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Title: State of the Union Addresses

Author: Grover Cleveland

Release date: February 1, 2004 [eBook #5029]
Most recently updated: November 30, 2014

Language: English

Credits: Produced by James Linden. HTML version by Al Haines.


State of the Union Addresses of Grover Cleveland

The addresses are separated by three asterisks: ***

Dates of addresses by Grover Cleveland in this eBook:

December 8, 1885
December 6, 1886
December 6, 1887
December 3, 1888

December 4, 1893
December 3, 1894
December 2, 1895
December 7, 1896


State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 8, 1885

To the Congress of the United States:

Your assembling is clouded by a sense of public bereavement, caused by the recent and sudden death of Thomas A. Hendricks, Vice-President of the United States. His distinguished public services, his complete integrity and devotion to every duty, and his personal virtues will find honorable record in his country's history.

Ample and repeated proofs of the esteem and confidence in which he was held by his fellow-countrymen were manifested by his election to offices of the most important trust and highest dignity; and at length, full of years and honors, he has been laid at rest amid universal sorrow and benediction.

The Constitution, which requires those chosen to legislate for the people to annually meet in the discharge of their solemn trust, also requires the President to give to Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall deem necessary and expedient. At the threshold of a compliance with these constitutional directions it is well for us to bear in mind that our usefulness to the people's interests will be promoted by a constant appreciation of the scope and character of our respective duties as they relate to Federal legislation. While the Executive may recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient, the responsibility for legislative action must and should rest upon those selected by the people to make their laws.

Contemplation of the grave and responsible functions assigned to the respective branches of the Government under the Constitution will disclose the partitions of power between our respective departments and their necessary independence, and also the need for the exercise of all the power intrusted to each in that spirit of comity and cooperation which is essential to the proper fulfillment of the patriotic obligations which rest upon us as faithful servants of the people.

The jealous watchfulness of our constituencies, great and small, supplements their suffrages, and before the tribunal they establish every public servant should be judged.

It is gratifying to announce that the relations of the United States with all foreign powers continue to be friendly. Our position after nearly a century of successful constitutional government, maintenance of good faith in all our engagements, the avoidance of complications with other nations, and our consistent and amicable attitude toward the strong and weak alike furnish proof of a political disposition which renders professions of good will unnecessary. There are no questions of difficulty pending with any foreign government.

The Argentine Government has revived the long dormant question of the Falkland Islands by claiming from the United States indemnity for their loss, attributed to the action of the commander of the sloop of war Lexington in breaking up a piratical colony on those islands in 1831, and their subsequent occupation by Great Britain. In view of the ample justification for the act of the Lexington and the derelict condition of the islands before and after their alleged occupation by Argentine colonists, this Government considers the claim as wholly groundless.

Question has arisen with the Government of Austria-Hungary touching the representation of the United States at Vienna. Having under my constitutional prerogative appointed an estimable citizen of unimpeached probity and competence as minister at that court, the Government of Austria-Hungary invited this Government to take cognizance of certain exceptions, based upon allegations against the personal acceptability of Mr. Keiley, the appointed envoy, asking that in view thereof the appointment should be withdrawn. The reasons advanced were such as could not be acquiesced in without violation of my oath of office and the precepts of the Constitution, since they necessarily involved a limitation in favor of a foreign government upon the right of selection by the Executive and required such an application of a religious test as a qualification for office under the United States as would have resulted in the practical disfranchisement of a large class of our citizens and the abandonment of a vital principle in our Government. The Austro-Hungarian Government finally decided not to receive Mr. Keiley as the envoy of the United States, and that gentleman has since resigned his commission, leaving the post vacant. I have made no new nomination, and the interests of this Government at Vienna are now in the care of the secretary of legation, acting as charge d'affaires ad interim.

Early in March last war broke out in Central America, caused by the attempt of Guatemala to consolidate the several States into a single government. In these contests between our neighboring States the United States forebore to interfere actively, but lent the aid of their friendly offices in deprecation of war and to promote peace and concord among the belligerents, and by such counsel contributed importantly to the restoration of tranquillity in that locality.

Emergencies growing out of civil war in the United States of Colombia demanded of the Government at the beginning of this Administration the employment of armed forces to fulfill its guaranties under the thirty-fifth article of the treaty of 1846, in order to keep the transit open across the Isthmus of Panama. Desirous of exercising only the powers expressly reserved to us by the treaty, and mindful of the rights of Colombia, the forces sent to the Isthmus were instructed to confine their action to "positively and efficaciously" preventing the transit and its accessories from being "interrupted or embarrassed."

The execution of this delicate and responsible task necessarily involved police control where the local authority was temporarily powerless, but always in aid of the sovereignty of Colombia.

The prompt and successful fulfillment of its duty by this Government was highly appreciated by the Government of Colombia, and has been followed by expressions of its satisfaction.

High praise is due to the officers and men engaged in this service. The restoration of peace on the Isthmus by the reestablishment of the constituted Government there being thus accomplished, the forces of the United States were withdrawn.

Pending these occurrences a question of much importance was presented by decrees of the Colombian Government proclaiming the closure of certain ports then in the hands of insurgents and declaring vessels held by the revolutionists to be piratical and liable to capture by any power. To neither of these propositions could the United States assent. An effective closure of ports not in the possession of the Government, but held by hostile partisans, could not be recognized; neither could the vessels of insurgents against the legitimate sovereignty be deemed hostes humani generis within the precepts of international law, whatever might be the definition and penalty of their acts under the municipal law of the State against whose authority they were in revolt. The denial by this Government of the Colombian propositions did not, however, imply the admission of a belligerent status on the part of the insurgents.

The Colombian Government has expressed its willingness to negotiate conventions for the adjustment by arbitration of claims by foreign citizens arising out of the destruction of the city of Aspinwall by the insurrectionary forces.

The interest of the United States in a practicable transit for ships across the strip of land separating the Atlantic from the Pacific has been repeatedly manifested during the last half century.

My immediate predecessor caused to be negotiated with Nicaragua a treaty for the construction, by and at the sole cost of the United States, of a canal through Nicaraguan territory, and laid it before the Senate. Pending the action of that body thereon, I withdrew the treaty for reexamination. Attentive consideration of its provisions leads me to withhold it from resubmission to the Senate.

Maintaining, as I do, the tenets of a line of precedents from Washington's day, which proscribe entangling alliances with foreign states, I do not favor a policy of acquisition of new and distant territory or the incorporation of remote interests with our own.

The laws of progress are vital and organic, and we must be conscious of that irresistible tide of commercial expansion which, as the concomitant of our active civilization, day by day is being urged onward by those increasing facilities of production, transportation, and communication to which steam and electricity have given birth; but our duty in the present instructs us to address ourselves mainly to the development of the vast resources of the great area committed to our charge and to the cultivation of the arts of peace within our own borders, though jealously alert in preventing the American hemisphere from being involved in the political problems and complications of distant governments. Therefore I am unable to recommend propositions involving paramount privileges of ownership or right outside of our own territory, when coupled with absolute and unlimited engagements to defend the territorial integrity of the state where such interests lie. While the general project of connecting the two oceans by means of a canal is to be encouraged, I am of opinion that any scheme to that end to be considered with favor should be free from the features alluded to.

The Tehuantepec route is declared by engineers of the highest repute and by competent scientists to afford an entirely practicable transit for vessels and cargoes, by means of a ship railway, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The obvious advantages of such a route, if feasible, over others more remote from the axial lines of traffic between Europe and the pacific, and particularly between the Valley of the Mississippi and the western coast of North and South America, are deserving of consideration.

Whatever highway may be constructed across the barrier dividing the two greatest maritime areas of the world must be for the world's benefit--a trust for mankind, to be removed from the chance of domination by any single power, nor become a point of invitation for hostilities or a prize for warlike ambition. An engagement combining the construction, ownership, and operation of such a work by this Government, with an offensive and defensive alliance for its protection, with the foreign state whose responsibilities and rights we would share is, in my judgment, inconsistent with such dedication to universal and neutral use, and would, moreover, entail measures for its realization beyond the scope of our national polity or present means.

The lapse of years has abundantly confirmed the wisdom and foresight of those earlier Administrations which, long before the conditions of maritime intercourse were changed and enlarged by the progress of the age, proclaimed the vital need of interoceanic transit across the American Isthmus and consecrated it in advance to the common use of mankind by their positive declarations and through the formal obligation of treaties. Toward such realization the efforts of my Administration will be applied, ever bearing in mind the principles on which it must rest, and which were declared in no uncertain tones by Mr. Cass, who, while Secretary of State, in 1858, announced that "what the United States want in Central America, next to the happiness of its people, is the security and neutrality of the interoceanic routes which lead through it."

The construction of three transcontinental lines of railway, all in successful operation, wholly within our territory, and uniting the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, has been accompanied by results of a most interesting and impressive nature, and has created new conditions, not in the routes of commerce only, but in political geography, which powerfully affect our relations toward and necessarily increase our interests in any transisthmian route which may be opened and employed for the ends of peace and traffic, or, in other contingencies, for uses inimical to both.

Transportation is a factor in the cost of commodities scarcely second to that of their production, and weighs as heavily upon the consumer.

Our experience already has proven the great importance of having the competition between land carriage and water carriage fully developed, each acting as a protection to the public against the tendencies to monopoly which are inherent in the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of vast corporations.

These suggestions may serve to emphasize what I have already said on the score of the necessity of a neutralization of any interoceanic transit; and this can only be accomplished by making the uses of the route open to all nations and subject to the ambitions and warlike necessities of none.

The drawings and report of a recent survey of the Nicaragua Canal route, made by Chief Engineer Menocal, will be communicated for your information.

The claims of citizens of the United States for losses by reason of the late military operations of Chile in Peru and Bolivia are the subject of negotiation for a claims convention with Chile, providing for their submission to arbitration.

The harmony of our relations with China is fully sustained.

In the application of the acts lately passed to execute the treaty of 1880, restrictive of the immigration of Chinese laborers into the United States, individual cases of hardship have occurred beyond the power of the Executive to remedy, and calling for judicial determination.

The condition of the Chinese question in the Western States and Territories is, despite this restrictive legislation, far from being satisfactory. The recent outbreak in Wyoming Territory, where numbers of unoffending Chinamen, indisputably within the protection of the treaties and the law, were murdered by a mob, and the still more recent threatened outbreak of the same character in Washington Territory, are fresh in the minds of all, and there is apprehension lest the bitterness of feeling against the Mongolian race on the Pacific Slope may find vent in similar lawless demonstrations. All the power of this Government should be exerted to maintain the amplest good faith toward China in the treatment of these men, and the inflexible sternness of the law in bringing the wrongdoers to justice should be insisted upon.

Every effort has been made by this Government to prevent these violent outbreaks and to aid the representatives of China in their investigation of these outrages; and it is but just to say that they are traceable to the lawlessness of men not citizens of the United States engaged in competition with Chinese laborers.

Race prejudice is the chief factor in originating these disturbances, and it exists in a large part of our domain, jeopardizing our domestic peace and the good relationship we strive to maintain with China.

The admitted right of a government to prevent the influx of elements hostile to its internal peace and security may not be questioned, even where there is no treaty stipulation on the subject. That the exclusion of Chinese labor is demanded in other countries where like conditions prevail is strongly evidenced in the Dominion of Canada, where Chinese immigration is now regulated by laws more exclusive than our own. If existing laws are inadequate to compass the end in view, I shall be prepared to give earnest consideration to any further remedial measures, within the treaty limits, which the wisdom of Congress may devise.

The independent State of the Kongo has been organized as a government under the sovereignty of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, who assumes its chief magistracy in his personal character only, without making the new State a dependency of Belgium. It is fortunate that a benighted region, owing all it has of quickening civilization to the beneficence and philanthropic spirit of this monarch, should have the advantage and security of his benevolent supervision.

The action taken by this Government last year in being the first to recognize the flag of the International Association of the Kongo has been followed by formal recognition of the new nationality which succeeds to its sovereign powers.

A conference of delegates of the principal commercial nations was held at Berlin last winter to discuss methods whereby the Kongo basin might be kept open to the world's trade. Delegates attended on behalf of the United States on the understanding that their part should be merely deliberative, without imparting to the results any binding character so far as the United States were concerned. This reserve was due to the indisposition of this Government to share in any disposal by an international congress of jurisdictional questions in remote foreign territories. The results of the conference were embodied in a formal act of the nature of an international convention, which laid down certain obligations purporting to be binding on the signatories, subject to ratification within one year. Notwithstanding the reservation under which the delegates of the United States attended, their signatures were attached to the general act in the same manner as those of the plenipotentiaries of other governments, thus making the United States appear, without reserve or qualification, as signatories to a joint international engagement imposing on the signers the conservation of the territorial integrity of distant regions where we have no established interests or control.

This Government does not, however, regard its reservation of liberty of action in the premises as at all impaired; and holding that an engagement to share in the obligation of enforcing neutrality in the remote valley of the Kongo would be an alliance whose responsibilities we are not in a position to assume, I abstain from asking the sanction of the Senate to that general act.

The correspondence will be laid before you, and the instructive and interesting report of the agent sent by this Government to the Kongo country and his recommendations for the establishment of commercial agencies on the African coast are also submitted for your consideration.

The commission appointed by my predecessor last winter to visit the Central and South American countries and report on the methods of enlarging the commercial relations of the United States therewith has submitted reports, which will be laid before you.

No opportunity has been omitted to testify the friendliness of this Government toward Korea, whose entrance into the family of treaty powers the United States were the first to recognize. I regard with favor the application made by the Korean Government to be allowed to employ American officers as military instructors, to which the assent of Congress becomes necessary, and I am happy to say this request has the concurrent sanction of China and Japan.

The arrest and imprisonment of Julio R. Santos, a citizen of the United States, by the authorities of Ecuador gave rise to a contention with that Government, in which his right to be released or to have a speedy and impartial trial on announced charges and with all guaranties of defense stipulated by treaty was insisted upon by us. After an elaborate correspondence and repeated and earnest representations on our part Mr. Santos was, after an alleged trial and conviction, eventually included in a general decree of amnesty and pardoned by the Ecuadorian Executive and released, leaving the question of his American citizenship denied by the Ecuadorian Government, but insisted upon by our own.

The amount adjudged by the late French and American Claims Commission to be due from the United States to French claimants on account of injuries suffered by them during the War of Secession, having been appropriated by the last Congress, has been duly paid to the French Government.

The act of February 25, 1885, provided for a preliminary search of the records of French prize courts for evidence bearing on the claims of American citizens against France for spoliations committed prior to 1801. The duty has been performed, and the report of the agent will be laid before you.

I regret to say that the restrictions upon the importation of our pork into France continue, notwithstanding the abundant demonstration of the absence of sanitary danger in its use; but I entertain strong hopes that with a better understanding of the matter this vexatious prohibition will be removed. It would be pleasing to be able to say as much with respect to Germany, Austria, and other countries, where such food products are absolutely excluded, without present prospect of reasonable change.

The interpretation of our existing treaties of naturalization by Germany during the past year has attracted attention by reason of an apparent tendency on the part of the Imperial Government to extend the scope of the residential restrictions to which returning naturalized citizens of German origin are asserted to be liable under the laws of the Empire. The temperate and just attitude taken by this Government with regard to this class of questions will doubtless lead to a satisfactory understanding.

The dispute of Germany and Spain relative to the domination of the Caroline Islands has attracted the attention of this Government by reason of extensive interests of American citizens having grown up in those parts during the past thirty years, and because the question of ownership involves jurisdiction of matters affecting the status of our citizens under civil and criminal law. While standing wholly aloof from the proprietary issues raised between powers to both of which the United States are friendly, this Government expects that nothing in the present contention shall unfavorably affect our citizens carrying on a peaceful commerce or there domiciled, and has so informed the Governments of Spain and Germany.

The marked good will between the United States and Great Britain has been maintained during the past year.

The termination of the fishing clauses of the treaty of Washington, in pursuance of the joint resolution of March 3, 1883, must have resulted in the abrupt cessation on the 1st of July of this year, in the midst of their ventures, of the operations of citizens of the United States engaged in fishing in British American waters but for a diplomatic understanding reached with Her Majesty's Government in June last, whereby assurance was obtained that no interruption of those operations should take place during the current fishing season.

