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“ The immediate need for relief of sufferers is funds. On account of transportation facilities being destroyed, food and other supplies are being purchased nearest the district affected. Any funds contributed should be sent to me. I appreciate very much your thoughtfulness."
Before this had been received it had become evident that the need was urgent, and the Chamber had accordingly sent out an appeal to its members, which elicited very speedy and liberal responses. It had been indicated in the appeal sent by the Chamber that the subscriptions would be turned over to the American Red Cross. That had been done at the request of the Mayor's Committee, so that there should be the utmost economy and directness in the disbursements. The result of our appeal, being sent out in that way, was that not only did the Chamber directly receive a large amount of money, but the Red Cross also received directly a number of very large contributions from members of this Chamber.
It might be interesting, by the way, for the Chamber to hear a letter that has been received from Major-General DAVIS, who is in charge of the measures for relief.
Before the letter is read, I would say that the subscription list is not yet closed, and if any members of the Chamber should wish to contribute, either for the first time or to add to subscriptions already made, the money will be thankfully received and promptly forwarded to the Red Cross officials.
The letter referred to was read by the Secretary as follows:
LETTER FROM MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE W. DAVIS, U. S. A.
April 7, 1913.
MR. SERENO S. PRATT,
State of New York.
“ MY DEAR SIR :
“Your communication of the 4th of April, respecting the relief of the western flood sufferers, and especially regarding the conditions in Logansport and Peru, Indiana, is just at hand and has attention.
We have already received from the Governor of Indiana, from the Vice-President of the United States and from Senator Kern of Indiana communications respecting this same subject, which have had the instant attention of our agents in the flooded region. MR. ERNEST P. BICKNELL, the National Director of the Red Cross, who has visited almost all of the flooded localities in Ohio, is to-day enroute for Indiana to look into the situation at Logansport and Peru and to take the necessary action for relief, for which he has ample funds. Be assured that everything will be done to meet the necessities of the case.
“ We are advised by the Governor of Indiana and from Chicago that the Association of Commerce of that city has made a remittance of funds to Logansport, and, if I mistake not, also to Peru, but our information may possibly be erroneous as respects this last named city.
That the suffering in Peru and Logansport has been acute there is no doubt, and it is a source of regret to us that we could not earlier get an agent on the ground who was able to report the exact facts in respect to the conditions. The work in Ohio is getting well under way and Red Cross Agents are following the floods down into the other States. As soon as the immediate needs for food and clothing are met the work of re-habilitation does not necessarily need to be donenor can it be done—in two or three days. The area is so vast (MR. BICKNELL reports two thousand miles in circumference) that a just expenditure of the funds cannot be made without some careful supervision. Some small places of a few thousand people have sent far more telegrams and appeals than large towns and cities. For example, Hamilton, Ohio, with thirty thousand people, had in every house or building from five to ten or fifteen feet of water, merchants' stocks were ruined, perhaps two or three hundred houses were completely washed away, many were seriously injured and perhaps between fifty and a hundred lives were lost ; yet we have had no direct appeal from there, whereas we have had many appeals and whole state delegations of Senators and Congressmen at the Red Cross office in behalf of towns of three or four thousand people. I mention this simply to show that if the funds on hand are to be justly administered investigation must be made. The Red Cross National Director, with many agents under him, is supervising the entire work.
· The Red Cross has received so far about a million and a quarter of dollars. This will have to be divided up, as you can see, into many subdivisions for different places. I enclose copies of dispatches received from MR. BICKNELL, which I think show something of the vastness and complexity of the relief work.
“ Thanking the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York for its interest in the matter, I am,
Very truly yours,
(Signed) GEO. W. Davis.”
APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES. The President announced the appointment of the following committees :
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON HEIGHT OF BUILDINGS.
ALFRED E. MARLING,
COMMITTEE TO AUDIT THE ACCOUNTS OF THE CHAMBER.
GARDINER D. MATTHEWS,
TO FILL VACANCY ON SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CONSERVATION.
CHARLES W. CARPENTER.
THE PRESIDENT.-I have felt that it would be the wish of the Chamber that the Chair appoint a committee to represent the Chamber at MR. Morgan's funeral. Accordingly, with the kind assistance of the Secretary, I prepared a list of gentlemen whom I should have been glad to appoint. On conference with MESSRS J. P. MORGAN & COMPANY it appeared that the number would have to be limited on account of the impossibility of seating in the church all who wished to attend. The list, in consequence, was reduced to the names that the Secretary will now have the kindness to read.
