A Collection of Speeches and Messages
Governor of Massachusetts
SECOND EDITION ENLARGED
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
The Riverside Press Cambridge
There are certain fundamental principles of sound community life which cannot be stated too emphatically or too often. Few public men of to-day have shown a finer combination of right feeling and clear thinking about these principles, with a gift for the pithy expression of them, than has Governor Calvin Coolidge. It was an accurate phrase that President Meiklejohn used when, in conferring the degree of Doctor of Laws on him at Amherst College last June, he complimented him on teaching the lesson of "adequate brevity."
His speeches and messages abound in evidences of this gift, but in the main the speeches are not easily accessible. It has seemed to some of Governor Coolidge's admirers, as it has to the publishers of this little volume, that a real public service might be rendered by making a careful selection from the best of the speeches and issuing them in an attractive and convenient form. With his permission this has been done, and it is hoped that many readers will welcome the book in this time of special need of inspiring and steadying influences.
It is a time when all men should realize that, in the words of Governor Coolidge himself, "Laws must rest on the eternal foundations of righteousness"; that "Industry, thrift, character are not conferred by act or resolve. Government cannot relieve from toil." It is a time when we must "have faith in Massachusetts. We need a broader, firmer, deeper faith in the people,—a faith that men desire to do right, that the Commonwealth is founded upon a righteousness which will endure."
Boston, September, 1919
NOTE TO SECOND EDITION
In the issue of a second edition of this collection of Governor Coolidge's speeches and messages, the opportunity has been taken to add a proclamation and three recently delivered addresses, which bring the volume practically up to the date of publication.
Boston, October, 1919
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
By His Excellency
Massachusetts has many glories. The last one she would wish to surrender is the glory of the men who have served her in war. While such devotion lives the Commonwealth is secure. Whatever dangers may threaten from within or without she can view them calmly. Turning to her veterans she can say "These are our defenders. They are invincible. In them is our safety."
War is the rule of force. Peace is the reign of law. When Massachusetts was settled the Pilgrims first dedicated themselves to a reign of law. When they set foot on Plymouth Rock they brought the Mayflower Compact, in which, calling on the Creator to witness, they agreed with each other to make just laws and render due submission and obedience. The date of that American document was written November 11, 1620.
After more than five years of the bitterest war in human experience, the last great stronghold of force, surrendering to the demands of America and her allies, agreed to cast aside the sword and live under the law. The date of that world document was written November 11, 1918.
Now, therefore, in grateful commemoration of the unsurpassed deeds of heroism performed by the service men of Massachusetts, of the sacrifice of her people, sometimes greater than life itself, of the service rendered by every war charity and organization, to honor those who bore arms, to recognize those who supported the government, in accordance with the law of the current year
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1919
is set apart as a holiday for general observance and celebration of the home coming of Massachusetts soldiers, sailors and marines. In that welcome may we dedicate ourselves to a continued support of the cause for which they freely offered life, that there may be wiped away everywhere the burden of, injustice and every attempt to rule by force, and that there may be ushered in a reign of law, that will ease the weak of their great burdens, and leave the strong, unhampered by the opposition of evil men, the opportunity to exert their whole energy for the welfare of their fellow men. Let war and all force end, and peace and all law reign.
GIVEN at the Executive Chamber, in Boston, this twenty-eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-fourth.
By His Excellency the Governor.
Secretary of the Commonwealth.
God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
I. To the State Senate on Being Elected its President, January 7, 1914 II. Amherst College Alumni Association, Boston, February 4, 1916 III. Brockton Chamber of Commerce, April 11, 1916 IV. At the Home of Daniel Webster, Marshfield, July 4, 1916 V. Riverside, August 28, 1916 VI. At the Home of Augustus P. Gardner, Hamilton, September, 1916 VII. Lafayette Banquet, Fall River, September 4, 1913 VIII. Norfolk Republican Club, Boston, October 9, 1916 IX. Public Meeting on the High Cost of Living, Faneuil Hall, December 9, 1916 X. One Hundredth Anniversary Dinner of the Provident Institution for Savings, December 13, 1916 XI. Associated Industries Dinner, Boston, December 15, 1916 XII. On the Nature of Politics XIII. Tremont Temple, November 3, 1917 XIV. Dedication of Town-House, Weston, November 27, 1917 XV. Amherst Alumni Dinner, Springfield, March 15, 1918 XVI. Message for the Boston Post, April 22, 1918 XVII. Roxbury Historical Society, Bunker Hill Day, June 17, 1918 XVIII. Fairhaven, July 4, 1918 XIX. Somerville Republican City Committee, August 7, 1918 XX. Written for the Sunday Advertiser and American, September 1, 1918 XXI. Essex County Club, Lynnfield, September 14, 1918 XXII. Tremont Temple, November 2, 1918 XXIII. Faneuil Hall, November 4, 1918 XXIV. From Inaugural Address as Governor, January 2, 1919 XXV. Statement on the Death of Theodore Roosevelt XXVI. Lincoln Day Proclamation, January 30, 1919 XXVII. Introducing Henry Cabot Lodge and A. Lawrence Lowell at the Debate on the League of Nations, Symphony Hall, March 19, 1919 XXVIII. Veto of Salary Increase XXIX. Flag Day Proclamation, May 26, 1919 XXX. Amherst College Commencement, June 18, 1919 XXXI. Harvard University Commencement, June 19, 1919 XXXII. Plymouth, Labor Day, September 1, 1919 XXXIII. Westfield, September 3, 1919 XXXIV. A Proclamation, September 11, 1919 XXXV. An Order to the Police Commissioner of Boston, September 11, 1919 XXXVI. A Telegram to Samuel Gompers, September 14, 1919 XXXVII. A Proclamation, September 24, 1919 XXXVIII. Holy Cross College, June 25, 1919 XXXIX. Republican State Convention, Tremont Temple, October 4, 1919 XL. Williams College, October 17, 1919 XLI. Concerning Teachers' Salaries, October 29, 1919 XLII. Statement to the Press, Election Day, November 4, 1919 XLIII. Speech at Tremont Temple, Saturday, November 1, 1919, 8 P.M.
TO THE STATE SENATE ON BEING ELECTED ITS PRESIDENT
JANUARY 7, 1914
Honorable Senators:—I thank you—with gratitude for the high honor given, with appreciation for the solemn obligations assumed—I thank you.
This Commonwealth is one. We are all members of one body. The welfare of the weakest and the welfare of the most powerful are inseparably bound together. Industry cannot flourish if labor languish. Transportation cannot prosper if manufactures decline. The general welfare cannot be provided for in any one act, but it is well to remember that the benefit of one is the benefit of all, and the neglect of one is the neglect of all. The suspension of one man's dividends is the suspension of another man's pay envelope.
Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness. That state is most fortunate in its form of government which has the aptest instruments for the discovery of laws. The latest, most modern, and nearest perfect system that statesmanship has devised is representative government. Its weakness is the weakness of us imperfect human beings who administer it. Its strength is that even such administration secures to the people more blessings than any other system ever produced. No nation has discarded it and retained liberty. Representative government must be preserved.
Courts are established, not to determine the popularity of a cause, but to adjudicate and enforce rights. No litigant should be required to submit his case to the hazard and expense of a political campaign. No judge should be required to seek or receive political rewards. The courts of Massachusetts are known and honored wherever men love justice. Let their glory suffer no diminution at our hands. The electorate and judiciary cannot combine. A hearing means a hearing. When the trial of causes goes outside the court-room, Anglo-Saxon constitutional government ends.
The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act or resolve. Government cannot relieve from toil. It can provide no substitute for the rewards of service. It can, of course, care for the defective and recognize distinguished merit. The normal must care for themselves. Self-government means self-support.
Man is born into the universe with a personality that is his own. He has a right that is founded upon the constitution of the universe to have property that is his own. Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing. The one cannot be preserved if the other be violated. Each man is entitled to his rights and the rewards of his service be they never so large or never so small.
History reveals no civilized people among whom there were not a highly educated class, and large aggregations of wealth, represented usually by the clergy and the nobility. Inspiration has always come from above. Diffusion of learning has come down from the university to the common school—the kindergarten is last. No one would now expect to aid the common school by abolishing higher education.
It may be that the diffusion of wealth works in an analogous way. As the little red schoolhouse is builded in the college, it may be that the fostering and protection of large aggregations of wealth are the only foundation on which to build the prosperity of the whole people. Large profits mean large pay rolls. But profits must be the result of service performed. In no land are there so many and such large aggregations of wealth as here; in no land do they perform larger service; in no land will the work of a day bring so large a reward in material and spiritual welfare.