In the interest of good neighborhood and of the commercial intercourse of adjacent communities, the question of the North American fisheries is one of much importance. Following out the intimation given by me when the extensory arrangement above described was negotiated, I recommend that the Congress provide for the appointment of a commission in which the Governments of the United States and Great Britain shall be respectively represented, charged with the consideration and settlement, upon a just, equitable, and honorable basis, of the entire question of the fishing rights of the two Governments and their respective citizens on the coasts of the United States and British North America. The fishing interests being intimately related to other general questions dependent upon contiguity and intercourse, consideration thereof in all their equities might also properly come within the purview of such a commission, and the fullest latitude of expression on both sides should be permitted.

The correspondence in relation to the fishing rights will be submitted. The arctic exploring steamer Alert, which was generously given by Her Majesty's Government to aid in the relief of the Greely expedition, was, after the successful attainment of that humane purpose, returned to Great Britain, in pursuance of the authority conferred by the act of March 3, 1885.

The inadequacy of the existing engagements for extradition between the United States and Great Britain has been long apparent. The tenth article of the treaty of 1842, one of the earliest compacts in this regard entered into by us, stipulated for surrender in respect of a limited number of offenses. Other crimes no less inimical to the social welfare should be embraced and the procedure of extradition brought in harmony with present international practice. Negotiations with Her Majesty's Government for an enlarged treaty of extradition have been pending since 1870, and I entertain strong hopes that a satisfactory result may be soon attained.

The frontier line between Alaska and British Columbia, as defined by the treaty of cession with Russia, follows the demarcation assigned in a prior treaty between Great Britain and Russia. Modern exploration discloses that this ancient boundary is impracticable as a geographical fact. In the unsettled condition of that region the question has lacked importance, but the discovery of mineral wealth in the territory the line is supposed to traverse admonishes that the time has come when an accurate knowledge of the boundary is needful to avert jurisdictional complications. I recommend, therefore, that provision be made for a preliminary reconnoissance by officers of the United States, to the end of acquiring more precise information on the subject. I have invited Her Majesty's Government to consider with us the adoption of a more convenient line, to be established by meridian observations or by known geographical features without the necessity of an expensive survey of the whole.

The late insurrectionary movements in Hayti having been quelled, the Government of that Republic has made prompt provision for adjudicating the losses suffered by foreigners because of hostilities there, and the claims of certain citizens of the United States will be in this manner determined.

The long-pending claims of two citizens of the United States, Pelletier and Lazare, have been disposed of by arbitration, and an award in favor of each claimant has been made, which by the terms of the engagement is final. It remains for Congress to provide for the payment of the stipulated moiety of the expenses.

A question arose with Hayti during the past year by reason of the exceptional treatment of an American citizen, Mr. Van Bokkelen, a resident of Port-au-Prince, who, on suit by creditors residing in the United States, was sentenced to imprisonment, and, under the operation of a Haytian statute, was denied relief secured to a native Haytian. This Government asserted his treaty right to equal treatment with natives of Hayti in all suits at law. Our contention was denied by the Haytian Government, which, however, while still professing to maintain the ground taken against Mr. Van Bokkelen's right, terminated the controversy by setting him at liberty without explanation.

An international conference to consider the means of arresting the spread of cholera and other epidemic diseases was held at Rome in May last, and adjourned to meet again on further notice. An expert delegate on behalf of the United States has attended its sessions and will submit a report.

Our relations with Mexico continue to be most cordial, as befits those of neighbors between whom the strongest ties of friendship and commercial intimacy exist, as the natural and growing consequence of our similarity of institutions and geographical propinquity.

The relocation of the boundary line between the United States and Mexico westward of the Rio Grande, under the convention of July 29, 1882, has been unavoidably delayed, but I apprehend no difficulty in securing a prolongation of the period for its accomplishment.

The lately concluded commercial treaty with Mexico still awaits the stipulated legislation to carry its provisions into effect, for which one year's additional time has been secured by a supplementary article signed in February last and since ratified on both sides.

As this convention, so important to the commercial welfare of the two adjoining countries, has been constitutionally confirmed by the treaty- making branch, I express the hope that legislation needed to make it effective may not be long delayed.

The large influx of capital and enterprise to Mexico from the United States continues to aid in the development of the resources and in augmenting the material well-being of our sister Republic. Lines of railway, penetrating to the heart and capital of the country, bring the two peoples into mutually beneficial intercourse, and enlarged facilities of transit add to profitable commerce, create new markets, and furnish avenues to otherwise isolated communities.

I have already adverted to the suggested construction of a ship railway across the narrow formation of the territory of Mexico at Tehuantepec.

With the gradual recovery of Peru from the effects of her late disastrous conflict with Chile, and with the restoration of civil authority in that distracted country, it is hoped that pending war claims of our citizens will be adjusted.

In conformity with notification given by the Government of Peru, the existing treaties of commerce and extradition between the United States and that country will terminate March 31, 1886.

Our good relationship with Russia continues.

An officer of the Navy, detailed for the purpose, is now on his way to Siberia bearing the testimonials voted by Congress to those who generously succored the survivors of the unfortunate Jeannette expedition.

It is gratifying to advert to the cordiality of our intercourse with Spain.

The long-pending claim of the owners of the ship Masonic for loss suffered through the admitted dereliction of the Spanish authorities in the Philippine Islands has been adjusted by arbitration and an indemnity awarded. The principle of arbitration in such cases, to which the United States have long and consistently adhered, thus receives a fresh and gratifying confirmation.

Other questions with Spain have been disposed of or are under diplomatic consideration with a view to just and honorable settlement.

The operation of the commercial agreement with Spain of January 2--February 13, 1884, has been found inadequate to the commercial needs of the United States and the Spanish Antilies, and the terms of the agreement are subjected to conflicting interpretations in those islands.

Negotiations have been instituted at Madrid for a full treaty not open to these objections and in the line of the general policy touching the neighborly intercourse of proximate communities, to which I elsewhere advert, and aiming, moreover, at the removal of existing burdens and annoying restrictions; and although a satisfactory termination is promised, I am compelled to delay its announcement.

An international copyright conference was held at Berne in September, on the invitation of the Swiss Government. The envoy of the United States attended as a delegate, but refrained from committing this Government to the results, even by signing the recommendatory protocol adopted. The interesting and important subject of international copyright has been before you for several years. Action is certainly desirable to effect the object in view; and while there may be question as to the relative advantage of treating it by legislation or by specific treaty, the matured views of the Berne conference can not fail to aid your consideration of the subject.

The termination of the commercial treaty of 1862 between the United States and Turkey has been sought by that Government. While there is question as to the sufficiency of the notice of termination given, yet as the commercial rights of our citizens in Turkey come under the favored-nation guaranties of the prior treaty of 1830, and as equal treatment is admitted by the Porte, no inconvenience can result from the assent of this Government to the revision of the Ottoman tariffs, in which the treaty powers have been invited to join.

Questions concerning our citizens in Turkey may be affected by the Porte's nonacquiescence in the right of expatriation and by the imposition of religious tests as a condition of residence, in which this Government can not concur. The United States must hold in their intercourse with every power that the status of their citizens is to be respected and equal civil privileges accorded to them without regard to creed, and affected by no considerations save those growing out of domiciliary return to the land of original allegiance or of unfulfilled personal obligations which may survive, under municipal laws, after such voluntary return.

The negotiation with Venezuela relative to the rehearing of the awards of the mixed commission constituted under the treaty of 1866 was resumed in view of the recent acquiescence of the Venezuelan envoy in the principal point advanced by this Government, that the effects of the old treaty could only be set aside by the operation of a new convention. A result in substantial accord with the advisory suggestions contained in the joint resolution of March 3, 1883, has been agreed upon and will shortly be submitted to the Senate for ratification.

Under section 3659 of the Revised Statutes all funds held in trust by the United States and the annual interest accruing thereon, when not otherwise required by treaty, are to be invested in stocks of the United States bearing a rate of interest not less than 5 per cent per annum. There being now no procurable stocks paying so high a rate of interest, the letter of the statute is at present inapplicable, but its spirit is subserved by continuing to make investments of this nature in current stocks bearing the highest interest now paid. The statute, however, makes no provision for the disposal of such accretions. It being contrary to the general rule of this Government to allow interest on claims, I recommend the repeal of the provision in question and the disposition, under a uniform rule, of the present accumulations from investment of trust funds.

The inadequacy of existing legislation touching citizenship and naturalization demands your consideration.

While recognizing the right of expatriation, no statutory provision exists providing means for renouncing citizenship by an American citizen, native born or naturalized, nor for terminating and vacating an improper acquisition of citizenship. Even a fraudulent decree of naturalization can not now be canceled. The privilege and franchise of American citizenship should be granted with care, and extended to those only who intend in good faith to assume its duties and responsibilities when attaining its privileges and benefits. It should be withheld from those who merely go through the forms of naturalization with the intent of escaping the duties of their original allegiance without taking upon themselves those of their new status, or who may acquire the rights of American citizenship for no other than a hostile purpose toward their original governments. These evils have had many flagrant illustrations.

I regard with favor the suggestion put forth by one of my predecessors that provision be made for a central bureau of record of the decrees of naturalization granted by the various courts throughout the United States now invested with that power.

The rights which spring from domicile in the United States, especially when coupled with a declaration of intention to become a citizen, are worthy of definition by statute. The stranger coming hither with intent to remain, establishing his residence in our midst, contributing to the general welfare, and by his voluntary act declaring his purpose to assume the responsibilities of citizenship, thereby gains an inchoate status which legislation may properly define. The laws of certain States and Territories admit a domiciled alien to the local franchise, conferring on him the rights of citizenship to a degree which places him in the anomalous position of being a citizen of a State and yet not of the United States within the purview of Federal and international law.

It is important within the scope of national legislation to define this right of alien domicile as distinguished from Federal naturalization.

The commercial relations of the United States with their immediate neighbors and with important areas of traffic near our shores suggest especially liberal intercourse between them and us.

Following the treaty of 1883 with Mexico, which rested on the basis of a reciprocal exemption from customs duties, other similar treaties were initiated by my predecessor.

Recognizing the need of less obstructed traffic with Cuba and Puerto Rico, and met by the desire of Spain to succor languishing interests in the Antilles, steps were taken to attain those ends by a treaty of commerce. A similar treaty was afterwards signed by the Dominican Republic. Subsequently overtures were made by Her Britannic Majesty's Government for a like mutual extension of commercial intercourse with the British West Indian and South American dependencies, but without result.

On taking office I withdrew for reexamination the treaties signed with Spain and Santo Domingo, then pending before the Senate. The result has been to satisfy me of the inexpediency of entering into engagements of this character not covering the entire traffic.

These treaties contemplated the surrender by the United States of large revenues for inadequate considerations. Upon sugar alone duties were surrendered to an amount far exceeding all the advantages offered in exchange. Even were it intended to relieve our consumers, it was evident that so long as the exemption but partially covered our importation such relief would be illusory. To relinquish a revenue so essential seemed highly improvident at a time when new and large drains upon the Treasury were contemplated. Moreover, embarrassing questions would have arisen under the favored-nation clauses of treaties with other nations.

As a further objection, it is evident that tariff regulation by treaty diminishes that independent control over its own revenues which is essential for the safety and welfare of any government. Emergency calling for an increase of taxation may at any time arise, and no engagement with a foreign power should exist to hamper the action of the Government.

By the fourteenth section of the shipping act approved June 26, 1884, certain reductions and contingent exemptions from tonnage dues were made as to vessels entering ports of the United States from any foreign port in North and Central America, the West India Islands, the Bahamas and Bermudas, Mexico, and the Isthmus as far as Aspinwall and Panama. The Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, and Sweden and Norway have asserted, under the favored-nation clause in their treaties with the United States, a claim to like treatment in respect of vessels coming to the United States from their home ports. This Government, however, holds that the privileges granted by the act are purely geographical, inuring to any vessel of any foreign power that may choose to engage in traffic between this country and any port within the defined zone, and no warrant exists under the most-favored-nation clause for the extension of the privileges in question to vessels sailing to this country from ports outside the limitation of the act.

Undoubtedly the relations of commerce with our near neighbors, whose territories form so long a frontier line difficult to be guarded, and who find in our country, and equally offer to us, natural markets, demand special and considerate treatment. It rests with Congress to consider what legislative action may increase facilities of intercourse which contiguity makes natural and desirable.

I earnestly urge that Congress recast the appropriations for the maintenance of the diplomatic and consular service on a footing commensurate with the importance of our national interests. At every post where a representative is necessary the salary should be so graded as to permit him to live with comfort. With the assignment of adequate salaries the so-called notarial extra official fees, which our officers abroad are now permitted to treat as personal perquisites, should be done away with. Every act requiring the certification and seal of the officer should be taxable at schedule rates and the fee therefor returned to the Treasury. By restoring these revenues to the public use the consular service would be self-supporting, even with a liberal increase of the present low salaries.

In further prevention of abuses a system of consular inspection should be instituted.

The appointment of a limited number of secretaries of legation at large, to be assigned to duty wherever necessary, and in particular for temporary service at missions which for any cause may be without a head, should also be authorized.

I favor also authorization for the detail of officers of the regular service as military or naval attaches at legations.

Some foreign governments do not recognize the union of consular with diplomatic functions. Italy and Venezuela will only receive the appointee in one of his two capacities, but this does not prevent the requirement of a bond and submission to the responsibilities of an office whose duties he can not discharge. The superadded title of consul-general should be abandoned at all missions.

I deem it expedient that a well-devised measure for the reorganization of the extraterritorial courts in Oriental countries should replace the present system, which labors under the disadvantage of combining judicial and executive functions in the same office.

In several Oriental countries generous offers have been made of premises for housing the legations of the United States. A grant of land for that purpose was made some years since by Japan, and has been referred to in the annual messages of my predecessor. The Siamese Government has made a gift to the United States of commodious quarters in Bangkok. In Korea the late minister was permitted to purchase a building from the Government for legation use. In China the premises rented for the legation are favored as to local charges. At Tangier the house occupied by our representative has been for many years the property; this Government, having been given for that purpose in 1822 by the Sultan of Morocco. I approve the suggestion heretofore made, that, view of the conditions of life and administration in the Eastern countries, the legation buildings in China, Japan, Korea, Siam, and perhaps Persia, should be owned and furnished by the Government with a view to permanency and security. To this end I recommend that authority be given to accept the gifts adverted to in Japan and Siam, and to purchase in the other countries named, with provision for furniture and repairs. A considerable saving in rentals would result.

The World's Industrial Exposition, held at New Orleans last winter, with the assistance of the Federal Government, attracted a large number of foreign exhibits, and proved of great value in spreading among the concourse of visitors from Mexico and Central and South America a wider knowledge of the varied manufactures and productions of this country and their availability in exchange for the productions of those regions.

Past Congresses have had under consideration the advisability of abolishing the discrimination made by the tariff laws in favor of the works of American artists. The odium of the policy which subjects to a high rate of duty the paintings of foreign artists and exempts the productions of American artists residing abroad, and who receive gratuitously advantages and instruction, is visited upon our citizens engaged in art culture in Europe, and has caused them with practical unanimity to favor the abolition of such an ungracious distinction; and in their interest, and for other obvious reasons, I strongly recommend it.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury fully exhibits the condition of the public finances and of the several branches of the Government connected with his Department. The suggestions of the Secretary relating to the practical operations of this important Department, and his recommendations in the direction of simplification and economy, particularly in the work of collecting customs duties, are especially urged upon the attention of Congress.

The ordinary receipts from all sources for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1885, were $322,690,706.38. Of this sum $181,471,939.34 was received from customs and $112,498,725.54 from internal revenue. The total receipts, as given above, were $24,829,163.54 less than those for the year ended June 30, 1884. This diminution embraces a falling off of $13,595,550.42 in the receipts from customs and $9,687,346.97 in the receipts from internal revenue.

