Page images
PDF
EPUB

with his Attorney General, will decide who of those presented to him deserves appointment. The President fully understands the necessity of a judiciary of the highest standard and proposes to maintain that standard, even if, by doing so, he seems to prefer one Senator over another. The question of Senatorial influence is not to be regarded, only the question as to what lawyer, no matter by whom recommended, comes nearest to filling the requirements of a federal judge.

"This policy is practically the same as that governing wants, recommendations, military promotions, which was announced some time ago when the President let it be known, to the displeasure of several Senators, that he proposed to make his promotions upon the service records of the officers of the army. And he does not regard seniority in rank as giving preference in making selections for line officers, where the law does not give seniority the call. The question in his mind is as to the fitness and capacity of officers whose names are brought to his attention, and the fact that an officer has youth, with the steadiness and experience which usually comes with age, is rather to his advantage than otherwise. In his message, the President, appreciating that there was some dissatisfaction with this attitude of his, made it stronger by saying that where Senatorial or social influence was exercised in an officer's behalf, it would militate against him.

"In the week, the President has also shown that he will not countenance, much less will he permit interference in, local politics by federal officials, for he has removed several who promoted factionalism by their meddling with local concerns. He does not object to legitimate political activity, to work to promote the success of the party, but he removes, immediately, the officials who promote factionalism. He wants federal officers to attend to their business and make their offices businesslike in every respect. Then, he has several times impressed Senators and Congressmen with his objection to receiving their written recommendations. He knows how easy it is to sign a petition or a letter of recommendation, and that this is so often done to get rid of a persistent applicant or to place the responsibility for failure to secure the office upon the President. President Roosevelt wants recommendations made in person by Senators and Congressmen, and then he interrogates them regarding the men they suggest, and holds them to account for the representations made. Thus an indorsement to Theodore Roosevelt means more than it has heretofore. If, however, he finds that a satisfactory man has not been proposed, he insists upon another being named or selects him himself. The President has astonished Southern Republicans by frequently declining to follow their recommendation; in fact, no Southern Republican organization can claim to have had its recommendations followed by the President, and if a good Republican is not proposed or discovered, he appoints a Democrat from the South. That may lose him votes from the South in the next National Convention, but, just now, he is not giving consideration to his renomination, and will probably never plan to secure it, being content to know he has done what he deemed right and letting the future care for itself.

"The President has been active in carrying out his theories of Civil Service Reform, extending the classified service over the rural free delivery system and over some places in the War Department, removing officials who have violated the rules and approving rules to make Civil Service Reform more effective in operation. When he appointed William Dudley Foulke as Civil Service Commissioner, he gave notice of his purposes. In the present week important changes have been made in the Civil Service rules that will lessen the temptation to evade them. The Civil Service Commission has now power, in the case of a person holding a position in the Civil Service, in violation of the Civil Service act or rules, to certify to the head of the Department the fact of violation, and if the employee is not dismissed in thirty days, to have his pay stopped. Then, there is to be no transference from one department to another unless the employee has worked six months, and in some position in the classified service. This will prevent the appointment of men with political pull to an unclassified position, their almost immediate transference to the classified service and promotion to a good position, as has been frequently done in the past. Again, the same strict adherence to the merit principle is insisted upon in the Insular Service, so the Philippines, Porto Rico and Hawaii are not to be dumping grounds for political favorites.

"So high is the President's standard, and so rigidly is it adhered to, that reappointments are decided distinctions, and the failure to be reappointed is not discreditable, in the ordinary acceptation of the word."

The twenty-fifth President of the United States is the head of the Government of the latest, and last for a long time, of the Powers that, under the influences of modern movements, the wonders of our transportation, the universal diffusion of the news of the day, the equally marvelous revelations of the drills that penetrate the earth, as the telescopes reveal the mysteries of the skies, have expanded the earthly inheritance of man, and expanded into the foremast class of Great Nations.

At this state of American increase, when the problem of the slavery question, of labor involved, was solved by the sword, as we hope no other problem will need to be solved, two men became representative of our increase —William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. They represented the highest standard of value because it was the surest standard—the high protection by tariff of labor—for it is labor that is the creative source of capital and civilization itself. The common sense wisdom of all the peoples who have the capacity of organization, has comprehended the necessity of protection of our men of labor from the competition of those who are not of us, pay no part of the cost of our Government, do not help us to bear burdens, or we would, by the freedom of our markets, fail to understand the demand that we shall help those who aid us, care for those who make a bar of pig iron into fine steel and fashion it into costly implements, thereby producing value. We must assure to these producers a fair show of the profitableness by protecting the market from the people beyond our seas, or we shall cheapen labor and transfer the value of the skill of our own workingmen to other lands, while with it goes prosperity, that is the joint product of our united industries.

