AN ADDRESS BY U. S. SENATOR NYE
Thursday, November 15, 1934.
MR. DANA PORTER: Gentlemen, the struggle that gave rise to Democracy was, to some considerable extent, a struggle against privilege. However, when this monster at last seemed to be almost conquered it reared its head again in a sort of bootleg form, and we call that vaster privilege by the bald, but expressive monosyllabic word, GRAFT.
Our guest of honour today, throughout his public life in the United States of America has established himself as the arch enemy of graft. (Applause.) From the time of the Tea-Pot Dome investigation which he was largely responsible for initiating, down to the present day, he has identified himself with the untiring efforts that have been made to kill this deep-seated blight upon Democratic, political life and today, as Chairman Of the Arms Inquiry Committee of the Senate at Washington, he seeks to wrest the secrets of what he considers to be the most insidious and dangerous form of graft known to our civilization, that is the graft which has crept into the armament industry.
In this subject we are all most vitally interested and the inquiry that is being carried on under the Chairmanship of our guest of honour, we will follow with the greatest care.
It is with very great pleasure that I present Senator Nye who has come to Toronto at the invitation of the Empire Club.
SENATOR NYE: Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the Empire Club: I think I need not tell you that I am highly honoured, first, in having the invitation to come and then in having so delightful and large an audience as you have gathered about these tables today.
Yet, I come to you with an apology, an apology for a state of voice I suppose I had better first explain. We have just come through a rather strenuous campaign of "politicking" down in the States and I have tried to take my part in that engagement. In my own State, I found myself in opposition to a candidate for Governor who was a woman. I was not opposing her because she was a woman, primarily, but because she was vowing that her election would witness the pursuance of her husband's policies, policies which, by the way had resulted for her husband in a sentence to the Federal Penitentiary. When you go forth to battle against a candidate who is a woman, you must first of all, plan to speak often, plan to speak loud, and plan to speak continuously, if you want to be heard at all. Having done that and having followed since election day with many lectures, I find myself with a throat that is not bothersome to me, is not at all sore but a throat that I know inflicts great punishment upon those who punish themselves to the extent of sitting and listening. I shall try not to punish you over severely today.
I have been delighted by some things I have observed in the way of reaction to that work which we have undertaken down in Washington to ascertain what part, if any, the munitions industry plays in keeping upon the door step of the world, day in and day out, a constant threat of war and danger of war. I have been exceedingly delighted in the response which has come from our present friends north of our international boundary. I have been sadly disappointed by a reaction which has been awakened elsewhere, a reaction which at times I have considered rather a madness, a madness whose motive may have been very purposely intended.
I have already apologized for the state of my voice.
I expect there are among you those who think that coming here and joining with you today, I ought to extend an apology for something that occurred in Washington last September, during the course of our hearings under this investigation, yet I cannot apologize for something that didn't occur and consequently, I am not going to apologize. But there has been throughout the world a conclusion drawn that our Investigating Committee took great delight, keen pleasure, in dragging the name of the King into the hearings, and reflecting upon him as having had a hand as a partner with the munitions industry. I have already said that there was no implied charge resting with the Committee when it permitted to become a part of its record and a part of its evidence, letters which among other things, related the contention of one munitions salesman that he was up against terrible competition over in Poland where Vickers had the hand and the help of the King of England in landing orders. There was no implied charge in that but as is our custom in America, in the States, we were forced to make that a part of our records. Had we done anything other than that, we would straightway have been charged with concealing evidence that related directly to the study which was under way. But we here today, I think, need offer no explanation. I think we understand each other, as between Canada and the United States,, as well or better than neighbour lands anywhere in the world understand each other. (Applause). I think we understand each other to that extent which enables us to wonder at times what it is that is leading us and this world off on to that insane course which finds us doing things today which sixteen brief years ago we swore fervently we would never do again. It was only sixteen years ago that we raised our faces and our hands Heavenward, and gave thanks for the ending of that terrible struggle for four years that brought little more than wastage and destitution to all civilization.
