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men have even dared to cavil at the rate of interest, not knowing the incidental commentary that that constitutes upon their attitude.
But when you give, something of your heart, something of your soul, something of yourself goes with the gift, particularly when it is given in such form that it never can come back by way of direct benefit to yourself. You know there is the old cynical definition of gratitude, as "the lively expectation of favors to come.” Well, there is no expectation of favors to come in this kind of giving. These things are bestowed in order that the world may be a fitter place to live in, that men may be succored, that homes may be restored, that suffering may be relieved, that the face of the earth may have the blight of destruction removed from it, and that wherever force goes, there shall go mercy and helpfulness.
And when you give, give absolutely all that you can spare, and do not consider yourself liberal in the giving. If you give with self-adulation, you are not giving at all, you are giving to your own vanity, but if you give until it hurts, then your heart-blood goes into it.
Think what we have here! We call it the American Red Cross, but it is merely a branch of a great international organization which is not only recognized by the statutes of each of the civilized governments of the world, but is recognized by international agreement and treaty, as the recognized and accepted instrumentality of mercy and succor. And one of the deepest stains that rest upon the reputation of the German Army is that they have not respected the Red Cross. That goes to the root of the matter. They have not respected the instrumentality they themselves participated in setting up as the thing which no man was to touch because it was the expression of common humanity. By being members of the American Red Cross, we are members of a great fraternity and comradeship which extends all over the world. This cross which these ladies bore to-day is an emblem of Christianity itself.
It fills my imagination, ladies and gentlemen, to think of the women all over this country who are busy to-night, and are busy every night and every day, doing the work of the Red Cross, busy with a great eagerness to find out the most
serviceable thing to do, busy with a forgetfulness of all the old frivolities of their social relationships, ready to curtail the duties of the household in order that they may contribute to this common work that all their hearts are engaged in and doing which their hearts become acquainted with each other. When you think of this, you realize how the people of the United States are being drawn together into a great intimate family whose heart is being used for the service of the soldiers not only, but for the service of civilians where they suffer and are lost in a maze of distresses and distractions.
You have, then, this noble picture of justice and mercy as the two servants of liberty. For only where men are free do they think the thoughts of comradeship, only where they are free do they think the thoughts of sympathy, only where they are free are they mutually helpful, only where they are free do they realize their dependence upon one another and their comradeship in a common interest and common necessity. If you ladies and gentlemen could read some of the touching despatches which come through official channels, for even through those channels there come voices of humanity that are infinitely pathetic; if you could catch some of those voices that speak the utter longing of oppressed and helpless peoples all over the world to hear something like the Battle Hymn of the Republic, to hear the feet of the great hosts of Liberty coming to set them free, to set their minds free, set their lives free, set their children free; you would know what comes into the heart of those who are trying to contribute all the brains and power they have to this great enterprise of Liberty. I summon you to the comradeship. I summon you in this next week to say how much and how sincerely and how unanimously you sustain the heart of the world.
White House Pamphlet.
81. WAR-TIME PROHIBITION
(May 28, 1918)
LETTER TO SENATOR SHEPPARD
Thank you very much for your letter of the 26th. Frankly, I was very much distressed by the action of the House. I do
not think that it is wise or fair to attempt to put such compulsion on the Executive in a matter in which he has already acted almost to the limit of his authority. What is almost entirely overlooked is that there are, as I am informed, very large stocks of whisky in this country, and it seems to me quite certain that if the brewing of beer were prevented entirely, along with all the other drinks, many of them harmless, which are derived from food or food stuffs, the consumption of whisky would be stimulated and increased to a very considerable extent.
My own judgment is that it is wise and statesmanlike to let the situation stand as it is for the present, until at any rate I shall be apprised by the Food Administration that it is necessary in the way suggested still further to conserve the supply of food and feed stuffs. The Food Administration has not thought it necessary to go any further than we have in that matter already gone.
I thank you most cordially, Senator, for your kindness in consulting me in this matter, which is of very considerable importance, and has a very direct bearing upon many collateral questions.
