Imágenes de páginas

elected that man to the city council of Chicago when I saw him grapple with the speculative tenement house builders who resisted at every point each comma and clause of that new ordinance which now, let me say, is in effect in that city.

Again, let me give one other illustration of the community of interest which Chicago perhaps may contribute to others. In connection with an investigation backed by this same Sage Foundation, we are investigating the juvenile delinquency of that city. Twenty-four thousand cases have been transferred from the records of the juvenile court to the secondary courts of that institution. Twenty-eight hundred of them have been run down to see how those little people get into trouble, what happened to them when they were in trouble, how they got out of trouble if they did get out of trouble. It is not because Chicago is the worst city for juvenile delinquency, it is because this new juvenile court movement needed the taking of statistical facts and original inquiry, and every other city, your city perhaps and the world, will be in debt to Chicago for the original investigation of fact.

Now, once more we are all going to be indebted to Pittsburgh. I stand here as one of the commissioners appointed by the Governor of Illinois to prepare a bill for the next legislature to protect machinery and the sanitary condition of shops. I mean to take back the results of this investigation and this exhibit and these speeches to that commission which meets again next week. We do not want your typhoid fever, we do not want your squalid tenements. We do not want your filthy streets. We want your industries without the awful, awful casualties of this industrial warfare of peoples. God knows we have enough of our own, but if we could transport that exhibit, as I mean to do it, if it is possible to be done, install it in Chicago, take it to Detroit, to Milwaukee, to Cleveland, to Louisville, Pittsburgh will have contributed a new basis of prosperity, a new basis of safety, comfort, health, wealth, civilization and religion such as will make every city in the United States debtor to this town. [Applause.]



The Chairman: Now, the last speaker will be Dr. Edward T. Devine who in addition to the titles he bears upon this program has been for many long years the efficient and active executive head of the New York Charity Organization Society. [Applause.]

DR. DEVINE: I hope that my Chicago associate will forgive me if I recall at this time a story which Mark Twain was accustomed to tell on a Chicago man who died and went to the place where good Chicagoans are supposed to go, and after a few days he met an old neighbor and he asked him how he liked it, and how he was getting along, and he said, “Well, I don't know, I can't say that I am enjoying myself very much, Heaven isn't so far ahead of Chicago after all," and his neighbor said "Well, you are laboring under one misapprehension, this is not Heaven." [Laughter.]

My friends, when "Charities and the Commons" a few months before the Sage Foundation had begun operations, decided on the Pittsburgh Survey and planned and undertook it, we were not under the delusion that this was a premature celestial kingdom which we were about to investigate, nor were we on the other hand under the delusion that it partook entirely of the characteristics of the other place. We did not expect to find here a Garden of Eden or a community in which the golden age of poets or socialists had been anticipated, but neither did we expect to find a place in which the forces of evil go unchallenged and the downward dragging tendencies in the community unchecked and have their way as they will with human lives. Frankly, if we had expected that Pittsburgh belonged to either of these extreme, unrepresentative types it would have had no interest for us.

Why was the Pittsburgh survey determined upon? Because as we see here in Pittsburgh, here in this great industrial metropolis of the Keystone State as in no other community upon the continent, we The Microcosm see in microcosm the industrial America that is to be. of Industrial Here in Pittsburgh we see the nation not of the far distant future but of the immediate future where the America industrial community has had the opportunity to show what the forces are that are determining it. The forces that shape America's destiny and mold the American character seem to us most fully at work here.

Here we saw the nation in command of its resources, desiring not to waste them but to utilize them. Here we saw America inviting the people of the earth, not desiring to exploit them but desiring to use and to employ them. Here we saw America becoming interested in her social problems. Not losing her head about them, but grappling with them and governing them. And so, because in that kind of thing there is a legitimate interest throughout the entire country and because there is a national lesson to learn by the study of the social conditions of the industrial community, this Pittsburgh Survey was decided upon. And I wish to add to the explanations that have been given just one explanation which has in effect been given and yet I repeat it more distinctly for the sake of emphasis, I wish to make it clear that the Pittsburgh Survey could not have been undertaken and could not have been carried through to its present position except for the coöperation and guidance and the assistance of such men as Mayor Guthrie and Mr. English and Justice Buffington, and the others of this vicinity who have stood behind those who have been doing the work, and I wish to make it clear, that the gentlemen that I have named and those who are actively at work in the settlements and in the social activities of this city are—along with Mr. Kellogg and his associates in the field and along with the Russell Sage Foundation-entitled to the credit for what has been accomplished. We are willing to take the responsibilities for all its faults. We are willing to take whatever blame or censure may come from not having done the Survey in an ideal way, but if

it accomplishes any part of the good we hope for it, we are anxious to share the good with you people in Pittsburgh and other people, with those whose cooperation has been essential and has been given in such an ungrudging way. We approached this Survey not in a provincial spirit but in a national spirit, and we were met here with the spirit in which we came.

I have three suggestions to make, and I substitute those for the address which I have prepared. The Pittsburgh Survey is an incident in the life of your community. It will soon be closed. But if you will get behind and help the settlements that are at work in this city, at least some of them, if you will get behind and get into the Associated Charities that have been established in this city then the good that you will do will far transcend the good that it is possible for anyone to do in a temporary piece of work which is so soon closed. If you will also join our Charities family and subscribe for Charities and the Commons you will not only get in that way the result of this Pittsburgh Survey which will be published in three separate magazine numbers in January, February and March, but you will also form the habit of coöperation in the social work which some several thousands of your fellow citizens in the different American communities have also formed and with them together you will be able to help to do the things that need to be done in this social field in our American community. [Applause.]