Have faith in Massachusetts. In some unimportant detail some other States may surpass her, but in the general results, there is no place on earth where the people secure, in a larger measure, the blessings of organized government, and nowhere can those functions more properly be termed self-government.
Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a stand-patter, but don't be a stand-patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don't be a demagogue. Don't hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don't hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table. Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Don't hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation.
We need a broader, firmer, deeper faith in the people—a faith that men desire to do right, that the Commonwealth is founded upon a righteousness which will endure, a reconstructed faith that the final approval of the people is given not to demagogues, slavishly pandering to their selfishness, merchandising with the clamor of the hour, but to statesmen, ministering to their welfare, representing their deep, silent, abiding convictions.
Statutes must appeal to more than material welfare. Wages won't satisfy, be they never so large. Nor houses; nor lands; nor coupons, though they fall thick as the leaves of autumn. Man has a spiritual nature. Touch it, and it must respond as the magnet responds to the pole. To that, not to selfishness, let the laws of the Commonwealth appeal. Recognize the immortal worth and dignity of man. Let the laws of Massachusetts proclaim to her humblest citizen, performing the most menial task, the recognition of his manhood, the recognition that all men are peers, the humblest with the most exalted, the recognition that all work is glorified. Such is the path to equality before the law. Such is the foundation of liberty under the law. Such is the sublime revelation of man's relation to man—Democracy.
AMHERST COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, BOSTON
FEBRUARY 4, 1916
We live in an age which questions everything. The past generation was one of religious criticism. This is one of commercial criticism.
We have seen the development of great industries. It has been represented that some of these have not been free from blame. In this development some men have seemed to prosper beyond the measure of their service, while others have appeared to be bound to toil beyond their strength for less than a decent livelihood.
As a result of criticising these conditions there has grown up a too well-developed public opinion along two lines; one, that the men engaged in great affairs are selfish and greedy and not to be trusted, that business activity is not moral and the whole system is to be condemned; and the other, that employment, that work, is a curse to man, and that working hours ought to be as short as possible or in some way abolished. After criticism, our religious faith emerged clearer and stronger and freed from doubt. So will our business relations emerge, purified but justified.
The evidence of evolution and the facts of history tell us of the progress and development of man through various steps and ages, known by various names. We learn of the stone age, the bronze, and the iron age. We can see the different steps in the growth of the forms of government; how anarchy was put down by the strong arm of the despot, of the growth of aristocracy, of limited monarchies and of parliaments, and finally democracy.
But in all these changes man took but one step at a time. Where we can trace history, no race ever stepped directly from the stone age to the iron age and no nation ever passed directly from depotism to democracy. Each advance has been made only when a previous stage was approaching perfection, even to conditions which are now sometimes lost arts.
We have reached the age of invention, of commerce, of great industrial enterprise. It is often referred to as selfish and materialistic.
Our economic system has been attacked from above and from below. But the short answer lies in the teachings of history. The hope of a Watt or an Edison lay in the men who chipped flint to perfection. The seed of democracy lay in a perfected despotism. The hope of to-morrow lies in the development of the instruments of to-day. The prospect of advance lies in maintaining those conditions which have stimulated invention and industry and commerce. The only road to a more progressive age lies in perfecting the instrumentalities of this age. The only hope for peace lies in the perfection of the arts of war.
"We build the ladder by which we rise ... * * * * * And we mount to the summit round by round."
All growth depends upon activity. Life is manifest only by action. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Work is not a curse, it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization. Savages do not work. The growth of a sentiment that despises work is an appeal from civilization to barbarism.
I would not be understood as making a sweeping criticism of current legislation along these lines. I, too, rejoice that an awakened conscience has outlawed commercial standards that were false or low and that an awakened humanity has decreed that the working and living condition of our citizens must be worthy of true manhood and true womanhood.
I agree that the measure of success is not merchandise but character. But I do criticise those sentiments, held in all too respectable quarters, that our economic system is fundamentally wrong, that commerce is only selfishness, and that our citizens, holding the hope of all that America means, are living in industrial slavery. I appeal to Amherst men to reiterate and sustain the Amherst doctrine, that the man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.
BROCKTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
APRIL 11, 1916
Man's nature drives him ever onward. He is forever seeking development. At one time it may be by the chase, at another by warfare, and again by the quiet arts of peace and commerce, but something within is ever calling him on to "replenish the earth and subdue it."
It may be of little importance to determine at any time just where we are, but it is of the utmost importance to determine whither we are going. Set the course aright and time must bring mankind to the ultimate goal.
We are living in a commercial age. It is often designated as selfish and materialistic. We are told that everything has been commercialized. They say it has not been enough that this spirit should dominate the marts of trade, it has spread to every avenue of human endeavor, to our arts, our sciences and professions, our politics, our educational institutions and even into the pulpit; and because of this there are those who have gone so far in their criticism of commercialism as to advocate the destruction of all enterprise and the abolition of all property.
Destructive criticism is always easy because, despite some campaign oratory, some of us are not yet perfect. But constructive criticism is not so easy. The faults of commercialism, like many other faults, lie in the use we make of it. Before we decide upon a wholesale condemnation of the most noteworthy spirit of modern times it would be well to examine carefully what that spirit has done to advance the welfare of mankind.
Wherever we can read human history, the answer is always the same. Where commerce has flourished there civilization has increased. It has not sufficed that men should tend their flocks, and maintain themselves in comfort on their industry alone, however great. It is only when the exchange of products begins that development follows. This was the case in ancient Babylon, whose records of trade and banking we are just beginning to read. Their merchandise went by canal and caravan to the ends of the earth. It was not the war galleys, but the merchant vessel of Phoenicia, of Tyre, and Carthage that brought them civilization and power. To-day it is not the battle fleet, but the mercantile marine which in the end will determine the destiny of nations. The advance of our own land has been due to our trade, and the comfort and happiness of our people are dependent on our general business conditions. It is only a figure of poetry that "wealth accumulates and men decay." Where wealth has accumulated, there the arts and sciences have flourished, there education has been diffused, and of contemplation liberty has been born. The progress of man has been measured by his commercial prosperity. I believe that these considerations are sufficient to justify our business enterprise and activity, but there are still deeper reasons. I have intended to indicate not only that commerce is an instrument of great power, but that commercial development is necessary to all human progress. What, then, of the prevalent criticism? Men have mistaken the means for the end. It is not enough for the individual or the nation to acquire riches. Money will not purchase character or good government. We are under the injunction to "replenish the earth and subdue it," not so much because of the help a new earth will be to us, as because by that process man is to find himself and thereby realize his highest destiny. Men must work for more than wages, factories must turn out more than merchandise, or there is naught but black despair ahead.
If material rewards be the only measure of success, there is no hope of a peaceful solution of our social questions, for they will never be large enough to satisfy. But such is not the case. Men struggle for material success because that is the path, the process, to the development of character. We ought to demand economic justice, but most of all because it is justice. We must forever realize that material rewards are limited and in a sense they are only incidental, but the development of character is unlimited and is the only essential. The measure of success is not the quantity of merchandise, but the quality of manhood which is produced.
These, then, are the justifying conceptions of the spirit of our age; that commerce is the foundation of human progress and prosperity and the great artisan of human character. Let us dismiss the general indictment that has all too long hung over business enterprise. While we continue to condemn, unsparingly, selfishness and greed and all trafficking in the natural rights of man, let us not forget to respect thrift and industry and enterprise. Let us look to the service rather than to the reward. Then shall we see in our industrial army, from the most exalted captain to the humblest soldier in the ranks, a purpose worthy to minister to the highest needs of man and to fulfil the hope of a fairer day.
AT THE HOME OF DANIEL WEBSTER, MARSHFIELD
JULY 4, 1916
History is revelation. It is the manifestation in human affairs of a "power not ourselves that makes for righteousness." Savages have no history. It is the mark of civilization. This New England of ours slumbered from the dawn of creation until the beginning of the seventeenth century, not unpeopled, but with no record of human events worthy of a name. Different races came, and lived, and vanished, but the story of their existence has little more of interest for us than the story the naturalist tells of the animal kingdom, or the geologist relates of the formation of the crust of the earth. It takes men of larger vision and higher inspiration, with a power to impart a larger vision and a higher inspiration to the people, to make history. It is not a negative, but a positive achievement. It is unconcerned with idolatry or despotism or treason or rebellion or betrayal, but bows in reverence before Moses or Hampden or Washington or Lincoln or the Light that shone on Calvary.
