No subject, I think, more nearly touches the pride, the power, and the prosperity of our country than this of the development of our merchant marine upon the sea. If we could enter into conference with other competitors and all would agree to withhold government aid, we could perhaps take our chances with the rest; but our great competitors have established and maintained their lines by government subsidies until they now have practically excluded us from participation. In my opinion no choice is left to us but to pursue, moderately at least, the same lines.
The report of the Secretary of the Navy exhibits great progress in the construction of our new Navy. When the present Secretary entered upon his duties, only 3 modern steel vessels were in commission. The vessels since put in commission and to be put in commission during the winter will make a total of 19 during his administration of the Department. During the current year 10 war vessels and 3 navy tugs have been launched, and during the four years 25 vessels will have been launched. Two other large ships and a torpedo boat are under contract and the work upon them well advanced, and the 4 monitors are awaiting only the arrival of their armor, which has been unexpectedly delayed, or they would have been before this in commission.
Contracts have been let during this Administration, under the appropriations for the increase of the Navy, including new vessels and their appurtenances, to the amount of $35,000,000, and there has been expended during the same period for labor at navy-yards upon similar work $8,000,000 without the smallest scandal or charge of fraud or partiality. The enthusiasm and interest of our naval officers, both of the staff and line, have been greatly kindled. They have responded magnificently to the confidence of Congress and have demonstrated to the world an unexcelled capacity in construction, in ordnance, and in everything involved in the building, equipping, and sailing of great war ships.
At the beginning of Secretary Tracy's administration several difficult problems remained to be grappled with and solved before the efficiency in action of our ships could be secured. It is believed that as the result of new processes in the construction of armor plate our later ships will be clothed with defensive plates of higher resisting power than are found on any war vessels afloat. We were without torpedoes. Tests have been made to ascertain the relative efficiency of different constructions, a torpedo has been adopted, and the work of construction is now being carried on successfully. We were without armor-piercing shells and without a shop instructed and equipped for the construction of them. We are now making what is believed to be a projectile superior to any before in use. A smokeless powder has been developed and a slow-burning powder for guns of large caliber. A high explosive capable of use in shells fired from service guns has been found, and the manufacture of gun cotton has been developed so that the question of supply is no longer in doubt.
The development of a naval militia, which has been organized in eight States and brought into cordial and cooperative relations with the Navy, is another important achievement. There are now enlisted in these organizations 1,800 men, and they are likely to be greatly extended. I recommend such legislation and appropriations as will encourage and develop this movement. The recommendations of the Secretary will, I do not doubt, receive the friendly consideration of Congress, for he has enjoyed, as he has deserved, the confidence of all those interested in the development of our Navy, without any division upon partisan lines. I earnestly express the hope that a work which has made such noble progress may not now be stayed. The wholesome influence for peace and the increased sense of security which our citizens domiciled in other lands feel when these magnificent ships under the American flag appear is already most gratefully apparent. The ships from our Navy which will appear in the great naval parade next April in the harbor of New York will be a convincing demonstration to the world that the United States is again a naval power.
The work of the Interior Department, always very burdensome, has been larger than ever before during the administration of Secretary Noble. The disability-pension law, the taking of the Eleventh Census, the opening of vast areas of Indian lands to settlement, the organization of Oklahoma, and the negotiations for the cession of Indian lands furnish some of the particulars of the increased work, and the results achieved testify to the ability, fidelity, and industry of the head of the Department and his efficient assistants.
Several important agreements for the cession of Indian lands negotiated by the commission appointed under the act of March 2, 1889, are awaiting the action of Congress. Perhaps the most important of these is that for the cession of the Cherokee Strip. This region has been the source of great vexation to the executive department and of great friction and unrest between the settlers who desire to occupy it and the Indians who assert title. The agreement which has been made by the commission is perhaps the most satisfactory that could have been reached. It will be noticed that it is conditioned upon its ratification by Congress before March 4, 1893. The Secretary of the Interior, who has given the subject very careful thought, recommends the ratification of the agreement, and I am inclined to follow his recommendation. Certain it is that some action by which this controversy shall be brought to an end and these lands opened to settlement is urgent.
The form of government provided by Congress on May 17, 1884, for Alaska was in its frame and purpose temporary. The increase of population and the development of some important mining and commercial interests make it imperative that the law should be revised and better provision made for the arrest and punishment of criminals.
The report of the Secretary shows a very gratifying state of facts as to the condition of the General Land Office. The work of issuing agricultural patents, which seemed to be hopelessly in arrear when the present Secretary undertook the duties of his office, has been so expedited that the bureau is now upon current business. The relief thus afforded to honest and worthy settlers upon the public lands by giving to them an assured title to their entries has been of incalculable benefit in developing the new States and the Territories.
The Court of Private Land Claims, established by Congress for the promotion of this policy of speedily settling contested land titles, is making satisfactory progress in its work, and when the work is completed a great impetus will be given to the development of those regions where unsettled claims under Mexican grants have so long exercised their repressive influence. When to these results are added the enormous cessions of Indian lands which have been opened to settlement, aggregating during this Administration nearly 26,000,000 acres, and the agreements negotiated and now pending in Congress for ratification by which about 10,000,000 additional acres will be opened to settlement, it will be seen how much has been accomplished.
The work in the Indian Bureau in the execution of the policy of recent legislation has been largely directed to two chief purposes: First, the allotment of lands in severalty to the Indians and the cession to the United States of the surplus lands, and, secondly, to the work of educating the Indian for his own protection in his closer contact with the white man and for the intelligent exercise of his new citizenship. Allotments have been made and patents issued to 5,900 Indians under the present Secretary and Commissioner, and 7,600 additional allotments have been made for which patents are now in process of preparation. The school attendance of Indian children has been increased during that time over 13 per cent, the enrollment for 1892 being nearly 20,000. A uniform system of school text-books and of study has been adopted and the work in these national schools brought as near as may be to the basis of the free common schools of the States. These schools can be transferred and merged into the common-school systems of the States when the Indian has fully assumed his new relation to the organized civil community in which he resides and the new States are able to assume the burden. I have several times been called upon to remove Indian agents appointed by me, and have done so promptly upon every sustained complaint of unfitness or misconduct. I believe, however, that the Indian service at the agencies has been improved and is now administered on the whole with a good degree of efficiency. If any legislation is possible by which the selection of Indian agents can be wholly removed from all partisan suggestions or considerations, I am sure it would be a great relief to the Executive and a great benefit to the service. The appropriation for the subsistence of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians made at the last session of Congress was inadequate. This smaller appropriation was estimated for by the Commissioner upon the theory that the large fund belonging to the tribe in the public Treasury could be and ought to be used for their support. In view, however, of the pending depredation claims against this fund and other considerations, the Secretary of the Interior on the 12th of April last submitted a supplemental estimate for $50,000. This appropriation was not made, as it should have been, and the oversight ought to be remedied at the earliest possible date.
