In a special conference issue of September 1926 the magazine
LAND & LIBERTY
brought a detailed report about
THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
during which was born
Here follows the quotation of the first three pages of the magazine:
Of all the international gatherings of a non-official character that Europe has witnessed since the end of the great War (World War I) it is probable that none has surpassed in intellectual quality, and in world-wide significance, the Conference of the followers of Henry George that for a week in the latter part of July, 1926, held forth in the joint Assembly Chamber of the Houses of Parliament at Copenhagen. It was known as the Third International Conference to Promote the Taxation of Land Values and free Trade; and the records of the British-Danish Secretariat showed that more than 400 representatives of 26 countries had enrolled for the Conference, and members from 17 nations were actually in attendance on the opening day. It was the largest International Conference of the followers of Henry George yet brought together.
Parliament, the Public and the Press
In Denmark, where the philosophy and economic teaching of Henry George are known and accepted more generally than in any other country, the Conference, because of its character and composition, took on the aspect of an event of national importance. The newspapers of the capital city and the provinces carried detailed reports of the proceedings from day to day and pictures and cartoons of distinctive personalities among the membership. Several important German dailies also gave space to the proceedings and noted the findings.
recognition of the importance of the Conference by the Danish Government was
evidenced not only by the opening of the Parliament buildings for the daily
sessions, but by the presence of eminent Members of Parliament and Ministers at
various Conference functions, at which these statesmen disclosed publicly their
understanding of and sympathy with the economic philosophy of Henry George and
the programme of the Conference. In no other country in the world could such a
gathering have received a more generous and understanding welcome than was
accorded on this occasion by the public men and press of
From scores of columns of news and editorial publicity during the Conference we select the following arresting passage extracted from a leading editorial in Politiken, the chief Liberal daily of the country:
" No longer is it a case of a few harmless enthusiasts meeting together with their Georgeist ideas to improve the whole state of society by means of a single tax. That is a stage that belongs to the past. The Taxation of Land Values has now become practical politics, and it is with a true farseeing vision that the organizers of the great and distinguished Congress, which opened yesterday in the Houses of Parliament, chose for their place of assembly a city where, as it happens, at this very moment we are busying ourselves with the readjustment of the taxes levied upon real estate. Our revision of taxation takes a form that undoubtedly does not reach out to the full principle upon which the new law is based; but it does indicate a great, an essential, and therefore a decisive step, in the right direction. At this Conference, officially opened in the parliamentary buildings of our country, there were present the former Radical Home Minister, the former Moderate Liberal Home Minister, while the present Home Minister, belonging to the Social Democratic Party, not able to be present at the meeting, sent a long letter to be read at the Conference wherein he praised the Taxation of Land Values. Here we have an expression of the fact that three of the political parties of this country have now accepted this great and significant tax reform. Without their co-operation it would not have been possible to carry through the law in the last session of Parliament. The Radical Party was the first that gave shelter to the ideas of Land Value Taxation, just as it was the Radical Ministry which was the first to establish the valuation of the land - the bare land. Later on the Social Democrats followed, at first without great enthusiasm, and the party of the Moderate Liberals also came along, although not without a good deal of fighting among themselves. It is only the Conservatives that defy the new ideas and the new time.
. . .
We greet the Congress, with good wishes for the best success of their efforts."
Letter from the Danish Home Minister
Most important was the letter read at the opening of the Conference from the Government Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Hauge, who had been the sponsor in Parliament, for the recent legislation introducing land value taxation for the raising of municipal, country and parish revenues. In this letter, Mr. Hauge indicated clearly the intent of the Government to go forward, fast as public opinion would support them, with further measures for relieving industry of tax burdens by gradual and increasing concentration of taxation upon land values. "The community," he declared, "should assert its unrestricted right to appropriate the economic rent of land."
The addresses made during the week by the present Finance Minister, C Bramsnaes; by Ole Hansen, President of the Upper House; by Ove Rode, ex-Minister of Home Affairs and by Niels Frederiksen, M.P., were all significant. The address of the last named, who is President of the Danish Congress of Housemen (small farmers) which was in session during the Georgeist Conference, was an inspiring assurance of the vital fact that the small landowners of Denmark are the chief supporters of the economic policies which the Conference had been organized to promote. At the opening meeting there were also in attendance Dr. O. C. Kragh, ex-Minister of Home Affairs and a Vice-President of the Conference; Klaus Berntsen, M.P., an ex-Minister; Col. Parkov, M.P., who officially represented the Parliament, and H. C. Henningsen, M.P., who brilliantly piloted the recent Land Values Act through the Lower House.
