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very little land we can cultivate. Only about fifteen per cent of the entire area of Japan is cultivated and we have to raise enough rice to feed our population of 50,000,000 people. We take good care of this land. We do not simply plant rice, but we nourish the land by the plentiful use of fertilizers. Japan has been cultivating the land for centuries, yet still we raise rice, wheat, and vegetables, because we have taken good care of the land; we nourish the land before we sap it. If I were an expert on the subject of forestry and agriculture I might be able to give you some important information, but I am here this afternoon to give you the greetings of Mr. Ota and of the Japanese Government and I will not attempt to go into details on a technical subject. I can say this much, however: Japan is a great country which knows how to take care of its natural resources, and I do not know if it is improper for me to say that the American people could take some lessons from the Japanese in this line. You have a large area of land in the eastern part of Washington which is not cultivated at all; the sagebrush land, for instance. You do not care about this sagebrush land because you have better land, but if we had it in Japan, in a few years we should raise wheat or rice on it. You can make use of such lands if you care to do so, and I can tell you that if the Japanese farmers were allowed to come to this country in some numbers they would be able to take care of these sage-brush lands. In Japan today we are a very industrious people. We have got industrious particularly in the last fifty years. We have had two wars in the past and I think these two wars were sufficient for us, and what we have to do today besides conserving our natural resources is to conserve our physical energy and our moral energy. We want to see that our energy is not exhausted by going to too many wars. You know that France has largely exhausted her supply of physical energy, and, I believe, if we had two or three more wars like the Russian War we would, perhaps, be in the same position as France after the Revolution. We do not want that. We want to keep our country in a pacific condition from now on, and in trying to keep peace we must ask the American people to co-operate with us. We do not want war, we wish for peace on the Pacific and all over the world. That is what we are trying to get.
That is my greeting and the greeting of Mr. Ota. I thank you very much.
MR. PINCHot: We heard this morning, better than I could attempt to reproduce, what women are doing for conservation. The Women's Clubs have given considerable attention to this matter of conservation and have been most effective in assisting us. I understand that Mrs. Mary Gage Peterson, of Illinois, representative of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, is here and I will ask her to address us.
MRs. MARY GAGE PETERSoN, REPRESENTING THE GENERAL FEDERATION of Wom EN's CLUBS, ILLINois; Mt. HollyOKE College, CHICAGO.
Until I heard my name called I did not know I was to speak to you. I will try to gather my thoughts to make these few remarks and to give you as good an idea as possible of what the women are doing.
About six or eight years ago the women decided to take the subject of forestry as a line of work. At once messages were sent to the State Presidents asking them to select women in their States who knew something of forestry and were already interested in it to begin the work. I had the good fortune to be the one selected for Illinois, and later became chairman for the General Federation representing the entire United States. It was quite amusing in some ways to see how gladly the women adopted forestry as a line of work and yet how ignorant they were of what it meant. I asked them what they were doing, and some said: “Yes; we are working along forestry lines; we are placing scrapbaskets near the postoffice to gather the waste paper.” But that is the child creeping before it walked. They wanted to make their town clean and orderly. It was only a step from that to uniting with the village improvement society or forming civic associations and doing something to beautify their towns. The women began to vie with each other beautifying their yards, to set plants around public buildings, decorate vacant lots. Then their thoughts turned to some wild woodland which they could influence the people to purchase and set aside as a wild wood park. Many of the club women have done that. They had learned by travel, by correspondence, by reading what the women are doing in every land, and they began not only to beautify their own towns and neighborhoods but, as they have done in Germany, to plant long avenues of trees for miles into the country. They do not forget the country school houses, they plant around them as well as the public buildings in their own cities and villages. This led them to the real subject of forestry. Perhaps you can hardly see how it was done, but their interest in the trees at home made them interested in all that they heard and knew of the forests of the great world, especially the forests in our own country. We women had now reached the time when we needed help. We applied to the Forest Service at Washington and received help. We found it was an important thing for us to actually study forestry. Through the Forest Service we received much literature which was very helpful. We also received lecturers, men trained in forest work, who came to our clubs and taught us what forestry meant. And so all over this country in almost every State the women are really working along forest lines. Some who were not interested in forestry in all its breadth began to feel an interest they had never known before in trees. They wanted to know trees; and in many clubs they have studied trees not only to know their peculiarities and characteristics but to know their names and uses as well. Other women were interested in the trees on their romantic and poetic sides in the myths of trees; so, gathering the women together in different clubs, we have studied how to know the trees in their many aspects. I have been privileged to lead quite a number of these classes and to outline the plan of work for many others. The most popular and helpful plan so far, the one that seemed to cover the ground best and most fully, was to take for the first part of our study some valuable topic in forestry. I have planned three questions which I have given for each of these meetings. Those questions were then given as topics to be studied and prepared for the next lesson. The three who would take the subject would make a special study of it. They generally got their information from the publications of the Forest Service, referring in some cases to books in our large library. Many others in the class would study the same topic in preparation for discussions. Then we would take other topics covering the subject of the conservation of our natural resources—the meaning of waterways, and everything of that kind. In these few years we have tried to cover, as far as possible, the most important points, to know and understand what is being talked of in the world and what our papers and magazines tell us, and to feel a deep and sincere interest in this great subject. We have studied the trees, taking one family at a time— the birch, for instance. The topics pursued in the study of the trees were typewritten or mimeographed, so that all members of the class might have them. We thus became acquainted with the different members of the family, learning the Latin as well as the common names. In the birch family we learned to know the various birch trees, the canoe birch, perhaps, more than any other one of the American birches. I have gathered and mounted the leaves of all the different trees that we have studied. Then, after knowing how the tree looked, we came to consider its uses. With the canoe birch, for example, we have enumerated all the uses we could find. We have learned that in Europe the white birch is utilized much more than it is in America. On account of the scarcity of grass the leaves and twigs are used as fodder for cattle; in times of famine the people had subsisted entirely on them. To interest some of the people who did not care for the prosaic side we talked about the little dwarf birch and the myth which has made this seem to me such a valuable little tree. In this myth the trees got together and decided that they would have a race up the mountain side, over the bare rocks, and see which could get to the top first. They start, but they do not go very far before the current comes down and washes them away. Rain has fallen, snow and ice have melted, and they are washed away. But, after some years have passed, they decide they will climb the mountain after all, and they start again. This time they do not try to rush to the top of the mountain, and see which will get there first, but they go up together. But they have to travel very slowly. They reach out a little root and find that a soil is being formed from rocks that are disintegrating. Little by little they climb, all going along together. They go slowly, because it takes hundreds of years to go one foot in this humus; but they keep going on until some of them say that they do not want to go any further. They come