Printing Papers in Advance of Convention
Mr. Williams, of Minneapolis. Minn—This is the first time I ever attended a convention of fire chiefs, but after sitting here and listening to the reading of the papers I have just one suggestion to make, and that is that these papers should be printed in advance and copies furnished the members when they are to be read. For a convention of this size it will be very hard to secure a hall in which all the members may hear and understand papers as they are read. If I have the privilege. I would like to make a motion that all papers to he read before the convention be furnished the secretary and printed, or that the matter he referred to the hoard of directors for their consideation.
President Magee—We have some such provision at this time, hut it has seemed almost impossible to get men who are to read papers to prepare them and send them in in advance.
Mr. Williams—I am in the printing business myself, and happen to know that it could be done in twenty-four hours, so I see no reason why this coutd not be taken care of.
Chief W. A. Buel, of Parson, Kan,—I rise to a point of order. We came here this morning to have an election of officers, and I move that we go into that business. We are here for that purpose in accordance with the adjournment had on Tuesday afternoon, and if we continue on here letting different ones get up on various subjects we will never get through with the business we came here specially to dispose of. We have fooled around here long enoogh on other things, and, I say, let us have an election of officers.
President MageeThe chair informs the gentleman that he is mistaken about the purpose for which we came here this morning. While there was a discussion on several different matters pending a vote on the motion to adjourn until this morning, yet the fact is that we did adjourn on Tuesday afternoon until 9:30 this morning for the purpose of proceeding with our regular order of business.
Chief Buel—Well, I certainly ought to know, because I was here when we adjourned on Tuesday.
President Magee—The chair informs the gentleman that he also knows, because he was presiding at the time and put the motion.
Mr. Williams, of Minneapolis, Minn.—I want to say that I am here for business; that that is just the reason 1 came here, and that while I am not a fire chief, I am just as much interested as are you people in the various subjects discussed here; that I am a member of this association, and if I see fit to talk about three minutes I do not think I ought to be set down.
Chief Howard L. Stanton, of Norwich, Conn.— Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention:
1 f I may be permitted to help clear this matter up, I will say that I do not think either gentleman (Mr. Williams or Chief Buel) fully understood the situation to which he referred, and that when they do understand matters there will be no controversy between them. The provision of our by-laws, to which reference was made by the president, is as follows:
“Sec. 10. All papers to be presented at any meeting of the association shall be forwarded to the secretary 30 days prior to date of said meeting; and he may cause them to be published without expense to the association in the fire journals of the country.”
The very point which Mr. Williams referred to has been up before in our conventions, and efforts have been made to cover the matter. However, it has seemed almost impossible to get gentlemen invited to prepare papers to send them in in advance. I understand many papers are only presented at the opening or during the convention at which they are to be read ; that others are only presented at the time of the reading, while still others are called and have to be passed because not in hand. That has occurred at this convention. It was expected last year that papers would be printed for the purpose of giving members an opportunity to read and study them before or while being read, but the directors were powerless to bring that situation about. Now. answering Chief Buel, I think the president has clearly stated the situation surrounding our adjournment on Tuesday. I am sure that Chief Buel simply misunderstood the conditions under which we adjourned, brought about, no doubt, by the difficulty of hearing what is going on in this hall. Another thing I wish to mention while on my feet is this: The sooner the members of this association get over the idea that the most important purpose of our meetings is an election of officers, and more particularly does that refer to this convention at this moment, the better it will be for us and the sooner will this convention get down to business and transact it. There have been several attempts in this convention already— and that situation is true of all conventions—to proceed to the election of officers ahead of the time fixed therefor. Some people seem to think we ought to elect officers about the first day, so all who wish to do so may go out and get a pint of peanuts. We have had this subject up before, at Grand Rapids, I believe, and it was settled there by the adoption of a new section in our by-laws, as follows:
“Sec. 7. The election of officers and selection of place for holding next annual meeting shall take place on the last day of the convention each year.”
This same impatience has been rampant in our conventions, and many members will recall that after the officers had been elected and the place for the next annual meeting selected it was difficult to get a quorum to finish the business of the convention and that sometimes important papers were read to vacant seats. I am sure that many of those who have shown this impatience and tried to have the election of officers take place earlier in the work of the convention did not know of or had forgotten this provision. I want to remind them of it. I trust that we may now proceed with the regular order of business, and feel sure that when we shall have done so all will be better satisfied.
President Magee—The convention will proceed with the business before it in the regular order. The next business is