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membership the very small that have not reached a leading place in the manufacturing world; but it stands in the great middle ground.
Situate between those two great combinations of capital and labor that excite our industrial interest, the American manufacturer strives to give force and effect to the great movement to conserve natural resources, because they lie at the foundation of all the great moral resources of the Nation, as the exercise of man's higher being depends upon the state of the stomach.
We are anxious that the conservation movement shall be understood. There has been a mistaken notion that conservation meant a miserly grasping and absolute prohibition of the use by the present generation of the natural resources which are essential to the development and maintenance of already existing commerce. But I know, and know from the expression of your own select representatives, from those who may be considered the fathers of conservation, that you advocate the development, the fullest and most generous use, without extravagance or waste, of all those benefits that come from our vast natural possessions, provided only that we shall not tresspass on our vast capital to our injury or the injury of the generations who must come after us.
There are those who will argue against conservation, because they desire to misunderstand it. There are those who will twist the logic of events to make it appear that every attempt to preserve the natural resources which the State holds as trustee for the people is an invasion of the rights of property. We must remember, moreover, that every man who has attempted to benefit his fellows and present large ideas for popular approval has had to meet criticism and determined opposition. There are those who find in the economies of conservation arguments against the very thing itself, against the safeguarding of natural resources by wise legislation in order that all and not merely a few may profit by their use.
In a hundred years we have written anew the history
of the commercial world. We have bound the globe with the steel bands of commerce. We have leveled mountains and made the great natural forces the servants of commerce, and I almost feel that some farsighted individual may be ready to suggest that the hour has come when this Congress may suggest a conservation of the air. But there is something finer in this question of conservation that seems to epitomize not only the struggle of this Nation but the struggle of the people, for after all the American Nation represents today in its principles, in its ideals and thoughts, an attempt to conserve all those great rights, few and simple as they fundamentally are, for which mankind struggled and fought for three thousand years, that he might conserve and save the personal and property safeguards of the individual. Abraham Lincoln struck the keynote of modern conservatism in America when he said that the Nation could not endure half slave and half free, and the Civil War gave proof of that; the Nation lived on all free. We have had numerous examples of every nation, not only in our own race, but through eight hundred years of English history, when the Saxon has endeavored at every turn to hold safe and keep for himself and those who come after him the great principles our forefathers wrung from the North. So in our own day and age we have witnessed, on the one hand, great national examples of waste of material and physical resources, and on the other hand, the great conservation of moral and material resources that have enabled small nations to hold their own in the race with the great. If you will glance through history you will note that perhaps nowhere is there such a wonderful ex
ample afforded of the preservation and conservation of moral energy as in the Irish race. In the eight-hundred years' struggle, without a nation, without capital, scattered over the Continent, yet bound together by bonds which have bound the Irishman to the island whence he sprang, you today find the Irisman without a taint of moral degradation or a taint of physical decay. The Roman who built the Colosseum is now but a shade of the Caesars that walked in it. The great Egyptian who performed the most wonderful engineering feats of bygone ages stalks today amongst the tombs of his great ancestors peddling bones to the tourists. The classic Greek and the other great races of bygone days are now no more. Let me say this final word, that the American manufacturer stands for conservation of morals. He believes in the physical conservation of the forces of this Nation in order to develop all that is best, strongest, and cleanest in citizenship. It is our great moral ideals that make us stand before the nations as the most original and striking nationality; we depend upon physical conditions that make the body clean and wholesome, and make the brain and heart great and strong, that we may have a firm grip, a clean conscience, a clear national vision, and thus obtain the benefits which these powers have always conferred through all the history of time. (Applause.)
(The following address by Hon. A. F. Knudsen was not read at the proceedings of the Congress, but is here given in full.) THE WASTE OF WAR.
AUGUST F. KNUDSEN, REPRESENTING THE Governor of KoKANA, KANAI, HAWAII.
The waste of war is greatest of all. Let us discuss this topic under two distinct heads: War as it is spoken of as a struggle between nations, nations of the same race, or nations of different races; and war as a struggle between individuals—the competitive war of which we have talked so much in the last thirty years as being conducive to the highest type of individual human development.
War between nations is born of distrust of strangers, a fear of foreigners; a fear often groundless, always very much exaggerated. We speak of a nation's traditional foes and we cultivate that traditional distrust until it becomes a panic, and in that moment of lack of self-control, another war is precipitated.
If we go back into history, either that of the lower races or that of our own race, we find the nations are smaller and smaller, the units going down to tribes, between which there were bitter enmities and traditional feuds. As man became more enlightened, as his knowledge of his fellowman increased, as his acquaintance with the good and able among his fellows widened so that he understood that those of the next valley and the next country were the same kind of human beings as himself, the tribes began to amalgamate, the nations began to grow. England grew from four kingdoms into one; Ireland from a countless number into one. Scotland, from some thirty little principalities and kingdoms, each with its hand against the other, grew into one nation. Those three nations have become one Empire. So with Germany, though at a much later date.
Those are just examples of the fact that if you know a man you will not have to go to war with him, for you do not want to kill him. There is absolutely no reason for believing or for claiming and teaching that it is impossible for the nations of Europe to get together in the same way that the nations of Germany have gotten together, or the nations of Great Britain. People talk of differences in language. These differences of language exist today on British soil; yet the British nation is one.
Every time two tribes have come together and become one; every time two nations have come together and become one, there has been an increased conservation of energy. A unified nation becomes a reservoir for human energy, as well as for material resources. The larger the nation, the smaller the burden on each individual of watchful care lest he be taken unawares by his foe.
Let us, then, look upon this attitude of fear of foreigners, of distrust of our fellow nations, as a relic of barbarism, not to be spoken of by the truly cultured, or fostered by the truly cosmopolitan; as a thing to be decried, as a thing to be obliterated, that our history in the future may be a more fit monument to our civilization than anything we have had in the past.
Even when it comes to the questions of race, there is no fundamental reason why there should be a clash between race and race. The poet has sung that “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” but in the very story he tells in his poem he is forced to admit that:
“There is neither East nor West, border nor breed nor birth, when two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth.”
Let us get together and develop these strong men. Let us proclaim them right here in America. We are strong enough now to do it; our men are strong enough to stand face to face with any man from any country, and in that strength abolish the fear that makes a distrust of the stranger. Then the Occident can link hands with the Orient and make a world civilization in which all that is now wasted, wasted in the maintenance of armaments, wasted in the preparations for war, can flow back to the worker; so that the man who produces may earn more easily, and the grind for daily bread shall be lessened all over the face of the earth.