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Full text of "Our common country; mutual good will in America"

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IC-NRLF 




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Warren G, Harding 

O 



OUR 
COMMON COUNTRY 

Good Will in ^America 



By 

WARREN G. HARDING 



WITH FOREWORD BY THE EDITOR 

FREDERICK E. SCHORTEMEIER 

Author of Rtdedicating America 



INDIANAPOLIS 

THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY 
PUBLISHERS 



COPYRIGHT 1921 

TUE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY 









Printed in the United States of America 



or 

BRAUNWORTH & CO. 

BOOK MANUFACTURE* 

BROOKLYN. N. V. 



FOKEWOKK 

UNDER the leadership of Presicbnt 
Harding, America is at the threshold of 
an era of good will. Several of our presi 
dents have performed greater services 
for America than befell their lot as its 
chief executive in an administrative capac 
ity by leading in the development of the 
moral forces of our country. Har ding s 
greatest service to his country at home 
will come in the awakening of the Amer 
ican conscience toward the mutual good 
will of Americans, one for the other. He 
would end the day of jealous rivalries, of 
class detriment, of group supremacy, of 
greed, and lead the way in making popu 
lar throughout America understanding, 
cooperation and good will toward men. 

Warren Harding has already become 
known to the American people as a strong 
nationalist in international relations. It 

4C535S 



FOREWORD" 

is the purpose in this volume to give to 
the American people in the president s 
own words his conception of the proper 
course for the people of America in their 
domestic relations. Just as Harding has 
taken the leadership in the preservation 
of the nationality of the United States, so 
he will come to be known as the foremost 
advocate of a national appeal toward a 
common understanding, a mutuality of 
interests on the part of all the American 
people, the end of class consciousness, 
and the prosperity and happiness of all 
Americans, everywhere. 

Those Americans who seek the day of 
a more widely applied good will in Amer 
ica, who fervently hope for the time when 
no group of our people will place its own 
interests above the common weal of all 
the people where the interests conflict, 
will find in Harding their stanchest advo 
cate. This fundamental conception of 
the proper American relationship is 



FOKEWORD 

shown in everything Harding thinks and 
says and does. Harding hopes for the 
utter abolition of class. He seeks to 
encourage the fullest cooperation by 
preaching the gospel of understanding. 
His great purpose -is to construe and 
develop the desire for a common good for 
tune in America. "I wish it distinctly 
noted," said the president, shortly after 
his nomination, "that I shall say nothing 
to one group of fellow citizens which I 
could not as cordially utter to another. 
So far as I can be helpful it shall be along 
the line of promoting the good fortunes 
of all the American people. We can not 
prosper one group and imperil another. 
We can not have, we must not have, a 
menacing class consciousness in America. 
I like to think of an America where every 
citizen s pride in power and resources, in 
influence and progress, are founded in 
what can be done for our people, all the 



FOREWORD 

people. Good Government means the 
welfare of all of its citizens." 

Harding seeks in America the applica 
tion of those simple virtues in our national 
life which are essentially necessary to the 
life of a successful individual. He is 
sounding the call for the application of 
the common weal. He looks forward to 
the day when no class of our people will 
seek to advance its own interests to the 
detriment of all the people. He wants a 
contented, prosperous, happy America in 
which every individual and every group 
of individuals will desire in good con 
science to aid and prosper the lot of all 
other Americans. 

This volume seeks to present to the 
American public the views of their presi 
dent upon numerous phases of American 
life, and would show that in addition to 
entertaining definite ideas for the ad 
vancement of the welfare of our varied 
groups of citizens, Harding hopes to point 



FOREWORD 

the way toward the mutual good fortune 
of all Americans. He would prosper the 
farmer, the business man, the laborer, as 
such, to the fullest possible extent, but 
only so far as is consistent with the wel 
fare of all other Americans. He is ready 
to lead in that most vital and timely 
American undertaking which has for its 
purpose the end of classism and the 
development of all that is good for all 
Americans, under all circumstances, in 
all walks of life and in every conceivable 
situation. 

Harding proclaims anew the equality 
of opportunity. From his own life s ex 
periences, he knows whereof he speaks. 
He acclaims individual and personal hon 
esty as the greatest of all American assets. 
He hopes for an American reconsecration 
to faith in God. He longs for the day 
when every American genuinely and sin 
cerely wishes well for every other Ameri 
can citizen. He aspires to develop in 



FOREWORD 

America a contented, happy people, who 
find their delight in their belief in and 
devotion to good will for all Americans. 
To him every American life is sacred and 
is entitled to the fullest opportunity for 
development. "If a wise God notes a 
sparrow s fall, no life can be so obscure 
and humble that it shall become of no con 
sequence to America," is Har ding s con 
ception. He seeks the best and the most 
for every human who has been fortunate 
enough to come beneath the folds of the 
American flag. 

Besides his consuming desire for the 
common weal in America, Harding has 
very definite ideas for its development. 
He wants a common understanding be 
tween employer and employee. He 
desires the promotion of those measures 
which make better the lot of American 
women and children, which feed and 
clothe our unfortunates and which buoy 
their spirits. He encourages play and 



FOREWORD 

urges honest work. He delights in the 
enthusiasms of accomplishment. He 
would have a normal America in which 
those rigid American virtues of honesty, 
understanding, cooperation and good will 
are popular among Americans. 

As president of the United States he 
would lead to " where every one plays his 
part with soul and enthusiasm, no matter 
how insignificant that part may be, so 
that out of the grouped endeavor comes 
the perfect offering." Harding is ready 
to lead the moral forces of America in the 
further development of our common 
country, in the establishment of mutual 
good will in America. 

F. E. S. 

Indianapolis. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTEB x PAGE 

I 



II 


BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT . . 


. . 19 


III 


THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 


. . 35 


IV 


AMERICAN AGRICULTURE .... 


. . 63 


v 


WHAT OF OUR CHILDREN 


. . 109 


VI 


THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 


. . 117 


VII 


THE THEATER 


. . 131 


VIII 


AMERICAN EDUCATION .... 


. . 145 


IX 


THE IMMIGRANT 


. . 157 


X 


CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT . 


. . 173 


XI 




. . 197 


XII 


THE VALUE OF PLAY 


. . 225 


XIII 


FRATERNITY 


. . 235 


XIV 


THE VILLAGE 


. . 249 


XV 


Two WARS 


. . 257 


XVI 


THE MEANING OF THE ARMISTICE 


. . 263 


XVII 


THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION . . 


. . 271 


XVIII 


THE NATIONAL CONSCIENCE . 


297 



EECONSECRATION TO GOD 



A MESSAGE AND A DEDICATION 



OUR 
COMMON COUNTRY 

" 

CHAPTER I 

KECONSECEATIOlSr TO GOD 

I DO not believe there is any other influ 
ence so much needed in a tumultuous 
world as a reconsecration to God Al 
mighty. I rejoice that America is free in 
religion. We boast our civil liberty and 
our political independence, but when we 
contemplate world conditions to-day the 
best thing in this Republic is religious 
freedom. 

Sometimes I think the world has gone 
adrift from its moorings religiously, and 
I know it will help if we have a revival of 
13 



14 OUR COMMON COUNTRY! 

religious faith. I want a government that 
is just, and I don t think a government 
can be just if it does not have somehow a 
contact with Omnipotent God. 

I know how some of you of the church 
have been quite carried away by the pro 
posal of a new world relationship. You 
never stopped to think that in the concep 
tion of Versailles there was no recogni 
tion of God Almighty. Just as we of 
America have builded by recognizing 
Him, the best relationship of the world 
must be builded upon recognition of the 
same God. 

I have every faith that our nation will 
take its fitting place in an association of 
nations for world peace, and I believe 
that we are going to be able to do it with 
out the surrender of anything we hold 
dear as a heritage of the American people. 

I don t like to talk about religion, just 
for the sake of conversation, but I do 
believe that we need more of it in our 



RECONSECRATION TO GOD 15 

American life, more of it in government, 
the real spirit of it. I think there 
should be more of the "Do unto others as 
you would be done by" spirit of service. 

It might interest you to know that, 
while I have always been a great reader of 
the Bible, I have never read it so closely 
as in the last weeks, when my mind has 
been bent upon the work I must shortly 
take up. I have obtained a good deal of 
inspiration from the Psalms of David and 
from many passages of the four gospels, 
and there s still wisdom in the sayings of 
old Solomon. 

I don t intend to come as the finest 
exemplar of what we ought to be, but I 
rejoice in the inheritance of a religious 
belief and I don t mind saying that I 
gladly go to God Almighty for guidance 
and strength in the responsibilities that 
are coming to me. 



BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 

A MESSAGE FOR BUSINESS MEN" 



CHAPTER II 

BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 

WE are the great business nation of the 
world. We shall be able to save that busi 
ness and prosper it by a fair measure of 
common sense, and we ought and must do 
it. We will preserve a willingness to 
listen to the will of the people, and will 
construe the desire for a common good 
fortune to mean the necessary good for 
tune of business, which is the life-blood of 
material existence. 

American business is not big business. 
Wilful folly has been in those persons in 
distended power over our national affairs 
who have spoken of American business as 
if it were a large and selfish interest seek- 

19 



20 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

ing special privileges, and who, on that 
basis, have put their bungling hands upon 
its throat and tried tinkering and experi 
menting with it, and abusing it and treat 
ing it with suspicion. Let us put an end 
to holding success to be a crime. 

It will be the American people who will 
do this because American business is 
everybody s business. Nearly nine-tenths 
of those who depend for their living and 
the legitimate fruits of their labors in 
American manufacturing are the wage- 
earners. The blow directed at American 
business, the pulling and hauling of 
American business by weird economic and 
social theories, is less menacing, for 
instance, to the one-tenth who in manu 
facturing are business executives than it 
is to the nine-tenths who are our Ameri 
can laborers. 

The big business of America is the little 
business of America. The last available 
census figures show that more than sixtj; 



BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 21 

per cent, of our factories were little 
plants, none of which turned out more 
than $100,000 of products. Only twenty- 
five per cent, of our plants were even 
doing business as corporations. The 
average number of workers employed was 
twenty-five. When we come to analyze 
what we mean by American business we 
find out that we mean the daily work of 
the nation, most of it undertaken in the 
factory and on the farm in small units. 
We find out that we even mean the busi 
ness of the home and of the housewife, 
and that American business is every 
body s business. It is more than that. It 
is the work of every worker, clothes for 
his back, food for his mouth. 

We must face the new task. We have 
had a fever of high prices and excessive 
production out of the sacrificed billions 
of treasure and millions of lives, but the 
reconstruction must be sober business, 
founded on unchanging principle. We 



22 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

must summon the best abilities of Amer 
ica to put America back on the main road, 
and to remove the debris of the last eight 
years, and to keep our industries running, 
and to restore the proper ratio of pros 
perity to our American agriculture so that 
it can again bid for good American stand 
ard labor. 

If our memory is directed again to 1914, 
we will recall that world war alone saved 
us from a disaster in peace. We were 
sharpening our wits in competition with 
the world, as the President then expressed 
it, but we dulled our capacity to buy, then 
war saved us psychologically and com 
mercially; but to-day we are at peace, 
actual though not proclaimed, and our 
problems are the problems of peace, 

We must always exact, from ourselves 
and our business, high, honorable and fair 
dealing by law, and by law s rigid enforce 
ment when necessary, but we must repeal 
and wipe out a mass of executive orders 



BUSINESS AND GOVEKNMENT 23 

and laws which, failing to serve effec 
tively that purpose, serve only to leave 
American business in anxiety, uncer 
tainty and darkness. 

We must readjust our tariff, and this 
time with especial regard for the new 
economic menace to our American agri 
culture as. well as manufacturing. 

We must readjust our internal taxa 
tion, especially the excess profits tax, to 
remove the burdens it imposes upon the 
will to create and produce, whether that 
will is the will of the big corporation, 
of the small corporation, or of the 
individual. 

We must uproot from our national gov 
ernment the yearning to undertake enter 
prises and experiments which were never 
intended as the work of our government, 
which have proved ineffective to a point 
which sickens us all, and which our gov 
ernment is incapable of performing with 
out wreckage or chaos. Of necessity the 



24: DUE COMMON" COUNTRY 

machinery of government expands as we 
grow in numbers as a people, but before 
government expands in bureaucratic con 
trol of business its sponsors ought first to 
demonstrate a capacity to conduct the 
business of the government. When gov 
ernment itself has a budget of more than 
three billions a year, in times of peace, it 
has a business of its own to look after 
and it needs looking after without seek 
ing new fields to conquer until it has 
proved capacity for the tasks it must 
perform. 

We must, instead of such experiments, 
establish a closer understanding between 
American government and American 
business, so that one may serve the other, 
and the other obey and seek cooperation. 

We must give government cooperation 
to business, we must protect American 
business at home, and we must aid and 
protect it abroad by the upbuilding of our 
merchant marine, and a restoration of our 



BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 25 

self-respecting measure of American pro 
tection to her citizens wherever they may 
go upon righteous errands. 

We must build our economic life into 
new strength and we must do it so that our 
prosperity shall not be, the prosperity of 
profiteers nor of special privilege. 

We must do it so that abroad we are 
known not as a nation strutting under a 
plumage of fine words, but as one that 
knits friendly and peaceful relations by 
the shuttle of honorable deeds. 

We must do it so that at home our eco 
nomic life yields opportunity to every 
man not to have that which he has not 
earned, whether he be the capitalist or the 
humblest laborer, but to have a share in 
prosperity based upon his own merit, 
capacity and worth under the eternal 
spirit of " America First." 

American business has suffered from 
staggering blows because of too much 
ineffective meddling by government, and 



26 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

it is equally true that good government 
has almost been allowed to die on our 
hands, because it has not utilized the first 
sound principles of American business. 

The government of the United States, 
of this nation of ours, which should be an 
example of American good sense and 
sound organization, has been allowed to 
degenerate into an inadequate piece of 
administrative machinery. While we 
have heard preaching to all the nations of 
the earth, which, to put it mildly, has been 
adequate indeed, the back of our leader 
ship has been turned on the bad example 
we have set before the world in the con 
duct of our own affairs. I refer only to 
the deplorable impairment which has been 
given our time-tested democratic institu 
tions by robbing our representative gov 
ernment of its place in our republic in 
order to fatten administrative authority 
and replace the will of the people by the 
will of the wilf ul. 



BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 27 

The government has engaged in prodi 
gal waste. The American people pay. It 
has kept its overstuffed bureaus and de 
partments, many of which are doing over 
lapping work, in a prime condition of 
reckless inefficiency. The American peo 
ple pay. It has engaged in all kinds of 
costly bungling experiments of govern 
ment management and ownership of 
enterprises which other management 
could do better. The American people 
pay. It has allowed worthy federal em 
ployees, particularly those who are 
skilled, such as chemists and agricultural 
experts, to go so badly paid by the govern 
ment that they have left the service. The 
American people have to bear the cost. It 
has poured forth our national treasure 
into the yawning emptiness of unpre- 
paredness for war and unpreparedness 
for peace. It has spent our money and 
failed to do business, while the prodigal 
flow went on. The American people have 



28 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

paid, and are paying. With a return to 
sanity we now have another task before 
us in making the administrative part of 
our government one in which a people, 
proud of its abilities in business, can 
take pride. 

We must not let our administrative 
government crack under the load of its 
new burdens or those that our future may 
place upon it. It has been cracking badly. 
To repair it is the business of every 
American not only because of pride, but 
also because he pays for it, and is entitled 
to good government without waste. 

We have declared for a system of plan 
ning our expenditures so that overlapping 
and leakage and inefficiency shall be 
revealed before they occur. This national 
budget plan we must put into force. 

We must put our postal service upon a 
new basis, and extend the merit system in 
the choice and promotion of federal 
employees. 



BUSINESS AND GOVEKNMENT 29 

We must not only lop off useless jobs, 
but we must so reward efficiency and 
value among our public service employees 
that we may continue to have their loyalty 
because we have given decent pay and the 
expectation of promotion when promo 
tion is earned. 

We must conduct a careful scrutiny of 
our great executive departments to plan 
so that similar labors shall not be dupli 
cated and so that similar functions shall 
be grouped and not scattered. 

We must go to men who know, for 
advice in administrative improvement; 
we must have to aid us more men trained 
in agriculture, more technical men, more 
men who know business and the practises 
of commerce and trade. 

I look upon the responsibility of an 
executive as being based first of all upon 
his ability, together with that of capable 
men called to execute. An executive offi 
cer of any other than government business 



30 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

would be discharged if he allowed paraly 
sis and perversion of the functioning of 
that business, while he and his followers 
were engaged in addressing advice to the 
neighbors. 

Let them who say that the American 
people are not awake to these matters take 
new counsel. The government is the peo 
ple s business, and they will not see it 
broken down. The government is the con 
cern of every American of every man, 
woman and child. We are shareholders 
in it and we are looking forward with 
relief to an end of mismanagement. 

This great federal machine has grown 
up in a century of haphazard expansion, 
until, as recently described, it resembles 
"an antiquated central building with a 
large number of surrounding sheds and 
cottages, overcrowded with overlapping 
officials and saturated with methods of 
organization and administration fully 
fifty years behind the times." 



BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT 31 

An eminent senator once said he could 
substitute his private business methods 
for government practises and save hun 
dreds of millions. It was thought to be 
true when he said it, and we might treble 
the figures for the saving now. 

Here in America we have developed the 
most proficient and most efficient types 
of business organization and administra 
tion in the world; they have shown the 
greatest capacity for administrative vi 
sion. We mean to call that administra 
tive quality and fitness into the service of 
the government, and establish an advance 
in government business, not merely talk 
about government progress. 

Conditions are calling, capabilities 
await, the needs are urging and we pledge 
a new order a business government, 
with business efficiency, and a business 
concern for public approval. 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 

A MESSAGE FOB THOSE WHO TOIL 



CHAPTEE III 

THE HSTSPIKATION OF LABOR 

LIFE is labor, or labor is life, whichever 
is preferred. Men speak of the labor 
issue as paramount or imperious or criti 
cal it is always the big thing because it 
is the process of all progress and attain 
ment, and has been since the world began. 
The advocate of excessively-reduced peri 
ods of labor simply proposes to slow down 
human attainment, because labor is the 
agency of all attainment. If by some 
miracle of agreement we could reduce the 
hours of labor to four per day I speak of 
labor now in the sense of that which is 
employed for pay the live, progressive, 
civilization-creating, progressive labor 

35 



36 OUK COMMON COUNTKY 

would have to go on working twice or 
thrice that time, because labor is the fer 
ment of human development. No one will 
challenge these general truths, but we do 
have a conflict of opinion as to how labor 
shall be employed and the measure of its 
compensation. 

I wish it distinctly noted that I shall 
say nothing to one group of fellow citi 
zens which I could not as cordially utter 
to another. It was my good fortune to 
have a call from a committee representing 
several American farm organizations, 
and I told them frankly I preferred to 
greet them as fellow- Americans rather 
than farmers, because our big thought 
must be of American consumers, they 
among them. They were concerned in 
producing food, which is of first concern 
to all America. I am thinking of indus 
trial America, that industrial America in 
which every one of our hundred millions 
is deeply concerned, and the good fortune 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 37 

of whose workers is of highest interest to 
our people as a whole. 

Do not let any one ever tell you that any 
political party is insensible to the cause of 
labor. Parties are the agencies of gov 
ernment, and men who assume public 
responsibility are deeply anxious about 
the common weal. Demagogues or agita 
tors, most of whom are agitating for the 
profit therein, "Reds" or reactionaries, 
all of them deny the high intent and gen 
uine concern of parties and government 
for the highest good fortunes of all the 
people. Frankly, I do not think any 
party is indifferent or unmindful. The 
only difference is in the program for the 
greatest good. I want you to understand 
me definitely. So far as I can be helpful 
it shall be along the line of promoting the 
good fortunes of all the American people, 
because in common good fortune, made 
secure, we have the field in which to worK 
to adjust the distribution of rewards to 



38 CUE COMMON COUNTRY 

the highest conception of fairness and 
justice. 

Let me repeat a public utterance of 
mine. Noting the advanced ground 
reached through the sufferings and sacri 
fices of the World "War, I said we contem 
plated a new level, a new order, and would 
never return to the old pre-war condi 
tions. No such return has ever been 
recorded in all history. I spoke of high 
wages, and said I wished the existing high 
scale to remain, on one explicit condition 
that for the high wage, the American 
workman shall give to his task the highest 
degree of efficiency. There isn t any 
other solution. There isn t any other way 
to keep wages high and lower the cost of 
living to any appreciable degree. 

The menace of the present day is inef 
ficient production. I am not advocating 
the driving, slavish period of toil, which 
saps men s energies and oppresses the 
spirit, but I do advocate honest, efficient 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 39 

return for proper pay. I hold that the 
slacker, the loafer on the job, is not only 
the greatest obstacle to labor s advance 
ment, but he is cheating his fellows more 
than he does his employer. The workman 
who deliberately adds to costs robs a fel 
low workman who must buy, and impedes 
the way to that ideal condition where 
wage exceeds the cost of living, and there 
is a balance for the bank account, for 
home acquirement and indulgence in 
amusement, diversion and the becoming 
luxuries which contribute to the ideal life. 
Let no one beguile you with dreams of 
idleness, of the passing of employment or 
the abolition of employer and employee. 
Life without toil, if possible, would be an 
intolerable existence. Work is the su 
preme engagement, the sublime luxury of 
life. And there will be employers so long 
as there is leadership among men, and 
there will be employees until human prog 
ress is paralyzed and the development of 



40 OUR COMMON COUNTKY 

human kind dies on one common altar of 
mediocrity. Our problem then is to find 
the high order of employment, the ideal 
relationship, the conditions under which 
we may work to the highest attainment 
and the greatest common good for all 
concerned. 

It is utterly false to assume that labor 
and capital are in deadly conflict. Such 
a preachment comes from those who 
would destroy our social system. More, 
these two elements do not constitute alone 
the fabric of our industrial life, and 
neither of them, alone, ever added to the 
treasure of mankind. The element of 
management is as essential to present-day 
industrial success, amid modern complex 
ities, as breath to the human body. And 
indissolubly linked with these three is the 
consuming public. 

It is not important to establish which 
element comes first, since each is essential 
to the other. We do know that labor, the 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 41 

human element, is of deepest public con 
cern. Hence it is that American public 
opinion, which is invariably the ruling 
force in popular government, when delib 
erately crystallized, wishes the labor 
forces to be satisfied. Not contented, 
because contentment is the awaiting ave 
nue to paralysis, but so satisfied that 
there is a soul of interest in all our 
employments. 

The deplorable side of modern indus 
try, with gigantic factory and the produc 
tive machinery, is that too many men are 
toiling like machines at work. There 
ought to be more in a day s work than the 
mere grind and the pay therefor, even 
though the pay is generous. Men ought 
to know a pride in the thing done. There 
ought to be inspiration to skill and glory 
in accomplishment. One ought to have 
before him the goal of being best in his 
line. The mere fulfillment of the require 
ments to hold a job never made superin- 



42 OTJR COMMON COUNTRY 

tendent or led to a captaincy in all the 
world of employment. Contentment with 
a job, with eyes riveted on pay day, with 
out enthusiasm to accomplish or desire to 
excel, never made an advance for any man 
anywhere. 

The big inspiration in life is to get on. 
We can not get on all alike or be regarded 
precisely alike. God Almighty never 
intended it to be so, else He had made us 
all alike. But we may get on according 
to our talent, our capacity, and our indus 
try, and out of the advancement of those 
who lead, must come higher standards 
for all. 