The total ordinary expenditures of the Government for the fiscal year were $260,226,935.50, leaving a surplus in the Treasury at the close of the year of $63,463,771.27. This is $40,929,854.32 less than the surplus reported at the close of the previous year.

The expenditures are classified as follows:

The amount paid on the public debt during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1885, was $45,993,235.43, and there has been paid since that date and up to November 1, 1885, the sum of $369,828, leaving the amount of the debt at the last-named date $1,514,475,860.47. There was however, at that time in the Treasury, applicable to the general purposes of the Government, the sum of $66,818,292.38.

The total receipts for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 1886, ascertained to October 1, 1885, and estimated for the remainder of the year, are $315,000,000. The expenditures ascertained and estimated for the same time are $245,000,000, leaving a surplus at the close of the year estimated at $70,000,000.

The value of the exports from the United States to foreign countries during the last fiscal year was as follows:

Some of the principal exports, with their values and the percentage they respectively bear to the total exportation, are given as follows:

Our imports during the year were as follows:

The following are given as prominent articles of import during the year, with their values and the percentage they bear to the total importation:

Of the entire amount of duties collected 70 per cent was collected from the following articles of import:

The fact that our revenues are in excess of the actual needs of all economical administration of the Government justifies a reduction in the amount exacted from the people for its support. Our Government is but the means established by the will of a free people by which certain principles are applied which they have adopted for their benefit and protection; and it is never better administered and its true spirit is never better observed than when the people's taxation for its support is scrupulously limited to the actual necessity of expenditure and distributed according to a just and equitable plan.

The proposition with which we have to deal is the reduction of the revenue received by the Government, and indirectly paid by the people, from customs duties. The question of free trade is not involved, nor is there now any occasion for the general discussion of the wisdom or expediency of a protective system.

Justice and fairness dictate that in any modification of our present laws relating to revenue the industries and interests which have been encouraged by such laws, and in which our citizens have large investments, should not be ruthlessly injured or destroyed. We should also deal with the subject in such manner as to protect the interests of American labor, which is the capital of our workingmen. Its stability and proper remuneration furnish the most justifiable pretext for a protective policy.

Within these limitations a certain reduction should be made in our customs revenue. The amount of such reduction having been determined, the inquiry follows, Where can it best be remitted and what articles can best be released from duty in the interest of our citizens?

I think the reduction should be made in the revenue derived from a tax upon the imported necessaries of life. We thus directly lessen the cost of living in every family of the land and release to the people in every humble home a larger measure of the rewards of frugal industry.

During the year ended November 1, 1885, 145 national banks were organized, with an aggregate capital of $16,938,000, and circulating notes have been issued to them amounting to $4,274,910. The whole number of these banks in existence on the day above mentioned was 2,727.

The very limited amount of circulating notes issued by our national banks, compared with the amount the law permits them to issue upon a deposit of bonds for their redemption, indicates that the volume of our circulating medium may be largely increased through this instrumentality.

Nothing more important than the present condition of our currency and coinage can claim your attention.

Since February, 1878, the Government has, under the compulsory provisions of law, purchased silver bullion and coined the same at the rate of more than $2,000,000 every month. By this process up to the present date 215,759,431 silver dollars have been coined.

A reasonable appreciation of a delegation of power to the General Government would limit its exercise, without express restrictive words, to the people's needs and the requirements of the public welfare.

Upon this theory the authority to "coin money" given to Congress by the Constitution, if it permits the purchase by the Government of bullion for coinage in any event, does not justify such purchase and coinage to an extent beyond the amount needed for a sufficient circulating medium.

The desire to utilize the silver product of the country should not lead to a misuse or the perversion of this power.

The necessity for such an addition to the silver currency of the nation as is compelled by the silver-coinage act is negatived by the fact that up to the present time only about 50,000,000 of the silver dollars so coined have actually found their way into circulation, leaving more than 165,000,000 in the possession of the Government, the custody of which has entailed a considerable expense for the construction of vaults for it deposit. Against this latter amount there are outstanding silver certificates amounting to about $93,000,000.

Every month two millions of gold in the public Treasury are paid our for two millions or more of silver dollars, to be added to the idle mass already accumulated.

If continued long enough, this operation will result in the substitution of silver for all the gold the Government owns applicable to its general purposes. It will not do to rely upon the customs receipts of the Government to make good this drain of gold, because the silver thus coined having been made legal tender for all debts and dues, public and private, at times during the last six months 58 per cent of the receipts for duties has been in silver or silver certificates, while the average within that period has been 20 per cent. The proportion of silver and its certificates received by the Government will probably increase as time goes on, for the reason that the nearer the period approaches when it will be obliged to offer silver in payment of its obligations the greater inducement there will be to hoard gold against depreciation in the value of silver or for the purpose of speculating.

This hoarding of gold has already begun.

When the time comes that gold has been withdrawn from circulation, then will be apparent the difference between the real value of the silver dollar and a dollar in gold, and the two coins will part company. Gold, still the standard of value and necessary in our dealings with other countries, will be at a premium over silver; banks which have substituted gold for the deposits of their customers may pay them with silver bought with such gold, thus making a handsome profit; rich speculators will sell their hoarded gold to their neighbors who need it to liquidate their foreign debts, at a ruinous premium over silver, and the laboring men and women of the land, most defenseless of all, will find that the dollar received for the wage of their toil has sadly shrunk in its purchasing power. It may be said that the latter result will be but temporary, and that ultimately the price of labor will be adjusted to the change; but even if this takes place the wage-worker can not possibly gain, but must inevitably lose, since the price he is compelled to pay for his living will not only be measured in a coin heavily depreciated and fluctuating and uncertain in its value, but this uncertainty in the value of the purchasing medium will be made the pretext for an advance in prices beyond that justified by actual depreciation.

The words uttered in 1834 by Daniel Webster in the Senate of the United States are true to-day: The very man of all others who has the deepest interest in a sound currency, and who suffers most by mischievous legislation in money matters, is the man who earns his daily bread by his daily toil. The most distinguished advocate of bimetallism, discussing our silver coinage, has lately written: No American citizen's hand has yet felt the sensation of cheapness, either in receiving or expending the silver-act dollars. And those who live by labor or legitimate trade never will feel that sensation of cheapness. However plenty silver dollars may become, they will not be distributed as gifts among the people; and if the laboring man should receive four depreciated dollars where he now receives but two, he will pay in the depreciated coin more than double the price he now pays for all the necessaries and comforts of life.

Those who do not fear any disastrous consequences arising from the continued compulsory coinage of silver as now directed by law, and who suppose that the addition to the currency of the country intended as its result will be a public benefit, are reminded that history demonstrates that the point is easily reached in the attempt to float at the same time two sorts of money of different excellence when the better will cease to be in general circulation. The hoarding of gold which has already taken place indicates that we shall not escape the usual experience in such cases. So if this silver coinage be continued we may reasonably expect that gold and its equivalent will abandon the field of circulation to silver alone. This of course must produce a severe contraction of our circulating medium, instead of adding to it.

It will not be disputed that any attempt on the part of the Government to cause the circulation of silver dollars worth 80 cents side by side with gold dollars worth 100 cents, even within the limit that legislation does not run counter to the laws of trade, to be successful must be seconded by the confidence of the people that both coins will retain the same purchasing power and be interchangeable at will. A special effort has been made by the Secretary of the Treasury to increase the amount of our silver coin in circulation; but the fact that a large share of the limited amount thus put out has soon returned to the public Treasury in payment of duties leads to the belief that the people do not now desire to keep it in hand, and this, with the evident disposition to hoard gold, gives rise to the suspicion that there already exists a lack of confidence among the people touching our financial processes. There is certainly not enough silver now in circulation to cause uneasiness, and the whole amount coined and now on hand might after a time be absorbed by the people without apprehension; but it is the ceaseless stream that threatens to overflow the land which causes fear and uncertainty.

What has been thus far submitted upon this subject relates almost entirely to considerations of a home nature, unconnected with the bearing which the policies of other nations have upon the question. But it is perfectly apparent that a line of action in regard to our currency can not wisely be settled upon or persisted in without considering the attitude on the subject of other countries with whom we maintain intercourse through commerce, trade, and travel. An acknowledgment of this fact is found in the act by virtue of which our silver is compulsorily coined. It provides that--The President shall invite the governments of the countries composing the Latin Union, so called, and of such other European nations as he may deem advisable, to join the United States in a conference to adopt a common ratio between gold and silver for the purpose of establishing internationally the use of bimetallic money and securing fixity of relative value between those metals. This conference absolutely failed, and a similar fate has awaited all subsequent efforts in the same direction. And still we continue our coinage of silver at a ratio different from that of any other nation. The most vital part of the silver-coinage act remains inoperative and unexecuted, and without an ally or friend we battle upon the silver field in an illogical and losing contest.

To give full effect to the design of Congress on this subject I have made careful and earnest endeavor since the adjournment of the last Congress.

To this end I delegated a gentleman well instructed in fiscal science to proceed to the financial centers of Europe and, in conjunction with our ministers to England, France, and Germany, to obtain a full knowledge of the attitude and intent of those governments in respect of the establishment of such an international ratio as would procure free coinage of both metals at the mints of those countries and our own. By my direction our consul-general at Paris has given close attention to the proceedings of the congress of the Latin Union, in order to indicate our interest in its objects and report its action.

It may be said in brief, as the result of these efforts, that the attitude of the leading powers remains substantially unchanged since the monetary conference of 1881, nor is it to be questioned that the views of these governments are in each instance supported by the weight of public opinion.

The steps thus taken have therefore only more fully demonstrated the uselessness of further attempts at present to arrive at any agreement on the subject with other nations.

In the meantime we are accumulating silver coin, based upon our own peculiar ratio, to such an extent, and assuming so heavy a burden to be provided for in any international negotiations, as will render us an undesirable party to any future monetary conference of nations.

It is a significant fact that four of the five countries composing the Latin Union mentioned in our coinage act, embarrassed with their silver currency, have just completed an agreement among themselves that no more silver shall be coined by their respective Governments and that such as has been already coined and in circulation shall be redeemed in gold by the country of its coinage. The resort to this expedient by these countries may well arrest the attention of those who suppose that we can succeed without shock or injury in the attempt to circulate upon its merits all the silver we may coin under the provisions of our silver-coinage act.

The condition in which our Treasury may be placed by a persistence in our present course is a matter of concern to every patriotic citizen who does not desire his Government to pay in silver such of its obligations as should be paid in gold. Nor should our condition be such as to oblige us, in a prudent management of our affairs, to discontinue the calling in and payment of interest-bearing obligations which we have the right now to discharge, and thus avoid the payment of further interest thereon.

The so-called debtor class, for whose benefit the continued compulsory coinage of silver is insisted upon, are not dishonest because they are in debt, and they should not be suspected of a desire to jeopardize the financial safety of the country in order that they may cancel their present debts by paying the same in depreciated dollars. Nor should it be forgotten that it is not the rich nor the money lender alone that must submit to such a readjustment, enforced by the Government and their debtors. The pittance of the widow and the orphan and the incomes of helpless beneficiaries of all kinds would be disastrously reduced. The depositors in savings banks and in other institutions which hold in trust the savings of the poor, when their little accumulations are scaled down to meet the new order of things, would in their distress painfully realize the delusion of the promise made to them that plentiful money would improve their condition.

We have now on hand all the silver dollars necessary to supply the present needs of the people and to satisfy those who from sentiment wish to see them in circulation, and if their coinage is suspended they can be readily obtained by all who desire them. If the need of more is at anytime apparent, their coinage may be renewed.

That disaster has not already overtaken us furnishes no proof that danger does not wait upon a continuation of the present silver coinage. We have been saved by the most careful management and unusual expedients, by a combination of fortunate conditions, and by a confident expectation that the course of the Government in regard to silver coinage would be speedily changed by the action of Congress.

Prosperity hesitates upon our threshold because of the dangers and uncertainties surrounding this question. Capital timidly shrinks from trade, and investors are unwilling to take the chance of the questionable shape in which their money will be returned to them, while enterprise halts at a risk against which care and sagacious management do not protect.

As a necessary consequence, labor lacks employment and suffering and distress are visited upon a portion of our fellow-citizens especially entitled to the careful consideration of those charged with the duties of legislation. No interest appeals to us so strongly for a safe and stable currency as the vast army of the unemployed.

I recommend the suspension of the compulsory coinage of silver dollars, directed by the law passed in February, 1878.

The Steamboat-Inspection Service on the 30th day of June, 1885, was composed of 140 persons, including officers, clerks, and messengers. The expenses of the service over the receipts were $138,822.22 during the fiscal year. The special inspection of foreign steam vessels, organized under a law passed in 1882, was maintained during the year at an expense of $36,641.63. Since the close of the fiscal year reductions have been made in the force employed which will result in a saving during the current year of $17,000 without affecting the efficiency of the service.

The Supervising Surgeon-General reports that during the fiscal year 41,714 patients have received relief through the Marine-Hospital Service, of whom 12,803 were treated in hospitals and 28,911 at the dispensaries.

Active and effective efforts have been made through the medium of this service to protect the country against an invasion of cholera, which has prevailed in Spain and France, and the smallpox, which recently broke out in Canada.

The most gratifying results have attended the operations of the Life Saving Service during the last fiscal year. The observance of the provision of law requiring the appointment of the force employed in this service to be made "solely with reference to their fitness, and without reference to their political or party affiliation," has secured the result which may confidently be expected in any branch of public employment where such a rule is applied. As a consequence, this service is composed of men well qualified for the performance of their dangerous and exceptionally important duties.

The number of stations in commission at the close of the year was 203. The number of disasters to vessels and craft of all kinds within their field of action was 371. The number of persons endangered in such disasters was 2,439, of whom 2,428 were saved and only 11 lost. Other lives which were imperiled, though not by disasters to shipping, were also rescued, and a large amount of property was saved through the aid of this service. The cost of its maintenance during the year was $828,474.43.

The work of the Coast and Geodetic Survey was during the last fiscal year carried on within the boundaries and off the coasts of thirty-two States, two Territories, and the District of Columbia. In July last certain irregularities were found to exist in the management of this Bureau, which led to a prompt investigation of its methods. The abuses which were brought to light by this examination and the reckless disregard of duty and the interests of the Government developed on the part of some of those connected with the service made a change of superintendency and a few of its other officers necessary. Since the Bureau has been in new hands an introduction of economies and the application of business methods have produced an important saving to the Government and a promise of more useful results.

This service has never been regulated by anything but the most indefinite legal enactments and the most unsatisfactory rules. It was many years ago sanctioned apparently for a purpose regarded as temporary and related to a survey of our coast. Having gained a place in the appropriations made by Congress, it has gradually taken to itself powers and objects not contemplated in its creation and extended its operations until it sadly needs legislative attention.

So far as a further survey of our coast is concerned, there seems to be a propriety in transferring that work to the Navy Department. The other duties now in charge of this establishment, if they can not be profitably attached to some existing Department or other bureau, should be prosecuted under a law exactly defining their scope and purpose, and with a careful discrimination between the scientific inquiries which may properly be assumed by the Government and those which should be undertaken by State authority or by individual enterprise.

It is hoped that the report of the Congressional committee heretofore appointed to investigate this and other like matters will aid in the accomplishment of proper legislation on this subject.

The report of the Secretary of War is herewith submitted. The attention of Congress is invited to the detailed account which it contains of the administration of his Department, and his recommendations and suggestions for the improvement of the service.

The Army consisted, at the date of the last consolidated returns, of 2,154 officers and 24,705 enlisted men.

The expenses of the Departments for the fiscal year ended June, 30, 1885, including $13,164,394.60 for public works and river and harbor improvements, were $45,850,999.54.

Besides the troops which were dispatched in pursuit of the small band of Indians who left their reservation in Arizona and committed murders and outrages, two regiments of cavalry and one of infantry were sent last July to the Indian Territory to prevent an outbreak which seemed imminent. They remained to aid, if necessary, in the expulsion of intruders upon the reservation, who seemed to have caused the discontent among the Indians, but the Executive proclamation warning them to remove was complied with without their interference.

