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of devising and perfecting simple methods for holding in check the hordes of destructive rodents -rats, mice, rabbits, gophers, prairie dogs and ground squirrels-which annually destroy crops worth many millions of dollars, and it has published practical directions for the destruction of wolves and coyotes on the stock ranges of the west, resulting during the past year in an esti mated saving of cattle and sheep valued at upward of a million dollars.
It has inaugurated a system of inspection at the principal ports of entry on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts by means of which the introduction of noxious mammals and birds is prevented, thus keeping out the mongoose and certain birds which are as much to be dreaded as the previously introduced English sparrow and the house rats and mice.
In the interest of game protection it has COoperated with local officials in every state in the union, has striven to promote uniform legislation in the several states, has rendered important seryice in enforcing the federal law's regulating interstate traffic in game and has shown how game protection may be made to yield a large revenue to the state-a revenue amounting in the case of Illinois to $128,000 in a single year.
The biological survey has explored the fauna and flora of America with reference to the distribution of animals and plants; it has defined and mapped the natural life areas-areas in which, by reason of prevailing climatic conditions, certain kinds of animals and plants occur—and has pointed out the adaptability of these areas to the cultivation of particular crops. The results of these investigations are not only of high educational value, but are worth each year to the progressive farmers of the country many times the cost of maintaining the survey, which, it may be added, is exceedingly small. I recommend to congress that this bureau, whose usefulness is seriously handicapped by lack of funds, be granted an appropriation in some degree commensurate with the importance of the work it is doing.
OCEAN MAIL SERVICE. I call your especial attention to the unsatisfactory condition of our foreign mail service, which because of the lack of American steamship lines is now largely done through foreign lines and which, particularly so far as South and Central America are concerned, is done in a manner which constitutes a serious barrier to the extension of our commerce.
The time has come, in my judgment, to set to work seriously to make our ocean mail service cor respond more closely with our recent commercial and political development. A beginning was made by the ocean mail act of March 3, 1891, but even at that time the act was known to be inadequate in various particulars. Since that time events have moved rapidly in our history. We have acquired Hawaii, the Philippines and lesser islands in the Pacific. We are steadily prosecuting the great work of uniting at the isthmus the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific. To a greater extent than seemed probable even a dozen years ago, we may look to an American future on the sea worthy of the traditions of our past. As the first step in that direction, and the step most feasible at the present time, I recommend the extension of the ocean mail act of 1891. That act has stood for some years free from successful criticism of its principle and purpose. It was based on theories of the obligations of a great maritime nation, undisputed in our own land and followed by other nations since the beginning of steam navigation. Briefly those theories are, that it is the duty of a first-class power so far as practicable to carry its ocean mails under its own flag: that the fast ocean steamships and their crew's required for such mail service are valuable auxiliaries to the sea power of a nation. Furthermore, the construction of such steamships insures the maintenance in an efficient condition of the shipyards in which our battle ships must be built.
The expenditure of public money for the performance of such necessary functions of government is certainly warranted, nor it necessary to dwell upon the incidental benefits to our foreign com
merce, to the shipbuilding industry and to ship owning and navigation which will accompany the discharge of these urgent public duties, though they, too, should have weight.
The only serious question is whether at this time we can afford to improve our ocean mail service as it should be improved. All doubt on this subject is removed by the reports of the postoffice department. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1907, that department estimates that the postage collected on the articles exchanged with foreign coun. tries other than Canada and Mexico amounted to $6,579.043.48, or $3.637,226.81 more than the net cost of the service exclusive of the cost of transporting the articles between the United States exchange postoffices and the United States postoffices at which they, were mailed or delivered.
In other words, the government of the United States, having assumed a monopoly of carrying the mails for the people, is making a profit of over $3,600,000 by rendering a cheap and inefficient serv. ice. That profit I believe should be devoted to strengthening our maritime power in those directions where it will best promote our prestige. The country is familiar with the facts of our maritime impotence in the harbors of the great and friendly republics of South America. Following the failure of the shipbuilding bill we lost our only American line of steamers to Australasia, and that loss on the Pacific has become a serious embarrassment to the people of Hawaii and has wholly cut off the Samoan islands from regular communication with the Pacific coast. Puget sound, in the year, has lost over half (four out of seven) of its American steamers trading with the orient.