Yet, we took some pleasure, we took some pride in the thought of the part we had played in the States, the part you had played in the Dominion, in that cause which we delighted to call a war to end war-a war to end war. And yet, here we are today, I think I am free to say, here we are today, nearer more war, having constant threats of more war in a larger degree than was true thirty days before the World War broke upon us. I think the danger of war today is greater than it was thirty days before the World War, and I am not saying that we are only thirty days away from another war, as you will understand. After this experience of sixteen brief years ago, even to contemplate that the world might be in even small part resigned, as it is in large part resigned to another war is quite unbelievable. Here we are, packing the burdens of that war, a burden that has all but broken our back, a burden that is such that it is utterly impossible for some nations to balance budgets and yet, a burden that isn't sufficiently a reminder to us to keep us away from doing those things which in the past have led this world into war.
While we are thus burdened, it is at least interesting to recount what we might do today in these distressing, depressing times, if we had what four years of war cost this world. Nicholas Murray Butler„ of Columbia University in New York, has given us a compilation showing what we could do if we had the cost of that World War today. We could do some exceptionally fine things and among them would be these: We could go into Russia, Italy, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States and build there homes costing $2,500 apiece. We could furnish those homes with a thousand dollars worth of furniture and give such a home to every family resident in those lands I have named and have enough money left so that every community of 25,000 people or more could have a $2,000„000 library and a $10,000,000 university, and still have a balance which, if we invested a part of it judiciously as to earn a return of five per cent per year, would enable us with that return to pay salaries of $1,000. a year to 125,000 school teachers and to 125,000 more nurses„ and we would still have enough money left to go into Germany and Belgium and possess ourselves of every penny's worth of property that exists in those lands today. That could we do if we wanted to do it, if we had what four years of war cost this world.
Yet, instead of letting that war with its cost serve as a lesson, we find the world today madly going forth on a course that clearly has in mind the extreme danger, and the thought of need for explicit preparation for more war. So forcefully are we going forward that even in these days of bankruptcy and unbalanced budgets, this world is finding it possible to spend more money getting ready for more war than it ever spent in peace times before.
It is not my purpose today to charge who might be or who is the leader in this mad competition that finds the world, the nations, battling one another to see which can have the extra ounce of tonnage, to be resorted to in the next engagement in the way of world war. In this world effort, it is only necessary for me to say that every power on earth has increased since 1913, the year before the World War, its budgets for maintenance of armies and navies. Italy, Russia, France and Great Britain have increased their budgets all the way from thirty to forty per cent over that span of years; and I am humbled and saddened to relate to you that my own country, the States, over the same span of years, has increased its budget to maintain armies and navies, one hundred and ninety seven per cent. And I say I come to you humbly, because we down there for long have liked to consider that we were the leaders in the cause of world peace, in the cause of disarmament. Some day America, and that soon, is going to suddenly awaken to the part that it is playing in this mad competition that is on at this time and when that time comes, I hope that our countries, your country and mine, are going to become, not only in name and claim, but are going to become actual leaders in that cause which looks to understanding among the nations of the world, that is going to save us from the terribleness another war is going to be, (Applause) the hell that another war is going to be.
How are we going to account for our forgetting? How are we going to account for the brief moment we bestow now in memory of those who gave their lives to what they believed was the cause of ending war? I have before me a despatch takers from the New York Herald Tribune of November 12th, a despatch from London, and after I read that despatch I sat down, took my pencil and estimated that if it is true that there are sixty minutes in an hour and twenty-four hours in a day there are approximately five hundred and twenty-five thousand minutes in a year. Now, let me read this despatch from London: "Except for two minutes of silence in tribute to the war dead on Armistice Day today, the Sunday shift at Vickers Works at Crayford, Kent, worked all day long making machine gums, rifles and gas-projecting machines."