I have no patience with those who com 
mend the levels of mediocrity. That 
would halt the whole human procession. 
I can read the aspirations in many a 
breast. Search the hearts of the parent 
hood. Fathers and mothers are thinking 
of their children, and they want them to 
get on. They often deny themselves to 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOE 43 

educate their children and ultimately find 
compensation in that denial. They edu 
cate so that sons and daughters may do 
better than they it is the natural desire 
of aspiring life. This is why the world 
advances. This is the- soul of advancing 
civilization. When men tell you this is 
the privilege of the few, they challenge 
your intelligence. It is the opportunity 
of all. Not all avail themselves, but the 
opportunity beckons. 

I have seen my home city grow from the 
village of four thousand to the city of 
thirty thousand. I know the men who 
are the captains of industry and the com 
manders of trade and the leaders of 
finance. I have associated with the head 
of one great concern when he was toiling 
for seventy-five cents a day as a youth in 
the shops. I have seen another at the 
bench, and still another trying to make 
the pay envelope meet his obligations. I 
knew one bank leader as the boy who 



r 44 OUK COMMON COTTNTKY 

swept out and did the chores, another as 
a dollarless farmer boy, another as a 
struggling youth no more favored than 
the poorest boy. What s the explanation ? 
Industry, thrift, love of work, interest in 
tasks, ambition to get on. 

I wish I could plant the gospel of loy 
alty to work and interest in accomplish 
ment. It is the ambition to succeed, the 
determination to do the most and best 
these speed men on to the heights. The 
pity is that we do not have enough of it 
under modern conditions. There is too 
much mechanical grind, too little contact 
between employer and employee, too little 
understanding of their mutuality of 
interest and their joint triumph in suc 
cess. I hail with equal satisfaction the 
workman who has pride in the factory 
and its output, and the employer who has 
pride and sympathetic interest in his 
workmen. I want to stress the need of 
pride. There is little enough to inspire 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 45 

under our modern system, and I want to 
magnify all there is. And above all else I 
want American workmen to feel that 
American products are the best in the 
world. There is only a touch of satisfac 
tion to say our output. is biggest, but it 
sets the heart aglow to proclaim Amer 
ica s output is the best. 

I am sorry the old, intimate contact 
between employer and employee is gone. 
When there was intimate touch there was 
little or rare misunderstanding. I wish 
we could have the intimacy restored, not 
in the old way, but through a joint com 
mittee of employers and employees, not to 
run the business, but to promote and 
maintain the mutuality of interest and 
the fullest understanding. Herein lies 
the surest remedy for the most of our ills. 
Nay, more, I will put it more strongly, I 
have spoken the preventive, the under 
standing which prevents disputes, or set 
tles them on the spot. 



46 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

I never had any trouble with our labor 
forces in the printing line, though our 
"boys and girls" have been organized for 
seventeen years. We know each other 
pretty well. And yet, with all our inti 
macy and our freedom from disputes, I 
may not understand them as I ought nor 
do they understand all they ought. Let 
me give an example, because it will illus 
trate the need of understanding. The 
basic material, the one thing we must have 
in the newspaper business is print paper. 
There has been a shortage of production 
and the market has been wild. We con 
tracted for our annual supply, but we 
could not add the amount necessary to 
meet our normal growth. To meet the vol 
ume of business and keep all our men 
employed we had to buy extra print paper 
as best we could, and the excess above the 
contract cost was sufficient to pay out 
three hundred dollars additional wage to 
every workman in the shop. But we were 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 47 

obliged to meet so excessive an outlay, and 
could not pass it on to readers, yet no 
workman had to bear any share of the 
strain. Never forget that there are two 
sides, and I want each to understand the 
other. I want employers to know what is 
in the hearts of the workmen their aspi 
rations, their trials, their problems all 
the things essential to concord and good 
spirit. 

To be specific, the need of to-day is the 
extension by employers of the principle 
that each job in the big plant is a little 
business of its own. The reason men in 
modern, specialized industry go crazy 
from lack of self-expression is that they 
are allowed to be mere mechanical mo 
tion-makers. They ought to be taught by 
employers the significance of this job its 
unit costs, its relations to other opera 
tions, the ways to its greater efficiency. 
In a word the employer owes it to his men 
to make them feel that each job stops 



48 OTJB COMMON OOUOTBTi 

being an enemy of the man and becomes 
his associate and friend, and the success 
achieved opens the way for his looked-f or 
advancement. 

The world is thinking about means to 
prevent war among nations, and we 
approve, and share the aspiration. But 
America is also thinking about prevent 
ing industrial conflict and all attending 
waste, suffering and anxiety. The matter 
has become of interest to the public, even 
more than the forces engaged in any 
conflict. 

Our observation is, as an eminent labor 
leader has said, that "all strikes sooner or 
later are settled around a table ; then why 
not get around a table before the strike 
begins?" 

We can not have compulsory arbitra 
tion, because all parties must consent to 
establish arbitration and enforce its con 
clusions. I think we can have and ought 
lo have, voluntary volitional arbitration. 



0?HE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 49 

The best thought of the day commends 
this way to settlement. 

In the broad sense labor s business is 
selling its skilled or unskilled endeavor, 
and the basic cost is the cost of living. 
What labor receives over and above cost 
of living is pay for its preparation, and a 
profit for its inspiration. 

The insistent thought is to add to this 
profit, to widen the difference between 
mere cost and the wage received. All the 
influence and the organization in the 
world will not equalize a living cost among 
a hundred millions. Rentals, until home- 
owning becomes more wide-spread as I 
hope it will become wide-spread vary 
according to localities and conditions. 
The wage scale which contemplates a 
rental cost in one place might be wholly 
inadequate to meet the cost in another and 
a nationalized scale would work an injus 
tice. This point was developed in the 
recent railway controversies, and proved 



50 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

some very real grievances which the peo 
ple had not dreamed. 

This brings me to the subject of railway 
legislation, and the enactment of the Cum- 

^g 

mins-Esch Bill restoring the railways to 
the lawful owners. We owed it to the rail 
way owners to restore their property, 
seized for war service, just as we owe the 
return of the people s money invested in 
government loans. In free and thought 
ful America we do not take advantage of 
war s tumult to change the regular order 
of things. I am well aware that many 
earnest railway workers and advocates of 
the Socialist plan preferred to take the 
railroads and put them under the opera 
tion of the employees, but that was not 
keeping faith with America or American 
promises. We were honor bound to make 
the return. I favored it for the addi 
tional reason that I do not believe in gov 
ernment ownership. 

The government must do many things, 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 51 

but it has enough to do without invading 
the field of private activity, not, at any 
rate, until government demonstrates its 
capacity for efficiency. 

I do not pretend to say the railway act 
is perfect ; indeed, I know it is not. But 
Congress was dealing with a problem of 
first importance, and it had to speed the 
legislation. There was the conflict of 
many minds as it was right there should 
be, and the final act was a compromise. 
Nevertheless, I believe it to be a good law 
and cordially supported it. Many rail 
way labor leaders have cried out against 
it, but I can only wonder why, except for 
the fundamental objection to the release 
of government operation. 

Let us try out the act and the railway 
restoration in patience. If we have fallen 
short, the conscience of America will 
sanction every modification needed to aim 
at perfection. America wants her rail 
way workmen justly treated, and will tol- 



52 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

erate nothing less, and America wants her 
honest investments properly protected, 
with justice to every agency employed 
in this great machine of railway 
transportation. 

I have said it before, and I repeat it 
now, I want the American railway work 
ers to know the best possible working con 
ditions and to be the best paid in the 
world. Our food, our activities, our 
exchanges, so much depend on the great 
railway operations, and above all else, all 
who travel trust their lives to railway 
skill and fidelity. Ours ought to be, and 
must be, the best in the world. 

I believe in the protective policy which 
prospers America first, and exalts Amer 
ican standards of wage and American 
standards of living high above the Old 
World. We had little thought of these 
things during the war, because America 
was exporting instead of importing 
shipping out instead of shipping in but 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 53 

it will soon be a different situation in the 
world exchange. I do not object to hu 
manity seeking equalized standards of 
employment and living, but I do insist on 
Old World standards being raised to 
ours, not ours lowered to the Old World. 

Our enormous balance of trade with 
foreign nations is fast receding and peo 
ples who seek recuperation from war s 
wastes and bankruptcy are expecting to 
sell to us to recuperate, because our peo 
ple are the ablest to buy in all the world. 
One must admit the promise of a cheaper 
cost of living if Europe s cheaper-made 
merchandise is brought to our markets. 
But note the peril to labor! If we buy 
abroad, we will slacken production at 
home, and slackened production means 
diminished employment, and growing 
idleness and all attending disappoint 
ments. I want to cheapen the cost of liv 
ing as much as any one in all the land, but 
I do not wish it cheapened by the pro- 



54 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

cesses of unemployment and lowered 
standards of American labor. 

Pray, do not even believe you are injur 
ing yourself by giving full return for 
your employment. The call is for maxi 
mum production, and factory success is 
your success. Do not scale down to the 
inefficient and incapable. Let us train 
up and build up to the heights of the 
efficient. 

What is the big inspiration in life? 
The natural desire to excel. Why do we 
applaud Babe Euth ? Because he has bat 
ted out more home runs in a season than 
any ball player on earth. If you were 
going to play ball, you wouldn t try to bat 
at one hundred fifty to two hundred, you 
would rather be a Babe Euth. But men 
say that s different from the humdrum of 
toil. Well, that s why I am arguing the 
end of humdrum toil by striving for the 
heights. The workman who performs his 
tasks better than another has satisfaction 



THE INSPIRATION" OF LABOR 55 

in his soul, and he will not long escape the 
notice that brings him advancement. 

Many other things will help to reduce 
living cost. I want to see profiteering 
isolated and punished. It is a moral 
wrong and an economic robbery. The 
man who practises profiteering is false to 
business and to country. I do not know 
of a deadlier foe to our common country, 
because he creates the unrest that threat 
ens from within and emphasizes the 
appeal to class. 

Reduced cost of government will help, 
and we can reduce cost of government by 
quitting the play of politics with the 
nation s bread and butter. Stage assaults 
on profiteering, mostly dealing with petty 
offenders, do not deeply impress the 
country, and sugar agreements which add 
a billion to our sugar bills for a year do 
not indicate a know-how which entitles 
the bunglers to hold their jobs. 

I have not come with promises. I can 



56 OUR COMMON COUNTRY* 

not pledge you the impossible, and do not 
mean to suggest the impractical. I can 
only preach the gospel of understanding 
practically applied. In public service, I 
have always been ready to hear the appeal 
of all Americans, and labor will find an 
ever-ready period to be heard, not for 
labor alone, but for the good of all our 
people. We can not prosper one group 
and imperil another. We can not have, 
we must not have, a menacing class con 
sciousness. When we look each other in 
the face, soberly contemplating the great 
web of American life, we see that the good 
of one is the fortune of all. 

Our system is all right ; it is the judg 
ment of the ages, and here in America we 
have wrought the supreme achievement. 
There are abuses, perhaps there ever will 
be. Greed develops and robbery breaks 
out amid all great processions. Our busi 
ness is to strike at greed, and outlaw rob- 



INSPIBATION OF LABOB 57 

bery, and correct the abuses, without 
destroying the temple in which we abide. 

I do not think we can fabricate the per 
fect world, but we can and we mean to 
make it better from day to day and year 
to year. I do not blow you a bubble of 
imaginary equality of men or women, but 
I do proclaim equality of opportunity, 
proved in America in making America 
the best land of hope in all the world. 
The fair chance is here. It isn t in a par 
ticular craft, it isn t alone in the closed 
shop, it isn t in the offerings of the law, it 
isn t in the revolutionary proposals of 
those who threaten destruction in return 
for liberty s blessings. It is in honest 
endeavor, in thrift, in lofty aspiration, 
and a resolute determination to do, and to 
get on in the world. 

I believe in unionism, I believe in col 
lective bargaining, I believe the two have 
combined to speed labor toward its just 
rewards. But I do not believe in labor s 



58 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

domination of business or government 
any more than I believe that capital 
should dominate. We had our time at 
that, and we learned the danger and ended 
it. We do not want to substitute one class 
for another, we want to put an end to 
classes. 

We live in an era of collective endeavor. 
Capital led the way, and labor s organiza 
tion was not only natural, but necessary. 
It has done more than serve its member 
ship, it has riveted the thoughtful atten 
tion of America to social justice and 
brought the fruits thereof. 

I hold that the advancement of labor s 
cause in America challenges all the world. 
We have made, of course, a few thousand 
millionaires, but we made millions of self- 
reliant, advancing, creative Americans. 
The luxury of yesterday is the accepted 
necessity of to-day. I struggled to own a 
motor-car after I had been an employer 
for twenty years, and workmen nowadays 



THE INSPIRATION OF LABOR 59 

drive to their tasks at thirty, without real 
izing the transformation. The progress 
is the miracle of American opportunity. 
I want to hold to fundamentals, strike at 
any developing inequality and halt 
assault on our system, then go on to 
greater things. 

The way is open. Opportunity is call 
ing, and harmonized capital and labor and 
management will clear the waiting paths, 
and individual resolution, the heritage of 
American freedom, will speed us on. If 
we only hold fast to the fundamentals, the 
pride of to-day may be a greater glory 
to-morrow, and ultimately we shall 
approach that combination of achieve 
ment and happiness for all men which is 
the divine plan for the triumphs of earth 
and life and human endeavor. 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 



A MESSAGE FOR FAKMERS 



CHAPTER IV 

AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 

I ADDRESS you not as farmers but as 
patriotic citizens of the United States. 
Every word that I say to you is addressed 
not to your welfare alone, but to the wel 
fare of every man, woman and child, and 
to the welfare of the future citizens of our 
country. 

I deplore the use in political campaigns 
or in public administration of special 
appeals and of special interests. I 
deplore any foreign policy which tends to 
group together those of foreign blood 
according to their nativity. I deplore 
undue meddling in the affairs of other 
nations, which may, some day in a future 
63 



64 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

election, result in a hyphenated vote con 
trolling the balance of power which may 
be delivered to that candidate who is most 
supine in the face of un-American pres 
sure. I deplore class appeals at home. I 
deplore the soviet idea, and the compro 
mises and encouragements which we have 
seen extended to it. 

When the responsibility for leadership 
in putting America back on to the main 
road, was placed upon me, I said to myself 
that we must all unite under the slogan 
" America First." When I say America 
First I mean not only that America main 
tain her own independence and be first in 
fulfilling her obligations to the world, by 
deeds rather than words, and by example 
rather than preaching, but I mean that at 
home any special interest, any class, any 
group of our citizenship that has arrayed 
itself against the interests of all, must 
learn that at home, as well as abroad, 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 65 

America First has a meaning, profound, 
and, with God s aid, everlasting. 

It is true that you, the farmers of this 
country, and I are charged with an obliga 
tion of program and definite action that 
fosters the welfare of all America, the 
welfare of the man who lives in the house 
with the red barn and the productive 
fields behind it, and also the welfare of 
the man who in a crowded industrial city, 
comes home at nightfall to climb the stairs 
to his fourth-floor home, behind the fire 
escapes, with hunger in the body. 

I desire with all my heart to speak for 
the consumer when I speak of American 
agriculture. I desire to put aside plati 
tudes, all the poetic tradition about the 
worth and merits of the honest farmer. 
Honesty is not peculiar to any occupation. 
I desire to awake the country to the men 
aces to its future unless American agri 
culture is preserved, and above nonsense 
and false promises and prodigal waste 



66 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

and dictatorial powers, all of which have 
smothered the farmer, as they have 
smothered us all, and overworked execu 
tive powers. I desire, in this great agri 
cultural problem as in all our national 
problems, to go back to the functions of 
our Republic and of our representative 
system. I want to restore the will of the 
people. And under the restoration, I de 
sire to deal with all our great problems, 
not in the twilight of generalities, but in 
the full sunlight of definition and for 
ward marching. 

With the agriculture of the United 
States the basic industry I am deeply 
concerned. If history does not deceive us 
by changing repetitions of her precepts, a 
nation lives no longer than her agricul 
tural health abides. It is the soil that is 
our mother, and the mother of nations ; it 
is land hunger that founds revolutions, 
anarchy and decay. We must look our 
land problems and farming situation 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 67 

squarely in the face and act bravely and 
wisely and promptly. In doing so, you 
and I must turn to the consumers of the 
United States and say, "This is your 
problem and your posterity s problem as 
well as ours." 

The day of land hunger has come. The 
day when we see before us the spectacle 
of the land-owing farmer being displaced 
by capitalistic speculation in land and the 
soil-exhausting and landlord-exploited 
tenant farmer has come. The day when 
the share of the American farmer in 
whatever is left of prosperity has been 
overtopped by the share taken by our 
industrial production, has come. The day 
when industry outbids agriculture for 
labor has come. The day when the profit 
of the farmer has been cut down and the 
price to the consumer has been lifted up, 
has come. The day when bad and waste 
ful distribution between producer and 
consumer, and the day of too much 



68 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

unrighteous profiteering, by too many 
unnecessary middlemen, has come. The 
day when production of our soil must be 
protected against the soil products of 
countries of low standards of living, has 
come. 

These conditions call for wise action on 
the part of government. They call for 
good counsel. They call for the presence 
of the American farmer in our govern 
ment offices, administrative and repre 
sentative. They call for extension of the 
farm loan principle, not only in the case 
of the man who already owns a farm, but 
to worthy Americans who want to acquire 
farms. In other words, they call for cap 
ital available to the farmers of America 
as a bulwark against the exploits of capi 
tal available to the land speculator. 

Furthermore, these conditions call for 
a willingness of all Americans to act 
together in restoring to American agri 
culture a prosperity that will keep the 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 69 

land owner and land worker upon our 
soil. "VVe must obliterate the picture of 
the year 1920, when we have allowed the 
labor of the farm-wife and young girls 
and old women to be the substitute for 
normal farm labor. < The women have 
helped to guarantee to consumers of the 
United States and dependent nations 
their full food supply, and though it is a 
monument to them we must find ways to 
restore a more normal and a more Amer 
ican labor supply to our farms. 

I believe that the American people, 
through their government and otherwise, 
not only in behalf of the farmer but in 
behalf of their own welfare, and the pock- 
etbooks of the consumers of America, will 
encourage, make lawful, and stimulate co 
operative buying, cooperative distribu 
tion, and cooperative selling of farm 
products. 

Industry has been organized ; labor has 
been organized; cooperation within in- 



70 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

dustry and within labor, and indeed, coop 
eration between the two, is far advanced. 
I do not contemplate the organization of 
the farmers and consumers of this coun 
try as a step toward organization of spe 
cial interests to obtain special favors. If 
I did, I would oppose it. But I know full 
well that we must, all of us consumers 
the laborers, the business men, the teach 
ers, the children, the rich and the poor, 
the young and the old, the men and the 
women act together to find our way 
closer and easier and cheaper to the 
sources of our food supply. And I know 
full well that the farmers must work to 
gether to find their way, by better trans 
portation, better marketing and organized 
cooperative effort, closer to the consumers 
of America. 

If these two producers and consumers 
of food are not brought closer together 
by organization, by better railroad serv 
ice, by the auxiliary of motor-truck f acili- 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 71 

ties, by better roads, by the removal of 
legal obstructions to organized effort, I 
know that organized profiteering will 
squeeze in somewhere between the pro 
ducer and the consumer. 

I do not speak in a sentimental general 
ity when I say this. I hope I am saying 
something which will not only point the 
way to a fair and just prosperity for 
American agriculture and tend to stop 
land speculation and the increase of the 
tenant farmer, but which will be one big, 
practical step taken against the high cost 
of living. It will be taken in the name of 
no class, but in the name of the people of 
America. 

Years ago a Chinese philosopher uttered 
a profound truth when he said: "The 
well-being of a people is like a tree ; agri 
culture is its root, manufacture and com 
merce are its branches and its life ; if the 
root is injured the leaves fall, the branches 
break and the tree dies." 



72 OUR COMMON COTJNTBY1 

It may seem strange to many good peo 
ple that at this particular time any one 
should quote this saying of a wise old Chi 
nese. Never in all our history have prices 
of farm products ruled so high, measured 
in dollars, as during the past four years. 
Farm land in the great surplus-producing 
states has advanced to unheard-of prices, 
with every indication that, but for the 
tight money conditions, it would go still 
higher. Apparently the farmers of the 
land are enjoying unprecedented pros 
perity. "Why then, even by implication, 
suggest that something may be wrong 
with our agriculture, and that the trouble 
may be communicated to our manufac 
turers and commerce? People in the 
cities are disposed to think that if there is 
anything wrong it is in the cities where 
food is selling at such high prices, and 
not in the country where the food is pro 
duced. But both farm and city students 
of national problems see in the present 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 73 

agricultural situation certain conditions 
which give cause for real concern to every 
lover of his country. 

An intelligent discussion of our agricul 
ture at the present time must take note of 
what has happened since the middle of the 
last century. At that time a fine rural 
civilization had been built up east of the 
Mississippi River, with Ohio in the heart 
of the corn belt and standing in about the 
same relation to agriculture as Iowa 
stands to-day. The agricultural frontier 
had been pushed beyond the Mississippi, 
and abundant food was being raised to 
support the growing industrial life of the 
East. 

Then came the civil war, and following 
it the great western migration into the 
fertile, open plains of what is now the 
Central West. Through the homestead 
law the government gave a farm of the 
richest land in the world to every man 
who wanted one. Railroads were built, 



74 OITR COMMON" COUNTRY 

the prairies were plowed up, and almost 
over night the agricultural production of 
the United States increased by fifty per 
cent. Grains were produced and sold at 
the bare cost of utilizing the soil, and the 
farmers of the older states to the east were 
smothered by this flood of cheap grain. 
The only thing that could be done with 
this super-abundance of food was to build 
cities out of it. And great cities we did 
build, not only in the United States, but 
across the seas. The world has never 
seen, and probably may never again see, 
such a terrific impulse toward city-build 
ing on a vast scale as that which was given 
by the over-production of farm products 
during the latter part of the nineteenth 
century and the first few years of the 
twentieth. 

What are ordinarily dull statistics will 1 
strikingly illumine the situation which I 
have been trying to convey. In the decade 
from 1900 to 1910 the city population of 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 75 

the United States increased thirty-five 
per cent., while the rural population 
increased only eleven per cent. The num 
ber of farm utilities probably increased 
less, but we do know officially that the 
city population increased more than three 
times as rapidly as the rural population. 
The figures are not yet complete for the 
decade ending with 1920, but sufficient 
reports have been published to give us a 
very dependable estimate. The indica 
tions are that no increase will be shown in 
the number of farms and no increase in 
strictly farm population. In all proba 
bility, dating from 1920, we shall estimate 
our farm population as thirty per cent, of 
the whole while the urban population will 
make up the other seventy per cent. 

Another interesting fact to reveal the 
danger in changing conditions: Only a 
few decades ago, indeed from the very 
beginning, the exports of the United 
States were soil-grown or farm-produced 



76 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

materials. On the other hand, most of our 
imports were manufactured articles. In 
the last half century, year after year the 
exports of farm-grown products have 
decreased except during the World War 
and exports of manufactured products 
have increased until again we are rapidly 
reaching the zero mark from the stand 
point of agricultural supplies to the 
world. Each year our imports show 
larger and larger quantities of farm- 
grown products and the time is almost 
with us when the imports of farm-grown 
products will exceed the exports, in short, 
when our farm population will not be sup 
plying the products necessary for our own 
people. 

The farmer suffered during this chang 
ing period. Over-production means low 
prices, and he over-produced with a ven 
geance, though it was an inevitable part 
of the scheme of American development. 
He was obliged to practise grinding eco- 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 77 

nomy, and to live as far as possible from 
the produce of Ms own acres. He did live 
essentially within his own productivity, 
and the farm was the factory for the agri 
cultural home. "Land poor" was a com 
mon expression in the farming country. 
Many, and especially the ambitious boys, 
abandoned the farms and added them 
selves to the growing population of the 
cities, driven by the hardships of the farm 
and attracted by the greater rewards 
offered by the cities. 

