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FAVORS FURTHER LIMITATIONS ON PRICES
FAVORS FURTHER LIMITATIONS ON PRICES Recent experience has convinced me that the Congress must go further in authorizing the Government to set limits to prices. The law of supply and demand, I am sorry to say, has been replaced by the law of unrestrained selfishness. While we have eliminated profiteering in several branches of industry it still runs impudently rampant in others. The farmers, for example, complain with a great deal of justice that, while the regulation of food prices restricts their incomes, no restraints are placed upon the prices of most of the things they must themselves purchase; and similar inequities obtain on all sides.
It is imperatively necessary that the consideration of the full use of the water power of the country and also the consideration of the systematic and yet economical development of such of the natural resources of the country as are still under control of the Federal Government, should be immediately resumed and affirmatively and constructively dealt with at the earliest possible moment. The pressing need of such legislation is daily becoming more obvious.
The legislation proposed at the last session with regard to regulated combinations among our exporters, in order to provide for our foreign trade a more effective organization and method of co-operation, ought by all means to be completed at this session.
APPROPRIATION BILLS BY SINGLE COMMITTEE And I beg that the members of the House of Representatives will permit me to express the opinion that it will be impossible to deal in any way but a very wasteful and extravagant fashion with the enormous appropriations of the public moneys which must continue to be made, if the war is to be properly sustained, unless the House will consent to return to its former practice of initiating and preparing all appropriation bills through a single committee, in order that responsibility may be centered, expenditures standardized and made uniform, and waste and duplication as much as possible avoided.
Additional legislation may also become necessary before the present Congress again adjourns in order to effect the most efficient co-ordination and operation of the railway and other transportation systems of the country; but to that I shall, if circumstances should demand, call the attention of the Congress upon another occasion.
If I have overlooked anything that ought to be done for the more effective conduct of the war, your own counsels will supply the omission. What I am perfectly clear about is that in the present session of the Congress our whole attention and energy should be concentrated on the vigorous, rapid and successful prosecution of the great task of winning the war.
ENEMY SOUGHT TO DISRUPT UNION We can do this with all the greater zeal and enthusiasm because we know that for us this is a war of high principle, debased by no selfish ambition of conquest or spoliation because we know, and all the world knows, that we have been forced into it to save the very institutions we live under from corruption and destruction. The purposes of the Central Powers strike straight at the very heart of everything we believe in; their methods of warfare outrage every principle of humanity and of knightly honor; their intrigue has corrupted the very thought and spirit of many of our people; their sinister and secret diplomacy has sought to take our very territory away from us and disrupt the Union of the States. Our safety would be at an end, our honor forever sullied and brought into contempt were we to permit their triumph. They are striking at the very existence of democracy and liberty.
It is because it is for us a war of high, disinterested purpose, in which all the free peoples of the world are banded together for the vindication of right, a war for the preservation of our nation and of all that it has held dear of principle and of purpose, that we feel ourselves doubly constrained to propose for its outcome only that which is righteous and of irreproachable intention, for our foes as well as for our friends. The cause being just and holy, the settlement must be of like motive and quality. For this we can fight, but for nothing less noble or less worthy of our traditions. For this cause we entered the war and for this cause will we battle until the last gun is fired.
NO IDEAL OR PRINCIPLE FORGOTTEN I have spoken plainly because this seems to me the time when it is most necessary to speak plainly, in order that all the world may know that even in the heat and ardor of the struggle and when our whole thought is of carrying the war through to its end we have not forgotten any ideal or principle for which the name of America has been held in honor among the nations and for which it has been our glory to contend in the great generations that went before us. A supreme moment of history has come. The eyes of the people have been opened and they see. The hand of God is laid upon the nations. He will show them favor, I devoutly believe, only if they rise to the clear heights of His own justice and mercy.
