« ForrigeFortsett »
ask of the Cuban people is that they be prosperous, that they govern themselves so as to bring content, order and progress to their island, the queen of the Antilles, and our only interference has been and will be to help them achieve these results.
JAPANESE EXPOSITION OF 1912.
An invitation has been extended by Japan to the government and people of the United States to participate in a great national exposition to be held at Tokyo from April 1 to Oct. 31, 1912, and in which the principal countries of the world are to be invited to take part. This is an occasion of special interest to all the nations of the world and peculiarly so to us, for it is the first instance in which such a great national exposition has been held by a great power dwelling on the Pacific and all the nations of Europe and America will, I trust, join in helping to success this first great exposition ever held by a great nation of Asia. The geographical relations of Japan and the United States as the possessors of such large portions of the coast of the Pacific, the intimate trade relations already existing between the two countries, the warm friendship which has been maintained between them without break since the opening of Japan to intercourse with the western nations and her increasing wealth and production, which we regard with hearty good will and wish to make the occasion of mutually beneficial commerce, all unite in making it eminently desirable that this invitation should be accepted.
I heartily recommend such legislation as will provide in generous fashion for the representation of this government and its people in the proposed exposition. Action should be taken now. We are apt to underestimate the time necessary for preparation in such cases. The invitation to the French exposition of 1900 was brought to the attention of the congress by President Cleveland in December, 1895, and so many are the delays necessary to such proceedings that the period of four years and a half which then intervened before the exposition proved none too long for the proper preparation of the exhibits.
GERMAN TARIFF AGREEMENT.
The adoption of a new tariff by Germany, accompanied by conventions for reciprocal tariff concessions between that country and most of the other countries of continental Europe, led the German government to give the notice necessary to terminate the reciprocal commercial agreement with this country proclaimed July 13, 1900. The notice was to take effect on the 1st of March, 1906, and in default of some other arrangements this would have left the exports from the United States to Germany subject to the general German tariff duties, from 25 to 50 per cent higher than the conventional duties imposed upon the goods of most of our competitors for German trade.
Under a special agreement made between the two governments in February, 1906, the German government postponed the operation of their notice until the 30th of June. 1907. In the meantime. deeming it to be my duty to make every possible effort to prevent a tariff war between the United States and Germany arising from misunderstanding by either country of the conditions existing in the other and acting upon the invitation of the German government, I sent to Berlin a commission composed of competent experts in the operation and administration of the customs tariff from the departments of the treasury and commerce and labor. This commission was engaged for several months in conference with a similar commission appointed by the German government, under instructions, so far as practicable, to reach a common understanding as to all the facts regarding the tariffs of the United States and Germany material and relevant to the trade relations between the two countries. The commission reported, and upon the basis of the report a further temporary commercial agreement was entered into by the two countries, pursuant to which, in the exercise of the authority conferred upon the president by the third section of the tariff act of July 24, 1897, I extended the reduced tariff rates provided for in that section to champagne and all other sparkling wines, and pursuant to which the German conventional or mini
mum tariff rates were extended to about 961⁄2 per cent of all the exports from the United States to Germany. This agreement is to remain in force until the 30th of June, 1908, and until six months after notice by either party to terminate it.
The agreement and the report of the commission on which it is based will be laid before the congress for its information.
COMPLAINT OF GERMAN EXPORTERS. This careful examination into the tariff relations between the United states and Germany involved an inquiry into certain of our methods of administration which had been the cause of much complaint on the part of German exporters. In this inquiry I became satisfied that certain vicious and unjustifiable practices had grown up in our customs administration, notably the practice of determining values of imports upon detective reports never dis closed to the persons whose interests were affected. The use of detectives, though often necessary, tends toward abuse and should be carefully guarded.
Under our practice as I found it to exist in this case, the abuse had become gross and discreditable. Under it, instead of seeking information as to the market value of merchandise from the well-known and respected members of the commercial community in the country of its production, secret statements were obtained from informers and discharged employes and business rivals, and upon this kind of secret evidence the values of imported goods were frequently raised and heavy penalties were frequently imposed upon importers who were never permitted to know what the evidence was and who never had an opportunity to meet it. It is quite probable that this system tended toward an increase of the duties collected upon imported goods, but I conceive it to be a violation of law to exact more duties than the law provides, just as it is a violation to admit goods upon the payment of less than the legal rate of duty. This practice was repugnant to the spirit of American law and to American sense of justice. In the judgment of the most competent experts of the treasury department and the department or commerce and labor it was wholly unnecessary for the due collection of the customs revenues, and the attempt to defend it merely illustrates the demoralization which naturally follows from a long-continued course of reliance upon such methods.
I accordingly caused the regulations governing this branch of the customs service to be modified so that values are determined upon a hearing in which all the parties interested have an opportu nity to be heard and to know the evidence against them. Moreover, our treasury agents are accredited to the government of the country in which they seek information, and in Germany receive the assistance of the quasi-official chambers of commerce in determining the actual market value of goods in accordance with what I am advised to be the true construction of the law.
These changes of regulations were adapted to the removal of such manifest abuses that I have not felt that they ought to be confined to our relations with Germany, and I have extended their operation to all other countries which have expressed a desire to enter into similar administrative relations.
CANCELING CHINA'S INDEMNITY.
I ask for authority to re-form the agreement with China under which the indemnity of 1900 was fixed by remitting and canceling the obligation of China for the payment of all that part of the stipulated indemnity which is in excess of the sum of $11,654,492.69 and interest at 4 per cent. After the rescue of the foreign legations in Pekin during the Boxer troubles in 1900 the powers required from China the payment of equitable indemnities to the several nations, and the final protocol under which the troops were withdrawn, signed at Pekin Sept. 7, 1901, fixed the amount of this indemnity allotted to the United States at over $20,000,000, and China paid up to and including the 1st day of June last a little over $6,000,000. It was the first intention of this government at the proper time, when all claims had been presented and all expenses ascertained as fully as possible, to revise the estimates and account and as a proof of sincere friendship for China voluntarily to release that country from
its legal liability for all payments in excess of the sum which should prove to be necessary for actual indemnity to the United States and its citizens.