RECOMMENDS SUBSIDY PLAN. We now pay under the act of 1891 $4 a statute mile outward to twenty-knot American mail steamships, built according to naval plans, available as cruisers and manned by Americans. Steamships of that speed are confined exclusively to transatlantic trade with New York. To stea mships of sixteen knots or over only $2 a mile can be paid, and it is steamships of this speed and type which are needed to meet the requirements of mail service to South America, Asia (including the Philippines) and Australia. I strongly recommend, therefore, a simple amendment to the ocean mail act of 1891 which shall authorize the postmaster general in his discretion to enter into contracts for the transportation of mails to the republics of South America. to Asia, the Philippines and Australia at a rate not to exceed $4 a mile for steamships of sixteen knots speed or upward, subject to the restrictions and obligations of the act of 1891. The profit of $3,600.000 which has been mentioned will fully cover the maximum annual expenditure involved in this recommendation, and it is believed will in time establish the lines so urgently needed. The proposition involves no new principle, but permits the efficient discharge of public functions now inadequately performed or not performed at all.
MUST MAINTAIN THE ARMY, Not only there is not now, but there never has been, any other nation in the world so wholly free from the evils of militarism as is ours. There never has been any other large nation, not even China, which for so long a period has had relatively to its numbers so small a regular army as has ours. Never at any time in our history has this nation suffered from militarism or been in the remotest danger of suffering from militarism. Never at any time of our history has the regular army been of a size which caused the slightest appreciable tax upon the taxpaying citizens of the nation. Almost always it has been too small in size and underpaid. Never in our entire history has the nation suffered in the least particular because too much care has been given to the army, too much promi. nence given it, too much money spent upon it, or because it has been too large. But again and again we have suffered because enough care bas not been given to it, because it has been too small, because there has not been sufficient prearation in advance for possible war. Every foreign war in which we have engaged has cost us many times the amount which, if wisely expen led during the preceding years of peace on the reg!ilar army, would have insured the war ending in
but a fraction of the time and but for a fraction of the cost that was actually the case.
As a nation we have always been shortsighted in providing for the efficiency of the army in time of peace. It is nobody's especial interest to make such provision and no one looks ahead to war at any period, no matter how remote, as being a serious possibility; while an improper economy, or rather niggardliness, can be practiced at the expense of the army with the certainty that those practicing it will not be called to account there. for, but that the price will be paid by the unfortunate persons who happen to be in office when a war does actually come.
I think it is only lack of foresight that troubles us, not any hostility to the army. There are, of course, foolish people who denounce any care of the army or navy as "militarism," but I do not think that these people are numerous. This country has to contend now, and has had to contend in the past, with many evils, and there is ample scope for all who would work for reform. But there is not one evil that now exists, or that ever has existed in this country, which is, or ever has been, owing in the smallest part to militarism. Declamation against militarism has no more serious place in an earnest and intelligent movement for righteousness in this country than declamation against the worship of Baal or Ashtaroth. It is declamation against a nonexistent evil, one which never has existed in this country and which has not the slightest chance of appearing here. We are glad to help in any movement for interpational peace, but this is because we sincerely believe that it is our duty to help all such movements provided they are sane and rational, and not because there is any tendency toward militarism on our part which needs to be cured. The evils we have to fight are those in connection with industrialism, not militarism. Industry is always necessary, just as war is sometimes necessary. Each has its price and industry in the United States now exacts, and has always exacted, a far heavier toll of death than ali our wars
The statistics of the railroads of this country for the year ended June 30, 1906, the last contained in the annual statistical report of the interstate commerce commission, show in that one year a total of 108,324 casualties to persons, of which 10,618 represent the number of persons killed. In that wonderful hive of human activity, Pittsburg, the deaths due to industrial accidents in 1906 were 919, all the result of accidents in mills, mines or on railroads. For the entire country, therefore, it is safe to say that the deaths due to industrial accidents aggregate in the neighborhood of 20,000 a year. Such a record makes the death rate in all our foreign wars utterly trivial by comparison. The number of deaths in battle in all the foreign wars put together, for the last century and a quarter, aggregate considerably less than one year's death record for cur industries. A mere glance at these figures is sufficient to show the absurdity of the outcry against militarism,
But again and again in the past our little regullar army has rendered service literally vital to the country and it may at any time have to do so in the future. Its standard of efficiency and instruction is higher now than ever in the past. But it is too small. There are not enough officers and it is impossible to secure enough enlisted men. We should maintain in peace a fairly complete skeleton of a large army. A great and long-continued war would have to be fought by volunteers. But months would pass before any large body of efficient volunteers could be put in the field and our regular army should be large enough to meet any immediate need. In particular it is essential that we should possess a number of extra officers trained in peace to perform efficiently the duties urgently required upon the breaking out of war.
