NATIONAL FIREMEN MEET
The Convention at Kansas City.
On the morning of August 29 the eighth annual convention of the National Firemen’s association was opened in the Grand Theatre, Kansas City. Mo., with prayer by the Rev. W. I. Dalton.
Mayor Neff welcomed the visitors, and Senator Wm. Warner told how he had been a member of the Kansas City bucket brigade forty years before. President McNeill and others responded. At the afternoon session. President James R. McNeill read his annual report, in which be described the prosperous condition of the assr.ciation to-day, as compared to what it was when he took office. He suggested the appointment 01 different committees to further the objects of the association and add to its membership and finances, leaving the appointment of these committees to the association itself. He expressed a strong opinion in favor of State reorganisation, and hoped to see every such organisation represented by no more than three delegates, and longed for the dav when the association would have delegates from every State. Opposition to the president’s opinion was voiced by if. b. Staymates, national organiser, who stated that ht was in favor of every man having a vote in the convention, although he was not averse to having delegates sent from the State organisations. He thought that each fireman who had shown enough interest to come to the convention was entitled to take part in its deliberations “This is a perilous stage in the life of our national body (.he said). the State associations may* he without money to send delegates, and the State would be without its proper representation. Whereas, it each man should he entitled to a vote, it is sate to say that there would scarcely he a State without some one on the Hoor to represent it. 1 believe in this theory of representation. 1 know t hat 11s opponents have called it the ‘mob’ method of government; hut it is the only way we can keep the association on its feet. It is the way that the Fire Brigades’ association of Great Britain is organised, and that society’s usefulness testifies to the wisdom of its plan of government. Adverting to the fact that firemen courted the politicians that run the departments, he declared that there were politicians who were anxious to divert to other channels the tax of two per cent, in insurance premiums devoted to the firemen’s widows’ and orphans’ fund and that for disabled firemen. “Politicians should not be allowed to touch the fire department,” said Chief Bywater, with whom D. W. Gillen, of Chicago, and J. H. Dwyer, of Harrisburg, fully agreed, and on the second day the convention put itself on recoru as favoring a uniform insurance tax which might he secured by both State and national legislation The insurance committee, through Chief W. II. Bywater, of Salt Lake City, its chairman, made a report favoring the appointment by President McNeill of a representative from each State or ganisation to represent the firemen at each leg islature. These men were to work in the in terest of a law which requires each insurance company to pay a two per cent, tax, which would go to the support of disabled and veteran firemen. Captain John F. Pelletier, of the Kansas City fireinsurance patrol, moved that a national commit! ■■ tee he appointed by President McNeill to work for insurance legislation. The measure was adopted, and the president was authorised to appoint one fireman from each State to serve on the committee. On the third day Roanoke, Va.. was selected as the next place of meeting. I he election of officers terminated in the re-election of the following: President. J antes D. McNeill. Fay etteville, N. C.; first vicepresident. Charles C. Chain, Bushncll, 111.; secretary, Peter B. Me Carty, St. Louis, Mo.; treasurer, John L. Scheik, Beatrice, Neb. Ham P. Bee, of Ardmore, 1. T., was elected national organiser in tinplace of B. F. Staymates, of Clinton, 111., who had held that position for eight years and did not desire re-election. The morning session was devoted to the reports of committees, the reading of papers, and discussions growing out of the reports and papers. The afternoon session was held in the large banquet hall on the fifth Hoor of the Midland hotel. Trouble in the association over the two-platoon system was averted by referring the matter to a committee, which will report at the next annual meeting. Chief Mark Kessler, of Oklahoma City, Okla., read the report of the committee on resolutions, in which the Dryden hill as it now stands was roundly condemned. This bill which was introduced recently in Congress by Senator Dryden, of New Jersey, puts all insurance companies under Federal control. The firemen are afraid of it. since, as it now stands, it might mean that those States whose laws direct that two per cent, of all premiums collected shall go to a fund for the benefit of the firemen might find the laws swept awa> without the national government making a new two per cent. law. A paper on “The American volunteer firemen’ was read by John M. Sherwood. of Neosho. Mo., president of the Southwestern Firemen’s association. I he members contributed liberally towards removing the deficit in the treasury, and promptly removed all fear that hampering the good work to he done by tinassociation. The unbounded hospitality of Kansas City was a theme on which none could dilate without amazement and enthusiasm.
At Topeka. Kan., ore of the best class of p.t trons of the city water service is the joints. They use a large amount of water, and they pay promptly.