By 1905, it was becoming apparent that 
the consuming power of the cities and 
industrial centers would soon be large 
enough to equalize the producing power 
of the farms. Prices of farm products 
began to advance, and with this advance 
an increase in the price of farm land. 
Improved machinery increased the num 
ber of acres one man could farm, thereby 
decreasing his cost of production. The 
expression "farm poor" was no longer 



78 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

heard. Men who had not secured farms 
of their own began to seek them, and the 
march to the West and Northwest 
was resumed. Irrigation projects were 
started and the homestead law made more 
liberal in order to make the settlement of 
the semi-arid country more attractive. 
New areas of government land were 
opened for entry. 

In the meantime, the consuming public 
had become concerned over the prospect 
of paying higher prices for foodstuffs. 
Cities and industrial centers had been 
built up on ridiculously cheap food; 
indeed, their building was the first essen 
tial in developing farm values. Then the 
increase in price called for readjustment 
and required wage advances. Organiza 
tions of city business men began to take 
an interest in farm affairs and preach the 
duty of increased production. The 
"Back to the Land" cry began to be 
heardL Increased appropriations by Con- 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 79 

gress and by the state legislatures were 
made to stimulate better methods of farm 
ing and thus increase production in hope 
of keeping down food prices. The rural 
uplift movement was started with the 
thought that, by making conditions on the 
farm more attractive, the drift from the 
farm to the city might be checked. 
The work of agricultural colleges was 
strengthened by the addition of extension 
departments, the function of which is to 
take the teaching of better methods of 
farming and stock-growing into the coun 
ties and smaller communities, and espe 
cially to stimulate an interest in farming 
among the boys and girls. All sorts of 
efforts were made to check the drift from 
the farm to the city, and to maintain farm 
production. 

In truth, here in America, farming 
came to that stage where it ceased to be a 
mere struggle for sustenance, and it found 
its place amid the competition for 



80 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

achievement. It was no longer the inher 
ently directed operation, with the soil for 
restricted living, but became a commer 
cial, scientific operation with Mother 
Nature, to share in the accomplishments 
of a modern life, and know a participa 
tion in modern rewards. 

Then came the World War which accel 
erated the movement which was already 
under full headway. The cry for food 
which came from the nations across the 
sea caused further advances in prices of 
farm products, as well as in prices of farm 
land, and both profits and patriotism 
stimulated production. But with this 
increased demand for the products of the 
farm came also an increased demand for 
the products of our factories and other 
industrial enterprises, resulting in higher 
wages, and the city continued to pull from 
the farm large numbers of young men 
who did not have farms of their own and 
could see no prospect of getting them, and 



AMEEICAN AGRICULTURE 81 

who thought they could see in the city bet 
ter wages and greater opportunities for 
advancement, as well as more attractive 
living conditions. If the facts were avail 
able it would be found, probably during 
the period from 1905 to 1917, the time of 
our entrance into the war, the drift from 
the farm to the city continued with little 
abatement notwithstanding the more 
hopeful conditions on the farm. 

The splendid part played by the farm 
ers of the nation during the war probably 
never will be understood or fully appre 
ciated by our people. More than twenty- 
five per cent, of all our fighting men came 
from the farms, and after sending their 
sons to the camps, the fathers and moth 
ers, with the help of the younger children, 
turned to and produced more food than 
was ever before produced in the history of 
the world in the same time and from the 
same area of land. Their working days 
were measured not by the clock, but by; the 



82 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

number of daylight hours. They took to 
themselves the responsibility of feeding 
not only our own people, but also our 
allies across the sea. In more ways than 
one, our farmers made the war their war, 
and counted no sacrifice too great to help 
fight it through to a successful finish. 
The story of what they did, written by 
some one who understands it, will furnish 
one of the most glorious chapters in 
American history. One thing I may say 
in every American conflict, from the 
Revolution for independence to the 
World War for maintained rights, the 
farmer has been one hundred per cent. 
American and ready for every sacrifice. 

Without speaking at length of farm 
production and prices during the war, it 
is necessary to note certain results, if we 
are to deal understandingly with the agri 
cultural situation at the present time, and 
speak intelligently of a future policy. 
War conditions put a premium on grain 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 83 

growing at the expense of live stock pro 
duction. As a consequence, many stock 
producers and feeders have suffered 
heavy and, in some cases, ruinous losses. 
If this condition should continue, we are 
in danger, in the near future, of having to 
pay very high prices for our meats. 

For two outstanding reasons the main 
tenance of a normal balance between live 
stock and grain production is a matter of 
national concern. One is that we are a 
meat-eating people, and should have a 
fairly uniform supply at a reasonable 
price. Conditions which either greatly 
stimulate or greatly discourage live stock 
production result in prices altogether too 
high for the average consuming public or 
altogether too low for the producer. The 
other is that the over-stimulation of grain 
production depletes the fertility of our 
land, which is our greatest national asset, 
and results in a greater supply than can 
be consumed at a price profitable to the 



84 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

producer, and finally to wide-spread agri 
cultural distress from winch all of our 
people suffer. As a reconstruction meas 
ure, therefore, our government should do 
everything in its power to restore the nor 
mal balance between live stock and grain 
production, and thus encourage the 
prompt return to that system of diversi 
fied farming by which alone we can main 
tain our soil fertility. This is a matter of 
immediate importance to all of our 
people. 

No one can forecast with certainty the 
trend of prices of farm products during 
the next two or three years. Recovery 
from a world crisis such as we have expe 
rienced is slow, inevitably. It is like the 
human convalescence from a long and 
dangerous illness. Our relations with the 
world-at-large are such that important 
happenings in other lands have a marked 
effect upon conditions here at home. 
Order must be restored, industries 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 85 

rebuilt, devastated lands reclaimed, trans 
portation re-established, the vast armies 
re-absorbed in the occupations of normal 
life. The near future promises to be a 
period of uncertainty for the farmer as 
well as for the men engaged in industrial 
enterprises. America has no greater 
problem than returning securely to the 
normal, onward road again. This isn t 
looking backward it is a forward look to 
stability and security. 

It must be evident, however, to any one 
who has given the matter even superficial 
consideration, that we have now come to 
the end of the long period of agricultural 
exploitation in the United States. No 
longer are there great and easy and await 
ing areas of fertile land for the land 
hungry. We have now under the plow 
practically all of our easily-tillable land, 
though idle areas await reclamation and 
development by that genius and determi 
nation which ever have made nature re- 



86 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

spond to human needs. Additions of con 
sequence, which we may make to our 
farming area from this time on, must 
come by putting water on the dry lands of 
the arid and semi-arid country, or by tak 
ing water off of the swamp lands, of 
which we have large areas in some sec 
tions, or by digging the stumps out of the 
cut-over timber lands of the North and 
South. There are, of course, large possi 
bilities in intensive farming, in that land 
thrift which admits of neither waste nor 
neglect, and in ever-improving methods 
which must be as inspiring to agricultural 
life as to the professions or to commercial 
leadership. I want a soul in farming, to 
set aglow the most independent and self- 
respecting activity in all the world. 

The time has come when, as a nation, we 
must determine upon a definite agricul 
tural policy. We must decide whether we 
shall undertake to make of the United 
States a self-sustaining nation which 



AMERICAN AGRICTTLTTTKE 87 

means that we shall grow within our own 
boundaries all of the staple food products 
needed to maintain the highest type of 
civilization or whether we shall continue 
to exploit our agricultural resources for 
the benefit of our industrial and commer 
cial life, and leave to posterity the task of 
finding food enough, by strong-arm meth 
ods, if necessary, to support the coming 
hundreds of millions. I believe in the 
self-sustaining, independent, self-reliant 
nation, agriculturally, industrially and 
politically. We are then the guarantors 
of our own security and are equal to the 
task. 

If we should unhappily choose the 
course of industrial and commercial pro 
motion at the expense of agriculture, 
cities will continue to grow at the expense 
of the rural community, agriculture will 
inevitably break down and finally destroy 
the finest rural civilization with the 
greatest possibilities the world has ever 



88 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

seen. Decreased farm production will 
make dear food and we shall be obliged to 
send our ships to far-away nations in 
search of cheap foodstuffs the importa 
tion of which is sure to intensify agricul 
tural discouragement and distress at 
home. Ultimately there will come the 
same fatal break-down and from the same 
causes, that has destroyed the great civili 
zations of centuries past. 

If, on the other hand, we shall deter 
mine to build up here a self-sustaining na 
tion and what lover of his country can 
make a different choice? then we must 
at once set about the development of a 
system of agriculture which will enable 
us to feed our people abundantly, with 
something to spare for export in years of 
plenty, and at prices which will insure to 
the farmer and his family both financial 
rewards and educational, social and relig 
ious living conditions fairly comparable 
to those offered by the cities. A sound 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 89 

system of agriculture can not be main 
tained on any other basis. Anything 
short of a fair return upon invested capi 
tal and a fair wage for the labor which 
goes into the crops, and enough in addi 
tion to enable the farmer to maintain the 
fertility of his soil and insure against nat 
ural hazards, will drive large numbers of 
farmers to the cities. 

A frank recognition by all of our people 
of this fundamental truth is necessary, if 
we are successfully to work out this great 
national problem. It is a matter of even 
greater concern to the people of the cities 
than to the farmer and the farm commu 
nity. If we can not by painstaking study 
and wise statesmanship arrive at such 
understanding and application of eco 
nomic laws as will enable us to bring 
about a fair balance between our urban 
and rural industries, bringing prosperity 
to both and permitting neither to fatten 
at the expense of the other, we can not 



90 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

hope for concord, and without concord 
there is no assurance for the future. 

Heretofore the farmer has been an indi 
vidualist. Living a somewhat isolated 
life and being compelled to work long 
hours, it has not been easy for him to 
gather with his fellows. He has not had 
a ready means of defense against the 
strong organizations of both capital and 
labor, which in their own interest have at 
times imposed unfair conditions upon 
him. It is true that at times, during the 
past fifty years, there have been tempo 
rary farmer organizations brought to 
gether to combat some unusually burden 
some conditions but usually breaking 
down when the emergency has passed. 

But of late years there have sprung up 
farmer organizations of a quite different 
sort organizations with a very large 
membership, with an aggressive and intel 
ligent leadership, and with a way of 
raising whatever funds they; maj; find 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 91 

necessary to promote the interest of their 
members. The leaders of these organiza 
tions are learning rapidly how to adapt to 
their work the methods which business 
men and working men have found success 
ful in furthering thefr own interests. The 
fruit-growers of the western coast have 
become so strong that they are now able 
not only to do away with many of the ex 
penses heretofore paid to others, but also 
to influence the price of their products. 
The grain-growers of the West and 
Northwest have become strong enough to 
bring about many changes they desired in 
the marketing of their crops. The farm 
ers of the corn belt states are rapidly per 
fecting the most powerful organization of 
farmers ever known in this country. All 
of these are natural developments in the 
evolving change of relationship and the 
modern complexities of productivity and 
exchange. 
It is more than conceivable, it is appar- 



92 OUK COMMON COUNTRY] 

ent, that we are able to deal more wisely 
and more justly with our agriculture than 
we have in the past. Unless we do deal 
more fairly there may come a conflict 
between the organized farmers in the sur 
plus-producing states and those who insist 
on buying their crops below production 
costs. We have witnessed the restricted 
production of manufactures and of 
labor, but we have not yet experienced the 
intentionally restricted production of 
foodstuffs. Let us hope we never may. 
It is our business to produce and conserve, 
not to deny, deprive or destroy. 

I have no thought of suggesting that 
the government should work out an elab 
orate system of agriculture and then try 
to impose it on the farmers of the coun 
try. That would be utterly repugnant to 
American ideals. Government paternal 
ism, whether applied to agriculture or to 
any other of our great national industries, 
would stifle ambition, impair efficiency, 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 93 

lessen production and make us a nation of 
dependent incompetents. The farmer 
requires no special favors at the hands of 
the government. All he needs is a fair 
chance and just such consideration for 
agriculture as we ought to give to a basic 
industry, and ever seek to promote for our 
common good. 

The need of farm representation in 
larger governmental affairs is recognized. 
During the past seven years the right of 
agriculture to a voice in government 
administration has been practically 
ignored, and at times the farmer has suf 
fered grievously as a result. The farmer 
has a vital interest in our trade relations 
with other countries, in the administra 
tion of our financial policies, and in many 
of the larger activities of the government. 
His interests must be safeguarded by men 
who understand his needs, he must be 
actually and practically represented. 

The right of farmers to form coopera- 



94 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

tive associations for the marketing of 
their products must be granted. The con 
cert of agriculture is as essential to farms 
as a similar concert of action is to facto 
ries. A prosperous agriculture demands 
not only efficiency in production, but 
efficiency in marketing. Through coop 
erative associations the route between the 
producer and the consumer can and must 
be shortened. Wasteful effort can and 
must be avoided. Unnecessary expense 
can and must be eliminated. It is to the 
advantage of all of our people that every 
possible improvement be made in our 
methods of getting the products of our 
farms into the hands of the people who 
consume them. The legitimate functions 
of the middleman may continue to be per 
formed, by private enterprise, under con 
ditions where the middleman is necessary 
and gives his skill to our joint welfare. 
The parasite in distribution who preys on 
both producer and consumer must no 



AMEKICAN AGKICULTUKE 95 

longer sap the vitality of this fundamen 
tal life. 

"We should have a scientific study of 
agricultural prices and farm production 
costs, both at home and abroad, with a 
view to reducing the frequency of abnor 
mal fluctuations here. Stabilization will 
contribute to everybody s confidence. 
Farmers have complained bitterly of the 
frequent and violent fluctuations in 
prices of farm products, and especially in 
prices of live stock. They do not find 
fluctuations such fluctuations in the 
products of other industries. In a gen 
eral way prices of farm products must go 
up or down according to whether there is 
a plentiful crop or a short one. The 
farmer s raw materials are the fertility 
of the soil, the sunshine and the rain ; and 
the size of his crops is measured by the 
supply of these raw materials and the 
skill with which he makes use of them. 
He can not control his production and 



96 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

adjust it to the demand as can the manu 
facturer. But he can see no good reason 
why the prices of his products should 
fluctuate so violently from week to week, 
and sometimes from day to day. We 
must get a better understanding of the 
factors which influence agricultural 
prices ; with a view to avoiding these vio 
lent fluctuations and bringing about aver 
age prices, which shall bear a reasonable 
relation to the cost of production. We do 
not offer any quack remedies in this mat 
ter, but we do pledge ourselves to make a 
thorough study of the disease, find out 
what causes it, and then apply the remedy 
which promises a cure. 

We promise to put an end to unneces 
sary price-fixing of farm products and to 
ill-considered efforts arbitrarily to re 
duce farm product prices. In times of 
national crisis, when there is a known 
scarcity of any necessary product, price 
control for the purpose of making a fair 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 97 

distribution of the stores on hand may be 
both necessary and wise. But we know 
that there can be no repeal of natural 
laws the eternal fundamentals. The his 
tory of the last three thousand years re 
cords the folly of such efforts. If the 
price of any farm product, for example, is 
arbitrarily fixed at a point which does not 
cover the cost of production, the farmer 
is compelled to reduce the production of 
that particular crop. This results in a 
shortage which in turn brings about 
higher prices than before, and thus inten 
sifies the danger from which it was sought 
to escape. In times past, many nations 
have tried to hold down living costs by 
arbitrarily fixing prices of farm prod 
ucts. All such efforts have failed, and 
have usually brought national disaster. 

Government drives against food prices 
such as we have experienced during the 
past two years are equally vain and use 
less. The ostensible purpose of such 



98 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

drives is to reduce the price the consumer 
pays for food. The actual result is un 
justly to depress for a time the prices the 
farmer receives for his grains and live 
stock, but with no appreciable reduction 
in the price the consumer pays. Such 
drives simply give the speculator and the 
profiteer additional opportunities to add 
to their exactions, while they add to the 
uncertainty and discouragement under 
which the farmer is laboring during this 
period of readjustment. 

We favor the administration of the 
farm loan act, so as to help men who farm 
to secure farms of their own, and to give 
to them long-time credits needed to prac 
tise the best methods of diversified 
farming. 

We also favor the authorization of 
associations to provide the necessary 
machinery to furnish personal credit to 
the man, whether land owner or tenant, 
who is hampered for lack of working cap- 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 99 

ital. The highest type of rural civiliza 
tion is that in which the land is farmed by 
the men who own it. Unfortunately, as 
land increases in value, tenancy also 
increases. 

This has been true throughout history. 
At the present time probably one-half of 
the high priced land in the corn belt 
states is farmed by men, who, because of 
lack of capital, find it necessary to rent. 
This increase in tenancy brings with it 
evils which are a real menace to national 
welfare. The land owner, especially if he 
be a speculator who is holding for a profit 
through an advance in value, is concerned 
chiefly in securing the highest possible 
rent. The tenant who lacks sufficient 
working capital, and who too often is 
working under a short time lease, is 
forced to farm the land to the limit and 
rob it of its fertility in order to pay the 
rent. Thus we have a sort of conspiracy 
between landlord and tenant to rob the 



100 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

soil upon which our national well-being 
and indeed our very existence depend. 
Amid such conditions, we have inefficient 
schools, broken-down churches, and a sad 
ly-limited social life. We should, there 
fore, concern ourselves not only in help 
ing men to secure farms of their own, and 
in helping the tenant secure the working 
capital he needs to carry on the best meth 
ods of diversified farming, but we should 
work out a system of land-leasing which, 
while doing full justice to both landlord 
and tenant, will at the same time conserve 
the fertility of the soil. 

We do not longer recognize the right to 
speculative profit in the operation of our 
transporation systems, but we are pledged 
to restore them to the highest state of effi 
ciency as quickly as possible. Agricul 
ture has suffered more severely than any 
other industry through the inefficient 
railroad service of the last two years. 
Many farmers have incurred disastrous 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 101 

losses through inability to market their 
grain and live stock. Such a condition 
must not be permitted to continue. We 
must bring about conditions which will 
give us prompt service at the lowest pos 
sible rates. 

"We need a revision of the tariff as soon 
as conditions shall make it necessary for 
the preservation of the home market for 
American labor, American agriculture 
and American industry. For a perma 
nent good fortune all must have a common 
interest. If we are to build up a self-sus 
taining agriculture here at home, the 
farmer must be protected from unfair 
competition from those countries where 
agriculture is still being exploited and 
where the standards of living on the farm 
are much lower than here. We have 
asked for higher American standards, let 
us maintain them. 

The farmers of the corn belt, for exam 
ple, are already threatened with unfair 



102 OTJR COMMON COUNTRY 

competition from the Argentine, whose 
rich soil is being exploited in heedless 
fashion and where the renters who farm 
it are living under conditions more miser 
able than the poorest tenants in the 
United States. In times past, duties on 
agricultural products were largely in the 
nature of paper tariffs, for we were a 
great surplus-producing nation. Now 
that consumption at home is so nearly 
reaching normal production, the Amer 
ican farmer has a right to insist that in 
our trade relations with other countries 
he shall have the same consideration that 
is accorded to other industries, and we 
mean to protect them all. 

So long as America can produce the 
foods we need, I am in favor of buying 
from America first. It is this very pref 
erence which impels development and 
improvement. Whenever America can 
manufacture to meet American needs 
and there is almost no limit to our genius 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 103 

and resources I favor producing in 
America first. I commend American 
preference for American productive activ 
ities, because material good fortune is 
essential to our higher attainment, and 
linked indissolubly are farm and factory 
in the economic fabric of American life. 
Under a sound system of agriculture, 
fostered and safeguarded by wise and fair 
administration of state and federal gov 
ernment, the farmers of the United 
States can feed our people for many cen 
turies perhaps indefinitely. But we 
must understand conditions, and make a 
new appraisal of relationships, and 
square our actions to the great underly 
ing foundation of all human endeavor. 
Farming is not an auxiliary, it is the 
main plant, and geared with it, insepara 
bly, is every wheel of transportation and 
industry. America could not go on with 
a dissatisfied farming people, and no 
nation is secure where land-hunger 



104 OTJR COMMON COUNTRY 

abides. We need fewer land-hogs who 
menace our future, and more fat hogs for 
ham and bacon. We need less beguile- 
ment in cultivating a quadrennial crop of 
votes and more consideration for farming 
as our basic industry. We need less 
appeal to class consciousness, and more 
resolute intelligence in promptly solving 
our problems. We need rest and recupe 
ration for a soil which has been worked 
out in agitation, and more and better har 
vests in the inviting fields of mutual 
understanding. We need less of grief 
about the ills which we may charge to the 
neglect of our own citizenship, and more 
confidence in just government, along with 
determination to make and hold it just. 

We need to contemplate the miracle of 
America in that understanding which 
enables us to appreciate that which made 
us what we are, and then resolve to cling 
fast to all that is good and go confidently 
on to great things. 



AMERICAN AGRICULTURE 105 

We need to recall that America and its 
triumphs are not a gift to the world 
through a paralyzing internationality, 
but the glories of the Republic are the 
fruits of our nationality and its inspira 
tions of freedom, of opportunity, of 
equal rights under the Constitution, of 
Columbia offering the cup of American 
liberty to men thirsting to achieve and 
beckoning men to drink of the waters of 
our political life and be rewarded as they 
merit it. I think that the paths which 
brought us to the point where the world 
leadership might have been ours as it 
might have been in 1919 in the first cen 
tury and a third of national life, ought to 
be the way to the answered aspirations of 
this great Eepublic. I like to turn for 
reflection sometimes, because I get 
therein the needed assurance for the on 
ward march of the morrow. To-day we 
have contemplated American farming in 
the broadest possible way, Kave been 



106 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

reminded where we have been remiss ; to 
morrow we want to greet farmers of 
America in the freedom and fulness of 
farming productivity, impelled by the 
assurance that they are to have their full 
part in the rewards of righteous Amer 
ican activity. 



WHAT OF OUE CHILDREN 

A MESSAGE FOE MOTHERS 



CHAPTER V 

WHAT OF OUR CHILDREN 

IN MY address to women voters last 
October, I spoke of my desire that there 
should be created in our government a 
department of public welfare. It is with 
some satisfaction that I am now able to 
say that since the election I have had 
opportunity to discuss that proposal with 
a number of leaders of liberal public 
thought in and out of Congress, with ref 
erence to crystallizing it into legislative 
accomplishment, and have found them 
eager to help in the constructive task. 

Its accomplishment will tardily place 
our government on something like an 
equal footing with governments which 
109 



110 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

have long maintained ministries of educa 
tion represented in their Cabinets. While 
my own ideal envisages a broader scope 
for the new department, giving it concern 
with many other phases of human wel 
fare, it is interesting to know that its cre 
ation will for the first time place this 
great work on a phase of dignity compar 
able to that given it in many other 
countries. 

Whether we may esteem it wise or un 
wise, the modern mother must realize 
that society is disposed more and more to 
take from her control the training, the 
intellectual direction and the spiritual 
guidance of her children. We may well 
plead with the mothers to make the most 
for good, of the lessened opportunity they 
possess for molding the lives and minds 
of their children. Through such coopera 
tive effort as this is, it seems to me, there 
is opportunity for a great service. Here 
in is presented the opportunity to lift up 



WHAT OF OTJR CHILDREN 111 

the poorer and the less fortunate to a 
higher level. 

The mother who indef atigably seeks to 
train her own children rightly will be per 
forming this service not only for her own 
children, but for those from other homes 
not so richly blessed with the finer things 
of life. I confess to no great satisfaction 
in the good fortune of those families, 
which, when they become sufficiently well 
to do, like to take their children away 
from the public schools and give them the 
doubtful advantage of more exclusive 
educational processes. I like the democ 
racy of the community school and, indeed, 
I would like to see a greater measure of it 
enforced in the public schools by the elim 
ination of those evidences of extrava 
gance in dress and social indulgence 
which make for the development of some 
thing like caste within our democracy. 

