Newspaper Page Text
SPEECH DELIVERED BY
WILL H. HAYS
At a Dinner Tendered Him by the
Publi?hers of the United
The following is the speech delivered
by Will H. Hay*, president Motion
Picture Producers and Distributors
of America, Inc., New York City,
ai a dinner tendered to him by the
publishers of the United States, April
To the publishers of America I
would come for the motion picture
\ industry as one approaches an older
brother. The motion picture is essentionally,
of course, a source of
amusement, the principal amusement
? of a great majority and the sole
amutement of millions, and as such
it* importance is measured only 'by
the imperative necessity of entertainment
for our people. In this your
concern is constant.
You, who are the custodians of the
printed word in America, have arrived
at your present position of stability
as the fruit of six centuries of
development. From the Gutenberg
Bible to the newspaper and magazine
of todav is indeed a long and slow
procession of invention and develop-!
ment?through wooden blocks, metal
J ~ " ^ V?a-rn-1 r?r>mr.r>citi ATI tn ma-'
aiiu uauu ?
chine composition; through hand
/ power and flat bed to rotary press;
from no mails to air mails;'from no
telegraph to wireless.
All of these processes, which are :
essential parts of yo.ur business, have,
come to you as the slow and orderly;
development of six centuries of pro*
gress, with frequently a century lapsfrom
step to step.
But consider how different it is
with this other mechanism for the
w"- t igi ' / i
distribution of intelligence. What
with you has come about slowly
through six centuries has with our:
motion picture industry come about !
?' * - I--? J? - -C i
in tjie mcreaiDiy onei space ui iwcu-;
ty years. Is it any wonder that we
havfc problems in our industry which ,
you gentlemen of the printed word
solved decades or generations ago?
Amazing Rapidity of Growth
We are in confusion because of !
the very rapidity of our growth and I
development. Your standard of |
ethics, the relationship of your pap-!
ers to the public, your sense of what
can be done and what must not be
done, your responsibilities for the j
expression and guidance of public j
opinion?all that hafe come a'bout with |
the ease of an inherited fortune? i
you received it from your predeces- j
sors?from your ancestors, so to j
ipeak, in the trade?2s a gift, a be- J
quest. It did not come without difficulty
nor without- struggle, but that,
struggle has been distributed over j
fifteen or twenty generations, and j
you have your standards, your rules, j
your accepted practices, your knowl-!
edge of what is right and what is !
wrong; you have that like the British '
people -have their ; constitution and l
like the American people have their j
freedom?as a bequest from the'
gr$at figures of your past.
"What John Milton did for you in
the fight for the freedom of the press,
what Benjamin Franklin did for you,1
what was done for you by Horace :
Greeley, by Charles A. Dana, by Jos- j
eph Pulliizer, by Ccionel Nelson and
Ifenry Watfersonfc ahd'by other hero-j
ic figures ].n the Jong pull for hner.
and better service and for the con- j
i'JJ? ? * , i
stitutional protection of your free-:
dom from the aggressions of official;
control?all that we must achieve
liere and now.
We, in contrast with you have no-;
thing from the past. We must make
all these things and achieve all these
things for ourselves. The men who
first took up this thing are still alive.
TBe pioneers of our institution are
the men who are still in the business.
"We in the motion picture industry
are at this moment in the very midst
of achieving those standards of our
relation ta each other and to the
public and* our responsibilities to
the world. And it is exactly for the
purpose of aiding in the arrival at
those standards that our association,
the Motion Picture Producers and
Distributors of America, has been organized.
Quoting from the formal
A ^ r A _ . A.: 221 ^ J AT
Aiticxes ui Association as niea in Albany
under the board of trade statute
of the state of New York, these gentlemen
have stated their chief purposes
of fostering the common interests
of those engaged in the industry
"by establishing and maintaining the
highest possible moral and artistic
standards in motion picture production"
and "by developing the educational
as well as the entertainment
value and the general usefulness of
the motion picture," to which purpcaes
I earnestly direct your attention.
Men Who Had Vision
Too, mechanically and financially,
as a matter of organization and technique,
it has been much the same.
Hero was a <rreat new invention that
burst upon the world. Here was a
great vacuum of need and demand to
be filled. Men who had the vision,'
who saw the opportunity and the possibilities
of profit, rushed into it.
Their accomplishment in the last decade
has been like an Arabian Nights
Ftory. And there can >e little wonder
that these crowded years have
been in some respects a period of
chaos. In the old days when gold was
discovered in California there was a
mad rush for it and in the strife of
feverish competition men struggled
?" ' Tt ic 9 far frv from that
to the development of this industry,
but there is not an entire absence of
analogy. Certainly 'there is no anal
ogy between the development of this
industry and any other industry. We
have had competition of the fiercest1
kind. There has been no time for ad- ,
equate reflection. The mere physical ,
and mechanical expansion has been
so great and so rapid that there has'
not been time and there has not been ,
; the mood to consider in the midst of ,
these early years of mad scramble?
to consider adequately the moral and
edu'cationanl responsibilities and op- (
portunities inherent in this new thing. .
