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A Watchman of the Business World Tells of Its Needs By H. O. BISHOP SS Ft-' , ' m J PssssssslsisilillssssjJIJPlPpa!. COLVIN B. BROWN He visit every city of more than 10.000 population in the United States to study and help solve husiness problems. COLYIX BEARDSLEY BROWN, of Washington, D C, is one of those rare individuals who holds down a job that is the only one of its kind in' the country. For fifteen years he has been constantly vis iting and revisiting every city in the United States with a population of 10.(KX) or more. He is the chief of the Organization Service Bureau of the Chamber oi Commerce of the United States, an organization composed of the leading business men of merica. and with which local Chambers of Commerce throughout the country are affiliated. Mr Brown undoubtedly knows more Chamber of Commerce officials, and individual business nun. from one end of the country to the other, than any other one man. One of his chief desires has been to convert the average Chamber of Commerce from a "mutual ad miration society of self-eekers. to a project that does things." Another desire has been to convince Mich organiza tions that their interest! do not end at the boundary lines of their respective cities, but that they extend out to and through the agricultural districts of their en tire trade territory. As a result of his evangelistic work along this line, from 40 to 50 per Cent of the membership of a majority of the Chambers of Com merce is now composed of farmers. The gulf formerly existing between the town people and the country people is rapidly being removed. They realize that each can help the other in many ways and they are cheerfully doing it. The results are amazing. At rare intervals Mr. Brown takes time to return to his office in Washington, which overlooks the White House, the State. War and Navy Build ing, the United States. Treasury and the National Capitol. That is where 1 found this remarkable man the other day after I had been trying to locate him over a period of six weeks. met with it program of activities M to there is nine uiuivhiij the for carrying on in the official personne obtaining the money necessary work. , r -Busy workshops, fertile fields and easy means 01 Communication from place to place are some 01 the elements that make a nation great, and a nation is but the Mini total of its community units. Therefore man) of our national problems could be solved if we could break them up into just as many little pieces as there are well organized community units, leaving it to each to do its bit. This is one of the reasons win we need well organized and well conducted Chambers of Com merce in every city and town in the country. These Chambers of Commerce are based upon the funda mentally sound principle that more can be accomplished by working together toward a common purpose than by individual effort, and experience has taught that nothing can stop the driving power of a community that ia well organized, knows what it wants and is in agree ment as to how to get it. There is one thing more in this connection. No matter how much character a man may have, no mat ter how clean he may be in his business and private relations, no matter how good a man may be. he is not a good citizen unless he does something for the good of the community in which he lives. There is a difference between being a good man and a good citizen, and one of the functions of every Chamber of Com merce is to furnish the people with an opportunity to express their citizenship in constructive counsel and action for the good of the entire community. Serve in Peace as Well as in War i iVfOr do not have to be reminded of what you did I toward helping win the war. You responded to every demand made upon you without counting the sacrifice. You learned what you can do by doing it. Now there are other problems, and they may be as big or bigger than the winning of the war. People who ought to know tell us that very erious times are ahead unless we increase production. Can we not deal with this in the same spirit and the same way we dealt with the problems of war? Can we not prepare a local pro gram of work that, although it be local, will be national in its effect? We have demonstrated time and again during the past four years what organized effort and aroused public opinion will accomplish. Why not, then, prepare a program that is big and vital and then educate and organize public opinion in its support ? "Let me make this a little clearer. Your com munity does not end with your municipal boundary lines. Your community extends onward and outward to cover your entire retail territory. It is the better ment of business and living conditions in that territory that we must have in mind. That is our charge. Now anything that can be done to increase production in our retail trade territory increases purchasing power and Go After What You Want T TERE is a man who knows more husiness men than anx other 11 Here is the BEING anxious to know just what sort of a message he is delivering to the business men of the country during the present reconstruction era of Amer ica. I asked Mr. Brown to be good enough to imagine, for the moment, that I was a Chamber of Commerce some where in the Middle West, and to talk accordingly. What he said will prove of deep interest to people generally. speech he made to me, word for word: "There are certain essential elements in the build ing and conduct of a successful Chamber of Commerce. The first of these is a clear understanding of the posi tion it occupies in the community life. Those whose support is solicited are entitled to know that it is not organized and conducted in the interest of a group of individuals, but that the yardstick by which all of its activities are to be measured is the yardstick of com munity good. "The second essential is a short, definite, practical program of activities. The people are not only en titled to know what the Chamber of Commerce is. but also what it purposes doing for the community. "The third essential is the selection of committeemen with a view to their qualifications for carrying on the work entrusted to them. "The fourth essential is a budget based upon the work to be done, the