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porations, or to any line of commercial enterprise. In some degree every calling in life is a business; and to the extent that business is involved in any human attempt toward livelihood or gain, these remarks will apply in due proportion. Big Business, so called, is more likely to be exposed to the public view, but small business is no more exempt from moral responsibility.

The iron and steel industry in the United States can do much to promote the golden rule in business. Perhaps it has done a good deal in that direction, although it is far from perfect, even between its own corporate members. Not only individuals but aggregations should become active participants in promoting the golden rule. Much of large business is negotiated; that is, many of the biggest commercial transactions are consummated in discussions between two or more persons, dealing as man to man but at arm's length. Frequently there are no fixed prices or precise basis for measuring or for valuations, and there is the need of reaching an agreement which is mutually satisfactory, or at least acceptable. Under these conditions neither side is obligated to expose what is in its mind as a minimum or a maximum of possible terms or prices. Yet in such cases there can be no excuse for misrepresentation or fraud of any kind.

It has been said on occasion that certain individuals absolutely have been dominant in the control and management of the United States Steel Corporation. Such a statement is wholly contrary to fact, indeed contrary to reason. Although in the earlier years there were differences of

opinion, the corporation's plans and policies have always been carefully considered, and harmoniously approved by our finance committee and by our board of directors.

The United States Steel Corporation has been characterized as "a corporation with a soul." Whether or not the characterization is true might depend upon one's definition of the word soul. A definition acceptable for the purpose of this paper is that a soul is a controlling influence, possessed by individuals, corporations, or states, which recognizes, as of equal importance with its own, the rights, interests, and welfare of others-no greater, no less. Under this definition the United States Steel Corporation has striven to secure in all who are interested in its conduct the conviction that it is possessed of a soul. To say that it has sometimes failed in this effort is but to assert that its managers are human.

The management of a corporation stands fundamentally in a position of balance between three groups or factors: the security-holders, the general public, and the working forces.

The security-holders rightly occupy first place, because they own the properties and business, and their control must be recognized. Their capital makes possible the existence, the activities, and the success of the corporation. No enterprise would long continue active, or even remain in existence, if a majority of the stockholders were continuously dissatisfied. The managers of our corporation have neither minimized nor neglected the rights of the stockholders; but at times those rights have been ignored or

threatened by public speakers and writers, especially when incompetent, prejudiced, or unjust. The stockholders should remember that although it may sometimes seem to them, or to some of them, that the directors have been unduly liberal in expenditures, it nevertheless has been the conscientious judgment of the management that what was done was calculated to result in the greatest good and the largest benefit for all concerned.

We do not manage the Steel Corporation for the stock market. I have repeatedly made this declaration. We try to make our securities intrinsically a little more valuable as years go on, and we have succeeded up to the present time. The corporation is doing a business or has done a business ranging from a billion and a half to two billion dollars a year; it has employed from two hundred and sixty thousand to three hundred thousand men; wages have been advancing as the cost of living advanced, and costs of materials have been increasing. Until the World War, competition from foreign countries was growing and becoming more strenuous; since the war, competition within the boundaries of the United States has been increasing, and has become extremely strenuous. Notwithstanding these conditions, the United States Steel Corporation has shown a steady advancement.

The stockholder's interests are always served and protected by conservative management, calculated to avert financial loss or disaster, whatever business conditions may be or whatever emergency may arise. From time to time the Steel Corporation has increased the dividends on

its common stock; and we have made these increases as soon as we believed reasonable, and in amounts as large as we believed practicable, taking every factor into account. Requests for such increases have been many, sometimes in speech, sometimes in print. But with few exceptions they do not come from investors. Let me state a case as an illustration.

An individual wrote twice demanding an increase in the common stock dividend. Letters of the sort are usually anonymous, but this one was signed, and so we were able to examine the records. We found that the writer had been in and out and in again within a few months, that he had bought and sold and bought again approximately the same number of shares each time. That he is an investor is doubtful; rather, he is what would be called a speculator, which he of course has a right to be. He would like to have an extra dividend declared in order to dispose of his holdings at a profit; after which he would presumably repurchase, if something happened to depress the market. Such reasons as these do not appeal to the judgment of a real investor.

With regard to the general public, it will cheerfully be admitted that its interests are highly important. When they clash with private interests the latter must be subordinated. The management of a corporation, for its own good and for the benefit of its stockholders, must have constantly uppermost in mind the rights and interests of the public, not only as determined by the law but as best it can be ascertained from public sentiment, when this is clear and well defined. Nowadays

the spoken or published expression of opinion, even though it voice undeserved criticism, will not be ignored by a wise management. If upon careful consideration it is found to be justified, criticism should be accepted and acted upon. There may be excuses for mistakes, but there can be no extenuation for an intentional wrong or unfairness. There may be differences of opinion as to what is fair and reasonable; often such differences arise; but we can and should act conscientiously in accordance with our best judgment, and from motives of honesty, as well as of friendship for others.

The public should be protected against combinations or agreements to monopolize or to restrain trade unduly; that protection still is, will be, and should be in full force. There is no tendency on the part of the courts or of any department of the government either to ignore or modify the effect of the Sherman Act when properly interpreted and applied. The law does not compel any one to compete with another if he does not desire to do so; it especially abhors competition which is intended to be destructive and dishonest.