In a special message to this Congress at the last session I stated the reasons why I had not approved the deed for the release to the United States by the Choctaws and Chickasaws of the lands formerly embraced in the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation and remaining after allotments to that tribe. A resolution of the Senate expressing the opinion of that body that notwithstanding the facts stated in my special message the deed should be approved and the money, $2,991,450, paid over was presented to me May 10, 1892. My special message was intended to call the attention of Congress to the subject, and in view of the fact that it is conceded that the appropriation proceeded upon a false basis as to the amount of lands to be paid for and is by $50,000 in excess of the amount they are entitled to (even if their claim to the land is given full recognition at the rate agreed upon), I have not felt willing to approve the deed, and shall not do so, at least until both Houses of Congress have acted upon the subject. It has been informally proposed by the claimants to release this sum of $50,000, but I have no power to demand or accept such a release, and such an agreement would be without consideration and void.
I desire further to call the attention of Congress to the fact that the recent agreement concluded with the Kiowas and Comanches relates to lands which were a part of the "leased district," and to which the claim of the Choctaws and Chickasaws is precisely that recognized by Congress in the legislation I have referred to. The surplus lands to which this claim would attach in the Kiowa and Comanche Reservation is 2,500,000 acres, and at the same rate the Government will be called upon to pay to the Choctaws and Chickasaws for these lands $3,125,000. This sum will be further augmented, especially if the title of the Indians to the tract now Greer County, Tex., is established. The duty devolved upon me in this connection was simply to pass upon the form of the deed; but as in my opinion the facts mentioned in my special message were not adequately brought to the attention of Congress in connection with the legislation, I have felt that I would not be justified in acting without some new expression of the legislative will.
The report of the Commissioner of Pensions, to which extended notice is given by the Secretary of the Interior in his report, will attract great attention. Judged by the aggregate amount of work done, the last year has been the greatest in the history of the office. I believe that the organization of the office is efficient and that the work has been done with fidelity. The passage of what is known as the disability bill has, as was foreseen, very largely increased the annual disbursements to the disabled veterans of the Civil War. The estimate for this fiscal year was $144,956,000, and that amount was appropriated. A deficiency amounting to $10,508,621 must be provided for at this session. The estimate for pensions for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, is $165,000,000. The Commissioner of Pensions believes that if the present legislation and methods are maintained and further additions to the pension laws are not made the maximum expenditure for pensions will be reached June 30, 1894, and will be at the highest point $188,000,000 per annum.
I adhere to the views expressed in previous messages that the care of the disabled soldiers of the War of the Rebellion is a matter of national concern and duty. Perhaps no emotion cools sooner than that of gratitude, but I can not believe that this process has yet reached a point with our people that would sustain the policy of remitting the care of these disabled veterans to the inadequate agencies provided by local laws. The parade on the 20th of September last upon the streets of this capital of 60,000 of the surviving Union veterans of the War of the Rebellion was a most touching and thrilling episode, and the rich and gracious welcome extended to them by the District of Columbia and the applause that greeted their progress from tens of thousands of people from all the States did much to revive the glorious recollections of the Grand Review when these men and many thousand others now in their graves were welcomed with grateful joy as victors in a struggle in which the national unity, honor, and wealth were all at issue.
In my last annual message I called attention to the fact that some legislative action was necessary in order to protect the interests of the Government in its relations with the Union Pacific Railway. The Commissioner of Railroads has submitted a very full report, giving exact information as to the debt, the liens upon the company's property, and its resources. We must deal with the question as we find it and take that course which will under existing conditions best secure the interests of the United States. I recommended in my last annual message that a commission be appointed to deal with this question, and I renew that recommendation and suggest that the commission be given full power.
The report of the Secretary of Agriculture contains not only a most interesting statement of the progressive and valuable work done under the administration of Secretary Rusk, but many suggestions for the enlarged usefulness of this important Department. In the successful efforts to break down the restrictions to the free introduction of our meat products in the countries of Europe the Secretary has been untiring from the first, stimulating and aiding all other Government officers at home and abroad whose official duties enabled them to participate in the work. The total trade in hog products with Europe in May, 1892, amounted to 82,000,000 pounds, against 46,900,000 in the same month of 1891; in June, 1892, the export aggregated 85,700,000 pounds, against 46,500,000 pounds in the same month of the previous year; in July there was an increase of 41 per cent and in August of 55 per cent over the corresponding months of 1891. Over 40,000,000 pounds of inspected pork have been exported since the law was put into operation, and a comparison of the four months of May, June, July, and August, 1892, with the same months of 1891 shows an increase in the number of pounds of our export of pork products of 62 per cent and an increase in value of 66-1/2 per cent. The exports of dressed beef increased from 137,900,000 pounds in 1889 to 220,500,000 pounds in 1892, or about 60 per cent. During the past year there have been exported 394,607 head of live cattle, as against 205,786 exported in 1889. This increased exportation has been largely promoted by the inspection authorized by law and the faithful efforts of the Secretary and his efficient subordinates to make that inspection thorough and to carefully exclude from all cargoes diseased or suspected cattle. The requirement of the English regulations that live cattle arriving from the United States must be slaughtered at the docks had its origin in the claim that pleuro-pneumonia existed among American cattle and that the existence of the disease could only certainly be determined by post mortem inspection.
The Department of Agriculture has labored with great energy and faithfulness to extirpate this disease, and on the 26th day of September last a public announcement was made by the Secretary that the disease no longer existed anywhere within the United States. He is entirely satisfied after the most searching inquiry that this statement was justified, and that by a continuance of the inspection and quarantine now required of cattle brought into this country the disease can be prevented from again getting any foothold. The value to the cattle industry of the United States of this achievement can hardly be estimated. We can not, perhaps, at once insist that this evidence shall be accepted as satisfactory by other countries; but if the present exemption from the disease is maintained and the inspection of our cattle arriving at foreign ports, in which our own veterinarians participate, confirms it, we may justly expect that the requirement that our cattle shall be slaughtered at the docks will be revoked, as the sanitary restrictions upon our pork products have been. If our cattle can be taken alive to the interior, the trade will be enormously increased.
Agricultural products constituted 78.1 per cent of our unprecedented exports for the fiscal year which closed June 30, 1892, the total exports being $1,030,278,030 and the value of the agricultural products $793,717,676, which exceeds by more than $150,000,000 the shipment of agricultural products in any previous year.
An interesting and a promising work for the benefit of the American farmer has been begun through agents of the Agricultural Department in Europe, and consists in efforts to introduce the various products of Indian corn as articles of human food. The high price of rye offered a favorable opportunity for the experiment in Germany of combining corn meal with rye to produce a cheaper bread. A fair degree of success has been attained, and some mills for grinding corn for food have been introduced. The Secretary is of the opinion that this new use of the products of corn has already stimulated exportations, and that if diligently prosecuted large and important markets can presently be opened for this great American product.
The suggestions of the Secretary for an enlargement of the work of the Department are commended to your favorable consideration, It may, I think, be said without challenge that in no corresponding period has so much been done as during the last four years for the benefit of American agriculture.
The subject of quarantine regulations, inspection, and control was brought suddenly to my attention by the arrival at our ports in August last of vessels infected with cholera. Quarantine regulations should be uniform at all our ports. Under the Constitution they are plainly within the exclusive Federal jurisdiction when and so far as Congress shall legislate. In my opinion the whole subject should be taken into national control and adequate power given to the Executive to protect our people against plague invasions. On the 1st of September last I approved regulations establishing a twenty-day quarantine for all vessels bringing immigrants from foreign ports. This order will be continued in force. Some loss and suffering have resulted to passengers, but a due care for the homes of our people justifies in such cases the utmost precaution. There is danger that with the coming of spring cholera will again appear, and a liberal appropriation should be made at this session to enable our quarantine and port officers to exclude the deadly plague.
