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MR. E. B. STAHLMAN (Interrupting)—The unanimous report, I mean. The distinguished gentlemen, Mr. Pinchot and Mr. Stimson, declared it meant one thing. The Chairman of the Committee and Mr. Stillwell said that it meant another thing. I would like to have the chairman tell us what it really does mean.
CHAIRMAN FISHER—I have attempted to preside over this somewhat turbulent meeting and I have not heard an expression from any one as to the meaning of the so-called unanimous report. There are disagreements as to the other two, but I have yet to hear the first expression from any member of the committee that the committee did not understand the meaning of the so-called unanimous report. I think there is no disagreement about that.
STATEMENT WITH REFERENCE TO PRESIDENT WILSON
DOCTOR GEORGE E. CoNDRA, of Nebraska—Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: Two days ago President Pack appointed a committee to wait upon the President and upon Secretary of State Bryan for the purpose of inviting them to be present at this Congress. We did see the President, and we did see Secretary Bryan, and I wish to tell you what the President said.
We entered his room. The President came in and said: “Gentlemen, I am with you in spirit in the Conservation work. I am on record. Give to these people my love. Give to these people my feelings.”
We saw in his face a troubled look, and we said: “Mr. President, we have not come to urge you take of your time if you cannot spare it.” The President had been working on a great problem which affects your life and my life, and he showed evidence in his face that he had been working altogether too hard. We did not have the heart to urge that man, who is doing these things, to come to us at this time, because he is too much overworked.
I want you to take this statement from him. He asks us to give it to you. I want you to take our opinion that President Wilson is at this time giving entirely too much of his life to this great Mexican problem and other problems too much for his own personal good.
Mr. Bryan was to have been present, but matters have arisen this morning which caused him to telephone to us his regrets that he could not be present with you. He, too, is on record in the matter of conservation.
So if any one has a tendency to say that the President should or should not have been present, or that the Secretary of State should or should not have been present, be pleased to remember that the Secretary of the Interior has spoken to us, be pleased to remember further that the Secretary of State was with us, but be pleased especially to know that this great President of ours is with us in spirit this moment, when he is dealing with all these great problems with which he is confronted. I thank you. (Applause.)
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS
For the Committee on Nominations Dr. George E. Condra, Chairman, reported the nomination of officers for the ensuing year as follows: President—Charles Lathrop Pack, of New Jersey. Vice President—Mrs. Emmons Crocker, of Massachusetts. Executive Secretary—Thomas R. Shipp, of Indiana. Recording Secretary—Norman C. McLoud, of Ohio. Treasurer—Dr. Henry S. Drinker, of Pennsylvania. On motion the report was unanimously adopted and the Secretary was instructed to cast the vote of the Congress for the nominees. On recommendation of the Committee on Nominations a motion was carried authorizing the Executive Committee to appoint a Second Vice President. After the adoption of this report Dr. B. A. Fowler, of Arizona was called to the chair. The report of the Committee on Resolutions was then presented by Mr. A. E. Sheldon, of Nebraska.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS
The Fifth National Conservation Congress, assembled in Washington on the fiftieth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's immortal address at Gettysburg, with representatives from forty-eight states, dedicates itself anew to the spirit of that address, that government of the people, for the people and by the people, may not fail in facing new problems as they arise. We rejoice in what has been accomplished, the things recently achieved for the cause of conservation and hitherto affirmed in our Conventions; in the parcels post, in pure food, in mothers' pensions, in workmen's compensation, in protection of the public health, in plans for a pure parenthood and the production of a more perfect human race. We declare our faith in the future progress of each state and of the nation in the cause of true conservation for all. Cooperation is the key to such progress, and state and nation must and shall find the highest realization of their best vision in the spirit which recognizes one nation, one speech, one inheritance and one common purpose for each other's good, with full sympathy for each other's point of view. Social progress should be on the sure basis of experiment, recorded result, criticism, reasoning, and further experiment. As an aid to sound and scientific legislation we approve the modern legislative reference bureau and favor the extension of its work in the states and at Washington. Extravagance and waste in public expenditure, and increase in public debt are grave dangers to American life. We favor consolidation of public departments, survey by competent efficiency commissions, and action thereon and application of the principle that no public debt shall be created without an immediate provision for its early amortization. The Fifth National Conservation Congress recommends and earnestly urges upon the people of the several states the necessity and wisdom of at once organizing State Conservation Congresses therein, to be devoted to the subject of conserving and developing the natural resources by the several states and the education of the public upon the wise use and proper regulation of the same, and to co-operate with the National Conservation Congress in that field. We reaffirm the great importance of our fishery resources, which are threatened with serious diminution. We urge upon Congress and the states to provide more liberally for the propagation and preservation of food fishes.
In the interest of the permanent and successful settlement of the people on the land, we favor the early completion of reclamation projects now under way and the amendment of the Reclamation Act to provide a period of thirty years time for payment by settlers on these lands.
That the established, traditional, and sound policy of the United States with respect to the disposition of its unappropriated public lands is opposed to the making of a direct revenue thereby beyond the expense incident to the surveying, classification and disposing of such lands, but on the contrary that said policy is intended to encourage and promote the settlement and development thereof, and that any act of Congress, or any administrative construction thereof, which is not in harmony with this policy, does an injustice to the new states by placing them on an unequal footing with the original states and by discouraging and preventing the settlement of such new states and the development of their resources.
That we favor a liberal and equitable administration of our public land laws, so that settlers will be encouraged to take up the Public Domain, instead of being discouraged and harrassed. That we favor more expeditious settlement of public land cases by the Interior Department, the speedy examination of the character of entered lands where such examination is required by law, and prompt issuance of patents after the making of final proofs. That we regard with disapproval and disapprobation the attacks made upon settlers by special agents of the Government except in cases where the evidence clearly and positively shows fraud and non-compliance with law. That the efforts of the present Secretary and present First Assistant Secretary of the Interior and present Commissioner of the General Land Office to liberalize and simplify the administration of the land laws, and to eliminate as far as possible the red tape surrounding such administration, are hereby commended and approved. That we recommend the making of a soil survey by the United States Government of all lands in the Public Domain, and the passage of an act providing for the allowance of homestead entries of an entire section of land or more in the localities where the annual rainfall is less than eighteen inches. That we favor the passage of an Act providing for fire protection by the National Government over those portions of the unappropriated Public Domain covered with brush, chapparal and similar growths and which are now without such protection, for the benefit of the farmers and ranchmen in and adjacent to such localities. That we hereby express our approval of the homestead law which has been in force since 1862, with its modifications heretofore made and those above suggested by this Committee, and express the belief that such law is the basis of national prosperity in all states of the Union to which it has been applied. We recommend the importance of land classification and soil surveys as factors in development and urge their extension and completion through the co-operation of State and Federal agencies, each sharing the supervision and expense of the work; also, such legislation as will tend to check land frauds and conserve the land business. We deplore unnecessary withdrawal or retention thereunder of any public lands and urge emphatically the earliest possible decision upon all withdrawals and the restoration of all lands not found to require reservation in the public interest.
That the Executive Committee be and is hereby directed to provide at all future annual sessions of the Congress, for a separate section upon Water Power and all water uses, with an equal allotment of time to that section as is given to the Forestry and other sections, in the regular program of papers, speakers, proceedings and discussions.
That the Fifth Conservation Congress, in convention assembled, recommend that the Congress of the United