This was not the practice of the past, and there can be no question as to where the responsibility rests. The General Court has done its best, but there has been a halt elsewhere. A substantial appropriation was made for a new State Hospital for the Metropolitan District, and an additional appropriation for a new institution for the feeble-minded in the western part of the State. In its desire to hasten matters, the legislature went even further and granted money for plans for a new hospital in the Metropolitan District, to relieve part of the outside congestion, but the needed relief is still in the future.
I feel the time has come when the people must assert themselves and show that they will tolerate no delay and no parsimony in the care of our unfortunates. Restore the fame of our State in the handling of these problems to its former lustre.
I repeat that this is not partisan. I am not criticising individuals. I am denouncing a system. When you substitute patronage for patriotism, administration breaks down. We need more of the Office Desk and less of the Show Window in politics. Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight. Let Massachusetts return to the sound business methods which were exemplified in the past by such Democrats in the East as Governor Gaston and Governor Douglas, and by such Republicans in the West as Governor Robinson and Governor Crane.
Above all, let us not, in our haste to prepare for war, forget to prepare for peace. The issue is with you. You can, by your votes, show what system you stamp with the approval of enlightened Massachusetts Public Opinion.
LAFAYETTE BANQUET, FALL RIVER
SEPTEMBER 4, 1916
Seemingly trifling events oft carry in their train great consequences. The firing of a gun in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, Macaulay tells us, started the Seven Years’ War which set the world in conflagration, causing men to fight each other on every shore of the seven seas and giving new masters to the most ancient of empires. We see to-day fifteen nations engaged in the most terrific war in the history of the human race and trace its origin to the bullet of a madman fired in the Balkans. It is true that the flintlock gun at Lexington was not the first, nor yet the last, to fire a “shot heard round the world.” It was not the distance it travelled, but the message it carried which has marked it out above all other human events. It was the character of that message which, claimed the attention of him we this day honor, in the far-off fortress of the now famous Metz; it was because it roused in the listener a sympathetic response that it was destined to link forever the events of Concord and Lexington and Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights, in our Commonwealth, with the name of Lafayette.