But the most careful and stringent quarantine regulations may not be sufficient absolutely to exclude the disease. The progress of medical and sanitary science has been such, however, that if approved precautions are taken at once to put all of our cities and towns in the best sanitary condition, and provision is made for isolating any sporadic cases and for a thorough disinfection, an epidemic can, I am sure, be avoided. This work appertains to the local authorities, and the responsibility and the penalty will be appalling if it is neglected or unduly delayed.
We are peculiarly subject in our great ports to the spread of infectious diseases by reason of the fact that unrestricted immigration brings to us out of European cities, in the overcrowded steerages of great steamships, a large number of persons whose surroundings make them the easy victims of the plague. This consideration, as well as those affecting the political, moral, and industrial interests of our country, leads me to renew the suggestion that admission to our country and to the high privileges of its citizenship should be more restricted and more careful. We have, I think, a right and owe a duty to our own people, and especially to our working people, not only to keep out the vicious, the ignorant, the civil disturber, the pauper, and the contract laborer, but to check the too great flow of immigration now coming by further limitations.
The report of the World's Columbian Exposition has not yet been submitted. That of the board of management of the Government exhibit has been received and is herewith transmitted. The work of construction and of preparation for the opening of the exposition in May next has progressed most satisfactorily and upon a scale of liberality and magnificence that will worthily sustain the honor of the United States.
The District of Columbia is left by a decision of the supreme court of the District without any law regulating the liquor traffic. An old statute of the legislature of the District relating to the licensing of various vocations has hitherto been treated by the Commissioners as giving them power to grant or refuse licenses to sell intoxicating liquors and as subjecting those who sold without licenses to penalties; but in May last the supreme court of the District held against this view of the powers of the Commissioners. It is of urgent importance, therefore, that Congress should supply, either by direct enactment or by conferring discretionary powers upon the Commissioners, proper limitations and restraints upon the liquor traffic in the District. The District has suffered in its reputation by many crimes of violence, a large per cent of them resulting from drunkenness and the liquor traffic. The capital of the nation should be freed from this reproach by the enactment of stringent restrictions and limitations upon the traffic.
In renewing the recommendation which I have made in three preceding annual messages that Congress should legislate for the protection of railroad employees against the dangers incident to the old and inadequate methods of braking and coupling which are still in use upon freight trains, I do so with the hope that this Congress may take action upon the subject. Statistics furnished by the Interstate Commerce Commission show that during the year ending June 30, 1891, there were forty-seven different styles of car couplers reported to be in use, and that during the same period there were 2,660 employees killed and 26,140 injured. Nearly 16 per cent of the deaths occurred in the coupling and uncoupling of cars and over 36 per cent of the injuries had the same origin.
The Civil Service Commission ask for an increased appropriation for needed clerical assistance, which I think should be given. I extended the classified service March 1, 1892, to include physicians, superintendents, assistant superintendents, school-teachers, and matrons in the Indian service, and have had under consideration the subject of some further extensions, but have not as yet fully determined the lines upon which extensions can most properly and usefully be made.
I have in each of the three annual messages which it has been my duty to submit to Congress called attention to the evils and dangers connected with our election methods and practices as they are related to the choice of officers of the National Government. In my last annual message I endeavored to invoke serious attention to the evils of unfair apportionments for Congress. I can not close this message without again calling attention to these grave and threatening evils. I had hoped that it was possible to secure a nonpartisan inquiry by means of a commission into evils the existence of which is known to all, and that out of this might grow legislation from which all thought of partisan advantage should be eliminated and only the higher thought appear of maintaining the freedom and purity of the ballot and the equality of the elector, without the guaranty of which the Government could never have been formed and without the continuance of which it can not continue to exist in peace and prosperity.
It is time that mutual charges of unfairness and fraud between the great parties should cease and that the sincerity of those who profess a desire for pure and honest elections should be brought to the test of their willingness to free our legislation and our election methods from everything that tends to impair the public confidence in the announced result. The necessity for an inquiry and for legislation by Congress upon this subject is emphasized by the fact that the tendency of the legislation in some States in recent years has in some important particulars been away from and not toward free and fair elections and equal apportionments. Is it not time that we should come together upon the high plane of patriotism while we devise methods that shall secure the right of every man qualified by law to cast a free ballot and give to every such ballot an equal value in choosing our public officers and in directing the policy of the Government?
Lawlessness is not less such, but more, where it usurps the functions of the peace officer and of the courts. The frequent lynching of colored people accused of crime is without the excuse, which has sometimes been urged by mobs for a failure to pursue the appointed methods for the punishment of crime, that the accused have an undue influence over courts and juries. Such acts are a reproach to the community where they occur, and so far as they can be made the subject of Federal jurisdiction the strongest repressive legislation is demanded. A public sentiment that will sustain the officers of the law in resisting mobs and in protecting accused persons in their custody should be promoted by every possible means. The officer who gives his life in the brave discharge of this duty is worthy of special honor. No lesson needs to be so urgently impressed upon our people as this, that no worthy end or cause can be promoted by lawlessness.
This exhibit of the work of the Executive Departments is submitted to Congress and to the public in the hope that there will be found in it a due sense of responsibility and an earnest purpose to maintain the national honor and to promote the happiness and prosperity of all our people, and this brief exhibit of the growth and prosperity of the country will give us a level from which to note the increase or decadence that new legislative policies may bring to us. There is no reason why the national influence, power, and prosperity should not observe the same rates of increase that have characterized the past thirty years. We carry the great impulse and increase of these years into the future. There is no reason why in many lines of production we should not surpass all other nations, as we have already done in some. There are no near frontiers to our possible development. Retrogression would be a crime.
[Footnote 31: See pp. 141-142, 152-155, 148-152, 281-283, 249-251, 258-260, 253-258, 263-265, 279-281, 283-284.]
[Footnote 32: See pp. 240-242.]
[Footnote 33: See pp. 290-292.]
[Footnote 34: See p. 301.]
[Footnote 35: See pp. 229-234.]
EXECUTIVE MANSION, December 7, 1892.
To the Senate:
In response to the resolution of the Senate of April 11, 1892, requesting information in regard to the agreement between the United States and Great Britain of 1817 concerning the naval forces to be maintained by the two Governments on the Great Lakes, I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State and accompanying papers, giving all the information existing in that Department in regard to the agreement in question.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 4, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a communication of the 23d of December, 1892, from the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by an agreement concluded by and between the Cherokee Commission and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians in the Territory of Oklahoma, for the cession of certain lands and for other purposes.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 4, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a communication of the 23d of December, 1892, from the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by an agreement concluded by and between the Cherokee Commission and the Pawnee tribe of Indians in the Territory of Oklahoma, for the cession of certain lands and for other purposes.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 7, 1893.
To the Senate:
In response to the resolution of the Senate of January 6, 1893, calling on the Secretary of State for information whether the provisions of Senate bill No. 3513, absolutely suspending immigration for the period of one year, are in conflict with any treaties now existing between the United States and any foreign countries, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, giving the information called for.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 11, 1893.
