretty live proposition (laughter), and there the merchants themselves have undertaken, by raising over a million dollars, to start the improvement of the waterway lying at their doors so that they shall be able to benefit by it. It is sometimes said that the waterway projects are only backed by people who are delighted to see the Government spend its money but who are not willing to show their faith in the proposition by spending their own. Kansas City is spending its own (applause). The project for a great trunk waterway, an arm of the sea extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes should be abandoned (applause). Of course, before any project is entered upon, an absolutely competent and disinterested commission should report thereon in full to the Government so that the Government can act in the interest of the whole people and without regard to the pressure of special interests (applause), but subject to the action of such a body the Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway, and the development of the rivers which flow into it, should be pushed to completion vigorously and without delay. (Applause)

In nearly every river city from Saint Paul to the Gulf the waterfront is controlled by the railways. Nearly every artificial waterway in the United States, either directly or indirectly, is under the same control. It goes without saying that (unless the people prevent it in advance) the railways will always attempt to take control of our waterways as fast as they are improved and completed; and I do not mention this to blame them in the least, but to blame us if we permit them to do it. (Great applause and cheers) If Uncle Sam can't take care of himself, then there is no particular reason why any railroad man should act as his guardian. (Great laughter and applause) If he attempted the feat he would merely find himself lonely among other railroads (laughter), and Uncle Sam wouldn't be materially benefitted. Uncle Sam's got to do the job himself if he wants to be protected (applause). We must see to it that adequate terminals are provided in every city and town on every improved waterway, terminals open under reasonable conditions to the use of every citizen, and rigidly protected against being monopolized (applause); and we must compel the railways to cooperate with the waterways continuously, [Pg 85]effectively, and under reasonable conditions. Unless we do this, the railway lines will refuse to deliver freight to the boat lines either openly or by imposing prohibitory conditions, and the waterways once improved will do comparatively little for the benefit of the people who pay for them.

Adequate terminals, properly controlled, and open through lines by rail and boat, are two absolutely essential conditions to the usefulness of internal waterway development. I believe, furthermore, that the railways should be prohibited from owning, controlling, or carrying any interest in the boat lines on our rivers (applause), unless under the strictest regulation and control of the Interstate Commerce Commission, so that the shippers' interests may be fully protected.

And now here another word in supplement: You are the people; now don't sit supine and let the railways gain control of the boat lines and then turn around and say that the men at the head of the railroads are very bad men (laughter and applause). If you leave it open to them to control the boat lines, some of them are sure to do so, and it's to our interest that the best and ablest among them should do so. But don't let any of them do it, excepting under the conditions you lay down (applause). In other words, my friends, when you of your own fault permit the rules of the game to be such that you are absolutely certain to get the worst of it at the hands of some one else, don't blame the other man; change the rules of the game. (Laughter and applause and prolonged cheering)

Take the question of drainage, which is almost as important to the eastern States as irrigation is in the western States: Where the drainage of swamp and overflow lands in a given area is wholly within the lines of a particular State, it may be well, at least at present, to leave the handling of it to the State or to private action; but where such a drainage area is included in two or more States, the only wise course is to have the Federal Government act (applause); the land should be deeded from the States back to the Federal Government, and it then should take whatever action is necessary (applause). Much of this work must be done by the Nation, in any case, as an integral part of inland waterway development, and it affords a most promising field for cooperation between the States and the Nation (applause). The people of the United States believe in the complete and well-rounded development of inland waterways for all the useful purposes they can be made to subserve. They believe also in forest protection and forest extension. The fight for our National forests in the West has been won, and if after winning it we now go on and lose it, that is our own affair; but we are not going to do it! (Applause) After a campaign in which her women did work which should secure to them the perpetual gratitude of their State, Minnesota won her National forest, and she will keep it (applause); but the fight to create the Southern Appalachian and White Mountain forests in the East is not [Pg 86]yet over. The bill has passed the House, and will come before the Senate for a vote next February. The people of the United States, regardless of party or section, should stand solidly behind it and see that their representatives do so likewise (applause). Because our ancestors didn't have sufficient foresight, the Nation is now obliged to spend great sums of money to take responsibilities from the States. We, the people of the East, our State Governors—I have been a Governor of an eastern State myself (applause)—showed that the States in the East couldn't do the work as well as the National Government and we are now getting the National Government to take, at large cost to itself, these lands and do the work the public good requires (applause). When we are now doing that in the East, it seems to me the wildest folly to ask us to start in the West to repeat the same blunders that are now being remedied (applause and cheers). My language shall at least be free from ambiguity.

If any proof were needed that forest protection is a National duty, the recent destruction of forests in the Rocky Mountains by fire would supply it. Even with the aid of the Army added to that of the Forest Service, the loss has been severe. Without either it would have been vastly greater. But the Forest Service does more than protect the National forests against fire. It makes them practically and increasingly useful as well. During the last year for which I have figures the National forests were used by 22,000 cattlemen with their herds, 5,000 sheepmen with their flocks, 5,000 timbermen with their crews, and 45,000 miners. And yet people will tell you they have been shut up from popular use! (Applause) More than 5,000 persons used them for other special industries. Nearly 34,000 settlers had the free use of water. The total resident population of the National forests is about a quarter of a million, which is larger than the population of some of our States. More than 700,000 acres of agricultural land have been patented or listed for patent within the forests, and the reports of the forest officers show that more than 400,000 people a year use the forests for recreation, camping, hunting, fishing and similar purposes. All this is done, of course, without injury to the timber, which has a value of at least a thousand million dollars. Moreover, the National forests protect the water supply of a thousand cities and towns, about 800 irrigation projects, and more than 300 power projects, not counting the use of water for these and other purposes by individual settlers. I think that hereafter we may safely disregard any statements that the National forests are withdrawn from settlement and usefulness (applause).

Conservation has to do not only with natural resources; it has to do with the lives of those who enable the rest of us to make use of those natural resources. The investigations of the Country Life Commission have led the farmers of this country to realize that they have not been getting their fair share of progress and all that it brings. [Pg 87]Some of our farming communities in the Mississippi valley and in the middle West have made marvelous progress, and yet even the best of them, like communities of every other kind, are not beyond improvement, and those that are not the best need improvement very much. As yet we know but little of the basic facts of the conditions of rural life compared to what we know about the conditions, for instance, of industrial life. The means for better farming we have studied with care, but to better living on the farm, and to better business on the farm—I mean by that, having the farmer use the middleman where it is to the farmer's advantage and not be used by the middleman chiefly to the middleman's advantage (applause)—scant attention has been paid. One of the most urgent needs of our civilization is that the farmers themselves should undertake to get for themselves a better knowledge along these lines. Horace Plunkett, an Irishman, for many years a Wyoming ranchman, has suggested in his recent book on "The Country Life Problem in America" the creation of a Country Life Institute as a center where the work and knowledge of the whole world concerning country life may be brought together for the use of the Nation. I strongly sympathize with his ideas. Last spring, while visiting the capital of Hungary, Buda-Pesth, I was immensely impressed by the Museum of Country Life, which contained an extraordinary series of studies in agriculture, in stock-raising, in forestry, in mining. It was one of the most interesting places I ever visited, and the exhibits were not merely interesting and instructive, they were of the utmost practical importance; and I felt rather ashamed that I, a citizen of what we suppose to be a very go-ahead country, should be in Hungary and obliged to confess we had nothing at all like that in our own country. I wish we had such a museum in Washington, and some of your farmer congressmen ought to get a detailed report of this Buda-Pesth museum to be printed for distribution as a public document (applause). I would like to see a study made of such museums, so that we may take what is good in them for our own use here in America. (Applause)

As a people we have not yet learned the virtue of thrift. It is a mere truism to say that luxury and extravagance are not good for a Nation. So far as they affect character, the loss they cause may be beyond computation. But in a material sense there is a loss greater than is caused by both extravagance and luxury put together. I mean the needless, useless and excessive loss to our people from premature death and avoidable diseases. It has been calculated that the material loss to the Federal Government in such ways is nearly twice what it costs to run the Federal Government.

One of the most important meetings in our recent history was that of the Governors in the White House in May, 1908, to consider the Conservation question (applause). By the advice of the Governors, the meeting was followed by the appointment of a National Conservation [Pg 88]Commission. The meeting of the Governors directed the attention of the country to Conservation as nothing else could have done, while the work of the Commission gave the movement definiteness, and supplied it with a practical program. Now, my friends, so far, I have had nothing but praise to speak of Minnesota; but I cannot continue to speak only words of praise. At the moment when this Commission was ready to begin the campaign for putting its program into effect, an amendment to the Sundry Civil Bill was introduced by a congressman from Minnesota, with the purpose of putting a stop to the work so admirably begun. (Sensation) Congress passed the amendment. Its object was to put an end to the work of a number of commissions which had been appointed by the President, and whose contributions to the public welfare had been simply incalculable. (Voice: "Now, what do you think of Tawney?" and laughter) Among these were the Commission for Reorganization of the Business Methods of the Government, the Public Lands Commission, the Country Life Commission, and the National Conservation Commission itself. When I signed the Sundry Civil Bill containing this amendment, I transmitted with it, as my last official act, a memorandum declaring that the amendment was void because it was an unconstitutional interference with the rights of the Executive and that if I were to remain President I would pay to it no attention whatever (enthusiastic applause and cheers). The National Conservation Commission thereupon became dormant. The suspension of its work came at a most unfortunate time, and there was serious danger that the progress already made would be lost. At this critical moment the National Conservation Association was organized. It took up work which otherwise would not have been done; if it had not done it we wouldn't have had this meeting here (applause), and it exercised a most useful influence in preventing bad legislation, in securing the introduction of better Conservation measures at the past session of Congress, and in promoting the passage of wise laws. It deserves the confidence and support of every citizen interested in the wise development and preservation of our natural resources (applause) and in preventing them from passing into the hands of uncontrolled monopolies (applause). It joins with the National Conservation Congress in holding this meeting. I am here by the joint invitation of both. (Applause)

When the Government of the United States awoke to the idea of Conservation and saw that it was good, it lost no time in communicating the advantages of the new point of view to its immediate neighbors among the nations. A North American Conservation Conference was held in Washington, and the cooperation of Canada and Mexico in the great problem of developing the resources of the continent for the benefit of the people was asked and promised. The Nations upon our northern and southern boundaries wisely realized that their opportunity to [Pg 89]conserve their natural resources was better than ours, because with them destruction and monopolization had not gone so far as they had with us. So it is with the republics of Central and South America. Obviously they are on the verge of a period of great material progress. The development of their natural resources—their forests, their mines, their waters, and their soils—will create enormous wealth. It is to the mutual interests of the United States and our sister American Republics that this development should be wisely done. Our manufacturing industries offer a market for more and more of their natural wealth and raw material, while they will wish our products in exchange. The more we buy from them, the more we shall sell to them. Thank Heaven, we of this hemisphere are now beginning to realize, what in the end the whole world will realize, that normally it is a good thing for a Nation to have its neighbors prosper (great applause). We of the United States are genuinely and heartily pleased to see growth and prosperity in Canada, in Mexico, in South America (applause). I wish we could impress upon certain small Republics to the south of us, whose history has not always been happy, that all we ask of them is to be prosperous and peaceful (laughter and applause). We do not want to interfere, it is particularly the thing that we dislike doing; all we ask of any Nation on this hemisphere is that it shall be prosperous and peaceful, able to do reasonable justice within its own boundaries and to the stranger within its gates; and any Nation that is able to do that can count on our heartiest and most friendly support. (Applause)

It is clear that unless the governments of our southern neighbors take steps in the near future by wise legislation to control the development and use of their natural resources, they will probably fall into the hands of concessionaires and promoters, whose single purpose, without regard to the permanent welfare of the land in which they work, will be to make the most possible money in the shortest possible time. There will be shameful waste, destructive loss, and short-sighted disregard of the future, as we have learned by bitter experience here at home. Unless the governments of all the American Republics, including our own, enact in time such laws as will both protect their natural wealth and promote their legitimate and reasonable development, future generations will owe their misfortunes to us of today. A great patriotic duty calls upon us. We owe it to ourselves and to them to give the other American Republics all the help we can. The cases in which we have failed should be no less instructive than the cases in which we have succeeded. With prompt action and good will the task of saving the resources for the people is full of hope for us all.

[Pg 90]

But while we of the United States are anxious, as I believe we are able, to be of assistance to others, there are problems of our own which must not be overlooked. One of the most important Conservation questions of the moment relates to the control of water-power monopoly in the public interest (applause). There is apparent to the judicious observer a distinct tendency on the part of our opponents to cloud the issue by raising the question of State as against Federal jurisdiction (applause). We are ready to meet this issue if it is forced upon us (applause), but there is no hope for the plain people in such conflicts of jurisdiction. The essential question is not one of hair splitting legal technicalities (applause). It is not really a question of State against Nation, it is really a question of the special corporate interests against the popular interests of the people. (Tremendous applause and cheers) If it were not for those special corporate interests, you never would have heard the question of State against Nation raised (great applause and cheers). The real question is simply this, Who can best regulate the special interests for the country's good? (Voices: "Theodore Roosevelt!" and prolonged applause and cheers) Most of the great corporations, and almost all of those that can legitimately be called the great predatory corporations (laughter), have interstate affiliations: therefore they are out of reach of effective State control, and fall of necessity within the Federal jurisdiction (applause). One of the prime objects of those among them that are grasping and greedy is to avoid any effective control either by State or Nation; and they advocate at this time State control chiefly because they believe it to be the least effective (applause). If it grew effective, many of those now defending it would themselves turn around and declare against State control, and plead in the courts that such control was unconstitutional (applause). I had my own experience (applause and laughter); I'll give you an example of it. When I was Governor of New York, there came up a bill to tax the franchises of certain big street railway corporations. As originally introduced, the bill provided that the taxation should be imposed by the several counties and localities in which those corporations did business. Representatives of the corporations came to me and said that this would work a great hardship upon them, that the State authority would be more just, that the local authorities (especially where a railroad ran through two or three towns or counties) would each endeavor to get the whole benefit of the taxation for their own locality, and that, in the name of justice, I ought to agree to have the State and not the localities made the taxing power. I thought their plea just, and recommended and sanctioned the change. The bill was made a law; and those same corporations instantly entered suit against it on the ground that [Pg 91]it was unconstitutional (laughter and applause) to take the power of taxation away from the localities and give it to the State (renewed laughter and applause); and they carried the suit up to the Supreme Court of the United States where, during my own term as President, it was decided against them. (Applause)

In the great fight of the people to drive the special interests from the domination of the Government, the Nation is stronger, and its jurisdiction is more effective than that of any State (applause). I want to say another thing, which the representatives of those corporations do not at the moment believe, but which I am sure that in the end they will find out; because of its strength, because of the fact that the Federal Government is better able to exact justice from them, I also believe it is less apt, in some sudden gust of popular passion, to do injustice to them (applause). Now, I want you to understand my position—I do not think you can misunderstand it. I will do my utmost to secure the rights of every corporation. If a corporation is improperly attacked, I will stand up for it to the best of my ability; I'd stand up for it even though I was sure that the bulk of the people were misguided enough at the moment to take the wrong side and be against it (applause). I should fight to see that the people, through the National Government, did full justice to the corporations; but I don't want the National Government to depend only upon their good will to get justice for the people. (Great applause) Now, most of the great corporations are in large part financed and owned in the Atlantic States, and it's a rather comical fact that many of the chief and most zealous upholders of States' rights in the present controversy are big business men who live in other States (applause). The most effective weapon is Federal laws and the Federal Executive. That is why I so strongly oppose the demand to turn these matters over to the States. It is fundamentally a demand against the interest of the plain people, of the people of small means, against the interest of our children and our children's children; and it is primarily in the interest of the great corporations which wish to escape effective Government control. (Applause)

And I ask you to consider two more things in this connection: Waters run; they don't stay in one State (laughter and applause). That fact seems elementary, but it tends to be forgotten. I have just come from Kansas. Practically all the water in Kansas runs into Kansas from another State, and out of it into other States. You can't have effective control of a watershed unless the same power controls all the watersheds (applause and cries of "Good"), as the water runs not merely out one State into another but out of one country into another. One of the great irrigation projects of Montana has been delayed because the Waters that make the Milk river rise in Montana, flow north into [Pg 92]Canada, and then come back into Montana. You can't settle that matter excepting through the National Government (applause); the State can't settle it. So much for what we see here. Now, take the experience of other Nations—of the little Republic of Switzerland. It actually tried what some of our people ask to try; it actually tried the experiment of letting each Canton handle its own waters, and a conflict of jurisdiction arose, and the squabbling and the injustices became such that about nine years ago the National Government of Switzerland had to assume complete control of all the waters of Switzerland, on the explicit ground that all of the waters belonged to all the citizens of the Swiss nation (great applause). Now, I am not asking that we go ahead recklessly; I am only asking that we do not go backward where other countries have gone ahead. (Applause)

As the President yesterday pointed out, one of the difficulties that we have to meet, in connection with the fight for Conservation, is that our aim is continually misrepresented—that the effect is constantly made to show that we are anxious to retard development. It has been no slight task to bring ninety millions of people to understand what the movement is, and to convince them that it is right. Much remains to be cleared up in the minds of the people, and there are many misunderstandings to be removed. For example, we find it constantly said by men who should know better that temporary withdrawals, such as the withdrawals of the coal lands, will permanently check development. Yet the fact is that these withdrawals have no purpose whatever except to prevent the coal lands from passing into private ownership until Congress passes laws to open them under conditions just alike to the public and to the men who will do the developing (applause). And, now understand me; if there is any doubt whether the conditions are liberal enough to the men who are to do the developing. I always solve the doubt in favor of liberality to those men; I want to give them every chance, I want to give them every opportunity to do well for themselves, but I want to see that in doing well for themselves they also do well for the rest of us. (Applause)

In spite of these difficulties, most of which are doubtless inevitable in any movement of this kind, the cause of Conservation has made marvelous progress. We have a right to congratulate ourselves on it, but there is no reason for believing that the fight is won. In the beginning the special interests, who are our chief opponents now, paid little heed to the movement, because they neither understood it nor saw that if it won they must lose. But with the progress of Conservation in the minds of the people, the fight is getting sharper. The nearer we approach to victory, the bitterer the opposition that we must meet and the greater the need for caution and watchfulness. Open opposition we can overcome, [Pg 93]but we must guard ourselves; and you of this Congress must especially guard yourselves against the men who are really corporate agents but who pose as disinterested outsiders (applause). Now I heartily approve the action of any corporation which comes here openly because it is interested in the deliberations of a meeting such as this, and by its openly accredited agents presents views which it believes the meeting should have in mind (applause); I approve of the corporation that does that, and I would despise any of our people who feared instantly to give the most ample and respectful hearing and real consideration to any such plea thus put forward. (Applause and cries of "Good!") The corporation through its agents not only has a right to be heard, but if it did not volunteer you ought to endeavor to see that its views were presented. My protest is not against the man who comes here openly as the corporation agent, but against the man who comes here openly as something else and really as the corporation agent. (Laughter)

It is our duty and our desire to make this land of ours a better home for the race, but our duty does not stop there. We must also work for a better Nation to live in this better land (applause). The development and conservation of our national character and our free institutions must go hand in hand with the development and conservation of our natural resources, which the Governors' Conference so well called the foundations of our prosperity. Whatever progress we may make as a Nation, whatever wealth we may accumulate, however far we may push mechanical progress and production, we shall never reach a point where our welfare can depend in the last analysis on anything but the fundamental qualities of good citizenship—honesty, courage, and common sense (applause). The homely virtues are the lasting virtues, and the road which leads to them is the road to genuine and lasting success.

What this country needs is what every free country must set before it, as the great goal toward which it works—an equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all of its citizens, great and small, rich and poor, great and humble, alike. (Tumultuous applause and continuous cheers)


FOURTH SESSION

The Congress reassembled in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, after luncheon, September 6, and was called to order by Vice-President Condra.


Professor Condra—Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: President Baker has asked me, as one of the vice-presidents, to preside pending his arrival.

[Pg 94]

We are to be congratulated in that we are to hear from many distinguished speakers on many interesting topics this afternoon. We are especially happy in that the first speaker is one who has done much, not only in Washington but throughout the world, for conserving human life through the work of the Red Cross. I have great pleasure in presenting to you Miss Mabel Boardman, of Washington. (Applause)


Miss Boardman—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: Of what value would Conservation be without human life? For the benefit of man's life are given all these energies which are devoted to the Conservation of our natural resources. So at the very foundation of Conservation must lie the preservation of that for which Conservation exists.

It is in this principle of Conservation of human life that the Red Cross has its being. Though first inspired by Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, it was born on the bloody battlefield of Solferino, more than fifty years ago, when Henri Dunan witnessed the terrible waste of human life because of the lack of medical and nursing care. The Red Cross has become one of the great conserving forces of all the world. It acts under the only universal Conservation treaty in existence. One after another all the nations of the world have signed this Treaty of Geneva, first drafted in 1864, revised in 1906, and its provisions extended to naval warfare by the Treaty of The Hague.

The opening words of the Geneva Treaty read: "Officers, soldiers, and other persons officially attached to armies, who are sick and wounded, shall be protected and cared for, without distinction of nationality, by the belligerent in whose hands they are. The belligerent in possession of a field of battle must search for and protect the wounded, and may grant immunity to those inhabitants who have taken into their homes the disabled men. The neutrality of hospitals and ambulances with their personnel, who cannot be made prisoners of war, must be respected, and, for humanity's sake, lists of the dead and wounded must be exchanged for transmission to the families of these men by the authorities of their own country." This wonderful treaty provides its own insignia, and wherever throughout the world the grating doors of the Temple of Janus open wide their terrible portals it flings to the winds of heaven its merciful banner of Conservation of the sick and wounded, the flag of the Red Cross.

The treaty provides, moreover, protection for the volunteer aid societies which have received official authority from their respective governments. These are the three great Red Cross Societies. Recognizing two facts, first, that no medical service of any nation can be adequate to the demands of war, and second, that at such times the humanity and patriotism of a people become deeply stirred into active life and that this activity should be utilized in such a systematic way as to be of real value in the saving of life for the [Pg 95]sake of humanity and for the sake of the country, the members of the original Geneva Conference recommended to the signatory powers the formation of these volunteer aid societies. Thus, the Red Cross had its origin in the purpose of conservation of human life in time of war. How efficiently it has carried out this duty where well organized is shown by a glance at the remarkable statistics of the work done by the Red Cross of Russia and Japan during the late war in the Far East.

I am tempted here to dwell for a moment on one or two facts connected with the Japanese Red Cross. It has today more than 1,522,000 members, and its annual revenue in 1909 amounted to more than $2,000,000. In spite of the late war which was such a serious drain upon the resources of the country, the Japanese Red Cross never depleted by a single yen its permanent fund. The report for 1909, just received, gives this permanent fund as more than $5,000,000, and it has besides in other funds more than $2,000,000 on hand. By 1913 it plans to have increased its permanent fund to $7,500,000; and knowing what Japan has already done, we cannot doubt the carrying out of this expectation.

But though since the beginning of history wars have been from time to time the misfortune of mankind, the great forces of nature bring a far more frequent need for such assistance as the Red Cross is able to render. Because of this ever recurring need of organized aid the Red Cross reached out its strong and well-trained arms into this broader field to succor the victims of great disasters.

The charter granted by Congress to the American Red Cross, and which created it the officially authorized Red Cross of our Government, provides that it shall not only "take charge of the volunteer relief in time of war" but that it shall "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace, and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing same." Under this charter our own American Red Cross is not a private association of certain people, but an officially authorized agency of our Government, responsible to the people, and whose existence Congress may at any time cancel by annulling the charter. Its accounts are audited by the War Department. The chairman and five members of the Central Committee, representing the Departments of State, Treasury, War, Justice, and Navy are appointed by the President of the United States. The State Department is represented because of participation in international relief. The Treasury provides the National Red Cross treasurer, the Department of Justice, the counselor, and the army and navy have their reasons for representation not only because of war association but because, during National disaster relief as at San Francisco, Hattiesburg, and Key West, the Red Cross has the heartiest and most invaluable aid of our army, while in international relief, as in Italy after the earthquake and at Bluefields, [Pg 96]Nicaragua, it receives the equally hearty and valuable aid of our navy. Briefly, then, of what does the American Red Cross organization consist? Since its reorganization in 1905, William Howard Taft, now President of the United States, has been yearly elected as its president, and largely to his constant interest, wise counsel, and valuable assistance is its success due. It has, besides the other usual officers, a national director Mr Ernest P. Bicknell, whose particular duty it is to proceed immediately to the scene of any serious disaster and take charge of or advise in regard to the Red Cross relief work. It has a central committee of eighteen, which elects an executive committee of seven. Under this committee the work of the Red Cross is segregated into three departments for war and for national and international relief, each under a board of fifteen members. The chairman and vice-chairman of each board are members of the central committee.

The war relief board, of which the surgeons representing the army and navy on the central committee are respectively chairman and vice-chairman, has prepared a complete list of every coastwise vessel suitable for a hospital ship, so that such a ship could be chartered at a moment's notice. It has moreover drawn up a complete and detailed list for the equipment of such a ship with estimates of the cost of this equipment and the necessary transformation for hospital purposes. It is studying the questions of civil hospital accommodations for war-time need, of hospital trains, of field hospitals, rest stations, the use of private automobiles for ambulances, and other kindred subjects. A sub-committee, six of whom are members of the board and nine of whom are representative women of the trained nursing profession, and whose chairman is Miss Jane Delano, Superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps, has systematized the Red Cross nursing service, prepared uniform regulations, organized State and local committees, and is fast enrolling the best trained nurses in the country for active service in time of need. These splendid nurses at such times not only undertake the most difficult work under frequently severe hardships, but when on this active duty accept from the Red Cross only half of their usual salary. This Red Cross nursing committee will later take up the plan of providing courses for women in simple home nursing of the sick.

Another sub-committee of the war relief board is the First Aid Committee, the chairman of which, Major Charles Lynch, of the Army Medical Service, is detailed for this particular duty by the Surgeon-General. The work of this committee is the organizing of courses in first-aid instructions throughout the country. On this committee such men as Mr John Hays Hammond represent the mine companies; Mr John Mitchell, the miners; Mr Julius Kruttschnitt, the railroad companies; Mr W. G. Lee, the trainmen; Dr D. A. Mansfield, the sailors' interests; Dr J. A. Holmes, the U. S. Bureau of Mines. The Y. M. C. A. is also represented on the committee, as it now gives [Pg 97]all its first-aid courses in collaboration with the Red Cross. Dr M. J. Shields is employed as the agent to organize these courses among miners. It is expected this autumn that a special car will be donated by the Pullman Company for the purpose of sending with Dr Shields a traveling first-aid equipment and safety-device exhibit. A number of railroads have already most kindly consented to transport this car free of expense to the Red Cross. I may say that in every case of a great calamity, the railroad companies, express companies, telegraph and telephone companies, have placed their services free at the disposition of the Red Cross in a most helpful and generous spirit.

The first-aid courses will soon be extended to trainmen and employees of large industrial concerns, as has been done by the British and German Red Cross. Major Lynch has prepared for the Red Cross a most excellent general text-book on first-aid, also a special book for miners and trainmen, and another, at its request, for the Bell Telephone Company. Furthermore, valuable and inexpensive anatomical charts have been printed for these courses, and small metal boxes hermetically sealed containing first-aid bandages and a leaflet of directions have been made for the society, as well as a larger box for railroad stations, mines, factories, etc. Competitions in first-aid have been held, and prizes and medals awarded. More than sixty thousand posters calling attention to precautions to be taken to prevent personal injury on railroads, and over thirty thousand of a like nature for trolley cars, have been issued by the Red Cross and are distributed on application from various companies.

To spread abroad throughout the country the knowledge of first-aid among our industrial classes, in fact, among all classes of our people, is the aim of this department of Red Cross work. Not only in time of war or disaster will such knowledge prove of great value, but in all of the frequent accidents of daily life will this training be of help. (Applause)

The second board, that of the national relief, has to do with the study, planning and overseeing of relief after national disaster. It is not possible, nor would it be wise, for the Red Cross to maintain a corps of trained workers for active duty after disaster, when such duty comes only from time to time; so to provide itself with an experienced personnel, it has created an institutional membership consisting of the best charity organization societies of the country. These associations in accepting membership consent to utilize their personnel under direction of this board and of Mr Bicknell, the national director, for active relief duty. For example, Mr Logan of the Atlanta organization, went on Red Cross orders to Key West last September, systematized relief work so as to avoid imposture, unfortunately prevalent at such times, advised with the Mayor and commanding officer of the army post there, arranged that the contributions be mainly expended in rehabilitating the fishermen who had lost their little boats, their only [Pg 98]means of earning their livelihood. As each boat was completed, the owner who had been provided with material for his boat and paid a daily wage while building it, was again on his feet, able to support himself, and his name was taken from the list of those being aided.

At the time of the Cherry Mine disaster, Mr Kingsley of the United Charities of Chicago, went immediately to the scene of the disaster, remaining until Mr Bicknell could arrive. Then for several months, at the request of the Red Cross, his assistant and two good women who could speak Italian and Polish to the poor distracted miners' widows, remained at Cherry while Mr Bicknell's plan for permanent relief could be perfected and accepted. By this plan, which is now being carried out, the generous funds contributed by the people of Illinois, by its State Legislature, and by the miners' unions, amounting to about $300,000, have been consolidated and are being administered by a joint commission so that a pension can be paid to each widow and minor child until the children are of an age to become wage-earners themselves and the fund is exhausted. (Applause)

The national relief board has also had charge of the little Red Cross Christmas stamp—next year to be called a "Christmas seal"—placed on the back of letters out of deference to the wishes of the post office department, which has suffered from a multiplicity of stamps issued by others because of the success of the Red Cross stamp. That stalking spectre of pestilence, tuberculosis, had laid its devastating hand on every nation; it invades the palace as well as the hovel, and the youth of the people are its surest prey. With a weapon tinier than the stone in David's sling, the Red Cross sends forth this little seal to do its part. In the last two years it has netted more than $350,000 with which to war against this grim destroyer. Here again the Red Cross carries out its principle, the conservation of the human life. (Applause)

The third board is that of international relief with a representative of the state department as its chairman. Two maps hang on the walls of the Red Cross office at Washington, one of the world, the other of the United States with its insular possessions. Starred over these large maps are little red crosses marking the fields of its noble labors for Conservation. Not alone within our own borders lies its merciful service. Far away in Russia, China, and Japan, when famine claimed its thousands of tortured victims, went the Red Cross, aided by the Christian Herald of New York, with food for the starving multitudes: when earthquakes in Chili, Jamaica, Italy, Portugal, and Costa Rica brought destruction and desolation, when floods in Mexico, France, and Servia devastated the land, when massacres in Armenia brought suffering, misery, and even death to thousands, when internal war in Nicaragua left regiments of wounded, naked, and starving boy prisoners, our American Red Cross stretched out her helping hand to these, her sister nations in distress (applause). If in Conservation lies [Pg 99]thought for men yet unborn, thought must also be given for the men who live today, and the Red Cross recognizes its duty toward the conservation of all human life. (Applause)

But a moment more on its organization: In over thirty States, boards of representative men, with the Governor in each State as president of the board, have already been appointed, and before the end of the year the boards for all of the other States and for the insular possessions will probably be completed. The duty of such a board is to act as a financial committee for the receipt of contributions of the people of the State in case of war, local, national or international disaster. The Governor being president of the board, may issue an appeal to the people of the State when in his judgment a disaster of sufficient magnitude within the State justifies such an appeal. On the occurrence of disasters without the State, appeals are issued only on advice from the National officers. The Governor or State board may, in case of any disaster within the State of sufficient magnitude, request of headquarters the assistance of the National body. Chapters of the Red Cross may exist in any town, city or county where there are five or more members who pay the annual dues of one dollar. It is the duty of these chapters to respond promptly and vigorously to any request for action on the part of the Red Cross in time of war or disaster at home or abroad. Appeals issued by the president of the State board or from Washington will state the needs for money or supplies, or both, which the chapter should at once begin collecting. In case of a serious local disaster, the chapter acts as the supply agency for the National director and institutional member, when such member is present. In case no institutional member is at hand, it is expected to take prompt relief measures pending the arrival or instructions of the National director. This, then, in brief, is the organization of the Red Cross for active service: National officers, a central committee, relief boards with their sub-committees; State hoards, chapters, and institutional members.

It seems impossible in a non-military country like ours to obtain and retain a large supporting membership with small annual dues, as is done in other countries. When reports of great calamities fill the papers, our people give with wonderful generosity, but the minor disasters, whereby small communities suffer greatly, receive but little notice from our public. If Japan plans to increase its Red Cross permanent fund to $7,500,000, could not the people of this country raise for our American Red Cross a permanent fund of $2,000,000? I, for one, believe they will, for New York City alone has already promised nearly quarter of that amount, and this autumn endowment committees of prominent men, appointed by the President of the United States, will make an appeal to our people all over the country to raise this permanent fund for the American Red Cross.

[Pg 100]

And, last, may I say a word or two for some of the by-products of Conservation in Red Cross service? In the work of the Red Cross first-aid department lies the far-reaching results of conservation of the life of the wage-earner of the family as well as the labor-producer of the country, or in case of his death in disaster, as at Cherry, the administration of the relief funds so that the unfortunate widows can keep their little children at home (applause),—a by-product, the conservation of the family.

The preservation of life in time of war has not only its humane feature but its patriotic reason. In fact, the Japanese Red Cross puts this principle first. The saving of one of the most important assets of any country, that of its young manhood, becomes a by-product of Conservation for the sake of patriotism.

Another by-product is the conservation of communities. Whether some little hamlet or some large city suffers from the overwhelming calamity of fire, flood, storm, earthquake or pestilence, or the still more pitiful disaster of widespread famine settles over a great province or empire, its people are brought down to desolation and despair. Their neighbors suffer as well and there are none at hand to help. Without aid they must die or drift away from their homes like unmoored boats after a storm, to be swamped at sea or wrecked upon the rocks of unknown shores. It is then to these communities as well as to the individual that the Red Cross comes. It calls to the disconsolate "Comfort ye, my people, build again your homes. Sow again your fields; the strong arms of the Red Cross are here to aid you, held up by your brothers of the Nation, yea, by your brothers of the world, if there is need" (applause). On a beautiful silver tablet, presented by an Italian relief committee to the American Red Cross, are engraved in Latin the words of an old Roman historian, "Your bounty has repaired the catastrophe not merely of individual citizens but of entire cities."

And there is one more by-product of Conservation not having so much to do with things material but for the well-being of the world. Is there not need of a conservation of higher things? Above the passion of war, amidst the desolation of terrible disasters, in the dangers of the daily occupations so many of our fellowmen must undergo to earn their livelihood, does not the Red Cross conserve, protect, and extend the great bond of human brotherhood, and, touched by sorrow, make the whole world kin?

Strangely taking its inception on the field of battle, this great international organization of the Red Cross for the conservation of human life was born, has passed from infancy into a strong and noble maturity ever ready to protect and preserve human life, for which the Conservation of all material things has its reason and its purpose. (Applause)

[Pg 101]


Chairman Condra—We shall now have the privilege of hearing the Commissioner of Corporations, called to that responsible duty by President Roosevelt, and continued in his responsibilities by President Taft, Honorable Herbert Knox Smith, whom I have great pleasure in introducing (applause).


Commissioner Smith—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: My text is that superb word "power"; and it has no more appropriate place for enunciation than this center of gravity of imperial power, the Mississippi valley.

In our complex civilization there are many things that are necessaries of life. Control over any of them represents a power that is essentially governmental. This is plainly true of basic necessaries like food, clothing, transportation, heat, and light; it is true also of the natural resources that are back of these. It is no less true of the mechanical power that produces and delivers them. Private control of any one of these, unrestrained either by business competition or by governmental authority, means that irresponsible individuals hold a command over the daily life and welfare of the citizen which the men of our race have never willingly granted to any except their own representatives chosen by them.

For us of our generation, mechanical power is a basic necessary. Our daily existence is borne on its current, and our power demand steadily increases. Our chief present sources of power supply—coal, petroleum, and natural gas—although at present ample, are absolutely fixed in quantity and cannot be replaced. Water-power is the one important source of mechanical power now practically available which is self-renewing. Its importance, therefore, to our present vision, must steadily increase.

Effective restraint, imposed by competition on its control, is becoming more and more improbable. There has been a marked concentration of water-power control in private hands, and this process is advancing rapidly. Public regulation of water-power, the only other alternative, therefore, becomes a necessity.

Electric transmission has worked this change within the last decade. As now commercially practicable, such transmission allows a given water-power to reach a market area of at least 80,000 square miles. It has raised water-power from purely local work, and made it the vital energy for great communities and distant enterprises. It has brought our water-power resources suddenly within the sweep of great economic forces.

Within these market areas just described, there are strong practical reasons for consolidation of water-powers—what is known as "coupling up." A power plant must be constructed to meet the highest point of its expected demand—the "peak of the load." The nearer the "load" (the power demand) approaches that peak for all the time, the [Pg 102]more fully will the entire fixed investment be earning a return. Suppose there are two independent power plants in two neighboring communities where the demand in one community is mainly for power during the day time, and in the other at night. These plants can advantageously combine, throwing the surplus of their joint power by day to one place and by night to the other, thus bringing their normal load in each case up nearer to the peak. Similarly, such coupling up is obviously advantageous in two neighboring watersheds where the excess water-power occurs at different times. In general such combining of varying conditions to produce a closer parallelism of supply and demand is in itself an entirely proper industrial development. We have no reason to oppose it if accomplished by fair methods; we must simply be prepared to regulate such monopolistic power as may result therefrom.

The investigation of developed water-powers now being made by the Bureau of Corporations shows that up to date 18 concerns or closely allied interests control over 1,800,000 horsepower of the water-power developed or in process of construction, and, in addition, over 1,400,000 horsepower of undeveloped water-power. As to undeveloped powers, this information was secured merely as an incident to our main work, and certainly much understates the case. As it stands, however, it makes a total water-power controlled by these 18 groups of over 3,200,000 horsepower. The total water-power in use in the United States in 1908, as estimated by the Census and Geological Survey, was only 5,300,000. And this total includes a very large number of small powers which the Bureau did not include, as it dealt almost wholly with powers of over 1,000 horsepower. The total now commercially capable of development is variously estimated at from 30,000,000 to 60,000,000 horsepower, the smaller figure being the preferable one. The great bulk of both developed and undeveloped water-power lies on the Pacific Coast, in the Northwest and Northeast, and in the South Atlantic States. Our power demand as measured by the total unduplicated capacity of all prime movers—steam, water, and gas—is now at least 30 million horsepower.

It is obvious that a local monopoly of power covering simply one market area is nevertheless as complete in its effects on the inhabitants of that area as if it covered the entire country. Conditions in separate sections are therefore important. In California, for example, four principal hydro-electric companies dominate the water-power industry. They have a total developed horsepower of 259,000, with probably 500,000 additional undeveloped, and a very strong hold on the most important power markets. And between these four concerns there is also evidence of considerable harmony. This is not a unique case. Conditions somewhat like this exist in the Puget Sound territory, in the southern peninsula of Michigan, in Colorado, in Montana, and in [Pg 103]the Carolinas. In each of these sections, one, or at most two concerns are predominant in their control of water-powers, public-service companies, and power markets.

The horsepower figures do not fully represent the extent of actual commercial control. The best powers have of course been developed first. These will always hold a disproportionately dominant position over later developed and less favored powers, because of their lower operating cost and prior hold on the important power markets.

There is also going on a concentration of a wider sort—a process of deep significance, but as yet little recognized. There is a marked progress toward a mutuality of interests among public service companies generally, electric light, power, gas, and street railway concerns. The significant identity of officers and directors in a large number of such companies throughout the United States is very remarkable. This is due in part to specialization by financial houses in given lines of investment; in part to the common employment of certain eminent engineering firms; and in part to relations with certain leading equipment companies. Electric equipment is usually supplied by one of a few great equipment concerns and frequently paid for, at least in part, in the securities of the proposed project. Thus the equipment company acquires interests in widely separated power and light concerns.

Take a single example, the General Electric Company, the most powerful electric equipment concern in the world. Men who are officers or directors of the General Electric Company, or of its three wholly controlled subsidiary companies, are also officers or directors in many other corporations. These other companies, with their subsidiaries, and the General Electric with its subsidiaries, make thus a group interconnected by active personal and financial relationship. This one group includes 28 corporations that operate hydro-electric plants, with at least 795,000 horsepower developed or under construction, and 600,000 undeveloped in 16 different States, a total of 1,395,000 horsepower (equal to more than 25 percent of all the developed water-power in the United States in 1908). This group includes also over 80 public-service corporations, not counting their minor subsidiaries; more than 15 railroads; 6 companies that use their power in the manufacture of cotton goods, with 35,000 hydraulic horsepower developed; and over 50 banks and financial houses, many of them in the first rank of importance. This remarkable financial connection in itself is very significant. Fifty-three General Electric men, in all, constitute this chain of connection. Nor are these men, as a rule, of the figurehead type; their presence on a directorate means something. Of course these facts in no sense always mean identity of control. They certainly do mean a striking degree of non-conflicting interests and personal relationship which makes further concentration easily possible.

This wider concentration is still in a formative stage, developed almost wholly within the last decade. The forces compelling thereto [Pg 104]are still operative. It is like a physical solution of chemical elements which is still in suspension but which a single jar may precipitate into crystallization. Water-power, being naturally allied with public-service business, will be included in any movement that affects that business generally. So wide is this interrelationship, and so comparatively few are the constantly recurring names in the directorates, that a few brief conferences, given the necessary impetus, might conceivably at any moment concentrate into definite legal form a sweeping control over the dominant water-powers of the country, as well as their related public service interests.

Here, then, is the present situation of the hydro-electric industry:

(1) It deals with a basic necessary, and its importance inevitably increases as the fixed supply of other sources of power decreases.

(2) Substantial control of mechanical power means the exercise of a function that is essentially governmental in its effect on the public.

(3) Driven by underlying economic and financial forces, concentration of control of water-powers in private hands has proceeded very rapidly. It is doubtful if anything can arrest this process, and a swift advance to a far higher degree of concentration is entirely possible.

(4) Any chance, then, of restraint by competition is rapidly disappearing, certainly over given sections, and public regulation is therefore an imminent necessity.

The extent of such regulation will depend mainly on constitutional limitations. A State, roughly speaking, can at any time exercise a high degree of control over power companies as quasi-public servants. The jurisdiction of the Federal Government covers a wider range geographically, but involves some difficult constitutional questions. Over water-powers on the public lands it has full control. I concede no merit to doubts as to the Government's unlimited jurisdiction there.

As to powers on navigable streams not in the public domain, there is an undetermined constitutional question. It is well settled that no power dam can be maintained on a navigable stream without the consent of the Federal Government. Nearly everyone admits that the Government may impose upon such grants any desired time limitation, and may thus require readjustment of terms at any desired period. But some hold that the Federal Government, in exercising its arbitrary power as grantor, may also impose any further conditions it chooses upon such grant, as, for example, that the grantees shall pay a rental for the power acquired. Others hold that the Federal Government can only impose such conditions as are directly connected with the Federal power over interstate commerce, such as navigation. Even this view would apparently at least permit a rental charge, if applied to navigation improvement. Personally, I am strongly inclined to the former and broader view that any conditions whatsoever may be imposed (applause), both on general principles and on well-established [Pg 105]legislative precedents. In numerous bridge and dam acts Congress has used the broad power and imposed conditions in no way related to interstate commerce. In the California Debris Commission Act, operative since 1893, Congress imposed a straight charge on placer miners for the privilege of emptying their refuse into the streams.

The scope of the Federal jurisdiction is of first importance, because the water-power problem is, in the main, a National one. Much of the power is transmitted across State lines, or is used by interstate carriers. The bulk of the capital that is developing our most important powers comes from interests outside the States where the powers are located, and from the brief survey I have already given of the interrelationships existing between public-service companies it is obvious that State lines and State jurisdiction have no practical relation whatsoever to the sweep of these forces (applause). The hydro-electric industry has been largely nationalized by those who are foremost in it.

The Nation and the State will have to use their full powers to meet the water-power situation. The most effective time to use them is before, not after, private rights accrue. The one certain method is for the State or the Federal Government, to retain its interest, or impose its conditions, at the inception, as a part of the grant. Then public control and private rights go together, as they must if we are to safeguard the public interest in water power. (Applause)

Let there be no unnecessary hampering of hydro-electric development, but let the public be in on the ground floor at the start: for at the start the public must grant the power and for all time the public will be the party chiefly interested in its use. (Applause)

As President Taft very justly said yesterday, when a man talks to you about conservation, you have the right to ask him to specify what steps he desires to take. I am going to specify.

(1) The status quo of all water-power still controlled by the Nation or State should be maintained until we know what we have, and can act intelligently thereon.

(2) No water-power grant should be made except for a fixed period, with at least the reserved right to readjust terms at the end thereof. That period, however, should be long enough to permit adequate financing and complete development.

(3) Complete publicity of accounts and transactions should be required, as well as a record of cost, and the real relation of investment to stock and bond issues.

(4) Power to revoke the grant for breach of conditions should be lodged in a specified public authority. Otherwise there will always be the possibility of protracted litigation to determine the status.

(5) So far as is possible, direct provision should be made against excessive charges and monopolistic abuse.

(6) Public authorities should reserve such constitutional compensation or rental as will establish the principle of underlying public interest.

[Pg 106]

(7) All public easements of navigation, fisheries, etc., should be safeguarded.

(8) In the case of new grants, all these provisions should be made conditions of the grant.

Finally, the purpose and probable effect on the public of any water-power grant should first be fully ascertained and carefully considered, in order to determine whether public interest justifies beyond a reasonable doubt the surrender by the public of even a part of its power over this great public resource. Where reasonable doubt exists, the surrender should not be made. (Applause)


[During the delivery of the address President Baker arrived and resumed the Chair.]


Honorable John Barrett—Ladies and Gentlemen: President Baker has requested me to announce that Professor George E. Condra, of Lincoln, Nebraska, has been appointed chairman of the Committee on Credentials in lieu of Mr Edward Hines, of Chicago. (Applause)

Governor Pardee has an announcement to make in regard to the Committee on Resolutions.

Governor Pardee—Simply that the Committee on Resolutions will meet at the Saint Paul hotel this evening at 8 oclock, in Room 534.

President Baker—The program in your hands announces that an address entitled "Safeguarding the Property of the People" will be delivered by Honorable Francis T. Heney, of California. He is prevented from being here this afternoon, but will arrive later.

We have now the opportunity of hearing from one whose name has been so closely associated with the work of Conservation that he is regarded as one of its greatest and ablest advocates; I have great pleasure in introducing, to speak on "The Federal Government's Relation to Conservation," Honorable James R. Garfield, of Ohio. (Applause)

Mr Garfield—Mr President and Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen (renewed applause): I appreciate your applause at this time very much, for I fear me at the end of what I have to say it may not be forthcoming.

The subject I have chosen is one that affects very directly what may not merely be talked about but can actually be done by the people of this country in connection with Conservation problems. It was often said a few months ago that Conservation was an enthusiasm—that it was an idea, or perhaps an ideal, and that those who were urging Conservation were not practical men and looking forward to practical work-a-day solutions of their own problems. So I chose to speak on the relation of the Federal Government to Conservation—a very practical subject, one on which we have been working, as well as talking, for a number of years.

[Pg 107]

There are two good reasons why the Federal Government is directly interested in Conservation. In the first place, it is the largest land-owner in this country; and, in the second place, it has high duties to perform for the interests of all the people of this country. For these reasons, the Federal Government comes directly in touch with the practical questions of Conservation in dealing with what is left of the natural resources of our public domain. The value of these resources cannot be measured in mere terms of acres. Some 700,000 acres of our public lands remain; but that means nothing unless we know what is contained in or on the land represented by the mere statement in figures. Now we are learning that this great area, both on the mainland and in Alaska, is filled with priceless treasures in the resources needed for the lives of the people of our country; and it is in the handling of these resources—either disposing of them or providing for their use or development—that the Federal Government must deal practically with the problems of Conservation. Only as we know this tremendous area and its priceless treasures do we realize that we must, in the practical handling of these resources, make as few mistakes as possible, and constantly keep in view the interest of all the people as a guide in the solution of any given problem.

Now, we meet with serious difficulties in attempting to decide how best to use the property owned or held by the United States Government as trustee for all the people. We have under our system of government a dual jurisdiction, or rather, two jurisdictions—that of the Nation on the one hand, and that of the State on the other. Yet between these two jurisdictions there is no real conflict; there ought to be no insuperable obstacle to such cooperation between States and Nation as will make possible a wise solution of all questions in which both jurisdictions have duties to perform. We hear much about States' rights, as though the problems of Conservation have brought to life again an old doctrine, as though in some way the Conservationist is endeavoring to take something away from the States. The very opposite is true. There is no effort on the part of the Conservationist to interfere with any duty that the State ought to and can perform. Those duties devolving on the States should be performed by the States; and the people of each commonwealth should see to it that their State representatives not only do what is wise and necessary each year but exercise foresight in dealing with all resources subject to their jurisdiction (applause). That, however, does not mean that the Federal Government is debarred from proper use of the public domain within the areas of the several States; it likewise has great duties devolving on it in so administering its property as to safeguard the interests and the rights of all the citizens of the country. The State lines are merely accidental in many instances. The States of the old Northwest and the States of the Middle West today were carved out of public territory simply by drawing of lines; they were [Pg 108]not political entities in the first instance, but a few people got together and agreed that so many square miles of territory would be made into a State, and whether that State line was drawn here or a hundred miles over there should not determine how we are to deal with the public resources contained within the area.

In the early period of our development there was but little need of giving heed to the questions that are now uppermost in our minds in relation to the public domain. There was land enough and to spare; and the early purpose of the Federal Government was to provide easy methods for getting the public domain (which in those days was considered chiefly useful for agriculture, as it is in the middle West) into farms, and building up commonwealths that are now theatres of agricultural industry. But today the conditions are very different. The remaining agricultural land that can be used without irrigation or drainage is very little in comparison to the needs of our people; and in handling what is left of the public domain it becomes the duty of the Federal Government to see to it that not one acre of land that can be used for agricultural settlement and development is directed to any other purpose—and likewise to see to it that land capable of mineral development or of water development is not stolen from the public domain under the guise of homestead entries. (Great applause)

In order to understand exactly what the Federal Government can do in relation to the use of the public domain, let us keep clearly in mind the powers granted to it under the Constitution, and the laws enacted in accordance with the Constitution by Congress. The Constitution provides that—

The Congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory and other property belonging to the United States.

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

* * * he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Now, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Congress has enacted the following laws affecting the public domain:

The Secretary of the Interior is charged with the supervision of public business relating to * * * the public lands, including mines.

The Commissioner of the General Land Office shall perform, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, all executive duties appertaining to the surveys and sale of the public lands of the United States, or in anywise respecting such public lands.

The Commissioner of the General Land Office, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, is authorized to enforce and carry into execution by appropriate regulations, every part of the provisions of this title [the public land laws] not otherwise specifically provided for.

Congress, acting under these general provisions, has from time to time enacted laws affecting portions of the public domain. It has provided the Homestead Act, the Timber and Stone Act, the Mineral Entry Act; provided for the creation of the National Forests; enacted [Pg 109]laws relating to the use of the public domain for reservoir sites, for pipe-lines, and for transmission lines; and as the needs of each generation have been made known, Congress, acting for the interests of all the people, has enacted direct legislation for the purpose of providing method for the disposition and use of the public domain.

Meantime, the Executive on his part has performed the duties devolving on him under the Constitution—duties few in number and easily expressed, though of great importance to the public welfare. They are, in brief, to see to it that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed; and he is granted all the executive power that could have been given by the use of the English language. There is no limitation. It is simply "executive power"; whatever that may be was granted to the President of the United States.

One of the great objects for which this Nation was created was to promote the "general welfare." That object was not only stated in the preamble of the Constitution, but was likewise written into the body of the instrument; and the power was specifically granted to Congress to provide for the general welfare of the United States. That was not an idle phrase. The founders of the Republic recognized that it was impossible for them to foresee all the things that it might be necessary for the Federal Government to do; it was not possible for them to define in specific language all the powers that were to be exercised, nor was it possible for them to indicate to what extent these powers, once granted, might properly and wisely be used; and this welfare clause has made it possible to carry out by both the Legislative and the Executive branches of the Federal Government the beneficent purposes of the founders in ways which they never contemplated or could have contemplated in detail. Fortunately, during the early days of our National existence we had at the head of the Supreme Court a master mind. Marshall was as profound a statesman as he was a great jurist. He recognized with that great far-seeing insight that amounts almost to inspiration, that it would have been to sound the death-knell of the Republic if he, as the chief law interpreter from the judicial seat, should so interpret the Constitution as to tie the hands of the Government and prevent the people from doing the things necessary to make themselves a great and permanent Nation. In one of the earliest decisions involving interpretation of the Constitution (McCullough vs. Maryland. 4 Wheaton 315) Marshall used this language:

Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited but consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.

Another sentence in the same opinion sets a standard for judging existing or proposed law; he says—

But where the law is not prohibited, and is really calculated to effect any of the objects entrusted to the Government, to undertake here to inquire into the degree of [Pg 110]its necessity would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial department and tread on legislative ground. This court disclaims all pretensions to such a power.

Clearly, Marshall saw at that time that if the Supreme Court endeavored to prevent Congress from exercising to the full a power granted under the Constitution, it would at that very moment overstep its legitimate ground and interfere with the functions granted to the legislative body; and in dealing with the powers granted to the Executive, exactly the same rule of interpretation applies. Now, it is most interesting to notice how from generation to generation Marshall's interpretation has made possible the doing of the things that have been done by our people. In those days it was impossible for men to conceive of the commercial development that has taken place during the hundred years. They could not have realized that within a hundred years we would be a great manufacturing Nation, and that our commercial relations would not be confined to the thirteen colonies but would spread broadcast throughout the entire world.

A striking example of the application of this wise interpretation arose in dealing with the questions of the Philippine government. We there had an entirely novel proposition. The forefathers of the Republic had never contemplated the acquisition by us of territory in the Pacific, or islands elsewhere. Yet when we faced that problem, we found that under Marshall's interpretation, our Constitution was broad enough and big enough, and the powers granted therein were great enough, to permit us to fulfill the Nation's duty to the islands and islanders. President Taft, discussing our work in the Philippines, used this language three years ago:

It is said that there is nothing in the Constitution of the United States that authorizes National altruism of that sort. Well, of course, there is not; but there is nothing in the Constitution of the United States that forbids it. What there is in the Constitution of the United States is a breathing spirit that we are a Nation, with all the responsibilities that any Nation ever had, and therefore when it becomes the Christian duty of a Nation to assist another Nation, the Constitution authorizes it because it is part of National well-being.

That interpretation of the power of both the Executive and the Congress is exactly in line with the power that is exercised by both in dealing with this question of the public domain and the welfare of our people (applause). It would be a childish interpretation of the Constitution to hold that we as a Nation could act for the people in the Philippine Islands as was best necessary for their well-being, and yet within our own confines as a Nation would be prohibited from doing that which is necessary for the well-being and the welfare of our children and their children. (Applause)

The interpretation by Marshall gave vigor to the young Nation. He was not afraid of great responsibilities. He recognized that great responsibilities likewise meant the possibility of great mistakes, but that did not deter him from so interpreting the Constitution as to make possible the doing of the things that have been done. He was [Pg 111]not of that class of timid folk who fear to exercise great power lest they may make a mistake. He was not that type, either as statesman or jurist, who because they do not see plainly written in the Constitution specific authority for the doing of every act necessary, therefore hold back and maintain that no such authority exists. This is the type of mind that prevents all progress. The timid man is often side by side with the dishonest man, because the timid man refuses to act from fear while the dishonest man raises the cry, "There is no power," in order to gain for himself that to which he is not entitled, or to escape Governmental jurisdiction or evade governmental regulation of any character. (Applause)

But we are not left simply to academic discussion as to whether the Federal Government has power to deal with the National domain. The Supreme Court has held, over and over again, that the Federal Government, acting through both the Legislative and the Executive branches, has the power to do what is best for the people's interests in handling the public domain. The Court has wisely and properly held that the power granted under the Constitution to dispose of the public domain carries with it every lesser power (applause)—that because Congress has the right to provide for the sale or the gift of land, it can likewise provide for the lease of land under such conditions and regulations as it may prescribe or as it may permit the Executive to prescribe. Therefore, the way is clear for the Federal Government to do whatever may be wise and necessary to protect the interests of the people in the use of the public domain.

Let us take another view of Executive authority. The chief Executive, above all other officers, is recognized and properly held as the great steward, the immediate custodian of the public property and of the people's rights. He is single-headed. He is one upon whom responsibility may be fixed. He is constantly at his desk; he is ever vigilant; he is constantly in touch with the things that interest the people and their rights therein; and as the custodian and guardian of the people's interests, it is to him that we must look for the protection of the public domain. It is not enough that the Executive shall simply carry into effect the specific language of a statute. He must go farther than that; he must be as aggressive in his vigilance as are those who would take the public property without conforming to the law (applause). The Executive is required to see to it that the laws are enforced. Now, in the enforcement of law he often finds that while the paper record presented to him or to his subordinates by those who seek to acquire the public domain is perfect (there is no difficulty about making a land title good on paper) his duty is only partially fulfilled unless he goes behind the paper record; and when the last Administration took hold of the question of the land frauds, the Executive decided that there was but one way to enforce the law, and that was to see to it that the paper record conformed to the facts in every case presented (great applause). The greatest land frauds that have been perpetrated [Pg 112]against the people of the United States were perpetrated because the public officers in years past did not make that direct, careful investigation of the facts and of the condition of the lands which would have enabled them to save for the people hundreds of millions of dollars of valuable property that in the last generation has gotten illegally into the hands of the big interests. (Applause)

The founders of our Republic recognized and understood the vital need of giving ample power to the Executive. It is well to recall what Hamilton wrote when defending the Constitution:

Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction and of anarchy.

There can be no need, however, to multiply arguments or examples on this head. A feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution, and a government ill-executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.

Thus the Executive must be held responsible for much that is done in connection with the administration of our laws. Congress enacts the laws; they may be faulty; if so, they may be amended. If they are faulty, it is the duty of the Executive to carry them into effect, but to recommend their amendment, alteration, or repeal; but under no circumstances is he fulfilling his duty if he sits supinely by and allows the public domain to be despoiled because the law is not as efficient as he thinks it should be. (Applause)

Much has been said in recent years regarding Executive usurpations. It has been held by those who objected to the new order of things—those who objected to that change in methods by which the public frauds were stopped—that the Executive was usurping powers not granted to him under the Constitution. Now, if it be usurpation to so enforce the law as to prevent dishonesty, fraud, and theft, then there has been usurpation (applause). But I as yet have failed to have presented to me a single instance of actual usurpation. The Executive is as much subject to the courts of the United States as is the ordinary citizen. If the Executive has transcended his power, if he has in his execution of law gone beyond what someone thinks is his power, then the Executive can be haled into court; and over and over again I have said to complainants who came to me when I was in office "All you have to do is to go into the courts of the United States, and if the Executive power that is being exercised is improperly exercised, there in that jurisdiction you can bring us to account." But no one has yet seen fit to bring such an action; and the reason is that there has been no usurpation of executive authority. (Applause)

There is a wide difference between simply being within the law and executing the law. A man may be within the law and yet do absolutely nothing to further the spirit of the law; like an engineer, he is on the track whether he is standing still, going backward, or [Pg 113]going forward; but I take it that what we want in executive office is an engineer who stays on the track yet is constantly driving forward the engine (applause). We may rest assured that those who are seeking to acquire the public domain will not be idle if the Executive is standing still. (Applause)

That brings me again to a subject mentioned a moment ago, namely the relation of the Nation to the States; and the Executive here plays an important part. An example will show how the executives of both the Nation and the States should cooperate in working out any given problem: A great water course is a natural entity; the water-shed must be considered as a unit—otherwise the people within that water-shed will not have equal justice done them in their right to the water. For example, the waters of the Rio Grande rise in Colorado; they cross the line into New Mexico; they then become the dividing line between Mexico and Texas. If we admit for a moment that the power to use and control all the water of the Rio Grande shall be left solely with Colorado because it rises in the great mountains of that State, then we instantly jeopardize the rights of all the people who live south of the Colorado line (applause). If the Chief Executive of the Federal Government had feared to exercise his power to prevent water-power sites and reservoir sites in Colorado from being taken exclusively by Colorado people; if he had been unwilling to exercise the power granted him by the Constitution, then the people below would have had just cause for complaint that the Executive instead of obeying the law was in effect a party to a violation of law in jeopardizing their rights. The only way in which that matter could properly be handled was for the Executive of the Federal Government to withdraw certain lands from sale or entry; and by so doing he made it possible for the people of New Mexico and Texas, and of the Republic of Mexico in conformity with the treaty made by the Federal Government, to have their fair share and just proportion of the use of that water.

