New York Chamber of Commerce.

Annual report of the corporation of the Chamber of Commerce, of the State of New York, for the year .. online

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — June 6, 1918 45

foreigner increases his own efficiency and enlarges his opportun-
ities, while at the same time our nation is solidified.

Because of these considerations your Committee offers the
following resolution for your adoption :

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of
New York indorses the Americanization Campaign which has
been planned by the Committee appointed by the Honorable
Franklin K. Lane, and approves the bills in their broader
sense, awaiting the revised details on which the said Conmiittee
is now engaged ; and be it further

Resolved, That the Chamber's Committee on Commercial
Education be authorized to bring to the attention of the mem-
bers of the Chamber the objects of the bills, when enacted into
law, and to request all our members to cooperate in every way
feasible in this Federal Americanization Campaign.

In connection with this Americanization Campaign your
Committee has learned that Secretary Lane proposes to call a
mass meeting early in September, to be held m this city at
Madison Square Garden, and desires that the Chamber of Com-
merce and other commercial bodies be represented. The follow-
ing resolution therefore is offered :

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of
New York hereby gives authority to the Committee on Com-
mercial Education tiiat it may represent the Chamber at the
Americanization mass meeting to be held in September at
Madison Square Garden, and that the Committee may cooperate
and assist in this meeting.

Lionel Sutro, Acting Chairman
Alexander C. Humphreys
Joseph H. Sears
William W. Heroy
Edmund Dwight

Of the

Committee on



New York, May 23, 1918


Mr. Sutro then offered the following report, which was also
adopted unanimously :

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46 Sixty-First Annual Report — Part I

To the Chamber of Commerce:

Whereas, It has been found that from 10,000 to 36,000 perma-
nently disabled soldiers and sailors is an average result ot main-
taining 1,000,000 men in the field of war for one year; and

Whereas, It is realized that it has been in the past a serious
mistake to treat crippled soldiers, sailors and others as objects of
pity and charity, and that the real need and desire of these men
is an opportunity to take their place once more in the ranks of
society as useful, self-supporting, efficient citizens; and

Whereas, Experience has proved that a great proportion of
cripples can be restored not only to former usefulness, but not
infrequently to an earning power greater than possessed before
the war, provided well-trained teachers and properly equipped
schools exist to undertake at once the vocational education of the
crippled men after discharge from hospitals or convalescent
camps, and before they have lost their will-power and discipline,
and have become morbid and indolent ; and

Whereas, It is a national necessity on humane as well as social
and economic grounds that an opportunity for complete re-
habilitation be offered the physically disabled, for our supply of
man-power will not in the future be maintained as formerly by
immigration and the situation demands its conservation as an
economic asset; and

Whereas, The Red Cross Institute for Crippled and Disabled
Men, a branch of the American Red Cross service, has already
taken up, in cooperation with the United States GrtDvernment,
the work of reeducation and rehabilitation of industrial as well
as war cripples; and the experience of other nations with war
cripples shows the great necessity of an early start in this work ;

Whereas, Certain bills and amendments have already been in-
troduced in Congress, and Congress and Federal authorities are
endeavoring to frame satisfactory laws which will, under the
supervision of a Federal Board for Vocational Education, pro-
vide for the vocational training of disabled persons discharged
from the military or naval forces and which will give monthly
compensation to every person electing to follow such course
of vocational training; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of
New York heartily endorses The Red Cross Institute tor

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — June 6, 1918 47

Crippled and Disabled Men, and also heartily endorses the work
being done at Washington to enact laws which will provide ade-
quately for the vocational rehabilitation of men and women who
have been crippled and disabled either in war or industry; and
be it further

Resolved, That the Committee on Commercial Education be
authorized to assist and cooperate in the work of organizing
facilities to provide opportunities for the disabled to acquire vo-
cational rehabilitation.

