State of the Union Address
To the Congress of the United States:
The constitutional duty which requires the President from time to time
to give to the Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend
to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient
is fittingly entered upon by commending to the Congress a careful examination
of the detailed statements and well-supported recommendations contained
in the reports of the heads of Departments, who are chiefly charged with
the executive work of the Government. In an effort to abridge this communication
as much as is consistent with its purpose I shall supplement a brief reference
to the contents of these departmental reports by the mention of such executive
business and incidents as are not embraced therein and by such recommendations
as appear to be at this particular time appropriate.
While our foreign relations have not at all times during the past year
been entirely free from perplexity, no embarrassing situation remains that
will not yield to the spirit of fairness and love of justice which, joined
with consistent firmness, characterize a truly American foreign policy.
My predecessor having accepted the office of arbitrator of the long-standing
Missions boundary dispute, tendered to the President by the Argentine Republic
and Brazil, it has been my agreeable duty to receive the special envoys
commissioned by those States to lay before me evidence and arguments in
behalf of their respective Governments.
The outbreak of domestic hostilities in the Republic of Brazil found
the United States alert to watch the interests of our citizens in that
country, with which we carry on important commerce. Several vessels of
our new Navy are now and for some time have been stationed at Rio de Janeiro.
The struggle being between the established Government, which controls the
machinery of administration, and with which we maintain friendly relations,
and certain officers of the navy employing the vessels of their command
in an attack upon the national capital and chief seaport, and lacking as
it does the elements of divided administration, I have failed to see that
the insurgents can reasonably claim recognition as belligerents.
Thus far the position of our Government has been that of an attentive
but impartial observer of the unfortunate conflict. Emphasizing our fixed
policy of impartial neutrality in such a condition of affairs as now exists,
I deemed it necessary to disavow in a manner not to be misunderstood the
unauthorized action of our late naval commander in those waters in saluting
the revolted Brazilian admiral, being indisposed to countenance an act
calculated to give gratuitous sanction to the local insurrection.
The convention between our Government and Chile having for its object
the settlement and adjustment of the demand of the two countries against
each other has been made effective by he organization of the claims commission
provided for. The two Governments failing to agree upon the third member
of the commission, the good offices of the President of the Swiss Republic
were invoked, as provided in the treaty, and the selection of the Swiss
representative in this country to complete the organization was gratifying
alike to the United States and Chile.
The vexatious question of so-called legation asylum for offenders against
the state and its laws was presented anew in Chile by the unauthorized
action of the late United States minister in receiving into his official
residence two persons who had just failed in an attempt at revolution and
against whom criminal charges were pending growing out of a former abortive
disturbance. The doctrine of asylum as applied to this case is not sanctioned
by the best precedents, and when allowed tends to encourage sedition and
strife. Under no circumstances can the representatives of this Government
be permitted, under the ill-defined fiction of extraterritoriality, to
interrupt the administration of criminal justice in the countries to which
they are accredited. A temperate demand having been made by the Chilean
Government for the correction of this conduct in the instance mentioned,
the minister was instructed no longer to harbor the offenders.
The legislation of last year known as the Geary law, requiring the registration
of all Chinese laborers entitled to residence in the United States and
the deportation of all not complying with the provisions of the act within
the time prescribed, met with much opposition from Chinamen in this country.
Acting upon the advice of eminent counsel that the law was unconstitutional,
the great mass of Chinese laborers, pending judicial inquiry as to its
validity, in good faith declined to apply for the certificates required
by its provisions. A test case upon proceeding by habeas corpus was brought
before the Supreme Court, and on May 15, 1893, a decision was made by that
tribunal sustaining the law.
It is believed that under the recent amendment of the act extending
the time for registration the Chinese laborers thereto entitled who desire
to reside in this country will now avail themselves of the renewed privilege
thus afforded of establishing by lawful procedure their right to remain,
and that thereby the necessity of enforced deportation may to a great degree
It has devolved upon the United States minister at Peking, as dean of
the diplomatic body, and in the absence of a representative of Sweden and
Norway, to press upon the Chinese Government reparation for the recent
murder of Swedish missionaries at Sung-pu. This question is of vital interest
to all countries whose citizens engage in missionary work in the interior.
By Article XII of the general act of Brussels, signed July 2, 1890,
for the suppression of the slave trade and the restriction of certain injurious
commerce in the Independent State of the Kongo and in the adjacent zone
of central Africa, the United States and the other signatory powers agreed
to adopt appropriate means for the punishment of persons selling arms and
ammunition to the natives and for the confiscation of the inhibited articles.
It being the plain duty of this Government to aid in suppressing the nefarious
traffic, impairing as it does the praiseworthy and civilizing efforts now
in progress in that region, I recommend that an act be passed prohibiting
the sale of arms and intoxicants to natives in the regulated zone by our
Costa Rica has lately testified its friendliness by surrendering to
the United States, in the absence of a convention of extradition, but upon
duly submitted evidence of criminality, a noted fugitive from justice.
It is trusted that the negotiation of a treaty with that country to meet
recurring cases of this kind will soon be accomplished. In my opinion treaties
for reciprocal extradition should be concluded with all those countries
with which the United States has not already conventional arrangements
of that character.
I have deemed it fitting to express to the Governments of Costa Rica
and Colombia the kindly desire of the United States to see their pending
boundary dispute finally closed by arbitration in conformity with the spirit
of the treaty concluded between them some years ago.
Our relations with the French Republic continue to be intimate and cordial.
I sincerely hope that the extradition treaty with that country, as amended
by the Senate, will soon be operative.
While occasional questions affecting our naturalized citizens returning
to the land of their birth have arisen in our intercourse with Germany,
our relations with that country continue satisfactory.
The questions affecting our relations with Great Britain have been treated
in a spirit of friendliness.
Negotiations are in progress between the two Governments with a view
to such concurrent action as will make the award and regulations agreed
upon by the Bering Sea Tribunal of Arbitration practically effective, and
it is not doubted that Great Britain will cooperate freely with this country
for the accomplishment of that purpose.
The dispute growing out of the discriminating tolls imposed in the Welland
Canal upon cargoes of cereals bound to and from the lake ports of the United
States was adjusted by the substitution of a more equitable schedule of
charges, and my predecessor thereupon suspended his proclamation imposing
discriminating tolls upon British transit through our canals.
A request for additions to the list of extraditable offenses covered
by the existing treaty between the two countries is under consideration.
During the past year an American citizen employed in a subordinate commercial
position in Hayti, after suffering a protracted imprisonment on an unfounded
charge of smuggling, was finally liberated on judicial examination. Upon
urgent representation to the Haytian Government a suitable indemnity was
paid to the sufferer.
By a law of Hayti a sailing vessel, having discharged her cargo, is
refused clearance until the duties on such cargo have been paid. The hardship
of this measure upon American shipowners, who conduct the bulk of the carrying
trade of that country, has been insisted on with a view of securing the
removal of this cause of complaint.
Upon receiving authentic information of the firing upon an American
mail steamer touching at the port of Amapala because her captain refused
to deliver up a passenger in transit from Nicaragua to Guatemala upon demand
of the military authorities of Honduras, our minister to that country,
under instructions, protested against the wanton act and demanded satisfaction.
The Government of Honduras, actuated by a sense of justice and in a spirit
of the utmost friendship, promptly disavowed the illegal conduct of its
officers and expressed sincere regret for the occurrence.
