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We have state laws establishing certain regulations over our school system, and the state superintendent of instruction has to see that those state laws are enforced. I think no one at the present time is disposed to withdraw that state supervision. We have also our state universities co-operating very actively with local school authorities, particularly in such matters as the high school curriculum. No one objects to that system. We have also established in some states at least a system of state supervision of state charities, and these state boards have the power of inspecting local jails and local poorhouses, and making reports to the state legislature and advising the local authorities occasionally, and sometimes giving the local authorities a caution. Our state boards of health in some states have similar powers when the local authorities are allowing unsatisfactory conditions to exist to require them to take some action and remedy the conditions. It seems to me that there is an equal necessity for state police regulation for the enforcement of state laws, and that there should be some systematic system of inspection of the local police.
I do not think it is sufficient that the governor shall have power to remove local commissioners under any startling condition of affairs. The governor can only exercise such power in extreme cases.
If such a law is to be effective there should be systematic state inspection. I believe therefore that such a system can well be established and would be in line with what has been done in so many other departments of public administration in this country.
I do not think that a system of state inspection of that kind would of itself operate to make the police force in our states the most efficient kind of police force. When it comes to the question of the highest degree of efficiency, that must depend on the local communities and upon the kind of officials that they put in authority under the local government. Place the immediate responsibility on the local officials, but let there be a system of state inspection sufficiently effective to prevent things from getting to the condition in which they so often get in our American cities, and to prevent police conditions from falling below a certain minimum efficiency and honesty. I believe it is comparatively within the limits of a rational system to provide that the state shall systematically see that the local police are living up to their duty in enforcing state laws.
MR. A. JULIUS FREIBERG, Cincinnati, O.: It seems to me that while I would not perhaps agree to all that Mr. Weil offers, for some of his conclusions are rather radical, yet it seems to me that he hit the nail on the head. What we want more than anything else to strive for is to respond to the sentiment of the community in which we live. I suppose Prof. Hatton would not urge that the police are particularly recalcitrant in their duties. The point that he makes is that in reference to state laws which the community generally seems to urge the enforcement of, that in
those cases difficulty arises with the police. I can conceive that it might perhaps be a source of relief to give the state government complete control of those things, complete power to remove officers who didn't do their duty, confining such power within necessary limitations; but is it not better perhaps to stir up such by education and by awakening in the community such a sentiment that the laws will be enforced? Now while I am on that subject, while I am using the word "enforced,” I am reminded that Prof. Hatton complained to some extent, and I think very rightfully, of the continual throwing up before the people the idea that there are laws which cannot be enforced. I believe that the law can be en forced by the city authorities, but the difficulty is that they know that if they enforce the laws they will be immediately legislated out of office. That is the difficulty. So it seems to me we should try instead of getting away from the principle of home rule, to do everything we can to get nearer to it.
PROF. HATTON: The paper that I presented has quite subserved the purpose that I had in mind, which was to bring out some vigorous discussion upon this extremely interesting question. Owing to the manner in which I compressed my paper, and my not having presented it in full, I feared that it would lead to some misconceptions as to what I was after, and I think that has been evidenced in the discussion following.
It seems to me that the attitude toward the question of home rule which apparently has been taken by Mr. Weil--whom I respect very
highly—and some others, is an absolutely improper Municipal conception of what home rule means. Home rule does Home Rule not mean, and never has meant in my mind-if it did
I could not accept it in its entirety--that a community has the right to govern itself in regard to all matters in absolutely any manner that it sees fit. I am pretty largely in agreement with some things that Mr. Weil said. I think he and I would come pretty close together upon the principle that the state legislatures are passing laws upon a wide variety of subjects which should be left to community action.
But to go to the extent that Mr. Weil would necessarily go in asking that a community should practically have the power to govern itself absolutely in regard to every subject, upon which there is a difference of opinion between itself and the state, simply means the breaking or splitting up of our government in general into a multitude of little warring factional communities. There is absolutely no other conclusion which can be reached if you carry that doctrine to its legitimate conclusion. The fact is that our states have the power to legislate upon a wide variety of subjects. It is not a question of whether they should legislate or not; they do legislate. The fact remains that state campaigns are made upon important issues, and that in this nation legislatures are elected upon those issues. Laws are passed by our state legislatures, ap
parently with the expectation that when once passed they will be nullified by the communities; and I am therefore of the belief that much of this legislation should be left to the locality. Since that is true, and since I can have no hope myself that the state legislatures are going to pass laws upon any such question as the social evil, or the liquor question, etc., it seems to me that the only safe and sane position for us to take is this, that these laws are passed to be enforced, and that once passed they should be enforced; that in order that they be enforced power should be placed in the hands of the proper state official to enforce them,
Let me call attention to one other fact. It is absolutely essential that we simplify our city government so that it can be put squarely up to the mayor who appoints the police chief if he is not enforcing the laws on a particular question, that there is a widespread element in the state that believes that the law should be enforced, and that would elect mayors that will enforce the law.
The Conference now took recess until 2:30 p. m.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1909, 2.30 P. M. The fourth session of the conference met pursuant to adjournment, President Bonaparte in the chair.
PRESIDENT BONAPARTE: I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Lawrence Veiller, of New York, Secretary of the Tenement House Committee, and former deputy Tenement House Commissioner, under Robert W. De Forest, whose paper deals with “The Essential Principles of a Building Code.”
