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THIRD SESSION.

The President called the convention to order at 10.15 o'clock, and announced the first business to be the report of the Finance Committee.

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Cash, as per above statement....

ASSETS.

in hands of Finance Committee..

Office furniture, as appraised by Finance Committee.

LIABILITIES.

None.

$548 74

889 29

185 00

$1,623 03

Before the chairman

of the

MR. BEGGS: committee retires, I, for one, not being so familiar with the details of the business of this association as some of the other members, should like to hear again some of the details of the expenditures that go to make up that report.

The chairman of the committee then repeated the itemized statement of the expenses.

MR. BEGGS: I think I have the information I want; and I would state that I believe it is just that class of information, just that condition of facts, that is keeping the active membership of this association at a minimum, and making it simply a bazaar for the exhibition of devices. I say this with due respect for all concerned. I had the honor of being president of an association for seven years-I refer to the association of the Edison illuminating companieswhich, I think I may state without fear of successful contradiction, accomplished as much for its members as any organization in this country, in the electrical or any other branch of business; and I am simply astounded at this display of figures. If our local companies all over the country were run on the same basis, there would be more electrical wrecks than we are, unfortunately, compelled to report to-day.

I am referring now to facts. The association of Edison illuminating companies never has failed to get

its minutes out, certainly within six months, and frequently within three months, of the date of meeting. What under heaven is the use of a copy of the report of an annual meeting coming

out twelve months after the session has been held? Was it any use holding it? I say it is disgraceful. The association of Edison illuminating companies dates back further than this organization-dates back to the beginning of 1885, when the first meeting was held in Harrisburg. I became its president in June, and remained such until eighteen months ago. When we held semi-annual meetings, we paid a secretary only $300 a year. Our total expenses are something like $600 or $700 a year, and never were exceeded; and I do not understand, if we have a secretary to do the business of an organization like this, maintaining permanent headquarters, why it is necessary to have $800 a year added for assistance. It is that, gentlemen, which is nullifying and minimizing the outcome of this association.

I am interested in a great number of electric lighting companies in different parts of the United States; all that I have is invested in them. This is the second meeting of the National Electric Light Association that I have attended, because to me it is always something like a junketing affair rather than looking after the material interests of the local companies, trying to obtain such legislation as would benefit these local companies, trying to obtain from the manufacturers of apparatus such a recognition of our rights as would protect us from their guerilla warfare; and if this association were to rule out these associate member, as did the association of Edison illuminating companies some seven or eight years ago, and draw five or six hundred central stations

all over the United States into your association, broadening and strengthening your influence, and ruling out the very people with whom we are in antagonism, who are our worst antagonists to-day as electric lighting companies-you would do a wise thing. Who are coming in exploiting isolated plants? Who is it that is exploiting block lighting? Who are organizing companies all over this country to wreck your business, simply that they may sell apparatus? The manufacturing companies of the United States; the dispensers of apparatus and appliances of apparatus, who, in the past, have realized a profit of any where from two to three thousand per cent, and who have been supported by the members of this association for years.

It has been stated to me in private conversation with the members of your executive committee that you have got them limited to a certain extent; but there is only one place to have them, and that is limited absolutely. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect to all concerned, I do not consider that the business of this association is such that it demands that it shall have a private and permanent office in New York city, or anywhere else. I do not agree with the idea that we should have a permanent place of meeting, either. I think you should meet in the different cities in the country, so that if you are convenient to Cleveland this

year, next year you may be convenient to

other city, and thereby is what we do.

draw in their influence.

I take it that the necessary, absolutely, to association, is. nominal. in the ranks of the

That

amount of money that is conduct the affairs of this There certainly should be National Electric Light

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