THE SECRETARY: Announcements in regard to this meeting and especially as to this session found their way to England and produced the following interesting correspondence which I take pleasure in bringing before the meeting for incorporation in the formal proceedings. Messrs. Horsfall and Nettleford are leading advocates of housing reform in Great Britain and Mr. George Cadbury's work at Bournville is well known. I also submit for similar insertion a letter from Dr. Peter Roberts, the Industrial Secretary of the International Young Men's Christian Association.

MR. T. C. HORSFALL, of Swanscoe Park, near Macclesfield, writes: I feel very much honored by your suggestion that I may be able to say something worthy of being listened to on the subjects which re to be discussed at the approaching meetings in Pittsburg. My study of what is being done in this country and in Germany has given me the the conviction that the work which deserves the first place on the municipal sanitation program of all towns is that of the "continuous inspection" of all dwellings by well-trained men and women inspectors, numerous enough to be able to complete a thorough examination of the whole town in a period of not more than three years. This work not only enables the municipal authority to effect a greater improvement in the conditions affecting the life of the people than it can effect by the doing of any other one kind of work, but, too, it is necessary to enable the


authorities and the rest of the inhabitants to know what other kinds of work are needed.

Where, as in Bavaria, Essen, Hamburg, the Rhine Provinces of Prussia, the system of continuous inspection has been adopted, it has been almost always found that more than 80 per cent of the evils which have been lowering physical or moral health or both, are at once removed by either landlord or tenant when notice is called to them, and that only in a very small proportion of cases is it necessary to enforce improvements by the use of legal measures. The proportion of cases in which compulsion is needed rapidly diminishes. Thus in Essen, where it was no less than 50 per cent in the year 1899, it was only 3.16 per cent last year. The effect of inspection in calling attention to other reforms in addition to the improvement of dwellings is shown by the report of the inspectors in the little town of Bensheim. They state that the dwellings-question is in great measure an education-question, and that in many cases in which the defectiveness of the buildings would justify their being emptied, the authorities, having regard to the quality of the tenants, abstain from from taking that course, so that the first process of reform has to be the improvement of the tenants. The effect of all the influences brought to bear on landlords, tenants and dwellings in Württemberg is so encouraging that the inspectors there say that they look forward to the overcoming of all difficulties respecting the housing of the population in “a not too long time."

Dresden has a population of over 400,000 persons, and contains 136,000 dwellings, yet the inspectors have made detailed plans of every dwelling, and they believe that in the future the inspection of all the dwellings in the town can be completed within half a year. They report that inspection is more and more welcomed both by house owners and tenants.

American towns are giving so much more attention to the subject of town-planning than our British towns are giving that we have much more to learn from you than you can learn from us. The only matter connected with this subject which I will mention is the desirability of ascertaining, by consulting students of nations other than one's own, whether what seem to us unmitigated evils in our towns are in reality wholly evils. In this country the vast districts in our manufacturing towns which are filled with narrow streets, on each side of which are rows of mean-looking two-storyed workmen's cottages, have seemed to English students of housing so thoroughly depressing and unwholesome that we have most of us envied Continental towns their much wider streets and have been convinced that one of the first uses we ought to make of the power of preparing town-plans must be to provide all new parts of towns with much wider streets. But lately we have learned from the closer study of Continental towns, and we have also been told by Continental students of our subject, that the wide, costly street necessarily involves the erection of tall houses at each side of it, and that the necessity




of solid building for the lower parts of tall houses, and the cost of the wide street make rents very high and lead to far more overcrowding of rooms than exists in our towns. The German system has led to Berlin's having a population of about 160 per acre while London has only about 62 per acre, and houses and land at distances of from three to ten miles from the center of Berlin cost from three to ten times as much as do houses and land at the same distances from the center of London. We are therefore driven to the belief that, while we must make the new streets which are likely to have much traffic through them wider than we have made such streets in the past, and must intersperse playgrounds and planted open spaces among cottages, we must keep

our "residential" streets as narrow as possible.

The Width of Streets

There is a strong movement in Germany in favor of much narrower streets in cases where width is not needed for traffic, and of lower houses. I will refer to only one more subject: Doubtless the members of your societies find, as the members of our town-improvement societies do, that it is most difficult to make them strong enough in number to command the attention of the civic authorities. The question, "How can we obtain more members?" is therefore of great importance. I think that there are signs in this country that the various branches of the Christian Church will find themselves compelled by the need to retain the respect of the community to help our societies by advocating social reform vigorously.

It is inconceivable that drunkenness, sexual licentiousness, lack of self-respect and respect for others should not be common in towns which are either ugly or unwholesome. I lose few opportunities of stating that an English judge, the late Sir W. Day, said that it is no wonder that drunkenness is common in Manchester, because "to get drunk is the shortest way out of Manchester." We have a right, I think, to demand the zealous coöperation of all the Churches and many clergymen will certainly desire that we shall obtain it.

FROM JOHN S. NETTLEFORD, Winterbourne, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, we received the following: I have been very much interested by the papers you have sent me relative to the National Municipal League movement, and only regret that my engagements here make it impossible for me to accept your flattering invitation to present a paper at your annual meeting in November.

What particularly strikes me is your Pittsburgh Survey, and the fact that your leading business men see the advantage to themselves as well as to the community of establishing the very best hygienic conditions for all classes. More important still, it begins to be recognized that to be successful such work must be carried out on sound business lines. Dealing more particularly with "the municipalities' interest in housing," the subject naturally falls into two parts—slum reform and slum prevention

« AnteriorContinuar »