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War Service Conference The mobilization of the industriesof the country through the War Service Conference, called by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States at Washington, brought business men to the Capital from all sections. It proved a highly beneficial gathering, both in point of important work accomplish ed and a large attendance. In the absence of R. Goodwyn Rhett, president of the National Chamber, whose train was delayed, the meeting was called to order by Joseph H. De-. frees, of Chicago, vice-president and chairman of the Executive Commit tee of the National Chamber, who in troduced Waddill Catchings, of New York, who has served as chairman of the Chamber's Committee on Co-oper ation with the Council of National De fense. Mr. Catchings explained the object in bringing the members of the committees to Washington, pointing out that they will be known as "War Service" committees. In addressing the committee Chair man W. S. Gifford, director of the Council of National Defense, said that the co-operative committees of the Council of National Defense, which have just been dissolved had played a most important part in assisting the government to organize the war. He paid a high tribute to their faithful and unselfish work, but he said, it had become apparent that it would be ad visable to have the industries them selves name committees which should do some of the work which had been done by the Council's committees which had been named by the govern ment. An anomalous situation had been created, in a technical way, he said, by the existence of committees, sworn and employes of the govern ment, who at the same time repre sented their industries. 1 Director Gifford Speaks "It is not going to be an easy task," Mr. Gifford said, "to organize industry in this country completely, but we think we are going to do it effective ly, so that we may go ahead and havd these new war service committees of the Chitftioer tell trie government what can and what should be done. It is obvious that some industries are go* ing to be more essential than others, but it would be foolhardy to think that the time will not pome when the so-called less essential industries may not be needed." Mr. Gifford spoke*of the question of possible government recognition of the war service committees. "This is a democratic formation of committees by the industries and not by the government," he said. He thought that the form of stamp ing on a letterhead the information that a war service committee of the Chamber was in cooperation with or an assistant to the government a mere form, after all he advised that the committees should proceed slowly in dealing with the idea that they might be more useful in having offices and headquarters and representatives in Washington he pointed out that George N. Peck, the new industrial representative of the War Industries Board would afford a real point of contract, and he closed with a strong plea for team work among the com mittees and the carrying out of the ideals of the word "service" in the title of the War Service Committees. Waddill Catchings, who was asked to take charge of the meeting by Mr. Defrees and others who spoke from the floor, suggested that there should be open debate and discussion from the committeemen present, and ad dresses were made by Mr. Hall of New York and others. Work Business Men Might Do Mr. Brantingham, chairman of the Agricultural Implement Committee, who, Mr. Catchings said, had been able to be of great service to the govern ment, told of the work that might be done and had been done by business men in assisting the government to organize the war. He contrasted the American business machine with the German business machine and said that while there were many things that could be criticized he felt that "on the whole, American business has done pretty well." He said the ele ment of strength in the Agricultural Implement Committee of five is and has been that it has and does repre sent the entire industry, the smaller manufacturer as wel las the large one, and that in the formation of other committees he believes it advisable to name representatives near together geographically so that they can as semble for conference without diffi culty. Mr. Brantingham suggested that a committee of five gentlemen be ap pointed to bring in a report on general organization of all the War Service Committees, to afford a point of cbn tact with the government. The sug gestion was put in the form of a mo tion and passed and Mr. Catchings, acting as chairman of the meeting, announced that such a committee on general organization would be named. A general discussion of methods of dealing with the government ensued, during which the difficulties of obtain ing supplies of raw material in com petitive bidding contracts was discuss ed. Some committeemen advocated a more extensive plan of dealing with the government through association and committee work. Mr. Bedford Talks A. C. Bedford, president of the Standard Oil Company, and who has been chairman of the Council of Na tional Defense Committee on Oil and Petroleum Products, told the commit tee of some of the difficulties his com mittee had experienced in endeavoring to aid in organizing the war. "Nevertheless," he said, "we have not failed to supply any order which has been given to us either by our own or any foreign government." The tonnage an dtransportation question has been the most difficult of all, he said. The tankers of the world, he said, had been pooled and allotted. His committee had started out with the idea that they would have noth ing to do with the question of price, and the War Industries Board in con nection with the Federal Trade Com mission had decided what was a fair price and the refineries accepted it. Even the British supply price was fix ed by these agencies. Chairman Catchings then announc ed that the committee on general or ganization would include Messrs. Brantingham, Bedford, Lieb, Gillette, and Kent. Chairman Willard Discusses Situation Daniel Willard, Chairman of the War Industries Board opened the af ternoon session by discussing the in dustrial end of the war. He analyzed some of the criticism which he said had been levelled at the plan of activi ties of the government as evidenced in the work of the board of which he has recently become chairman. It has been said, Mr. Willard remarked, that the present plan will not get results, but, he