Troops were also sent to Rock Springs, in Wyoming Territory, after the massacre of Chinese there, to prevent further disturbance, and afterwards to Seattle, in Washington Territory, to avert a threatened attack upon Chinese laborers and domestic violence there. In both cases the mere presence of the troops had the desired effect.

It appears that the number of desertions has diminished, but that during the last fiscal year they numbered 2,927; and one instance is given by the Lieutenant-General of six desertions by the same recruit. I am convinced that this number of desertions can be much diminished by better discipline and treatment; but the punishment should be increased for repeated offenses.

These desertions might also be reduced by lessening the term of first enlistments, thus allowing a discontented recruit to contemplate a nearer discharge and the Army a profitable riddance. After one term of service a reenlistment would be quite apt to secure a contented recruit and a good soldier.

The Acting Judge-Advocate-General reports that the number of trials by general courts-martial during the year was 2,328, and that 11,851 trials took place before garrison and regimental courts-martial. The suggestion that probably more than half the Army have been tried for offenses, great and small, in one year may well arrest attention. Of course many of these trials before garrison and regimental courts-martial were for offenses almost frivolous, and there should, I think, be a way devised to dispose of these in a more summary and less inconvenient manner than by court-martial.

If some of the proceedings of courts-martial which I have had occasion to examine present the ideas of justice which generally prevail in these tribunals, I am satisfied that they should be much reformed if the honor and the honesty of the Army and Navy are by their instrumentality to be vindicated and protected.

The Board on Fortifications or other defenses, appointed in pursuance of the provisions of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1885, will in a short time present their report, and it is hoped that this may greatly aid the legislation so necessary to remedy the present defenseless condition of our seacoasts.

The work of the Signal Service has been prosecuted during the last year with results of increasing benefit to the country. The field of instruction has been enlarged with a view of adding to its usefulness. The number of stations in operation June 30, 1885, was 489. Telegraphic reports are received daily from 160 stations. Reports are also received from 25 Canadian stations, 375 volunteer observers, 52 army surgeons at military posts, and 333 foreign stations. The expense of the service during the fiscal year, after deducting receipts from military telegraph lines, was $792,592.97. In view of the fact referred to by the Secretary of War, that the work of this service ordinarily is of a scientific nature, and the further fact that it is assuming larger proportions constantly and becoming more and more unsuited to the fixed rules which must govern the Army, I am inclined to agree with him in the opinion that it should be separately established. If this is done, the scope and extent of its operations should, as nearly as possible, be definitely prescribed by law and always capable of exact ascertainment.

The Military Academy at West Point is reported as being in a high state of efficiency and well equipped for the satisfactory accomplishment of the purposes of its maintenance.

The fact that the class which graduates next year is an unusually large one has constrained me to decline to make appointments to second lieutenancies in the Army from civil life, so that such vacancies as exist in these places may be reserved for such graduates; and yet it is not probable that there will be enough vacancies to provide positions for them all when they leave the military school. Under the prevailing law and usage those not thus assigned to duty never actively enter the military service. It is suggested that the law on this subject be changed so that such of these young men as are not at once assigned to duty after graduation may be retained as second lieutenants in the Army if they desire it, subject to assignment when opportunity occurs, and under proper rules as to priority of selection.

The expenditures on account of the Military Academy for the last fiscal year, exclusive of the sum taken for its purposes from appropriations for the support of the Army, were $290,712.07.

The act approved March 3, 1885, designed to compensate officers and enlisted men for loss of private property while in the service of the United States, is so indefinite in its terms and apparently admits so many claims the adjustment of which could not have been contemplated that if it is to remain upon the statute book it needs amendment.

There should be a general law of Congress prohibiting the construction of bridges over navigable waters in such manner as to obstruct navigation, with provisions for preventing the same. It seems that under existing statutes the Government can not intervene to prevent such a construction when entered upon without its consent, though when such consent is asked and granted upon condition the authority to insist upon such condition is clear. Thus it is represented that while the officers of the Government are with great care guarding against the obstruction of navigation by a bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Paul a large pier for a bridge has been built just below this place directly in the navigable channel of the river. If such things are to be permitted, a strong argument is presented against the appropriation of large sums of money to improve the navigation of this and other important highways of commerce.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy gives a history of the operations of his Department and the present condition of the work committed to his charge.

He details in full the course pursued by him to protect the rights of the Government in respect of certain vessels unfinished at the time of his accession to office, and also concerning the dispatch boat Dolphin, claimed to be completed and awaiting the acceptance of the Department. No one can fail to see from recitals contained in this report that only the application of business principles has been insisted upon in the treatment of these subjects, and that whatever controversy has arisen was caused by the exaction on the part of the Department of contract obligations as they were legally construed. In the case of the Dolphin, with entire justice to the contractor, an agreement has been entered into providing for the ascertainment by a judicial inquiry of the complete or partial compliance with the contract in her construction, and further providing for the assessment of any damages to which the Government may be entitled on account of a partial failure to perform such contract, or the payment of the sum still remaining unpaid upon her price in case a full performance is adjudged.

The contractor, by reason of his failure in business, being unable to complete the other three vessels, they were taken possession of by the Government in their unfinished state under a clause in the contract permitting such a course, and are now in process of completion in the yard of the contractor, but under the supervision of the Navy Department.

Congress at its last session authorized the construction of two additional new cruisers and two gunboats, at a cost not exceeding in the aggregate $2,995,000. The appropriation for this purpose having become available on the 1st day of July last, steps were at once taken for the procurement of such plans for the construction of these vessels as would be likely to insure their usefulness when completed. These are of the utmost importance, considering the constant advance in the art of building vessels of this character, and the time is not lost which is spent in their careful consideration and selection.

All must admit the importance of an effective navy to a nation like ours, having such an extended seacoast to protect; and yet we have not a single vessel of war that could keep the seas against a first-class vessel of any important power. Such a condition ought not longer to continue. The nation that can not resist aggression is constantly exposed to it. Its foreign policy is of necessity weak and its negotiations are conducted with disadvantage because it is not in condition to enforce the terms dictated by its sense of right and justice.

Inspired, as I am, by the hope, shared by all patriotic citizens, that the day is not very far distant when our Navy will be such as befits our standing among the nations of the earth, and rejoiced at every step that leads in the direction of such a consummation, I deem it my duty to especially direct the attention of Congress to the close of the report of the Secretary of the Navy, in which the humiliating weakness of the present organization of his Department is exhibited and the startling abuses and waste of its present methods are exposed. The conviction is forced upon us with the certainty of mathematical demonstration that before we proceed further in the restoration of a Navy we need a thoroughly reorganized Navy Department. The fact that within seventeen years more than $75,000,000 have been spent in the construction, repair, equipment, and armament of vessels, and the further fact that instead of an effective and creditable fleet we have only the discontent and apprehension of a nation undefended by war vessels, added to the disclosures now made, do not permit us to doubt that every attempt to revive our Navy has thus far for the most part been misdirected, and all our efforts in that direction have been little better than blind gropings and expensive, aimless follies.

Unquestionably if we are content with the maintenance of a Navy Department simply as a shabby ornament to the Government, a constant watchfulness may prevent some of the scandal and abuse which have found their way into our present organization, and its incurable waste may be reduced to the minimum. But if we desire to build ships for present usefulness instead of naval reminders of the days that are past, we must have a Department organized for the work, supplied with all the talent and ingenuity our country affords, prepared to take advantage of the experience of other nations, systematized so that all effort shall unite and lead in one direction, and fully imbued with the conviction that war vessels, though new, are useless unless they combine all that the ingenuity of man has up to this day brought forth relating to their construction.

I earnestly commend the portion of the Secretary's report devoted to this subject to the attention of Congress, in the hope that his suggestions touching the reorganization of his Department may be adopted as the first step toward the reconstruction of our Navy.

The affairs of the postal service are exhibited by the report of the Postmaster-General, which will be laid before you.

The postal revenue, whose ratio of gain upon the rising prosperity of 1882 and 1883 outstripped the increasing expenses of our growing service, was checked by the reduction in the rate of letter postage which took effect with the beginning of October in the latter year, and it diminished during the two past fiscal years $2,790,000, in about the proportion of $2,270,000 in 1884 to $520,000 in 1885. Natural growth and development have meantime increased expenditure, resulting in a deficiency in the revenue to meet the expenses of the Department of five and a quarter million dollars for the year 1884 and eight and a third million in the last fiscal year. The anticipated and natural revival of the revenue has been oppressed and retarded by the unfavorable business condition of the country, of which the postal service is a faithful indicator. The gratifying fact is shown, however, by the report that our returning prosperity is marked by a gain of $380,000 in the revenue of the latter half of the last year over the corresponding period of the preceding year.

The change in the weight of first-class matter which may be carried for a single rate of postage from a half ounce to an ounce, and the reduction by one-half of the rate of newspaper postage, which, under recent legislation, began with the current year, will operate to restrain the augmentation of receipts which otherwise might have been expected to such a degree that the scale of expense may gain upon the revenue and cause an increased deficiency to be shown at its close. Yet, after no long period of reawakened prosperity, by proper economy it is confidently anticipated that even the present low rates, now as favorable as any country affords, will be adequate to sustain the cost of the service.

The operation of the Post-Office Department is for the convenience and benefit of the people, and the method by which they pay the charges of this useful arm of their public service, so that it be just and impartial, is of less importance to them than the economical expenditure of the means they provide for its maintenance and the due improvement of its agencies, so that they may enjoy its highest usefulness.

A proper attention has been directed to the prevention of waste or extravagance, and good results appear from the report to have already been accomplished.

I approve the recommendation of the Postmaster-General to reduce the charges on domestic money orders of $5 and less from 8 to 5 cents. This change will materially aid those of our people who most of all avail themselves of this instrumentality, but to whom the element of cheapness is of the greatest importance. With this reduction the system would still remain self-supporting.

The free-delivery system has been extended to 19 additional cities during the year, and 178 now enjoy its conveniences. Experience has commended it to those who enjoy its benefits, and further enlargement of its facilities is due to other communities to which it is adapted. In the cities where it has been established, taken together the local postage exceeds its maintenance by nearly $1,300,000. The limit to which this system is now confined by law has been nearly reached, and the reasons given justify its extension, which is proposed.

It was decided, with my approbation, after a sufficient examination, to be inexpedient for the Post-Office Department to contract for carrying our foreign mails under the additional authority given by the last Congress. The amount limited was inadequate to pay all within the purview of the law the full rate of 50 cents per mile, and it would have been unjust and unwise to have given it to some and denied it to others. Nor could contracts have been let under the law to all at a rate to have brought the aggregate within the appropriation without such practical prearrangement of terms as would have violated it.

The rate of sea and inland postage which was proffered under another statute clearly appears to be a fair compensation for the desired service, being three times the price necessary to secure transportation by other vessels upon any route, and much beyond the charges made to private persons for services not less burdensome.

Some of the steamship companies, upon the refusal of the Postmaster-General to attempt, by the means provided, the distribution of the sum appropriated as an extra compensation, withdrew the services of their vessels and thereby occasioned slight inconvenience, though no considerable injury, the mails having been dispatched by other means.

Whatever may be thought of the policy of subsidizing any line of public conveyance or travel, I am satisfied that it should not be done under cover of an expenditure incident to the administration of a Department, nor should there be any uncertainty as to the recipients of the subsidy or any discretion left to an executive officer as to its distribution. If such gifts of the public money are to be made for the purpose of aiding any enterprise in the supposed interest of the public, I can not but think that the amount to be paid and the beneficiary might better be determined by Congress than in any other way.

The international congress of delegates from the Postal Union countries convened at Lisbon, in Portugal, in February last, and after a session of some weeks the delegates signed a convention amendatory of the present postal-union convention in some particulars designed to advance its purposes. This additional act has had my approval and will be laid before you with the departmental report.

I approve the recommendation of the postmaster-General that another assistant be provided for his Department. I invite your consideration to the several other recommendations contained in his report.

The report of the Attorney-General contains a history of the conduct of the Department of Justice during the last year and a number of valuable suggestions as to needed legislation, and I invite your careful attention to the same.

The condition of business in the courts of the United States is such that there seems to be an imperative necessity for remedial legislation on the subject. Some of these courts are so overburdened with pending causes that the delays in determining litigation amount often to a denial of justice. Among the plans suggested for relief is one submitted by the Attorney-General. Its main features are: The transfer of all the original jurisdiction of the circuit courts to the district courts and an increase of judges for the latter where necessary; an addition of judges to the circuit courts, and constituting them exclusively courts of appeal, and reasonably limiting appeals thereto; further restrictions of the right to remove causes from the State to Federal courts; permitting appeals to the Supreme Court from the courts of the District of Columbia and the Territories only in the same cases as they are allowed from State courts, and guarding against an unnecessary number of appeals from the circuit courts.

I approve the plan thus outlined, and recommend the legislation necessary for its application to our judicial system.

The present mode of compensating United States marshals and district attorneys should, in my opinion, be changed. They are allowed to charge against the Government certain fees for services, their income being measured by the amount of such fees within a fixed limit as to their annual aggregate. This is a direct inducement for them to make their fees in criminal cases as large as possible in an effort to reach the maximum sum permitted. As an entirely natural consequence, unscrupulous marshals are found encouraging frivolous prosecutions, arresting people on petty charges of crime and transporting them to distant places for examination and trial, for the purpose of earning mileage and other fees; and district attorneys uselessly attend criminal examinations far from their places of residence for the express purpose of swelling their accounts against the Government. The actual expenses incurred in these transactions are also charged against the Government.

Thus the rights and freedom of our citizens are outraged and public expenditures increased for the purpose of furnishing public officers pretexts for increasing the measure of their compensation.

I think marshals and district attorneys should be paid salaries, adjusted by a rule which will make them commensurate with services fairly rendered.

In connection with this subject I desire to suggest the advisability, if it be found not obnoxious to constitutional objection, of investing United States commissioners with the power to try and determine certain violations of law within the grade of misdemeanors. Such trials might be made to depend upon the option of the accused. The multiplication of small and technical offenses, especially under the provisions of our internal-revenue law, render some change in our present system very desirable in the interests of humanity as well as economy. The district courts are now crowded with petty prosecutions, involving a punishment in case of conviction, of only a slight fine, while the parties accused are harassed by an enforced attendance upon courts held hundreds of miles from their homes. If poor and friendless, they are obliged to remain in jail during months, perhaps, that elapse before a session of the court is held, and are finally brought to trial surrounded by strangers and with but little real opportunity for defense. In the meantime frequently the marshal has charged against the Government his fees for an arrest, the transportation of the accused and the expense of the same, and for summoning witnesses before a commissioner, a grand jury, and a court; the witnesses have been paid from the public funds large fees and traveling expenses, and the commissioner and district attorney have also made their charges against the Government.

This abuse in the administration of our criminal law should be remedied; and if the plan above suggested is not practicable, some other should be devised.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior, containing an account of the operations of this important Department and much interesting information, will be submitted for your consideration.

The most intricate and difficult subject in charge of this Department is the treatment and management of the Indians. I am satisfied that some progress may be noted in their condition as a result of a prudent administration of the present laws and regulations for their control.

But it is submitted that there is lack of a fixed purpose or policy on this subject, which should be supplied. It is useless to dilate upon the wrongs of the Indians, and as useless to indulge in the heartless belief that because their wrongs are revenged in their own atrocious manner, therefore they should be exterminated.

They are within the care of our Government, and their rights are, or should be, protected from invasion by the most solemn obligations. They are properly enough called the wards of the Government; and it should be borne in mind that this guardianship involves on our part efforts for the improvement of their condition and the enforcement of their rights. There seems to be general concurrence in the proposition that the ultimate object of their treatment should be their civilization and citizenship. Fitted by these to keep pace in the march of progress with the advanced civilization about them, they will readily assimilate with the mass of our population, assuming the responsibilities and receiving the protection incident to this condition.

The difficulty appears to be in the selection of the means to be at present employed toward the attainment of this result.