SHOULD EXTEND MEDICAL CORPS. The medical corps should be much larger than the needs of our regular army in war. Yet at present it is smaller than the needs of the service demand even in peace. The Spanish war oc
curred less than ten years ago.
The chief loss we suffered in it was by disease among the regiments which never left the country. At the moment the nation seemed deeply impressed by this fact; yet seemingly it has already been forgotten, for not the slightest effort has been made to prepare a medical corps of sufficient size to prevent the repetition of the same disaster on a much larger scale if we should ever be engaged in a serious conflict. The trouble in the Spanish war was not with the then existing officials of the war department; it was with the representatives of the people as a whole, who, for the preceding thirty yeai's, had declined to make the necessary provision for the army.
Unless ample provision is now made by congress to put the medical corps where it should be disaster in the next war is inevitable and the responsibility will not lie with those then in charge of the war department, but with those who now decline to make the necessary provision. A wellorganized medical corps, thoroughly trained before the advent of war in all the important administrative duties of a military sanitary corps, is essential to the efficiency of any large army, and especially of a large volunteer army. Such knowl. edge of medicine and surgery as is possessed by the medical profession generally will not alone suffice to make an efficient military surgeon. He must have, in addition, knowledge of the administration and sanitation of large field hospitals and camps, in order to safeguard the health and lives of men intrusted in great numbers to his care. A bill has long been pending before the congress for the reorganization of the medical corps; its passage is urgently reeded.
But the medical department is not the only department for which increased provision should be made. The rate of pay for the officers should be greatly increased; there is no higher type of citi, zen
than the American regular officer and he should have a fair reward for his admirable work. There should be a relatively even greater increase in the pay for the enlisted men. In especial provision should be made for establishing grades equivalent to those of warrant officers in the navy which should be open to the enlisted men who serve sufficiently long and who do their work well. Inducements should be offered sufficient to encourage really good men to make the army a life occupation. The prime need of our present army is to secure and retain competent noncommissioned officers. This difficulty rests fundamentally on the question of pay. The noncommissioned officer does not correspond with an unskilled laborer; he corresponds to the best type of skilled workman or to the subordinate official in civil institutions.
AMPLE REWARD AN INCENTIVE. Wages have greatly increased in outside occupations in the last forty years and the pay of the soldier, like the pay of the officers, should be proportionately increased. The first sergeant of a company, if a good man, must be one of such executive and administrative ability. and such knowledge of his trade, as to be worth far more than we at present pay him. The same is true of the regimental sergeant major. These men should be men who had fully resolved to make the army a life occupation and they should be able to look forward to ample reward; while only men properly qualified should be given a chance to secure these final rewards. The increase over the present pay need not be great in the lower grades for the first one or two enlistments, but the increase should be marked for the noncommissioned officers of the upper grades who serve long enough to make it evident that they intend to stay permanently in the army. while additional pay should be given for high qualifications in target practice. The position of warrant officer should be established and there should be not only an increase of pay, but an increase of privileges and allowances and dignity. so as to make the grade open to noncommissioned officers capable of filling it desirably from every standpoint.
The rate of desertion in our army now in time of peace
is alarming: The deserter should be treated by public opinion as a man guilty of the
greatest crime; while on the other hand the man who serves steadily in the army should be treated as what he is, that is, as pre eminently one of the best citizens of this republic. After twelve years' service in the army my own belief is that the man should be given a preference according to his ability for certain types of office over all civilian applicants without examination. This should also apply, of course, to the men who have served twelve years in the navy. A special corps should be provided to do the manual labor now necessarily demanded of the privates themselves.
Among the officers there should be severe examinations to weed out the unfit up to the grade of major. From that position on appointments should be solely by selection and it should be understood that a man of merely average capacity could never get beyond the position of major, while every man who serves in any grade a certain length of time prior to promotion to the next grade without getting the promotion to the next grade should be forthwith retired. The practice marches and field maneuvers of the last two or three years have been invaluable to the army. They should be continued and extended. A rigid and not a perfunctory examination of physical capacity has been provided for the higher grade officers. This will work well. Unless an officer has a good physique, unless he can stand hardship, ride well and walk fairly he is not fit for any position, even after he has become a colonel. Before he has become a colone) the need for physical fitness in the officer is almost as great as in the enlisted man. I hope speedily to see introduced into the army a far more rigid and thoroughgoing test of horsemanship for all field officers than at present. There should be a chief of cavalry just as there is a chief of artillery.