The President's Address
A feature of the opening
session on 20th July was the inaugural address of the President, the
Hon. Charles O'Connor Hennessy, of
Greetings to the Conference
were delivered by Antonio Albendin for
Next in size and importance to the Danish and British delegations to the Conference was the attendance from Germany of twenty-two adherents, all active in public life of that country, four being members of State Parliaments.
On Friday, 23rd
July, by arrangement made and well advertised in advance, a special address on
Land Value Taxation and Free Trade was broadcast by Mr. Hennessy, through the
Government radio station at
Henry George Library in Parliament
Equally significant of great public interest was the ceremony in the library of the Houses of Parliament, where at the instance at Mr. Berthelsen a special section has been set aside and devoted exclusively to the writings of Henry George in many languages besides kindred publications dealing with his philosophy, including complete bound files of LAND & LIBERTY.
Anna George de Mille
Another interesting feature
of the Conference was the enthusiastic reception given to Anna George de Mille,
the daughter of Henry George, and her daughters Agnes and Margaret. Mrs. Anna
de Mille was repeatedly interviewed by the
Declaration by the Finance Minister
It was at this inspiring banquet that Mr. Bramsnaes, the Danish Finance Minister, showed his deep interest in the objects of the Conference and expressed his belief that the next practical step, following the passing of the recent Land Values act for local taxation, would be a further national tax on land values.
During the week in which
the Conference was in session at the Parliament Houses, important and informing
papers on various aspects of Land Value Taxation and Free Trade movement
throughout the world were read and discussed, as may be seen from our more
detailed "Diary of the Proceedings." The Danish, Swedish, British,
French, German and American points of view were all represented. A paper by
Lawson Purdy of
Ceremony at the
No review of the Conference
would be complete without reference to the great outdoor ceremony in the
After the sessions in
The press interview with the President and others, including Mrs. Anna de Mille, Miss Colbron and Mr. MacLaren, added materially to the success of the Conference in all the extraordinary publicity it enjoyed.
Chief among the decisions
of the Conference was the adoption by unanimous vote of an address, reported by
the Resolutions Committee of which Ashley Mitchell of
It declared that, until there is a frank recognition of the root causes of international misunderstanding and discord and a sincere and earnest determination to remove them, there can be no permanent peace and progress in the world. The Treaty of Locarno, it maintained, even if ratified, will be ineffective so long as evil economic conditions remain to inspire the envies, hates and fears which are the common causes of war.
A further resolution reaffirmed the declaration of principle and policy adopted by the International Conference held at Oxford in 1923, and declared in favour not only of free trade across national frontiers but affirmed that peace, contentment and prosperity within national boundaries must be sought in the abolition of all legal and arbitrary restrictions upon or impediments to the right of men freely to produce wealth, freely to exchange it, and freely to enjoy the results of their labour.
Formation of the International
The concluding act of the
Conference was the adoption, after extended discussion, of a resolution offered
by Frederic Cyrus Leubuscher of New York to form a
permanent International Union to promote Land Value Taxation and Free Trade, and
giving to President Hennessy and the British-Danish Secretariat the power to
appoint a Provisional Committee to carry on the international work until the
next Conference which is expected to be held in 1928. The resolution fixed the
international headquarters in
* * *
Headquarters : 11.
The names of the Provisional Committee thus far designated (September, 1926) are as follows:
President: Charles O'Connor Hennessy
Secretariat: John Paul, A. W. Madsen, F. Folke and Abel Brink.
Treasurer: Ashley Mitchell.
England: Charles E. Crompton, F. C. R. Douglas, W. R. Lester, E. J McManus, Charles H. Smithson, Fredk. Verinder, Ashley Mitchell, John Paul and A. W. Madsen.
Wales: Eustace A. Davies. Ireland: Jos. Davison.
Denmark: Jakob E. Lange, Anders Vedel, S. Berthelsen, K. J. Kristensen, Axel Dam, F. Folke, and Abel Brink.
Norway: S. Wielgolaski and Halfdan Hansen.
Sweden: Johan Hansson and Svante A. Bäckström.
Germany: A. Barteld, Hans Krüger, Otto Karutz, Alex. Paletta,
Holland: D. de Clerq.
Hungary : Julius J. Pikler.
Argentine: Juan B. Bellagamba and Andres Maspero Castro.
Brazil: Alfonso Aurelio Porto.
Venezuela: V. M. Avendano-Losada.
Cuba: Erasmo Regueiferos.
You are cordially invited to join the International Union. Membership form for your use is enclosed with this journal.
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