And I am not reflecting on Vickers, because what Vickers was doing the other munitions makers of the world were doing, engaged in an intense campaign of producing and selling the machinery of war, the machinery that is being sold to nations in preparation for no nation in particular, but in effect a programme of arming the world against itself, arming the world to a degree which is breaking the very back of every civilization upon the face of this earth.
How are we to account for it? How do we so easily forget the experience of only sixteen years ago? I think today the answer is more evident than it ever was before. The masses of people the world over know most emphatically that there is no such thing as profit for war for them, but there are a few in this world who have come to learn and whose books reveal the proof, that there can be and that there is profit in war and in preparation for war, profit to a point which finds profits flowing most freely when blood flows thickest upon the field of battle.
In my own country, I find the explanation for our short memories in the fact that during the four years of world war, in America alone there were created twenty-two thousand millionaires--men who couldn't have had that wealth except as men were giving and offering their all on the field of battle. Because there is profit in war and in preparation for war, we are constantly threatened by more of it. We are constantly being cautioned to beware of this country and to beware of that country. In my own country, our bugaboo is Japan and while our munitions makers in America are preaching to us the doctrine, "Look out for Japan," over in Japan, the same identical munitions industry is preaching a doctrine to the people of Japan that has them saying, "Look out for Uncle Sam; look out for the United States" all of which is a very profitable foundation for those industries engaged in the manufacture and sale of munitions of war.
And, my good friends up here in Toronto, let me say to you this: In the light of revelations brought forth by reason of our investigation which will be continued, starting on the 3rd of December, I am prepared to say that if we in this world can remove the element, the motive of profit in this thing of providing national defence and in the business of waging war„ we will have eliminated well over fifty per cent of the danger of more war in these countries. (Applause.) We are told on every hand, as you are told, that the way to make secure our peace is to prepare for war, and every generation since the beginning of time has listened to that same caution--to make secure your peace, prepare for war. Yet, for every mile of international boundary where there has been adequate preparation for war and where war has been prevented for every such mile of international boundary, you and I can bring into exhibition a thousand miles of international boundary that never has seen upon it a mounted gun, that never has had on either side of that boundary a patrolling soldier, yet has never been once threatened with any danger of war. You have to, the south of you, we have to the north of us, such an imaginary line„ approximately twenty-five hundred miles long. Never once has there been a soldier upon that boundary, never once a gun mounted there to provide an adequate national defence for us against you and for you against us. And yet there isn't a soul today who will contend that the absence of an adequate national defence upon that boundary has for one moment jeopardized our relations or made dangerous a threat of a war between our great peoples. And over in my States, at a point common to my state and the Dominion, there has been set aside on each side of that boundary, thousands of acres of mountainous land, rough,, lake-ridden land, with streams and vegetation in abundance, that is being created and made by international agreement into a beautiful spot to be known as the "International Peace Garden," commemorating those scores upon scores of years of peace between two great nations without having had upon the boundary at any time, at any stage, anything resembling an adequate preparation for war. (Applause.) A beautiful monument, one which ought to be seen, one whose significance ought to be felt, ultimately, throughout the world.
