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somebody to represent the National Government, and we are very fortunate in having with us the Commissioner of Immigration, Mr. Henry J. Skeffington.
MR. HENRY J. SKEFFINGTON, IMMIGRATION COMMISSIONER
"As a working man, I am proud to think that this war of ours is going to depend somewhat on the attitude of the working people of the United States, and I am proud to be one of them. I am proud of the fact that the American Federation of Labor has taken the stand that it has, and will pursue it to the very end. There may be some clashes, there may be some difficulties, there may be some questions which will necessarily have to be threshed out before labor finds its true level in this controversy, but they will be threshed out, and the labor movement, the working people of this United States, will be found at the front; they will be found where they ought to be, contributing their bit in every field of endeavor, to make this war a success. [Applause.]
"I know them, Mr. Toastmaster, pretty thoroughly. I know many of the men that are in the camp at the present time. It was my pleasure, it was an honor to have been selected in Revere to bid the boys Godspeed on their way to Camp Devens. I never was so proud in my life, and yet while it was a proud moment, it was a very, very sad one for me. There they were, the products of the melting pot, and all kinds of people, all nationalities, imbued with that ardor that I am sure the men of '61 had with them when they went to the front. I was proud of them. I was glad that this melting pot of ours had produced that kind of men and that kind of spirit, and yet my heart was sad because I am too old, I could not go with them.
"The one thing of all my life that I wanted above all others, — that I might pay the debt of my fathers, that I might glorify this country for having furnished them a refuge when they had to leave the old country because of conditions. [Applause.]
"I wanted to pay that debt. I hope I have paid it in other ways, and it may be that before we get through with this fight I may get a chance to hold a gun in my hand, and that I can have a chance to show my gratitude, the son of emigrant parents, to this country, the best on earth, for having furnished them with a refuge, and for having given me an opportunity to be a citizen, and an officer of the government, and to be here to-night."
PRESIDENT STORROW. I want to present to you next a member of the Club who needs absolutely no introduction. Whenever the Club needs some help he is always found offering it. Whenever in our work for public safety there is anything that he can do for us, he is ready to do it and start right off instantly on the job: Mr. Bernard J. Rothwell. [Applause.]
MR. BERNARD J. ROTHWELL
"As an officer of the club it has been a very great privilege and pleasure to have the opportunity of extending to our military guests and the military men located in this district, the privileges of this house, and if
they do not use those privileges to the fullest extent the disappointment will be ours. The house is yours, gentlemen, the latch string is out; pull it frequently. [Applause.]
"We welcome you, General Johnston, as a man, because we have heard of you as being brave as you are modest and efficient, as you are genial. We welcome you, moreover, because you embody the spirit of America which is now in the ascendant, that spirit which is indomitable and which will carry our armies to the peaceful victory which Mr. Skeffington has prophesied.
"The historian of the future will have no chance to misrepresent the attitude of America in this crisis, for we know that you gentlemen are training our armies and crystalizing the spirit of America, which is going forth with a purpose as holy as the Crusaders went to the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre, and with a purpose as pure as that of Galahad when he sought the Holy Grail. And that spirit we know you will keep pure and sacred. We know that is your purpose, and we know you will
"Now you depend upon the business men to some extent who are behind you. And among the wonderful things in the last six months, as wonderful as the mobilization of the armies, hardly less wonderful is the mobilization of the industrial and commercial interests of the nation. It is marvelous. I shall not enlarge on that, but I want to say, so far as the business men of Boston are concerned, they are going to stand behind you, and stand behind you to the last inch. It would be traitorous to have any other thought than to give you everything you want, every square deal and everything possible. And they must back you up financially. Some of us have sons and some brothers going to the front, and they are giving their lives while we are merely asked to lend our miserable dollars. To the man whose blood, transmitted to his son, is to be spilled on the other side, what does his last dollar amount to?
"We have got to put across this Liberty Loan, and it needs but a very small margin for us to put up at any bank to carry large amounts of those bonds, and we should certainly be unable to look our men in the face when they come back if we have not stood behind them and given them every possible advantage that our financial resources permit.' [Long applause.]
PRESIDENT STORROW. Gentlemen, - We have as our guests, and it is a great honor to the City Club, quite a number of general officers here to-night, and there is one modest soldier here, graduated from West Point, who went into the Engineering Division, which represents the men of the highest standing in the class, who has been serving in the army performing many important engineering tasks, who happens not only to be this modest officer, but he happens to be also the ranking officer here to-night: Major-General Hodges, gentlemen, I present to you. [Long applause.]
MAJ.-GEN. HARRY F. HODGES, U. S. ARMY
"Mr. Toastmaster, Gentlemen of the City Club, and Guests, — As for many years a stranger to the Commonwealth to which I owe my birth, it is not my privilege to extend a welcome to General Johnston here. That has been done by others who have a better right to do it than I. But I may at least be permitted to express my personal gratification at being again associated with him in work in which our spheres touch, and I am sure from our past associations that where those spheres touch there will be no friction but simply mutual support. [Applause.]
"The department and the division grow somewhat closer together in certain phases of their activities, and I may say that the selection of the camp site at Ayer was due to the department. In that selection undoubtedly great wisdom was shown, and I trust that the benefits which we shall gain from that camp will not be simply temporary in our present emergency, but may be extended to future years. [Applause.] Congress has given us, the nation as well as the army, entering upon this war, the best weapon that we have ever had, the selective draft law. [Applause.] That brings to us; able, willing, earnest men in great numbers. It brings them, I regret to say, between ages where some of them have already taken upon themselves family and business responsibilities from which they can ill be spared, but we have them and we shall make the best use of them, and I may say that I think I have ground for believing that in our camp we have the best lot of men that can be found in any of the cantonments of the army. [Applause.]
