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a military organization, would seem to be less on the average than that exacted in the performance of jury duty and a member of the National Guard or of the Naval Militia is exempt from jury duty during his term of enlistment. Furthermore the fact that an employee who serves in one or the other of the state forces for five years, giving an average of only eleven working days of each year to the performance of strictly military duty is then free from jury duty, within the State of New York, ought to be an argument that would appeal to the employer. On the other hand, if an employee does not so serve he is liable throughout the whole term of his employment, at irregular intervals, to serve on juries and the number of days consumed would, in the aggregate, be vastly more than those spent in attendance at drills and manoeuvers during such a term of enlistment in the National Guard or Naval Militia.
The number of employees represented by the employers who answered the committee's letters is upwards of 42,000, and yet only about 3 per cent. of them are at present enlisted in the state service. All but two employers are not opposed to employing enlisted men, and 47 out of 491 prefer to have their employees members of the National Guard and Naval Militia.
The committee is of the opinion that the principal reason that the ranks of the National Guard and Naval Militia are not more full today is owing to the indifference of the employee which is a reflection of the indifference of the employer. This is, perhaps, attributable to a lack of thorough information on the subject, which the committee will attempt to rectify in its final report.
The fact that employers apparently make no deduction of pay for time spent on jury duty, but many deduct pay for time spent on military duty must be a controlling factor for many young men who are eligible for the state service and whose patriotism would prompt them to join it. It ought not to be a hardship to any employer to have, say, 10 per cent. of his force in the state service. Three per cent. would seem to be a very small proportion, in view of the practical advantages to the employer as well as to the employee.
The committee will continue its investigations and hopes to be able to report finally in the fall.
NEW YORK, May 31, 1912.
The report was received and placed on file.
The report of the Committee on the Harbor and Shipping on water front and terminal facilities and other port problems, submitted at the January meeting, and held over for future action, was called up by Mr. OUTERBRIDGE, Chairman of the committee.
The report concluded with the following preamble and resolutions :
Whereas, The port facilities of New York are greatly congested at some points and totally undeveloped at others, resulting in abnormally high costs to steamship lines, railroad companies and merchants at congested points, and
Whereas, The rapid growth of the city's population and the consequent growth of the bulk of its necessary supplies and its outgoing merchandise compels immediate attention to provisions for the future, and
Whereas, A proper regard for the interests of the city's trade and commerce makes it imperative that the city should adopt a comprehensive plan for the control and development of the port facilities upon the best system which can be devised, to the end that modern, scientific and economic methods may preserve and advance the commercial interests of this port, and
Whereas, Temporary expediency should not be allowed to obstruct or delay the adoption of the fundamental principles of such policy, details of which may have to be worked out in the future, but which should at all times be co-ordinated to the main principles, now therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York urges the Board of Estimate and Apportionment not to commit the city to any policy which would necessitate alienating its control of piers at any given points for indefinite and excessive periods of time, or any system of freight handling which would necessarily obstruct the well-defined trend of traffic north and south, or any re-arrangement of existing facilities which would lessen in any degree the immense natural advantages which the city has possessed of rail freight delivery on Manhattan Island;
Resolved, That the Chamber approves the principle of the marginal elevated freight railway, so constructed as not to interfere with proper provisions for elevated passenger traffic on or adjacent thereto, so located as to permit of sidings and turn-outs to piers and to warehouses on whichever side it may finally be deemed best to establish them :
Resolved,. That the Chamber recommends to the Dock Department that no opportunity be lost to transfer Sound Lines from the North to the East River; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chamber urges the Board of Estimate and Apportionment that any borrowing capacity which the city may obtain by release from the computation of its debt of self-supporting dock bonds be preserved solely for use in the development and construction of port facilities in the future, and that copies of this report be sent to the Mayor, the members of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the Commissioner of Docks and to all the members of the Committee of the Board of Estimate which had under advisement this question.
REMARKS OF HONORABLE JOHN E. EUSTIS.
MR. Eustis.—I feel that the last resolution ought to be omitted. I think the Board of Estimate and Apportionment can be trusted to administer the city's finances to the best advantage. As everybody knows, a great deal of trouble is being experienced now to finance the new rapid transit routes, which are about as necessary as are the port facilities.
The reason I speak of this is that some of that dock money may temporarily have to be used in order to carry out the dual scheme of rapid transit. Therefore, I should have to vote against that one of the resolutions, but the rest of them I am in favor of.
REMARKS OF EUGENIUS H. OUTERBRIDGE, ESQ.
