United States. President.

A compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents (Volume 18) online

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Charles Ulrich

Washington Monument


Architect ; Author, "History of United Statd Capitol"

in the dawn, brilliant in the sunlight, black in the
^"^ thunder-storm, pink in the afterglow, mysterious in the moon-
light, vanishing in the mist, lost in the clouds, always majestic,
stands the memorial to the Father of his Country.

Its phases forcibly remind us of the shifting and changing
fortunes of our great chief. Standing alone, simple and dignified,
it is as self-contained and practical as was his character and life.
Enshrouded in the mists, shadowy, weird, vanishing from sight, a
mere suggestion of an outline visible, it recalls the clouded repu-
tation of Washington when surrounded by foes, false comrades,
and encompassed by the fierce elements. Black in the thunder-
storm, it brings to mind dark days and bridled passions. Appar-
ently floating in the air when the base is obscured by the fog, it
suggests his struggles without reasonable foundation or hope.
Brilliantly illuminated at its base and the pinnacle lost in the clouds,
it typifies great victories with the ultimate results in doubt.
Piercing the shifting clouds as they float past, with the base and
crown illuminated by the sunlight, it vividly recalls the force which
enabled him to penetrate the darkest shadows. Reflecting the
pink blush of the evening glow, it point? to the brightness dawn-
ing as his life advanced. A column of light in the moon's rays,
it is a beacon leading us, as did his life, to forget self in our coun-
try's service. Glorious in the sunshine, scintillating, brilliant
against the clear blue sky, it forcibly reminds us of the great
results springing from an unselfish life of duty.

The aluminum crest sparkles as a beautiful star; its rays are
beams of light guiding us to patriotic efforts.

A factor in the artistic composition of the city, it is a charming
end to many vistas. Viewed from the Capitol, the White House
and the Mall, it stands imposing in its grandeur ; from the river it
rises pure and simple, with the green hills of Maryland as a noble
exhedra, and from the heights, visible through the valley, it always
produces a thrill of pleasure. In the sunlight and shadow, thunder-
storm and mist, in the clouds and in the clear sky, against the
golden sunrise and the red sunset, against the midday sky of blue,
and the midnight sky scintillating with stars, against the bright
white clouds and the dark gray clouds, moving with the wind,
bowing to the warmth of the sun, receiving the lightning's stroke,
ever changing, it is always stately, always beautiful.

The corner-stone of the Washington Monument was laid July
4, 1 848, but soon the work languished and then stopped entirely.
Work was resumed in 1876, and the monument was finally
completed December 6,. 1884. It is 555 feet high and 50
feet square at the base. The entire cost of the monument
was $1,187,710.


oi iriBld .idgilnue 9t\i ni Insillnd .nwsb sdl ni Y AH ^
-noom sdj ni zuonalaym .wolgralta sill ni Jniq .miole-rebnudl
pifc^lfim ayfiv/lfi .abuob sdl ni teoi ,Jaim orb ni gnirlainBV .idgil

.yiJnuoO aid tafoadlfi'l adj ol Isiiomom adl
gnigns/b bns gniliide aril io^ki! bnimal yldioiol aaafiHq
.boilingib bns alqmia ,'>nolf
.alii bnfi lai^BiBHo aid asw
B Jrigia mot) snirlsmBv ,bn:
-oqai b^buob sHj allB39i 1
.esoi yd b
aril ni )bd8 .aJr
.enoiaafiq balbnd
Jc ,30) ad) yd baiuoado ai
.sqod 10 nodfibnuol side
.abuoio adl ni Jaol sbfinniq r
.kfuob ni aliuaai dlBmillij
bnfi 3fid aril H)iw ,)asq Jco
tbirlw 3oiol aril alifiosi ylbivi

