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Another important achievement is Cuban Relations the establishment on a proper basis Established.
of relations between Cuba and the United States. The steady pressure of the President and the administration has at last secured the ratification of a Cuban reciprocity treaty. This measure was due to Cuba as a part of the consideration which led to the acceptance of the • Platt amendment" to the Cuban constitution that gives us naval bases and in other ways gives us a preferred position. When the reci. procity negotiations began, a 50 per cent. rebate on Cuban sugar seemed necessary to restore the agricultural prosperity of the island. But within the past few months the world price of sugar has improved so much that the 20 per cent. rebate provided in the new reciprocity treaty will avail to give the Cuban planters sufficient incentive to cultivate the land, and to restore the farm improvements that suffered so much during the war period. The reciprocity treaty is not to be regarded as an act of favor to the Cubans, for it secures return concessions of great value to American agriculture and commerce. The capitalists of this country are taking an interest in Cuban railway development, and the island is doubtless about to enter upon a period of prosperity. Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, in February and March, aroused expectations by visits to Havana and inspection of the new trunk railway lines built by Americans and Canadians.
A party of prominent officials, headed Our New Naval Stations.
by the Secretary of the Navy, Mr.
Moody, and including members of Congress prominent on the naval committees, was in Cuba, last month, inspecting the two sites agreed upon sor United States naval stations. One of these is Guantanamo, on the south coast, and the other is Bahia Honda, which is not far from Havana, on the north coast. The more important of the two is the one first named. The harbor of Guantanamo is spacious, and the conditions are favorable for the creation there of a very important naval base. Trustworthy reports pronounce President Palma's administration a capable and successful one. Good order prevails throughout the island ; the sanitary system established under American administration has been maintained ; there is widespread interest in education, and the relations of the Cubans with the Spanish element of the popula. tion, which were formerly so strained, are said to be improving constantly.
There is no question upon which Our Need of President Roosevelt has firmer cona Navy.
victions than that of naval expansion. The two sessions of ('ongress since he came to the White House have each made liberal provision for naval increase, and have been influenced in doing it by the President's constant interest and enthusiasm. It was finally agreed, at the very close of the last session, early in March, to reconcile the differences between the two houses as to the kind of new ships to
It is to be regretted that the ratificaEffect of the treaty De- tion of the reciprocity treaty, like ferred.
that of the Panama Canal treaty, was left to be accomplished in an extra session of the Senate called by President Roosevelt immediately after the expiration of Congress, on March 4. Since a commercial reciprocity treaty involves revenue changes, it is the established opinion that it must be confirmed by action of the House of Representatives. Thus, although the treaty was ratified on March 19, it cannot be put into practical effect for a good many months. In the usual course of things, the new Congress will assemble next December. It is possible, however, that the President may decide to convoke the houses in October or November. The Cuban Congress at Havana, meanwhile, had adjourned on March 17. The Cuban Senate had adopted the reciprocity treaty by a vote of 16 to 5. The Cuban treasury is to negotiate a loan of $35,000,000, from the proceeds of which the soldiers of the army of liberation will receive their back pay and other pressing needs will be met. The Cuban outlook is now so good that there is no reason why this money should not be borrowed upon favorable terms.
be ordered, by providing for five battleships, make liberal shipbuilding appropriations, and three of them to be of 16,000 and two of 13,000 to take more seriously the American naval protons displacement. The total naval appropria gramme. There is very little attempt at contion bill for the coming year amounts to nearly cealment in Germany, even in governmental $84,000,000, as against about $80,000,000 for circles, of the German ambition to annex Hol. the current year. The naval experts all believe land. Such a consummation may be prevented strongly in the relative value of the very large for many years, and, indeed, it may never come type of battleship. The famous Oregon will be about at all. But that Germany would seize the a small affair by the side of the Connecticut and first opportunity to take Holland is not to be the Louisiana, now building, and the other big ves doubted, in view of the history of Germany in sels just ordered. The Oregon is a ship of about the past forty years, beginning with the seizure 10,000 tons. We have now definitely provided of a part of Denmark. The future of Holland for several battleships of at least 16,000 tons. is a matter of concern to the United States beOur navy is decidedly short of officers and men, cause of the Dutch possessions in the Western and the large ship is relatively economical in Hemisphere. Germany would like very well to that respect, since it needs no more officers, and acquire Dutch Guiana, on the north coast of scarcely a larger crew, than the smaller type. South America, and the Dutch Islands in the Moreover, our principal naval competitors are West Indies ; but America does not want Gerbuilding ships of the large type, and England many's militant system brought across the At. has even begun to build some of 18,000 tons lantic, and would not willingly allow German displacement.
naval bases to be established in the vicinity of
the Panama Canal. It has become the habit of our naval Comparisons officers constantly to compare our
It is true that Germany has most disWith Germany.