To the Senate:
In response to the resolutions of the Senate dated December 20, 1892, and January 5, 1893, respectively, I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State of the 10th instant, accompanying the reports of Mr. Walter T. Griffin, United States commercial agent at Limoges, France, and Mr. W.H. Edwards, United States consul-general at Berlin, Germany, which were called for by the aforesaid resolutions.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 13, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for your information, a letter from the Secretary of State, inclosing the annual report of the Bureau of American Republics for the year ending June 30, 1892.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 25, 1893.
To the Senate of the United States:
In response to the resolution of the Senate of the 21st instant, relating to the alleged killing of Frank B. Riley, a sailor of the United States steamship Newark, in Genoa, Italy, I transmit herewith a report on the subject from the Secretary of State.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 26, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for the information of Congress, the third regular report of the World's Columbian Commission and the report of the president of the board of lady managers, with the accompanying papers.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 31, 1893.
To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, I return herewith the bill (S. 2625) entitled "An act to provide for the punishment of offenses on the high seas."
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 2, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
On the 23d of July last the following resolution of the House of Representatives was communicated to me:
Resolved, That the President be requested to inform the House, if not incompatible with the public interests, what regulations are now in force concerning the transportation of imported merchandise in bond or duty paid, and products or manufactures of the United States, from one port in the United States, over Canadian territory, to another port therein, under the provisions of section 3006 of the Revised Statutes; whether further legislation thereon is necessary or advisable, and especially whether a careful inspection of such merchandise should not be had at the frontiers of the United States upon the departure and arrival of such merchandise, and whether the interests of the United States do not require that each car containing such merchandise while in Canadian territory be in the custody and under the surveillance of an inspector of the customs department, the cost of such surveillance to be paid by the foreign carrier transporting such merchandise.
The resolution is limited in its scope to the subject of the transit of merchandise from one port in the United States, through Canadian territory, to another port in the United States, under the provisions of section 3006 of the Revised Statutes; but I have concluded that a review of our treaty obligations, if any, and of our legislation upon the whole subject of the transit of goods from, to, or through Canada is desirable, and therefore address this message to the Congress.
It should be known before new legislation is proposed whether the United States is under any treaty obligations which affect this subject growing out of the provisions of Article XXIX of the treaty of Washington. That article is as follows:
It is agreed that for the term of years mentioned in Article XXXIII of this treaty goods, wares, or merchandise arriving at the ports of New York, Boston, and Portland, and any other ports in the United States which have been or may from time to time be specially designated by the President of the United States, and destined for Her Britannic Majesty's possessions in North America, may be entered at the proper custom-house and conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, through the territory of the United States, under such rules, regulations, and conditions for the protection of the revenue as the Government of the United States may from time to time prescribe; and under like rules, regulations, and conditions goods, wares, or merchandise may be conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, from such possessions through the territory of the United States for export from the said ports of the United States.
It is further agreed that for the like period goods, wares, or merchandise arriving at any of the ports of Her Britannic Majesty's possessions in North America and destined for the United States may be entered at the proper custom-house and conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, through the said possessions, under such rules and regulations and conditions for the protection of the revenue as the governments of the said possessions may from time to time prescribe; and under like rules, regulations, and conditions goods, wares, or merchandise may be conveyed in transit, without payment of duties, from the United States through the said possessions to other places in the United States, or for export from ports in the said possessions.
It will be noticed that provision is here made—
First. For the transit in bond, without the payment of duties, of goods arriving at specified ports of the United States, and at others to be designated by the President, destined for Canada.
Second. For the transit from Canada to ports of the United States, without the payment of duties, of merchandise for export.
Third. For the transit of merchandise arriving at Canadian ports, destined for the United States, through Canadian territory to the United States, without the payment of duties to the Dominion government.
Fourth. For the transit of merchandise from the United States to Canadian ports for export without the payment of duties.
Fifth. For the transit of merchandise, without the payment of duties, from the United States, through Canada, to other places in the United States.
The first and second of these provisions were concessions by the United States and were made subject to "such rules, regulations, and conditions for the protection of the revenue as the Government of the United States may from time to time prescribe." The third, fourth, and fifth provisions of the articles are concessions on the part of the Dominion of Canada and are made subject to "such rules and regulations and conditions for the protection of the revenue as the governments of the said possessions may from time to time prescribe." The first and second and the third and fourth of these provisions are reciprocal in their nature. The fifth, which provides for the transit of merchandise from one point in the United States, through Canada, to another point in the United States, is not met by a reciprocal provision for the passage of Canadian goods from one point in Canada to another point in Canada through the United States. If this article of the treaty is in force, the obligations assumed by the United States should be fully and honorably observed until such time as this Government shall free itself from them by methods provided in the treaty or recognized by international law. It is, however, no part of the obligation resting upon the United States under the treaty that it will use the concessions made to it by Canada. This Government would undoubtedly meet its full duty by yielding in an ample manner the concessions made by it to Canada. There could be no just cause of complaint by Great Britain or Canada if the compensating concession to the United States should not be exercised. We have not stipulated in the treaty that we will permit merchandise to be moved through Canadian territory from one point of the United States to another at the will of the shipper. The stipulation is on the part of Canada that it will permit such merchandise to enter its territory from the United States, to pass through it, and to return to the United States without the exaction of duties and without other burdens than such as may be necessary to protect its revenues.
The questions whether we shall continue to allow merchandise to pass from one point in the United States, through Canadian territory, to another point in the United States, and, if so, to what exactions and examinations it shall be subjected on reentering our territory, are wholly within the power of Congress without reference to the question whether Article XXIX is or is not in force.
The treaty of Washington embraced a number of absolutely independent subjects. Its purpose, as recited, was "to provide for an amicable settlement of all causes of difference between the two countries." It provided for four distinct arbitrations of unsettled questions, including the Alabama claims, for a temporary settlement of the questions growing out of the fisheries, and for various arrangements affecting commerce and intercourse between the United States and the British North American possessions. Some of its provisions were made terminable by methods pointed out in the treaty. Articles I to XVII, inclusive, provide for the settlement of the Alabama claims and of the claims of British subjects against the United States, and have been fully executed. Articles XVIII to XXV, inclusive, relate to the subject of the fisheries, and provide for a joint commission to determine what indemnity should be paid to Great Britain for the fishing privileges conceded. These articles have been terminated by the notice provided for in the treaty.
