Слике страница
PDF
ePub

relations artistiques, dans tous ces ordres d'idées, nous travaillons dans le même sens et c'est à cette initiative de notre part que nous vous prions de répondre par des sentiments et des actes analogues. Nous sommes venus vers vous; venez vers nous à votre tour.

On dit, de la pensée américaine, qu'elle se formule en termes d'action “to think in terms of action.' Eh bien ! nous, nous avons formulé notre sentiment en termes d'action, en venant vingt bons compagnons, j'ose le dire, appartenant aux diverses activités françaises, vous apporter pour une grande commémoration, une chose éminemment française, une oeuvre d'art.

Nous avons mûrement réfléchi avant de prendre un parti et nous vous prions d'y réfléchir à votre tour. Nous n'avons aucun titre officiel ; nous sommes de simples particuliers, mais nous nous sommes choisis (si vous me permettez cette expression ambitieuse) dans le désir de ne pas être trop indignes de vous et de votre confiance.

Il y eut un temps où pour la découverte des pays transatlantiques, les premiers pionniers sont partis volontairement de nos rivages : CHAMPLAIN fut le plus glorieux parmi ces français : ceux-là étaient les volontaires de la Foi et de l'Espérance

. Il fut un temps où d'autres volontaires partirent pour servir une cause juste et légitime: ceux-là furent les volontaires de la Liberté et de l'Indépendance. Les temps sont changés ; les grandes oeuvres sont accomplies. Cependant nous aussi nous venons spontanément, pour maintenir, du moins, ce qu'ont fait pos aïeux, et nous sommes les volontaires de l'Amitie.

Comment cette amitié qui est un sentiment et qui est la fleur de l'âme s'exprimerait-elle mieux que par une oeuvre d'art c'est-à-dire la fleur du goût et du génie humain ?

L'art, en effet, est l'essence du travail des siècles et ses oeuvres seules survivent aux siècles. Une civilisation achevée s'exprime par l'art : l'art résume toujours ce que l'humanité sent et pense.

Par quoi connait-on la grandeur de l'âme artistique, sinon par les monuments artistiques, l’Egypte, la Grèce, Rome, le Moyen-Age nous ont transmis leur pensée par cette langue universelle et immortelle qui s'appelle l'art. Ce que l'Humanité veut faire connaître d'ellemême à l'avenir, elle le confie à l'art.

Et c'est pourquoi, comme un symbole de l'amitié franco-américaine, nous avons choisi une belle oeuvre d'art due à notre grand sculpteur Rodin.

A bord d'un bâtiment nouveau et qui s'appelle “ La France,” une délégation française est venue pour vous remercier de célébrer un Français.

Par la pensée, par le commerce, par le goût du grand, du beau, du juste, par une foi identique dans la paix entre les hommes, les deux grandes démocraties que l'océan seul sépare, sont faites pour s'aimer, se comprendre et s'unir.

Nous demandons aux Chambres de Commerce américaines de seconder l'oeuvre d’union que nous avons enterprise.

Merci aux Chambres de Commerce américaines. A tout jamais prospérité, grandeur, bonheur et gloire, à la Grande République des Etats-Unis d'Amérique ! [Loud applause.]

THE PRESIDENT.-- There are few homes in this country in which the benign face of WASHINGTON does not look down upon the family activities. Serious contemplation of the face of WASHINGTON must soon bring into perspective the face of that great Frenchman with whom he was so closely associated, whom he so highly esteemed, LAFAYETTE. [Applause. We are fortunate in having with us to-day a direct descendent of the great LAFAYETTE, his great great grandson. He is upon this delegation as the personal representative of the Premier of the present government of France. I take great pleasure in presenting COMTE DE CHAMBRUN. [Loud applause.]

COMTE DE CHAMBRUN spoke in English as follows:

ADDRESS OF COMTE DE CHAMBRUN.

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN.—The very character of the present solemnities which have brought this delegation to America awakens with us in France a peculiar feeling of sympathy and grateful retrospection. Our intellectual world, our literary men—all who are versed in historical research and who cherish the great memories of the past—look back with love and pride upon the one time humble heroes whose venturous spirit and whose wonderful foresight made of their own mother country the glorious promoter of civilization. Indeed, the ties uniting France and America have always been popular with us, and our public men have ever justly prized their great and valuable importance; but, in the present instance, the Prime Minister of the French Republic has desired to be personally represented. He, also, a patriot and a man of letters, cannot refrain from emotion when he recalls that page of our common history, when a countryman of ours with scanty means, but with vast courage and genius opened new lands and new prospects to the achievements of humanity.

And this is why M. RAYMOND POINCARÈ wishes that his own tribute should not be lacking where honors are bestowed upon our brave CHAMPLAIN; it is my good fortune, gentlemen, to be the bearer of this heartfelt tribute in memory of the early traveller now famous among our great explorers.