>Biq bnfi
56fU ,alaim aril ni
onilluo nB )o



[fib jlirib bnim o) agnitd ii .miola
lie aril ni gnilfioR yilna
tijorljiw aolgguiia aiH aJaaggua
Sand all Is baJcnimulli yilnBiliii9
tiiw ssnolDiv JBsig aoniqyJ li
as abuob gniriide orll gni^wiS
^iinua aril yd bajfinimulli nwoio
aril 3j6i)3n3q oJ mid baldbna
; ,wol gnin373 3fi) )o Hanld Jniq
KPjfti .bsonBvbe e>lil aid i&^ni
iagioi ol ,3W>id bi^<86 ,au gnibfi3l

ationoIO .oDivl
)o eu abninm /IdiDiol ItlkjJa auld iBdb

aasnldsitd adl ol ?ln
a'noom adl ni Irlgil k
-IIIJOD luo ni

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ril of tns
\o v)la yfibbim n

i . j | ' . - . r

In^iid 9nl knicyB .?,ic1a Hlivir'.gnitrJIi).

.bniw orll dliv/ gnivom ,abucJb ^618 Jisb sdl bn/i el

f'gniiildgii ^>dl gnivi^adt ,nue 3fll lo dlimsw sdl ol gniwod

ayfiwle ai li ,j

bid *fiv/ Jn^munoM nolgoiriasW 3fft
.ylsiiln^ b*qqoJ naHl bnfi b^iiaiugnfil ^low orii nooa Juci ,8^8 I
yllfcnrt esw tn^munom sHf bfii: ,^8I ni bomuzai

oe bn* HsiH te^ ee<? 11? *&d\ ..d T 9 dto &

Jn^munom iill lo lao-> -juln-d 'xl I .-jefid *H\) JB






Prepared Under the Direction of the Joint Committee

on Printing, of the House and Senate,

Pursuant to an Act of the Fifty-Second Congress

ol the United States

(With Additions and Encyclopedic Index
by Private Enterprise)








The Washington Monument, Washington . . Frontispiece

The First Ship to Pass Through the Panama Canal . . . 7826

Woodrovv Wilson (portrait) 7866 B

(Sketch of his birthplace on tissue)

Helen Louise Axson Wilson, Edith Boiling Gait Wilson (por-
traits) 7866 D

The Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson 7872

President Woodrow Wilson and Cabinet 7888

President Wilson Addressing Congress 79O4

Huerta Carranza Villa 7920

U. S. Naval Forces Sent to Vera Cruz 7936

Vera Cruz Taken by American Forces 795 2

Facsimile: Wilson's Neutrality Proclamation, 1914 . . . 7968

The Lusitcmia's Last Voyage 794

Facsimile: Page from President Wilson's Engagement Book . 8016

Anti-Aircraft Gun and Destruction by Zeppelin .... 8032

Views of the English and German Fleets 8080

Indian, Turk, German and Austrian Troops 8096

Red Cross Doctors in France The Deutschland. . . .8112

Hand Grenades, Fourteen-Inch Gun and "Tank" . . . 8144

Photo from Aeroplane of Trenches 8192

Fifteen Thousand Russian Prisoners in Germany . . . 8200

Supplies for U. S. Troops at Cascas Grande, Mexico . . . 8224

President Wilson Reading Preparedness Message . . . 8256

Universal Training Petition 8272

William Howard Taft 7811

better effect directly upon the relations between the employer and
employee than this act applying to railroads and common carriers of
an interstate character, and I am sure that the passage of the act
would greatly relieve the courts of the heaviest burden of litigation
that they have, and would enable them to dispatch other business
with a speed never before attained in courts of justice in this country.



[Concerning the Work of the Departments of the Post Office, Interior, Agricul-
ture, and Commerce and Labor and District of Columbia.]

THE WHITE HOUSE, December 19, 1912.
To the Senate and House of Representatives:

This is the third of a series of messages in which I have brought
t > the attention of the Congress the important transactions of the
Government in each of its departments during the last year and have
discussed needed reforms.


