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It is now proposed that after having made a contract with a friendly nation we should-having obtained all the advantages of it, the canal being practically built-that we should calmly disregard the contract which we made, and should compel Great Britain to give up whatever rights or advantages it possessed by reason of Article III. of the HAY-PAUNCEFOTE Treaty and which formed the consideration for the rights which that nation surrendered to us.
I don't believe, while it may be a question between our selfish interests or the selfish interests of the seaboard states and the commercial honor of the American nation, I do not believe that a body of American merchants will do otherwise than to uphold the commercial honor of our country even though such action is designated as “ Toryism.” Think how much is dependent upon it. Is it to our advantage or to our credit, if we are known to be a nation that habitually disregards its end of a contract ; that doesn't respect the rights of other people with the same punctiliousness that it respects its own rights. I call your attention to the fact that it is only a few years ago since we insisted and compelled Canada, which was endeavoring to get out of her contractual relations in the Welland Canal to abandon her position and she did so. We compelled her to by taking action with regard to the Sault Ste Marie's canal; we insisted on our rights and we maintained them. It is perfectly fair, having insisted on our rights, that we should be compelled to accord to other nations the same rights we insisted upon ourselves. It is no far sighted policy for any merchant to do otherwise than, not only live up to the letter, but to live up to the spirit of every contract he engages in, no matter whether it is to his advantage or not.
I think that when the members of the Chamber of Commerce really understand this question, when they are not brought up for snap judgment and when they understood what they are really voting for, they will never approve a violation of treaty no matter what has been the course of other nations in similar circumstances.
REMARKS OF LEWIS NIXON, ESQ.
Mr. Nixos.—MR. PAGE places this whole question on high moral grounds. Our country is as moral as others. We know the CLAYTON-BULWER Treaty was violated in letter and spirit by Great Britain. We know of the conversion of English lumber camps on the eastern coast of Honduras and Nicaragua into what was practically British territory in violation of that treaty, and we know that in 1848 Eng. land, under the mask of Mosquito Indians, seized and occupied Greytown.
He says that merchants should hold to their contracts. I quite agree with him. Why does Great Britian squeal on this question when it has violated that treaty? It is a written instrument which gives us our right to regulate commerce in our own way. This treaty defines certain rights that we have and what we can do with them.
THE PRESIDENT.—Does Mr. Ring wish to make any remarks apropos of the amendment ?
I MR. Ring.–The Committee is satisfied if the Chamber desires to postpone this matter until the next regular meeting. I don't think there will be any objection to that.
THE PRESIDENT-—The question then will come up on the amendment offered by MR. BERNHEIMER which will mean that the report, will be voted upon at the next regular meeting, and that certain additional information will be furnished to the members in the meantime.
MR. BERNHEIMER's motion was carried.
The Chamber then adjourned.
THE ANNUAL BANQUET.
CELEBRATING THE 144TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHAMBER, HELD
NOVEMBER 21, 1912.
Of the forty-four annual and special banquets which the Chamber of Conimerce has given in the last thirty-nine years, that held on November 21st, at the Waldorf-Astoria, celebrating the 144th anniversary of the organization of the Chamber, was in many respects the greatest of the series. Only one other, that of 1902, held to celebrate the opening of the building of the Chamber at that time just completed, can be said to have compared with it in interest and brilliancy. Certainly no other banquet since 1902 has equalled the one just given in number of those attending, in the perfection of the arrangements, and in the strength and elevation of the addresses.
The subscriptions by members were considerably over one hundred greater than in 1911, and the total attendance, which reached nearly six hundred, was remarkable, even in New York—a city of great barquets-taking everything into consideration.
President John CLAFLIN presided. Bishop David H. GREER of New York said grace. There was the usual toast to the President of the United States, after which President ('LAFlin, in a few graceful remarks, proposed a toast to the President-elect, WOODROW WILSON, who would have been a guest of the Chamber on this occasion had it not been for his departure to Bermuda.