On the side of the teacher and the re 
sponsible authorities back of her, there 



112 OUB COMMON COUNTRY 

must be the same ready disposition to 
cooperate with the home and the mother. 
Our public school system leaves to the 
home and its influence the great duty of 
instilling into the child those fundamental 
concepts of religion which are so essential 
in shaping the character of individual cit 
izens, and, therefore, of the nation. That 
duty remains to be performed at the 
hearthside and will always be a peculiar 
prerogative of the mother. I could wish, 
indeed, that our nation might have a 
revival of religious spirit along these 
lines. There never was a time when the 
world stood in more need than it does now 
of the consolations and reassurances 
which only a firm religious faith can 
have. It is a time of uncertainty, of 
weakened faith in the efficiency of insti 
tutions, of industrial systems, of economic 
hypothesis, of dictum and dogma. What 
ever our realm, let not our engrossment 
with those things which are concerned 



WHAT OF OUR CHILDREN US 

merely with matter and mind distract 
from proper attention to those which are 
of the spirit and the soul. 

It has been demonstrated to astonishing 
and alarming certainty that a large pro 
portion of school children and even of 
adults suffer from under-nourishment. 
Perhaps in the case of most adults the 
fault is of the individual rather than 
society. With children, however, it is 
otherwise. If society has permitted the 
development of a system under which the 
citizens of to-morrow suffer real priva 
tion to-day, then the obligation is upon 
society to right that wrong, to insure some 
measure of justice to the children, who 
are not responsible for being here. 

I am not of those who believe legislation 
can find panaceas for all ills, but on the 
other hand I am not of those who fear to 
undertake through legislation the formu 
lation of new programs. 

I firmly believe that our country, along 



114 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

with others that claim -a share in the 
world s leadership, has lately achieved 
one victory in behalf of a better under 
standing and more intelligent grasp of 
these problems. I refer to the bestowal 
upon women of full participation in the 
privileges and obligations of citizenship. 
With her large part wider in influence in 
the world of affairs, I think we shall see 
woman and her finer spiritual instincts at 
length leading mankind to higher planes 
of religion, of humanism and of ennobling 
spirituality. 

Healthful mothers amid fit conditions 
for maternity, healthful, abundantly 
nourished children amid fit conditions 
for development mentally and physically 
all made certain by the generation of 
to-day in its concern for to-morrow, will 
guarantee a citizenship from the soil of 
America which will be the guarantee of 
American security and the American 
fulfillment. 



THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 



A MESSAGE FOE NEWSPAPERMEN 



CHAPTER VI 

THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 

THE passing years have wrought great 
changes in the newspaper business even 
in the comparatively short time since my 
adventurous entry upon it. The prolific 
inventors of printing machinery and 
other appliances have borne their share in 
it ; the free rural delivery, the advance in 
education bringing new multitudes of 
readers, have all had their influence in 
the developments and evolutions which 
have followed. I can remember when in 
most of the county-seat towns the posses 
sion by one of the papers of a power- 
press, even if the power was applied by 
a husky man attached to a cranked wheel, 
117 



118 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

was widely proclaimed as an evidence 
of astounding prosperity and recognized 
as a potential influence. 

We have seen the type-setting machines 
come in not to supplant the hand com 
positor, but to shift him to the "Ad. 
Alleys" and the job cases. They have 
taught the printers, as the mowers and 
reapers have taught the farmers, that 
increased capacity in production does not 
mean a lessening of a demand for labor, 
but on the contrary increased production, 
through increased efficiency, mental, 
manual or mechanical, opens new avenues 
for employment and brings luxuries into 
the class of common commodities. 

The diminished numbers of country 
weekly publications came in the extension 
of the rural delivery mail carriers. We 
learned that the farmer who got his mail 
every morning at his front door would not 
wait a week or even two or three days for 
his newspaper. He learned, too, what 



THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 119 

market reports meant to him. Machinery 
had lightened his toil and shortened his 
hours, except seasonably, and he had time 
to read and the desire to be informed. 
The telephones had brought him in touch 
with some news centers and he heard 
hints which he wanted confirmed. Elec 
tricity lighted many farm-houses and 
lengthened the reading period. 

The rural delivery with the parcel post 
also wiped out many of the cross-roads 
stores where the rural dweller was wont 
to gather for neighborly gossip and dis 
cussion of great events, and this, too, had 
its influence in broadening the demand 
for the daily paper. 

Another change was brought about by 
two causes. In the days of thirty or 
forty years ago, there was a bitterness and 
acerbity about political discussion which 
caused the factional newspaper to multi 
ply if not to flourish. It was not diffi 
cult to start a newspaper in those days. 



120 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

A very small amount of cash and a little 
credit would procure a modest plant, and 
another journal would be " established" 
to fight its owner s quarrels and divide 
the limited patronage of its limited field. 

But now it costs real money to equip a 
newspaper plant to install linotype ma 
chines, fast presses and type in quantities, 
and it costs a " fortune" to buy news 
print. The "high cost of printing" has 
had way with us and we find fewer but 
generally better newspapers than we had 
in the Ohio counties when our population 
was half what it is now. 

The changes have been great, but I 
question whether they have all been in the 
nature of improvements. The old-time 
paper going back to the last half of last 
century was usually a real journal of 
opinion. It reflected the convictions as 
well as the opinions of its owner and 
editor, and it was a real molder of opinion 
in its influence upon its readers and the 



THE PKESS AND THE PtJBLIO 111 

community it served. The editors were 
not always great writers, but they were 
generally patriots, and honestly desirous 
to render service. And they were gener 
ally partisan and they preached party 
gospel and believed in it. Sometimes it 
seems to me that the transition from the 
party organ to the " independent" news 
paper, so-called, has not been an unmixed 
blessing. The partisan newspaper, in its 
editorial expression, uttered the consid 
ered views of a large element of our citi 
zenship, while the " independent" paper 
is often the organ solely of its owner, or it 
is colorlessly neutral. 

There is a temptation to blend shop talk 
with politics, because I know how inti 
mately newspaper men are thinking of 
the problem of news print, the cost of 
which has added so excessively to the 
expense account of every newspaper. 
Men speak of immediate relief, but the 
problem is too big for that. 



122 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

Permanent and ample relief must come 
by going to the underlying causes. No 
forest consumption like ours can go on 
indefinitely without imperiling our pulp- 
wood supply. Competent authority tells 
us that the pulpwood in New York State 
will be exhausted in ten years, that New 
England will be denuded of its supply in 
twenty years. Our needs are so vast that 
we imported nearly one and a half million 
tons of pulpwood from Canada in 1918, 
and the Canadian price advanced from 
ten to twenty-five dollars per cord. It is 
obvious that we must have a forest policy 
which shall make us self-reliant once 
more. We ought to be looking ahead to 
produce our timber for our pulpwood 
needs and also our timber for our lumber 
needs. Forest conservation is a necessary 
accompaniment to printing expansion, 
and a matter of common concern to all the 
people. 

Three-fifths of the original timber in 



flDHE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 123 

this country is gone, and there are eighty 
million idle acres in which we ought to be 
growing forests for the future. Planning 
for the future, with added protection of 
our present forests from fire, is a matter 
of deep concern to publishers in particu 
lar, but to all of constructive America as 
well. 

But I want to turn your thoughts to a 
service in the columns. There is one ser 
vice for the American press, not partisan 
but patriotic, for which there is a call 
to-day such as we have never known 
before. America needs a baptism in 
righteousness and a new consecration in 
morality. 

It was stated the other day that a reflex 
of the war has been so revealed in broken 
obligations and betrayed trusts that the 
bonding companies are called upon to 
meet such losses that the whole schedule 
for fidelity policies must be rewritten. 
If my information is correct, the security 



124 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

companies have never been called upon to 
meet so many and such heavy losses in all 
the history of that business. 

Probably the betrayals of trust, the 
smaller ones at least, are in part due to the 
high cost of living, and the failure of sal 
ary scales to respond to the new demands 
of the salaried working forces. Many 
instances are reported, however, where 
salaries were ample to meet even extrav 
agant practises, and the sums stolen were 
beyond all limits which might attend liv 
ing costs. The conclusion is forced that 
it is a reflex of the moral degeneracy of 
war, of the barbarity and cunning, and 
ruthlessness and greed in war s after 
math. 

There was so much of extravagance, so 
much of waste, so much of needless expen 
ditures in seeking for speed in war pre 
paration, that the government often was 
robbed without scruple of conscience, 
often without hindrance. It is not sur- 



THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 123 

prising to find a reflex in offices and 
counting rooms. 

Call it reaction if you like, we need the 
old standards of honesty, the lofty stand 
ards of fidelity. If I could call for but 
one distinction, I would like ours to be 
known as an honest people. We need 
the stamp of common, every-day honesty, 
everywhere. We need it in business, we 
need it in labor, we need it in professions, 
in pulpits, in editorial rooms, in circula 
tion count. Aye, we need it in politics, in 
government, in our daily lives. Dishon 
esty and corruption had more to do with 
the Russian revolution than all the cru 
elty of autocracy. 

If governments and their diplomats 
in Europe had been honest, there would 
have been no war. If everybody con 
cerned had been rigidly honest, peace 
might have followed the armistice within 
ninety days. If we could only be gen 
uinely honest with one another, we could 



126 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

put an end to industrial and social unrest, 
and if we were only honest with God, we 
would become a moral and religious peo 
ple again. 

I suppose some people will say I am 
" looking backward." But if we may 
look backward to clear our vision we may 
look forward more confidently, and lift 
our gaze above and beyond the sordid and 
selfish things and the baser side of life so 
horridly revealed when passions are 
aflame. There is sure progress for a sim 
ple-living, reverent people, fearing God 
and loving righteousness. It is good to 
look back to make sure of the way relig 
ious mothers taught and then face the 
front with renewed faith. 

If we are living in the past to recall the 
wisdom of Washington, the equal rights 
of Jefferson, the genius of Hamilton, the 
philosophy of Franklin, or the sturdiness 
of Jackson; if it is looking backward to 
recall the sympathy and steadfastness of 



THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC 127 

Lincoln, the restoration of McKinley or 
the awakening by Roosevelt, I am happy 
to drink of the past for my inspiration for 
the morrow. 

Engineering is a scientific pursuit and 
a very accurate one. It has been my for 
tune to witness some railway surveys, and 
I never knew an engineer who did not 
turn his transit to his back-sight to make 
sure of his line by which we were to move 
on. We are thinking to-day of the route 
by which America is to go on. The past 
is secure, and I would like to project our 
future course on the security of the past. 

Something has been said lately about 
looking to the sunrise of to-morrow, not 
the sky-line of the setting sun. Every 
hope in life is of to-morrow, we could not 
live yesterdays again if we would. But 
the glory of ten thousand morrows was 
wrought in the wisdom gleaned on yester 
day. Mariners and planters and harvest 
ers all study the sky. Sometimes above 



128 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

the sky-line, in lands where the desert 
stretches, there is the mirage, with its lure 
to the fevered and thirsting, with inviting 
promise of relief. It has speeded travel 
and revived hopes, and spurned waning 
strength, it has diverted from proved 
routes, and left death and destruction as 
its monument to broken promises. In the 
horizon of maintained constitutionalism, 
there is no mirage to lure the American 
caravan, but we mean to go securely on, 
over the proved routes of triumph for the 
republic and the people thereof. 

No one agency can render a greater ser 
vice in holding to the charted way than a 
conscientious and patriotic American 
press. But it must remain free, utterly 
free ; along with freedom of speech, free 
dom of religious belief, and the freedom 
of righteous pursuit, it must be honest 
and it must be rejoicing in American 
nationality which is our priceless 
possession. 



THE THEATER 

A MESSAGE FOE ACTOES 



CHAPTER VII 

< 

THE THEATER 

WHETHER one contemplates the pres 
ent-day stage in deference to its part in 
art or its vast opportunities for educa 
tional work or its commercial importance, 
it is really a very significant factor in the 
activities, progress and attainment of our 
common country. I presume many had 
rather be estimated from the purely pro 
fessional side as devotees of a very great 
and appealing art. It is very easy, on the 
other hand, for the practical mind to be 
impressed by the fact that the United 
States of America expends approx 
imately one billion dollars per year for 
its amusement on the stage. Perhaps 

131 



132 OXTK COMMON COUNTET 

nothing more significantly reflects the 
changed condition of living or the ability 
of our people to indulge in those things 
which are counted a necessary part of the 
fuller modern life. 

There is another phase, however, which 
is even more appealing to me. I do not in 
any way minimize my high regard for the 
great art involved in the splendid work of 
the spoken drama or the musical stage, 
but the coming of the silent drama has 
revealed to us an agency for education 
which no human being could have reason 
ably conceived a quarter of a century ago. 
We have no single avenue for the dissem 
ination of information equal to that of 
the moving picture. I do not know that 
any one now has an approximate measure 
of the possibilities which may come. Pic 
tures are very convincing things. I con 
fess that sometimes the camera fools us 
more or less, but, as a general proposition, 
it is a very dependable agency of the 



THE THEATER 133 

truth, and it has the facility for conveying 
essential educational truths to the remot 
est parts of the world. 

Nothing is more remarkable than the 
enlarged enjoyment of the drama through 
picture distribution. , It is only a few 
years ago that the rural community saw 
very little of the drama and much of what 
it saw was not to be taken as a very credit 
able example of the best in dramatic art. 
Most artists have a very strong aversion 
to what is properly known as barnstorm 
ing, and really worth-while stage enter 
tainment was a very rare thing in the 
rural communities. Many of us had 
examples of home production in which we 
yielded to a very natural inclination to act 
some part. This manifestation is one 
which we developed rather unconsciously 
from the earliest days in the public 
schools. The recitation or the declama 
tion, so frequently employed by schooling 
youths and encouraged in every home, is 



134 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

only one of the early tendencies of the 
dramatic art. 

I will not venture to recall my recollec 
tions of the amateur stage and the home 
production, or any part I had therein, but 
I do recall that out of the atmosphere of 
the small town stage has come many a star 
to illumine the theatrical world. It has 
seemed to me that there are two elemental 
essentials to the inauguration of a dra 
matic career : one is native talent and the 
other is opportunity for its development. 
With these, of course, must be ambition 
and determination, because there is no 
eminence attained in human life without 
these. It is befitting to recall that no 
actor or actress ever wrought an abiding 
triumph on any stage, without knowing 
the soul of the character enacted, and we 
Americans, to enact our part in the drama 
of world civilization, must know the soul 
of America, and play the part of real 
Americans. 



THE THEATER 135 

j 

If it will not seem out of place, I want 
to convey one message to the associates in 
the various activities of the stage world. 
I think we have been making noble prog 
ress in the attainment of high quality and 
the elevation of standards. I would like 
the American stage to be like American 
citizenship, the best in all the world. I 
think the inspiration for success lies in 
ever lifting the standards higher and 
higher. It is extremely necessary to con 
tinue to elevate the standards of the silent 
drama, because we send the picture stage 
to all the people of the United States and 
it is of common concern that its influence 
must be the very best. I do not think a 
people can be fortunate with various 
standards of censorship. I presume cen 
sorship is very essential, but I do not 
think we require one standard for one 
locality and another standard for an 
other. We must ever be on guard against 
debasement for momentary gain, on the 



136 OTJR COMMON COUNTRY 

one hand, and against narrow exaction 
which destroys the artistic merit of a pro 
duction and the real lesson intended, on 
the other. However, there is nothing so 
essential to the highest art that it need be 
offensive to becoming public morals. 

Without venturing to quote the very 
familiar reference to all the world as a 
stage, I have been thinking lately that 
there is a great likeness between political 
life under popular government and many 
of our most successful productions on the 
stage. Some of the most impressive plays 
I have ever witnessed have been those 
where all that interest is not riveted in the 
lead. For example, in the production of 
Julius Ccesar, which attracted the atten 
tion of much of the foremost talent of the 
stage, one great actor would choose to por 
tray the character of Cassius, another 
may have elected to play the part of Bru 
tus, still another thought to assume the 
role of Caesar himself. The work of the 



THE THEATER 137 

lead was not transcendent, but the effect 
iveness of the play was dependent on the 
perfection with which every character 
was presented. To my mind it is the ideal 
spoken production where each one plays 
his part with soul and enthusiasm, no 
matter how insignificant the part may be, 
so that out of the grouped endeavor comes 
the perfect offering. 

There is an element in every production 
quite as essential in the modern produc 
tion as the acting caste, which must work 
with spirit and devotion and which the 
public never sees. I refer to the forces 
behind the scenes, who dress the picture 
for either spoken or silent drama. I do 
not assume to mention all elements essen 
tial to the modern stage, but I do want to 
remind the public that on the stage, as in 
life, are ever the faithful and the tireless 
without whom we could not accomplish, 
but who themselves rarely appear on the 
stage. Their applause must come in the 



138 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

soul of their work and the consciousness 
of things well done. 

There are many plays especially writ 
ten for notable stars and their presenta 
tion has depended on the work of one 
portraying genius. There is, of course, a 
fascination in the one-lead drama, but it 
makes the spectator very much dependent 
upon one individuality, and if the star 
should be incapacitated for any reason, 
there is inevitable disappointment. I 
think it is a very practical thing to sug 
gest that our American popular govern 
ment ought not to be a one-lead or a one- 
star drama of modern civilization. I 
want to commend the policy of each and 
every one having his part to play, and we 
all must play with enthusiasm in order to 
perfect the whole production. For the 
supreme offering, we need the all-star 
cast, presenting America to all the world. 

Running over in my mind some of my 
recollections of the stage, I recall two 



THE THEATER 139 

plays, the production of which left an 
impress that I shall never forget, espec 
ially in their bearing on the present state 
of human affairs. In one, Forbes Eobert- 
son played the leading role The Passing 
of the Third Floor Back. The Stranger 
in the play urged upon a discordant, sus 
picious boarding-house family, the gospel 
of simplicity and honesty and under 
standing. With a rare sympathy and 
great patience, and with wholesome good 
sense and a fine example in himself, he 
transformed the household and planted 
happiness where discord had flourished, 
and rended hypocrisy, and put an end to 
cheating, and drove snobbery out, and set 
the flowers of fellowship abloom. We 
need the lesson this Stranger taught, in 
our American lives and throughout the 
world. His was no radical teaching, his 
was not a highly dramatic or sensational 
example, there really was not a very strik 
ing " punch" in a thing that he said, but 



140 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

the Stranger was soothing and helpful 
and encouraging and uplifting, and he 
left sunshine where the shadows of gloom 
had darkened, and he did it all through 
sympathy and understanding. He uncov 
ered reality and put pretense aside. 

The other play was one of Mansfield s 
superb productions Henry V, if my 
memory is correct. I particularly recall 
a camp scene on the night before a crucial 
battle, and as I recall it now the King put 
aside his regal garb, and clad as a simple 
soldier went among his armed forces to 
learn their feelings, their confidence, and 
their fears, and ascertained on terms of 
equality and intimacy, what a monarch 
might never have learned in any other 
way. And he found that the heart of his 
army was right. He asked concerning 
the morrow and he found the confidence 
of the rank and file to be the assurance of 
a King, and together they fought in tri 
umph the next day. 



THEATER 141 

There is no kingship in this Republic, 
but thoughtful Americans are wondering 
about the morrow. Is our civilization 
secure ? It is well to know what is in the 
hearts of men and women, who are gath 
ered before the camp-fires of human 
progress. There is a memory of yester 
day, the horizon of to-day, and the new 
hope of to-morrow. Every normal human 
being wishes for a better morrow than 
to-day. Every parent in America wishes 
for his son or daughter all that he inher 
ited, and more. That is why humanity is 
ever an advancing procession. 

But no sane man ever puts aside an 
assurance of experience for the promise 
of more experiment. The world can not 
be stabilized on dreams, but can be 
steadied by evident truths. It is perfectly 
normal humanity which delights in a new 
sensation. One can only pity a people 
which becomes blase. It is better to be 
simple than surfeited. The new thrill is 



142 OUK COMMON COUNTKY 

sought on the stage and is sought every 
where in human life. Some of our people 
lately have been wishing to become " citi 
zens of the world. Not so long since I 
met a fine elderly daughter of Virginia, 
who would have been justified in boasting 
her origin in the Old Dominion and utter 
ing her American pride, but I was 
shocked to hear her say, "I am no longer 
an American, I am a citizen of the world." 
Frankly, I am not so universal, I rejoice 
to be an American and love the name, the 
land, the people and the flag. 



AMERICAN EDUCATION 



A MESSAGE FOB TEACHERS 



CHAPTER VIII 

AMERICAN EDUCATION 

MY mind runs back to something like 
thirty-eight years ago when I was in 
attendance as a teacher at a Marion 
County Institute. I had come from col 
lege only the year before, and I did what 
was very much the practise of that time 
turned to teaching in my abundant ful 
ness of knowledge, merely as a temporary 
occupation. 

It is a very inspiring thing to be a 
teacher of American youth. In our mod 
ern life we have shifted some of the 
responsibility which I think should 
accrue to parenthood over to the teachers 
in our public schools. So school-teachers 

145 



146 OTJB COMMON COUNTED 

have much, to do with making the citizen 
ship in this Republic of ours, and they 
ought to be the best rated profession, the 
best cared for profession in America. I 
believe that our teachers should be com 
pensated as liberally, if not more liber 
ally, than any other profession. I do not 
try to give you the impression that the 
federal government can do that; but we 
do have a Federal Bureau of Education 
which has only a relative influence on 
educational work. Some day we may 
have a much larger and more important 
Department of Education; but in any 
event the federal government can exert 
its influence in behalf of a becoming rec 
ognition of the teaching profession. 

I do not believe that all which has been 
placed on the shoulders of our teachers 
ought to be taken from the American 
homes. I will not discuss that at length, 
but I do think teachers ought to know the 
home a little more intimately, and ought 



AMEKICAN EDUCATION 147 

to have the cooperation of the parents and 
the home. 

I am not sure I was a very good teacher, 
but I was at least ambitious to be a good 
one. I taught in a country school. If you 
have never done that you don t know the 
real pleasure of teaching. "We had all the 
branches of elementary teaching, up to 
the heights of algebra and general his 
tory. One day I put on the blackboard 
the forms for addressing and closing a let 
ter. After explanations, I erased the 
blackboard form and asked the pupils to 
address me a letter on their slates. One 
obstinate youth refused, and I was 
obliged to discipline him. He happened 
to be a son of one of the school directors 
who compensated me for my unusual 
interest in his boy by writing me that I 
was engaged to teach what was in the text 
book, namely, reading, writing, and arith 
metic, and not to go beyond. So he de 
clined to sign my pay warrant! That 



148 OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

actually happened only about thirty- 
eight years ago. 

Our teachers represent the great army 
of those patient soldiers in the cause of 
humanity upon whom rests one of the 
most profound responsibilities given to 
any man or woman. And yet the disad 
vantages that beset their profession indi 
cate a serious menace to Our national 
institutions. It is, indeed, a crisis in 
American education that confronts us. 
If we continue to allow our public instruct 
ors to struggle with beggarly wages we 
shall find ourselves with closed schools; 
our education will languish and fail. It 
is a patent fact that never have our teach 
ers, as a whole, been properly compen 
sated. From the days when the country 
teachers " boarded around" to the present 
hour the profession has never been ade 
quately compensated. Requiring, as it 
does, a high degree of mental equipment, 
a long preparation, severe examination 



AMERICAN EDUCATION 149 

tests, the maintenance of a proper state in 
society, and giving employment only a 
part of the year, with compensation too 
meager, the wonder of it is that we have 
had the service of these devoted persons 
employed in educating, our youth. 