Curiously enough, at different stages, it has been the destiny of Frenchmen to play on this proud continent a decisive part in the interest of the world's progress. Whether as pioneers in the northern and western dominions, at a remote period when these lands were yet unknown, or later on, in time of need, when the United States sought freedom and independence, was it not Frenchmen who came again with helping swords in a new American cause, where, as volunteers and soldiers, their hearts became enlisted.

But on the other hand, we citizens of France, do not forget that it was upon your virgin soil that free institutions were first sown of which we in turn were able to fully harvest. The declaration of the American Independence preceded the declaration of the Rights of Man, and republican government in America preceded the establishment of free government in France.

Mutual action at decisive moments, as we see, has blended together the histories of France and of the United States with ever beneficial effect, leaving to-day in the hearts of both nations an unparalleled feeling of esteem and constantly well wishing affection. [Great applause.]

Addresses were also made in French by M. Louis BARTHOU formerly a member of the French Cabinet and M. Louis BLERIOT the famous aviator. Both were enthusiastically received. At the luncheon which followed the meeting a toast was given in honor of the President of France which was responded to by M. HANOTAUX after which Baron D'ESTOURNELLES DE CONSTANT made an eloquent address.

SAILORS' SNUG HARBOR.

THE PRESIDENT.-I have before me a report upon the Sailors' Snug Harbor, made as your President and also as President of the Board of Trustees of the Sailors' Snug Harbor. It will be received and published in the Bulletin, and I hope that some of you at least will read it as it presents some of the problems of the institution which involves great labor upon your President, and some suggestions and questions which must be solved, and we need your advice in their solution.

COMMERCIAL EDUCATION.

THE PRESIDENT.-As you all know we have been working hard to bring about a proper instrumentality for commercial education in this city. We asked our members to become contributors of $1,000 each, to the extent of fifty, to furnish a fund which would enable us to conduct examinations and issue certificates of proficiency which would be of value to the recipient in obtaining positions throughout the world, which would be of commercial value, and which would therefore inspire activity on the part of students. We have forty responses, and we expect in the near future to get the remaining ten.

The City College is, as you know, owned and supported by the taxpayers of New York City, and that institution through President FINLEY and the Board of Trustees has offered, in the event that we raise $500,000 and put up a building for commercial education, to take charge of it as part of the work of the college, and conduct such an institution as we have been aspiring to get. This is a very great opportunity, and we have taken preliminary steps towards raising the $500,000. The matter has been a subject of conference between our Committee on Commercial Education and the Board of Trustees of the City College, and has met with their entire approval. I make this statement by way of reporting progress.

INAUGURATION OF THE NEW PRESIDENT.

GEORGE GRAY WART) on behalf of the tellers reported first, that all the candidates for membership had been elected, and second that the entire ticket reported by the Nominating Committee had been elected.

The President thereupon named Augustus D. JUILLIARD to escort the newly elected President, John CLAFlin to the chair. He was received with long continued applause.

PRESIDENT HEPBURN.—MR. CLAFLIN: By the partiality of your fellow members you have been elected President of the Chamber. Sir, it is the highest commercial distinction which any man may attain in this country. It is a position of responsibility and power not alone because of the functions imposed upon the incumbent by our constitution and by-laws, but the legislature of the State of New York and the Congress of the United States have devolved upon this Chamber the discharge of certain important functions. It is, therefore, provided that before assuming the duties of this office the President must take an oath of office. I will proceed to administer the oath to you.

THE OATH OF OFFICE.

MR. CLAFlix then took the following oath:

I, John CLAFLIN, having been duly elected to the office of President of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, on the 2d day of May, 1912, do solemnly swear that I will truly and faithfully perform the duties thereof to the best of my ability during my continuance in said office, so help me God.

ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT CLAFLIN.

MR. CLAFLIN.—I thank you for the honor of this election to the presidency of an association which is preeminent among the mercantile bodies of the United States. This Chamber has grown strong under the wise leadership of MR. HEPBURN and his predecessors

because it has exemplified the enterprise and the sagacity of the men of affairs in New York. And in these times of turmoil and change it is vitally important that it should continue to illustrate such enterprise and such sagacity ;-on the one hand hospitably entertaining all things new, on the other, examining, comparing, testing the new things in the light of the accumulated wisdom of the past. Little by little from the crude mass of the new we may hope to extract precious bits to add to the golden store of the centuries ; but we must not mistake our small additions for the whole store; it behooves us to realize the greatness of our inheritance in the painful conquests of civilization ; and it should be our first care to keep this rich beritage unimpaired and unimperilled. Then we may strive with good heart to make additions to it worthy of our day and generation.

In this conservation and in this progress we must do our part. It is for us to make the immediate future of this Chamber worthy of its splendid past. [Applause.]

The Chamber then adjourned.

Monthly Meeting, Thursday, June 6, 1912.

A regular monthly meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held in the Hall of the Chamber, Thursday, June 6, 1912, at half-past twelve o'clock, P. M.

[blocks in formation]

And one hundred and seventy-one other members.

WELDING Ring on behalf of the Executive Committee, reported the following named candidates for membership and recommended their election :

« ПретходнаНастави »