Perhaps the most important of all legislation needed for the benefit of the army is a law to equalize and increase the pay of officers and enlisted men of the army, navy, marine corps and revenue-cutter service. Such a bill has been prepared, which it is hoped will meet with your favorable consideration. The next most essential measure is to authorize a number of extra offcers as mentioned above. To make the army more attractive to enlisted men it is absolutely essential to create a service corps, such as exists in nearly every modern army in the world, to do the skilled and unskilled labor inseparably connected with military administration, which is now exacted, without just compensation, of enlisted men who voluntarily enter the army to do service of an altogether different kind. There are a number of other laws necessary to so organize the army as to promote its efficiency and facilitate its rapid expansion in time of war, but the above are the most important.
TO KEEP UP THE NAVY. It was hoped The Hague conference might deal with the question of the limitation of armaments. But even before it had assembled informnal inquiries had developed that as regards naval armaments, the only one in which this country had any interest, it was hopeless to try to devise any plan for which there was the slightest possibility of securing the assent of the nations gathered at The Hague. No plan was even proposed which would have bad the assent of more than one firstclass power outside of the United States. The only plan that seemed at all feasible, that of limiting the size of battle ships, met with no favor at all. It is evident, therefore, that it is folly for this nation to base any hope of securing peace on any international agreement as to the limitation of armaments. Such being the fact, it would be most unwise for us to stop the upbuilding of our navy, To build one battle ship of the best and most advanced type a year would barely keep our fleet up to its present force. This is not enough. In my judgment, we should this year provi'2 for four battle ships. But it is idle to build battle ships unless in addition to providing the men and the means for thorough training we provide the auxiliaries for them, unless we provide docks, the coaling stations, the colliers and supply ships that they need. We are extremely deficient in coaling stations and docks on the Pacific, and
this deficiency should not longer be permitted to exist. Plenty of torpedo boats and destroyers should be built. Both on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts fortifications of the best type should be provided for all our greatest harbors.
We need always to remember that in time of war the navy is not to be used to defend harbors and sea-coast cities; we should perfect our system of coast fortifications. The only efficient use for the navy is for offense. The only way in which it can efficiently protect our own coast against the possible action of a foreign navy is by destroying that foreign navy. For defense against a hosle fleet which actually
them, the coast cities must depend upon their forts, mines, torpedoes, submarines and torpedo boats and de stroyers. All of these together are efficient for defensive purposes, but they in no way supply the place of a thoroughly efficient navy capable of acting on the offensive, for parrying never yet won a fight. It can only be won by hard hitting and an aggressive sea-going navy alone can do this hard hitting of the offensive type. But the forts and the like are necessary so that the navy may be footloose. In time of war there is sure to be demand, under pressure of fright, for the ships to be scattered so as to defend all kind of ports. Under penalty of terrific disaster this demand must be refused. The ships must be kept together and their objective made the enemy's fleet. If fortifications sufficiently strong modern navy will venture' to attack them, so long as the foe has in existence a hostile navy of anything like the same size or efficiency. But unless there exists such a navy then the fortifications are powerless by themselves to secure the victory. For of course the mere deficiency means that any resolute enemy can at his leisure combine all his forces upon one point with the certainty that he can take it.
Until our battle fleet is much larger than at present it should never be split into detachments so far apart that they could not in event of emergency be speedily united. Our coast line is on the Pacific just as much as on the Atlantic. The interests of California, Oregon and Washington are as emphatically the interests of the whole union as those of Maine and New York or Louisiana and Texas. The battle fleet should now and then be moved to the Pacific just as at other times it should be kept in the Atlantic. When the isthmian canal is built the transit of the battle fleet from one ocean to the other will be comparatively easy. Until it is built I earnestly hope that the battle fleet will be thus shifted between the two oceans every year or two. The marksmanship on all our ships has improved phenomenally during the last five years. Until within the last two or three years it was not possible to train a battle fleet in squadron maneuvers under service conditions, and it is only during these last two or three years that the training under these conditions has become really effective,
PURPOSE OF PACIFIC TRIP. Another and most necessary stride in advance is now being taken. The battle fleet is about starting by the Straits of Magellan to visit the Pacific coast. Şixteen battle ships are going under the command of Rear-Admiral Evans, while eight armored cruisers and two other battle ships will meet him at San Francisco, whither certain torpedo destroyers are also going. No fleet of such size has ever made such a voyage, and it will be of very great educational use to all engaged in it. The only way by which to teach officers and men how to handle the fleet so as to meet every possible strain and emergency in time of war is to have them practice under similar conditions in time of peace. Moreover, the only way to find out our actual needs is to perform in time of peace whatever maneuvers might be necessary in time of war.