July 4, 1776, was a day of history in its high and true significance. Not because the underlying principles set out in the Declaration of Independence were new; they are older than the Christian religion, or Greek philosophy, nor was it because history is made by proclamation or declaration; history is made only by action. But it was an historic day because the representatives of three millions of people there vocalized Concord and Lexington and Bunker Hill, which gave notice to the world that they were acting, and proposed to act, and to found an independent nation, on the theory that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The wonder and glory of the American people is not the ringing declaration of that day, but the action, then already begun, and in the process of being carried out in spite of every obstacle that war could interpose, making the theory of freedom and equality a reality. We revere that day because it marks the beginnings of independence, the beginnings of a constitution that was finally to give universal freedom and equality to all American citizens, the beginnings of a government that was to recognize beyond all others the power and worth and dignity of man. There began the first of governments to acknowledge that it was founded on the sovereignty of the people. There the world first beheld the revelation of modern democracy.
Democracy is not a tearing-down; it is a building-up. It is not a denial of the divine right of kings; it supplements that claim with the assertion of the divine right of all men. It does not destroy; it fulfils. It is the consummation of all theories of government, to the spirit of which all the nations of the earth must yield. It is the great constructive force of the ages. It is the alpha and omega of man's relation to man, the beginning and the end. There is and can be no more doubt of the triumph of democracy in human affairs, than there is of the triumph of gravitation in the physical world; the only question is how and when. Its foundation lays hold upon eternity.
These are some of the ideals that the founders of our institutions expressed, in part unconsciously, on that momentous day now passed by one hundred and forty years. They knew that ideals do not maintain themselves. They knew that they there declared a purpose which would be resisted by the forces, on land and sea, of the mightiest empire of the earth. Without the resolution of the people of the Colonies to resort to arms, and without the guiding military genius of Washington, the Declaration of Independence would be naught in history but the vision of doctrinaires, a mockery of sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. Let us never forget that it was that resolution and that genius which made it the vitalizing force of a great nation. It takes service and sacrifice to maintain ideals.
But it is far more than the Declaration of Independence that brings us here to-day. That was, indeed, a great document. It was drawn up by Thomas Jefferson when he was at his best. It was the product of men who seemed inspired. No greater company ever assembled to interpret the voice of the people or direct the destinies of a nation. The events of history may have added to it, but subtracted nothing. Wisdom and experience have increased the admiration of it. Time and criticism have not shaken it. It stands with ordinance and law, charter and constitution, prophecy and revelation, whether we read them in the history of Babylon, the results of Runnymede, the Ten Commandments, or the Sermon on the Mount. But, however worthy of our reverence and admiration, however preeminent, it was only one incident of a great forward movement of the human race, of which the American Revolution was itself only a larger incident. It was not so much a struggle of the Colonies against the tyranny of bad government, as against wrong principles of government, and for self-government. It was man realizing himself. It was sovereignty from within which responded to the alarm of Paul Revere on that April night, and which went marching, gun in hand, against sovereignty from without, wherever it was found on earth. It only paused at Concord, or Yorktown, then marched on to Paris, to London, to Moscow, to Pekin. Against it the powers of privilege and the forces of despotism could not prevail. Superstition and sham cannot stand before intelligence and reality. The light that first broke over the thirteen Colonies lying along the Atlantic Coast was destined to illuminate the world. It has been a struggle against the forces of darkness; victory has been and is still delayed in some quarters, but the result is not in doubt. All the forces of the universe are ranged on the side of democracy. It must prevail.
In the train of this idea there has come to man a long line of collateral blessings. Freedom has many sides and angles. Human slavery has been swept away. With security of personal rights has come security of property rights. The freedom of the human mind is recognized in the right of free speech and free press. The public schools have made education possible for all, and ignorance a disgrace. A most significant development of respect for man has come to be respect for his occupation. It is not alone for the learned professions that great treasures are now poured out. Technical, trade, and vocational schools for teaching skill in occupations are fostered and nourished, with the same care as colleges and universities for the teaching of sciences and the classics. Democracy not only ennobled man; it has ennobled industry. In political affairs the vote of the humblest has long counted for as much as the vote of the most exalted. We are working towards the day when, in our industrial life, equal honor shall fall to equal endeavor, whether it be exhibited in the office or in the shop.
These are some of the results of that great world movement, which, first exhibiting itself in the Continental Congress of America, carried her arms to victory, through the sacrifice of a seven years' revolutionary war, and wrote into the Treaty of Paris the recognition of the right of the people to rule: since which days existence on this planet has had a new meaning; a result which, changing the old order of things, putting the race under the control and guidance of new forces, rescued man from every thraldom, but laid on him every duty.
We know that only ignorance and superstition seek to explain events by fate and destiny, yet there is a fascination in such speculations born, perhaps, of human frailty. How happens it that James Otis laid out in 1762 the then almost treasonable proposition that "Kings were made for the good of the people, and not the people for them," in a pamphlet which was circulated among the Colonists? What school had taught Patrick Henry that national outlook which he expressed in the opening debates of the first Continental Congress when he said, "I am not a Virginian, but an American," and which hurried him on to the later cry of "Liberty or death?" How was it that the filling of a vacancy sent Thomas Jefferson to the second Continental Congress, there to pen the immortal Declaration we this day celebrate? No other living man could have excelled him in preparation for, or in the execution of, that great task. What circumstance put the young George Washington under the military instruction of a former army officer, and then gave him years of training to lead the Continental forces? What settled Ethan Allen in the wilderness of the Green Mountains ready to strike Ticonderoga? Whence came that power to draft state papers, in a new and unlettered land, which compelled the admiration of the cultured Earl of Chatham? What lengthened out the days of Benjamin Franklin that he might negotiate the Treaty of Paris? What influence sent the miraculous voice of Daniel Webster from the outlying settlements of New Hampshire to rouse the land with his appeal for Liberty and Union? And finally who raised up Lincoln, to lead, to inspire, and to die, that the opening assertion of the Declaration might stand at last fulfilled?
These thoughts are overpowering. But let us beware of fate and destiny. Barbarians have decreased, but barbarism still exists. Rome boasted the name of the Eternal City. It was but eight hundred years from the sack of the city by one tribe of barbarians to the sack of the city by another tribe of barbarians. Between lay something akin to a democratic commonwealth. Then games, and bribes for the populace, with dictators and Caesars, while later the Praetorian Guard sold the royal purple to the highest bidder. After which came Alaric, the Goth, and night. Since when democracy lay dormant for some fifteen centuries. We may claim with reason that our Nation has had the guidance of Providence; we may know that our form of government must ultimately prevail upon earth; but what guaranty have we that it shall be maintained here? What proof that some unlineal hand, some barbarism, without or within, shall not wrench the sceptre of democracy from our grasp? The rule of princes, the privilege of birth, has come down through the ages; the rule of the people has not yet marked a century and a half. There is no absolute proof, no positive guaranty, but there is hope and high expectation, and the path is not uncharted.
It may be some help to know that, however much of glory, there is no magic in American democracy. Let us examine some more of this Declaration of ours, and examine it in the light of the events of those solemn days in which it was adopted.
Men of every clime have lavished much admiration upon the first part of the Declaration of Independence, and rightly so, for it marked the entry of new forces and new ideals into human affairs. Its admirers have sometimes failed in their attempts to live by it, but none have successfully disputed its truth. It is the realization of the true glory and worth of man, which, when once admitted, wrought vast changes that have marked all history since its day. All this relates to natural rights, fascinating to dwell upon, but not sufficient to live by. The signers knew that well; more important still, the people whom they represented knew it. So they did not stop there. After asserting that man was to stand out in the universe with a new and supreme importance, and that governments were instituted to insure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they did not shrink from the logical conclusion of this doctrine. They knew that the duty between the citizen and the State was reciprocal. They knew that the State called on its citizens for their property and their lives; they laid down the proposition that government was to protect the citizen in his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. At some expense? Yes. Those prudent and thrifty men had no false notions about incurring expense. They knew the value of increasing their material resources, but they knew that prosperity was a means, not an end. At cost of life? Yes. These sons of the Puritans, of the Huguenots, of the men of Londonderry, braved exile to secure peace, but they were not afraid to die in defence of their convictions. They put no limit on what the State must do for the citizen in his hour of need. While they required all, they gave all. Let us read their conclusion in their own words, and mark its simplicity and majesty: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." There is no cringing reservation here, no alternative, and no delay. Here is the voice of the plain men of Middlesex, promising Yorktown, promising Appomattox.