For Mr. Veiller's paper see the Appendix.
PRES. BONAPARTE: Mr. Richard Henry Dana, Cambridge, Mass., Chairman of the Council of the National Civil Service Reform League, will now read his paper on “Taking Municipal Contracts out of Politics.”
For Mr. Dana's paper see the Appendix.
PRES. BONAPARTE: The next paper which will be submitted to you is on * Publicity and Regulation of Campaign Contributions,” by Prof. Robert C. Brooks, of the University of Cincinnati.
DR. ROBERT C. BROOKS, Professor Political Science, University of Cincinnati: It seems out of the question to take any part of that twenty minutes which seems to the speaker so infinitesimally small, and to the audience sometimes, I am afraid, so excruciatingly long, for irrelevant remarks; but there is one irrelevant remark, at least as judged by the
subject of the paper, which I desire to take time to make; namely that it was a matter of very great pride to the University of Cincinnati that it was able to act as one of the hosts for the meeting in this city of the National Municipal League and the American Civic Association.
PRES. BONAPARTE: I highly appreciate the determination of Prof. Brooks to observe the limitation of time.
We are now to hear, ladies and gentlemen, a paper on "The Elimination of Party Designations in Municipal Elections,” a matter of a great deal of practical importance in municipal politics. It will be presented by Mr. Robert Treat Paine, Jr., of Boston.
MR. PAINE, Boston, Mass.: The title is “The Elimination of National Party Designations from Municipal Ballots."
Mr. Paine's paper is printed in the Appendix.
PRES. BONAPARTE: Ladies and Gentlemen: We are next to hear an address on “The Vote on Boston's Referenda for One Hundred Years." The importance of the question of the general adoption or wide adoption of the referendum system justifies the careful examination of the facts as to its working in the past. This address is a contribution to that investigation, and will be submitted by Dr. Edward M. Hartwell, City Statistician of Boston.
Dr. Hartwell's address is printed in the Appendix.
Pres. BONAPARTE: There are still two papers on our program this afternoon, namely one on “The Operation of the Initiative and Referendum in Oregon," by Mr. Joseph N. Teal, of Portland, Ore.; the other on “The Operation of the Recall in Los Angeles,” by Mr. Fielding J. Stilson, Member of the Board of Education at Los Angeles, Cal. These illuminating papers will not be read this afternoon, but will be printed in the Appendix.
The Conference then adjourned to 10 a. m., Thursday, November 18.
THURSDAY MORNING SESSION.
NOVEMBER 18, 1909, 10 A. M. The fifth separate session of the conference was called to order with Hon. William Dudley Foulke, of Richmond, Indiana, in the Chair.
THE CHAIRMAN: I will call upon Mr. Woodruff to read the first paper, by Mr. Hoyt King, of Chicago, on “Chicago's Street Railway Settlement."
THE SECRETARY: Those of you who were at the Round Table on Tuesday will remember what Mr. Fisher had to say on the subject of franchises, and the paper that I am about to read gives some detailed
information on that subject, Mr. King having been actively identified with the Municipal Voters' League, and an active participant in many of the things that are here described. 1
The CHAIRMAN: The scene which was described in the council chamber at Chicago reminds me of a rather similar scene which occurred in the Indiana legislature a good many years ago, when I had the misfortune to be a member of the Senate, when there was an onslaught made on the Lieutenant Governor who was in the Chair. Every person in the room, I think, with the exception of some of the legislators themselves, was armed. It is a very curious thing how very close to lawlessness we sometimes come even in the places which are supposed to be fountains of law. We are next to have the pleasure of listening to a paper on "A Progressive Rapid Transit Policy” by Dr. Milo R. Maltbie, member of Public Service Commission No. 1, of New York, which will be read by Dr. Brooks, of this city.
Dr. Maltbie's paper is printed in the Appendix.
THE CHAIR: I shall avail myself of the temporary absence of Mr. Woodruff to read a letter, which is addressed to President Bonaparte, by Mr. Ralph M. Easley, Chairman of the Executive Council of the National Civic Federation. Mr. Easley says:
"I wanted to be present, if for no other reason, to embrace the opportunity of volunteering a word in reference to the practical reform work done by your Secretary, the Hon. Clinton Rogers Woodruff, in the city of Philadelphia. I happened to spend a half day in his court room last month and had a chance to realize what a sacrifice Mr. Woodruff was making in the effort to have the new registration law efficiently administered.
“When Mr. Woodruff and his friends got the legislature to pass the law and were called upon to help enforce it, they accepted the unpleasant duty, thus demonstrating that not only are municipal reformers consistent and practical but that they are willing to shoulder their share of the burden.
One of the hardest and most difficult tests in municipal politics is to get honest and able men to accept office. It is easy to find fault with the machine which gets into office, but unless good citizens will accept public positions, the machine men should be thanked for giving us some kind of a government. Mr. Woodruff's example is worth following, Sincerely yours,
R. M. EASLEY."
1 Mr. King's paper on
Chicago's Street Railway Settlement” was an entertaining account of some of the details of the earlier phases of the Chicago fight, which have already been more formally described in the earlier volumes of the Proceedings.-EDITOR.