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states. It is important in the consideration of this question that we should not lose sight of the fact that conservation is a means and not an end, and the real end is the formation and promotion of the happiless and welfare and prosperity of the people. Consequently the most important question of conservation is the question of the conservation of human health and life. There are various phases of this question before the American people today that are of commanding importance; the immense toll that modern industry makes upon its workers amounts to ten every sixty seconds; the number of deaths from unhealthful Occupations has presented a record as tragic as any that was ever written in times of war. There is another phase of this question, of conservation of human life, in the manner in which society deals with its deficient and dependents. Any system devised for the prosecution of crime and the protection of society against its enemies that deals only with the question of punishment and revenge is a mistaken system, and does not accomplish anything of permanent results in its benefits to society. They talk of the system in the conduct of penitentiaries and jails and eleemosynary institutes, but unless they send those they heal out into the world better men, women or children, physically, intellectually or morally than when they received them, that system is a mistaken and misguided one. One of the most distinguished representatives of a modern system in the enforcement of our criminal law for the conservation of human life and character is a man who I now have the pleasure of introducing to you, Judge Ben Lindsay, of the State of Colorado, and of the City of Denver, (Applause) who will speak
on the subject of the “Country Child vs. the City Child.” Hon. Ben B. Lindsay.
• JUDGE LINDSAY—Governor Hadley and delegates, ladies and gentlemen: I am sure it is a great honor to have the privilege of appearing here at this National Conservation Congress to consider some phases of the problem of the child. I do not know whether at past congresses the subject of the child has had a part in the program, but I do know that upon this occasion I feel a great deal as I think a particular boy friend of mine must have felt once in a little episode that happened in my own court nearly ten years ago. We found that when we made an appeal to the loyalty, even of the street boy, the state might find a helper and defender instead of an enemy. I recall when a certain policeman could not capture a certain little rascal of the streets. He went by the nickname of “Moochy.” He came in one day to say to me that another little imp of Satan, as he was supposed to be, by the name of “Mickey,” knew where “Moochy” was, and if he could enlist the Services of “Mickey” in the capture of “Moochy” he thought he might save this little citizen. It was with some difficulty that I had to explain to “Mickey” that we were trying to save “Moochy,” in order to get him to tell me where “Moochy” was. When he found we had come to save, to help, and not to hurt, that loyalty for his chum turned to
loyalty to the state, and he said, “Judge, I know where the kid is, and I will get him.” In about fifteen minutes down in the wing of a cheap theater in our town there was a howl and a growl that somewhat disconcerted the audience. And when they investigated they found it was “Micky” pinching “Moochey,” as he called it. With some difficulty my little gamin friend succeeded in getting the delinquent to the court house, coming in to say to me with more or less disgust, “that the kid didn't seem to want to be saved nohow.” A newspaper reporter happened to come along to write a story based upon this episode, to be called “The Pinching of Moochey by Mickey.” It was not complete, in his estimation, without a picture of the two, and he lined them up outside to take their pictures, when “Mickey” balked. He would not stand to have his picture taken. And I was somewhat puzzled, for I rather feared the outcome of this situation when “Mickey” came in followed by the newspaper reporter, to explain. He said, “Do you tinks I want to get my pictur took wid de little giek,” as he pointed to “Moochy” outside? “No,” he said, “I don't: I got out of his class two years ago.” Then he said, as he pointed to the newspaper man, “If that guy wants to take my picture let him take it alongside of you, put both in together, and I don't kick.”
CHILDREN, THE BIGGEST CROP.
When the Conservation Congress wanted to put the child in its work I am certain I am not going to kick, but I am here to avail myself, as best I can of this honor and this privilege. For after all this conference has needed no apologies for including in its proceedings the problem of the child, for there is not any problem that does not, in a measure, have some bearing, some relation to the home and the child in the home. These children are our best and our biggest crop. Without a proper conservation of their welfare there will never be anything else worth conserving.
There should be a bond of sympathy between the problem of the child and the conservation of our natural resources because of the rather interesting fact that the systematic work being developed for both has had most of its growth and development during the past decade, and when the history of the first ten years of the twentieth century shall be finally written the two great revivals recorded will be those concerning conservation and the child. It becomes more apparent each year that the children are the most important factors in whatever the future may hold in store for us.
Another significant fact is that the growth of popular interest in the problems of the children has been almost identical with the amazing growth of urban population for the past two decades.
The cry of “Back to the soil”; the stimulus given by the conservation movement and the various activities that have grown out of it
to promote the pleasures, advantages and opportunities of farm life together with all the modern inventions, telephones, electric light, rural mail delivery, the trolley, good roads and the automobile, I am sorry to say have not served to check the onward march to the cities. The proportion of our people living in rural districts declined from 63.9 per cent in 1890 to 53.7 per cent in 1910, and our experts in social economy assure us that in all probability much more than half of our population will be residents of urban communities before 1920. In many of the older states beyond the eastern center of population more than 90 per cent of all the people live in cities and towns with a population of more than 2,500. During the past decade alone, according to the census of 1910, the increase in the urban population of the entire country has been at the rate of 34.9 per cent as against only 11.1 per cent of the rural population. In six states this increase of urban population as against rural population has been over 100 per cent, and while not one state has failed to show a large increase of urban population, the increase of rural population has been negligible in many states and has actually shown a considerable decrease in seven states. Unless some new and unexpected change shall come it is reasonable to assume that the next generation will find more than half the children of this country in urban communities. There is a temptation to follow that diversity afforded by a subject like that assigned me, which may lead us more into the pleasantries that are supposed to be a part of the life of all country boys. The field, the farm, the orchard, the meadows, the babbling brooks; those recollections recalled in the rhymes of a Riley from the jam and the pies over to old Aunt Mary's, to the joys of the old swimming hole or of these fall days when the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder's in the shock. The pity of it is that most of these legends of the country boy are too much legend and too little reality. If it were not so we can scarcely account for the growing disposition of country boys to flock to the city. I regret to say that I believe that the call to the city that is reaching the country boys of the Nation will prove to be more effective than any call to the country or “back to the soil” movement that has so far been inaugurated. One of the chief complaints we hear on every hand among the farmers of this country is the difficulty of the problem of farm labor and the indisposition of the boys and young men in any such numbers as there should be to become interested in the farm. I remember listening to the almost pathetic story of one farmer of the Northwest, who told me that every one of his five sons had gone to the city, and he had been unable to induce one of them to remain. He said they either complained of the hardships and the lack of opportunity, or pined for the excitement, pleasure and possibilities of the city. The very advantages that we had hoped would make farm life more attractive to the Youth of the Nation is also proving to be one of the factors that would seem to emphasize its monotony. The daily newspapers, the magazines,