Article XXVI provides for the free navigation of the St. Lawrence, Yukon, Porcupine, and Stikine rivers. Article XXVII provides for the equal use of certain frontier canals and waterways, and contains no provision for termination upon notice. Article XXVIII opens Lake Michigan to the commerce of British subjects under proper regulations, and contains a provision for its abrogation, to which reference will presently be made. Article XXX provides for certain privileges of transshipment on the Lakes and northern waterways, and contains the same provision as Article XXIX as to the method by which it may be terminated. Article XXXI provides for the nonimposition of a Canadian export duty on lumber cut in certain districts in Maine and floated to the sea by the St. Johns River, and contains no limitation as to time and no provision for its abrogation. Article XXXII extended to Newfoundland in the event of proper legislation by that Province the fishery provisions of Articles XVIII to XXV, and was of course abrogated with those articles. Article XXXIII, which provides a method for the abrogation of certain articles of the treaty, I will presently quote at length. The remaining articles of the treaty, namely XXXV to XLII, provide for the arbitration of the dispute as to the Vancouver Island and De Haro Channel boundary, and have been fully executed. Articles XVIII, XIX, XXI, XXVIII, XXIX, and XXX each contains a provision limiting their life to "the term of years mentioned in Article XXXIII of this treaty." The articles between XVIII and XXX, inclusive, which do not contain this provision, are those that provide for an arbitration of the fishery question, which were of course terminable by the completion of the arbitration; Article XXVI, relating to the navigation of the St. Lawrence and other rivers, and Article XXVII, relating to the use of the canals. The question whether Article XXIX is still in force depends, so far as the construction of the treaty goes, upon the meaning of the words "the term of years mentioned in Article XXXIII." That article is as follows:
The foregoing Articles XVIII to XXV, inclusive, and Article XXX of this treaty shall take effect as soon as the laws required to carry them into operation shall have been passed by the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain, by the parliament of Canada, and by the legislature of Prince Edwards Island on the one hand and by the Congress of the United States on the other. Such assent having been given, the said articles shall remain in force for the period of ten years from the date at which they may come into operation, and, further, until the expiration of two years after either of the high contracting parties shall have given notice to the other of its wish to terminate the same; each of the high contracting parties being at liberty to give such notice to the other at the end of the said period of ten years or at any time afterwards.
The question of construction here presented is whether the reference to "the term of years mentioned in Article XXXIII" is to be construed as limiting the continuance of Article XXIX to the duration of Articles XVIII to XXV and XXX in such a way that the abrogation of those articles necessarily carried with it the other articles of the treaty which contained the reference to Article XXXIII already quoted, or whether the reference to this "term of years" in Articles XXVIII and XXIX was intended to provide a method of abrogation after ten years from the time of their taking effect, viz, a notice of two years of an intention to abrogate. The language of the treaty, considered alone, might support the conclusion that Article XXXIII was intended to provide a uniform method of abrogation for certain other articles. It will be noticed that the treaty does not expressly call for legislation to put Article XXIX into operation. Senator Edmunds, in the discussion in the Senate of the joint resolution terminating the fisheries article, took the view that no legislation was necessary. It seems to me, however, that such legislation was necessary, and Congress acted upon this view in the law of 1873, to which reference will presently be made. An examination of the discussion between the plenipotentiaries who framed the treaty furnishes this entry, which President Cleveland thought to be conclusive of the intention of the plenipotentiaries, viz:
The transit question was discussed, and it was agreed that any settlement that might be made should include a reciprocal arrangement in that respect for the period for which the fishery articles should be in force.
On March 1, 1873, Congress passed an act entitled "An act to carry into effect the provisions of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain signed in the city of Washington the 8th day of May, 1871, relating to the fisheries." The act consisted of five sections, the first and second of which provided for carrying into effect the provisions of the treaty "relating to the fisheries." The fourth section provided for carrying into effect section 30 of the treaty. These three sections furnished the legislation contemplated by Article XXXIII of the treaty to carry into effect Articles XVIII to XXV and XXX. The act, however, went further, as will be seen by an examination of section 3, which is as follows:
That from the date of the President's proclamation authorized by the first section of this act, and so long as the Articles XVIII to XXV, inclusive, and Article XXX of said treaty shall remain in force, according to the terms and conditions of Article XXXIII of said treaty, all goods, wares, or merchandise arriving at the ports of New York, Boston, and Portland, and any other ports in the United States which have been or may from time to time be specially designated by the President of the United States, and destined for Her Britannic Majesty's possessions in North America, may be entered at the proper custom-house and conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, through the territory of the United States, under such rules, regulations, and conditions for the protection of the revenue as the Secretary of the Treasury may from time to time prescribe; and under like rules, regulations, and conditions goods, wares, or merchandise may be conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, from such possessions through the territory of the United States, for export from the said ports of the United States.
It will be noticed that provision is here made for carrying into effect the two provisions of Article XXIX which I have already characterized as the concessions on the part of the United States, namely, the passage duty free from certain designated ports of the United States to Canada of imported goods, and the passage duty free to ports of the United States of Canadian goods for export. Section 3 of the law of 1873, which I have quoted, however, contains a legislative construction of Article XXIX of the treaty in the limitation that the provisions therein contained as to the transit of goods should continue in force only so long as Articles XVIII to XXV, inclusive, and XXX of the treaty should remain in force.
On March 3, 1883, Congress passed a joint resolution entitled as follows: "Joint resolution providing for the termination of articles numbered XVIII to XXV, inclusive, and article numbered XXX of the treaty between the United States of America and Her Britannic Majesty concluded at Washington May 8, 1871."
The resolution provided for the giving of notice of the abrogation of the articles of the treaty named in the title, and of no others. Section 3 contained the following provision:
And the act of Congress approved March 1, A.D. 1873, entitled * * * so far as it relates to the articles of said treaty so to be terminated, shall be and stand repealed and be of no force on and after the time of the expiration of said two years.
An examination of the debates at the time of the passage of this joint resolution very clearly shows that Congress made an attempt to save Article XXIX of the treaty and section 3 of the act of 1873. In the Senate on the 21st of February, 1883, the resolution being under consideration, several Senators, including Mr. Edmunds, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, expressed the opinion that Article XXIX would not be affected by the abrogation of Articles XVIII to XXV and XXX, and an amendment was made to the resolution with a view to leave section 3 of the act of 1873 in force. The same view was taken in the debates in the House.
The subject again came before Congress in connection with the consideration of a bill (S. 3173) to "authorize the President of the United States to protect and defend the rights of American fishing vessels, American fishermen, American trading and other vessels in certain cases, and for other purposes."
In the course of the debate upon the bill in the Senate January 24, 1887, and in the House February 23 following, the prevailing opinion was, though not without some dissent, that Article XXIX was still in force.
On the 6th of July, 1887, in response to an inquiry by the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Bayard wrote a letter, a copy of which accompanies this message, in which he expresses the opinion that Article XXIX of the treaty was unaffected by the abrogation of the fisheries articles and was still in force. In August, 1888, however, Mr. Cleveland, in a message to Congress, expresses his opinion of the question in the following language:
In any event, and whether the law of 1873 construes the treaty or governs it, section 29 of such treaty, I have no doubt, terminated with the proceedings taken by our Government to terminate Articles XVIII to XXV, inclusive, and Article XXX of the treaty. * * *
If by any language used in the joint resolution it was intended to relieve section 3 of the act of 1873, embodying Article XXIX of the treaty, from its own limitations, or to save the article itself, I am entirely satisfied that the intention miscarried.
I have asked the opinion of the Attorney-General upon this question, and his answer accompanies this message. He is of the opinion that Article XXIX has been abrogated.
