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by the President of the United States yesterday (great applause); and in particular all true friends of Conservation should be in heartiest agreement with the policy which the President laid down in connection with the coal, oil, and phosphate lands (applause), and I am glad to be able to say that at its last session Congress finally completed the work of separating the surface title to the land from the mineral beneath it. (Applause) Now, my friends, America's reputation for efficiency stands deservedly high throughout the world. We are efficient probably to the full limits that are permitted by the methods hitherto used. The average American is an efficient man; he can do his business. It is recognized throughout the world that that is his type. There is great reason to be proud of our achievements, and yet no reason to think that we cannot excel our past (applause). Through a practically unrestrained individualism, we have reached a pitch of literally unexampled material prosperity. The sum of our prosperity in the aggregate leaves little to be desired, although the distribution of that prosperity, from the standpoint of justice and fair dealing, leaves a little more to be desired (laughter and applause). But we have not only allowed the individual a free hand, which was in the main right; we have also allowed great corporations to act as though they were individuals, and to exercise the rights of individuals, in addition to using the vast combined power of high organization and enormous wealth for their own advantage. This development of corporate action is doubtless in large part responsible for the gigantic development of our natural resources, but it is also true that it is in large part responsible for waste, destruction, and monopoly on an equally gigantic Scale. (Applause) The method of reckless and uncontrolled private use and waste has done for us all the good it can ever do, and it is time to put an end to it before it does the evil that it well may (applause). We have passed the time when heedless waste and destruction and arrogant monopoly are longer permissible (applause). Henceforth we must seek national efficiency by a new and a better way, by the way of the orderly development and use, coupled with the preservation, of our natural resources; by making the most of what we have for the benefit of all of us, instead of leaving the sources of material prosperity open to indiscriminate exploitation (applause). These are some of the reasons why it is wise that we should abandon the old point of view, and why Conservation has become a great moral issue, and become a patriotic duty. One of the greatest of our Conservation problems is the wise and prompt development and use of the waterways of the Nation (applause). There are classes of bulk freight which always go cheaper and better by water if there is an adequate waterway (applause), and the existence of such a type of waterway in itself helps to regulate railroad rates (applause). The Twin Cities, lying as they do at the headwaters of the Mississippi, are not on the direct line of the proposed Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway, and yet Minnesota, with its vast iron resources and its need qf abundant coal, is peculiarly interested in that problem (applause); and the Twin Cities, therefore, have their own real personal concern in the deepening and regulation of the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri and on to the Gulf. (Applause) Friends, I have spoken on how progressive Minnesota is and how progressive these Twin Cities are, but there are other progressive cities in the West, too (applause). I have just come from Kansas City (applause)—it's a pretty live proposition (laughter), and there the merchants themselves have undertaken, by raising over a million dollars, to start the improvement of the waterway lying at their doors so that they shall be able to benefit by it. It is sometimes said that the waterway projects are only backed by people who are delighted to see the Government spend its money but who are not willing to show their faith in the proposition by spending their own. Kansas City is spending its own (applause). The project for a great trunk waterway, an arm of the sea extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes should be abandoned (applause). Of course, before any project is entered upon, an absolutely competent and disinterested commission should report thereon in full to the Government so that the Government can act in the interest of the whole people and without regard to the pressure of special interests (applause), but subject to the action of such a body the Lakes-to-Gulf Deep Waterway, and the development of the rivers which flow into it, should be pushed to completion vigorously and without delay. (Applause) In nearly every river city from Saint Paul to the Gulf the waterfront is controlled by the railways. Nearly every artificial waterway in the United States, either directly or indirectly, is under the same control. It goes without saying that (unless the people prevent it in advance) the railways will always attempt to take control of our waterways as fast as they are improved and completed; and I do not mention this to blame them in the least, but to blame us if we permit them to do it. (Great applause and cheers) If Uncle Sam can't take care of himself, then there is no particular reason why any railroad man should act as his guardian. (Great laughter and applause) If he attempted the feat he would merely find himself lonely among other railroads (laughter), and Uncle Sam wouldn't be materially benefitted. Uncle Sam's got to do the job himself if he wants to be protected (applause). We must see to it that adequate terminals are provided in every city and town on every improved waterway, terminals open under reasonable conditions to the use of every citizen. and rigidly protected against being monopolized (applause); and we must compel the railways to cooperate with the waterways continuously, effectively, and under reasonable conditions. Unless we do this, the railway lines will refuse to deliver freight to the boat lines either openly or by imposing prohibitory conditions, and the waterways once improved will do comparatively little for the benefit of th’ people who pay for them. Adequate terminals, properly controlled, and open through lines by rail and boat, are two absolutely essential conditions to the usefulness of internal waterway development. I believe, furthermore, that the railways should be prohibited from owning, controlling, or carrying any interest in the boat lines on our rivers (applause), unless under the strictest regulation and control of the Interstate Commerce Commission, so that the shippers' interests may be fully protected. And now here another word in supplement: You are the people; now don't sit supine and let the railways gain control of the boat lines and then turn around and say that the men at the head of the railroads are very bad men (laughter and applause). If you leave it open to them to control the boat lines, some of them are sure to do so, and it's to our interest that the best and ablest among them should do so. But don't let any of them do it, excepting under the conditions you lay down (applause). In other words, my friends, when you of your own fault permit the rules of the game to be such that you are absolutely certain to get the worst of it at the hands of some one else, don't blame the other man; change the rules of the game. (Laughter and applause