The doctrine of the Declaration of Independence, predicated upon the glory of man, and the corresponding duty of society, is that the rights of citizens are to be protected with every power and resource of the State, and a government that does any less is false to the teachings of that great document, of the name American. Beyond this, the principle that it is the obligation of the people to rise and overthrow government which fails in these respects. But above all, the call to duty, the pledge of fortune and of life, nobility of character through nobility of action: this is Americanism.
"Woe for us if we forget, we that hold by these."
Herein are the teachings of this day—touching the heights of man's glory and the depths of man's duty. Here lies the path to national preservation, and there is no other. Education, the progress of science, commercial prosperity, yes, and peace, all these and their accompanying blessings are worthy and commendable objects of attainment. But these are not the end, whether these come or no; the end lies in action—action in accord with the eternal principles of the Declaration of Independence; the words of the Continental Congress, but the deeds of the Army of the Revolution.
This is the meaning of America. And it is all our own. Doctrinaires and visionaries may shudder at it. The privilege of birth may jeer at it. The practical politician may scoff at it. But the people of the Nation respond to it, and march away to Mexico to the rescue of a colored trooper as they marched of old to the rescue of an emperor. The assertion of human rights is naught but a call to human sacrifice. This is yet the spirit of the American people. Only so long as this flame burns shall we endure and the light of liberty be shed over the nations of the earth. May the increase of the years increase for America only the devotion to this spirit, only the intensity of this flame, and the eternal truth of Lowell's lines:
"What were our lives without thee? What all our lives to save thee? We reck not what we gave thee; We will not dare to doubt thee, But ask whatever else and we will dare."
AUGUST 28, 1916
It may be that there would be votes for the Republican Party in the promise of low taxes and vanishing expenditures. I can see an opportunity for its candidates to pose as the apostles of retrenchment and reform. I am not one of those who believe votes are to be won by misrepresentations, skilful presentations of half truths, and plausible deductions from false premises. Good government cannot be found on the bargain-counter. We have seen samples of bargain-counter government in the past when low tax rates were secured by increasing the bonded debt for current expenses or refusing to keep our institutions up to the standard in repairs, extensions, equipment, and accommodations. I refuse, and the Republican Party refuses, to endorse that method of sham and shoddy economy. New projects can wait, but the commitments of the Commonwealth must be maintained. We cannot curtail the usual appropriations or the care of mothers with dependent children or the support of the poor, the insane, and the infirm. The Democratic programme of cutting the State tax, by vetoing appropriations of the utmost urgency for improvements and maintenance costs of institutions and asylums of the unfortunates of the State, cannot be the example for a Republican administration. The result has been that our institutions are deficient in resources—even in sleeping accommodations—and it will take years to restore them to the old-time Republican efficiency. Our party will have no part in a scheme of economy which adds to the misery of the wards of the Commonwealth—the sick, the insane, and the unfortunate; those who are too weak even to protest.
Because I know these conditions I know a Republican administration would face an increasing State tax rather than not see them remedied.
The Republican Party lit the fire of progress in Massachusetts. It has tended it faithfully. It will not flicker now. It has provided here conditions of employment, and safeguards for health, that are surpassed nowhere on earth. There will be no backward step. The reuniting of the Republican Party means no reaction in the protection of women and children in our industrial life. These laws are settled. These principles are established. Minor modifications are possible, but the foundations are not to be disturbed. The advance may have been too rapid in some cases, but there can be no retreat. That is the position of the great majority of those who constitute our party.
We recognize there is need of relief—need to our industries, need to our population in manufacturing centres; but it must come from construction, not from destruction. Put an administration on Beacon Hill that can conserve our resources, that can protect us from further injuries, until a national Republican policy can restore those conditions of confidence and prosperity under which our advance began and under which it can be resumed.
This makes the coming State election take on a most important aspect—not that it can furnish all the needed relief, but that it will increase the probability of a complete relief in the near future if it be crowned with Republican victory.
AT THE HOME OF AUGUSTUS P. GARDNER, HAMILTON
Standing here in the presence of our host, our thoughts naturally turn to a discussion of "Preparedness." I do not propose to overlook that issue; but I shall offer suggestions of another kind of "preparedness." Not that I shrink from full and free consideration of the military needs of our country. Nor do I agree that it is now necessary to remain silent regarding the domestic or foreign relations of this Nation.
I agree that partisanship should stop at the boundary line, but I assert that patriotism should begin there. Others, however, have covered this field, and I leave it to them and to you.
I do, however, propose to discuss the "preparedness" of the State to care for its unfortunates. And I propose to do this without any party bias and without blame upon any particular individual, but in just criticism of a system.
In Massachusetts, we are citizens before we are partisans. The good name of the Commonwealth is of more moment to us than party success. But unfortunately, because of existing conditions, that good name, in one particular at least, is now in jeopardy.
Massachusetts, for twenty years, has been able honestly to boast of the care it has bestowed upon her sick, poor, and insane. Her institutions have been regarded as models throughout the world. We are falling from that proud estate; crowded housing conditions, corridors used for sleeping purposes, are not only not unusual, but are coming to be the accepted standard. The heads of asylums complain that maintenance and the allowance for food supply and supervision are being skimped.
On August 1 of this year, the institutions throughout the State housed more than 700 patients above what they were designed to accommodate, and I am told the crowding is steadily increasing. That is one reason I have been at pains to set forth that I do not see the way clear to make a radical reduction in the annual State budget. I now repeat that declaration, in spite of contradiction, because I know the citizens of this State have no desire for economies gained at such a sacrifice. The people have no stomach for retrenchment of that sort.
A charge of overcrowding, which must mean a lack of care, is not to be carelessly made. You are entitled to facts, as well as phrases. I gave the whole number now confined in our institutions above the stated capacity as over 700. About August 1, Danvers had 1530 in an institution of 1350 capacity. Northampton, my home town, had 913, in a hospital built for 819. In Boston State Hospital, there were 1572, where the capacity was 1406. Westboro had 1260 inmates, with capacity for 1161, and Medfield had 1615, where the capacity was 1542. These capacities are given from official recorded accommodations.
This was not the practice of the past, and there can be no question as to where the responsibility rests. The General Court has done its best, but there has been a halt elsewhere. A substantial appropriation was made for a new State Hospital for the Metropolitan District, and an additional appropriation for a new institution for the feeble-minded in the western part of the State. In its desire to hasten matters, the legislature went even further and granted money for plans for a new hospital in the Metropolitan District, to relieve part of the outside congestion, but the needed relief is still in the future.
I feel the time has come when the people must assert themselves and show that they will tolerate no delay and no parsimony in the care of our unfortunates. Restore the fame of our State in the handling of these problems to its former lustre.
I repeat that this is not partisan. I am not criticising individuals. I am denouncing a system. When you substitute patronage for patriotism, administration breaks down. We need more of the Office Desk and less of the Show Window in politics. Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight. Let Massachusetts return to the sound business methods which were exemplified in the past by such Democrats in the East as Governor Gaston and Governor Douglas, and by such Republicans in the West as Governor Robinson and Governor Crane.
Above all, let us not, in our haste to prepare for war, forget to prepare for peace. The issue is with you. You can, by your votes, show what system you stamp with the approval of enlightened Massachusetts Public Opinion.
LAFAYETTE BANQUET, FALL RIVER
SEPTEMBER 4, 1916
Seemingly trifling events oft carry in their train great consequences. The firing of a gun in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, Macaulay tells us, started the Seven Years' War which set the world in conflagration, causing men to fight each other on every shore of the seven seas and giving new masters to the most ancient of empires. We see to-day fifteen nations engaged in the most terrific war in the history of the human race and trace its origin to the bullet of a madman fired in the Balkans. It is true that the flintlock gun at Lexington was not the first, nor yet the last, to fire a "shot heard round the world." It was not the distance it travelled, but the message it carried which has marked it out above all other human events. It was the character of that message which, claimed the attention of him we this day honor, in the far-off fortress of the now famous Metz; it was because it roused in the listener a sympathetic response that it was destined to link forever the events of Concord and Lexington and Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights, in our Commonwealth, with the name of Lafayette.