pointed out, any plan would fall short of the ideal. After saying that legislation by Congress will be necessary before the country can have a plan of none centralized control for purchasing such as the British Min istry of Munitions, Mr. Willard said that because of Ministry of Muni tions had been established in England it does not follow that such a plan Would be successful here. He contrasted the smallnes sof the size of Great Britain with the vast geographical limits of the United States and said that while one man control in a small country might be highly successful there might be Ma sons against one man centralization in a country of the great size of the United States. Mousing Problem Considered "One mistake," Mr. Willard said, "has been made. We have concen trated our orders too much in certain localities. This has brought about a housing problem, a demand too great for electric power, and a transporta tion problem." This mistake and other similar con ditions, Mr. Willard said, has brought about the appointment by the Coun cil of National Defense of George N. Peek, industrial representative of the War Industries Board, who, Mr. Will lard said, is to find out what factories or power plants are idle or not run ning on full time, and gather infor mation which will aid in distributing the load of production foV the war in all localities and among all producers. President Rhett then introduced Dr. Harry A. Garfield, the Fuel Admin istrator, who also spoke on the soo called less-essential industries. The thought had been presented to him that it might be necessary to cut off fuel to some industries. A list had been presented to him of between 500 and 600 industries, in one of which $1,000,000,000 was represented, and ui.i. nolla/1 "nnn-aeeontial" in- which was called a "non-essential" in dustry. Dr. Garfield said that he had refused to accept the responsibility? for calling that or any other industry non-essential, and said that no such list would ever be published. Dr. Garfield Gives Figures Dr. Garfield proposed the idea that there might be combined action by agreement in each industry with the purpose of reducing the consumption of coal and said he would be gl&d to make such an arrangement if the busi ness men present wished to do so. He gave figures to shoy that coal is being produced and supplied to all in dustries in larger quantities than in normal times, but that the United States is still 50,000,000 tons short of the unusual demand. These figures led him to suggest willing, co-opera tive conservation as the only method by which American business can get out of the hole it is in for want of coal. Edwin B. Parker, of the Priorities Board, who spoke in place of Judge Lovett, director of priority in trans portation, analyzed the objects of the War Industries Board, as he conceives them: First, to increase production if necessary to meet supply. He told of the work of the Commercial Econ omy Board in connection with bring ing the demand in woolen goods down to the supply. The remaining object of the Industries Board, he said, was to distribute supply, and nthatwork lay the real object of the direction of priority in transportation. War Trade Board Member Heard Clarence M. Woolley, representa tive of the Department of Commerce on the War Trade Board, described the functions of that body. He urg ed that business men generally bear in mind the elimination of "profiteer ing," although not of profit, and paid a tribute to the average American business man, who, he said, is doing as much to help to win the war as the boys in the trenches. He sai dthat whatever error has or had crept into business practice had been recignized and criticized to such an extent that the time has come when the Ameri-, can business man is able to take his real place at the council of the na-, tion. Mr. Woolley then explained^ the, machinery under which the American business man is dealing with the gov- WILLISTON GRAPHIC ernment on questions over which the War Trade Board has control. Mr. Peek Tells of New Work George N. Peek, industrial repre sentative of the War Industries Board, spoke of the necessity of co operation between the Industries Board and the manufacturers. No in dustry, he said, will be classified as non-essential, but he said there are, however, many non-essential portions in some industries,—odd sizes and styles,—and that cutting down these non-essential portions wil lstrengthen industry and prove beneficial to the Government and the public at large. "I want to see as many of you as 1 can," Mr. Peek said, "and to do f?r each of you as much as I can. I sug gest that the War Service Commit tees consider themselves directors of their industries just as they are direc tors of their companies." P. B. Noyes, conservation assistant to the Fuel Administration, who spoke on the suggestion of Dr. Garfield, told of some of the necessities of in dustry, as he visualizes them, in the way of coal conservation. Large industries have come to Washington, he said, to suggest the cutting down of their own coal con sumption. One has volunteered a re duction of 20 per cent of their speed, in other words to use but 80 per cent of the coal used last year, but cutting down the less essential parts of their manufacturers. Mr. Rhett's Address President Rhett delivered an ad dress in which he said the conference of the committees at the present mo ment was fraught with the greatest possibilities with which American in dustry has ever been confronted. He recalled the great war convention of American business at Atlantic City, called by the. Chamber of Commerce of the United States, and pointed out details of the background which has led American business men to say that they will take their full part in the conduct of the war for the good of the nation and the safety of the whole world. "The time has come," President Rhett said, "when you are able to tell the government what an industry can do. It is well for you to lay a foun dation now for what is to come after the end of the war." He spoke of the Sherman law, go ing "back to the thought that per haps after all competition is not the life of trade." He spoke of "the thot that it is a good thing to work in combination if the combination is not against the public welfare." He traced the history of the ideas in busi ness and in the courts leading up to and after the Sherman law, the Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act. 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