I recommend the adoption of legislation which shall make it the
daty of heads of departments the members of the President's Cabinet
- -at convenient times to attend the session of the House and the
Senate, which shall provide seats for them in each House, and give
them the opportunity to take part in all discussions and to answer
questions of which they have had due notice. The rigid holding apart
of the executive and the legislative branches of this Government has
not worked for the great advantage of either. There has been much
lost motion in the machinery, due to the lack of cooperation and
interchange of views face to face between the representatives of the
Executive and the Members of the two legislative branches of the
Government. It was never intended that they should be separated
in the sense of not being in constant effective touch and relationship
to each other. The legislative and the executive each performs its
own appropriate function, but these functions must be coordinated.
Time and time again debates have arisen in each House upon issues
which the information of a particular department head would have
enabled him, if present, to end at once by a simple explanation or
statement. Time and time again a forceful and earnest presentation
of facts and arguments by the representative of the Executive whose
duty it is to enforce the law would have brought about a useful

reform by amendment, which in the absence of such a statement has

7812 Messages and Papers of the Presidents

failed of passage. I do not think I am mistaken in saying that the
presence of the members of the Cabinet on the floor of each House
would greatly contribute to the enactment of beneficial legislation.
Nor would this in any degree deprive either the legislative or the
executive of the independence which separation of the two branches
has been intended to promote. It would only facilitate their co-
operation in the public interest.

On the other hand, I am sure that the necessity and duty imposed
upon department heads of appearing in each House and in answer
to searching questions, of rendering upon their feet an account of
what they have done, or what has been done by the administration,
will spur each member of the Cabinet to closer attention to the details
of his department, to greater familiarity with its needs, and to greater
care to avoid the just criticism which the answers brought out in
questions put and discussions arising between the Members of either
House and the members of the Cabinet may properly evoke.

Objection is made that the members of the administration having
no vote could exercise no power on the floor of the House, and
could not assume that attitude of authority and control which the
English parliamentary Government have and which enables them to
meet the responsibilities the English system thrusts upon them. I
agree that in certain respects it would be more satisfactory if mem-
bers of the Cabinet could at the same time be Members of both
Houses, with voting power, but this is impossible under our system ;
and while a lack of this feature may detract from the influence of
the department chiefs, it will not prevent the good results which I
have described above both in the matter of legislation and in the
matter of administration. The enactment of such a law would be
quite within the power of Congress without constitutional amend-
ment, and it has such possibilities of usefulness that we might well
make the experiment, and if we are disappointed the misstep can be
easily retraced by a repeal of the enabling legislation.

This is not a new proposition. In the House of Representatives,
in the Thirty-eighth Congress, the proposition was referred to a
select committee of seven Members. The committee made an ex-
tensive report, and urged the adoption of the reform. The report
showed that our history had not been without illustration of the
necessity and the examples of the practice by pointing out that in
early days Secretaries were repeatedly called to the presence of either
House for consultation, advice, and information. It also referred
to remarks of Mr. Justice Story in his Commentaries on the Con-
stitution, in which he urgently presented the wisdom of such a change.
This report is to be found in Volume T of the Reports of Committees
of the First Session of the Thirty-eighth Congress, April 6, 1864.

William Howard Taft 7813

Again, on February 4, 1881, a select committee of the Senate
recommended the passage of a similar bill, and made a report, in
which, while approving the separation of the three branches, the
executive, legislative, and judicial, they point out as a reason for
the proposed change that, although having a separate existence, the
branches are " to cooperate, each with the other, as the different
members of the human body must cooperate, with each other in order
to form the figure and perform the duties of a perfect man."

The report concluded as follows:

This system will require the selection of the strongest men to be heads of
departments and will require them to be well equipped with the knowledge of
their offices. It will also require the strongest men to be the leaders of Congress
and participate in debate. It will bring these strong men in contact, perhaps
into conflict, to advance the public weal, and thus stimulate their abilities and
their efforts, and will thus assuredly result to the good of the country.

If it should appear by actual experience that the heads of departments in
fact have not time to perform the additional duty imposed on them by this bill,
the force in their offices should be increased or the duties devolving on them
personally should be diminished. An undersecretary should be appointed to
whom could be confided that routine of administration which requires only order
and accuracy. The principal officers could then confine their attention to those
duties which require wise discretion and intellectual activity. Thus they would
have abundance of time for their duties under this bill. Indeed, your com-
mittee believes that the public interest would be subserved if the Secretaries
were relieved of the harassing cares of distributing clerkships and closely super-
vising the mere machinery of the departments. Your committee believes that
the adoption of this bill and the effective execution of its provisions will be
the first step toward a sound civil-service reform which will secure a larger
wisdom in the adoption of policies and a better system in their execution.