I have a personal recollection of the 
old-time estimate of school teaching, 
because I taught one session of district 
school. For the autumn months I 
received twenty dollars per month, for the 
winter double the price, not that I taught 
better or more, but probably because I 
built the fires and had more sweeping to 
do. But then, and earlier, teaching was 
not a life profession, but rather a resort 
to youth s temporary earnings, to help 
prepare for something else. To-day 
teaching is a life work, a great profession, 
a life offering on the altar of American 
advancement. 

Education is recognized in our organic 
law, but it did not need that declaration. 



350 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

America s greatness, her liberty, and her 
happiness are founded upon her intelli 
gence. They are founded upon that wide 
dissemination of knowledge which comes 
only to the many through our educational 
system. 

This subject touches every individual 
in America, All of us are concerned in 
our common schools. We ought to be as 
interested in our teacher s pay as we are 
in our own. We can t be confident of our 
schools unless we are confident of our 
teachers and know they are the best that 
a great work may command. 

Whatever the cause may be for failure 
to recognize the value of the teacher, 
measured in wages, it is a lamentable fact 
that the teacher has done his patient serv 
ice improperly rewarded through all the 
years. The burdens of the teachers have 
increased, greater exactions as to fitness 
have been imposed, the cost of living has 



AMERICAN EDUCATION 151 

gone up, but we have failed to meet the 
change. 

"We have now reached a crisis, when it 
is imperative that something must be 
done. I know with what difficulty our 
public schools have been operated during 
the past two or three years. Teachers 
have left the schools for more promising 
employments and their places have been 
left unfilled with new enlistments. This 
condition is not only fatal if continued, 
but it reflects discredit upon every citi 
zen who has not demanded correction of 
the evil. We make drafts upon our pub 
lic treasuries, we are taxed, sometimes 
unnecessarily, for almost every other con 
ceivable purpose. Let us support ade 
quately the standards of our schools. Let 
all Americans recognize the necessity and 
determine upon relief. When the facts 
are known, America and Americans will 
respond. 

It is fair to say that the federal govern- 



152 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

ment is not responsible and can not as 
sume to trespass, but it can give of its 
influence, it can point out the peril which 
ought to be clearly evident to every com 
munity, it can emphasize the present 
crisis and make an unfailing call for the 
educational preparedness for citizenship 
which is so essential to our continued 
triumphs. 

It is a rather curious indication of the 
trend toward federal control that at this 
very moment not less than four or five 
new Cabinet officers are being proposed 
and not without argument, let me say. 
Some feel there should be a reorganiza 
tion of the Department of the Interior, 
they want to create this and that and 
not without reason, too, because it has 
become a tremendous government within 
itself. There is one call for a department 
of engineering another for a depart 
ment of health, and thus I might run on. 
I can not pretend to say to you what ought 



AMERICAN EDUCATION 153 

to be done in each instance, but I can say 
that I am concerned just as deeply as you 
are respecting this question of bringing 
American education up to the very high 
est standard. 



THE IMMIGRANT 

A MESSAGE FOE CITIZENS OF FOREIGN BIRTH 



CHAPTER IX 

THE IMMIGRANT 

You who are men and women of foreign 
birth, I do not address as men and women 
of foreign birth ; I address you as Amer 
icans, and through you I would like to 
reach all the American people. I have no 
message for you which is not addressed to 
all the American people, and, indeed, I 
would consider it a breach of courtesy to 
you and a breach of my duty to address 
myself to any group or special interest or 
to any class or race or creed. We are all 
Americans, and all true Americans will 
say, as I say, " America First!" 

Let us all pray that America shall never 
become divided into classes and shall 
157 



158 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

never feel the menace of hyphenated citi 
zenship! Our uppermost thought to-day 
comes of the awakening which the World 
War gave us. We had developed the 
great American Eepublic ; we had become 
rich and powerful, but we had neglected 
the American soul. When the war clouds 
darkened Europe and the storm threat 
ened our own country, we found America 
torn with conflicting sympathies and 
prejudices. They were not unnatural; 
indeed they were, in many cases, very 
excusable, because we had not promoted 
the American spirit ; we had not insisted 
upon full and unalterable consecration to 
our own country our country by birth or 
adoption. We talked of the American 
melting pot over the fires of freedom, but 
we did not apply that fierce flame of 
patriotic devotion needed to fuse all into 
the pure metal of Americanism. 

I do not blame the foreign born. 
Charge it to American neglect. We pro- 



THE IMMIGRANT 159 

claimed our liberty, but did not empha 
size the essentials to its preservation. We 
boasted our nationality, but we did not 
magnify the one great spirit essential to 
perfect national life. 

I speak for the fullest American devo 
tion ; not in putting aside all the tenderer 
and dearer attributes of the human heart, 
but in the consecrations of citizenship. 
It is not possible, and it ought not to be 
expected, that Americans of foreign birth 
shall stifle love for kinsfolk in the lands 
from which they came. It would be a 
poor material for the making of an Amer 
ican if one of foreign birth would, or 
could, be insensible to the fortunes of 
father and mother, or grandfathers and 
grandmothers, of brothers and sisters ; if 
he could be insensible to the fortunes of 
the people from whom he came. Amer 
ica does not want, and does not ask that. 
We want the finer attributes of humanity 
in all our citizenship, and we wish these 



160 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

lovable traits in foreign-born and Amer 
ican-born. But we do ask all to think of 
"America First;" to serve "America 
First," to defend "America First," and 
plight an unalterable faith in "America 
First." 

We are unalterably against any present 
or future hyphenated Americanism. 
We have put an end to prefixes. The way 
to unite and blend foreign blood in the 
life stream of America is to put an end to 
groups ; an end to classes ; an end to spe 
cial appeal to any of them ; an end to par 
ticular favor for any of them. Let s fix 
our gaze afresh on the Constitution, with 
equal riglits to all, and put an end to spe 
cial favors at home and special influence 
abroad, and think of the American, erect 
and confident in the rights of his citizen 
ship. 

I like to think of an America without 
sectional lines, an America without class 
groups. I do not mean the natural fellow- 



THE IMMIGKAOT 161 

ship or fraternity, that association which 
comes from wholesale human traits. I 
am thinking of the selfish grouping that 
made us sectional, and the selfish group 
ing which makes for classes, and the self 
ish grouping which looks to government 
to promote selfish ends rather than the 
good of our common country. 

I like to think of an America where 
every citizen s pride in power and 
resources, in influence and progress, is 
founded on what can be done for our peo 
ple, all our people; not what we may 
accomplish to the political or national 
advantage of this or that people in dis 
tant lands. 

It was my official duty to sit with the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 
when it was hearing the American spokes 
men for foreign peoples, during the peace 
conference at Paris. Under the rules, we 
could give hearing only to Americans, 
though many whom we had no right to 



162 OUB COMMON COUNTRY 

hear sought to bring their appeal to the 
Senate, as though it possessed some sense 
of justice which had no voice in Paris. 
We heard the impassioned appeals of 
Americans of foreign birth on behalf of 
the lands from which they came where 
their kinsfolk resided. No one doubted 
their sincerity; no one questioned their 
right to be interested. But for me there 
was a foreboding, a growing sense of 
apprehension. 

How can we have American concord; 
how can we expect American unity ; how 
can we escape strife, if we in America 
attempt to meddle in the affairs of 
Europe and Asia and Africa; if we 
assume to settle boundaries ; if we attempt 
to end the rivalries and jealousies of cen 
turies of Old World strife? It is not 
alone the menace which lies in involve 
ment abroad; it is the greater danger 
which lies in conflict among adopted 
Americans. 



THE IMMIGRANT 163 

This is the objection to the foreign pol 
icy attempted, not with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, but in spite of 
warning informally uttered. America 
wants the good will of foreign peoples, 
and it does not want the ill will of foreign- 
born who have come to dwell among us. 

Nothing helpful has come from the wil 
ful assumption to direct the affairs of 
Europe. No good of any kind has pro 
ceeded from such meddling in Russia. 
None in the case of Poland. None in the 
case of the Balkan States. None in the 
case of Fiume. On the contrary, the mis 
taken policy of interference has broken 
the draw-strings of good sense and spilled 
bad counsel and bad manners all over the 
world. 

That policy, my countrymen, is a bad 
policy. It is bad enough abroad, but it is 
even more menacing at home. Meddling 
abroad tends to make Americans forget 
that they are Americans. It tends to 



164 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

arouse the old and bitter feelings of race, 
or former nationality, or foreign ances 
try, in the hearts of those who ought never 
to be forced to turn their hearts away 
from undivided loyalty and interest given 
to "America First." 

I want America on guard against that 
course which naturally tends to array 
Americans against one another. I do not 
know whether or not Washington foresaw 
this menace when he warned us against 
entangling alliances and meddling 
abroad, but I see it, and I say to you that 
all America must stand firm against this 
dangerous and destructive and un-Amer 
ican policy. Meddling is not only danger 
ous to us, because it leads us into the en 
tanglements against which Washington 
warned us but it also threatens an Amer 
ica divided in her own household, and 
tends to drive into groups seeking to make 
themselves felt in our political life, men 
and women whose hearts are led away 
4 



IMMIGKANT 165 

from " America First" to "Hyphen 
First!" 

For Americans who love America, I 
sound a warning. The time might come 
when a group or groups of men and 
women of foreign birttt or foreign parent 
age, not organized for the interest of 
America, but organized around a resent 
ment against our government interfer 
ence abroad in their land of origin, might 
press, by propaganda and political hy- 
phenism, upon our government to serve 
their own interests rather than the inter 
ests of all America. It is not beyond possi 
bility that the day might come and may 
God forbid it! when an organized hy 
phenated vote in American politics might 
have the balance of voting power to elect 
our government. If this were true, Amer 
ica would be delivered out of the hands of 
her citizenship, and her control might be 
transferred to a foreign capital abroad. 

I address this warning to you because 



166 OTTB COMMON COUNTRY 

though it is a message to all Americans 
which you may spread widecast, never 
theless it is of even greater concern to you, 
who were born on other soil, or whose par 
ents were born upon other soil, than it is 
to any one else in all the world. America 
is peculiarly your America. Men and 
women of foreign blood, indeed, are 
Americans. They have come here because, 
under our Eepublic, grown upon a firm 
foundation, there is liberty, and the light 
of democracy which shines in the hearts 
of all mankind. America is yours to pre 
serve, not as a land of groups and classes, 
races and creeds, but America, the ONE 
America! the United States, " America 
the Everlasting ! 

Let us all remember, however, that 
" America First" does not mean that the 
America which we all love and under 
whose flag we must always remain a peo 
ple united is to be an American blind to 
the welfare of humanity throughout the 



THE IMMIGRANT 167 

world or deaf to the call of world civili 
zation. But our ability to be helpful to 
mankind and our preparation for leader 
ship lies in first being secure at home, 
and mighty in our citizenship. Therein 
lies strength ; therein is the source of help 
ful example. 

Let us say it to native-born and to for 
eign-born our citizenship ought to be 
founded first upon our sense of service; 
we must not be deluded by the idea that 
government is a magic source of benevo 
lence. No government can ever give out 
more resources than its citizens put in. 
Just as good citizenship, whatever its 
creed, or race, means " America First," 
so also good government means the wel 
fare of all its citizens. 

I insist that American conscience recog 
nize the duty of protecting our national 
health. I insist that it protect American 
motherhood, and American childhood, 
and the American home. I insist that it 



168 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

place the welfare of the human being 
above all else. I insist that it act, not 
only to give the weak, and those who need 
protection, and who righteously should 
have social justice, their due, but because 
the concern for the less fortunate is an 
interest of us all. 

Above all, we must give our attention 
as a nation, to American childhood, be 
cause American childhood is the future 
citizenship of America. 

Health comes first. The war disclosed 
that between a fourth and a third of our 
young men in the draft were physically 
delinquent. Examination of our school 
children in various cities discloses that 
nearly fifty per cent, of them boys and 
girls have physical defects, most of 
which can be remedied if discovered in 
time. I do not discuss at the moment the 
relation of federal health agencies to local 
health agencies, but I do say that we 
must insist upon an American conscience 
acting at once to raise our health stand- 



THE IMMIGRANT 169 

ards, especially as they bear upon the wel 
fare of American childhood. 

There can be no defense for working 
conditions which rob the American child 
of its rights, just as there can be no 
defense of an industrial life of a nation 
or the agricultural life of a nation which 
so draws away the strength of our women 
that it poisons and weakens motherhood. 
.When we make these assertions of 
national conscience, we do not make them 
for political gain, but we make them as a 
principle standing above party, and as an 
American principle and in behalf of all 
America. 

It is impossible, my countrymen, to 
have an America such as we would have 
her, until there are no failures upon her 
part to protect American childhood and 
American motherhood. The nation, the 
several states and all their communities 
and all citizens of America must unite to 
prevent the growth in America of sore 
spots where the equal opportunity of 



170 OTJE COMMON COUNTRY 

every man, woman and child to prove his 
own worth might be taken away from the 
human individual. 

It has seemed fitting to speak of this 
matter of social betterment, because the 
greater proportion of our foreign-born 
Americans have preferred our cities and 
the lure of the factory to the call of the 
American farm. It is not surprising. 
For association s sake, many of them have 
accepted crowded tenements and priva 
tions, and dwelt amid conditions which do 
not permit standing out in the fulness of 
American opportunity or measuring to 
ideal American standards. We want 
them to know the best America and give 
their best to America, and in clasping the 
hand of American conscience and free 
dom, they shall be impelled to give Amer 
ica both head and heart in that love and 
loyalty that make in America a people 
distinct from all others in surpassing love 
of country. 



CONSERVATION AND 
DEVELOPMENT 

A MESSAGE FOR THE MOUNTAIN WEST 



CHAPTER X 

CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 

WHAT a wonderful land is ours! No 
one has ever come to a full realization of 
the incomparableness of these United 
States. Nature has been very generous 
with her bounty and has given us, in the 
great and measureless West a variegated 
and picturesque empire as beautiful as 
Switzerland, multiplied many times over 
in extent, and with a diversification of 
industry and enterprise which Switzer 
land could not develop because her moun 
tains are well nigh barren of the riches 
which characterize the Rockies and the 
Coast ranges. 

Some day, perhaps, we shall come to an 

173 



174 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

appraisal of the mountain West and shall 
learn something about its contents in coal, 
copper, iron, gold and silver, and almost 
every useful mineral deposit; but these 
are not all ; because the mountain "West is 
rich in forests, and lakes of potash, and 
vast deposits of phosphates, and pos 
sesses almost measureless areas that need 
only water to make them blossom like a 
garden of Eden; and the water is avail 
able and needs only the genius and the 
courage and capacity of man to apply it 
practically. People of the United States 
contemplate the wonderful West from 
varying view-points. In the East, the ten 
dency is to think of it only as a wonder 
land, but those of the West, who have seen 
it from the intimate view-point, not only 
find unbounded interest in its possibili 
ties, but want to sense the pride in its de 
velopment. 

We have come to an era when further 
development, attended by both reclama- 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 175 

tion and conservation, which go hand in 
hand, is an important and urgent prob 
lem. The world has always had a struggle 
to provide its food. In the practical 
development of the United States, we 
must ever continue the enlargement of the 
available food supply. Industrial devel 
opment in the cities and agricultural 
development have gone more or less in 
harmony, because the one is absolutely 
essential to the other. Basically, we must 
be sure of our food supply first. The 
development of the Mississippi Basin was 
contemporaneous with the development of 
our wonderful American cities, and the 
marvel of American development began 
immediately after the Civil War. In that 
conflict we made certain of indissoluble 
union and put an end to all doubts in the 
Federal Constitution and then turned to 
expanded settlement and development 
with full confidence in the future. 
When the Union armies were dispersed, 



176 DFR COMMON COUNTKY 

farms in the West were made available to 
tens of thousands of the defenders of 
union and nationality, the central plains 
were awaiting, almost untouched, and out 
of them were builded a dozen splendid 
commonwealths. There is a partially 
analogous situation now. There is an 
undeveloped mountain West awaiting the 
touch of genius and industry and there 
are doubtless thousands of service men 
who would be glad to turn to this most 
desirable development very much as serv 
ice men did in the after period of the 
Civil War. There are, of course, differ 
ences in condition, and the mountain 
lands are not so ready to answer man s 
call as were the prairies ; but with a help 
ful policy on the part of government these 
lands can be made available for limitless 
contributions to the sustenance of the 
Republic and the compensation of those 
who participate in developing them. 
It does not matter whether one thinks 



CONSEKVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 177 

that agriculture is the inspiration of great 
cities and their supporting industrial 
areas, or whether one believes that agri 
culture is inspired and encouraged by the 
necessities of the industrial centers they 
are, in fact, interdependent, and the for 
tune of one is inseparably linked with the 
fortune of the other. One thing is very 
certain, that intensive industrial develop 
ment and the concentration of population 
in cities can not go on unless we have an 
expansion of the food supply upon which 
they depend for sustenance. 

It is fairly contended that the Amer 
ican expansion of agriculture has had a 
very considerable part to play in the 
development o f the great industrial cen 
ters of the Old World, as well as the magic 
building of our own. Nottingham and 
Manchester, Dusseldorf and Berlin, 
Turin and Barcelona, are almost as much 
concerned with the size of the American 
food surplus as are our own great cities. 



178 OUR COMMON" COUNTET 

"WHen all else is said, the fact still 
remains that all human endeavor must be 
assured of an ample food supply else 
nothing is to be accomplished. It is not to 
be said that we have outlived the world s 
capacity to produce a surplus of agricul 
tural products, but, confessedly, we have 
got out of a properly-balanced proportion 
in the development of our agricultural 
supply. Much of the world, of course, 
remains undeveloped. It is said that the 
plains of Siberia, or the productive trop 
ics, could accommodate the world s pop 
ulation with an abundance of food, but 
the trouble is that the great, virile, pro 
gressive peoples of the world are not 
inclined to live in Siberia, nor are they 
attracted to the tropics. As a matter of 
simple truth they lose the distinct activity 
and aggressiveness when taken out of the 
zones of present-day activity. 

It is perfectly useless to talk about 
transplanting populations. The practical 



CONSEKVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 179 

tasks of life are to make old Mother Earth 
contribute to the call of population wher 
ever it may be located. Thus transporta 
tion becomes the key to the problem of 
supply. 

The inter-mountain and Pacific West 
is endowed with riches known to no other 
region of the world. We came to a new 
appreciation of these riches during the 
anxieties of the World War. Necessity 
and a new realization of self-dependence 
led us to appraise the vast deposits of 
phosphates and the lakes of potash and 
the mines of tungsten, and we revived the 
production of silver and added to the out 
put of lead and copper, because the war 
ring world had no other such dependable 
supply. We turned to the abundance of 
spruce for our aeroplanes, and the rare 
metals for alloys, and we found the limit 
less abundance of coal and used it to 
bunker the shipping of the Pacific. We 
increased the supply of the long staple 



180 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

cotton, and of wool, and of meats and 
fruits. Whatever it was that the world 
greatly needed and was listed in our own 
necessities, we discovered a goodly and 
reassuring share of it in the vast store 
house of the almost untouched natural 
resources of the great West. 

During the war we made a good deal of 
progress toward development of these 
resources, because the war made rapid 
and intensive effort necessary. But with 
the end of the war there came a tendency 
to slacken development. We find that 
some things were started, and then neg 
lected or forgotten. With correct vision 
of a long future, contemplating continued 
growth, we might well recognize that to 
this inter-mountain empire we must turn 
for the same service as that rendered by 
our central plains when they were 
brought into productivity following the 
Civil War. 

Our vision, then, of the ultimate devel- 



CONSERVATION 1 AND DEVELOPMENT 181 

opment of the mountain empire, reveals a 
great region, developed uniformly, with 
regard to all its variegated possibilities. 
I have never been able to think of " recla 
mation" as connoting merely the con 
struction of ditches, ancl dams, and reser 
voirs, to put water on dry lands. In my 
view this has been only a phase though 
a most important phase of reclamation. 
I have believed that our mountain West 
is one day to be one of the richest and 
most completely self-contained economic 
areas in the world. My vision of the fu 
ture pictures it as a wonderland whose 
streams are harnessed to great electrical 
units, from which flows the power to 
drive railway trains, to operate indus 
tries, to carry on the public utilities of 
cities, to smelt the metals, and to energize 
the activities of a teeming population. 

Not long ago, a great journal of the 
South published an interview in which I 
attempted to suggest my hope and aspira- 



182 OUK COMMON" COUNTRY 

tion for the new South as a developed, 
renewed and finished community, based 
on the proper and complete utilization of 
all its opportunities. I have a similar 
thought about the possibilities of the 
mountain West. The " Great American 
Desert" disappeared out of our minds 
and geographies long ago, but we have 
retained the impression that our Rocky 
Mountain area could never sustain popu 
lations and industries comparable with 
those of the central valley, or the Bast, or 
the South. This has done injustice to the 
Far West. The richness of its mountains, 
the power of its streams, the productivity 
of its valleys, the variety of its climate 
and opportunity, the possibility of its dry 
areas, all suggest its destiny to become the 
seat of an ideal civilization. 

I undertake to say that there is no 
region in all the world whose resources 
could be developed to the utmost, with 
greater benefit to the world as a whole, 



AND DEVELOPMENT 183 

and America in particular, than our 
mountain West. 

It requires no effort of imagination to 
contemplate, a few generations hence, our 
country as a land of from two hundred to 
three hundred million people, with a third 
of them happily planted in this area. 

We have come to the time when the 
problem of our Par West is one of wisely 
directed development, rather than of too 
much conservation, or, perhaps, to put the 
thought more accurately, the bringing 
about of a degree and character of devel 
opment which will constitute the wise 
form of conservation. One can not go on 
saving all of nature s bounty and be fair 
to the generations of to-day. I do not 
mean that the time has come to break 
recklessly into our treasure house and 
squander its contents ; but I do decidedly 
mean that we can not longer delay encour 
agement and assistance to rational, nat 
ural and becoming development. We 



184 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

must have that far-western awakening 
which shall prove an effective corrective 
of the concentration of population and the 
regional specialization of industry which 
has been repeatedly called to our atten 
tion and has inclined to make of us a sec 
tional America. 

Conservation, it must always be kept 
in mind, does not consist in locking up the 
treasure house of our natural resources. 
That would be the most objectionable 
form of waste. Conservation, in its truest 
sense, consists in the judicious use of the 
resources which are ours. The conserva 
tion policy in its application to coal is not 
the same as in its application to the for 
est. Coal, once it is taken from the earth, 
can never be replaced; the forests, by 
proper care and attention, may be made 
to yield a never-ending return. The con 
servation policy, as applied to rivers and 
streams, presents still another phase, 
since the tree which we leave standing in 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 185 

the forest, and the coal we leave lying in 
the mine, remain for the use of those who 
may come later on, while the water which 
flows unused to the sea is lost beyond 
reclaim. It is impossible, by the utmost 
utilization of our flowing waters, to affect 
to the extent of a single drop, the auto 
matic and eternal replenishment at the 
source. Emphatically, therefore, in the 
case of our water-power resources, there 
is not even a seeming paradox in saying 
that the more we use the more do we save. 

The only problem in the conservation of 
waters is to see to it religiously that this 
great inheritance of the people is not 
monopolized for private enrichment, and 
of this there can be little danger if the 
state and the nation, when it has the 
jurisdiction shall wisely exercise the 
powers of regulation which it possesses in 
respect to all public utilities. 

In a somewhat different manner, the 
same principle will apply to our other 



186 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

natural resources. Emphasis must be 
placed upon their use rather than upon 
their storage, only it must be a use which, 
while providing for the present needs, 
must keep an ever watchful guard upon 
their preservation for the need of genera 
tions yet to come. 