But the world plugs forward now, day in and day out, taking two minutes out once a year to pay tribute to the memory of the boys who gave their all to the end that there might be an end of war. We take two minutes a year out and all the other remaining five hundred and twenty-five thousand minutes we plunge, as we never plunged before, into the production and sale of armaments, getting ready for the next war I Is there profit in this business of preparing for war? Is there profit in waging war? I am going to inflict upon you a few figures this afternoon. Before I do this, I am going to suggest to you that the next time you come down to the States, down to New York, you go over and call on Mr. J. P. Morgan. If you find him in and find him with one of his honest days on his hands, he will reveal to you an experience which was his father's back in the early sixties when he read that the American army was about to make an auction sale of 5,000 old and antiquated army muskets. Mr. Morgan sent his men to Washington and bought all those 5,000 muskets, paying for them, $3.50 apiece. He asked if he couldn't keep those in the United States Arsenal until he called for them. That privilege was granted and they stayed in those arsenals for almost a year until Mr. Morgan read that General Freemont was trying to organize an army out in the neighbourhood of St. Louis. He had plenty of men but no guns and couldn't get delivery of guns fast enough, so Mr. Morgan notified General Freemont as to what he had--five thousand rifles in fine condition. "If you want them„ you can have them for $23.00 apiece." General Freemont wanted them. When they were despatched to him, he distributed them among his men and they were taken out on the range for practice and trial, where hundreds of men shot off their own thumbs and fingers, in such rotten state of repair was this artillery.
Freemont declined to recommend payment of the bill. A Board was appointed to arbitrate the claim and the Board finally said to Mr. Morgan, "You only paid $3.50 for those guns. They weren't in good repair as you said they were, and you aren't entitled to $23.00 apiece. We have made up our minds you should be content with our award of $13.00 apiece for those guns." And Mr. Morgan said, "Is that so? We will see about that." And to the courts Mr. Morgan went with his claim. After long litigation, the courts held there was a sacredness, a sanctity of contract involved here and Mr. Morgan should have $23.00 apiece for those guns.
Is there profit in preparation for war? Is there profit in war? Let us take a few figures such as I have here before me. I have here a list of fourteen or fifteen American corporations engaged in the production of armaments, munitions of war. In the first column is the name of the company. In the second column, their annual average peace time profit during the four years of peace leading up to the World War. The third column reveals the profits of the same corporations, their average annual profit during four years of war. I will read them fast: Scovill Manufacturing Company, $655,000 profit annually during four years of peace; $7,678,000 each year during the war. Niles Bemert Powder Company, $656,000, annually in peace time, as compared with $6,146,000 annually, during the war years. Atlas Powder Company, $485,000„ annually in peace years, as compared to $2,374,000 annually in war years. Republican Iron and Steel, $4,000,000 in peace time, as against $17,000,000 annually during the four years of war. General Motors, $6,000,000 in peace time, annually, and $21,000,000, annually during the war. Anaconda Copper Company, $10,000,000 in peace time, and an average of $34,000,000 annually during the war. The U. S. Steel Corporation-I don't know whether you have changed the spelling of "steel" here or not; it is still the United States Steel Corporation with us--$105,000,000 in peace time, annually, and $239,000,000, annually, during the four years of war. Bethlehem Steel--they haven't changed their name--they were quite content with $6,000,000 profit during peace years as compared with $49,000,000 annual profit during the four years of war. Dupont, who rushed into the press last June, declaring that the purpose of this investigation authorized by the Senate was that of undermining the national defence of America, and was instigated by Reds and radicals and Communists--I expect if I had been in the Dupont shoes I would have seen red, too, if I saw anyone taking any steps which might in any way destroy the prospects in the future for such handsome returns as was theirs during four years of war-the Dupont annual average profit was $6,000,000 during peace years; during war years, it was $58,000,000. The Duponts enjoyed a return upon their investment over the four years of war, of more than four hundred per cent, while men were giving their all or offering their all, at $30.00 a month and less out in the trenches.
Is there profit in war and in preparation for war? So much of it, my friends, that until we can destroy the motive of profit, we are going to have constant threat of more war.