The best way to deal with conflicting water rights between States is for the Federal Government to continue to hold every acre of public land capable of use in water development pending agreement with the various States as to how the lands shall be used, to the end that the rights of all the people of each water-shed, rather than the special interests of a few, shall be protected in the use and disposition of that great resource. (Applause)

What I have said in relation to water applies equally to the development of our coal, our phosphates, and our timber. The phosphates recently discovered in the West lie in four States. When the matter was first called to my attention by the report of the Geological Survey and the special report of Dr Van Hise, I was astonished to learn the conditions then existing in our country. Practically all of the mineral phosphates known in the United States were held by one great corporation, and over 40 percent of the products of the Southern [Pg 114]mines were being shipped abroad to be used on the fields of Europe; and the same men were already endeavoring to get hold of the phosphate deposits in the West. Therefore I instantly made a recommendation to the President, and he instantly acted on it and withdrew the phosphate lands (applause). Now that withdrawal was not an interference with the rights of the people of any of those four States, nor was it an act of usurpation, or an improper extension of Executive authority. It simply meant this: that we would hold, prevent the acquisition of those lands under laws not adapted to them, report the matter to Congress, and hold the lands until Congress provided a method for wise disposition of them (applause). And my recommendation was that the phosphate deposits of the country should be disposed of only under lease and with such conditions as would prevent export to foreign lands (applause). We need every ton of our phosphates for our own use. (Applause)

So, if you trace the actions of the Executive and of Congress in dealing with the public domain, you will find that wherever there has been a vigorous execution of law coupled with recommendation of further legislation looking to the welfare of all of our people, there we have made advance along lines that will promote the development of our country in future years; and that wherever there has been laxity in the enforcement of law, wherever we have allowed the interference of big business interests to interrupt the enforcement of law as it should be enforced, land frauds there have crept in and in those conditions we have found the big interests getting control of more than their fair share of the resources of the public domain.

Sometimes we have been accused of being unfair to the big interests. We have been accused of assailing these interests simply because they were big; and we have been charged with raising ghosts to frighten the people, and naming those ghosts water-power trusts, timber trusts, land trusts, or coal trusts, when in reality there was no danger of trust development or of monopolistic holding of these resources. And yet, my friends, if you trace back the history of the acquisition of the public domain you will find that in every instance where there has been a failure to strictly enforce the laws the special interests have slipped in and have gained control of the resources of the public domain. They have never been idle. We ourselves have been indifferent, we have been negligent; and it is not for us now altogether to blame the beneficiaries of our neglect, but we must blame ourselves—and must blame our representatives in office now if by any chance they permit a return to the old conditions. (Applause)

The power of the Executive and of Congress is ample to do all that is necessary to protect the public welfare and the common good. There must be no backsliding in what has already been so splendidly started. We must see to it that our representatives, both in the Senate and in the House, are men who will take a long look into the future—men with imagination. Men with enthusiasm? Yes! Nothing [Pg 115]great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm and without imagination (applause). And we want practical men who will lead us, as I said in the beginning, step by step, to better things. Thus and thus only will the Federal Government exercise to the full the powers granted under the Constitution, and thus and thus only will the people of this country safeguard their property rights, their personal and their political rights as well, and hand down the great heritage that has come to us not only unimpaired but in better condition than we received it. (Great and prolonged applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: Now that this subject has been so ably opened by Mr Garfield, we are going to call upon another man who has been militant in the work of Conservation—an Ex-Governor who is even more active as an ex than he was as Governor, a sort of characteristic, these days, of prominent men (laughter). I am sure you will have great pleasure in hearing from Ex-Governor George C. Pardee, of California. (Applause)

Ex-Governor Pardee—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I hope the Chair will forgive me if I differ from him very radically in one statement that he made, to the effect that all of us who have been things (laughter) are now more active than we were when we were things. (Laughter)

I sat here today in this vast Auditorium and saw thousands of men and women and children, gathering to do honor to the man whom we, in common with the rest of the world, consider to be the greatest American now alive (great applause). When I saw those thousands of people filling this great Auditorium, row on row and tier on tier, until the heads of those standing in the topmost row touched the very roof, I thought to myself that the activities of him who was in office are being only continued since he left the office which he filled to our entire satisfaction. (Applause)

I come here this afternoon to discuss the very able paper so well presented to you by him who was once Secretary of the Interior, in the cabinet of the President of the United States (applause); and I hope you will not consider it presumptuous that I should attempt to discuss that very able paper. Mr Garfield was good enough to furnish me with a copy of his address several days ago, and I am free to confess to you that I have given it prayerful consideration and that I can find nothing in it to discuss (applause), because it calls a spade a spade and a thief a thief (applause); and with both of those propositions I have no doubt the ladies and gentlemen here assembled will thoroughly and totally agree. (Applause)

Every now and then we hear of some poor, miserable fool sent to the penitentiary for crimes and frauds against the land laws; but will any one be kind enough to mention to me the name of any principal in such crimes and frauds who, with shaved head and striped suit, is looking through the bars of the penitentiary today? I take [Pg 116]it that you will agree with me that the time has come when the rights and duties of the plain American citizen should be again placed within his grasp, and that the rights and duties of the very meanest of us should be regarded as equal to those of the most powerful and the richest and most influential. Our representatives have too often forgotten the fact that they represent the great mass of the people, and that they represent unborn generations of American citizens—that they are plowing legal furrows and building legal fences and making things ready for the coming generations of Americans who will fill this great land of ours.

So when I speak of my own State of California, and say that its people have been robbed and plundered and pillaged; when I say that its government has been debased and corrupted; when I say with shame and with blushes that my native city of San Francisco has been humbled and shamed into the very dust by the corrupting influences of men and public-service corporations who, with us as their benefactors, have turned and stung the breast that warmed them into life; when I say these things I have but to call to your attention conditions which have existed in almost every large city, in almost every State of this Union. (Applause)

Like Mr Garfield, I do not find it in my heart to blame the men who have taken advantage of our laxness; I cannot find it in my heart to blame the two men who own each over a million acres of the best timber land in the State of California for having taken advantage of the laxness in administration of the law in times past—not of the law itself, for the law has been good, and if it had been administered as it should have been administered these two men could not have owned a million acres apiece of the best timbered land in the State of California (applause). But who of us has not heard—in times past more than since the time of Theodore Africanus (laughter)—who of us has not heard those who, perhaps with a selfish interest, have sneered and said, "Well, we're all a little crooked, and why should we take exceptions to the man who is a little more crooked?" when the question of frauds against the land laws was in discussion? I take it that the officials who had those matters in charge should be, as Mr Garfield has so well said, ever vigilant within the law to do those things which the law does not prohibit and not wait for the prods and stings of outraged public opinion that compel them to do the things which they should, in common honesty to the people whom they represent, perform and do for the protection of you and me and your children and my children. (Applause)

I listened yesterday afternoon with mingled feelings to the statements of the gentlemen who four short years ago I would have hailed as brother governors. I heard some most violent utterances concerning the feeling of the people of the Pacific-coast States in regard to State rights. One good brother governor said that 95 percent of the people of the Pacific Coast were in favor of State rights. We had [Pg 117]in California on the 16th day of August (less than a month ago) a direct-primary election. At that election there was nominated as the republican candidate for Governor of the State of California Hiram W. Johnson. Out of something over 200,000 votes cast he received over 100,000 votes. His next nearest opponent received 55,000 votes. Mr Johnson's campaign was made on a platform containing three principal planks—Roosevelt, Pinchot, and Conservation. (Great applause) If it be necessary, I can read a telegram from Mr Johnson in which he assures me that he has not yet recanted from his old Rooseveltism, his Pinchotism and his Garfieldism, or his Conservationism (applause); so I think I am safe in saying that instead of 95 percent of the people of at least one Pacific-coast State being in favor of State rights, I am entirely within the bounds of conservative statement if I say that 80 percent of the people of California have not forgotten the Civil War and remember that the ghost of State rights was laid so many fathoms deep at that time that no ingenious argument of any Governor from the Northwest, the Southeast, or any other portion of this country can revive it and make it walk. (Great applause) If necessary, I could read from this little packet that I have in my hand a portion of a letter from the Grand Master of the Patrons of Husbandry (that is the Grange) of the State of Washington (applause), whose Governor addressed this Congress yesterday afternoon and declared himself and his State as both being entirely in favor of State rights. In that letter the Grand Master of the Patrons of Husbandry of the State of Washington, whose Governor addressed this Congress yesterday afternoon, says that he represents 19,000 of the people of Washington, and that no man has the right to represent them upon the floor of this Congress and say that they are in favor of State rights (great applause). And in this little packet I also have a telegram from the Conservation Association of the State of Washington, signed by its president, which says that its membership in the State of Washington is not in favor of State rights (applause). So, our good southern brethren having forgotten the bloody past (as my Yankee blood has forgotten it), having come again into the Union and declaring themselves loyal sons marching under the American flag and having forgotten the obsolete doctrine of State rights, I think I am safe in saying that the people of the North and Northwest have not changed places with them, but that they believe that the Federal Government should keep and administer the things that belong to all the people of the country. (Applause)

We have in California, my fellow-citizens of other States, a great deal of your property. We have several millions of acres of National forests that belong to you. They cannot belong exclusively to the people of the State of California until the people of the United States, to whom they belong, give them to us. And I thank God that the National Government, representing the people of other States, has not given those millions of acres of National forests in the State of California [Pg 118]to the State of California. For if it had, just as sure as you are sitting here, those acres would have been given over into private ownership, just as thousands and hundreds of thousands of acres of the public lands which were given to the State of California have been squandered with a prodigal hand and given to men who have not obeyed either the letter or the spirit of the law conveying and granting to them those hundreds and hundreds of thousands and millions of acres of the public lands. (Applause)

Let me instance one case. The Oregon and California Railroad begins at Portland and runs south toward California. The California and Oregon Railroad begins at Sacramento and runs north toward Oregon. They meet somewhere north of the Oregon line. They are both adjuncts of the Southern Pacific. When those roads were contemplated, the Government, by an act of Congress, donated to them 6,000,000 acres of land, much of it covered with as fine timber as grows out of doors—I bar none. In the act of Congress donating that land it was specified that the land should be sold in 160-acre tracts for $2.50 per acre to all actual settlers who might apply therefor. Was any of it sold to actual settlers? A very few acres of it. Half of the 6,000,000 acres was sold, however, in large tracts to land speculators, to timber corporations, and to people of that kind and class, for $5.00, $10.00, $15.00, $20.00, $30.00, $50.00 an acre. And when the Southern Pacific was brought to bar and asked why it hadn't lived up to the letter and spirit of the law, it said it had. And then we asked, "How do you make that out?" And it said, "Why, only a few actual settlers have applied for the land." And we asked, "Haven't people gone there and attempted to buy that land of you in order that they might settle upon it?" "Oh, yes, but they are not actual settlers." "Why not?" "Because we construe the words 'actual settlers' to mean those persons who had actually settled in that country before the act of Congress was passed." (Laughter and applause.) And when, at the Sacramento session of the National Irrigation Congress, Mr E. H. Harriman was asked why his company was holding 3,000,000 acres of that land grant, he said, "For future generations." And everybody laughed.

Now, let that sink into you. The absolute arrogance, the indecent indecency of that kind of a proposition ought to make the blood boil in the veins of every American citizen who is face to face, or who was seven or eight years ago face to face with the proposition whether or not the American people were to rule themselves or whether they were to continue to be ruled by the "big interests," as Jimmie Garfield puts it. (Applause)

The sun rises every morning, three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, in California; it reddens the cheeks of our girls; it makes our boys strong and healthy; it brings the gold to the oranges that hang upon our trees. And for all these years we have been thanking God for the rising of the sun in California. "The gentle rain from [Pg 119]heaven" has fallen alike upon the just and the unjust out there in California—upon those who deserve to be rained on and those who do not deserve to be rained on (laughter). And all these years we have been thanking God for the gentle rain that falls from heaven. But yesterday as I sat here in this great Auditorium and listened to the Governor of Montana tell what Montana had been doing for this Nation, I began to think (I do not wish to be irreverent in saying it) that we were under no obligations in California to God for the rising of the sun or the falling of the rain; but that we were under great obligations to Montana (laughter and applause) for all the good things that belong to California and Californians. And as my good friend, Governor Norris (to put a name to him) was telling his lurid history of Montana's great doings, I couldn't help but think that as an American citizen some of the things that lie in the State of Montana belong to me, belong to you, belong even to those who live on the hook of Cape Cod or away up in the northeastern corner of Maine or down on the tip of Florida; that those things which belong to the people of the United States even in Montana belong to us all, and that Montana has no exclusive right to them until our representatives in Congress give them to that State, and I am one of those who pray God that it will be a long time before the State of Montana gets from us the exclusive right to, and ownership of, those things that are ours. (Great applause)

Some time ago a good friend of mine, who has never denied when I have charged him with receiving $20,000 per annum (and by the way, he is a delegate from California to this Congress) as the chief counsel of one of the power trusts of California, said to me, "Oh, how the President is usurping the powers of the Government! Isn't it awful?" But I never could see anything very awful about it when Roosevelt and Garfield and Pinchot and the rest of them were hustling around trying to keep my friend's corporation from stealing from us of California the few things we have left (laughter and applause); nor have I forgotten that, before the time of Roosevelt, Garfield and Pinchot, the corporations represented by my friend did not believe in State rights. But since the time of Roosevelt, Pinchot and Garfield they have begun to sing a different song. That song is State rights. Nor have I forgotten that my friend used to be and still claims to be one of the most hide-bound republicans that mortal man ever looked upon (laughter and applause). Now he says that the rights of the people of the States are being pillaged and plundered and robbed away from them. I speak again for my State of California when I say that if there is anything in the State of California that the National Government has not nailed down that has not been stolen, I would like to know what it is. (Great laughter and applause)

There are, as you heard Mr Herbert Knox Smith say here on this platform an hour ago, four great power corporations in the State of California. That is so; but there are practically only two power trusts [Pg 120]in the State of California. When the Government declared its intention to hold on to the few power sites that are left in the State of California in the National forests, all of a sudden these power trusts wanted all the water-power of California developed in the interests of the people; and they can't say it fast enough or often enough (laughter and applause). But, as you heard Mr Smith say, they have developed and are using only half of the power that they already have in their possession. So when they get gay around where I am, I generally say, "Well, that's all right, but go on and develop all the power you have got now; and after you have got that developed, then we'll talk about giving you some more; because I know just as sure as you fellows get an opportunity to lay your hands on any of those power sites in the National forests you'll steal them and put them in cold storage, and you'll make my children and their children, so long as there are any children in the State of California, dig up the last dollar that they have to pay you for the necessary electric current to do their business during the next century and the century after that until the end of time in California" (applause). And I, for one, as I say to them, while I am somewhat hardened and calloused by being robbed myself, don't want my children or their children to be robbed into the poor-house and the penitentiary by anybody's power corporation (applause). Therefore I hope and pray that those gentlemen who are so apprehensive that the people of the country will not get, unless they get it through the States, the right to use the things that belong to all the people of the country, will pause until the State of Montana, the State of California, the State of Washington, and all the Pacific-coast States, at least, if not the rest of the Nation, are governed by the people of those States and not by the public-service corporations. (Great and prolonged applause)


Christopher G. Horr—Mr Chairman: The State of Washington having been mentioned, I wish one minute to speak in behalf of that State.

President Baker—Is the Gentleman a Delegate from the State of Washington?

Mr Horr—Yes. It has been stated from the platform that the State of Washington believed in State rights. I want to contradict that. As one of the Delegates of the State of Washington, I want to declare my belief that not only the Granges of the State of Washington, as Brother Pardee has stated, but the majority of the citizens of that State, will repudiate any such sentiment coming from anyone in this Congress (great applause and cheers). I want to say that the State of Washington is peopled in part by 25,000 former residents of the State of Minnesota, and that they have full confidence in the National Government—they have full confidence in President Taft, they have full confidence in your Senators Nelson and Clapp, and in Congressman Stevens and the other congressmen of the United States; [Pg 121]and I consider it an insult to the Congress and the President of the United States to say that they will not treat the people of the State of Washington as they should be treated. I want to say to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the State of Washington will keep step to the music of the Union. (Great applause)


President Baker—After the next address on the program, any further discussion of the subjects presented will be welcome.

It was gratifying to hear from California through the voice of Ex-Governor Pardee. One of the fortunate features of this Congress is the presence of men of prominence and influence from all sections of the country. Not merely the North and the East and the West are represented, but the sunny South; and we will be pleased to hear from a representative of the great State of Louisiana, who has always been deeply interested in Conservation, and is no less competent to speak on the subject now than when he wielded the power of Governor of that commonwealth. I have great pleasure in introducing Ex-Governor Newton C. Blanchard. (Applause)

Ex-Governor Blanchard—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congress: I am not on the program for a formal address, but I am here to supplement and endorse and support the admirable address delivered you a little while ago by Ex-Secretary Garfield. (Applause)

The times change, and men's opinions seem to change with them. On yesterday, in this Auditorium, I listened to a number of western Governors preaching the doctrine of State rights. For many years prior to the fateful year of 1861, and for four memorable years following it, the question of State rights was forcefully discussed in the forum of the Republic, and afterward practically settled on the battlefield (applause); and we of the South, who went down in that struggle to determine whether these rights of the States were paramount to the authority of the Federal Government, accepted the situation in good faith (great applause)—and we are now marching side by side with the North and the East and the West in that grand procession of progress that makes for the might and power of our great Republic. (Renewed applause)

It seems strange to a southern democrat like myself (applause) that "a voice should come out of the West" (laughter) telling us that this movement for Conservation must be abandoned by the Federal Government and relegated to the tender mercies of the western States (laughter and applause). Gentlemen of the Congress, was the question of State rights, the real, genuine doctrine of State rights, behind that demand? No; everyone of you know that it was not. It was a mere pretext; and the history of all nations is full of examples where strong men, having risen to ascendancy and ruling power and wanting to do something not exactly right (some usurpation of power or act of tyranny), first sought a pretext to justify it (applause). Why, [Pg 122]then, does this voice come out of the West—a country that in the time preceding and following 1861 was known as "the wild and woolly West," and out of which at that time came not a whisper in advocacy of State rights? Why, now that the "wild and woolly West" has gone and magnificent commonwealths are there, now for the first time comes from the West, in former renegade garb or present robe of splendor, the cry that State rights must dominate the Conservation of the natural resources of the country? Gentlemen, some years ago a great citizen and soldier of our Republic was the candidate of a political party for the high office of President of the United States at a time when the tariff was the dominant issue, and becoming involved in the intricacies and embarrassing problems of the tariff, he declared, "the tariff is a local issue." Listening to the western Governors last afternoon, I perceived the same idea arising again, only in a different form; for the western Governors would make State rights a local issue.

The natural resources of the United States belong to all the people (applause), not alone to those who happen to live in the States where what is left of the public domain is principally situated today; you and I have just as much concern and interest and proprietorship in the natural resources on and in and springing from the public domain in Wyoming, in Montana, in Idaho, and in other western States, as have the people of those States themselves (applause). Gentlemen, as has been well said already during this Congress, the smaller the community the easier it is for special interests to control it; and that is the reason for this demand that the Conservation of the natural resources in the western States should be turned over to the States themselves. If you want Conservation to amount to anything—if you wish it to go forward in the fullness of development so that what is left of the public domain, of the coal lands, the phosphate lands, the oil and gas lands and the forests belonging to the United States may be preserved and conserved and utilized without present waste and handed down to our children and children's children without exhaustion, then I say the power that should lead in this movement is the mighty power of the Federal Government. (Applause)

When the distinguished and able gentleman who occupies the executive chair in the State of Montana was speaking yesterday, he claimed for his State "the earth and the fullness thereof" in respect to the Conservation of natural resources. He claimed that the movement there had antedated anything done by any other State or by the Federal Government, and to hear his eulogy of what Montana had done in this respect and his absence of expression as to what the Federal Government had done there, one might think, to use the vernacular of the day, that Montana was "the whole cheese" (laughter) in matters of conservation. And yet, when I met the gentleman today and asked him if the Federal Government had not been doing [Pg 123]considerable work in Montana and expending large sums of money to irrigate the arid regions of that State, he admitted that it had. I asked him if the Federal Government had not expended many times more money in doing just that kind of Conservation work in his State than Montana had, and he admitted that it had. I asked him if what the Federal Government had already done in the way of irrigating the arid regions of his State and the projects now under way would not when completed yield to the farmer and the husbandman many hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable land, and he admitted it would and that the aggregate would be more than 600,000 acres (applause). That is what the Federal Government has done and is doing in one western State; and yet that same Governor, and others from the West, advocate that in the matter of Conservation the Federal Government should take a back seat, and permit the States to take the lead in Conservation.

Gentlemen, you heard today from the lips of Theodore Roosevelt a truth that struck me most forcibly, and that was this: It is not so much the question as to who shall take the lead in the matter of Conservation, whether it be the power of the States or the authority of the Federal Government, but which of these powers is best equipped and most able to keep what remains of the public domain and the natural resources from falling into the hands of the special interests and the monopolists (applause). Some of those western Governors, when the imputation was made that if the natural resources were turned over to the States in the manner proposed by them the special interests might handle their legislators, grew virtuously indignant; and yet all of us remember that it has been charged time and time again—and I think no one will have the temerity to deny it—that powerful interests with unlimited money have put forward their own selections for the high office of Senator of the United States and elected them (applause). That has been done repeatedly in the past; and is anyone here bold enough to say that even now there does not sit in the Senate of the United States men from the western States who owe their election to that position through the instrumentality of money? (Applause) No; that is true; and everyone of you knows it is true. If the Legislatures—and I do not mean to imply or to charge that the Legislatures of those particular western States are any more corrupt or more subject to the blandishments of corporations and men of means than the Legislatures of other States, whether they be North or South or East or West—can be induced through those instrumentalities to elevate men to high position, then I say those Legislatures can be controlled by the same means in other respects; and all of us know that special interests have always out a grabbing hand for what there is in the way of coal lands, in the way of water-power sites, in the way of phosphate lands and oil and gas lands. So I say, gentlemen of the Congress, we had better leave this matter of Conservation in the hands of the Federal [Pg 124]Government to lead in this great work wherever the Conservation relates to the natural resources springing from the public domain. I am here to advocate that first; and I am here to say that in other respects, where the State authority finds jurisdiction, there should be cooperation between the States and the Federal Government. (Applause)

We have heard much from these western Governors in their speeches last afternoon relative to the waters in the rivers of their States, and the position was taken that the waters belong to the States. Flowing through the public domain, the land and the water-power sites would belong to the Federal Government, and where that is the case there is good ground for cooperation; but I am far from admitting that those waters belong to the States. There are some decisions of the Supreme Court that so declare, but such decisions were made by the courts under peculiar circumstances and facts differing from the circumstances and facts set before us in the matter of Conservation. Take the great Mississippi; to whom does the Mississippi river belong? Do its waters belong to the States through which those waters flow? Why, don't you know that every drop of water precipitated from the clouds, except that which is taken up by evaporation, every drop of rainfall from the top of the Alleghenies to the summit of the Rocky mountains finds its way through the innumerable channels and smaller streams to the great main trunk that we call the Mississippi river? Don't you know that it is the receptacle for the drainage of half of this great Republic of ours, that much of even the waters that fall in the western part of the great State of New York find their way into the channel of the Mississippi? All of the water thus gathered into the main channel flows by the cities of all the States from Minnesota down to Louisiana, my own State; and all of that water flows through the State of Louisiana to find lodgment at last in the Mexican Gulf. Now, does all the water thus garnered from this immense watershed to flow through the State of Louisiana belong to the State of Louisiana? If so, we don't want it! (Laughter and applause) It fell on these great western States, and too much of it comes down upon us, and we have had a great struggle, extending through many years, to keep that water off our land (laughter). I have known one great flood in Louisiana to cause destruction to the extent of ten millions of dollars. The State of Louisiana alone has expended, by State taxation and levee district taxation, more than thirty millions of dollars since the War in keeping the waters that fell upon your territory off our fertile lands (applause); and not being able to perform the herculean task ourselves, we have appealed, in season and out, to the Federal Government for aid, and a liberal hand has been extended to us. (Applause)

I was for years in Congress from Louisiana and for years a member and chairman of the committee on rivers and harbors of the [Pg 125]House of Representatives, and I had to deal with this question. When I went first to Congress the idea prevailed there that the Federal Government had no constitutional authority to appropriate and expend money on Mississippi river except in aid of navigation; it was admitted that could be done under the commerce clause of the Constitution, but Congress denied that it owed any other duty to the river. Myself and others from the lower Mississippi valley, the lands of whose constituents were flooded every now and then by the great river, contended that Congress owed a two-fold duty to the river: to improve its navigation, and to prevent the waters from remaining a terror to those who lived in its lower valley (applause). Congress admitted it owed the first duty, but asked where there was any constitutional authority for the appropriation of public money to redeem private property from the flood and ravages of the river; and it took the representatives and senators from the lower valley States many years—I know I worked at it myself for ten years, in season and out, as a member of Congress—to demonstrate that the Federal Government owed it to the great river to prevent its floods as well as to improve its navigation. In answer to the demand for constitutional authority we cited a principle of law, recognized alike by the civil law system and by the common-law, which long antedated the Constitution of the United States, a principle embodied in a Latin maxim, "Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas"—so use your own that it shall not become an injury to others (applause). And we asked in that connection, "Who owns the Mississippi river? Does the Federal Government own it? If so, it is its property as a great feature of our country; and if the proprietorship of the river is in the Federal Government, then should not the Government so regulate and control its own that it will not injure or prove a detriment or damage to those who live in the lower valley?" (Applause) And that argument won.

Prior to 1892, large appropriations were made by Congress for the Mississippi river, all of them with a proviso that none of the money should be expended for the purpose of preventing the floods of the river; and not a dollar was available for the repair and construction of levees. That was the situation in 1882 and on down to 1892, when the argument that the river belonged to the Federal Government and it must so regulate and use it that it should not be a damage and a hurt to us in the lower valley prevailed; and in the river and harbor bill of 1892, at a time when I was chairman of the committee, the Secretary of War was authorized to expend $10,000,000 on the lower Mississippi from Cairo to the Gulf, and the restrictions and provisos that had hampered the Mississippi River Commission theretofore in the expenditure of money for the two-fold purpose of improving navigation and preventing floods were removed (applause). We wrote these limitations all out; Congress had been educated up to the point where it recognized the second duty it owed to the great river in preventing its [Pg 126]floods. The bill passed, and the Mississippi River Commission allotted $6,000,000 of the $10,000,000 for levee construction and repairs (applause). We followed this two years later by another bill using the same phraseology and appropriating $9,000,000 more, and these two great bills, carrying $19,000,000, with no restrictions on the expenditures for the prevention of floods in the river, have given us along the lower river the greatest and finest levee system ever known in any age or on any river in any country—1350 miles of levees that stay the floods of the Mississippi so that a general flood in the river is a thing of the past; and on every mile of our 1350 miles of levees on the two banks of the river is the stamp of the Federal Government. (Applause)

And yet they tell you that these waters do not belong to the Federal Government? They admit that they belong to the Federal Government for purposes of navigation. Congress is committed already to the principle that the waters of the river belong to the Federal Government, because Congress has undertaken to help us to keep those waters off of our lands. But I go further than that; I agree with my distinguished friend Mr Garfield that the jurisdiction of the Federal Government extends, where the navigable waterways of the United States are concerned, far beyond the point to which they are navigable; it extends to the headwaters of those rivers, and for the very good reason that if the jurisdiction of the Federal Government did not so extend, then where these rivers take their rise some of these western States might undertake to divert from the great Mississippi channel the water needed to supply that river with enough water for navigation purposes. Every river, therefore, must be treated as a unit (applause). That is the view we take of it in the South; and in taking that view we hold to the National idea that water, being one of those natural resources which needs conservation in respect to its greater and wiser use, ought to be controlled by the Federal Government. Water is one of those natural resources that man can do nothing to add to or diminish in quantity; the snows and the rains are the result of great cosmic action—and fortunate it is that such is the case, for past experience in this country shows that if man could diminish the supply he would long since have done so by his neglect and his wastefulness. (Applause)

I have spoken long enough. I wanted to supplement, from the standpoint of the South, the admirable remarks made by the distinguished Governor of Mississippi on last afternoon. We of the South are hand in hand with the Federal Government in this great question of the Conservation of the natural resources; and we look to the Federal Government to lead in that movement (applause). At the same time I repeat that this great movement, so auspiciously inaugurated by Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot (applause), needs for its full consummation and for the realizing of the greatest benefits possible the cooperation—with the Federal Government leading—of [Pg 127]the Federal Government, the States, and all the people (applause). When we shall have brought these three great agencies into harmonious action looking to proper Conservation, then will our country grow greater even than it is now in all that goes to make up the might and glory of a great nationality of the earth; our country will then continue to present the example of a great continental republic possessed of every variety of climate and production, whose people are as one again, loyally devoted to the perpetuity of the Union, fearing no foreign foe, following the pursuits of peace, serving God according to the dictates of conscience and solving practically the great problems of self-government. (Great and prolonged applause)


[In the course of the foregoing address, President Baker surrendered the Chair to Professor Condra.]

Chairman Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: Before continuing the program, a few announcements will be made.

Ex-Governor Pardee: I again announce that the Committee on Resolutions will meet at the Saint Paul Hotel this evening at 8 oclock in Room 534. Those having resolutions will please write them out, sign them, and hand them in.

Several announcements were made on behalf of State delegations.

Chairman Condra: In place of Honorable B. A. Fowler, of Phoenix, Arizona, who was to speak on "Water as a Natural Resource," I call upon a man who has done much for the advance of irrigation, and who organized the first National Irrigation Congress, Mr William E. Smythe, of San Diego, California.

Mr Smythe—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congress: I am called upon at very short notice to speak for our distinguished president of the National Irrigation Congress on water as a natural resource. I need not remind you how valuable this resource is. Some years ago I went to the White House in company with a cabinet officer to confer with the then President of the United States concerning a mooted irrigation question. Secretary Moody presented me to President Roosevelt, saying that I was a democrat interested in the subject of water; whereupon the President turned to me with a smile and said, "What! a democrat interested in water?" (Laughter) "Yes, Mr President," I said, "for democrats have sense enough to know that in a country where it seldom rains water is too valuable to drink." (Laughter)

Water is so valuable that we want to guard it carefully as a natural resource. I have but a moment at my disposal, and I am glad to take the advice of the President of the United States who yesterday told us to come out of the clouds, get down to brass tacks, and talk business. He asked us to say what we mean by Conservation, to tell what are the evils that we want to remedy, and explain how we propose to remedy them (applause). In a word, the evil that we want to remedy in the [Pg 128]arid States of America is the great evil of permitting men to make merchandise of the melting snow and the singing brook (applause). I stand here to say that no man can possibly be good enough to own the water which another man must use in order to live (applause). It may be that private enterprise can be employed in the form of a construction company to build the reservoir and the means of distribution; but in that case, after our people have paid for the work, and paid for it once and twice and three times, then the Nation should answer our prayer, "Let my people go."

We should have joint ownership of land and water. Today we have a magnificent construction company at work in the seventeen States and Territories of arid America; the name of it is "The United States of America, Unlimited." (Applause) That construction company turns the work over to the people at actual cost, with ten annual payments, and without one dollar of interest (Applause). If the National Government can do that with irrigation, it can do so just as wisely with power; and if it doesn't seem wise for the National Government to do it as a matter of public enterprise, then give us a form of construction company; but in the end, in the day of our children and our children's children and our remote descendants, in the name of God and in the name of humanity, let the people own the water which is essential to their existence. (Applause)

Just one word further. I stand here to endorse what has just been said by one of the few real men whom California ever had the good fortune to put into her Governor's chair (great applause). California is not for State rights; that doctrine was trampled to death fifty years ago under the feet of a million armed men. Yesterday it raised its head and stretched out its weird arms seeking to grasp the remnant of the natural resources and turn them over to exploitation by private monopoly. But that will not be permitted. I am here, my friends, to say to you, as Governor Pardee has said, that in this great controversy—the most momentous which has arisen in this country since the close of the Civil War—California and the Pacific slope, and I believe all the splendid States of the Rocky mountain region, stand with that fine young American statesman who during the past few months has thrilled this nation in his fight to save the resources of the people to all the people for the benefit of all the people; that young man who said at Denver the other day that it is more important to help the small man make a living than to help the big man make a profit; that man, who has sounded the highest notes since Lincoln, who has declared that he is in favor of Government by men for human welfare and against Government by money for profit—we stand first, last, and all the time with Gifford Pinchot. (Great applause)


Colonel T. H. Davidson (Delegate-at-large from Minnesota)—Mr Chairman: I noticed scattered through the program of this great Congress [Pg 129]the words "General Discussion." We have not limited the time to be occupied by speakers. I now move you, sir, that under the head of "General Discussion" a delegate shall be entitled to occupy only five minutes, and shall not speak a second time on the same question.

Chairman Condra—The rule adopted today fully covers the point, though it has not been put in effect this afternoon. We have two days, perhaps three, for full discussion, and the time will be limited under the rules which will govern tomorrow.

The last speaker on the formal program is one who has been greatly interested in this movement and closely associated with Mr Pinchot. I have pleasure in introducing Mr Walter L. Fisher, a Vice-President of this Congress and of the National Conservation Association and President of the Conservation League of America.

Mr Fisher—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen: I would not take any of your time this afternoon were it not that I, too, have felt the appeal of President Taft for concrete and practical suggestions as to how to solve some of the more difficult of the problems of constructive statesmanship presented in the Conservation movement. The particular point on which I wish to make a suggestion is the relation of the States and the Federal Government to the question of water-power grants.

This question, it seems to me, has been allowed to assume a phase entirely unjustified by the facts. There is, in my judgment, not only no necessary conflict between the interests of the State and the Nation, but there is every incentive for practical cooperation between State and Nation on this matter (applause); and in my opinion the question can never be rightly settled until there is just that cooperation. (Renewed applause)

The Federal Government is the natural agency to which we must look for many of the things which are essential to a solution. There are two phases of the problem, one involving a question of law and the other a question of public policy. As to the strict legal right, it must be apparent that on any stream where the Federal Government owns the riparian property, or on any stream which is navigable in fact or in law, the consent of the Federal Government is absolutely necessary as a pre-requisite to the construction of any water-power works. For myself, I believe that the power conferred by the Constitution upon the Federal Government with relation to interstate commerce absolutely carries the power to make such conditions in any permit to erect a structure in a navigable stream as the Federal Government may believe it wise policy to insert. The power to make or to withhold the permit, under all the decisions of the courts which have in any way touched that question, implies the power to impose conditions to the permit. There are, I know, those who disagree as to this proposition; but even they will agree on the broader question of public policy which underlies the whole subject. When the Federal Government undertakes [Pg 130]the improvement of a navigable stream, it rarely if ever happens that it does not thereby either create water-power or increase potential water-power already existing. It is evident, therefore, that those riparian owners who own existing water-power grants are directly benefitted by the improvement in the navigable water. Whenever the Federal Government protects the headwaters and the water-shed on which the stream depends, it is conferring a direct benefit upon the owners of water-power property along the line; and so with all the other improvements.

You have heard the eloquent Ex-Governor of Louisiana explain what the interest of that State is in the intervention of the Federal Government in the regulation of the Mississippi river. There are few places throughout this country where the owners of water-power grants and those who are interested in all the other uses of flowing water have not appealed to the Federal Government for financial aid or for assistance not financial which that Government alone can effectively render. It must be apparent that in rendering that assistance the Federal Government creates property of value, or enlarges the money value of property already existing. No hardship, then, is done if the owners of this property are required to contribute to the original cost. Not only so, but there can be no justice in the proposition which requires the taxpayers of the United States as a body to pay the cost of the improvement or the protection of any stream when as a matter of fact the people who own the property immediately along the stream will get, in direct money value, a larger benefit than the cost of the improvement.

There are many reasons besides these why the Federal Government must, in the very nature of things, be the effective agency to do many of the things which the States can never effectively do, no matter if the whole subject were turned over to them this afternoon. On the other hand, I wish to call attention to the fact, which I believe to be established by experience, that whenever a local community is once aroused to an intelligent appreciation of its interests and its rights, that local community will better and more effectively regulate local service and local rates than any more remote governmental agency whatever. Herein lies the advantage of local home rule. Now, I am not talking about railroad rates connected with interstate commerce, or about other things which affect more than the local community, but about those things which affect merely particular localities. If a water-power company starts in alongside of a great industrial community and that community is built up so that its industries depend on it, that community itself, once thoroughly aroused and intelligently educated upon the question, will far more effectively regulate those rates in the interests of the public, while at the same time dealing fairly with the corporate or private interests involved, than would the State or the [Pg 131]Federal Government. That seems to me a broad, practical proposition which experience has justified.

Now, let us apply the principle to the water-power situation. And my whole purpose in speaking is merely to call the attention of this Congress to a method of treating this question, which will, in my opinion, meet both situations. It is not a novel suggestion; in one of the very last of the water-power grants made by Secretary Garfield, the essential provisions of it were at least hinted at and a preliminary provision made. In my humble opinion, the Federal Government should control the water-power grants on streams that are navigable or where the Government itself controls the riparian property. It should make grants for definite periods of time and should provide for compensation. That compensation as a broad, general rule should be applied to the improvement and protection of the stream and the watershed from which the water-power has been derived, or to other streams and watersheds of like character, for all uses of the water, whether for irrigation on the one hand or for water-power on the other. There should be periodical readjustments of the rate of compensation. In the beginning, and especially in an experimental enterprise, the rate of compensation should be exceedingly low. There should be, as President Taft himself said here in his speech, a readjustment of the rate, say every ten years; and the person or the corporation invited to invest money should be given proper protection in that readjustment. Capitalist and industrial pioneer should be treated not only fairly but liberally, that vigorous development may result. On the other hand, such a grant should contain this provision, or be subject to this fundamental legal limitation, that the grantee, by acceptance of the grant, acquiesces and will acquiesce in any reasonable regulation of the service and of the rates which may be charged the public that may be provided by the State or by any delegated agency of the State. In that way, the thing in which the local community (the State, its municipalities or minor communities) has the greatest interest will be amply protected and left free to act in its own interest.

Now, what will be the result practically? At the end of the first ten-year period the question of readjusting the compensation will arise. If the local government has not adequately protected private interests, if it has not regulated the rates so that the people are obtaining power upon fair terms and the corporation restrained from making extortionate profits, all the Federal Government will have to do will be simply to increase the compensation. If, on the other hand, the fundamental question is being taken care of and the community in which the water-power is generated and distributed is receiving it at fair terms, the compensation can be left where it is or only slightly increased, depending entirely on the situation.

And this has another side? The Federal Government may possibly at times not be looking after some public interests in particular localities as well as it should, for these same Federal officials who are [Pg 132]elected by the method suggested by our friend from Louisiana are the men who are going to control a large part of the regulation of the rates by the Federal Government; so anyone who believes that the delegation of this question to either Federal or State authority is a final solution is equally mistaken in either case. But the method which I suggest will work automatically, because if either State or Nation is alive to the people's interests they will be protected either by the imposition of proper compensation or by the appropriate reduction of the rates. (Applause)


Chairman Condra—Fellow-Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: In taking note of the remarkable representation from all over the country in this Congress, we should not forget that our President, Mr Bernard N. Baker, is from Baltimore, right on the Atlantic coast and in a southern State; and I desire to say, with a great deal of satisfaction, that a large part of the success of this Congress is due to his unflagging efforts. (Applause)

We shall close our formal program for the day with a brief address by Colonel James H. Davidson, whom I now have the pleasure of introducing.

Colonel Davidson—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I shall only detain you a few minutes to make some suggestions which seem to me pertinent.

Many delegates in this Congress seem to have it fixed in their minds that Federal control would settle the questions before us, and other delegates, from the Far West, seem to claim that the States should control absolutely; and to my surprise and great pleasure, I find that the representatives of southern States, like Louisiana and Mississippi, are favoring Federal control. I say to you, Mr Chairman and Delegates to this Congress, that this question is large enough and broad enough to enlist all the statesmanship in the Federal Government and in all the States composing the Union (applause). Reference has been made to that great struggle of nearly fifty years ago, in which I took part for nearly five years from private soldier to brigade commander as a full colonel (being one of but five who advanced in rank from private soldier to a full colonelcy); and I cannot stand up and ask as an American for State rights as against the Federal Government (applause). But it seems to me, Gentlemen, that there is enough for each and all of us to do; and if we, as States, neglect the duties that devolve upon us under the police powers, which all the States have, of regulating internal affairs, including these manufacturing corporations and monopolies, we are weak and are not making full use of the great privileges conferred upon us.

I was interested very much in the discussion by Ex-Governor Pardee; and he pointed out a fact which indicates to my mind that Federal control alone is not sufficient. He says that 6,000,000 acres of [Pg 133]the most valuable timber lands that ever grew on this continent were conveyed to the Southern Pacific Railway, in a certain sense in trust, to be conveyed to actual settlers at not less than $2.50 per acre, but that no actual settlers ever went upon that land. It is not charged that the State of California was in any way responsible. There was a case where the Federal Government, and the Federal Government alone, was involved; and yet that valuable property passed into the hands of that railroad which is the imperial controller of almost everything in California. In the course of the discussion yesterday in reference to the regulation of oil and gas lands it was stated that in California alternate sections had been conveyed to that great organization, and was out of the control of the Federal Government. That is another case where, if California, a sovereign State, had dealt with those things at the proper time and at the inception, it might have been saved some of the great burdens that now rest upon the people of that State.

They speak of four great water-power companies in California, and two water-power trusts. I thoroughly investigated that subject, spending over six months on it three years ago, and I found that water was king in California, yet the water is owned by these four imperial companies. One-half of my life and of my most valuable treasure is my son and his family, now in the San Joaquin valley; and every crevice and caņon, in the mountains, almost, has been pre-empted by these great water-power combinations, and it costs fifty dollars per horsepower per annum for the use of it for pumping or for any other purpose. If the State of California had been alert, and had had proper regulation, it would have seen to it that these monopolies could not take possession of all these caņons and control the water-power against the interests of the people. A board of most distinguished army engineers reported two or three years ago that the cost of generating one electrical horsepower at the falls of Saint Anthony—within ten miles of where I stand—was less than $6 per annum, and that in the city of Minneapolis to generate one horsepower by steam costs $42. Is there any reason why these great monopolies that can generate horsepower by water at an expense of from five to six dollars—and I think in California at less—should put it to the people at fifty dollars per horsepower? I hope that one of the results of this Congress will be earnest cooperation between the States and the Federal Government. Let each one be alert.

When the Civil War broke out and President Lincoln called for 75,000 men, the Governors of the different States in the North did not hesitate, nor the Governors in the different States in the South; they immediately began calling for volunteers, making all arrangements to take care of the soldiers, and not an hour was lost. Governor Alexander Ramsey, of Minnesota, tendered a regiment to President Lincoln within an hour after the firing upon Fort Sumter (applause). It was [Pg 134]a day for the earnest cooperation of all the States with the Federal Government. And we are confronting a condition of that kind, commercially and legally, today; and it needs cooperation, without bickering and without lack of confidence, in the most earnest manner, to pass such State laws as are proper and right, and to pass such laws of Congress as will (so far as the General Government has not parted with its rights) control the streams, the lakes, the waters, and the various natural resources in the West. (Applause)


Chairman Condra—It is now long after six oclock; and the Congress is adjourned, to reassemble tomorrow morning at 9.30.


FIFTH SESSION

The Congress was called to order in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, on Wednesday, September 7, 1910, at 9.30 a.m.

President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: The State Delegations are requested to hand the Secretary, soon as possible, the names of their nominees for Vice-Presidents of the Congress.

The Committee on Resolutions are anxious to have all resolutions submitted to them at the earliest possible moment in order that they may receive full consideration.

It has been arranged to renew the Call of the States tomorrow afternoon. The first Call of the States was made on Governors' Day (the Second Session), when preference was given to the Governors. Delegations are requested to have a speaker from their State prepared to respond to the call at the Thursday afternoon session.


Now that Delegations are assembled, the Right Reverend Samuel Cook Edsall, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church for Minnesota, will ask the blessing of our Heavenly Father.

Invocation

O, Almighty and everlasting God, Who art the giver of every good and perfect gift, we render unto Thee our most humble and hearty thanks for all the blessings which Thou hast vouchsafed unto our country, for our resources of soil, forest, mine, and stream, which Thou hast given into our hands; and we humbly beseech Thee that Thou wilt give unto the President of the United States, the Governors of our States, our legislators in National Congress and in State Legislatures, and unto all those who are in authority, as well as unto all the people whether in public or in private station, the graces of unselfishness and wisdom; that they may rightly use these bounties to Thy honor and glory and for the good of all mankind; and that Thou wilt so bless and guide the deliberations of this Congress that by all that may be here said and done our minds may be illumined and our hearts stirred to righteousness and obedience to Thy law—through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[Pg 135]


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: We have with us today a truly representative man of our Southland, Mr W. W. Finley, President of the Southern Railway Company, who will address us on "The Interest of the Railways of the South in Conservation." (Applause)


Mr Finley—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: The interest of the Railways of the South in Conservation and the interest of the people of the South in Conservation are identical. I will go farther, and state my unqualified conviction that any economic or governmental policy that is, in the last analysis, to the best interest of the people of any community is to the best interest of the railways by which that community is served. Conversely, my conviction is equally strong that any economic or governmental policy that is harmful to the railways is harmful to the communities served by them.

Therefore, Mr President, in all that I say on the topic assigned to me—"The Interest of the Railways of the South in Conservation"—I must be understood as presenting what I believe to be the interest of the southern people.

I am not sure that the expression "Conservation of natural resources" is everywhere understood in its broadest sense. I think that to some minds it conveys only the narrow idea of the withdrawal from present use of some part of those resources. However important that kind of Conservation may be in some localities and under some circumstances, I do not believe there is much occasion for its application in the part of the United States for which I am expected to speak—the States south of the Ohio and Potomac rivers and east of the Mississippi. I would define the type of "Conservation of natural resources" that should be applied in that section as being the wise use of those resources. In some cases it may involve a measure of present self-denial, as when, in the case of an owner of forest lands, it impels him to cut only the matured timber and leave standing immature trees that have a present market value; but, in that case, it leaves him with an asset which increases in value with each year's growth of the standing timber. In some cases Conservation may mean the use of resources so as to obtain the maximum present profit, as in the case of soils; for I believe that I am supported by the best scientific and practical authority in saying that soils not only preserve, but increase, their productivity when so handled, in the application of fertilizers, the rotation of crops, and the growing of live stock, as to yield the maximum present profit.

The South is interested in the application of Conservation to the wise use to its soils, its minerals, its timber, and its streams. Notwithstanding the wonderful industrial development of the South since 1880, it is still pre-eminently an agricultural section. It is a section, therefore, in which the conservation of the soil is of the highest [Pg 136]importance. There is a prevalent belief that the productivity of the soils in those parts of the United States that have been longest under cultivation has been seriously impaired. Statistics do not confirm this belief. Estimates of productions of staple crops per acre have been compiled in the United States only since 1867, and, as there are often wide fluctuations between successive seasons—due to differences in rainfall and temperature—the period covered has not been long enough to afford a basis for definite conclusions. There is also the fact that all available figures are estimates, and consequently are not exact. On their face, however, they do not prove a decline in productivity. This may be illustrated by comparing the production of wheat per acre for ten-year periods since 1867. In the decade from 1867 to 1876 the average for the United States was estimated at 12 bushels; from 1877 to 1886, 12.5 bushels; from 1887 to 1896, 12.7 bushels; from 1897 to 1906, 13.8 bushels, and for the three years since 1906, 14.6 bushels. So far, then, as these figures can be relied upon, they tend to show an increase in productivity, especially as an analysis by groups of States shows the larger and more uniform increases to have been in some of the older sections of the country.

Similar figures for corn do not show an increase for the United States as a whole, but they show very little decrease. From 1867 to 1876 the average production of corn per acre was estimated at 26.2 bushels; from 1877 to 1886, 25.1 bushels; from 1887 to 1896, 24.1 bushels; from 1897 to 1906, 25.4 bushels, and for the three years since 1906, 25.8 bushels. It is proper to note, in connection with the apparent decline in the fourth decade as compared with the first, that the poorest yield in the entire period was in 1901, when abnormal weather conditions brought the estimated average for the United States down to 16.7 bushels, thus pulling down the average for the entire decade. It is also proper to note that Dr Whitney, Chief of the Bureau of Soils in the United States Department of Agriculture, in discussing these figures, expresses the opinion that, on account of a readjustment of the basis of the Department's estimates in 1881 as a result of the reports of the census of 1880, the figures before that year, both for wheat and corn, were relatively too high.

Estimates of cotton yield per acre have been made by the United States Agricultural Department since 1866. Ten-year averages for the full decades up to 1905 are as follows: 1866 to 1875, 176.4 pounds of lint cotton per acre; 1876 to 1885, 171.4 pounds; 1886 to 1895, 175.9 pounds; 1896 to 1905, 182.6 pounds, and for the four years since 1905, 183.1 pounds. These figures are subject to the same question as to their accuracy that apply to the estimates of wheat and corn production, but, on their face, they do not indicate any impairment of the productivity of the cotton soils of the South. It is noteworthy that the larger and more uniform increases in yield [Pg 137]per acre shown by the Department's figures are in the older cotton States.

While statistics of crop yields in the United States do not cover a sufficient period to be of great value in determining the effect of long use on soil productivity, some light is thrown on the subject by comparing yields per acre in the United States with those in other countries where lands have been under cultivation for centuries. Thus, for the ten-year period from 1897 to 1906, inclusive, the average yield of wheat per acre in the United States was 13.8 bushels, in France 19.8 bushels, in Germany 28 bushels, and in the United Kingdom 32.2 bushels. In Germany, statistics are available from 1883 to 1906, inclusive, showing increases in the average yields of wheat from 18.2 to 30.3 bushels, of rye from 15.4 to 25.1 bushels, and of oats from 27.6 to 55.7 bushels. Similar figures might be cited for other European countries, but perhaps the most conclusive statistics are those collected by Kellerman, a German student of this question, who gives the yield per acre for a large number of German estates, covering long periods of time. I shall cite but one of these—a Schmatzfeld estate with records extending back to 1552. In the period between 1552 and 1557 the annual yields reduced to bushels per acre, were, wheat 12.5, rye 13.2, barley 14.2, and oats 14.8. In the period from 1897 to 1904 these yields were, wheat 45.1, rye 34, barley 50.4, and oats 69.1.

Taking all these figures together, I believe the conclusion is inevitable that, while abuse of soils may impair their productivity, their wise use increases it, and the longer they are properly used the more productive they become. Proper use, such as conserves and increases soil productivity, involves the most approved cultural methods, the application of such fertilizers as may be required for varying soil conditions, the raising of live stock, and, above all, the scientific rotation of crops. There can be little question that the most unwise use to which a soil can be subjected is the raising of the same crop for a long series of years. Some very interesting experiments in continuous cropping and crop rotation, covering a period of sixty-five years, have been carried on at Rothamsted, England. On one plot potatoes were grown for fifteen years. At the end of that period the soil was in such condition that it would not grow potatoes at all. It was then planted in barley, and produced an excellent yield. Another crop followed the barley, and the soil was then in condition to grow potatoes again. On this same experimental farm wheat has been sown for fifty years on the same land without fertilizers, and the yield has gone down from 30 bushels to 12 bushels. On another tract wheat has been grown continuously for fifty years with the use of a complete fertilizer, and an average yield of about 30 bushels has been maintained. On another tract wheat has been grown for fifty years in rotation with other crops [Pg 138]and an average yield of 30 bushels has been maintained, showing that, for growing wheat on that particular soil, rotation was equivalent to fertilization. As might be expected, the Rothamsted experiments show the best results where fertilizers are used in connection with rotation, and justify the conclusion that under continuous use, with proper rotation and an intelligent use of fertilizers, soil productivity can be largely increased.

This is a matter of particular interest to the South, because with our advantages of soils and climate we have an ideal region for soil conservation through crop rotation and intensive farming. There is a quite general impression throughout the North that, except for a few localities in which early fruits and vegetables, tobacco, and sugar cane are grown, the South is a one-crop region devoted exclusively to cotton. This is entirely erroneous. There are many localities in the southeastern States where cotton is not grown at all, and every acre of land in the cotton belt is suited for growing other crops as well. Cotton will continue to be the great staple crop of the South, and with the ever-increasing demand for cotton goods of all kinds, its cultivation will become increasingly profitable, but the southern cotton planter is learning the value of crop rotation; diversified farming and live-stock raising are becoming more general, and the increased supply of cotton demanded by the world will be produced by increasing the average productiveness of each acre as well as by increasing the acreage.

Other things being equal, the conservative use of a raw material, whatever it may be, consists in its manufacture, in the locality of production, through all the stages of preparation for the final consumer. Manufacturing in the South has reached its present growth and is being still further developed on the basis of this kind of conservation of raw material. Industrial development in the South on a large scale may be said to date from about 1880, prior to which time only relatively a small proportion of the raw materials available in that section were advanced through even the first stages of manufacture before being shipped to other localities. It is natural that, at first, only the coarser, and what may be termed the preliminary, processes should have been undertaken. This was the first step in the conservation of raw materials by their manufacture near the source of supply. The South has gone far in that direction, and has already started on the second step, which is the use of the products of primary manufacturing as the raw materials for secondary industries. But a large proportion of southern cotton mill products, lumber, pig-iron, and other commodities, advanced through the first stages of manufacture, are still shipped out of the South to serve as the raw materials of industries in other localities which convert them into articles ready for the final consumer; and southern coal is shipped to serve as the raw material for power and heat in other [Pg 139]parts of the United States and, to some extent, in foreign countries. This is a waste of energy which, under ideal conditions of Conservation would be avoided; and I am glad to be able to say that the present tendency of industrial development in our section is in the direction of its elimination. Substantial progress has already been made in the building up of secondary manufacturing along some lines, and I believe that the most noteworthy progress of southern industrial development in the immediate future will be in this direction, carrying with it an increase in the volume of primary manufacturing through broadening the market for its products.

One of the most valuable of the natural resources of the South is its timber. It is also a resource of which the intelligent conservation will benefit, directly and indirectly, the largest number of people. We have in the southeastern States large and growing industries which use wood alone, or wood in combination with iron, steel, and other materials, as their raw materials. Some of these industries, such as the manufacture of furniture, have enjoyed a phenomenal growth in the past 30 years. There is every reason to expect that this growth will continue and that the variety of wood-working industries will be increased, with the result that they will require an increasing supply of raw materials. As the timber consumption of the United States is now in excess of the annual growth, and as other sections are drawing on our southern forests, it is obvious that if these southern wood-working industries are to survive and are to be handed down to future generations, immediate and effective steps should be taken for the conservation of southern forests. This is the more important for the reason that the same steps taken to insure a perpetual supply of raw material for our wood-workers will tend to stream and soil conservation by increasing stream-flow in periods of drought and by lessening the destructiveness of floods which erode the soil of the upper watersheds and deposit gravel and silt on overflowed lands and in the beds of the navigable parts of the streams.

If we were thinking only of the present time, there would be no occasion for us to concern ourselves with the conservation of our timber supplies. We have ample for the present generation. It is because timber is a crop of slow growth, requiring more than a lifetime to mature most of the species, that timber conservation, if it is to be effective and is to provide for the needs of those who come after us, must be handled along exceptional lines. It is not the duty of a private owner of forest lands to conserve them unless it is at least as profitable for him to do so as to clear all the timber off of them; but it is the duty of the Government to consider the welfare of future generations as well as of that now living.

The conservation of southern timber supplies is a matter that concerns not only the people of our own section, but those of the [Pg 140]entire United States as well. It is a matter of National concern, as, owing to the depletion of their forest resources, the people of other parts of the country must look to the South for an increasing proportion of their timber supplies. It is a recognition of this National interest in the southern forests that has strengthened the support of the proposition for the acquisition by the Federal Government of large tracts of lands in the Appalachian region to be converted into National forests (applause) from which the timber shall be marketed under a system that will result in the perpetuation of the forests. It may be that our Federal Government has no power, under the Constitution, to acquire lands for the purpose of forest conservation; but it is charged with the supervision, improvement, and conservation of our navigable streams (applause), and the evidence as to the effect of forests on stream flow was so conclusive as to lead the House of Representatives, during the last session of Congress, to pass a bill providing the establishment of National forests for the protection of the watersheds of navigable streams. This bill is to be voted on in the Senate on the fifteenth of next February. Whether this plan or some other may be adopted, I think it is of the utmost importance that the campaign of education as to the necessity for the speedy and general adoption of the most approved methods of scientific forestry, which is being so ably carried on by the National Forest Service, should be continued (applause). This is quite important, if the best results are to be attained, because, whatever may be done by the Federal Government, much will remain for the States and for private owners of forests and woodlots to do. If the States and private owners are to do their share, the owners of forest lands, the users of forest products, State legislators, and the people generally should be educated as to the dependence of our future supplies of timber on wise conservation.