Theodore Roosevelt had a clear vision 
of the vast possibilities of our West. In 
a chapter of his autobiography devoted to 
" Natural Resources of the Nation," he 
says: "The first work I took up when I 
became president was the work of recla 
mation." In his view, reclamation, con 
servation and proper utilization, were all 
parts of the same program. That must 
be our view to-day. "It is better for the 
government to help a poor man to make a 
living for his family, than to help a rich 
man to make more profit for his com 
pany," declared President Eoosevelt. 
This he laid down as one of the principles 
upon which he based his policy toward 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 187 

public land areas. The principle is par 
ticularly sound to-day. We have need to 
make these areas the seat of millions of 
new American families, just as we broke 
up our prairies and distributed them 
among strong, enterprising, vigorous men 
who developed them into the great states 
of the Mississippi Valley. 

We must make our mountain West a 
country of homes for people who need 
homes. It has everything that they will 
need. It can provide them with food, with 
the materials for industry, with lumber 
from its forests, with metals and minerals 
from its mines, with power from its 
streams, and waters for the irrigation of 
its land. And the work must be so done 
that it will inure most to the advantage 
of society and the development of the 
independent, self-sustaining family unit 
in our citizenship. There must be proper 
cooperation and direction in this develop 
ment, but there must be all care to 



188 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

prevent monopolization of resources and 
opportunities. 

It has been intimated by some who take, 
I feel, the narrow view, that the industry 
of the East, and the agriculture of the 
Middle West and South, will not view 
favorably the proposal to develop new 
industry and new agriculture in the 
mountain country to compete with them. 
I confess to very little sympathy with this 
attitude. The sons of New York and New 
England built the great states of the Ohio 
Valley; and the sons of the Ohio Valley 
reared the splendid commonwealths be 
yond the Mississippi. The sons of every 
generation, in our country, have been the 
pioneers of some new land. 

Well do I remember the covered- wagon 
days of the early seventies, when the reso 
lute sons of Ohio took up the westward 
journey. They had little more of valued 
possession than unalterable determina 
tion to start afresh and be participants in 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 189 

the development of the wonderful land 
awaiting their coming. They wrought 
their full part in the miracle of develop 
ment and gave an added glow to the west 
ward march of the star of empire. Many 
who went were those who had found new 
soul of citizenship in the preservation of 
union and nationality; and it is not 
impossible that thousands of those who 
battled to r aintain American rights in 
the world will be eager to participate in 
the development of the wonderland we 
are considering to-day. We owe to them 
the fullest and widest opportunities, and 
we owe it to them to give of government 
encouragement and aid in bringing about 
the development so much to be desired. 
For them and for America inestimable 
possibilities are in store. 

To-day we are informed on the basis of 
statistics that if the demands of a rapidly- 
increasing population are to be met, new 
farms must be opened at the rate of one 



190 OTJE COMMON COUNTRY 

hundred thousand annually. The sad fact 
is that only half that number are being 
added to our equipment for production 
every year. The United States has 
changed, from a basically agricultural to 
an agricultural and industrial nation. 
The 1920 statistics, we are told, show that 
our population is preponderantly urban. 
More food-stuffs must be had ; farms now 
operating will not supply present de 
mands. The one solution is to bring more 
land into production. 

Reclamation, as I have viewed it, means 
a good deal more than merely putting 
water on arid land. There are regions in 
which it means draining the water away 
from swamps. There are other regions 
in which it means restoring forests that 
have been thoughtlessly destroyed. There 
are still others in which it means frank 
recognition of the fact that forests have 
gone forever, that stumps must be re 
moved and the land utilized for agri 
culture. 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 191 

Nobody wants isolated communities of 
agricultural producers in remote re 
claimed valleys, to produce things for 
which there is no available market. 
There have been some instances of this 
sort. But with better transportation, 
with encouragement to wide and varied 
development, the problem of markets will 
solve itself rapidly enough. 

In dealing with our public lands here 
after we are not to be too profligate in the 
disposal of their resources. There has 
been profligacy practised in the past, 
though I take it that some of it was 
entirely justifiable, but there must be no 
further doling out of natural resources to 
favored groups. We have passed the 
stage when there must be exceptional bid 
ding for pioneer development. It was 
against profligacy that Roosevelt raised 
his voice and exercised the veto power. 
He started the great reclamation move 
ment and it came none too soon. Doubt- 



192 OUR COMMON COUNTRY. 

less he had in mind the time when these 
resources must be opened for free, full 
and independent development. Undoubt 
edly, if he were alive to-day, he would be 
a cordial sympathizer with the same pol 
icy of development combined with a 
rational policy of conservation of re 
sources for Americans yet to come, all of 
which is consonant with square dealing 
with all Americans engaged in the fulfill 
ment of our obligations of to-day. 

It is all a forward-looking program 
with an ever mindfulness of the passing 
day. The great change in our whole eco 
nomic situation, and the realization that 
our opportunities of providing for 
increased population have a definite 
limit, must enforce this view. Roosevelt 
performed a great service to the nation, 
and what he did for his time we must 
carry forward to the future. I would not 
have the West return to the era of spec 
ulative operations, tending to monopolies. 



CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT 193 

I want to see, as he did, a development of 
our public land country which will insure 
the utmost equality of privilege and 
opportunity. 

In some places private capital, in others 
public funds can best do the work that is 
required. I have no particular prefer 
ence for either program, except that I 
would like to see in each instance the 
policy that will on the whole best serve the 
national purpose. I would not hesitate to 
employ federal credit for certain types of 
reclamation work, and on the other side I 
would not stand in the way of having that 
work done by private enterprise, if this 
seemed best. 

Western states desirous of cooperating 
with the federal government in reclama 
tion contemplate enactment of uniform 
laws to aid in financing reclamation work 
in conjunction with the federal plan of 
impounding waters. Lack of unified 
effort and policy has been a misfortune in 



194: OUR COMMON" COUNTRY 

the past, and the time has come for a fixed 
and comprehensive program. 

In broadest contemplation, we must 
keep in mind the thing which inspires all 
of our activities. I have an abiding con 
viction that American nationality has 
been the inspiration from the beginning. 
We found that inspiration renewed and 
magnified when we made sure of indissol 
uble union and started afresh for the 
supreme American fulfillment. The 
impelling thought now is to go on as 
Americans, free and independent and 
self-reliant, to make the United States a 
great Republic, unafraid and confident of 
its future and rejoicing in American 
accomplishment. 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 

A MESSAGE FOB "WOMEN 



CHAPTER XI 

SOCIAL JUSTICE 

WHEN we all acknowledge that the time 
and the conditions of the world call for 
fuller recognition of human rights, the 
protection of the life of human beings and 
the conservation of our human resources, 
it becomes the duty of the women of 
America, and it becomes my duty, to deal 
with these matters of social justice upon 
a high plane of an idealism which is not 
too proud to work. More, it is our duty 
to consider without hypocrisy or high- 
sounding phrases a program of action. 
And it is my duty to address not only you 
who are women, now entering by justice, 
by the principles of sound democracy, and 
197 



198 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

by the wisdom of a progressive civiliza 
tion, into citizenship, but also to address 
every American who is interested in our 
common welfare. 

I pledge myself to support with all that 
is in me whatever practical policy of 
social justice can be brought forward by 
the combined wisdom of all Americans. 
Nothing can concern America, and noth 
ing can concern me as an American, more 
deeply than the health, the happiness and 
the enlightenment of every fellow- 
American. 

I believe that none of us can be safe and 
happy or reach our finest growth until we 
have done our utmost to see that all 
Americans are safe. I believe that, if a 
wise God notes a sparrow s fall, no life 
can be so obscure and humble that it shall 
become of no consequence to America. 

Only by reason of the depth and perma 
nence of such belief can be founded our 
grave duty and our solemn obligation to 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 199 

consider the subject of social justice with 
out mere emotion, without mere inspira 
tional words, without mere entrancing 
phrases, without mere slogans, but with 
that wisdom which is needed when the 
desire of our hearts and heads must be 
translated into terms of living action and 
actual achievement. 

The social justice that I conceive is not 
paternalism. It would be easy to make it 
so, and dangerous indeed to the best spirit 
that Americans can have the spirit of 
expressing by the individual free will 
one s own merits, capacity and worth. 
We do not want government to suppress 
that expression of free will, even by 
benevolence, but we do mean to preserve 
in America an equal opportunity and a 
preparedness for self-expression therein, 
even though we use the government 
to do it. 

Social justice, on the other hand, is not 
a mere sentiment. To my mind a social 



200 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

justice policy in government can not and 
should not be confined to a program for 
the flow of benefits from some uncertain 
and magic source at the seat of govern 
ment. I could not even consider a policy; 
of social justice which is conceived, as so 
many visionaries conceive it, as a right of 
mankind. I will only consider it as an 
obligation of mankind. 

I refuse to subscribe to the doctrine 
which has gone so far to delude the world 
that even citizenship is based upon 
rights. I believe, and have repeatedlyj 
said, that citizenship is based upon 
obligation. 

I will not even approach the considera 
tion of a policy of social justice unless iH 
is founded on the stalwart American doc 
trine of the duties of every one of us to all 
of us. The first measure of social justice 
to which America must always devote her 
self is the duty of citizenship to vote witE 
conscience, to preserve laws, and to: 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 201 

demand their enforcement. It is the obli 
gation of all true Americans to live clean 
lives and to engage with head and hand in 
honest, useful production and toil. 

The best social welfare worker in the 
world is the man or woman who lives 
righteously and does the task well which 
he or she is most capable of doing, thereby 
adding to the sum total of human 
accomplishment. 

The task before us to build highi 
standards of social justice in America 
is sometimes badly defined, and I think 
we all regret that the methods to be pur 
sued have been allowed to fly without def 
inite understanding of their landing 
places. Social justice, like the phrase, 
" self -determination of free people," is a 
slogan which sounds so well that the 
world is beguiled away from deciding 
what wise things may be really done 
about it. 

For my part, I have no taste and no 



202 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

conscience which will allow me to talk to 
Americans with phrases which I myself 
can not define and with a program 
which is not practical and capable of 
fulfillment. 

Let us be practical in our idealism. Let 
us plan the things we can wisely do, and 
then do them. 

I believe that there is no step more 
practical, no step which will mean more to 
the growth of America s social welfare; 
no step which will guarantee better Amer 
ica s social justice, than one which I now 
propose to you. 

There can be no more efficient way of 
advancing a humanitarian program than 
by adapting the machinery of our federal 
government to the purposes we desire to 
attain. While others may have their eyes 
fixed on some particular piece of legisla-r 
tion, or some particular policy of social 
justice which calls for the sympathetic 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 203 

interest of us all, I say, without hesita 
tion, that our primary consideration must 
be the machinery of administration, and 
when the time comes for us to recognize 
our administrative government in Wash 
ington, we must all stand together for the 
creation of a department of public 
welfare. 

It is almost useless for us to go on 
expending our energies in advancing 
humanitarian policies which we wish put 
into effect, and it is useless for us to hope 
for the effective administration of hu 
manitarian policies already undertaken 
by the federal government, until we have 
prepared to create an administrative cen 
ter for the application of our program. 

At the present time we find social wel 
fare bureaus and social welfare undertak 
ings scattered hopelessly through the de 
partments, sometimes the one overlapping 
the work of the other, and sometimes, 
indeed, engaging in bickerings between 



204 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

themselves. The picture is one of ineffi 
ciency and of wasted funds. 

Let us not only have social justice and 
social welfare developed to the fullest 
extent which a wise citizenship will ap 
prove, but let us have also the means with 
which to make social justice and social 
welfare real and functioning, rather than 
visionary and inefficient. 

I have no doubt that there will be some 
who will find in this proposal cause for 
calling me an extremist, but when we have 
a task to do, which has been dictated by 
our conscience and approved by our wis 
dom, let us straightway find the way to do 
it. I do not say this without a word of 
caution. I recognize certain dangers 
which are always presented when govern 
ment undertakes large and detailed tasks. 
I have said already that we must avoid 
paternalism, and that we must avoid it 
because a paternalistic social welfare 
program would smother some of the lib- 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 205 

erties, some of the dignity, and some of 
the freedom for self-expression of our 
individuals. 

In creating federal departments for the 
administration of social justice and social 
welfare, we must avoid the fearful results 
of bureaucracy. I am inclined to think 
that as between a bureaucracy of a mili 
tary power which paid little attention to 
the regulating of domestic affairs, and a 
bureaucracy of social rules and regula 
tions, the latter would oppress the soul of 
a country more. We do not want, and we 
will not have, either in America. Un 
doubtedly the great blessings of our Con 
stitution, appearing, indeed, as if our 
Constitution had been written by the hand 
of Providence, are the checks which it 
places upon the development in a national 
center of a great bureaucratic paternal 
ism. We are momentarily irritated at 
times when we desire to enact measures, 
which appear to be dedicated wholly to 



206 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

the welfare of mankind, when we find 
that constitutional limitations prevent 
their legality. But we have been saved 
through these many years; and will be 
saved throughout America s continued 
progress from the growth of too much 
centralism, too much paternalism, too 
much bureaucracy, and too much in 
fringement of the individual s right to 
construct his own life within our Amer 
ican standards of reason and justice. 

I would like to point out to all America 
that there is grave danger at hand when 
centralized expression begins to take from 
local communities all the burdens of social 
conscience. The best that humanity 
knows comes up from the individual man 
and woman through the sacred institu 
tions of the family and the home, and, 
perhaps, finds its most effective applica 
tion in the community where life is per 
sonal, and where there is not an attempt 
to cut men and women to a given pattern 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 207 

and treat mankind as a wholesale com 
modity. 

I like to tMnk of an America whose 
spirit flows up from the bottom and is not 
handed down from the top. I like to 
think that the virtue of the family is the 
combined virtue of its members, and that 
the virtue of a community is the combined 
standards of virtues of its citizens. I like 
to think of a nation whose virtue is the 
combined virtue of its communities. For 
such is America ; such may she always be! 

So long as her expression flows up from 
the people, and not down from a central 
ized autocracy, however that autocracy 
may label itself, America will live in all 
her virile strength. When we create in 
Washington a strong federal government 
and undertake, even for the most humani 
tarian purposes, new federal burdens, let 
us with all reverence pray that we shall 
never by this means put to sleep the spirit, 
the sense of duty, and the activities of the 



208 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

communities and neighborhoods of the 
United States. I raise these cautions, not 
because I am doubtful of the wisdom of 
the federal government doing all that it 
can to conserve the human resources of 
the United States, but, on the contrary, 
because I believe we must move forward 
upon a sure footing, without undertaking 
impractical or unwise programs which 
lead to disillusionment, and in the end 
retard, rather than accelerate, the expres 
sion of American conscience and its appli 
cation to the welfare of the people. 

"With these cautions, however, guiding 
us as we go forward to create, if possible, 
the right kind of federal machinery for 
social justice, we will feel more confidence 
in creating a federal department of public 
welfare. When making the proposal for 
a department of public welfare to Amer 
ica, I am aware that I have made a step 
in advance of any platform. I have 
chosen to speak to you on the practical 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 209 

question the question of how to do the 
tasks we must do, the things American 
conscience is calling to have done. 

We all know that we face tasks of social 
justice, which we must undertake with 
despatch and efficiency. Who can sug 
gest one of these tasks which can super 
sede in our hearts, or in the rank which 
foresight and wisdom will give, that of the 
protection of our maternity? 

The protection of the motherhood of 
America can not be accomplished until the 
state and the nation have enacted and, by 
their example, have enforced customs, 
which protect womanhood itself. I know 
full well that there are women who insist 
that women shall be treated upon the same 
basis that men are treated. They would 
have a right to take this position in their 
own behalf, but I insist, and all true 
Americans must insist, that no woman 
speaks for herself alone. She is the pos 
sessor of our future, and though she be- 



210 OUE COMMON COUNTRY 

comes engaged in the task and services of 
civilization, we must preserve to her the 
right of wholesome maternity. 

We no longer are speaking of a small 
group. Twelve million women in the 
United States, forty per cent, of them be 
tween fifteen and twenty years of age, are 
engaged in paid occupations or profes 
sions. Such an army of potential mater 
nity demands from America careful and 
adequate protection in the conditions 
which surround their labors. For such an 
army there must be an increasing enlight 
enment in industry and business which 
will tend to break down distinctions of sex 
in matters of remuneration, and establish 
equal pay for equal work. The needs of 
such an army, engaging in the tasks of 
America, probably can not be understood 
by men alone. In the administration of 
federal and state laws, and in the educa 
tional services which will assist industry 
and the public, and the women themselves, 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 211 

to understand the needs of women, we will 
require the services of the most capable 
women we can get upon federal and state 
boards of employment, labor adjustment 
and, indeed, wherever the welfare of ma 
ternity and the welfare of American 
childhood, directly or remotely, are 
involved. 

There is a growing and a probably wise 
sentiment in America in favor of an eight- 
hour day everywhere for women. The 
federal government has set the example in 
a policy which looks toward the protection 
of our best human resources. Justice and 
American standards demand that women 
who are employed should be paid a living 
wage, and it is entirely unfair to the state 
which fulfills its obligations to humanity 
in any piece of humanitarian legislation 
affecting industry, if other states, by fail 
ing to perform their obligation, gain a 
temporary advantage in costs of produc 
tion. I believe that one of the principal 



212 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

functions of the department of public wel 
fare will be to enlighten and educate local 
action, so that we may have throughout 
our states an increasing sense of obliga 
tion to meet a national standard of social 
justice. 

I desire particularly to emphasize the 
need of safeguarding the prosperity of 
the American farmer, so that he may com 
pete with industry in obtaining labor. I 
am hearing constantly voices raised in be 
half of the women in industry. I desire to 
raise mine now in behalf of the women on 
the farms of the United States, who in the 
labor shortage of this year have gone into 
the fields young girls and old women 
to give a service which, if it had not been 
given, would have deprived us this year 
of an adequate food supply. There must 
be labor, normal labor, available to farm 
as well as factory. 

One of the important organizations 
under a department of public welfare 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 213 

might well be the children s bureau which 
now exists, but whose work, already 
proved so useful, must be extended and 
made still more capable of educating and 
assisting in pre-natal care and early in 
fancy. It is for us ft grim jest, indeed, 
that the federal government is spending 
twice as much money for the suppression 
of hog cholera as it spends for its entire 
program for the welfare of the American 
child. 

We are not doing, however, enough for 
the future citizens of America if we allow 
women to injure, by industry or igno 
rance, their maternity, or if we allow in 
fancy itself to go unprotected from dis 
ease and unintelligence. Among sixteen 
important countries of the world, thirteen 
show a lower death rate for mothers than 
the United States, and six show a lower 
death rate for very young children. 
Nearly a quarter of a million babies 
practically a number equal to the entire 



214 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

casualty list of our men in the great war 
die every year. 

It will not be the America we love which 
will neglect the American mother and the 
American child. The program to prevent 
abuses of child labor, already greatly ad 
vanced, represents the progress of legis 
lation toward wise prevention, which will 
receive the sanction of constitutional law. 
When we first legislated to remedy the 
abuses of child labor, approximately one 
out of five children between the ages of 
ten and fifteen in the United States was a 
wage-earner. I do not say that among 
them there were not many exceptions, 
whose labors were of such a nature as to 
fit them to become better men and women, 
but I do say that in the mass, their labor 
represented the theft of their right to 
childhood, to happiness, to health, and of 
their right to prepare to embrace our 
equal opportunity, to realize for America 
their capacity and worth as future citi- 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 215 

zens. This condition we could not neglect, 
and we can not neglect the problems of 
child labor in this country. Even if it 
were not upon humanitarian grounds, I 
point out to you that the protection of 
American maternity apd childhood repre 
sents economic thrift. Indeed, it repre 
sents the saving of our blood, our pos 
terity, and the future strength of our 
nation. 

Next to maternity and childhood, I 
believe that our attention must be cen 
tered upon our national health. Between 
twenty-five and thirty-three and one- 
third per cent, of the young men exam 
ined in our first draft for war were found 
to be defective, or physically unfit. Ex 
aminations of children in the public 
schools of America disclose that fifty per 
cent, of them are suffering from physical 
delinquencies, most of which proper at 
tention would remedy before maturity. I 
believe, therefore, that we must undertake 



216 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

with great seriousness the problem of our 
national health. I am alert to the danger 
of too much oppressive bureaucracy in 
any great federal health bureau, but I 
want to see the various agencies grouped 
together in a department of public wel 
fare. I want to see their principal func 
tion, that of stimulating, by research and 
education, the communities and local gov 
ernments of the United States to the most 
active and sufficient campaign against 
low standards of physical well-being. We 
must attack, first, a low standard of 
health among children; secondly, the in 
vasion of diseases which attend a low 
standard of morals ; and thirdly, the inva 
sion of epidemics, and the neglect of the 
chronic diseases of maturity, many of 
which are due to a failure on the part of 
individuals to adjust their living and hab 
its to an artificial civilization. 

It is not possible to discuss in detail all 
of the measures of social justice which 



SOCIAE JTJSTICB 217 

sooner or later the people of this country 
will probably have to consider and adopt 
and put into action, or reject as imprac 
ticable. But I do conceive an obligation 
of government, to devote grave attention 
to another group of problems which are 
all humanitarian, and which are of vital 
importance to our future. 

I have spoken of my attitude toward 
industrial peace. I have stated my full 
belief in labor unionism and in the prac 
tise of collective bargaining, and I have 
also tried to emphasize a belief, which I 
feel deeply, that industrial peace, though 
it may be attained by adjustment and con 
ciliation, can never stand upon its firmest 
foundation until a higher sense of loyalty 
to the task permeates the workers, and a 
higher sense of humanitarian brother 
hood permeates the employers of Amer 
ica. I do not think of this reawakening of 
a higher conscience upon both sides in 
terms of generalities, and I regard it as 



218 OTJB COMMON COUNTED 

being one of the humane functions of 
which our government is capable to satur 
ate the industrial life of our country with 
a spirit which will tend to reunite parties 
of discord. 

We are often presented with conditions 
which result in industrial controversy, 
but which may not be charged to either 
side. I speak specifically of two exam 
ples: The first involves the unrest, the 
discontent, which arises from unsteady 
employment. It is not a condition to be 
remedied alone by federal employment 
bureaus filling in the gaps of unemploy 
ment, but rests largely upon conditions of 
industry which make for seasonal produc 
tion and periodic closing and opening of 
industrial plants and occupations. I am 
enough of an optimist to believe that gov 
ernment can assist in the abolition of this 
most unfortunate condition. I am even 
enough of an optimist to believe that the 
government can take a large part in a sec- 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 219 

ond and, perhaps, even more important 
campaign. I believe that many of our 
workers are engaged in tasks which have 
been so specialized that the men and 
women themselves have become almost 
pieces of mechanism. This has produced 
a condition in which many of our workers 
find no self-expression. In such a condi 
tion, men and women are drained dry of 
the impulse to create. 

Without any false notions as to the pos 
sibilities of turning back progress so that 
the day of less specialization may return, 
I none the less believe that it is our duty 
as a whole people to see if we can not make 
every job in the country a small business 
of its own. No matter how simple the job. 
be sure that it plays a dignified and an 
essential part in our welfare. The man 
who does it must learn to realize it ; and 
more than that, he and his employer must 
combine to make every job, no matter 
what it is, a friend of the man who does 



220 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

it a friend because the man who does the 
work has learned an interest in it, so that 
just as if it were his particular individual 
business he may understand how he may 
improve that job, so that he may under 
stand its unit costs, its bookkeeping, its 
purposes, its relation to other jobs, and to 
the whole fabric of our national produc 
tion, and so that the job may become, as 
much as possible, day by day, an expres 
sion of human being. 

This is our program of social justice. I 
have not attempted to make it .complete ; 
who can do so ? This is my program for a 
department which as an effective govern 
ment agency will further social justice. I 
have not attempted to describe it in detail. 
No one can describe it in detail before it 
becomes a working organization; but I 
believe that I have voiced the conscience 
and the common sense of America when I 
say that we must pay new attention to the 
conservation of our human resources. 