For there was a new tone in those Massachusetts guns. It was not the old lust of conquest, not the sullen roar of hatred and revenge, but a higher, clearer note of a people asserting their inalienable sovereignty. It is a happy circumstance that one of our native-born, Benjamin Franklin, was instrumental in bringing Lafayette to America; but beyond that it is fitting at this time to give a thought to our Commonwealth because his ideals, his character, his life, were all in sympathy with that great Revolution which was begun within her borders and carried to a successful conclusion by the sacrifice of her treasure and her blood. It was not the able legal argument of James Otis against the British Writs of Assistance, nor the petitions and remonstrances of the Colonists to the British throne, admirable though they were, that aroused the approbation and brought his support to our cause. It was not alone that he agreed with the convictions of the Continental Congress. He saw in the example of Massachusetts a people who would shrink from no sacrifice to defend rights which were beyond price. It was not the Tories, fleeing to Canada, that attracted him. It was the patriots, bearing arms, and he brought them not a pen but a sword.
"Resistance to tyranny is obedience to law," and "obedience to law is liberty." Those are the foundations of the Commonwealth. It was these principles in action which appealed to that young captain of dragoons and brought the sword and resources of the aristocrat to battle for democracy. I love to think of his connection with our history. I love to think of him at the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument receiving the approbation of the Nation from the lips of Daniel Webster. I love to think of the long line of American citizens of French blood in our Commonwealth to-day, ready to defend the principles he fought for, "Liberty under the Law," citizens who, like him, look not with apology, but with respect and approval and admiration on that sentiment inscribed on the white flag of Massachusetts, "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" (With a sword she seeks secure peace under liberty).
NORFOLK REPUBLICAN CLUB, BOSTON
OCTOBER 9, 1916
Last night at Somerville I spoke on some of the fundamental differences between the Republican and Democratic policies, and showed how we were dependent on Republican principles as a foundation on which to erect any advance in our social and economic welfare.
This year the Republican Party has adopted a very advanced platform. That was natural, for we have always been the party of progress, and have given our attention to that, when we were not engaged in a life-and-death struggle to overcome the fallacies put forth by our opponents, with which we are all so familiar. The result has been that here in Massachusetts, where our party has ever been strong, and where we have framed legislation for more than fifty years, more progress has been made along the lines of humanitarian legislation than in any other State. We have felt free to call on our industries to make large outlays along these lines because we have furnished them with the advantages of a protective tariff and an honest and efficient state government. The consequences have been that in this State the hours and conditions of labor have been better than anywhere else on earth. Those provisions for safety, sanitation, compensations for accidents, and for good living conditions have now been almost entirely worked out. There remains, however, the condition of sickness, age, misfortune, lack of employment, or some other cause, that temporarily renders people unable to care for themselves. Our platform has taken up this condition.
We have long been familiar with insurance to cover losses. You will readily recall the different kinds. Formerly it was only used in commerce, by the well-to-do. Recently it has been adapted to the use of all our people by the great industrial companies which have been very successful. Our State has adopted a system of savings-bank insurance, thus reducing the expense. Now, social insurance will not be, under a Republican interpretation, any new form of outdoor relief, some new scheme of living on the town. It will be an extension of the old familiar principle to the needs at hand, and so popularized as to meet the requirements of our times.
It ought to be understood, however, that there can be no remedy for lack of industry and thrift, secured by law. It ought to be understood that no scheme of insurance and no scheme of government aid is likely to make us all prosperous. And above all, these remedies must go forward on the firm foundation of an independent, self-supporting, self-governing people. But we do honestly put forward a proposition for the relief of misfortune.
The Republican Party is proposing humanitarian legislation to build up character, to establish independence, not pauperism; it will in the future, as in the past, ever stand opposed to the establishment of one class who shall live on the Government, and another class who shall pay the taxes. To those who fear we are turning Socialists, and to those who think we are withholding just and desirable public aid and support, I say that government under the Republican Party will continue in the future to be so administered as to breed not mendicants, but men. Humanitarian legislation is going to be the handmaid of character.
PUBLIC MEETING ON THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, FANEUIL HALL
DECEMBER 9, 1916
The great aim of American institutions is the protection of the individual. That is the principle which lies at the foundation of Anglo-Saxon liberty. It matters not with what power the individual is assailed, nor whether that power is represented by wealth or place or numbers; against it the humblest American citizen has the right to the protection of his Government by every force that Government can command.
This right would be but half expressed if it ran only to a remedy after a wrong is inflicted; it should and does run to the prevention of a wrong which is threatened. We find our citizens, to-day, not so much suffering from the high cost of living, though that is grievous enough, as threatened with an increasing cost which will bring suffering and misery to a large body of our inhabitants. So we come here not only to discuss providing a remedy for what is now existing, but some protection to ward off what is threatening to be a worse calamity. We shall utterly fail of our purpose to provide relief unless we look at things as they are. It is useless to indulge in indiscriminate abuse. We must not confuse the innocent with the guilty; it must be our object to allay suspicion, not to create it. The great body of our tradespeople are honest and conscientious, anxious to serve their customers for a fair return for their service. We want their cooeperation in our pursuit of facts; we want to cooeperate with them in proposing and securing a remedy. We do not deny the existence of economic laws, nor the right to profit by a change of conditions.
But we do claim the right and duty of the Government to investigate and punish any artificial creation of high prices by means of illegal monopolies or restraints of trade. And above all, we claim the right of publicity. That is a remedy with an arm longer and stronger than that of the law. Let us know what is going on and the remedy will provide itself. In working along this line we shall have great help from the newspapers. The American people are prepared to meet any reasonable burden; they are not asking for charity or favor; fair prices and fair profits they will gladly pay; but they demand information that they are fair, and an immediate reduction if they are not.
The Commonwealth has just provided money for an investigation by a competent commission. Its Police Department, its Law Department, are also at the service of our citizens. Let us refrain from suspicion; let us refrain from all indiscriminate blame; but let us present at once to the proper authorities all facts and all evidence of unfair practices. Let all our merchants, of whatever degree, assist in this work for the public good and let the individual see and feel that all his rights are protected by his Government.
ONE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY DINNER OF THE PROVIDENT INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS
DECEMBER 13, 1916
The history of the institution we here celebrate reaches back more than one third of the way to the landing of the Mayflower—back to the day of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, who saw Prescott, Pomeroy, Stark, and Warren at Bunker Hill, who followed Washington and his generals from Dochester Heights to Yorktown, and saw the old Bay Colony become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They had seen a nation in the making. They founded their government on the rights of the individual. They had no hesitation in defending those rights against the invasion of a British King and Parliament, by a Revolutionary War, nor in criticising their own Government at Washington when they thought an invasion of those rights was again threatened by the preliminaries and the prosecution of the War of 1812. They had made the Commonwealth. They understood its Government. They knew it was a part of themselves, their own organization. They had not acquired the state of mind that enabled them to stand aloof and regard government as something apart and separate from the people. It would never have occurred to them that they could not transact for themselves any other business just as well as they could transact for themselves the business of government. They were the men who had fought a war to limit the power of government and enlarge the privileges of the individual.
It was the same spirit that made Massachusetts that made the Provident Institution for Savings. What the men of that day wanted they made for themselves. They would never have thought of asking Congress to keep their money in the post-office. They did not want their commercial privileges interfered with by having the Government buy and sell for them. They had the self-reliance and the independence to prefer to do those things for themselves. This is the spirit that founded Massachusetts, the spirit that has seen your bank grow until it could now probably purchase all there was of property in the Commonwealth when it began its existence. I want to see that spirit still preeminent here. I want to see a deeper realization on the part of the people that this is their Commonwealth, their Government; that they control it, that they pay its expenses, that it is, after all, only a part of themselves; that any attempt to shift upon it their duties, their responsibilities, or their support will in the end only delude, degrade, impoverish, and enslave. Your institution points the only way, through self-control, self-denial, and self-support, to self-government, to independence, to a more generous liberty, and to a firmer establishment of individual rights.
ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES DINNER, BOSTON
DECEMBER 15, 1916
During the past few years we have questioned the soundness of many principles that had for a long time been taken for granted. We have examined the foundations of our institutions of government. We have debated again the theories of the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the Nation, and laid down the fundamental law of our own Commonwealth. Along with this examination of our form of government has gone an examination of our social, industrial, and economic system. What is to come out of it all?