Profoundly did William McKinley, a boy of labor, a boy soldier who was a hero, a man of probity, who knew in the hard times of his childhood the need of protection, believe in the doctrine he lived to see in the law named for him. He was its champion and artificer. The prosperity he promised came to the people, and, his promises redeemed, glory awarded, became President of the United States, twice elected, was murdered by an anarchist, representing the ignorant and vindictive cruelty of utter barbarism. The murderer struck at all things, save black night and chaos.

All the winds that blow tell President Roosevelt what they bring him on their wings. He will not be false to any man. His mind is open to be read as his books. They have many merits, and before the rest is honesty. Whether his gaze was turned within or without, he told the truth of what he saw. His policy as President is not a mystery. His books are open. Each chapter tells the manner of man he is. When he states what Lincoln and Grant did, he places his models on exhibition. None of the history he has made was to advertise. There are facts, though, that will not be silent, but speak with a thousand tongues, as in his letter to the Mayor of New York on the night before the latest Presidential election, that startled like a trumpet's call to arms.

CHAPTER XXIX.

RELATIONS WITH GREAT NATIONS.

Presidential Courtesies and International Affairs—This Influence in Other Days— Germany and England Our Friends—Prince Henry of Prussia—His Visit and Speeches —Our Strength at Home and Abroad.

THE people of the United States, of all parties and persuasions, seem to be fairly well satisfied with their Constitution, and its improvements by amendment, and interpretations by the Courts and public opinion. The wisdom of the great instrument is that is secures substantially the execution of the popular will.

The majority of the inhabitants of the earth, savages or semi-civilized, enlightened or barbarous, occupations, those of agriculture, the mechanic arts, mining, transportation or commerce, whether dwellers upon the greater or lesser islands, or continents of either hemisphere, in whatever zone or climate, of the black, brown, yellow or white races, fishermen or hunters, rice or wheat, fruit or meat eaters, live under forms of government in which the people themselves consent to be governed by others than themselves; and we call such methods of governing, despotic. Their ways are not as our ways.

We of the United States believe, confidently, that we are of the Government, by and for ourselves, more intimately, intelligently, actually and profoundly, than the population of any other country are concerned as rulers, with their own business; and maintain that we are more Democratic and Republican, more at liberty, and, upon the whole, more populistic and orderly, and, at the same time, stronger for freedom and action in our widespread holdings of the earth, for the imperialism of liberty, than any other nation, great or small; yet we are not crusaders against the ways and means of government in other countries. It is not a part of our principle of the rule of the majority, to establish a perpetual propaganda against rulers of the majority of people and nations.

It is not especially the line of a good American citizen to be uncivil to those who officially represent and embody the monarchial governments. George Washington did not rebel especially against George III. His first commissions and uniforms were those signifying the favor of Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, appointed by the King of England. Washington, in his youth, wore the British uniform, repeatedly serving as a British officer. We were more indebted to Benjamin Franklin than to any other man for tha intervention of the Bourbon King of France, for the fleet and army that aided us essentially to capture Cornwallis and win our independence. Yet England, France and Spain desired and made joint effort to prevent us, by cutting down our land, from becoming a great nation. It was the wonderful work of our fathers that got the land for our broad foundations. The author of the Declaration of Independence was the Expander who planted our flag on the Pacific shore, buying the land Napoleon gained from Spain.

There has been a great deal of remark touching the civility President Roosevelt has shown the royalties. He did it fairly as our representative. Benjamin Franklin was a favorite of the Court of France. Thomas Jefferson was a power in Paris. Lafayette was an aristocrat. Monroe did not heedlessly offend the French Revolutionists, but was for a time the only foreign minister in France, and saved the wife of Lafayette from the guillotine, through the courage and address of Mrs. Monroe, the daughter of a British officer.

General Jackson hated a red coat. Jefferson loved a red waistcoat. Jackson's successor, President Van Buren's son, danced with Queen Victoria, and was so brilliant a courtier the title of "Prince John" was conferred upon him. It was the friendly and kindly relations of the British Court with James Buchanan that caused the visit of the Prince of Wales to this country. There was a striking sympathetic geniality between the chiefs of the Southern Confederacy and those of the British Empire. The father of the King of England remembered the reception in this country of his oldest son, and for the Queen revised, in the interest of peace, the hostile note of the British Cabinet in the Trent case.

General Grant, when President, received with distinguished consideration the Emperor of Brazil, and after he was President accepted the hospitalities of the glittering courts of Europe and Asia. The Grand Duke Alexis of Russia was received with open arms by our people. So was the Spanish Princess Eulalie who came to grace the White City of the Columbian celebration at Chicago. President Cleveland was not uncivil to the deposed Queen of Hawaii.

It has not been the custom of the country to insult the royalties, of any degree, who visit our shores. We have much to show them that is of interest to them. We are an object lesson it is well for them to study. King Kalakuana, of Hawaii, twice visited the United States, in 1875 and 1881, and suffered in health from excess of our hospitality.

It is worthy our remembrance, as we realize our own potentialities, that "the world is a neighborhood of nations." We hear from all great countries

« PreviousContinue »