SOCIAL JUSTICE 221 

I must not fail to speak of one of the 
measures of social justice and social wel 
fare not often catalogued in this manner, 
but perhaps more important than any we 
have considered. I refer to the enforce 
ment of law. It will not be my business to 
decide what laws shall be. It will be legit 
imate for me to invoke public opinion for 
their enactment, but such a call to public 
opinion must be based more upon the duty 
of the executive of the nation to give 
facts to the people than upon his desire to 
give opinion, theory and propaganda. 
The enforcement of the law is an execu 
tive responsibility and must be under 
taken by the executive without regard for 
his personal approval or disapproval of 
the law, which it has been the people s will 
to enact. Whatever your achievement 
may be in the world, your concern, as 
mine, is principally with the American 
home and you, with me, will realize that 
we must have throughout the land a 



222 OTJK COMMON COUNTRY 

respect for law-abiding principles. We 
must all condemn without qualification 
the failure of enforcement of prohibition, 
just as we must all condemn the failure of 
established authority to prevent outrages 
of violence, such as lynching. 

I appeal to you as to enforcement of 
law because I regard the enforcement of 
law as a fundamental principle of the 
American conscience, and if I am to dis 
tinguish between men and women, I will 
attribute to the women of America the 
major part in the preservation of that 
conscience. 



THE VALUE OF PLAY 

A MESSAGE FOB YOUTH 



CHAPTER XII 

THE VALUE OF PLAY 

FROM time immemorial the nations and 
races which have been fit to assume lead 
ership in the world were those whose peo 
ple knew how to excel in athletic sports 
and had not forgotten how to play and 
how to play hard. The great civilizations 
those which have left a profound effect 
upon the development of mankind, those 
which have contributed not only to explo 
ration, to the extension of orderly govern 
ment, to supremacy of arms but even in 
greater measure to the thought and phi 
losophy of the world have been the nations 
that developed athletic sports who have 
known how to play. There was Greece, 
225 



226 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

famous for the original Olympic games; 
there was Kome, that for centuries kept 
alive the customs of athletic competition 
in her arenas ; there is the United King 
dom, great extender of enlightenment to 
far corners of the earth. Japan, leader in 
the Orient, built her power and her alert 
ness by a tradition of training in compet 
itive games such as wrestling and sword 
play. And, thank God, there is America, 
the stronghold of liberty and the square 
deal, which still can take the honors in the 
world s competitions in healthy sports. 

I believe that play, not mere entertain 
ment, not reading comic strips or " pass 
ing the time," as some say, but real play, 
play that gives a man or woman a chance 
to express himself or herself as an indi 
vidual, is one of the finest assets in our 
national life and one of the best builders 
of character. 

I believe there are reasons behind the 
fact that the nations that have led the 



THE VALUE OF PLAY 227 

world have fostered athletic games and 
know how to play, how to express their 
spirit through play, how to develop char 
acter through competition and how to let 
off turbulence of the spirit and wasting 
restlessness and discontent of mind and 
poisons of the body through good hard 
play. 

Nothing is more important to America 
than citizenship ; there is more assurance 
of our future in the individual character 
of our citizens than in any proposal I, and 
all the wise advisers I can gather, can ever 
put into effect in Washington. 

We may as well go back to that sound 
idea right now. America will never rise 
higher than the merit and worth of her 
combined individual citizens. No nation 
ever has, none ever will. 

I regard play as having no small part 
in the building of citizenship. I do not 
mean play for children, I mean play for 
everybody. The war left us nervous and 



228 OUB COMMON COUNTRY 

irritable. r A.s time goes on we are going 
to see that an industrial age will inevit 
ably concentrate men in cities. The busi 
ness executive, unless he looks out, will die 
at his desk not his body perhaps but his 
spirit, and the worker, particularly the 
man behind the machine who makes only 
a few motions over and over again each 
day, will have no means of self-expression 
and his spirit will die too. 

There are other reliefs that we must 
provide for these evils that threaten us, 
but the renewal and the preservation of a 
national custom of play and of athletic 
sports is vital to preserve the fitness of 
our citizenship. 

Competition in play teaches the square 
deal. Competition in play teaches the 
love of the free spirit to excel by one s 
own merit. A nation that has not forgot 
ten how to play, a nation that fosters ath 
letics is a nation that is always holding up 
the high ideal of equal opportunity for all. 



THE VALTTE OF PLAT 229 

Go back through history and find the 
nations that did not play and had no out 
door sports and you will find the nations 
of oppressed peoples. 

I am making no appeal that I will not 
be willing to have tested by the standards 
that good competitive sport has set up in 
all ages and among all fair men. These 
are the standards of a good citizenship 
which is willing to play the game. I want 
behind me only those who are willing to 
play the game. We have had too much 
encouragement from Washington given 
to the man who wanted to cut second base, 
or get something for nothing. In the first 
place, that is not a square deal to the rest 
of us ; in the second place, there is no way 
fa> make a delivery that is worth anything. 

I have not said anything yet about the 
effect that wholesome play has upon 
national health. We received a rude 
shock when during the war we came to 
examine physically that part o r f our pop- 



230 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

illation that is commonly called "the 
flower of American manhood." We 
examined in the first draft a little over 
two and a half million men and not count 
ing those who were rejected later at mobil 
ization camps, the percentage of rejec 
tions on account of physical unfitness 
went right along day after day between 
twenty-five and thirty-three and a third 
per cent. 

Do you know what that means? It 
means that one out of every three or four 
young Americans in their prime be 
tween twenty-one and thirty is unfit. 
And although I am not a doctor, nor even 
a professor, I will take a chance and say 
that most of that unfitness came from 
unwise eating, sleeping, bad habits and no 
play, no exercise, no working out the poi 
sons in good sweat, no adjustment of the 
human frame by stretching it in competi 
tive effort. 

Nevertheless in spite of the need for 



THE VALUE OF PLAY 231 

play to bring back American bodies to 
health, so that health may be the sacred 
heritage of children yet unborn, I put, 
even above the boons of health that play 
gives, the greater treasures that it confers 
and always will confer upon nations that 
preserve its customs and its morals the 
treasures of honor and a sense of fair 
play. 



FRATERNITY 

A MESSAGE FOB KNIGHTS AND LADIES 



CHAPTER XIII 

FRATERNITY 

THE world has found itself lately very 
much committed to the idea of frater 
nity. It is the natural outcome of a new 
understanding of our relationships. Fra 
ternity is one of the most natural things 
in life. You have seen it in the organiza 
tion of men into small groups, of women 
in their societies. You often see it in the 
animal world, where nature has somehow 
implanted love of life and at the same 
time the love of fraternity and associa 
tion together, and if you stop to think 
about it you will discover that in animal 
life there is the fraternity of protection 
and mutual advancement. This finds ex- 
235 



236 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

pression in our human relationships in 
various forms. I do not suppose there is 
a people in all the world that has so devel 
oped the fraternity idea as we have in the 
United States. I have sometimes won 
dered how many fraternal orders there 
are, secret and open. 

But we find fraternity in all the walks 
of life. It is a curious stage in human 
affairs when we have run really to excess 
in some forms of organization. It is only 
a development of the tendencies of men 
and women of common aspirations to get 
together to further their very natural 
interests. In a broader sense we have 
come a little nearer to a fraternity of 
nations. 

The World War brought us to a new 
realization, that mankind, after all, is 
interested in one common purpose, 
namely, the uplift of mankind. Nations 
that were once looking at each other in 
envy and jealousy and rivalry have come 



FKATEBNITY 237 

to understand that their best interests are 
to be served in mutual advancement, and 
we have come to the stage in human af 
fairs where we are seeking to put an end 
to warfare and to conflict and to dwell in 
a little closer understanding. 

I know full well the impelling thoughts 
in any helpful organization. You seek to 
advance the standards of individual life ; 
you seek to advance the standards of your 
common activities. You would not go into 
an organization if you did not think that, 
individually and collectively, you would 
be better off because of the association 
which you undertake. And at the same 
time, while that is your impelling thought 
I know that not a single one of you would 
go into any fraternity that was ever pro 
posed if you thought it involved the sur 
render of anything you hold essential to 
your own individual life. 

I recall many an obligation that I have 
come in contact with in secret orders, and 



238 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

there isn t one that ever asked a man to 
surrender any of his liberties, any of his 
freedom of thought, any of his freedom of 
religious belief. And making the applica 
tion of that point I want to apply it to na 
tions. Just now we are talking very much 
about associations of the nations of the 
world. We, of America, gave first the 
finest illustration that was ever recorded 
of a fraternity of nations. I like to recall 
it. I have spoken of it on previous occa 
sions. Some twenty years ago, when 
America had first planted the flag of this 
Republic, with every glittering star fixed, 
as a banner of hope and stability in the 
Orient, there broke out in China what was 
known as the Boxer Rebellion. The 
rebellious Boxers in their warfare endan 
gered all the foreign residents in the city 
of Peking. It became necessary to send 
a military expedition to the relief of those 
beleaguered citizens of the various na 
tions o f the earth. Knd I always like to 



FRATERNITY 239 

recall that a son of my own State of Ohio 
led the military expedition, the late Gen 
eral Chaffee. They brought about the 
relief of the citizens of foreign countries 
imprisoned in Peking, and in a little 
while the military forces were withdrawn. 
Then representatives of the several na 
tions engaged in that expedition sat about 
a table and figured out the expense of the 
several countries that had sent military 
relief. The sum presumably necessary 
to pay the United States for the protec 
tion of its citizens was assessed against 
China, and a like sum, or proportionate 
sum, was assessed against the government 
of China for Germany, for Great Britain, 
for France, and the other nations 
involved. 

Later on we came to cast up the ac 
counts in detail, and we found that the 
government of China had paid eight mil 
lion dollars in money to the United States 
more than was necessary to recompense us 



240 DUB COMMON COUNTRY. 

for our military endeavors. And the 
United States returned that money to 
China, sent back eight million dollars that 
they had paid us in that award the first 
time that such a thing was ever done in 
the history of the world. That was the 
first great illustration of a fraternal 
spirit among nations. And that is why 
China plants its faith in the example, in 
the democracy, in the justice of the 
United States of America. And we are 
greater to-day by reason of the example 
which we then set to the world than we 
could ever hope to be by force of arms, no 
matter how large our army and navy 
may be. 

An interesting aftermath resulted in 
the Peace Conference in Paris. China 
went into the war at our request. I do not 
know that you recall it but that Oriental 
people, at the suggestion of the State 
Department of our country, declared wan 
against the Central Empire, Germany 



FEATERNITY 241 

and Austro-Hungary. And when the war 
settlements came about China sought to 
be represented at the Peace Conference 
and they ought to have been represented. 
For some reason or other they were not. 
Then they said, " We will trust the United 
States of America to represent us, with 
confidence in that great Republic." And 
yet, somehow in the Peace Conference, 
through contract secretly made, China 
had no voice in the settlement and instead 
of being awarded the freedom of her own 
people under the gospel of self-determi 
nation for which America spoke, several 
million of her people were delivered over 
to a rival nation, with the consent and 
approval of those who spoke for America 
in Paris. But when that covenant came 
into the United States Senate, I rejoice 
that there were Americans in the United 
States who said "No" and that we did not 
approve of the Shantung award. And we 



242 OTJR COMMON COUNTRY 

kept the plighted faith in the lesson we 
taught China some twenty years ago. 
Now, the obligation and the fraternal 
thought, as I said a little while ago, is that 
you would not enter into any fraternal 
organization, no matter how high its 
ideals might be, if you thought it involved 
the surrender of anything essential to 
your individual existence. And that is 
precisely the doctrine I am trying to 
preach just now for the United States. 
"We want to be high and eminent and 
influential in the fraternity of nations. 
We want to play our part in the promo 
tion and maintenance of peace through 
out the world ; aye, we want this Republic 
to play its part in assuring justice to all 
the world and in advancing human kind 
in every way we can. In America we 
want to contribute our part through the 
application of justice rather than the ap 
plication of force ; and if I can have my 
way of speaking for America we will 



FRATERNITY 243 

never enter into a fraternity that is 
founded on force. But we do mean to 
play our part, our full part, along the 
lines of justice properly applied. 

So with this new international relation 
ship proposition, we are saying that we do 
not intend to go in so long as it involves 
the surrender of anything essential to the 
dignity, freedom of action, freedom of 
conscience of the United States of Amer 
ica. But we do willingly say that we want 
to join any association of nations for the 
promotion of justice, for the felicitation 
of international conscience ; aye, for turn 
ing the deliberate, intelligent public opin 
ion of the world upon international con 
troversy so that it may be settled in the 
applied conscience of nations rather than 
through military force directed by a coun 
cil of foreign powers, with capacity to in 
vite, aye, to order the sons of America 
into war for the protection of the bound 
aries of nations across the sea. That 



24! DTTB COMMON 

America will never consent to. We have 
our own destiny to work out, and we in 
America have been working it out to the 
astonishment and the admiration, yes, to 
the inspiration, of all the world. 

I have an abiding conviction that 
America can play her greatest part in the 
furtherance of mankind by first making 
sure of the character of our citizenship at 
home, and then give to the world the 
American example rather than the word 
of a Republic assuming to meddle in the 
affairs of the nations of the earth. 

I am infinitely concerned about pro 
moting the spirit of fraternity at home. 
We of America have made a great Repub 
lic. We have developed material Amer 
ica, and we found out in the World War 
that we needed spiritual America. I 
never can forget a development during 
the early days prior to our entrance into 
the war, when the Senate was discussing 
the enactment of the armed ship bill. 
!Fha$ is, the bill which was to provide f on 



FRATERNITY 245 

arming our merchant ships for their pro 
tection against submarine warfare. A. 
citizen of Marion and I knew him well 
wrote me and said: "Senator, why are 
you so anxious about protecting American 
rights? Don t you kjiow, sir, there is no 
such thing as a distinctly American citi 
zen ? This from an American. When I 
answered him, I said: " Maybe it is true, 
as you have written me, that there is no 
such thing as a distinctly American citi 
zen, but if that startling statement be 
true, then, in God s name, out of this tur 
moil of the world, out of this travail of 
civilization, let us have a real American 
come from Columbia s loins to leave us a 
race of Americans hereafter." 

So the World War brought us to a real 
ization that we had developed material 
America, we had prospered, we had ad 
vanced in education, in art, in world influ 
ence and had attained a high place in 
world eminence, and yet although we are 
a blend of the peoples of the Old World, 



246 orR COMMON 

we had given very little consideration to 
the development of American spirit 
And I am preaching the gospel from this 
time on of the development of an Amer 
ican soul ; from this time on I am preach 
ing the gospel of the maintenance of 
American spirit, of the development from 
this time on of a fraternity and a loyalty 
that will make us all, no matter whence we 
came, American in every heartbeat 

You can not go on in any other way. 
Here in America we have no racial entity. 
We are a blend or a mixture or an asso 
ciation of all the nations of the earth, but, 
unhappily, up to the time of the war we 
were very much a collocation of peoples ; 
but from this time on we want to be a fra 
ternity of Americans. From this time on 
we want to continue to emphasize the nee- 
essity for the elevation of the standard of 
American citizenship, not in spirit alone. 
but an elevation of the conditions under 
which men and women live. 



THE VILLAGE 



A MESSAGE FOE HAPPY AMERICANS 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE VILLAGE 

I HAVE been thinking of the wonderful 
development of the Northwest. We take 
things so readily [for granted that we 
never stoj> to think what made us what we 
are. In the brief time we have been 
building this wonderful country of ours, 
we have been working to the perfection of 
a new civilization and a habitation and a 
condition which are the pride of all Amer 
icans, [And it is a very wonderful thing 
to contemplate how much we have accom 
plished in less than a century ; and when 
you stop to think about it, it is all worked 
out with patience and continued endeavor 
in the right direction. Nothing great is 
brought about by the wave of one s hand. 
249 



250 OUR COMMON- COUNTRY 

You can not have miracles in the Sevelop- 
ment of a country, and yet in this wonder 
ful lands of ours, with the Constitution 
only a hundred and thirty-three years old 
and our Western civilization less than a 
century, we have outstripped every other 
civilization in the world. That is a trib 
ute to American accomplishment. And 
when I look back upon it, I find myself 
asking Why must we be so impatient 
with the continual working out of the pro 
cesses of human advancement? It takes 
time and understanding and an abiding 
faith to do this. So I want you all to have 
faith in this country of ours. 

I am reminded of the thought, which 
has oftentimes been in my mind, that 
there is no audience to which I more de 
light to talk than that which can be assem 
bled in a village community. I grew up 
in a village of six hundred, and I know 
something of the democracy, of the sim 
plicity, of the confidence in aye, better 



THE VILLAGE 251 

yet, of the reverence for government, and 
the fidelity to law and its enforcement, as 
it exists in the small community. I do not 
believe that anywhere in the world there 
is so perfect a democracy as in the village. 
You know in the village we know every 
body else s business. I grew up in such a 
community, and I have often referred to 
it as a fine illustration of the opportuni 
ties of American life. 

There is no social strata or society 
requirement in the village. About every 
body starts equal. And in the village 
where I was born the blacksmith s son and 
the cobbler s son and the minister s son 
and the storekeeper s son all had just the 
same chance in the opportunities of this 
America of ours. I wonder if it would 
interest you if I told you about what hap 
pened to some of the boys with whom I 
went to school? I like to refer to it be 
cause it is the finest proof in the world of 
the equality of American opportunity to 



252 OUB COMMON COUNTRY 

the sona of this Republic. In the class 
when I was a boy there was Ralph. Well, 
Ralph was a bruiser among the boys and 
I would have picked him out for a prize 
fighter. Man grown, I looked him up. I 
had not seen him for thirty years, and 
instead of finding him a pugilistically 
inclined citizen, I found him at the head 
of the bank in the village where we grew 
up, as peaceful and able as any man in 
the community. Then there was Wheeler. 
If there was any boy in our crowd who 
started with greater advantage in money, 
he was the fellow. He had inherited three 
thousand dollars and that was an awful 
amount of money in those days. But 
Wheeler went the wrong way, and came to 
failure. Then there was Prank. Frank 
was the village carpenter s son; but 
Frank to-day is one of the great captains 
of industry in Chicago, and before the 
World War advanced salaries and com 
pensation, he was getting twenty-five 



THE VILLAGE 253 

thousand dollars a year. A Village Boy! 
Then there was Ed, the cobbler s son. He 
wanted to be a geologist. He had once 
heard a geologist lecture. So he started 
to study geology, and in order to study to 
more advantage, because his father was 
not able to send him to college, he became 
a Pullman car conductor, to study as he 
worked. .What do you think became of 
Ed, aspiring to become a geologist? Ed 
turned out to be a preacher and he is a 
great preacher this day. !And BO I might 
run on but I must tell you about another 
one. Let us say that his name was Char 
lie. He was the local grocer s son. Well, 
you would not have thought he had any 
special advantage but hia father loved 
him and sent him to college. He is one of 
the great lawyers of Ohio to-day and he 
measures his wealth in large figures and 
he never cheated anybody out of a cent. 
Then there was, let us say, Henry. Henry 
was the brightest boy of his class. The 



254 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

teacher always pointed him out as the 
pride of the school. He was the one to 
whom we always had to look as an exam 
ple of youthful brilliancy in the village. 
.We were all envious of him. What do 
you suppose became of this brightest 
luminary of them all ? I found him in a 
village, the janitor of his lodge, and in 
spite of his less important achievements 
he was the happiest one of the lot. What 
is the greatest thing in life, my country 
men? Happiness. And there is more 
happiness in the American village than 
any other place on the face of the earth. 
So I like to preach the gospel of under 
standing in America, the utter abolition 
of class and every thought of it ; the main 
tenance of American institutions, the 
things we have inherited, and above all 
continued freedom for the United States, 
without dictation or direction from any 
body else in all the world. 



TWO WARS 

A MESSAGE FOB VETERANS 



CHAPTER XV 

TWO WARS 

WHEN I stop to think of the long period 
that has passed since our G. 1& E. Veter 
ans went to the front in 1861 it brings to 
me a new realization of what they did, 
first in service to country in preserving 
nationality and second in laying down 
arms and returning to citizenship, giving 
to the country the leaven of patriotism. 

From my earliest recollections I have 
a distinct remembrance of Civil War sol 
diers in their activities of citizenship and 
their marked influence in political prog 
ress. If the millions of sons who went 
forth in the defense of our national rights 
in the World War can turn to a new birth 
257 



258 OTJB COMMON COTJNTKYi 

of patriotism as you did, that will com 
pensate us for all our part in the great 
world struggle. The man who goes forth 
to offer all on the altars of country re 
turns a better patriot. We need a new 
birth of patriotism in our country. 

Our veterans didn t enter the war to 
free the slave, although that was a becom 
ing ideal. They didn t go to war because 
they hated any group in the South or to 
establish any new conception of justice. 
But they entered the conflict because they 
found the Union was threatened; they 
went to save the Union and nationality. 

There have been a variety of opinions 
as to why their grandsons went to war. 
Their sons went to war with Spain for 
humanity. Some have said that their 
grandsons went to war for democracy and 
some that they went forth to insure that 
there would be no wars in the future. If 
we went to war for democracy, shouldn t 
we have gone in when it first started? 



TWO WAKS 259 

And if we went to war to insure that there 
would be no more wars, shouldn t we have 
gone in before so many millions had been 
sacrificed? 

The simple truth is that their grand 
sons went to war when ; Congress made the 
declaration because our nationality and 
rights had been threatened. Then it was 
possible to call the sons of America to 
battle. 

That doesn t mean that when the war is 
over we should surrender what we went 
in to maintain. If it is within my power, 
there will never be a surrender of that 
which you have handed down to the gen 
eration of to-day. 



THE MEANING OF THE 
AEMISTIGE 

A MESSAGE FOE PATRIOTS 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE MEANING OF THE ARMISTICE 

November the eleventh has an abiding 
significance to America and the world. 
For America it sealed our capacity to de 
fend our national rights and stamped our 
effectiveness in aiding to preserve the 
established order of world civilization; 
for the world it marked a new order for 
humanity, and for all time it warns ambi 
tion and madness for power that one 
man s or one people s domination of the 
world never was designed by God and 
never will be tolerated by mankind. 

The day is especially interesting to our 
own country, because without American 
participation it might have been a later 
263 



264 OTJB COMMON COUNTRY 

and a different date, if indeed there had 
been an armistice day at all. We do not 
claim to have won the war, but we helped 
mightily and recorded undying glory to 
American arms and gave the world a new 
understanding of the American spirit 
and a new measure of American 
resources. 

Whatever the world may have thought 
of us before, however incorrectly we may 
have been appraised, the world has come 
to know that selfishness is not a trait of 
our national character, that commercial 
ism does not engross us, that neutrality 
was conceived in fairness not in fear 
and that when our national rights are 
threatened and our nationals are sacri 
ficed, America is resolved to defend, and 
ever will. More, we gave to humanity an 
example of unselfishness which it only 
half appraised before misunderstandings 
led to confusion. 

We helped to win the war, unaided and 



THE MEANING OF THE ARMISTICE 2(5D 

unmortgaged. "We fought with the Allied 
Powers, and were never committed, if 
fully aware of them, to the compacts of 
the alliance. 

History will record it correctly, no mat 
ter how much beautiful sentiment has be 
clouded our purposes in the World War. 
We did not fight to make the world safe 
for democracy, though we were its best 
exemplars. Nor did we fight for human 
ity s sake, no matter how such a cause 
impelled. Democracy was threatened and 
humanity was dying long before Amer 
ican indignation called for the Republic s 
defense. But we fought for the one su 
preme cause which inspires men to offer 
all for country and the flag, and we 
fought as becomes a free America, and 
dropped hatred and stifled greed when 
the victory for defense was won. 

We proved anew that there is a free 
and ample America, which does not ask, 
but freely gives. We were American in 



266 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

name before the World War made us 
American in fact, not a collection of peo 
ples, but one people with one purpose, one 
confidence, one pride, one aspiration and 
one flag. 