The private investor in forest lands buys them with the expectation of making a profit on his investment. He naturally wants to make the largest possible profit, and to do it as soon as possible. Heretofore, partly as a result of prevailing systems of taxation and the lack of efficient fire protection, self-interest has impelled the investor in timber lands to clean up his holdings to the last dollar's worth of merchantable timber, and to get off the denuded land as quickly as possible, selling it for whatever it might bring. In the early years of our history, when, except in the prairie regions, lands for cultivation could be obtained only by clearing them of timber, this wholesale cutting was more justifiable, and, in some cases now, in locations where the value of the land for agricultural purposes is greater than its value for timber production, it may be the proper method. We have reached the point, however, when, especially with reference to our mountain forests, it may seriously be questioned whether, as a matter of dollars and cents, this method is the most profitable to the forest owner. In view of the present prices of lumber and the practical certainty of [Pg 141]advancing prices in the future, I am disposed to believe that we have now reached the point where it will pay the private owner of any considerable body of timber on land having relatively a low agricultural value to adopt conservative methods of forestry (applause). A case in point is that of the University of the South, at Sewanee, Tennessee, which owns 7,000 acres of forest land. In 1899 it was proposed to sell all the marketable timber on this tract, and an offer of $3,000.00 was obtained. This was rejected, and the University undertook to manage the forest conservatively and market the mature timber from time to time. The result is that, at the end of nine years, instead of having realized only $3,000.00 from this tract, the University has received from it net profits amounting to over $18,000.00 above all expenses (applause), including the cost of fire patrol; and instead of having 7,000 acres of cut-over land of relatively little value, it has a continuously productive forest. (Applause)

Whatever may be the decision of our National Legislature as to the proposition for the conversion of our Appalachian woodlands into National forests, I believe it would be a wise and patriotic policy for our State lawmakers to encourage conservative forestry by private owners in every reasonable and proper way. One of the reasons assigned for the failure of private owners to adopt conservative forestry is that in some localities the rate of taxation on timber land is so high as practically to compel every owner to cut the timber as quickly as possible. Another reason assigned is the general lack of an efficient fire patrol, and the danger that, even if an owner goes to the expense of preventing fire on his own property, his timber may be destroyed by a fire starting on the property of some neighbor who has taken no such precautions. These are matters that come within the province of our State legislators, and I would suggest their consideration of whether it might not be possible to devise a system of taxation that would differentiate between timber lands so managed as to insure the perpetuation of a great National resource and those so managed as to hasten its exhaustion (applause). I would also suggest consideration of the enactment of proper fire laws and the establishment of an efficient patrol, possibly with the expense apportioned among owners of timber lands, as I understand is done in some western localities at a very low annual cost per acre. I would further suggest consideration of the practicability of encouraging the planting of trees on lands of little or no agricultural value. Even under the most encouraging conditions, however, planting of forests by private land owners must, almost necessarily, be on relatively a small scale. As a general rule, therefore, private planting will be limited to the establishment of woodlots on the waste lands of farms; and if reforestation is to be undertaken on a larger scale, it must be done by some Governmental agency. (Applause)

[Pg 142]

The problem of stream conservation in the southeastern States is very closely connected with both timber conservation and soil conservation. The ends to be sought are a diminution of the volume of water carried by the streams in their flood stages, and an increase in their volume during their low stages. Everything, therefore, which tends to retard the flow of the rainfall into the streams is a conservative agency. Undoubtedly the most effective of these is the natural forest with its soil, composed of porous humus, covered by a blanket of decaying leaves, branches, and fallen trees, and often with a dense mat of underbrush growing among the trees. Such a forest will absorb a large amount of water during a rain-storm, and allow it to seep down gradually into the streams instead of running off in torrents, overflowing the banks of the streams, destroying growing crops and other property, and scouring the soil from the watersheds to be deposited in the lower levels of the streams or at their mouths, shoaling channels or forming bars in harbors. Generally speaking, therefore, every step taken in the conservation of forests is of value in stream conservation; but, if the best results in the regulation of stream flow are to be attained, other things may be done to advantage. The growth of underbrush having no marketable value is of no benefit to a forest, in fact it may choke out or retard the growth of young trees of valuable species. Such a growth is of great value, however, in retarding water flow, and preventing soil erosion, and, unless cut-over mountain sides are to be reforested, I believe that the growth on them of such species as laurel and rhododendron should be encouraged. (Applause)

Each farmer, especially along the headwaters of the streams, can contribute to a greater or less extent to stream conservation. He can do this by establishing permanent woodlots on those waste lands that are to be found on almost every farm in rolling or mountainous country, and especially on those lands that are liable to erosion. He should, of course, take every precaution to prevent the washing of gullies in his cultivated fields, and where such gullies have already been formed he should so manage as to prevent further erosion. The farmer on the headwaters of a stream cannot be expected to do these things in order to aid in the prevention of flood damages below him. He should be educated to an appreciation of their benefit to himself individually. He will not only be lessening, in some degree, the amount of silt carried down by flood waters, but will be conserving his own soil; and his woodlots will, in a few years, become increasingly valuable as stores of fire-wood and fence-posts, and, eventually, of larger timber. The effect of but a single farmer on an extensive watershed adopting these methods would, of course, be inappreciable, but if thousands of farmers could be led to do so as a matter of self-interest the good results would soon become apparent.

[Pg 143]

Another method of stream conservation that I believe may be practiced to advantage in some locations in the Appalachian region is the impounding of flood waters in artificial ponds or lakes, to be let out gradually during periods of low water. This is not everywhere practicable, and, I believe, should only be practiced where the benefit will be greater than the damage that will result from overflowing the land included in the reservoir. It would manifestly be unwise to locate such a reservoir at a point where it would submerge a fertile agricultural valley, or where it would render inaccessible a valuable deposit of coal or ore.

One of the great economic advantages of the South is the abundance of its opportunities for the development of hydro-electric power for the operation of its factories, the propulsion of its trolley cars, and the lighting of its cities and towns. If this cheap and efficient power is to be used most advantageously, it is important that the stream-flow by which it is generated should be, as nearly as possible, uniform at all seasons of the year. It is in this connection that reservoirs for impounding flood waters would be of great value. Some of the sites where these reservoirs might be located are so situated that a great and powerful fall of water may be attained. The power plants would often have to be situated at points not suited for the location of industrial establishments, but the power can be carried by wire to factories many miles distant. Where such reservoirs are established the primary purpose will be the generation of power, but they would also serve a highly useful purpose in diminishing the flood level of the streams which they feed.

Your invitation to address this Congress was very gratifying to me, Mr President, not simply because of the high honor which it conferred upon me, but chiefly because the invitation and the suggestion of my topic conveyed a recognition of the interest of the railways of the United States in the Conservation of our natural resources and in all that concerns our national welfare. (Applause) They are interested in soil conservation, because it means prosperity to the farmer and an increase in the volume of farm products to be carried, and also an increase in their tonnage of agricultural machinery and implements and of all kinds of merchandise which a prosperous farmer will buy. They are interested in the conservation of forests and mines, because it means the perpetuation of sources of supply of raw materials which, either in their crude or manufactured state, must be carried to market, and which, in their production and manufacture, bring prosperity to many thousands whose consumption of commodities produced in other localities calls for transportation. They are interested in the conservation of water powers and navigable streams, because cheap power means the development of industrial communities and, while economically efficient waterways mean a loss to the railways of some [Pg 144]kinds of traffic, they also mean an increase in general prosperity in which the railways have a share. (Applause)

Conversely, Mr President, the people are interested in the conservation and development of their transportation systems. We have seen that one of the elements of conservation is the manufacture of finished products at or near the sources of supply of raw materials. It is this that enables the people of a community to devote their energies chiefly to those industries for which their locality is best suited and to exchange their surplus production for commodities that can be produced more advantageously in other localities. Transportation makes this specialization of industries possible. Without efficient transportation facilities each community would have to be, to a larger extent, self-supporting, and many of its people would have to engage in the production of commodities which, with our existing facilities for transportation, they can buy more profitably elsewhere. The scale of living would be much more restricted, and many things which are now looked upon as being almost necessaries of life would either be unattainable or would be luxuries which only the wealthy could enjoy.

I am glad of the opportunity, Mr President, to speak of the South and for the South before this representative national assembly (applause). Our section is a region of unsurpassed economic strength. Our climate and our soils invite to diversified agriculture, in which there can be produced profitably all the products of the temperate zone and many of those of the tropics. Beneath our soil are stores of coal, iron and other ores, marble and stone for the builder, and clay for the potter and brickmaker. Our forests are sources of great present profit and, under wise conservation, can be perpetuated as sources of wealth for future generations. Our streams flowing from the wooded mountains of the Appalachian region carry the force of millions of horsepower capable of being utilized along their banks or carried in the shape of electrical energy to wherever it can be used to best advantage. The intelligence, energy, and enterprise of our people are attested by the splendid social, agricultural, and industrial structure they have erected on the ruins left by the Civil War. The progress that has been made is but the promise of what will be. The South is a land of present-day opportunity, and its people invite the man seeking an opportunity to work with hand or brain, or the man with money to invest to come to this favored land of busy factories and thriving towns—a land of fertile valleys, forest-clad mountains, and storehouses of mineral wealth. (Applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: You will no doubt gladly permit interruption of the formal program for a few moments now and then by reports of committees. Professor Condra, Chairman of the Credentials Committee, is now ready to report.

[Pg 145]

Professor Condra—Mr President and Delegates: We have examined the credentials of all Delegates to the Second National Conservation Congress, and find that the duly accredited Delegates entitled to vote in accordance with the Constitution of the Congress number thirteen hundred fifty-one (1351), and that the number of duly accredited Delegates from each State are as follows:

Alabama 1, Arizona 3, Arkansas 4, California 13, Colorado 7, Columbia (District of) 10, Connecticut 5, Delaware 1, Florida 4, Georgia 6, Idaho 10, Illinois 67, Indiana 15, Iowa 78, Kansas 13, Kentucky 4, Louisiana 17, Maine 1, Maryland 8, Massachusetts 3, Michigan 19, Minnesota 631, Mississippi 8, Missouri 25, Montana 20, Nebraska 22, New Hampshire 1, New Jersey 4, New Mexico 1, New York 27, North Carolina 1, North Dakota 77, Ohio 17, Oklahoma 2, Oregon 15, Pennsylvania 16, Rhode Island 1, South Carolina 3, South Dakota 53, Texas 12, Utah 2, Vermont 2, Virginia 3, Washington 26, West Virginia 5, Wisconsin 84, Wyoming 5; total, 1351. Foreign: Canada 2, Mexico 1.

Respectfully submitted to the Congress:

[Signed] G. E. Condra, Chairman
Lynn R. Meekins
Geo. K. Smith
Edward Hines
R. W. Douglas

A Delegate—Mr Chairman: I move that the report be adopted and the committee be dismissed.

The motion was put, and was carried without dissenting voice.

President Baker—Professor Condra will report an action by the Committee on Resolutions.

Professor Condra (reading)—A motion was made and carried by the Resolutions Committee that resolutions presented to the Congress or to the Committee cannot be received after 5 oclock p.m. Wednesday. All resolutions should be headed with the subject of the resolution and should be signed by the person offering same.

The Resolutions Committee has not yet received the names of the members from Alabama, Delaware, Nevada, North Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia; and the Committee urge that the Delegations from those States act at once. The next meeting of the Committee will be held at 5 p.m. today, Room 534, Saint Paul Hotel.


Mr George B. Logan (Secretary of the Resolutions Committee)—Mr Chairman: The Resolutions Committee suggest that resolutions should be grouped under the heads of Land, Water, Forests, Minerals, and Vital Resources; and if those who submit resolutions will simply place the proper heading on each, it will greatly aid the Committee.

[Pg 146]

President Baker—Professor Condra will make another announcement.

Professor Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: There is a strong demand for practical consideration of Conservation problems in various States, and for the purpose of discussing these subjects a meeting will be held this evening at 8 oclock in the Saint Paul Hotel. All members of State Conservation Commissions and State Conservation Associations are invited to attend this meeting.

President Baker—Here is another announcement just handed in: Technical men in attendance are requested to meet in the lobby of the Saint Paul Hotel on the adjournment of the morning session of this Congress. The call includes civil, electrical, mining, mechanical and hydraulic engineers, architects, educators in these sciences, and also geologists and chemists.

Senator Beveridge, of Indiana, will now address us on a subject which ought to be very near the heart of every father and mother—"The Young Man's Idea." I have the pleasure of introducing Senator Beveridge.

[The band here played "The Star-Spangled Banner," while the audience rose and greeted Senator Beveridge with tremendous applause.]


Senator Beveridge—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: The United States IS. (Applause) The American people are a Nation (applause)—not forty-six Nations. (Applause)

In war we fight under one flag (applause) for our common safety; in peace let us strive, under one flag, for our common welfare. (Applause)

Our history is the story of the struggle of the National sentiment of all the people, which special interests for their selfish purposes sought to discourage, against the provincial sentiment of some of the people, which special interests for their selfish purposes sought to encourage. (Applause)

The parent of the provincial idea in American Government was the British crown. The British kings believed that if they could keep the colonists separated by local pride, local prejudice, and local jealousy, the British policy would be easier. They knew that if the colonists were united by common interests, common sentiment, and a common purpose, the British policy would be harder; and that British policy was to permit the special interests of the United Kingdom to exploit the people of the divided colonies (applause). And so from King James to King George the British crown sought to keep the people of the Colonies divided—separated by geography for the convenience of the English government; they sought to keep them separated in spirit for the interests of the British manufacturers. Every British law which forced the Revolution was a law to enable the special interests of the United Kingdom to monopolize the markets [Pg 147]of the people of the Colonies. Our Revolution was nothing more than the war of the people, for the moment united, against the special interests of the Colonies which had kept them divided.

Now, such is the origin of the provincial idea in America. Washington and his Continentals were the infant National idea in uniform, and manning the shotted guns of liberty (applause). The British and their Hessian and Tory allies were the full-grown provincial idea behind the bayonets of oppression. Our first attempt at Government was a failure because the British provincial idea still was powerful. The local pride, prejudice, and jealousy of the separate Colonies reasserted itself, after their common danger was past. The result was the Articles of Confederation. Washington said that the Government thus formed was contemptible, and yet it was the provincial idea carried to its logical conclusion; and so it fell. The cruel necessities of the people forced the reassertion of the National idea, and the Constitution of the United States was that idea's immortal child (applause). The Articles of Confederation said, We, the States, form a Government: the Constitution says, We, the People, form this Government for our general welfare (applause). And yet into this great "ordinance of our nationality," as Chief Justice Marshall calls our Constitution, there crept defects which the statesmen of that day could not prevent, defects which have caused most of our trouble since, and nearly all of them are due to the provincial idea. For example, few men remember that when the Constitution was adopted, "State rights" was not mentioned in that instrument. Washington had been elected President. The Congress of the United States was in session. The National Government was under way. The Tenth Amendment was adopted to quiet those who were preaching the paradox that the general Government of the people would oppress the people. Noisiest of these was Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, who refused to attend the Constitutional Convention, opposed the ratification of our fundamental law, and was against its adoption. Upon the embers of provincialism he heaped the inflammable brush-wood of excited rhetoric. Being in the Constitution, the State rights provision is as valid as any other amendment. But such is its origin and spirit, and no misinterpretation of the provincial idea of State rights must be permitted to impair the American people's general welfare, waste their resources, plunge the Nation into war, or impede our general progress as a people (applause). Now, as always, the danger has been, and is, not so much that the Nation will interfere with the rights of the States as that the States will interfere with the rights of the Nation. (Applause)

After our present Government was founded, its first conflict with the British provincial idea was in the Whiskey Rebellion of Pennsylvania; the special interests that dealt in rum, under the guise of State sovereignty defied the Nation's laws; but George Washington [Pg 148]put down that first State rights rebellion in the name of the Government of all the people (applause). Then came the special interests' defiance of the laws of the General Government in Andrew Jackson's day, and Andrew Jackson's voice, like the voice of Washington, was the voice of all the people against the voice of the special interests who tried to exploit the people. Next came the special interests that thrived on human slavery, and, in the name of State rights tried to destroy the Government they could not control. But again the National sentiment responded to Abraham Lincoln's call to arms (great applause), and a million bayonets wrote across our Constitution these words of the American people's immortality: THIS IS A NATION! (Applause)

Then came the special interests that robbed and poisoned the people by lotteries, that destroyed the morals of the people by obscene literature. They flourished under State protection. Only the Nation could stop them. Those special interests denied that the Nation had the power to stop them. But the Nation did stop them, and the Supreme Court of the Nation upheld the Nation's power (applause). Then came the special interests that sold to the people diseased meats, poisoned foods, and adulterated drugs. Again they flourished under State protection. Again the Nation only could protect the lives of the Nation's people. And again those special interests denied that the Nation had the power, but the Nation exercised the power, and today National laws protect the lives and rights of the American people from special interests that were plundering and poisoning and killing them. (Applause)

And it is the same conflict between the National and the provincial idea, for and against the great, necessary, and inevitable reform of the National control of corporate capitalization, on which so largely depend just prices and rates to the people. (Applause)

These are examples of the evils; but nearly every step of progress we have taken has been due to the success of the National idea. For example, President Madison vetoed the first internal improvement bill. He said, in one of the ablest messages ever written—far abler than the diluted State rights doctrine we hear today—that the Constitution gave the Nation no power to build roads, bridge rivers, improve harbors; but the people needed these things in order to win that righteous prosperity which only they can have acting as one people, under one flag—and so Congress passed the internal improvement bill over Madison's veto, and today no one dares question the Nation's power to make internal improvements; the only question today is how we can best do that work. (Applause)

Again, for a hundred years, the provincial idea kept the quarantine of the Nation's ports exclusively in the hands of the States; but if pestilence entered at a port of one State it attacked the people of other States. The germs of yellow fever did not know State lines [Pg 149]when they saw them, any more than a forest fire knows the boundaries between States when it sees them. And so the open grave, the dead on the street, the people's past and future peril, asserted the National idea again for the Nation's safety, and today we have substantially a National control of National quarantine to keep pests and death from our shores, and the States are cooperating.

So you see that the history of the American people has been merely the narrative of the making of the Nation, merely the record of the compounding of a people, merely the chronicle of the knitting together of one great brotherhood. It is an inevitable process, and it is a safe process—except for special interests that seek to exploit all the people. For the American people can be trusted (applause). The combined intelligence and composite conscience of the American people is the mightiest force for wisdom and righteousness in all the world, and no ancient and provincial interpretation of State rights in the name of development must impede our general welfare (applause), no plea for hasty local development must impair our healthy general development (applause), no temporary State politics compelled by the wealthy few must prevent permanent National statesmanship for the general good of all. (Applause)

Affairs that concern exclusively the people living within a State are the business and the problem of that State. Affairs affecting the general welfare of the whole people are the business and problem of the Nation (applause). And even in solving its own problems, every State must remember that its people are an inseparable and indivisible part of the whole American people (applause). Of States as of men it may be written, No State liveth unto itself alone. (Applause)

Just as the idea of provincialism has caused most of our National evils in the past, so it has wrought the waste of our National resources. The provincial idea was that the National resources belonging to all the people should be handed over for nothing to special interests. This was done under the plea of encouraging individual enterprise and the hastening of local development. And so forests, which once belonged to all the people, have been ruthlessly slaughtered, and upon their ruins have risen the empires of our lumber kings (applause). Priceless deposits of coal and iron and copper and phosphates have been freely surrendered to special interests, and those sources of the people's revenue, which should have flowed into the people's treasury to help pay the expenses of the people's government, have been diverted by the ditch dug by the provincial idea into the treasury of special interests until the multi-millionaire constitutes one of the gravest problems confronting American statesmanship. (Applause)

All this waste and robbery of the people's property must be stopped! (Applause) The hand of waste or theft must not be strengthened [Pg 150]by any legal technicality that plays into the hands of special interests and out of the hands of the American people! (Great applause)

Had we kept all the property that belonged to all the people, and compelled special interests who exploited it to pay us a reasonable price for it, that income today would be paying most of our National expenses. Our resources would have been developed and not exhausted, and our whole material evolution would have been rational and sound instead of unbalanced and defective. Had this been our policy from the start, we would have enjoyed all the benefits from our natural resources, and our children today would inherit colossal National wealth and small National burdens instead of the special interests enjoying all the benefits of the people's property and their children inheriting colossal fortunes and small private burdens. (Applause)

The Nation must keep and administer for the benefit of all the people the property yet remaining to the people (applause). Every State should help and not hinder the Nation, in doing this great duty (applause). Every State should administer the public property within it, and belonging to it, for the public good. Every municipality should keep and administer the property belonging to it for the public good; and both State and municipality should aid the Nation in keeping and administering for the people the property that belongs to all of them.

I want to give you an illustration, very concrete: Many of New York's inconceivably vast fortunes have been expanded by corrupt councils selling watercourses and other property for a mere song to private owners. Had New York kept the property which belonged to the city, instead of squandering it to already multi-millionaires, the city's debt today would not be so vast—and her great private fortunes would not be so vast either (applause). The people's taxes would have been less, and the gigantic unearned incomes of the heirs of great wealth would have been less (applause). And as between the two, the wiser policy have been for the city to keep the property that belonged to all the people of the city instead of selling it sometimes for an infamous price to private owners whose vast wealth, accumulating by the work of the city itself, has raised up in the midst of the American people one of the great questions of the age.

Cooperation of municipality, State, and Nation, in keeping and administering for the general good the property of all the people—this is the policy of common sense and common honesty (applause). Strife and dissension between municipality, State, and Nation, that the reign of pillage may go on and that mighty accumulations of wealth may be upbuilded upon the ruins of the people's resources—that is the policy of private avarice and private plunder (applause). Coal, timber, asphalt, phosphates, water-powers—all the property of the people—must be kept and administered for the people by the Government [Pg 151]which Lincoln said was "of the people by the people for the people" (applause). Already this greatest of our present-day National policies is well under way. Let any man beware how he retards or hinders it (applause). Already we have saved much of the people's property still belonging to the people. We must save all of the people's property still belonging to the people. (Applause and cries of "Good") "Honor to whom honor is due." (Applause) Let us not forget, in this great hour, that the man who, by thought, word, and deed, has wrought for this great reform, until today he stands its National personification (applause), that splendid, courageous, pure, unselfish young American, the President of the National Conservation Association, Gifford Pinchot. (Tumultuous applause and cheers, calls for "Pinchot"; and the audience rose, gave the Chautauqua salute, and continued cheering for many minutes)

For years—and I speak from personal knowledge, because twelve years ago when I entered the Senate I was made the chairman of the then despised forestry committee—for years Gifford Pinchot has ceaselessly worked and fearlessly fought to keep for the people the property of the people which special interests were trying to steal from the people (applause). And in that Nation-wide battle he has been the field-officer of the man who first succeeded in making Conservation a permanent and practical policy of American statesmanship, Theodore Roosevelt. (Great applause. A Voice: Let us vote to give him back his job!)

The soul of our prosperity—even of our very life—is in the idea of our unity as a people. Let municipality, State, and Nation, each act and, within its own province, work to keep what belongs to the people for the people, instead of the municipality, State, and Nation, each within its province, conniving at the waste of the people's property for the upbuilding of the wealth of special interests to the detriment of all the people. The wise, honest and economic administration of the people's welfare means the just advantage which individual enterprise and thrift as of right ought to have. The unwise, uneconomic and dishonest waste of the people's resources for the enrichment of the special few, this in the end, believe me, is the denial of that just advantage which individual thrift, enterprise, and integrity as of right ought to have. (Applause)

The young men of today in working for themselves individually must think and act for what the Constitution calls "the general welfare" of the whole people (applause). After all, only as the Nation is prosperous can any State be really prosperous. After all, only as the Nation is powerful can any State be really safe from foes, foreign and domestic. The young men of the twentieth century in this Republic are not the heirs of the provincial idea which we inherited from the British kings, and which has so hindered our real progress as a people, squandered so much of the people's resources, shed so [Pg 152]much of the people's blood. No! The young men of today are the heirs of all the advancement that our struggling millions have made toward their common brotherhood. The young men of today are the heirs of all the victories which heroes and statesmen have won for the general welfare. The young men of today are the heirs of all the unifying influences by which the genius of man has knit this great people into one splendid family. And so the young American of today, when thinking of himself, must think in the terms of the Nation; through his veins must pulse the blood of our general welfare; his every thought and act must be for the common good of all. And only so can his individual success be well builded; and when it is builded on such foundation, though "the rains descend and the floods come and the winds blow" and beat upon a house thus builded "it shall not fall, for it is founded upon a rock." (Applause)

Why was the American Nation founded? What is the purpose of this Republic? It is to create a greater human happiness than the world has ever known (applause). It is to enable millions of men and women to cooperate in building clean, honorable, prosperous homes. And so let us Americans move forward as brothers and as sisters until we shall give the whole world an example of one great brotherhood in heart and in deed as well as in words. (Great applause)


There were repeated calls for "Pinchot"; and Mr Pinchot, coming forward amidst great cheers and hearty applause, said—

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of this great meeting: There can be in a man's life but few moments like this, in seeing policies in which he believes and for which he has tried to work so splendidly acclaimed by such a meeting, when at first they were questioned. I haven't anything to say at this time except to thank you most profoundly, and to add that the policies for which this Congress stands are sweeping the country as they are sweeping this body—and that, so far as the United States is concerned, Conservation, I believe, has won out. (Applause) I thank you!


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: We all know Conservation has, with such a leader, won out. (Applause)

We now take up "A Rational System of Taxing National Resources," by Frank L. McVey, President of the University of North Dakota, whom I have the pleasure of introducing. (Applause)


President McVey—Mr Chairman and Good Friends: The invitation of the President of the Congress to be present and to deliver an address on the subject of a rational system of taxing natural resources, asked that specific suggestions be made of a practical nature for the improvement of our present laws on this subject. This places upon me a heavy responsibility if the suggestions made [Pg 153]are to be accepted in any serious way. The title of the address assigned emphasizes a rational system; it implies that the one now in vogue cannot be so designated, and that any system of taxation has a close relation to the Conservation of natural resources. This, if I may put it in so many words, is my thesis.

It is unnecessary for me to go into the need of Conservation, since that has been done in the previous Congress and at various times in the public prints. The question then to which I must devote the time of the program assigned to me is this: How does taxation affect the Conservation of natural resources, and what suggestions of a practical nature can be made for the betterment of the taxation of such resources?

It may be said in the beginning that the difficulties involved in the taxing of natural resources exist to still greater degree in the case of other property. Generally speaking, we have not attained to a rational system of taxation in any field, and we are now attempting to revamp the old system and extend it, by adding to or taking from it. Economic conditions in America have changed from time to time, and these changes have forced upon us a reorganization of our methods, not only of manufacture and of transportation, but also of administration, government, and social organization. Such a condition of affairs is seen today in nearly every State, and attempts are being made to meet it in the specific instance of the fiscal problem by adding to the old system of taxation through the special taxation of corporations, inheritances, royalties, and incomes. The consequence is that so far as natural resources are concerned we have no principle existent in the general scheme of taxation that can be used to meet the new conditions that have arisen in our efforts to conserve our resources. Just as the problems of industrial organization have come upon the States, so now has come the problem of our natural resources. In hazy thinking, and sometimes in indefinite laws, we have attempted to regulate through legislation the great corporations of the present day; and in much the same manner we shall, by feeling our way, attempt to develop some plan of taxing natural resources.

Sometimes in discussing this question of the taxation of natural resources a great deal of emphasis is placed on the statement that it is the cause of the depletion of timber and mineral lands especially. I think it may be said at the outset that the taxation of natural resources is only one of many factors in the destruction of them. The extent to which this takes place is impossible to say, but the fact remains that the taxation of natural resources may or may not hasten the destruction of forest lands, the exploitation of minerals, and the cultivation of the soil. Where lands bearing timber are owned, interest charges with each year of ownership are piled up, and the same is true of the taxes. Where, on the other hand, lands are held through a royalty contract, the lessee is in a position to carry [Pg 154]the lands without special cost to himself except that of the taxes. The consequence is that it is impossible to apply the same principle of taxation to agricultural lands, timber lands, minerals, and water-powers. There must be a differentiation between them, and a differentiation that will clearly meet the various uses to which they are put.

Without question, the general property tax, as it now stands upon the statute books of the different States, does not meet in any true sense of the term the general economic conditions, and the special needs of mining and lumbering in particular. The principle of taxing the product when it is placed upon the market applies particularly to mineral and timber lands, but the same principle in the case of agricultural lands would probably deter their use and fail to meet the needs of revenue as well as working to the discouragement of the agricultural industry. The single-taxers have insisted that the taxation of lands hastens its use, that it forces the owner to develop it; and this is just the thing that is needed in the special instances of agricultural lands and of town lots, but the same principle could not be applied to the other resources of the Nation.

It is possible for the owners of timber lands by following the principles of forestry to modify the product and to keep the land in producing condition indefinitely. Taxation of such land, therefore, should have in view the maintenance of this condition. It must be clearly understood, however, that the fear of fire, interest charges on investment, and the cost of management will act quite as surely toward the rapid destruction of forests as will taxation. These conditions must also be recognized by the State in the establishment of a fire warden system, and the encouragement of forestation through some plan of bonuses. Where forestation is not practiced, the taxation of timber products under present conditions, whether on stumpage or in transit to the saw-mills, is a serious problem—serious to the local governments because under existing laws logs in transit are taxable where they are owned, and serious to the owners of the timber lands because the fixed charges on their property increase each day without any income from them. As near as can be ascertained, the annual taxes on timber vary from one cent per thousand feet to fifty cents per thousand feet, with an average tax of somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen cents per thousand feet. Interest charges are probably about twenty-three cents, making a total annual cost of something like thirty-eight cents per thousand feet. In ten years time the tax on each thousand feet of standing timber will amount to $1.50, which compounded with interest makes a total of $2.37. When added to the other charges it is probably true that the owner of timber under modern conditions must have at least $13.02 per thousand feet on his logs delivered at the mill if he is to come out even at the end of ten years with a profit of six percent.

[Pg 155]

The suggestions which have been made from time to time regarding the taxation of timber have as their fundamental principle the separation of the value of the land from the value of the timber. This plan meets the criticism of the local assessing officers by providing a basis of taxing annually a part of the valuation, and of procuring some income for the local government. If it is understood then that the land may be taxed annually and the timber product when it is cut, we have under this plan a simple scheme of taxation which will unquestionably meet the difficulty that is now urged against the general property assessment of timber lands. Under the old plan of valueing annually the property, it was difficult to secure an appraisement that was satisfactory to anybody; and, what was more, as the years went by the local governments found their assessed values decreasing and the burden of government materially increasing with the decline in amount of standing timber. The annual taxation of the land on which the timber stands meets this difficulty, while the taxation of the product at the time of harvesting provides a plan that is fair both to the local government and to the owner of timber.

On the other hand, the taxation of mineral properties differs from the taxation of timber lands in that it is not possible for the owner to increase by any plan of Conservation the amount of tonnage that he has in his possession. The Conservation which he might practice is the simple Conservation of saving for a future time. From the point of view of the State the problem is largely one of getting a share of the value of the minerals in the ground. The method that has been generally followed is that of making an appraisement of the mineral lands, which might be very far from or very near the truth. The same principle which is applied in the case of the timber lands, namely, the taxation of the product, should be applied to the taxation of mineral properties. There is no question that the easiest way, and the most satisfactory and acceptable way to all concerned, is a tonnage tax, varying possibly with the character of the ore and the cost of mining, but always depending for the rate and the amount on the ore that has been mined. It will probably be argued, as it has in other instances, that the local governments are compelled to rely largely for their support upon the taxes paid by the owners of mineral properties, and consequently a tonnage tax would deprive them of the regularity of their income. There is much to be considered in this point; but the taxation of the surface on some such basis as that seen in the case of the timber tax would provide a regular income, which would be supplemented by the amount of the tonnage taxes.

The rate of the tonnage tax would not, as in the case of the appraisement of a general property tax, tend to hasten the utilization of the ore. That would be determined entirely by the demand for it in the fields of manufacture. The real essence of the tonnage tax [Pg 156]lies in the fact that value found in the ground is distinctly a product of nature, which an ad valorem tax cannot recognize, and in consequence the State's right to a share of the value of the earth's products, together with the diminishing value element involved, are overlooked. The protection of the local government, and often of the mineral owner, demands a combination of the tonnage tax and of the local land tax.

When we come to the taxation of water-power we are face to face with a problem that involves even more difficulties than are found in the case of the timber and mineral lands. The thing here involved is so elusive, so difficult of measurement, and requires such expensive administration, that it is quite conceivable that many years must elapse before an adequate plan for such taxation can be developed. A water-power, however, is perpetual, and in this particular it differs from timber and mineral properties, and is more akin to farm lands. It differs from the latter, however, in this particular, that the work once done in harnessing it is done once for all, and the annual labor expended upon it is not exhausted, as in the case of the farm. Nature, having been harnessed, is able to accomplish the work for which she is called upon.

The first step in any adequate system of taxing water-powers must be their survey. This means listing, locating, and measuring. It means, too, that the Legislature should assume at the beginning all water-powers belonging to the State, and that the acquirement of them must be through lease, as in the case of mineral lands in the State of Minnesota, for example. Several plans have been suggested for the taxation of water-power. One is the measurement of the water flowing over a dam, and another is the taxation of the actual horsepower developed. The latter plan is subject to many criticisms. The development of horsepower depends so largely on the skill of the engineer, on the capital invested, and on the way the water is handled, that it would be far better to measure the capacity of the dam under proper engineering authority and determine a fair rate for the amount of power produced by the water passing over the dam. Of necessity many refinements of this plan would be required; such as the determination of the movement of the stream, the height of the water, the difficulties of harnessing the power; but it is possible, by taking into consideration the general expense of operating a water-power plant, to work out a rate which would be fair to the users as well as to the State. In no instance of Conservation does a greater need of proper taxation appear than in the case of water-power. Nature provides a perpetual force with but little expense after the necessary fundamentals have been arranged, and for the State to receive no compensation of any kind for the utilization of such a great wealth-producer is to bring into existence the greatest possible factor of injustice in the matter of taxation.

[Pg 157]

It will therefore be seen that a rational taxation of natural resources does not depend on any very great and intricate principle, but that, on the other hand, the principles involved are comparatively simple. It must be clearly understood as well that the taxation of land for agricultural purposes, for minerals, for timber, or for water-power, must differ in many respects, and that a principle of taxation applied in one case may not work out in the other. But if we keep clearly in mind the purposes for which land can be utilized, and that the fundamental taxation of land as such can be made annually, and that of the product at the time of its harvesting, we have in the three instances of agricultural, mineral, and timber lands a principle that may prove satisfactory when put in the form of legislation. The same idea can be applied to the water-power site; taxation of the land at a nominal assessment and of the water-power on the basis of the amount of water passing over the dam gives us again a principle upon which can be based satisfactory legislation.

It must be remembered, however, that all legislation is compromise in character, and that the recognition of these principles has usually been set aside when it came to the question of legislation. The States have reached a point in the raising of revenue where not only more revenue is needed for the purposes of general social advancement, but where better administration is as essential and necessary as the other. Administration bureaus must be provided in all of the States to furnish the necessary data, if we are to reach some practical basis of conserving our resources through taxation. And tax commissions must be given ample authority, and in addition must have plenty of expert advice and assistance which will give it the necessary endorsement. To my mind, a rational system of taxing natural resources depends largely on administration based upon a few fundamental principles of legislation. It is comparatively not a difficult matter; it is largely a question of willingness to meet the problem; but if the experience of the past has any light to throw upon this subject, it is very clear indeed that legislation will be slow, and that the different interests involved, through fear of some possible advantage likely to be gained over them, will cling to the old system until it is almost too late to produce any results through adequate taxation.

It is my hope that a Congress like this may have some power and some influence in setting aside this attitude, but I fear that an adequate system of taxation will move very slowly when it comes to its formulation in legislation. This is not encouraging, but it is truth; and that after all is what we are really trying to get at without confusing the issue by arguments favoring present attitudes either of the State or of owners of natural resources. Big views will help solve the problems, little and narrow ones never. (Applause)

[Pg 158]


President Baker—Mr J. B. White, Chairman of our Executive Committee, will discuss the question of taxation, especially in relation to woodlands. (Applause)

Chairman White—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: We have listened to a great paper upon this subject of taxation. It is a subject difficult to analyze and very difficult to apply, because each section of the country requires a different form of taxation; each State has different views, and each should apply the remedy according to the local conditions.

I speak as a representative lumberman, and as Chairman of the Conservation Committee of the Lumber Manufacturers of the United States. Now, the lumbermen have asked for nothing in regard to taxation excepting what they have incorporated in a resolution, part of the preamble to which I read:

Whereas, there is a great and growing need for uniform laws among the States in the interest of forest growth, conservation, and protection from forest fires, and for an equitable and helpful system of taxation which will make possible the conservative handling of standing timber.

That is the declaration of the preamble. It asks simply a uniform system of taxation.

I want to say a word for our fathers and grandfathers who have been called the ruthless destroyers of the forests, and I want to say in their behalf that they committed no sin which shall be visited upon their children or their children's children (applause). They cut the forests to make homes for the people; they cut the forests to build our cities and our towns; they sold all they could, they saved all they could, they committed no waste; and it should not be imputed to them that there is a penalty to be paid by their children or their children's children upon the forests that now stand. (Applause)

Taxation is regarded everywhere as a part of the cost of a commodity. Every person that buys a foot of lumber, every person that buys a yard of cloth, every person that buys a suit of clothes, or groceries, or anything that is manufactured, is the one who pays the taxes (applause). We are all consumers. We pay each other's taxes, and there is no way of avoiding taxation. It is said that death and taxation are sure. There is no way of avoiding either. The consumer must pay the tax because it is part of the cost.

Now, in regard to the system of taxation; every Nation has its own form. When it is necessary to encourage the growth or manufacture of a product, the States of the world have some way of encouraging it by relief from taxation. Germany has a law putting a duty on American wheat in order that every nook and corner of the waste land of Germany may be made to grow wheat. Now, that is a tax. The people of Germany pay that tax, but it encourages the farmer to grow wheat. And in our own country, when it is necessary to encourage the farmer in the beet-sugar, or any related industry, the [Pg 159]Government gives a bounty, and people pay it, and the money is kept at home instead of going abroad for the product. So in timber taxation, it would seem to me that the reasonable way is to tax it as it is cut—let the tax follow the saw. Of course every State will apply the remedy according to local conditions. Louisiana has applied the remedy. She has passed some very good laws, and we are going to hear from the representatives of that State, before this Congress adjourns. We want to consider these things.

There are now so many substitutes for lumber that there will be inducements to let trees stand if they are not overtaxed. A tree must have a hundred years' growth before it can be utilized in the shape of clear lumber in the upper grades. If you tax the tree every year, you are putting one hundred years' taxes upon the timber. We must be reasonable about these things if we would encourage the growing of trees. Any other commodity in the United States pays a tax annually upon the crop, but here, in growing timber, we are paying for a hundred years where we should only pay for one. (Applause)

Some States will not grow trees. Illinois will not grow trees. It would prefer to grow corn. Its land is too rich to grow timber, and the people will grow corn and exchange it for the product of other States which are better adapted to tree-growing and not so well adapted to agriculture. The lands west of the Cascade Range are well adapted to tree-growing on account of the great rainfall, and not so well adapted for other uses. A tree will grow there in forty years to as great a size as it will in eighty years on this side of the Cascade Range. In short, trees will be grown where it pays to grow them, where they are encouraged to be grown, where the people want them grown. We cannot grow trees on sentiment; tree-growing will have to pay; it will have to stand upon a commercial basis. The Government cannot grow trees without its costing something to grow them. Conservation has been wrongly understood.

The great leader of American forestry, Gifford Pinchot, is in favor of development (applause). He said in his speech at Seattle a year ago that there could be greater waste by non-development and by non-use than there had been by the wastefulness of the past. That is true. By non-development and non-use we commit sometimes more waste than we did in the past, for we could not waste when things were not worth anything; a thing that isn't worth saving and whose by-product cannot be utilized is not wasted even if it goes to the burning ground or lies in the woods. (Applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: You will all be glad to hear from the greatest, grandest, noblest work of God, our good women. I have the pleasure of introducing Mrs George O. Welch, of Fergus Falls, representing the General Federation of Women's Clubs. (Applause).

[Pg 160]


Mrs Welch—Mr President, Delegates to the Second National Conservation Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen: In the preparations for this great Congress, there seems to have been no possible item omitted which could in any way contribute to the pleasure or edification of visitors, save in two particulars; and with these the management had nothing to do. The first is the unavoidable absence of the President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs Philip N. Moore, resulting from the accident which befell her in Cincinnati last May, from which she has not fully recovered. The second is due to those two elements which have for years uncounted interfered with man's proposals—time and tide. It is because time must be consumed in crossing the Atlantic and tide reckoned with on the voyage that Mrs Emmons Crocker, of Boston, is not able to be present to speak on "Woman's Influence in National Questions." Her absence is indeed to be regretted, since influence is today women's best asset.

Because of these two regrettable occurrences a great honor and pleasure has fallen upon me. I am proud to be the bearer of greetings to the Second National Conservation Congress from the General Federation of Women's Clubs, an organization 800,000 strong, that may justly claim kinship with this body, since its watch words for years have been Conservation and Service, which are the impulse and purpose of this great Congress.

The inception of the General Federation of Women's Clubs was due to the recognition of the necessity of conserving the energy and strength wastefully expended by scattered clubs remote from each other, which concentrated, might make a tremendous influence for the development of good fellowship and good citizenship. That the General Federation has become of great force I think you will admit, since its President was invited to be one of that first notable Conference called by the President of the United States in 1908 to consider the problems which this Congress is hoping to solve. She was the only woman invited to that Conference of Governors, and it is not vain pride which prompts the mention of the great honor thus conferred upon the General Federation—it is rather an humble sort of pride, since recognition of the work which Women's Clubs are doing carries with it an obligation to greater effort and greater achievement.

The General Federation of Women's Clubs has long been teaching the necessity of Conservation, not only of the natural resources on which the material prosperity of this country depends, but of that vital force which means public health and all that goes with it; of that intellectual force which means education; and of that spiritual force which makes for higher ideals, wider sympathies, and fuller appreciation of our responsibility for the welfare of our fellow-beings.

In the matter of the Conservation of natural resources, the one which claimed our earliest attention was that of forestry. As far back [Pg 161]as 1900 the forestry committee in the General Federation served to bring into mutual recognition and helpfulness the efforts of all the clubs engaged in the work for the protection of forests; and I was proud of the praise given us yesterday by our most distinguished visitor for Minnesota's successful efforts to preserve a large acreage of white pine timber as a National forest reserve. It was a fine and inspiring example to other States engaged in a warfare against the devastating hand of commercialism (applause). And it is another matter of pride that for four years the chairman of the forestry committee of the General Federation was a Minnesota woman, Mrs Lydia Phillips Williams (applause), whose life was devoted to the promulgation of forestry education, and to whose untiring efforts very much of the splendid work done for forestry by Women's Clubs is attributable.

Perhaps the most signal of the triumphs won by the Women's Clubs in the line of forestry was the saving of the big trees of California, after a fight lasting nine years (applause). Those were years of great stress for the women, but we are willing to fight nine years more if need be for the right sort of protection to the forests in the White Mountains and Appalachian ranges (applause). Today we are fighting not alone for the trees that are standing, but for the reforestation of devastated lands and for a stay of the wanton waste of forest products. At our recent biennial convention a whole session was devoted to this phase of the work, showing that our interest is practical as well as sentimental. Since the conserving of forests and the conserving of water supplies are interdependent, the General Federation of Women's Clubs through its committee on waterways is disseminating information, creating interest, and urging legislation for the further protection of these resources.

But the Conservation of natural resources, important as it is, is not the work which represents our heart interest, which appeals to our highest nature; it is not the thing for which we make our greatest effort. It is the problems of life, those affecting the home, society, our children, to which we give our most earnest endeavor. There never was a convention of Women's Clubs anywhere that did not in some way stress the Conservation of the home, the family, the school, as our greatest need; and it is because we are aware of the grave dangers threatening them, dangers born of our times and fostered by our rapid material growth, that we are endeavoring through organization and concentration of forces to turn the tide into safer channels.

The child has always been the central figure in our deliberations, the one for whom our hardest battles have been fought. The General Federation, through its committees on health, education, and household economy, is carrying on a campaign of education which will give to all children greater opportunity for normal, helpful, happy development. To the child himself, through its department of civics, the [Pg 162]Federation is teaching his duty to society and his responsibility to the future. Through its committee on industrial and social conditions it is trying to secure for him safety and efficiency in the great industrial struggle; to protect him against the forces that are pushing him, imperfectly prepared, into the great maelstrom of the workaday world, wasting his young life, minimizing his chances for happiness and usefulness. As long ago as the Los Angeles convention in 1902, Jane Addams, our greatest American woman (applause), pleaded for the protection of the child against the awful economic waste of child labor (applause). She told of little lives by scores and hundreds yearly sacrificed to the god of greed: of conditions in some of the industrial pursuits where for want of a few dollars expended in safety devices, many children were yearly killed outright, or maimed for life. She so touched the hearts of her hearers that a committee on child labor was there created, whose province it was to discover if possible a remedy for these crying evils; at any rate to inform the public of their existence.

Women have worked long and earnestly to ameliorate these conditions, but they must depend on the mutual action of earnest, interested men, such as are sitting in this Congress today, for the enactment and enforcement of the laws necessary to improve a state of things which women have only the power to point out. In the particular case of child labor there can be no accusation of exaggeration or hysteria, since from so unemotional a source as the Federal Government we learn that its recent investigation of child labor shows need of a strenuous and continued effort for the conservation of child life. In the cotton textile industry alone, and along the line of age-limit and illiteracy alone, its statistics show that in a group of States having no age limit for child laborers, there are over 10 percent of female workers under fourteen years of age, and that in those same States over 50 percent of the children of both sexes so employed are unable to read or write. What worth have forests or mines or any material wealth, gained at the sacrifice of so much vital force?

For the welfare of women and girls, as well as for children, the General Federation is working with all its energy and strength. For moral and social as well as industrial protection it begs cooperation. Against the black plague as well as the white plague it is waging its warfare. For better housing in cities, for improved conditions in rural and remote communities, it is using all its power. What conservation and concentration of effort can do it is trying to accomplish, but it must as yet find its work constantly hampered and hindered by its inability to press to their ultimate accomplishment things which only legislation can effect. A club woman has wisely said that as conditions are today it is the women who suggest and initiate, the men who adopt and complete. This is true; for, after all, women can only point the way.

[Pg 163]

The Ex-President of the United States told us yesterday that it was a great wrong to allow any body of people to monopolize any good thing. There is, however, an exception to this rule, which I am sure our honored First Citizen would concede to us: Women have long had a monopoly on influence; it has been the one thing accounted their own particular weapon in social warfare (applause). And so I appeal to the men in this audience to yield themselves to that women's weapon when next the General Federation of Women's Clubs or any individual members of the Federation asks them for the enactment of laws which shall tend to the Conservation of the vital forces represented in the mothers of the race and the children who are to be the country's future citizens. The General Federation is, after all, just one more organization trying to make this land a better place to live in, and its people better fitted to live in this better land. (Applause).


President Baker—The next lady I wish to present represents an association that has done much; Mrs Hoyle Tomkies, of Shreveport, President of the Women's National Rivers and Harbors Congress.


Mrs Hoyle Tomkies—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Greetings to this Second National Conservation Congress from the Women's National Rivers and Harbors Congress, organized June, 1908, and having officers in thirty-eight States and Territorial possessions.

This organization has for its object the development of the meritorious rivers and harbors, the preservation of the forests, and the Conservation of all the natural resources of the Nation. It stands for the establishment by the Federal Government of a definite waterway policy for the improvement of all approved rivers and harbors of the entire country, and also for the adoption of such a policy as will secure not only forest reserves but general forest development. The Congress believes that the development of the waterways of the Nation increases and conserves the people's wealth, first, directly, by securing the cheapest mode of transportation; second, indirectly, by lowering the cost of transportation by rail; and third, by encouraging production. The platform as adopted immediately after organization stated a belief in the need for the Conservation of all the natural resources of the Nation because of the interdependence which necessitated the development of each.

The membership of our Congress is composed of individuals and clubs, representing almost thirty thousand men and women, the latter largely predominating. The work of the Congress, conducted through the Departments of Education and Publicity, is directed by a board of directors representing thirty-nine States and Territories. Voluntarily these women are giving their time, finding in the joy of service for the cause ample recompense.

[Pg 164]

In the educational campaign, the Congress has culled from the best authorities the strongest arguments and convincing statistics, and has had these printed and circulated in many thousands of copies throughout the length and breadth of the land. In 1908 this Congress secured the cooperation of the General Federation of Women's Clubs for the promotion of waterway development.

Since organization the Congress has worked incessantly for the passage of Rivers and Harbors bills, and individually for State projects for waterway development. It has worked for the Week's Bill, and for general National and State development. It urged upon Congress the passage of the bill for the preservation of Niagara Falls in the spring of 1909.

In its educational campaign it has covered the entire question of Conservation, and also urged the non-pollution and the beautification of the streams of our country. It has secured and arranged for large audiences in critical or indifferent centers, for experts to advocate the cause, and it has had speakers at all important public gatherings possible. It has organized Conservation clubs, and secured the addition of Conservation committees in various organizations. It has offered prizes, securing the writing of many thousands of essays by school children upon waterway and forest development. The various State vice-presidents have issued State circular letters, showing how their States were concerned in the cause we represent.

The plan of the Congress to supplement or substitute Arbor Day with Conservation Day met with the hearty approval of the United States Department of Agriculture and the cooperation of many educators, and has been successfully carried out in many States. The resolution of the Congress asking that the principles of Conservation of natural resources be taught in the school and summer normals, has been presented to every State represented in the Congress, Louisiana being the first to immediately pass the resolution unanimously at its State Conference of High School Superintendents, representing forty thousand pupils, and at its State Teachers' Association; Kentucky being a close second, with every encouragement from other States. (Applause)

The same resolution was presented to the National Educational Association in convention at Boston, July 5-9, 1910. Of this resolution, Honorable Elmer Ellsworth Brown, United States Commissioner of Education, to whom we later had the pleasure of listening, wrote in reply to me a pleasant letter in which he enclosed the following copy of his letter to Dr Irwin Shepard, Secretary of the National Educational Association:

[Pg 165]DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
BUREAU OF EDUCATION
WASHINGTON

Doctor Irwin Shepard,
Secretary National Educational Association,
Westminster Hotel,
Boston, Mass.

My dear Doctor Shepard: The preamble and resolution enclosed herewith have been sent to me by the Woman's National Rivers and Harbors Congress, Mrs Hoyle Tomkies, of Shreveport, Louisiana, as President National Educational Association at its Boston meeting. Following our ordinary course in such matters, may I ask you to lay this matter before the committee on resolutions.

You are aware of the conservative position which I take as regards proposals for the incorporation of new studies in our school curriculum, and also as regards the turning aside of our school instructions from the aims of general education to the propaganda of any special cause. The organization presenting this resolution, however, disclaim any intention of introducing a separate new study in the course. The subject which they propose, however, is one so intimately bound up with the geographical conditions and the past history of this country, as well as with our prospect for the future, that it seems to me very desirable that the attention of teachers should be called to it, and that they should be led to see its relation to any proper and adequate treatment of a knowledge of our country. I should think it very desirable, accordingly, that something of this kind be introduced into the platform of the Association of this year, with such adaptation of form and phraseology as the common practice of the Association would suggest.

I am, believe me,

Very truly yours,
[Signed] Elmer Ellsworth Brown, Commissioner.

As to the action of the National Educational Association regarding the resolution, Dr Shepard wrote to me in part as follows: "I sincerely regret that you were not duly informed earlier of the action, or rather the non-action, of the Committee on Resolutions. I cannot explain their action in this matter. They had a large number of subjects to consider, and the omission of a declaration upon any subject is not to be considered as a judgment against such a declaration, but simply that the Committee did not find it practicable, for reasons satisfactory to them, to include it in the declarations which they offered. Incidentally I may suggest to you the present uncertainty regarding what is meant by Conservation and the wisest policies to be adopted may have led them to defer action in this matter. Let me assure you that we are all deeply interested in Conservation, and believe that it can be profitably brought into the work of the public schools, but many are still uncertain as to the form of such work and the methods by which it can be most profitably introduced into the public school curriculum."

Members of this Congress, there is in this non-action a suggestion potent to us. This indecision, this lack of harmony, should speedily as possible be changed into a definite, harmonious union of Conservation policies (applause). This fall a printed catechism of questions on Conservation adapted to the various grades will become a part of the curriculum of the public schools of Kentucky, and will be tried in various other States.

Delegates have been sent by the Women's National Rivers and Harbors Congress to all important conventions of kindred interests. Since organization it has had representative speakers on the platform [Pg 166]of many of the most important conventions. The Congress has furnished lecturers to schools and to various clubs of men and women, and also to the churches, in which latter the subject of "Conservation of Natural Resources from the Moral Standpoint" has proved an appropriate and impressive theme.

In December, 1909, the Congress endorsed the disinterested and patriotic policy of Honorable Gifford Pinchot as Chief Forester of the United States. (Applause)

This report cannot satisfactorily be closed without mention of the loyal and very enthusiastic support of Conservation being given us by our Hawaiian members, who number several hundred, and who began immediately to put belief into practice. Our State vice president there, Mrs A. F. Knudson, came all the way to Washington to attend our last convention.

These are the general activities of the organization. It would be impossible for me to go into the State activities at this time. Sufficient to say that the message is being given at the fireside, from the platform, in the schools, through the press, all with the idea of perpetuating this Nation—won by the blood of our forefathers—and handing it down in all the glory of its wealth and beauty to future generations. (Applause)


President Baker—It is a pleasure to present Mrs G. B. Sneath, of Tiffin, Ohio.


Mrs Sneath—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: After hearing the general purpose for which the women of the General Federation of Women's Clubs have been working, it may seem needless for me to tell what one definite part of this great body is endeavoring to accomplish. I represent Mrs J. D. Wilkinson, Chairman of the Waterways Committee of the General Federation, which is a part of the great Conservation Committee of the Federation, comprising almost 800,000 women in its organization.

Our work is entirely educational. We go into all the schools where we can possibly gain access, and strive to get the matter of preservation of inland waterways taught in the schools as among the great Conservation problems. We have heard from experts all that is being done, all that they are trying to do, all that they are trying to remedy; and we feel that we, as women, have one chief and great duty to perform. You have heard how women strive to conserve the lives of children, to make them strong mentally, morally and physically. Yet this is not all; the one great problem before the American people today is that of pure food and pure water (applause); and we, as women, must strive in the communities in which we live and the States of which we are a part—and the Nation must come to our aid—to rescue and prevent from contamination the life-giving streams of this country, streams that were given for the benefit of [Pg 167]mankind but which man has turned into drainage canals and cesspools. We must have help; we must have it through State Legislatures, we must have it through the Federal Government, else we cannot conserve the lives of those that are dear to us. If a visitor from another land were to say to us, "Your children are being poisoned by their own parents," we would hesitate to believe it; but our children are being poisoned—not by criminal intent but by the carelessness of the municipalities in which we live (applause). So I leave with you this one thought: If we accomplish nothing else, if we leave to the men the questions of transportation and navigation and the great problems of irrigation and of water-power, let us work for the purity of our rivers and streams and lakes and inland waterways.[1] (Applause)


President Baker—The Proceedings of this Congress are to be published through the kindness of a gentleman in Saint Paul who has guaranteed to have it printed, and all these addresses will go in.

We will now hear from Mrs Jay Cooke Howard, of Duluth.


Mrs Howard—Mr President, Ladies and Gentleman: I will keep you only a minute, because you look hungry, and I'm hungry myself. I will simply file my report and tell you briefly what the Daughters of the American Revolution are doing for Conservation.

The D. A. R., being a patriotic society, believe that all their work is in the spirit of true Conservation; but we have a special National Committee, with a member or members from each State. I represent the chairman, Mrs Belle Merrill Draper, because I am the member for Minnesota. Mrs Draper wrote last fall to all the Governors, asking each what we could do to help the cause of Conservation in his State. When the answers came we went to work, chiefly in three ways: First, in our own meetings, in which we worked up enthusiasm. Second, in the press; the papers in the larger cities have much Conservation matter, but in smaller cities and towns this is not always the case, and you from such places will never know how much about Conservation that you have read—or skipped—was inspired by the D. A. R. Our third branch of work, and the most important one, is with the children. I notice that most of the Governors, whose interesting letters are contained in the report I am filing, preferred to have us turn our attention to the children rather than to the men (laughter). Governor Eberhart's courteous letter mentioned them, and the forests, especially. We have worked through the schools, and also in our own homes. May I tell my own experience? [Voices: "Go on, Go on!"] I felt very proud when my little boy, who had saved eleven cents and did not know what to do with it all, finally said, "Mother, I will give it to the baby; put it in his bank; it will teach him to save." But [Pg 168]straws in the family show which way the wind blows in the Nation. Listen to what happened: I provided savings banks, the children conserved their resources, saved their wealth and then somebody came and stole the banks! (Laughter and cries of "Good!")


President Baker—The Congress stands adjourned until 2 oclock.


SIXTH SESSION

The Congress reconvened in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, at 2 p.m. September 7, President Baker in the chair.

President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: I have the honor of asking Senator Moses E. Clapp, of Minnesota, to preside this afternoon, and to him I now yield the chair. (Applause)

Senator Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: During the course of this Congress much has been said concerning the fact that Conservation applies not only to the material resources of a Nation, but to its productiveness and to its energies; and among those things to which it must under that classification apply is the Conservation of time. Now, I am going to give you a practical illustration of how a loyal adherent can carry out the Conservation of time by omitting a speech, and proceeding at once to the business of the afternoon. (Laughter)

The first entry in the program for this afternoon is an address, "Making Our People Count," by Dr Edwin Boone Craighead, President of Tulane University, whom I take great pleasure in introducing. (Applause)


President Craighead—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: In this Republic there is one thing supremely great and sacred, greater than the great Republican party, the party of Lincoln and Grant, greater than the great Democratic party, the party of Jefferson and Jackson, more precious than the Conservation of our natural resources, more sacred than the Supreme Court, or even the Constitution itself—I mean the great American people (applause). To make this people count, not only in the Conservation of our natural resources but also in the enlargement and enrichment of their own lives, is the fundamental, the paramount, problem of this Republic; for ours, it must not be forgotten, is not only a Government of the people and by the people, but also preeminently a Government for the people.

The Founders of this Republic were not only scholars and thinkers, but seers and prophets. With profound knowledge of the despotisms that for five thousand years had crushed and enslaved the greatest and sublimest thing on this earth, the individual man, the Fathers of the Republic laid broad and deep its foundations upon an everlasting rock—the inalienable, the ineradicable, the eternal right of man to life, [Pg 169]liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They builded for all time and for all generation of men. (Applause)

The individual man, the individual woman, is by far the greatest and sublimest creation of God that we know of—far greater and grander than any or all the institutions of society. These institutions are the works of the hands of man, they exist for him, and their only reason for being is that they minister to him. Yea, the earth was made for man, and the only reason for the Conservation of its resources is that they may minister unto the needs of the individual man:

Seas roll to waft him, suns to light him rise;
His footstool the earth, his canopy the skies.

In the deliberations of this Congress the words of Ruskin should be uppermost in the minds of all: "There is no real wealth but life;" and by life he meant the perfection of the entire man, body, soul, and spirit. That church is best, that institution is noblest, that civilization is highest, that country is greatest, which furnishes the most abundant life to the largest number of human beings.

The Chinese Empire, which embraces near four hundred million human beings, has existed for five thousand years; yet the countless millions of China, springing up like tropical weeds and sinking back to dreamless dust, have contributed far less to civilization than the twenty thousand Athenians who in the brief Periclean age followed the footsteps of Plato and Socrates. (Applause)

Neither vastness of population or territory, nor richness of natural resources, nor accumulated wealth can alone make a great country. That country is great, no matter how barren its soil, whose children may truthfully repeat the words of the stern old Spartan, who, when one pointing in derision to the bleak hills of Lacedemonia asked, "What do you grow there?" replied, "We grow men there" (applause). To breed a race of strong men and noble women is the one and only thing that can make a country truly great.