In addition to the introductory remarks of President CLAFLIN, there were only four speeches, but these were remarkable alike for the timeliness of their themes and for their brilliancy of treatment. Senator Elint Root responded to the toast of “ The Spirit of Self Government,” making one of the very best speeches of his life. Mayor GAYNOR spoke most effectively on the now pressing problems of the development of “The Port of New York." JAMES M. BECK, who enjoys a deserved reputation for eloquence, spoke forcibly, and with wealth of diction, on the subject of "A Government of Laws, not of Men.” The speaking was concluded by a witty and graceful address by former Senator CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW, to the toast of "Theory and Experience."
Besides these speakers the Chamber was honored by the presence of many notable representatives of the nation, the state and the city, including Postmaster General HITCHCOCK, Governor Dix, General Thomas H. BARRY of the United States Army, Rear-Admiral PEARY and Captain ALBERT GLEAVES of the United States Navy.
The following were the guests of the Chamber :
GUESTS OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
Honorable FRANK H. HITCHCOCK, Postmaster General.
from New York. Honorable JAMES M. Beck, Formerly Assistant Attorney General
of the United States. Major-General THOMAS H. BARRY, United States Army, Command
ing Eastern Division. Rear-Admiral ROBERT E. PEARY, United States Navy. Colonel WILLIAM M. BLACK, United States Army, of the Harbor
Line Board. ('aptain ALBERT GLEAVES, United States Navy, Commandant of the
Brooklyn Navy Yard. Right Reverend DAVID H. GREER, D. D., Bishop of New York. JOHN CLAFLIN, Esq., President of the Chamber of Commerce of the
State of New York. A. BARTON IIEPBURN, ESQ., Former President of the Chamber of
Commerce of the State of New York. JOHN T. TERRY, Esq. Lieutenant Commander ECKFORD (. DEKAT, Military Secretary to
the (overnor of New York.
ROBERT ADAMSON, Esq., Secretary to the Mayor of New York. ,
Commerce and Commercial Bulletin, Ex-Governor BENJAMIN B. ODELL, JR., GEORGE F. BAKER, Esq., and JAMES TALCOTT, Esq., of the membership of the Chamber occupied seats at the President's table. At the other tables were seated over five hundred of the leading members of the Chamber and their guests.
The Banquet Committee was composed of AUGUSTUS D. JUILLIARD, Chairman ; GEORGE B. CORTELYOU, CLEVELAND H. DODGE, ISAAC N. SELIGMAN and ROBERT A. C. SMITH.
The banquet decorations were elaborate and beautiful. On the wall back of the speakers' table was hung the seal of the Chamber surmounted by an ornate cluster of American flags. On either side were displayed silk banners, with the coats of arms of the State and the City of New York, in honor of the presence of the Governor and the Mayor, the banners being draped with American flags. Further to the right and left, on the columns and balcony fronts, due honor was given to the States of the Union, by blue silk banners, bearing escutcheons of all the States, making a continuous display of the American colors all around the Banquet Hall.
The caps of all the columns surrounding the room were surmounted by Golden Eagles, amid clusters of American flags, pending from which were hung American silk banners. All the escutcheons were draped with American colors, covering all the space on the fronts of the tiers of boxes and balcony, producing a magnificent color effect.
THE DINNER SOUVENIR.
A very attractive feature of the dinner was the souvenir given to every one attending. This consisted of an elaborately embossed map of the Port of New York specially prepared for the Chamber. This was handsomely bound, with the name of the recipient stamped in gold upon the cover. Mayor GAYNOR, in his address, alluded to this map, saying that it was one of the few dinner souvenirs “that should be taken home.” Its value to every one interested in the development of the port was apparent to all who received copies. It is in many respects the most remarkable map of the city ever printed.
The toast list was as follows:
Grace by the
Bishop of New York.
JOHN CLAFLIX, ESQUIRE,
of the State of New York.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
The National Anthem,
The Spirit of Self Government.
United States Senator from New York.
The Port of New York.
Mayor of the City of New York.
A Government of Laws, Not of Men.
Theory and Experience.
ADDRESS OF JOHN CLAFLIN, ESQ.
Having eaten our one hundred and forty-fourth Annual Dinner we may congra ulate ourselves on our robust digestion and our youthful age. The youthfulness of our age I should be inclined to attribute to our corporate mode of life were I not admonished that corporate life in this country at the present time is under suspicion, and that corporate life which sustains and cheers itself by regular dinners and frequent lunches is likely to be inquired into by the