After war is declared it is too late to find out the needs: that means to invite disaster. This trip to the Pacific will show what some of our needs are and will enable us to provide for them. The
propei place for an officer to learn his duty is at sea, and the only way in which a navy can ever be made efficient is by practice at sea under
all the conditions which would have to be met if training. The board believes that this works a war existed.
serious detriment to the efficiency of the navy and I bespeak the most liberal treatment for the of- is a real menace to the public safety.' ficers and enlisted men of the navy. It is true of As stated in my special message to the last conthem, as likewise of the officers and enlisted men gress: “I am firmly of the opinion that unless the of the army, that they form a body whose inter- present condition of the higher commissioned perests should be close to the heart of every good sonnel is rectified by judicious legislation the American. in return the most rigid performance future of our navy will be gravely compromised." of duty should be exacted from them. The re- It is also urgently necessary to increase the efward should be ample when they do their best, ficiency of the medical corps of the navy. Speand nothing less than their best should be toler- cial legislation to this end has already been proated. It is idle to hope for the best results when posed and I trust it may be enacted without delay. the men in the senior grades come to those grades It must be remembered that everything done in late in life and serve too short a time in them. Up the navy to fit it to do well in time of war must to the rank of lieutenant-commander promotion in be done in time of peace. Modern wars are short, the navy should be as now, by seniority, subject, they do not last the length of time requisite to however, to such rigid tests as would eliminate the build a battle ship, and it takes longer to train the unfit.
officers and men to do well on a battle ship than After the grade of lieutenant-commander, that it takes to build it. Nothing effective can be done is, when we come to the grade of command rank, for the navy once war has begun and the result the unfit should be eliminated in such manner that of the war, if the combatants are otherwise equalonly the conspicuously fit would remain and sea ly matched, will depend upon which power has service should be a principal test of fitness. Those prepared best in time of peace. The United States who are passed by should, after a certain length navy is the best guaranty the nation has that its of service in their respective grades, be retired. honor and interest will not be neglected and in Of a given number of men it may well be that addition it offers by far the best insurance for almost all would make good lieutenants and most peace that can by human ingenuity be devised. of them good lieutenant-commanders, while only I call attention to the report of the official board a minority will be fit to be captains and but three of visitors to the naval academy at Annapolis or four to be admirals. Those who object to pro- which has been forwarded to the congress.
The motion otherwise than by mere seniority should re. report contains this paragraph: flect upon the ementary fact tha no business
Such revision should be made of the courses private life could be successfully managed if those of study and methods of conducting and marking who enter at the lowest rungs of the ladder should examinations as will develop and bring out the each in turn. if he lived, become the head of the average all-round ability of the midshipman rather firm, its active director, and retire after he had than to give him prominence in any one particular held the position a few months. On its face such study. The fact should be kept in mind that the a scheme is an absurdity. Chances for improper naval academy is not a university, but a school, favoritism can be minimized by a properly forme the primary object of which is to educate boys to board, such as the board of last June, which did be efficient naval officers. Changes in curriculum, such conscientious and excellent work in elimina- therefore, should be in the direction of making the tion.