It is confidently anticipated that a satisfactory adjustment will soon
be reached of the questions arising out of the seizure and use of American
vessels by insurgents in Honduras and the subsequent denial by the successful
Government of commercial privileges to those vessels on that account.
A notable part of the southeasterly coast of Liberia between the Cavally
and San Pedro rivers, which for nearly half a century has been generally
recognized as belonging to that Republic by cession and purchase, has been
claimed to be under the protectorate of France in virtue of agreements
entered into by the native tribes, over whom Liberia's control has not
been well maintained.
More recently negotiations between the Liberian representative and the
French Government resulted in the signature at Paris of a treaty whereby
as an adjustment certain Liberian territory is ceded to France. This convention
at last advices had not been ratified by the Liberian Legislature and Executive.
Feeling a sympathetic interest in the fortunes of the little Commonwealth,
the establishment and development of which were largely aided by the benevolence
of our countrymen, and which constitutes the only independently sovereign
state on the west coast of Africa, this Government has suggested to the
French Government its earnest concern lest territorial impairment in Liberia
should take place without her unconstrained consent.
Our relations with Mexico continue to be of that close and friendly
nature which should always characterize the intercourse of two neighboring
The work of relocating the monuments marking the boundary between the
two countries from Paso del Norte to the Pacific is now nearly completed.
The commission recently organized under the conventions of 1884 and
1889 it is expected will speedily settle disputes growing out of the shifting
currents of the Rio Grande River east of E1 Paso.
Nicaragua has recently passed through two revolutions, the party at
first successful having in turn been displaced by another. Our newly appointed
minister by his timely good offices aided in a peaceful adjustment of the
controversy involved in the first conflict. The large American interests
established in that country in connection with the Nicaragua Canal were
The canal company has unfortunately become financially seriously embarrassed,
but a generous treatment had been extended to it by the Government of Nicaragua.
The United States are especially interested in the successful achievement
of the vast undertaking this company has in charge. That it should be accomplished
under distinctively American auspices, and its enjoyment assured not only
to the vessels of this country as a channel of communication between our
Atlantic and Pacific sea-boards, but to the ships of the world in the interests
of civilization, is a proposition which, in my judgment, does not admit
Guatemala has also been visited by the political vicissitudes which
have afflicted her Central American neighbors, but the dissolution of its
Legislature and the proclamation of a dictatorship have been unattended
with civil war.
An extradition treaty with Norway has recently been exchanged and proclaimed.
The extradition treaty with Russia signed in March, 1887, and amended
and confirmed by the Senate in February last, was duly proclaimed last
Led by a desire to compose differences and contribute to the restoration
of order in Samoa, which for some years previous had been the scene of
conflicting foreign pretensions and native strife, the United States, departing
from its policy consecrated by a century of observance, entered four years
ago into the treaty of Berlin, thereby becoming jointly bound with England
and Germany to establish and maintain Malietoa Laupepa as King of Samoa.
The treaty provided for a foreign court of justice; a municipal council
for the district of Apia, with a foreign president thereof, authorized
to advise the King; a tribunal for the settlement of native and foreign
land titles, and a revenue system for the Kingdom. It entailed upon the
three powers that part of the cost of the new Government not met by the
revenue of the islands.
Early in the life of this triple protectorate the native dissensions
it was designed to quell revived. Rivals defied the authority of the new
King, refusing to pay taxes and demanding the election of a ruler by native
suffrage. Mataafa, an aspirant to the throne, and a large number of his
native adherents were in open rebellion on one of the islands. Quite lately,
at the request of the other powers and in fulfillment of its treaty obligation,
this Government agreed to unite in a joint military movement of such dimensions
as would probably secure the surrender of the insurgents without bloodshed.
The war ship Philadelphia was accordingly put under orders for Samoa,
but before she arrived the threatened conflict was precipitated by King
Malietoa's attack upon the insurgent camp. Mataafa was defeated and a number
of his men killed. The British and German naval vessels present subsequently
secured the surrender of Mataafa and his adherents. The defeated chief
and ten of his principal supporters were deported to a German island of
the Marshall group, where they are held as prisoners under the joint responsibility
and cost of the three powers.
This incident and the events leading up to it signally illustrate the
impolicy of entangling alliances with foreign powers.
More than fifteen years ago this Government preferred a claim against
Spain in behalf of one of our citizens for property seized and confiscated
in Cuba. In 1886 the claim was adjusted, Spain agreeing to pay unconditionally,
as a fair indemnity, $1,500,000. A respectful but earnest note was recently
addressed to the Spanish Government insisting upon prompt fulfillment of
its long-neglected obligation.
Other claims preferred by the United States against Spain in behalf
of American citizens for property confiscated in Cuba have been pending
for many years.
At the time Spain's title to the Caroline Islands was confirmed by arbitration
that Government agreed that the rights which had been acquired there by
American missionaries should be recognized and respected. It is sincerely
hoped that this pledge will be observed by allowing our missionaries, who
were removed from Ponape to a place of safety by a United States war ship
during the late troubles between the Spanish garrison and the natives,
to return to their field of usefulness.
The reproduced caravel Santa Maria, built by Spain and sent to the Columbian
Exposition, has been presented to the United States in token of amity and
in commemoration of the event it was designed to celebrate. I recommend
that in accepting this gift Congress make grateful recognition of the sincere
friendship which prompted it.
Important matters have demanded attention in our relations with the
The firing and partial destruction by an unrestrained mob of one of
the school buildings of Anatolia College, established by citizens of the
United States at Marsovan, and the apparent indifference of the Turkish
Government to the outrage, notwithstanding the complicity of some of its
officials, called for earnest remonstrance, which was followed by promise
of reparation and punishment of the offenders.
Indemnity for the injury to the buildings has already been paid, permission
to rebuild given, registration of the school property in the name of the
American owners secured, and efficient protection guaranteed.
Information received of maltreatment suffered by an inoffensive American
woman engaged in missionary work in Turkish Koordistan was followed by
such representations to the Porte as resulted in the issuance of orders
for the punishment of her assailants, the removal of a delinquent official,
and the adoption of measures for the protection of our citizens engaged
in mission and other lawful work in that quarter.
Turkey complains that her Armenian subjects obtain citizenship in this
country not to identify themselves in good faith with our people, but with
the intention of returning to the land of their birth and there engaging
in sedition. This complaint is not wholly without foundation. A journal
published in this country in the Armenian language openly counsels its
readers to arm, organize, and participate in movements for the subversion
of Turkish authority in the Asiatic provinces. The Ottoman Government has
announced its intention to expel from its dominions Armenians who have
obtained naturalization in the United States since 1868.
The right to exclude any or all classes of aliens is an attribute of
sovereignty. It is a right asserted and, to a limited extent, enforced
by the United States, with the sanction of our highest court. There being
no naturalization treaty between the United States and Turkey, our minister
at Constantinople has been instructed that, while recognizing the right
of that Government to enforce its declared policy against naturalized Armenians,
he is expected to protect them from unnecessary harshness of treatment.
In view of the impaired financial resources of Venezuela consequent
upon the recent revolution there, a modified arrangement for the satisfaction
of the awards of the late revisory claims commission, in progressive installments,
has been assented to, and payments are being regularly made thereunder.
The boundary dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana is yet unadjusted.