Now, at th$; end of this period of ^
incredibly comprise# physical, me- .
chanica!, financial and artistic development
these men.find themselves not
only the responsible leaders and custodians
of one of the greatest industries
of the world, with limitless commercial
possibilities and perhaps r^ore (
income than all the public utilities f 5
the country combined, with a totu1 '
investment in real estate, studios,
equipment and properties of over 1
$500,000,000, with possibly over ]
50,000 people'constantly employed (
and $50,000,000 paid annually in Gal- |
aries and wages, with $800,000,000 1
paid annually for admissions and possibly
$200,000,000 spent annually in 1
production with annual turnover in c
the business of $1,000,000,000?not
only are they the leaders and custodians
of such an industry, but also *
they find themselves the responsible *
leaders and cutodians of an instru- r
ment and means of an entirely im- ^
measurable usefulness in educational
and moral influence. j
Scone of the Opportunity
Now let us see what we have. First 1
of all, note the scope of the oppor- v
tunity. In the United States?in all
the big cities and in all those maple *
shaded towns and villages that com- ?
pose America?there are perhaps fif- ?
teen thousand motion picture thea- 2
ters and in those theaters sixteen r
million seats. Taking into account v
the at least twice a day performance 1
and applying the collected statistics, t
we estimate that within every twenty '
four hours between Maine and Gali- c
fornia twentv million American men, L
- 3 a/\w\a 4" a iaai' "f av 4
women ana tanuieu tvnw iu
ar hour or two on the motion picture
screen. They come with no other c
preoccupation, they come indeed in a v
mood which has deliberately put out ?
of their minds all other distractions. v
They come not out of duty, as they v
go to work or to school; they come c
not out of solicitation, as they go to ^
political or other public meetings;
they come ^ut of their own wish and ^
inclination They come, in short,
in a mood of relaxation, of reception v
?in precisely that state of mind and J
emotion in which a master psycholo- "
grist, a great teacher, would want t
them to come, having in mind the de- c
sire to make the strongest impression A
upon them, to have them in the most ;
pla?tic state for the receiving and 1
folding of impressions. If a man had *
the wish to influence the thought of
j the nation towards common ideals
| he could not more intelligently create s
a situation better adapted to that *
' purpose. . ; <
! Now that is our opportunity. 5
* ? ?% mi_ -j
i What then shall we do witn it: ine j
first and most important thing is that ]
there shall be no attempt to do too
much'with it. First of all there must 1
be no notion of implanting particular <
ideas. Our first duty must be to (
keep our institution free. There must <
be no seeking for any monopoly of '
ideas, no attempt to "put over" any,
pet ideas of the industry's own for i
which our only sanction is our own (
pride of opinion. Neither?and this 1
is even more important?must there
be any proscripnon 01 any ujkmwj?
: of others responsibly held. We must
'tin short take on that same attitude of
trusteeship for public opinion and
pu'blic. thought which you gentlemen
of the printed word have evolved as
your own. We must take on that
same code, chiefly tacit and only
; partly written, but nevertheless whol1
ly binding, that governs you of the
newspapers and periodicals in your
j relation to the public and in your re1
relation to the public and in your rela
tion to each, other. We *must avoid
I the faintest taint of the propagandist
i in our attitude towards the agency
| that is our trusteeship. This instii
tution of ours so far as it affects the
' ideals, the opinions, the standards of
taste and conduct of the people must
be as free as you have kept your institution
of the printed word?with
channels open to the expression of
any honest and reasoable idea within
the world of art, of public opinion, of
everything within the field of education.
.Ju?t as we must embrace and
carry on that American tradition of
insistence upon freedom of resistance
to official or political censorship of
the press, the pulpit, 'college teaching
ov of public speech and public assembly.
so must we obey, as you of the
press obey, the obligation not to
force upon the public we serve any
unnreaconably arbitrary standards of
..'il ^-Fntmr> n-F nr o crni nst
our OWII fJIIICI 111 Iflivi VI particular
varieties of opinion or
But while this must bp our broad
and general policy, it is as true of
the press and of the motion picture
as it is of statesmanship that there
are, of course, certain common standards
so indisputable in their appeal
to the common sense of right, so universally
accepted as the highest standards
of taste, art and morals, that
to promote them is as emphatically
>ur duty as is that declaration of intention
"to promote the general welfare"
in the preamble of the American
Standards of Taste and Morals
I remember very well the definite
idvanc-e in public standards of taste
and comfort that was achieved in this
country through means of ordinary
" 1 TU;? r\ r?