It should be added that the United States has continuously, through the Treasury Department, conducted our trade intercourse with Canada as if Article XXIX of the treaty and section 3 of the act of 1873 remained in force, and that Canada has continued to yield in practice the concessions made by her in that article. No change in our Treasury methods was made following Mr. Cleveland's message from which I have quoted. I am inclined to think that, using the aids which the protocol and the nearly contemporaneous legislation by Congress in the act of 1873 furnish in construing the treaty, the better opinion is that Article XXIX of the treaty is no longer operative. The enactment of section 3 of the act of 1873 was a clear declaration that legislation was necessary to put Article XXIX of the treaty into operation, and that under the treaty our obligation to provide such legislation terminated whenever Articles XVIII to XXV and XXX should be abrogated. This legislation was accepted by Great Britain as a compliance with our obligations under the treaty. No objection was made that our statute treated Article XXIX as having force only so long as the other articles named were in force.
But the question whether Article XXIX is in force has less practical importance than has been supposed, for it does not, if in force, place any restraints upon the United States as to the method of dealing with imported merchandise destined for the United States arriving at a Canadian port for transportation to the United States, or of merchandise passing through Canadian territory from one place in the United States to another. It would be no infraction either of the letter or of the spirit of the treaty if we should stop, unload, and carefully inspect every vehicle arriving at our border with such merchandise; nor, on the other hand, would Canada violate her obligations under the treaty by a like treatment of merchandise imported through the port of New York on its arrival in Canada. Neither Government has placed itself under any restraint as to merchandise intended for the use of its own people when such merchandise comes within its own territory. The question, therefore, as to how we shall deal with merchandise imported by our own people through a Canadian port and with merchandise passing from one place in the United States to another through Canadian territory is wholly one of domestic policy and law.
I turn now to consider the legislation of Congress upon this subject, upon which, as it seems to me, the duties of the Treasury and the rights of our people as to those phases of the transportation question to which I have just alluded wholly depend. Sections 3005 and 3006 of the Revised Statutes, which are taken from the act of July 28, 1866, entitled "An act to protect the revenue, and for other purposes" (14 U.S. Statutes at Large, p. 328), are as follows:
SEC. 3005. All merchandise arriving at the ports of New York, Boston, Portland in Maine, or any other port specially designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and destined for places in the adjacent British Provinces, or arriving at the port of [Point Isabel] [Brownsville] in Texas, or any other port specially designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and destined for places in the Republic of Mexico, may be entered at the custom-house and conveyed in transit through the territory of the United States without the payment of duties, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.
SEC. 3006. Imported merchandise in bond, or duty paid, and products or manufactures of the United States, may, with the consent of the proper authorities of the British Provinces or Republic of Mexico, be transported from one port in the United States to another port therein, over the territory of such Provinces or Republic, by such routes and under such rules, regulations, and conditions as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe; and the merchandise so transported shall, upon arrival in the United States from such Provinces or Republic, be treated in regard to the liability to or exemption from duty or tax as if the transportation had taken place entirely within the limits of the United States.
Section 3102 of the Revised Statutes is also related to this subject, and is as follows:
To avoid the inspection at the first port of arrival, the owner, agent, master, or conductor of any such vessel, car, or other vehicle, or owner, agent, or other person having charge of any such merchandise, baggage, effects, or other articles, may apply to any officer of the United States duly authorized to act in the premises to seal or close the same, under and according to the regulations hereinafter authorized, previous to their importation into the United States, which officer shall seal or close the same accordingly; whereupon the same may proceed to their port of destination without further inspection. Every such vessel, car, or other vehicle shall proceed without unnecessary delay to the port of its destination, as named in the manifest of its cargo, freight, or contents, and be there inspected. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to exempt such vessel, car, or vehicle, or its contents, from such examination as may be necessary and proper to prevent frauds upon the revenue and violations of this title.
It will be noticed that section 3005 does not provide for the transit of merchandise through our territory from Canada to ports of the United States for export, nor have I been able to find any other law now in force that does provide for such transit. It would seem, therefore, that as to this concession made by the United States in Article XXIX of the treaty, legislation to put it into force was necessary, and that there is no such legislation unless section 3 of the act of 1873 was saved by the amendment to the joint resolution abrogating the fisheries articles and Article XXX, limiting the repeal to so much of said act as "relates to the articles of said treaty so to be terminated." The joint resolution certainly did not repeal section 3, and if that section has ceased to be operative it is by virtue of the limitation contained in the section itself. I think it did expire by its own express limitation.
The question has presented itself whether section 3 of the act of 1873 (U.S. Revised Statutes, sec. 2866) repealed by implication that section of the act of July, 1866, which is now section 3005 of the Revised Statutes; but I am of the opinion that the last-named section was not repealed. Section 3 of the act of 1873 was expressly intended to carry into effect a treaty obligation and was limited as to time. It contained no express repeal of the act of 1866, and while its provisions were broader than the last-named act, they were not inconsistent, save in the provision that while the act of 1873 was in force the additional ports in the United States at which Canadian goods might be received were to be designated by the President, whereas under the act of 1866 the designation was by the Secretary of the Treasury. The last-named act related also to intercourse with Mexico, and I think was unaffected by the act of 1873.
It will be seen that the law permits merchandise arriving at the ports of New York, Boston, Portland in Maine, and at other ports specially designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, for places in the adjacent British Provinces, to be entered at the custom-house of the port where it is landed and conveyed through the territory of the United States without the payment of duty, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. As these goods come immediately and fully under the inspection of our customs officers at the principal ports, are entered there and remain until they cross our border into Canada fully under our supervision, there is little or no danger involved to our revenue. The regulations prescribed by the Treasury for conducting this traffic seem to me to be adequate.
As to merchandise imported into the United States from a contiguous foreign country, it is provided by section 3102 that the inspection at the first port of arrival in the United States may be avoided if the vehicle in which the same arrives has been sealed or closed by some officer of the United States duly authorized at some point in the contiguous country. When the act of closing or sealing conformably to the regulations of the Treasury has been effected, the car or other vehicle may proceed without unnecessary delay to the port of its destination, as named in the manifest of its cargo, freight, or contents, and be there inspected. This privilege, however, is subject to such examination at the point of entry to the United States as may be necessary to prevent fraud. It is important to be noticed that the merchandise to which this section refers is described in section 3100 as merchandise, etc., "imported into the United States from any contiguous foreign country."
A practice has grown up, and a traffic of considerable dimensions under it, of allowing merchandise from China and Japan, purchased and imported from those countries by our own citizens and landed at ports in the Dominion of Canada, to be there loaded into cars, which, being sealed by an officer of the United States or some one supposed to represent him, are forwarded through the territory of Canada, across the entire continent, and allowed to cross our frontier without other inspection than an examination of the seals. The real fact is that the American consul can not and does not either compare the manifest with the contents of the cars or attach the seals. The agents of the transportation companies are furnished by the consul with the seals and place them upon the cars. The practice of sealing such merchandise, notwithstanding it has been allowed by the Treasury for some years, I think is unauthorized. Such merchandise is not imported from a "contiguous country," but from China and Japan.
It has never become subject to the Canadian revenue laws as an importation from Japan to Canada, but by force of the treaty or by the courtesy of that government has been treated as subject to the revenue laws of the United States from the time of landing at the Canadian port. Our Treasury seal has been placed upon it; Canada only gives it passage. It is no more an importation from Canada than is a train load of wheat that starts from Detroit and is transported through Canada to another port of the United States. Section 3102 was enacted in 1864, two years before sections 3005 and 3006, and could not have had reference to the later methods of importing merchandise through one country to the other.