Lionel Sutro, Acting Chairman
Alexander C. Humphreys I of the

Joseph H. Sears ^ '^— - -

William W. Heroy Education

Edmund Dwight
New York, May 23, 1918


Mr. SuTRO also offered the following report, which was ordered
received :

To the Chamber of Commerce:

Your Conimitte desires at this time to call the attention of
members of the Chamber to laws passed in the State of New
York at the last session of the Legislature^ designed to assist
in the Americanization of Aliens. These laws are comprised in
three bills, the introductory numbers of which were S. 1062, A.
1200, S. 1168.

S. 1062, which now is contained in chapter 412 of the New
York Laws, adds new sub-division 11-a to section 94, Educa-
tion Law, authorizing the Education Commissioner to establish
training institutes and regular courses of study in connection
with the State normal institutions, and in cities, for training
regular public school teachers and others to give instruction to
illiterates over 16 years of age.

A. 1200, which now is' contained in chapter 409 of the New
York Laws, amends section 311 of the Education Law, by sub-
stituting entirely new provisions requiring the education board
of each school district and city to maintain kindergartens free
to resident children between 4 and 6 years of age. It also re-

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48 Sixty-First Annual Report— Part I

quires free night schools three nights a week for two hours each
night in first-class cities throughout the day school terms; in
second-class cities, at least 100 nights a year; in third-class
cities, 80 nights. E^ch school district must establish a night
school where 20 or more minors between 16 and 21 are required
to attend school or where 20 or more persons over 16 apply for
such school.

S. 1168, which now is contained in chapter 415, adds new
section 637 to the Education Law, requiring every minor between
16 and 21 who does not have the ability to speaJc, read or write
English as is required for completion of the fifth grade of public
school in his district, to attend some public day or evening school
or school maintained by an employer throughout the entire time
of such school except upon certificate of physical or mental un-
fitness for such attendance by the local health officials.

In view of the new laws summarized above, your Committee
makes the following recommendation :

That all persons having minors under their control or em-
ployment give attention to and support the provisions of new
section (637) of the Education Law, requiring under penalties
for disobedience, certain school attendance by every minor be-
tween sixteen and twenty-one years of age, who does not pos-
sess such ability to speak, read and write the English language
as is required for the completion of the fifth grade of the public
or private schools of the city or school district in which he

Lionel Sutro, Acting Chairman
Alexander C. Humphreys ^f^^"^

_ T T o Committfe om

Joseph H. Sears > commercia!

William W. Heroy Education

Edmund Dwight J

NwE York, May 23, 1918


Charles N. Chadwick^ Chairman of the Special Committee
on Conservation of State Waters, Lands and Forests, presented
the following report, which was unanimously adopted :

To the Chamber of Commerce:

Your Committee on Conservation of State Waters, Lands and
Forests has had under consideration the Flood Bill — H. R.

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — Ju?te 6, 1918 49

11871. This bill would enable the Secretary of War to lease
New York State water powers on the Niagara and St. Lawrence
rivers for periods of fifty years and permit the Federal Govern-
ment to use the revenues. For upwards of half a century the
highest courts of this State have constantly upheld the right
of the State to control and regulate the great water powers of
the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers. This right has been sus-
tained by the Supreme Court of the United States. Half the
total water power of the State is derivable from its boundary
waters, and it is held by the State for the benefit of its citizens.

Governor Whitman recommended to the Legislature at its
last session the passage of suitable legislation to enable the State
to use the undeveloped water powers, and the appointment of a
commission to market the power thus created.

The Flood Bill authorizes the Secretary of War to take the
property of the people of the State of New York without com-
pensation and give it to such licensees as he may select. The
Secretary of War may make any annual charge for its use ex-
clusively for Federal purposes, and in Section Ki the bill pro-
vides that :

"Any licensee hereunder proposing to construct a project
* * * may acquire the right to take title in fee to, or to use
or damage land or property of others * * * for the im-
provement of the navigability of such waters by the exercise of
the right of eminent domain upon the payment of just compensa-
tion, which said right of eminent domain is hereby conferred
upon such licensee."