We learned a lesson, too, of transcend 
ing importance. Righteousness and un 
failing justice are not in themselves a 
guaranty of national security. We must 
be ever strong in peace, foremost in indus 
try, eminent in agriculture, ample in 
transportation. Better transportation on 
land and an adequate merchant marine 
would have speeded our participation and 
shortened the conflict. I believe an 
America eminent on the high seas, re 
spected in every avenue of trade, will be 
safer at home and greater in influence 
throughout the world. 

I like to think of an America whose cit 
izens are ever seeking the greater develop 
ment and enlarged resources and widened 
influence of the Eepublic, and I like to 



THE MEANING OF THE ARMISTICE 267 

think of a government which protects 
its citizens wherever they go on a lawful 
mission, anywhere nnder the shining sun. 

All the way from my home in Ohio to 
the furthermost port on the Gulf I have 
seen among the people who came to give 
us kindly greetings scores of stalwart, vir 
ile young Americans who served their 
country so gallantly and effectively at 
home and overseas. One must have cause 
for renewed pride in the character of 
these men, in their readiness and capacity 
to serve, in the certitude of their man 
hood, in their new baptism of American 
ism. These soldiers of the Republic, like 
their fathers, believe in an America of 
civil and human and religious liberty, 
they believe in an America of American 
ideals. They believe in America first, for 
it is in America that their hopes and in 
spirations center. 

We choose no aloofness, we shirk no 
obligation, we forsake no friends, but we 



268 OUK COMMON COTTNTBH 

build in nationality, and we do not mean 
to surrender it. 

Our young veterans believe it is only 
morning to the life of the Eepublic and 
they want to look forward to the surpass 
ing noonday of national life, where this 
Eepublic shall be the foremost nationality 
among the nations of the earth. I believe 
with them and with you that our sure path 
is the American path. I do not believe 
the wisdom of Washington and Jefferson 
and Hamilton is to be ignored, nor are the 
chivalry of Lee and the magnanimity of 
Grant to be forgotten, nor can the su 
preme belief of Lincoln in union and 
nationality be forgotten nor the outstand 
ing Americanism of Theodore Eoosevelt 
fail to stir our hearts. 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 



A MESSAGE AND A MEMOEIAL 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 

AMERICA uncovers in observance of the 
133rd anniversary of the birthday of the 
nation. I do not say the birthday of 
American freedom, which we celebrate 
variously, though always patriotically, on 
July 4, in reverence for the Declaration of 
Independence, but this day is the anni 
versary of the literal birthday of our 
American nation. 

I can never forget that, in the begin 
ning, independence was one thing and na 
tionality quite another. The Declaration 
of Independence was the proclamation of 
the representatives of the colonies, ani 
mated by a common purpose and aroused 
by; a common oppression. They were 
271 



272 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

brought into a comradeship of suffering, 
privation and war, and the magnificent 
Declaration of Independence was the 
bold, clear statement of human rights by 
an association of fearless men who knew 
they were speaking for liberty. It might 
have been the declaration of any people 
anywhere who had equal reasons and like 
aspirations, because it is the most compre 
hensive bill of rights in all the annals of 
civilized government. Under the Decla 
ration, the colonies fought for freedom, 
and then in the chaos of victory they 
turned to nationality as the necessary 
means of its preservation. In short, free 
dom inspired and nationality was invoked 
in order to preserve. 

We take it all so much as a matter of 
course now, that we little appreciate the 
marvel of the beginning. One may well 
wonder that the colonists succeeded in 
their warfare for independence, because 
they were battling against the command- 



THE FEDEKAL CONSTITUTION- 273 

ing power of the Old World. They were 
little prepared, they were lacking in re 
sources and they knew nothing of con 
cord, except in the universal desire for 
freedom. It is well to remember that the 
colonies were not imbued with any 
thought of a common purpose except for 
freedom itself. There was no distinctly 
American spirit which was common to 
them all. They were strung along the 
shores of the Atlantic Ocean and widely 
separated by miles of distance and by 
leagues of primeval forests and they were 
much more separated by the diversity of 
the origin of their population, by differ 
ences in religion, in ideals and manners of 
life. The whole thought of their associa 
tion was that of an offensive and defen 
sive alliance against foreign aggression, 
and there was no suggestion of a national 
feeling or aspiration before, during or 
immediately following the successful War 
for Independence. 



274 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

Indeed, there were conflicting interests 
of sections and states, there were wide 
diversities of opinion, especially with 
respect to the merits of royalism and 
democracy, there were envies and jealous 
ies, there were differences of methods and 
varieties of practises all making a sit 
uation in which it was difficult to commit 
the free colonies to anything more than 
the futile articles of confederation. 

Almost a decade passed before the 
dream of erecting upon this new conti 
nent a great and strong nation " dedicated 
to liberty" became a compelling vision, 
and forced its way upon the waking, act 
ive hours of the more progressive and 
thoughtful men of the colonies. It is even 
true that a fundamental federal law was 
not in contemplation by most of the dele 
gates who assembled in the first conven 
tion, and many of those who attended 
would not have been present had they 
known that such a work was to be under- 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 275 

taken. Surely a supreme federal govern 
ment was not in the minds of a majority 
of the delegates. In that convention were 
men of every type of mind. There were 
Puritan and Cavalier, Quaker and athe 
ist, autocrat and peasant, Yankee and 
slave-holder. Among them there were, 
even as there are now, the extremists who 
favored autocracy or the commune. Un 
der other names, but easily identified with 
present-day prototypes, they had the 
reactionary, Bolshevik, Socialist, Repub 
lican, Democrat, Prohibitionist, Liberal 
and what-not. 

It was difficult timber out of which to 
erect the enduring temple of the Republic, 
and I think it worth our while to recall 
this to lead us to greater appreciation. I 
can well believe that the hand of destiny 
must have directed them; and the 
supreme accomplishment was wrought be 
cause God Himself had a purpose to serve 
in the making of the new Republic. 



276 OtJE COMMON COUNTRY 

The formulated work of the convention 
of 1787 was not contribution, even in fun 
damentals, of one mind. The best men in 
the colonies were among the delegates, 
and it is inspiring to recall that the presi 
dent of the convention was George Wash 
ington. It is equally pleasing to note that 
this great man, born to wealth and posi 
tion, allied by blood to the titled aristoc 
racy of England, said to be the richest 
American of his time, commander-in- 
chief of a victorious army which idolized 
him, who had put resolutely away the 
offer of a crown offered by men who could 
have delivered it, stood steadfastly in 
this convention, as always, for a repub 
lican form of government. 

The debates of the constitutional con 
vention show that every known form of 
government had its advocates ; that every 
proposition presented was discussed, 
amended, revised and reviewed, again and 
again. The result was in every instance, 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 277 

compromise or conviction, as must be the 
case when the collective judgment and not 
the individual will is sought. 

There were many times when it seemed 
that the convention must adjourn in im 
potence. The strain ,upon mental and 
physical and nervous energies was ex 
hausting. Public feeling ran high and 
fear of a war between the colonies was 
justifiable. It was the venerable Frank 
lin, sage and patriot, who at a critical 
time, asked the convention to cease from 
its labors, lay aside its differences, and 
reverently and trustfully invoke the 
Divine guidance. And I am one who 
firmly believes that that prayer was 
answered. 

Out of this chaos of opinion, out of this 
rivalry and conflict, out of this ferment 
of New World liberty, came the great 
experiment, the first written constitution 
evolved in the history of the world. It was 
not the product of any one mind. I have 



278 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

always thought Hamilton to have been 
the inspiring genius, though Madison con 
tributed very largely, and Franklin s wis 
dom was never ignored. Probably no 
conclusion could ever have been reached 
without the compelling efforts of Wash 
ington. It was not the matching of minds 
except in the spirited debate. Such a 
document was of necessity the result of a 
meeting of minds in unselfish, conscien 
tious and truly patriotic purposes. I 
believe such a meeting of minds in high 
purpose to be the most effective agency 
possible in the conduct of public affairs. 

It has been said by those who disparage 
our government that our Constitution 
contains nothing new fundamentally. 
That might be said of the Sermon on the 
Mount; it might be said, and truthfully, 
of the components of any plan, or theory 
or practise in government, or science or 
religion. But in combination, in essence 
and results it was new. 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 279 

William Pitt said of the American Con 
stitution: "It will be the wonder and ad 
miration of all future generations and the 
model of all future constitutions." 

Gladstone said : "It is the greatest piece 
of work ever struck off at a given time by 
the brain and purpose of man." 

James Bryce, the most distinguished 
and unprejudiced commentator upon the 
Constitution said: "History shows few 
instruments which in so few words lay 
down equally momentous rules on a vast 
range of matters of the highest import 
ance and complexity." And for illustra 
tion, he observes that our Federal Consti 
tution with its amendments may be read 
aloud in twenty-three minutes ; that it is 
only about half as long as Paul s first 
epistle to the Corinthians and only one- 
fortieth part as long as the Irish land act 
of 1881. 

It was Pitt who spoke with the spirit of 
prophecy, for our Constitution in essen- 



280 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

tials has been the model for every consti 
tution formulated by civilized peoples 
since its enactment, and every govern 
ment but our own has materially changed 
in form since ours was established by the 
adoption of the Constitution of 1787. 

And what did this Constitution do ? It 
provided a practical, workable, popular, 
central government upon the representa 
tive plan, while reserving to the people in 
the states and their political subdivisions 
the control of their local affairs. It pro 
vided a government of checks and bal 
ances, which made the will of the majority 
determinable and effective, but protected 
the rights of the minority. 

It was written in six months to meet an 
impending crisis, and it was written to 
provide a central government for the peo 
ple of thirteen scattered colonies, having 
a total population smaller than now lives 
within the confines of several of our 
cities, and yet it was so soundly conceived 



THE FEDEKAL CONSTITUTION 281 

and so masterfully written that its pro 
visions fully meet the actual govern 
mental needs of a hundred and twenty 
millions of people, as well as the con 
ditions which are revealed in an experi 
ence of a hundred and thirty-three years 
and, I believe, of all the years to come. 

It provides for a free government of 
free men. Under it there is freedom of 
thought and expression, freedom of wor 
ship, freedom of action within the law 
and the rights of others. 

Under it there is no reason for revolt, 
no necessity for resort to violence. Any 
cause which can enlist a majority of the 
free, untrammelled electors of this land 
may, under the Constitution, win its 
dominance. The will of the people, ex 
pressed at the ballot boxes of the Eepub- 
lic, can change our government, as well as 
its policies, may even abolish the Consti 
tution itself. 



282 OUK COMMON COUNTRY 

This fact should make us even less tol 
erant of the lawless men who seek to 
establish, by threat or violence, the rule of 
minorities or of classes, which inevitably 
becomes autocracy or anarchy. 

The patriots of 1787 devised a govern 
ment to do the things so wonderfully and 
graphically expressed in the preamble : 

"We, the people of the United States, 
in order to form a more perfect union, 
establish justice, insure domestic tran 
quillity, provide for the common defense, 
promote the general welfare, and secure 
the blessings of liberty to ourselves and 
our posterity, do ordain and establish this 
Constitution of the United States of 
America." 

Can any of you, my friends, conceive a 
clearer statement of a noble purpose ?/- 
Can you suggest the insertion or elision of 
a word or phrase which would improve it ; 
can any one name a single ideal of pop 
ular government which is not covered by 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 283 

its beautifully concise, but comprehen 
sive, phraseology ? 

And the constitutional provisions are 
as clearly stated and as patriotically con 
ceived. Let us look for a moment into the 
fundamentals of our Constitution. 

It provides for three departments of 
government : the legislative, the executive 
and the judicial the legislative to make 
the laws, the executive to administer and 
enforce them, the judicial to interpret 
and construe them. 

The legislative power was vested in 
Congress, and the provisions relating to 
Congress are wonderful in the far-seeing 
wisdom of the constitution-writers. It 
was provided that Congress was to be 
composed of a Senate and a House of 
Representatives. The latter to be the 
popular body; its members to be elected 
by the people every two years. They 
were to be chosen from districts erected 
upon the basis of total population. This 



284 OTTB COMMON COUNTRY 

was intended to give equality of represen 
tation throughout the country. These 
districts, under the proposed apportion 
ment, were to be small enough so as to 
have only one or few dominant interests ; 
this would bring all interests under con 
sideration in the house. The members 
were to be elected for two years thus 
giving the electors frequent opportunity 
of selecting their representatives and 
sending them with fresh mandates from 
the people. 

The Senate was intended to be the 
deliberative body the check and brake 
upon the wheels of legislation. Its mem 
bers were to be elected from the state by 
the legislatures thereof and for a term of 
six years. This was to give stability to 
their positions and remove them from the 
influence of temporary excitement. As 
the members of the house came from dis 
tricts based on population giving the 
larger states or communities a preponder- 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 285 

ance of power and strength in that body, 
the rights of the minority and the 
smaller states were safeguarded by a 
provision that every state should be 
entitled to two members of the Senate. 
Could anything be fairer or more prac 
tical than these provisions? Under them 
we had in the most practical form the so- 
called modern idea of the initiative, refer 
endum and recall. Any district through 
its representative could initiate a bill ; the 
right of petition to Congress was estab 
lished. That gave the initiative. The 
election of a new Congress every two 
years gave an opportunity for the refer 
endum and recall. 

And it worked. No proposed legisla 
tive matter having the support of any con 
siderable minority of electors ever failed 
of introduction or consideration by 
Congress. 

The " Pounding Fathers" were deter 
mined to maintain the independence of 



286 OTJB COMMON COUNTRY 

action of the three departments of gov 
ernment. They provided that the presi 
dent should be elected by persons ap 
pointed as electors by the states, but they 
provided also that no member of Congress 
or officer of the government should be an 
elector. 

They provided that the president 
should have the veto over the acts of Con 
gress but they provided that Congress, 
by a two-thirds vote, could nullify his 
veto. 

In the constitutional convention it was 
proposed that the judiciary should be 
appointed by the Senate but it was held 
that this would place the judges under 
obligations to the Senate. Then it was 
proposed that they should be appointed 
by the president, and it was held that this 
would make the judges subservient to the 
executive and give him power to override 
the courts and set aside the will of the peo 
ple as expressed in law. And so the con- 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 287 

vention provided that the judges should 
be appointed by the president with the 
advice and consent of the Senate. 

At first the power to make treaties with 
other governments was proposed to be 
conferred upon the Senate, but it was 
agreed finally that there should be a 
division of responsibility and power. 
And despite the construction placed upon 
the language of this provision, I ask your 
attention to its statement: "He (the 
president) shall have power, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, to 
make treaties, provided two-thirds of the 
Senators present concur/ Can any 
.American wonder that members of the 
Senate, in complying with their solemn 
oath of office, insisted upon safeguarding 
America when the president proposed to 
submerge our nationality in a super-gov 
ernment of the world? 

Looking back now, it is easy to under 
stand that the fathers of the Republic had 



288 OTJK COMMON COUNTKY, 

no reasonable conception of the mighty 
possibilities in its development, nor did 
they begin to appreciate the magnitude of 
the great thing they accomplished in writ 
ing the fundamental law, and yet some 
how a sense of the tremendous importance 
must have been upon them. Bancroft 
wrote: "The members were awestruck at 
the result of their councils. The Constitu 
tion was a nobler work than they had 
believed it possible to devise." 

Our nation is one and one-third centur 
ies old, which is but a very brief period in 
the story of mankind. There are some rare 
instances in which three generations in 
one family stretch from the immortal 
beginning to the wonderful now. I have, 
myself, in these later years, met great 
grandchildren of those who participated 
in the making of the Constitution, yet in 
that stretch of time we have grown to be 
the greatest Republic on the face of the 
earth, and the work which the fathers did 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 289 

in their day still lives in full force as the 
fundamental law of the oldest living 
Republic. 

This makes it easy to understand why 
the constitution-makers did not appre 
ciate the greatness of their achievement. 
They stood too close for full realization, 
but we may contemplate it to-day in the 
revealing light of history and from the 
view-point of American accomplishments. 
One by one European autocracies have 
yielded, until, in the last great onrush of 
democracy, practically all nations have 
been engulfed, even steadfast and solid 
Britain has shaken off the control which 
her aristocracy wielded for centuries, and 
has raised her House of Commons to prac 
tically unrestricted authority. 

America alone among the great nations 
of the world has undergone no change or 
vicissitude which in itself has not proved 
to be strengthening, both materially and 1 
spiritually. An anchor our Constitution; 



290 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

has been called, but if it be so regarded it 
can not be held a rigid, immovable thing, 
but rather as a sheet anchor, serving only 
to keep the great ship safe and steady on 
her course; because there is nothing in 
elastic in our basic law. Almost immedi 
ately the "Bill of Eights" for men was 
added and now, by the votes of men, the 
yet more striking "Bill of Rights" for 
women has been adopted. 

During all these years the Constitution 
has never failed America and despite 
heedless assertions to the contrary which 
occasionally reach our ears, America has 
never failed the world. Not only has she 
afforded a safe refuge and unrestricted 
opportunity to oppressed beings every 
where, but by showing that "liberty with 
law is fire on the hearth, but liberty with 
out law is fire on the floor," she has 
proved democracy itself. Far more by 
force of example than by force of arms, 
she has shattered the idols of monarchy 



DPHE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 291 

and brought thrones crashing to the 
ground. And now, as ever before when 
distracted peoples are in the throes of a 
rebirth of nations, she stands ready, and 
let us hope, will be in a position, through 
earnest cooperation of all branches of our 
government, to lend a helping hand. To 
" America First," as pledged by the indi 
vidual, I would add simply as addressed 
to the nation, "To thine own self be true." 
Under the Constitution we have pros 
pered and developed ; under the Constitu 
tion we have kept alive the watch-fires of 
freedom and have maintained the open 
door of liberty. Under the Constitution 
we have seen millions of people, self-gov 
erned, self-controlled, work out their 
destiny in ordered liberty. Under the 
Constitution we have worshiped God in 
accordance with conscience without hin 
drance, and we have seen the reins of 
power transferred from hand to hand, in 
bloodless revolution, at the peoples behest. 



292 OTJB COMMON COUNTRY 

Tinder the Constitution we have wel 
comed the oppressed or unfortunate of 
every land, and shared with those who 
desired and deserved our heritage and 
citizenship. 

Under our Constitution, with the 
amendments so readily made when major 
settlement is evoked, every man and every 
woman may have an equal voice and vote 
in the government which he helps estab 
lish, maintain and direct. Under it the 
rights of each and all are guaranteed. 
Every citizen is made, so far as our 
imperfect human nature permits, safe in 
his person, his property, his rights of 
every kind. 

No honest man, who loves his kind, can 
ask more than that. When he does not 
receive that, the fault is all or partly his 
own, and flows not from failure of plan 
of government, but from failure of 
performance. 

We date our independence to the mem- 



THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION 293 

orable July day in 1776 when the bell of 
Independence Hall "rang out liberty" to 
all the peoples of the world. I know that 
the confederation of colonies was the 
great, the essential step toward the con 
solidation of victories of the Revolution, 
but it was the ratification of the inspired 
Constitution of 1787 that first established 
us as a nation. I want it to abide ; I want 
it to impel us onward ; I want the Repub- 
lic for which it was conceived ; and I want 
the Republic governed in America, under 
the Constitution. 



THE NATIONAL CONSCIENCE 

A. MESSAGE FOE ALL AMEBICAN3 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THE NATIONAL CONSCIENCE 

THE conservation of human resource is 
even more important than the conserva 
tion of material resource ; but I desire to 
call your attention to the fact that one 
depends a great deal on the other, and 
that the two form a benevolent circle. 
This fact is forgotten by many persons. 
On the one hand, there are those with a 
strong sentiment to improve the con 
ditions of the less fortunate or by a policy, 
even more wise, to prevent the develop 
ment of unjust social conditions or low 
standards of health and education, and to 
maintain our position as a land of equal 
opportunity. So fixed do some of their 
297 



298 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

eyes become on the human resources of 
America and on occasional misery and 
suffering, that they even become impa 
tient with those who are working to build 
up, by industry, wholesome business 
enterprise and productivity, the material 
resources, and, consequently, the stand 
ards of living of our people. 

On the other hand, there are other per 
sons who, in the main, I believe, are not 
heartless or selfish but who are so intent 
on their tasks of manufacturing and com 
merce, driven perhaps by that impulse 
for creation which is so often misinter 
preted as mere money-hunger, that they 
forget that the men, women and children 
about them, sometimes in their employ, 
are not mere commodities and are not 
even mere machines to be consumed, worn 
out, treated without love and tossed aside, 
but are human beings whose welfare in 
the end is so intertwined with that of 
every other human being that the imper- 



THE NATIONAL CONSCIENCE 299 

f ections, the poor health, the neglected old 
age, the abused childhood, the failure of 
motherhood in any one of them becomes 
an injury and a menace to us all. 

We must bring together the broadened 
consciences of those who concentrate their 
attention upon our business and our great 
enterprises on the one hand and see only 
the vision of prosperity, and on the other, 
those who find in their hearts and minds 
no vision but that of raising the standard 
of health and happiness of less fortunate 
human beings, where such standards have 
fallen below those which all Americans 
wish to see enjoyed by all Americans. 

Service to America, that must be the 
spirit of all our citizenship Service, a 
willingness to serve intelligently, to train 
for humane service, to cleave to an 
idealism of deeds and honest toil and sci 
entific accomplishments, rather than to 
serve by mere words. 

I believe this spirit can be fostered best 



300 OUR COMMON COUNTRY 

by uniting America. I believe it is best 
served by wiping away distinctions of 
class, creed, race or occupation which sep 
arate Americans from Americans. 

I say, let us awake the conscience and 
intelligence of the social reformer and 
even of the discontents, and the agitators 
who, sometimes, with fine zeal for the 
good of mankind, nevertheless go too far 
and do gross harm to mankind by spread 
ing the idea that productivity, a day s 
honest work, American business, and 
commerce are somehow the symbols of 
evil, of oppression, of selfishness. These 
are not symbols of evil, nor are business 
and industry, expressing the toil of head 
and hand, the enemies of man s welfare. 
They are the sources of man s welfare. 

We must awaken the conscience of the 
ignorant and the misguided to the fact 
that the best social welfare worker in the 
world is the man or woman who does an 
honest day s work. We must awaken 



THE NATIONAL CONSCIENCE 301 

their conscience to recognize that Amer 
ican business is not a monster, but an 
expression of God-given impulse to cre 
ate, and the savior and the guardian of 
our happiness, of our homes and of equal 
opportunity for all in America. What 
ever we do for honest, humane American 
business, we do in the name of social 
welfare. 

But it is equally true that we must 
awaken the conscience of American busi 
ness to new interest in the welfare of 
American human beings. It is not 
enough for America that her business and 
commerce shall be honest ; they must also 
be humane. Men, women, and children of 
America are not commodities. To treat 
them as commodities is not only to forget 
the responsibility we owe to the brother 
hood of man, but also it is to be blind to 
the fact that American business can not 
flourish nor the material prosperity of 
America be built upon a firm foundation 



302 OUK COMMON COUNTKY 

until by just such work as by pro 
tection of health, by education, by the 
preservation of wholesome American 
motherhood and vigorous and happy 
American childhood, and a national 
humane spirit finding expression in 
enactment of law when need be we 
insure the welfare of our human 
resources. 

The belief which I would like to send to 
all Americans is my belief that we can not 
have the fulness of America until all of 
us turn again to love of toil and love of 
production, to respect for honest organ 
ization of effort and to a willingness to 
put all our shoulders to the wheel. But 
with it goes my belief that we can not have 
all that love, and all that respect, and all 
that willingness until throughout the 
organization of our industry and com 
merce there runs the flow of love of man. 

THE END 



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