A restoration of diplomatic intercourse between that Republic and Great
Britain and reference of the question to impartial arbitration would be
a most gratifying consummation.
The ratification by Venezuela of the convention for the arbitration
of the long-deferred claim of the Venezuelan Transportation Company is
It is hardly necessary for me to state that the questions arising from
our relations with Hawaii have caused serious embarrassment. Just prior
to the installation of the present Administration the existing Government
of Hawaii had been suddenly overthrown and a treaty of annexation had been
negotiated between the Provisional Government of the islands and the United
States and submitted to the Senate for ratification. This treaty I withdrew
for examination and dispatched Hon. James H. Blount, of Georgia, to Honolulu
as a special commissioner to make an impartial investigation of the circumstances
attending the change of government and of all the conditions bearing upon
the subject of the treaty. After a thorough and exhaustive examination
Mr. Blount submitted to me his report, showing beyond all question that
the constitutional Government of Hawaii had been subverted with the active
aid of our representative to that Government and through the intimidation
caused by the presence of an armed naval force of the United States, which
was landed for that purpose at the instance of our minister. Upon the facts
developed it seemed to me the only honorable course for our Government
to pursue was to undo the wrong that had been done by those representing
us and to restore as far as practicable the status existing at the time
of our forcible intervention. With a view of accomplishing this result
within the constitutional limits of executive power, and recognizing all
our obligations and responsibilities growing out of any changed conditions
brought about by our unjustifiable interference, our present minister at
Honolulu has received appropriate instructions to that end. Thus far no
information of the accomplishment of any definite results has been received
Additional advices are soon expected. When received they will be promptly
sent to the Congress, together with all other information at hand, accompanied
by a special Executive message fully detailing all the facts necessary
to a complete understanding of the case and presenting a history of all
the material events leading up to the present situation.
By a concurrent resolution passed by the Senate February 14, 1890, and
by the House of Representatives on the 3d of April following the President
was requested to "invite from time to time, as fit occasions may arise,
negotiations with any government with which the United States has or may
have diplomatic relations, to the end that any differences or disputes
arising between the two governments which can not be adjusted by diplomatic
agency may be referred to arbitration and be peaceably adjusted by such
means." April 18, 1890, the International American Conference of Washington
by resolution expressed the wish that all controversies between the republics
of America and the nations of Europe might be settled by arbitration, and
recommended that the government of each nation represented in that conference
should communicate this wish to all friendly powers. A favorable response
has been received from Great Britain in the shape of a resolution adopted
by Parliament July 16 last, cordially sympathizing with the purpose in
view and expressing the hope that Her Majesty's Government will lend ready
cooperation to the Government of the United States upon the basis of the
concurrent resolution above quoted.
It affords me signal pleasure to lay this parliamentary resolution before
the Congress and to express my sincere gratification that the sentiment
of two great and kindred nations is thus authoritatively manifested in
favor of the rational and peaceable settlement of international quarrels
by honorable resort to arbitration.
Since the-passage of the act of March 3, 1893, authorizing the President
to raise the grade of our envoys to correspond with the rank in which foreign
countries accredit their agents here, Great Britain, France, Italy, and
Germany have conferred upon their representatives at this capital the title
of ambassador, and I have responded by accrediting the agents of the United
States in those countries with the same title. A like elevation of mission
is announced by Russia, and when made will be similarly met. This step
fittingly comports with the position the United States hold in the family
During my former Administration I took occasion to recommend a recast
of the laws relating to the consular service, in order that it might become
a more efficient agency in the promotion of the interests it was intended
to subserve. The duties and powers of consuls have been expanded with the
growing requirements of our foreign trade. Discharging important duties
affecting our commerce and American citizens abroad, and in certain countries
exercising judicial functions, these officers should be men of character,
intelligence, and ability.
Upon proof that the legislation of Denmark secures copyright to American
citizens on equal footing with its own, the privileges of our copyright
laws have been extended by proclamation to subjects of that country.
The Secretary of the Treasury reports that the receipts of the Government
from all sources during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1893, amounted to
$461,716,561.94 and its expenditures to $459,374,674.29. There was collected
from customs $205,355,016.73 and from internal revenue $161,027,623.93.
Our dutiable imports amounted to $421,856,711, an increase of $52,453,907
over the preceding year, and importations free of duty amounted to $444,544,211,
a decrease from the preceding year of $13,455,447. Internal-revenue receipts
exceeded those of the preceding year by $7,147,445.32. The total tax collected
on distilled spirits was $94,720,260.55, on manufactured tobacco $31,889,711.74,
and on fermented liquors $32,548,983.07. We exported merchandise during
the year amounting to $847,665,194, a decrease of $182,612,954 from the
preceding year. The amount of gold exported was larger than any previous
year in the history of the Government, amounting to $108,680,844, and exceeding
the amount exported during the preceding year by$58,485,517.
The sum paid from the Treasury for sugar bounty was $9,375,130.88, an
increase over the preceding year of $2,033,053.09.
It is estimated upon the basis of present revenue laws that the receipts
of the Government for the year ending June 30, 1894, will be $430,121,365.38
and its expenditures $458,121,365.28, resulting in a deficiency of $28,000,000.
On the 1st day of November, 1893, the amount of money of all kinds in
circulation, or not included in Treasury holdings, was $1,718,544,682,
an increase for the year of $112,404,947. Estimating our population at
67,426,000 at the time mentioned, the per capita circulation was $25.49.
On the same date there was in the Treasury gold bullion amounting to $96,657,273
and silver bullion which was purchased at a cost of $126,261,553.
The purchases of silver under the law of July 14, 1890, during the last
fiscal year aggregated 54,008,162.59 fine ounces, which cost $45,531,374.53.
The total amount of silver purchased from the time that law became operative
until the repeal of its purchasing clause, on the 1st day of November,
1893, was 168,674,590.46 fine ounces, which cost $155,930,940.84. Between
the 1st day of March, 1873, and the 1st day of November, 1893, the Government
purchased under all laws 503,003,717 fine ounces of silver, at a cost of
$516,622,948. The silver dollars that have been coined under the act of
July 14, 1890, number 36,087,285. The seigniorage arising from such coinage
was $6,977,098.39, leaving on hand in the mints 140,699,760 fine ounces
of silver, which cost $126,758,218.
Our total coinage of all metals during the last fiscal year consisted
of 97,280,875 pieces, valued at $43,685,178.80, of which there was $30,038,140
in gold coin, $5,343,715 in silver dollars, $7,217,220.90 in subsidiary
silver coin, and $1,086,102.90 in minor coins.
During the calendar year 1892 the production of precious metals in the
United States was estimated to be 1,596,375 fine ounces of gold of the
commercial and coinage value of $33,000,000 and 58,000,000 fine ounces
of silver of the bullion or market value of $50,750,000 and of the coinage
value of $74,989,900.
It is estimated that on the 1st day of July, 1893, the metallic stock
of money in the United States, consisting of coin and bullion, amounted
to $1,213,559,169, of which $597,697,685 was gold and $615,861,484 was
One hundred and nineteen national banks were organized during the year
ending October 31, 1893, with a capital of $11,230,000. Forty-six went
into voluntary liquidation and 158 suspended. Sixty-five of the suspended
banks were insolvent, 86 resumed business, and 7 remain in the hands of
the bank examiners, with prospects of speedy resumption. Of the new banks
organized, 44 were located in the Eastern States, 41 west of the Mississippi
River, and 34 in the Central and Southern States. The total number of national
banks in existence on October 31, 1893, was 3,796, having an aggregate
capital of $695,558,120. The net increase in the circulation of these banks
during the year was $36,886,972.
