U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MD., Oct. 11, 1907.
The annual meeting of the U. S. Naval Institute, held on the above date, was called to order by Captain Chas. J. Badger, U. S. Navy.
Twenty-four members were present.
The Secretary, Professor P.R. Alger, U.S. Navy, announced that the first business was the election of officers, and stated as follows: The Board of Control this year, considering the fact that at the annual meetings there can be only a very small attendance—there being only a few members in this vicinity and the meeting usually consisting of only eight or ten, or a dozen at the outside—decided that it would be desirable to try to get up a more general service interest in the election of the Institute's officers by asking absent members to vote by proxy. The constitution requires a notice to every member, wherever he may be, to the effect that an annual meeting is to be held at a certain time; and, consequently, it was not a great extra trouble or expense to accompany that notice with a request that they vote, and the enclosure of a card for a proxy vote. The difficulty is that people out in the service generally do not know much about who is here or how to vote. This year the Board decided to send out a list of present incumbents, and the natural result of that was that almost everybody who took the trouble to vote voted for that list. We have received some 375 or 380 proxy votes, and they are almost all for the present incumbents.
Lieut.-Comdr. H. G. Gates: I would like to ask if an amendment to the constitution, with regard to qualifications of membership for the Board of Control, would be in order.
The Chairman: I think not. The constitution must provide some method of electing a Board of Control, and any motion looking to a change of that would be a change in the constitution. I think that at this meeting the Board of Control will have to be elected in accordance with the present constitution.
The election of officers was then proceeded with, the Chairman appointing Lieut.-Comdr. E. L. Beach and Lieut.-Comdr. L. M. Nulton as tellers. Then followed the voting. After the votes had been counted, Lieut.-Comdr. Beach announced the result of the election to be as follows: The total number of votes cast was 402. For President, Rear Admiral C. F. Goodrich, U.S.N., received 366 votes.
For Secretary and Treasurer, Professor P. R. Alger, U.S.N., received 389 votes. For the Board of Control, Comdr. W. F. Worthington, U.S.N., received 223 votes; Comdr. W. S. Benson, U.S.N., 248 votes; Lieut.-Comdr. W. G. Bullard, U.S.N., 245 votes; Lieut.-Comdr. E. L. Beach, U.S.N., 241 votes; Lieut.-Comdr. H. J. Ziegemeier, U.S.N., 235 votes; and Prof. N. M. Terry 213 votes. All other votes were scattering.
The small number of votes received by members of the Board of Control was due to the fact that many proxy votes were cast only for President and Secretary and Treasurer.
The Chairman: The officers named by the tellers have been elected. The next business is "Reports of Officers."
The Secretary and Treasurer reported as follows: During the year which ended September 30, 1907, the total receipts were $30,146.53, which was practically $7000 less than the receipts of the preceding year. The balance on hand a year ago was $24,178.69, so that the total sum available during the year was $54,325.22. The expenditures were $26,054.48;balanceOn hand $28,270.74. Bills receivable amount to $5315.44, and liabilities are approximately$3177.30. The bills receivable include $1225 for dues, and 3591 for books. You will see, as I said, that the receipts for the year are$7000 less than the previous year. The expenses are a little over $3000 less. That is due to the fact that during the year ending September 30, 1906, the Institute printed the new drill books for the Navy Department, of which the sales amounted to $6000 to $7000, if not more, and that made the large receipts. The increase of cash assets in the previous year was about $4000, and this year about $2000. That comes from the fact that the numbers this year cost more than they ever did before, they have been larger and more expensive. The number of regular members is 698, of life members 131, associate members 147, and honorary members 3, making 979 in all. The number of subscribers was 401 and of exchanges 114, making a total of 1494, besides which, during the year, we sold 285 individual copies. During the year 15 members died and 30 resigned. There was a considerable increase in the number of subscribers during the year, and a small falling off in the regular members, the total increase amounting to 23. There were 23 more actual people who received the numbers than last year. In connection with our excess of receipts over expenditures, I have heard that many people think it a great mistake for the Institute to attempt to build up a surplus. The reason why I think we should endeavor to build up a surplus is this: We cannot get out the four quarterly numbers on anything like the scale on which they are now gotten out for the money which the members pay in. It costs on an average $1200 to print an edition of the number, and that is without counting paying for the articles. As a matter of fact, the four last numbers issued, including payments to authors for articles, cost $6912.96, so it would not be safe to count on less, if we want to keep up this scale, than $7000 a year for the publications of the Institute. Besides that, of course, are the office expenses, which include the salary of clerk, messenger, Secretary and Treasurer, and other incidental expenses, amounting to easily $3000 a year. So that we really need $10,000 a year. From subscribers we receive approximately $4000—I mean from subscribers and people who buy numbers—and from advertisements we receive about $i000 a year. So we need in some way to make up that difference. For a number of years past we have more than made it up by the sale of books which we have printed. We have made large profits from these books. We have an income from our investments of about $1200 a year, which helps out. It seems to me that it would be a very good thing if we could get to a point where the income from our investments would make us independent of any other receipts than the annual dues of members.