The practice to which I have referred not only equalizes the advantages of Canadian seaports with our own in the importation of goods for our domestic consumption, but makes the Canadian ports favored ports of entry. The detentions under this system at the Canadian ports are less than when the merchandise is landed at a port of the United States to be forwarded in bond to another port therein. Full effect should be given to section 3102 as to merchandise imported into the United States from Canada, so far as the appropriations enable the Treasury to provide the officers to do the work of closing and sealing. It will, however, be required that all this kind of work be done, and carefully done, by an officer of the United States, and that the duty shall in no case be delegated to the employees of the transportation companies. The considerations that it is quite doubtful whether a fraud committed in Canada by one of our agents upon our revenue would be punishable in our courts, and that such a fraud committed by anyone else certainly would not be, and that even if such acts are made penal by our statutes the criminal would be secure against extradition, seem to me to be conclusive against the policy of attempting to maintain such revenue agents in Canadian territory.
I come now to discuss another element of this international traffic, namely, the transportation of merchandise from one "port" in the United States to another "port" therein over the territory of Canada. This traffic is enormous in its dimensions, and very great interests have grown up in the United States in connection with it. Section 3006 authorizes this traffic, subject to "such rules, regulations, and conditions as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe;" but the important limitation is from "port" to "port." Section 3007 of the Revised Statutes, which exempts sealed cars from certain fees, preserves the terms of the preceding section—from "port" to "port." It seems to me that sections 3006 and 3007 contemplate the delivery of the sealed cars at a "port" of the United States, there to be examined by a revenue officer and their contents verified; but in practice the car, if the seal is found at the border to be intact, is passed to places not "ports" and is opened and unloaded by the consignee, no officer being present. The bill or manifest accompanying the merchandise and the unbroken seal on the car may furnish prima facie evidence that the amount and kind of merchandise named in the manifest and said to be contained in the car came from a port in the United States, but certainly it was not intended that the merchandise should go to the owner without an official ascertainment of the correspondence between the bill and the actual contents of the car.
I pass at this point any discussion of the question whether as a national policy this traffic should be promoted. It is enough to say that as the law stands it is authorized between "ports" of the United States, and that the rules, regulations, and conditions to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury must not, in view of this declaration of the legislative will, be further restrictive of the traffic than may reasonably be necessary to protect the revenues of the United States. In determining whether further regulations are reasonably necessary to prevent frauds against our revenue it is not conclusive, at least, to say that frauds against the revenue under the existing system have not been discovered. The question is, Are the regulations such as to provide proper safeguards against fraud, or are they such as to make fraud easy to those who have the disposition to commit it? If all cars carrying this merchandise are carefully and honestly inspected at the point of lading and are securely closed during the transit, the revenue would be secure, for the proper lading of these cars is not subject to duty. Frauds can only be perpetrated by introducing products not subject to free entry. In practice the seals and locks provided by the Treasury Department do not give security that these cars, in the long transit in which they are free from observation by officers of the revenue, may not be opened and dutiable merchandise added.
The duplication of the seals used, composed of wire and lead, is easy, and the opening of locks scarcely less so. If, however, the cars, when they arrive in the United States, either at the point where our boundary is crossed or at some other port of the United States, were subject to the inspection of a revenue officer before the delivery to the consignee or owner, the manifest could be verified. The inspection, however, is now limited to an examination of the lock or seal. The car is not weighed or opened to verify its contents. I do not think this is an adequate protection against the surreptitious introduction into the cars, while on foreign territory, of dutiable articles. It will be seen by the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury that grain the product of the United States is now largely transported in American vessels to Canadian lake ports, and after being there placed in elevators is sent east in cars sealed by agents of the Treasury.
No observation is taken of this grain until its arrival in Canada, where only the amount and grade are noted by a Treasury agent, and a like amount in grade and quantity (though it may be not the identical grain) is by such agent billed and sealed in cars for carriage to the United States. I do not find any statute authorizing this practice. Section 3006, which authorizes this interstate trade through Canada, is limited to merchandise passing from "port" to "port" of the United States, and plainly means that such merchandise shall be taken up by our revenue officers at a "port" of the United States as a starting point.
The following are the conclusions at which I have arrived:
First. That Article XXIX of the treaty of Washington has been abrogated.
Second. That even if this article were in force there is no law in force to execute it.
Third. That when in force the treaty imposed no obligation upon the United States to use the concessions as to transit made by Canada, and no limitation upon the powers of the United States in dealing with merchandise imported for the use of our citizens through Canadian ports or passing from one place in the United States to another through Canada, upon the arrival of such merchandise at our border.
Fourth. That therefore, treaty or no treaty, the question of sealing cars containing such merchandise and the treatment of such sealed cars when they cross our border is and always has been one to be settled by our laws, according to our convenience and our interests as we may see them.
Fifth. That the law authorizing the sealing of cars in Canada containing foreign merchandise imported from a contiguous country does not apply to merchandise imported by our own people from countries not contiguous and carried through Canada for delivery to such owners.
Sixth. That the law did not contemplate the passing of sealed cars to any place not a "port," nor the delivery of such cars to the owner or consignee, to be opened by him without the supervision of a revenue officer.
Seventh. That such a practice is inconsistent with the safety of the revenue.
The statutes relating to the transportation of merchandise between the United States and the British possessions should be the subject of revision. The Treasury regulations have given to these laws a construction and a scope that I do not think was contemplated by Congress. A policy adapted to the new conditions, growing in part out of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, should be declared, and the business placed upon a basis more just to our people and to our transportation companies.
If we continue the policy of supervising rates and requiring that they shall be equal and reasonable upon the railroads of the United States, we can not in fairness at the same time give these unusual facilities for competition to Canadian roads that are free to pursue the practices as to cut rates and favored rates that we condemn and punish if practiced by our own railroads.
I regret that circumstances prevented an earlier examination by me of these questions, but submit now these views in the hope that they may lead to a revision of the laws upon a safer and juster basis.
I transmit herewith the correspondence between the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney-General upon some phases of this question.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 6, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a communication from the Secretary of the Interior, dated 4th instant, accompanied by an agreement concluded by and between the Turtle Mountain Indians and the commission appointed under the provisions of the Indian appropriation act of July 13, 1892, to negotiate with the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota for the cession and relinquishment to the United States of whatever right or interest they have in and to any and all lands in said State to which they claim title, and for their removal to and settlement upon lands to be hereafter selected and determined upon by the Secretary of the Interior upon the recommendation of the proposed commissioners, subject to the approval of Congress.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 6, 1893.
To the Senate:
I transmit herewith, as desired by the resolution of the Senate of the 4th instant, a report from the Secretary of State of the 6th instant, with its accompanying correspondence, in relation to the draft of an uncompleted treaty with Hawaii made in 1854.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D.C., February 8, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith the eighth annual report of the Commissioner of Labor. This report relates to industrial education in the United States and foreign countries.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D.C., February 14, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a special report of the Commissioner of Labor relating to compulsory insurance of workingmen in Germany and other countries.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 14, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a communication of the 13th instant from the Secretary of the Interior, transmitting copy of reports of Lieutenants Brown, Gurovits, and Suplee, United States Army, who were charged with the duty of inspecting the Navajo country, so that the Interior Department could be advised as to the practicability of restraining the Navajoes within their present reservations and of furnishing irrigation and water for their flocks, together with report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs upon the matter with draft of an item of appropriation to carry the same into effect.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 15, 1893.