The recent repeal of the provision of law requiring the purchase of
silver bullion by the Government as a feature of our monetary scheme has
made an entire change in the complexion of our currency affairs. I do not
doubt that the ultimate result of this action will be most salutary and
far-reaching. In the nature of things, however, it is impossible to know
at this time precisely what conditions will be brought about by the change,
or what, if any, supplementary legislation may in the light of such conditions
appear to be essential or expedient. Of course, after the recent financial
perturbation, time is necessary for the reestablishment of business confidence.
When, however, through this restored confidence, the money which has been
frightened into hoarding places is returned to trade and enterprise, a
survey of the situation will probably disclose a safe path leading to a
permanently sound currency, abundantly sufficient to meet every requirement
of our increasing population and business.
In the pursuit of this object we should resolutely turn away from alluring
and temporary expedients, determined to be content with nothing less than
a lasting and comprehensive financial plan. In these circumstances I am
convinced that a reasonable delay in dealing with this subject, instead
of being injurious, will increase the probability of wise action.
The monetary conference which assembled at Brussels upon our invitation
was adjourned to the 30th day of November of the present year. The considerations
just stated and the fact that a definite proposition from us seemed to
be expected upon the reassembling of the conference led me to express a
willingness to have the meeting still further postponed.
It seems to me that it would be wise to give general authority to the
President to invite other nations to such a conference at any time when
there should be a fair prospect of accomplishing an international agreement
on the subject of coinage.
I desire also to earnestly suggest the wisdom of amending the existing
statutes in regard to the issuance of Government bonds. The authority now
vested in the Secretary of the Treasury to issue bonds is not as clear
as it should be, and the bonds authorized are disadvantageous to the Government
both as to the time of their maturity and rate of interest.
The Superintendent of Immigration, through the Secretary of the Treasury,
reports that during the last fiscal year there arrived at our ports 440,793
immigrants. Of these, 1,063 were not permitted to land under the limitations
of the law and 577 were returned to the countries from whence they came
by reason of their having become public charges. The total arrivals were
141,034 less than for the previous year.
The Secretary in his report gives an account of the operation of the
Marine-Hospital Service and of the good work done under its supervision
in preventing the entrance and spread of contagious diseases.
The admonitions of the last two years touching our public health and
the demonstrated danger of the introduction of contagious diseases from
foreign ports have invested the subject of national quarantine with increased
interest. A more general and harmonious system than now exists, acting
promptly and directly everywhere and constantly operating by preventive
means to shield our country from the invasion of disease, and at the same
time having due regard to the rights and duties of local agencies, would,
I believe, add greatly to the safety of our people.
The Secretary of War reports that the strength of the Army on the 30th
day of September last was 25,778 enlisted men and 2,144 officers.
The total expenditures of the Department for the year ending June 30,
1893, amounted to $51,966,074.89. Of this sum $1,992,581.95 was for salaries
and contingent expenses, $23,377,828.35 for the support of the military
establishment, $6,077,033.18 for miscellaneous objects, and 518,631.41
for public works. This latter sum includes $15,296,876.46 for river and
harbor improvements and $3,266,141.20 for fortifications and other works
The total enrollment of the militia of the several States was on the
31st of October of the current year 112,597 officers and enlisted men.
The officers of the Army detailed for the inspection and instruction of
this reserve of our military force report that increased interest and marked
progress are apparent in the discipline and efficiency of the organization.
Neither Indian outbreaks nor domestic violence have called the Army
into service during the year, and the only active military duty required
of it has been in the Department of Texas, where violations of the neutrality
laws of the United States and Mexico were promptly and efficiently dealt
with by the troops, eliciting the warm approval of the civil and military
authorities of both countries.
The operation of wise laws and the influences of civilization constantly
tending to relieve the country from the dangers of Indian hostilities,
together with the increasing ability of the States, through the efficiency
of the National Guard organizations, to protect their citizens from domestic
violence, lead to the suggestion that the time is fast approaching when
there should be a reorganization of our Army on the lines of the present
necessities of the country. This change contemplates neither increase in
number nor added expense, but a redistribution of the force and an encouragement
of measures tending to greater efficiency among the men and improvement
of the service.
The adoption of battalion formations for infantry regiments, the strengthening
of the artillery force, the abandonment of smaller and unnecessary posts,
and the massing of the troops at important and accessible stations all
promise to promote the usefulness of the Army. In the judgment of army
officers, with but few exceptions, the operation of the law forbidding
the reenlistment of men after ten years' service has not proved its wisdom,
and while the arguments that led to its adoption were not without merit
the experience of the year constrains me to join in the recommendation
for its repeal.
It is gratifying to note that we have begun to attain completed results
in the comprehensive scheme of seacoast defense and fortification entered
upon eight years ago. A large sum has been already expended, but the cost
of maintenance will be inconsiderable as compared with the expense of construction
and ordnance. At the end of the current calendar year the War Department
will have nine 12-inch guns, twenty 10-inch, and thirty-four 8-inch guns
ready to be mounted on gun lifts and carriages, and seventy-five 12-inch
mortars. In addition to the product of the Army Gun Factory, now completed
at Watervliet, the Government has contracted with private parties for the
purchase of one hundred guns of these calibers, the first of which should
be delivered to the Department for test before July 1, 1894.
The manufacture of heavy ordnance keeps pace with current needs, but
to render these guns available for the purposes they are designed to meet
emplacements must be prepared for them. Progress has been made in this
direction, and it is desirable that Congress by adequate appropriations
should provide for the uninterrupted prosecution of this necessary work.
After much preliminary work and exhaustive examination in accordance
with the requirements of the law, the board appointed to select a magazine
rifle of modern type with which to replace the obsolete Springfield rifle
of the infantry service completed its labors during the last year, and
the work of manufacture is now in progress at the national armory at Springfield.
It is confidently expected that by the end of the current year our infantry
will be supplied with a weapon equal to that of the most progressive armies
of the world.
The work on the projected Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
Park has been prosecuted with zeal and judgment, and its opening will be
celebrated during the coming year. Over 9 square miles of the Chickamauga
battlefield have been acquired, 25 miles of roadway have been constructed,
and permanent tablets have been placed at many historical points, while
the invitation to the States to mark the positions of their troops participating
in the battle has been very generally accepted.
The work of locating and preserving the lines of battle at the Gettysburg
battlefield is making satisfactory progress on the plans directed by the
The reports of the Military Academy at West Point and the several schools
for special instruction of officers show marked advance in the education
of the Army and a commendable ambition among its officers to excel in the
military profession and to fit themselves for the highest service to the
Under the supervision of Adjutant-General Robert Williams, lately retired,
the Bureau of Military Information has become well established and is performing
a service that will put in possession of the Government in time of war
most valuable information, and at all times serve a purpose of great utility
in keeping the Army advised of the world's progress in all matters pertaining
to the art of war.