On motion by Commander H. McL. P. Huse, seconded by Commander W. C. P. Muir, that the report be approved, the motion was duly put by the Chairman and carried.
The Chairman: The next business is the election of associate and life members.
The Secretary read the names proposed, as follows:
Mr. L. E. Wiman, Schenectady, New York, proposed by Ensign W. S. Anderson, U.S.N.
Sir William White, London, England, proposed by Naval Constructor D.W. Taylor, U.S.N.
Mr. E. Schelling, Bar Harbor, Maine, proposed by Lieut.-Comdr. M. L. Bristol, U.S.N.
Prof. Wm. Hovgaard, proposed by Naval Constructor D.W. Taylor, U.S.N.
Captain P. Duart, Island of Guam, proposed by Lieut.-Comdr. R. Stone, U.S.N.
Mr. W. E. Kimball, Wollaston, Mass., proposed by Prof. P. R. Alger, U.S.N.
Mr. J. C. Schwab, proposed by Prof. P.R. Alger. Chief Engineer W. E. Maccoun, R. C. S., proposed by Lieut.-Comdr. J. F. Carter, U.S.N.
M. F. B. Philbrook, Jay, New York, proposed by Prof. P. R. Alger, U.S.N.
Mr. J. T. Williams, Washington, D. C., proposed by Naval
Constructor R. H. Robinson, U.S.N.
Captain Le Vert Coleman, U. S. Army, proposed by Major J. W. Ruckman, U.S.A.
Mr. Geo. L. Selden, Lawrence, Mass., proposed by Mr. T. C. Wood, member of the Institute.
The Chairman: You have heard the names of candidates for election as associate members. Is there an objection to anyone of the names?
Commander W. S. Benson: I would like to ask if they are all strictly eligible according to the constitution.
The Secretary read what the constitution says about associate members.
Lieut.-Comdr. H. G. Gates asked about the qualifications for life membership.
The Secretary read what the constitution says about the election of life members.
Lieut.-Comdr. E. L. Beach objected to the election of any more life members, on the ground that the Institute loses on every life member. The$30 paid for life membership, at four percent, brings in only $1.20 a year, while the four volumes which the life member receives cost the Institute about $5 to publish.
After further discussion it was moved, seconded, and voted that only associate members be elected at this meeting.
Commander Huse: I move that the subject of life membership be referred to the Board of Control with directions to report at the next annual meeting as to who shall be eligible and what the cost shall be.
The Secretary: The present constitution was drawn up by the Board of Control several years ago. The Board considered that matter very carefully. I was a member, and proposed that the fee should be increased; but the Board decided not to do SO. It was thought that it was desirable to get life members.
Lieut.-Comdr. H. J. Ziegemeier: I move that this matter be referred to the Board of Control for their action and, if they think proper, an amendment to the constitution.
This motion was seconded, duly put by the Chairman, and carried.
It was moved and seconded that the candidates for associate members, read by the Secretary be elected. Motion was duly put by the Chairman and carried.
Professor Alger: I move that Mr. A. R. Bush, of Malden, Mass., be elected an associate member of the Institute. Motion seconded by Lieut.-Comdr. Beach, duly put by the Chairman, and carried.
Commander W. C. P. Muir submitted the following resolution: Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting, and in view of the prosperity of the Institute, that the Board of Control consider the advisability of raising the present salaries of the clerk, Mr. Conroy, and the messenger, Mr. Jacobson. The Secretary: The clerk of the Institute gets $110 a month, and the messenger $25 a month.
Commander Huse suggested that the salary of the Secretary and Treasurer should also be raised.
The Chairman: The motion before the meeting now is the question of the salary of the clerk and the messenger, and I shall be glad to hear a motion for the Secretary later; but the question now is whether the Board of Control shall consider the advisability of increasing the pay of the clerk and the messenger of the Naval Institute. As I understand it, it is left to the Board of Control to decide either way.
Lieut.-Comdr. Beach: Mr. Conroy has been employed by the Institute for twenty-one years, and I am sure that I voice the opinion of every one having knowledge of the subject, that he has been a most valuable clerk. He has handled a great deal of money, and for over six months during the Spanish War he ran the Institute entirely.
