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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
THE WHITE HOUSE, October 31, 1912. To the People of the United States:
James Schoolcraft Sherman, Vice-President of the United States died at his home in Utica, N. Y., at eighteen minutes to ten o'clock on the evening of October 30, 1912. In his death the nation has lost one of its most illustrious citizens and one of its most efficient and faithful servants.
Elected at an early age to the Mayorship of his native city, the continued confidence of his community was shown by his election for ten terms as a Representative in the National Congress. As a legislator he at once took and retained high rank and displayed such attributes of upright and wide statesmanship as to commend him to the people of the United States for the second highest office within their gift.
As presiding officer of the Senate he won the respect and esteem of all for his fairness and impartiality. His private life was noble and good. His genial disposition and attractiveness of character endeared him to all whose privilege it was to know him. His devotion to the best interests of his native land will endear his memory to his fellow countrymen.
In respect to his memory and the eminent and various services of this high official and patriotic servant, I direct that on the day of the funeral, the executive offices of the United States shall be closed and all posts and stations of the army and navy shall display the national flag at half-mast and that the Representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall pay appropriate tribute to the illustrious dead for a period of forty days.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. [Seal.]
WM. H. TAFT.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
A PROCLAMATION. To the People of the United States:
A God-fearing nation, like ours, owes it to its inborn and sincere sense of moral duty to testify its devout gratitude to the All-Giver for the countless benefits it has enjoyed. For many years it has been customary at the close of the year for the national Executive to call upon his fellow countrymen to offer praise and thanks to God for the manifold blessings vouchsafed to them in the past and to unite in earnest suppliance for their continuance.
The year now drawing to a close has been notably favorable to our fortunate land. At peace within and without, free from the perturbations and calamities that have afflicted other peoples, rich in harvests so abundant and in industries so productive that the overflow of our prosperity has advantaged the whole world, strong in the steadfast conservation of the heritage of self-government bequeathed to us by the wisdom of our fathers, and firm in the resolve to transmit that heritage unimpaired, but rather improved by good use, to our children and our children's children for all time to come, the people of this country have abounding cause for contented gratitude.
Wherefore I, William Howard Taft, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of long-established usage and in response to the wish of the American people, invite my countrymen, wheresoever they may sojourn, to join on Thursday, the 28th day of this month of November, in appropriate ascription of praise and thanks to God for the good gifts that have been our portion, and in humble prayer that His great mercies toward us may endure.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington this seventh day of November, in the
year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and [Seal.] twelve, and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and thirty-seventh.
WILLIAM H. TAFT. By the President: ALVEY A. ADEE,
Acting Secretary of State.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
To the People of the United States:
I, WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Act of Congress, approved August twenty-fourth, nineteen hundred and twelve, to provide for the opening, maintenance, protection and openen
tion of the Panama Canal and the sanitation and government of the Canal Zone, do hereby prescribe and proclaim the following rates of toll to be paid by vessels using the Panama Canal:
1. On merchant vessels carrying passengers or cargo one dollar and twenty cents ($1.20) per net vessel ton—each one hundred (100) cubic feet-of actual earning capacity.
2. On vessels in ballast without passengers or cargo forty (40) per cent less than the rate of tolls for vessels with passengers or cargo.
3. Upon naval vessels, other than transports, colliers, hospital ships and supply ships, fifty (50) cents per displacement ton.
4. Upon army and navy transports, colliers, hospital ships and supply ships one dollar and twenty cents ($1.20) per net ton, the vessels to be measured by the same rules as are employed in de
termining the net tonnage of merchant vessels. The Secretary of War will prepare and prescribe such rules for the measurement of vessels and such regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry this proclamation into full force and effect.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington this thirteenth day of November,
in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred [SEAL] and twelve and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-seventh.
WILLIAM H. TAFT. By the President: P. C. Knox,
Secretary of State.
ANNUAL MESSAGE-Part I.
[On Our Foreign Relations.]