Consider Scotland—a poor and barren country, yet who would dare to call poor the land of Scott and Burns and Carlyle? Who shall estimate the wealth of Scotland's contribution to the world and to America? The sons of her sturdy pioneers who poured down through Virginia and Kentucky and the Carolinas have been worth to this Republic their weight in gold. (Applause)

Take Ireland, that synonym of poverty; and yet how could our great metropolitan cities thrive for a single day without the helping hand of the sons of Erin? Somebody has advised that we buy Ireland, not for her natural resources, not to grow corn and wheat and cotton, but to grow policemen. (Applause)

Coming a little nearer home, take New England with her thousands of abandoned farms, rich only in the variety and ferocity of her climate and the blessed dispensations of our American protection; and yet far from mean have been New England's contributions to the [Pg 170]wealth of American democracy. New England, rocky old New England, barren, storm-swept New England, "Land of brown bread and beans," home of the liberty-loving Puritans who, for the sake of the immaterial good, in quest of freedom, crossed the stormy sea, endured the hardships of an untamed wilderness battling with hunger and wild beasts and savages—grand, glorious New England (applause), home of Adams and Webster and Emerson and Hawthorne and Williams and Lowell and Longfellow and Edward Everett and Phillips Brooks (applause)—grand, glorious, immortal New England, by her schools and colleges has almost dominated the intellectual life of this country; and in every part of this vast Republic, yea, in every civilized land under the sun, may be found the sons and daughters of the pilgrims of the Mayflower; scholars, preachers, teachers, missionaries, pioneers who have blazed out the pathway of civilization, established schools and colleges and universities, always and everywhere children of sweetness and light who even on the remotest frontier have kept trimmed and lighted the sacred lamps of learning (applause). Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Bowdoin, Dartmouth, Williams, have contributed more to the dignity of man, given more to the everlasting glory of the American commonwealth, than all the stock speculators of New York, or all the battleships ever built for the American Navy. (Applause)

Take only one other illustration: Who of you from the waving cornfields of Iowa and Illinois, from the fertile lowlands of the Mississippi, has not wondered, while passing through the Old Dominion and looking out upon her red clay hills, how on earth do these people make a living? Why give me one acre of the best Louisiana soil—and it is nearly all good—and put it down upon the barren rocks of New England, or upon the red hills of Old Virginia, and I would make a fortune selling it for fertilizer (laughter). And yet Virginia has contributed more to the wealth of the American Republic than any other single State of the Union (applause). At the call of what other States did there ever arise a larger band of more gallant men than they who under the leadership of Jackson and Lee withstood for long weary months the combined forces of the Union? And when the War was over, and Virginia found herself in abjectest poverty, she showed to the world that her riches were inexhaustible; for during the next forty years she sent abroad into other States five hundred thousand of her most adventurous sons (applause), and, in so doing, contributed more to the wealth of this Republic than all the gold that was ever dug from the mines of California (applause). I do not wonder that the poorest the humblest son of the Old Dominion, no matter where he finds himself, whether trudging through the snows of Minnesota or loitering perchance beneath the fragrant magnolias of Louisiana—even he, the poorest and humblest, must quicken his steps and lift aloft his head as he remembers, "Mine is the land of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and James Monroe and John Marshall [Pg 171]and John Randolph and Patrick Henry and Stonewall Jackson and—towering above them all save Washington only—that matchless military chieftain, great in battle but still greater in defeat as a private citizen, the stainless, the immortal Robert E. Lee." (Applause)

James Russell Lowell said—and said truthfully—that countries are great only in proportion to what they do for the moral and the intellectual energy, the spiritual faith, the hope, the comfort, the happiness of mankind. (Applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: It is provided in the program that between the set speeches we will hear briefly from the accredited representatives of the various States, taken in alphabetical order. I now have the pleasure of calling upon the State of Alabama. (Pause) If no one cares to be heard from Alabama, I now call upon Arizona. (Pause) If no one from Arizona, then from the State of Arkansaw; and that there may be no mistake on the part of the inhabitants of that State in the termination of the name, I repeat that call in the name of Arkansas. (Laughter)

A Delegate—Mr Chairman, I suggest that the call of the States be deferred until 8.30 in the morning, and that it then be taken up as a definite matter of business.

Chairman Clapp—Will the gentleman make a motion to that effect?

[The motion was made, seconded, put and carried without dissenting voice.]

President Baker—Mr Chairman: I will be very glad to be here at 8.30. We want everyone to be heard, and I would come here at 6 oclock if desired, though I think 8.30 is early enough. I will be here promptly to open the Congress and hear from the States until the regular speakers begin. Then on Thursday afternoon we have set aside a special time to hear from all the States and all the different organizations represented here.

Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: During last summer it became my province to distribute nuggets of moral philosophy and political truth to the people of Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa; and while laboring in that moral vineyard I discovered that there was a newspaper in the Southwest that had an immense influence throughout all that section. We have a representative of that paper with us this afternoon, who will now address us on "The Press and the People"; Mr D. Austin Latchaw, of the Kansas City Star. (Applause)


Mr Latchaw—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: As a representative of the newspaper profession, before I say anything else, I wish, on behalf of my associates and myself, to thank the city of Saint Paul and its Committee on Arrangements for the very excellent facilities provided and the thoughtful courtesies extended to the men assigned to cover this Congress.

[Pg 172]

The subject assigned me is incidental rather than germane to the work of this Congress. It is a big subject, and even if I felt that I could do justice to it I would doubt the appropriateness of using this occasion for the discourse. You are here to consider practical Conservation; to discuss ways and means to develop and, so far as possible, to foster the natural resources of this country, and above all to check and prevent the wasting of them. And it is one striking commentary on the relations of the press to the people that you do not need to give a moment's concern about the publication of your deliberations and conclusions. (Applause)

Yet it does seem fitting that at some stage of these proceedings a little time should be given to the consideration of that far-reaching agency without which the results of this Congress would not reach the public at large; for what you do today will be made known to tens of millions of readers tomorrow. If it were not so, the value of such public-spirited meetings as this would be immeasurably discounted.

However, as a member of the newspaper profession I cannot but feel that my subject would be more appropriately discussed by someone outside of that profession. It might be handled more frankly. It might be made more instructive to both the press and the people. Most assuredly I have not come here to throw stones at my professional brethren, and as for handing them bouquets, that gentle function might be performed with a somewhat better grace by someone outside the family. Still, I shall not be quite so reserved as was an old farmer back in Pennsylvania, whose farm adjoined that of my father when I was a boy, and who always got the worst of it in a horse trade because he was too modest to brag about his end of the proposition.

First of all the newspapers of this country could not have the splendid field they possess, the great opportunities they enjoy and the inspiring attention they command, if they did not appeal to the best read, the most intelligent, and the most responsive people on earth. In no other country is such a large percentage of the public a newspaper-reading public. Nowhere else does the average man know so much about current affairs of all kinds as in this country of ours.

On the other hand, I believe this popular intelligence is reciprocal—that the response the newspapers find for their endeavors is largely due to their efficiency in disseminating the news, in analyzing public questions, and in reiterating the truth. The man who is an habitual reader of a good newspaper owes much to that paper, just as the paper also owes much to him.

It is true that newspapers differ in policies and methods and doctrines, and there are times when the public may be confused rather than enlightened by the different presentations of the same subject, especially if the subject be one of technical complexities, such, for example, as that of the protective tariff. But in the daily run of events [Pg 173]and the discussion of them, and in the long run of complex problems, the lines between right and wrong are not difficult to follow. And I am glad to say that from the newspaper point of view, these lines seem to be more clearly discerned than ever before, not alone by the press, but by the people. There has been a National awakening in this country, and the newspapers have had their share of it (applause). There is a broader and franker handling of the subjects of the day. The number of wholly independent papers is constantly increasing, and the number of independent party papers is increasing still more rapidly. The uncompromising party organ will soon be a thing of the past (applause). This greater independence of the press is largely responsible for the increasing independence of the electorate. The time has come when no man's loyalty to his party can be questioned when he honestly disapproves of some legislative measure or official representative of that party.

The chief function of the press is, of course, to present the news, and the news, collectively speaking, is non-partisan. A paper's advertising is non-partisan. If it is the right sort of paper, its circulation is largely non-partisan. And with equal freedom in its editorial policy, a newspaper, especially the big resourceful paper with an efficient and somewhat specialized staff, may make of itself a sort of popular university for its readers, furnishing them with authoritative information, whether obvious in the news or elucidated in the editorials, on the current life of the world.

I am not one of those who believe that a newspaper should confine itself to the mere presentation of the news. That is a great and powerful function, but the paper with a vast audience, with a reputation for honesty and authority, can make of itself a constructive agency of tremendous power (applause). Also, it can make itself a destructive agency, when the public welfare demands that something should be destroyed (applause).

Of course, we are a busy people, and newspapers must be prepared with reference to our limited leisure. A few papers are conducted on the theory that the public has no time to read anything but the headlines. I am not here to "knock" this class of newspaper. If they do not show a regrettable preference for the sensational or the scandalous, they serve a good purpose in the scheme of publicity. They have greatly enlarged the newspaper audience. Do not forget that. And it is the experience of those who have published this class of papers that sooner or later their readers require more conservatism. As a result there has been a tendency for some time among these papers toward a more dignified style of publication.

But, as I have said, we are busy people. We have need for intelligent digests, authoritative discussions of the subjects of the day as well as news developments of those subjects. An evidence of this need is the fact that, in some of our municipal, State, and National [Pg 174]contests in which great issues are at stake, it is necessary, in spite of our boasted and undoubted intelligence, to reiterate salient facts day after day in order to drive them home and make them enter into the conviction of the masses (applause). Sometimes this reiteration becomes tiresome to those of quick perception or ample leisure; but it is a necessary practice on the part of a newspaper that regards itself as an instructive and constructive agency as well as news furnisher. And when a paper thus regards itself it would seem that the ideal and final policy would be one of untrammeled freedom—freedom to support the man or the measure best calculated to serve the public welfare, or to oppose the man or the measure believed to be inimical to popular well-being. A paper thus established, not as an infallible judge but as an intelligent investigator, a patriotic champion, and an enterprising and faithful agency for progress in the community that supports it, can become a tremendous factor for good—a factor that will be taken into account by all friends of the people, and must be taken into account by all enemies of the people. (Applause)

I will not presume to encroach upon the direct business of this Congress except so far as the newspaper hears a relation to it. Every newspaper publisher has a personal as well as his public share of the general interest in Conservation. The problem of procuring wood pulp at prices that will permit the continuation of the publication of newspapers at the present low rates will soon be serious unless a check is put upon the rapid decrease in the forest area. Wood pulp is made almost entirely from the spruce tree. For years the manufacturers of pulp stripped the forests with little thought of the morrow. The visible supply of pulp timber is becoming limited. Unless tree-growing comes to the rescue, it will not be long before print paper will have to be made from some other material, if a satisfactory substitute can be found, or the pulp will have to be bought from other countries.

I do not know whether you understand how much good timber is handled by newspaper readers. Let me give you some figures: The readers of the paper I represent handle sixty tons of it a day, taking into account the weekly edition. This is, in round numbers, 20,000 tons per year. We are already importing 20 percent of the pulp used in our paper mill. Think of it! In this great, big, new country, once almost covered with mighty forests, we find it advantageous today to import a common forest product from old Germany, where the highest standards of forest preservation and use are to be found. And this pulp, with a protective duty paid, is laid down in Kansas City for less than we have to pay for the domestic product of the same kind and quality. To make the paper for this one mill, the output of which is used exclusively by one paper, a daily average of more than one acre of spruce forest is used.

It is a matter for congratulation that the press of the country has assumed a most friendly attitude toward the Conservation movement [Pg 175](applause). Newspapers still disagree about many things. They have their little differences on the tariff, on the currency system, on corporation regulation, on certain men and particular measures, and they do not agree as to why "Jim" Jeffries didn't come back (laughter); but I have yet to find in a single issue of any paper flat opposition to the Conservation of natural resources (applause). Gentlemen of the Conservation Congress, you have here a movement of National and irresistible sweep, a theme that will endure through successive generations—for if it does not endure the Nation ultimately must perish. The people have grasped this subject spontaneously, and they are ready to study it zealously. Few yet comprehend its scope, fewer still its diversified details; but collectively the people intuitively understand its vital significance. The country has at last awakened to its gross neglect and waste and prodigality. It has suddenly been reminded of its obligation to future generations along material lines. There is something even more appealing in this than the promptings of altruism: there is the moving sense of parental obligation, of sacred trusteeship. You are to be congratulated—you who are the fathers and prime movers of this great cause—that you have the united press of the country behind you.

And not only is the press with you, but it is ready to do far more than it has been able to do thus far. This movement needs publicity—much publicity. It is new. It must be made familiar. The people must be informed in detail as to the location, the character, and the extent of their resources, and as to the means employed or proposed for the developing and fostering of those resources. The only effective means for the dissemination of this information is the press.

Every year the Government spends millions of dollars on Government reports. These reports are necessary as matters of record and reference, but they are worthless for general reading. Many of the millions expended on these reports could be saved by limiting the number of copies to those that will be used and by leaving the mails unencumbered with the surplus (applause). If a part of the money thus saved were expended in the intelligent preparation of news matter pertaining to the various Government departments, giving to the people the interesting facts as they develop instead of depending on voluminous and unpopular reports for the education of the people in these matters, the work of the Government would be facilitated by popular enlightenment where it is now hampered by popular ignorance. It seems to me there is an opportunity here for the Conservation of our National revenues and our natural resources at the same time.

What is needed is an intelligent publicity bureau or agent in each department and the more important subdivisions, capable of preparing, in news form, as the facts develop, the interesting and instructive features of the department's daily work. This does not mean that all the papers will use all this matter, but some of it would be used by all [Pg 176]to whom it is offered, and all of it would be used by some papers. On the whole there would be much wider publicity than could be procured in any other way.

I am not suggesting an untried experiment. Some of the bureaus at Washington have publicity departments. Those of the Agricultural Department and the Geological Survey have been measurably effective, and manufacturers and importers have found large use for the popularized consular reports. But with a single exception there has been no near approach to the possibilities of cheap and helpful publicity in any department at Washington. The exception I have in mind is the Forest Service (applause). Do you know why the country knows so much more about forest conditions and the employed and proposed measures for their improvement than it knows about irrigation, reclamation, the use of the rivers, the potentialities of water-power, or the conservation of coal or oil or minerals? It is because the Forest Service, under the direction of Mr Gifford Pinchot, established a news service of such a character that the press of the country used its output freely and without the cost of one cent to the Government other than the cost of putting the matter in form acceptable to the press. (Applause)

For some reason it was proposed, a couple of years ago, to prohibit, by Congressional enactment, the continuance of this publicity. But the effort resulted only in a complete vindication of the service. It was shown that only legitimate news had been given out, and that this news had appeared in an average of 9,000,000 copies of newspapers per month. These figures were based on clippings procured through the clipping bureaus, and did not include many publications that must have escaped the clippers.

Now, if it had been undertaken to place this same matter before the same number of readers through the medium of the formal and technical reports of the department, the cost would have been more than 100 times as great—and nobody would have read them.

As an illustration that newspapers want more Conservation news than they are getting through regular channels: A number of publishers recently formed a special Conservation service, which they maintained in Washington, whose business it is to follow exclusively the developments of this movement. But this service cannot be made what it should be made if the Government does not cooperate in this policy of needed publicity.

Considering the waste that is incurred in the publishing of Government documents that have no popular educational value, it seems well nigh preposterous that there should not be ample provision, out of a saving that could be made by cutting off this waste, for the publication of matter that the people want and the newspapers stand ready to print free of cost. It would be no more absurd for this Congress to go into executive session, bar these gentlemen of the press from its [Pg 177]deliberations, and assume that the official report of your proceedings, which will be printed in the due course of time, would furnish sufficient publicity for the work of this convention. As it is, you have a circulation of tens of millions daily for your output. (Applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: We often find a man who excels along some one line of work. The well-rounded man is the one who studies along every line; the truly great man is the well-rounded man, the man who studies the forces which make for the conditions in which he lives. We have such a man in this city, of whom we are all justly proud; a man who long ago, in the forge of hope and courage, welded his own fate with the possibilities of the then undeveloped Northwest, and who has lived to see the prophecies born of a study of conditions mature and develop in a splendid empire. It affords me great pleasure to present to you one who will speak on the subject of "Soils and Crops, Food and Clothing"—Mr James J. Hill, of Saint Paul. (Great and prolonged applause)


Mr Hill—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I do not intend to take much of your time this afternoon, but I hope to bring before you some thoughts that may suggest the practical side of the subject we have to consider at this Congress. In order to make myself clearly understood and to be exact in my statements I will ask your indulgence in allowing me to read what I have to say:

Every movement that affects permanently a nation's life passes through three stages. First it is the abstract idea, understood by few. Next it is the subject of agitation and earnest general discussion. Third, after it has won its way to a sure place in the national life, comes the era of practical adaptation. Mistakes and extravagances due to the enthusiasm of friends or the malice of enemies are corrected, details are fitted to actual needs, the divine idea is harnessed to the common needs of man. In this stage, which the Conservation movement has now reached, the most difficult and important work must be done.

In our own history and in that of other nations we have seen this process many times repeated. Public education was an abstract idea in the time of Plato, a controversy of the Renaissance, and is still only partly realized. Back of all written records lived the man who first saw a vision of government universal, equal, free and just. But the world has not yet achieved the final adaptation of this mighty conception to man as we find him. Democracy is still in the fighting stage.

Only a few years have passed since it first dawned upon a people who had reveled in plenty for a century that the richest patrimony is not proof against constant and careless waste; that a nation of spenders must take thought for its morrow or come to poverty. The first actual Conservation work of this Government was done in forestry, following the example of European countries. It soon became [Pg 178]evident that our mineral resources should receive equal though less urgent care. The supreme importance of conserving the most important resource of all, the wealth of the soil itself, was realized. In an address delivered four years ago this month before the Agricultural Society of this State, I first stated fully the problem that we have to meet and the method of its solution. With their great capacity for assimilating a new and valid thought, the people of this country were soon interested. Belief in a comprehensive system of Conservation of all resources has now taken possession of the public mind. What remains to be done is that most difficult of all the tasks of statesmanship—the application of an accepted principle and making it conform in all its general outlines to the common good.

To pack the fact into a single statement, the need of the hour and the end to which this Congress should devote itself is to conserve Conservation. It has come into that peril which no great truth escapes—the danger that lurks in the house of its friends. It has been used to forward that serious error of policy, the extension of the powers and activities of the National Government at the expense of those of the States. The time is ripe and this occasion is most fitting for distinguishing between real and fanciful Conservation, and for establishing a sound relation of means to ends. (Applause)

We should first exclude certain activities that come only indirectly under the term, "Conservation." The Reclamation Service is one. Its work is not preservation, but utilization. The arid lands of this country have been where they now are, the streams have flowed past them uselessly ever since Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. Irrigation was practiced in prehistoric time. What we have to do is to bring modern methods to the aid of one of the oldest agricultural arts. It is mentioned here because its progress illustrates the dangers that beset Conservation projects proper. They are dangers inseparable from National control and conduct of affairs. The machine is too big and too distant; its operation is slow, cumbrous, and costly. So slow is it that settlers are waiting in distress for water promised long ago. So faulty has been the adjustment of time and money that Congress has had to authorize the issue of $20,000,000 of National obligations to complete projects still hanging in the air. So expensive is it that estimates have been exceeded again and again. The settler has had either to pay more than the cost figure he relied on or seek cheaper land in Canada. It costs the Government from 50 percent more to twice as much as it would private enterprise to put water on the land (applause). Under the Lower Yellowstone project the charge is $42.50 per acre, and one dollar per acre annually for maintenance. The Sunnyside project carries a charge of $52 per acre, and 95 cents maintenance. Under the North Platte project the charge is $45 per acre, plus a maintenance charge not announced. These projects, in widely separated localities, entail a land charge prohibitive to the [Pg 179]frontier settlers to provide homes for those for whom this work was believed to have been undertaken. The pioneer settler who can pay, even in ten annual installments, from $3,500 to $4,000 for eighty acres of land, in addition to the yearly fee per acre, must have some other resources to aid him. The work of irrigation would have been more cheaply done if turned over to private enterprise or committed to the several States within which lie the lands to be reclaimed (applause). This is not a criticism upon any individual. It is merely one more proof of the excessive cost of Government work. (Applause)

Toward the conservation of our mineral resources little can be done by Federal action. The output is determined not by the mine owner, but by the consumer. The withdrawal of vast areas of supposed coal lands tends to increase price by restricting the area of possible supply. Nor can such deposits be utilized eventually except under some such system as is now employed. It is foolish to talk of leasing coal lands in small quantities in order to prevent monopoly. Mining must be carried on upon a large enough scale to be commercially possible. The lessee of a small area could not afford to install the necessary machinery and provide means of transportation without charging for the product a prohibitory price. The land should not be leased by the acre, but by the quantity of coal contained in the land (applause). A vein four feet thick contains about 4,000 tons to the acre; in many fields there are three, four, five, and six veins containing from fifteen to thirty feet of coal, or from fifteen to thirty thousand tons to the acre. What we want is intelligent understanding of the situation (applause). Under too restrictive conditions the coal would remain in the ground indefinitely. The people of the West see little practical difference between a resource withheld entirely from use and a resource dissipated or exhausted. They understand by Conservation the most economical development and best care of resources. It is the only definition consistent with the natural growth of communities in the history of the civilized world.

The prairie States are more interested than any other in the question of cheap fuel. We do not depend on Alaska for our future supply. There is abundant coal on the Pacific Coast nearer to our seaports and commercial centers. Vancouver Island is underlain with it; today, while the railroad companies with which I am connected bought coal lands on Puget Sound, which they still own, we are prepared to burn oil from California instead of coal. I speak of that as a practical reason why we should, before we leap, look to see what the actual conditions are. Then, to say nothing of Nova Scotia on the Eastern coast, there is coal in Spitzbergen, within the Arctic Circle, actually nearer our Eastern markets than the coal of Alaska. While we lament the exhaustion of our coal supply, we maintain a tariff that compels us to draw upon it continuously. It would be well to cast out this beam before we worry too much over the Conservation mote. (Applause)

[Pg 180]

The iron deposits of Minnesota, the most wonderful in the world, are today not only furnishing industry in the Nation with its raw material, but are piling up a school fund at home that is the envy of other States and adding more and more every year to the contents of the State treasury. Minnesota is considering the reduction of her general tax levy by one-half. Would it be better if these lands were today held idle and unproductive by the Federal Government, or worked only on leases whose proceeds went into the Federal treasury and enabled Congress to squander a few more millions in annual appropriations? (Applause)

Against some forestry theories the West enters an even stronger plea. What the United States needs is neither reckless destruction nor an embargo upon our splendid Western commonwealths by locking up a considerable portion of their available area. There were, by the last report of the Forest Service, over 194,500,000 acres withdrawn from use in our forest reserves on June 30, 1909. Of this, nearly 58 percent, over 112,000,000 acres, or 175,000 square miles, lies in six Western States. That is an area six-sevenths the size of Germany or France. It is 80 percent of the size of the unappropriated and unreserved land in those six States. How are the cities, towns, and villages in those States to grow if so large a portion of the land is closed to the husbandman? I received today an official statement of the entire amount of public land withdrawn from settlement, and it is astounding. In area it is greater than the thirteen original States; it is nearly as great as New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (applause). And at the same time, we are driving this year not less than 100,000 American farmers to the Canadian Northwest to seek homes there (applause). Now, I say to you that the area of this total withdrawal for various purposes of the public domain is greater than the cultivatable area of the entire Canadian Northwest.

The forest reserves and the lands conveyed by Congressional grants to private interests in Oregon amount to some 50,000 square miles. More than half the area of this great State has been withdrawn by action of the Government in one way or another from cultivation and the enjoyment and profit of the people of the State. Over one-third of Idaho and 27 percent of Washington are forest reserves. Colorado is almost as badly off; and not more than 30 percent of its forest reserves is covered with merchantable timber, while about 40 percent has no timber at all. On the Olympic peninsula are lands reported to be withdrawn to conserve our water supply where the annual rainfall amounts to something like seven to ten feet (laughter). According to the official report, the cost of administering the Forest Service in 1909 was a little short of three million dollars, and the receipts were $1,800,000. The deficit on current account alone was over $1,100,000. [Pg 181]The total disbursements were over $4,400,000, and the actual deficit $2,600,000. Now, we should be liberal in our grants for the care of our public forests. We should also closely scrutinize the manner of their care. The present season has seen an enormous destruction in the value of the timber in the forest reserves. Our company, for over two months, has had from 800 to 1,000 men at work doing nothing else but trying to put out the fires in the forest reserves. (Applause)

The Forest Service has over 2,000 employes. In 1909 they planted 611 acres, and sowed 1,126 acres more. The West believes in forest preservation. But it believes practically and not theoretically. It realizes that a good thing may cost too much, and is not ignorant of the extravagant financial tendency of every Federal department and bureau. It wants all good agricultural land open to the settler, wherever it may be situated. It wants timber resources conservatively utilized, and not wasted or destroyed.

In connection with forestry interests there is just now much question of the conservation of water-power sites. The demand is that Federal lands forming such sites should be withdrawn and leased for the profit and at the pleasure of the Federal Government. Against this the whole West rightly protests. The water-power differs from the coal deposit in that it is not destroyed by use. It will do its undiminished work as long as the rains fall and the snows melt. Not the resource but the use of it is a proper subject for Conservation and regulation. To withdraw these sources of potential wealth from present utilization is to take just so much from the industrial capital of the States in which they are situated.

The attempted Federal control of water-powers is illegal, because the use of the waters within a State is the property of the State and cannot be taken from it (applause), and that the State may and actually does, in the case of Idaho for example, perfectly safeguard its water-powers from monopoly and make them useful without extortion has been shown conclusively by Senator Borah in a speech in the United States Senate in which this whole subject is admirably covered. Back in our history beyond the memory of most men now living there was the same controversy over the public domain. Ought it to be administered by the Government and disposed of for its profit, or opened to the people and shared with the States? Let experience determine which was the better guardian. The worst scandals of State land misappropriation, and there were many, are insignificant when compared with the record of the Nation. The total cash receipts of the Federal Government from the disposal of public and Indian lands from 1785 to 1909 were $423,451,673. The money is gone. It has been expended, wisely or unwisely, with other treasury receipts. It would be interesting to know how much the above sum exceeded the cost of administration. To go back 125 years and dig up the cost of the administration of public lands would be more of a task than I have time [Pg 182]for, but I took the last report of the General Government, and in the disbursements of the Interior Department I found that the cost of administering the public lands was in 1907 $17,421,000, in 1908 $15,190,000, in 1909 $14,441,000. Now if we take the entire proceeds of all the public lands sold, including the Indian lands, it averages $3,400,000 a year for the 125 years during which it has been sold; and we find here that the cost of administering the greatly reduced estate is from three to five times as much as the total receipts would average (applause). But certain limited areas of lands were conveyed to the States for educational purposes. The permanent common school funds, State and local, conserved by the States, amount to $246,943,349. The estimated value of productive school lands today is $138,851,634, and of unproductive $86,347,482. Add to these the land grant funds of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, and the total is merely half a billion dollars. To what magnitude these great funds, now jealously guarded for educational purposes by the States, may grow in time we cannot even guess. Some may eventually provide amply for all educational needs of their States forever. This is one telling proof of the superior fidelity of the commonwealth as custodian of any trust for future generations.

There remains an opportunity and a need of Conservation transcending in value all others combined. The soil is the ultimate employer of all industry and the greatest source of all wealth (applause). It is the universal banker. Upon the maintenance, unimpaired in quantity and quality, of the tillable area of the country its whole future is conditioned. Four years ago, and on many occasions since, I presented the facts and statistics that make land conservation incomparably the paramount issue with all who have at heart the prosperity of our people and the permanence of our institutions. It is unnecessary to repeat in detail what has now become matter of common knowledge and is accessible to all. For the last ten years the average wheat yield in the United States was 14.1 bushels, while in Germany it was 28.7 and in the United Kingdom 32.6. This is a measure of our general agriculture. The cattle other than milch cows on farms in the United States are over 4,000,000 fewer than they were three years ago. The number of hogs declined 7,000,000 in the last three years, and is less than it was twenty years ago. The increase in total value of food products is due to a great extent to higher prices. This failure to conserve soil fertility and maintain the agricultural interest is expressed in recent changes in our foreign trade. These are more than mere balance sheets; since, as you know, variations in international trade balances may produce wide-reaching effects upon all industry.

While our total foreign trade last year was only a little less than the high record made in 1907, the distribution of it was vastly different. For the last fiscal year our imports were nearly $240,000,000 in excess of those for the same period in 1909, and $303,000,000 above [Pg 183]those of 1908. Our exports were more by $82,000,000 only than in 1909, and were nearly $116,000,000 less than in 1908. In 1908 the excess of exports over imports was $666,000,000; by 1910 it had fallen to $187,000,000. We are buying more lavishly and selling less because there is less that we can spare—yet, my friends, that $187,000,000 of balance of trade due to this country is not enough to pay the extravagant traveling expenses of our "globe trotters" who are annually passing from one end of Europe to the other. (Applause)

A glance at the following table of our exports for the last five years in three great schedules dependent directly on the soil tells the whole story:

Breadstuffs  Meat and Dairy Products  Cattle, Sheep and Hogs
1906$186,468,901$210,990,065$43,516,258
1907184,120,702202,392,50835,617,074
1908215,260,588192,802,70830,235,621
1909159,929,221166,521,94918,556,736
1910133,191,330130,632,78312,456,109

With the exception of the increase in breadstuffs in 1907-8, caused by our desperate need to send something abroad that would bring in money to stay a panic, the decline is constant and enormous. A continuance of similar conditions—and no change is in sight—must mean partial food famine and hardship prices in the home market; an annual indebtedness abroad which, having no foodstuffs to spare, we must pay in cash; and financial depression and industrial misfortune because we have drawn too unwisely upon the soil. This impending misfortune, only the conservation of a neglected soil and all the interests connected with it can avert.

The saving feature of the situation is the interest already awakened in agricultural improvements; an interest which it should be the first object of this Congress to deepen and preserve. Much has been done, but it is only a beginning. The experiment station; the demonstration farm; agricultural instruction in public schools; emphasis upon right cultivation, seed selection, and fertilization through the keeping of live stock, all these are slowly increasing the agricultural product and raising the index of soil values. The work being done by the Agricultural Department under the care of our old Iowa friend, Secretary Wilson—who is a farmer from choice (applause)—is scientifically selecting the good from the bad and the wise from unwise methods, and the information is within the reach of every farmer of this country who will only put out his hand and ask for it. (Applause)

But the work moves more slowly than our needs. The possibilities are great. One might make the comparison with current agriculture elsewhere almost at random, since European Russia is the only first-class country more backward than our own. Take the smallest [Pg 184]and what might be supposed the least promising illustration: Denmark's area is about twice that of Massachusetts. It is occupied by more than two and a half million people. This Jutland was originally land of inferior fertility. What has been done with it? Denmark is now called "the model farm of Europe." Her exports of horses, cattle, bacon and lard, butter and eggs, amounted in 1908 to nearly $89,000,000. Mr Frederic C. Howe in a recent article says: "The total export trade is approximately $380 for every farm, of which 133,000 of the 250,000 are of less than 131/2 acres in extent, the average of all the farms being but 43 acres for the entire country. The export business alone amounts to nine dollars per acre, in addition to the domestic consumption, as well as the support of the farmer himself." One-half the population are depositors in the savings banks, with an average deposit of $154. How have these things been accomplished?

First negatively, it has not been done by any artificial means or legislative hocus-pocus (applause). No bounty and no subsidy has any share in the national prosperity. The ruler of the country is the small farmer. He cultivates his acres as we cultivate a garden. He raises everything that belongs to the land. He fertilizes it by using every ounce of material from his live stock, and by purchasing more fertilizers when necessary. There are 42 high schools and 29 agricultural colleges in this little country with a population less than that of Massachusetts in 1900. Whatever else they teach, agriculture is taught first, last, and all the time, to young and old alike. The Dane is a farmer, and is proud of it. England and Ireland and Germany are studying his methods today. No people could imitate them with more profit than our own. (Applause)

Recent good years have brought the average wheat yield per acre in the United States up to over fourteen bushels. Twice that would be considered poor in Great Britain and an average crop in Germany. Therefore twenty-five bushels per acre is a reasonable possibility for us. Suppose we raise it. The present wheat acreage of the United States is about 46,500,000 acres on the average. If it gave 25 bushels per acre, the crop would amount to 1,162,500,000 bushels. At our present rate of production and consumption we may cease to be a wheat exporting Nation within the next ten or fifteen years, perhaps earlier. With the larger yield we could supply all our own wants and have a surplus of 400,000,000 bushels for export. This is no fancy picture, but a statement of plain fact. Is there any other field where Conservation could produce results so immense and so important? Is there any other where it bears so directly upon our economic future, the stability of our Government, the well-being of our people?

Any survey of practical Conservation would be imperfect if it omitted the almost desperate necessity at this time of conserving capital and credit. This subject deserves full and separate treatment. [Pg 185]No more is possible here than to summarize some of the facts and conclusions presented by me to the Conservation Conference that assembled in this city a few months ago. Conservation of cash and credit is important to the farmer as it saves or wastes results of his work, and his work furnishes the greater part of the Nation's wealth. Our States, including cities and minor civil subdivisions, have run in debt about three-quarters of a billion dollars in the last twelve years. Public expenditure is increasing everywhere. Public economy is a virtue either lost or despised. From 1890 to 1902 the aggregate expenditures of all the States increased 103 percent. Boston's tax levy, says Brooks Adams in a late article including this among the serious problems of modern civilization, was $3.20 per capita in 1822, while now it is nearly $30. The per capita cost of maintaining the Federal Government was $2.14 in 1880, $4.75 in 1890, $6.39 in 1900, and $7.56 in 1908. The total appropriations voted by Congress for the four years from 1892 to 1896 were $1,871,509,578; for the four years from 1904 to 1908 they were $3,842,203,577. An increase of $2,000,000,000 in expense for two four-year periods with only eight years between them should give any people pause. Spendthrift man and spendthrift Nation must face at last the same law carrying the same penalty.

If anyone believes that this growth of expenditure is a consequence of the general material growth of the country, let him study the following brief table of comparative statistics. It establishes the indictment of national extravagance:

Increases
Wealth  1870 to 1890116.0%  1890 to 190465.0%
Foreign Trade  1870 to 189099.0%  1890 to 190885.4%
Value Manufactured Product  1870 to 1890121.0%  1890 to 190558.0%
Net Ordinary Exp. U. S. Govt  1870 to 18901.4%  1890 to 1908121.4%
Expenditures of 30 States  1890 to 1909201.6%

This debauch of capital and credit has sent a poison circulating through the veins of the Nation. Everywhere the individual imitates the profligacy of his Government. Industry and saving are at a discount. Any luxury, any extravagance is warranted if funds for it can be raised by wasting capital or creating debt. There is just so much less money for productive employment: for payrolls and the extension of commerce and industries, and the creation of those new facilities for want of which the commerce of the country is and always must be limited (applause). Hence come also high prices, curtailment of business, distrust, and eventual distress. Hence come waste and idleness, and the increased cost of production that makes both business and employment slow and insecure. Any Conservation movement worthy of the name must place high upon its program the saving of capital and credit from the rapacious hands of socialist as well as monopolist (applause). Extravagance is undermining the industry of this country as surely as the barbarians broke down and looted that [Pg 186]mighty empire with whose civilization and progress Ferrero repeatedly insists that ours has so much in common.

We must stand for Conservation everywhere; in the tedious as well as in the interesting application; where it cuts into our pleasure and habits, and jostles our comfortable, easy-going ways of thought, just as firmly as where it is hand in glove with self-interest. This is, above all things, an economic question. It is neither personal nor political. In such petty and partial interests it has found its worst obstructions and encountered its most serious reverses.

The tariff in some respects is a great enemy of Conservation (applause). Whatever we may think of it as a general industrial policy, everyone can see that, by excluding the raw products of other countries, it throws the entire burden of their consumption upon our own resources, and thus exhausts them unnecessarily (applause). This appears clearly when we consider such commodities as we might obtain from Canada, a country that gained nearly 400,000 immigrants from the United States in the nine years up to April, 1909, and has probably taken another hundred thousand since; a country where it is absurd to talk about any actual advantage in the wage scale as compared with our own. The tariff on forest products cuts down our own forests, a tariff on coal depletes our mines, a tariff on any raw material forbids the conservation of similar natural resources here. (Applause).

This Congress announced from the first its purpose to deal with the subject of Conservation in a practical spirit. The present condition of the movement, now in the third stage of its development, demands it. We have to apply the Conservation principle, as we have eventually to apply every other, to our domestic economics; to work it out in the experience and practice of everyday life. How this may be done can be stated in the form of a few conclusions that raise the word Conservation from the name of a more or less vague, diffuse, and disputable theory to that of a practical guide to legislation and administration. (Applause)

Conservation is wholly an economic, not in any sense a political principle (applause). The Nation has suffered and still suffers so much from transferring other economic questions to politics that the mistake should not be repeated (applause). Whoever attempts to make Conservation the bone of a personal controversy or the beast of burden to carry any faction into power or popularity is its worst enemy. (Great applause)

"Conservative" is the adjective corresponding to the noun "Conservation." Any other attitude toward this movement, either radical or reactionary, is treason to its name and to its spirit. It should mean no more and no less than dealing with our resources in a spirit of intelligence, honesty, care for both the present and the future, and ordinary business common sense. (Applause)

[Pg 187]

Conservation does not mean forbidding access to resources that could be made available for present use. It means the freest and largest development of them consistent with the public interest and without waste. A bag of gold buried in the earth is useless for any purpose. So is an acre untilled, a mine unopened, a forest that bars the way to homes and human happiness.

The determination in each case as to what extent a given resource should be utilized and how far reserved for the future is an intensely practical, individual, and above all a local question. It should be carefully considered in all its aspects by both Nation and State, and should finally rest within lines determined by proper legislation, as far as may be under the control of local authority. (Applause) Experience proves that resources are not only best administered but best protected from marauders by the home people who are most deeply interested and who are just as honest, just as patriotic and infinitely better informed on local conditions than the National Government can possibly be. (Applause) It is clear that every one of the many problems all over the country can be better understood where they are questions of the lives and happiness of those directly interested.

Behind this, as behind every great economic issue, stand moral issues. Shall we, on the one side, deny to ourselves and our children access to the same store of natural wealth by which we have won our own prosperity, or, on the other, leave it unprotected as in the past against the spoiler and the thief? Shall we abandon everything to centralized authority, going the way of every lost and ruined government in the history of the world, or meet our personal duty by personal labor through the organs of local self-government, not yet wholly atrophied by disuse? Shall we permit our single dependence for the future, the land, to be defertilized below the point of profitable cultivation and gradually abandoned, or devote our whole energy to the creation of an agriculture which will furnish wealth renewed even more rapidly than it can be exhausted? Shall we permit the continued increase of public expenditure and public debt until capital and credit have suffered in the same conflict that overthrew prosperous and happy nations in the past, or insist upon a return to honest and practicable economy? This is the battle of the ages, the old, familiar issue. Is there in the country that intelligence, that self-denial, that moral courage, and that patriotic devotion which alone can bring us safely through? (Applause)

I ask these questions not because there is any doubt of the answer in the minds of the American people, but that it may be made plain what a complex fabric the fates are weaving from the apparently commonplace happenings of our peaceful years, and how each generation and each epoch must render an account for the work of its own days. The unprecedented dignity of this assemblage, its nationally representative character, the presence here of those upon whom great [Pg 188]occasions wait, the interest felt by millions who look to it for information and guidance, prove how deep beneath the surface lie the sources of its existence and its influence. Out of the Conservation movement in its practical application to our common life may come wealth greater than could be won by the overthrow of kingdoms and the annexation of provinces; National prestige and individual well-being; the gift of broader mental horizons; and, best and most necessary of all, the quality of a National citizenship which has learned to rule its own spirit and to rise by the control of its own desires. (Great applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: One among the recognized agencies for the spread of information in relation to our agricultural development is a paper published in Iowa by Mr Henry Wallace, who is known to us all. A discussion will now be led by Mr Wallace, and I take great pleasure in presenting him to this assemblage. (Applause)


Mr Wallace—Mr Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congress: I have been asked to discuss the subject opened up by my old friend—and your friend—Mr James J. Hill.

With very much that he has said, I most heartily agree. He speaks on these and other subjects "as one having authority, and not as the scribes." While listening to him I have been trying to get in my own mind a clear conception of certain fundamental questions that have been discussed at this Congress, and around which the discussion turns. I have been trying to put them in form, pointing out where he and I can agree and where we differ.

I have come to the conclusion that a man has what he had, if he hasn't sold or contracted to sell it, or allowed somebody to steal it; that the United States has the resources that are now in the name of the United States and not under contract to be delivered, and not sold—or stolen—either in compliance with the letter of the law or in violation of both letter and spirit. In other words, there are certain assets or resources that we have and hold; and we all agree that the owner is entitled to the management and use of his assets (applause), and therefore that the people of the United States, as a people, are entitled to the use of whatever resources we may have remaining (applause). They are not for the benefit of any one man or any combination of men (applause), neither of any State (applause) or combination of States (applause), but for the whole people; therefore we can sell our coal lands or keep them. We will be wise if we keep them (applause). We can sell our forests, or say how they shall lie used, or we can let somebody steal them. We can hold on to our phosphate (and there is very little of these United States that won't be buying phosphates in fifty years) or we can let somebody control and ship it to Europe, to enable the Belgians and the Germans to grow 32 bushels [Pg 189]of wheat to the acre while we grow 13 (applause)—and by means of our phosphates. Using the language of the President the other day to outline the management of these resources (and he has done it better than any other man I ever knew), we can lease the lands, we can control them, we can prescribe how they shall be used. This much we all agree upon. And we will further agree that the Congress of the United States, our Representatives, must decide how it shall be done.

We can do one of three things: We can deed these lands and these resources to the States, to be used as they think best. We can abdicate our sovereignty—perhaps modifying that to some extent, we can outline what the States shall do and what they shall not do, but that will involve abdicating our sovereignty and will lead to perpetual quarrels between the States (applause), such as now existing, for example, between Colorado and Kansas as to the use of water. Or, as Canada does, as Germany does, as Australia does, as Tasmania does, we can hold to those resources and lease them for money for the benefit of the whole people. (Applause)

Now, my good friend Mr Hill seems to have grave doubts as to the capacity of the United States to handle its business with anything like the same skill with which he handles his (laughter and applause). He tells us that this Reclamation Service is costly—thirty, forty, or fifty dollars an acre, to be paid in ten years without interest—for what? To be able to make it rain just when we want to, and stop it when we want to; that is what irrigation is (applause). And Mr Hill would give five dollars an acre for twenty years if for all time and eternity he, his descendants and his assigns, could make it rain when he wanted to and make it stop when he wanted to (applause). Next to the owner of a quarter-section of land in Iowa I think that the man who owns fifty acres of irrigated land at fifty dollars an acre is a prince of the blood royal (applause and cry of "Good!"). It is the cheapest land in the United States, in the center of the highest civilization, the best education and the best schools. Mr Hill tells us also that the United States (I guess it was Solomon he had in his mind: he was the brother of a great waster) has received $400,000,000 or so for its Indian lands—he didn't know how much it cost to acquire them (millions, however)—and that he doesn't know what has become of the money. Well, I found since yesterday where some of it went—to this dam over here between Minneapolis and Saint Paul (great laughter and applause). He tells us that States are more economical than Nations. Now, isn't it a matter of fact that both State and Nation have been playing the part of the prodigal son, wasting our substance in riotous living—and that now we smell the husks?

Gentlemen, the agricultural colleges have wasted a good deal of money. The State of Iowa had a great grant of land for improvement, and I give you my word you could run the whole thing through [Pg 190]a barrel if you had enough headway. We have been absolutely throwing away our resources—just like some of our wealthy gentlemen down in New York throw their daughters in the face of titled Nobodies asking them to take them "with the compliments of the author" (laughter). If this country continues to be governed, as it has been governed for the last twenty years, by great combinations of capital that get together in Congress or out of Congress to determine how much tariff they will levy and what else they may do in the way of getting hold of the public domain, it doesn't make a speck of difference whether our resources are governed by the Government or by the States; they will all be stolen anyhow (laughter and cheers, and cries of "Hit him again!")—just as they have been in the past. (Renewed applause)

A Voice: Conservation ought to have been started a hundred years ago.

Mr Wallace: You're right. But if the people of the United States have made up their minds that they are going to be in the future a Government "of the people by the people and for the people"; if we mean this in blood earnest (applause) and are willing to sacrifice our party affiliations (cries of "Good, good, good!"); if we are willing to pay money to attend conventions, without going on passes (cries of "You bet!" and cheers); if we are willing to make the sacrifices which always belong to a free government (applause)—then predatory wealth will no longer sit in the seats of Congress, and we shall have a democracy, a Government of the People instead of a Government of Plutocracy. (Applause and cheers)

Gentlemen, it is just a question whether we have the stuff in us to really be a great self-governing people, a Nation that stands four-square to every wind that blows, that regards a law of the Almighty as supreme law and right and the only manhood worth having as that which comes in obedience to those great laws that govern men in all nations of the world (applause and cheers); it is a question whether we will pay the price for the liberties that our fathers gave us. (Applause)

Now, with about everything that my good friend Mr Hill has said on the conservation of soil fertility I most heartily agree. I get an idea about once a year (laughter), and am able to put it in a way that seems fairly good to me: and for some time past I have been brooding over the thought that the great problem before the American people—a problem involving all other problems that vex us, tariffs, Conservation, trusts, everything—that the great problem we have before us is how to keep enough skilled labor on the land to enable the farmer to sell his products to the city at a price the people can afford to pay. Now, just let that soak into you (applause). The problem is to keep enough skilled labor on the farm to enable the farmer to grow the food for this and other nations at a price that the people [Pg 191]in the cities can afford to pay. It is the biggest problem before us. It involves all other problems, when you come to trace it down to its roots. The farmer is handicapped by the fact that he no longer tills virgin soil, as his father and his grandfather did, and by the fact that he no longer has timber at his door. We have wasted our magnificent forests of oak and walnut, and given away an empire (for example, in Wisconsin) of the best pine lands that some fellows would put a road through, to get the lumber out under pretense of resisting a Canadian invasion (laughter and applause). Today we are buying fertilizers for all New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, southern Indiana, all the South, and even for Missouri; it is only a question of time when we shall have to buy them for all our land. Notwithstanding all of the millions of acres that have been put into cultivation every year, our crop production lags behind our population. In the last ten or fifteen years, our production of wheat per acre gradually but slowly decreased until within the last three or four years, when with my friend Secretary Wilson's help we began to do a little better.

The farmer is handicapped by the fact that he is tilling a partially infertile soil; he is handicapped worse in this way: he cannot possibly get, for love or money, the really skilled labor required to maintain the fertility of the soil while he is growing crops (applause). Why, you know how difficult it is in the country to get a hired hand, and you know that a hired girl in the home is a thing out of the question. There isn't a man here ugly enough, if he is a widower, but what could get two second wives where he could get one hired girl (laughter and applause). Now, we cannot use the labor of the city. Let a man go to town and become a lawyer or a doctor for ten or fifteen years, and then return to the country, and what is he good for? He has to serve an apprenticeship for four or five years before he is worth his board. We cannot use the labor of southern Europe except in the wheat fields or in the orchards; farm labor now is skilled labor; and we haven't got it. One reason we haven't got it is because my friend Mr Hill has been giving excursion rates up to Canada (laughter and applause)—for the benefit of his railroad, he says—and for the benefit of speculators who can paint a desert to look like the Garden of Eden, and make farmers believe that it is like the land of Egypt "as thou goest unto Zoar." If we could keep on the farm the boys and girls that grow up there we could give the people of the cities food at a price they could afford to pay; but there is the great problem. I will not solve it now, because I would have to discuss the tariff (laughter) and every other blooming thing that allures men to town—including high wages and easy times.

Today the townsman is in trouble. The fact is that he cannot get the farmer's products at anything like the price the farmer ought to have (Voice: "Now you're talking"). The farmer never gets more [Pg 192]than two-thirds (Voice: "If he gets that"); frequently he gets one-third. Out in Fresno, California, we found they made a first-class rate at four cents on what I was paying sixteen cents for; the railroad got four cents, the wholesaler four, the retailer four, and the farmer four—and I pay sixteen. And there is another trouble (I am one of the unfortunates so I look at both sides of the question): the farmer in town pays 16 percent, so the merchants tell me, for the privilege of ordering goods by telephone instead of going to the market and getting them; and that is another reason he has to pay so much. But there is still another matter with the city man; it is not so much the high cost of living as the cost of high living and prosperous times (I borrowed that from Mr Hill); for the man in town now isn't satisfied to live as his father did, or his grandfather, or as he himself did ten or twenty years ago (applause). Why, he wants strawberries from Texas in February, and he wants green peas from Florida, and he wants fresh eggs at the time when hens don't lay, and he wants spring chicken in the coldest weather—and he gets it, but it comes out of cold storage (laughter). That is one reason why the townsman cannot get farmer's products at the price he can afford to pay.

Let us look a little further—but I must not detain you (Cries of "Go on, go on, go on"). This problem has been growing on us for years; ever since the iron rail and steam and electricity enabled us to build cities far remote from the lake or the river or the ocean, ever since we learned to get gold out of quarries instead of out of river sand, ever since human power was multiplied by machinery, ever since railroads netted the country with their systems: there has been a tendency to the development of great cities and a constant decrease in the number of men that work on the farm. We don't think now as we used to, because improved machinery (in most cases invented by farmers) has enabled the farm boy of fifteen years of age to do the work of eight or ten men—and at the same time has enabled him to rob the land more effectively than ever before. And this problem would have been met long ago if it had not been right here in this Mississippi valley there is the finest slice of land that the Lord ever made, to be given away by our benevolent Uncle Sam partly to the farmers and partly to the railroads—a country that needed neither spade nor axe to fit it for the plow; for the last twenty years we have been breaking it, mining it, robbing it, and selling its fertility to enable men in the great cities to live cheaply in the Old World and in this country (applause). The people of Kansas invited my good friend Secretary Wilson and me down there to talk about agriculture, and in going from our hotel to the place of meeting we actually fell over bags of bran that were put out there to send to Denmark to make butter and cheese to come back and be eaten in Kansas (laughter). This is the way we have actually been selling, piecemeal, our fertility. Why, you men remember when corn was sold at 15 and even 10 cents [Pg 193]a bushel, and oats at 101/2—I myself have sold wheat at 38—lower than the cost of production. The people in cities all over the world have an idea that it was foreordained from all eternity that they should have cheap foods, but they are now waking up to the fact that we have been postponing the day of judgment by selling foodstuffs for about what the fertilizers would cost, if we had to buy them, to provide bread and meat for the hungry nations. We have sold the buffalo grass on the prairies to the people of Europe, in the shape of beef, dirt cheap; we have built up great cities and States; and the people have all the while thought that cheapness was normal, whereas we are now just getting to the normal basis. For twenty years I could buy bread made from American wheat, in the country on the farm, for three cents a pound, and now I pay five cents in town—and don't get as good bread at that.

The real problem is, how we are going to furnish bread to the people at a price that they can afford to pay? I have no hand-me-down solution for that; it is the biggest problem that I know of, and I can venture only some suggestions. First, we can add a little to our production through irrigation. That is a slow process, and limited at best. We can add some more by drainage. We can add a good deal to the yield per acre by better methods of farming. But we are limited, as I have said, largely by the lack of skilled labor. The merchant, the city man, if he is to live on his income, must improve his system of distribution; he must in some way or other, get rid of the go-betweens. Some things will have to be done by railroads and some by Congress, and a number of things will have to be done that they will all say can't be done—I'm tired of that story, that you can't do anything. Our railroad friends have told us that we can't pass interstate commerce laws, it's unconstitutional; that we can't stop the giving of passes and rebates, that it's unconstitutional. Now, we have done all those things. The people of the United States can do anything that is right! (applause), though they can't permanently succeed in doing wrong (applause); and these things we have been told we can't do we have done, and everybody says it is right. Sometimes I take great comfort in watching some of our great "captains of industry," railroad magnates like Mr Hill. To see them you would imagine they had been reading the Psalms of David and saying, "It was good for me that I was afflicted; before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I love"—the Interstate Commerce Law (laughter). The trouble with them is that they turn round and oppose our railroad laws, and the measures brought up by the voice of the people, and insist that they can't be enforced.

If the farmers are to sell their products in sufficient quantities to cities at a price that they can afford to pay, the calm and considerate judgment and the earnest cooperation of every class of our people are needed. We have problems before us that cannot be settled today [Pg 194]or tomorrow; they involve questions of deep statesmanship; and they never can be settled until they are settled right, on a basis that is just. And I have this faith in the American people, that notwithstanding all their mistakes and all their follies and all their extravagances and all their partisan differences, down at the bottom they are an honest people, they are an intelligent people, and they are a people that seem to have an instinct of danger and an instinctive perception of what is fundamentally and inherently right. (Prolonged applause)


Mr Hill—I want to apologize to Brother Wallace because I did not make myself entirely understood when I indicated that $50 or $42 or $45 an acre for Government-irrigated land is too high. He says that I would give $100—and I would, if I had to; but if that land were left with private enterprises, or if the people of the State alongside of this $42 and $45 and $50 land were putting water on their land for $15, I wouldn't charge the settler $50 or $42. (Laughter and applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: There is a tradition in Washington that the present very efficient Secretary of Agriculture established the Department of Agriculture, because of his long service in that position. I have to dispel that illusion. Nevertheless his service has made that Department what it is today; and I take great pleasure in presenting to you Secretary Wilson. (Great applause)


Secretary Wilson—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I have enjoyed the two last speeches more than anything else I have heard since I have been here, although I have never attended a meeting anywhere that I can remember where there were so many big men who do things in the world. The greatest regret I have is that there must be more than a hundred men here well worth hearing who will not have opportunity to speak on account of lack of time.

Mr Hill and Mr Wallace have talked about things that I have not done. Fourteen years ago I went down to Washington with President McKinley to do something with the Department of Agriculture. I could see right well from tendencies that had originated some time previous a growing and a development that now at this present time have come to a head. I saw the necessity for Conservation of the natural utilities of this country, the necessity for Conservation of soils and forests and water-powers and all those things; and I went to work. I have never gone to Congress to get help or money without getting it at once. If I have failed to do something for agriculture, the fault is mine and not that of Congress, because they have never criticized me, except that I have not asked for enough money.

I have found it necessary to educate men, or to have them educated, along new lines. Search history as far back as you see fit to go, and you will find that there has been no education whatever for the [Pg 195]farmer. The classical education, so beautifully spoken about by our friend from Tulane University (President Craighead), is a beautiful education; but there is no agriculture in it. It is a difficult thing to change the education of a people; even our religion is interwoven, like our literature, with the old-fashioned classical education. The country was regarded as valuable and the professions went to the country to get new men because the old wore out in the town, and so the farm has always reinforced the professions; and the practice has gone on until today the American Navy is being reinforced even from the farms of Minnesota and Iowa. The average boy who lives in town knows too much about things he shouldn't know, and the boy on the farm or in the country knows little about the things that wouldn't do him any good if he did know them (laughter). My first problem was to organize a Department of Agriculture by training men to go safely where there were but few blazings through the woods.

Mr Hill and Mr Wallace have both spoken wisely of the soil. That is the source of our wealth. When our good people travel abroad, the farmer pays the bill; when you beautiful ladies purchase diamonds—and sometimes bring them back in your hats—the farmer pays the bill (laughter). Of course, since the Civil War the farmer has been keeping the balance of trade in our favor—has paid all our foreign debts, has paid the cost of our wars, has paid all the expenses of shipments to foreign ports; but a new day has come. While the farm has been producing considerably more and its area has been increasing, certain things have occurred that have a momentous influence on the present and on the future. We have not been producing so fast as we have been increasing in population; it costs too much to get breakfast and dinner and supper, and we eat three times a day. The serious problem which presents itself to us now is that it costs too much to live. I never want to see the day come when the American workingman shall be reduced to the condition of the European who makes his dinner on bread alone and still lives. (Applause)

What are the prospects of getting cheaper food to eat? Do we want to bring men from Central America? They are diseased. Do we want to bring them from Mexico? They are not adapted to our climate. We do not care to bring them in much from Canada, because they have no corn up there, and don't eat that kind of food. I see some rays of hope in our leaden sky. The South has in the past suffered from a pest known as the cattle-tick which prevents the development of domestic animals, and they have not given us as much meat as we have shipped to them; but Congress gave my Department money to try to get rid of this tick, and we have been at work for three years and have cleared the pest from the equivalent of an area of three great States, 140,000 square miles (applause), and it will not be many years until all the South is cleared of the cattle-tick. Then the southern States will begin to contribute materially to our food production, [Pg 196]because they have a mild winter, they have intelligent people, they have transportation systems; all they need is a little better system of agriculture. We have also been dealing with an invasion from Guatemala for some time, the boll weevil. The question was whether the poor people in that section could sustain life under the burden of this pest, and they came to my Department to go down and do something; and in checking the pest we are meeting the need for improved agriculture and increased production of foodstuffs.

There are two prominent ways of increasing the producing capacity of a people: First, there is Conservation demonstration (we shall be using this word "Conservation" in our prayers if we don't look out). (Laughter) Last year we had 12,500 boys in four southern States, all under sixteen years of age, each of whom grew an acre of corn—the South never grew as much corn in its history as it did last year—and some of those boys grew over 150 bushels to the acre (applause). They sold it at different prices. They were promised, as an encouragement, free tickets to Washington to see the President and the Capitol, and that the Secretary would give them diplomas. Well, I thought little about this until in marched the boys—looking very serious—each exactly like a man who is getting an LL.D. from a university. The first view of those boys was amusing, but the next one to me was very pathetic. A diploma, you know, is given to a man or a woman who does good work in a college course. Didn't the boy who grew 150 bushels of corn to the acre do something? He did; he did the best there was in him; he put his will into the work. I signed the diplomas, and those boys went out as proud as any boys ever went away from a university. This year we have 50,000 boys in the southern States, each under sixteen years of age, each growing an acre of something, each getting lessons and hints in all directions from everybody that can give them, with regard to how to grow crops; we have 400 agents in the South.

Now let me tell you something. You will find in every northern and eastern and western State a minority of good farmers and, I am compelled to confess, a majority of poor farmers. They don't know how to farm; they have yet to learn. Where did bad farming begin, do you think? Why, back in the eastern States where they do everything well—except farming. Now where is there worse farming than there? I believe that the President of Tulane University used to live there; perhaps he can tell us. When I was a boy I went to church on Sunday and to prayer meeting in the middle of the week—I had to (laughter)—but they didn't educate the boys toward the farms; they educated them toward the professions, toward the mechanic arts, toward the factories. And when they were big enough and had an education they left the farm, they left the father and mother there, and by and by when the father and mother couldn't farm any more they rented out the farm—and today the same thing is beginning [Pg 197]in Iowa. I can't tell you what is happening in Minnesota; you people who live here must be the judges whether the same robbery of the soil is beginning in Minnesota. A soil robber is a man who grows grain and hay to sell from the farm and puts nothing back; that is what he is, and that is where he originated—back East.

And we began manufacturing in our country at the time we began robbing our soil. The last half-century we have built up our manufactories at an astonishing rate. Why have we built them up so fast; why have they risen to such tremendous figures? Because our people were fed cheaper and better than the people who worked in factories in any other country. But what is the condition now? Are our people still better fed and more cheaply that work in the factories, that work for the railroads, that work in the mines? No! There is where the trouble comes; that is what has arrested the attention of our people. Every year, maybe oftener (Mr Hill could tell better than I can), the men that work for railroads notify the president that they want more wages because they can't live; and of course he has to raise their wages. While we were feeding Europe, there was no difficulty in getting cheap food here in the United States for our workingmen; but, as Mr Hill told you, and gave you statistics for it—it is pretty hard to follow a man like him, who has all the statistics, and Dr Wallace, who has all the philosophy and wit, but I will do the best I can (laughter)—we are sending less and less food to foreign countries and paying more and more for what our workingmen eat at home. We are not paying off debts any more, though our people are still buying diamonds and pearls—you see the rows we are having in New York when our traveling Americans come back, and want to get their jewels through the custom-house for nothing and hide them and all that; I have no sympathy with it—but we are not discussing the tariff here at all; I never talk politics and won't allow it; I have 12,000 men in my Department and every man knows I'll discharge him in a minute if he talks politics (laughter and applause); we are considering the natural resources of the country and trying to conserve them. (Applause and cries of "Good!")