This bill has as its fundamental purpose the development of
hydro-electric power under the absolute control of the Secretary
of War. It was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
rather than to the Committee on Water Power, which has just
been appointed to take into consideration the problem of the
undeveloped waters both in navigable streams and on the public
domain of the United States. Why this Flood Bill should not
have been referred to the Committee on Water Power has not
been explained.

Your Committee on Conservation of State Waters, Lands and
Forests in its report of April 5, 1917, submitted "An Act to
Create a National Board of Water Conservation," which was
unanimously adopted by the Chamber; and Mr. Chadwick^
Chairman of the Committee, appeared before the Committee on
Water Power at Washington on Thursday, March 31, 1918, in
behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, in favor of H. R. 9681
(the Chamber's bill) and made a report, which was published in
the Bulletin for April, 1918.

To all intents and purposes the object of the Flood Bill is
amply covered by the bill of the Chamber of Commerce, which


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50 Sixty-First Annual Report— Part I

provides (first), for study and investigation, and (second) for
initiation of work; and that before the details of the develop-
ment of hydro-electric power are taken up by the Government it
should first determine upon its policy relative to the conservation
and utilization of the rainfall and the rules and regulations gov-
erning it in the various States.

In the interpretation of boundary, interstate or navigable
streams, it is quite necessary that the conflicting interests of the
State and nation should be reconciled and an interpretation of
the laws relating to the control and jurisdiction of navigable
waters should be thoroughly understood. Before this problem
has been solved and a thoroughly understood policy worked out,
individual bills have been and are being introduced into G^ngress
which provide for the possibilities of the development of special
projects, the commitment to any one of which might seriously
handicap the Government in its study of the problems relative to
conservation and utilization of rainfall, whether for potable use,
irrigation, drainage or pollution, as well as navigation and hydro-
electric power.

To attempt to exercise an absolute foresight in the drafting
of a blanket statute such as, among others, H. R. 8716, which
provides for the appointment of a commission composed of the
Secretaries of War, the Interior and Agriculture, with an execu-
tive officer to the commission to be appointed by the President,
with an attempt to cover every phase of power development in
both the humid and arid States, and practically for all time, with
the expectation that it should adequately meet not only present
conditions but future developments, is inconceivable. Such
foresight is beyond the capacity of any individual or set of in-
dividuals, and, as in the Flood Bill, to give to the Secretary of
War unlimited power to take the State navigable waters and
use the revenues therefrom for Federal purposes, is all alone
the line of empirical thought. There should be no action until
these problems are thoroughly threshed out.

In bills H. R. 8716 and H. R. 11871 there is given to any
licensee the right of eminent domain to use or damage land or
property of others. This is unconstitutional, and as the taking
of water power property constitutes the taking of private prop-
erty for private use, the enterprise is in substance a private one,
and the pretense that it has a public purpose is merely colorable
and illusory.

We wish again to emphasize the fact that Section 3 of the
bill of the Chamber of Commerce in four and a half lines covers
all possible development, because it provider for the submis-
sion of individual projects, after thorough study and investiga-
tion, to Congress for authorization and appropriation of neces-
sary funds.

The bill of the Chamber of Commerce has as its first purpose

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — June 6, 1918 51

the potable use of water, and as its second purpose the com-
mercial use — for navigation and for hydro-electric power. The
provisions of that act are broad and flexible, involving the study
of the utilization and conservation of rainfall, and the revision
and codification of existing water laws and the passage of new
laws co-ordinating Federal and State jurisdiction. It paves the
way for a broad policy to be determined upon by the Govern-
ment before commitment to some special detail of the problem.