I have told you that our bugaboo in America is Japan. There is not a chance in the world of any gainful war between those two nations, but we talk it year in and we talk it year out, and if war should come between those two countries, our American boys as they move across the Pacific to meet their Japanese foe, are straightway going to be the target of guns, shrapnel and shell, sold to Japan by American munitions makers at a profit. There is no exaggeration there and what our munitions makers in America are doing, my good Canadian friends, your munitions makers and the munitions makers the world over are doing. They are international. They honour particularly and love especially, no particular flag. Their love for the flag depends upon the flow of profits that come from beneath that flag--that, and that alone! The business of manufacturing and selling munitions of war in this world has become nothing short of a racket--a rotten, international racket, and with those engaged in it, racketeers of the first water, racketeers little deserving of the honour some of our lands give and pay to those who engage in that struggle. Why, a mean who was nothing more than a successful salesman, a salesman who had learned how to arm every nation against every other nation, with the same identical instruments of warfare, that man back in the years during and following the World War, was honoured by every crowned head in the world and honoured by the President of the United States-Sir Basil Zaranoff, who was nothing more than a successful salesman engaged in the racket of arming the world against itself. Yet, civilization has honoured him and paid tribute to him and decorated him.
I have told you what would happen to us if we went to war with Japan. There is no exaggeration there and I think you people, perhaps, too often have heard of a certain engagement during the World War which found a company of young boys, recruited in a single British community, recruited and sent to the battle front in France and engaged there for days with a company of German soldiery. Many of those British boys laid down their lives in that battle particularly, because the Germans seemed to be possessed of a gun that was unusually efficient and that battle didn't end until the British had captured that gun. With the war over with, they thought how nice it would be if they could drag that gun back to their own British community and have it erected as a monument to the boys who laid down their lives before that gun. Back it went and there it stands today. On one side of the great blazing barrel of that gun, deeply engraved, are the names of the British boys who laid down their lives in that battle. On the other side of the same barrel of the same gun, there remains the engraving of the trademark and the name of the British munitions maker who manufactured and sold that gun to Germany. A monument? O, what a monument! Yet a monument great, it could be, if only its significance could be permitted to sink into the minds of civilization today.
I have told you that this international band of munitions makers and racketeers acknowledges no flag, plays alike with all customers, all who will be their customers. The investigation has revealed that they spend young fortunes annually, maintaining expensive lobbies in the capitals of the world. They put aside large sums of money to bribe-I said BRIBE-to bribe public officials with and to pay handsome commissions to men who stand close to the public officials in this country, that and the other, those public officials who are looked to to negotiate purchases for their governments of munitions of war, and the investigation has clearly revealed and established beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the munitions industry actually engages in creating war scares. pitting one people and one nation against another and fanning a scare into a hatred 'and a deep fear that makes a fine market for the munitions of war, and then, getting them actually to war and into trouble, keeps them there just as long as it can because that is a profitable state of affairs for the munitions industry.
Why, we had the example of one salesman for an American munitions maker who had been transferred a few years ago from South America to Cuba to supply the needs of the Cuban rebels who were trying to overthrow the Cuban government, and his employers paid this salesman a very handsome commission for all such sales as he made and he made many. Then they paid him a little higher commission for the sales of the same supplies that he would make to the Cuban government which was trying to put down and quell these rebels and rebellions.
The last minute that the salesman was on the stand and under oath before us, I couldn't refrain from asking him if there weren't moments when his conscience bothered him a little bit, if there weren't times when he wished be were in some other business and he couldn't remember that his conscience had ever bothered him. We had to remind him of a letter he had written to another munitions salesman on the day after Christmas last year. Permit me to read three lines: "We are certainly in one hell of a business, where a fellow has to wish for trouble so as to make a living, the only consolation being that if we didn't get the business, somebody else would. It would be a terrible state of affairs if my conscience started bothering me right now."
A hell of a business, the business of bringing hell on this earth, just as fast as they know how to bring it! There is a little consolation in finding that even at moments, those engaged in that traffic of arms do have a little prickly sensation around that thing we call conscience.
The investigation has revealed that the munitions industry doesn't worry especially when its country writes an embargo against the shipment of arms to another country because all they do is notify their partners in the international racket, their partners across the Atlantic "You take this field; we have to keep out for the moment." They share profits; they share territory and they divide the territory of the world. "You take this; I will take that. You take that country, I will take this," and then they share in the profits.
