« AnteriorContinuar »
It was agreed that the report of the Committee on Permanent Organization be made a special order for 10 o'clock, and that of the Committee on Resolutions a special order for 11 o'clock Saturday morning, August 28.
MR. PINCHOT : The first address which we are to listen to this afternoon is by Gen. Marion P. Maus, of the United States Military Academy at West Point, who will address us on “Conservation in the Military Aspect.” The cooperation of the army in the conservation movement is a thing very deeply to be desired, and we all congratulate ourselves upon the presence of the General on our programme this afternoon.
CONSERVATION IN THE MILITARY ASPECT.
GENERAL MARION P. MAUs, REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT.
I have been asked as the representative of the United States Military Academy to say a few words upon the great subject you have now before you. As far as the army is concerned, I hope you will understand that there is probably no class of people in this country who is more in sympathy with and more interested in the work that you are trying to carry out. If affects us in the army in a great many ways. Your transportation, your sources of supply are necessary for the welfare of the military and naval service as for every other occupation in life. The army, in its way, is by no means an aggressive body. In our country it is a body that is absolutely subordinate to the civil authorities, and in our country it is a peacemaker, always leading in the advance of civilization. The home builder, the railroad constructor and all progressive workers in the far West have been accompanied by the forces of the United States that have helped in the development of the country; we have been stationed near reservations where property was to be protected, and as far as we have been able to do it we have protected it. We have protected your forests when the troops have turned out to fight fires. We look after all the interests we can in the preservation of game and are eminently for conservation and protection. As army men we travel a great deal and are stationed in various parts of the country, so that we see its resources and the advantages of conservation in Arizona, in the Dakotas, and in various other sections of the country. As the years have gone by we have marched with the advance of civilization and have seen the deserts converted into flourishing tracts of country, and today we see great productive sections of our land where time after time everybody has said there was nothing. It is indeed wonderful what water and other appliances have done in this country and what they will do yet for the great unreclaimed land. You know also what the army has done in times of catastrophe, such as in times of earthquakes, in times of scourge, when the country has been devastated by grasshopper pests as we have known them in the West; in times of sickness when yellow fever has devastated the land, when food and supplies were given by the army, and it is ever foremost in the protection of the life and health of the people. But in speaking of the Military Academy and the Naval Academy from their standpoint, you know as well as I do that no nation, however pacific it may be, can hope to escape war, and it must be a part of the wisdom of this Nation to conserve our military forces, our forces on land and on sea. In order to do this we must have men who will be ever ready to defend our Nation, and that condition can only be reached by producing a nation of people who have conserved their strength and military power. The course of instruction at our military academies includes athletic instruction, the development of the body. A sound mind in a sound body is what we want throughout the land, or the race will deteriorate, and if such deterioration takes place, it matters not whether we conserve all the other resources of the country; for the race becomes a prey to any other nation. I was pleased to hear Mrs. Foster speak this morning in regard to the conservation of child life. I know of no one point that ought to be considered more strongly by the people of this country than that ; to prevent the youth of this country from deteriorating to vicious habits by which the beautiful mental and moral character is spoiled. It seems to me there is no one subject before you today that is greater than that. In our public schools as well as in our military academies we are developing the bodies and educating the minds in every possible way, and the children are growing up to become strong men physically, able to stand what is necesSary to be done in war. When war comes it does not come with premonition, but in a large majority of cases it comes as a bolt out of the blue. Together with our conservation of natural resources we must conserve our military and naval power, by which our land is defended from attack, and thus conserve the honor and patriotism of the country. In speaking to you in regard to these matters I feel that these results can only be obtained by a body of people such as you are who have come here from love of your country. You have not come for pay, but because you are seeking to help our country in every possible way, and in this conservation, this protection of our forests and streams in the proper manner. I know of nothing that can tend more to the prosperity of the country than this. And I trust that the schools of our land will instruct and develop the youth so that they may be able to stand in every way the soldier life they may be compelled to take up. (Applause.) MR. PINCHOT: The relations of the United States with foreign countries are partly military and constantly diplomatic, because that helps the country in peace. The next speaker is a gentleman who has been the representative of the United States in many parts of the world; he has been our minister to Siam, Argentina, and Panama and was a delegate to the Second Pan-American Congress and a Commissioner of Foreign Nations to the St. Louis Fair. He is now occupying the position of Director of the International Bureau of American Republics. Mr. Barrett is said to have made the best speech at the Trans-Mississippi Congress at Denver. I know he can speak and I commend him to you. I now have the pleasure of introducing the Hon. John Barrett. MR. BARRETT : I feel a considerable measure of diffidence in trying to speak after that introduction of my esteemed friend, Gifford Pinchot. He has referred in complimentary terms to my address at Denver. I will perhaps accept his description with the proviso that it was the best speech made up to his speech, and the best one because it was the only one before his speech. I really consider it a great honor to participate in any programme presided over by Mr. Pinchot. One and all of us in Washington love him. That affection is not confined to the late President or the present President or any other men who are today directing the affairs of the country, but it is a popular esteem and it is a splendid thing that a man of his position in the world, of his family and wealth, is giving his energies and his time in forwarding the cause upon which the health, happiness, and prosperity of all of us depend. I congratulate the Washington Conservation Commission that they have called this gathering together and I esteem it a privilege and a pleasure to be able to come out from Washington in order to participate in its sessions. This will be a historical gathering, and will mark an epoch in the forward movement of this great cause. That it began in the surroundings of this magnificent Exposition, and in a section of the country where the policy of conservation cannot fail to bring good results, will be something for you who live here, and also those of us who have visited you, to be proud of. I predict that this is the inception of a mighty movement that must sweep over our land, because it involves our very life and well-being, the great principle of the survival of the fittest. May I say that I am the head of a great international institution in Washington which is working not for the conservation of physical resources, but, above all, for the conservation of peace and friendship among nations. The International Bureau of American Republics, which was organized through the influence of that great statesman, James G. Blaine, has only recently awakened to its opportunities. Following the visit made to South America by Elihu Root, the Bureau was reorganized, and we are now building a magnificent structure, to cost over a million dollars, in Washington, a temple of commerce, peace, and friendship where all the world will be welcome. In that building will be worked out policies to end war on the Western Hemisphere, the arbitration of all disputes among the various republics of this hemisphere. It is unique among all the great organizations of this country, international in its great work for the good of all, and that is the underlying principle of this great movement for conservation. It is just as necessary that Mexico and Canada should work with the United States as that the United States should work alone. The only difference between Canada and the United States is an imaginary line; the difference of government is only a difference of the administration of a family, as it were. The fact that Great Britain has a king and we have a president makes no difference in the heartbeats of its people, and the love of the United States for Canada is the love of Washington for the people of the State of Oregon. I trust that that feeling