As the Department grew we organized a bureau for animals, another for plants, one for forests, one for chemistry, and one for soils; and all along the line we have those great bureaus at work. We are the practical fellows who conserve; we are doing it every day. I have just been out among the forests myself four or five weeks, helping to save the Government's property out there. But the great question comes down to the soil. There is no classical college or university that teaches anything about the soil, not one single thing. From the time that Samuel had the school of the prophets at Bethel down to the present day, there never has been anything taught to the people with regard to the soil on which they walk and from which they get their living. I have organized a bureau for it. We are studying [Pg 198]the soil all over the country. You might think, to go out on these beautiful prairies, that the soil is all alike. Well, it isn't; any prairie has probably a hundred different soils, some of them best adapted to grow one plant and some another, some needing one kind of treatment and some another; and the great fundamental question that we must study now is the American soil and its power to produce. (Applause)

With regard to the literature of the farm: There was none when I was a young fellow; there was no college for farmers. I had to get what I did get from observation and from a store of recollection of older men. But now we have an agricultural college in each State. We have an experiment station in each State. We have 3,000 men making research in the Department of Agriculture at Washington, all specialists, the foremost in their lines in the world. When one of those men makes inquiry into something and reports, we put his name to it and print it and send it out to the people without expense. We sent out 20,000,000 pieces last year (applause). And any of you who want anything we have, no matter whether you are farmers or not, you are welcome to it. Some of the best encouragement that we have comes from those who are not farmers at all.

I have told you of the genesis of the soil-robber; is he here in the Mississippi valley? The old-time farmer educated his children, but he educated them to do anything under the sun but farm. When the boy graduated, when he got through with his education, he went anywhere but to the farm. That was until within a few years the custom. The other day I wrote to the dean of the Iowa Agricultural College that several people had applied to me for men to superintend farms, and that a newspaper man wanted a farm expert to go into his office at a good salary, and asked—"How many young men do you graduate this year in a four-year agricultural course?" He replied, and I think he said "We graduated some seventy in a four-year course, but none of them left the State; they are all going back to the farm" (great applause and cry of "Good!"). Those men know something. Now, are you doing that in Minnesota? You have always had a fine agricultural school here connected with your State University, and you have an open door into the four-year academic course in the University; you are doing much for agriculture and education. Yet we are where we are today with regard to scarce food and dear meat because we didn't begin educating the young farmer sooner. But he is going to catch on. There would be a universal introduction of agricultural education into the common and secondary schools of the country if teachers could be found. That is the great difficulty. Fifty years ago, when Congress endowed agricultural colleges, that was the trouble. They could start the college, they could erect a building, but there was no library, there was no professor who knew anything about agriculture, and the great trouble is a man can only teach what he [Pg 199]knows himself. But now, after half a century of effort on the part of the farmers, on the part of friends of the farms, on the part of far-seeing men like James J. Hill (applause), we are getting a creditable agricultural education in this country.

Do not be uneasy about the forests; at the last session, Congress gave me $400,000 more than they had ever given me before to take care of the forests. Do not be uneasy about the coal, the gas, the oil, and the phosphates; President Taft has withdrawn all those until Congress indicates what shall be done with them. But the soil, Gentlemen, the soil; the big price for meat, the big price for bread; these are things to study. We can improve our soil. One of our speakers this afternoon told us that you cannot grow soil. I believe that, once you wash it away. But you can reduce it, beyond the point of profitable production of crops; that you can do, and that is being done. The soil-robber works in Iowa, and I fear he is at work in Minnesota. The old folks have gone to town; and the Lord knows nobody wants them there, because when you want to improve the town with gas and sewer and water and things of that kind, the farmer won't vote for them; he is regarded as a nuisance; everybody wishes he would stay on the farm, and I wish he would. And when the old farmer and his wife go to town, they sell off everything; they rent the farm to a man who has no means to stock it with cattle and sheep, hogs and poultry; he grows grain to sell, he grows hay to sell, and those farms grow worse and worse every year. That is the situation we are in. (Applause)

We are making some progress, some headway. The Government gave to the emigrant from abroad, to everybody who wanted it as long as they lasted, a claim in the rainy belt; but there are no lands left for giving away in the rainy belt. Something can be done in regard to our dry-land farming; something can be done in regard to irrigation. As Mr Hill intimated (in fact, he delivered a great deal of my speech), there is not much being done in the line of irrigation. Take a trip out West and watch the rivers as you cross them, and you will see that we are wasting far more water than we are using—though in certain neighborhoods in Colorado highly intelligent people are every year building more dams away up in the mountains and saving their winter and spring-flood waters. That is going on and on, and it should go on until all the waters in the mountains are saved for application to the land. Do you remember the history of irrigation in the valley of the Po, in Italy? There are more people to the square mile there than are found in almost any other part of the world. They began at the headwaters of the tributaries and built great dams to hold up the water to an amount suitable for the growing of crops, something like twenty inches or more; and they built on down to the mouth of the Po. Now when there comes a drought like we had this year, they let water out on the fields, and thus get a maximum crop. Without that extra water, at a time of drought their crop would wither and fail. I [Pg 200]understand Minnesota has more lakes, more natural reservoirs for holding water than any other State in the Union. Look to it, you Minnesota people; you can, by using that water in a dry year, grow maximum crops.

How do the people of the Old World raise big crops? If you followed Mr Hill's statistics you learned they didn't know as much there once as they do now, for they have raised their crop production from 20 to 30 bushels an acre. He also alluded to the Danes, who by good farming are enabled to sell enormous amounts of farm products. How do they keep that land up? I will tell you what a great many of them are doing. They buy mill-feeds from the United States; they buy bran and shorts, they buy the cottonseed of the South and the flaxseed of Minnesota, and feed their dairy cows. That is a highly intellectual job, isn't it, for an American citizen, to grow food for a Danish cow? But the Dane has his eyes open; he knows. He sells $40,000,000 worth of butter and cheese to England every year, but puts back all the fertility on the farm; and that is what has brought up his little fifteen-acre farm, or his forty-acre farm. He has brought it up by keeping and feeding his cows on our mill-feeds, mind you; and he is prosperous—and we are not so prosperous only because we rob ourselves.

A Voice—Bran doesn't cost any more in Denmark than in America.

Secretary Wilson—It is American bran, though. And let me tell you something else. The meats you grow up here cost hardly any more in Europe than they cost here, because the retailer over there hasn't got all the frills that the retail dealer has here, and is satisfied with a smaller profit. (Applause)

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am merely outlining some of the remarks that I prepared and gave to the newspaper people; and I have no doubt you have listened to me as long as you care to (cries of "Go on, go on"). I have enjoyed my visit here. I am on record as saying that these northwestern States, beginning here and extending on west, are the healthiest we have; their waters are good; their climate is fine; they are going to grow vigorous men and handsome women. If we are going to have all their benefits you should conserve your soil, so that your great-grandchildren will have better soil than you have today. Down in Iowa, where I have lived for 46 years, the soil grows bigger crops today than it did fifty years ago; and it is still improving.

You have extended to me the greatest compliment a hospitable people can bestow on a stranger, and that is to give me your attention. I thank you. (Great applause.)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: We will now listen to a discussion by Honorable F. C. Stevens, Member of Congress from this district. (Applause)

[Pg 201]


Representative Stevens—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: You are fortunate this afternoon, so far as my discussion is concerned. I was assigned to discuss an address by Senator Dolliver, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, on the subject of "Cattle, Food, and Leather." We greatly regret the enforced absence of Senator Dolliver, because he is informed on that subject and could have given us a discussion of great benefit. I congratulate myself that I am not obliged to follow him, because I know too little about his subject. So I shall briefly discuss something I do know about.

In the very able address of Mr Hill, and in the very bright discussion of Mr Wallace which followed, there was a general criticism of Congress for undue expenditures of public money. I want to tell this audience that Congress, instead of being extravagant, is often unduly economical of the people's money. The money we spend is what the people want us to spend, and we do not spend nearly as much as they want us to. The estimates that were sent in by the heads of the departments (of which Secretary Wilson is one) aggregated nearly two hundred millions of dollars more than the expenditures which Congress authorized, and the estimates which came from the field officers to the heads of these great departments, for example, like that of Secretary Wilson; from the post-offices scattered throughout the country; from the officers of the War and Navy Departments, scattered all over the world; and from the officers of the State and other departments, were, I will venture to say, nearly two hundred million dollars more still: so that Congress actually did not spend more than two-thirds as much as the people of the United States in their respective localities wanted spent. There is not a single large convention in the United States similar to this—which is one of the most magnificent in the history of this section of the country—that does not call upon Congress for the expenditure of large sums of money, and I will venture to predict that the resolutions, which will be adopted by this Congress will call for a large appropriation from the National treasury. We have in Washington every year a Rivers and Harbors Congress, composed of 4,000 of the brightest, broadest, most patriotic business men of the United States, who go there as delegates, spend their own money to go, and then ask large expenditures from the people's treasury. Scattered all over this country, meeting probably in every State in the Union, are various voluntary assemblages of our People demanding various improvements by the Federal Government, and every one asking for expenditures of the people's money. You never yet have heard of a convention which has met anywhere at anybody's expense asking for a cutting down of expenditures. If there is any one man who is popular in the United States it is the man who calls for the expenditure of the people's money; the men who are the most unpopular, and are condemned and criticised in public life, are those who try to cut down the expenses and be economical with the [Pg 202]people's money (applause). I think there ought to be some reform (and I have had some experience); we are extravagant; we do spend more money than we ought to, but it is spent honestly, it is spent with the best of intention, it is spent because the people want us to spend it, and we do not go nearly as far as they ask us to.

Just one suggestion more: It is easy to criticise and ridicule something that a man knows but little about, and I have noticed that in this discussion of Conservation each man is almighty anxious to conserve that which interests him; and one of the latest examples of that was afforded by the statement of Mr Wallace in condemnation of the dam between Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Now, in advance I want to state that I am not responsible for that dam; it was there before I entered public life. But there is one thing we are trying to do; we are trying to enforce the principle of practical Conservation, and I wish to call attention to that as a sample of ridicule sometimes seen in the discussion of a subject that really interests the people. The United States thirty years ago started, at the headwaters of the Mississippi, six of the largest storage reservoirs for water in the world, with a capacity of many thousands of millions of gallons of water, designed to improve the navigation of the river and raise it in times of drought eighteen inches here at the levee of Saint Paul. That enormous storage of water in the river should be utilized for the practical benefit of the people of the United States. That is the practical basis for all theories of Conservation. A board of engineers was ordered by Congress to make an investigation of the use of the dam at the Twin Cities, and they have reported that a dam can be built and it has been ordered by Congress and is under construction (it is the one ridiculed). It will be thirty feet high and will yield 15,000 horsepower of electrical energy, worth here $25 per horsepower-year, making a total value of $375,000 per annum, at an expenditure in all not to exceed $2,000,000. It will pay the United States the money that it invests in that dam. It is expected that the United States will sell, for a reasonable price, that electrical energy to the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota; these cities can be the best lighted in the world and save a hundred thousand dollars each annually (applause); and, more than that, we will have there the most beautiful lake in the world, extending from the historical falls of Minnehaha below to the great and beautiful University of Minnesota above. That is a practical example of Conservation (applause). Before any of these gentlemen come forward flippantly to ridicule the public works going on in any part of the country, they should realize that there may be some things they don't know about. (Applause)

Only one suggestion more (because we all want to hear from Professor Bailey): It is easy to criticise Congress as a whole; it is fashionable to do it; Congress hasn't any friends anywhere; but just remember this: it is a necessary evil; it is the concrete voice of [Pg 203]ninety millions of free American citizens; it is the only agency whereby these ninety millions of American people can accomplish their will and desire. We can only run a free Government by the rule of the majority; a majority of one is potent to control this whole great country; 51 percent are in favor of what that majority does, and, 49 percent claim the right to criticise and kick at what that majority does. As this is a free Government they have that right. Now, my friends, we must remember that what displeases us probably pleases 51 percent, and if we had the right to pass the very laws we wanted to on any subject, the chances are that our next-door neighbors, on both sides, would criticise and complain of us, just as we are now doing of other people. The only thing I wish to emphasize is that Congress tries to represent the whole American people, tries to make concrete the voice of the whole American people. It is human, the same as the people are; it makes the same kind of mistakes that the people make; and, after all, the people are responsible for Congress. I thank you. (Applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen, we will now have an address on "Conservation in Country Life," by Dr Liberty Hyde Bailey, Dean of State Agricultural College, Cornell University, and Chairman of the Country Life Commission. It affords me great pleasure to introduce Professor Bailey. (Applause)


Professor Bailey—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Because of the lateness of the hour, and because of the very great treat which you have had this afternoon in the presentation of the fundamental questions of country life, I shall only call your attention to three or four topics which, perhaps, have not been touched by others who have spoken from this platform.

Two great economic and social movements are now before the country—Conservation, and Country Life. The Conservation movement is the expression of the idea that the materials and agencies that are part of the furniture of the planet are to be utilized by each generation carefully, and with real regard to the welfare of those who are to follow us. The Country Life movement is the expression of the idea that the policies, efforts, and material well-being of the open country must be highly sustained, as a fundamental essential of a good civilization; and it recognizes the fact that rural society has made relatively less progress in the past century than has urban society. Both movements are immediately economic, but in ultimate results they are social and moral. They rest on the assumption that the welfare of the individual man and woman is to be conserved and developed, and is the ultimate concern of governments; both, therefore, are phases of a process in social evolution.

Not only the welfare but the existence of the race depends on utilizing the products and forces of the planet wisely, and also on [Pg 204]securing greater quantity and variety of new products. These are finally the most fundamental movements that government has yet attempted to attack; for when the resources of the earth shall largely disappear or the arm of the husbandman lose its skill, there is an end of the office of government.

At the bottom, therefore, the Conservation and Country Life movements rest on the same premise; but in their operation, and in the problems that are before them, they are so distinct that they should not be confounded or united. These complementary phases may best work themselves out by separate organization and machinery, although articulating at every point; and this would be true if for no other reason than that a different class of persons, and a different method of procedure, attached to each movement. The Conservation movement finds it necessary, as a starting-point, to attack intrenched property interests, and it therefore finds itself in politics, inasmuch as these interests have become intrenched through legislation. The Country Life movement lacks these personal and political aspects.

These Subjects Have a History

Neither "Conservation" nor "Country Life" is new except in name and as the subject of an organized movement. The end of our original resources has been foreseen from time out of mind, and prophetic books have been written on the subject. The need of a quickened country life has been recognized from the time that cities began to dominate civilization; and the outlook of the high-minded countryman has been depicted from the days of the classical writings until now. On this side of mineral and similar resources, the geologists and others among us have made definite efforts for conservation; and on the side of soil fertility, the agricultural chemists and the teachers of agriculture have for a hundred years maintained a perpetual campaign of conservation. So long and persistently have those of us in the agricultural and some other institutions heard these questions emphasized, that the startling assertions of the present day as to the failure of our resources and the coordinate importance of rural affairs have not struck me with any force of novelty. But there comes a time when the warnings begin to collect themselves, and to crystallize about definite points; and my purpose in suggesting this history is to emphasize the importance of the two movements now before us by showing that the roots run deep, back into human experience. It is no ephemeral or transitory subject that we are now met to discuss.

All really fundamental movements are the results of long-continued discussion and investigation, but it requires a great generalizer and organizer, and one possessed of prevision, to concrete scattered facts into powerful national movements. The one who recognized the existence of these questions, who saw the significance of the problems, who aided to assemble them, and who projected them into definite lines [Pg 205]of public action was Theodore Roosevelt; and he himself has expressed our obligation in this Conservation movement to Gifford Pinchot. (Great applause)

The Conservation movement is now approaching its full; the Country Life movement is a slower and quieter tide, but it will rise with great power. These are the twin economic and social questions that the Roosevelt administration raised for our consideration. (Applause)

They are not party-politics subjects

I have said that these are economic and social problems and policies. I wish to enlarge this view. They are concerned with saving, utilizing, and augmenting, and only secondarily with administration. We must first ascertain the facts as to our resources, and from this groundwork impress the subject on the people. The subject must be approached by scientific methods. It would be unfortunate if such movement became the exclusive program of a political party, for then the question would become partisan and probably be removed from calm or judicial consideration, and the opposition would equally become the program of a party. Every last citizen should be naturally interested in the careful utilization of our native materials and wealth, and it is due him that the details of the question be left open for unbiased discussion rather than be made the arbitrary program, either one way or another, of a political organization. The Conservation principle is a plain economic and social problem rather than a political issue. (Applause)

The Country Life movement is equally a scientific problem, in the sense that it must be approached in the scientific spirit. It will be inexcusable in this day if we do not go at the subject with only the desire to discover the facts and to arrive at a rational solution by non-political methods. The first recommendation of the Commission on Country Life is that the Government begin taking stock of rural life in order that we may have definite facts on which to begin a reconstructive program.

The soil is the greatest of all resources

The resources that sustain the race are of two kinds—those that lie beyond the power of man to reproduce or increase, and those that may be augmented by propagation and by care. The former are the water, the air, the sunshine, and the mines of minerals, metals, and coal; the latter are the living resources, in crop and live-stock. Intermediate between the two classes stands the soil, on which all living resources depend. Even after all minerals and metals and coal are depleted, the race may sustain itself in comfort and progress so long as the soil is productive, provided, of course, that water and air and sunshine are still left to us. Beyond all the mines of coal and all the [Pg 206]precious ores, the soil resource is the heritage that must be most carefully saved; and this, in particular, is the country-life phase of the Conservation movement.

To my mind, the Conservation movement has not sufficiently emphasized this problem. It has laid stress, I know, on the enormous loss by soil erosion, and has said something of inadequate agricultural practice; but the main question is yet practically untouched by the movement—the plain problem of handling the soil by all the millions who, by skill or blundering or theft, produce crops and animals out of the earth. Peoples have gone down before the lessening power of the land, and in all probability other peoples will yet go down. The course of empire has been toward the unplundered lands.

Thinner than the skin of an apple is the covering of the earth that man tills. Beyond all calculation and all comprehension are the powers and the mysteries of the soft soil layer of the earth. We do not know that any vital forces pulsate from the great interior bulk of the earth. Only on the surface does any nerve of life quicken it into a living sphere. And yet, from this attenuated layer have come numberless generations of giants of forests and of beasts, perhaps greater in their combined bulk than all the soil from which they have come; and back into this soil they go, until the great life-principle catches up their disorganized units and builds them again into beings as complex as themselves.

The general evolution of this soil is toward greater powers; and yet, so nicely balanced are these powers that within his lifetime a man may ruin any part of it that society allows him to hold; and in despair he abandons it and throws it back to nature to reinvigorate and to heal. We are accustomed to marvel at the power of man in gaining dominion over the forces of nature—he bends to his use the expansive powers of steam and the energy of the electric currents, and he ranges through space in the light that he concentrates in his telescope; but while he is doing all this he sets at naught the powers in the soil beneath his feet, wastes them, and deprives himself of vast sources of energy. Man will never gain dominion until he learns from nature how to maintain the augmenting powers of the disintegrating crust of the earth.

We can do little to control or modify the atmosphere or the sunlight; but the epidermis of the earth is ours to do with it much as we will. It is the one great earth resource over which we have dominion. The soil may be made better as well as worse, more as well as less; and to save the producing powers of it is far and away the most important consideration in the Conservation of natural resources.

No man has a right to plunder the soil

The man who owns and tills the soil owes an obligation to his fellowmen for the use that he makes of his land; and his fellowmen owe an equal obligation to him to see that his lot in society is such that he [Pg 207]will not be obliged to rob the earth in order to maintain his life. The natural resources of the earth are the heritage and the property of every one and all of us. A man has no moral right to skin the earth, unless he is forced to do it in sheer self-defense and to enable him to live in some epoch of an unequally developed society; and if there are or have been such epochs, then is society itself directly responsible for the waste of the common heritage.

The man who plunders the soil is in very truth a robber, for he takes that which is not his own and he withholds food from the mouths of generations yet to be born. No man really owns his acres; society allows him the use of them for his life-time, but the fee comes back to society in the end. What, then, will society do with those persons who rob society? The pillaging or reckless land-worker must be brought to account and be controlled, even as we control other offenders.

(I know that the soil-depletion idea is now challenged; but I am sure that the Conservation ideal must be applied to soil maintenance even as it is applied to other maintenance. If it transpires that plants hold a different relation to the soil-content than we have supposed, we still know that poor farming makes the land unproductive and that the saving of wastes is a desirable human quality; and we shall probably need to change only our phraseology to make the old statement broadly correct.)

I have no socialistic program to propose. The man who is to till the land must be educated: there is more need, on the side of the public welfare, to educate this man than any other man whatsoever (applause). When he knows, and when his obligations to society are quickened, he will be ready to become a real conservator; and he will act energetically as soon as the economic pressure for land-supplies begins to be acute. When society has done all it can to make every farmer a voluntary conservator of the fatness of the earth, it will probably be obliged to resort to other means to control the wholly incompetent and the recalcitrant; at least, it will compel the soil-robber to remove to other occupation, if economic stress does not itself compel it. We shall reach the time when we shall not allow a man to till the earth unless he is able to leave it at least as fertile as he found it. (Applause)

It is a pernicious notion that a man may do what he will with his own. The whole tendency of social development is away from this idea. A person may not even have the full control of his own children: society compels him to place them in school, and it protects them from over-work and hardship. A man may not breed diseased cattle. No more should he be allowed wantonly to waste forests or to make lands impotent, even though he "owns" them. (Applause)

Ownership vs. Conservation

This discussion leads me to make an application to the Conservation movement in general. We are so accustomed to think of privileged [Pg 208]interests and of corporation control of resources that we are likely to confuse Conservation with company ownership. The essence of Conservation is to utilize our resources with the least waste consistent with good progress, and with an honest care for the children of all generations.

While we not infrequently state the problem to be the reservation of our resources for all the people, and then assume that if all the resources were in private ownership the problem would thereby be solved, yet, in fact, the Conservation question is one thing and the ownership of property quite another. A corporation may be the best as well as the worst conservator of resources; and likewise, private or individual ownership may be the very worst as well as the best conservator. The individual owner, represented by the "independent farmer," may be the prince of monopolists (applause), even though his operations compass a very small scale. The very fact that he is independent, with the further fact that he is intrenched behind the most formidable of all barriers—private property rights—insures his monopoly.

In the interest of pure Conservation, it is necessary to control the single man as well as the organized men. In the end Conservation must deal with the individual man—that is, with a person. It matters not whether this person is a part of a trust, or lives alone a hundred miles beyond the frontier, or is the owner of a prosperous farm—if he wastes the heritage of the race, he is an offender. We are properly devising ways whereby the corporation holds its property or privileges in trust, returning to government (or to society) a fair rental; that is, we are regulating the corporation and making it responsible to the people. What shall we do with the unattached man, to make him also responsible? Shall we hold the corporate plunderer to strict account, and let the single separate plunderer go scot free? (Applause)

In the last analysis, as measured by the results to society, there is no essential difference between corporate ownership and individual ownership.

The philosophy of saving

The Conservation of natural resources, therefore, resolves itself into the philosophy of saving, while at the same time making the most and best advancement in our own day. We have not developed much consciousness of saving when dealing with things that come free to our hands, as the sunshine, the rain, the forests, the mines, the streams, the earth; and the American has found himself so much in the midst of plenty that saving has seemed to him to be parsimony, or at least beneath his attention. As a question of public action, however, conscientious saving represents a very high development. A high sense [Pg 209]of saving ought to come out of the Conservation movement. This will make directly for character-efficiency, since it will develop both responsibility and regard for others.

Civilization, thus far, is built on the process of waste. Materials are brought from forest and sea and mine, certain small parts are used, and the remainder is discarded or destroyed; more labor is wasted than is usefully productive; but what is far worse, the substance of the land is taken in unimaginable quantities and dumped wholesale, through endless sewerage and drainage systems, into the sea. It would seem as if the human race were bent on finding a process by which it can most quickly ravish the earth and make it incapable of maintaining its teeming millions. We are rapidly threading the country with vast conduits by which the fertility of the land can flow away unhindered into the unreachable reservoirs of the ocean. (Applause)

The factories that fabricate agricultural products are likely to be midway stations in the progress of the fertility on its way to the sea. The refuse is dumped into streams; or if it is made into fertilizing materials, it seldom returns to the particular areas whence it came. A manufactory will expend any effort in improving its machinery and practice to enable it to get more material out of its products, but may do little or nothing to increase the production back on the farms. A sugar-beet or other factory may drain its country until the country can no longer raise the product; whereas, by developing a rational system of husbandry and returning the wastes, as in some European countries, it might maintain the land-balance. Any good milk-products factory should develop sound milk-making on the farms of the region, as any good canning factory should raise the standard of production in the fruits and vegetables that it uses; and this should always be done with the object of preserving and even increasing the land-power. A factory owes an obligation to the open country that supports it.

For these and for other reasons, the city always tends to destroy its province. The city takes everything to itself—materials, money, men—and gives back only what it cannot use or what it discards as useless: it does not constructively build up its contributory country.

City dwelling and country dwelling are the two opposite developments of human affairs. The future state of society depends directly on the finding of some real economic and social balance between the two, some species of cooperation that will build and serve them both. This is the fundamental problem of the social structure. Although city people and country people are rapidly affiliating in acquaintanceship, these poles of society are not yet effectively coming together cooperatively on economic lines. (Applause)

The Conservation of food

The fundamental problem for the human race is to feed itself. It has been a relatively easy matter to provide food and clothing thus [Pg 210]far, because the earth yet has a small population, and because there have always been new lands to be brought into requisition. We shall eliminate the plague and the devastations of war, and the population of the earth will tremendously increase. When the new lands have all been opened to cultivation, and when thousands of millions of human beings occupy the earth, the demand for food will constitute a problem that we scarcely apprehend today.

One would think, from current discussions, that the single way to provide the food for the population is to raise more products by moving more people on the land; but this is not at all nub of the question. More products will be raised as rapidly as it pays persons to raise them, and there are now sufficient people on the land to double its productiveness; and the necessary increase of population will come automatically with increasing profits in the business. Much is said about the necessity of intenser methods of farming, and we all recognize the need; but the chief reason why our people do not raise 300 bushels of potatoes to the acre is that it does not yet pay in most cases to produce the extra yield. The comparative statistics of yields in different countries are useful as appealing to the imagination, but they may be wholly fallacious as guides. What we need is a thorough inquiry into the course of trade from potato-patch to consumer, to see where the profit goes.

We need a greater number of competent farmers, to be sure, whether they hail from the country or the city; the city will still attract those laborers who cannot work alone and who watch the clock, and the city provides the organization or machinery to make them of use; but the real food question and cost-of-living question is the problem of maintaining the producing-power of the earth by means of better farming.

We think we have developed intensive and perfected systems of agriculture; but as a matter of fact, and speaking broadly, a scientifically permanent agriculture on national lines is yet unknown in the world. In certain regions, as in Great Britain, the productivity of the land has been increased over a long series of years, but this has been accomplished to a great extent by the transportation of fertilizing materials from the ends of the earth. The fertility of England, according to authorities, has been drawn largely from the prairies and plains of America, from which it has secured its food supplies, from the guano deposits in islands of the seas, from the bones of animals and men, from the mummies of Egypt (applause). The rotation of crops is not itself a complete means of maintaining fertility.

We begin to understand how it is possible to maintain the producing-power of the surface of the earth, and there are certain regions in which our knowledge has been put effectively into operation; but we have developed no conscious plan or system in a large way for securing this result. It is the ultimate problem of the race to devise a permanent [Pg 211]self-sustaining organized agriculture on a scientific basis. The problem is yet unsolved.

We deplore the relative decrease in the exportation of agricultural produce, and seem to think that the more we export the richer we become; but, if our knowledge is correct, under present systems of farming, the more we send abroad the sooner do we deplete our soils. We properly remove phosphate lands from exploitation and monopoly, but we may remove our phosphates more rapidly by sending our produce in unhindered quantities to Europe. Of course, I am not arguing against exportation and trade, but I wish to point out a fallacy in our common economic speech.

The best husbandry is not in the new regions

The best agriculture, considered in reference to the permanency of its results, develops in old regions, where the skinning process has passed, where the hide has been sold, and where people come back to utilize what is left. The skinning process is proceeding at this minute in the bountiful new lands of the United States; and in parts of the older States, and even also in parts of the newer ones, not only the skin but the tallow has been sold. There are "abandoned" farms from California even unto Maine.

It is persistently said that the old eastern States are worn out, and that the farming in them is wretched. There is reason enough to be ashamed of eastern agriculture, and I hope that our newer regions will not repeat the mistakes of the older States; but the eastern States have most excellent agriculture, more than we are aware. Much of it is very profitable, fully as profitable as any I have seen in the great agricultural West. The acre-efficiency, as indicated by the Twelfth Census, is greatest in the old eastern States. Considered with reference to maintaining high fertility and utilizing wastes, I have not seen better fanning in this country than in many examples east of Buffalo. In the development of our agricultural wealth, the East as well as the West must be reckoned with. We cannot expect to develop widespread self-sustaining systems of farming in the East so long as it must compete with the soil-mining of the West.

We are always seeking growing-room, and we have found it. But now, the western civilization has met the eastern, and the world is circumferenced. We shall develop the tropics and push far toward the poles; but we have now fairly discovered the island that we call the earth (within a year and a half we have reached one end of it and all but reached the other), and we must begin to make the most of it.

Another philosophy of agriculture

Practically all our agriculture has been developed on a rainfall basis. There is ancient irrigation experience, to be sure, but the great agriculture has been growing away from these regions. Agriculture [Pg 212]is still moving on, seeking new regions; and it is rapidly invading regions of small rainfall. The greater part of the land surface of the globe must be farmed, if farmed at all, under some system of careful water-saving. Some of it is redeemable by irrigation, and the remainder, representing about one-half the earth's surface, by some system of utilization of deficient rainfall, or by what is inappropriately known as "dry farming." The complementary practices of irrigation and dry-farming will develop a wholly new system of agriculture and a new philosophy of country life.

Even in heavy rainfall countries, there is often such vast waste of water from run-off that the lands suffer severely during droughts. The hilly lands of our best farming regions are greatly reduced in their crop-producing power because people do not prepare against drought as consciously as they provide against winter. It is often said that we shall water eastern lands by irrigation, and I think that we shall; but our first obligation is to save the rainfall water by some system of farm-management or dry-farming.

The irrigation and dry-farming developments have a significance beyond their value in the raising of crops; they are making the people to be conservators of water, and to have a real care for posterity. Agriculture rests on the saving of water. (Applause)

The obligation of the farmer

The farmer is rapidly beginning to realize his obligation to society. It is usual to say that the farmer feeds the world, but the larger fact is that he saves the world. The economic system depends on him. Wall Street watches the crops.

As cities increase proportionately in population, the farmer assumes larger relative importance and becomes more and more a marked man.

Careful and scientific husbandry is rising in this new country. We have come to a realization of the fact that our resources are not unlimited. The mining of fertilizing materials for transportation to a few spots on the earth will some day cease. We must make the farm sustain itself, at the same time that it provides the supplies for mankind. We all recognize the necessity of the other great occupations to a well developed civilization; but in the nature of the case, the farmer is the final support. On him depends the existence of the race. No method of chemical synthesis can provide us with the materials of food and clothing and shelter, and with all the good luxuries that spring from the bosom of the earth.

I know of no better present conservators than our best farmers. They feel their responsibility. Quite the ideal of Conservation is illustrated by a farmer of my acquaintance who saves every product of his land and has developed a system of self-maintaining live-stock husbandry, who has harnessed his small stream to light his premises and do much of his work, who turns his drainage waters into household [Pg 213]use, and who is now troubled that he cannot make some use of the winds that are going to waste on his farm.

The obligation of the Conservation movement

What I have meant to emphasize is the fact that the farmer is the ultimate conservator of the resources of the earth. He is near the cradle of supplies, near the sources of the streams, next the margin of the forests, and on the hills and in the valleys and on the plains just where the resources lie. He is in contact with the original and raw materials, and with the fundamental necessities. Any plan of Conservation that overlooks this fact cannot meet the situation. The Conservation movement must help the farmer to keep and save the race.

The Conservation and Country Life movements will pass through propagandic, economic, and political phases; but they will eventuate into a new alignment of human forces and a redirection of the processes of social development. These results are to be brought about by efforts proceeding along definite lines of action. The Conservation movement is rapidly becoming crystallized into definite proposals. The Country Life movement should be solidified through a definite National organization or commission, that is continuously active. This body should work through all existing rural organizations, placing before them for consideration the specific questions of the day and serving as a clearing-house of discussions that arise in the societies and with the people; and it should make real investigation into the actual economic and social conditions of the open country, with a view to pointing out the specific practical steps to be taken by National, State, local, and individual enterprise.

The Commission on Country Life made sufficient specific recommendations and suggestions to start a fundamental redirection of effort as applied to rural development. The Report of the Commission will naturally be the diverging-point of future discussions of country-life problems. (Applause)


Chairman Clapp—Ladies and Gentlemen: The hour grows late, and the Congress will stand adjourned for the day.


SEVENTH SESSION

The Congress was called to order by President Baker in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, September 8, few Delegates being present, and none responding to an invitation to speak for their States. After waiting some time—

President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: We will now go on with the regular program, leaving the Call of the States for a later time when the Delegations may be more fully represented. In the [Pg 214]absence of the Reverend Dr J. A. Krantz, President of the Minnesota Conference of the Swedish Lutheran Church, we will dispense with the public invocation.

Professor Henry S. Graves, Chief Forester of the United States, will now address you on "The Forest and the Nation."


Professor Graves—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: The movement for the conservation of our natural resources has reached the second and most critical stage in its progress. The country has expressed in unmistakable terms its approval of the principles of Conservation; there is now before it the problem of the practical application of those principles.

In forestry there is a very general agreement that our woodlands must be protected from fire, that waste must be reduced, and that a future timber supply must in some way be provided. In carrying out these purposes, differences of opinion arise, and it soon develops that with many persons the interest in forestry is confined to the abstract idea and does not extend to its practice. When the requirements of forestry are considered, forest owners usually find that they must make some modification in their methods of cutting, that they must use more care in protection from fire and in saving young growth, and that if they are to secure a new growth of trees after cutting, some investment is necessary. The general public learns that in order to secure for the Nation the permanent benefits of the forest, National and State expenditures are required.

It is at this point that indifference and even opposition to Conservation arise. Indifference is shown by the public when it fails to make adequate appropriations for public forestry. Direct opposition appears from those who fear that their interests in one way or another may be adversely affected. There is a great deal of misunderstanding in regard to the methods of Conservation, and many have charged that those methods heretofore advocated are impractical. In order to be successfully applied, Conservation must be practical; but at the same time the methods must be such as will actually accomplish its real purposes. To my mind the real significance and value of this Congress is that an opportunity is afforded to make clear the methods of Conservation, and the country will then decide whether it will really be put into practice or become a mere name.

It is not my intention now to dwell at length on the fundamental importance to the country of forest Conservation. To those who know the needs of the people for forest products, the available resources, and the manner in which they are now being used up or destroyed, it must be clear that we are facing a problem which must be met by prompt and vigorous action.

A survey of the forest resources of the world shows clearly that in the long run this Nation must be dependent chiefly on its own [Pg 215]supplies. Those who believe that we may destroy our own forests and then draw upon foreign resources of timber are misinformed as to the facts, for those supplies will not be long available. Foreign countries will need for their own use what they can produce, and many of the exporting countries are exhausting their forests just as rapidly as America. The timber supply in this country is being rapidly depleted. We are extravagant in our use of forest products; there is waste in logging and manufacturing, and the loss by fire is a shame to the country. To offset this reduction of merchantable resources the annual production of timber by growth amounts to much less than one-third the average quantity used and destroyed. In other words, we are actually exhausting our forest supplies by use and waste.

There is a sufficient amount of land in the country better suited to forest growth than other purposes to produce all the wood and timber needed by the Nation, provided the forest is properly handled. This land includes mountain areas where the protection of the vegetation is necessary to conserve water and protect the slopes. The protective benefits of the forest can thus in most cases be secured at the same time as the production of wood and timber. There are, however, certain mountain regions of the West where large trees will not grow, and where the cover of brush and grass must be conserved to protect the slopes and to regulate the run-off of water. In these mountains special reservations must be maintained primarily for protective purposes.

There is but little disagreement in regard to these simple propositions. The difficulty lies in the fact that the people do not appreciate the need of immediate action to put the principles of forestry into practice. The reason why prompt action is not appreciated is that, except locally, the effects of forest destruction have not yet been keenly felt. It is true that the prices of certain grades of lumber have tended to increase. This increase is in part due to the reduction of supplies, but it is due also to the same causes of increased cost of production as have raised the price of other manufactured commodities (applause). The development of railroad transportation and of methods of logging have constantly opened new forest resources and furnished a supply to the public. There are today over 30,000 saw-mills throughout the country cutting timber and competing for the market. Although the prices of lumber may seem high to the consumer it is still true that in some sections the competition among the manufacturers is keeping the prices down to a point where it is hard to market low grades and to utilize in full any but the best trees in the forest. As long as the value of timber is below what it would cost to produce it by growth, the general public will not realize that our supplies are being depleted. It is after the virgin supplies are exhausted—and that will come in a comparatively short [Pg 216]time—that the great increase in values will come and the public will suffer. We are urging action now in order that there may be new supplies produced to meet the needs of the Nation at that time. (Applause)

The general public fails also to appreciate the effect of forest destruction on stream-flow and on soil erosion. Some even go so far as to deny the connection between forests and stream-flow. There are many factors which determine the stability of water flow. Climate, character of soil, topography, and vegetative cover, all have an influence on the run-off of water. There may be a change of conditions of one or more of these influencing factors sufficient to upset the equilibrium established by nature, and alter the manner of run-off of the water in a given watershed (applause). In humid regions, where the old timber is cut off or burned, a cover of young trees or brush often springs up quickly and protects the slopes before the character of the stream channels is changed. A single clearing of the forest may thus have only a small or temporary effect on water flow. The repeated destruction of the cover may, however, result in a permanent change, and finally produce torrent conditions. Thus in the Southern Appalachian province it is not so much the present and past conditions—although those are serious—which demand forest conservation, as what will inevitably be the result of continued destruction of the cover. (Applause)

Where the conditions for forest growth are critical, and the soil and topography are such that the balance of nature is easily disturbed, the effects of forest destruction are much more quickly felt. In certain parts of the West we find already examples of flood and torrent conditions equal to those in France and Asia. For example, in Utah there are watersheds where, on account of the burning of the forests and the over-grazing of slopes, torrent conditions are already definitely established. One of the most extreme and striking instances in the West is found on the watershed of Kanab creek flowing through southern Utah and northern Arizona. As the result of over-grazing, the tributary streams have already become deep washes, and many new and deep gulches have been formed running into the main channel and into the side channels. The water which falls on the surface is quickly carried to some stream or wash which becomes a miniature torrent. The gathering of these together in the main channel makes a flood which is irresistible. The loss from the destruction of dams and bridges, the washing away of arable lands, and the deposit of rocks and gravel on cultivated fields, has been enormous. The restoration of vegetation alone will not cure the evil. It is now an engineering problem to check the torrential flow of water in the various streams and washes.

In spite of the increasing evidences of the effects of forest destruction, the public still fails to appreciate the need of prompt action to prevent the scarcity of timber and to protect the flow of [Pg 217]our streams. The time for action is before a disaster and not afterward (applause). The small public investments necessary for forest protection are insignificant when contrasted with the losses and hardships to communities resulting from forest destruction.

The forest problem is peculiarly difficult on account of the length of time required to produce timber of useful dimensions. We are using today trees which for the most part are from 150 to 200 years of age. The time required to produce trees suitable for lumber varies from about 40 years with our most rapid-growing species to over 100 years in many mountain regions. The production of timber requires a long investment. It requires the permanent use of land for forest growth, and a stable policy in handling the forest. At the present time in this country there is great risk from fire, which discourages investment by private capital in the growing of timber. By its very nature, therefore, the problem of forestry presents great difficulties to the average private owner of forest land who has bought the property to market the merchantable timber and not to grow trees.

Forestry nearly always involves an actual investment. Private owners will not as a rule make this investment unless there is clearly in sight an adequate return. On account of the long investment, risk from fire, a burdensome system of taxation of growing timber, and the present uncertainties of market, most private owners today are not practicing a system of forestry which takes into consideration the production of new timber supplies. Many say that if fires are kept out the question of forest production will take care of itself, no matter how the forest is handled, and that all there is to forestry is protection from fire. Let me say, and with all the emphasis I am capable of using, that forest production will not take care of itself. There are cases, and remarkable ones, of natural reproduction of forests even under the worst of abuse. But where there is no systematic provision for reproduction, ordinary lumbering results in the long run in a steady reduction of growth of valuable material; and there are only too many cases of destructive lumbering which leave the land in an unproductive state even when fires do not occur. (Applause)

Forestry is necessary to guarantee to the people the continuous benefits of the forest. The responsibility of working out the problem of National forestry cannot be left with private owners. It is primarily a public question, and the burden of its solution must be largely borne by the public. In the first place those forests owned by the public must be protected and administered under the methods of practical forestry. These public forests comprise about one-third of the forest area of the country. The remaining two-thirds of our forests are in private ownership, and this includes about four-fifths of the remaining standing merchantable timber. Without doubt the area of the public forests will be considerably increased through the [Pg 218]acquirement of areas needed for the protection of public interests, especially in the mountain regions of the East. But the Federal and State forests alone will not be sufficient to produce the supplies of forest products needed by the country. The practice of forestry on private lands, or at least on those areas better suited for forest growth than for other purposes, is a public necessity. I regard the proper handling of these private forests as a public necessity (applause). The private owner cannot escape the responsibility of ownership of an important natural resource; at the same time he cannot be expected to make financial investments in order to provide for a general public benefit. The conditions which prevent him from practicing forestry should be changed. He should be given public aid in protection from fire. There should be a reasonable system of taxing growing timber, and there should be cooperation in meeting the peculiar difficulties of his business which tend to stand in the way of Conservation.

The practice of forestry by private owners may be brought about through assistance and cooperation by the Federal Government and the States. The Government can do a great deal to promote private forestry. It is the policy of the Forest Service to aid in the introduction and practice of forestry on private lands, just as far as its authority permits. This assistance must, however, be largely confined to education, advice, and general cooperation. Through research and experiment, the Government is laying the foundation for the practice of forestry in all parts of the country. The results of the work in forest products will greatly help in the problem of saving waste. The experiments in silviculture are demonstrating the methods of handling woodlands. Direct aid to private owners in the practice of forestry must come chiefly from the States. The proper adjustment of taxes is a State matter. Assistance in fire patrol and fire fighting must come from the States. If on the other hand this aid is given by the States and the Government, and the obstacles now standing in the way of private forestry are removed, private owners should assume their obligations in actually setting to work to practice forestry.

The first necessity is prompt and effective action by the States. As yet most of our States have not assumed their full responsibilities in forestry. In a number of them good forests laws have been enacted; several States are buying lands as public reservations; and in about fifteen States a forest commission or a State forester has been appointed. But the problem of State forestry requires a great deal more than laws on the statute books, or the appointment of a State forester. There must be the machinery to carry out the laws, a thoroughly equipped organization to patrol the State and fight fires, and adequate appropriation of money to make this work really effective (applause). The real test of State forestry will be the development of a forest policy which will be stable, and the providing of the money necessary to carry on the work.

[Pg 219]

The first duty of the Federal Government in forestry is the proper administration of the forest lands owned by the Nation. A National forest policy has already been initiated. The greater portion of the Federal forest lands have been set aside as National Forests and they have been managed on the principles of practical Conservation. The purpose of establishing these forests has been to guarantee the best possible use of their resources for the people. There is still an impression among some persons that the National Forests are closed reservations, withdrawn from use and development. The keynote of the Federal policy in handling these forests is the use of their resources; but it is the continued use in contrast with that use which exhausts the resources (applause). There are many who assert that the National Forests are retarding development. It is the policy of the Forest Service to encourage the opening up and development of the resources of the forests, but we take the stand that this must be a development which will permanently build up the country. (Applause)

The Federal policy stands squarely for permanent development and maintenance of stable industries, as opposed to mere exploitation which exhausts the resources, and which shortly results in the impoverishment of the region. (Applause)

In administering the National Forests, the first task is to protect them from destruction by fire. In order adequately to protect forests from fire, the first necessity is a system of roads and trails to enable proper patrol and movement of fire fighters, and telephone lines for quick communication. The second necessity is a well organized force of rangers and guards to patrol the forest and fight fires. Ever since the National Forests were placed under the administration of the Forest Service, the construction of trails and telephone lines has been pushed as rapidly as funds could be secured for that purpose. Although there have already been built 9,218 miles of trails, 1,218 miles of roads, and 4,851 miles of telephone lines, this represents but a beginning of the work when the vast area of inaccessible and undeveloped forests is considered. The Forest Service has a well organized protective service for patrol and fire fighting, though the number of men is still inadequate. Nevertheless it has been possible in ordinary seasons to keep down the fires to a small loss. During the present season there has been in the Northwest an unparalleled drouth and constant high winds that have made fire protection unusually difficult. Innumerable fires were started in the forests from various causes. The woods were dry, and a small spark was sufficient to start a blaze. Where there were roads and trails, the patrol-men were able to reach the fires quickly and either put them out in their incipiency or soon mobilize a force of men who brought them under control before they had done much damage. This was well demonstrated by the fact that in the Montana and Idaho districts the majority of railroad fires were put out by the patrol-men employed by [Pg 220]the Forest Service and by the railroads in cooperation before they reached dangerous proportions. Many fires were started, also, in the inaccessible portions of the forest where there are no roads and trails. It was often impossible to reach those fires until they had been burning several days, and in many cases had become dangerous conflagrations. The disastrous fires were those occurring under these conditions.

I wish to take this occasion to express my appreciation of the work of those men who lost their lives in these fires, and also of those other men who ever since the opening of this dry season have been fighting these fires, working often day and night, without regard to hours of service—working with a courage, with a singleness of purpose and desire to protect the property of the public, which makes me proud of them. (Applause)

The great lesson of these fires is the absolute necessity for a complete system of roads and trails and of telephone lines in the National Forests. I meet some men who say that forests cannot be protected from fire, and that sooner or later every extensive forest will be burned. The experience in the Northwest this year only strengthens my conviction that forests can be protected from fire even under the most adverse climatic conditions. But this protection absolutely requires a proper development of the forest in the way of transportation and communication, and an adequate force of men for patrol. The National Forests can be rendered safe from fire but they must be organized for it. This requires extensive construction work at the outset. It requires a large investment in permanent improvement work by the Government. But that necessary expense is insignificant in comparison with the value of the property which will be protected, and the benefits to the communities and industries depending on these forests.


The National Forests are for use, and are administered primarily for the benefit of those States and communities in which they are located. The various resources are opened to use under reasonable restrictions which will guarantee their best continuous service to the greatest possible number of people. The mature timber is cut when there is a demand for its use, but the cutting is conducted under the principles of forestry, so that new growth is established in openings made by lumbering and the continued supply of timber is provided for. (Applause)

The other resources of the National Forests are also being put to use. The grass is utilized under a system of regulated grazing, land more valuable for agriculture than for forest purposes is opened to entry under the forest homestead act, prospecting is allowed without restriction, and legitimate mining is encouraged. It is the aim of the Forest Service to encourage the development of water-powers, and we are endeavoring to work out a practical plan which will facilitate [Pg 221]this development by private capital, and at the same time protect the interests of the public (applause). I believe that the use of water-power sites on Federal lands should be under Government control, and I believe that this can be accomplished so as not to prevent the attraction of capital to their development. (Applause)

So far as the National Forests are concerned, Conservation has already carried into the practical stage, for it is being put into actual operation. The National Forests will always stand as a monument to the work of the real founder and spirit of the Conservation movement, Gifford Pinchot. (Great applause)

There are many opponents of the National Forest policy and of the Forest Service, but I find in most sections of the country that those who are using the National Forests, and who are therefore most vitally interested in them, are cooperating very heartily with the Government in working out the details of their administration. It is through the kind of constructive cooperation which the Forest Service is receiving from lumbermen of the country that the practical management of the National Forests can be made really effective. (Applause)

The burden of my plea today is the need of prompt and vigorous action. Action is required of the general public in giving support for the protection of the National Forests. Action is required by the States in administering the State lands in the interests of the public. Action is required by the States in initiating a system of taxation of growing timber which will not prevent Conservation. Action is required by the States in introducing a system of forest patrol and fighting fires which will permit prompt work in the prevention of the burning of our forests. And action, finally, is needed by private individuals to introduce the practical forestry on their lands just as far as economic conditions will permit.

My suggestion is that the first step is required by the public through action of States and action of the Government. I appreciate that this cannot be accomplished without explaining fully to the people exactly what is required. I appreciate that there is necessary an organized campaign of education which should be carried into every locality of the country. This campaign may and must be practical, and not only the general problem of forestry but also the specific means of solving it must be presented to the people. This educational work may be done in part by the Government; a large amount of it must, however, be carried on through the State officials, through the State forest and conservation commissions, and through National and local associations. (Prolonged applause)


President Baker—The next subject is "The Stake of the Business Man in Conservation," by Mr Alfred L. Baker, of Chicago.

[Pg 222]

Mr Baker—Mr President, Fellow Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: Here in this Second Conservation Congress, where are assembled specialists who have given profound study to the different phases of the Conservation of our resources, where are met together scientists in agriculture, forestry, mineralogy and waterways, it is not intended that the remarks of a business man should stumble into the fields of the experts. It is, however, appropriate that he should voice his approving earnestness and vigorous enthusiasm in behalf of the Conservation movement (applause), and voice them to those National benefactors who are holding their shoulders to the wheel of progress. As a delegate to this Congress, representing the business man and with the knowledge of his views, I wish to state with all the emphasis of which I am capable that the business men in this country are heart and soul in favor of Conservation (applause). Owing to the infirmities of human nature a few may faint by the wayside; but the great body and mass can always be depended on to faithfully and loyally support the movement. By so doing they are promoting the proper development of those resources which are not only the foundation of our National prosperity but also the foundation of their own individual success.

The most conspicuous quality in the character of the successful business man is foresight—and he, more than any other member of the community, must realize the necessity of foresight in the management of our National affairs. He himself would never permit the waste or plunder of his own personal resources, and whilst enjoying their daily possession would always take thought for the morrow. The Nation in its control of our resources should reflect the same character and intelligence which the individual shows in the management of his own private affairs. (Applause)

The great body of business men favor the well-known policies of Conservation. They recognize that those resources which are of a public character should be held in trust by the Nation for the benefit of the people (applause) and that those resources of a private nature should be so disposed of that they will be enjoyed by the greatest number for the longest time. (Applause)

They believe in the Government control of water-power (applause) with the cooperation of the States, and in the application of a scientific forestry which will eliminate waste, also in a fire patrol which, at whatever cost (applause), will prevent the destruction of our forests and of human life. They believe in better methods of farming and in the improvement of country life so that the bright boy on the farm shall no longer respond to the call of the great city, but find immediately about him equal opportunities for fame and fortune. (Applause) They believe in the continued distribution of information on a large scale that will educate the people and advance their knowledge of Conservation (applause); and finally they believe in the Conservation of public integrity, [Pg 223]which is the basal foundation of our National life on which all else depends. (Great applause)

I am not one of those who believe that the Conservation movement should be confined solely to the technical treatment of the forest and soil and the prevention of material waste. The second article in the platform of the first Conservation Congress provides that "the objects of this Congress shall be broad, to act as a clearing house for all allied social forces of our time, to seek to overcome waste in natural, human, or moral forces." I concur in that declaration. (Applause)

We are told that the Constitution of the United States was the unexpected outcome of a conference convened for the sole purpose of investigating our waterways. The charge of irrelevancy might well have been brought to bear upon the discussions which ensued relating to a standing army and the powers of the Federal Government, but in all National movements the importance rests not with their origin but with the extent of their usefulness. (Applause)

However restricted at the outset, Conservation has grown into a larger and more comprehensive movement, and its principles include the conservation of ideals that make for good citizenship (applause). It is in relation to this larger view that I wish to emphasize the importance of the American business man and his influence on our National progress.

In the lifetime of many now living, the land in this great State of Minnesota was divided between two Indian tribes—the Sioux and the Chippewa. These tribes were uncivilized. Intelligence had not arrived at the stage which produces diversified industry, commerce, and the merchant. The influence of these forces marks the difference between the land of the Sioux and the State of Minnesota today.

The early pioneers who first settled on the Atlantic Coast and then continued their journey across the Continent were all business men, but they were not capitalists. From the eastern States they sought in Europe capital to build up the industries of their locations, and, by the use of this capital and labor rendered the East prosperous; and when these sturdy pioneers opened up the wealth of resources in the West they, in turn, drew upon the East for capital, and by paying for its use and uniting labor with it developed this great country. The descendants of these pioneer business men are the representative business men of today. They are not in an economic sense capitalists. Whilst the capitalist may be a business man, the vast majority of business men are not capitalists. The business man is the one who obtains capital from one source and labor from another source and unites them in an anticipated prosperous undertaking. (Applause)

The material prosperity of the United States is due to our natural resources and the genius of the business man united with the capital of the few and the toil of the millions; but the creative genius, the organizing ability, the spirit which animates the partnership, is the [Pg 224]contribution of the business man—by his brains, energy, force of character, and toil he has created here in the United States a commercial system of enterprise and a degree of business prosperity unparalleled in history.

If we give the credit of this achievement to the business man, he should also bear the responsibility of the evils which have been engendered (applause). The gravest evils which have developed out of our commercial prosperity are the uncontrolled power of great wealth, the growth of monopolies, and their sinister influence on our political institutions. (Applause)

Industrial efficiency may justify the union of many smaller corporations into one big one, but if it leads to industrial despotism this efficiency is obtained at the sacrifice of industrial freedom (applause). No one nowadays, on the ground of efficiency, believes in a political despotism; surely it is equally difficult to believe that any degree of efficiency could justify industrial despotism. (Applause)

As early as 1888 so conservative a man as Grover Cleveland expressed himself as follows: "Communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which assiduously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of misrule." So far as communism of capital is concerned, did not Cleveland's graphic statement adumbrate the conditions as they exist today? Since that time how tremendous has been the growth in the combinations of capital and industry.

But of more importance than the size of the corporations and the combinations of capital is the activity in our political arena of the agents and members of these corporations (applause); they are not there to advocate measures for the welfare of the community, but to obtain for themselves special privileges, to gain some advantage in disregard of the public welfare and merely for private gain. These conditions are precipitating an economic and political crisis, in which the issues are not to be between the two great political parties, but between ranks which are being formed to give battle on these new issues regardless of party lines. (Applause)

To my mind great encouragement lies in the fact that there is rapidly developing a segregation in the ranks of business men. Already many of them, freed from a false sense of class loyalty, or a fear of injury to business, are unwilling to assist by their public support or private esteem that man, however successful or powerful he may be, who by himself or by his agents practices methods which are unfair and opposed to the common good (applause). They no longer respect the citizen who in any way indicates a reluctance to take part in the crusade against bribery and graft, or the one who, by silence, hopes to conceal his public attitude when public sentiment seeks to fasten responsibility where responsibility belongs (applause). This [Pg 225]sort of man must come out into the open and declare himself—he must be either with us or against us. (Applause and cries of "Good!")

Even though the advocacy of the control of industrial combinations and the enactment of measures for their regulation temporarily affect business interests, they should not for this reason excite the opposition of the mercantile world. Those business men who have become convinced of the wisdom of regulation should be willing to follow the example of the intelligent patient who goes through with a necessary operation that in the end he may obtain permanent health and strength. (Applause)

During the last five years there is apparent among business men a larger recognition of their obligations to the community, and there is noticeable among the directors of many of our corporations a stricter sense of trusteeship. An anti-toxin to corruption has entered the very veins of the business world (applause). The phagocytes of health are overcoming the macrophags of decay. This is not a sudden revival, a temporary wave of reform, but a gradual evolution of the moral sense, a permanent advance in the idea of social justice (applause). This moral awakening may show itself politically in an effort toward municipal reform, in legislative and municipal voters' leagues, in a determined resistance to monopoly, or for a larger control and a larger share in the profits of public franchise corporations. But in whatever form it seeks its expression, it is the manifestation of an actively constructive principle which will soon become so effective that the merchant and the man of affairs will overlook the near and personal view which appears on the stock ticker and take the larger view, the view that ultimately provides for the greatest good of the greatest number (applause). This awakened sense of social justice is the new and deeper significance of the Conservation movement. (Applause)

Two years ago the Conference of Governors adopted a declaration of principles which the President said should hang on the wall of every school-house for the education of every citizen who is to become a voter in the next generation.

Since then Conservation has become the watchword of the hour. The widespread use of the word has given to it a meaning undreamed of in the beginning. In the form of an intelligent energy it has applied itself to all the concerns of life from the conservation of the soil and the forest to the conservation of birds, of child life and of health. It enters into our daily life, awakens into an active moral force a renaissance of the old-fashioned virtues—prudence, thrift, and foresight—and gives to them a larger and a National meaning.

Conservation is the intimate and individual message to our day and generation. It marks the advent of a new patriotism wherein love of humanity becomes an integral part of love of country, and where the conservation of our "rocks and rills," our "woods and templed hills," is not a more sacred trust than the conservation of [Pg 226]those ideals and principles through which we hope to attain our ultimate National purpose—a Government of enlightened people, enjoying equal opportunities, sharing equal burdens, and rejoicing in the freedom of an Industrial and Political Democracy. (Great applause)


[In the course of the foregoing, President Baker invited Professor Condra to the Chair.]

Professor Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: President Baker desires me to say that his voice has failed. He also authorizes me to announce that the Call of States will be made this afternoon.

I am pleased now to introduce a speaker opposed to the leading objects of this Congress. I ask you to hear kindly any criticism that he may offer. His subject is "The Relation of Capital to the Development of Resources." Mr Frank H. Short, of California.


Mr Short—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am permitted to speak today for the first time for real money, and apparently in behalf of those who are sometimes denominated "malefactors of great wealth." I observe that one of the Saint Paul papers in announcing this address has referred to me as a lawyer and capitalist. The latter I modestly deny. It is unprofessional for a lawyer to become rich. Good lawyers are scarce and valuable, and judging by the speeches I have heard in this Congress rich men are very common and a great public nuisance. Therefore I hold that it would be a great misfortune for a good lawyer, such as I admit that I am (laughter), to be spoiled by making out of him an ordinary capitalist.

This audience, in listening to my address, will no doubt have in mind the numerous warnings which have been given to them in advance to forestall the evil influences of my humble remarks. I hope none of you will ever have to sustain the painful ordeal of appearing before an audience decorated with hoofs and horns by angels of light wearing crowns and playing harps, who have so kindly bestowed upon me the habiliments of the Evil One. Perhaps, since I have been so excessively featured, I had as well admit the whole horrible truth. First, and perhaps worst of all, I am a Missourian, having committed the indiscretion of being born in the "Show me" State—but not in Kansas. All of my youth was spent in the Middle West in the occupation of a rough rider; and I still enjoy a fight or a footrace as much as though I were a real colonel. Further confessing, I have lived for many years in California and am a lawyer by profession, and have committed the offense of allowing myself to be retained and am now employed by a considerable number of large water companies and electric power companies and other corporations, diligently endeavoring to commit the crime of investing capital under the laws of the western States in the development of the industries and resources of those States.

[Pg 227]

The difference between a real colonel and a second lieutenant is illustrated by the fact that this admission permits of my being heard under his authority, although industrious efforts by the lieutenant referred to have been devoted to the contrary purpose. I am, however, speaking under the general permission of this Congress, and under no other frank than my unrevoked license as a real though obscure American citizen.