Your Committee therefore offers the following resolution and
recommends that it be adopted :

Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce of the State of
New York opposes passage of the measure known as the Flood
Bill — H. R. 11871 — and in opposing this legislation calls atten-
tion to the proposed act to create a National Board of Water
Conservation unanimously adopted by the Chamber in 1917, and,
be it further

Resolved, That copies of this report and the accompanying
resolution be sent to the members of the Senate and House of
Representatives at Washington.
Respectfully submitted,

Charles N. Chadwick, Chairman ,

' ' special


H. HOBART Porter CommUtaon

Charles W. Carpenter \ ^fTT^'T* "'

Franklin P. Duryea Lands and

Lincoln Cromwell J ^"^"^^

New York, June 3, 1918


Charles D. Freeman — Mr. President, in connection with the
rehabilitation and education of men of our army, there is a matter
of great importance that I would like to offer to the Chamber
which I will put in the form of a resolution.

Resolved, That the Committee on Commercial Education in-
vestigate the requirements and recommend the method necessary
to facilitate the replacement of the men of the National Army
before and after they shall have been discharged from service.

The resolution was unanimously carried.

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52 Sixty-First Annual Report — Part I


The President — We had expected to-day to have an address
from Mr. G. A. Tomlinson, manager of the New York Barge
Canal Section of the Committee on Inland Waterways of the
United States Railroad Administration. But he was suddenly
called out of town, and a fellow committeeman and a fellow
member of our Chamber, Mr. Calvin Tomkins, has very kindly
consented to take his place. Mr. Tomkins is very full of this
subject and has studied it for so many years that I know we
shall hear him with a great deal of pleasure.


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Chamber — Mr. Tom-
linson wished me to express his regrets that he is unable to be
present. He expected to be with you to-day but was called West
along the line of the Canal, and he requested me to present his
statement to the Chamber, which I shall do, including a few re-
marks of my own :

New York, June 3rd, 1918.

Hon. Alfred E. Marling, President,
Chamber of Commerce

of the State of New York,
Dear Sir :

The New York State Barge Canal is open for traffic, equipped
with boats and administrative organizations in New York City,
Troy and Buffalo. As rapidly as traffic develops to warrant the
expenditure, freight service will be inaugurated at intermediate
points along the route and tonnage transferred to and from rail-
roads and lake steamers.

The Government has established identical rates for canal and
rail service. Canal terminals at the more important cities, except
Rochester and Syracuse, are now available for use, although not
in all cases equipped. Still, a very large volume of freight can
now be moved and the railroads relieved of a corresponding bur-
den, if business shall be offered to the Canal. But business is not
being offered to the Canal and my organization is losing valuable
time and opportunity for acquiring experience as a consequence.

Shippers have lost the waterway habit and while I have met
with a well-nigh universal expression of popular good- will and
cooperation, I am compelled to admit that traffic, if not at a stand-
still, is very small in volume.

The New York Canal, together with the Great Lakes and
Coastal waterway system between Boston and Norfolk and as far
north as the St. Lawrence, is unquestionably the longest and most
important transportation route in the country, in spite of the fact

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — June 6, 1918 53

that its functions are atrophied. It traverses the intensive, indus-
trial, northeast section of the country, where population is densest
and the need for prompt transfer of food, fuel, raw materials and
finished products most urgent. The war needs for this additional
water transportation are apparent to every one and the future
transportation requirements of the nation for developing its im-
port and export trade are as imperative here as they are in the
Rhine Valley, where water transportation has so largely concen-
trated the commerce and industries of Europe.

I have carried out the orders of the Director-General of Rail-
roads and have equipped the Canal with such boats as I could
obtain without delay. I have contracted for a considerable fleet
of large, new, steel and concrete boats which will be built within
a few months, provided the materials for their construction shall
be forthcoming. The delivery of these materials has been prom-
ised at an early date and the new fleet will be planned and fitted
to the requirements of the new Canal for the most economical

State and City officials have fully and freely cooperated with
me to reestablish traffic on the Canal and the time has now arrived
for the merchants and manufacturers of this State and of New
England to furnish the movement of freight which shall justify
the large capital expenditures already incurred by the Federal
Government. I ask your practical help to accomplish this end.
What can you do and in what manner can you influence other
commercial bodies along the Canal and contiguous waters and
connecting rail routes, to encourage the use of this inland high-
way? Unless our traffic organization shall acquire experience in
the movement of commodities at this time, we shall be unprepared
to relieve the impending congestion incident to moving the grain
crop and food products to the seaboard in the fall months.