In the last fifty years we have had a material prosperity in this country the like of which was never beheld before. A prosperity which not only built up great industries, great transportation systems, great banks and a great commerce, but a prosperity under whose influence arts and sciences, education and charity flourished most abundantly. It was little wonder that men came to think that prosperity was the chief end of man and grew arrogant in the use of its power. It was little wonder that such a misunderstanding arose that one part of the community thought the owners and managers of our great industries were robbers, or that they thought some of the people meant to confiscate all property. It has been a costly investigation, but if we can arrive at a better understanding of our economic and social laws it will be worth all it cost.
As a part of this discussion we have had many attempts at regulation of industrial activity by law. Some of it has proceeded on the theory that if those who enjoyed material prosperity used it for wrong purposes, such prosperity should be limited or abolished. That is as sound as it would be to abolish writing to prevent forgery. We need to keep forever in mind that guilt is personal; if there is to be punishment let it fall on the evil-doer, let us not condemn the instrument. We need power. Is the steam engine too strong? Is electricity too swift? Can any prosperity be too great? Can any instrument of commerce or industry ever be too powerful to serve the public needs? What then of the anti-trust laws? They are sound in theory. Their assemblances of wealth are broken up because they were assembled for an unlawful purpose. It is the purpose that is condemned. You men who represent our industries can see that there is the same right to disperse unlawful assembling of wealth or power that there is to disperse a mob that has met to lynch or riot. But that principle does not denounce town-meetings or prayer-meetings.
We have established here a democracy on the principle that all men are created equal. It is our endeavor to extend equal blessings to all. It can be done approximately if we establish the correct standards. We are coming to see that we are dependent upon commercial and industrial prosperity, not only for the creation of wealth, but for the solving of the great problem of the distribution of wealth. There is just one condition on which men can secure employment and a living, nourishing, profitable wages for whatever they contribute to the enterprise, be it labor or capital, and that condition is that some one make a profit by it. That is the sound basis for the distribution of wealth and the only one. It cannot be done by law, it cannot be done by public ownership, it cannot be done by socialism. When you deny the right to a profit you deny the right of a reward to thrift and industry.
The scientists tell us that the same force that rounds the teardrop moulds the earth. Physical laws have their analogy in social and industrial life. The law that builds up the people is the law that builds up industry. What price could the millions, who have found the inestimable blessings of American citizenship around our great industrial centres, after coming here from lands of oppression, afford to pay to those who organized those industries? Shall we not recognize the great service they have done the cause of humanity? Have we not seen what happens to industry, to transportation, to all commercial activity which we call business when profit fails? Have we not seen the suffering and misery which it entails upon the people?
Let us recognize the source of these fundamental principles and not hesitate to assert them. Let us frown upon greed and selfishness, but let us also condemn envy and uncharitableness. Let us have done with misunderstandings, let us strive to realize the dream of democracy by a prosperity of industry that shall mean the prosperity of the people, by a strengthening of our material resources that shall mean a strengthening of our character, by a merchandising that has for its end manhood, and womanhood, the ideal of American Citizenship.
ON THE NATURE OF POLITICS
Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been put upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service. The Greek derivation shows the nobler purpose. Politikos means city-rearing, state-craft. And when we remember that city also meant civilization, the spurious presentment, mean and sordid, drops away and the real figure of the politician, dignified and honorable, a minister to civilization, author and finisher of government, is revealed in its true and dignified proportions.
There is always something about genius that is indefinable, mysterious, perhaps to its possessor most of all. It has been the product of rude surroundings no less than of the most cultured environment, want and neglect have sometimes nourished it, abundance and care have failed to produce it. Why some succeed in public life and others fail would be as difficult to tell as why some succeed or fail in other activities. Very few men in America have started out with any fixed idea of entering public life, fewer still would admit having such an idea. It was said of Chief Justice Waite, of the United States Supreme Court, being asked when a youth what he proposed to do when a man, he replied, he had not yet decided whether to be President or Chief Justice. This may be in part due to a general profession of holding to the principle of Benjamin Franklin that office should neither be sought nor refused and in part to the American idea that the people choose their own officers so that public service is not optional. In other countries this is not so. For centuries some seats in the British Parliament were controlled and probably sold as were commissions in the army, but that has never been the case here. A certain Congressman, however, on arriving at Washington was asked by an old friend how he happened to be elected. He replied that he was not elected, but appointed. It is worth while noting that the boss who was then supposed to hold the power of appointment in that district has since been driven from power, but the Congressman, though he was defeated when his party was lately divided, has been reflected. All of which suggests that the boss did not appoint in the first instance, but was merely well enough informed to see what the people wanted before they had formulated their own opinions and desires. It was said of McKinley that he could tell what Congress would do on a certain measure before the men in Congress themselves knew what their decision was to be. Cannon has said of McKinley that his ear was so close to the ground that it was full of grasshoppers. But the fact remains that office brokerage is here held in reprehensive scorn and professional office-seeking in contempt. Every native-born American, however, is potentially a President, and it must always be remembered that the obligation to serve the State is forever binding upon all, although office is the gift of the people.
Of course these considerations relate not to appointive places like the Judiciary, Commissionerships, clerical positions and like places, but to the more important elective offices. Another reason why political life of this nature is not chosen as a career is that it does not pay. Nearly all offices of this class are held at a financial sacrifice, not merely that the holder could earn more at some other occupation, but that the salary of the office does not maintain the holder of the office. It is but recently that Parliament has paid a salary to its members. In years gone by the United States Senate has been rather marked for its number of rich men. Few prominent members of Congress are dependent on their salary, which is but another way of saying that in Washington Senators and Representatives need more than their official salaries to become most effective. It is a consolation to be able to state that this is not the condition of members of the Massachusetts General Court. There, ability and character come very near to being the sole requirements for success. Although some men have seen service in our legislature of nearly twenty years, to the great benefit of the Commonwealth, no one would choose that for a career and these men doubtless look on it only as an avocation.
For these reasons we have no profession of politics or of public life in the sense that we have a profession of law and medicine and other learned callings. We have men who have spent many years in office, but it would be difficult to find one outside the limitations noted who would refer to that as his business, occupation, or profession.
The inexperienced are prone to hold an erroneous idea of public life and its methods. Not long ago I listened to a joint debate in a prominent preparatory school. Each side took it for granted that public men were influenced only by improper motives and that officials of the government were seeking only their own gain and advantage without regard to the welfare of the people. Such a presumption has no foundation in fact. There are dishonest men in public office. There are quacks, shysters, and charlatans among doctors, lawyers, and clergy, but they are not representative of their professions nor indicative of their methods. Our public men, as a class, are inspired by honorable and patriotic motives, desirous only of a faithful execution of their trust from the executive and legislative branches of the States and Nation down to the executives of our towns, who bear the dignified and significant title of selectmen. Public men must expect criticism and be prepared to endure false charges from their opponents. It is a matter of no great concern to them. But public confidence in government is a matter of great concern. It cannot be maintained in the face of such opinions as I have mentioned. It is necessary to differentiate between partisan assertions and actual conditions. It is necessary to recognize worth as well as to condemn graft. No system of government can stand that lacks public confidence and no progress can be made on the assumption of a false premise. Public administration is honest and sound and public business is transacted on a higher plane than private business.
There is no difficulty for men in college to understand elections and government. They have all had experience in it. The same motives that operate in the choice of class officers operate in choosing officers for the Commonwealth. Here men are soon estimated at their true worth. Here places of trust are conferred and administered as they will be in later years. The scale is smaller, the opportunities are less, conditions are more artificial, but the principles are the same. Of course the present estimate is not the ultimate. There are men here who appear important that will not appear so in years to come. There are men who seem insignificant now who will develop at a later day. But the motive which leads to elections here leads to elections in the State.
Is there any especial obligation on the part of college-bred men to be candidates for public office? I do not think so. It is said that although college graduates constitute but one per cent of the population, they hold about fifty per cent of the public offices, so that this question seems to take care of itself. But I do not feel that there is any more obligation to run for office than there is to become a banker, a merchant, a teacher, or enter any other special occupation. As indicated some men have a particular aptitude in this direction and some have none. Of course experience counts here as in any other human activity, and all experience worth the name is the result of application, of time and thought and study and practice. If the individual finds he has liking and capacity for this work, he will involuntarily find himself engaged in it. There is no catalogue of such capacity. One man gets results in one way, another in another. But in general only the man of broad sympathy and deep understanding of his fellow men can meet with much success.