course of instruction less theoretical and more If all that ought to be done cannot now be done, practical. No portion of any future class should at least let a beginning be made. In my last be graduated in advance of the full four years' three annual messages and in a special message course, and under no circumstances should the to the last congress the necessity for legislation standard of instruction be lowered. The academy that will cause officers of the line of the navy to in almost all of its departments is now magnifireach the grades of captain and rear-admiral at cently equipped and it would be very unwise to less advanced ages and which will cause them to make the course of instruction less exacting than have more training and experience in the it is to-day. highly responsible duties of those grades, so that Acting upon this suggestion I designated three they may become thoroughly skillful in handling seagoing officers, Capt. Richard Wainwright, Combattle ships, divisions, squadrons and fleets in ac- mander Robert S. Griffin and Lieutenant-Commandtion, has been fully explained and urgently recom- er Albert L. Key, all graduates of the academy, to mended. Upon this subject the secretary of the investigate conditions and to recommend to me the navy has submitted detailed and definite recom- best method of carrying into effect this general mendations which have received my approval and recommendation. These officers performed the duty which, if enacted into law, will accomplish what promptly and intelligently and under the personal is immediately necessary, and will, as compared direction of Capt. Charles J. Badger, superintendwith existing law, make a saving of more than ent of the academy, such of the proposed changes $5,000,000 during the next seven years. The navy were deemed to be at present advisable were personnel act of 1899 has accomplished all that was put into effect at the beginning of the academic expected of it in providing satisfactory reriods of year, Oct. 1 last. The results, I am confident, service in the several subordinate grades, from will be most beneficial to the academy, to the the grade of ensign to the grade of lieutenant-com- midshipmen and to the navy. mander. but the law is inadequate in the upper grades and will continue to be inadequate on ac
BEHAVIOR TO OTHER NATIONS. count of the expansion of the personnel since its In foreign affairs this country's steady policy is enactment.
to behave toward other nations as a strong and REPORT OF PERSONNEL BOARD.
self-respecting man should behave toward the other
men with whom he is brought into contact. In Your attention is invited to the following quota- other words, our aim is disinterestedly to help tions from the report of the personnel board of other nations where such help can be wisely given 1906, of which the assistant secretary of the navy without the appearance of meddling with what was president:
does not concern us; to be careful to act as a good “Congress has authorized a considerable increase neighbor, and at the same time, in good-natured in the number of midshipmen at the naval acad- fashion, to make it evident that we do not inemy and these midshipmen upon graduation are
tend to be imposed upon. promoted to ensign and lieutenant (junior grade). But no provision has been made for a correspond
THE HAGUE CONFERENCE. ing increase in the upper grades, the result being The second international peace conference was that the lower grades will become so congested that convened at The Hague on the 15th of June last a midshipman now in one of the lowest classes at and remained in session until the 18th of OctoAnnapolis may possibly not be promoted to lieu- ber. For the first time the representatives of tenant until he is between 45 and 50 years of practically all the civilized countries of the world age. So it will continue under the present law, united in a temperate and kindly discussion of the congesting at the top and congesting at the bot- methods by which the causes of war might be tom. The country fails to get from the officers of narrowed and its injurious effects reduced. the service the best that is in them by not provid- Although the agreements reached in the confering opportunity for their normal development and ence did not in any direction go to the length
hoped for by the more sanguine, yet in many di- practical effect to the experience gained in that rections important steps were taken and upon every inquiry. subject on the programme there was such full Substantial progress was also made toward the and considerate discussion as to justify the be- creation of a permanent judicial tribunal for the lief that substantial progress has been made to- determination of international causes. There was ward further agreements in the future. Thirteen very full discussion of the proposal for such a conventions were agreed upon embodying the def- court and a general agreement was finally reached inite conclusions which had been reached and reso- in favor of its creation. The conference recomlutions were adopted marking the progress made mended to the signatory powers the adoption of a in matters upon which agreement was not yet suf- draft upon which it agreed for the organization of ficiently complete to make conventions practicable. the court, leaving to be determined only the method The delegates of the United States were in- by which the judges should be selected.
This restructed to favor an agreement for obligatory ar- maining unsettled question is plainly one which bitration, the establishment of a permanent court time and good temper will solve. of arbitration to proceed judicially in the hearing A further agreement of the first importance was and decision of international causes, the prohibi- that for the creation of an international prize tion of force for the collection of contract debts court. The constitution, organization and procedalleged to be due from governments to citizens of ure of such a tribunal were provided for in detail. other countries until after arbitration as to the Any one who recalls the injustices under which justice and amount of the debt and the time and
this country suffered as a neutral power during the manner of payment, the immunity of private prop- early part of the last century cannot fail to see in erty at sea, the better definition of the rights of
this provision for an international prize court the neutrals and in case any measure to that end great advance which the world is making toward should be introduced, the limitation of armaments. the substitution of the rule of reason and justice
In the field of peaceful disposal of international in place of simple force. Not only will the interdifferences several important advances were made. national prize court be the means of protecting the First, as to obligatory arbitration. Although the interests of neutrals, but it is in itself a step toconference failed to secure a unanimous agreement ward the creation of the more general court for upon the details of a convention for obligatory ar- the hearing of international controversies to which bitration, it did resolve as follows:
reference has just been made. The organization "It is unanimous: (1) In accepting the principle and action of such a prize court cannot fail to acfor obligatory arbitration; (2) In declaring that custom the different countries to the submission of certain differences, and notably those relating to international questions to the decision of an interthe interpretation and application of international national tribunal, and we may confidently expect conventional stipulations, are susceptible of being the results of such submission to bring about a submitted to obligatory arbitration without any re- general agreement upon the enlargement of the striction."
