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nently desirable, to combine with the stability of our economic system a supplementary system of reciprocal benefit and obligation with other Nations. Such reciprocity is an incident and result of the firm establishment and preservation of our present economic policy. It was especially provided for in the present tariff law.
"Reciprocity must be treated as the handmaiden of protection. Our first duty is to see that the protection granted by the tariff in every case where it is needed is maintained, and that reciprocity be sought for so far as it can safely be done without injury to our home industries."
There is no possible improvement of this statement. The attention of the Senate is called to the reciprocity treaties laid before it by President McKinley, and "subject to this proviso of the proper protection necessary to our industrial well-being at home, the principle of reciprocity must command our hearty support. . . . It is most important that we should maintain the high level of our present prosperity. We have now reached the point in the development of our interests where we are not only able to supply our own markets but to produce a constantly growing surplus for which we must find markets abroad. To secure these markets we can utilize existing duties in any case where they are no longer needed for the purpose of protection."
The country is under obligation to the President for an immense amount of unusually valuable information committed to Congress, and eagerly accepted by the people at large. As the reading of the message was listened to with such attention as has never been exceeded and rarely approached, so it has been received by the readers of the document in millions of homes. There has been an extraordinary gathering of news for this paper. The references to the treatment of arid lands are of great interest, new to the greater number of people, and important. Cuba and the Philippines are disposed of with a rapidity not attempted with the problems. The message contains this: "In Cuba such progress has been made toward putting the independent government of the island upon a firm footing that before the present session of the Congress closes this will be an accomplished fact. Cuba will then start as her own mistress; and to the beautiful Queen of the Antilles, as she unfolds this new page of her destiny, we extend our heartiest greetings and good wishes."
The President goes further in recommending reciprocity in Cuba than in other cases. In the case of Cuba he says:
"There are weighty reasons of morality and of National interest why the policy should be held to have a peculiar application, and I most earnestly ask your attention to the wisdom, indeed to the vital need, of providing for a substantial reduction in the tariff duties on Cuban imports into the United States.
Cuba has in her constitution affirmed what we desired, that she should stand, in T. R.—21
international matters, in closer and more friendly relations with us than with any other power; and we are bound by every consideration of honor and expediency to pass commercial measures in the interest of her material well-being." This compliment Porto Rico deserves:
"It is a pleasure to say that it is hardly more necessary to report as to Porto Rico than as to any State or Territory within our continental limits. The island is thriving as never before, and it is being administered efficiently and honestly. Its people are now enjoying liberty and order under the protection of the United States, and upon this fact we congratulate them and ourselves.
"In Hawaii our aim must be to develop the Territory on the traditional American lines. We do not wish a region of large estates tilled by cheap labor; we wish a healthy American community of men who themselves till the farms they own.
"In the Philippines our problem is larger. They are very rich tropical islands, inhabited by many varying tribes, representing widely different stages of progress toward civilization. Our earnest effort is to help these people upward along the stony and difficult path that leads to self-government. We hope to make our administration of the islands honorable to our nation by making it of the highest benefit to the Filipinos themselves."
There is proposed a new cabinet officer to deal with commerce, and the permanency of the Census Bureau is recommended. The contact between government and "labor" is studied with the expectation of reaching conclusions. It is to be remarked that there are no tentative touches of doubtful purpose in regard to the enfeebled clamor of those who would flee from the islands we possess.
The Chinese questions have dwindled, and both sides of the House applauded the recommendation of the re-enactment of the Chinese exclusion law.
The Message closes, as it began, with reference to the mourning of the Nation, and refers to the death of Queen Victoria with expression of sorrow, and there is like reference to the Queen's daughter, the Dowager Empress of Germany, and closes:
"In the midst of our affliction we reverently thank the Almighty that we are at peace with the nations of mankind, and we firmly intend that our policy shall be such as to continue unbroken these international relations of mutual respect and good will."
"White House, December 3, 1901."
The matter of the Message is of such moment that the manner of it has not received the attention and admiration that are due to the vigor with which a great variety of subjects are treated, and the merits of the paper simply as a literary production. We have in a painstaking way prepared this summary, with the purpose of selecting passages that are valuable as expressions of the man himself, that tell the people of our President, and show the principles upon which he means to conduct the Administration in discharge of duty; and we wish to associate with this Message the chapters of his life, and it is progressively set forth, culminating, as they do, in this magnificent Message which is so extensive, so massive in construction, that some time will be required to take its measurements and appreciate its value.