The rights and interests of all American citizens and business institutions under the laws of our country are the same (applause). As a man accumulates property, and his interests and substantial connection with the country and its resources increase, he thereupon becomes just that much more interested in the honesty and integrity of the Government under which he lives, in the perfectly equal and just operation of the law, and above all in the supremacy of the law and similarly in the inauguration, continuation, and perpetuation of good policies.

No doubt we self-governing Americans have all erred, both the poor man and the capitalist; and perhaps it would not be unfair to say that we all ought in humility to bear our equal share of the odium connected with whatever failures and offenses have been committed during our history, and I am not here to shift any of the burden from one class upon another. Neither am I here to answer denunciations with denunciations. I am handicapped in such debate, for the reason that I acquired my education in the old-fashioned school that was taught to believe that an honest man was one who said little of his own honesty and less of the supposed dishonesty of others.

A convention of this character can be carried on with but little capital, and may travel a good ways on sheer wind; but with all respect to free speech, it takes money to carry on Government and conduct business, and if capital is as timid as it is supposed to be, and if some of our political friends were as dangerous as they sound, all of the money would have been scared out of America before I commenced these remarks on capital. Allow me, however, respectfully to suggest that we of this country are engaged in many vast enterprises; we are responsible to many men and their families for the opportunity to work and to earn a living. We are committed to the completion of many National enterprises of great magnitude. Our crops are none too large, our reserve capital is small and is growing smaller. The general industrial and financial conditions of the country from the point of view of thoughtful men who understand the situation, are not as satisfactory as I wish they were, and those who are gaining fame and ascending to office by wild denunciations of wealth are willing to assume hazards that I do not envy. (Applause)

Honest capital is more secure when governments are made honest and special privileges are denied, when graft is prevented and crimes are punished: and there is never any danger in real reform, but infinite harm can be done by attractive orators of maximum lung power [Pg 228]and minimum brains (applause). Honesty is the best policy in large business and in small business, and the most that capital ought to expect or demand, and the most that will be profitable to it in the long run, is to seek and if it can obtain the passage and the enforcement of equal and just laws, the continuation of justice, and the right honestly to accumulate, hold and enjoy property (applause). The relations of capital to Conservation are identical with its relations to all other business. As Conservation tends to increase and continue the natural resources of the country, the fertility of the soil, the perpetuation of the forests, the flow of streams, and all of those conditions that insure the substantial welfare of the country, the capitalist has an equal interest with all other citizens in Conservation, and the added interest that he can share in a greater degree in the resulting and continuing prosperity than his less fortunate neighbor.

Some excellent things have been done and said in this convention. If "conversational conservation" would cure the evils under which we live we would have no need of doctors for a long time. As against "conversational conservation" I wish now to say a few words about constitutional conservation. From now on I may wander a little from the rich subject that has been assigned to me, but I have been much interested in the suggestion that that branch of the Government that can accomplish the most good for the people should take charge of their business and affairs connected with Government. Unless, however, we have some authoritative source other than the nebulous question of the general welfare to determine where this authority lies, I am apprehensive that most of the resources of Government would be dissipated in fighting over the question of authority.

What I now hold to be true for all time—and you will all agree with me some day—is that that branch of the Government that under our constitutional system is designated as the one having the authority is the only branch of the Government that can benefit capital, conserve or advance the rights of the people, or do justice in any way whatever. Conservation as it was understood in its inception in this country, the preservation of our soils, our forests, and our resources presented a subject of little difficulty, and in connection with which we were all practically in accord and where apparently there would have been no occasion for any serious disagreement. No more new or difficult questions of Government are legitimately involved in Conservation and forestry than are involved in cultivation and farming.

If the device of using the public lands to graft Government onto Conservation had not been invented by some civic genius, we would have had 90 percent of conservation to 10 percent of controversy. But when the landlord seeks to be the governor, especially in America, we get 90 percent plus of controversy and 10 percent minus of conservation. Landlord law and governmental conservation was devised, we are told, to control wealth for the benefit of the plain, [Pg 229]small man. Inquire in the vicinity of any forest reserve, and you will find that there are more plain, small people than there used to be, and they are getting plainer and smaller every day; so apparently the good work will never end.

As briefly as I may, and seriously as I can, I will state the situation that confronts the people of the West, the poor man and the capitalist alike, in connection with the forest reserve. Forest reserves were authorized by Congress for the purpose of protecting forests and conserving the source of supply of streams. Probably one-third of the 200,000,000 acres that have been set apart in forest reserves in the western one-third of the United States are reasonably necessary and suited to these purposes. As to the other two-thirds, they were largely included—and in some instances this is frankly admitted—for the purpose of authority for Government control, to include pasture lands, power-sites, irrigation projects, and the like. If forest reserves had been created to meet the actual necessity which brought them into existence, and if they had been administered with due deference to the rights of the State within which they are situated, to improve and develop its resources without restraint, to construct or authorize to be constructed roads and highways, railroads, telephone and telegraph lines, canals and ditches for the beneficial use of water, and the functions of local self-government had not been assumed to the Federal authorities and denied to the local authorities, I could conceive of no reason why the forestry policy could not have been carried out with great credit and some profit to the Federal Government and greatly to the advantage of the district in which the forests are situated. The pity of it all is that this has not been done. We are told that the sentiment in opposition to transferring from the States to the Federal Government important functions of regulation and control is not unanimous. This is true as to districts not directly affected by the forest reserves; but as to the people within and in the vicinity of the forest reserves, in other words, as to those who have come directly or indirectly in contact with bureaucratic government, the sentiment is about as unanimous as ever existed in America.

That the Forester and those under him honestly desire to benefit the people, especially "the poor, small man," we need not deny; that the actual results have been beneficial, however, we wholly deny. The imperial dominion withdrawn includes territory as large as 20 or 30 average-size eastern States, amounting frequently to one-fifth or one-fourth, and sometimes even exceeding the latter fraction of the territory within a State, and practically taking over and paralyzing local self-government in certain entire districts of a State. These lands are, and if the policy continues will remain forever, withdrawn from State taxation and revenue, and instead will become a source of expense and burden. First, considering the prime purpose to preserve and protect the forest, what has been the result? The Forester and those under him have my profound sympathy in connection with the [Pg 230]recent awful destructive forest fires and the heroic way in which the disaster was met, even though it was not overcome.

For many years experienced and practical men in the West have protested against the policies pursued. Previous to the establishment of the forest reserves the land was pastured by sheep and cattle, admittedly in some instances over-pastured. Frequent fires ran through the country, but in most instances as the country had been closely pastured off and fires had usually recently occurred, these fires did only incidental harm, and in a general way the great forests of the West in many districts—although the result of mere natural processes—as valuable and magnificent as there are in the world, were retained in their primitive and perfect condition. For a good many years now exactly the reverse of this primitive condition has prevailed. Sheep have been excluded and cattle have been limited; falling and decaying timber, the growth of vegetation from year to year, and the accumulation of underbrush and debris have continued; and we have gone on conserving our forests in such a way that we have been accumulating fuel and the elements of destruction, piling up wrath against the day of wrath, until the fires, in spite of precautions, have started, and the destruction that has resulted is inevitable. What is needed now in this particular is a surgeon who has the nerve to amputate the conditions that create fire, and until this is done the danger will go on increasing from year to year and more destruction than benefits will inevitably result. To those who suggest that a sufficient patrol will prevent fires, I respond that they ought to try the experiment of filling a building with powder, putting an ample guard around it, and touching a match to it.

These great reserves have been practically closed to settlement and homesteading. The price of pasturage has been increased, the number of cattle and sheep pastured has been diminished, and the price of meat correspondingly advanced. The price of stumpage has been doubled and trebled, no small mills have been or can be successfully started, and the price of lumber to consumers has been increased. The policy has limited the construction of canals and other appliances for irrigation, and still more effectually limited the construction of like appliances for the diversion of water for the development of electric power. If this water could be diverted for irrigation and electric power under State laws without other restraint, the quantity available in the majority of the western States is so great that the supply would exceed the demand, the price would be lower, the consumption greater, and in every way the people would be benefited. The country would be settled, the people would be more prosperous, the supply of water and electricity would be more abundant and cheaper, and all of the people and all of the industries would be correspondingly more prosperous.

It is gratifying that the line of cleavage and difference between the advocates of bureaucratic control over local industries and the [Pg 231]advocates of local self-government have been better defined. Upon the all-important question of the law applicable to this subject, I submit that there is little ground for honest difference. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided practically every phase of the matter over and over again, and the law is settled to the following effect: That the United States Government owns the public lands in each of the States as private proprietor and not as sovereign; that it, the Federal Government, if it seeks to assert any authority in any State, must find its warrant in the Constitution and not in the ownership of the public lands; that the authority of the United States Government to adopt needful rules and regulations in connection with public lands is an authority to protect its proprietary interest and not exercise governmental functions within any State; that every State is upon an equal footing with all of the other States, and for the protection of its own people, its own industries, and the regulation of its own monopolies, each State has all of the powers of any other Government; that the United States Government exercises the same power, and each of the States exercises the same power, "no more and no less," regardless of the existence or non-existence of public land in any State.

The whole pretense made by some that the United States Government can exercise exceptional governmental authority in a State having public lands is a pretense and a pretense only. Under the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, such a claim has no shadow of foundation, and its assertion is merely injurious, detrimental to capital, destructive to industry, and can never serve any useful purpose of regulation or otherwise. These principles being fully decided and clearly in mind, it is hard to understand why the issue is raised, and how it is hoped that the policy can be imposed upon the western States or any other States under the Constitution. It has been said with derision that the corporations are appealing to the Constitution. I would to God that neither the corporations nor the American people might ever appeal to anything worse. However much evil may have been taught, no honest man need be apprehensive of injustice if his rights and the rights of his fellow citizens are always measured by a just construction of the Constitution of the United States. (Applause)

We are told, and I think some of our adversaries honestly believe the tale, that all of the remaining resources of the country belong to all of the people. That "all of the resources belong to all of the people" is a slogan that sounds good. Its chief defect is that it is not true, and the next objection is that to assert it now, after pursuing an exactly contrary policy as to four-fifths of the Nation's resources, would be an intolerable injustice. The United States Supreme Court decided a long time ago that the United States Government received and held the public lands as trustee for the benefit of the people and the States within which they were situated, to the end that they might be disposed of to actual settlers at nominal prices in order that the country might [Pg 232]be settled, cultivated, populated, and developed; the lands come under the taxing power, and all of the unrestrained functions of State government. These decisions have been reaffirmed, and it has been held that the United States' title and trusteeship as to the public lands is identical in all the States. Therefore it is not true as a matter of understanding or of law that the United States is the unrestrained proprietor of the public lands, but it holds in them a trust; and I submit that no justice can be done or good come from the violation or attempted violation of a trust. Considering the equity of the situation, if the United States is now the owner of the remaining lands and resources for all of the people, it has been such from the beginning of the Government; and having disposed of these resources to the beneficiaries entitled thereto, it is now seriously proposed to seize upon the remaining fraction and hold that fraction for the benefit of all the people, as much as for the benefit of the people and the sections of the country that have received their proportion as for those who have not received theirs.

The situation might be illustrated by this simple statement: Uncle Sam may be assumed to be the father of four sons; we will name them East, North, South, and West. Uncle Samuel being liberal to a fault and mindful of a trust, has transferred to his three elder sons, East, North, and South, all of their share in his estate. But these elder sons, especially after their industrious younger brother has begun to show the real value of his portion of their father's estate, begin to look with covetous eyes upon the younger brother's inheritance. Finally a deep sense of justice begins to pervade the minds of East, North, and South, and they appear before Uncle Samuel and say, "Father, you have been very profligate in the management of your great estate. You have turned over to us and to our children without needful restriction the whole of the proportion that we can rightfully claim. In the doing of this you have shown great incompetency and have practiced many faults, and behold, you have sinned against Heaven and in the sight of men. We can see no way of atoning for this awful offense except that you shall take and hold that portion of the estate that should descend to our younger brother for the benefit of all of your children. And as a further atonement, having shown in the distribution of your estate to us that you are dishonest and incompetent in the last degree, in consideration thereof we will nominate and appoint you the landlord and guardian, without bonds and forever, of that portion of the estate that, except for this atonement, would have belonged to our younger brother; requiring you, however, to see to it with scrupulous care that we, your elder sons, shall receive from the rents, leases, and profits of this estate our equal shares with our beloved younger brother." Painful as it may seem, these elder brothers seem well nigh unanimous as to this scheme of atonement, and Uncle Samuel seems weak and subject to the influence of the majority. History, however, will record that the Constitution [Pg 233]broke the will and the elder brothers were charged with the costs and counsel fees. (Laughter)

If anyone present feels justified in challenging the accuracy or historical correctness of the foregoing statement or its logical application to the situation, he will now please rise and state his case or hereafter forever hold his peace.

The overshadowing political reason why the United States Government must invade the public land States and assert powers of government that it cannot assert in any other States we are told is to control monopolies. As a controller of monopolies not constitutionally subject to be controlled by the Federal Government, and under claims of title to the public lands, the United States Government and its respective bureau chiefs would have St. George, the dragon destroyer, outclassed at the ratio of sixteen to one. It may do as a political issue for a long time, but if the people of the western States had no powers of government or sources of control within themselves, or except through the Federal Government, the public lands, and the heads of bureaus, these people would have little to expect or hope for.

It is gratifying, however, to observe that instead of being helpless and impotent, the western States not only have all of the powers that are vested in any other Government for the protection of their people from monopoly and wrong, but an understanding of their constitutions and laws clearly demonstrates that they are showing themselves far more alert, advanced, and capable in these functions of government than either the Federal Government or the older States in the East. It ought not to be necessary to say to an American audience that it is elementary that the people of a locality can give themselves more honest, efficient, and better government than can be given to them by any remote authority. The reason for this is so simple that the only excuse for attempting to deny it is the ignorance and incapacity of the people concerned to carry on or carry out self-government. The people of the western States alone will suffer if they do not efficiently and intelligently exercise their undoubted authority to supply themselves with good self-government, and efficiently control and direct their own industries and their own monopolies.

About the only argument that is made in favor of Federal control and against local self-government in the West is that the corporations appear to prefer the former. The question is not what the corporations prefer but what the Constitution requires; and, in the next place, the corporations do not deny the authority of the States because they are advised that they cannot and therefore should not attempt to do so, and because they are advised that they must in any event submit to local self-government and that Federal control would be an additional and not a lawful but a wholly unauthorized usurpation of authority. The American people, of all people in the world, have earned the reputation of being the most obedient to law and the least submissive to usurpation of any people in the world. If some of our wealthy men and some of [Pg 234]corporations have offended against honesty and attempted to circumvent, misapply, and misuse the law, these are instances to be regretted, condemned, and punished. The practice should be abandoned, and if not abandoned rigorously prevented; having it, however, religiously in mind that ultimate justice can be done and the law vindicated only by adhering to due process of law.

We are told that Switzerland as a Nation regulates and manages its own power business. Since, however, Switzerland has no more authority or powers of government than California, Colorado, or New York, and since it is probably one-tenth the size of these States and its cantons are about the size of an ordinary western school district, this would not appear to indicate any reason why the western States of the Union could not successfully carry out the same function of government.

Our former President has said to us that he would be as swift to prevent injustice and unwarranted uprising against property as anyone. This I do not doubt, and I am prepared to agree that probably no one living could perform the task more cheerfully or effectively; but in this connection it might not be improper to reflect that the people have been taught, and rightly so, that this is "a government of law and not of men," and we rely upon the equal and continued protection of the law for the protection of our persons and our property, not upon the life or disposition of any man.

We have already referred to the assertion that the remaining resources of the Federal Government belong to all of the people and are to be administered and revenues obtained for their full benefit. We are not, however, deluded with the thought that we are to begin to draw individual dividends. The revenues thus obtained are to go into the Federal treasury (and allow me parenthetically to suggest that the pay-roll will not be far behind the earnings), but if through some oversight a balance should be found in favor of all of the people it will go into the Federal treasury to reduce taxation to the common benefit. Allow me to suggest, and ask all thoughtful people to well consider, that if sufficient revenues were collected and paid into the Federal treasury to prove of great benefit to a hundred millions of people, the collection and payment of these same revenues will of necessity amount to some slight imposition and burden upon the ten millions of people when they are paid out of their resources and revenues.

While we are considering monopolies it might not be inappropriate to consider that they are of two classes: private monopolies and government monopolies. One of the highest functions of government is to control and regulate private monopolies. It is not always easy, but the undoubted power exists and if properly applied is effective. History records that four-fifths of the exactions and oppressions and human sufferings that have existed in the world have come about when the conduct of business and the sources of supply were confined and vested [Pg 235]in the government and constituted a government monopoly. Government monopolies are invariably created for the alleged benefit of the people, and throughout all history have almost invariably operated to the oppression and detriment of the people and ultimately to deprive them of their liberties. In the face of these undeniable records of history, the people of the western States are invited to surrender their control over their industries and their own private monopolies and have substituted therefor a Federal Government monopoly over which they could have no possible control. The western States are asked not only to surrender this control, but along with it to surrender the powers of taxation and revenue over all these great resources. My friends, some of you may congratulate yourselves that these so-called policies are popular, and no doubt to a certain extent they are; we think, however, because they are misunderstood. There need be no misunderstanding between us. You are welcome to your assumption of victory, and to the assumption of defeat for those who adhere to the right of local self-government.

We are correctly told that the ancient doctrine of State rights ended at Appomattox. The doctrine was there ended that the Federal Government did not have all of the power necessary to protect and continue the Nation for the common defense and the general welfare. The undeniable doctrine and right of the American people within the several States to continue an unrestrained local self-government was at that time neither destroyed nor impaired. The right and doctrine of local self-government will endure and continue until, if ever, some common disaster shall terminate and end the National existence as well as the existence of the several States. No question is ever settled until it is settled right. Frankly, today may be yours but tomorrow is ours. The Constitution of this country is greater and more enduring than any man. Let there be no misunderstanding between us. You should not, but if you would you cannot, deprive the people of this country in any number of States or in any one State of the equal guaranteed constitutional right of local self-government.

In recent months, so numerous have been the complaints and utterances against the courts that it would almost appear that there was a common design to discredit the courts with the American people. For even a longer period there have been recurring attacks upon and denials of the capability and capacity of the representative branch of our government. Even within its obvious jurisdiction the Legislative department has not only been excessively criticized but its very powers denied. The Executive of the country and each of the States, Congress, and each Legislature of each of the States, the Supreme Court and all of the subordinate courts, derive all of their authority from the American people through the Constitution of the United States. He who acts without and in spite of the Constitution acts without authority from the people. Constitutions are adopted to safeguard the rights of all men and to protect minorities [Pg 236]from majorities. The question is not, where the Constitution declares the measure of right, what the majority wants, but the question is, what does the Constitution declare; and that is the beginning and the end of the law. The Government under which we have lived is the best vindicated Government in the history of the world. If a democratic people, as we have been told, have destroyed more since the adoption of the Constitution than has been wasted and destroyed in Europe in all of its history, we may admit this and agree that it is wise always to prevent waste; but we can with equal truth assert that if our free people under our free institutions have destroyed more than the people of Europe in their entire history, our people by scientific research and invention have added more to the potential and productive power of the earth and the elements for the benefit and subsistence of mankind than has been added by the people of Europe, Asia, and Africa during the entire recorded history of the world—all since the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

Whether it be popular or unpopular, it is true that the tendency to belittle the legislative power, to disparage judicial power, and to correspondingly exalt the executive power, is the same evil tendency that has destroyed every free government that has ever existed. It is the same spirit that overthrew the mild judicial government of Samuel and made Saul of Tarsus king over Israel. It is the same spirit that subverted the free cities and provinces of Greece, and made Alexander, the Macedonian, the sole arbiter of the destinies not only of the people of Greece but of the whole eastern world. It is the same spirit that subverted the Senate and the tribunals of Rome, and made Julius Caesar and his successors the emperors and rulers of the entire known world for succeeding centuries. We may agree that no such events will recur in modern history. But it is the same spirit that brings about such a condition in Mexico that nobody knows or cares when Congress meets or adjourns, because they never pass or suggest the passage of any laws that have not already been approved by the President. They must have a Supreme Court in Mexico, because their Constitution is very similar to our own. For the same reason we assume that they have States, although nobody ever hears of them. Neither do we hear of any one criticizing the decisions of the Supreme Court of that country; nobody has ever suggested that within the last quarter of a century that court has ever decided anything displeasing to the President.

The United States of America today is the world's sole and single exception where the people under a constitution through a long period of years have been guaranteed and have received the equal protection of the law. No guards have been required to stand at our city gates, no bayonets have defended our towns; we have all lived and prospered under the equal protection of equal laws. (Applause)

These institutions are human, they are imperfect and under them errors have been committed, but undeniably under this Government [Pg 237]the people have received a larger measure of liberty together with a better distribution of the benefits of industry than was ever received or enjoyed hitherto by any people in the world. We favor that new efficiency that is neither National nor State, that under an equal respect for the Nation and for the State and for each branch of the Government strives for a higher condition of civic virtue, better enforcement and greater respect for the law in all of its branches. I hope and pray that none of us may ever be required to look beyond the years when the Constitution and the law in letter and in spirit are no longer supreme in this country and when we shall have reverted to "that good old simple plan, that each may take whate'er he may and keep whate'er he can." (Applause)


Professor Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: A question has been sent to the Chair: "Will the Congress close this evening?" We do not know; probably the Congress itself will decide. There are several other features in the program, and there will be a report by the Committee on Resolutions. It may be that the Congress can finish all of its work today if you choose to re-convene.

You all know the next speaker, Honorable John Barrett, Director-General of the Pan-American Union. (Applause)


Mr Barrett—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman: When the captivating senior Senator from Indiana fascinated us yesterday, and after holding us enthralled by his eloquence ending with that magnificent climax in eulogy of Gifford Pinchot, he left this room remarking to the reporters that he couldn't stay longer because he must go down and look after his State and 3,000,000 people. Now, if some of the rest of us relied on the measure of States and population as a reason for not being here, we would not come at all. For example, I might have said, when invited to take part in the work of this Congress, that I couldn't possibly come because I might neglect that which was best for 21 independent Republics and 160,000,000 people. What I want to say is this—that I would like to multiply twenty times over all the enthusiasm with which Senator Beveridge fired us yesterday, and extend it to many millions of people, in order that the wave started here by him and other speakers might sweep over the whole western hemisphere and remove the slightest question that all these Republics are awake to the practical value of Conservation.

Possibly some of you do not know very much more about the practical work of the Pan-American Union than I knew about the country to which I was first appointed minister some sixteen or seventeen years ago—when I knew as little about foreign affairs as some of us did a few years ago about Conservation. One day the President of the United States, with two United States Senators from North Carolina standing near by—if one of them had been from North Carolina and the other from South Carolina there wouldn't have been any doubt [Pg 238]as to what the conversation was to be (laughter), but as both came from the same State I was in the dark—looked at me and said, "Mr Barrett, I am trying to find some young man who is not afraid of hard work and wants to make a reputation for himself to go off to a distant country, in another part of the world, to settle a case involving several millions of dollars and our treaty rights in the Orient; I am looking for a minister to Siam." Well, I thought that he wanted me to recommend somebody, and was trying to think of somebody in my State that I would like to get rid of and never see again, when he added, "I am thinking of appointing you; what do you know about Siam?" To save my life I couldn't even remember where it was, and I was conscious of the terrible impression I must be making upon the Executive, when with a twinkle in his eye he intimated "I have him this time." Then, a child-memory coming back, I braced myself and said, "Why, Mr President, I know all about Siam." "You do? What do you know about that country?" "Why, Mr President, Siam is the country that produced the Siamese Twins." Whereupon he shook my hand and said he was delighted to get hold of a man of such abundant information. (Laughter)

Now, before proceeding further, let me, as one of the officers of this Congress—although one who has had very little to do with its hard work—join with you in expressing profound appreciation of the splendid hospitality that has been shown the Delegates and all others who have come here to the city of Saint Paul in the State of Minnesota (applause). Moreover, I believe it is only fair and fitting that we should also express our gratitude for the hard work and the devotion to this Congress shown by President Baker and Secretary Shipp and Professor Condra and Chairman White and other men belonging to the Executive Committee. (Applause)

I have been asked, as a resident of the District of Columbia, whether, if this Congress shall go to the East next year, it might not go to the city of Washington, and there arouse the interest and the sympathy of the East. The West is awake; and if it be necessary to secure the cooperation of the eastern sections, and if the Executive Committee hesitates as to where it may go, I can assure them that by the city of Washington, the Capital of the Nation, will be given a welcome akin to that which has been given by the city of Saint Paul.

Ladies and Gentlemen, one feature of this Congress has made a profound impression upon me, of which perhaps too little mention has been made: the cooperation and interest of the women. That was a splendid speech made the other day by Mabel Boardman; other women have spoken well, and others will. I assure you that there is no better omen of the success of this movement than this cooperation by women (applause). And I want to say right here, that whenever I am able to pay a tribute to the courage and the quality of women, I like to do it. It so happened that I was your first minister to Panama, in the days which tried men's souls—where I, as minister, frequently [Pg 239]had to preside where three or four splendid boys, graduates from our colleges and high schools, were laid under the wet clay in one grave, all victims of yellow fever. When I went down there with General Davis, then Governor of the Canal Zone, there were some sixteen girls, nurses, picked from all over this country—I think one or two came from Saint Paul or Minneapolis—who had never seen yellow fever before, had never experienced the pestilential conditions faced in Panama when we were "blazing the way" for the present sanitary condition. Well, they came and took up their work; and in a short time the yellow fever spread until men were dying every day in increasing numbers, and both the boys and men came to us and begged that they might return to the United States—in the parlance of the canal work, they had "cold feet," and it was with the greatest difficulty that we were able to hold them there to perform the great task of making the zone sanitary as well as digging the canal that the oceans might be united; but when the yellow fever was conquered, General Davis and I discovered that during all that time of peril and death and threatened desertion, not one of those sixteen girls faltered or asked permission to leave her station of duty. (Great applause)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure today to be followed by a representative of the British government who is a credit to his government and to the great man whom he represents here, the Right Honorable James Bryce, British Ambassador (applause). There is nothing more splendid than the thought of the cooperation of this mighty country north of us, Canada, with her 4,000,000 square miles and her ambitious men and women with problems akin to ours; and it is both appropriate and flattering that the British Empire should have responded to the invitation and sent here a special representative of their Embassy (applause). We are to be congratulated on his attendance.

It seems to me that during the past three or four days I have heard the word "insurgent" used. Am I correct, Mr President?

President Baker—"Progressive."

Mr Barrett—I think there have been some references to progressiveness and insurgency. Now, as the head of an international bureau whose constituency is composed of twenty Latin-American Republics, I want to tell you that you don't know anything here about real insurgency (applause). Why, we have men in Central America and South America who could make Murdock and Madison look like picayune persons if they came in competition with them in the matter of insurgency. We have Republics that can give Kansas and Wisconsin and Nebraska and Minnesota cards and spades and all the trumps in the pack, and then beat them out in insurgency. But I want to say this, that in all my experience in those countries as minister and my studies of their history, there has never been an insurgency or revolution, from Mexico south to Argentina which has succeeded without at the same time moving the country forward for [Pg 240]its benefit (applause). I do not say this in any political spirit, because I am not in politics; being an international officer, I am neither republican nor democrat, but a citizen of America; yet I do say this, that the spirit of onward movement among men shown thus from time to time is a splendid sign of the progressive type which characterizes the American people, whether they be American of North America or American of South America. (Applause)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it would be a splendid thing today if the voice that has been sounded here on Conservation could be heard by every Pan-American—through that All America comprehending not only our own wonderful land but twenty other Nations, covering an area of 15,000,000 square miles, having a population of 175,000,000 people, and conducting a foreign commerce valued at the magnificent total of $2,000,000,000 annually. Only a few years ago Latin-America seemed almost like an unknown land; but today these countries from Mexico and Cuba south to Argentina and Chile are making more progress commercially and materially than almost any other section of the world. We hear much of the Orient, of Japan and of China, whose inhabitants are alien people, alien in philosophy, alien in religion, raising the greatest racial question before the world; but here at the south of us are twenty sister Nations whose peoples have the same ambitions as yours, the same religion, the same philosophy, the same hopes—and yet you and I have been sitting in cozy corners flirting with Japan and China, and neglecting our own sisters in our own family (applause). Last year Argentina—a country half as large as our own splendid land, in a temperate zone, with nearly 7,000,000 splendid white people, having sons whom you would allow your daughters to marry and daughters you would allow your sons to marry—conducted a greater foreign trade than the 50,000,000 Japanese or the 300,000,000 Chinese (applause); and yet we are neglecting them. Now these countries gained independence at the hands of leaders who studied the life of George Washington (applause), and they have continued their existence under the example of such men as Abraham Lincoln. Whether you go upon the high Andes or in the valley of the great Amazon, the names of Washington and Lincoln are known almost as well as those of their own great heroes who helped them to win independence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time that through the cooperation of all these countries we should accomplish protection for them and for ourselves; and we should have in the near future a great Pan-American Conference of Conservation, when all the countries from Canada south will send their representatives to join us in working together to safeguard their prosperity, to safeguard our own, to promote our mutual and several interests until this whole hemisphere from Alaska and the Arctic on the north to Chile and the Straits of Magellan on the south shall present a united force for the benefit not only of ourselves but of those who are to come after us. Is there anything more magnificent [Pg 241]than this thought that the twenty-one independent Republics and an independent Nation like Canada should join hands in such a purpose? The details I shall not discuss, but I want it to be a thought that shall sink into your minds.

Now, I wish that I could take all the "hot air" that has arisen in this great auditorium and make a mighty balloon to take you for a trip over our sister countries (applause). I would like to show you Brazil, into which you could place all of the United States and still have room left over for the German empire; I would like to take you up the Amazon, out of which flows five times the volume of the Mississippi; I would like to take you to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, which has a population of 1,200,000 and is growing faster than any city in the United States with the exception of New York and Chicago—I would like to show you its magnificent boulevards, its splendid public buildings, its schools, its cathedrals and churches; I would like to take you across the Andes over that wonderful tunnel just completed and show you Chile, which if placed at the southern end of California would reach up into the heart of Alaska, in the very infancy of a splendid development; I would like to take you into Bolivia, into which you could put Texas three times and still have room left over; into Peru, which would cover the whole Atlantic Coast from Maine to Georgia; into Colombia, where you could place all of Germany and France; into Mexico, that would cover the whole southwestern section of this country; I would like to take you over all these countries and show you how they are moving forward, prove to you the remarkable fact that during the last fifteen years that part of the world has gone ahead with progress almost equal to ours. Now, if we in this country are going to meet the great problems of manufacturing and the employment of labor and capital in the future, we must aid these countries to conserve their resources to supply our manufacturing plants with raw material. Hundreds of millions of dollars today are keeping occupied by laboring men in this country factories that would have to be closed tomorrow if these countries were unable to supply us with their raw materials—think of that as we remember where we were only twenty-five years ago; and if some God-given influence can empower them to see our mistakes we will find, twenty-five years from now, Brazil and Argentina and Mexico and Canada providing us with those elements which shall make this country forever the greatest power in the world for civilization and for commerce. (Applause)

As I stand here before an audience of the West an inspiration comes for the work we have in Washington that only those can feel whose residence is not entirely in the West. Though born and brought up in New England and later taking my residence on the Pacific Coast, I have been much out of the country representing you abroad; and I rejoice in the ozone of patriotism that I am able to absorb in a State like Minnesota. Time and time again, after trips [Pg 242]around the world I have arrived in New York or in Washington hardly feeling that I was in the United States of America; but when I have crossed the Alleghenies into the Mississippi valley, into sections like this, then I have felt the pulsing of red blood, that impulse and influence which is making our country great; and I am proud today to be able to go back to Washington feeling more capable than ever before for my humble task because of the contact with representative men of the West. (Applause)

There are two personal references that I make before I sit down: When on Tuesday I sat on the platform and saw the personality of the foremost private citizen of the world exerting its influence, the prime thought that came into my mind was, not that he was speaking for the great cause of Conservation, not that he was appealing to the moral sense of our people, but that there stood a splendid, a perfect example of what the young men of this country can do (applause). Is there anything finer than to see a man of his physique, with the glow of health upon his face, the father of a family of which he can be proud, a man with a clear moral life and courageous career, one whose voice has been heard all over the world with respect—is there anything finer than that we should raise up in this country that class of men? And I tell you it would be disgraceful to our country with its 90,000,000 people if we could not produce a man of that kind. It is the personal influence of Theodore Roosevelt, all over this country, not only among our young men, but among our young women, leading to world uplift and to sterling character, that we must have in order to fight the battles that are before us. (Great applause)

And there is this suggestion about his chief lieutenant who has perhaps been the father of this movement: I have known Gifford Pinchot personally, as a dear friend, for many years. It makes my heart well up with joy, it makes my pride as an American citizen more emphatic than ever before, when I think that a man born in affluence of a splendid family, born with every opportunity in the most exclusive circles of New York and Washington, a man who could own his private yacht or spend his time in the gaieties of fashionable resorts, a man who could belong to every club and enjoy all its pleasures—that such a man has devoted his life unselfishly to the good of the American people and to the cause of Conservation (great applause). It is a splendid example of true American manhood; and when he speaks here, as he has spoken in other places, the influence that he exerts is not merely for the cause of Conservation but for the highest ideals which you and I have of American manhood. So I rest assured that the cause of Conservation, with such an advocate as Theodore Roosevelt and such an apostle as Gifford Pinchot, will not be confined within the limits of the United States but will resound through Canada and through Mexico and on south even to the limits of the southern continent; and I foresee that you and I will be proud that we were able to participate in the effort to extend this movement. (Great applause)

[Pg 243]


A Delegate—Mr Chairman: As a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conservation Congress, I ask for the privilege of the floor for the purpose of introducing a resolution.

Professor Condra—That will be in order immediately after the response by Honorable Esmond Ovey, Secretary of the British Embassy, which is a part of the presentation now in progress.

I take pleasure in introducing Honorable Esmond Ovey. (Applause)


Mr Ovey—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: When I arrived here on Monday I noticed in the program laid before me a very disquieting item to the effect that a speech would be delivered on the subject of "Conservation as a World-wide Question" by a visiting representative of a foreign nation. I did not think that would mean me, and until yesterday evening was still hoping that some other representative would be found, more adequate than myself, to take the burden from my shoulders. However, no savior has appeared, and I think my best course will be, under the circumstances, to make an entirely clean breast in the matter and tell you that my knowledge on the subject of the technical details of the Conservation of natural resources is very meager. The field of natural resources with which I personally am more occupied is one which is slightly different from that which forms the subject of your deliberations, a field that is perhaps as great and in many ways certainly as important; it is a field which requires neither phosphates nor potash, nor any of these ingredients of which I unfortunately am so ignorant—it is the field of international relation, and the crop or harvest is the harvest of peace and good will (applause). The duty of the diplomat is to watch this crop ripen. It is a crop which can go on forever ripening and getting greater, but there is, of course, the possibility of some spark dropping; and it is then the duty of the diplomat to attempt, so far as possible to arrest and extinguish that spark before it flames up like these wasteful and terrible conflagrations which occasionally sweep through the forests of this country. In this connection I will point out that in the immediate field of international relation between Great Britain and the United States there has been an exceedingly long period in which there has been no spark dropped (applause); the year after next will, Gentlemen—I may call it to your attention—be the 100th birthday of peace between the two great English-speaking nations of the world. (Applause)

I have the very great pleasure of being here as the representative of my chief, the British Ambassador, Mr James Bryce (applause). The British Board of Agriculture were unfortunately unable to send a delegate to attend this great conference. Mr Bryce himself was the recipient of a very cordial invitation from the President of this Congress, Mr Baker. Mr Baker in his letter stated that should Mr Bryce be unable to accept, he would be glad if a member of his staff [Pg 244]could come. Mr Bryce had long pre-arranged and planned a visit to Panama and South America; I can only suppose with his great intelligence Mr Bryce (my own immediate chief) has gone there for the purpose of improving his mind in the contemplation of the achievements of my friend Mr John Barrett (applause). I have been commissioned by Mr Bryce to tell you how very glad he would have been to be able to accept this invitation. Confidentially, I may tell you that, glad as Mr Bryce would have been to be here, I do not believe he would have been so glad as I am to be here myself. (Applause)

Mr Bryce is a man very difficult to represent (applause). His knowledge is encyclopedic. Even if taken by surprise and asked to speak to an audience such as this, containing so many representatives of all the practical, scientific and technical phases of the great problem which is being discussed at this Congress, he would, I am certain, have been able to draw on the great storehouse of his knowledge and give you the benefit of his accurate observation in a technically interesting form. I can, unfortunately, lay claim to no such talents. I will, however, refuse to yield to him in the enthusiasm—that sort of contagion to which Mr Barrett referred—which I feel here in this great country and in the State of Minnesota on the subject of the noble ideals, the efforts and the aims of these congresses. It seems to me that the idea of careful deliberation and open discussion by persons from all parts of the world in an attempt to arrive at the conclusion and basis on which to build up a policy of Conservation so you can hand down to posterity the great benefits that you enjoy, is a very noble conception.

One of the great characteristic differences between Occidental civilization and that of certain less civilized and advanced Oriental nations is the great quality of foresight, of looking to the future; and this is a quality which you possess in a most extraordinary degree. I do not wish to deny that other people to whom I have referred also possess this quality; I will, if you permit me, give you an instance to prove that it is possessed by them, if in a less perfected form.

There was upon a time a gentleman from some unspecified country in the Far East who had an orchard. To protect this orchard from the prevailing cold northerly winds which destroyed his fruit in the early winter, he built a wall on that side of his property. When he had built his wall he called in a friend to admire it. The friend came and admired it. The wall was solidly built, six feet high, and twelve feet wide. The friend asked him, "Why have you chosen these peculiar dimensions for your wall?" He said, "Ah, I have foresight. I built this way for a reason: my neighbors' walls are frequently blown over by the wind. When mine is blown over, it will be twice as high as it was before." (Laughter) Now, that is not the sort of construction in this magnificent building of Conservation that you are preparing.

[Pg 245]

Another quality, if I may be permitted to mention it, that I, as a foreigner, have observed, is a great quality which is invariably a concomitant of real progress; it is a certain kind of glorious dissatisfaction with your own achievements, however great they may be (applause). For instance, you have something which is very, very great—your country. You never were satisfied with that, you want to make it very, very good. You have something which is very, very good, the great American people; you want to make them, as far as I can understand, as numerous as possible (laughter and applause). You have your natural resources, which are very great and very good, perhaps the greatest and best on earth, and yet you are not satisfied. What do you do then? You say, "Let's make them everlasting." (Applause) Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, that seems to me a very fine and high ambition on which you have set your minds.

Before concluding, I will venture to tell you about an impression that I received on my way out to Saint Paul, on this my first visit west of Washington. As I looked out of the windows at the flying countryside, upon lake after lake, upon mountain, valley, plain, stream, forest, farm, garden, factory, city, town, I said to myself, "What manner of people then can these well be who have so kindly and courteously asked me to a Congress which is apparently convening for the purpose of conserving the natural resources? What manner of people can these be that by digging, delving, plowing, mining, bridging, tunneling, felling, and building roads and railroads on all these countless millions of acres of rich and fertile land—many of which are protected from approach on the east by apparently uncrossable mountains and unfordable streams and what to lesser intelligence might seem unbridgable rivers—what manner of people may these be who, in spite of these obstacles, in this short period of time, have forced Dame Nature herself to cry out, Gentlemen, please hold steady with me for a moment." (Applause) Such were my thoughts: and it seems to me that the necessity for convening these annual congresses for open discussion of the best means of avoiding unnecessary waste and of giving nature a chance of recuperation affords the highest compliment that it is possible to pay to the enterprise, courage, perseverance, and indomitable pluck of any nation.

Can you, therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, ask if in view of these facts the Government of Great Britain is interested in your efforts? As Secretary of the British Embassy I myself was instrumental in forwarding to my Government in one year, through the kind intermediation of the State Department, no less than 110 copies of the report of the Governors of 1908 on the Conservation of your National resources, which, if I understand rightly, was one of the first expressions of this great movement—110 departments of that Government interested in this movement. (Applause)

It is my pleasurable duty to inform you that with her own magnificent dominions across the seas, with her great enterprises in forestry, [Pg 246]irrigation, agriculture, and mining, in all scientific exploitation of land for the public good in Canada, in Australia, in India, in Egypt, in South Africa and British East Africa, and in all the other places throughout the world in which Great Britain is now working, the Government which I have the honor to serve is in the heartiest possible sympathy with the great object of your endeavors in conserving for posterity, for people not yet born, the same magnificent heritage which you and we enjoy. (Applause)


Professor Condra—All those who wish to say that as Delegates we stand for Pan-American conservation of natural resources, and for good fellowship and world-wide Conservation of all things best for mankind on all lines of industrial development, will please rise.

[The audience rose en masse.]

Professor Condra—There was a resolution to be offered at this time.

A Delegate—Mr Chairman: I move that the time for the election of officers of the National Conservation Congress for the ensuing year be fixed for the hour of 8 p.m., Thursday, September 8, and that the Committee on Resolutions submit their report immediately following the election of officers.

The motion was seconded by Delegates from Iowa, South Dakota, Utah, Indiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia; and the motion was put and carried without dissenting voice.

Professor Condra—A recess will be taken until 2 oclock p.m.


EIGHTH SESSION

The Congress reassembled in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, at 2 oclock p.m., Thursday, September 8, President Baker in the chair.

President Baker—Fellow Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen: It has been urged that a nominating committee should be appointed to name officers proposed to be elected by the Congress as President, Secretary, Executive Secretary, and Treasurer. The Vice-Presidents have been chosen by the State Delegations, and their names will be presented this afternoon. So, unless some other course be preferred, the Chair will proceed to form a nominating committee. [After a pause.] The nominating committee will consist of Professor George E. Condra, of Nebraska, as chairman; E. T. Allen, of Oregon; E. L. Worsham, of Georgia; Lynn B. Meekins, of Maryland; and William Holton Dye, of Indiana. Delegates are invited to offer suggestions or nominations to the committee, which will hold a meeting during the afternoon.

I have the honor now of presenting as presiding officer, His Excellency A. O. Eberhart, Governor of Minnesota. (Applause)


Governor Eberhart—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am indeed sorry that I am to be engaged elsewhere a portion of this [Pg 247]afternoon, so that I cannot take part in the entire program. We have this afternoon an unveiling of a statue in the Capital, and I will necessarily have to take some part in the ceremony; but I shall hasten back just as soon as I can, so that I may hear the speakers who are on the program for this afternoon.

I do not know whether the President of this Congress has made a special effort to secure splendid speakers for this afternoon, but certainly no session of the Congress, either forenoon, afternoon, or evening, has had better, more sincere, and more earnest and efficient workers along the lines of Conservation interests than those for this afternoon; and for that reason I am indeed sorry that I shall not hear them all.

I want to say to you that the State of Minnesota and the Twin Cities are proud of the Delegates and the guests and the speakers of this convention, realizing that perhaps never in the history of the Conservation movement will there ever be another meeting so important as this, and one that will redound so much to the progressive and effectual work of the movement.

I take great pleasure in introducing to you as the first speaker of this afternoon a man interested in the Conservation movement from the standpoint of public health—Dr F. F. Wesbrook, Dean of the Medical Department of our State University—who will speak on "Life and Health as National Assets." I consider it one of the most important subjects of the Conservation movement. I take great pleasure in introducing Dean Wesbrook. (Applause)


Dean Wesbrook—Mr President, Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen: Short-sighted humanity fails to appreciate nature's gifts until threatened with their loss. This is true of even the greatest of her gifts, life itself. Although belated in our realization of the threatened overdraft on nature's storehouse, a compensatory and irresistible enthusiasm has developed within the last two years which augurs well for the retention by our country of that international leadership so manifestly foreordained by nature's bountiful equipment.

It is significant of our failure to value health, which above all other considerations makes life worth the living, that the first meeting of the Governors in the White House in 1908 failed to provide for the study of health problems. The omission was noted, and in the National Conservation Commission's Report of January 11, 1909, the general schedule gave special consideration to life and health. Only four sections, however, were created in the appointment of the National Conservation Commission. Health was not provided with a special section or with officers. In the North American Conservation Congress, in addition to the Conservation of other National resources, the protection of game received attention; but among the Commissioners representing the various countries, there was seemingly no one whose [Pg 248]training and paramount interest lay in the field of public health. While it is apparent that the initial oversight has been in part repaired it remains to be seen what progress will result from the Second National Conservation Congress, in relation to this, the people's most important natural asset.

The inclusion in the program of a paper entitled "Life and Health as National Assets" must not be taken as evidence that there is any doubt as to the real and assessable value of life and health. Rather are we called upon at this time to realize that they constitute National or public resources furnished by nature and are not to be regarded as strictly personal or private possessions. The individual life has its economic and commercial value to the community and the Nation by virtue of the contribution it may be expected to make to society. This view may perhaps be novel to some. Our ideas concerning the conservation of other natural resources however, have undergone such rapid evolution in the recent past that we may easily orient ourselves to the viewpoint exhibited by the officers of this Congress, that the individual in matters of health, as of other resources, must respect the rights of other individuals and of his municipality, State, and Government. The health aspect of Conservation, which is its most important aspect, cannot and will not be neglected, although it has not been the first to which the attention of the Nation has been directed.

Nor can we dissociate health conservation from the other aspects of the movement, even if we would. The history of man's progress in the knowledge of the natural sciences bears out this statement. Even though we ourselves have broken faith with nature, we are able today to make her fulfil her promises in forestry, agriculture, and other economic matters by the application of our knowledge of those very sciences which may be said to owe their birth to man's search for perpetual life and youth. One can easily imagine that the medieval conservation commission comprised two sections, one on health and the other on minerals. In the former, which undoubtedly was basic and dominated all other considerations, the papers presented dealt with "elixir vitæ" and the "touchstone" whilst in the latter the chief interest was displayed in the "transmutation of metals." At this stage the studies of health and of the control of man's so-called material assets were carried on hand in hand; and, if we are logical, they always will be.

In any event, man's health depends on the success of his efforts to adapt his environment to his needs, more than it does on the adaptation of himself to his environment. Health interests are fused with social and economic development, but should undoubtedly dominate rather than be dominated by them.

Our lack of interest in matters of health is more apparent than real. It is characteristic of many of us that where our most vital interests are involved, we betray the least public concern. In nothing [Pg 249]is this better exemplified than in matters of personal and public health, except it be perhaps in matters of religious belief and practice. Nor should we deem it strange that a similar attitude of mind obtains in matters of health and religion. In medieval times the priest and the physician were one. At the present day, aboriginal tribes combine religion and health, and to too great an extent, perhaps, do our civilized nations fail to discriminate between the two. Particularly is this exhibited in man's cowardly attempt to shift his responsibility for disease and death upon Providence.

One of the greatest causes of lethargy in the conservation of personal and public health is the failure on the part of many to differentiate clearly and sharply between disease and death. The former is really a manifestation of life and vital force, and is capable of modification, prevention, or cure by human agency, since man has shown himself quite able to solve nature's other secrets for the benefit of his comfort or convenience. We conserve health by the application of the same sciences which enable us to conserve our other better recognized but less material natural resources. Disease yields to man's mastery; death remains man's mystery. Even death, however, may be postponed, and Professor Irving Fisher has estimated that over 600,000 deaths occur each year in our country which could be postponed by the systematic application of the scientific knowledge already available. For those who think more easily in terms of dollars and cents, he has estimated this appalling annual National loss at over one billion dollars which can and should be prevented.

We must not be lulled into any sense of well-being by such statistics. There is no royal road to such a goal. Our very success in the eradication of one disease or unsanitary condition may lead to undue optimism in regard to other problems, which later may be found to be dependent on altogether different causes and to require very different methods of prevention or cure. Failure to realize the complexities of modern social activity and economic development, in their relation to health, and, at the same time, to recognize the immense number of variable factors and agencies which are involved in health-protective measures, cannot but lead to disappointment. The individual whose enthusiasm is too easily aroused by the discovery of some hitherto unknown cause of disease, or some new method or theory of cure or prevention, is a source of danger to the commonwealth. The faddist, whether in the matter of such things as food, clothing, fresh air, baths, exercise or other therapeutic agents, as well as the individual who thinks that he has discovered the one cause of all diseases, is to be feared.

Our chief difficulty lies in coordinating the various forces and agencies which are essential to success in the eradication of sickness.

There is no blanket method of preventing all diseases. Quarantine and fumigation are now found to have but a limited application. Vaccination, which is practically an absolute and the only reliable [Pg 250]protection against smallpox, cannot be applied to such diseases as malaria, yellow fever, and diphtheria. The use of antitoxin, which prevents annually many thousands of deaths from diphtheria, does not help us in many other diseases. Our knowledge of mosquito-borne disease, which has reorganized life in Cuba, Panama and the Philippines, is not of much practical use in our northern States. As there is no single cause, so there can be no single method either of cure or prevention.

These considerations should not discourage us. They show us, however, the need of further study, and the imperative demand for employing the services of trained physicians, biologists, chemists, engineers, statisticians, sociologists, educationists, and other experts and of coordinating all their efforts. We must steer a middle course, avoiding on the one hand the Scylla upon which those run who become discouraged in the face of what they believe to be the unknowable, and, on the other hand, the Charybdis of that fateful tendency to minimize the actual complexities of the present day health problem. Fatalist and faddist are equally dangerous.

It is fair to count upon the same progress in the adaptation of physical, chemical, biological, social and other sciences to the diagnosis, cure and prevention of disease as in their application to man's comfort, convenience and economic development. It is clear that the efforts of all the various workers in the different fields must be coordinated; yet the difficulties of coordination are at once apparent. The forces and agencies may be roughly divided into international, National, State, county, municipal and institutional, as well as individual. Each one of these is capable of still further subdivision into two classes, one of which is official or governmental and the other is voluntary. Improvement in public health requires cooperation and coordination of all these.

Successful public health administration consists largely in making individuals do what they do not wish to do—or that of which they do not appreciate the necessity—for the good of themselves and others. This brings us naturally to the consideration of another National weakness. We encounter some of the same difficulties in public health work that we meet in the exercise of our other public functions. Rampant individualism is of even greater danger in matters of health conservation than in other affairs of public concern, largely on account of the fact that health is too often regarded as a purely personal rather than a most important public asset. The individualist objects to authority in matters of health control. Consequently he resents dictation as to his personal action, and fails to recognize the need for special training in health administration as in other branches of public service.

Public service of many kinds, and particularly that which relates to the conservation of health in our country, is all too often relegated to voluntary agencies, while in other countries it devolves upon official [Pg 251]and governmental agencies. This volitional duty is nobly discharged. The main function of the volunteer should be, however, to afford to the general public object lessons of what is needed and of how progress can be made. In this he rarely fails, although he labors under tremendous difficulty imposed by lack of authority. Funds which are furnished from private sources are frequently insufficient to permit of the employment of experts of the highest order. Public apathy, on the one hand, and the development of an abnormal interest on the part of voluntary workers on the other, frequently lead to their continuance in service long after they have ceased to be useful, with the result either that the public delays the establishment of an official organization, or, if such an organization be established, there is a conflict between the official and voluntary forces. If municipal health departments, hospital services, police departments, water, school, poor and park boards, and other official servants and representatives of the people were supported by the people and were quick to see and to seize their opportunities, there would be less need of associated charities, of visiting nurses, pure water and milk commissions, tuberculosis camps, play-grounds associations, and other such voluntary organizations. Is it not humiliating that public lethargy made it necessary for Mr Rockefeller to provide funds for the investigation and eradication of hookworm disease?

In Germany, the Government, through its public health service and universities, provides for medical and other research so that Nation has become a leader of the world in scientific health protection and scientific economic development.

Having seen some of the difficulties which stand in the way of satisfactory conservation of the public health, we might perhaps ask ourselves what proof of the possibility of conserving this asset is available. If, at this day and time, the American public is unconvinced of the need and possibility of conserving public health, it is undeserving of the respect of other nations, or even of self-respect. The daily and weekly press, our magazines, and governmental and other publications, have overflowed with information. Our attention has been particularly called to the possibility of preserving the health of men in the field by Japan's experience in the recent war with Russia. Our life insurance companies have been quick to see the practical possibilities of prolonging the lives of their insured and of thus increasing the earnings of their stockholders.

As illustrating our progress, the report on "National Vitality, Its Wastes and Conservation," which was issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a masterpiece; it was prepared and presented by Professor Irving Fisher, of Yale University. The publications of the various committees of the American Medical Association, and the speech of Senator Owen in the Congressional Record of March 24, 1910, as well as Federal, State, municipal and other health reports, afford examples of what can be done.

[Pg 252]

Those who may be skeptical in regard to the ability of our people to compete with older nations in the prevention of disease, should note what has actually been done by Americans under the greatest of difficulties. In Cuba, our Nation overturned the existing order of affairs, and scientific discoveries, made and applied to sanitation by Americans, afforded a lesson to the world. There has been no greater factor in winning the world-wide confidence of other nations than the production of the existing sanitary state of affairs in the Canal Zone by our own citizens. Our work in Cuba, Panama, and the Philippines has served to bring about hygienic conditions in supposedly pestilential regions which are vastly superior to those which obtain at home. What Americans have done for others they have failed to do for themselves, owing largely to the lack of provision of adequate official and governmental agencies and to the failure to coordinate those which exist. Two Americans in Porto Rico showed the possibility of stamping out hookworm disease. The brains were furnished by the United States, and the money by the Island. We have the brains at home, but we refuse to pay the bills.

It is manifest that a full and complete discussion of life and health as National assets is impossible within the limits of a single paper. No attempt need be made to present a complete basis either of comparison or differentiation of health conservation from the other aspects of the National movement. It must be clear to all that in the conservation of lands, minerals, waters, and forests, effort is made to prevent the individual from taking that which belongs to the public. In the conservation of public health, our effort must be directed to preventing the individual from giving to the public something which neither he nor it desires. This is particularly true of infectious diseases. There are many other phases of public health than those which relate to infectious disease, but they cannot be discussed at this time.

I have the honor to be a Delegate to this Congress from both the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association, which represent factors in the conservation of human life and health concerning which the public needs more information than it possesses; and with your permission, I shall briefly mention a few important matters:

In the past, individual physicians and local medical associations and societies have brought a scattering fire to bear upon the inactivity and ignorance of the general public in matters which pertain to public health. The public fails to believe in the urgency of health needs, when presented by individuals or groups of physicians, because of its inability to appreciate the motive which leads the physician to urge the establishment of machinery and the special education of officials, as also the provision of funds to carry on work which to the casual observer would mean a diminution of the individual physician's work and income. Physicians who have qualified by postgraduate training in bacteriology, pathology, epidemiology, and in public health, hospital, [Pg 253]school and institutional administrative work must be drafted into the direct and official service of the people. This need is increasingly apparent. Others are required who can present evidence of special scientific training in chemistry, engineering, statistical, sociological, charity and other work. At present, great as is the actual need, the demand on the part of the public and the remuneration offered are so small and the possibility of employment so uncertain that universities, technical schools, and other institutions which offer special courses fail to attract students. The public seems to prefer as yet to jeopardize its most valuable asset by employing untrained public health servants who develop efficiency after, instead of before, their appointment. This means a payment in life and health instead of dollars.

The average individual seems willing to pay, and pay well, for a cure when he is sick. Communities pay the cost of epidemics, and will even pay for engineering services in relation to public utilities, such as water supply and sewage disposal; but this is usually done only under the stimulus of some recent or threatened disaster. They, like the individual, want a cure, not a protection. Clinical experts, life insurance examiners, and consulting and commercial engineers, are all sure of a good livelihood because they can help the individual or community out of difficulties. Sanitarians and municipal engineers are usually left to semi-starvation, because their function is to prevent those same difficulties, without, however, having either available public sentiment or funds to enable them to do it.

Physicians are naturally skeptical of the scientific training and possession of proper ideals on the part of those who have not been especially trained in medicine, and who may have failed to develop the "disease point of view." That they are, however, of a receptive frame of mind can be shown in many ways. The American Medical Association has a number of standing committees, including a Council on Medical Education. This Council, in the endeavor to raise the standard of medical teaching throughout the United States, prepared a standard schedule of minimal requirements, through the agency of ten committees, each of which consisted of ten representative men. One of these ten committees (which had to deal with hygiene, medical jurisprudence, and medical economics) contained in its membership university and college professors of chemistry, physiological chemistry, political economy, pathology, bacteriology and hygiene. There were also executive officers of State and municipal boards of health, and representatives of the Federal Health Service; whilst among the collaborators were engineers and many university professors. Bear in mind that this was a committee of the so-called "medical trust"—the American Medical Association.

Through oversight for which no one is responsible, this Second National Conservation Congress and the American Public Health Association are meeting on exactly the same dates, September 5-9, we in Saint Paul and the Association in Milwaukee—I was just able [Pg 254]to get here from Milwaukee. This Association consists of some physicians who are in practice, but more particularly of Federal, State, municipal and institutional administrative officers, as also of laboratory, statistical, engineering, and other technical workers. The membership includes representatives from all of the leading universities and medical and technical colleges. It has three sections, namely, laboratory, vital statistics, and municipal health officer sections. You are familiar with the work of many of its officers and members. Colonel Gorgas, who was responsible for the administrative health work in Cuba, and who has made possible the building of the Panama Canal without undue loss of life, is a member of both associations. The late Dr Walter Reed, who eliminated yellow fever from civilized communities, was vice-president. It is an international association in which Canada, Mexico, and Cuba also participate, and much can be learned by attendance at these annual meetings. One of its chief benefits has been the formulation of standard methods of scientific procedure, applicable to the suppression of disease in various districts of the several countries.

We in this country are compelled to admit that our neighbors upon the north and south have much in the way of advantage which is denied to our own workers in the United States. In our sister countries, the tenure of office depends on the fitness and training of the incumbent. As a rule the compensation for public service is relatively higher, and the official organizations are better provided with an authority which is commensurate with their responsibility than is the case in our own country. Time will not permit extended discussion of these conditions, but the annual opportunity to compare notes; to tell each other of our successes, as also of our failures; and to help in the formulation of new methods and in an effort toward a higher standard of efficiency, is of untold value. This is, however, a purely voluntary organization maintained for over thirty years at the personal expense of its members in the face of public apathy. This will be realized if I ask, "How many of you knew that we have such an association," and "Did you know that it is now in session"?

There yet remain a few matters of which a general understanding would bring about yet greater cooperation between the doctor and the general public. The medical profession has realized for a number of years that its members must become teachers of personal hygiene to their patients and families, as also to schools and the general public. It is a new viewpoint, and involves the assumption of new responsibilities. The doctor has guarded himself against publicity except through his professional societies and journals and to his students, though ever eager to furnish details of his own discoveries and to recount his failures and his successes to those who could understand and sympathize. This kind of publicity has been regarded, however, by the lay public as a sort of soliloquy carried on in an unknown tongue, and intended for the mystification of that same poor public.

[Pg 255]

Why there should be any failure of the medical profession, as a whole, to be understood by the general public, it is difficult to see. The general public is composed of individuals, each of whom has a feeling of trust, affection, and possibly of veneration for one or more members of the medical profession. Why then does the public, as an aggregation of individuals, allow itself to become suspicious of the medical profession, an aggregation of physicians? Why does the public abhor and obstruct the physician in his study of anatomy, dissection, and autopsy on the human body? Why is there so much suspicion of the motives and work, as well as denial of the benefits which accrue to humanity from animal experimentation, when it must be apparent to any right-thinking individual that the extension of a physician's knowledge is possible only by such means? Why must doctors from time to time be themselves forced to urge the necessity of making every hospital a teaching and research institution? A moment's thought would convince anyone that if this be not done, and if medical knowledge be allowed to die out with this generation, there will be no skilled men available for the hospitals and patients of the future. It must also be patent to all that the patients themselves cannot possibly receive such effective care in a hospital in which medical research and teaching are not fostered. Why should the burden of maintaining a high standard of entrance to the profession and of preventing incompetent and untrained persons from assuming the responsibility of physicians rest solely on the medical profession, when the object is the protection of private citizens and public health?