"We know what the spirit of New England is, and we know that where she has put her hand to the plow she will not turn back, but will draw her furrow straight from Plymouth Rock to Berlin, if necessary. [Long applause.]
But I want to see
and I hope I can do a little missionary work among you, and you can do a little missionary work, too— I want to see that law extended so that in future we may be ready for any emergency which comes up. [Applause.] We don't want again to be in the position in which we have been, where, to catch one marauding rascal we have to call upon all the armed forces in the country, give them orders to catch that man dead or alive, and then see them come back without him. I don't need to tell you the advantages which would come from the universal service law, which would take younger men, catch them when they are young, before they have undertaken family or business responsibilities, and when they have the fullest enthusiasm of youth, and can be best spared from civil and business pursuits. A few hundred thousand of them every year would supply all the material we should ever need. Three years ago such a law as that would have put us in a position where we would not be entering into a war. The war would be over, and very likely the war would be over without our aid, for with the knowledge that we were prepared our chief enemy would never have entered upon the brutal and horrible undersea warfare which is now her chief support, and we should see Germany already beaten to her knees, and very probably without our own active participation in it."
PRESIDENT STORROW. Gentlemen, the other branch of the service we are happy to have represented here. We have been much honored on several occasions to have had Captain Rush here as our guest, the Commandant of the Navy Yard, and it is a great pleasure to us to-night to welcome as his representative Lieutenant-Commander Rhoades.
LIEUT.-COM. H. E. RHOADES, U. S. NAVY
"Commandant Rush regrets very much the impossibility of his being here to-night. It was not until a late hour this afternoon that he decided that he could not come. As you all know, the present international crisis has brought most strenuous work upon both the Army and the Navy. The commandant of a station not only has great responsibilities resting upon him, but he has also numerous duties to perform, and I know well for having been duty officer many, many days and nights, that Commandant Rush works early and late most strenuously.
"If it were proper to tell you of things that I know, you would be surprised. But I can assure you most positively that the Navy is being put in a position to-day to meet with any Navy in the world. [Cries of "Good," "Good," and applause.] From the small coast patrol boats to the large battleships and dreadnoughts, we have a service which you can depend upon."
PRESIDENT STORROW. Gentlemen, - We have sitting with us at this table a very distinguished retired officer, a major-general who began as a young cavalry officer out in the Rocky Mountains, frontier guard, fighting the Indians at a time when that meant something. He served as a cavalry officer in the Civil War, he served in high command during the Spanish War, and he is the son of one of the highest officers and most distinguished in our Civil War. I take pleasure in introducing to you General Sumner.
MAJ.-GEN. S. S. Sumner, U. S. ARMY, RETIRED
"To have to'd anybody in this country a year ago that in six months this country would be able to have over seven hundred thousand men practically under arms, being prepared for duties abroad, could not have been understood. There was nothing in the structure even of our own military establishment to indicate that such an extension could possibly take place. It has always been the feeling in the army that the ground work or the basis of organization should be sufficiently large to maintain an increasing force when necessary, and it has always been the cry of officers that the Regular Army should be increased, increased sufficiently to hold this tremendous structure which has been placed upon it.
You are all aware that the Regular Army to a large extent at the present time has ceased to exist, that it has been merged into what is known as the National Army. The officers have been taken from every field of duty and placed over these units and regiments and divisions, and in every position where their services would be of the most avail.
"It is a fortunate thing, and I may say it here to you all, that the government soon recognized the fact that no army could be raised.
successfully unless it was raised on proper military principles. There could be no politics injected into an army such as we are trying to get, there could be no amateur warriors; it had to be built, and the whole experience of the regular force that we had, both of the army and of the navy, had to be utilized in order that this force which we are bringing together might be properly organized and made useful. I think that has been done to the full extent. I believe that there could be no better plan evolved for the raising of our army than has been adopted."
PRESIDENT STORROW. I think it is about time we should hear from Suffolk County. We have with us to-night a gentleman filling successfully and to the satisfaction of everybody an important county position. In addition to that, he has filled equally admirably still more important positions in this Club ever since it was founded, and I take pleasure in presenting to you Mr. W. T. A. Fitzgerald. [Applause.]
HON. WILLIAM T. A. FITZGERALD
"There was a very historic proclamation made to-day by the President of the United States setting apart October 24 as a Liberty Day, on which day he said he hoped that in every city and town in this great country of ours Americans would assemble for the purpose of pledging to each other and to the flag of our country and to the government at Washington, loyalty and allegiance, and resolve to uphold the President of the United States in his determination to go through with this fight to the last man, and the last dollar, and bring about a speedy victory for the stars and stripes. [Applause.]
It was a timely proclamation. It ought not to have been necessary, but like a great predecessor of his, he finds a condition and not a theory confronting him, and it was necessary to have a state paper from the President to wake up some Americans who hardly yet know that we are in this war.
'Keep in mind those letters 'U. S. A.' 'U' stands for You; 'S' stands for Subscribe, and 'A' stands for At Once.
"There are, I know, ten million men who will be active in the war. And the other ninety million men should come across with the money to support those men who go over there to do the fighting, so that it will not disturb us who are doing business as usual and having our pleasures at home. So we who are here, not in the service, should let General Johnston know that we are standing back of him, behind the Army and the Navy.
"What we need to win the war is not only men and ammunition, but money, and the men who have earned money, many of them, as the result of the war, should be the ones to subscribe large sums for the war. I think the very rich man and the very poor man have been the ones who have taken these bonds, but there is a great middle class who are earning $25,000 a year who don't have time to subscribe, so I am informed."
PRESIDENT STORROW. Now, we come to our guest whom we wish particularly to honor to-night, a distinguished soldier who served our country in the Army, a graduate, of course, from West Point, who filled