revenue for which is obtained from dues-paying members. "Where the public has a right conception of the functions of a Chamber of Commerce, is in agree- man in America, and he says that the Great National Highway is not the road from New York to San Francisco, but the road from farm to town. He speaks of a good many other things, among them our trade with other nations and among our selves. It is a good talk from a man familiar with husiness affairs. adds to the wealth of both merchant and producer. This is a national as well as a local service. It is doubtful if there is a community anywhere in our country that equals its production possibilities. Let us have a com mittee on production whose task it will be to formulate plans for increased production. The right sort of a committee, composed of men familiar with the terri tory, ought soon to be able to make a definite, practical, convincing statement of what can be attempted, and this statement can be made the opening gun in a cam paign to secure public support of the plan. Another project demanding our attention is trans portation. By this is not meant the checking of way bills, advising as to routes of shipment and informing members of changes in the rulings of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It is much bigger than that It is not enough to increase production j unless we have quick and easy routes and transport to market. OUf increased production may be largely without avail. It is the task of a transportation committee to study the transportation situation in your retail trade territory ascertain what are the obstructions to the free flow of traffic and formulate plans for the removal of the obstructions. Sometimes these will be four' to be lack of deep water in a harbor, a sand bar in a navigable river, inadequate dockage facilities, a ferry where a bridge ought to be. or insufficient railway, elec tric or motor truck service; but most of the hstruc tioni to the free flow of traffic are found t he the character and condition of the highways ha. - im,, town. We have come to understand that tl i national highway is not the road from New rk to San Francisco; but that it is the road from I arm to town. The transportation committee should he able to report plans for the removal of traffic obstruction and the provision of improved facilities that will be so compelling in its nature as to be certain of public support. Not an everything-at-once program, but a one-thing-at-a-time. and as rapidly as the public can be made to respond. Should Work for a General Betterment of Conditions (INDUSTRY, commerce and civics should all have 1 a place on the organization program. Careful con sideration should be given to the subject of : : i In t rial relations, to improved merchandising methods the bet terment of living conditions and to parks, playground! and schools. We want a contented working class, stores so excellent that they will draw all the trade in our tributary territory, and ample school facilities. And we want a city plan. Every city, no matter how small it is. should have a city plan, no matter how simple it may be. You should vision your city as you want it to be. and as you are determined to make it he. and with this in mind you will be constantly striving to make the dream come true. There should be committees for all of these. "If you can plan so as to increase production, im prove transportation facilities, bring about bitter rela tions in industry, increase and improve retail trade, and better living, educational and recreational conditions, you will have done your part in the national pro gram. "I have recently completed a tour of tin principal cities of the Kast and Middle West in Company of com missions from England, France, Belgium and Italy, during which we discussed business condition- here and abroad. During these discussions it became increasingly apparent that the continued prosperity of our country directly depend! upon the ability of the world to buy what we have to sell and in our willingness to trade with the world on a fair basis. While conditions in Kuropc are bad in every one of the countries they will be restored in time, but without our help it will be a long, hard road for them. The chief difficulty to trade is the rate of exchange. If the countries of Europe could buy from us on long time credits, so that they will hav had time to recover when the bills fall due, they will be able to meet their obligations in a fair exchange It the) cannot get this credit they cannot con tinue to buv from us. and it dicy cease to buy from us there will be i slowing down of production in our country aml many men and women will b throw" out of employment. We ca t attorn to desert our allies in the ho of their present need. We have a very prac tical interest in their return to normal conditions, and we have the means to bring this about if we can only get our people to see the need and support trie plan. "America today is the credit J tion of the world. It is tin "at, that pavs its trade balances in ld; has a compact domestic market B"J? for quantity production and can Prc' (free much of what the world needs at a low? cost than any other country and at the same tune pa the highest wages. In 1914 we had but 15 shipjl Jj 1,000 tons or over in overseas trade. Today WC ! 24.8 per cent of the merchant tonnage of the wor . and our shipyards are turning out ships faster tn all other countries combined. We are today the rtcn and most influential nation on earth. "America helped win the world from ruthless nd quest It must now help save it from bankruptcy- i . v r .i.ilitv i .lit, iiii the nast year, an vising m. i faitn ee of organized communities the more ttie W" have visited .1,.. T on more i see ot oruan 1 L i t - iictf in wie unswerving common sense ; .. and the more confidence I have that the spirit w helped win the war will help maintain peace at j and restore order, and ultimately prospt i "ity. . stricken world. We may each do our bit. wor! rf, our own communities with the tools at our JJJ always having in mind that whatever of bt tt run !n i bring to OttmrttS we bring to the nation 01 we are a part; and remembering that the :lt,,,n ur which we fought are still our allies and entitled friendship and our help."