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H. Harriman. He talked to me about his wish to be elected
to a certain railroad board. I said, "I don't really see what use that
would be to you. You would be one of fifteen men, of whom presumably
fourteen would be against you." He answered: "I know that, but all the
opportunity I ever want is to be one of fifteen men around a table."

And the result has shown that that was all the opportunity he needed.

We cannot all have the conquering genius and force of a Harriman, but
every one of us, in a greater or lesser degree, every one in some
degree has the power of co-operating in the vastly important task of
personal propaganda for a better understanding, a juster appreciation
of each other, between East and West and South, between what is termed
Wall Street and the men who make our laws, between business and the
people.

[Sidenote: _This is the age of publicity_]

This is the age of publicity, whether we like it or not. Democracy is
inquisitive and won't take things for granted. It will not be satisfied
with dignified silence, still less with resentful silence.

Business and business men must come out of their old time seclusion,
they must vindicate their usefulness, they must prove their title, they
must claim and defend their rights and stand up for their convictions.
Nor will business or the dignity of business men be harmed in the
process.

No healthy organism is hurt by exposure to the open air. No dignity is
worth having or merited or capable of being long preserved which cannot
hold its own in the market place.

Democracy wants "to be shown." It is no longer sufficient for the
successful man to claim that he has won his place by hard work, energy,
foresight and integrity.

[Sidenote: _The use of the power that goes with success_]

Democracy insists rightly that a part of every man's ability belongs to
the community. Democracy watches more and more carefully from year to
year what use is being made of the rewards which are bestowed upon
material success, and particularly whether the power which goes with
success is used wisely and well, with due sense of responsibility and
self-restraint, with due regard for the interests of the community.

And if the consensus of enlightened public opinion should come to
conclude that on the whole it is not so used, the people will find
means to limit those rewards and to curtail that power.

And what is true of the public attitude towards individuals holds good
equally of its attitude towards organizations such as the Stock
Exchange.

There can be little doubt that a great deal of misconception prevails
as to its methods, spirit and practices, as to its functions, purposes
and its place in the country's economic structure.

It is of great and urgent importance that the Stock Exchange should
leave nothing undone to get itself better and more correctly
understood. It should not only not avoid the fullest publicity and
scrutiny, but it should welcome and seek them.

[Sidenote: _The Stock Exchange a National Institution_]

It has nothing to hide and it should be glad to show that it has
nothing to hide. It should miss no opportunity to explain patiently and
in good temper what it is and stands for, to correct misunderstandings
and erroneous conception.

If it is attacked from any quarter deserving of attention, it should go
to the trouble of defending itself. If it is made the object of
calumny, it should contradict and confound the slanderer.

Its members should ever remember that while in theory the Stock
Exchange is merely a market for the buying and selling of securities,
actually and collectively they constitute a national institution of
great importance and great power for good or ill.

They are officers of the court of commerce in the same sense in which
lawyers are officers of the court of law. They should not be satisfied
with things as they find them, they should not take the way of least
resistance, they should ever seek to broaden their own outlook and
extend the field and scope of the Stock Exchange's activities.

[Sidenote: _American opportunity for foreign trade_]

One of the reasons for London's financial world position is that its
Stock Exchange affords a market for all kinds of securities of all
kinds of countries. The English Stock Broker's outlook and general or
detailed information range over the entire inhabited globe. It is
largely through him that the investing or speculative public is kept
advised as to opportunities for placing funds in foreign countries. He
is an active and valuable force in gathering and spreading information
and in enlisting British capital on its world-wide mission.

The viewpoint of the average American investor is as yet rather a
narrow one. Investment in foreign countries is not much to his liking.
The regions too far removed from Broadway do not greatly appeal to him
as fields for financial fructification.

Yet, if America is to avail herself fully of the opportunities for her
trade which the world offers, she must be prepared to open her markets
to foreign securities, both bonds and stocks.

If America aspires to an economic world position similar to England's,
she must have amongst other things financial [such as, first of all, a
discount market] a market for foreign securities.

[Sidenote: _We are at a turning point in American History_]

In educating first themselves and then the public to an appreciation of
the importance and attractiveness of such a market, with due regard to
safety, and to the prior claim of American enterprise in its own
country, the members of the Stock Exchange have an immense field for
their imagination, their desire for knowledge and their energy.

We all of us must try to adjust our viewpoint to the situation which
the war has created for America, and to the consequences which will
spring from that situation after the war will have ceased.

As Mr. Vanderlip so well said in a recent speech: "Never did a nation
have flung at it so many gifts of opportunity, such inspiration for
achievement. We are like the heir of an enormously wealthy father. None
too well trained, none too experienced, with the pleasure-loving
qualities of youth, we have suddenly, by a world tragedy, been made
heir to the greatest estate of opportunity that imagination ever
pictured."

America is in a period which for good or ill is a turning point in her
history. Her duty and her responsibility are equally as great as her
opportunity. Shall we rise to its full potentiality, both in a material
and in a moral sense?

The words of an English poet come to my mind:

"We've sailed wherever ships can sail,
We've founded many a mighty state,
God grant our greatness may not stale
Through craven fear of being great."

It is not "craven fear" that will prevent us from attaining the summit
of the greatness which it is open to America to reach, for fear has
never kept back Americans--any more than Englishmen--and never will.

Indifference, slackness and sloth, lack of breadth and depth in thought
and planning; the softening of our fibre through easy prosperity and
luxury; unwise or hampering laws, inadequacy of vision and of
purposeful, determined effort, individual and national, are what we
have to guard against.

God grant America may not fail to grasp and hold that greatness which
lies at her hand!



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