« AnteriorContinuar »
Our Father, Who art in heaven, we recognize Thy hand in every good. We are dependent upon the bounties of Thy providence, and we invoke Thy blessing upon these Thy servants, as they have met together to consider the best interests that manifest Thy love and Thy goodness to the children of men. Thou hast taught us if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, Who giveth liberally unto all men and upbraideth not. We pray. Thee that Thou wilt give us wisdom to guide us in this Congress, that we advise those ways and means that shall be productive of the interests of our fellow men in their various avocations, especially to those who are called to labor and till the soil, and may, Thy blessing rest upon them and Thy providence be about us, sending the rain and the sunshine in season, and that men may look up to Thee with thankful, grateful hearts, and serve. Thee honestly and sincerely, and finally meet Thee in richest reward in the world to come, and the glory shall be Thine forever, Amen.
Chairman North Rop—My instructions were to start the Congress at 9 o'clock, but it did not seem possible to do that. So I have compromised by starting it half way between 9 and 9:30. The regular order of business probably cannot be pursued at this moment. Is Mr. George
W. Bailey of Missouri in the room?
If Mr. Bailey will come to the platform he may have the ear of the Congress for five minutes. Mr. Bailey, Deputy State Game and Fish Commissioner of Missouri.
Mr. BAILEY-I was highly pleased with the remarks of the gentleman Monday evening from New York on the conservation of wild life in that state, and again yesterday we enjoyed another treat from a gentleman representing the Audubon Society of the Empire State.
The protection of song and insectivorous birds in this rich agricultural land of the Middle West deserves more than a passing notice from this great Congress.
That the destruction of song and insectivorous birds means the increase of pests, so destructive to fruit and grain crops, is acknowledged by the best informed farmers of the day. And what a great pleasure it was to hear reports like those from the gentlemen representing the State of New York.
Here in Missouri we have had some trouble in getting the attention of farmers to this important subject, but they are beginning to realize that the insect-destroying bird is one of the best assets to the farmer.
The present Game Department of Missouri has never cost the tax payers of the state one penny, but the revenue for the protection of game is obtained from hunters' licenses, paid into the State Treasurer's office.
In North Central Missouri I have organized districts in several counties for the protection of prairie chicken and quail, and in these localities the farmers refuse to permit the destruction of these birds out of season, and we have now more than fifteen hundred prairie chickens absolutely protected, and the farmers will remember that in many neighborhoods of the state during the past season the grasshoppers were very destructive to late corn, and, as a proof of the usefulness of the wild birds,
there was no complaint of the grasshoppers from the farmers in the localities where the prairie chicken, quail and other insectivorous and song birds are so well protected. Through the efforts of our efficient Game and Fish Commissioner, Hon. Jesse A. Tolerton, the Chinese pheasant has been introduced in many counties of Missouri, and has proven a very great destroyer of insects, and especially so to the hated potato bug. Some time ago I read an article in the Dallas News saying that the boll weevil had cost the State of Texas $20,000,000 in the last few years, and the editor called attention to the fact that the boll weevil never appeared until after the target gun in the hands of the vicious and ignorant had so wantonly destroyed wild bird life in that state. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a startling statement, but true, and what an object lesson for the great subject of bird conservation.
Chairman NORTHROP–In the absence of the gentlemen who were upon the regular program, will you indulge me for a moment or two while I say something? In the papers in the South there has been for Some time special notice of the fact that a few years ago a small cotton crop yielded to the cotton planter $240,000,000 more than the larger cotton crop which succeeded, and the lesson sought to be taught is that the products shall be kept down as low as is necessary to secure the highest prices, and to that end if a large amount of cotton has been raised a considerable portion shall be kept out of the market until the prices rise to fifteen cents a pound, and then brought forward as fast as the market will take it. There is some disposition among the wheat farmers to keep back their wheat until the market is high enough to enable them to get the best prices. There is nothing wrong in the farmer doing that, and securing the best price he can, because the cotton and the wheat are not ultimately lost. At some time or other they come into human use. But there is another department in which the same process does not meet with the same results. I refer to that most important and, as it seems to me, growing important department, fruits of all kinds in the United States. We talk about the high price of living, and the price is high. Anything which will relieve the demand upon the most common necessaries of life will tend to lower the cost of living. Anything that we can introduce and make a common article of food for a large portion of the people to take the place of beefsteak is a blessing to the country, and we are receiving into this country hundreds of thousands of immigrants at the present time, many of them— perhaps most of them—coming from countries where the practice is to live largely on fruits—the Italians and others. Now, you are conserving the resources of the country, and how are we conserving our resources in the matter of fruits? Why, there are millions of dollars' worth of fruits that are permitted to perish every year in order that the price of fruit may be kept up to a certain grade all over the country, and the consequence is that this million dollars worth of fruit that might feed the people, or might take the place of some other more important food in some way, is all lost to the country. What is the use of conserving the fertility of the soil if we are going to have our soil so fertile that we can raise $50,000,000 worth of fruit and let $40,000,000 perish, in order that for the ten millions we might get the price of the forty millions? Some way ought to be provided by which the fruit that is raised in this country shall be made available for food. I do not ask that anything will be done that will interfere with the prosperity of the fruit raiser. But that he shall raise a large amount of fruit and then have it made impossible to put upon the market more than a quarter of his product, and have that fruit maintain in price the same standard that the whole of it would, is a wrong, it seems to me, to the people of this country, and a detriment to its welfare. What we want is to feed people comfortably and at the lowest rate that is consistent with existing conditions.