3iiotoj2rrapns ot deutt'iiumfx am.-> c?lcation
of the public. thj? indirect
mplanting of standards of taste and
norais and art in the public mind is
nherent in the motion pictures. We
:an not avoid it if we would. Since
he nature of our .business maker, it
nevitable that we shall portray some
;tandards, the duty involved in our
elation to the public makes it ir.'umbent
to hold up the best.
Ar.d above all, perhaps, is our duty
o the youth. We must hive toward
:hat sacred thin?, the'mind of a child,
oward that clean and virgin thing,
hat unmarked state?we must have
owara tnai ine. same *c.:^c m *?ponsibility,
that same care about the
mpressions made upon it, thar the
)est teacher or the best clergyman,
he most inspired teacher of youth,
Things are taken a go 3d deal for
granted, and I wonder jf you jus:j:eilize,
you men who have at heart ir.e
general welfare?I wonder :f yoj iodize
just what the motion picture
neans to tiie youth. During the timevhen
I had the acceptance of this
lew work under consideration I took
hree little cowboy suits home to Sulivan,
one " 'or my buy, aged six. and
ine each ?or his cousins, ag-:js nv- ana
'"ght. They took these i.t:!e
nto tr.? bed'com to put t>:?m on ai.d
ome out and .~>how me. I heard them
juarreling in +he bedroom, and I
v'ondered what they could be fussing
ibout under those circumstances. I
Vent to the door and listened. They
vere having a real quarrel as to which
>ne when they came out to show me
vould be Bill Hart. Maik you, ages
ive, six and eight. And finally my
)oy, in a very vigorous voice said,
'All right, then; all right, then; I
vill be Doug." Well, it was a lcc;on.
It used to be when we were
)oys that possibly we quarreled a litle
over who would be Abraham Lin oln
or George Washington, or if we
^ J n?V?+ ViO\rn tTTOTlforJ
vere ifai inn.v wc iingm nave
o be Buffalo Bill, but now it is who
vill be Bill Hart or # Douglas Fair)anl:3
or Charlie Chaplin, and so
We say twenty million people a day
;ee motion pictures. Very well; possibly
half, I do not know, may be
hildren, and they go, too, with the
:ame open mind referred to. Don't
forget that the quick way to the brain
s through the eye. There may be
lfty different languages spoken in
th":3 country, but the picture of mother
is the same in every languige.
C::viously it is true that the influ\
2r.ee of the motion picture on our
national life is indeed absolutely limitless?its
influennce on our ta>ste,
its infiuece on our conduct, its influence
on our aspirations, its influence
on our youth and its consequent immeasurable
influence on our future.
I wonder if you realize just what
it means for these men who pioneered
in this industry, who had the vision,
initiative, industry and nerve, if you
will, to have made this thing what it
is in twenty years. I wonder if you
realize what it means for the general
good for these men now to unite and
nuke it their first business to do everything
in their power to reach the
highest possible moral and artistic
standards of motion pictures. This
movement is a Cause?with a capital
C. In this Cause each of you is as
interested as the men who inaugurated
it. I know if ever?I say if
ever?I am of any value in any situation
it io when I have a Cause. I
thought I saw a Cause when 1 wet:
into the work. Now I know it I
there, and I am going to give all
have got for this period to thi:
Cause. And i bespeak for it and foi
these men your most earnest aiu
sympathetic cooperation. I do nol
know what can be accomplished. A
man is safe if he knows when he does
not know. What I do not know aboul
this industry would fill the Encyclopedia
Brittanica, but I am going tc
work very hard to learn it. and I dc
know that there exists the most honest
and earnest purpose. And righl
here, talking to Democratic and Republican
editors alike, let me suggcsl
that I am glad finally to be in ar
activity where we are all on the same
side of the table.
Most certainly I will not be put in
the attitude of being a judge of the
morals of those who are in the industry.
There has been much locse talk
on that subject, and the fact is that
the morals of the thousands and thousands
in this industry are just as good
as those in any other.
The vital thing now is the certain
good faith of those who have set
about these major purposes, and 1
do not know of the certainty of that
good faith. I know that these mer
with millions invested will go through
with this thing. This industry must
and shall mantain its high place in
the business world along with the other
great industries, offering enterprising
capital a legitimate opportunity
for profitable investment, es
tablished on a solid iounaauon, up
erated with reasonable economy and
supported properly, as are our other
great industries by the investing public.
And it must and shall and will
take its very high place in public estimation.
So certain v is all this a matter of
your concern that we earnestly ask
your advice in the situation. I have
thought the problems would be solved
if we could make certain the establishment'of
two things: confidence
and cooperation. We must have confidence
and cooperation between those
1? ' * ** s* rw\ QA*rvr\n& nnrl r?n
in I/It' IIIU US LI ^, U k.uiinui.ii>.w ???..- ~ ?
operation that will bring a mutual
appreciation and action together in
these things in which vre -are mutually
interested. And in this I include,
of couiae, the exhibitors as well as
the producers and distributors. With
this established, and it- is being estab!