It would be difficult to mention the names of higher authority in
the practical knowledge of our Government than those which are
appended to this report.


The Postal Savings Bank System has been extended so that it now
includes 4,004 fourth-class post offices, as well as 645 branch offices
and stations in the larger cities. There are now 12,812 depositories
at which patrons of the system may open accounts. The number of
depositors is 300,000 and the amount of their deposits is approxi-
mately $28,000,000, not including $1,314,140 which has been with-

7814 Messages and Papers of the Presidents

drawn by depositors for the purpose of buying postal savings bonds.
Experience demonstrates the value of dispensing with the pass-book
and introducing in its place a certificate of deposit. The gross in-
come of the postal savings system for the fiscal year ending June 30,
1913, will amount to $700,000 and the interest payable to depositors
to $300,000. The cost of supplies, equipment, and salaries is $700,000.
It thus appears that the system lacks $300,000 a year of paying in-
terest and expenses. It is estimated, however, that when the deposits
have reached the sum of $50,000,000, which at the present rate they
soon will do, the system will be self-sustaining. By law the postal
savings funds deposited at each post office are required to be rede-
posited in local banks. State and national banks to the number of
7.357 have qualified as depositories for these funds. Such deposits
are secured by bonds aggregating $54,000,000. Of this amount,
$37,000,000 represent municipal bonds.


In several messages I have favored and recommended the adoption
of a system of parcel post. In the postal appropriation act of last
year a general system was provided and its installation was directed
by the ist of January. This has entailed upon the Post Office
Department a great deal of very heavy labor, but the Postmaster
General informs me that on the date selected, to wit, the ist of
January, near at hand, the department will be in readiness to meet
successfully the requirements of the public.


A trial, during the past three years, of the system of classifying
fourth-class postmasters in that part of the country lying between
the Mississippi River on the west, Canada on the north, the Atlantic
Ocean on the east, and Mason and Dixon's line on the south has been
sufficiently satisfactory to justify the postal authorities in recom-
mending the extension of the order to include all the fourth-class
postmasters in the country. In September, 1912, upon the suggestion
of the Postmaster General, I directed him to prepare an order which
should put tlie system in effect, except in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii.
Porto Rico, and Samoa. Under dale of October 15 I issued such
an order which affected 36,000 postmasters. P>y the order the post
offices were divided into groups A and B. Group A includes all
postmasters whose compensation is $500 or more, and group B those
whose compensation is less than that sum. Different methods are
pursued in the selection of the postmasters for group A and group
B. Criticism has been made of this order on the ground that the
motive for it was political. Nothing could be further from the truth.

William Howard Taft 7815

The order was made before the election and in the interest of efficient
public service. I have several times requested Congress to give me
authority to put first-, second-, and third-class postmasters, and all
other local officers, including internal-revenue officers, customs of-
ficers, United States marshals, and the local agents of the other
departments under the classification of the civil-service law by taking
away the necessity for confirming such appointments by the Senate.
I deeply regret the failure of Congress to follow these recommenda-
tions. The change would have taken out of politics practically every
local officer and would have entirely cured the evils growing out of
what under the present law must always remain a remnant of the
spoils system.


