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ment would include a stamp tax which, owing to the manner in which the associations of many states are compelled to transact their business, would have been a heavy burden for them to bear. It seems likely now that this proposition has been abandoned and that other ways have been found to meet the tariff deficiency.
When a stamp tax was first suggested, Secretary Benjamin and his fellow officers of the Building and Loan Association Council of the District of Columbia immediately sounded the alarm, enlisting the assistance of those on the outside, while they were doing all they could at the Capital. President Charles Eugene Clark, of the United States League, also issued a circular on the subject, calling on the associations to take action at once. These efforts seemingly bore fruit, for, as stated before, the idea of a stamp tax has apparently been dropped.
Value of League Membership. When the war situation in Europe unsettled financial conditions some of the New York associations, whose members were mostly foreign-born, feared an unusual demand for withdrawals which they might not be able to meet. The matter was brought to the attention of the League officials, who took prompt action, and soon had a number of associations pledged to stand by those needing assistance. Fortunately, the expected "run" did not materialize, and this action of the League, no doubt, had its effect in reassuring the timid. It is the old story that a bundle of staves is just so many times stronger than a single stave. Standing alone, the associations would be almost helpless in a crisis like that, but with an organization like the League behind them, impending trouble can often be averted, and if it comes it can be successfully met.
Building Associations in the War Zone. While the building associations in the United States did not suffer to any noticeable extent from earthquakes, cyclones and floods, owing to their wise plan of insurance against such calamities, we wonder what may happen to the societies abroad after the destruction of a town by bombardment.
Of course, all other financial institutions and business houses in war lands are in the same boat, or under the same disastrous fire, but that is not more pleasant to contemplate. May peace come soon - Philadelphia Ledger.
A Warning Banking Commissioner Smith, of Pennsylvania, in his annual report on the building associations of that state, sounds a note of warning that applies not only to Pennsylvania, but to other states also. He finds that some associations are gradually losing sight of the original object and purpose of building associations and are embarking on financial adventures that properly belong to banking and investment concerns and which call for laws and restrictions not imposed on building associations. These associations have been justly fostered and sometimes favored by the lawmakers of state and nation, because they are not conducted for individual profit, but for the single purpose of stimulating thrift and home-ownership among the masses. They have a broad legitimate field of activity, and it would be well for them to confine themselves to it. Moreover, it is to the interest of the genuine building associations to insist that this be done, if necessary, by law, in order to retain the fostering aid of the state and the good will of the people. The vast majority of associations are what they profess to be-savings and home-building institutions, and their usefulness should not be jeopardized by those who choose to enter other fields of activity under the guise of building associations.
Commenting editorially on this part of the commissioners' report, the Philadelphia Bulletin says:
"Here lies the danger which is threatening all the associations, whether they deal in such risks or not. New conditions like these, if allowed to expand without conservative check, must inevitably bring new restrictions by the state to protect shareholders. Thus the old mutual sense of trustfulness and neighborly helpfulness that has been the cornerstone of success in these associations must' eventually be undermined and destroyed. The warning of the commissioner ought to appeal to every one of the half-million members throughout the state."
And the Harrisburg Telegraph has this to say:
"Any means of saving is to be encouraged. The building and loan organizations have been of vast service in the development of Pennsylvania, and Commissioner Smith is quite right in warning the managers of some of them against overstepping the bounds of their usefulness. These associations have certain very definite lines to follow, and to leave them is not only to endanger the savings of hundreds of shareholders, but to engender in the public mind a distrust that ought not to exist and which past experience does not warrant."
Women and Building Associations. One noticeable feature about the membership of building associations is the constantly increasing number of women. According to the Pennsylvania report, just issued, women represent almost one-third of the total membership of the state, while the California report, published elsewhere, gives them a still greater percentage. That is an excellent showing. Large numbers of young women are wage-earners in factories, stores, restaurants and offices. Probably no form of investment appeals to this thrifty class so strongly as do the building and loan associations. They offer an opportunity for utilizing small savings in a way which insures good interest together with safety. And if a young woman, having a building and loan account, should marry, she has a credit which will enable her to borrow funds for the purchase of a home. It is creditable to the women workers that such a large number of them own shares in building and loan associations.
Home Builders. The building and loan associations of Pennsylvania, says the Harrisburg (Pa.) Telegraph, assisted in building or purchasing 19,531 homes during 1913 for their shareholders, according to the annual report of State Banking Commissioner Wm. B. Smith. Nearly 20,000 people own their own homes, or are paying for them, as a result of the building associations. This is saving on a vast scale. Very probably some would have found means through the banks or otherwise to borrow the money with which to make the desired investment, but unquestionably the associations were of vast benefit to many who would without their aid still be living in rented homes.