MR. OUTERBRIDGE.-It may be proper for me to state than when the committee requested, for the second time, that action on this report be held up by the Chamber, it was at the request of the subcommittee of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment which had under consideration plans for harbor development as well as plans for subway development. As long ago as when the present administration came into office, the fact being apparent that the constitutional amendment was so phrased as to leave it ambiguous whether the release of borrowing capacity by the exemption of self-supporting bonds should be confined to the same purposes as the release of bonds would permit, or whether it could be used alternately or wholly for either purpose, I took the matter up with the several members of the city administration ; and they all agreed that it was very ambiguous and doubtful how that should be construed, and it was thought probable it could only be finally construed by the court. The Corporation Counsel, however, thought that the use of the word “or” would probably be interpreted by the courts to vest in the Board of Estimate and Apportionment the power to apply that borrowing capacity for either one or the other wholly or in part.
Therefore an effort was made to obtain a committal from each member of the Board of Estimate as to their position in the matter, and I would recall to the members of the Chamber the fact that Mayor GAYNOR came down here at the request of the then committee, and made a speech in which he stated that after having examined into these two subjects he was prepared officially to declare that not one cent of any of the borrowing capacity obtained by the exemption of dock bonds should be taken for subway purposes. Similar statements have been made both in public and in private by other members of the Board of Estimate. It is true that in the discussion relating to subway matters, which subsequently followed on political platforms, references were made to this large fund of dock bonds which might be exempted. But while the great principle of the problem is not generally understood and apprehended as a very necessary development in the interest of the trade and commerce of this port as the subway question is generally understood, yet the whole of the funds, about $78,000,000, would be absorbed if all of the plans which have already been mapped out by the Dock Department could be carried through; and no one has yet come forward to contend that those plans are too large in their scope or are too far ahead of the requirements which now exist and which we can see will be necessary in the near future.
Therefore, on behalf of the committee, I urge that the Chamber adopt this report including this recommendation. It is only a recommendation, but it may result in saving for port purposes, the release of credit which comes from that source.
In regard to the conferences which took place with the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, I might say that many meetings were held, including visits around the harbor ; but the progress of the conferences was interrupted from time to time in the last two or three months—first, by the re-cropping up of the subway situation by further negotiations when it was thought that it was disposed of ; secondly, by the return of Mr. MITCHELL, a member of the committee, who had been very seriously ill for months, and who quite naturally desired to be informed of the state of affairs; and, lastly, through the illness of Comptroller PRENDERGAST. Now, as this June meeting of the Chamber is the last meeting that we shall hold until the autumn, I notified the sub.committee of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, — who had assured us at the time we began these conferences that if we would hold up action on this report they would hare daily meetings, if necessary, until a conclusion was reached-I notificd them that we should have to call it up for final action to-day, and that if they desired to oppose it they should have somebody here at this time.
I urge the Chamber to adopt the report as presented by the committee.
THE PRESIDENT.—The Chair will inquire whether the amendment offered by MR. Eustis to strike out the last recommendation of the committee is seconded ?
It does not appear to have a seconder.
REMARKS OF G. WALDO SMITH, ESQ.
Mr. SMITH.-I wish to say that I have listened with a great deal of interest to the reading of this report. I have been familiar with New York Harbor, both as sailor and merchant for sixty years, and I have watched its growth and development, and I am heartily in favor of the proposition contained in the report and in the resolution just read.
The commercial interest of New York is the one paramount ques. tion, which exceeds in importance every other question, that possibly can come before the people of the City of New York. The city has grown and been built up and has reached its present eminence through its export and import business, and we should afford every possible facility to that business that we can. I am heartily in favor of the resolution as it stands. [Applause.]
REMARKS OF DOCK COMMISSIONER TOMKINS.
MR. TOMKINS.—I did not expect to speak on this matter, in view of the fact that I am so intimately connected with it; but I would like to say a word or two in regard to the suggested amendment. I think it would be dangerous to adopt it. What the Chamber does, is in the way of recommendation at the present time, and until it can be conclusively shown that it is necessary for the city's interests that this money should be diverted from the Dock Department to the use of the subways, I do not think we should sanction such a change. If it is absolutely necessary to do it, at some time in the future, it can be done. The whole drift and tendency of thought in the city are not in the direction of improving the docks. Public interest is centered just now in subway matters. That has to do with the immediate convenience of the citizens. The problem of terminals and the cheap handling in and about the city of raw materials and finished products, upon which this entire community rests for its prosperity, is essentially a national problem, and New York City is serving the interests of the whole country as the great port of North America. That fact is not generally understood by the people of the city at large, but it is understood in commercial bodies like this, and every other body outside of the Chamber of Commerce has acted favorably on this matter, and I think it would be a mistake if at the present time we jeopardized the possibility of using this money for port development purposes. [Applause.]
The report and accompanying resolutions as proposed by the Committee on the Harbor and Shipping, without amendment, were then adopted with one dissenting vote.