Our Indian population, exclusive of those in Alaska, is reported as numbering 260,000, nearly all being located on lands set apart for their use and occupation, aggregating over 134,000,000 acres. These lands are included in the boundaries of 171 reservations of different dimensions, scattered in 21 States and Territories, presenting great variations in climate and in the kind and quality of their soils. Among the Indians upon these several reservations there exist the most marked differences in natural traits and disposition and in their progress toward civilization. While some are lazy, vicious, and stupid, others are industrious, peaceful, and intelligent; while a portion of them are self-supporting and independent, and have so far advanced in civilization that they make their own laws, administered through officers of their own choice, and educate their children in schools of their own establishment and maintenance, others still retain, in squalor and dependence, almost the savagery of their natural state.

In dealing with this question the desires manifested by the Indians should not be ignored. Here again we find a great diversity. With some the tribal relation is cherished with the utmost tenacity, while its hold upon others is considerably relaxed; the love of home is strong with all, and yet there are those whose attachment to a particular locality is by no means unyielding; the ownership of their lands in severalty is much desired by some, while by others, and sometimes among the most civilized, such a distribution would be bitterly opposed.

The variation of their wants, growing out of and connected with the character of their several locations, should be regarded. Some are upon reservations most fit for grazing, but without flocks or herds; and some on arable land, have no agricultural implements. While some of the reservations are double the size necessary to maintain the number of Indians now upon them, in a few cases, perhaps, they should be enlarged.

Add to all this the difference in the administration of the agencies. While the same duties are devolved upon all, the disposition of the agents and the manner of their contact with the Indians have much to do with their condition and welfare. The agent who perfunctorily performs his duty and slothfully neglects all opportunity to advance their moral and physical improvement and fails to inspire them with a desire for better things will accomplish nothing in the direction of their civilization, while he who feels the burden of an important trust and has an interest in his work will, by consistent example, firm yet considerate treatment, and well-directed aid and encouragement, constantly lead those under his charge toward the light of their enfranchisement.

The history of all the progress which has been made in the civilization of the Indian I think will disclose the fact that the beginning has been religious teaching, followed by or accompanying secular education. While the self-sacrificing and pious men and women who have aided in this good work by their independent endeavor have for their reward the beneficent results of their labor and the consciousness of Christian duty well performed, their valuable services should be fully acknowledged by all who under the law are charged with the control and management of our Indian wards.

What has been said indicates that in the present condition of the Indians no attempt should be made to apply a fixed and unyielding plan of action to their varied and varying needs and circumstances.

The Indian Bureau, burdened as it is with their general oversight and with the details of the establishment, can hardly possess itself of the minute phases of the particular cases needing treatment; and thus the propriety of creating an instrumentality auxiliary to those already established for the care of the Indians suggests itself.

I recommend the passage of a law authorizing the appointment of six commissioners, three of whom shall be detailed from the Army, to be charged with the duty of a careful inspection from time to time of all the Indians upon our reservations or subject to the care and control of the Government, with a view of discovering their exact condition and needs and determining what steps shall be taken on behalf of the Government to improve their situation in the direction of their self-support and complete civilization; that they ascertain from such inspection what, if any, of the reservations may be reduced in area, and in such cases what part not needed for Indian occupation may be purchased by the Government from the Indians and disposed of for their benefit; what, if any, Indians may, with their consent, be removed to other reservations, with a view of their concentration and the sale on their behalf of their abandoned reservations; what Indian lands now held in common should be allotted in severalty; in what manner and to what extent the Indians upon the reservations can be placed under the protection of our laws and subjected to their penalties, and which, if any, Indians should be invested with the right of citizenship. The powers and functions of the commissioners in regard to these subjects should be clearly defined, though they should, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Interior, be given all the authority to deal definitely with the questions presented deemed safe and consistent.

They should be also charged with the duty of ascertaining the Indians who might properly be furnished with implements of agriculture, and of what kind; in what cases the support of the Government should be withdrawn; where the present plan of distributing Indian supplies should be changed; where schools may be established and where discontinued; the conduct, methods, and fitness of agents in charge of reservations; the extent to which such reservations are occupied or intruded upon by unauthorized persons, and generally all matters related to the welfare and improvement of the Indian.

They should advise with the Secretary of the Interior concerning these matters of detail in management, and he should be given power to deal with them fully, if he is not now invested with such power.

This plan contemplates the selection of persons for commissioners who are interested in the Indian question and who have practical ideas upon the subject of their treatment.

The expense of the Indian Bureau during the last fiscal year was more than six and a halt million dollars. I believe much of this expenditure might be saved under the plan proposed; that its economical effects would be increased with its continuance; that the safety of our frontier settlers would be subserved under its operation, and that the nation would be saved through its results from the imputation of inhumanity, injustice, and mismanagement.

In order to carry out the policy of allotment of Indian lands in severalty, when deemed expedient, it will be necessary to have surveys completed of the reservations, and, I hope that provision will be made for the prosecution of this work.

In May of the present year a small portion of the Chiricahua Apaches on the White Mountain Reservation, in Arizona, left the reservation and committed a number of murders and depredations upon settlers in that neighborhood. Though prompt and energetic action was taken by the military, the renegades eluded capture and escaped into Mexico. The formation of the country through which these Indians passed, their thorough acquaintance with the same, the speed of their escape, and the manner in which they scattered and concealed themselves among the mountains near the scene of their outrages put our soldiers at a great disadvantage in their efforts to capture them, though the expectation is still entertained that they will be ultimately taken and punished for their crimes.

The threatening and disorderly conduct of the Cheyennes in the Indian Territory early last summer caused considerable alarm and uneasiness. Investigation proved that their threatening attitude was due in a great measure to the occupation of the land of their reservation by immense herds of cattle, which their owners claimed were rightfully there under certain leases made by the Indians. Such occupation appearing upon examination to be unlawful notwithstanding these leases, the intruders were ordered to remove with their cattle from the lands of the Indians by Executive proclamation. The enforcement of this proclamation had the effect of restoring peace and order among the Indians, and they are now quiet and well behaved.

By an Executive order issued on February 27, 1885, by my predecessor, a portion of the tract of country in the territory known as the Old Winnebago and Crow Creek reservations was directed to be restored to the public domain and opened to settlement under the land laws of the United States, and a large number of persons entered upon those lands. This action alarmed the Sioux Indians, who claimed the territory as belonging to their reservation under the treaty of 1868. This claim was determined, after careful investigation, to be well rounded, and consequently the Executive order referred to was by proclamation of April 17, 1885, declared to be inoperative and of no effect, and all persons upon the land were warned to leave. This warning has been substantially complied with.

The public domain had its origin in cessions of land by the States to the General Government. The first cession was made by the State of New York, and the largest, which in area exceeded all the others, by the State of Virginia. The territory the proprietorship of which became thus vested in the General Government extended from the western line of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River. These patriotic donations of the States were encumbered with no condition except that they should the held and used "for the common benefit of the United States." By purchase with the common fund of all the people additions were made to this domain until it extended to the northern line of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the Polar Sea. The original trust, "for the common benefit of the United States," attached to all. In the execution of that trust the policy of many homes, rather than large estates, was adopted by the Government. That these might be easily obtained, and be the abode of security and contentment, the laws for their acquisition were few, easily understood, and general in their character. But the pressure of local interests, combined with a speculative spirit, have in many instances procured the passage of laws which marred the harmony of the general plan and encumbered the system with a multitude of general and special enactments which render the land laws complicated, subject the titles to uncertainty, and the purchasers often to oppression and wrong. Laws which were intended for the "common benefit" have been perverted so that large quantities of land are vesting in single ownerships. From the multitude and character of the laws, this consequence seems incapable of correction by mere administration.

It is not for the "common benefit of the United States" that a large area of the public lands should be acquired, directly or through fraud, in the hands of a single individual. The nation's strength is in the people. The nation's prosperity is in their prosperity. The nation's glory is in the equality of her justice. The nation's perpetuity is in the patriotism of all her people. Hence, as far as practicable, the plan adopted in the disposal of the public lands should have in view the original policy, which encouraged many purchases of these lands for homes and discouraged the massing of large areas. Exclusive of Alaska, about three-fifths of the national domain has been sold or subjected to contract or grant. Of the remaining two-fifths a considerable portion is either mountain or desert. A rapidly increasing population creates a growing demand for homes, and the accumulation of wealth inspires an eager competition to obtain the public land for speculative purposes. In the future this collision of interests will be more marked than in the past, and the execution of the nation's trust in behalf of our settlers will be more difficult. I therefore commend to your attention the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary of the Interior with reference to the repeal and modification of certain of our land laws.

The nation has made princely grants and subsidies to a system of railroads projected as great national highways to connect the Pacific States with the East. It has been charged that these donations from the people have been diverted to private gain and corrupt uses, and thus public indignation has been aroused and suspicion engendered. Our great nation does not begrudge its generosity, but it abhors speculation and fraud; and the favorable regard of our people for the great corporations to which these grants were made can only be revived by a restoration of confidence, to be secured by their constant, unequivocal, and clearly manifested integrity. A faithful application of the undiminished proceeds of the grants to the construction and perfecting of their roads, an honest discharge of their obligations, and entire justice to all the people in the enjoyment of their rights on these highways of travel are all the public asks, and it will be content with no less. To secure these things should be the common purpose of the officers of the Government, as well as of the corporations. With this accomplishment prosperity would be permanently secured to the roads, and national pride would take the place of national complaint.

It appears from the report of the Commissioner of Pensions that there were on the 1st day of July, 1885, 345,125 persons borne upon the pension rolls, who were classified as follows: Army invalids, 241,456; widows, minor children, and dependent relatives of deceased soldiers, 78,841; navy invalids, 2,745; navy widows, minor children, and dependents, 1,926; survivors of the War of 1812, 2,945; and widows of those who served in that war, 17,212. About one man in ten of all those who enlisted in the late war are reported as receiving pensions, exclusive of the dependents of deceased soldiers. On the 1st of July, 1875, the number of pensioners was 234,821, and the increase within the ten years next thereafter was 110,304.

While there is no expenditure of the public funds which the people more cheerfully approve than that made in recognition of the services of our soldiers living and dead, the sentiment underlying the subject should not be vitiated by the introduction of any fraudulent practices. Therefore it is fully as important that the rolls should be cleansed of all those who by fraud have secured a place thereon as that meritorious claims should be speedily examined and adjusted. The reforms in the methods of doing the business of this Bureau which have lately been inaugurated promise better results in both these directions.

The operations of the Patent Office demonstrate the activity of the inventive genius of the country. For the year ended June 30, 1885, the applications for patents, including reissues, and for the registration of trade-marks and labels, numbered 35,688. During the same period there were 22,928 patents granted and reissued and 1,429 trade-marks and labels registered. The number of patents issued in the year 1875 was 14,387. The receipts during the last fiscal year were $ 1,074,974.35, and the total expenditures, not including contingent expenses, $934,123.11.

There were 9,788 applications for patents pending on the 1st day of July, 1884, and 5,786 on the same date in the year 1885. There has been considerable improvement made in the prompt determination of applications and a consequent relief to expectant inventors.

A number of suggestions and recommendations are contained in the report of the Commissioner of patents which are well entitled to the consideration of Congress.

In the Territory of Utah the law of the United States passed for the Suppression of polygamy has been energetically and faithfully executed during the past year, with measurably good results. A number of convictions have been secured for unlawful cohabitation, and in some cases pleas of guilty have been entered and a slight punishment imposed, upon a promise by the accused that they would not again offend against the law, nor advise, counsel, aid, or abet in any way its violation by others.

The Utah commissioners express the opinion, based upon such information as they are able to obtain, that but few polygamous marriages have taken place in the Territory during the last year. They further report that while there can not be found upon the registration lists of voters the name of a man actually guilty of polygamy, and while none of that class are holding office, yet at the last election in the Territory all the officers elected, except in one county, were men who, though not actually living in the practice of polygamy, subscribe to the doctrine of polygamous marriages as a divine revelation and a law unto all higher and more binding upon the conscience than any human law, local or national. Thus is the strange spectacle presented of a community protected by a republican form of government, to which they owe allegiance, sustaining by their suffrages a principle and a belief which set at naught that obligation of absolute obedience to the law of the land which lies at the foundation of republican institutions.

The strength, the perpetuity, and the destiny of the nation rest upon our homes, established by the law of God, guarded by parental care, regulated by parental authority, and sanctified by parental love.

These are not the homes of polygamy.

The mothers of our land, who rule the nation as they mold the characters and guide the actions of their sons, live according to God's holy ordinances, and each, secure and happy in the exclusive love of the father of her children, sheds the warm light of true womanhood, unperverted and unpolluted, upon all within her pure and wholesome family circle.

These are not the cheerless, crushed, and unwomanly mothers of polygamy.

The fathers of our families are the best citizens of the Republic. Wife and children are the sources of patriotism, and conjugal and parental affection beget devotion to the country. The man who, undefiled with plural marriage, is surrounded in his single home with his wife and children has a stake in the country which inspires him with respect for its laws and courage for its defense.

These are not the fathers of polygamous families.

There is no feature of this practice or the system which sanctions it which is not opposed to all that is of value in our institutions.

There should be no relaxation in the firm but just execution of the law now in operation, and I should be glad to approve such further discreet legislation as will rid the country of this blot upon its fair fame.

Since the people upholding polygamy in our Territories are reenforced by immigration from other lands, I recommend that a law be passed to prevent the importation of Mormons into the country.

The agricultural interest of the country demands just recognition and liberal encouragement. It sustains with certainty and unfailing strength our nation's prosperity by the products of its steady toil, and bears its full share of the burden of taxation without complaint. Our agriculturists have but slight personal representation in the councils of the nation, and are generally content with the humbler duties of citizenship and willing to trust to the bounty of nature for a reward of their labor. But the magnitude and value of this industry are appreciated when the statement is made that of our total annual exports more than three-fourths are the products of agriculture, and of our total population nearly one-half are exclusively engaged in that occupation.

The Department of Agriculture was created for the purpose of acquiring and diffusing among the people useful information respecting the subjects it has in charge, and aiding in the cause of intelligent and progressive farming, by the collection of statistics, by testing the value and usefulness of new seeds and plants, and distributing such as are found desirable among agriculturists. This and other powers and duties with which this Department is invested are of the utmost importance, and if wisely exercised must be of great benefit to the country. The aim of our beneficent Government is the improvement of the people in every station and the amelioration of their condition. Surely our agriculturists should not be neglected. The instrumentality established in aid of the farmers of the land should not only be well equipped for the accomplishment of its purpose, but those for whose benefit it has been adopted should be encouraged to avail themselves fully of its advantages.

The prohibition of the importation into several countries of certain of our animals and their products, based upon the suspicion that health is endangered in their use and consumption, suggests the importance of such precautions for the protection of our stock of all kinds against disease as will disarm suspicion of danger and cause the removal of such an injurious prohibition.

If the laws now in operation are insufficient to accomplish this protection, I recommend their amendment to meet the necessities of the situation; and I commend to the consideration of Congress the suggestions contained in the report of the Commissioner of Agriculture calculated to increase the value and efficiency of this Department.

The report of the Civil Service Commission, which will be submitted, contains an account of the manner in which the civil-service law has been executed during the last year and much valuable information on this important subject.

I am inclined to think that there is no sentiment more general in the minds of the people of our country than a conviction of the correctness of the principle upon which the law enforcing civil-service reform is based. In its present condition the law regulates only a part of the subordinate public positions throughout the country. It applies the test of fitness to applicants for these places by means of a competitive examination, and gives large discretion to the Commissioners as to the character of the examination and many other matters connected with its execution. Thus the rules and regulations adopted by the Commission have much to do with the practical usefulness of the statute and with the results of its application.

The people may well trust the Commission to execute the law with perfect fairness and with as little irritation as is possible. But of course no relaxation of the principle which underlies it and no weakening of the safeguards which surround it can be expected. Experience in its administration will probably suggest amendment of the methods of its execution, but I venture to hope that we shall never again be remitted to the system which distributes public positions purely as rewards for partisan service. Doubts may well be entertained whether our Government could survive the strain of a continuance of this system, which upon every change of Administration inspires an immense army of claimants for office to lay siege to the patronage of Government, engrossing the time of public officers with their importunities, spreading abroad the contagion of their disappointment, and filling the air with the tumult of their discontent.

