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For that reason, coupled with our welcome, is our expression of thanks for your coming, for “your worth is warrant of your welcome.'
The thought of conservation is comparatively new. It marks a new era in the development of the country, and nowhere are its lessons more intensely needed than in a country like ours, vast in its expanse, relatively sparsely populated and apparently inexhaustible in its natural riches.
But are these riches inexhaustible? Can we go on in the manner of our fathers and forefathers, who frequently had to destroy in self defense?
Not since the days of the migration of nations, not even since the legendary days of the fall of Troy has the world witnessed anything like this stupendous conquest of a virgin continent. It is an intensified Iliad of modern days. No comparison with former ages can suffice. What are even the wondrous tales of Moses' messengers of the great land where "floweth milk and honey" compared with the gigantic proportions and abounding riches of this modern promised land?
That the pioneer, coming to this land was destructive before he could be constructive is a matter of historical truth. It could not have been otherwise. He fought civilization's battle, that civilization may enjoy peace and prosperity. But some of these destructive habits of the settler have taken root in our being and destruction has continued where construction was needed. What have the American people not wasted! Land and water, fish and game, coal, natural gas and too many other riches. Above all, how many useful and dear lives are drawn into the surging maelstrom of our national waste through indifference, carelessness and greed !
We find ourselves confronted here with the anamorphosis of civili. zation.
Human sacrifice belongs to a dark and unenlightened day, but the human sacrifice in mills and mines, in railroads and sweatshops in our time is a dark blot upon our civilization. (Applause.)
In this mad chase after things material at any cost, we must pause, for a nation will become unbalanced in its natural progress if its spiritual and intellectual advance be retarded.
Conservation wishes to bring about a more harmonious blending of these national needs. It teaches a wholesome regard for created values, it preaches the sanctity of a child's life and the economic value of our boys' and girls' health, and aside from general consideration where is an application of conservation ideals and principles more needed than in our cities. We must learn that a good man's or woman's example in the community is more beneficial and of greater force than a mere ordinance. Virtue, righteousness and high principle spring from the
seen of teaching that has fallen in mind and heart; they are inculcated but cannot he legislated. (Applause.)
Would it not in this connection be braver for us fathers and mothers to speak openly to our boys and girls concerning the dangers that beset them in their course of life and thus turn the energies of their lives into the board avenues of light, strength and usefulness than to let them le drawn into the abysmal chasm of a veritable hell of human wasie. Would it not be better to save, to lessen the inflow, than to cloy the mouth of this human sewer by police orders after prudery, hypocrisy and cowardice have filled it? (Applause.) We are everlastingly treating symptoms instead of diseases, attacking effects instead of causes, and we persistently thereby aggravate the malady.
Let us have more light of thought, more air of true freedom and a deeper and more sympathetic understanding of our own needs and those of our fellow man that we may be enabled to show the folly of vice, the contentment of virtue; that we may alleviate pain and want, and that the warmth of human sympathy may send hope to the hopeless, cour:ge to the faltering and faith to the despondent.
With these fervent wishes the City of Indianapolis welcomes t'ie Fourth National Conservation Congress. (Applause.)
President WHITE—These words of welcome, coming from a different point of view, are felt deeply by us all. We feel the spur of duty still greater.
It is very fitting that another side of conservation should be heard from. The business men, the local business organizations of a city have done a good work for conservation. Human efficiency is one of the greatest forces that move the world, and systematie organization is one of the greatest powers towards efficient conservation of life and of all material progress. A business man knows that his success depends upon perfect organization, and that perfect organization is just as necessary to the conservation of every natural resource.
I have the pleasure of introducing to you Mr. Winfield Miller, of Indianapolis, who speaks on behalf of the local business organizations. (Applause.)
Mr. MILLER-Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: When I was honored by the commercial organizations of Indianapolis with the invitation to extend for them a few words of greeting and welcome to this National Conservation Congress. I looked into the biggest book, the Dictionary, for a definition of the word “Conservation.” I found the word concisely defined to mean "the art of preserving from decay, less or injury." While the definition is not extended, it is comprehensive and can be readily amplified to cover every phase of the question.
I then turned to the greatest book, the Bible, and read that earl, edict which still holds good, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” Over this ancient decree and its cause, there have been volumes of theological commiseration, but in the light of subsequent history, it is now generally agreed that man has been a greater force in the garden of the world that if he had remained in the Garden of Eden,
The thought occurs, however, that resting under the edict of lifelong toil man would, from an early period, have practiced conservation in all things. But he soon discovered that “the earth and the fulness thereof” were his, and, as ever, has been injuriously careless of results.
Again, he was not left without hope. The same great authority, in language and grandeur of thought unsurpassed, gives a promise of perpetual inspiration, in this, that “While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This promise, according to accepted chronology. has the confirmation of forty centuries of time and gives man the as surance of a continued field in which to do his work. The earth, the air, the waters are his environment; they are immutable, unchangeable. The animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms furnish him food, clothing, shelter, life. Their best use should be his first and highest consideration.
Nature has been prodigal in her gifts to man. Her kingdoms have been his to rightfully exploit. But too long and too often has selfish and neglectful exploitation been his purpose and practice.
There is abundance for all if nature's forces are properly conserved and her products fairly distributed. But some men, in their greed and haste, have grabbed a thousand-fold more than their necessities or happiness required. They eat their bread in the sweat of the other man's face. On the other hand, the many have been ignorantly neglectful of the opportunities of their environments—so that life presses hard, to:) hard. Avarice, ignorance, waste, have linked arms to the detriment of civilization.
We must strive for the necessities of food, clothing and shelter. These sustain animal life, which is worth while; but animal life, endowed with the highest moral and mental strength, is the goal to be reached, for the summit of man's ambitions should shine with human comfort and happiness. Conservation is the road to that summit and this National Congress has convened to further blaze the path and light the road. (Applause.)
Inventions of the last century, mostly within the half century, have injected into the field of travel and communication means that excite profound admiration; chemical analysis of the air and soil have shown that the food supply of the world, if nature's forces are properly conserved, is without limit; while the mighty strides made in the better