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The presiding officer then appointed the following committees :
Committee on Resolutions-John J. Purinton, East Liverpool; C. H. Cramer, Sandusky; Fred Otten, Cincinnati ; John W. Roby, Lima; John W. Berkley, Ironton; S. Rufus Jones, Dayton.
Committee on Credentials-Fred Richter, Hamilton; Robert Izant, Warren; C. E. Greenamyer, Leetonia.
Committee on Auditing-J. F. Walker, Canton ; C. H. Dixon, Cleveland; John H. Zuber, Columbus.
SECRETARY'S REPORT. The secretary, Mr. Chas. H. Brown, then presented his annual report of the conditions of the League.
The secretary gave interesting statistics, showing the relative position of leading cities in regard to assets, Dayton heading the list with $30,032,239.
Other interesting topics dwelt upon by the secretary were: The securing of exemption from the Corporation Tax, referring to Judge Hollister's decision. Regarding the delay in securing a refund by those associations that paid the tax under protest, he savs:
"The mode of procedure in the collector's office is not generally understood. It is as follows: First, the assessment is made at Washington; the amount is then certified to the different collectors throughout the country and is placed as a charge against the collector, and he in turn places the charge against the corporation or individual, as the case may be. Until the collector has instructions from Washington, he is compelled to keep that charge on his books, and add the penalty for non-payment at the proper time. He has no authority whatsoever to erase that charge, no matter how many decisions have been rendered, until he receives instructions from Washington.
"Under Judge Hollister's decision, I believe that all the associations in Ohio are exempt, but it will take some time for the authorities at Washington to get this information to all of the collectors. Just have a little patience and the matter will work out to your entire satisfaction.
"I am exceedingly sorry that I could not give more definite information when written to by the secretaries of the different associations after they had consulted with the collectors in their various districts and could get no satisfaction from them.”
He also called the attention of the delegates to the fact that certain individuals formerly engaged in the chattel loan business, and who have been driven out of business by the new laws, have organized so-called building and loan associations and are endeavoring to conduct a chattel loan business under the guise of a building and loan association. Continuing, he says:
“It is admitted by everybody that we all want this class of borrowers taken care of and accommodated, but if the low and mean, who would not hesitate to steal a horse or rob a hen-roost,
are to come forward and organize building and loan associations for the sole and express purpose of loaning on salaries, wages, household goods, horses and wagons, etc., when it is well known that we are organized for the purpose of helping people to build homes, and homes only, it is all wrong and should be suppressed, and I most emphatically recommend that some action be taken to prevent the small money lender from exacting a greater tribute from the small borrower than is provided by law.
Concerning proposed amendments to the building association law, he says:
“The Executive Committee was called together for several days at my office in Columbus last winter, while a special session of the General Assembly was being held. After a great deal of discussion, both pro and con, certain amendments to the present law known as the Russell Act were agreed upon by the Inspector and the Attorney-General, representing the State of Ohio, and the Executive Committee, representing this League. I am almost willing to 'let well enough alone,' but after you give the matter the serious consideration it deserves, I believe you will agree with me that certain amendments should be adopted. The proposed amendments were not presented to the General Assembly, on account of the early adjournment of the session. It will be absolutely impossible to have enacted into law amendments which will please everybody, therefore I would suggest that we adhere to the motto of the greatest good to the greatest number,' and if certain changes are to be asked for and insisted upon by the state, then we should act as a unit, and go forth in the future as we have in the past, well knowing that our cause is just and that the new safeguards will make each association safer and better."
The following statement will show the condition of the League at this time:
Number of members October 1, 1913..
In regard to the thirty-three dropped from the rolls, the following explanation is made:
The New Home at Circleville ceased doing business; the Jackson County Building, Loan and Savings Company, at Wellston, is in process of liquidation; the remaining thirty-one were dropped for non-payment of dues.
We have been sending information to these associations for several years regularly and have indirectly saved them many dollars. Notice after notice has been mailed to them calling attention to the fact that they were delinquent, but no response of any kind whatsoever has ever been received, excepting in one or two cases at Cincinnati, where they gave notice that they wished their
membership discontinued. After a final notice was sent, President McKay coincided with my opinion that they should be dropped from the roll, which was accordingly done.
Received from dues since October 11, 1913... $1,894.00
$1,919.62 Paid Treasurer January 14, 1914.
1,000.00 Paid Treasurer August 1, 1914...
Balance in hands of Secretary Aug. 1, 1914. .$0,000.00 The $1,894, together with the $1,436 which was paid to the treasurer October 13, 1913, makes a total of $3,330 which I have collected for dues for the year 1914. This is an average of less than $10.00 paid by each association. Of the 327 members now on the rolls, every one has paid his dues for 1914.
The question has been asked a number of times: What are the combined assets of the associations represented by this League?
The 327 associations represent in round numbers $188,000,000 of assets. The 336 associations not members of the League represent $35,000,000 in assets.
The treasurer of the League, Mr. Charles J. Parrish, of Hamilton, was confined to his bed due to illness, and his report was read by Mr. Richter, also of Hamilton. The report showed a balance on hand of $1,616.96.
Mr. Wells, who worked so conscientiously with Mr. Hess in securing exemptions from the U. S. Corporation Tax, read the latter's detailed interpretation of same.