The allurements of an immense number of offices and places exhibited to the voters of the land, and the promise of their bestowal in recognition of partisan activity; debauch the suffrage and rob political action of its thoughtful and deliberative character. The evil would increase with the multiplication of offices consequent upon our extension, and the mania for office holding, growing from its indulgence, would pervade our population so generally that patriotic purpose, the support of principle, the desire for the public good, and solicitude for the nation's welfare would be nearly banished from the activity of our party contests and cause them to degenerate into ignoble, selfish, and disgraceful struggles for the possession of office and public place.

Civil-service reform enforced by law came none too soon to check the progress of demoralization.

One of its effects, not enough regarded, is the freedom it brings to the political action of those conservative and sober men who, in fear of the confusion and risk attending an arbitrary and sudden change in all the public offices with a change of party rule, cast their ballots against such a chance.

Parties seem to be necessary, and will long continue to exist; nor can it be now denied that there are legitimate advantages, not disconnected with office holding, which follow party supremacy. While partisanship continues bitter and pronounced and supplies so much of motive to sentiment and action, it is not fair to hold public officials in charge of important trusts responsible for the best results in the performance of their duties, and yet insist that they shall rely in confidential and important places upon the work of those not only opposed to them in political affiliation, but so steeped in partisan prejudice and rancor that they have no loyalty to their chiefs and no desire for their success. Civil-service reform does not exact this, nor does it require that those in subordinate positions who fail in yielding their best service or who are incompetent should be retained simply because they are in place. The whining of a clerk discharged for indolence or incompetency, who, though he gained his place by the worst possible operation of the spoils system, suddenly discovers that he is entitled to protection under the sanction of civil-service reform, represents an idea no less absurd than the clamor of the applicant who claims the vacant position as his compensation for the most questionable party work.

The civil-service law does not prevent the discharge of the indolent or incompetent clerk, but it does prevent supplying his place with the unfit party worker. Thus in both these phases is seen benefit to the public service. And the people who desire good government, having secured this statute, will not relinquish its benefits without protest. Nor are they unmindful of the fact that its full advantages can only be gained through the complete good faith of those having its execution in charge. And this they will insist upon.

I recommend that the salaries of the Civil Service Commissioners be increased to a sum more nearly commensurate to their important duties.

It is a source of considerable and not unnatural discontent that no adequate provision has yet been made for accommodating the principal library of the Government. Of the vast collection of books and pamphlets gathered at the Capitol, numbering some 700,000, exclusive of manuscripts, maps, and the products of the graphic arts, also of great volume and value, only about 300,000 volumes, or less than half the collection, are provided with shelf room. The others, which are increasing at the rate of from twenty-five to thirty thousand volumes a year, are not only inaccessible to the public, but are subject to serious damage and deterioration from other causes in their present situation.

A consideration of the facts that the library of the Capitol has twice been destroyed or damaged by fire, its daily increasing value, and its importance as a place of deposit of books under the law relating to copyright makes manifest the necessity of prompt action to insure its proper accommodation and protection.

My attention has been called to a controversy which has arisen from the condition of the law relating to railroad facilities in the city of Washington, which has involved the Commissioners of the District in much annoyance and trouble. I hope this difficulty will be promptly settled by appropriate legislation.

The Commissioners represent that enough of the revenues of the District are now on deposit in the Treasury of the United States to repay the sum advanced by the Government for sewer improvements under the act of June 30, 1884. They desire now an advance of the share which ultimately should be borne by the District of the cost of extensive improvements to the streets of the city. The total expense of these contemplated improvements is estimated at $1,000,000, and they are of the opinion that a considerable sum could be saved if they had all the money in hand, so that contracts for the whole work could be made at the same time. They express confidence that if the advance asked for should be made the Government would be reimbursed the same within a reasonable time. I have no doubt that these improvements could be made much cheaper if undertaken together and prosecuted according to a general plan.

The license law now in force within the District is deficient and uncertain in some of its provisions and ought to be amended. The Commissioners urge, with good reason, the necessity of providing a building for the use of the District government which shall better secure the safety and preservation of its valuable books and records.

The present condition of the law relating to the succession to the Presidency in the event of the death, disability, or removal of both the President and Vice-President is such as to require immediate amendment. This subject has repeatedly been considered by Congress, but no result has been reached. The recent lamentable death of the Vice-President, and vacancies at the same time in all other offices the incumbents of which might immediately exercise the functions of the presidential office, has caused public anxiety and a just demand that a recurrence of such a condition of affairs should not be permitted.

In conclusion I commend to the wise care and thoughtful attention of Congress the needs, the welfare, and the aspirations of an intelligent and generous nation. To subordinate these to the narrow advantages of partisanship or the accomplishment of selfish aims is to violate the people's trust and betray the people's interests; but an individual sense of responsibility on the part of each of us and a stern determination to perform our duty well must give us place among those who have added in their day and generation to the glory and prosperity of our beloved land.


State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 6, 1886

To the Congress of the United States:

In discharge of a constitutional duty, and following a well-established precedent in the Executive office, I herewith transmit to the Congress at its reassembling certain information concerning the state of the Union, together with such recommendations for legislative consideration as appear necessary and expedient.

Our Government has consistently maintained its relations of friendship toward all other powers and of neighborly interest toward those whose possessions are contiguous to our own. Few questions have arisen during the past year with other governments, and none of those are beyond the reach of settlement in friendly counsel.

We are as yet without provision for the settlement of claims of citizens of the United States against Chile for injustice during the late war with Peru and Bolivia. The mixed commissions organized under claims conventions concluded by the Chilean Government with certain European States have developed an amount of friction which we trust can be avoided in the convention which our representative at Santiago is authorized to negotiate.

The cruel treatment of inoffensive Chinese has, I regret to say, been repeated in some of the far Western States and Territories, and acts of violence against those people, beyond the power of the local constituted authorities to prevent and difficult to punish, are reported even in distant Alaska. Much of this violence can be traced to race prejudice and competition of labor, which can not, however, justify the oppression of strangers whose safety is guaranteed by our treaty with China equally with the most favored nations.

In opening our vast domain to alien elements the purpose of our lawgivers was to invite assimilation, and not to provide an arena for endless antagonism. The paramount duty of maintaining public order and defending the interests of our own people may require the adoption of measures of restriction, but they should not tolerate the oppression of individuals of a special race. I am not without assurance that the Government of China, whose friendly disposition toward us I am most happy to recognize, will meet us halfway in devising a comprehensive remedy by which an effective limitation of Chinese emigration, joined to protection of those Chinese subjects who remain in this country, may be secured.

Legislation is needed to execute the provisions of our Chinese convention of 1880 touching the opium traffic.

While the good will of the Colombian Government toward our country is manifest, the situation of American interests on the Isthmus of Panama has at times excited concern and invited friendly action looking to the performance of the engagements of the two nations concerning the territory embraced in the interoceanic transit. With the subsidence of the Isthmian disturbances and the erection of the State of Panama into a federal district under the direct government of the constitutional administration at Bogota, a new order of things has been inaugurated, which, although as yet somewhat experimental and affording scope for arbitrary exercise of power by the delegates of the national authority, promises much improvement.

The sympathy between the people of the United States and France, born during our colonial struggle for independence and continuing today, has received a fresh impulse in the successful completion and dedication of the colossal statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" in New York Harbor--the gift of Frenchmen to Americans.

A convention between the United States and certain other powers for the protection of submarine cables was signed at Paris on March 14, 1884, and has been duly ratified and proclaimed by this Government. By agreement between the high contracting parties this convention is to go into effect on the 1st of January next, but the legislation required for its execution in the United States has not yet been adopted. I earnestly recommend its enactment.

Cases have continued to occur in Germany giving rise to much correspondence in relation to the privilege of sojourn of our naturalized citizens of German origin revisiting the land of their birth, yet I am happy to state that our relations with that country have lost none of their accustomed cordiality.

The claims for interest upon the amount of tonnage dues illegally exacted from certain German steamship lines were favorably reported in both Houses of Congress at the last session, and I trust will receive final and favorable action at an early day.

The recommendations contained in my last annual message in relation to a mode of settlement of the fishery rights in the waters of British North America, so long a subject of anxious difference between the United States and Great Britain, was met by an adverse vote of the Senate on April 13 last, and thereupon negotiations were instituted to obtain an agreement with Her Britannic Majesty's Government for the promulgation of such joint interpretation and definition of the article of the convention of 1818 relating to the territorial waters and inshore fisheries of the British Provinces as should secure the Canadian rights from encroachment by the United States fishermen and at the same time insure the enjoyment by the latter of the privileges guaranteed to them by such convention.

The questions involved are of long standing, of grave consequence, and from time to time for nearly three-quarters of a century have given rise to earnest international discussions, not unaccompanied by irritation.

Temporary arrangements by treaties have served to allay friction, which, however, has revived as each treaty was terminated. The last arrangement, under the treaty of 1871, was abrogated after due notice by the United States on June 30, 1885, but I was enabled to obtain for our fishermen for the remainder of that season enjoyment of the full privileges accorded by the terminated treaty.

The joint high commission by whom the treaty had been negotiated, although invested with plenary power to make a permanent settlement, were content with a temporary arrangement, after the termination of which the question was relegated to the stipulations of the treaty of 1818, as to the first article of which no construction satisfactory to both countries has ever been agreed upon.

The progress of civilization and growth of population in the British Provinces to which the fisheries in question are contiguous and the expansion of commercial intercourse between them and the United States present to-day a condition of affairs scarcely realizable at the date of the negotiations of 1818.

New and vast interests have been brought into existence; modes of intercourse between the respective countries have been invented and multiplied; the methods of conducting the fisheries have been wholly changed; and all this is necessarily entitled to candid and careful consideration in the adjustment of the terms and conditions of intercourse and commerce between the United States and their neighbors along a frontier of over 3,500 miles.

This propinquity, community of language and occupation, and similarity of political and social institutions indicate the practicability and obvious wisdom of maintaining mutually beneficial and friendly relations.

Whilst I am unfeignedly desirous that such relations should exist between us and the inhabitants of Canada, yet the action of their officials during the past season toward our fishermen has been such as to seriously threaten their continuance.

Although disappointed in my efforts to secure a satisfactory settlement of the fishery question, negotiations are still pending, with reasonable hope that before the close of the present session of Congress announcement may be made that an acceptable conclusion has been reached.

As at an early day there may be laid before Congress the correspondence of the Department of State in relation to this important subject, so that the history of the past fishing season may be fully disclosed and the action and the attitude of the Administration clearly comprehended, a more extended reference is not deemed necessary in this communication.

The recommendation submitted last year that provision be made for a preliminary reconnoissance of the conventional boundary line between Alaska and British Columbia is renewed.

I express my unhesitating conviction that the intimacy of our relations with Hawaii should be emphasized. As a result of the reciprocity treaty of 1875, those islands, on the highway of Oriental and Australasian traffic, are virtually an outpost of American commerce and a stepping-stone to the growing trade of the Pacific. The Polynesian Island groups have been so absorbed by other and more powerful governments that the Hawaiian Islands are left almost alone in the enjoyment of their autonomy, which it is important for us should be preserved. Our treaty is now terminable on one year's notice, but propositions to abrogate it would be, in my judgment, most ill advised. The paramount influence we have there acquired, once relinquished, could only with difficulty be regained, and a valuable ground of vantage for ourselves might be converted into a stronghold for our commercial competitors. I earnestly recommend that the existing treaty stipulations be extended for a further term of seven years. A recently signed treaty to this end is now before the Senate.

The importance of telegraphic communication between those islands and the United States should not be overlooked.

The question of a general revision of the treaties of Japan is again under discussion at Tokyo. As the first to open relations with that Empire, and as the nation in most direct commercial relations with Japan, the United States have lost no opportunity to testify their consistent friendship by supporting the just claims of Japan to autonomy and independence among nations.

A treaty of extradition between the United States and Japan, the first concluded by that Empire, has been lately proclaimed.

The weakness of Liberia and the difficulty of maintaining effective sovereignty over its outlying districts have exposed that Republic to encroachment. It can not be forgotten that this distant community is an offshoot of our own system, owing its origin to the associated benevolence of American citizens, whose praiseworthy efforts to create a nucleus of civilization in the Dark Continent have commanded respect and sympathy everywhere, especially in this country. Although a formal protectorate over Liberia is contrary to our traditional policy, the moral right and duty of the United States to assist in all proper ways in the maintenance of its integrity is obvious, and has been consistently announced during nearly half a century. I recommend that in the reorganization of our Navy a small vessel, no longer found adequate to our needs, be presented to Liberia, to be employed by it in the protection of its coastwise revenues.

The encouraging development of beneficial and intimate relations between the United States and Mexico, which has been so marked within the past few years, is at once the occasion of congratulation and of friendly solicitude. I urgently renew my former representation of the need or speedy legislation by Congress to carry into effect the reciprocity commercial convention of January 20, 1883.

Our commercial treaty of 1831 with Mexico was terminated, according to its provisions, in 1881, upon notification given by Mexico in pursuance of her announced policy of recasting all her commercial treaties. Mexico has since concluded with several foreign governments new treaties of commerce and navigation, defining alien rights of trade, property, and residence, treatment of shipping, consular privileges, and the like. Our yet unexecuted reciprocity convention of 1883 covers none of these points, the settlement of which is so necessary to good relationship. I propose to initiate with Mexico negotiations for a new and enlarged treaty of commerce and navigation.

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, I communicated to that body on August 2 last, and also to the House of Representatives, the correspondence in the case of A. K. Cutting, an American citizen, then imprisoned in Mexico, charged with the commission of a penal offense in Texas, of which a Mexican citizen was the object.

After demand had been made for his release the charge against him was amended so as to include a violation of Mexican law within Mexican territory.

This joinder of alleged offenses, one within and the other exterior to Mexico, induced me to order a special investigation of the case, pending which Mr. Cutting was released.

The incident has, however, disclosed a claim of jurisdiction by Mexico novel in our history, whereby any offense committed anywhere by a foreigner, penal in the place of its commission, and of which a Mexican is the object, may, if the offender be found in Mexico, be there tried and punished in conformity with Mexican laws.

This jurisdiction was sustained by the courts of Mexico in the Cutting case, and approved by the executive branch of that Government, upon the authority of a Mexican statute. The appellate court in releasing Mr. Cutting decided that the abandonment of the complaint by the Mexican citizen aggrieved by the alleged crime (a libelous publication) removed the basis of further prosecution, and also declared justice to have been satisfied by the enforcement of a small part of the original sentence.

The admission of such a pretension would be attended with serious results, invasive of the jurisdiction of this Government and highly dangerous to our citizens in foreign lands. Therefore I have denied it and protested against its attempted exercise as unwarranted by the principles of law and international usages.

A sovereign has jurisdiction of offenses which take effect within his territory, although concocted or commenced outside of it; but the right is denied of any foreign sovereign to punish a citizen of the United States for an offense consummated on our soil in violation of our laws, even though the offense be against a subject or citizen of such sovereign. The Mexican statute in question makes the claim broadly, and the principle, if conceded, would create a dual responsibility in the citizen and lead to inextricable confusion, destructive of that certainty in the law which is an essential of liberty.

When citizens of the United States voluntarily go into a foreign country, they must abide by the laws there in force, and will not be protected by their own Government from the consequences of an offense against those laws committed in such foreign country; but watchful care and interest of this Government over its citizens are not relinquished because they have gone abroad, and if charged with crime committed in the foreign land a fair and open trial, conducted with decent regard for justice and humanity, will be demanded for them. With less than that this Government will not be content when the life or liberty of its citizens is at stake.

Whatever the degree to which extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction may have been formerly allowed by consent and reciprocal agreement among certain of the European States, no such doctrine or practice was ever known to the laws of this country or of that from which our institutions have mainly been derived.

In the case of Mexico there are reasons especially strong for perfect harmony in the mutual exercise of jurisdiction. Nature has made us irrevocably neighbors, and wisdom and kind feeling should make us friends.

The overflow of capital and enterprise from the United States is a potent factor in assisting the development of the resources of Mexico and in building up the prosperity of both countries.