The report of the Attorney-General contains the usual summary of the
affairs and proceedings of the Department of Justice for the past year,
together with certain recommendations as to needed legislation on various
subjects. I can not too heartily indorse the proposition that the fee system
as applicable to the compensation of United States attorneys, marshals,
clerks of Federal courts, and United States commissioners should be abolished
with as little delay as possible. It is clearly in the interest of the
community that the business of the courts, both civil and criminal, shall
be as small and as inexpensively transacted as the ends of justice will
The system is therefore thoroughly vicious which makes the compensation
of court officials depend upon the volume of such business, and thus creates
a conflict between a proper execution of the law and private gain, which
can not fail to be dangerous to the rights and freedom of the citizen and
an irresistible temptation to the unjustifiable expenditure of public funds.
If in addition to this reform another was inaugurated which would give
to United States commissioners the final disposition of petty offenses
within the grade of misdemeanors, especially those coming under the internal-revenue
laws, a great advance would be made toward a more decent administration
of the criminal law.
In my first message to Congress, dated December 8, 1885, I strongly
recommended these changes and referred somewhat at length to the evils
of the present system. Since that time the criminal business of the Federal
courts and the expense attending it have enormously increased. The number
of criminal prosecutions pending in the circuit and district courts of
the United States on the 1st day of July, 1885, was 3,808, of which 1,884
were for violations of the internal-revenue laws, while the number of such
prosecutions pending on the 1st day of July, 1893, was 9,500, of which
4,200 were for violations of the internal-revenue laws. The expense of
the United States courts, exclusive of judges' salaries, for the year ending
July 1, 1885, was $2,874,733.11 and for the year ending July 1, 1893, $4,528,676.87.
It is therefore apparent that the reasons given in 1885 for a change
in the manner of enforcing the Federal criminal law have gained cogency
and strength by lapse of time.
I also heartily join the Attorney-General in recommending legislation
fixing degrees of the crime of murder within Federal jurisdiction, as has
been done in many of the States; authorizing writs of error on behalf of
the Government in cases where final judgment is rendered against the sufficiency
of an indictment or against the Government upon any other question arising
before actual trial; limiting the right of review in cases of felony punishable
only by fine and imprisonment to the circuit court of appeals, and making
speedy provision for the construction of such prisons and reformatories
as may be necessary for the confinement of United States convicts.
The report of the Postmaster-General contains a detailed statement of
the operations of the Post-Office Department during the last fiscal year
and much interesting information touching this important branch of the
The business of the mails indicates with absolute certainty the condition
of the business of the country, and depression in financial affairs inevitably
and quickly reduces the postal revenues. Therefore a larger discrepancy
than usual between the post-office receipts and expenditures is the expected
and unavoidable result of the distressing stringency which has prevailed
throughout the country during much of the time covered by the Postmaster-General's
report. At a date when better times were anticipated it was estimated by
his predecessor that the deficiency on the 30th day of June, 1893, would
be but a little over a million and a half dollars. It amounted, however,
to more than five millions. At the same time and under the influence of
like anticipations estimates were made for the current fiscal year, ending
June 30, 1894, which exhibited a surplus of revenue over expenditures of
$872,245.71; but now, in view of the actual receipts and expenditures during
that part of the current fiscal year already expired, the present Postmaster-General
estimates that at its close instead of a surplus there will be a deficiency
of nearly $8,000,000.
The post-office receipts for the last fiscal year amounted to $75,896,933.16
and its expenditures to $81,074,104.90. This post-office deficiency would
disappear or be immensely decreased if less matter were carried free through
the mails, an item of which is upward of 300 tons of seeds and grain from
the Agricultural Department.
The total number of post-offices in the United States on the 30th day
of June, 1893, was 68,403, an increase of 1,284 over the preceding year.
Of these, 3,360 were Presidential, an increase in that class of 204 over
the preceding year.
Forty-two free-delivery offices were added during the year to those
already existing, making a total of 610 cities and towns provided with
free delivery on June 30, 1893. Ninety-three other cities and towns are
now entitled to this service under the law, but it has not been accorded
them on account of insufficient funds to meet the expenses of its establishment.
I am decidedly of the opinion that the provisions of the present law
permit as general an introduction of this feature of mail service as is
necessary or justifiable, and that it ought not to be extended to smaller
communities than are now designated.
The expenses of free delivery for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894,
will be more than $11,000,000, and under legislation now existing there
must be a constant increase in this item of expenditure.
There were 6,401 additions to the domestic money-order offices during
the last fiscal year, being the largest increase in any year since the
inauguration of the system. The total number of these offices at the close
of the year was 18,434. There were 13,309,735 money orders issued from
these offices, being an increase over the preceding year of 1,240,293,
and the value of these orders amounted to $127,576,433.65, an increase
of $7,509,632.58. There were also issued during the year postal notes amounting
During the year 195 international money-order offices were added to
those already provided, making a total of 2,407 in operation on June 30,
1893. The number of international money orders issued during the year was
1,055,999, an increase over the preceding year of 72,525, and their value
was $16,341,837.86, an increase of $2,221,506.31. The number of orders
paid was 300,917, an increase over the preceding year of 13,503, and their
value was $5,283,375.70, an increase of $94,094.83.
From the foregoing statements it appears that the total issue of money
orders and postal notes for the year amounted to $156,822,348.24.
The number of letters and packages mailed during the year for special
delivery was 3,375,693, an increase over the preceding year of nearly 22
per cent. The special-delivery stamps used upon these letters and packages
amounted to $337,569.30, and the messengers' fees paid for their delivery
amounted to $256,592.71, leaving a profit to the Government of $80,976.59.
The Railway Mail Service not only adds to the promptness of mail delivery
at all offices, but it is the especial instrumentality which puts the smaller
and way places in the service on an equality in that regard with the larger
and terminal offices. This branch of the postal service has therefore received
much attention from the Postmaster-General, and though it is gratifying
to know that it is in a condition of high efficiency and great usefulness,
I am led to agree with the Postmaster-General that there is room for its
There are now connected to the Post-Office establishment 28,324 employees
who are in the classified service. The head of this great Department gives
conclusive evidence of the value of civil-service reform when, after an
experience that renders his judgment on the subject absolutely reliable,
he expresses the opinion that without the benefit of this system it would
be impossible to conduct the vast business intrusted to him.
I desire to commend as especially worthy of prompt attention the suggestions
of the Postmaster-General relating to a more sensible and business like
organization and a better distribution of responsibility in his Department.
The report of the Secretary of the Navy contains a history of the operations
of his Department during the past year and exhibits a most gratifying condition
of the personnel of our Navy. He presents a satisfactory account of the
progress which has been made in the construction of vessels and makes a
number of recommendations to which attention is especially invited.
During the past six months the demands for cruising vessels have been
many and urgent. There have been revolutions calling for vessels to protect
American interests in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Argentina,
and Brazil, while the condition of affairs in Honolulu has required the
constant presence of one or more ships. With all these calls upon our Navy
it became necessary, in order to make up a sufficient fleet to patrol the
Bering Sea under the modus vivendi agreed upon with Great Britain, to detail
to that service one vessel from the Fish Commission and three from the
Progress in the construction of new vessels has not been as rapid as
was anticipated. There have been delays in the completion of unarmored
vessels, but for the most part they have been such as are constantly occurring
even in countries having the largest experience in naval shipbuilding.
The most serious delays, however, have been in the work upon armored ships.
The trouble has been the failure of contractors to deliver armor as agreed.