PROCLAMATION OF STATE OF WAR
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas the Congress of the United States, in the exercise of the constitu
tional authority vested in them, have resolved, by joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives bearing date of December 7, 1917,
as follows: Whereas the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government has com
mitted repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America: Therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a state of war is hereby declared to exist between the United States of America and the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government; and that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all the resources of the country
are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States." Whereas, by sections 4067, 4068, 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes,
provision is made relative to natives, citizens, denizens or subjects of a hostile nation or government, being males of the age of 14 years and upward, who shall be in the United States and not actually naturalized;
Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim to all whom it may concern that a state of war
The Official Bulletin of December 8, 1917, gives the following account of the progress of the resolution through Congress:
The resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the Austro-Hungarian Government and the United States was adopted in both Houses of Congress yesterday afternoon, and sent at once to the President, who gave it his official approval at 5.03 o'clock. In the Senate no objection was offered when Chairman Stone asked unanimous consent to proceed with the consideration of the resolution reported by the committee. Speeches in support of the resolution were made by Senators Stone, Lodge, Hitchcock and Owen, followed by a brief statement by Mr. Vardaman. The vote was 74 to o. Mr. La Follette was absent when the roll was called, but subsequently made a brief statement in which he said he had gone to his office to prepare an amendment. The Senate consumed only 1 hour and 9 minutes in disposing of the entire subject.
In the House the debate continued for 2 hours and 40 minutes. Brief speeches were made by 21 members. The final vote was 363 to 1. The single negative vote was cast by Mr. London of New York. The debate was opened by Chairman Flood of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and closed by Mr. Cooper of Wisconsin, ranking minority member of the committee. The final vote was concluded at 4.10 o'clock and the Speaker signed the enrolled resolution at 4.20 o'clock. Vice President Marshall received and signed it at 4.32 o'clock and it was sent at once to the President.
exists between the United States and the Imperial and Royal AustroHungarian Government; and I do specially direct all officers, civil or military, of the United States that they exercise vigilance and zeal in the discharge of the duties incident to such a state of war; and I do, moreover, earnestly appeal to all American citizens that they, in loyal devotion to their country, dedicated from its foundation to the principles of liberty and justice, uphold the laws of the land and give undivided and willing support to those measures which may be adopted by the constitutional authorities in prosecuting the war to a successful issue and in obtaining a secure and just peace;
And, acting under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the United States and the aforesaid sections of the Revised Statutes, I do hereby further proclaim and direct that the conduct to be observed on the part of the United States toward all natives, citizens, denizens or subjects of Austria-Hungary, being males of the age of 14 years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, shall be as follows:
All natives, citizens, denizens or subjects of Austria-Hungary, being males of 14 years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, are enjoined to preserve the peace toward the United States and to refrain from crime against the public safety, and from violating the laws of the United States and of the States and Territories thereof, and to refrain from actual hostility or giving information, aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States, and to comply strictly with the regulations which are hereby or which may be from time to time promulgated by the President; and so long as they shall conduct themselves in accordance with law they shall be undisturbed in the peaceful pursuit of their lives and occupations, and be accorded the consideration due to all peaceful and law-abiding persons, except so far as restrictions may be necessary for their own protection and for the safety of the United States; and toward such of said persons as conduct themselves in accordance with law all citizens of the United States are enjoined to preserve the peace and to treat them with all such friendliness as may be compatible with loyalty and allegiance to the United States.
And all natives, citizens, denizens or subjects of Austria-Hungary, being males of the age of 14 years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, who fail to conduct themselves as so enjoined, in addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, shall be liable to restraint, or to give security, or to remove and depart from the United States in the manner prescribed by sections 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes, and as prescribed in regulations duly promulgated by the President;
And pursuant to the authority vested in me, I hereby declare and establish the following regulations, which I find necessary in the premises and for the public safety;
(1) No native, citizen, denizen or subject of Austria-Hungary, being a male of the age of 14 years and upward and not actually naturalized, shall depart from the United States until he shall have received such permit as the President shall prescribe, or except under order of a court, judge or justice, under sections 4069 and 4070 of the Revised Statutes;
(2) No such person shall land in or enter the United States, except under such restrictions and at such places as the President may prescribe;
(3) Every such person of whom there may be reasonable cause to believe that he is aiding or about to aid the enemy, or who may be at large to the danger of the public peace or safety, or who violates or attempts to violate, or of whom there is reasonable ground to believe that he is about to violate any regulation duly promulgated by the President, or any criminal law of the United States, or of the States or Territories thereof, will be subject to summary arrest by the United States marshal, or his deputy, or such other officers as the President shall designate, and to confinement in such penitentiary, prison, jail, military camp or other place of detention as may be directed by the
President. This proclamation and the regulations herein contained shall extend and apply to all land and water, continental or insular, in any way within the jurisdiction of the United States.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done in the District of Columbia this eleventh day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventeen, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-second.
By the President:
Secretary of State.