Report on the Annual Conference
of the Henry George Schools
[A report from the Henry George School conference
held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July, 1967]
On Wednesday, July 26, a pre-Conference meeting of School directors
was held in the afternoon, chaired by Robert Clancy. The main topic of
discussion was, "What is the job of a Henry George School
A round robin among the directors produced varying answers, but there
was a core of agreement. The basic job of a School director is the
conducting of classes in Fundamental Economics and related subjects.
Around this, other jobs present themselves -- attracting students,
training teachers, raising funds, creating a good institutional image,
and thinking in long-range terms -- both with respect to the School
and the economic philosophy it teaches.
There was some difference of opinion as to the responsibility of the
director in holding the continued interest of the students after they
have completed the basic course. Some felt it was up to the student to
show interest and decide what he would do| others felt the School
should try to stimulate the continued interest of the students, and a
few felt this was the most important aspect of a director's job.
However, all agreed that it is the aim of the School to spark active
and continued interest on the part of its students.
There was also some discussion on the matter of related organizations
in the same city as a School extension. What kind of problem do they
pose, and how can they co-operate without getting in each other's way?
One case is that of the Public Revenue Education Council in St. Louis.
Another is that of the Institute for Economic Inquiry in Chicago,
which also retains the use of the name Henry George School of Social
Science, thus resulting in some confusion. It was agreed that frank
and friendly discussions on the part of all concerned would be of
On Thursday morning a School session on getting students was held.
[The director chairing this discussion] commented that it is difficult
to attract students
as they either want regular academic
education or training for job skills. [Another director] told of his
efforts to get students and set up classes, including a special class
in a business college in which 30 enrolled and 29 completed (one
student having been dropped for infraction of school attendance
rules). [The director] feels this is a fruitful avenue that has been
opened and hopes to explore it further.
There was another special session for directors on Friday morning.
One of the topics discussed was the matter of awards to be presented
to outstanding Georgists. There was continuing interest in this
subject which was broached at the 1966 Conference. It was felt that it
could be an annual award (a plaque or medal) presented by the Henry
George School to the "outstanding Georgist of the year". An
alternative suggestion was that the International Union make the award
every time an International Conference is held. The matter will be
Another topic at this session was the situation in [one extension
location], where the Director
finds it difficult to keep up
many different chores, and be answerable to various persons and,
groups, including the Board of the extension, the Alumni Group and New
York headquarters. Other directors concurred in urging that the "chain
of command" be clarified and simplified, and that the director
should consider himself responsible first and foremost for the job of
forming classes, other jobs to be undertaken as time and facilities
Robert Tideman told of special activities in Northern California. He
considers the branch system set up a few years ago to have proven
successful. Within the past year the Sacramento branch has been
enlarged to take advantage of the interest aroused by the election of
Irene Hickman as assessor. Mr. Tideman has made appearances on radio
and TV, and the Northern California extension has sponsored two TV
shows -- one on property assessments and one on land tenure problems
In Los Angeles too, the director, Harry Pollard, has been active in
broadcasting. He put in 23.5 hours in July on KPFK alone (a
subscription FM station), and has appeared on other radio and TV
shows. Mr. Pollard assisted in obtaining newspaper publicity for the
Montreal Conference, and this led to the suggestion that at future
Conferences there be workshop sessions on such matters as publicity.
Sunday morning was the final session, chaired by John Tetley, and
included evaluation and future plans. It was readily agreed that this
was a constructive and heartening Conference. For future Conferences
the following suggestions were made: Have separate work sections on
different subjects which delegates can choose. Do not take off so much
time for recreation (e.g., Expo could have been visited before or
after the Conference). Tap more talent, make more use of the people