What I have said relates to the somewhat narrow field of office-holding. This is really a small part of the American system or of any system. James Bryce tells us that we have a government of public opinion. That is growing to be more and more true of the governments of the entire world. The first care of despotism seems to be to control the school and the press. Where the mind is free it turns not to force but to reason for the source of authority. Men submit to a government of force as we are doing now when they believe it is necessary for their security, necessary to protect them from the imposition of force from without. This is probably the main motive of the German people. They have been taught that their only protection lay in the support of a military despotism. Rightly or wrongly they have believed this and believing have submitted to what they suppose their only means of security. They have been governed accordingly. Germany is still feudal.
This leads to the larger and all important field of politics. Here we soon see that office-holding is the incidental, but the standard of citizenship is the essential. Government does rest upon the opinions of men. Its results rest on their actions. This makes every man a politician whether he will or no. This lays the burden on us all. Men who have had the advantages of liberal culture ought to be the leaders in maintaining the standards of citizenship. Unless they can and do accomplish this result education is a failure. Greatly have they been taught, greatly must they teach. The power to think is the most practical thing in the world. It is not and cannot be cloistered from politics.
We live under a republican form of government. We need forever to remember that representative government does represent. A careless, indifferent representative is the result of a careless, indifferent electorate. The people who start to elect a man to get what he can for his district will probably find they have elected a man who will get what he can for himself. A body will keep on its course for a time after the moving impulse ceases by reason of its momentum. The men who founded our government had fought and thought mightily on the relationship of man to his government. Our institutions would go for a time under the momentum they gave. But we should be deluded if we supposed they can be maintained without more of the same stern sacrifice offered in perpetuity. Government is not an edifice that the founders turn over to posterity all completed. It is an institution, like a university which fails unless the process of education continues.
The State is not founded on selfishness. It cannot maintain itself by the offer of material rewards. It is the opportunity for service. There has of late been held out the hope that government could by legislation remove from the individual the need of effort. The managers of industries have seemed to think that their difficulties could be removed and prosperity ensured by changing the laws. The employee has been led to believe that his condition could be made easy by the same method. When industries can be carried on without any struggle, their results will be worthless, and when wages can be secured without any effort they will have no purchasing value. In the end the value of the product will be measured by the amount of effort necessary to secure it. Our late Dr. Garman recognized this limitation in one of his lectures where he says:—
"Critics have noticed three stages in the development of human civilization. First: the let-alone policy; every man to look out for number one. This is the age of selfishness. Second: the opposite pole of thinking; every man to do somebody's else work for him. This is the dry rot of sentimentality that feeds tramps and enacts poor laws such as excite the indignation of Herbert Spencer. But the third stage is represented by our formula: every man must render and receive the best possible service, except in the case of inequality, and there the strong must help the weak to help themselves; only on this condition is help given. This is the true interpretation of the life of Christ. On the first basis He would have remained in heaven and let the earth take care of itself. On the second basis He would have come to earth with his hands full of gold and silver treasures satisfying every want that unfortunate humanity could have devised. But on the third basis He comes to earth in the form of a servant who is at the same time a master commanding his disciples to take up their cross and follow Him; it is sovereignty through service as opposed to slavery through service. He refuses to make the world wealthy, but He offers to help them make themselves wealthy with true riches which shall be a hundred-fold more, even in this life, than that which was offered them by any former system."
This applies to political life no less than to industrial life. We live under the fairest government on earth. But it is not self-sustaining. Nor is that all. There are selfishness and injustice and evil in the world. More than that, these forces are never at rest. Some desire to use the processes of government for their own ends. Some desire to destroy the authority of government altogether. Our institutions are predicated on the rights and the corresponding duties, on the worth, of the individual. It is to him that we must look for safety. We may need new charters, new constitutions and new laws at times. We must always have an alert and interested citizenship. We have no dependence but the individual. New charters cannot save us. They may appear to help but the chances are that the beneficial results obtained result from an increased interest aroused by discussing changes. Laws do not make reforms, reforms make laws. We cannot look to government. We must look to ourselves. We must stand not in the expectation of a reward but with a desire to serve. There will come out of government exactly what is put into it. Society gets about what it deserves. It is the part of educated men to know and recognize these principles and influences and knowing them to inform and warn their fellow countrymen. Politics is the process of action in public affairs. It is personal, it is individual, and nothing more. Destiny is in you.
NOVEMBER 3, 1917
There is a time and place for everything. There are times when some things are out of place. Domestic science is an important subject. So is the proper heating and ventilating of our habitations. But when the house is on fire reasonable men do not stop to argue of culinary cuts nor listen to a disquisition on plumbing; they call out the fire department and join it in an attempt to save their dwelling. They think only in terms of the conflagration.
So it is in this hour that has come to us so grim with destiny. We cannot stop now to discuss domestic party politics. Our men are on the firing-line of France. There will be no party designations in the casualty lists. We cannot stop to glance at that alluring field of history that tells us of the past patriotic devotion of the men of our party to the cause of the Nation—devotion without reserve. We must think now only in terms of winning the war.
An election at this time is not of our choosing. We are having one because it is necessary under the terms of our Constitution of Massachusetts. We have not conducted the ordinary party canvass. We have not flaunted party banners, we have not burned red fire, we have not rent the air with martial music, we have not held the usual party rallies. We have addressed meetings, but such addresses have been to urge subscriptions to the Liberty Loan, to urge gifts to the great humanitarian work of the Red Cross, and for the efforts of charity, benevolence, and mercy that are represented by the Y.M.C.A. and by the Knights of Columbus, for the conservation of food, and for the other patriotic purposes.
But we are not to infer that this is not an important election. It is too important to think of candidates, too important to think of party, too important to think of anything but our country at war. No more important election has been held since the days of War Governor Andrew. On Tuesday next the voters of Massachusetts will decide whether they will support the Government in its defence of America, and its defence of all that America means. There is no room for domestic party issues here. The only question for consideration is whether the Government of this Commonwealth, legislative and executive, has rendered and will render prompt and efficient support for the national defence. Perhaps it would be enough to point out that Massachusetts troops were first at the Mexican border and first in France. But that is only part of the story.
Wars are waged now with far more than merely the troops in the field. Every resource of the people goes into the battle. It is a matter of organizing the entire fabric of society. No one has yet pointed out, no one can point out, any failure on the part of our State Government to take efficient measures for this purpose. More than that, Massachusetts did not have to be asked; while Washington was yet dumb Massachusetts spoke.
Months before war was declared a Public Safety Committee was appointed and went to work; weeks before war a conference of New England Governors was called and a million dollars was given the Governor and Council to equip Massachusetts troops for which the National Treasury had no money. By reason of this foresight our men went forth better supplied than any others, with ten dollars additional pay from their home State, and the assurance that their dependents could draw forty dollars monthly where needed for their support. The production and distribution of food and fuel have been advanced. The maintenance of industrial peace has been promoted. The Gloucester fishermen, fifteen thousand shoemakers in Lynn, the Boston & Maine railroad employees, have had their differences adjusted. A second million dollars for emergency expenses has been given the Governor and Council. An efficient State Guard of over ten thousand men has been organized. Our brave soldiers, their dependents, the great patriotic public have been protected by the present Government with every means that ingenuity could devise. We have won the right to reelection by duty well performed.
Remember this: we are not responsible for the war, we are responsible for the preparation that enables us to defend our soldiers and ourselves from savages. Massachusetts is not going to repudiate these patriotic services. To do so now would mean more than repudiating the Government. It would mean repudiating the devotion of our brave men in arms, repudiating the sacrifice of the fathers, mothers, wives, and dear ones behind, and repudiating the loyalty of the millions who subscribed to the Liberty Loan,—it would mean repudiating America.
Massachusetts has decided that the path of the Mayflower shall not be closed. She has decided to sail the seas. She has decided to sail not under the edict of Potsdam, crimped in narrow lanes seeking safety in unarmed merchantmen painted in fantastic hues, as the badge of an infamous servitude, but she has decided to sail under the ancient Declaration of Independence, choosing what course she will, maintaining security by the guns of ships of the line, flying at the mast the Stars and Stripes, forever the emblem of a militant liberty.
