Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

MR. SMITH: Ladies and Gentlemen: Having been welcomed within the borders of the city of Pittsburgh by our honored mayor, and having obtained no doubt the traditional key that admits you through the gates, and having the password to get through the outer guard, you arrive at the Chamber of Commerce rooms-our home; on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh I bid you a hearty welcome. I feel this is eminently proper for more than one reason, and also that we do it from the same platform, because sometimes the Chamber of Commerce has been credited with trying to run the mayor, and sometimes the mayor has been credited with running the Chamber of Commerce; so we appear on the platform today to show you we are heart and heart trying to do something for Pittsburgh, and not trying to run each other at all.

Chambers of commerce in times past, so history tells us, were of a very different character from what they are today. We find the first chamber of commerce was organized in Marseilles, France, in the early part of the fifteenth century, and while I am not going into the history of chambers of commerce in any sense, I just want to refer to this one fact, that it was organized for the perpetuation and betterment of the business conditions of those engaged in the enterprises of its organization. But the chamber of commerce got to meddling in state affairs to such an extent that one was suppressed in the early part of the seventeenth century and was not restored until the latter part of that century, when they became stronger than ever; so strong that their example was followed in Great Britain where the first chamber of commerce was organized in 1783. They still maintained that their duty was to better the commercial conditions and they adhered to that pretty closely and hewed very closely to that line. But I want to say to you (what you already know, who know our own Chamber of Commerce) that we have branched out considerably from that idea and most chambers of commerce have in this modern day, realized and recognized that men are placed in this world for something else than mere commercialism, that there is a responsibility resting upon them, placed there by God either to lower the world or to raise it. [Applause.]

The Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor

And we hope and trust that our Chamber of Commerce realizes that its part is going to be devoted to raising the world a little higher and making it a little better. And so far as your organizations are concerned, we are glad to say that our Chamber has been trying to work hand in hand with the various ideas and aims which you have in view, and there is nothing that we desire more than the benefit of our home city's condition. From that to the state, and from that on up to the nation, the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh will always do its part, so far as we can see it. And I want to say proudly, that this Chamber furnishes some of the best

The Chamber and Civic Conditions

workers that ever supported a chamber of commerce. They give their time, as you do, to their work. They give their brains, their intellect, their endeavors for the betterment of our civic conditions, and will gladly aid you in the work which you are undertaking and carrying on. [Applause.]

There is in old Westminster Abbey, in the Poets' Corner, an epitaph that attracted my attention the first time I was there a good many years ago, and I have gone back to it every time I have gone to that mausoleum of England's mighty dead. The epitaph is peculiar for two reasons, first because of the words inscribed on that tablet, and second because of the fact that the man who lies beneath the stone wrote the epitaph for his own tomb. It is the tomb of John Jay, poet. These are the words:

"This world is a jest and all things show it.
I thought so once, but now I know it."

Just hard by that tablet is another erected to the memory of the Wesleys, and on that tablet are inscribed those world-wide and never dying words of John Wesley: "This world's my parish," and it attracted my attention by the wonderful contrast between the epitaphs and the conclusions of two men. One recognized the world only as a jest, whereas the other concluded that God had placed him here to raise the world a little higher and to preach the gospel to all mankind and make the world better because he lived in it.

We recognize, as members of the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh, that we have got a work to do, that we are all doing something for the world, either to make it better or worse, and we are trying to make it better. In other words, we recognize that we are not only building character for ourselves, but reputations for our city, our state and our nation. In the language of one who can speak more beautifully than I

can:

"We are building slowly but surely, whether we will or no;

Building, while the passing moments swiftly come and go;
Structures, whether good or ill, yet for all are building still.
God grant that our work may be fit for an enternity,

That the Master Builder may say,

When shall come life's closing day,

Well done, thou hast wrought with care;

Enter now our joys to share.”

On behalf of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, we bid you a hearty welcome, you and your organization. [Applause.]

THE CHAIRMAN: The response on behalf of the National Municipal League to these words of welcome will be made by Horace E. Deming, Esq., Chairman of that organization's executive committee. [Applause.]

MR. HORACE E. DEMING: Mr. Mayor, Mr. President and representatives of our numerous other hosts: You extended to us a most cordial invitation to come to Pittsburgh and the hospitality of Pittsburgh is far famed. Those were very persuasive reasons for our coming and might have been sufficiently persuasive of themselves; but there were other reasons also. In the first place Pittsburgh exemplifies, indeed is a conspicuous object lesson of, the working of the social and economic forces that compel the birth and the growth of cities. A visit to Pittsburgh could not fail therefore to be most attractive to the National Municipal League.

Reasons for the Pittsburgh Meeting

In the second place Pittsburgh is a typical American city, typical in the forces that created it, typical in its rapid growth and in its abounding material prosperity, typical also of the changes that inevitably take place during the conversion of a sparsely settled rural community into a center of commerce and industry and manufacture and exchange. It epitomizes in its own history the evolution of every considerable American city on the continent, and in its political experiences Pittsburgh has exhibited exactly the same woeful results from unsound business and vicious political methods as every other American city. It is in just such cities as Pittsburgh that the application of the principles of city government advocated by the National Municipal League is most needed; and it is precisely in Pittsburgh that the practical benefits of an earnest endeavor to apply those principles has been demonstrated again and again during the present administration of your city. Our League was therefore very glad indeed to come to Pittsburgh.

