« PředchozíPokračovat »
our promises to a dependent people, who will now look more anxiously than ever to see whether we have indeed the liberality, the unselfishness, the courage, the faith we have boasted and professed. I can not believe that the Senate will let this great measure of constructive justice await the action of another Congress. Its passage would nobly crown the record of these two years of memorable labor.
But I think that you will agree with me that this does not complete the toll of our duty. How are we to carry our goods to the empty markets of which I have spoken if we have not the ships? How are we to build up a great trade if we have not the certain and constant means of transportation upon which all profitable and useful commerce depends? And how are we to get the ships if we wait for the trade to develop without them? To correct the many mistakes by which we have discouraged and all but destroyed the merchant marine of the country, to retrace the steps by which we have, it seems almost deliberately, withdrawn our flag from the seas, except where, here and there, a ship of war is bidden carry it or some wandering yacht displays it, would take a long time and involve many detailed items of legislation, and the trade which we ought immedately to handle would disappear or find other channels while we debated the items.
The case is not unlike that which confronted us when cur own continent was to be opened up to settlement and industry, and we needed long lines of railway, extended means of transportation prepared beforehand, if development was not to lag intolerably and wait interminably. We lavishly subsidized the building of transcontinental railroads. We look back upon that with regret now, because the subsidies led to many scandals of which we are ashamed; but we know that the railroads had to be built, and if we had it to do over again we should of course build them, but in another way. Therefore I propose another way of providing the means of transportation, which must precede, not tardily follow, the development of our trade with our neighbor states of America. It may seem a reversal of the natural order of things, but it is true, that the routes of trade must be actually opened-by many ships and regular sailings and moderate charges—before streams of merchandise will flow freely and profitably through them.
Hence the pending shipping bill, discussed at the last session but as yet passed by neither House. In my judgment such legislation is imperatively needed and can not wisely be postponed. The Government must open these gates of trade, and open them wide; open them before it is altogether profitable to open them, or altogether reasonable to ask private capital to open them at a venture. It is not a question of the Government monopolizing the field. It should take action to make it certain that transportation at reasonable rates will be promptly provided, even where the carriage is not at first profitable; and then, when the carriage has become sufficiently profitable to attract and engage private capital, and engage it in abundance, the Government ought to withdraw. I very earnestly hope that the Congress will be of this opinion, and that both Houses will adopt this exceedingly important bill. * **
I would be negligent of a very manifest duty were I not to call the attention of the Senate to the fact that the proposed convention for safety at sea awaits its confirmation and that the limit fixed in the convention itself for its acceptance is the last day of the present month. The conference in which this convention originated was called by the United States; the representatives of the United States played a very influential part indeed in framing the provisions of the proposed convention; and those provisions are in themselves for the most part admirable. It would hardly be consistent with the part we have played in the whole matter to let it drop and go by the board as if forgotten and neglected. It was ratified in May last by the German Government and in August by the Parliament of Great Britain. It marks a most hopeful and decided advance in international civilization. We should show our earnest faith in a great matter by adding our own acceptance of it. ***
White House Pamphlet.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
(January 8, 1915)
JACKSON DAY ADDRESS AT INDIANAPOLIS
You have given me a most royal welcome, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is rather lonely living in Washington. I have been confined for two years at hard labor, and even now I feel that I am simply out on parole. You notice that one of the most distinguished Members of the United States Senate is here to see that I go back. And yet, with sincere apologies to the Senate and House of Representatives, I want to say that I draw more inspiration from you than I do from them. They, like myself, are only servants of the people of the United States. Our sinews consist in your sympathy and support, and our renewal comes from contact with you and with the strong movements of public opinion in the country.
That is the reason why I for one would prefer that our thoughts should not too ofteri cross the ocean, but should center themselves upon the policies and duties of the United States. If we think rightly of the United States, when the time comes we shall know how this country can serve the world. I will borrow a very interesting phrase from a distinguished gentleman of my acquaintance and beg that you will "keep your moral powder dry.”
But I have come here on Jackson Day. If there are Republicans present, I hope they will feel the compelling influences of such a day. There was nothing mild about Andrew Jackson; that is the reason I spoke of the "compelling influences” of the day. Andrew Jackson was a forthright man who believed everything he did believe in fighting earnest. And really, ladies and gentlemen, in public life that is the only sort of man worth thinking about for a moment. If I was not ready to fight for everything I believe in, I would think it my duty to go back and take a back seat. I like, therefore, to breathe the air of Jackson Day. I like to be reminded of the old militant hosts of Democracy which I believe have come to life again in our time. The United States had almost forgotten that it must keep its fighting ardor in behalf of mankind when Andrew Jackson became President; and you will notice that whenever the United States forgets its ardor for mankind it is necessary that a Democrat should be elected President.
The trouble with the Republican Party is that it has not had a new idea for thirty years. I am not speaking as a olitician; I am speaking as an historian. I have looked for jew ideas in the records and I have not found any proceeding from the Republican ranks. They have had leaders from time to time who suggested new ideas, but they never did anything to carry them out. I suppose there was no harm in their talking, provided they could not do anything. Therefore, when it was necessary to say that we had talked about things long enough which it was necessary to do, and the time had come to do them, it was indispensable that a Democrat should be elected President.
I would not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with great respect of the past. The past was necessary to the present, and was a sure prediction of the future. The Republican Party is still a covert and efuge for those who are afraid, for those who want to consult their grandfathers about everything. You will notice that most of the advice taken by the Republican Party is taken from gentlemen old enough to be grandfathers, and that when they claim that a reaction has taken place, they react to the reëlection of the oldest members of their party. They will not trust the youngsters. They are fraid the youngsters may have something up their sleeve.
You will see, therefore, that I have come to you in the spirit of Jackson Day. I got very tired staying in Washingon and saying sweet things. I wanted to come out and get contact with you once more and say what I really thought.
My friends, what I particularly want you to observe is this, that politics in this country does not depend any longer upon the regular members of either party. There are not enough regular Republicans in this country to take and hold national power; and I must immediately add there are not enough regular Democrats in this country to do it, either. This country is guided and its policy is determined by the independent voter; and I have come to ask you how we can best prove to the independent voter that the instrument he needs is the Democratic Party, and that it would be hopeless for him to attempt to use the Republican Party. I do not have to prove it; I admit it.
What seems to me perfectly evident is this: That if you made a rough reckoning, you would have to admit that only about one-third of the Republican Party is progressive; and you would also have to admit that about two-thirds of the Democratic Party is progressive. Therefore, the independent progressive voter finds a great deal more company in the Democratic ranks than in the Republican ranks. I say a great deal more, because there are Democrats who are sitting on the breeching strap: there are Democrats who are holding back; there are Democrats who are nervous. they were born with that temperament. And I respect the conservative temper. I claim to be an animated conservative myself, because being a conservative I understand to mean being a man not only who preserves what is best in the Nation but who sees that in order to preserve it you dare not stand still but must move forward. The virtue of America is not statical; it is dynamic. All the forces of America are forces in action or else they are forces of inertia.
What I want to point out to you—and I believe that this is what the whole country is beginning to perceive—is this, that there is a larger body of men in the regular ranks of the Democratic Party who believe in the progressive policies of our day and mean to see them carried forward and perpetuated than there is in the ranks of the Republican Party. How can it be otherwise, gentlemen? The Democratic Party, and the only Democratic Party, has carried out the policies which the progressive people of this country have
I dare say