DEDICATION OF TOWN-HOUSE, WESTON
NOVEMBER 27, 1917
I was interested to come out here and take part in the dedication of this beautiful building in part because my ancestors had lived in this locality in times gone past, but more especially because I am interested in the town governments of Massachusetts. You have heard the town-meeting referred to this evening. It seemed to me that the towns in this Commonwealth correspond in part to what we might call the water-tight compartments of the ship of state, and while sometimes our State Government has wavered, sometimes it has been suspended, and it has been thought that the people could not care for themselves under those conditions. Whenever that has arisen the towns of the Commonwealth have come to the rescue and been able to furnish the foundation and the strength on which might not only be carried on, but on which might again be erected the failing government of the Commonwealth or the failing government of the Nation. So that I know nothing to which we New Englanders owe more, and especially the people of Massachusetts, of our civil liberties than we do to our form of town government.
The history of Weston has been long and interesting, beginning, as your town seal designates, back in 1630, when Watertown was recognized as one of the three or four towns in the Commonwealth; set off by boundaries into the Farmers' Precinct in 1698, and becoming incorporated as a town in 1713. There begins a long and honorable history. Of course, the first part of it gathered to a large degree around the church. The first church was started here, I think, in 1695, and I believe that the land on which it was to be erected was purchased of a man who bore my name. Your first clergyman seems to have been settled about 1702; and the long and even tenor of your ways here and your devotion to things which were established is perhaps shown and exemplified in the fact that during the next one hundred and seventy-four years, coming clear down to 1876, you had but six clergymen presiding over that church. You have an example here now, along the same line, in the long tenure of office that has come to your present town clerk, he having been first elected, I believe, in 1864 and having held office from that time to this, probably serving as long, if not longer, than any of the town clerks of Massachusetts, certainly, I believe, the longest of any present living town clerk.
There are many interesting things connected with the history of this town. It bore its part in the Indian Wars. Here was organized an Indian fighting expedition that went to the North, and, though some of the men in that expedition were lost and the expedition was not altogether successful, it showed, the spirit, the resolution, the bravery, and the courage which animated the men of those days.
Mr. Young has referred to that day in Massachusetts history that we are all so proud of, the Nineteenth of April, 1775. But you had an interesting event here in this town leading up to that great day. General Gage was in command of the British forces at Boston. There had been gathered supplies for carrying on a war out here through Middlesex County and out to the west in Worcester. History tells us that he sent out here Sergeant Howe and other spies, in order that he might find out what the conditions were and whether it would be easy for the British troops to come out here and seize those supplies and break what they thought was the idea on the part of the colonists of starting a rebellion. Sergeant Howe came out here, went to the hotel, where, of course, the landlord received him hospitably, but informed him that probably it wouldn't be a healthy place for him to stay for a very long time, and sent him away in the dead of the night. He went back to Boston and made a report to the General in which he said that the people of this vicinity were generally resolved to be free or to die. That was the spirit of those times; and he advised the Britishers that if they wanted to go out to Worcester they would probably need an expedition of ten thousand men and a sufficient train of artillery, and he doubted whether, if such an expedition as that were sent out, any part of it would return alive. On account of the report that he brought back it was determined by the British authorities that it was more prudent to go up to Concord than it was to come out here on the way to Worcester. That was the reason that the expedition on that Nineteenth of April was started for Concord rather than through here for Worcester.
Of course, there are many other interesting events in the history of this town. You had here many men who have seen military service. You furnished a large number for the Revolutionary War and a large amount of money. You furnished as your quota one hundred and twenty-six soldiers that went into the army from 1861 to 1865. But you were doing here what they were doing all over the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I doubt if the leading and prominent and decisive part that Massachusetts played in the great Revolutionary War is generally understood. It is interesting to recall that when General Washington came here he seems to have come with somewhat of a prejudice against New England men. I think there are extant letters which he wrote at that time rather reflecting upon what the New England men were doing and the character of Massachusetts men of those days. But that was not his idea at the end of the war. Then, although he had been brought up far to the south, he had a different idea. Then he said, and said very generously, that he thought well of New England men and had it not been for their support, had it not been for the men, the materials and munitions that they supplied to the Revolutionary forces, the war would not have been a success. His name is interestingly connected with your town of Weston.
You have had here not only an interesting population but an interesting location. It was through this town that the great arteries of travel ran to the west and south and to the north. When Burgoyne surrendered, some of his troops were brought through this town on their way to the sea-coast. When Washington came up to visit New England after he had been President, he came through the town of Weston, and I do not know whether this is any reflection on the cooking of those days in the towns to the west, but it says in the history of the town of Weston that at one time when Washington stopped at the hotel in Wayland, although the hostess had provided what she thought was a very fine banquet, he left his staff to eat that and went out into the kitchen to help himself to a bowl of bread and milk. I suppose he would not be thought to have done that because he was a candidate for office and wanted to appear as one of the plain people, because that was after he had served in the office of President. But he stopped here in the town of Weston and was entertained here at the hotel. And many other great men passed through here and were entertained here from the time when we were colonies clear up to the time when the railroads were established along in the middle of the last century.
So this town has had a long and interesting history, and has done its part in building up Massachusetts and giving her strength to take her part in the history of this great Nation. And it is pleasant to see how the work that the fathers have done before us is bearing fruit in these times of ours. It is interesting to see this beautiful building. It is interesting to know that you have a town planning committee who are placing this building in a situation where it will contribute to the physical beauty of this historic town. We have not given the time and the attention and the thought that we should have given to things of that kind in Massachusetts. We have been too utilitarian. We have thought that if a building was located in some place where we could have access to it, where it could be used, where it could transact the business of the town, that was enough. We are coming to see in these modern days that that is not enough; that we need not only utilitarian motives, but that we need to give some time, some thought and attention to the artistic in life; that we need to concern ourselves not only with the material but give some thought to the spiritual; that we need to pay some attention to the beautiful as well as to that which is merely useful.
These things are appreciated. Weston is doing something along these lines and building her public buildings and laying out her public square or her common (as it was known in the old days) so they will be things of beauty as well as things of use. Let us dedicate this building to these new purposes. Let us dedicate it to the glorious history of the past. Let us dedicate it to the sacrifice that is required in these present days. Let us dedicate it to the hope of the future. Let us dedicate it to New England ideals—those ideals that have made Massachusetts one of the strong States of the Nation; strong enough so that in Revolutionary days we contributed far in excess of our portion of men and money to that great struggle; strong enough so that the whole Nation has looked to Massachusetts in days of stress for comfort and support.
We are very proud of our democracy. We are very proud of our form of government. We believe that there is no other nation on earth that gives to the individual the privileges and the rights that he has in America. The time has come now when we are going to defend those rights. The time has come when the world is looking to America, as the Nation has looked to Massachusetts in the past, to stand up and defend the rights of the individual. Sovereignty, it is our belief, is vested in the individual; and we are going to protect the rights of the individual. It is an auspicious moment to dedicate here in New England one of our town halls, an auspicious moment in which to dedicate it to the supremacy of those ideals for which the whole world is fighting at the present time; that the rights of the individual as they were established here in the past may be maintained by us now and carried to a yet greater development in the future.
AMHERST ALUMNI DINNER, SPRINGFIELD
MARCH 15, 1918
The individual may not require the higher institutions of learning, but society does. Without them civilization as we know it would fall from mankind in a night. They minister not alone to their own students, they minister to all humanity.
It is this same ancient spirit which, coming to the defence of the Nation, has in this new day of peril made nearly every college campus a training field for military service, and again sent graduate and undergraduate into the fighting forces of our country. They are demonstrating again that they are the strongholds of ordered liberty and individual freedom. This has ever been the distinguishing characteristic of the American institution of learning. They have believed in democracy because they believed in the nobility of man; they have served society because they have looked upon the possession of learning not as conferring a privilege but as laying on a duty. They have taught and practised the precept that the greater man's power the greater his obligation. The supreme choice is righteousness. It is that "moral power" to which Professor Tyler referred as the great contribution of college men to the cause of the Union.
The Nation is taking a military census, it is thinking now in terms of armament. The officers of government are discussing manpower, transportation by land and sea and through the air, the production of rifles, artillery, and explosives, the raising of money by loans and taxation. The Nation ought to be most mightily engaged in this work. It must put every ounce of its resources into the production and organization of its material power. But these are to a degree but the outward manifestations of something yet more important. The ultimate result of all wars and of this war has been and will be determined by the moral power of the nations engaged. On that will depend whether armies "ray out darkness" or are the source of light and life and liberty. Without the support of the moral power of the Nation armies will prove useless, without a moral victory, whatever the fortunes of the battlefield, there can be no abiding peace.