The White House, December 3, 1912. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The foreign relations of the United States actually and potentially affect the state of the Union to a degree not widely realized and hardly surpassed by any other factor in the welfare of the whole Nation. The position of the United States in the moral, intellectual, and material relations of the family of nations should be a matter of vital interest to every patriotic citizen. The national prosperity and power impose upon us duties which we can not shirk if we are to be true to our ideals. The tremendous growth of the export
trade of the United States has already made that trade a very real factor in the industrial and commercial prosperity of the country. With the development of our industries the foreign commerce of the United States must rapidly become a still more essential factor in its economic welfare. Whether we have a farseeing and wise diplomacy and are not recklessly plunged into unnecessary wars, and whether our foreign policies are based upon an intelligent grasp of present-day world conditions and a clear view of the potentialities of the future, or are governed by a temporary and timid expediency or by narrow views befitting an infant nation, are questions in the alternative consideration of which must convince any thoughtful citizen that no department of national polity offers greater opportunity for promoting the interests of the whole people on the one hand, or greater chance on the other of permanent national injury, than that which deals with the foreign relations of the United States.
The fundamental foreign policies of the United States should be raised high above the conflict of partisanship and wholly dissociated from differences as to domestic policy. In its foreign affairs the United States should present to the world a united front. The intellectual, financial, and industrial interests of the country and the publicist, the wage earner, the farmer, and citizen of whatever occupation must cooperate in a spirit of high patriotism to promote that national solidarity which is indispensable to national efficiency and to the attainment of national ideals.
The relations of the United States with all foreign powers remain upon a sound basis of peace, harmony, and friendship. A greater insistence upon justice to American citizens or interests wherever it may have been denied and a stronger emphasis of the need of mutuality in commercial and other relations have only served to strengthen our friendships with foreign countries by placing those friendships upon a firm foundation of realities as well as aspirations.
Before briefly reviewing the more important events of the last year in our foreign relations, which it is my duty to do as charged with their conduct and because diplomatic affairs are not of a nature to make it appropriate that the Secretary of State make a formal annual report, I desire to touch upon some of the essentials to the safe management of the foreign relations of the United States and to endeavor, also, to define clearly certain concrete policies which are the logical modern corollaries of the undisputed and traditional fundamentals of the foreign policy of the United States.
REORGANIZATION OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT At the beginning of the present administration the United States, having fully entered upon its position as a world power, with the responsibilities thrust upon it by the results of the Spanish-American War, and already engaged in laying the groundwork of a vast foreign trade upon which it should one day become more and more dependent, found itself without the machinery for giving thorough attention to, and taking effective action upon, a mass of intricate business vital to American interests in every country in the world.
The Department of State was an archaic and inadequate machine lacking most of the attributes of the foreign office of any great modern power. With an appropriation made upon my recommendation by the Congress on August 5, 1909, the Department of State was completely reorganized. There were created Divisions of LatinAmerican Affairs and of Far Eastern, Near Eastern, and Western European Affairs. To these divisions were called from the foreign service diplomatic and consular officers possessing experience and knowledge gained by actual service in different parts of the world and thus familiar with political and commercial conditions in the regions concerned. The work was highly specialized. The result is that where previously this Government from time to time would emphasize in its foreign relations one or another policy, now American interests in every quarter of the globe are being cultivated with equal assiduity. This principle of politico-geographical division possesses also the good feature of making possible rotation between the officers of the departmental, the diplomatic, and the consular branches of the foreign service, and thus keeps the whole diplomatic and consular establishments under the Department of State in close touch and equally inspired with the aims and policy of the Government. Through the newly created Division of Information the foreign service is kept fully informed of what transpires from day to day in the international relations of the country, and contemporary foreign comment affecting American interests is promptly brought to the attention of the department. The law offices of the department were greatly strengthened. There were added foreign-trade advisers to cooperate with the diplomatic and consular bureaus and the politico-geographical divisions in the innumerable matters where commercial diplomacy or consular work calls for such special knowledge. The same officers, together with the rest of the new organization, are able at all times to give to American citizens accurate information as to conditions in foreign countries with which they have business and likewise to cooperate more effectively with the Congress and also with the other executive departments.
MERIT SYSTEM IN CONSULAR AND DIPLOMATIC CORPS Expert knowledge and professional training must evidently be the essence of this reorganization. Without a trained foreign service