To assist this good work all grounds of apprehension for the security of person and property should be removed; and I trust that in the interests of good neighborhood the statute referred to will be so modified as to eliminate the present possibilities of danger to the peace of the two countries.

The Government of the Netherlands has exhibited concern in relation to certain features of our tariff laws, which are supposed by them to be aimed at a class of tobacco produced in the Dutch East Indies. Comment would seem unnecessary upon the unwisdom of legislation appearing to have a special national discrimination for its object, which, although unintentional, may give rise to injurious retaliation.

The establishment, less than four years ago, of a legation at Teheran is bearing fruit in the interest exhibited by the Shah's Government in the industrial activity of the United States and the opportunities of beneficial interchanges.

Stable government is now happily restored in Peru by the election of a constitutional president, and a period of rehabilitation is entered upon; but the recovery is necessarily slow from the exhaustion caused by the late war and civil disturbances. A convention to adjust by arbitration claims of our citizens has been proposed and is under consideration.

The naval officer who bore to Siberia the testimonials bestowed by Congress in recognition of the aid given to the Jeannette survivors has successfully accomplished his mission. His interesting report will be submitted. It is pleasant to know that this mark of appreciation has been welcomed by the Russian Government and people as befits the traditional friendship of the two countries.

Civil perturbations in the Samoan Islands have during the past few years been a source of considerable embarrassment to the three Governments-Germany, Great Britain, and the United States--whose relations and extraterritorial rights in that important group are guaranteed by treaties. The weakness of the native administration and the conflict of opposing interests in the islands have led King Malietoa to seek alliance or protection in some one quarter, regardless of the distinct engagements whereby no one of the three treaty powers may acquire any paramount or exclusive interest. In May last Malietoa offered to place Samoa under the protection of the United States, and the late consul, without authority, assumed to grant it. The proceeding was promptly disavowed and the overzealous official recalled. Special agents of the three Governments have been deputed to examine the situation in the islands. With a change in the representation of all three powers and a harmonious understanding between them, the peace, prosperity, autonomous administration, and neutrality of Samoa can hardly fail to be secured.

It appearing that the Government of Spain did not extend to the flag of the United States in the Antilles the full measure of reciprocity requisite under our statute for the continuance of the suspension of discriminations against the Spanish flag in our ports, I was constrained in October last to rescind my predecessor's proclamation of February 14, 1884, permitting such suspension. An arrangement was, however, speedily reached, and upon notification from the Government of Spain that all differential treatment of our vessels and their cargoes, from the United States or from any foreign country, had been completely and absolutely relinquished, I availed myself of the discretion conferred by law and issued on the 27th of October my proclamation declaring reciprocal suspension in the United States. It is most gratifying to bear testimony to the earnest spirit in which the Government of the Queen Regent has met our efforts to avert the initiation of commercial discriminations and reprisals, which are ever disastrous to the material interests and the political good will of the countries they may affect.

The profitable development of the large commercial exchanges between the United States and the Spanish Antilles is naturally an object of solicitude. Lying close at our doors, and finding here their main markets of supply and demand, the welfare of Cuba and Puerto Rico and their production and trade are scarcely less important to us than to Spain. Their commercial and financial movements are so naturally a part of our system that no obstacle to fuller and freer intercourse should be permitted to exist. The standing instructions of our representatives at Madrid and Havana have for years been to leave no effort unessayed to further these ends, and at no time has the equal good desire of Spain been more hopefully manifested than now.

The Government of Spain, by removing the consular tonnage fees on cargoes shipped to the Antilles and by reducing passport fees, has shown its recognition of the needs of less trammeled intercourse.

An effort has been made during the past year to remove the hindrances to the proclamation of the treaty of naturalization with the Sublime Porte, signed in 1874, which has remained inoperative owing to a disagreement of interpretation of the clauses relative to the effects of the return to and sojourn of a naturalized citizen in the land of origin. I trust soon to be able to announce a favorable settlement of the differences as to this interpretation.

It has been highly satisfactory to note the improved treatment of American missionaries in Turkey, as has been attested by their acknowledgments to our late minister to that Government of his successful exertions in their behalf.

The exchange of ratifications of the convention of December 5, 1885, with Venezuela, for the reopening of the awards of the Caracas Commission under the claims convention of 1866, has not yet been effected, owing to the delay of the Executive of that Republic in ratifying the measure. I trust that this postponement will be brief; but should it much longer continue, the delay may well be regarded as a rescission of the compact and a failure on the part of Venezuela to complete an arrangement so persistently sought by her during many years and assented to by this Government in a spirit of international fairness, although to the detriment of holders of bona fide awards of the impugned commission.

I renew the recommendation of my last annual message that existing legislation concerning citizenship and naturalization be revised. We have treaties with many states providing for the renunciation of citizenship by naturalized aliens, but no statute is found to give effect to such engagements, nor any which provides a needed central bureau for the registration of naturalized citizens.

Experience suggests that our statutes regulating extradition might be advantageously amended by a provision for the transit across our territory, now a convenient thoroughfare of travel from one foreign country to another, of fugitives surrendered by a foreign government to a third state. Such provisions are not unusual in the legislation of other countries, and tend to prevent the miscarriage of justice. It is also desirable, in order to remove present uncertainties, that authority should be conferred on the Secretary of State to issue a certificate, in case of an arrest for the purpose of extradition, to the officer before whom the proceeding is pending, showing that a requisition for the surrender of the person charged has been duly made. Such a certificate, if required to be received before the prisoner's examination, would prevent a long and expensive judicial inquiry into a charge which the foreign government might not desire to press. I also recommend that express provision be made for the immediate discharge from custody of persons committed for extradition where the President is of opinion that surrender should not be made.

The drift of sentiment in civilized communities toward full recognition of the rights of property in the creations of the human intellect has brought about the adoption by many important nations of an international copyright convention, which was signed at Berne on the 18th of September, 1885.

Inasmuch as the Constitution gives to the Congress the power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries," this Government did not feel warranted in becoming a signatory pending the action of Congress upon measures of international copyright now before it; but the right of adhesion to the Berne convention hereafter has been reserved. I trust the subject will receive at your hands the attention it deserves, and that the just claims of authors, so urgently pressed, will be duly heeded.

Representations continue to be made to me of the injurious effect upon American artists studying abroad and having free access to the art collections of foreign countries of maintaining a discriminating duty against the introduction of the works of their brother artists of other countries, and I am induced to repeat my recommendation for the abolition of that tax.

Pursuant to a provision of the diplomatic and consular appropriation act approved July 1, 1886, the estimates submitted by the Secretary of State for the maintenance of the consular service have been recast on the basis of salaries for all officers to whom such allowance is deemed advisable. Advantage has been taken of this to redistribute the salaries of the offices now appropriated for, in accordance with the work performed, the importance of the representative duties of the incumbent, and the cost of living at each post. The last consideration has been too often lost sight of in the allowances heretofore made. The compensation which may suffice for the decent maintenance of a worthy and capable officer in a position of onerous and representative trust at a post readily accessible, and where the necessaries of life are abundant and cheap, may prove an inadequate pittance in distant lands, where the better part of a year's pay is consumed in reaching the post of duty, and where the comforts of ordinary civilized existence can only be obtained with difficulty and at exorbitant cost. I trust that in considering the submitted schedules no mistaken theory of economy will perpetuate a system which in the past has virtually closed to deserving talent many offices where capacity and attainments of a high order are indispensable, and in not a few instances has brought discredit on our national character and entailed embarrassment and even suffering on those deputed to uphold our dignity and interests abroad.

In connection with this subject I earnestly reiterate the practical necessity of supplying some mode of trustworthy inspection and report of the manner in which the consulates are conducted. In the absence of such reliable information efficiency can scarcely be rewarded or its opposite corrected.

Increasing competition in trade has directed attention to the value of the consular reports printed by the Department of State, and the efforts of the Government to extend the practical usefulness of these reports have created a wider demand for them at home and a spirit of emulation abroad. Constituting a record at the changes occurring in trade and of the progress of the arts and invention in foreign countries, they are much sought for by all interested in the subjects which they embrace.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury exhibits in detail the condition of the public finances and of the several branches of the Government related to his Department. I especially direct the attention of the Congress to the recommendations contained in this and the last preceding report of the Secretary touching the simplification and amendment of the laws relating to the collection of our revenues, and in the interest of economy and justice to the Government I hope they may be adopted by appropriate legislation.

The ordinary receipts of the Government for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, were $336,439,727.06. Of this amount $192,905,023.41 was received from customs and $116,805,936.48 from internal revenue. The total receipts, as here stated, were $13,749,020.68 greater than for the previous year, but the increase from customs was $11,434,084.10 and from internal revenue $4,407,210.94, making a gain in these items for the last year of $15,841,295.04, a falling off in other resources reducing the total increase to the smaller amount mentioned.

The expense at the different custom-houses of collecting this increased customs revenue was less than the expense attending the collection of such revenue for the preceding year by $490,608, and the increased receipts of internal revenue were collected at a cost to the Internal-Revenue Bureau $155,944.99 less than the expense of such collection for the previous year.

The total ordinary expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, were $242,483,138.50, being less by $17,788,797 than such expenditures for the year preceding, and leaving a surplus in the Treasury at the close of the last fiscal year of $93,956,588.56, as against $63,463,771.27 at the close of the previous year, being an increase in such surplus of $30,492,817.29.

The expenditures are compared with those of the preceding fiscal year and classified as follows:

For the current year to end June 30, 1887, the ascertained receipts up to October 1, 1886, with such receipts estimated for the remainder of the year, amount to $356,000,000.

The expenditures ascertained and estimated for the same period are $266,000,000, indicating an anticipated surplus at the close of the year of $90,000,000.

The total value of the exports from the United States to foreign countries during the fiscal year is stated and compared with the preceding year as follows:

The value of some of our leading exports during the last fiscal year, as compared with the value of the same for the year immediately preceding, is here given, and furnishes information both interesting and suggestive:

Our imports during the last fiscal year, as compared with the previous year, were as follows:

In my last annual message to the Congress attention was directed to the fact that the revenues of the Government exceeded its actual needs, and it was suggested that legislative action should be taken to relieve the people from the unnecessary burden of taxation thus made apparent.

In view of the pressing importance of the subject I deem it my duty to again urge its consideration.

The income of the Government, by its increased volume and through economies in its collection, is now more than ever in excess of public necessities. The application of the surplus to the payment of such portion of the public debt as is now at our option subject to extinguishment, if continued at the rate which has lately prevailed, would retire that class of indebtedness within less than one year from this date. Thus a continuation of our present revenue system would soon result in the receipt of an annual income much greater than necessary to meet Government expenses, with no indebtedness upon which it could be applied. We should then be confronted with a vast quantity of money, the circulating medium of the people, hoarded in the Treasury when it should be in their hands, or we should be drawn into wasteful public extravagance, with all the corrupting national demoralization which follows in its train.

But it is not the simple existence of this surplus and its threatened attendant evils which furnish the strongest argument against our present scale of Federal taxation. Its worst phase is the exaction of such a surplus through a perversion of the relations between the people and their Government and a dangerous departure from the rules which limit the right of Federal taxation.

Good government, and especially the government of which every American citizen boasts, has for its objects the protection of every person within its care in the greatest liberty consistent with the good order of society and his perfect security in the enjoyment of his earnings with the least possible diminution for public needs. When more of the people's substance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of the Government and the expense of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government.

The indirect manner in which these exactions are made has a tendency to conceal their true character and their extent. But we have arrived at a stage of superfluous revenue which has aroused the people to a realization of the fact that the amount raised professedly for the support of the Government is paid by them as absolutely if added to the price of the things which supply their daily wants as if it was paid at fixed periods into the hand of the tax gatherer.

Those who toil for daily wages are beginning to understand that capital, though sometimes vaunting its importance and clamoring for the protection and favor of the Government, is dull and sluggish till, touched by the magical hand of labor, it springs into activity, furnishing an occasion for Federal taxation and gaining the value which enables it to bear its burden. And the laboring man is thoughtfully inquiring whether in these circumstances, and considering the tribute he constantly pays into the public Treasury as he supplies his daily wants, he receives his fair share of advantages.

There is also a suspicion abroad that the surplus of our revenues indicates abnormal and exceptional business profits, which, under the system which produces such surplus, increase without corresponding benefit to the people at large the vast accumulations of a few among our citizens, whose fortunes, rivaling the wealth of the most favored in antidemocratic nations, are not the natural growth of a steady, plain, and industrious republic.

Our farmers, too, and those engaged directly and indirectly in supplying the products of agriculture, see that day by day, and as often as the daily wants of their households recur, they are forced to pay excessive and needless taxation, while their products struggle in foreign markets with the competition of nations, which, by allowing a freer exchange of productions than we permit, enable their people to sell for prices which distress the American farmer.

As every patriotic citizen rejoices in the constantly increasing pride of our people in American citizenship and in the glory of our national achievements and progress, a sentiment prevails that the leading strings useful to a nation in its infancy may well be to a great extent discarded in the present stage of American ingenuity, courage, and fearless self-reliance; and for the privilege of indulging this sentiment with true American enthusiasm our citizens are quite willing to forego an idle surplus in the public Treasury.

And all the people know that the average rate of Federal taxation upon imports is to-day, in time of peace, but little less, while upon some articles of necessary consumption it is actually more, than was imposed by the grievous burden willingly borne at a time when the Government needed millions to maintain by war the safety and integrity of the Union.

It has been the policy of the Government to collect the principal part of its revenues by a tax upon imports, and no change in this policy is desirable. But the present condition of affairs constrains our people to demand that by a revision of our revenue laws the receipts of the Government shall be reduced to the necessary expense of its economical administration; and this demand should be recognized and obeyed by the people's representatives in the legislative branch of the Government.

In readjusting the burdens of Federal taxation a sound public policy requires that such of our citizens as have built up large and important industries under present conditions should not be suddenly and to their injury deprived of advantages to which they have adapted their business; but if the public good requires it they should be content with such consideration as shall deal fairly and cautiously with their interests, while the just demand of the people for relief from needless taxation is honestly answered.

A reasonable and timely submission to such a demand should certainly be possible without disastrous shock to any interest; and a cheerful concession sometimes averts abrupt and heedless action, often the outgrowth of impatience and delayed justice.

Due regard should be also accorded in any proposed readjustment to the interests of American labor so far as they are involved. We congratulate ourselves that there is among us no laboring class fixed within unyielding bounds and doomed under all conditions to the inexorable fate of daily toil. We recognize in labor a chief factor in the wealth of the Republic, and we treat those who have it in their keeping as citizens entitled to the most careful regard and thoughtful attention. This regard and attention should be awarded them, not only because labor is the capital of our workingmen, justly entitled to its share of Government favor, but for the further and not less important reason that the laboring man, surrounded by his family in his humble home, as a consumer is vitally interested in all that cheapens the cost of living and enables him to bring within his domestic circle additional comforts and advantages.

This relation of the workingman to the revenue laws of the country and the manner in which it palpably influences the question of wages should not be forgotten in the justifiable prominence given to the proper maintenance of the supply and protection of well-paid labor. And these considerations suggest such an arrangement of Government revenues as shall reduce the expense of living, while it does not curtail the opportunity for work nor reduce the compensation of American labor and injuriously affect its condition and the dignified place it holds in the estimation of our people.

But our farmers and agriculturists--those who from the soil produce the things consumed by all--are perhaps more directly and plainly concerned than any other of our citizens in a just and careful system of Federal taxation. Those actually engaged in and more remotely connected with this kind of work number nearly one-half of our population. None labor harder or more continuously than they. No enactments limit their hours of toil and no interposition of the Government enhances to any great extent the value of their products. And yet for many of the necessaries and comforts of life, which the most scrupulous economy enables them to bring into their homes, and for their implements of husbandry, they are obliged to pay a price largely increased by an unnatural profit, which by the action of the Government is given to the more favored manufacturer.

I recommend that, keeping in view all these considerations, the increasing and unnecessary surplus of national income annually accumulating be released to the people by an amendment to our revenue laws which shall cheapen the price of the necessaries of life and give freer entrance to such imported materials as by American labor may be manufactured into marketable commodities.