The difficulties seem now, however, to have been all overcome, and armor
is being delivered with satisfactory promptness. As a result of the experience
acquired by shipbuilders and designers and material men, it is believed
that the dates when vessels will be completed can now be estimated with
reasonable accuracy. Great guns, rapid-fire guns, torpedoes, and powder
are being promptly supplied.
The following vessels of the new Navy have been completed and are now
ready for service: The double-turreted coast-defense monitor Miantonomoh,
the double-turreted coast-defense monitor Monterey, the armored cruiser
New York, the protected cruisers Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark,
San Francisco, Charleston, Atlanta, and Boston, the cruiser Detroit, the
gunboats Yorktown, Concord, Bennington, Machias, Castine, and Petrel, the
dispatch vessel Dolphin, the practice vessel Bancroft, and the dynamite
gunboat Vesuvius. Of these the Bancroft, Machias, Detroit, and Castine
have been placed in commission during the current calendar year.
The following vessels are in process of construction: The second-class
battle ships Maine and Texas, the cruisers Montgomery and Marblehead, and
the coast-defense monitors Terror, Puritan, Amphitrite, and Monadnock,
all of which will be completed within one year; the harbor-defense ram
Katahdin and the protected cruisers Columbia, Minneapolis, Olympia, Cincinnati,
and Raleigh, all of which will be completed prior to July 1, 1895; the
first-class battle ships Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Oregon, which
will be completed February 1, 1896, and the armored cruiser Brooklyn, which
will be completed by August 1 of that year. It is also expected that the
three gunboats authorized by the last Congress will be completed in less
than two years.
Since 1886 Congress has at each session authorized the building of one
or more vessels, and the Secretary of the Navy presents an earnest plea
for the continuance of this plan. He recommends the authorization of at
least one battle ship and six torpedo boats.
While I am distinctly in favor of consistently pursuing the policy we
have inaugurated of building up a thorough and efficient Navy, I can not
refrain from the suggestion that the Congress should carefully take into
account the number of unfinished vessels on our hands and the depleted
condition of our Treasury in considering the propriety of an appropriation
at this time to begin new work.
The method of employing mechanical labor at navy-yards through boards
of labor and making efficiency the sole test by which laborers are employed
and continued is producing the best results, and the Secretary is earnestly
devoting himself to its development. Attention is invited to the statements
of his report in regard to the workings of the system.
The Secretary of the Interior has the supervision of so many important
subjects that his report is of especial value and interest.
On the 30th day of June, 1893, there were on the pension rolls 966,012
names, an increase of 89,944 over the number on the rolls June 30, 1892.
Of these there were 17 widows and daughters of Revolutionary soldiers,
86 survivors of the War of 1812, 5,425 widows of soldiers of that war,
21,518 survivors and widows of the Mexican War, 3,882 survivors and widows
of Indian wars, 284 army nurses. and 475,645 survivors and widows and children
of deceased soldiers and sailors of the War of the Rebellion. The latter
number represents those pensioned on account of disabilities or death resulting
from army and navy service. The number of persons remaining on the rolls
June 30, 1893, who were pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890, which
allows pensions on account of death and disability not chargeable to army
service, was 459,155.
The number added to the rolls during the year was 123,634 and the number
dropped was 33,690. The first payments on pensions allowed during the year
amounted to $33,756,549.98. This includes arrears, or the accumulation
between the time from which the allowance of pension dates and the time
of actually granting the certificate.
Although the law of 1890 permits pensions for disabilities not related
to military service, yet as a requisite to its benefits a disability must
exist incapacitating applicants "from the performance of manual labor to
such a degree as to render them unable to earn a support." The execution
of this law in its early stages does not seem to have been in accord with
its true intention, but toward the close of the last Administration an
authoritative construction was given to the statute, and since that time
this construction has been followed. This has had the effect of limiting
the operation of the law to its intended purpose. The discovery having
been made that many names had been put upon the pension roll by means of
wholesale and gigantic frauds, the Commissioner suspended payments upon
a number of pensions which seemed to be fraudulent or unauthorized pending
a complete examination, giving notice to the pensioners, in order that
they might have an opportunity to establish, if possible, the justice of
their claims notwithstanding apparent invalidity.
This, I understand, is the practice which has for a long time prevailed
in the Pension Bureau; but after entering upon these recent investigations
the Commissioner modified this rule so as not to allow until after a complete
examination interference with the payment of a pension apparently not altogether
void, but which merely had been fixed at a rate higher than that authorized
I am unable to understand why frauds in the pension rolls should not
be exposed and corrected with thoroughness and vigor. Every name fraudulently
put upon these rolls is a wicked imposition upon the kindly sentiment in
which pensions have their origin; every fraudulent pensioner has become
a bad citizen; every false oath in support of a pension has made perjury
more common, and false and undeserving pensioners rob the people not only
of their money, but of the patriotic sentiment which the survivors of a
war fought for the preservation of the Union ought to inspire. Thousands
of neighborhoods have their well-known fraudulent pensioners, and recent
developments by the Bureau establish appalling conspiracies to accomplish
pension frauds. By no means the least wrong done is to brave and deserving
pensioners, who certainly ought not to be condemned to such association.
Those who attempt in the line of duty to rectify these wrongs should
not be accused of enmity or indifference to the claims of honest veterans.
The sum expended on account of pensions for the year ending June 30, 1893,
The Commissioner estimates that $165,000,000 will be required to pay
pensions during the year ending June 30, 1894.
The condition of the Indians and their ultimate fate are subjects which
are related to a sacred duty of the Government and which strongly appeal
to the sense of justice and the sympathy of our people.
Our Indians number about 248,000. Most of them are located on 161 reservations,
containing 86,116,531 acres of land. About 110,000 of these Indians have
to a large degree adopted civilized customs. Lands in severalty have been
allotted to many of them. Such allotments have been made to 10,000 individuals
during the last fiscal year, embracing about 1,000,000 acres. The number
of Indian Government schools opened during the year was 195, an increase
of 12 over the preceding year. Of this total 170 were on reservations,
of which 73 were boarding schools and 97 were day schools. Twenty boarding
schools and 5 day schools supported by the Government were not located
on reservations. The total number of Indian children enrolled during the
year as attendants of all schools was 21,138, an increase of 1,231 over
the enrollment for the previous year.
I am sure that secular education and moral and religious teaching must
be important factors in any effort to save the Indian and lead him to civilization.
I believe, too, that the relinquishment of tribal relations and the holding
of land in severalty may in favorable conditions aid this consummation.
It seems to me, however, that allotments of land in severalty ought to
be made with great care and circumspection. If hastily done, before the
Indian knows its meaning, while yet he has little or no idea of tilling
a farm and no conception of thrift, there is great danger that a reservation
life in tribal relations may be exchanged for the pauperism of civilization
instead of its independence and elevation.
The solution of the Indian problem depends very largely upon good administration.
The personal fitness of agents and their adaptability to the peculiar duty
of caring for their wards are of the utmost importance.
The law providing that, except in special cases, army officers shall
be detailed as Indian agents it is hoped will prove a successful experiment.
There is danger of great abuses creeping into the prosecution of claims
for Indian depredations, and I recommend that every possible safeguard
be provided against the enforcement of unjust and fictitious claims of
The appropriations on account of the Indian Bureau for the year ending
June 30, 1894, amount to $7,954,962.99, a decrease as compared with the
year preceding it of $387,131.95.