It is expected that the establishment of a parcel post on January
ist will largely increase the amount of mail matter to be transported
by the railways, and Congress should be prompt to provide a way
by which they may receive the additional compensation to which
they will be entitled. The Postmaster General urges that the de-
partment's plan for a complete readjustment of the system of paying
the railways for carrying the mails be adopted, substituting space
for weight as the principal factor in fixing compensation. Under
this plan it will be possible to determine without delay what addi-
tional payment should be made on account of the parcel post. The
Postmaster General's recommendation is based on the results of a
far-reaching investigation begun early in the administration with
the object of determining what it costs the railways to carry the
mails. The statistics obtained during the course of the inquiry show
that while many of the railways, and particularly the large systems,
were making profits from mail transportations, certain of the lines
were actually carrying the mails at a loss. As a result of the inves-
tigation the department, after giving the subject careful considera-
tion, decided to urge the abandonment of the present plan of fixing
compensation on the basis of the weight of the mails carried, a plan
that has proved to be exceedingly expensive and in other respects
unsatisfactory. Under the method proposed the railway companies
will annually submit to the department reports showing what it costs
them to carry the mails, and this cost will be apportioned on the
basis of the car space engaged, payment to be allowed at the rate
thus determined in amounts that will cover the cost and a reasonable
profit. If a railway is not satisfied with the manner in which the
department apportions the cost in fixing compensation, it is to have
the right, under the new plan, of appealing to the Interstate Commerce
Commission. This feature of the proposed law would seem to in-

7816 Messages and Papers of the Presidents

sure a fair treatment of the railways. It is hoped that Congress will
give the matter immediate attention and that the method of com-
pensation recommended by the department or some other suitable
plan will be promptly authorized.


The Interior Department, in the problems of administration in-
cluded within its jurisdiction, presents more difficult questions than
any other. This has been due perhaps to temporary causes of a
political character, but more especially to the inherent difficulty in
the performance of some of the functions which are assigned to it.
Its chief duty is the guardianship of the public domain and the dis-
position of that domain to private ownership under homestead, min-
ing, and other laws, by which patents from the Government to the
individual are authorized on certain conditions. During the last
decade the public seemed to become suddenly aware that a very large
part of its domain had passed from its control into private ownership,
under laws not well adapted to modern conditions, and also that in
the doing of this the provisions of existing law and regulations
adopted in accordance with law had not been strictly observed, and
that in the transfer of title much fraud had intervened, to the pecu-
niary benefit of dishonest persons. There arose thereupon a demand
for conservation of the public domain, its protection against fraudulent
diminution, and the preservation of that part of it from private
acquisition which it seemed necessary to keep for future public use.
The movement, excellent in the intention which prompted it, and use-
ful in its results, has nevertheless had some bad effects, which the
western country has recently been feeling and in respect of which
there is danger of a reaction toward older abuses unless we can attain
the golden mean, which consists in the prevention of the mere ex-
ploitation of the public domain for private purposes while at the same
time facilitating its development for the benefit of the local public.

The land laws need complete revision to secure proper conserva-
tion on the one hand of land that ought to be kept in public use and,
on the other hand, prompt disposition of those lands which ought to
be disposed in private ownership or turned over to private use by
properly guarded leases. In addition to this there are not enough
officials in our Land Department with legal knowledge sufficient
promptly to make the decisions which are called for. The whole
land-laws system should be reorganized, and not until it is reor-
ganized, will decisions be made as promptly as they ought, or will
men who have earned title to public land under the statute receive
their patents within a reasonably short period. The present admin-
istration has done what it could in this regard, but the necessity for

William Howard Taft 7817

reform and change by a revision of the laws and an increase and
reorganization of the force remains, and I submit to Congress the
wisdom of a full examination of this subject, in order that a very
large and important part of our people in the West may be relieved
from a just cause of irritation.

I invite your attention to the discussion by the Secretary of the
Interior of the need for legislation with respect to mining claims,
leases of coal lands in this country and in Alaska, and for similar
disposition of oil, phosphate, and potash lands, and also to his discus-
sion of the proper use to be made of water-power sites held by the
Government. Many of these lands are now being withheld from use
by the public under the general withdrawal act which was passed by
the last Congress. That act was not for the purpose of disposing of
the question, but it was for the purpose of preserving the lands until
the question could be solved. I earnestly urge that the matter is of
the highest importance to our western fellow citizens and ought to
command the immediate attention of the legislative branch of the

Another function which the Interior Department has to perform
is that of the guardianship of Indians. In spite of everything which
has been said in criticism of the policy of our Government toward the
Indians, the amount of wealth which is now held by it for these

Online LibraryUnited States. PresidentA compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents (Volume 18) → online text (page 1 of 63)