"WINNING THE WEST."
Preservation and Restoration of Forests—Irrigation of Arid Lands, the Desert Cancer Cure—More Good Land for the People at Home—The President's Books on the West —His Western Politics—Secretary of the Treasury Lives West of the Mississippi River—Literary Men in Politics.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT has made a broad and deep mark upon the public thought and policy of the American people, in his first message. He has touched with firmness, intelligence, discrimination and sympathy, the series of pressing questions that have for some time been described by agitators as "problems," as if they were not merely issues but mysteries. That which the President says has had a tendency to brush aside with light, the clouds and shadows floating before the imagination as novelties of alarm. The questions were relating to taxation, public proprietorship, municipal aggrandizement, after the pattern of the "commune."
The President has not touched anything that he has not simplified, and made clear. He has spoken to the ghosts and they have departed. He has defined the Monroe Doctrine, and it is peace among the Nations. The army is to be no larger but much stronger, through equipment and campaign exercise. That we may not need two navies, we are to construct a ship canal that will unite our immediate front door oceans by way of the Southern gulf, and having thus doubled the world-wide capacity of the war boats, we are to increase them frankly and sufficiently, as becomes the Great Power, with a greater extent than any other of seacoast open all the year round, and three great Archipelagoes to care for in the greater of the Oceans.
Speaking of our vast continental borders, and possessions beyond seas, the President declares for holding them without an uncertain word, "and goes into vital matters of home and interior affairs, with a power of statement and persuasiveness of argument, exceeding all example in official papers. His warrant to do this, is that he has more extensive personal acquaintance with our territories and inhabitants, than any other citizen of the United States. Possibly a few veteran railroad conductors have traveled greater distances than he by rail in this country, but that is a problem to be solved by statistics we are not likely soon to obtain.
When George Washington was President he knew more of the West than any other American, with the exception of the hunters of Kentucky. His career, within comparatively narrow limits, resembles in the exploration of new lands and drawing attention to Western resources, that of Roosevelt —remarkably so in his personal knowledge of public lands. The most valued part of the education Washington gave himself was in his occupation as a surveyor. He was self-sustaining in the wilderness, through which he drew the boundary lines of States and estates. His journals contain proof that his eyes saw in the valley of Virginia, and Ohio too, the good lands far and near; and he selected sections that pleased him for himself. He made seven journeys to the "Ohio Country" and saw the "good lands," that were then further from tide-water Virginia, than the "bad lands" of the Upper Missouri are now from any part of our country or of the world, if we count as distance time to overcome the difficulties of travel. One of his studies of enterprise was to connect the navigable water of the Potomac with that of the Ohio by the Chesapeake—Ohio canal system—a plan of improvement as far-sighted in his case, though dissimilar, as that President Roosevelt outlined in his first message to Congress, pleading for the preservation and restoration of forests, and the irrigation of the soil to be redeemed from deserts that ought to be the most productive part of the country, but is the region where the cyclones are formed on the enormous plains swept naked by fire.
Here is the space for the more than imperial enlargement of the area of North American fertility within our boundaries. Africa is the only continent that has more lands wasted until desolate by drought, than North America. The beginning of deserts is the destruction of forests. The message of the President on the preservation of forests, and their extension by culture has awakened the country to the better comprehension of our landed possessions within our own territory, and the national duty that is demanded that the people may have more and more good land for themselves and their children.
It has for a long time been one of the merry-go-rounds of the newspapers that "the great American desert" was displayed, in the atlas used in our schools fifty years ago, as covering the land of the flourishing States between the Missouri and the mountains; and it is the fashion to treat this recollection as a ludicrous and monstrous mistake of the geographers. It is true there were errors in surveying, and exaggerations of the extent of desolation, but there was ample reason for the statement that there was then and is now a great American desert. It is by no means a fable that has vanished, and it is not in essentials a burden of poverty for the people at large to bear. Bring together the mountain streams and the desert plains by a system of irrigation that conserves and distributes the water and we have as an additional inheritance for future generations, a domain stored with incalculable riches and less