The vast area of land which but a short time ago constituted the public
domain is rapidly falling into private hands. It is certain that in the
transfer the beneficent intention of the Government to supply from its
domain homes to the industrious and worthy home seekers is often frustrated.
Though the speculator, who stands with extortionate purpose between the
land office and those who, with their families, are invited by the Government
to settle on the public lands, is a despicable character who ought not
to be tolerated, yet it is difficult to thwart his schemes. The recent
opening to settlement of the lands in the Cherokee Outlet, embracing an
area of 6,500,000 acres, notwithstanding the utmost care in framing the
regulations governing the selection of locations and notwithstanding the
presence of United States troops, furnished an exhibition, though perhaps
in a modified degree, of the mad scramble, the violence, and the fraudulent
occupation which have accompanied previous openings of public land.
I concur with the Secretary in the belief that these outrageous incidents
can not be entirely prevented without a change in the laws on the subject,
and I hope his recommendations in that direction will be favorably considered.
I especially commend to the attention of the Congress the statements
contained in the Secretary's report concerning forestry. The time has come
when efficient measures should be taken for the preservation of our forests
from indiscriminate and remediless destruction.
The report of the Secretary of Agriculture will be found exceedingly
interesting, especially to that large part of our citizens intimately concerned
in agricultural occupations.
On the 7th day of March, 1893, there were upon its pay rolls 2,430 employees.
This number has been reduced to 1,850 persons. In view of a depleted public
Treasury and the imperative demand of the people for economy in the administration
of their Government, the Secretary has entered upon the task of rationally
reducing expenditures by the elimination from the pay rolls of all persons
not needed for an efficient conduct of the affairs of the Department.
During the first quarter of the present year the expenses of the Department
aggregated $345,876.76, as against $402,012.42 for the corresponding period
of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893. The Secretary makes apparent his
intention to continue this rate of reduction by submitting estimates for
the next fiscal year less by $994,280 than those for the present year.
Among the heads of divisions in this Department the changes have been
exceedingly few. Three vacancies occurring from death and resignations
have been filled by the promotion of assistants in the same divisions.
These promotions of experienced and faithful assistants have not only
been in the interest of efficient work, but have suggested to those in
the Department who look for retention and promotion that merit and devotion
to duty are their best reliance.
The amount appropriated for the Bureau of Animal Industry for the current
fiscal year is $850,000. The estimate for the ensuing year is $700,000.
The regulations of 1892 concerning Texas fever have been enforced during
the last year and the large stock yards of the country have been kept free
from infection. Occasional local outbreaks have been largely such as could
have been effectually guarded against by the owners of the affected cattle.
While contagious pleuro-pneumonia in cattle has been eradicated, animal
tuberculosis, a disease widespread and more dangerous to human life than
pleuro-pneumonia, is still prevalent. Investigations have been made during
the past year as to the means of its communication and the method of its
correct diagnosis. Much progress has been made in this direction by the
studies of the division of animal pathology, but work ought to be extended,
in cooperation with local authorities, until the danger to human life arising
from this cause is reduced to a minimum.
The number of animals arriving from Canada during the year and inspected
by Bureau officers was 462,092, and the number from transatlantic countries
was 1,297. No contagious diseases were found among the imported animals.
The total number of inspections of cattle for export during the past
fiscal year was 611,542. The exports show a falling off of about 25 per
cent from the preceding year, the decrease occurring entirely in the last
half of the year. This suggests that the falling off may have been largely
due to an increase in the price of American export cattle.
During the year ending June 30, 1893, exports of inspected pork aggregated
10,677,410 pounds, as against 38,152,874 pounds for the preceding year.
The falling off in this export was not confined, however, to inspected
pork, the total quantity exported for 1892 being 665,490,616 pounds, while
in 1893 it was only 527,308,695 pounds.
I join the Secretary in recommending that hereafter each applicant for
the position of inspector or assistant inspector in the Bureau of Animal
Industry be required, as a condition precedent to his appointment, to exhibit
to the United States Civil Service Commission his diploma from an established,
regular, and reputable veterinary college, and that this be supplemented
by such an examination in veterinary science as the Commission may prescribe.
The exports of agricultural products from the United States for the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, attained the enormous figure of $800,000,000,
in round numbers, being 78.7 per cent of our total exports. In the last
fiscal year this aggregate was greatly reduced, but nevertheless reached
615,000,000, being 75.1 per cent of all American commodities exported.
A review of our agricultural exports with special reference to their
destination will show that in almost every line the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland absorbs by far the largest proportion. Of cattle the
total exports aggregated in value for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893,
$26,000,000, of which Great Britain took considerably over $25,000,000.
Of beef products of all kinds our total exports were $28,000,000, of which
Great Britain took $24,000,000. Of pork products the total exports were
$84,000,000, of which Great Britain took $53,000,000. In breadstuffs, cotton,
and minor products like proportions sent to the same destination are shown.
The work of the statistical division of the Department of Agriculture
deals with all that relates to the economics of farming.
The main purpose of its monthly reports is to keep the farmers informed
as fully as possible of all matters having any influence upon the world's
markets, in which their products find sale. Its publications relate especially
to the commercial side of farming.
It is therefore of profound importance and vital concern to the farmers
of the United States, who represent nearly one-half of our population,
and also of direct interest to the whole country, that the work of this
division be efficiently performed and that the information it has gathered
be promptly diffused.
It is a matter for congratulation to know that the Secretary will not
spare any effort to make this part of his work thoroughly useful.
In the year 1839 the Congress appropriated $1,000, to be taken from
the Patent Office funds, for the purpose of collecting and distributing
rare and improved varieties of seeds and for prosecuting agricultural investigations
and procuring agricultural statistics. From this small beginning the seed
division of the Department of Agriculture has grown to its present unwieldy
and unjustifiably extravagant proportions.
During the last fiscal year the cost of seeds purchased was $66,548.61.
The remainder of an appropriation of $135,000 was expended in putting them
up and distributing them. It surely never could have entered the minds
of those who first sanctioned appropriations of public money for the purchase
of new and improved varieties of seeds for gratuitous distribution that
from this would grow large appropriations for the purchase and distribution
by members of Congress of ordinary seeds, bulbs, and cuttings which are
common in all the States and Territories and everywhere easily obtainable
at low prices.
In each State and Territory an agricultural experiment station has been
established. These stations, by their very character and name, are the
proper agencies to experiment with and test new varieties of seeds; and
yet this indiscriminate and wasteful distribution by legislation and legislators
continues, answering no purpose unless it be to remind constituents that
their representatives are willing to remember them with gratuities at public
Under the sanction of existing legislation there was sent out from the
Agricultural Department during the last fiscal year enough of cabbage seed
to plant 19,200 acres of land, a sufficient quantity of beans to plant
4,000 acres, beet seed enough to plant 2,500 acres, sweet corn enough to
plant 7,800 acres, sufficient cucumber seed to cover 2,025 acres with vines,
and enough muskmelon and watermelon seeds to plant 2,675 acres. The total
quantity of flower and vegetable seeds thus distributed was contained in
more than 9,000,000 packages, and they were sufficient if planted to cover
89,596 acres of land.