HELP FOR CHINESE STUDENTS.
This nation should help in every practicable way in the education of the Chinese people so that the vast and populous empire of China may gradually adapt itself to modern conditions. One way of doing this is by promoting the coming of Chinese students to this country and making it attractive to them to take courses at our universities and higher educational institutions. Our educators should, so far as possible, take concerted action toward this end.
ROOT'S VISIT TO MEXICO.
On the courteous invitation of the president of Mexico, the secretary of state visited that country in September and October and was received everywhere with the greatest kindness and hospitality.
He carried from the government of the United States to our southern neighbor a message of re spect and good will and of desire for better acquaintance and increasing friendship. The response from the government and the people of Mexico was hearty and sincere. No pains were spared to manifest the most friendly attitude and feeling toward the United States.
In view of the close neighborhood of the two countries the relations which exist between Mexico and the United States are just cause for gratification. We have a common boundary of over 1.500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. Much of it is marked only by the shifting waters of the Rio Grande. Many thousands of Mexicans are residing upon our side of the line and it is estimated that over 40,000 Americans are resident in Mexican territory and that American investments in Mexico amount to over $700.000.000. The extraordinary industrial and commercial prosperity of Mexico has been greatly promoted by American enterprise, and Americans are sharing largely in its results. The foreign trade of the republic already exceeds $240,000,000 per annum, and of this twothirds both of exports and imports are exchanged with the United States.
Under these circumstances numerous questions necessarily arise between the two countries. These questions are always approached and disposed of in a spirit of mutual courtesy and fair dealing. Americans carrying on business in Mexico testify uniformly to the kindness and consideration with which they are treated and their sense of the se
curity of their property and enterprises under the wise administration of the great statesman who has so long held the office of chief magistrate of that republic.
The two governments have been uniting their efforts for a considerable time past to aid Central America in attaining the degree of peace and order which have made possible the prosperity of the northern parts of the continent. After the peace between Guatemala, Honduras and Salvador, celebrated under the circumstances described in my last message, a new war broke out between the republics of Nicaragua, Honduras and Salvador. The effort to compose this new difficulty has resulted in the acceptance of the joint suggestion of the presidents of Mexico and of the United States for a general peace conference between all the countries of Central America. On the 17th day of September last a protocol was signed between the representatives of the five Central American countries accredited to this government agreeing upon a conference to be held in the city of Washington "in order to devise the means of preserving the good relations among said republics and bringing about permanent peace in those coun tries." The protocol includes the expression of a wish that the presidents of the United States and Mexico should appoint "representatives to lend their good and impartial offices in a purely friendly way toward the realization of the objects of the conference." The conference is now in session and will have our best wishes and, where it is practicable, our friendly assistance.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS. One of the results of the Pan-American conference at Rio Janeiro in the summer of 1906 has been a great increase in the activity and usefulness of the international bureau of American republics. That institution, which includes all the American republics in its membership and brings all their representatives together, is doing a really valuable work in informing the people of the United States about the other republics and in making the United States known to them. Its action is now limited by appropriations determined when it was doing a work on a much smaller scale and rendering much less valuable service. I recommend that the contribution of this government to the expenses of the bureau be made commensurate with its increased work. THEODORE ROOSEVELT.
The White House, Dec. 3. 1907.
FAILURES IN THE UNITED STATES.
[From Dun's Review, New York ]
3802 $47.813,683 2855 $41.026.261 2792 $32.167.179 3748 $52.188,737 13, 197 $173,196.060
$13,124 226.096,134 14.992 154,332,071 11.559 25,104,778 2938 38,113,482 12, 186 130.662,899 17,640,972 2483 31.175.984 9,337 90,879,889 27,119,996 2923 36.628,225 10,774 138,495,673 24,756,172 2919 32.531,514 11,145 113,092,376 10.279 25.032.634 2939 32.069,279 11,615 117,476,769 10.114 34.858,595 3893 53.788.330 12.069 155.444.185 12,879 32,168.296 3016 32,543,106 12,199 144.202.311 11.820 20.329,443 2714 26,442.144 11.520 102,676,172 21.996,163 2770 34,541,278 10,682 119,201.515 46.467,686
EDWARD P. WESTON'S REMARKABLE WALK.
Edward P. Weston, the pedestrian who in 1867 walked from Portland, Me.. to Chicago in fast time, repeated his feat in 1907, though 69 years of age. He left Portland Oct. 29 and arrived at the postoffice in Chicago at 12:14 p. m. Nov. 27, making the distance of 1,230 miles in 24 days and 19 hours. He thus beat his record of 1867, which was
25 days and 22 hours, by more than a day. His longest day's walk was from Ligonier to Chesterton, Ind., a distance of 95 miles, made Nov. 25. In 1867 he left Portland Oct. 29 and arrived in Chicago Nov. 28. His best record for one day on that trip was 82 miles.
STATISTICS OF EDUCATION.
COMMON SCHOOL STATISTICS (1905-1906).
Population, enrollment, average daily attendance, number and sex of teachers.
INSTRUCTORS AND STUDENTS IN PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS AND IN PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS
AND ACADEMIES (1905-1906).
PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS.
PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
Schools in Alaska supported by the government..
Schools in Alaska supported by incorporated municipalities (estimated)..
Private kindergartens (estimated)
Miscellaneous, including schools of music, oratory, elocution, cookery, etc. (est.)..