Germany's naval strength with that of Germany.
tinctly declared to our government According to present indications, we shall not
that it has no intention to acquire he far behind that country at the end of another territory or naval stations in the West Indies or five years. It is a very significant fact that on the South American coast. Yet it is also some of the foremost German naval authorities notably true that Germany's intentions change have deeply regretted Germany's recent joint rapidly under altered conditions. It may be set expedition against Venezuela because of its ef down as true that one of the reasons for the al. fect in stimulating the American Congress to most unanimous ratification by the Senate, last
of President Roosevelt, and of the leaders in Congress as well, that the way to make our present good relations with Germany secure for the long future is to keep our navy fully equal to hers, and to insist without hesitation upon our full present interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine. Meanwhile, our government will welcome every indication of growing strength and stability in the other republics of the Western Hemisphere.
will have both About Trusts. the right and the
disposition to set forth to SOMETHING IN THE SMOKE.
his Western audiences what From the News-Tribune (Detroit).
has been done in the direc
tion of bringing trusts month, of a Panama Canal treaty which many of under federal regulation, in the confident tone the Senators would have been glad to amend in of one who has a good report to make. In various ways, was the knowledge that a strong some quarters, there is a studied effort to belittle German movement had been organized to buy what has been done at Washington with this the French Panama company's assets and secure great question. The real surprise is not that so a Colombian franchise, in case the United States little has been done, but that such remarkable should lose its French option by delay beyond progress has been made without disturbance the time limit. Moreover, not many well-in of business conditions. To begin with, the work formed people suppose that the trifling debts
of the Industrial Commission had done much to which formed the pretext for Germany's expedi enlighten the country as to the facts of recent tion against Venezuela supplied the real motive consolidations of capital and of prevailing trust for that enterprise. Such expeditions often lead, methods. The vigorous attempts of Attorney . by a chain of occurrences, to the gaining of some General Knox to enforce such laws as sort of foothold. Thus, England's obligation to found on the statute books had also helped to keep out of Egypt was almost, if not quite, as clear as Germany's to keep out of Venezuela. Yet Egypt's debt led to a foreign regulation of finances, which, in turn, gave excuse for interference to suppress a revolution, followed, in further turn, by a temporary occupation that has now grown into a permanent control, together with the open annexation of a large part of the Egyptian Sudan.
It would have seemed impossible at one time that anything of this sort could have come about without plunging England into a great war with France. The German colonial party has been hoping that by an analogous streak of luck Germany might some. how gain a foothold in the West Indies and in South America without having to fight the United States. Germany is not seeking war any more than we are ; and Germany's desire for friendly relations with the United States is perfectly sincere. But it is doubtless the opinion
From the Pioneer Press (St. Paul).
THE WATCHFUL EAGLE.
clear the atmosphere and to elucidate the rela- been deeply hostile to President Roosevelt and tions between the Government and interstate have resented all measures for the increase of commerce. The appropriation by Congress of federal control over interstate commerce, it a large sum of money to facilitate the prosecu would seem clearly to their interest to relax tion of offenses under the Sherman anti-trust their political efforts. President Roosevelt has law, and the act to give such cases the right of a reasonable mind; he is courageous, he is way in the courts, are measures of no little prac honest, and he has a well- balanced sense of tical importance. A portion of the press con justice. If the great corporate interests of the stantly insists upon tariff reform as the one country should endeavor to elect to the Presi. feasible method by which to abolish the evils of dency a man more pliable and more susceptible the trusts ; but it must be plain to every careful to their suggestions, they would not only be student of the subject that it is not the tariff quite likely to fail in their attempt, but they system, but the transportation system, that is would certainly be exposed ;-with the result of most fundamentally accountable for those evils provoking a public hostility that might lead to that have accompanied the rapid growth of great fanatical anti-trust measures and to the wideindustrial aggregations.
spread injury of legitimate business. The Elkins bill, therefore, is to be re.
Secretary Root was obliged to give Fair Play and garded as a measure of the greatest Efficiency. up his plan of accompanying the Pres . possible significance. It undertakes
ident on the long Western tour by to abolish that system of rebates and discrimina reason of the urgency of the business of his detions by means of which the great shippers have partment. No other member of the cabinet has been enabled to destroy their small competitors had even a fraction of the important affairs on or place them at a serious disadvantage. It his hands that have taxed the energies of the seems to be the practical opinion of railroad men Secretary of War. With Mr. Root absent, the that the Elkins bill will actually succeed in break President will have the more freedom to express ing up the widely prevalent system of favoritism his appreciation of the remarkable efficiency of in transportation rates. Finally, legislation estab this leading member of his cabinet,--an efficiency lishing the new Department of Commerce and probably unequaled by that of any other cabinet Labor places in the hands of the President as minister now in the service of any government much power as could well be utilized at the pres in the world, not excepting Mr. Chamberlain or ent time. It gives/to the new Bureau of Corpora M. de Witte. M. Waldeck-Rousseau, the most tions full authority to investigate all trusts and to successful of all French ministers, has exhibited make such use of the information obtained as is a combination of qualities in many ways suggestdeemed beneficial. Under this power, the much ive of those that distinguish Mr. Root in his advocated remedy of publicity can be applied to public work. The great French ex-premier is a the methods of trusts and great corporations to distinguished lawyer, a persuasive orator, a man as complete a degree as experience may show to of marked executive talent, and a statesman of be necessary.