COMMITTEE TO REPRESENT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AT
THE FUNERAL SERVICES OF J. PIERPONT MORGAN. ALEXANDER E. ORR,
JAMES TALCOTT, A. BARTON HEPBURN,
MORTIMER L. SCHIFF, ANDREW CARNEGIE,
CLEVELAND H. DODGE, JOSEPH H. CHOATE,
AUGUSTUS D. JULLIARD, JAMES G. Cannon,
ARTHUR CURTISS JAMES, T. DE WITT (UYLER,
EUGENIUS H. OUTERBRIDGE, SETH Low,
HENRY HENTZ, GEORGE B. CORTELYOU,
FRANK K. STURGIS, John D. ROCKEFELLER, JR., HENRY CLEWS, WILLIAM A. NASH,
VERNON H. BROWN, ISAAC N. SELIGMAN,
SAMUEL W. FAIRCHILD, EUGENE DELANO,
WELDING Ring, Jonn I. WATERBURY,
PHILIP A. S. FRANKLIN,
GEORGE F. BAER,
REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES.
WELDING Ring, on behalf of the Executive Committee reported the following named candidates for membership and recommended their election :
FOR RESIDENT MEMBERS.
Nominated by GEORGE W. CARPENTER, CHARLES W. CARPENTER, CHARLES BLAINE WARNER, WILLIAM A. MARBLE, LeBaron SANDS WILLARD, Thomas A. Sparks,
Seconded by John A. Hance. WELDING RING. Welding Ring.
FRANK W. JESUP and CHARLES T. GWYNNE being appointed tellers, a ballot was taken resulting in the election of these candidates.
Mr. Ring, also reported that pursuant to Article IX. of the ByLaws the Executive Committee presented the names of the following members to serve as a committee to nominate officers and members of standing committees for the year ending May 1914 ; and they were unanimously elected:
AUGUSTUS D. JUILLIARD,
Mr. Ring, on behalf of the Executive Committee then presented the following report and moved its adoption:
To the Chamber of Commerce :
Three principles should control the policy of the state in the establishment of a highway system for which bonds must be issued in large amount.
1. The highways should be constructed along recognized lines of practical utility, where they will be of the largest possible benefit to all the people of the state in the transportation of products and persons. They should be built primarily for commercial use, only secondarily for pleasure. They should be great trunk lines, with necessary feeders. There should be no such division of money that each locality may obtain a slice, or the real estate interests in this or that section favored, regardless of the working out of an orderly and comprehensive plan of highway development. The state and county roads should be so connected as to make a great and permanent system that would give New York the distinction of having the best highways in the world.
2. The roads should be constructed thoroughly so as to last, with proper care, at least as long as the debt created to pay for them shall extend. The policy should be, not as many roads as can possibly be built out of the money available, but only as many roads as can be well built within the appropriation. The state is bonding itself for fifty years; what will it have to show for its debt, if the roads built out of the proceeds of the bond issue shall not last for more than eight, ten or twelve, or possibly fifteen years? There is such pressure for the immediate construction of roads in favored localities, that there is danger of some such humiliating result as this.
3. The administration of highway construction should be by a commission or commissioner, possessing not only high executive ability and technical knowledge, but also strength of character sufficient to resist inevitable political pressure. There is grave peril that the administration of this great trust might be perverted into a game
of practical politics.
In so far as the construction of state and county roads, under the operation of Chapter 298, Laws of 1912, which provides for an issue of $50,000,000 highway bonds, without provision for retirement during the life of the bonds, and which provides for apportionment of the total amount of the money among the counties on a mileage and area basis, permits of a departure from these principles, and makes possible an arbitrary and wasteful division of the money, there is need of immediate reconsideration, and the submission of the project to the people in a form that will insure the carrying out of the undertaking with such intelligence, thoroughness and efficiency as will reflect credit upon the State of New York.
The people of the City of New York will, through taxation, bear the larger proportion of the interest burden of the good roads indebtedness, although the city will be excluded from most of the benefits of the appropriation. The people of the City of New York have at least the right to be heard in regard to the plan and scope of the improvement and the manner of its administration.
The Executive Committee therefore recommends that this report be adopted as an expression of the opinion of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, that a copy of it be sent to the Governor of the State, and that the Chamber's Committee on Internal Trade and Improvements be instructed to take such other steps as may be proper to prevent waste and inefficiency in the construction of good roads.