Coal as well as grain can be moved East from Buffalo and
Rochester to points along the Canal, in the Hudson Valley, and up
Lake Champlain, and the Coal Administration is now giving at-
tention to this matter and with its cooperation, additional relief
can be obtained for the railroads to the advantage of New York
and New England, where fuel needs will be greatest next winter.

I respectfully suggest that there should be a concerted and well-
otganized effort on the part of the Chamber of Commerce of the
State of New York, and other commercial bodies in New York
and New England, to start traffic on the Canal. A temporary
relaxation of the railroad congestion now affords some degree of
welcome relief to shippers but it is illusionary to think that this
will last. The harvest traffic and the war necessities will soon end
this deceptive condition and this natiopal highway should now be
carrying i large volume of traffic to prepare it for the still greater
tide of traffic which will come with the crop movement.


General Manager,

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54 Sixty-First Annual Report— Part I

Mr. ToMKiNS. — The New York Barge Canal, tog^ether with
the southern coastal waterway and the routes througfh Long"
Island Sound to Boston and through Lake Champlain to the St.
Lawrence, is perhaps the most important inland waterway in the
world — when it shall have been improved. As Mr. Tomlinson
says, it has degenerated into a state of atrophy. It has been in
disuse so long that people have forgotten its significance. There is
only one other waterway — that in Germany — that can compare
with it. The waterway systems in England and France are not
so practicable of development on account of the numerous locks
due to altitude. A similar criticism is true of the old coal canals
from the AFleghanies to tidewater. But the Erie Canal, extend-
ing through the Mohawk and Hudson valleys, together with the
Delaware and Raritan and the Delaware & Chesapeake, and in-
cluding Long Island Sound and Lake Champlain, is approxi-
mately a sea-level route of the greatest practical importance.

This Canal system also traverses the industrial section of the
country where traffic is densest. The Mississippi waterway sys-
tem, together with the Missouri & Ohio, constitutes the other
great inland waterway of the country, but that is essentially an
agricultural route, except to some extent along the Ohio and on
the southern reaches of the Mississippi River.

The coastal system, in view of recent changes in naval warfare,
may become of the greatest importance and should be so devel-
oped that we shall have a protected inland waterway all along
the coast.

Canals are part of the railroad system and are now so consid-
ered by the Federal Government, and they should be used inter-
changeably with the railroads.

There should be joint terminal facilities established at New
York, at Buffalo and at other rail transfer cities along the Canal,
and along the coastal canals between Boston and Norfolk.

There should be a fair basis of pro rating based upon mileage,
which has not existing heretofore.

The Canal offers a great opportunity for New York merchants
to overcome the expense and delay of passing commodities
through the congested railroad terminals of the port.

It is of the utmost importance to New York State that the Canal
should be promptly rehabilitated, because no one can tell when the
congestion on the railroads will return. It may be that the Canal
will afford the one great highway for the movement of freight,
especially for this city and other eastern cities.

Together with motor trucks, the Canal offers exceptional facili-
ties for moving heavy freight long distances. There is now a
great motor truck traffic between Philadelphia and New York.
This is expensive and the motor truck service could be used with
greater advantage for collecting and distributing freight along the
Canal and at its terminals.

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Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce — June 6, 19 IS 55

It is important to act quickly or we shall lose this season's op-

Online LibraryNew York Chamber of CommerceAnnual report of the corporation of the Chamber of Commerce, of the State of New York, for the year .. → online text (page 8 of 75)