into the State coffers. Did you gentlemen ever stop to think that if a proper job was done in these cities and fire losses were less, it would be profitable to you? Why don’t you head a movement that will go on these rurally dominated legislatures where all cities are inadequately represented? Why don’t you spearhead the movement and ask that a tax be placed on your insurance policies of, say, a dollar a thousand that will be returned to the local fire departments for their use in the local fire departments exclusively in fire prevention and fire protection. I will guarantee you that your losses will be reduced.
The United States Conference of Mayors is presently engaged in a crusade, if you please, to call attention to the fact that most problems come where most people are. This is no longer a great agricultural Nation. We are the greatest industrial Nation on the face of the globe, but we haven’t homes to house our people and we haven’t adequate fire protection to protect those homes. We do not have adequate voice in our State governments nor in our county governments. We are the geese that lay the golden eggs of taxes, and we are receiving what is begrudgingly handed out to us. We cannot turn around without the consent of a State legislature, and that condition, friends, will not change until those of you who live in these industrial communities recognize the fact that while you think you are American citizens and have the same power that any other American citizen has, you are not as much an American citizens as you would be if you lived in a rural district.
We are asking for just a little bit of this democracy we hear so much about for the communities in which the great majority of the people live. This problem, the problem of traffic control, the problem of preventing further disease and crime in the slum districts, must be done at the local levels.
I close with making the appeal that if you will make it possible for the communities of America to get the wherewithal to get the tools, we will do the job. [Applause.]
Chairman Fleming. Thank you, Mayor Welsh.
I ought to forewarn the next speaker, who represents the Council of State Governments, that we have designs on him and his gubernatorial election. This Conference already has produced home notable results, although they remain to be translated into action.
Following the President’s Conference on Highway Safety last year, we turned to the Governors of the States for further help, and we were not disappointed. We asked them to hold their own statewide conferences paralleling the President’s Conference in order to enlist the support of their citizens and to hand-tailor the Action Program to meet of their own commonwealth. They have very generously complied, and we are going to ask for the same kind of assistance in this great movement to save lives and property from fire.
I have the honor of introducing the Honorable Clarence W. Meadows, Governor of the State of West Virginia. [Applause.]
Hon. Clarence W. Meadows. My fellow American citizens: I am certain I voice the sentiment of each of you, and as a Governor, that of the Chief Executives of every State in the Union, by