and prolonged cheering) Take the question of drainage, which is almost as important to the eastern States as irrigation is in the western States: Where the drainage of swamp and overflow lands in a given area is wholly within the lines of a particular State, it may be well, at least at present, to leave the handling of it to the State or to private action; but where such a drainage area is included in two or more States, the only wise course is to have the Federal Government act (applause); the land should be deeded from the States back to the Federal Government, and it then should take whatever action is necessary (applause). Much of this work must be done by the Nation, in any case, as an integral part of inland waterway development, and it affords a most promising field for cooperation between the States and the Nation (applause). The people of the United States believe in the complete and wellrounded development of inland waterways for all the useful purposes they can be made to subserve. They believe also in forest protection and forest extension. The fight for our National forests in the West has been won, and if after winning it we now go on and lose it, that is our own affair; but we are not going to do it! (Applause) After a campaign in which her women did work which should secure to them the perpetual gratitude of their State, Minnesota won her National forest, and she will keep it (applause); but the fight to create the Southern Appalachian and White Mountain forests in the East is not yet over. The bill has passed the House, and will come before the Senate for a vote next February. The people of the United States, regardless of party or section, should stand solidly behind it and see that their representatives do so likewise (applause ). Because our ancestors didn't have sufficient foresight, the Nation is now obliged to spend great sums of money to take responsibilities from the States. We, the people of the East, our State Governors—I have been a Governor of an eastern State myself (applause)—showed that the States in the East couldn't do the work as well as the National Government and we are now getting the National Government to take, at large cost to itself, these lands and do the work the public good requires (applause). When we are now doing that in the East, it seems to me the wildest folly to ask us to start in the West to repeat the same blunders that are now being remedied (applause and cheers). My language shall at least be free from ambiguity. If any proof were needed that forest protection is a National duty, the recent destruction of forests in the Rocky Mountains by fire would supply it. Even with the aid of the Army added to that of the Forest Service, the loss has been severe. Without either it would have been vastly greater. But the Forest Service does more than protect the National forests against fire. It makes them practically and increasingly useful as well. During the last year for which I have figures the National forests were used by 22,000 cattlemen with their herds, 5,000 sheepmen with their flocks, 5,000 timbermen with their crews, and 45,000 miners. And yet people will tell you they have been shut up from popular use ! (Applause) More than 5,000 persons used them for other special industries. Nearly 34,000 settlers had the free use of water. The total resident population of the National forests is about a quarter of a million, which is larger than the population of some of our States. More than 700,000 acres of agricultural land have been patented or listed for patent within the forests, and the reports of the forest officers show that more than 400,000 people a year use the forests for recreation, camping, hunting, fishing and similar purposes. All this is done, of course, without injury to the timber, which has a value of at least a thousand million dollars, Moreover, the National forests protect the water supply of a thousand cities and towns, about 800 irrigation projects, and more than 300 power projects, not counting the use of water for these and other purposes by individual settlers. I think that hereafter we may safely disregard any statements that the National forests are withdrawn from settlement and usefulness (applause). Conservation has to do not only with natural resources; it has to do with the lives of those who enable the rest of us to make use of those natural resources. The investigations of the Country Life Commission have led the farmers of this country to realize that they have not been getting their fair share of progress and all that it brings.
Some of our farming communities in the Mississippi valley and in the middle West have made marvelous progress, and yet even the best of them, like communities of every other kind, are not beyond improvement, and those that are not the best need improvement very much. As yet we know but little of the basic facts of the conditions of rural life compared to what we know about the conditions, for instance, of industrial life. The means for better farming we have studied with care, but to better living on the farm, and to better business on the farm—I mean by that, having the farmer use the middleman where it is to the farmer's advantage and not be used by the middleman chiefly to the middleman's advantage (applause)—scant attention has. been paid. One of the most urgent needs of our civilization is that the farmers themselves should undertake to get for themselves a better knowledge along these lines. Horace Plunkett, an Irishman, for many years a Wyoming ranchman, has suggested in his recent book on “The Country Life Problem in America” the creation of a Country Life Institute as a center where the work and knowledge of the whole world concerning country life may be brought together for the use of the Nation. I strongly sympathize with his ideas. Last spring, while visiting the capital of Hungary, Buda-Pesth, I was immensely impressed by the Museum of Country Life, which contained an extraordinary series of studies in agriculture, in stock-raising, in forestry, in mining. It was one of the most interesting places I ever visited, and the exhibits were not merely interesting and instructive, they were of the utmost practical importance; and I felt rather ashamed that I, a citizen of what we suppose to be a very go-ahead country, should be in Hungary and obliged to confess we had nothing at all like that in our own country. I wish we had such a museum in Washington, and some of your farmer congressmen ought to get a detailed report of this Buda-Pesth museum to be printed for distribution as a public document (applause). I would like to see a study made of such museums, so that we may take what is good in them for our own use here in America. (Applause) As a people we have not yet learned the virtue of thrift. It is a mere truism to say that luxury and extravagance are not good for a Nation. So far as they affect character, the loss they cause may be beyond computation. But in a material sense there is a loss greater than is caused by both extravagance and luxury put together. I mean the needless, useless and excessive loss to our people from premature death and avoidable diseases. It has been calculated that the material loss to the Federal Government in such ways is nearly twice what it costs to run the Federal Government. One of the most important meetings in our recent history was that of the Governors in the White House in May, 1908, to consider the Conservation question (applause). By the advice of the Governors, the meeting was followed by the appointment of a National Conserva