Mr. F. M. Cooke read a synopsis of the 1914 U. S. League meeting at Washington, prepared by Henry S. Rosenthal, Editor of the News.
A very able paper by the president, Mr. James M. McKay, of Youngstown, entitled “The American Building and Loan Association—Its Birth, History and Evolution," was read by Mr. Paul O'Brien, of Dayton. The paper was highly appreciated by the entire convention and is a valuable contribution to building and loan literature.
The entire afternoon session was devoted to a discussion of the Mechanics' Lien Law.
Hon. Warren J. Duffey, author of the law and member of the Ohio House of Representatives, explained the law and agreed that it ought to be amended. He recommended that the building and loan men get together with the builders' supply people and frame up advantageous amendments.
Mr. A. L. Spring, of Toledo, and the other building association men who followed, namely, Messrs. H. H. Geitgey, F. M. Cooke and Carl L. Bauman, were of the opinion that in most cases
the law was either disregarded or practically waived aside by securing the signatures of contractors and sub-contractors to release clauses.
Mr. A. C. Klumph, of Cleveland, on behalf of the supply people, maintained that they used it as a protection in their business and showed an arbitrary attitude as to amending same.
A resolution was passed that a committee of building association men and supply men meet with the Ohio Judicial Reform Association to prepare amendments for introduction at the next Assembly.
The Thursday morning session opened with an address by Mr. F. W. Robinson, of Cleveland, on "Mind Your Own Business," relating to the attitude of building and loan men to other financial institutions.
The Committee on Credentials submitted its report, showing that 136 associations filed proper credentials, represented by 165 delegates, with a total of 399 visitors in attendance. The report was duly received.
The following committee was appointed to act in conjunction with other committees to remedy the Mechanics' Lien Law: Messrs. Stoddart, Buchwalter and Fergus.
Mr. John H. Vercoe, of Columbus, delivered an address on "Examination of Titles.”
Mr. J. E. Kinney, of Columbus, addressed the delegates on "The Torrens Land Law in Ohio." Mr. Kinney displayed a thorough knowledge of the law and his talk was very enlightening.
Mr. Devine, the state inspector, addressed the convention and cautioned the delegates as to the proper bonding of officers; not to loan on anything or everything, such as chattels, etc.; to let the members know whether they are depositors or subscribers to stock, and to require the directors to be stockholders.
A discussion on “Deposits in Other Building and Loan Associations" was led by Mr. Charles J. McKee, of Dayton, and carried on by Messrs. Draper, White and Eastman. Mr. McKee referred to the loss of interest sustained by associations by depositing their surplus in banks instead of loaning it to other building associations, and advised the organizing of a central clearing house where building associations could borrow or loan to one another.
Lima was selected as the place where the next convention is to be held.
The present officers were re-elected under a suspension of the rules :
President-James M. McKay, of Youngstown.
Michigan League Meeting. Mr. C. D. Hanchette, secretary-treasurer of the Detroit and Northern Michigan Building and Loan Association, sends the following account of the meeting of the State League of Michigan Building and Loan Associations :
The delegates from the various associations arrived on Monday morning, July 20, on the steamer "Lakeland." They were met at the dock by a committee from the Detroit and Northern Michigan Building and Loan Association, the Houghton County Loan and Investment Association, and the Copper County Building and Loan Association, who escorted the delegates to their hotels in automobiles. After dinner the afternoon was spent in sight-seeing around the towns of Hancock and Houghton, and also on the Quincy Hill and Copper Range.
At eight o'clock in the evening the League commenced its business sessions in the Elk's Temple. Mr. Henry L. Baer, first vice-president of the Detroit and Northern Michigan Building and Loan Association, gave the address of welcome.
President McKibbin's annual address was timely and will benefit many members of the League. We make a few excerpts:
“There has been constant and continued growth and a greater general pressing of the claims of these co-operative institutions into the public mind. It has always been my contention that publicity is a very important force, tending to bring about the more general acceptance of the service rendered by the associations. *** Does your association regularly make an advertising appropriation? What are you doing to bring to public attention the unique kind of a service that can be rendered the individual? *** You are in a position to give advice and to take an interest in the question of dwellings that will be comfortable and sanitary. *** Light and air are recognized requisites. I believe in building codes, in plumbing and wiring inspection, and any measure that will help to produce an honest construction job and a safe and comfortable home. *** Make the best terms possible to borrowers. * * * Cultivate the business offered by real home buyers.”
The secretary's report showed only two delinquent members. The receipts for the year were $353.00; balance from last report, $494.80; total, $847.80; disbursements, $327.28; balance in the treasury, $520.52.
Mr. I. B. Rich, of Jackson, the secretary of the Michigan State League of Building and Loan Associations, and also president of the New Michigan Building and Loan Association, read a paper on "Cyclone Insurance," and this paper was followed by a debate.
Next morning, July 21, the delegates and their ladies took automobiles en route for Crestview, Keweenaw county. The trip was made by way of Ripley, Dollar Bay, Hubbell, Lake Linden, Calumet, Ahmeek, and thence on down to Eagle River.
A stop was made at the smelting works of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company at Hubbell, where Mr. Charles Smith, a director of the Detroit and Northern Michigan Building and Loan Association, showed the party over the extensive works, the magnitude of the operations eliciting expressions of surprise. The