Why, do you understand, do you realize that after the World War, the Electric Boat Company of Croton, Connecticut, manufacturers of submarines sued the government of Germany-sued them for what? The damage German submarines had done to us during the war? No, sued Germany to collect royalties on the submarines Germany had built on the patents, plans, specifications and designs, owned exclusively by the Electric Boat Company of Croton, Conn.
We wonder why we get nowhere in Disarmament conferences, yet, if you will but read records of the investigation you will find there the stories of the letters written by delegates to the Disarmament Conferences to the munition makers, telling them not to worry about what that Conference is going to do.
My good friends, until we can accomplish one lone Disarmament Conference that is divorced from those who represent or speak the language of munitions makers, until we can have one conference divorced from the men, the generals and the admirals whose training from the cradle up has been the training of acceptance of these preparedness programmes, until we can have one such conference, we are going to get nowhere in this Disarmament effort. (Applause.)
All over the world, American munitions makers, British munitions makers, French munitions makers, all over this world they are selling the right to manufacture this instrument of war, that instrument of war, that kind of shell, this kind of shrapnel, to those nations which so far, are likely to be the foes in another war. There is no secrecy any more of patents, of designs, of plans of the munitions one nation is going to use against another in another war.
But the saddest part to me about all the revelations is that showing so clearly who the best partner, who the best friend of the munitions maker is. Invariably, in every land, in every home of the -munitions maker, its best friend and its partner is the government. And I say that without fear of contradiction.
Down in Peru some few years ago the munitions makers convinced the Peruvian government that they, didn't have an adequate national defence and Peru asked Uncle Sam to give them a hand and Uncle Sam appointed a commission of naval experts who went down and helped Peru plan a so-called adequate national defence and included among their recommendations was this, that Peru should buy a fleet of submarines which didn't cause any tears in the Electric Boat Company's plant at Croton, Connecticut.
But when Peru got her delivery of submarines, she went on parade in her harbour waters and Columbia was watching the parade day after day, and it suddenly dawned on Peru's neighbour, Columbia, that she didn't have an adequate national defence to cope with Peru's submarines. And Columbia appealed to Uncle Sam for a little expert advice and Uncle Sam sent to Columbia another commission of naval experts to help them plan an adequate defence against Peru's submarines, and as Uncle Sam had recommended only two years before that Peru buy a fleet of submarines, the same recommendation was made to Columbia. One of these days we are going to send a few American submarines down to straighten out the trouble between those two countries, a trouble that no one is more responsible for than the American munitions makers, working in partnership with their government of the United States of America.
In 1928, we down in the States, equipped a few of our battle fleet with a brand new type of naval gun that gave us superior advantage and the producer of that gun immediately went to Europe to sell the same gun over there. They weren't very successful. They couldn't tote along with them a gun weighing hundreds of pounds--yes, tons. They had no sample and they weren't doing any business. They went to Turkey and tried to sell the gun there. 'Nothing doing'! I like to conceive the state of mind they were in--so depressed. And here they sit upon the docks at the port of Constantinople one day, kicking their heels against the posts, these salesmen. On one side of them sat the Minister of War of Turkey; on the other side sat the Admirals and the Generals of the army of Turkey. While they sat there, deploring the fact that they couldn't do business, they didn't have anything to demonstrate this new gun with. What happened? There arrived in the harbour, the beautiful battle ship, "Rawleigh." It drops anchor and on board go the salesman with the Turkish officials and our American sailor boys kindly demonstrate the gun and Mr. Griggs, the producer, writes out an order for eight guns for the Turkish navy, maybe to be used against us some day.
Partnership? Why, so hard and fast a partnership that it cannot be denied. And, understand, my friends, what is true down in the States is equally true in every other land which entertains the manufacture of armaments.