Rare indeed is it that an American city secures for its mayor a man in whom there is such a combination of high civic ideas and practical effectiveness as you have had in your present mayor. [Applause.] We congratulate you citizens of Pittsburgh on the recent marked improvement in your city government, and you will not hold it against us that the National Municipal League has another reason, a personal one, for being glad to be here just now. Your mayor was one of our founders and is a valued member of our executive committee. We cannot help feeling a strong personal interest in his achievements or having a just pride in the triumphant vindication of our principle.

Mayor Guthrie

So, gentlemen, for these reasons and many more, the National Municipal League is in Pittsburgh. We ask you to come to our meetings, to lay aside for a few days your thoughts of your personal and business selves, to learn something of what has been happening in city government during the last year all over this wide land of ours, to find out something about the experiments that have failed and the experiments that are succeeding. We are endeavoring to inform ourselves and to disseminate information on this great topic of city government—one of the three or four crucial problems to be solved in this country, if your grandchildren and mine are to have a country.

In response to your welcome, then, we give you our invitation. Come and hear us. Even if it does bore you a little, it may be of some use to you after all. [Applause.]

THE CHAIRMAN: As the executive of the American Civic Association, it falls to me to acknowledge these words of welcome on behalf of that institution. To you, Mr. Mayor, and to you, President Smith, to the various constituent bodies extending this welcome (not forgetting for a moment the ladies, whom my predecessors have managed to forget so far) we extend our thanks for your hearty words. We recognize that this welcome to us is a significant welcome, differing absolutely from the welcoming words made to many conventions coming here for their own ends, finding in your city merely a railroad center, a place in which to eat and to meet, to which the perfunctory key of the city so cheerfully discarded by your mayor is usually extended.

This is not a perfunctory welcome, but I think a recognition of the fact that the American Civic Association and National Municipal League, its lusty brother, come here to do you service, to discuss problems before you of city life and city efficiency which have to do with the life, the health, the prosperity and the happiness of every citizen of Greater Pittsburgh. Everything in the four days' program which the gentleman who has preceded me has suggested might bore you, but which I do not believe will bore you, has to do with something which would make Pittsburgh a better place in which to live. Therefore I say, gentlemen and ladies, we realize that the welcome is a different welcome, it is not a perfunctory welcome. We come among you not to be entertained, but to bring to you the message of civic advance. That you need this message is evidenced very fully by what has been said and by the further fact, by the truism indeed, that no city stands alone.

The Message of Civic Advance

Pittsburgh, no more than any other

city, may stand or fall by herself.

I venture, ladies and gentlemen, to extend the hope that Pittsburgh will join the great sisterhood of cities whose ideals will be high, so much higher than present ideals, that the great achievements of the present will seem in those days to be but trifles. Ideals having to do with efficiency first, and with the following commercial supremacy afterwards. That this is the view held here is obvious, for the words said in our hearing by your honored mayor, the man who is making the name of Pittsburgh famous through the country for efficiency in municipal administration, indicate a high ideal. He says to you that he is working to make the lives of the people in Pittsburgh happier.

That this point of view is that of the Chamber of Commerce, whose guests we are this day, is indicated not only in the eloquent words you have heard from President Smith, but in the language of that significant report of the operation of this Chamber of Commerce for the year just ended, in which I find these remarkable words: "Commercial supremacy is impos

sible in a community that lacks civic spirit or is indifferent to civic decay. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it seems that you recognize the animus which brings us here, and I sincerely hope that in the days which follow we may do something not only to show you how much we thank you for your welcome, how much we value your kindly hospitality, but that we may do something to make you feel that it has been worth while for us to have been here.

We come on a very practical message-both associations. I will not say as to the aims of the National Municipal League, with which you have been made acquainted. The American Civic Association seeks very definitely to make conditions better in Pittsburgh. It is very glad to see some of the landscapes a year or two ago absolutely invisible, because some of the smoke has gone. It wants to talk to you about getting rid of the rest of it, a great economic and health-giving advantage. It wants to see the civic heart of Pittsburgh's municipal display of beauty changed from pale blots to buildings. It wants to see your narrow, tortuous avenues in some way taken in hands by a master mind and made avenues of beauty, which beauty will be immediately reflected in the efficiency of your citizens. It wants to see your green spots, all too few on your city map, multiplied so that the men in the factories may have a chance at God's fresh air and green grass.

These and many other problems relating to the daily life are those which bring together the men and the women of the American Civic Association, and they are the impelling motives which have caused you to extend to us the kindly welcome for which we so heartily thank you. [Applause.]

The next item on the program is one I want to introduce with just one word. If anyone on the broad continent of America wants to know anything about any municipal or improvement problem, all he has to do is to write at once to Philadelphia, where in the North American Building is a man of marvelous energy, even more marvelous memory, and yet more marvelous and widespread knowledge, the secretary of the National Municipal League, the secretary of the American Civic Association, and also its first vice-president, the head of that commission in Philadelphia which is seeing to it that a man votes only once and that where he belongs. This man, Clinton Rogers Woodruff, has written seven thousand eight hundred and fifty-six pages, representing 10 per cent of the municipal activity of the past year, which he will now read to you. [Laughter and applause.]

Mr. WoodrufF: After the introduction I feel like abandoning the modest (?) manuscript which I have produced for the purpose of having it printed in the Proceedings. Taking a glance over this audience I do not believe I could do better than to call your attention to the fact that we have right here in our midst a man who by reason of his fearless discharge of his duties was unanimously rejected by the ma

Judge

Lindsey's
Reëlection

« AnteriorContinuar »