:hed, if we can just have the confidence
and cooperation of you of the
pres-. as our elder brother, having
been through much of the same travail
and having come out victorious,
then if we can have the .'deserved confidence
and cooperation of the public,
our problems will ;e solved. It its
not a one-sided matter. It has been
raid repeatedly that certain object
t!onable pictures which Urve been
made are the class of pictures whicit
the public wanted, and that such productions
have bc-en a meeting of the
demands of the public based on box
office receipts. If this :s so, then the
public has a duty in the situation, and
your duty in relation to that phase
of the matter is clear. One of the
largest of the producers has told me,
however, that in his opinion the outstanding
financial successes in the
!;st eighteen months have been clean
pictures. I know te American public.
I know that its manhood and
womanhood is sound and, of cours-2,
ic.wil! support the cleanest pictures.
And the American public is the real
censor for us, just as it is for you.
The people of thj* country are
against censorship ' fundamentally,
against censorship of the press, of
p'ulpit and of pictures. Just as certainly
is this country against wrongdoing
and the demand for ' censorship
will fail when the reason for the
demand is removed. As we move
towrads the consummation of the obnf
tliic vjst in like
degree will recede the demand which
seems more or less prevalent for censorship.
The problem of censorship
with which we are now faced was
faced by you and fought out and settled?settled
right here in New Yorls
by the way, so far as American la-**
is concerned?in one of those prolonged
and 'bitter contests for the unrestricted
freedom of intelligence
more than two centuries ago.
Those in the indi^try do not underestimate
the responsibility nor woulc
we shirk it. I p* ornise that this agency
for the distribution of informatior
and thought, this agency for tht
amusement of the millions and foi
the inevitable inculcation of standards
of taste in art and conduct?!
promise that this agency shall meas
ure up to its oppportunity and its re
I would repeat, that the motior
picture industry accepts the challenge
in the demand of the America!
pu'blic for a higher quality of art am
interest in its entertainment.
1 The industry accepts the challeng*
in the demand of the Americai
tfyouth that its pictures shall give t<> I
s them the right kind of entertainmt ;it j
i and instruction.
s We accept the challenge in the
r righteous demand of cne American'
1 mother that the entertainment and
t amusement of youth be worthy of
l their value as the most potent factor .
; in the country's future.
: We accept our fu'i respons'bi-ity.'
- It is a service, a service which com?
mands the very best from all, and I
> have great faith in it?s fulfillment.
Mystic symbols and signs were dis- j
/covered recently, chiseled on volcanic
. rock in a remote section 01 uwynee;
t county, Southwestern Idaho. Certain
t: of the inscriptions resemble Chinese
alphabet characters and this resemblance
was taken by some to substan- i
tiate the theory that the North Am-!
jerican natives descended from a race'
which came from Asia by way of
j Soldiering; is an expiring profession !
1 in Germanv. Many former armv of-.
| licers are doing menial work. Drcah-;
i i kies, taxis and other horse-drawn vehides
in German cities are />eing
. ? i
' j driven by former commissioned of;
ficeiG. Common soldiers in the ranks '
i are faring better than their officers. !
[ Thousands of soldiers turned to agriculture
and trades for a living but
, j the officers, who had made a career
. of the army, had no other training i j
. to make a livelihood. J
* i ;
machines that wer
ready for business,
We have rep]
cars rolling, and ai
trade as usuai.
?- ',.2 "w "" T~Z7
: I I lit:
j Cc-J tl:
i Price* F
_ i Cix sss
i i mtm* jt. <?
:i M A,
Simmer Camp For B
In. The Mounts
in Western Nort
every feature of an
' Tickets on sale dai
turn until October 3
allowed. For furthe
S. H. McLEA:
, _ ? a
Columbia, S. (
mmmmmk ww ? ?<?r *<ni 11?<**mmxmjamammwmmm?a????
e running n
ive have rigged up a
e not so badly dama
laced our stock and
re in position to take
ber Newberry Chamber of Commerce
eciate the xemarl
riding comfort c
p.jn-skid Iron: cr rear: disc steel wheels, de
^!o at rim and at huh; drum type lamps; Alemite
i~n; meter driven horn; unusually long springs;
. O B. Detroit, revenue tax to he added: Touring
'5; Roadster, $S35j Coupe, $13S5; Sedan, $1485
ia Auto Corns
oys And Girls
h Carolina <
5ION FARES ^
:ly, good to re- j
1st. Stopovers ]
1CW UX iliw
ged and are
care of our
. '* :
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