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REAL . ESTATE
NEW YORK, JANUARY 29, 1916
BUILDING TRADES CONVENTION AND DINNER
Proceedings of the State Association of Builders—
Annual Dinner of the City Builders a Fine Occasion
THE twentieth annual convention of
the New York State Association of
Builders was held in the rooms of the
Building Trades Employers' Association,
30-34 West 33d street, Tuesday and
Wednesday of this week. The sessions
were well attended, nearly one hundred
delegates, representing eighteen cities,
answering Secretary Carter's roll-call.
The Tuesday morning session was de¬
voted to a meeting of the Executive
Committee, which was followed by in¬
formal luncheons for the renewal of old
friendships and the forming of new ones.
The afternoon session was opened with
an address of welcome by William Craw¬
ford, president of the Building Trades
Employers' Association. President Nor¬
man of the State Association responded
in behalf of the visiting delegates and
the convention then settled down to a
routine of roll-call, minutes, and reports
of officers and committees.
The address of the afternoon was
scheduled to be made by H. L. Lewman,
president of the National Association of
Builders' Exchanges, but he was unable
to attend on account of a serious fire
which took place at his plant in Louis¬
ville. He forwarded his address, however,
and it was delivered by I. H. Scates,
Commissioner of the National Associa¬
tion of Builders' Exchanges. Mr. Lew-
man's address was on "The New Stand¬
ard Form of Contract" and was listened
to with much interest by all present.
Following this-, convention committees
were appointed, after which adjournment
was taken till Wednesday morning at
10 a. m.
Work of the Legislative Committee.
On Wednesday morning the conven¬
tion listened with interest to an address
by Ernest F. Eidlitz, counsel of the
association, supplemental to his official
report and relative to the legal aspect
of the legislative work and the neces¬
sity for active participation in the forrna-
tion of the laws affecting the building
industry. Mr. Eidlitz said in part:
"Statutes are made by the Legislature
and are quite different from that slow
normal growth of consistent and re¬
lated principles of the common law. In
many instances they have no intimate re¬
lation to the general body of the law,
but express radical reforms not even de¬
sired by the great body of the people.
"Under our system of government,
laws passed by the Legislature must be
applied by the courts, irrespective of the
consenuences. The courts cannot dis¬
regard statutes because they do not ap¬
prove of them. Courts cannot legislate;
that is the province of the Legislature.
"It is important for the building in¬
dustry that an association of this char¬
acter shall make every effort to influence
the Legislature to enact laws which ade¬
quately protect you in the conduct of
your business and which do not inequit¬
ably interfere with your interests.
"The following I should give as some
of the principal reasons for improper
legislation, having legislation affecting
the building industry in mind.
"First. Bills do not happen. They are
initiated and drafted by some interest for
a selfish purpose and frequently in dis¬
regard of the rights of others affected
"Again, the interests behind the bill.
iC. G. NORMAN,
Retiring President New York State Association
make every effort to procure its passage,
whereas sometimes there is no opposi¬
tion, due to lack of knowledge or inter¬
est on the part of those adversely af¬
fected, and many times the opposition is
badly organized and ineffective.
"Another reason is the lack of requi¬
site expert knowledge on the part of the
legislators. They also are in ignorance
of the conditions affected by the bill aiid
do not appreciate the results which will
ensue. The legislators have not suf¬
ficient time to devote to the study of
the bills, so as to inform themselves
of the merits or demerits of the same.
There are from two to three thousand
bills introduced each session.
Log Rolling at Albany.
"The system of log rolling also plays
an important nart. This is voting orpush-
ing a bill, in which a legislator is not
interested and not in accordance with
the e.xercise of his own judgment but at
the request of another legislator, who in
turn uses his influence, in behalf of some
measure in which the former is inter¬
ested. These reasons suggest the remedy
for obviating detrimental legislation.
"The machinery must be provided to
examine every bill introduced in the Leg¬
islature and to select those affecting your
industry. Those selected must be care¬
fully studied and analyzed to determine
their real intent and application. There
must be then somebody to consider the
bill from its legal and practical aspect
and to decide whether and in what re¬
spect it affects the industry favorably or
unfavorably, and if the latter whether and
how it should be amended.
"The views and arguments must then
be presented to the legislators and must
be backed by the weight of a thorough
oi'ganization to properly impress them
with the extent of the opposition or ap¬
proval and the importance and number
affected. Opportunity is given by the
Legislature and the Governor to all iii-
terested to present their views and it is
in the formation of the statute that an
organization like this may influence leg¬
islation. While it is possible to repeal a
statute at some succeeding session, such
a task is much more difficult.
"This is the work done by your Legis¬
lative Committee. Of the effectiveness of
their work I leave you to judge. That re¬
sult represents many hours of conscien¬
tious and at times tedious labor on the
part of the members of your committee.
I am confident of your appreciation of
The Association's Growth.
"It must also be a source of gre.at
gratification to you to see the growth of
this organization. I was not present at
its birth. I think you were about one
year old when I first met you—at that
time only a handful of earnest, energetic
men. I remember appearing before the
Cities Committee of the Senate and be¬
ing asked what the New York State As¬
sociation of Builders was and how did
I spell its name. I think they now know
how to spell its name and you have
left no doubt in their mind as to who
"I trust you will grow stronger and
stronger each year and that with a fur¬
ther realization of your powers, the fields
of your activity will be increased and
your influence will manifest itself more
and more in the improvement of the
In Mr. Eidlitz's official report a resume
of bills introduced in the State Legisla¬
ture during the last year was given.
Robert L. Christie, chairman of the
Legislative Committee, gave statistics
of the work of the committee in the last
five years and showed what benefit had
been derived from its labors, and how the
building trade as a whole has been pro¬
tected from vicious legislation.
I. H. Scates, followed with an address
on the work done by the National Asso¬
ciation. He made a strong plea for co¬
operation between the National and State
bodies and demonstrated why such co¬
operation should exist and the benefits
to be derived from it.
After this talk came the report of the
Nominating Committee and the election
of officers for the ensuing year. The of¬
ficers elected were: M. E. Gregory of
Corning, President; E, A. Keeler of Al¬
bany, First Vice-President; G. C. Schier-
er of Buffalo, Second Vice-President;
James M, Carter of Buffalo, Secretary-
Treasurer, and Ernest F. Eidlitz of New
York, Counsel. These officers were later
installed. The convention proper closed
with a luncheon for the delegates, for
which the State Association was the host.
Building Trades Employers' Dinner.
At the Biltmore on Wednesday even¬
ing the delegates to the State conven¬
tion were guests at the annual dinner of
the Building Trades Employers' Associa¬
tion. This social function always brings
together the leading builders, material
manufacturers and dealers, architects and
structural engineers. The seating capac¬
ity of the main floor of the great ball-
.room was tested to its full capacity. Six
hundred or more were seated at no less
than seventy-six tables.
The guests were Messrs. J. P. Carlm,
James Rilev Gordon, Francis N. How¬
land, Richard M. Hunt, H. L. Lewman,
president of the National Association of
Builders' Exchanges; Alfred Ludwig,
John J. Murphy, R. J. Moorehead, J. W.