The physicians of the United States are now thoroughly organized. The public should rejoice in this, since it is an attempt to neutralize the narrowing effect of isolation and to foster an exchange of information which physicians offer freely to each other and publish broadcast to the world (applause). County and State associations are affiliated with the American Medical Association, which numbers in its membership over seventy thousand doctors. Just as the individual physician's concern is the care of his patient, so that of the organized medical profession is public health and welfare.

The medical profession is, as a rule, underpaid, but members spend their hard-earned-money and a large portion of their time in efforts to benefit humanity, individually and en masse. It is the people's concern to demand a broad education and a thorough scientific training of all students and practitioners of medicine, public and private. It is to their interest to see that every possible facility is afforded for teaching and that a rigid standard of teaching, examination, degree conference, and licensure is maintained. Nothing is more exasperating to the physician of high ideals, whose length and breadth of sacrifice is known to none, than to hear the sneer directed at his profession for its effort to protect the public. The time has come when the medical profession is in a position to demand that the people exercise discrimination and protect themselves.

[Pg 256]

One of the first steps toward the betterment of our public health conditions is the coordination of the existing Federal agencies in Washington, of which we are all so proud. When no logical reason can be advanced in explanation of further delay, it is very discouraging to realize that this important matter has been postponed. At the 61st Congress, various bills were introduced, including that of Senator Owen. In support of these bills appeared those who by special training and long experience are recognized at home and abroad as the highest authorities on public health. The whole country is waiting to see what action her representatives will take to protect her most precious asset.

With your permission, I should like to cite some sixteen reasons why the people of the United States should have a department of health at Washington, which were published by the Committee of One Hundred of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

1—To stop the spread of typhoid fever through drinking sewage-polluted water of interstate streams.

2—To enforce adequate quarantine regulations so as to keep out of the country plague and other similar pestilences.

3—To supervise interstate common carriers, in so far as without such supervision they prove a menace to the health of the traveling public.

4—To have a central organization of such dignity and importance that departments of health of States and cities will seek its cooperation and will pay heed to its advice.

5—To influence health authorities, State and municipal, to enact reform legislation in relation to health matters.

6—To act as a clearing-house of State and local health regulations, and to codify such regulations.

7—To draw up a model scheme of sanitary legislation for the assistance of State and municipal health officers.

8—To gather accurate data on all questions of sanitation throughout the United States.

9—To establish the chief causes of preventable disease and unnecessary ill-health.

10—To study conditions and causes of disease recurring in different parts of the United States.

11—To correlate and assist investigations carried on in many separate and unrelated biological and pathological Federal, State and private laboratories.

12—To consolidate and coordinate the many separate Government bureaus now engaged in independent health work.

13—To effect economies in the administration of these bureaus.

14—To publish and distribute, throughout the country, bulletins in relation to human health.

15—To apply our existing knowledge of hygiene to our living conditions.

16—To reduce the death-rate.

In 1912 there will meet in Washington, on the invitation of the President and Congress of the United States, the International Congress of Hygiene and Demography. This Congress meets triennially in the capitals of the world, and brings together the leaders in health conservation who are officially delegated by the governments of all civilized countries. We have many things to show them of which we can be justly proud. Our Federal, State, municipal and other official health organizations, however, leave much to be desired: and it behooves us, in the few months still at our disposal, to prepare to show the visiting nations our methods and successes. We need many other things, but due recognition and coordination of our Federal health [Pg 257]mechanism is the first step which, if we have taken it before the meeting of this International Congress, will best enable us to profit by the experience of the world's experts there assembled.

Nature has been prodigal in her gifts to our Nation. In no respect has she been kinder than in opportunities for health and efficiency. Her very prodigality has rendered us careless and extravagant. It is high time that Americans do as well for themselves in health protection at home as they have done for themselves and others in Cuba, the Canal Zone, Porto Rico, and the Philippines (applause). This demands the creation and maintenance of official organizations to amplify, extend, and ultimately replace the work of our voluntary organizations whose lack of authority prevents their complete success, and whose continuance is an admission of popular inertia and official incompetence. (Applause)


[During the foregoing, Governor Eberhart withdrew, and professor Condra took the chair.]

Professor Condra—Ladies and Gentlemen: In the temporary absence of Governor Eberhart I have the pleasure of introducing Mr Wallace D. Simmons, of Saint Louis, who will address you on "Our Resources as the Basis for Business." (Applause)


Mr Simmons—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States in opening this Congress called upon the speakers to make definite practical suggestions. The ex-President of the United States the next day emphasized the need of further enlightenment of the people regarding Conservation. It has frequently been my privilege to cooperate with both of them, and I will endeavor to do so now by suggesting a definite plan for spreading enlightenment in a practical manner.

We of this generation have developed a distinctly new type in our American citizenship, one which has no counterpart in the history of any other people, one which has become a most potent and influential factor in our daily affairs: our modern high-class commercial traveler. In any campaign of education, such as I am going to suggest, you can have no more efficient allies than the 600,000 commercial travelers covering this country—not the old-time drummers of questionable methods, but the gentlemen of high character who have won the confidence, the respect and friendship of the merchants and the people generally in every part of this country; and I may add, as a requisite to their success that they are resourceful.

To this development I attribute my having the honor of addressing you today regarding our resources as the basis of our business, because the organization of which I am president employs probably the largest corps of such representatives in the country, and has through them the best system of keeping accurately informed regarding all matters that affect business.

[Pg 258]

From conclusions based largely upon the observations of the commercial travelers of this country, I will endeavor to outline to you what I believe to be the relationship between our business interests and the question of natural resources; and I believe this phase of the question is most vitally important to the people in whose interest you have gathered here from every State in the Union. The primary reason for that belief—and the one on which all others hinge—is that we are a Nation in trade; a whole people engaged in business. Eighty-odd percent of our people are directly or indirectly dependent for their living on business conditions. The business interest therefore is the greatest interest, collectively, in the country.

Anything which directly affects the living of the majority of our people is not only worthy of our most earnest attention, but should be approached with due consideration. We should be especially cautious about experimenting with legislation that may interfere with the natural laws of trade. When this is more generally recognized, and the people begin to understand that their individual daily incomes are at stake, they will put a stop to using the business interests of the country as a football for politics.

Not only does there appear to me to be a direct relation between our natural resources and our business, but as I view it our resources are the foundation of our business, or as Mr Hill so aptly put it yesterday, they constitute the capital on which our business is done.

In business we endeavor, by industrious and intelligent use of our capital, to produce as the fruit of our efforts an annual return without impairing the capital—without touching the principle or jeopardizing it in any manner. In private enterprises, the man who assumes the headship of a business organization in which the funds of others are invested as capital, and who then makes a show of prosperity by drawing on that capital to pay what he represents as dividends, is charged with running a "get-rich quick" scheme, and in most States is, by law, held personally liable. I commend to your consideration the consistency of applying that principle where there is involved the capital of all the people—the Nation's resources. (Applause)

If we are a people in trade and mean to continue to be, and if our resources are our capital, can there be any doubt about the wisdom of handling that capital according to the rules of good business? Can there be any doubt where we as a Nation will land if we make annual inroads upon that capital; if we, in the management of the people's business, follow methods which in private affairs bring those responsible before the bar of justice?

We as a Nation take just pride in our business successes; we attribute them to the brains we put into our work, to the thoroughness with which we study what we do and what others have done that we may profit by experience. Is it not well for us thoughtfully to inquire whether the histories of any other nations record the handling of their resources on the "get-rich quick" plan, that we may see what has been the outcome? History is full of such instances; many of them [Pg 259]have been pointed out by eminent advocates of this movement. I will therefore not attempt anything but passing reference to some of them. Volumes could be written from evidences found in the Valley of the Euphrates and of the Tigris, where stood the great Kingdom of Babylonia, the wonder of the ancient world; in the ruins of Palmyra and Palestine; in the Barbary States, once famed as the granary of Rome but now a howling wilderness, because the Mohammedans who conquered it neglected its natural resources; in the ruins of the Cities of the Sahara, whose crumbling courts bring to mind the words of Omar Khayyam—

They say the lion and the leopard keep
The courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep.

If we look to history for the other side of the picture—for instances where business prosperity has gone on without interruption as long as natural resources have been conserved and intelligently maintained—we find them so well defined as to lead to but one conclusion. This is illustrated in Germany where they have maintained the fertility of their soil for centuries. It produces more per acre today than it did many generations ago. Their great forest estates have remained intact; they have cut a crop of timber from them regularly every year, producing an annual income, but the capital—the forest estate—is greater and more valuable today than it was before our country was discovered. Fires have not destroyed their forests. They have long since learned the wisdom of applying, "an ounce of prevention," and fortunately have no "pork-barrel" to stand in the way. (Applause)

And we find in our own history many instances where great business enterprises have sprung promptly from efforts to intelligently develop the resources around us. The State of Illinois was passed over by the first settlers as a land of no opportunities. It is today, in productiveness and volume of business, one of the greatest States in the Union. In the States of Utah and Colorado vast areas formerly looked upon as barren and useless wastes, have been, by the intelligent handling of natural resources, made to produce annually wonderful crops of fruit and vegetables, the traffic in which has become a great commercial industry. The development of the Southwest, dependent very largely on one resource—the fertility of its soil—has called into being such lusty young giants as Wichita, Oklahoma City, Dallas, and other cities of that type. In the vicinity of Birmingham, a section which before the War was occupied mainly by cotton plantations—wherein there was nothing that could be properly called business—where generations came and passed to the Great Beyond and never saw the smoke of a factory or heard the hum of a busy mart of trade, today, with but one generation intervening, we find a live and prosperous modern city, the heart of a great industrial region. The change has come from developing three great natural resources, which up to the close of the War had been allowed to lie idle and unproductive—the forests, the coal and the iron.

[Pg 260]

Here again we find an example of the business dependence of natural resources one upon the other. The timber from the forests was needed for the mining of the coal, and the coal was needed in the manufactures from the iron ore; and again the forests in the development of means of transportation to the markets of the world.

So there is ample evidence that business activity follows promptly upon the intelligent development of natural resources, and decay with equal certainty follows the neglect or wasteful use of the capital which nature tenders us, and for the intelligent use of which she holds us strictly accountable.

I have frequently been asked by those who know our system of getting reliable information, "How do people over the country feel in regard to Conservation; are they in favor of it in all its aspects, or do they seem to be interested only in certain features?"

As that is a question that has direct bearing on the business of the country, we naturally had made careful inquiry regarding it from Maine to California, and we had learned that the majority of the people do not understand enough about it to hold any real opinion. They have no adequate idea what Conservation means as applied, for instance, by this organization to our natural resources. In spite of exhaustive reports issued by the Government, in spite of scholarly and illuminative articles on the subject, the people generally do not yet understand the real object of Conservation. A busy people in trade do not have time to read Government reports or long speeches on any subject, and of course no one can do justice to even one element of this great subject in a short article. The net result is therefore that there is no general understanding of even the A B C of Conservation such as should be given to the people, such as they would be glad to have, and such as they must have before there is warrant for feeling that the foundation stones of Conservation are so firmly grounded that no transitory wave of agitation on unimportant details can be successfully used to dislodge them.

The majority have not yet grasped the idea that one of the prime objects of this Conservation movement is to preserve the fertility and productiveness of the soil, on which we all depend for our food supply. They are not aware that already in many parts of this country, where formerly any man who rented farm lands was entirely free to use them with indifference to their future, he is now required by the owners to enter into a written contract which provides just how the land is to be cultivated—how the crops are to be rotated and fertilizers used. The owners of these lands today require their tenants to practice Conservation. (Applause)

The people do not generally understand that when a territory which has been used as a range for cattle is by proclamation withdrawn, as we express it, that does not mean it is no longer to be used for pasturage. Conservation does not aim to suspend use—its object is to perpetuate usefulness in full measure this year, and every year to come. (Applause)

[Pg 261]

A farmer who owns a pasture—large or small—and rents it for stock grazing, takes due care to cover in his agreement the number of head and the length of time they are to be kept on his land. He makes sure that his pasture is not to be so abused in any one season as to ruin it for the future. He cares for his own land as it is the province of the Forest Service to care for the public land entrusted to their supervision. He practices Conservation because he cannot afford to do otherwise.

It is not widely known that instead of wishing to keep settlers out of the National Forests, inducements are given to get people to settle within their boundaries; homesteaders are free to pasture their domestic stock within the reservation and to cut from the forests the timber they require for building houses, barns and fences. It is not generally understood that making a forest reservation does not mean that no more timber is to be cut there for market; on the contrary, its prime object is to insure continued cutting and selling of it for all time. It is not widely known that the revenue from timber cutting on the public forest lands amounts already to a million dollars a year, and the annual revenue from the pastures puts another million into the public treasury—and that this is only a beginning; or that meanwhile this kind of revenue-making regulation also affects the regularity of water supply through our rivers and streams—a most vital question as has been shown by many able exponents of Conservation.

When this Nation of business people understands that Conservation is simply another term for business management of the people's capital, the pressure of public opinion will be so strong behind this movement as to brook no interference or delay in the passage and enforcement of the laws needed to begin at once a business administration.

How to spread more widely a correct understanding of such facts is today a most important problem. How shall we reach the people who have not yet been reached, and who in all probability will not be reached by anything published in the usual way?

I have a suggestion to make which I ask you Delegates to take to the Governors who appointed you to attend this Congress; that is, that each Governor summon to his Capitol for consultation, say six of the leading business men of the State, selecting those who in their own business have, by successful use of modern advertising, demonstrated that they have learned from experience how to reach the individual and tell him something they want him to know. Knowing how to do that is just as much a matter of education and experience as are the methods of the Forester or of the politician who is a "past master" at the game. Give the people of your State the benefit of this experience. It can be had for the asking. The business men can be depended on to help whenever called upon. They will be particularly ready in this matter which, in proportion as it is successful, will make for good trade and stable business conditions; and the Conservation [Pg 262]of our natural resources stands for more stable business conditions year after year, in that it tends to reduce the chances of losing our new wealth in crops just when it seems to be practically sure.

Ask such a group of successful advertisers to formulate a scheme of reaching the public generally with the kind of information they want and should have about Conservation. Enlist the cooperation of the army of commercial travelers within the State—there are no more loyal American citizens anywhere, none who can do more in such a campaign, none who will more gladly lend a hand when once they are advised along proper lines, and know how great a factor the Conservation of our natural resources can be in the upbuilding of business and, through it, the general prosperity of our people.

Ask this business council to formulate ways of making known not only the facts about forests and water supply, and the importance of these facts to every individual man, woman and child in the Nation, but why we in the United States average 131/2 bushels of wheat per acre, instead of 231/2 bushels, as they do in Germany, and 309/10 bushels in Great Britain; how this is making homestead lands scarce, and prices high, because we only get half the amount of crops we should get from the land we have under cultivation. When we find our production less to the acre each succeeding year and more mouths to feed, it is time everybody knew why.

Tell them in the simplest and most direct manner possible what is meant by the "pork barrel" in politics—how it is being used to retard the proper development of our natural resources, and why therefore it stands in the way of the Nation's progress. Let them know why we all have reason to thank God that we have in the White House a President who does not let politics silence his tongue on that subject or swerve him from his determination to stop this waste of the Nation's funds. (Applause)

Write up a short story of what Reclamation has done and can do in relieving the situation by opening up to us millions of acres of land which can and will add greatly to our food and meat supply; tell them what has already been accomplished and the progress that is still being made by reclamation work, to the great benefit of the people. Explain in a simple manner that hand in hand with the profitable development of our natural resources must go the development of our great waterways and railroads—that there can be no general prosperity without railroad prosperity; that our railroads and waterways are the connecting links which make our natural resources available, and that the practical value of our natural resources depends largely on the efficiency of our transportation service. (Applause)

Point out to them the lessons which we should get from cases of individual effort along the lines of modern methods in farming; how, for instance, Mr Claude Hollingsworth, near Colfax, Washington, raised this year 45 bushels of wheat to the acre, averaging 62 pounds to the bushel, and of barley 721/3 bushels to the acre, when his neighbors, [Pg 263]with the same conditions of soil, climate, and rainfall, averaged only half as much; or in South Carolina, where Mr E. McI. Williamson has, by the proper application of fertilizers, modern methods, and little additional expense, increased his production of corn from 15 bushels per acre to an average of nearly 60 bushels, and of cotton from less than half a bale to an average of a bale per acre. Such examples are most convincing, and will do much to arouse interest in the practical value of Conservation.

The conservation of the National health deserves to be emphasized even when we have under consideration this general subject from purely a business standpoint. When we consider that tuberculosis alone costs the people of the State of New York over $200,000,000 per year, and that it is a preventable disease, and that that $200,000,000 might be used as capital to give to millions of people profitable and wholesome occupation, the relation of the health movement to the business interests of the country is self-evident.

Of course, this suggestion is based upon entire confidence in the cooperation of the daily press—I have no doubt about that whatever. The newspapers and magazines are not only most potent factors in spreading enlightenment, but they can always be depended on to take enthusiastic hold of any movement that is honestly and disinterestedly for the general good. (Applause)

This whole subject of Conservation is fundamentally a business proposition—a question of managing the people's business with the same care and foresight that we put into private business—a question of using the Nation's capital in a way that will produce a regular, steady and proper income year after year, and at the same time so safeguard the principal that the people of these United States may go on in business indefinitely.

History tells of many peoples who have spent their capital and disappeared from the face of the earth. Let us so organize this Nation's business that it may go on down the centuries as history's exception to the general rule of rise and fall (applause). As we point with pride, honor and gratitude to the signers of our Declaration of Independence and the makers of our Constitution, so may the coming generations of Americans, having in mind the fates of other peoples, look back with gratitude to us and have occasion to exclaim "See what would also have been our lot had it not been for the foresight and business judgment of our ancestors of the Twentieth Century—worthy successors of the great men who founded this Government of the people by the people and for the people, not only for their own time, but for all time." (Applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: Nothing is more important to Conservation than education; and I have the honor now to introduce the Commissioner of Education, Dr Elmer Ellsworth Brown, who will address you on "Education and Conservation."

[Pg 264]


Commissioner Brown—Mr President, Ladies, and Gentlemen: Every uplift and reform comes back to education. It is uplift carried to the sticking point. It is reform continually going on. In speaking of the educational aspect of Conservation, I am not concerned with anything merely incidental or subordinate, but have to do with a matter as large and vital as any upon which the success of the Conservation movement depends.

It must be admitted on the other hand that education has much to get from the Conservation movement as well as much to give. The schools are learners as well as teachers. To support and further Conservation they will need to learn Conservation facts and doctrines. This Congress and American education are aiming at the same thing in the end—the betterment of American life. What shall it profit to conserve everything else on earth if we fail to conserve the spirit and fiber of our citizens, young and old? That is a view in which Conservationists and educators are fully agreed.

Now, what is our educational establishment, as it stands over against the body of our material resources? It is a group of State school systems, having in the aggregate a certain National character. We cannot insist too strongly that education is primarily a concern of the States. This group of State school systems represents a combination of public and private agencies, for our State institutions are supplemented by many institutions privately supported and controlled. It represents an extraordinary unity as between elementary education and the higher education, as between the democracy of the lower schools and the science of the universities. It represents, moreover, in all of its grades, an everlasting devotion to intellectual and moral values, as having to do with enlightened citizenship. This is the educational establishment that faces the needs and aspirations with which the Conservation Congress is concerned. There are three or four ways in which I should like to speak of the great work of that establishment as related to your own great work:

1. In the first place, there is the fact that our scholastic education is facing about and turning its attention toward industry and industrial life. This is a new movement in which all States and sections are taking part. It is a change which is attended with the gravest difficulty. No one who is not familiar with the actual administration of schools and colleges can guess how hard a thing it is to introduce a new practice of teaching and make it successful at the hands of many teachers in widely different communities. Yet our educational leaders have addressed themselves to this task with courage and enthusiasm. In 25 States provision is now made for teaching agriculture in public schools. Such provision takes the form of agricultural high schools in Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Virginia, and in several other widely scattered States. In the best of these schools, there is arising a new interest in all that relates to the soil and the life on the farm. It is no uncommon thing to have class [Pg 265]work interrupted by visits from neighboring farmers, who consult the expert teachers regarding drainage and fertilizers and the care of their horses and cows. The boys try out at school the seed corn they are to plant on the home farm, and the girls learn at school to raise poultry and vegetables and make from them appetizing dishes for home consumption. Large provision has been made for consolidated rural schools, and in Minnesota lands are added for instruction in the practice of farming. Oklahoma requires the teaching of agriculture in all public schools, with the cooperation of the normal schools and the agricultural college. This new instruction is spreading in unexpected ways. Columbia University, in the heart of New York City, has begun to offer courses in agriculture, taking up this work where it left it off early in the nineteenth century. And an agricultural conference has been held at Bryn Mawr College. After that what more is there to be said! (Applause)

But there is still a good deal more. Much might be said about the new trade schools in the cities, and the new instruction in household arts for girls; but I pass these matters by and go back to the farm. What is especially interesting is the freedom with which new modes of teaching have been adopted. Corn contests, potato trains, demonstration farms—our old manuals of teaching knew nothing of these things. Then there is all manner of summer schools, short winter courses, farmers' institutes, and an assortment of other teaching devices. The University of Idaho is employing three field men, a horticulturist, a dairyman, and an irrigation and potato specialist, and is sending regular schools of agriculture about the State on wheels. In Virginia and three or four other States supervisors of rural schools have been appointed. They are making a close study of the resources, industries, and social needs of typical sections of their States, and are lending new life to the effort to make the schools more directly serviceable.

One of the earlier developments of this movement, and one that comes into peculiarly close relations with the Conservation campaign, is the setting apart of a day in each year for planting trees. Nebraska is looked upon as the original center of this movement. A recent report shows the planting of 20,000 trees in a single year in Minnesota, in connection with the Arbor Day celebration in this State (applause). The observance has received a fresh impetus in more than twenty of the States from the publication by the State education offices of attractive manuals offering suggestions regarding the celebration.

The leaders of the new movement in our schools have called for a redirection of rural education. Such a redirection is actually taking place. So much has been begun that it would be easy to believe that the work is done. There are many who suppose that this new education is already in the saddle and is moving triumphantly forward. But that is a mistake. Great changes in education are not brought [Pg 266]about so easily. There is a long campaign and a hard campaign before us if the desired ends are to be attained. State superintendents of public instruction, those who are training teachers in colleges and normal schools, and all who are engaged in this work in supervisory and teaching positions, will need for a long time to come the moral backing and the material support which this influential body can command. That is what they should have without reserve and without stint. (Applause)

The lack of well-prepared teachers of these subjects is one of the most serious difficulties the new movement has encountered. A recent report shows about seventy State normal schools offering regular instruction in agriculture. The Nelson Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriation Act of 1907 provided Federal funds for the training of teachers in the land-grant colleges. At least thirty of these colleges are now offering such instruction. But this work, too, is only begun.

2. And this suggests the second thing that I wish to say. The new movement is making a new demand for men in the business of teaching—strong men, technically trained for their work. If education is to help Conservation, the teaching profession must be enabled to compete with the industries in attracting and holding such men. We are considering both ends of our educational system, the scientific end in the universities and the popular end in the schools. A man who has enough knowledge and skill to train others for an industrial occupation has enough to give him a place in the industry itself. And the industry pays a great deal better than the teaching. It is not necessary that the income of teachers and that of industrial leaders should be equalized. Many men will continue to teach because they prefer to teach. But when the disparity becomes too great, many good teachers, in fairness to themselves and to their families, must give up the struggle and go over into the more lucrative employments. This is what has been going on in recent years. With a rapidly growing population and an increasing body of teachers, we have fewer men engaged in teaching than we had five years ago. We need opportunities in the teaching profession that will attract strong men to face the work before us (applause). I have the highest regard for the work of our women teachers; but both men and women are needed to give us a well balanced public education, and I welcome the alliance of the schools with the Conservation movement, because of the new demand it makes for competent men in the schools.

Let me point out some of the places in our scholastic organization where strong men are needed, for Conservation purposes as well as for educational purposes. It is generally understood that men of the largest caliber are in demand as presidents of technical colleges and universities. It should be equally obvious that such men are needed as State superintendents of public instruction. We have [Pg 267]such men, and have had many such in the office of State superintendent—but in many of the States that office cannot attract men as do our college presidencies, because of the short term of service and other limitations with which it is hedged about. We need broad men and strong men as instructors in the technical departments of our higher institutions. Those who deal with our National resources industriously can know but little of the personal strain and sacrifice with which other men have stuck to their task of dealing with these same resources educationally. In our secondary and elementary education there is not only need of specially trained men as teachers, but there is need in particular of specially trained supervisors.

I was in Vermont not many days ago, and there I saw one result of a new law, which provides for the employment of union district superintendents of schools, at a respectable minimum salary. The State superintendent had called together these local superintendents in their annual conference. There were nearly forty of them, where three years before there was not one. Rather young men they were for the most part, though well-seasoned in the responsibilities of teaching. College graduates, alert and ambitious, they gave themselves over to the business which had brought them together, with a heartiness that was vastly encouraging. Other States have made provisions for a similar staff of supervisory officers. New York is one of the latest to take such action. The great States of the West, in which the county is a common unit of school supervision, need in their counties traveling supervisors of special subjects, particularly those relating to the practical business of life on the farm. Such supervisors can become veritable evangelists, bringers of good news concerning the things which make our National resources interesting and full of hope.

3. I have spoken of the new movement toward industrial education in our several States. I have tried to show that this movement is making only gradual headway against great difficulties, but that it can become a strong reinforcement of Conservation and of other public interests if given a fair chance. Now, in the third place it should be said that the Federal Government is concerned with giving it a fair chance. We have no National system of school administration. We do not want such a system. No one seriously proposes to relieve the States of their powers and responsibilities in this matter. But how can the Nation be indifferent to the very stuff out of which it is made? While we have no National system of schools, we have and we are bound to have a National program of education.

It is no new thing that I am proposing. I would simply propose that the program blocked out and entered upon many years ago should be carried out and made as useful as possible. This National program is a simple one. In the earlier days it consisted in the granting of lands for educational purposes. Within the past half-century two additions to this earlier plan have been made. The first of these [Pg 268]was the establishment of a central office of information, the Federal Bureau of Education; the second was the annual appropriation of Federal funds for institutions serving a special and urgent National need—the acts for the further support of the land-grant colleges.

Stated now in other words, our whole American scheme of public educational management consists of these four parts: First, the independent school and university systems of the several States, aided by grants of public lands and supplemented by privately managed institutions; second, the free cooperation of the States in educational matters of common interest; third, a Federal education office, aiding the States by its information service and furthering their cooperation; and finally, the distribution of Federal funds, under the supervision of the Bureau of Education.

Let me say a few words concerning that part of this plan with which I have personally the most to do. It is the business of the Federal Bureau to survey the whole field of American education, and make the best things contagious throughout that field. In such a subject as industrial education, it is to study our present needs in the large, and to set before our people the best examples of the successful meeting of such needs in this and in foreign lands. It is to promote unity of effort, by enabling every part of the country to profit at once by whatever has been well done in any other part of the world. As regards such a subject as the Conservation of our National resources, it is to take the broad view which concerns education in all the States, and to further the common treatment of that subject as related to the geography, the history, and the industries of the American people. Such work as this it is now doing in a preliminary and fragmentary way; but it needs more men—expert and informing men—to make of its educational contagion the really large and transforming thing that these times demand. Give us the men, and we will give the help. When the Nation has made its program, it cannot afford to carry it out on less than a National scale. (Applause)

I have said that our National program already involves a measure of direct Federal aid to education in the States. There is every reason why such aid should be reserved as a last resort. But as a last resort, it has its place in our program. It is doubtful whether the industrial education which the Nation now requires can be adequately carried out without an increase of such Federal participation. But the point to be especially emphasized is this: Any such extension of Federal aid should be based on an accurate knowledge of the needs, and should be made in such ways as will strengthen and not weaken the educational systems of the States. For these reasons, a general investigation of the subject of industrial education in all sections of the country is one of the next things that should be undertaken by the Education Bureau. Such an inquiry has already been recommended from the office of the Secretary of the Interior. It has been urgently requested by the National Society for the Promotion [Pg 269]of Industrial Education. Our neighbors of the Dominion of Canada already have a strong commission engaged in a similar inquiry. I earnestly hope that this Congress will call upon the Congress of the United States to institute such an inquiry at the earliest practicable date, and provide for carrying it on in a manner commensurate with the importance of the subject.

When I speak of our National program in education, it is with warmth and conviction. No nation can come to its greatest, industrially and politically, save as it comes to its greatest in education. We have in our American form of governmental relations the basis for the noblest educational structure that any nation has ever erected. In full loyalty to the true relations of State and Nation, we have only to go forward doing generously the things which may rightly be done, in order to have an infinitely varied yet gloriously united educational organization, in which our democracy, our science, and our nationality shall all of them come to their best.

4. Fourthly and finally, what kind of education is it that the new needs call for? I cannot leave the subject without saying a few words on that theme.

Our American schools and colleges have stood in the past for liberal culture. They have taken pride in doing so and they have believed that by so doing they have been serving the ends of democratic citizenship. American education from the beginning has looked the almighty dollar squarely in the face and passed on in serene devotion to spiritual ends. Is all of this to be changed with the new interest in industrial life? Is the technical, in other words, to take place of the liberal? I do not believe it. In fact, no greater calamity could befall our industrial interests. But we are undoubtedly changing our conception of what is liberal and what is technical. We may describe a liberally educated man as one who has learned so thoroughly how the whole world hangs together that he constantly sees his own interests only as related to general and permanent human interests (applause). A technical education, on the other hand, enables a man to do that which most men cannot do, but which has some useful relation to those general human interests. If this is a fair statement, there is no field in which a liberal education is more to be desired than that of our material resources and our industries; for this is the field on which the whole game and drama of human life is to be played, though there is no other in which the temptation to illiberal, narrow, and selfish views is so great. To make the material basis of human society itself a subject of liberal education is one of the greatest things that scholastic enterprise can possibly accomplish. The next step is to join the training for technical pursuits directly to our liberal culture thus broadly conceived, so that every citizen shall add some valuable skill to his more general attainments, and every special skill shall grow directly out of his general knowledge.

[Pg 270]

This, I believe, will be the great aim of American education everywhere. It is a high patriotic service to further such education. Even in the elementary schools, let our pupils learn that their private interests are to be advanced only in accord with more general interests, and that they are to make their success in life by doing some one thing well for which the world at large has need. We have been, according to our critics, a Nation whose resources were greater and more impressive than our civilization. With such an education as this, we shall be a Nation whose civilization shall overtop all of the natural goods that may ever be discovered or conserved (applause). Such an education, moreover, could do much to overcome some of the chief obstacles which the Conservation movement now encounters; for it should give us a people who, from engineers and managers to farmers and miners, should not only be masters of their own trades but should pursue them with some positive regard for the public good (applause). Our education is not big enough and virile enough until it can deal with such great National issues as this. I am confident that it will come up to that high measure of power and efficiency, and that already it has begun to carry those larger responsibilities. (Applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: Can there be higher patriotism than in the efforts of this Congress to protect the rights of all? Conservation is true patriotism; and Mrs Matthew T. Scott, President-General of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, will now address you on this subject. (Applause, the entire audience rising)


Mrs Scott—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: In behalf of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, I wish to make my grateful acknowledgments to the Executive Committee (through its President, Honorable Bernard N. Baker) for its courtesy in giving to Mrs Amos G. Draper, the able Chairman of our D. A. R. Conservation Committee who has so splendidly inaugurated and developed this work, and to myself, the privilege and honor of taking part in these splendid exercises. In its last analysis the generic term "Conservation"—in its widest scope, and broadest sense—may be said to be the keynote and touchstone of our great D. A. R. organization. The finest brains and blood and nerve force of the land have been absorbed and found noble expression in various lines of work of the D. A. R. While the Daughters have turned their sympathetic attention to various material branches of Conservation work, we have not neglected the higher intellectual, ethical, and moral Conservation interests; we aim to help preserve the glorious heritage that has fallen to us of self-government, and hand down the birthright undiminished to those who come after us that the priceless boon of "government of the people by the people and for the people" perish not from the earth. (Applause)

[Pg 271]

It has been borne in upon me of late that there are two Conservation interests whose importance we have not fully recognized, and they are the conservation of true womanliness, and the conservation of the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race on this continent. As to the former, the President of the United States in a recent address at Washington before the annual Congress of the D. A. R., said that woman's place and sphere are on too high a plane to be even discussed. It is surely an inspiration to have the privilege before this splendid assemblage of representing the great patriotic movement, which under the banner of the D. A. R., marches steadily forward, with ever increasing numbers, enthusiasm, prestige, and practical power.

The Daughters of the American Revolution in distinctive and especial ways have lent their organized strength to various good causes, which may all be practically considered as Conservation interests: among other objects, to social uplift, to patriotic education in its widest scope, to placing bounds to the abuse of child labor, to playgrounds, to juvenile courts, to improvement of hygienic conditions in our great cities, to preservation of historic spots and records, to the safe and sane celebration of July Fourth; and to cooperation with the S. A. R. in their noble work for immigrants landing upon our shores and subsequently for these foreigners and their children in the effort to Americanize them and to inoculate them with ideals and principles known in this twentieth century as Americanism.

Much has been done also among the mountain whites of the South. Every mountaineer, child or adult, that in our work we help to educate toward intelligent citizenship—and many of these mountaineers are of Revolutionary ancestry—is a barrier raised against the anarchistic tendencies and the unrest of our great cities; is a guarantee for the supremacy of the Caucasian race in America. Read, if you can secure it, Mr Thomas Nelson Page's plea for the education of the Southern Mountain whites in his magnificent address delivered at Washington before the last Continental Congress! We are also preserving, all over this broad land, landmarks of history—sacred relics of a vanished age—which are object-lessons for our own youth and for the strangers who crowd our shores. Every monument we rear, every tablet we place, every statue we erect, every old fort or bastian, every Revolutionary relic or Revolutionary soldier's grave we honor, is a tribute to those to whom we owe the imperishable gifts of liberty, of independence, of the right to worship God in our own way. Every fountain or stone recording the trail of the pioneer, the priest, the trader, the soldier, or the devotion of the Revolutionary heroine, is a breath of incense wafted back to the immortals, an inspiration for "tangible immortality" for ourselves, and those who come after us. (Applause)

[Pg 272]

The Conservation of our natural resources is a subject of intensely practical importance to the D. A. R. Representing as we do the motherhood of the Nation, we feel that it is for us to see that the children of this and future generations are not robbed of their God-given privileges. It is our high privilege and mission to see to it that the future shall be the uncankered fruit of the past. The ideal democracy solemnly dedicated by the Founders, we, as their Daughters, declare shall not be forestalled. As women we cannot be silent and see the high ends at which they aimed made futile by the growth of a grovelling lust for material and commercial aggrandizement. This headlong haste for enormous gain, the total disregard of the future for the present moment, if not stopped will bring us to the condition of the Old World where the fertility and habitability of past ages have been destroyed forever. We feel that it is for us, who are not wholly absorbed in business, to preserve ideals that are higher than business—the outlook for the future, the common interests, and the betterment of all classes. The wasteful scrambling and greedy clutching at our natural treasures has made the present generation rich; but the mothers of the future must be warned by us lest they find that our boasted prosperity has been bought at the price of the suffering, of the poverty, and class war of our descendants. There is no lack of patriotic devotion in the country; but the mere thoughtlessness and inability or unwillingness of the commercial class to drop the interests of the moment long enough to realize how they are compromising the future—this hot haste and heedlessness, it is for us with our larger outlook, to restrain.

Women have already preserved a large National forest in the Pennsylvania mountains; the women of Minnesota have to their credit the Minnesota National forests; it was the women of California who saved the immemorial groves of the Calaveras big trees. Our own work in behalf of the preservation of the Appalachian watersheds, in behalf of the preservation of historic sites, as well as the efforts being made by various women's organizations to preserve the natural beauty of the Palisades, of Niagara Falls, and of other precious scenic treasures of the Nation, are all steps in the right direction, are all preparation for the larger Conservation interests which the D. A. R. have begun actively to champion. It should be a second nature to women, with the spirit of motherhood and protecting care innate in them, to take an effective stand in the spirit of true patriotism—against the spirit of rank selfishness—the anti-social spirit of the man who declines to take into account any other interests than his own. (Applause)

There is another great world interest that is peculiarly our own as Daughters and descendants of the peace-loving patriots who took up arms a century and a half ago. They were not professional soldiers, but plain citizens hastily rallied together in often-wavering [Pg 273]lines of defense of home and country. All the world wondered when at Lexington and Concord, on the village green and at the wooden bridge, the embattled farmers stood across the line of march of the British regular army, and fired "the shot heard round the world." It is the opening decade of the twentieth century of the Christian era; it is time that brute force—the recourse of primitive, barbaric man—cease to be the last arbitrament between great nations calling themselves Christian and civilized, and that the Conservation of peace be established by international arbitration. (Applause)

Again, it is one of the glories of our great organization that we are first, last, and all the time, considering the child. Today in all civilized countries the child is leading the way. I am happy to be able to say that through the instrumentality of our chapters in different parts of the country, interest has been awakened in homeless and dependent children; organizations have been formed for children of foreign birth to teach them respect for the flag, and some things about our form of government. Many chapters provide instructive lectures in their own language for foreigners, who listen eagerly. Many chapters offer prize medals for the best essays on historical subjects—American history especially—and for memorizing our National songs. Nothing is more important than our organized work for the "Children of the American Revolution"—children of American birth and descent—unless it be our work for the "Children of the Republic" in teaching to be American citizens boys of foreign parentage who come to us with little idea of the difference between liberty and license. For patriotism consists as much in making good citizens as in saving the Nation from bad ones (applause). Every boy of foreign birth or extraction that we can help to transform into a thorough American through this magnificent branch of our work, every lad of foreign birth or extraction that we can help train to become a useful citizen and grow up into honorable manhood as a credit to his adopted land is an added asset to the ethical wealth of the country. Think for a moment what it means to help train these young foreigners in the plastic period of their life in the patriotic principles of their adopted country! A long stride has been taken in their patriotic and civic education, when through the exertions of noble women they have been given some idea of the great principles which are the basis of our form of government.

Another branch of our Conservation work which is especially near my heart, and which I think must be near to the heart of every mother in this broad land, is that in connection with the splendid crusade now being carried on against the evil of child labor. We have attempted, in dealing with this as with every other problem, first to obtain a wide and sure knowledge of the facts, and secondly to avoid everything savoring of the spirit of fanaticism in concentrating our energies on some great constructive policy. The committee on child labor, under the leadership of its noble chairman—the late Mrs J. [Pg 274]Ellen Foster, whose life was dedicated to the needs of humanity—has made herculean efforts to bring this matter properly before the attention not only of the D. A. R. but of all the women of our land who are capable of responding to the pathetic appeal of suffering and stunted childhood, that we may wipe away this inexcusable stain on our National honor and this irreparable blight on that product which is more valuable than all the combined harvests of this fertile continent—the splendid American crop of human souls. (Applause)

If in a serener atmosphere than that of the politics of the hour, we as patriotic women can meet and help to solve these and other equally important problems in the eternally feminine way that has always given us power over men—if we would indeed, in the words of the old Athenians, help to transmit our fatherland not only undiminished but better and greater than it was transmitted to us, and if we are indeed unwilling to transmit to posterity mere material possessions unillumined by divine ideals; if we can but rise to the height and might of a pure, disinterested, passionless consecration to the principles which time has proved to be the soul of the purpose of the Fathers of the Republic, and on that high level, above the distracting personalities and passing incidents and accidents of the hour, "live and move and have our being" as a National Society, then we shall best establish and preserve the useful influence and leadership in the country to which we loyally aspire. Our interest and work for these great Conservation interests we cannot too often reiterate for our own encouragement and inspiration and for the enlightenment of the public.

As I said before, in the light of recent incidents and experiences, it has been borne in upon me that there are two great Conservation interests we have not yet sufficiently touched. With all the advance in learning, all the discoveries of science, all the enlightenment and uplifting of religion, all the refining of manners, all the acquisitions of men through invention and additions to the facilities for work and comfort of living, all the improvements of institutions providing for the farther and farther spread of well-being among the children of men, still, in the great underlying physical principles of existence, in the "main travelled roads" of humanity from birth to death, there is and can be no essential change. Nevertheless, there are an infinite number of variations and gradations in the product of these eternal operations of nature. Man's battle with nature—for human progress is a constant struggle against natural conditions, a continual re-making of the planet—has been ever accompanied, step by step, by the battle within himself against the contradictions in his inescapable heredity. It is the degree of success in this struggle for the triumph of the spiritual and the intellectual that marks the differences in racial types. Here then are the grand elements of the problem, the condition as well as theory confronting every well-wisher to humanity, every lover of her kind and her country, especially among women. For it is woman who [Pg 275]is the divinity of the spring whence flows the stream of humanity—nay, she is the source herself. To her keeping has been entrusted the sacred font. In her hands rests the precious cup, the golden bowl of life. Holier than the Holy Grail itself is this chalice glowing ever, with its own share of the divine fire, its own vital spark from the altar of Almighty power. Never has this office of cup-bearer to creation placed greater responsibility upon woman than in this our own day, and this our own country. Freely we have received, and generously must we respond; and deeply must we realize what a charge to keep we have—nothing less than the Conservation of the greatest experiment in enlightened self-government the world ever saw. Is that sacred trust to be jeopardized by untried, impracticable, uncalled for innovations upon the institutions of Government sufficing for the Fathers of the Country, and providing for its splendid development thus far? Shall we grasp at a shadow in the stream, like the dog in the fable, and drop the substance to sink away from us beyond recall? Is any real interest of the women of the land in danger? Is any real interest of women inseparable from the interests of the fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons of the women of the land? Is there any interest of women to be compared in vital importance to themselves, with the conservation of true womanliness?

I plead, as the representative of a great National organization of the women of the land, for the Conservation of true womanliness, for the exalting, for the lifting up in special honor, of the Holy Grail of Womanhood. But not merely the cup whence flows the stream of human life, must we guard and cherish; we must look to the ingredients which are being cast into the cup. We must protect the fountain from pollution. We must not so eagerly invite all the sons of Shem, Ham, and Japhet, wherever they may have first seen the light, and under whatever traditions and influences and ideals foreign and antagonistic to ours they may have been reared, to trample the mud of millions of alien feet into our spring. We must conserve the sources of our race in the Anglo-Saxon line, Mother of Liberty and Self-government in the modern world. I would rather our coming census showed a lesser population and a greater homogeneity. Especially do I dread the clouding of the purity of the cup with color and character acquired under tropical suns, in the jungle, or in paradisian islands of the sea alternately basking in heavenlike beauty and serenity and devastated by earthquake and tornado and revolution. (Applause)

I come of the old Virginia stock (applause) which first passed over the Blue Ridge and possessed the great Middle West, just in time to prevent it from becoming Spanish or French or British. Some of the pioneers of Washington's times have stayed on right there, in that eagle's nest of pure Americans where Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia meet in the mountains against which Cornwallis' previously invincible raiding column—after devastating the Carolinas—dashed [Pg 276]itself to pieces, wiped out by volunteer mountaineers in that wonderful battle of Kings Mountain which no general planned or even heard of until it was over. Personally, I would be willing to reduce our population-boast by many millions, had the remnant the unadulterated Americanism conserved to this day in these mountaineers' descendants! We may be destined to see our cup of liberty, which we have so generously proffered to the whole world, grow to the proportion of a grand mixing-bowl of races; but if so, will it not at least be wise to see that our own race dominate?

We, the mothers of this generation—ancestresses of future generations—have a right to insist upon the conserving not only of soil, forest, birds, minerals, fishes, waterways, in the interest of our future home-makers, but also upon the conserving of the supremacy of the Caucasian race in our land. This Conservation, second to none in pressing importance, may and should be insured in the best interests of all races concerned; and the sooner attention is turned upon it the better. (Great applause)


[Pending the foregoing, Governor Eberhart resumed the Chair.]

Professor Condra—Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: At the instance of the President of the Congress, and inspired by the splendid address of Mrs Matthew T. Scott, President-General of the Daughters of the American Revolution and one of the most eminent of American women, I move that the Secretary of the Congress be empowered to prepare a suitable expression of the condolence of the Congress to be sent to the family of the late Mrs J. Ellen Foster, a member of the Executive Committee of the Congress and one of the most militant women of the country in behalf of Conservation.

The motion was seconded by several delegates.

Governor Eberhart—Ladies and Gentlemen: You have all heard the motion. As many as favor its adoption will please rise to their feet. [The entire Congress arose.] The motion is carried unanimously, and the Secretary will be instructed to forward the expression.

While the formal addresses of the women of the Nation to this Conservation Congress are now concluded, there is a little presentation which a lady of our State wishes to make; and in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Congress, I am pleased to introduce Mrs J. C. Howard, of Duluth. (Applause)


Mrs Howard—Your Excellency, and Ladies and Gentlemen: Mrs Scott asks me to present this certificate which I hold in my hand, for her and for the D. A. R., to a man whom we all delight to honor.

I used to live in Washington before I grew up and came to Minnesota, where I hope to spend the rest of my life; and there in my time I met many near-heroes and many heroes. I observed that modesty was always a sure sign of the real heroes; and if you had witnessed my efforts with Mr Gifford Pinchot to persuade him to [Pg 277]come on the stage and stay there until I could give him this card, you would have no more doubt than before in which category he belongs (laughter and applause). Now, Governor, please don't let him get away while my back is turned (laughter), because I feel he really ought to have this certificate.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this certificate is a tribute by the D. A. R., in the form of a diploma, as you see; it says, in part,

He that planteth a tree is a servant of God. He provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.

I have intense pride in presenting it to the man who is first in the Conservation war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of all tree-lovers.

[Mrs Howard here presented the certificate to Mr Pinchot amid great and prolonged applause, with cries of "Pinchot!" "Speech!"]

Mr Gifford Pinchot—Mr Chairman, Mrs Scott, and Mrs Howard: There are two reasons, Ladies and Gentlemen, why I am profoundly moved, and delighted to receive this certificate: One of them is—and it is not a bit modified by the fact that you have so kindly, yesterday and today, given me far more credit than I deserve—that I would rather have the good opinion of the women who are interested in Conservation than that of the men—by far (applause and laughter). The other is, that of all the organizations that have been working for the Conservation movement, for the preservation of the forests and for the extension of the same idea to all our natural resources, there has been none more devoted and more effective than the D. A. R. Besides, of all the women in the D. A. R., no one has been more devoted or more effective than Mrs Howard's mother, Mrs Draper (applause). And in this certificate I have joined together in my mind the kindness of Mrs Scott and the organization which she represents, the good-will of Mrs Draper which I very deeply prize, and that of her daughter, Mrs Howard, who was kind enough to give it to me; and I want to thank them all most heartily. (Great applause)


Governor Eberhart—When our friend Mr Pinchot comes here for the next Conservation meeting, after having seen all the charming ladies who have attended this Congress and worked in its interest, it is to be hoped that there may be still another certificate which he may have in his possession at that time (great applause). I am not saying this for the purpose of announcing any competition on the part of the ladies, but merely because Mr Pinchot himself suggested that he prizes this certificate so highly. But he would, I am sure, prize the other one still more if he got it (laughter).

Some time ago, when it became necessary to send a man of ability, honor, and integrity out West to prosecute land frauds, President Roosevelt looked quite a while before he could find the right [Pg 278]one. The instruction under which that man went was that he should prosecute every guilty person, no matter what position in life he held, whether of high or low standing; and the man he sent was eminently successful. After successfully prosecuting those land frauds, he went to San Francisco and continued in the same work with equally great credit and distinction; so that in introducing him to you I am introducing the best-known, the ablest and strongest, apostle of clean citizenship in the United States, a man who stands for a square deal, and who believes in what is best and highest and truest and cleanest and purest in American citizenship. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the honor and privilege of introducing to you that conserver of clean citizenship, who will address you on the subject of "Safeguarding the Property of the People," Honorable Francis J. Heney, of California.

[Great and prolonged applause and cheers. Voices: "What's the matter with Heney?" "He's all right!"]


Mr Heney (after asking an attendant to remove the water pitcher)—Mr Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen: As I never take water, I have requested that it be moved over to another table before I commence. (Laughter)

The efficiency of a democracy must ultimately depend on the intelligence of its voters. It was the recognition of that idea which caused the Fathers of this Republic to advocate so strongly the establishment of a public school system in this country. Any effort on the part of any public servant to prevent the voters of this country from having full knowledge of all its public affairs is, therefore, a species of treason, and any failure on the part of any citizen to acquaint himself as fully as possible with our National affairs is a failure to perform one of the duties and obligations which are imposed upon every member of a democracy. (Applause)

Public opinion, it is said, rules the Nation. It might better be said (because it would be more accurate) that public opinion in a democracy should rule the Nation; and it might further be said that if we had a real democracy, and a real representative government, public opinion would rule the Nation (applause). There are some evidences, however, that public opinion in this country does not have a free chance to operate. I need not mention many instances to convince you. Ninety percent of the people of the United States were opposed to men being permitted to make a profit by poisoning a people; they wanted a pure-food law, and yet it was locked up on the high shelf in Congress for sixteen years until Theodore Roosevelt, with the Big Stick, forced it out (great applause). What public opinion failed to do the Big Stick accomplished. (Renewed applause)

Now, my friends, public opinion should be intelligent; and that requires accurate information. A friend of mine, riding on a street-car in the city of Washington, at a time when the Ballinger-Pinchot investigation was going on, saw two young men, beyond the voting [Pg 279]age, reading the morning newspaper. They had a paper apiece. He was standing close by hanging on to a strap. He heard one of them say to the other, "They are having a great fuss up there in Congress over this Ballinger-Pinchot controversy, aren't they?" "Yes," said the other; "I see that Ballinger has been found three million dollars short in his accounts" (laughter). "Yes, I see that," said the first, "and that they found Pinchot has stolen a million acres of public land" (laughter). Whereupon both of them turned to the sporting column to see whether Johnson or Jeffries was predicted to win (laughter). They seemed to have a pretty accurate knowledge, also, of which club was ahead in the baseball game.

Now, my friends, that sort of misinformation is one of the diseases with which we are afflicted in this Republic, and I again call your attention to the responsibility of citizenship; and in that connection I congratulate myself, and I congratulate the Nation, that so many women are beginning to come to places like this, on occasions like this, to learn something about our National affairs (applause), because the future of this country is in the hands of the boys who are now growing up, and, perchance, the girls—who knows what may become of woman suffrage in the next generation? (Applause) Therefore, the more information the mothers have the better opportunity the Nation has of getting intelligent action from the voters.

The subject of my text today is "Safeguarding the Property of the People." Well, my friends, there are just two ways in which the property of the people may be safeguarded: one is by the Legislative arm of the Government, to whom the Constitution of the United States has entrusted the power of disposing of, regulating, and controlling public property; the other is the Executive arm of the Government, to which, under the Constitution, the power is entrusted of enforcing the laws which have been provided by the Legislative body.

Now, it must be apparent to any one that the most efficient Executive must fail in safeguarding the property of the people if the laws provided for that purpose by the Legislative body are loose, inaccurate, or unfitted to conditions. I want to make the charge plainly and unequivocally that, when we come (as we shall in a moment) to inquire into the safeguarding of the property of this Nation, we will find that all the despoiling of the Nation is directly chargeable upon the Legislative branch of the Government, the Congress of the United States, to whom, under the Constitution, we gave the power of trustees.

In the first place, if unfortunately our representatives in the United States Senate—and I use the word "our" figuratively—if the representatives in the United States Senate from each State, respectively, are there in the interest of specially privileged classes instead of in the interest of the average, common man, it will follow that [Pg 280]the Executive arm of the Government will be inefficient; and I have discovered that it is inefficient in the greater part of the West, where the greater part of the public property of the Nation lies—the Executive arm of the Government is, and since the Civil War has been the greater part of the time, utterly inefficient to safeguard the property of the people (applause). But I would be failing in my performance of duty if I failed to tell you why: It is because, while we have entrusted to the President of the United States the appointing of the United States attorneys for the different districts throughout the United States, a rule has grown up in the Senate of the United States which has in effect robbed the Executive of any real power in that respect, and has placed the appointing of such officials in the hands of the United States Senators from the respective States in which those districts lie. (Applause)

What is the result? The result is that if the lumber interests in a particular district are strong, because of having already succeeded in despoiling the people of a large part of their timber interests, they are apt to dominate the election of a United States Senator; and those lumber interests are also liable to dictate, through that United States Senator, the appointment of the United States officials whose duty it will be to enforce the laws of the United States against their benefactors. (Applause)

I would not dare to make such serious charges if I did not speak from absolute experience (applause). When I reached Oregon I found that situation existing in Oregon—indeed, I found on investigation before a grand jury that the then United States attorney was protecting certain men, who belonged to the higher-up class, from indictment, and that he had entered into a corrupt conspiracy with both the United States Senators from that State, by which they had agreed to have him reappointed United States attorney upon condition that these men should not be prosecuted (applause). Moreover, I found that when the first stealing of timber commenced in Oregon and men were arrested for it, a man representing a big and influential timber company had taken to the railroad train about twenty-five men at Portland and carried them up to Salem and had them file openly on contiguous timber claims, each one swearing falsely that he was taking the timber for his own use; and when the matter was exposed immediately and the United States attorney took the matter before a grand jury and indicted the leaders who had instigated those men to go up and make the filings, influential State officials appealed to the United States Senators from Oregon to interfere, and appeals were sent to the Commissioner of the General Land Office and the Secretary of the Interior, so that finally the indictments were dismissed. Shortly thereafter about one hundred men filed on timber claims, under a contract to turn them over as soon as they were acquired, and again the influence of politicians and big business men brought about a failure of justice through an [Pg 281]assistant United States attorney, who was the brother of the attorney representing the big interests who had hired these men to make the filings. Case after case of that kind came to my knowledge in Oregon; case after case of that kind has been brought to my attention in four or five other States. All of it can be traced back to the system under which we have been electing our United States Senators. (Applause)

Professor Hadley has well said that the fundamental divisions of power in the Constitution of the United States are between the voters on the one hand and the property owners on the other. That is the fight. That always has been the fight. That always will be the fight in this country. You heard, probably, all of you, that great address by the greatest citizen of the world, made in this hall the other day (applause), in which he outlined those conditions.

Now let us come back, for I want to show you wherein our trouble lies; and I want to show that great genius in railroad building (who is a citizen of your State, and who talked to you yesterday afternoon)—I want to show you and him who is responsible for the "extravagance and waste" of the great natural resources of this country. (Applause)

I have pointed out to you how big business controlled the execution of the laws in practically every place in the West—except, of course, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota; in the early days when there was timber here none of these evils existed because these conditions didn't exist; your timber lands were not stolen in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; you didn't have United States attorneys suggested by United States Senators who had been selected by owners of large timber tracts or railroads. Some States in the Union have suffered from that, but you never had any such thing come home to you (laughter). I congratulate you (renewed laughter). The Nation has had in its possession, owned in common by all of us and our forefathers, 1,800,000,000 acres of land. That is some property (laughter); that is more than either you or I possess today (laughter). And that included all of the present Rockefeller oil possessions, it included all of the Northern Pacific's land-grant possessions, it included all of the great anthracite companies' coal possessions, it comprised all of the millions of acres of timber land throughout the United States, including what there was in Minnesota. It belonged to you and me and our fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers. We were pretty rich at that time. We could have held on to it and developed it, because I can't believe that if we had offered to pay a patriotic citizen like James J. Hill the sum of $50,000 a year to build a railroad for us from Lake Superior to Puget Sound and to furnish him the money with which to build it, that he would have refused the job (applause); even had he considered it inadequate compensation for his great ability, his patriotic love of the people of the United States would have led him to do it. (Great [Pg 282]applause and cheers) In talking with a banker the other night—one of the Big Four of New York—I asked him if in his opinion Mr Harriman, in the gigantic operations performed by him, was influenced by love of money and the desire to gain filthy lucre, or whether he was influenced by the great gratification of achievement, and he said undoubtedly by the latter; that Mr Harriman would have combined all these railroads for the people of the United States on a salary of $50 a month, if we didn't want to give him any more, just for the pleasure of doing it. (Laughter and applause) But we have received misinformation, and are receiving it yet, to the effect that there are no patriots in the United States; that no man is willing to develop our coal or our oil or our iron or our water-power or anything else that is left unless we give him everything in sight. (Laughter and applause)

My friends, the way the people of the United States have been treated in regard to this vast property which we owned reminds me of a story I heard about a man down South—a white man. He was going along the river in flood time in the back country, and the river was full of floating logs and refuse and all sorts of timber, and he saw a nigger sitting on the bank—and will you pardon me for using the word "nigger" instead of "colored man," because I have just been making a visit down in Virginia and I suppose I fell into it (laughter); it is not meant as a term of reproach, nor is it used as such there or here—and seeing this negro sitting on the bank, he said to him, "Sam, what are you doing?" "Nothin', Suh." "Whose boat is that?" "That's mine, Suh." "Well, Sam, let me tell you what I'll do; you take your boat and go and haul those logs out of the river there, and I'll give you half of all you get on shore." (Laughter)

It took a little while for that to sink in (laughter). It has taken you forty years to let this railroad proposition sink in. (Laughter)

Right while I am on it, while it is fresh in my mind and in yours: Mr Hill says, "We have been extravagant." Why, my friends, do you know what we gave to Mr Hill? I say we "gave" it; as a matter of fact, we weren't consulted (laughter); we didn't have a referendum on it (laughter and great applause). We gave the greatest land-grant ever given to an individual or a corporation in the history of the world—sixty millions of acres; when I say to Mr Hill, of course I mean the Northern Pacific. We gave outright a strip of land 2000 miles long, 20 miles wide in the States and 40 miles wide in the Territories! Worse than that: instead of giving it in a solid body, we gave every even section, so that in timber lands it carried an immense advantage over anybody else coming in from the outside. Now, it is easy to demonstrate, and I hardly believe Mr Hill would care to deny it—and if he does, I'll get the figures and demonstrate it (applause)—that this land-grant was worth, at a fair figure, ten dollars an acre at the very least. That is six hundred million [Pg 283]dollars (applause) of our property that we "extravagantly and improvidently wasted," as Mr Hill would call it; and I agree with him. (Laughter and applause)

But what does that mean? Why, the road is 2000 miles long; $50,000 a mile on an average for the entire road is a very fair figure as the cost of it, making, if I calculate correctly, $100,000,000, to build it. Let's double that, and allow $100,000 a mile for the 2000 miles; that certainly would build and equip the road. That is two hundred million dollars. And we gave six hundred million dollars worth of land, and the railroad was built and now wants forever to charge you rates—upon how much of a capitalization? Well, I don't know. But four hundred million dollars profit! Why, that would more than build the Panama Canal—and I wonder that some private corporation didn't do that (laughter). It would, undoubtedly, if we had been willing to give to it all of the remaining 700,000,000 acres of land that we have left—including Alaska, with the coal mines that Guggenheim wants (laughter and applause). We have been "improvident"—or somebody has—with the property of the people.

