Imágenes de páginas

will grow all over the Western Hemisphere and all over the world. We speak of the Orient as a pagan land, but every resident and man who lives in Japan or China is a human being and has a human heart and brain. The basic principle of their ideas is the same, and the great ideal of Buddhism and Confucianism is not unlike the golden rule of our own Christian gospel. We are working for the conservation of the race, but if we are selfish and confine it to the United States, ill will betide us; there will not be that harmony of action which will bring the great results for which we all are striving. If there ever was an illustration of the need of conservation, it is the Chinese Empire. It was my privilege while in the Orient to travel up and down that great land, back in the interior to the borders of Turkestan and Thibet, and time and time again I traversed hundreds, nay, thousands, of miles where it was nothing but a great sandy, worn-out expanse, and yet where historical records show that hundreds of years ago there were great cities, a prosperous people, and a mighty population. The change had come because they had cut away their forests absolutely and the waterways ran dry and the sun with all its blasting power dried up the land until the people themselves were obliged to leave it. Today, one of the dangers that confront China is that this arid area is spreading; unless conservation is carried out in China, the 400,000,000 of Chinese will be driven out of the world and will have to fight for survival. The United States should co-operate with China and the great countries of the Orient to carry on this conservation work. Yet we can learn lessons from some of these lands. When I was Minister to Siam, some fifteen years ago, I remember how astonished I was to find that in that country, way down in Southern Asia, a land of about 20 million people, about as large as the German Empire, the great Borneo Companies were not allowed to cut a stick of teakwood unless it was marked by the Chief Forester of the King of Siam. In this connection also you can see the interdependence of nations. In the southern part of Siam is grown much of the rice that feeds the millions and millions in China, rice that they cannot grow in their own country because the land has dried up after the cutting down of their forests. If Siam did not take care of her land she could not grow the rice which feeds the Chinese, and starvation would follow. There in Southern Asia, years ago, the principle of conservation was started and developed into a successful policy, so that we in our days here can learn something from a part of the world of which we know but little. I can say, as I believe all can say who have travelled our far West, that the primary issue before the people of the great western country today is this question of conservation: more than that, it is the one issue that everybody is interested in. I do not care what local topics you may bring up, there is no one question that the people of every section of the West are so much interested in as this. Whether in California or Washington or Oregon or Minnesota, it is the one issue that every man cares to talk about more than any other. The tariff is a local issue; one section may be interested and not another; but all are interested in conservation because it is a live issue involving our prosperity and well-being. Let me speak of the possibilities of cooperation with South America, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru, and tell you, for instance, that if you were to stop the Amazon River the rubber supply of the world would be destroyed and our telephones would cease. Thus the policy of conservation saves the rubber supply to the world. The same applies to the corn fields and the beef supply of the Argentine, and to the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. If we did not cooperate there we should suffer as much as if our own land were involved.

There have been some references in papers to differences of opinion annong the high officials of our Government in regard to this question of conservation. Let me say that difference of opinion among high officials is a good thing and it can be for the best of all concerned. It is perfectly right that officials should differ as to a policy to be pursued for in that way we are sure to get the best there is. What we know for certain is that the present Administration will be one of fairness and justice in this case, and I want to say that this splendid policy of conservation begun by President Roosevelt will be continued in all its strength by President Taft and I know that we never had a President who in his heart is a truer friend of the great West than our present President. When he comes among you within a few days now you will see by his words and by his interest and by his presence among you that his interest is sincere, and when he goes back to Washington he will tell you that the policy of your Chief Forester and the Secretary of the Interior shall be supported for the best interest of all concerned. Do not be disturbed because occasionally there is a little ruffling of the surface; it is always going on in Washington, but it does not always get into the papers. We are indeed fortunate that this country is led by men who are speaking from the bottom of their hearts, actuated by the noblest ideas of patriotism, determined that the United States shall not only work within its own limits of conservation, but with other nations, not only of the Western Hemisphere but of the world, until the conservation of natural resources, the forests, water, the land, shall go hand in hand with the conservation of love among our fellow men for the good of all the world.

I thank you. (Applause.)

MR. PINCHOT: There are in any movement a certain number of men who prove their faith by their works. There are in every charitable movement a certain number of people who give their money and a certain number of others who make the greater sacrifice of their personal time. Of all the men who have been engaged in this conservation work, there is no one, to my personal knowledge, whose sacrifice of time and convenience has reached the level maintained by Gov. George C. Pardee, and in presenting him to you I present a man who has at heart, and who proves by his work that he has at heart, the best interests of this movement and through it of the whole country.


The natural resources of this country are and of right ought to be the property of the people. And as such property these resources ought to be conserved and administered for the benefit of the people. As the then President of the United States so well said, when he made the opening address to the Conference of Governors, which he convened on May 13, 1908: “The question of the conservation and use of the great fundamental sources of wealth of this Nation is the chief material question that confronts us, second only and second always to the great fundamental question of morality.”

There was a time in this country when our vast natural resources were apparently inexhaustible, and we permitted too many of them to fall into the hands of those who monopolized and used them to the detriment of the people. I need only mention the coal fields which have been so used, the oil fields which have also been so used, and the public lands which, in the hands of the railroads and private and corporate possessors, have been monopolized and held in enormous holdings to the detriment of the people of counties, States and the very Nation itself. No man in this country should, and no thinking man will, begrudge his neighbor the possession of wealth. To do so would be to cavil at that individual ambition which has made our country what it is. But when wealth is used, as it too often is in this country today, to take from the people their political rights and turn their representatives into chattels and doers of the wishes of those who desire to oppress the people by taking from them the natural resources of the country, then I am one of those who say that the power of wealth for evil should be curbed. No man in this country who thinks and reads doubts that some governors, legislatures, congressmen, senators and judges have prostituted the offices to which, by virtue of the votes of the people, they have been elevated. Recent developments in this State of Washington show how courts have been corrupted. And it is no loose charge to say that the happenings in my native city of San Francisco are valuable lessons as to the evil results of the unrestricted giving away of the property of the people. “Captains of Industry” are valuable assets of these United States. But captains whose representatives make the laws of States and the Nation, construe them after they are made, and execute them before and after they are made—such captains are the kind of citizens on whose heads “the big stick” should unrelentingly descend. The Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey hit one nail squarely on the head when it said: “The State as quasi sovereign and representative of the rights of the public has a standing in court to protect the atmosphere, the water, and the forests within its territory, irrespective of the assent or dissent of the private owners of the land most immediately

« AnteriorContinuar »