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Title
Page 3
Source
Partial proceedings of Conference of Governors, Commissioners and advisors of the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, on the Colorado River
Is Part Of
http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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2 SEVEN STATES CONFERENCE SPEECH OF GOV. GEORGE H. DERN, OF UTAH, Chairman of the Seven States Conference on the Colorado River, at the Opening of the Conference in Denver, August 22, 1927 This important gathering has been called a conference. Conferences are familiar things with us in Utah for the people of the dominant church in our state hold a general conference semi-annu-ally. At those times thousands of members of the church assemble in the great tabernacle at Salt Lake City for spiritual guidance and exaltation. In the meetings there is not only a good deal of preaching, but also a good deal of praying, which no doubt helps to cultivate a spirit of brotherly love, a desire to help one's neighbor in his problems and a resolution to deal justly with all men. Whether we formally open our sessions with prayer or not, may I express the hope that as we here proceed with the business before us we may keep our minds and hearts somewhat in that attitude of prayer which will dispel an atmosphere of narrow selfishness, and will enlarge our vision to the end that right may prevail. Unless we are all here with a determination to do justice as well as ask justice, our deliberations are foredoomed to failure. Our American system of popular government is supposed to aim at the greatest good for the greatest number. Perhaps even selfishness does and should play an important part in arriving at a decision that is just according to this standard. Each one must contend vigorously for his own interest so that all sides and elements may be presented and understood. Then with a reasonable disposition to give and take and a willingness to see the other man's viewpoint, substantial justice may be done and the greatest good for the greatest number achieved. This presupposes open mindedness and fairness on the part of all, so that in striving for our own interests we will not ruthlessly ignore the claims of others. We are here in a conference for consultation, discussion and exchange of opinion upon a subject that is of grave importance to each of our respective states. We are here, not as enemies but as friends and neighbors. To borrow a phrase, "God has made us neighbors; let justice make us friends." Our seven states comprise the major part of the great west which we proudly and confidently acclaim as the future theater of the world's highest civilization. We constitute an empire that is lightly divided by the state lines but is firmly united by the ties of common aspirations, common interests, common conditions and common problems. The future of all of us is indissolubly linked together. We must co-operate if we

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