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The President's Message

The President's Message image
Parent Issue
Day
9
Month
December
Year
1898
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

As a chapter of recent history the president's message is a notable contributiou to oontemporary literatore. As an epoch marking document it is a lamentable failure. It was confidently hoped that Mr. MeKinley would at I this juncture outline the policy which the republicana will pursue with our new colonial possessions. Nothiug was expected froni a great party leader. But in this iustance Mr. MeKinley has ackuowledged that he is too weak or too tirnid to perform the duties of a leader in a groat emergency - that he is still groping for the thread whieh will lead him safely into line with public sentiment and save his bacon in 1900. The country kuows as urach now concerning the future of our nevvly acquired territory as it did before the message was received, and 110 more. The president tells congress what it already knew ; and leaves that body to find its owu solution of the preplexing problerns presented in his narrative. Upon many of the minor questious which are now occupying a share of public attention Mr. MeKinley takes a more decided position. He wants congress to take immediate aotion upon the Nicaraguan canal proposition. But he overlooks entirely the deep waterways project which is of so vast importance to the people of the lake region. He is, as was to be expected, in favor of retiring the greenbacks with gold and of the other projected currency reforms which are calculated to make the grip of the gold standard secure. He strongly recommends an incroase of the reular army to a peace footingLof 100,000 men. This proposition is a dangerous one. Our regular army in the past bas proved equal to all entergencies, even wheia the Indians on the western frontier oceupied the attention of a large portion of it. There is nothing in the domestic situation to demand an inerease of the former peace footing of the army and every regular soldier, placed at the command of the president more than is necessary to ! sure domestic peace and tranquility is a menace to republican institutions. The events of the past season have proven that in case of foreign war an efficiënt volunteer army can be placed in the field at short notice. The recommendation foran inerease of the streugth of the navy will probably be met in a different spirit by the people. In the early days when stitutional govemment was forming in England, Englishmen were always opposed to n standing army whieh ccrald be tnrned against them at home and were always ready to support a uavy which could only be nsed in advancing British interests abroad. For similar reasous the American people can look with favor npon an increase in thé cavy when they will frown upon a si milar proposition with regard to the army. In line with the history of his party in the past, Mr. McKinley favors the subsidy of steamship lines to our newly acqnired possessions. In other words we take the new territory to advance trade and then snbsidize the traders for whom the territory is acqnired. The director of the mint, Roberts, in his annnal report says : "The troth is tbat prices in all domestic sales are related to prices iu international transactions and cannot be separated from them The values of all goods that enter into the common consninption of mankind are international. " And that is just what we have been for years trying to pound into economista of the protection school to which Mr. Roberts belongs. When protectionists venture into a discussion of the money question they always unearth the fallacis of high tariff argnments. Gen. Joe Wheeler permitted his gallantry to get the better of his judgrnent in the bilí be has introduced in congress providing a testimonial to Miss Helen Gould for the active interest that very estimable young lady took in the welfare of the soldiers and sailors during the war with Spain. According to her ineans Miss Gould did no more than hundreds of thousauds of other American women did.