practice. In view of the fact that as a result of the discus- Numerous provisions were adopted for reducing sion the vote upon the definite treaty of obligatory the evil effects of war and for defining the rights arbitration, which was proposed, stood 32 in favor and duties of neutrals. to 9 against the adoption of the treaty, there can The conference also provided for the holding of be little doubt that the great majority of the a third conference within a period similar to that countries of the world have reached a point where which elapsed between the first and second conferthey are now ready to apply practically the princi- ences. ples thus unanimously agreed upon by the confer- The delegates of the United States worthily repence.
resented the spirit of the American people and The second advance, and a very great one, is the maintained with fidelity and ability the policy of agreement which relates to the use of force for the our government upon all the great questions discollection of contract debts. Your attention is in- cussed in the conference. vited to the paragraphs upon this subject in my The report of the delegation, together with aumessage of December, 1906, and to the resolution of thenticated copies of the conventions signed, when the third American conference at Rio in the sum- received, will be laid before the senate for its conmer of 1906. The convention upon this subject sideration. adopted by the conference substantially as pro- When we remember how difficult it is for one of posed by the American delegates is as follows: our own legislative bodies, composed of citizens of
“In order to avoid between nations armed con- the same country, speaking the same language, flicts of a purely pecuniary origin arising from con- living under the same laws and having the same tractual debts claimed of the government of one customs, to reach an agreement or even to secure country by the government of another country to a majority upon any difficult and important subject be due to its nationals, the signatory powers agree which is proposed for legislation, it becomes plain not to have recourse to armed force for the collec- that the representatives of forty-five different countion of such contractual debts.
tries, speaking many different languages, accus. **However, this stipulation shall not be applica- tomed to different methods of procedure, with ble when the debtor state refuses or leaves unan. widely diverse interests, who discussed so many swered an offer to arbitrate, or, in case of accept- different subjects and reached agreements upon so ance, makes it impossible to formulate the terms many, are entitled to grateful appreciation for the of submission, or, after arbitration, fails to comply wisdom, patience and moderation with which they with the award rendered.
have discharged their duty. The example of this “It is further agreed that arbitration here con- temperate discussion and the agreements and the templated shall be in conformity as to procedure efforts to agree among representatives of all the with chapter III. of the convention for the pacifis nations of the earth, acting with universal recog. settlement of international disputes adopted at nition of the supreme obligation to promote peace, The Hague and that it shall determine in so far as cannot fail to be a powerful influence for good in there shall be no agreement between the parties future international relations. the justice and the amount of the debt, the time and mode of payment thereof."
CUBA QUIET AND PROSPEROUS. Such a provision would have prevented much in- A year ago in consequence of a revolutionary justice and extortion in the past and I cannot movement in Cuba, which threatened the imme. doubt that its effect in the future will be most diate. return to chaos of the island, the United salutary.
States intervened, sending down an army and es. A third advance has been made in amending and tablishing a provisional government under Gov. perfecting the convention for 1899 for the voluntary Magoon. Absolute quiet and prosperity have resettlement of international disputes, and particu- turned to the island because of this action. We larly the extension of those parts of that conver- are now taking steps to provide for elections in tion which relate to commissions of inquiry. The the island and our expectation is within the comexistence of those provisions enabled the govern- ing year to be able to turn the island over again ments of Great Britain and Russia to avoid war, to government chosen by the people thereof. notwithstanding great public excitement, at the Cuba is at our doors. It is not possible that this time of the Dogger bank incident, and the new nation should permit, Cuba again to sink into the convention agreed upon by the conference gives condition from which we rescued it. All that we