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Indian is to teach him to earn his living; yet it is not necessarily to be assumed that in each community all Indians must become either tillers of the soil or stock raisers. Their industries may properly be diversified, and those who show special desire or adaptability for industrial or even commercial pursuits should be encouraged so far as practicable to follow out each his own bent.
Every effort should be made to develop the Indian along the lines of natural aptitude, and to encourage the existing native industries peculiar to certain tribes, such as the various kinds of basket weaving, canoe building, smith work, and blanket work. Above all, the Indian boys and girls should be given confident command of colloquial English, and should ordinarily be prepared for a vigorous struggle with the conditions under which their people live, rather than for immediate absorption into some more highly developed community.
The officials who represent the Government in dealing with the Indians work under hard conditions, and also under conditions which render it easy to do wrong and very difficult to detect wrong. Consequently they should be amply paid on the one hand, and on the other hand a particularly high standard of conduct should be demanded from them, and where misconduct can be proved the punishment should be exemplary.
In no department of governmental work in recent years has there been greater success than in that of giving scientific aid to the farming population, thereby showing them how most efficiently to help themselves. There is no need of insisting upon its importance, for the welfare of the farmer is fundamentally necessary to the welfare of the Republic as a whole. In addition to such work as quarantine against animal and vegetable plagues, and warring against them when here introduced, inuch efficient help has been rendered to the farmer by the introduction of new plants specially fitted for cultivation under the peculiar conditions existing in different portions of the country. New cereals have been established in the semi-arid West. For instance, the practicability of producing the best types of macaroni wheats in regions of an annual rainfall of only ten inches or thereabouts has been conclusively demonstrated. Through the introduction of new rices in Louisiana and Texas the production of rice in this country has been made to about equal the home demand. In the Southwest the possibility of regrassing overstocked range lands has been demonstrated; in the North many new
forage crops have been introduced, while in the East it has been shown that some of our choicest fruits can be stored and shipped in such a way as to find a profitable market abroad.
I again recommend to the favorable consideration of the Congress the plans of the Smithsonian Institution for making the Museum under its charge worthy of the Nation, and for preserving at the National Capital not only records of the vanishing races of men but of the animals of this continent which, like the buffalo, will soon become extinct unless specimens from which their representatives may be renewed are sought in their native regions and maintained there in safety.
The District of Columbia is the only part of our territory in which the National Government exercises local or municipal functions, and where in consequence the Government has a free hand in reference to certain types of social and economic legislation which must be essentially local or municipal in their character. The Government should see to it, for instance, that the hygienic and sanitary legislation affecting Washington is of a high character. The evils of slum dwellings, whether in the shape of crowded and congested tenement-house districts or of the back-alley type, should never be permitted to grow up in Washington. The city should be a model in every respect for all the cities of the country. The charitable and correctional systems of the District should receive consideration at the hands of the Congress to the end that they may embody the results of the most advanced thought in these fields. Moreover, while Washington is not a great industrial city, there is some industrialism here, and our labor legislation, while it would not be important in itself, might be made a model for the rest of the Nation. We should pass, for instance, a wise employer's-liability act for the District of Columbia, and we need such an act in our navy-yards. Railroad companies in the District ought to be required by law to block their frogs.
The safety-appliance law, for the better protection of the lives and limbs of railway employees, which was passed in 1893, went into full effect on August 1, 1901.
It has resulted in averting thousands of casualties. Experience shows, however, the necessity of additional legislation to perfect this law. A bill to provide for this passed the Senate at the last session. It is to be hoped that „some such measure may now be enacted into law.
There is a growing tendency to provide for the publication of masses of documents for which there is no public demand and for the printing of which there is no real necessity. Large numbers of volumes are turned out by the Government printing presses for which there is no justification. Nothing should be printed by any of the Departments unless it contains something of permanent value, and the Congress could with advantage cut down very materially on all the printing which it has now become customary to provide. The excessive cost of Government printing is a strong argument against the position of those who are inclined on abstract grounds to advocate the Government's doing any work which can with propriety be left in private hands.
Gratifying progress has been made during the year in the extension of the merit system of making appointments in the Government service. It should be extended by law to the District of Columbia. It is much to be desired that our consular system be established by law on a basis providing for appointment and promotion only in consequence of proved fitness.
Through a wise provision of the Congress at its last session the White House, which had become disfigured by incongruous additions and changes, has now been restored to what it was planned to be by Washington. In making the restorations the utmost care has been exercised to come as near as possible to the early plans and to supplement these plans by a careful study of such buildings as that of the University of Virginia, which was built by Jefferson. The White House is the property of the Nation, and so far as is compatible with living therein it should be kept as it originally was, for the same reasons that we keep Mount Vernon as it originally was. The stately simplicity of its architecture is an expression of the character of the period in which it was built, and is in accord with the purposes it was designed to serve. It is a good thing to preserve such buildings as historic monuments which keep alive our sense of continuity with the Nation's past.
The reports of the several Executive Departments are submitted to the Congress with this communication.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. WHITE HOUSE,
December 2, 1902.
1901 38 Mr. McCormick to Mr. Hay. Nov. 12 Passport application of Moses Lilienthal sub
mitted for instructions.
Austro-Hungarian origin returning to their
and instructs to report.
that matter will be taken up with foreign oflice.
1902 3 Mr. Hay to Mr. McCormick. Jan. 3 Military service of Joseph Kristof. Incloses cor
respondence and instructs to investigate.
late Mexican minister to Austria-Hungary. Requests courtesies on occasion of.