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Under appalling and disastrous flood conditions, doing great damage both directly and indirectly to the manufacturing plants of our industry, the Tenth Annual Convention of the Cotton Manufacturers Association convened at Wrightsville Beach, July 21st, 1916.
At 2 o'clock the members assembled in the meeting hall, and the President, Col. Alf. A. Thompson, called the meeting to order. He spoke briefly, stating his gratification at finding so many men present under such conditions, and thanked these members for their attendance. He then asked Dr. A. D. McClure to open the meeting with prayer.
By A. D. MCCLURE, D.D.
Almighty God, our Father in Heaven, we would wait Thee for Thy blessing on this Convention. We would thank Thee that Thou hast put it upon the lips of the President to refer us back to our childhood when we knelt at our mother's knee and were taught by her to say: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray
Ι Thee Lord my soul to keep.” We pray that we may never lose the memory of the caress of our mother's hand and the touch of our father on our heads. As we have grown to manhood and are engaged in the work of men we pray Thee to continue to us their children the blessing of our parents and grant that we may always walk in the way they led and taught us. . We thank Thee for Thy blessing on us and all who are working with us for the use and manufacture of the cotton—the staple of our Southland. Thou hast made it grow in our soil by our heat and by our rain and when we are disposed to murmur at the Summer's heat we are reminded that Thou hast made the staple to grow in the heat and by the rain. Enable us to use our talents, our training and our experience for the best products of this staple and for its widest use in the world among the people of every nation. Grant us wisdom and guidance on our deliberations. Give us wise and good decisions on all our problems. Bless the officers and members of our Association. Bless those who are not able to be with us. Turn our losses into spiritual gain. Give us in all our business the fear of God. Make our stay here pleasant and restful and helpful to us all. We ask all for Jesus' sake. Amen.
PRESIDENT THOMPSON'S ADDRESS
Col. Thompson then introduced Mr. Parker Q. Moore, Mayor of Wilmington, who delivered a stirring and eloquent Address of Welcome. This was responded to with equal eloquence by Mr. W. A. Erwin, of Durham, N. C., who graciously referred to the religious, educational and political development among those who toil in the cotton mill industry, as well as the pleasure of meeting at Wilmington—the Atlantic Gate Way of North Carolina.
President Thompson then delivered his address and report.
Raleigh, N. C., July 15, 1916. TO THE NORTH CAROLINA MANUFACTURERS:
Gentlemen: This meeting was called by the Executive Committee at a date and at a place that would make it possible for every mill in the State to send a representative.
The year just closing has been full of perplexities, but every mill manager must be gratified when he compares conditions now with those existing a year ago.
The head of every mill felt that to fly to the wilderness offered the only way of escape from the storms of coming calamity. Now he can take a few days off, bathe in the waves of the Atlantic, bask in the sun on an ocean beach, and revel amid the charms of Wilmington and Wrightsville. The report of your Secretary and Treasurer
the receipts and disbursements for twelve months, plus a deficit that came over from last year.
There is still a small balance in the treasury.
The reports from various committees cover the principal activities of our work as an Association.
Your especial attention is directed to the report of Mr. S. F. Patterson's committee. He spared neither time nor expense in doing the work assigned to him.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE The following suggestions are offered with the hope that you will refer them to the Executive Committee for its attention:
First: That the President serve one year only.
Second: That actual expenses of all committees holding meetings be paid by the Association.
Third: That an active campaign for new members be pushed during the last half of the year, in order that every mill may be enrolled before the first of next January.
Fourth: That a publicity campaign be conducted for the purpose of showing what cotton mills have voluntarily done for the education and welfare of employes.
Fifth: That traffic and purchasing departments be established.
Sixth: That standard systems of accounting be considered by a special committee, and a suitable one for cotton mills be adopted.
Seventh: That closer relations be established between this and other associations of manufacturers.
Eighth: That a spirit of co-operation be encouraged between this Association and the National Government for the purpose of promoting foreign trade.
Ninth: That a like spirit of co-operation be promoted between manufacturers, the railroad companies, and between them and Southern ports, with the view of increasing and developing port facilities.
I think they are worthy of your careful consideration, and perhaps some of them may be worth trying out.
Two of them I want to especially advocate, and trust you will agree that they are essential to the continued growth of our indusry.
Our people love independence. Political independence has been bred in the bone of every North Carolinian of the white race.
Esse quam videri, describes a pronounced characteristic of our people, but we would sacrifice everything, even life itself, to maintain our independence.
This passion for political independence has so permeated our natures that we find it hard to realize that under present conditions it has but a small place in world commerce.
We must first learn to know each other and work together.
We must join hands with Chambers of Commerce throughout the country.
We need to cultivate the acquaintance of bankers at home and abroad.
We must join hands with our National Government, and win our share of the commerce of the world.
Shifting our position from a debtor nation to one prepared to finance a large portion of the world's needs, gives to this country an opportunity that we, as manufacturers, cannot afford to miss.
No company in the South is strong enough to go it alone.
I earnestly appeal to every textile mill in this State to enroll its name without delay.
I firmly believe that with concerted effort, this country can export at least twenty per cent. of all cotton mill products, and if that can be done, over production will be impossible and hard times will soon only be a memory.
MILL COSTS AND SELLING COSTS There was a time when both of these were largely disregarded, but both home and foreign competition compel a careful scrutiny of every item of cost entering into the making or selling of all products.
Spinning is the simplest of mill operations, and to illustrate the cost of the first process, Mr. John E. Halstead, Specialist in Mill Accounting, has prepared a paper which will be of real value if the principle is carefully studied.
The preface and pages 21, 22, 23 and 24 might be printed and mailed to members, if approved by the Executive Committee.
“Wear and Tear" enters largely into the real cost of manufacturing.
What percentage should be charged off each six months?
We are between the insurance companies and tax gatherers. We would, of course, not try to mislead either of them, even if we do try to fool ourselves when computing earnings.
The trend of commerce is towards reducing the cost between producer and consumer.
The process has been slow, but the direction is unmistakable,
The second: Simplify the terms, getting as near a cash basis as possible.