Congressional Record, LXI, 8033.
82. DISINTERESTED SERVICE TO LATIN AMERICA
(June 7, 1918)
ADDRESS TO MEXICAN EDITORS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
I have never received a group of men who were more welcome than you are, because it has been one of my distresses during the period of my Presidency that the Mexican people did not more thoroughly understand the attitude of the United States toward Mexico. I think I can assure you, and I hope you have had every evidence of the truth of my assurance, that that attitude is one of sincere friendship. And not merely the sort of friendship which prompts one not to do his neighbor any harm, but the sort of friendship which earnestly desires to do his neighbor service.
My own policy, the policy of my own administration, toward Mexico was at every point based upon this principle, that the internal settlement of the affairs of Mexico was none of our business; that we had no right to interfere with or to dictate to Mexico in any particular with regard to her own affairs. Take one aspect of our relations which at one time may have been difficult for you to understand: When we sent troops into Mexico, our sincere desire was nothing else than to assist you to get rid of a man who was making the settlement of your affairs for the time being impossible. We had no desire to use our troops for any other purpose, and I was in hopes that by assisting in that way and then immediately withdrawing, I might give substantial proof of the truth of the assurances that I had given your Government through President Carranza.
And at the present time it distresses me to learn that certain influences, which I assume to be German in their origin, are trying to make a wrong impression throughout Mexico as to the purposes of the United States, and not only a wrong impression, but to give an absolutely untrue account of things that happen. You know the distressing things that have been happening just off our coasts. You know of the vessels that have been sunk. I yesterday received a quotation from a paper in Guadalajara which stated that thirteen of our battleships had been sunk off the Capes of the Chesapeake. You see how dreadful it is to have people so radically misinformed. It was added that our Navy Department was withholding the truth with regard to these sinkings. I have no doubt that the publisher of the paper published that in perfect innocence without intending to convey wrong impressions, but it is evident that allegations of that sort proceed from those who wish to make trouble between Mexico and the United States.
Now, gentlemen, for the time being at any rate, and I hope it will not be a short time, the influence of the United States is somewhat pervasive in the affairs of the world, and I believe that it is pervasive because the nations of the world which are less powerful than some of the greatest nations are coming to believe that our sincere desire is to do disinterested service. We are the champions of those nations which
have not had a military standing which wouid enable them to compete with the strongest nations in the world, and I look forward with pride to the time, which I hope will soon come, when we can give substantial evidence, not only that we do not want anything out of this war, but that we would not accept anything out of it, that it is absolutely a case of disinterested action. And if you will watch the attitude of our people, you will see that nothing stirs them so deeply as assurances that this war, so far as we are concerned, is for idealistic objects. One of the difficulties that I experienced during the first three years of the war, the years when the United States was not in the war, was in getting the foreign offices of European nations to believe that the United States was seeking nothing for herself, that her neutrality was not selfish, and that if she came in, she would not come in to get anything substantial out of the war, any material object, any territory or trade or anything else of that sort. In some of the foreign offices there were men who personally knew me and they believed, I hope, that I was sincere in assuring them that our purposes were disinterested, but they thought that these assurances came from an academic gentleman removed from the ordinary sources of information and speaking the idealistic purposes of the cloister. They did not believe that I was speaking the real heart of the American people, and I knew all along that I was. Now I believe that everybody who comes into contact with the American people knows that I am speaking their purposes.
The other night in New York, at the opening of the campaign for funds for our Red Cross, I made an address. ] had not intended to refer to Russia, but I was speaking without notes and in the course of what I said my thought was led to Russia, and I said that we meant to stand by Russia just as firmly as we would stand by France or England or any other of the Allies. The audience to which I was speak ing was not an audience from which I would have expected an enthusiastic response to that. It was rather too well dressed. It was not an audience, in other words, made of the class of people whom you would suppose to have the most intimate feeling for the sufferings of the ordinary man in Russia; but that audience jumped into the aisles, the whole