It seems to me there is but one way to conquer this thing, this mad race leading us to that inevitable thing we call war. That is to destroy absolutely any possibility for private profit to be made from this thing we call national defence, (applause) and the one way to do that is for the governments of the world to exercise a hard and fast and absolute monopoly in the production of the primary instruments of national defence, putting out of business the private industry as respects ship building, as respects aeroplane making, as respects the manufacture of guns and of ammunition, and some chemicals. Not all down the line, not everything that is called a munition of war need be included, but take those bigger, those more principal items and make the governments the sole and exclusive producers, providing a national defence for their own country, not a national defence for all the world, but for their own country. Destroy the element of profit and you will find larger prospects for success in disarmament conferences.
There is one other thing every civilization ought to do and do quickly. Take the prospect of there ever being profits for anyone in any war and destroy that prospect. Do it how? Why, we all have income tax laws. You have them; we have them; Britain has them. Let us write income tax laws today, in times of peace,, declaring that in the event of the declaration of war by our countries, there shall automatically become effective, new rates of income taxation, that incomes, let us say, up to $10,000 a year shall be subject to a doubling in the rate of taxation and that all incomes in excess of $10,000 a year shall be subject to an income tax of ninety-eight or ninety-nine percent. Do you realize what would be accomplished? Why, there would be decreases in the numbers of those in that army who today are saying that maybe the way to accomplish recovery and economic balance again is to have another little war. You hear it; you have heard it, as I have. Do that and watch the numbers grow in this army of men and women who will fight to the last ditch and resort to anything that is honourable before being dragged into another war. Do those things and watch vanish the great danger of more war, the large percentage of danger of more war. Do that, my friends, and observe a pleasant departure of those who make profits in war, paying for the war while the war is being engaged in, not shouldering the burden upon the backs of unborn generation% but making those responsible for the war pay for it. If we do that-O, but someone says, "That is delightful to contemplate, but aren't you aware of the fact that there are hundreds, yes, thousands of people who are accustomed to incomes of more than ten thousand dollars a year to meet the expense of maintaining their families and their estate?" Yes, I am aware of it. And I am also aware of the fact that the boys who are giving their all in the trenches and on the battle field during the war are accustomed to better things than they are finding there and in the event of more war, let civilization look to one and all to share equally and to sacrifice equally in the winning of that war for their country and for their flag.
If we would do those things we would serve ourselves and serve future generations in no small degree. You can have your issues, call them what they are, but there is not an issue confronting civilization today, political or economic, that doesn't trace directly or indirectly to that four years of war, and if we would avoid more of it, we would devote ourselves to this greatest of all great issues, the elimination of profit and of prospective profit in more war. And were we to do that, we would not only be serving ourselves and saving ourselves from the humility and terribleness of another war, we would be serving those boys and girls who are ours and those unborn boys and girls who are to follow them. We will be serving them as any good citizen of today ought to be willing to serve, irrespective of the direct benefit to himself. We ought, whether we can help ourselves immediately or not, we ought to be looking ahead to that day when we want others coming after us to enjoy a lifetime, free from, the constant threat, the constant danger, and the actual war that does come to nearly every generation. Let us then be bridge builders like the old man in the poem:--
That old gray man, travelling a lone highway. Came at evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, deep and wide.
The old man paused in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream held no fear for him,
But he turned when he reached the other side, And he builded a bridge to span that tide. "Old mare," cried a fellow pilgrim near„
"You are wasting your strength with building here. "Your journey will end this ending day,
"And you, never again, will pass this way. "You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide, "Why build you a bridge to the other side?"
And the builder raised his old gray head, "Good friend, on the path I have come," he said, "'There followeth after me today,
"A youth whose feet must pass this way. "This stream which has been as naught to me„ "To this fair youth may a pitfall be.
"He, too, must cross in the twilight dim,
"Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."
Thank you, Gentlemen„ for your delightful attention. (Prolonged applause).