All business men desire to procure just, even liberal profits, and would like to establish and maintain fair prices for what they produce and sell. The United States Steel Corporation wishes to have at least its proper and full share of the business that is offered. But we should not at any time endeavor, by unfair, unethical, or unreasonable practices, to gain for ourselves trade which normally would go to competitors. Competition is the life of trade, as it should be. It is not only desirable; it is

necessary. We should not try to suppress it when it is fair and reasonable. Destructive competition is not fair, it is not reasonable, it is never beneficial in the long run to anybody, and it may become the death of trade. Fair prices bring the greatest good to the greatest number.

In the early days of the Steel Corporation there was a great deal of opposition from public men to its large capitalization and to its preponderance in the industry. It was thought by many persons, some of them leaders in public affairs, that any corporation which had more than fifty per cent of the business. was a monopoly and therefore inimical to the best interests of the country. We believed that this attitude was reasonable, and we did not expand the activities of some of our companies as rapidly as we could. After we got down to a ratio of fifty per cent, we held that position as nearly as was practicable and proper. We want to keep our present position as near that point as possible, but not with prejudice to the stockholders, nor with injury to the public.

The interests of the employees of the corporation receive as much, as constant, and as liberal consideration as those of the other groups we have been discussing. Labor, so called, has never been more highly paid nor treated so liberally as to-day. Our corporation has appropriated, for welfare work more than $160,000,000. This is not ground for boasting; it is good business policy. It is true that individual shareholders have occasionally questioned what they thought was undue liberality toward our workmen; but that was largely because they lacked full understand

ing of the subject, or information concerning it. It is profitable to the employer to treat the workman with liberal fairness. Employers in the United States stand generally for that kind of treatment. They believe in the open shop, which permits a man to work whenever and wherever he pleases, and can agree with the employer. It may truthfully be said that labor in this country is generally well cared for and is contented. In some businesses or places it is overpaid; in some instances, perhaps, it is underpaid, though it is believed such cases are exceptional and will be rectified. During the quarter of a century the Steel Corporation has been in existence, no material hostility has been shown and no serious complaint made to the management by our workmen themselves, either individually or in committees and groups formed by them -as permitted by our practice which has not been cheerfully considered by the management and promptly disposed of to the satisfaction of both parties.

We do not approve of experimentation with the human factor in labor unless it is demonstrably practical and reasonable. If any one should assert a right to a voice in management, it is a fair and wise conclusion that this should find expression through a stockholding interest, in order that liabilities and responsibilities may be shared as well as profits. In these days capital offers to workmen the privilege of investing in its

enterprises through the purchase of securities at low rates on the instalment plan. They are enabled thus to become partners. They share the cares and the advantages of partnership. Of this plan I thoroughly approve.

In America the opportunity is open to all to accumulate capital. To procure capital we must exert ourselves thoughtfully and skilfully, with brains, muscles, strength; we must study, we must think and experiment. We must be patient and persistent in the competitive struggle. Money is needed if one is to accomplish the best results in any profession or calling. The majority of the people of the United States are equipped for success. They are studious, industrious, progressive, consistent. Never have our young men and women had such fine opportunities in business, and everywhere there is an abundance of room at the top. There is no good excuse for failure. Money is plentiful; the per capita circulation is large; interest rates are low. No responsible worthy applicant finds difficulty in obtaining funds for legitimate enterprise. Our banks are strong and well managed and enjoy public confidence. Despite inexcusable extravagances, which are widespread and deplorable, the American people are fortunate in being well supplied with money, in having an abundance of educational facilities, and in the possession of a business life governed by high ethical standards.



And the Thoughts That Come as I Tend It


E HAVE not always lived in the country. The sun has not yet made one round of the zodiac; it is now but in Libra, and I but making my first unenthusiastic acquaintance with fall grass. Yet am I compelled to write. And let no doubt be felt of my qualifications. True, when first I announced my intention of caring for this place, my friends smiled, most unpleasantly, but things have changed since then. I have now acquired wisdom-I know what I do not knowand I have, too, knowledge. Old gardeners, I notice, are slow in thought, as in movement; I must not delay. I am now inscient, in both meanings of this obliging adjective of relativity, and I must impart my experience.

Of course, to many, a lawn is just grass, and grass is—well, every one knows what grass is. But is it or rather, do they? Within these busy months I myself have learned and now know, to run them over quickly in my memory, six kinds of lawn grass; and I know, by the same rapid review, seven kinds of growth that look like grass until you put on your glasses. And not only that, but I know too that grass and near-grass are not the only things that grow on a lawn. Here is the habitat of a

flora fairly tropical in its variety, with all manner of undesirable alien immigrants. I may not yet have the words and names scientifically to record all these discoveries, but that is a detail. My knowledge is real, mystic; it deals with the very essence of things; it is a knowledge that fills one beyond the powers of expression. And how fascinating is the acquiring of this wealth! Each week, each day almost, brings its train of the new and the interesting. In the city, seasons are marked but by a change of underclothing-and not by that if you are sufficiently modern-but out here all is a delightful and evolving adventure. How monotonous is the city!

Think first of the weeds, and especially of those of the flower-garden. A moron once asked me, "How can you be bothered with weeding?" What a failure to appreciate values, how truly moronesque! Weeds make life joyous. They stimulate our wits. And how cheerful they always are! In my own case, not at first knowing weed from flower, I determined to try watchful waiting. If the growing thing should bring forth sweet blossoms, why, then-good! If it did not, if it proved contemptible in its burgeoning, then was it to be up

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