THE GREATER NEW YORK.
Mr. Simon Brentano before Mayor Strong on April 2, advocated the greater New York measure as follows:
“ Mr. Mayor: In advocating this measure, I confine myself exclusively to pointing out briefly the advantages that would accrue to one of the municipal departments of each of the communities affected in the event of consolidation. I refer to the fire department. It is undeniable that the consolidation of these fire departments and their administration under one central authority would be of direct, increasing, and permanent benefit. It would be a factor of great and equally enduring import in mimimizing the danger from serious fire losses It has pleased our citizens, and, indeed, it has pleased our city officials, and practically everybody except those exercising direct control of, and who are charged with the duty of fire extinguishment and the protection of this community, to cherish the idea that the city of New York shall forever be exempt from a greatly disastrous fire. It is really time publicly to state that our highest fire officials, thoroughly familiar with the dangers to be apprehended, recognize, and always have, that, under certain adverse conditions, New York may be subjected to an appalling loss because of fire. This community more frequently than is perhaps known, has been exposed to this danger, and it has been fortunate in that thus far no two or more fires occurring concurrently have gained the mastery. At any serious fire we find it necessary to assign and putin operation such a force of officers, men. and apparatus that it leaves, for a long period of time, a large aiea of our city so slenderly protected that this condition means a grave hazard and menace. To obviate such conditions we have right at hand another well equipped and efficient department with ready capacity for augmenting the strength of our own. No city on the face of the globe has within reach and can assemble within the area of New York and Brooklyn an array of such trained firemen and their powerful apparatus, and no city so ignorantly uses these resources as our own community. The line keeping separate the strength,the unity, and the proper utilization of these two departments is one purely official; and this official mark drawing an arbitrary barrier across the natural and reciprocal means of protection that these communities can and should extend to each other should be obliterated. Brooklyn has, under present laws, the right to call upon our city for assistance in her protection against fire. The access to New York across the bridge and the bridges soon to be built will permit of companies responding from Brooklyn to New York, and from New York to Brooklyn, with less derangement and with greater measure of safety than under present conditions. The ultimate protection of a community from a sweeping fire is of such vital and constant importance, that a measure embodying a feature which would in so large a degree directly contribute to the safety of all the communities in interest, should receive the most earnest thought from this standpoint, aside from any other considerations which weigh in thismatter.”