« AnteriorContinuar »
means of earning their livelihood. As each boat was completed, the owner who had been provided with material for his boat and paid a . daily wage while building it, was again on his feet, able to support himself, and his name was taken from the list of those being aided. At the time of the Cherry Mine disaster, Mr Kingsley of the United Charities of Chicago, went immediately to the scene of the disaster, remaining until Mr Bicknell could arrive. Then for several months, at the request of the Red Cross, his assistant and two good women who could speak Italian and Polish to the poor distracted miners' widows, remained at Cherry while Mr Bicknell's plan for permanent relief could be perfected and accepted. By this plan, which is now being carried out, the generous funds contributed by the people of Illinois, by its State Legislature, and by the miners' unions, amounting to about $300,000, have been consolidated and are being administered by a joint commission so that a pension can be paid to each widow and minor child until the children are of an age to become wage-earners themselves and the fund is exhausted. (Applause) The national relief board has also had charge of the little Red Cross Christmas stamp—next year to be called a “Christmas scal"— placed on the back of letters out of deference to the wishes of the post office department, which has suffered from a multiplicity of stamps issued by others because of the success of the Red Cross stamp. That stalking spectre of pestilence, tuberculosis, had laid its devasting hand on every nation; it invades the palace as well as the hovel, and the youth of the people are its surest prey. With a weapon tinier than the stone in David's sling, the Red Cross sends forth this little seal to do its part. In the last two years it has netted more than $350,000 with which to war against this grim destroyer. Here again the Red Cross carries out its principle, the conservation of the human life. (Applause) The third board is that of international relief with a representative of the state department as its chairman. Two maps hang on the walls of the Red Cross office at Washington, one of the world, the other of the United States with its insular possessions. Starred over these large maps are little red crosses marking the fields of its noble labors for Conservation. Not alone within our own borders lies its merciful service. Far away in Russia, China, and Japan, when famine claimed its thousands of tortured victims, went the Red Cross, aided by the Christian Herald of New York, with food for the starving multitudes: when earthquakes in Chili, Jamaica, Italy, Portugal, and Costa Rica brought destruction and desolation, when floods in Mexico, France, and Servia devastated the land, when massacres in Armenia brought suffering, misery, and even death to thousands, when internal war in Nicaragua left regiments of wounded, naked, and starving boy prisoners, our American Red Cross stretched out her helping hand to these her sister nations in distress (applause). If in Conservation lies
thought for men yet unborn, thought must also be given for the men who live today, and the Red Cross recognizes its duty toward the conservation of all human life. (Applause) But a moment more on its organization: In over thirty States, boards of representative men, with the Governor in each State as president of the board, have already been appointed, and before the end of the year the boards for all of the other States and for the insular possessions will probably be completed. The duty of such a board is to act as a financial committee for the receipt of contributions of the people of the State in case of war, local, national or international disaster. The Governor being president of the board, may issue an appeal to the people of the State when in his judgment a disaster of sufficient magnitude within the State justifies such an appeal. On the occurrence of disasters without the State, appeals are issued only on advice from the National officers. The Governor or State board may, in case of any disaster within the State of sufficient magnitude, request of headquarters the assistance of the National body. Chapters of the Red Cross may exist in any town, city or county where there are five or more members who pay the annual dues of one dollar. It is the duty of these chapters to respond promptly and vigorously to any request for action on the part of the Red Cross in time of war or disaster at home or abroad. Appeals issued by the president of the State board or from Washington will state the needs for money or supplies, or both, which the chapter should at once begin collecting. In case of a serious local disaster, the chapter acts as the supply agency for the National director and institutional member, when such member is present. In case no institutional member is at hand, it is expected to take prompt relief measures pending the arrival or instructions of the National director. This, then, in brief, is the organization of the Red Cross for active service: National officers, a central committee, relief boards with their sub-committees; State boards, chapters, and institutional members. It seems impossible in a non-military country like ours to obtain and retain a large supporting membership with small annual dues, as is done in other countries. When reports of great calamities fill the papers, our people give with wonderful generosity, but the minor disasters, whereby small communities suffer greatly, receive but little notice from our public. If Japan plans to increase its Red Cross permanent fund to $7,500,000, could not the people of this country raise for our American Red Cross a permanent fund of $2,000,000? I, for one, believe they will, for New York City alone has already promised nearly quarter of that amount, and this autumn endowment committees of prominent men, appointed by the President of the United States, will make an appeal to our people all over the country to raise this permanent fund for the American Red Cross.
And, last, may I say a word or two for some of the by-products of Conservation in Red Cross service? In the work of the Red Cross first-aid department lies the far-reaching results of conservation of the life of the wage-earner of the family as well as the labor-producer of the country, or in case of his death in disaster, as at Cherry, the administration of the relief funds so that the unfortunate widows can keep their little children at home (applause), a by-product, the conservation of the family.
The preservation of life in time of war has not only its humane feature but its patriotic reason. In fact, the Japanese Red Cross puts this principle first. The saving of one of the most important assets of any country, that of its young manhood, becomes a by-ploduct of Conservation for the sake of patriotism.