Jewish Farmers Endorse Building-Loan Plan. At a meeting of the Federation of Jewish Farmers of America, held at Doylestown, Pa., among other topics a plan was spoken of for loaning money to Jewish farmers along building and loan lines, as, for instance, where a man may pay $130 a year for ten years to wipe out a mortgage of $1,000. Such a plan, many thought, would enable a farmer in time to pay for his farm and at the same time be a source of encouragement, so often lacking among agricultural folks.
Meeting of the Illinois League. The arrangements for the annual meeting of the Illinois League of Building Associations, which will be held on October 8 and 9, at Moline, Ill., in the large room of the Moline Commercial Club, are about completed, and the prospects are that it will be one of the largest as well as one of the most interesting ever held by this active organization. The program contains a number of features that will hold the attention of the delegates, and the local committee is making extensive preparations to make their stay at Moline one that will be pleasantly remembered. Every association belonging to the League should have its delegates present, and those not members ought to realize that it is their duty and to their interest to join, for no one can attend these meetings without deriving substantial benefits from the discussions that take place as well as from the intercourse with the leading building and loan men.
Auditing. On the subject of auditing, Commissioner Geo. S. Walker, of California, in his annual report has this to say:
“Practically every association has what is known as an auditing committee-usually composed of three of the directors—which is supposed to annually, at least, make an examination of the books and accounts of the secretary. In many of the associations this committee employs an accountant or auditor to perform this work-an expense that is amply justified under every circumstance, provided the accountant is given unlimited authority and the committee and the directors are willing or intend to give heed to his criticisms and recommendations. No work of this nature can be considered complete and of real value unless the pass-books of the members and investors have been collected and verified or a statement furnished to each, and to each borrower as well, and the correctness verified by the signature of the member, investor or borrower, and returned directly to the auditor. Several of the associations have adopted this latter feature, and the reports of their auditors have been placed at our disposal when making the annual examinations. If the directors or the committee fail to employ an auditor, they should do the work themselves and make sure that it is thorough; for, if done in a slipshod manner, it is worse than useless."
Bankers' Convention. The annual convention of the American Bankers' Association will be held at Richmond, Va., October 12-17. A large and important gathering is expected, and elaborate preparations are being made for the entertainment of delegates and visitors.
Echoes From the Washington Convention. Mr. E. L. Keesler, president of the North Carolina League, in an interview gave his impressions of the Washington convention, stating that it was the best in point of attendance, importance of subjects discussed and enthusiasm manifested, he had ever attended. He discussed the various efforts to establish farm credits and was dissatisfied with the bills so far proposed, but was still hopeful that a plan thoroughly mutual and co-operative and following the lines recommended by the Building and Loan League will finally be adopted. He was delighted with the social functions and enthusiastic over the progressiveness and the business energy displayed by the men of the East and the great Northwest, and he added: "I am simply delighted with the high ideals, the fine sentiment, the good fellowship and the cordiality of these men far distant from the Sunny South.”
Mr. Terry Simmons, one of the Illinois delegates, is publishing a series of sketchy articles regarding the Washington convention in his paper, The Marseilles Plaindealer. Concerning the question of farm loans, he makes these observations:
"The attempt to provide for loaning on farm lands by building and loan associations is a problem yet to be wisely solved. To operate successfully two factors are imperative, long time and low interest rate. The business spirit of the age is not in accord with either phase, but an average benefit simply must be worked out. In the higher level of life to which the people should attain, with home-owning the cap sheaf, there should be a community of action, not home-owning for a part in distinction to the whole; town and country alike should be partakers in the possibilities of possession. Both as state and national, legislation to aid farmowning is receiving sincere attention, but an equitable law is yet to be framed, applicable to each state of the Union. Sharp criticism of national action in that direction is made. An official representative in committee work was present, stated existing shaping of national thought concerning farm loans, candidly invited criticism, and even went to greater length, asked the League to frame an act for approval that would embody its ideas and be so nearly correct and on a workable, just basis, that its adoption might follow. Presented to him, he promised to do all in his power to see that it gained definite attention. The League showed due appreciation of his offering, and it is hoped that in time worthy results will grow from it."
Speaking of the value of these meetings, he says:
"As usual, where there are three session days of a meeting, the second, or middle day, is the one of largest attendance, and this rule was without exception. Always interesting and profitable to the member who honestly and earnestly determines to have the program prove such, the renewals of friendships gained, forming acquaintance of new members, interchange of ideas and ex