line of duty who will get on the job immediately and preserve every bit of evidence available.
In our State, if you will pardon my transgressing from my assigned subject – I can only speak of conditions that obtain in our State – we take pride in our fire organizations. We have a very efficient State fire marshal department. We have many efficient fire departments beginning with the city of Portland, our largest city, down to many of our small municipalities. We have good fire laws, due to the efforts of our national organizations. Our last legislature strengthened our laws to conform with the requirements of your associations.
Under the police power of our State – and I take it, this means in every State – the municipal ordinances must conform to the general criminal laws of the State, and it is necessary for the municipalities merely to pass ordinances reenacting State building codes and covering local details applying to the respective communities. Our legislature has given and will give us the laws necessary to accomplish the desired results.
We in Oregon have serious fire problems. Our State has about 25 percent of the standing merchantable timber of the Nation. When I tell you that in one of our western counties there are about 100 sawmills or more operating throughout the county, each cutting from 10,000 to over 100,000 feet board measure per day, you can appreciate the volume of logging that is entailed and the fire menaces that it creates. But through our effective forestry fire protection association in cooperation with the United States Forest Service we have in the last year reduced that fire hazard to a minimum.
There are also many rural problems, and I take it that the rural problem is the one that generally is most difficult to solve. When you consider the area of our State and the population of the entire State, approximately that of the city of Washington, you can readily visualize the fire problems presented throughout its area.
But your educational program is timely. Your observance and enforcement program is imperative. Your engineering program is also very important, and now it remains for us by percept and example to contribute our individual efforts in order that the entire program may bring about intended results in education in fire prevention and the enforcement of the fire laws.
It is about the beginning of the fire season in our land at home. The time is now. I believe you may rest assured that the attorneys general as an association, collectively and individually, will play its and their parts efficiently and effectively. We all have a job to do. Let us return to our respective homes and resolve to do it as lovers of this great land, rededicated ourselves to the protection of life and property and firmly do our duty as citizens to our God and country. [Applause.]
Chairman Fleming. Thank you, Mr. Neuner.
The report of the Committee on Laws and Law Enforcement should naturally round out the able presentation of the last three speakers. For that report I call upon the Honorable John C. Knox, judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Knox. [Applause.]