Legitimate Demands

An agreement between a group of bankers and a city was about to expire. By its terms the bankers were to assist the city to acquire the local electric and gas system and to arrange for the sale of the city's bonds to finance the purchase. The bankers had not been able to complete their work within the time specified, but felt that if the agreement were extended for a short period, satisfactory progress could be made. When the city officials hesitated to assent to such an extension the bankers resorted to the use of high-pressure methods and political influence. Offended by this aggressive procedure, the city's representatives angrily refused to extend the agreement.

An engineer was called in by the bankers. The circumstances were explained to him, and he was told that, since all others had failed, it was up to him to persuade the city officials, in a final conference, to extend the agreement for at least thirty days. The engineer was a student of Christian Science. He recognized at once that, while it was his job to carry out, in so far as possible, the wishes of those who employed him, he could not force or even attempt to persuade the city officials to do anything contrary to what they considered right.

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October 5, 1946
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