In view of these facts this enormous expenditure without legitimate
returns of benefit ought to be abolished. Anticipating a consummation so
manifestly in the interest of good administration, more than $100,000 has
been stricken from the estimate made to cover this object for the year
ending June 30, 1895; and the Secretary recommends that the remaining $35,000
of the estimate be confined strictly to the purchase of new and improved
varieties of seeds, and that these be distributed through experiment stations.
Thus the seed will be tested, and after the test has been completed
by the experiment station the propagation of the useful varieties and the
rejection of the valueless may safely be left to the common sense of the
The continued intelligent execution of the civil-service law and the
increasing approval by the people of its operation are most gratifying.
The recent extension of its limitations and regulations to the employees
at free-delivery post-offices, which has been honestly and promptly accomplished
by the Commission, with the hearty cooperation of the Postmaster-General,
is an immensely important advance in the usefulness of the system.
I am, if possible, more than ever convinced of the incalculable benefits
conferred by the civil-service law, not only in its effect upon the public
service, but also, what is even more important, in its effect in elevating
the tone of political life generally.
The course of civil-service reform in this country instructively and
interestingly illustrates how strong a hold a movement gains upon our people
which has underlying it a sentiment of justice and right and which at the
same time promises better administration of their Government.
The law embodying this reform found its way to our statute book more
from fear of the popular sentiment existing in its favor than from any
love for the reform itself on the part of legislators, and it has lived
and grown and flourished in spite of the covert as well as open hostility
of spoilsmen and notwithstanding the querulous impracticability of many
self-constituted guardians. Beneath all the vagaries and sublimated theories
which are attracted to it there underlies this reform a sturdy common-sense
principle not only suited to this mundane sphere, but whose application
our people are more and more recognizing to be absolutely essential to
the most successful operation of their Government, if not to its perpetuity.
It seems to me to be entirely inconsistent with the character of this
reform, as well as with its best enforcement, to oblige the Commission
to rely for clerical assistance upon clerks detailed from other Departments.
There ought not to be such a condition in any Department that clerks hired
to do work there can be spared to habitually work at another place, and
it does not accord with a sensible view of civil-service reform that persons
should be employed on the theory that their labor is necessary in one Department
when in point of fact their services are devoted to entirely different
work in another Department.
I earnestly urge that the clerks necessary to carry on the work of the
Commission be regularly put upon its roster and that the system of obliging
the Commissioners to rely upon the services of clerks belonging to other
Departments be discontinued. This ought not to increase the expense to
the Government, while it would certainly be more consistent and add greatly
to the efficiency of the Commission.
Economy in public expenditure is a duty that can not innocently be neglected
by those intrusted with the control of money drawn from the people for
public uses. It must be confessed that our apparently endless resources,
the familiarity of our people with immense accumulations of wealth, the
growing sentiment among them that the expenditure of public money should
in some manner be to their immediate and personal advantage, the indirect
and almost stealthy manner in which a large part of our taxes is exacted,
and a degenerated sense of official accountability have led to growing
extravagance in governmental appropriations.
At this time, when a depleted public Treasury confronts us, when many
of our people are engaged in a hard struggle for the necessaries of life,
and when enforced economy is pressing upon the great mass of our countrymen,
I desire to urge with all the earnestness at my command that Congressional
legislation be so limited by strict economy as to exhibit an appreciation
of the condition of the Treasury and a sympathy with the straitened circumstances
of our fellow-citizens.
The duty of public economy is also of immense importance in its intimate
and necessary relation to the task now in hand of providing revenue to
meet Government expenditures and yet reducing the people's burden of Federal
After a hard struggle tariff reform is directly before us. Nothing so
important claims our attention and nothing so clearly presents itself as
both an opportunity and a duty--an opportunity to deserve the gratitude
of our fellow-citizens and a duty imposed upon us by our oft-repeated professions
and by the emphatic mandate of the people. After full discussion our countrymen
have spoken in favor of this reform, and they have confided the work of
its accomplishment to the hands of those who are solemnly pledged to it.
If there is anything in the theory of a representation in public places
of the people and their desires, if public officers are really the servants
of the people, and if political promises and professions have any binding
force, our failure to give the relief so long awaited will be sheer recreancy.
Nothing should intervene to distract our attention or disturb our effort
until this reform is accomplished by wise and careful legislation.
While we should stanchly adhere to the principle that only the necessity
of revenue justifies the imposition of tariff duties and other Federal
taxation and that they should be limited by strict economy, we can not
close our eyes to the fact that conditions have grown up among us which
in justice and fairness call for discriminating care in the distribution
of such duties and taxation as the emergencies of our Government actually
Manifestly if we are to aid the people directly through tariff reform,
one of its most obvious features should be a reduction in present tariff
charges upon the necessaries of life. The benefits of such a reduction
would be palpable and substantial, seen and felt by thousands who would
be better fed and better clothed and better sheltered. These gifts should
be the willing benefactions of a Government whose highest function is the
promotion of the welfare of the people.
Not less closely related to our people's prosperity and well-being is
the removal of restrictions upon the importation of the raw materials necessary
to our manufactures. The world should be open to our national ingenuity
and enterprise. This can not be while Federal legislation through the imposition
of high tariff forbids to American manufacturers as cheap materials as
those used by their competitors. It is quite obvious that the .enhancement
of the price of our manufactured products resulting from this policy not
only confines the market for these products within our own borders, to
the direct disadvantage of our manufacturers, but also increases their
cost to our citizens.
The interests of labor are certainly, though indirectly, involved in
this feature of our tariff system. The sharp competition and active struggle
among our manufacturers to supply the limited demand for their goods soon
fill the narrow market to which they are confined. Then follows a suspension
of work in mills and factories, a discharge of employees, and distress
in the homes of our workingmen.
Even if the often-disproved assertion could be made good that a lower
rate of wages would result from free raw materials and low tariff duties,
the intelligence of our workmen leads them quickly to discover that their
steady employment, permitted by free raw materials, is the most important
factor in their relation to tariff legislation.
A measure has been prepared by the appropriate Congressional committee
embodying tariff reform on the lines herein suggested, which will be promptly
submitted for legislative action. It is the result of much patriotic and
unselfish work, and I believe it deals with its subject consistently and
as thoroughly as existing conditions permit.
I am satisfied that the reduced tariff duties provided for in the proposed
legislation, added to existing internal-revenue taxation, will in the near
future, though perhaps not immediately, produce sufficient revenue to meet
the needs of the Government.
The committee, after full consideration and to provide against a temporary
deficiency which may exist before the business of the country adjusts itself
to the new tariff schedules, have wisely embraced in their plan a few additional
internal-revenue taxes, including a small tax upon incomes derived from
certain corporate investments.
These new adjustments are not only absolutely just and easily borne,
but they have the further merit of being such as can be remitted without
unfavorable business disturbance whenever the necessity of their imposition
no longer exists.
In my great desire for the success of this measure I can not restrain
the suggestion that its success can only be attained by means of unselfish
counsel on the part of the friends of tariff reform and as a result of
their willingness to subordinate personal desires and ambitions to the
general good. The local interests affected by the proposed reform are so
numerous and so varied that if all are insisted upon the legislation embodying
the reform must inevitably fail.
In conclusion my intense feeling of responsibility impels me to invoke
for the manifold interests of a generous and confiding people the most
scrupulous care and to pledge my willing support to every legislative effort
for the advancement of the greatness and prosperity of our beloved country.