The Chairman: Can the meeting fix his salary?
The Secretary: The Board of Control has the management of all the financial affairs of the Institute.
Commander Huse: I have the consent of Commander Muir to substitute the following for his original resolution, That the question of salaries paid by the Naval Institute be referred to the Board of Control with the recommendation that they be suitably raised.
The Chairman: The resolution is that the question of all salaries paid by the Naval Institute be submitted to the Board of Control with the recommendation of the meeting that they be raised.
Lieut.-Comdr. Beach: I do not think that the salary of the Secretary and Treasurer should be raised. I will add that in making this statement I am expressing the views of the present Secretary and Treasurer, Professor Alger.
The Chairman: The motion now before the meeting is that all salaries paid by the Naval Institute be referred to the Board of Control with the recommendation that they be raised. Motion duly put by the Chairman and not carried.
Commander Muir again read his resolution.
The Chairman: The motion is that the Board of Control be directed to consider the advisability of raising the pay of the clerk and messenger. Motion was duly put and carried.
The Chairman: Is there anything more before the meeting?
Lieut.-Comdr. Gates: I would like to propose that an amendment to the constitution be submitted to the members of the Institute for vote, restricting the qualifications of membership of the Board of Control to officers on the active list of the Navy.
The Chairman: To amend the constitution, you must have at least half the votes of the entire membership, and at least two- thirds of the votes cast must be affirmative.
Lieut.-Comdr. Gates' motion was here seconded by Commander Muir.
Commander W.S. Benson: The only way that this can be brought before the members of the Institute is for Mr. Gates to submit his ideas to the Board of Control, and have the Board of Control thrash the matter out, and then determine on some line of action. The constitution of the Naval Institute is lacking in defining how amendments to the constitution shall be proposed, and, as I understand it, any member who wants an amendment voted on should submit it to the Board of Control.
Commander Muir said that he was not on the active list, being a retired officer, but that he thought an association of this kind should be controlled by officers of the Navy on the active list. He seconded Mr. Gates' proposition.
Commander Benson stated that, in his opinion, the retired officers were a great help to the Institute and, if anything, they increased their efforts to help along the general interests of the service; and that he was in favor of moving the Institute to Washington so that the large number of retired officers living there could be in closer touch with the Institute.
The Chairman: A motion has been made by one of the members present to amend the constitution. The question is as to the proper method of submitting that amendment to the members of the Institute, and the constitution seems to be indefinite in the matter. It is a question of procedure. I, therefore, propose to submit to the members here the question whether the amendment presented by Lieut.-Comdr. Gates shall be voted upon by this meeting, or whether it shall be submitted to the Board of Control, as suggested by Commander Benson, and settled there. The first motion I desire a vote on is whether the sense of this meeting is that the amendment should be submitted to the meeting. All those in favor of submitting the question to this general meeting will please say "Aye."
The motion was not carried.
The Chairman: The motion now is whether it shall be submitted to the Board of Control to decide, Lieut.-Comdr. Gates to make his motion to them, and the Board of Control to decide.
All those in favor of leaving the motion of Lieut.-Comdr. Gates to the decision of the Board of Control will please so vote. The motion is carried, and the Board of Control will consider the proposed amendment.
Lieut.-Comdr. Bullard: The constitution provides that amendments shall only be considered in one way, and that is by submitting them to the members.
The Chairman: That is what I am striving to get at,—some way to get an amendment before the Association. What is the process?
Then followed a lengthy discussion as to the manner in which amendments to the constitution should be proposed.
It was finally decided that proposed amendments to the constitution should be voted upon by the meeting and that two-thirds of those present must vote affirmatively in order to bring about the submission of the proposed amendment to the Institute as a whole.
Prof. P. R. Alger then moved that it be submitted to the vote of the meeting whether Lieut.-Comdr. Gates' amendment shall be submitted to the members of the Institute. This motion was carried.
The Chairman: The question now is, Shall an amendment to the constitution, restricting the qualifications of membership of the Board of Control to officers of the active list of the Navy be submitted to the members of the Institute for vote. The motion was duly put by the Chairman, and, less than two-thirds of those present voting in its favor, was not carried.
Lieut.-Comdr. Yates Stirling, Jr.: I submit as an amendment to the constitution that the Board of Control be selected from officers of the Navy, either active or retired.
This amendment was seconded by Pay Inspector T. J. Cowie, and was voted upon by the meeting, but, less than two-thirds of those present voting in its favor, it was not carried. There being no further business before it, the meeting then adjourned.