Another by-product is the conservation of communities. Whether some little hamlet or some large city suffers from the overwhelming calamity of fire, flood, storm, earthquake or pestilence, or the still more pitiful disaster of widespread famine settles over a great province or empire, its people are brought down to desolation and despair. Their neighbors suffer as well and there are none at hand to help. Without aid they must die or drift away from their homes like unmoored boats after a storm, to be swamped at sea or wrecked upon the rocks of unknown shores. It is then to these communities as well as to the individual that the Red Cross comes. It calls to the disconsolate “Comfort ye, my people, build again your homes. Sow again your fields; the strong arms of the Red Cross are here to aid you, held up by your brothers of the Nation, yea, by your brothers of the world, if there is need” (applause). On a beautiful silver tablet, presented by an Italian relief committee to the American Red Cross, are engraved in Latin the words of an old Roman historian, “Your bounty has repaired the catastrophe not merely of individual citizens but of entire cities.”
And there is one more by-product of Conservation not having so much to do with things material but for the well-being of the world. Is there not need of a conservation of higher things? Above the passion of war, amidst the desolation of terrible disasters, in the dangers of the daily occupations so many of our fellowmen must undergo to earn their livelihood, does not the Red Cross conserve, protect, and extend the great bond of human brotherhood, and, touched by sorrow, make the whole world kin?
Strangely taking its inception on the field of battle, this great international organization of the Red Cross for the conservation of human life was born, has passed from infancy into a strong and noble maturity ever ready to protect and preserve human life, for which the Conservation of all material things has its reason and its purpose. (Applause)
Chairman CoNDRA—We shall now have the privilege of hearing the Commissioner of Corporations, called to that responsible duty by President Roosevelt, and continued in his responsibilities by President Taft, Honorable Herbert Knox Smith, whom I have great pleas... ure in introducing (applause).
Commissioner SMITH-Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: My text is that superb word “power”; and it has no more appropriate place for enunciation than this center of gravity of imperial power, the Mississippi valley. In our complex civilization there are many things that are necessaries of life. Control over any of them represents a power that is essentially governmental. This is plainly true of basic necessaries like food, clothing, transportation, heat, and light; it is true also of the natural resources that are back of these. It is no less true of the mechanical power that produces and delivers them. Private control of any one of these, unrestrained either by business competition or by governmental authority, means that irresponsible individuals hold a command over the daily life and welfare of the citizen which the men of our race have never willingly granted to any except their own representatives chosen by them. For us of our generation, mechanical power is a basic necessary. Our daily existence is borne on its current, and our power demand steadily increases. Our chief present sources of power supply—coal, petroleum, and natural gas—although at present ample, are absolutely fixed in quantity and cannot be replaced. Water-power is the one important source of mechanical power now practically available which is self-renewing. Its importance, therefore, to our present vision, must steadily increase. Effective restraint, imposed by competition on its control, is becoming more and more improbable. There has been a marked concentration of water-power control in private hands, and this process is advancing rapidly. Public regulation of water-power, the only other alternative, therefore, becomes a necessity. Electric transmission has worked this change within the last decade. As now commercially practicable, such transmission allows a given water-power to reach a market area of at least 80,000 square miles. It has raised water-power from purely local work, and made it the vital energy for great communities and distant enterprises. It has brought our water-power resources suddenly within the sweep of great economic forces. Within these market areas just described, there are strong practical reasons for consolidation of water-powers—what is known as “coupling up.” A power plant must be constructed to meet the highest point of its expected demand—the “peak of the load.” The nearer the “load” (the power demand) approaches that peak for all the time, the more fully will the entire fixed investment be earning a return. Suppose there are two independent power plants in two neighboring communities where the demand in one community is mainly for power during the day time, and in the other at night. These plants can advantageously combine, throwing the surplus of their joint power by day to one place and by night to the other, thus bringing their normal load in each case up nearer to the peak. Similarly, such coupling up is obviously advantageous in two neighboring watersheds where the excess water-power occurs at different times. In general such combining of varying conditions to produce a closer parallelism of supply and demand is in itself an entirely proper industrial development. We have no reason to oppose it if accomplished by fair methods; we must simply be prepared to regulate such monopolistic power as may result there fronn. The investigation of developed water-powers now being made by the Bureau of Corporations shows that up to date 18 concerns or closely allied interests control over 1,800,000 horsepower of the water-power developed or in process of construction, and, in addition, over 1,400,000 horsepower of undeveloped water-power. As to undeveloped powers, this information was secured merely as an incident to our main work, and certainly much understates the case. As it stands, however, it makes a total water-power controlled by these 18 groups of over 3,200,000 horsepower. The total water-power in use in the United States in 1908, as estimated by the Census and Geological Survey, was only 5,300,000. And this total includes a very large number of small powers which the Bureau did not include, as it dealt almost wholly with powers of over 1,000 horsepower. The total now commercially capable of development is variously estimated at from 30,000,000 to 60,000,000 horsepower, the smaller figure being the preferable one. The great bulk of both developed and undeveloped water-power lies on the Pacific Coast, in the Northwest and Northeast, and in the South Atlantic States. Our power demand as measured by the total unduplicated capacity of all prime movers—steam, water, and gas—is now at least 30 million horsepower. It is obvious that a local monopoly of power covering simply one market area is nevertheless as complete in its effects on the inhabitants of that area as if it covered the entire country. Conditions in separate sections are therefore important. In California, for example, four principal hydro-electric companies dominate the water-power industry. They have a total developed horsepower of 259,000, with probably 500,000 additional undeveloped, and a very strong hold on the most important power markets. And between these four concerns there is also evidence of considerable harmony. This is not a unique case. Conditions somewhat like this exist in the Puget Sound territory, in the southern peninsula of Michigan, in Colorado, in Montana, and in