Now, who was so improvident? Why, Congress; because the Constitution places in the hands of Congress the power to dispose of, regulate, and control the property of the United States; and Congress did it—and did us, too (laughter and applause). But not satisfied with that, Congress gave to the Southern Pacific, the Central Pacific, and the Union Pacific 120,000,000 acres more of our inheritance, which we purchased with both blood and money—because the war with Mexico led to a part of the purchase, in which thousands of American citizens were killed, and thousands of American women widowed, and thousands of American children orphaned, while we put fifteen millions of our money—our common pot—into the purchase on top of that human blood; and then we "extravagantly and improvidently" gave it away. (Applause)

Not satisfied with that, when we commenced to realize that it was necessary to save the forests of this country—some of the forests which were left—Congress again passed an act, in 1907, called the New Land Act. In 1891 it had passed the law authorizing the President to create National forest reserves. At the same time it had passed a law authorizing the States to select new lands for the school sections which might be included in the National forest reserves. A gentleman in California by the name of Frederick A. Hyde, and another gentleman (who is since dead, and who served a year in jail, just before his death, for defrauding the United States), were actively operating in the State of California in school lands. Now, don't get the idea in your heads from what I have been saying about the way Congress has handled the lands and property of the United States that I am in favor of turning over to the States the power to handle any property in the hope that it will be better handled, because there, again, my experience teaches me that it will be worse—if [Pg 284]possible (laughter and applause). Well, under that law of 1891, Hyde and his companion adopted this system: Where they found that school lands were in reserve (they had a man in the Surveyor-General's office who was looking out for them), they would go down and get bootblacks, and saloon barkeepers, and Tom, Dick, and Harry to sign an application for school lands—under the law of California 320 acres—the law requiring that in making his filing the applicant should swear that he was taking it for his own use and benefit and not for speculative purposes. And at the same time that Mr Bootblack signed the application, he would sign a transfer of his interest, a conveyance of the land, with the date left blank; and a very agreeable notary public would put his seal and acknowledgment upon the affidavit and the assignment, despite the blanks and the absence even of any description of the lands in the application. Then, when Mr Hyde had one or two hundred of these, he would go and take up all those school lands, and have the agent of the State thereupon locate all of these school lands in a body in the finest forest he could find in California—some of the finest that ever grew on earth are there, trees two and three hundred feet high, sixteen to twenty feet in diameter, cutting so many millions of feet to the quarter-section that it would astound even a Minnesota lumberman unless he had been out there and seen it; and those magnificent virgin forests would be separated from public ownership by our "extravagance"—and this, mark you, through Congress passing the 1891 law for the benefit (?) of the schools of the State so loosely drawn that speculators could take advantage of it in this way. So the virgin forests went into private ownership; and Mr Hill will tell you, "What of it? Doesn't that develop the country?"

Why, my friends, they didn't even put the patents on record, because the tax collector of the county would put them on the assessment roll if they did (laughter). And so they grabbed millions of acres, that they had no idea of using in the present; they were holding it for the profit which would come from scarcity of timber through the waste and use which is going on. Why, people living in the very neighborhood of the timber grabbed don't know that it has passed out of Government ownership! And yet those are some of the people who have been living "extravagantly." I believe that some of them wear shoes that cost the high price of a dollar, and eat bacon that is four-fifths fat. (Laughter and applause)

Let me tell you that extravagance is largely a matter of trying to copy after the Higher-ups. No nation was ever destroyed until it had a large leisure class to set a bad example (applause) in living to the common people; and this Nation has a leisure class which is rapidly growing, and which is more wealthy than any leisure class ever known to the world, civilized or barbarian. Why? My friends, solely because Congress has by bad laws permitted all this vast property of the people to get into the hands of the few (applause). There [Pg 285]is not a fortune in this country today large enough to be a menace to the liberties of the common people which has not been acquired by despoiling the people through legislation that was either corrupt or the result of such ignorance that it ought to be punished as criminal negligence, or else through unfair discrimination made by common carriers giving one man an advantage over his competitors. (Applause)

Now, I haven't time to finish—I am afraid I have overstepped my time already—(Voices: "Go on, go on," and applause) but I want to "go on" just a little longer (laughter and applause) because I have something on my mind that I want to put on yours. (Laughter)

We didn't lose our great inheritance until after the Civil War. Practically all of the rapes of this Nation by Congress have been committed since the Civil War, and every land law which Congress has placed upon the statute books since 1860 has been vicious—absolutely vicious—in its tendencies, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office and the Secretary of the Interior have constantly, every year, told Congress about it in printed reports and begged and urged Congress to change the laws: and it has refused to do it! (Applause)

Of course all members of Congress are not to blame for that; because this fight which Hadley says is going on always, and always will go on, in the division of power fundamentally between the voters and the property owners, has resulted in the property owners having more representatives in Congress than the people ever had. (Applause)

Now, I am not here to abuse anybody. I heard a man tell a homely story last night that went directly to my heart; it's exactly in line with what I think about most of the men who are responsible for the present condition; I don't say these men are bad, but only that they have a wrong viewpoint—and that was illustrated in the story. This gentleman said that one day his boy brought home a fox-terrier. They had poultry at his home, some brown leghorns and some white chickens. This fox-terrier had been born and raised on a ranch where they had nothing but brown leghorns, and consequently when he went out in the chicken-yard and saw the feed thrown out he rushed out immediately—of course, without being told to do it—and weeded out the white chickens from the brown leghorns and drove them away from the feed and let the brown leghorns have it all (laughter). Now, it wasn't the fault of the dog that the white chickens lost their feed (laughter); we mustn't blame him; that had become second nature, from what we would call, speaking in reference to human beings, environment (laughter and applause); and it's a rare dog who can discover for himself that the white chickens ought to have an equal right with the brown leghorns to get some of the feed. (Laughter and applause)

When, after the Civil War, business commenced to swing with great strides in this country, owing to the great inventions in machinery, [Pg 286]the discovery of the cotton-gin and so many other things that we can't stop to enumerate them, and the growth of the use of electricity in later days, a few men commenced to see business enlarge—and they were not the men who fought in the War, but the men who remained at home and reflected (laughter and applause). Some of them were like the man pictured in one of the illustrated papers where there was a cartoon of Thomas Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence, with one of the imaginary corporation men of the day—a Tory—rushing in through the door and saying, "Hold on, Thomas, don't sign that document; it'll hurt business" (laughter); and these men said, "Let's stop this War, it's hurting business." And there were others who thought the War made business, though that was before they had commenced to can beef (laughter). Then after the War, when the men who had made the fight for human liberty and the continuance of equal opportunities in this country came home and went to work, they went ahead satisfied to make a living for their little families in the best way they could, while these business men who had remained at home had discovered that if a man can get possession of those natural resources which can be turned into energy—the energy which drives modern machinery, which can do the work of human hands—he can sit back and fold his arms and say to the eighty million people in the United States, "Go ahead; when you want energy to run your machinery, you'll have to come to me and buy it; when your money is gone the eighty millions of you will have to work for me; and when you get to be one hundred and sixty millions, you'll still have to work for me." Now, it requires some imagination to see that, but it is just as fundamentally true as that the earth is spherical—flattened at the poles, as Cook tells us (laughter); and Peary corroborates it. (Laughter)

Let me explain; because I want you to take home something, besides figures, that you will remember. When a man in the old days, when they had no machinery, employed four or five men, he commenced to be a business man; and when he began to put profit in his pocket—even at the rate of only ten cents a day for the labor of each man working for him, if he had five men he was making a clear profit of fifty cents a day, and if he had fifty men the profit was five dollars a day—he got on the road to "big business." If he could have five hundred men and could make fifty cents a day off the labor of each one, he would be making two hundred and fifty dollars a day; and if he could have factories spread out over the United States in which he had an aggregate of ten million men working for him—as in shoe factories when they made shoes entirely by hand—and could make fifty cents a day off each of the ten million men, he would make five million dollars a day. The figures stagger us. Now, with machinery you can take coal, oil, timber, gas, or water-power—those are the energy-creating natural resources—and make machinery run with them; and if you own enough of those [Pg 287]energy-creating natural resources to be equivalent to the labor of ten million men, and apply it to the right machinery, you can compete with the man who has ten million slaves to work for him and does not possess this other energy—and you can do better than merely compete, because your water-power doesn't wear out shoes at the toes nor coats at the elbows nor trousers at the knees; so, my friends, the man who owns the water-power is a greater slave-owner—has more energy that can be turned into wealth—than all the planters who owned the colored men of the South.

Now, at the time of the Civil War we didn't understand this great power and the importance of preserving it in the ownership of the people—because it all belonged to us then. There is available—so the report of the National Conservation Commission says—37,000,000 horsepower in the streams of this country. What does this mean? Why, my friends, the energy expended by an average draft-horse working eight hours a day is equal to only four-fifths of the unit horsepower, as we use it in speaking of water-power, so that it would be equivalent, for an eight-hour day's work, to more than fifty-four million average draft horses. Now, machinery used to be driven by man-power before the draft horse was made to work in place of the man; that was what they did in the old tread-mill before the discovery of steam, which has only been in effective use about a hundred years; and in man-power, what does the forty million horsepower available immediately for use mean? You don't conceive of it, I am sure. A horsepower is equal to the work of at least ten men, and forty million horsepower would be equal to the work of 400,000,000 men! Why, all the people in the United States today are only 90,000,000, including babies. Four-hundred-million-of-men power! And just as sure as the sun will rise, if we permit that to go into perpetual ownership of individuals, the day will come when one corporation will own it all and one man will dictate and dominate that corporation (applause). If you want this country to have material progress at the cost of human liberty, let this source of energy slip out of your hands (applause); but if you want to hold on to any kind of a chance for your children and children's children to have equal opportunities like yours, then follow the policies laid down by Theodore Roosevelt the other day in regard to those energy-producing resources—coal, oil, gas, and water, as well as timber—and this country will be so great that all earlier history will never have told of such progress as the human race will make within these confines. (Applause)

It seems to me that we all ought to be able to realize that no human being in the short space of a lifetime can have earned a hundred million dollars—he cannot have given an equivalent to mankind for $100,000,000; and when we see the example set by some of these great captains of industry who go over to Monte Carlo and risk a fortune on one bet and one turn of the wheel, and come back [Pg 288]to this country and talk about their great benevolence, and then find that the Pittsburg "Survey" found conditions of human life at their workshops so low that it is bound to degrade and pull down the human race—surely it is time to stop and consider. (Tremendous and prolonged applause)

My friends, we must have more democracy in this country (applause). I know this is no place to talk politics, and I am not here for the purpose of talking politics in a partisan sense; but the Conservation of the natural resources for the benefit of the human race—not only the people of the United States—is of such transcendent importance that it rises above all parties and all men (great applause). Why is it that some of these men who have profited by our mistakes and our improvidence in the past are fighting against this Conservation movement? Is it because they fear that we will fail to develop the country rapidly enough? No! Every true Conservationist believes in developing the country rapidly as possible. But we realize the danger, the menace to human liberty, that lies in parting with the fee title to all these great energy-producing natural resources; and if we can arouse the people of the United States to a realization and understanding of this question—which, after all, is simple when we get down to it—there will be such a wave of insurgency sweep over this country as will drive the representatives of the special interests out of every public office in the Nation. (Great and prolonged applause and cheers)

Now, in order to illustrate what I have said about what these people—or Congress—have done and failed to do, I must draw your attention to the fact that under the Timber and Stone Act, 13,000,000 acres of the finest timber in the world have been extravagantly and improvidently disposed of and lost to the people through a vicious Act of Congress, and have gone largely into the hands of a few owners; for the repeated reports of the Secretary of the Interior—even the present Secretary, Mr Ballinger—show that ten of the thirteen million acres are in the hands of a few individuals and corporations. Ten million acres! Why, that is equal to two of the smaller eastern States. In 1878, the then Secretary of the Interior, immediately after the Act was passed, said in his report for that year (Report of Secretary of Interior, 1878-1879, pp. xii-xv):

While no legislation applicable to all parts of the country with regard to this subject was had, two bills of a local character were passed, one "Authorizing the citizens of Colorado, Nevada, and the Territories to fell and remove timber on the public domain for mining and domestic purposes," and one "For the sale of timber lands in the States of California and Oregon and in Washington Territory."

In the opinion of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, which is on record in this Department, these two acts are more calculated to hasten the destruction of the forests in the States and Territories named than to secure the preservation of them.

Of this act the Commissioner of the General Land Office, in a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Interior, expresses the following opinion:

"It is a fact well known that while almost all the timber-bearing land in those States and all the Territories, except Dakota and Washington, is regarded as mineral, only a small portion is so in reality. The effect of this bill will, in my [Pg 289]opinion, be to prevent the survey and sale of any of the timber lands, or the timber upon the lands, in the States and Territories named, thus cutting off large prospective revenues that might and should be derived from the sale of such lands or the timber upon them. It is equivalent to a donation of all the timber lands to the inhabitants of those States and Territories, which will be found to be the largest donation of the public domain hitherto made by Congress. This bill authorizes the registers and receivers of the land offices in the several districts in which the lands are situated to make investigations without any specific directions from the Secretary of the Interior or the Commissioner of the General Land Office, to settle and adjust their own accounts, and retain from the moneys coming into their hands arising from sales of lands such amounts as they may expend or cause to be expended. This method will be found exceedingly expensive and result in no good. Experience has shown that the machinery of the land offices is wholly inadequate to prevent depredations."

The "Rules and Regulations" issued in pursuance of the first section of this act are to be found in the report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, herewith presented. These rules, drawn up with a view to and the intention of preserving the young timber and undergrowth upon the mineral lands of the United States and to the end that the mountain sides may not be left denuded and barren of the timber and undergrowth necessary to prevent the precipitation of the rain-fall and melting snows in floods upon the fertile arable lands in the valleys below, thus destroying the agricultural and pasturage interests of the mineral and mountainous portions of the country, make it the duty of registers and receivers to see to it that trespassers upon timber lands, not mineral, be duly reported, that upon mineral lands only timber of a certain size be cut, and that young trees and undergrowth be protected, and that timber be cut only for the purposes mentioned in the act. These "Rules and Regulations" will be enforced with all the power left to this department to that end, in order to save what may be saved. But I deem it my duty to call attention to the fact that, as set forth by the Commissioner in the letter above quoted, the machinery of the land offices is utterly inadequate to accomplish the object in view.

After a careful consideration of the above-named Act and its probable effects, I venture the prediction that the permission given the inhabitants of the States and Territories named therein, to take timber from the public lands in any quantity and wherever they can find it, for all purposes except export and sale to railroads, will be taken advantage of, not only by settlers and miners to provide economically for their actual current wants, but by persons who will see in this donation a chance to make money quickly; that it will stimulate a wasteful consumption beyond actual need and lead to wanton destruction; that the machinery left to this Department to prevent or repress such waste and destruction through the enforcement of the rules above mentioned will prove entirely inadequate; that as a final result in a few years the mountain sides of those States and Territories will be stripped bare of the timber now growing upon them, with no possibility of its reproduction, the soil being once washed off from the slopes, and that the irreparable destruction of the forests will bring upon those States all the calamities experienced from the same causes in districts in Europe and Asia similarly situated.

It appears to me, therefore, that the repeal of the above-named act, and the substitution therefor of a law embodying a more provident policy, similar to that of the above-mentioned Senate Bill No. 609, is in the highest degree desirable. If the destruction of the forests in those States be permitted, the agricultural and pasturage interests in the mountainous regions will inevitably be sacrificed, and the valleys in the course of time become unfit for the habitation of men.

The act for the sale of timber lands in the States of California, Oregon, and Nevada, and in Washington Territory, passed by Congress at its last session, is, in a letter addressed to this Department, commented upon by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, in the following language:

"It is a bill of local and not general application to the timber lands of the United States, and adds one more to the already numerous special acts for the disposal of the public domain. The price fixed is too low, as much of the land is worth from five to fifty dollars per acre.

"Under the provisions of the bill the timber lands will, in my opinion, be speedily taken up and pass into the hands of speculators, notwithstanding the provisions to prevent such results. The soil should not be sold with the timber where the land is not fit for cultivation. Only the timber of a certain size should be sold, and the soil and young timber retained with a view to the reproduction of the forests. The bill should have limited the sale of the lands to persons who have farms and homes within the State or Territory, and it ought to have required the purchasers to show affirmatively that they had need of timber for domestic uses."

[Pg 290]

No less emphatic were later recommendations for repeal or amendment of the Timber and Stone Acts (Report of Secretary of Interior, 1879-80, p. 27):

In my last annual report I discussed the inadequacy of the laws enacted by the last Congress "Authorizing the citizens of Colorado, Nevada, and the Territories to fell and remove timber on the public domain for mining and domestic purposes," and providing "for the sale of timber lands in the States of California and Oregon and in Washington Territory." The opinion I then ventured to express, that the first of these Acts would be taken advantage of not only by settlers and miners to provide economically for their actual current wants, but by persons who see in this donation a chance to make money quickly; that it would stimulate a wasteful consumption beyond all actual need and lead to wanton destruction, and that the machinery left to this Department to prevent or repress such waste and destruction through the enforcement of the rules to be made by the Commissioner of the General Land Office would be found insufficient for that purpose, has already in many places been verified by experience; also the predictions made by the Commissioner of the General Land Office with regard to the effect of the second one of the above-named acts. Referring to what was said about these laws in my last annual report, I repeat my earnest recommendation that they be repealed, and that more adequate legislation be substituted therefor.

It is by no means denied that the people of the above-named States and Territories must have timber for their domestic use as well as the requirements of their local industries. Neither is it insisted upon that the timber so required should be imported from a distance, so that the forests in those States and Territories might remain intact. This would be unreasonable. But it is deemed necessary that a law be enacted providing that the people may lawfully acquire the timber required for their domestic use and their local industries from the public lands under such regulations as will prevent the indiscriminate and irreparable destruction of forests, with its train of disastrous consequences. It is thought that this end will be reached by authorizing the Government to sell timber from the public lands principally valuable for the timber thereon, without conveying the fee, and to conduct such sales by Government officers under such instructions from this Department as will be calculated to prevent the denudation of large tracts, especially in those mountain regions where forests once destroyed will not reproduce themselves. I have no doubt that under such a law, well considered in its provisions, the people of those States and Territories would be enabled to obtain all the timber they need for domestic as well as industrial purposes at reasonable rates, and that at the same time the cutting of timber can be so regulated as to afford sufficient protection to the existence and reproduction of the forests, which is so indispensable to the future prosperity of those regions. I venture to express the opinion that the enactment of such a law has become a pressing necessity, and cannot much longer be delayed without great and irreparable injury to one of the most vital interests of the people. I therefore again commend to the consideration of Congress the bill introduced as Senate Bill No. 609 in the last Congress:

"The last clause of the second section will permit any person applying for a tract of timber land and securing a certificate from the Register to sell his right and interest therein immediately, and the purchaser, although it may have been obtained by perjury, may be entitled to a patent for the land.

"Section 5 provides that any person prosecuted under Sec. 2461 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, may be relieved of the penalty by the payment of two dollars and fifty cents per acre for the land trespassed upon. This is objectionable, for the reason that the penalty fixed is altogether inadequate, and does not require the payment of costs of prosecution, which are often greater than the penalty to be collected. It should require that the trespasser should pay for the entire subdivision trespassed upon.

"There can be no doubt that if this bill becomes a law it will be taken advantage of, by persons who want to make money quickly, to acquire the timber lands under its provisions at a very low price, and strip the mountain sides of their forest growth as rapidly as possible. How disastrous such a result will be to these States and Territories need not be detailed here."

My friends, every report from 1878 down to the last report this year, tells Congress exactly the same thing, and begs and urges Congress to repeal this Timber and Stone Act. Not only that; every report goes on and tells that large tracts are being stolen and taken [Pg 291]fraudulently, and Congress is urged for that reason to repeal it and make a different rule in regard to the sale of the timber, not to hold it but to sell the timber off the land letting buyers take the mature growth, and replanting and reforesting so that the timber will always be there; and Congress failed to act until 1892, fourteen years later. After the above reports went in, with a report of the same kind every year for fourteen years, then, in 1892, with a report before them at the time to the same effect, Congress extended the Timber and Stone Act to take in Montana and some other States. Who got them to do it? The great amalgamated copper interests are in Montana, and the great smelting interests there wanted timber—that belonged to us, and that they could well afford to pay for—and they wanted to get it under this vicious Act, and they did get it under this vicious Act; and indictments followed only a short time ago, but there was failure of proof although everybody knew who was guilty (applause). And, my friends, the Act of Congress in extension of the vicious law, with all these reports before them, cannot be accounted for upon any other theory than that the people of the United States have a minority of representatives in both branches of Congress (applause). Now, after the extension, the adverse reports commenced to come in again; and they have been followed up every year down to the present year, yet that Timber and Stone Act still remains on the statute books unamended and unrepealed! How can you account for it? I'll tell you how. Why, there is still some timber to be stolen! (Applause)

Now, I have taken altogether too much of your time. I have not been able to present this matter as satisfactorily to myself as I would have liked on account of the limitation of time—I suppose most of you are glad of that. (Voices: "No, no, no; go on!") I can't go on; it wouldn't be fair to other gentlemen who are here to speak, especially to Mr Gifford Pinchot who is to talk to you immediately after I conclude, and I know you want to hear from him (applause). But I want to say to you that the fight to prevent our natural resources from getting into private ownership is a war that will have a greater influence upon the future of the human race than even the great Civil War in this country had (applause); and I want to say to you, further, that I have enlisted in that war as a private soldier (applause, and a voice: "We'll make you the leader!") for the full term of my natural life. (Great applause)


Governor Eberhart—The next subject for consideration is "The Conservation Program"; and I wish that time would permit me to say some of the fine things I would like to say about the speaker. I will say just one thing: A short time ago I was in the Belasco Theater in the city of Washington and the question of Conservation was up, and this man stood on the rostrum and said to that vast congregation that the time had come when we must forget personalities and men, and work for principles—that it was time for every man [Pg 292]interested in the welfare of the Nation to come forward in this Conservation work, forgetting the past, and forget all personal prejudices and jealousies, and work for this one movement; and at the close of his address he was given such an ovation at the hands of that gathering as he has frequently received here. It is not necessary for me to formally introduce him; you know him as the best friend of our forests—Gifford Pinchot. (Great applause and cheers)


Mr Gifford Pinchot—Governor, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am not tired of receiving your kindness, but I wonder if you are not tired of receiving my thanks! I do want to thank you most earnestly for all your kindness; and I have wished all along that one person who has made the fight with me could be here, and that is my Mother. (Great applause)

I shall have to read a good deal of my paper to you tonight, because there are some things I want to say more exactly than I otherwise could; but I will read just as little as possible.

Like nearly every great reform—and Conservation is a great reform—the Conservation movement first passed through a period of generalities, general agitation and general approval, when all men were its friends; and it hadn't yet really begun. You have all noticed that when a minister in church makes a general arraignment of wickedness, no particular sinner seems to care very much—it passes over his head, or he applies it to the other fellow; but when he comes down to particular cases, and the special shortcomings, the special desires, the special impulses which control each one of us, begin to be the subject of his oration, then there is a very different situation. Now, it was just so with the Conservation movement. At first everyone approved it, because it touched no one nearly; then it passed into a period of practical application, out of the sweep of the generalities, and at once the men whose particular interests were threatened began to take an active interest in the question, and the opposition began; and with that opened the second period of the Conservation movement.

When this fight began, it was found that the people believed in Conservation all over this Nation, and that fact had to be taken into consideration by the people who were opposing the movement. When there is a general movement of which all men approve, the regular way in which the attack is made upon it is to join in the approval and then get after the men and the methods by which the general proposition is being carried out. So, now we find that the desire of the opponents of Conservation—and there are not so very many of them in numbers—is not at all that we should abandon the principle of making the best use of our natural resources; they do not urge that we should abandon the ideas of doing the best thing for all of us for the longest time; but the soft-pedal Conservationists do demand that Conservation shall be safe and sane. Safety and sanity, in the meaning of the men who use that term most as applied to legislation, means legislation not unfriendly to the continued domination of the great [Pg 293]interests as opposed to the welfare of the people (applause); and safe and sane Conservation, as that expression is used by those same men, means Conservation so carefully sterilized that it will do no harm to the special interests and very little good to the people. (Prolonged applause)

I take it, of course, that every friend of Conservation is fully and heartily in sympathy with safety and sanity; that goes without saying, for if there ever was a prudent, safe and sane program, it is that of the Conservation movement, expressing a prudent, safe and sane spirit, and intention as well. But we must never forget that safety and sanity from the point of view of the men who are advocating Conservation—from the point of view of a great gathering like this—means that, first, last, and all the time, the interests of all the people shall be set ahead of the interests of any part of the people. (Applause)

Among the things that have been charged against the Conservation movement is this, that Conservation does not know what it wants—that the Conservation movement is an indefinite striving after no one knows exactly what. I want to tell you, on the other hand, that the Conservation program is now, and has for at least two years been a definite concrete attempt to get certain specific things; and that the impression which has been made, or has been sought to be made, that we didn't know what we were after, is wholly misleading. (Applause)

The Conservation program may be found, most of it, in the following reports—the report of the Public Lands Commission of 1905; the report of the Inland Waterways Commission, March, 1908; the great Declaration of Principles adopted by the Governors at the White House, in May, 1908—one of the great documents of our history; the report of the Commission on Country Life, January, 1909; and the Declaration of the North American Conservation Conference, February, 1909. By the close of the last Administration, the Conservation program had grown into a well-defined platform, and the only important addition of more recent date is a clearer understanding—and we have now a very clear understanding—that monopoly of natural resources is the great enemy of Conservation, and that monopoly always must depend on the control of natural resources and natural advantages of a few as against the interests of the many. (Applause)

None of the men, so far as I know, who are engaged in the Conservation movement, took hold of that side of the fight because they wanted to. I can say, for myself at least, that it was not until I was forced into it by experience that I could not doubt, by being defeated over and over again in trying to get things I knew were right—it was not until the covert opposition of the special interests in Conservation was beaten into me, and beaten into the rest of us, that that end of it was taken up at all. There are troubles enough in this world without [Pg 294]any of us hunting a fight; but this fight hunted us (applause), and we are in it yet, as Mr Heney declares.

The principles of Conservation are very few and very simple. That is one of the beauties of this whole movement—that there is nothing mysterious or complicated or hard to understand about it; it is the simplest possible application of common sense. The first of the principles is this: that the natural resources and the natural advantages both belong to all the people and should be developed, protected, and perpetuated directly for the benefit of all the people and not mainly for the profit of a few (applause). The second principle is that the natural resources still owned by the people which are necessaries of life, like coal and water-power, should remain in the public ownership and should be disposed of only under lease for limited periods and with fair compensation to the public for the rights granted (applause). I have never sympathized with the ideas we have heard so much of that the people must not try to protect themselves because they are not fit to handle their own affairs, and especially that they cannot handle their affairs in the matter of Conservation. By all means let us have the resources cared for, held in ownership by the people of the States as well as of the Nation, and handled for the benefit of the people first of all. (Applause)

Now, I want to state a few propositions as to each of the four great categories of the natural resources, which seem to me to include not all but a very considerable proportion of the fundamental things that Conservation people seek. It is very likely that some will not agree that these are the fundamental things; but I believe these propositions, taken together, represent fairly the opinion of most of the many millions of men and women who believe in Conservation.

First, as to our waterways: Every stream should be made useful for every purpose in which it can be made to serve the public. We have been in the habit of sacrificing, for example, irrigation to power, or power to the city water supply. Let us study our streams and use them for every purpose to which they can be put. The preparation of a broad plan is needed without delay for the development of our waterways for navigation, domestic supply, irrigation, drainage and power. (Applause)

Second, every water-power site now in State or Federal control should be held in that control (applause), and should be disposed of only under lease for a limited time and with fair compensation to the public.

Third, in the development of our waterways, the cooperation of the States with the Nation is essential to the general welfare. (Applause)

Now, as to our forests: First, all forests necessary for the public welfare should be in the public ownership and remain there (applause). Among these are the National Forests already in existence and the proposed Appalachian and White Mountain National Forests [Pg 295](applause). I am glad to hear you applaud the proposition for the Appalachian and White Mountain forests—we need them (applause). We want also the State forests to be taken care of—the State forests of New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other States.

Second, the protection of forests against fire is the duty of State and Nation alike (applause); and that lesson has been driven home this year in a way that I think will make our people understand and remember it for many years to come. I want to pay a tribute in a word, if you will allow me, to the wonderful work done by the boys of the National Forest Service, of the Army, and of the great fire-fighting associations of the West, and by many private citizens, in making what seems to me to have been one of the best, one of the boldest, one of the most devoted fights for the public welfare of which I know anything in recent years (applause). The way to stop fires in a forest, as in a town, is to get men to them as soon as they begin. The maintenance and extension of forest fire patrol by the Nation and States and by their subdivisions and by associations or private citizens who own timber lands is absolutely necessary. And we must have not only a patrol but a sufficient patrol.

Third, the development of existing forests by wise use is the first step in forestry, and reforestation is the second. Practical forestry in our existing forests comes first, tree planting follows; both are absolutely essential if we are to handle this problem right. (Applause)

Fourth: Land bearing forests should be taxed annually on the land value alone, and the timber crop should be taxed only when cut, so that private forestry may be encouraged (applause). Next to fire, there is nothing that so stubbornly stands in the way of practical forestry in this country as bad methods of taxation. (Applause)

Fifth—and I feel very strongly about this: The private ownership of forest lands is in reality a public trust, and the people have both the right and the duty to regulate the use of such private forest lands in the general interest. (Applause)

Then as to the lands: Every acre of land should be put to whatever use will make it most serviceable to all the people (applause). All agricultural land should be put to agricultural use. I have never been one to maintain that forest-bearing land which could be more useful under the plow should be kept for forest uses (applause); I have never been one to maintain, either, that land bearing heavy timber, acquired ostensibly for agricultural uses, should be cut over and afterward abandoned (applause). The fundamental object of our land policy should be the making and maintenance of permanent prosperous homes—that is the whole story (applause). Land monopoly, and excessive holdings of lands in private ownership in great bodies, must not be tolerated (applause). One of the very great difficulties in several parts of our country arises in huge consolidated holdings of land, which make tenants out of men who ought to be freeholders—free men on their own land. (Applause)

[Pg 296]

Settlement should be encouraged by every legitimate means on all the land that will support homes. That is a fundamental proposition. Thus the tillable land in public ownership, within and without the National Forest, should be disposed of in fee simple to actual settlers, but never to speculators. (Applause)

The first and most needed thing to do for our cultivated lands is to preserve their fertility by preventing erosion, the greatest tax the farmer pays. (Applause)

The non-irrigable and arid public grazing lands should be administered and controlled by the Federal Government in the interest of the small stockman and the homemaker until they can pass directly into the hands of actual settlers (applause). Many millions of acres are now having their forage value destroyed because Uncle Sam exercises no control whatever over a territory vastly larger than any single State—even Texas.

Finally, rights to the surface of the public land should be separated from rights to the forests upon it and the minerals beneath it, and each should be held subject to separate disposal; and the Timber and Stone Act should be repealed! (Applause)

As to our minerals: Those which still remain in Government ownership should not be sold—especially coal—but should be leased on terms favorable to development up to the full requirements of our people. I want to make it plain, if anyone should happen not to understand, that the withdrawals which have been made of coal lands and oil lands and phosphate lands are not intended to be permanent; they are intended simply to prevent those lands from passing into private ownership until Congress can pass proper laws for retaining them in the public ownership and having them used there (applause). Until legislation to this effect can be enacted, temporary withdrawals of land containing coal, oil, gas, and phosphate rock, are required in order to prevent speculation and monopoly.

It is the clear duty of the Federal Government, as well as that of the States in their spheres, to provide, through investigation, legislation, and regulation, against loss of life and waste of mineral resources in mining. The recent creation of a National Bureau of Mines makes a real advance in the right direction. And I want here to pay my tribute to the man who has recently and most wisely been appointed director of that Bureau of Mines, Joseph A. Holmes, one of the best fighters for Conservation that this country has produced. (Applause)

With regard to National efficiency: The maintenance of National and State conservation commissions is necessary to ascertain and make public the facts as to our natural resources. That seems to me to be fundamental. We must have the machinery for continuing this work. Such commissions supply the fundamental basis for cooperation between the Nation and the States for the development and protection of the foundations of our prosperity.

[Pg 297]

A National Health Service is needed to act in cooperation with similar agencies within the States for the purpose of lengthening life, decreasing suffering, and promoting the vigor and efficiency of our people (applause). I think it is high time we began to take as much care of ourselves as we do of our natural resources. (Applause)

These are not all the things for which Conservation stands, but they are some of the more important. I had meant to speak here of the conflict between State and Federal jurisdictions, which we have seen illustrated in this Congress, but I prefer to speak, not of the conflicts, but of the chances for cooperation (applause). I believe in the Federal control of water-power in navigable and source streams and of water-power sites that are now in the Federal hands. I believe equally that every State has a great duty to its own people in Conservation, and that only by full and free and hearty cooperation between the Nation and the States can we all of us get together to control or develop, as the case may be, those intrastate or interstate agencies which are attempting for private profit to harm all the people (applause). When a question is settled, as I think this Congress has pretty well settled in its own mind certain of the questions relating to the division of the Federal and State work, that is the time to go on and act upon it; and I believe we ought to emphasize here most vigorously the functions of the State as well as the functions of the National Government, always remembering that the Federal Government alone is capable of handling questions which exceed the limits of any one State, and that, as Colonel Roosevelt said here the other day, nearly all of the great corporations have affiliations extending throughout the Nation or at least across State boundaries. I am as vigorously for the recognition of the State power and the State duty as I am for the recognition of the Federal power and the Federal duty, each in its proper place (applause). But should I at any time see an attempt made to hide behind either one of these powers at the expense of the people, I would not be doing my duty if I didn't stand up and say so.

Just a word in closing: No body like this can get together without firing a man's imagination and heart. I have been at many great meetings, but never at one that seemed to me to contain within itself the possibility and power for good that this one does (applause). I have watched this Conservation movement grow, as we all have; I see it now on the very verge of the most practical kind of results. The clouds have cleared away; we know where we stand; we are ready to go forward, and we know where we are going and how. There has been gathered here a body of men and women whose motive is clearly this, that they propose when they depart to leave this good old earth better for their children than when they found it (applause), and they are carrying that message to the people of the United States more powerfully than it has ever been carried before. If any man or any woman were disposed not to be hopeful about the [Pg 298]Conservation movement, I think this Congress would lift them to a new plane; it gives us new hope for the future of our country. I thank you. (Great applause)


Governor Eberhart—Ladies and Gentlemen: Just a few words before we take a recess until this evening: I wish on this occasion, as it will be perhaps the only one afforded to me, to express my sincere thanks to the officers of this Congress for the splendid manner in which they have done their work. I have never met a more congenial and kindly set of officers than those who are handling this convention (applause), and a great deal of the credit of the success of this convention is due to their personal, persistent, and strenuous efforts. I take it that this is the time at which, as Chief Executive of the State, I should present my acknowledgments. I regret that the President of the Congress, who is always unselfish, has determined that, in order to give the other officers, delegates and guests a chance tonight to be heard, his own lecture—which we have all been waiting for—shall not be presented at this time.

Among the splendid sentiments which Mr Pinchot has uttered, one of the very best, I think, was that the States and the Nation instead of struggling among themselves as to how authority should be divided, should cooperate (applause) in the Conservation of the resources of the country for the benefit of all the people for all time.

After two or three announcements have been made, we will take a recess until this evening at 8 oclock.

Professor Condra—The Committee on Nominations will meet, immediately after this meeting adjourns, in Room 601, Saint Paul Hotel.

Since the report of the Committee on Credentials was received and filed with the Secretary yesterday, there has been an additional registration of 40 or 50 delegates.

It was announced this morning that the Call of the States would be made this afternoon, but it became impossible to do so. President Baker asks me to say that tonight the order of business will be, first, the election of officers; second, the reception of the resolutions from the Committee on Resolutions; and third, special reports from the States—this to continue tomorrow if necessary.

Another suggestion: If any of you have anything to be read from the platform, please put it in such form that it can be read properly and understood clearly. We had an example of misunderstanding this morning, which I regret; and I want to advertise the papers of this city by asking you to read the report in one of them from which you will see the results of that misunderstanding. Do not blame anybody; these things come. Do not blame the ladies of this State for any misunderstanding. I have had too many thousands of womanly women in my classes at the university and elsewhere (and I married one of the most lovely women in the world), and I have too much faith in women to blame them. I blame myself for trying to read [Pg 299]a statement which I had not had the time to look at. Let a thing like that not come into this Congress again. Blame no one.

Thereupon Governor Eberhart, for President Baker, declared a recess until 8 oclock p.m.


CLOSING SESSION

The Congress was called to order by President Baker in the Auditorium, Saint Paul, at 8 oclock p.m., September 8.

President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: The first business in order is action on the report of the Nominating Committee, to be followed by action on the report of the Resolutions Committee. While waiting for these reports we should be glad to hear from some of the States. Washington made a special request to be heard. Is the Gentleman from the State of Washington present?

[There was no response.]

W. S. Harvey—Mr President: In the absence of the representative of Washington, may the Delegation from the Keystone State, Pennsylvania, be heard at this time?

President Baker—Colonel Harvey has the floor, and will speak for his State.

Colonel Harvey—Mr President and Delegates: On behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which it is our honor to represent, we desire to say first of all that no other State in the whole galaxy constituting our Union of States possesses such great natural resources. In some, indeed, the resources may be more varied, but in none are they of such productive and wealth-creating capacity as in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania leads all other States in the production of coal, the value of our annual output reaching approximately $325,000,000 per annum. In the value of its petroleum, natural gas, clay products, and pig iron it has no close second. The annual value of our petroleum production is about $18,000,000, and of our natural gas about the same, while the value of our pig-iron production reaches about $235,000,000; of our clays it might be said we have scarcely begun to develop them, yet the value of our clay product is more than $20,000,000 yearly. We are among the leading States in the production of cement, roofing-slate, lime, and building stone. Among our other mineral products are graphite, glass sand, mineral waters, metallic paints, mortar colors, and ochre. It will doubtless surprise many to learn that in the year 1907 the total value of all of the mineral products of all of the States west of the Mississippi was more than $100,000,000 less than the value of the mineral products of Pennsylvania for the same year; and that the value of our mineral products in the same year was equal to almost one-third of the entire value of all of the mineral products of the United States, including Alaska. This also includes gold and silver.

[Pg 300]

We have thus far spoken only of our mineral resources, but when we add to this our magnificent resources in agriculture (one of our counties leading all others in the United States in the value of its agricultural products), of our timber and our water-power, and more important still, a population second only to that of the Empire State and nearly equal to Canada, it is apparent that we should be vitally interested in the subject of Conservation; and we beg now to be permitted to mention what has been and now is being done along this line:

Our State has for many years had a Forestry Department with a Commissioner and a Forest Reservation Commission, who have purchased for the creation of State forest reserves and paid for up to September 1, 1910, 918,529 acres of land at a cost of $2,061,872.45 or an average of $2.25 per acre, and have under contract for purchase about 50,000 acres more. The State also has established nurseries for seedlings, and has turned out thus far 2,500,000; next spring the increased capacity of these nurseries will turn out about 6,000,000 seedlings, and we hope and expect to be in a position within a few years to turn out 20,000,000 each year. These seedlings are being used for reforestation on the State reservations and other lands that have been cut over or denuded, and in time will produce forests from which the State will derive a large revenue. The State has also established a Forest Academy, for which appropriations amounting to $96,000 have been made; 39 students have been graduated, all of whom, with the exception of two, are now in the employ of the State; 30 students are maintained in the academy; and the course is three years, 10 students being admitted each year. The State has also made provision for protection against, and the extinguishing of, forest fires, and the sum of $245,000 has been appropriated for this purpose. The State has appropriated for maintenance and administration of forest reserves since they were first created the sum of $877,142. In addition to the foresters employed, 41 in number, the State employs 116 rangers and a large labor force.

One of the most important Conservation movements entered into by our State has been the conserving of the health of its citizens by protecting from pollution, through a Water Commission and the State Board of Health, the waterways of the entire Commonwealth. Human life and its preservation from disease and impairment of usefulness and its loss of producing power is the most fundamental of all subjects of Conservation. Pennsylvania has also set an example that we sincerely trust may be followed by every other State wherein forest reserves can be created, by establishing camps for tuberculosis patients, where those who are unable to provide the necessary expense to be cared for in private institutions and in climatically suitable locations can be cared for by the State. Since 1907 Pennsylvania has appropriated to the State Department of Health for the construction of suitable buildings and camps for the treatment of tuberculosis on the reservations of the State, $3,000,000. The sanitarium established [Pg 301]at Mount Alto has treated 3,301 patients, and 115 dispensaries established throughout the State have treated 32,247 patients. The present enrollment at Mount Alto is nearly 800, and of dispensary patients 9,000. This work is under the supervision of the distinguished and capable gentleman at the head of our Health Department, Dr Samuel G. Dixon. The movement for the establishment of tuberculosis camps was inaugurated by Dr J. T. Rothrock about twenty years ago, and his name with that of others who have been influential in this work for the cause of humanity and the conservation of health and happiness will continue to be honored in our State.

Pennsylvania also makes much larger appropriations than any other State in the Union for its general hospitals, furnishing free of cost the best surgical and medical skill to those who are unable to pay for the same, thus saving many lives as well as adding to the bread-winning capacity of every community.

Our Department of Mines is doing a good work in trying to make more secure the lives of the miners and their occupation less hazardous. Our system of factory inspection is doing much to protect the lives of our workers in mills and factories, and the topographic and geologic survey commission of our State is also carrying on a most important work in the conservation and development of our natural resources.

Pennsylvania has a Forestry Association that has been in continued active existence for 23 years. Its membership extends to every county in the State, and it has taken the initiative and been the organizer and promoter of the measures that caused the creation by the State of forest reserves and a Forestry Commission; and its members have been largely instrumental, through the earnest, persistent, public-spirited devotion to measures and methods, in educating the people not only of Pennsylvania but of other States to appreciate the value and merits of conserving all our natural resources; and what Pennsylvania has done has helped in no small degree to develop conditions that have made possible the present nation-wide movement for Conservation. (Applause)

The State of Pennsylvania has in the above brief statement shown the practical interest it has had for years and will continue to have in the subject of Conservation; and we earnestly assure this Congress of the hearty support and cooperation of the Keystone State in this great cause.

Respectfully submitted, on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania, by Wm. S. Harvey, G. W. McNees, and Joseph C. Righter. (Applause)


President Baker—Ladies and Gentlemen: We wish to give everybody a chance to speak, and I am willing to stay here all night and all day tomorrow. We shall have some very important business in a few minutes. It might be well under the Call of the States, for speakers to be limited to five minutes (applause). Is that your [Pg 302]pleasure? All in favor of a five minute rule will please say "Aye."

[Many voices: "Aye."]

President Baker—Are any opposed? (After a pause) It is carried unanimously.

A Delegate—Mr President: I move you that the States be called in alphabetic order. It will save confusion, prevent Delegates from rising in all parts of the house, and expedite business.

The motion was seconded, put, and carried without dissent.

Mr E. W. Ross (of Olympia, Washington)—Mr Chairman: Nobody in this part of the house knows what is going on. What is the question before the house?

President Baker—The question before the house just now was on the motion that the States be called in alphabetic order, which was carried; and the Call of the States is now in order.

Mr Ross—We have expected, since 9:30 oclock this morning, to have the States called in alphabetic order. What is the use in talking to Delegates now about calling the States in alphabetic order at 9 oclock on next to the last day of this Congress? This is the first time since I have attended this Congress that I have heard the Delegates vote on something which pertained to their own proceedings. (Confusion on the floor) Who brought this anyway? Are we to sit here day after day like a flock of cattle and—

President Baker—The Gentleman is out of order.

Mr Ross—I have traveled two thousand miles, and I had something to say on a proposition germane to what was going on at the time, and I was informed that there would be a time later and a motion was put here and voted on that at 8:30 this morning the States would be called—

President Baker—The officers were here at 8:30, but there were no Delegates.

Mr Ross—It is now 9 oclock and you talk about—

President Baker—We were ready at 8:30 this morning.

Mr Ross—I was here and the representative of the State of Washington—

President Baker—Washington was twice called.

Mr Ross—And he has been—

President Baker—You are out of order.

Mr Ross—Has been sitting on the rostrum there since 8 oclock this morning, and he hasn't been heard yet!

President Baker (rapping on the table)—The Gentleman is out of order. Is the Chair sustained?

Many Voices: Yes.

A Delegate—Mr President: I make the point of order that the Committee on Nominations was to report immediately after 8 oclock this evening. I therefore call for the previous question and ask that the election of officers proceed.

President Baker—The Committee will be ready to report in a few minutes.

[Pg 303]

Mr Ross—Mr Chairman—

President Baker—You are out of order.

Mr Ross—The gag rule is trying to be enforced, and I appeal to this Congress. That is what we have had from the beginning to the end. Put on your gag rule, and we will go home and never forget it—(Calls from the floor: "Order, order!")

President Baker—Will the house be in order?

Mr Ross—Put the screws down, the harder you do it the greater the recoil and the rebound, and the boomerang will hit you in the end—

President Baker—The Chairman of the Committee on Nominations will now report: Professor Condra.

Mr Ross—And I want to say now that when Theodore Roosevelt occupied the platform, myself and 200 delegates walked to the front door and we knocked and we knocked and we knocked—

Many Voices: "You are out of order!"

Mr Ross—and I am tired of the way things have been going on; the representative of the State of Washington has been sitting on that rostrum since 8:30 this morning waiting for the States to be called and the States were—

A Delegate—Mr President: I call for the report.

Professor Condra—Mr President, and Ladies and Gentlemen: In this committee work we have tried to do our best for the interests of Conservation throughout the whole country for next year and the ensuing years. No member of this committee has been unduly influenced or has any axe to grind whatever (applause)—

[Mr Ross interrupts, and momentary confusion ensues]

Professor Condra—As to the Delegates that tried to gain admission to our room this evening, that is a closed chapter and our report is without bias and we hope it will receive your approval (applause). We thought of nominating for the Presidency of the Congress, among others, two persons now on this platform. We consulted them, and they both said it would be better to place in nomination another. One of the two men whom we first thought of nominating is Captain White, the other is Gifford Pinchot. The Committee will ask the former to nominate the President, and the latter to second the nomination. (Applause)

Captain White—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Delegates to this Congress: It is a pleasure that comes to man but seldom in life when he can do a great benefit to a people; even if it involves a sacrifice, it is often a pleasure to do it. I did not wish to have my name mentioned, as it has been (nor did I know that it would be), as a possible nominee for the Presidency of this honorable body, nor did I know that my friend Mr Pinchot's name would be mentioned; but in thinking it over, after we were consulted, we both felt like influencing the Nominating Committee to do what was best for the country, this organization, and for all the State associations. The great back-bone of this country is the farming element. It is the [Pg 304]farmers who make the country, and to them we must look for prosperity, and when they are prosperous and contented the country is prosperous and the people are happy. So, to that department of Conservation we have looked for a man to act as President of this organization—one who would be satisfactory to the farmers. We found the right man. We are going to put in nomination to this Congress a man in whom there is no guile, who is not only well known in this country but who has international fame; a man who has published for many years one of the largest, if not the largest, of farm journals in the country; one who was appointed by President Roosevelt as a member of the Country Life Commission, who has lived close to the farmer, who has done perhaps more than any man in his community, making greater sacrifices according to his ability; who has made speeches on many platforms, and during a long life has worked earnestly for the benefit of humanity. I take pleasure in nominating for the Presidency that prince of men, Mr Henry Wallace, of Des Moines. (Great applause)

Mr Gifford Pinchot—Ladies and Gentlemen: I pray your indulgence for a moment while I try to say a little of what I think about "Uncle Henry" Wallace. I call him "Uncle Henry" for the best of all reasons—that when a man has reached his age in a life of usefulness, he becomes, in a sense, the forebear of all the rest of us, and our affectionate esteem naturally expresses itself in calling him "Uncle"; and I say "Uncle Henry" Wallace because I love him. (Applause) I want to add, too, an expression of my highest respect for his character, for his achievement, and, above all, for his breadth of view, which covers intelligently and fully every interest for which this Conservation Congress stands. Mr Wallace lives in the center of the country; his main attention has been given to our central industry. His advice and assistance have been poured forth freely for that class of citizens among us all who have the most to do with the fundamental occupation of conserving the earth and making it forever fruitful; and I deem it to be a most fitting nomination that the Committee has laid before you in suggesting his name.

Before I sit down I want, with your permission, to say a word, also about Captain White. Captain White and Mr Wallace stand together in my mind as two of the finest types of ripened American citizens (applause). I am proud to say that I believe I enjoy the friendship of both. I have been associated with Captain White for many years in Conservation work. He was one of the first of the lumbermen—the very first of the lumbermen, I believe—to take an earnest and effective and active interest in Conservation. It was to his lands that the first class from one of the great forest schools went to study lumbering and forestry on the ground; and at every point his helpful, wise, and effective assistance has been given to the movement for which this great Congress stands. I know that Mr Wallace will not mind my interjecting remarks about another man in seconding his [Pg 305]nomination, however irregular it may appear. I wanted to say (and this is the only chance I have) what I think of Captain White; and I want to add that I shall make only one suggestion to Mr Wallace, if he is elected, and he will accept it or not as he pleases; but I shall certainly advise him to keep Captain White as Chairman of the Executive Committee. (Applause)

Mr President, I take the greatest pleasure in seconding the nomination of Mr Wallace. (Applause)

A Delegate—Mr President: I move that the rules be suspended, and that Mr Wallace be elected by acclamation.

The motion was seconded, put, and declared unanimously carried.

Mr Baker—It gives me very great honor, Mr President Wallace, to present to you the gavel. No man will do more, to the extent of his ability, in supporting your administration and carrying it forward to success. (Applause)

President Wallace—Mr Baker, and Ladies and Gentlemen: Believe me, this is the greatest surprise of my life. No one had said a word to me about it until a few moments before I came into this room. I believe that if I had had time to think of it I would have declined, but in an unguarded moment, I said if the unanimous choice of this Congress I would do my best to serve you. I know I am undertaking a very great work; I know I shall need all the help of your wisest counsels. I shall probably make mistakes. The man who makes no mistakes is the man who does nothing (applause). I have made mistakes in other undertakings. It is a rule of my life not to mourn over the irreparable past, but to make the best out of the available future (applause); to do one day's work well, and be ready if possible to embrace the opportunities that may come tomorrow.

Now, I feel conscious of my inability to act as President of your organization. I have studiously avoided such offices in the past; I have studiously avoided taking office of any kind or class; but this having been forced upon me, and the offer coming utterly without my knowledge—without a whisper of it, in fact—it gives me an opportunity of service which I will do my best to meet. I shall have to ask you to excuse me from serving tonight, for I am leaving on a train in a very short time. I shall ask you to wait, if I have the Executive Committee to appoint (as I am told I have), until I have time to study this Conservation movement from the organization's side. I shall make the best selections I can; I will do the very best that lies in me, and that is all that any man can do. (Applause)

I want to say to you that if there have been any factions in this organization, I know nothing of them (applause). I have no part in them. I believe in the Conservation of the resources of the country. I believe that if this is to be done wisely we must imagine ourselves in the position of the men who have differences of opinion here. I realize that the Western people have peculiar difficulties; I realize that their position must be studied from their standpoint [Pg 306](applause)—that whatever help may be given them for the solution of their problems must be given; and if I am to be President of this organization, I will be President of a National organization (applause), and I will know no State (renewed applause), no faction, no party (renewed applause); and, so far as I am concerned, there will be no politics (great applause) in this association.

I thank you for this unexpected and unsolicited honor, and I accept it as an opportunity to serve the American people in this generation and perform a service which will be beneficial to generations yet unborn (applause); for I believe that the mission of this Nation is not to build great cities, not to be a world-power, not to amass wealth untold, but to develop character (applause) and manhood that can stand facing all the storms that blow, that can solve the problems as they come—a manhood that owes its highest obedience not to laws made by mortal man but to the laws made for human guidance by Almighty God. (Applause)

Professor Condra—Mr President, and Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Committee nominate for Executive Secretary Thomas R. Shipp (applause), for Recording Secretary James C. Gipe, and for Treasurer D. Austin Latchaw. I move the election of these nominees.

President Wallace—It is moved that Thomas R. Shipp be elected Executive Secretary. Is that motion seconded?

The motion was seconded from all parts of the house.

President Wallace—It is moved and seconded that Thomas R. Shipp be chosen Executive Secretary. Are there any remarks?

(Calls of "Question, question!")

Mr Ross—Mr Chairman: I would like to have a little information on that subject. I would like to inquire whether Mr Shipp occupies any position of trust or profit in the way of emolument under the United States or any State government?

(Calls of "Question!" "Regular order!" "Order!")

President Wallace—The Chair is unable to give the Gentleman any information on that subject. The question is called for. All in favor, signify by saying "Aye." (Hundreds of voices: "Aye.") Contrary "No." (Pause.) The motion is carried.

Voices—"Shipp, Shipp!"

Mr Ross—Mr Chairman—

President Wallace—Has the Gentleman a motion to make?

Mr Ross—I was recognized by the Chair and the previous question has not yet been voted upon.

President Wallace—Has the Gentleman any motion to make the order of business?

Mr Ross—I rise to a point of order. I have the floor. The Chairman recognized me and the previous question has not yet been voted. I ask for a matter of information.

President Wallace—The Chair has no information to give except that the Gentleman is out of order.

[Pg 307]

Mr Ross—I ask if Mr Shipp occupies a position or employment in any capacity for the United States Government or any State or Territory.

President Wallace—I don't know. The motion was duly put and was carried.

Voice—"He is out of order."

President Wallace—He is. The next nominee is James C. Gipe for Recording Secretary.

Mr Ross—Does the Chair rule that I am out of order?

President Wallace—I have, several times.

Mr Ross—Thank you, sir. That is the cap sheaf.

President Wallace—Is there a second to the nomination of Mr Gipe for Recording Secretary?

The nomination was seconded.

President Wallace—Are there remarks on that question?

Many Delegates—"Question."

The motion was put and carried, and Mr Gipe was declared unanimously elected Recording Secretary.

President Wallace—The Committee also recommend the election of D. A. Latchaw for Treasurer. Is there a second to the motion for his election? (The motion was seconded.) Any remarks on the motion?

Voices—"Question."

The motion was put and carried, and Mr Latchaw was declared elected Treasurer.

Delegate Hunt—Mr President: The District of Columbia moves a vote of thanks to the Nominating Committee who have done their work so well and so pleasingly to this Congress.

The motion received a second, and was put and unanimously carried.

Mr Ross—Will the Chairman please announce what the motion is? We didn't hear a word of it here.

The Delegate—That a vote of thanks be tendered to the Nominating Committee for the work which they have done so well and satisfactorily to this Congress.

Mr Ross—Mr Chairman, I second that motion. (Laughter)

Colonel Fleming Jones (of New Mexico)—Mr President: I understand that Governor Pardee is about to submit the report of the Committee on Resolutions, and I have a resolution here which I should like to see embodied in the report.

Mr Ross—The Gentleman from New Mexico is out of order.

President Wallace—The Chair thinks the resolution out of order.

Delegate Hardtner (of Louisiana)—Mr President: I move you that the rules be suspended for the purpose of permitting Colonel Fleming Jones to submit his resolution.

Delegate Dye (of Indiana)—I second the motion.

[Pg 308]

The motion being duly put and carried, Colonel W. A. Fleming Jones submitted the following:

Resolved, That this Congress express its grateful appreciation of the highly intelligent, unselfish, and successful services of its first President, Mr Bernard N. Baker, of Maryland. Through his untiring effort and his purpose to bring into consultation all the interests of Conservation, the Congress has resulted in a meeting that will be historic in the records of American progress and achievement.

Being formally put, the resolution was adopted unanimously and enthusiastically.

Mr Baker—Mr President: I wish to express my appreciation, and to have it show in the Proceedings. I have not taken one moment to present anything in which I was directly interested. I thank you very much. (Applause)

President Wallace—We will now hear from the Committee on Resolutions.

Governor Pardee—Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen: As Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions I have been ordered and directed by a majority of the Committee—some 26 or 27 out of about 30 present at the last session of the Committee—to present the following report, as the report of the majority in the proportions I have mentioned:

Resolutions of the Second National Conservation Congress

The Second National Conservation Congress, made up of Delegates from all sections and nearly every State and Territory of the United States, met at the call of a great moral issue (applause), now in session assembled in the city of Saint Paul and State of Minnesota, does hereby adopt and solemnly declare the following platform of opinion and conclusion concerning the inherent rights of the People of the United States:

Heartily accepting the spirit and intent of the Constitution and adhering to the principles laid down by Washington and Lincoln, we declare our conviction that we live under a Government of the People, by the People, for the People; and we repudiate any and all special or local interests or platforms or policies in conflict with the inherent rights and sovereign will of our People. (Great applause)

Recognizing the natural resources of the country as the prime basis of property and opportunity, we hold the rights of the People in these resources to be natural and inherent, and justly inalienable and indefeasible (applause); and we insist that the resources should and shall be developed, used, and conserved in ways consistent both with current welfare and with the perpetuity of our People. (Applause)

Recognizing the waters of the country as a great National resource, we approve and endorse the opinion that all the waters belong [Pg 309]to all the People (applause), and hold that they should be administered in the interest of all the people. (Great applause)

Realizing that all parts of each drainage basin are related and interdependent, we hold that each stream should be regarded and treated as a unit from its source to its mouth; and since the waters are essentially mobile and transitory and are generally interstate, we hold that in all cases of divided or doubtful jurisdiction the waters should be administered by cooperation between State and Federal agencies. (Prolonged applause)

Recognizing the interdependence of the various uses of the waters of the country, we hold that the primary uses are for domestic supply and for agriculture through irrigation or otherwise, and that the uses for navigation and for power, in which water is not consumed, are secondary; and we commend the modern view that each use of the waters should be made with reference to all other uses for the public welfare in accordance with the principle of the greatest good to the greatest number for the longest time. (Great applause)

Viewing purity of water supply as essential to the public health and general welfare, we urge upon all municipal, State, and Federal authorities, and on individuals and corporations, requisite action toward purifying and preventing contamination of the waters. (Applause)

Approving the successful efforts of the United States to provide homes on arid lands through irrigation, we indorse and commend the Reclamation Service (applause) and urge its continuance and the extension of the same policy to the drainage of swamp and overflow lands, to be carried forward so far as appropriate through cooperation between State and Federal agencies. (Great applause)

Viewing adequate and economical transportation facilities as among the means of Conservation, and realizing that the growth of the country has exceeded the development of transportation facilities, we approve the prompt adoption of a comprehensive plan for developing navigation throughout the rivers and lakes of the United States, proceeding in the order of their magnitude and commercial importance. (Loud applause)

Recognizing the vast economic benefit to the People of water-power derived largely from interstate and source streams no less than from navigable rivers, we favor Federal control of water-power development (applause); we deny the right of State or Federal governments to continue alienating or conveying water by granting franchises for the use thereof in perpetuity (applause); and we demand that the use of water rights be permitted only for limited periods, with just compensation in the interests of the People. (Prolonged applause)

We demand the maintenance of a Federal commission empowered to deal with all uses of the waters and to coordinate these uses for the public welfare in cooperation with similar commissions or other agencies maintained by the States. (Loud applause)

[Pg 310]

Approving the withdrawal of public lands pending classification, and the separation of surface rights from mineral, forest, and water rights, including water-power sites (applause), we recommend legislation for the classification and leasing for grazing purposes of all unreserved public lands suitable chiefly for this purpose, subject to the rights of homesteaders and settlers, or the acquisition thereof under the land laws of the United States; and we hold that arid and non-irrigable public grazing lands should be administered by the Government in the interest of small stock-men and homeseekers until they have passed into the possession of actual settlers. (Applause)

We hold that the deposits of important minerals underlying public lands, particularly mineral fuels, iron ores, and phosphate deposits, should be leased for limited perio