It is quite true that further leg. constructive mind who quickly grasps the saliislation relating to trusts may be imperative in ent elements in any problem or situation. Mr. the future ; but we shall only know what that Root's work at the War Department has been legislation ought to be by virtue of the knowl. one long series of brilliant achievements. The edge and experience that will result from the new militia law and the general staff measure, faithful and impartial application of the laws both secured under his leadership, will in the that have been enacted in this recent session end quite transform our military conditions, of Congress.
the one as respects our potential strength in the
rank and file for purposes of defense, the other In all his dealing with this subject, as respects the efficiency of the army at the top. What Next in the Trust President Roosevelt has been faith Mr. Root's success in mastering and dealing with
Question ? ful to the interests of the great army problems is in marked contrast with the American public as he has understood those failure of the English war secretary, Mr. Brodinterests. The new Congress might do well to rick. The laying of the corner-stone of the new let the subject of trusts alone, in order to give War College at Washington, late in February, the Department of Commerce, the Attorney. on which occasion President Roosevelt and Sec. General, and the Interstate Commerce Com retary Root both made able speeches, was merely mission time to develop the possibilities of the one incident in the development of a well-coörlegislation that is now on the statute books. dinated scheme for the advanced training of our As for certain corporation interests that have army officers in the various branches of military
science. The aim of the President and the War Secretary is not to have a large army, but, in the President's language, to have our comparatively small army represent the very highest point of efficiency of any army in the civilized world.”
Mr. Root's work, however, has been In the
vastly greater than that ordinarily Philippines.
belonging to a Secretary of War, for he is also a colonial secretary. He had to deal with all the problems of the administration and reconstruction of Cuba, until we set up the new republic there. He has had to give constant attention to the affairs of Porto Rico, Hawaii, and, above all, to those of the Philippines. The bill appropriating $3,000,000 for the relief of dis. tress in the Philippines,-growing out of crop failures, the death by disease of domestic animals, the cholera epidemic, and other adverse conditions,—was duly passed by Congress, although the pending measure for the reduction of tariff charges on commerce between the Phil. ippines and the United States failed of action and will have to go over to the next Congress. For present purposes, however, the Philippine coinage act that was passed will be even more useful than a measure of tariff concessions. The Philippines have been on a fluctuating silver basis, to the great embarrassment and detriment of commerce. The new standard of value is to be a gold peso of the weight of 12 9-10 grains. The Mexican silver dollar has been the coin of common circulation. In place of this there will be a Philippine silver dollar, or peso, of 416 grains' w eight, and this will be coined by the Government from bullion bought for the purpose.
It will be redeemable at the ratio of two of these silver coins for one standard gold pesa.
that a measure might be passed to give elasticity to our money system by making it easy for small banks to issue notes in times of stringency. But the Fowler bill failed. There also seemed a good chance that Senator Aldrich might secure the passage of his measure making it possible to deposit with national banks—and thus restore to channels of circulation—the large accumulations of money that often lie in the government vaults as surplus revenue. It is to be hoped that there may be some currency legislation next winter. The Statehood fight is worth to the country all that it cost, however, because it has at last aroused the public to an appreciation of the danger of log-rolling schemes for the admission of ill-qualified Territories to the rank of sovereign States. As a result of the work done by Mr. Beveridge, with the support of the majority of his committee and of Mr. Hanna, Mr. Aldrich, Mr. Allison, Mr. Spooner, and other Senate leaders, all Statehood bills will henceforth have to make their way on their own sheer merits. The principle will be laid down that Statehood is not to be achieved by “massed plays "—to quote a football term ; "one at a time" must be the order of procedure. Oklahoma, with proper arrangement for including what remains of the Indian Territory, may be admitted at any time in the future, provided the measure is brought forward in proper shape on its own merits. Al
The protracted Fight and its fight against the
omnibus State. hood bill so occupied the Senate through nearly all of the recent session that it was responsible for the failure of the Philippine tariff bill, as well as for the failure of expected and needed legislation for the improvement of our currency arrangements at home. It had been hoped
THEY FAILED TO MAKE A HIT.