To the Senate:
I transmit herewith, with a view to its ratification, a treaty of annexation concluded on the 14th day of February, 1893, between John W. Foster, Secretary of State, who was duly empowered to act in that behalf on the part of the United States, and Lorin A. Thurston, W.R. Castle, W.C. Wilder, C.L. Carter, and Joseph Marsden, the commissioners on the part of the Government of the Hawaiian Islands. The provisional treaty, it will be observed, does not attempt to deal in detail with the questions that grow out of the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. The commissioners representing the Hawaiian Government have consented to leave to the future and to the just and benevolent purposes of the United States the adjustment of all such questions.
I do not deem it necessary to discuss at any length the conditions which have resulted in this decisive action. It has been the policy of the Administration not only to respect but to encourage the continuance of an independent government in the Hawaiian Islands so long as it afforded suitable guaranties for the protection of life and property and maintained a stability and strength that gave adequate security against the domination of any other power. The moral support of this Government has continually manifested itself in the most friendly diplomatic relations and in many acts of courtesy to the Hawaiian rulers.
The overthrow of the monarchy was not in any way promoted by this Government, but had its origin in what seems to have been a reactionary and revolutionary policy on the part of Queen Liliuokalani, which put in serious peril not only the large and preponderating interests of the United States in the islands, but all foreign interests, and, indeed, the decent administration of civil affairs and the peace of the islands. It is quite evident that the monarchy had become effete and the Queen's Government so weak and inadequate as to be the prey of designing and unscrupulous persons. The restoration of Queen Liliuokalani to her throne is undesirable, if not impossible, and unless actively supported by the United States would be accompanied by serious disaster and the disorganization of all business interests. The influence and interest of the United States in the islands must be increased and not diminished.
Only two courses are now open—one the establishment of a protectorate by the United States, and the other annexation full and complete. I think the latter course, which has been adopted in the treaty, will be highly promotive of the best interests of the Hawaiian people, and is the only one that will adequately secure the interests of the United States. These interests are not wholly selfish. It is essential that none of the other great powers shall secure these islands. Such a possession would not consist with our safety and with the peace of the world. This view of the situation is so apparent and conclusive that no protest has been heard from any government against proceedings looking to annexation. Every foreign representative at Honolulu promptly acknowledged the Provisional Government, and I think there is a general concurrence in the opinion that the deposed Queen ought not to be restored.
Prompt action upon this treaty is very desirable. If it meets the approval of the Senate, peace and good order will be secured in the islands under existing laws until such time as Congress can provide by legislation a permanent form of government for the islands. This legislation should be, and I do not doubt will be, not only just to the natives and all other residents and citizens of the islands, but should be characterized by great liberality and a high regard to the rights of all people and of all foreigners domiciled there. The correspondence which accompanies the treaty will put the Senate in possession of all the facts known to the Executive.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 16, 1893.
To the Senate:
I transmit herewith a letter from the Secretary of State of the 15th instant, covering a report, with accompanying correspondence, respecting relations between the United States and the Hawaiian Islands from September, 1820, to January, 1893.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 20, 1893.
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit herewith a report submitted by the Acting Secretary of State in response to the resolution of the Senate of February 2 last, relating to the building of the Ozama River bridge at Santo Domingo City by American citizens.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 21, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a communication of the Secretary of State, transmitting the official report of the American delegates to the International Monetary Conference convened at Brussels on November 22, 1892, with its accompaniments.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 25, 1893.
To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, I return herewith the bill (S. 3811) entitled "An act to amend an act entitled 'An act to grant to the Mobile and Dauphin Island Railroad and Harbor Company the right to trestle across the shoal water between Cedar Point and Dauphin Island,' approved September 26, 1890."
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, February 27, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I herewith transmit, for the information of Congress, a communication from the Acting Secretary of State, forwarding certain bulletins of the Bureau of the American Republics.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D.C., March 1, 1893.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith the fifth special report of the Commissioner of Labor. The report relates to the so-called "Gothenburg system" of regulating the liquor traffic, the system prevailing in Norway and Sweden.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 27, 1893.
To the House of Representatives:
I return herewith without my approval an act (H.R. 9612) entitled "An act to prescribe the number of district attorneys and marshals in the judicial districts of the State of Alabama."
Under the present law there is a district attorney for the southern district of Alabama, a district attorney for the northern and middle districts, a marshal for the northern district, and a marshal for the southern and middle districts.
An examination of the records of the Attorney-General's office as to the amount of business in the courts in these districts leads me to believe that two districts would provide amply for the disposition of all public and private cases. The law creates two new officers, whose aggregate compensation may be $12,000 per annum, without, it seems to me, a justifying necessity. But the most serious objection to the legislation is that it creates at once upon the taking effect of the law the offices of district attorney and marshal for each of the three districts, and the effect, it seems to me, must be to abolish the offices as they now exist.
No provision is made for a continued discharge of the duties of marshal and district attorney by the present incumbents. A serious question would be raised as to whether these officers were not at once legislated out of office and vacancies created. As these vacancies could not be filled immediately, the business of the courts would seriously suffer. The law should at least have contained a provision for the continued discharge of their duties by the incumbents until the new officers were appointed and qualified.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas it is provided by section 24 of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1891, entitled "An act to repeal timber-culture laws, and for other purposes"—
That the President of the United States may from time to time set apart and reserve in any State or Territory having public land bearing forests, in any part of the public lands wholly or in part covered with timber or undergrowth, whether of commercial value or not, as public reservations; and the President shall by public proclamation declare the establishment of such reservations and the limits thereof.
And whereas it is made to appear, by petition and otherwise, that the interests of the public and the welfare of the people of the State of Colorado will be materially benefited and subserved by the reservation of the public and forest lands hereinafter described:
Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested by said act, do hereby set apart, reserve, and establish as a public reservation all that tract of land in the State of Colorado embraced in the following boundary and description, to wit:
Beginning at the confluence of the North Fork of the South Platte River with the South Platte River; thence up the middle of the channel of the North Fork of the South Platte River to the range line between township seven (7) south, ranges seventy-four (74) and seventy-five (75) west of the sixth (6th) principal meridian; thence northerly on said range line to the northeast corner of township seven (7) south, range seventy-five (75) west; thence westerly on the township line between townships six (6) and seven (7) south to the northwest corner of township seven (7) south, range seventy-six (76) west; thence southerly on the range line between ranges seventy-six (76) and seventy-seven (77) west to the northeast corner of section thirteen (13), township seven (7) south, range seventy-seven (77) west; thence westerly on the section line between sections twelve (12) and thirteen (13) to the northwest corner of section thirteen (13) of said township and range; thence southerly on the section line between sections thirteen (13) and fourteen (14), twenty-three (23) and twenty-four (24), and twenty-five (25) and twenty-six (26) to the northeast corner of section thirty-five (35) of said township and range; thence westerly on the section line between sections twenty-six (26) and thirty-five (35) and twenty-seven (27) and thirty-four (34) to the northwest corner