There is nothing that would contribute more to the health of our people in a large way than increasing to a very considerable extent the use of fruit. So many persons use things that are not really advantageous to health. Fruit would be invaluable, and we are raising millions of bushels of apples and kindred things that never come to the use of man, but are permitted to perish. The same is true of peaches in many cases, and with cherries in some states. It is remarkably true of apples. Those states on the Pacific Coast, Washington and Oregon, and the region round about there, are raising apples that are astonishing in quantity and quality, and they are preparing to produce a great many more. It will be of the greatest value to the people of this country if we can get them. Twenty years ago it was doubtful whether Minnesota could ever raise apples. We have apples by the thousands of bushels this year all around Minnesota.
Notwithstanding, green apples in the market when I left home were $1.50 a bushel. That is not necessary. It ought to be so that the laborer, the man who works with his hands, can have fruit. God has given us a country that will yield almost everything. It will yield fruit in tremendous quantities, and the people will eat it if they can get it. What is the trouble? Why should three-fourths of the crop rot on the ground, while only one-fourth gets to market and brings the price that the whole should command? You see my point. It is not to interfere with the man who raises apples. I want him to get his full reward. But it is that this magnificent product with which God has favored us shall be utilized for the needs of this country, for their good, and for the removal of the stress in the demand for various other products, which are now at a price that is not within the reach of many people. We are met for the interests of people in general, for the good of mankind. No man liveth to himself; no man dieth to himself. If there is not grass enough and food enough to keep alive the cattle of the country, and a man has a thousand tons of hay, do you think he has the right to burn up 999 tons, and then ask for the remaining ton the price of the thousand: Has a man a right to destroy what is necessary for the lives of his fellow men, when it is needed for those lives (cries of “no ") simply in order that by having only a part he may get the reward of the whole? I say no. We have to look for something besides ourselves. It is not merely a matter of how much money goes into my pocket and how little comes out. It is a matter of whether I am doing my part in this world to make the world what it ought to be, and my fellow man just as comfortable and happy as I can. (Applause) (Good!) I have got to do it whether I am a farmer or anybody else. We have to so use what we have that it may benefit others as well as ourselves. I am not proposing any plan. I do not know what plan should be proposed. But, ladies and gentlemen, what I want is to see the products of the earth utilized for the support of men and women and children. And I want some way to be provided by which the magnificent products of our orchards may be carried all over the country, and the people may eat and enjoy them and live, and the returns to the producer of that fruit be all that they could ask. Can you help to secure this result in some way in the coming years? It is not secured as it ought to be at the present time. (Applause) I resign the chair to President Wallace.
President WALLACE—I am very much obliged to Mr. Northrop for taking charge of the meeting in my absence. I have been down to meet Mr. Bryan. (Applause) I have persuaded him to put off his speech until 8 o'clock this evening. (Applause) Mr. Bryan will talk on a subject entirely in harmony with the spirit and purpose of this convention.
Delegate A. W. STUBBs—I have talked with a number of delegates from the country and understand that many of them have made arrangements to leave the city before 8 o'clock this evening, and I know it would be exceedingly gratifying to them to have Mr. Bryan here for a few moments some time. Do you suppose that could be arranged?
President WALLACE—Yes, sir; he will be here and you can get to see him.
Delegate STUBBs—We want to hear him.
President WALLACE—You may have a chance to hear him. We have a strong program; we keep the best to the last (applause), but we want you to assist us in putting through this program so that every man who comes here and says something can be heard. We will appreciate it, and push it through and just as fast as we can. Now, let me ask whether Mr. Curtis Hill is present IIe is to address us on good roads. He is the State Highway Engineer of Missouri. What other matters have we to come before the Congress? The next speaker is Mr. White. He is not here, but he will be here in a little while. We will take up the call of the states. We do not care about resources or coal mines, but we want to know what you have done in your state for conservation, and what you intend to do, dead earnest, honor bright, what you intend to do.
Recording Secretary GIPE—Oregon (no response); Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming. We have a request, Mr. President, from the chairman of the Arkansas delegation to be heard. They were not here when their names were called.
President WALLACE—I take pleasure in introducing to you Mr. F. M. Filson, president Missouri State Association of Assistant Postmasters, who will talk to you for five minutes.
[Mr. Filson's paper is in Supplementary Proceedings.]
President WALLACE—Gentlemen: One reason for bringing this meeting to Kansas City was that we might get the voice from the South. Mr. Knapp, who has charge of the demonstration work in the South, was to be here, but cannot come because of illness, and his place will be taken by Professor W. J. Spillman of the Department of Agriculture, who will talk to you about fifteen or twenty minutes. Professor Spillman is engaged in the same work.
PROF. SPILLMAN–I regret very much that Dr. Knapp could not be here himself.
He is in charge of the farmers' coöperative demonstration work in the South. It has been suggested that I take his place upon the program. I cannot tell you of his work. The Secretary of Agriculture has asked me to develop similar line of work in the Northern states, and we are now laying plans for its development. I want to discuss a few of the problems that strike me very forcibly in my study of agriculture in this country.
Several years ago I spent two weeks in visiting the more successful farmers in the New England states. I visited ten farmers in that two weeks, and made a careful study of their methods. I want to say that while we usually speak of the worked-out, bleak hills of New England, that I found as good farming there on a few farms as I have found anywhere in the United States. And one thing which struck me very forcibly, indeed, was that the oldest boy or young man I saw on any of those ten farms was fifteen years old, and the youngest man I saw was forty years old. A short time after that I had the pleasure of addressing the Vermont State Dairymen's Association. There were a thousand farmers there, and in that assembly there were six who were under forty years of age. I asked those people where their young men and older boys were. They said they had gone to the city. Why have they gone to the city ? Because they think they can better their