Nothing can be accomplished, however, in the direction of this much-needed reform unless the subject is approached in a patriotic spirit of devotion to the interests of the entire country and with a willingness to yield something for the public good.

The sum paid upon the public debt during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, was $44,551,043.36.

During the twelve months ended October 31,1886, 3 per cent bonds were called for redemption amounting to $127,283,100, of which $80,643,200 was so called to answer the requirements of the law relating to the sinking fund and $46,639,900 for the purpose of reducing the public debt by application of a part of the surplus in the Treasury to that object. Of the bonds thus called $102,269,450 became subject under such calls to redemption prior to November 1, 1886. The remainder, amounting to $25,013,650, matured under the calls after that date.

In addition to the amount subject to payment and cancellation prior to November 1, there were also paid before that day certain of these bonds, with the interest thereon, amounting to $5,072,350, which were anticipated as to their maturity, of which $2,664,850 had not been called, Thus $107,341,800 had been actually applied prior to the 1st of November, 1886, to the extinguishment of our bonded and interest-bearing debt, leaving on that day still outstanding the sum of $1,153,443,112. Of this amount $86,848,700 were still represented by 3 per cent bonds. They however, have been since November 1, or will at once be, further reduced by $22,606,150, being bonds which have been called, as already stated, but not redeemed and canceled before the latter date.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1886, there were coined, under the compulsory silver-coinage act of 1878,29,838,905 silver dollars, and the cost of the silver used in such coinage was $23,448,960.01. There had been coined up to the close of the previous fiscal year under the provisions of the law 203,882,554 silver dollars, and on the 1st day of December, 1886, the total amount of such coinage was $247,131,549.

The Director of the Mint reports that at the time of the passage of the law of 1878 directing this coinage the intrinsic value of the dollars thus coined was 94 1/4 cents each, and that on the 31st day of July, 1886, the price of silver reached the lowest stage ever known, so that the intrinsic or bullion price of our standard silver dollar at that date was less than 72 cents. The price of silver on the 30th day of November last was such as to make these dollars intrinsically worth 78 cents each.

These differences in value of the coins represent the fluctuations in the price of silver, and they certainly do not indicate that compulsory coinage by the Government enhances the price of that commodity or secures uniformity in its value.

Every fair and legal effort has been made by the Treasury Department to distribute this currency among the people. The withdrawal of United States Treasury notes of small denominations and the issuing of small silver certificates have been resorted to in the endeavor to accomplish this result, in obedience to the will and sentiments of the representatives of the people in the Congress. On the 27th day of November, 1886, the people held of these coins, or certificates representing them, the nominal sum of $166,873,041, and we still had $79,464,345 in the Treasury as against about $142,894,055 so in the hands of the people and $72,865,376 remaining in the Treasury one year ago. The Director of the Mint again urges the necessity of more vault room for the purpose of storing these silver dollars which are not needed for circulation by the people.

I have seen no reason to change the views expressed in my last annual message on the subject of this compulsory coinage, and I again urge its suspension on all the grounds contained in my former recommendation, reenforced by the significant increase of our gold exportations during the last year, as appears by the comparative statement herewith presented, and for the further reasons that the more this currency is distributed among the people the greater becomes our duty to protect it from disaster, that we now have abundance for all our needs, and that there seems but little propriety in building vaults to store such currency when the only pretense for its coinage is the necessity of its use by the people as a circulating medium.

The great number of suits now pending in the United States courts for the southern district of New York growing out of the collection of customs revenue at the port of New York and the number of such suits that are almost daily instituted are certainly worthy the attention of the Congress. These legal controversies, based upon conflicting views by importers and the collector as to the interpretation of our present complex and indefinite revenue laws, might be largely obviated by an amendment of those laws.

But pending such amendment the present condition of this litigation should be relieved. There are now pending about 2,500 of these suits. More than 1,100 have been commenced within the past eighteen months, and many of the others have been at issue for more than twenty-five years. These delays subject the Government to loss of evidence and prevent the preparation necessary to defeat unjust and fictitious claims, while constantly accruing interest threatens to double the demands involved.

In the present condition of the dockets of the courts, well filled with private suits, and of the force allowed the district attorney, no greater than is necessary for the ordinary and current business of his office, these revenue litigations can not be considered.

In default of the adoption by the Congress of a plan for the general reorganization of the Federal courts, as has been heretofore recommended, I urge the propriety of passing a law permitting the appointment of an additional Federal judge in the district where these Government suits have accumulated, so that by continuous sessions of the courts devoted to the trial of these cases they may be determined.

It is entirely plain that a great saving to the Government would be accomplished by such a remedy, and the suitors who have honest claims would not be denied justice through delay.

The report of the Secretary of War gives a detailed account of the administration of his Department and contains sundry recommendations for the improvement of the service, which I fully approve.

The Army consisted at the date of the last consolidated return of 2,103 officers and 24,946 enlisted men.

The expenses of the Department for the last fiscal year were $36,990,903.38, including $6,294,305.43 for public works and river and harbor improvements.

I especially direct the attention of the Congress to the recommendation that officers be required to submit to an examination as a preliminary to their promotion. I see no objection, but many advantages, in adopting this feature, which has operated so beneficially in our Navy Department, as well as in some branches of the Army.

The subject of coast defenses and fortifications has been fully and carefully treated by the Board on Fortifications, whose report was submitted at the last session of Congress; but no construction work of the kind recommended by the board has been possible during the last year from the lack of appropriations for such purpose.

The defenseless condition of our seacoast and lake frontier is perfectly palpable. The examinations made must convince us all that certain of our cities named in the report of the board should be fortified and that work on the most important of these fortifications should be commenced at once. The work has been thoroughly considered and laid out, the Secretary of War reports, but all is delayed in default of Congressional action.

The absolute necessity, judged by all standards of prudence and foresight, of our preparation for an effectual resistance against the armored ships and steel guns and mortars of modern construction which may threaten the cities on our coasts is so apparent that I hope effective steps will be taken in that direction immediately.

The valuable and suggestive treatment of this question by the Secretary of War is earnestly commended to the consideration of the Congress.

In September and October last the hostile Apaches who, under the leadership of Geronimo, had for eighteen months been on the war path, and during that time had committed many murders and been the cause of constant terror to the settlers of Arizona, surrendered to General Miles, the military commander who succeeded General Crook in the management and direction of their pursuit.

Under the terms of their surrender as then reported, and in view of the understanding which these murderous savages seemed to entertain of the assurances given them, it was considered best to imprison them in such manner as to prevent their ever engaging in such outrages again, instead of trying them for murder. Fort Pickens having been selected as a safe place of confinement, all the adult males were sent thither and will be closely guarded as prisoners. In the meantime the residue of the band, who, though still remaining upon the reservation, were regarded as unsafe and suspected of furnishing aid to those on the war path, had been removed to Fort Marion. The women and larger children of the hostiles were also taken there, and arrangements have been made for putting the children of proper age in Indian schools.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy contains a detailed exhibit of the condition of his Department, with such a statement of the action needed to improve the same as should challenge the earnest attention of the Congress.

The present Navy of the United States, aside from the ships in course of construction, consists of--

First. Fourteen single-turreted monitors, none of which are in commission nor at the present time serviceable. The batteries of these ships are obsolete, and they can only be relied upon as auxiliary ships in harbor defense, and then after such an expenditure upon them as might not be deemed justifiable.

Second. Five fourth-rate vessels of small tonnage, only one of which was designed as a war vessel, and all of which are auxiliary merely.

Third. Twenty-seven cruising ships, three of which are built of iron, of small tonnage, and twenty-four of wood. Of these wooden vessels it is estimated by the Chief Constructor of the Navy that only three will be serviceable beyond a period of six years, at which time it may be said that of the present naval force nothing worthy the name will remain.

All the vessels heretofore authorized are under contract or in course of construction except the armored ships, the torpedo and dynamite boats, and one cruiser. As to the last of these, the bids were in excess of the limit fixed by Congress. The production in the United States of armor and gun steel is a question which it seems necessary to settle at an early day if the armored war vessels are to be completed with those materials of home manufacture. This has been the subject of investigation by two boards and by two special committees of Congress within the last three years. The report of the Gun Foundry Board in 1884, of the Board on Fortifications made in January last, and the reports of the select committees of the two Houses made at the last session of Congress have entirely exhausted the subject, so far as preliminary investigation is involved, and in their recommendations they are substantially agreed.

In the event that the present invitation of the Department for bids to furnish such of this material as is now authorized shall fail to induce domestic manufacturers to undertake the large expenditures required to prepare for this new manufacture, and no other steps are taken by Congress at its coming session, the Secretary contemplates with dissatisfaction the necessity of obtaining abroad the armor and the gun steel for the authorized ships. It would seem desirable that the wants of the Army and the Navy in this regard should be reasonably met, and that by uniting their contracts such inducement might be offered as would result in securing the domestication of these important interests.

The affairs of the postal service show marked and gratifying improvement during the past year. A particular account of its transactions and condition is given in the report of the Postmaster-General, which will be laid before you.

The reduction of the rate of letter postage in 1883, rendering the postal revenues inadequate to sustain the expenditures, and business depression also contributing, resulted in an excess of cost for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1885, of eight and one-third millions of dollars. An additional check upon receipts by doubling the measure of weight in rating sealed correspondence and diminishing one-half the charge for newspaper carriage was imposed by legislation which took effect with the beginning of the past fiscal year, while the constant demand of our territorial development and growing population for the extension and increase of mail facilities and machinery necessitates steady annual advance in outlay, and the careful estimate of a year ago upon the rates of expenditure then existing contemplated the unavoidable augmentation of the deficiency in the last fiscal year by nearly $2,000,000. The anticipated revenue for the last year failed of realization by about $64,000, but proper measures of economy have so satisfactorily limited the growth of expenditure that the total deficiency in fact fell below that of 1885, and at this time the increase of revenue is in a gaining ratio over the increase of cost, demonstrating the sufficiency of the present rates of postage ultimately to sustain the service. This is the more pleasing because our people enjoy now both cheaper postage proportionably to distances and a vaster and more costly service than any other upon the globe.

Retrenchment has been effected in the cost of supplies, some expenditures unwarranted by law have ceased, and the outlays for mail carriage have been subjected to beneficial scrutiny. At the close of the last fiscal year the expense of transportation on star routes stood at an annual rate of cost less by over $560,000 than at the close of the previous year and steamboat and mail-messenger service at nearly $200,000 less.

The service has been in the meantime enlarged and extended by the establishment of new offices, increase of routes of carriage, expansion of carrier-delivery conveniences, and additions to the railway mail facilities, in accordance with the growing exigencies of the country and the long-established policy of the Government.

The Postmaster-General calls attention to the existing law for compensating railroads and expresses the opinion that a method may be devised which will prove more just to the carriers and beneficial to the Government; and the subject appears worthy of your early consideration.

The differences which arose during the year with certain of the ocean steamship companies have terminated by the acquiescence of all in the policy of the Government approved by the Congress in the postal appropriation at its last session, and the Department now enjoys the utmost service afforded by all vessels which sail from our ports upon either ocean--a service generally adequate to the needs of our intercourse. Petitions have, however, been presented to the Department by numerous merchants and manufacturers for the establishment of a direct service to the Argentine Republic and for semimonthly dispatches to the Empire of Brazil, and the subject is commended to your consideration. It is an obvious duty to provide the means of postal communication which our commerce requires, and with prudent forecast of results the wise extension of it may lead to stimulating intercourse and become the harbinger of a profitable traffic which will open new avenues for the disposition of the products of our industry. The circumstances of the countries at the far south of our continent are such as to invite our enterprise and afford the promise of sufficient advantages to justify an unusual effort to bring about the closer relations which greater freedom of communication would tend to establish.

I suggest that, as distinguished from a grant or subsidy for the mere benefit of any line of trade or travel, whatever outlay may be required to secure additional postal service, necessary and proper and not otherwise attainable, should be regarded as within the limit of legitimate compensation for such service.

The extension of the free-delivery service as suggested by the Postmaster-General has heretofore received my sanction, and it is to be hoped a suitable enactment may soon be agreed upon.

The request for an appropriation sufficient to enable the general inspection of fourth-class offices has my approbation.

I renew my approval of the recommendation of the Postmaster-General that another assistant be provided for the Post-Office Department, and I invite your attention to the several other recommendations in his report.

The conduct of the Department of Justice for the last fiscal year is fully detailed in the report of the Attorney-General, and I invite the earnest attention of the Congress to the same and due consideration of the recommendations therein contained.

In the report submitted by this officer to the last session of the Congress he strongly recommended the erection of a penitentiary for the confinement of prisoners convicted and sentenced in the United States courts, and he repeats the recommendation in his report for the last year.

This is a matter of very great importance and should at once receive Congressional action. United States prisoners are now confined in more than thirty different State prisons and penitentiaries scattered in every part of the country. They are subjected to nearly as many different modes of treatment and discipline and are far too much removed from the control and regulation of the Government. So far as they are entitled to humane treatment and an opportunity for improvement and reformation, the Government is responsible to them and society that these things are forthcoming. But this duty can scarcely be discharged without more absolute control and direction than is possible under the present system.

Many of our good citizens have interested themselves, with the most beneficial results, in the question of prison reform. The General Government should be in a situation, since there must be United States prisoners, to furnish important aid in this movement, and should be able to illustrate what may be practically done in the direction of this reform and to present an example in the treatment and improvement of its prisoners worthy of imitation.

With prisons under its own control the Government could deal with the somewhat vexed question of convict labor, so far as its convicts were concerned, according to a plan of its own adoption, and with due regard to the rights and interests of our laboring citizens, instead of sometimes aiding in the operation of a system which causes among them irritation and discontent.

Upon consideration of this subject it might be thought wise to erect more than one of these institutions, located in such places as would best subserve the purposes of convenience and economy in transportation. The considerable cost of maintaining these convicts as at present, in State institutions, would be saved by the adoption of the plan proposed, and by employing them in the manufacture of such articles as were needed for use by the Government quite a large pecuniary benefit would be realized in partial return for our outlay.

I again urge a change in the Federal judicial system to meet the wants of the people and obviate the delays necessarily attending the present condition of affairs in our courts. All are agreed that something should be done, and much favor is shown by those well able to advise to the plan suggested by the Attorney-General at the last session of the Congress and recommended in my last annual message. This recommendation is here renewed, together with another made at the same time, touching a change in the manner of compensating district attorneys and marshals; and the latter subject is commended to the Congress for its action in the interest of economy to the Government, and humanity, fairness, and justice to our people.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior presents a comprehensive summary of the work of the various branches of the public service connected with his Department, and the suggestions and recommendations which it contains for the improvement of the service should receive your careful consideration.

The exhibit made of the condition of our Indian population and the progress of the work for their enlightenment, notwithstanding the many embarrassments which hinder the better administration of this important branch of the service, is a gratifying and hopeful one.

The funds appropriated for the Indian service for the fiscal year just passed, with the available income from Indian land and trust moneys, amounting in all to $7,850,775.12, were ample for the service under the conditions and restrictions of laws regulating their expenditure. There remained a balance on hand on June 30, 1886, of $1,660,023.30, of which $ 1,337,768.21 are permanent funds for fulfillment of treaties and other like purposes, and the remainder, $322,255.09, is subject to be carried to the surplus fund as required by law.

The estimates presented for appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year amount to $5,608,873.64, or $442,386.20 less than those laid before the Congress last year.

The present system of agencies, while absolutely necessary and well adapted for the management of our Indian affairs and for the ends in view when it was adopted, is in the present stage of Indian management inadequate, standing alone, for the accomplishment of an object which has become pressing in its importance--the more rapid transition from tribal organizations to citizenship of such portions of the Indians as are capable of civilized life.

When the existing system was adopted, the Indian race was outside of the limits of organized States and Territories and beyond the immediate reach and operation of civilization, and all efforts were mainly directed to the maintenance of friendly relations and the preservation of peace and quiet on the frontier. All this is now changed. There is no such thing as the Indian frontier. Civilization, with the busy hum of industry and the influences of Christianity, surrounds these people at every point. None of the tribes are outside of the bounds of organized government and society, except that the Territorial system has not been extended over that portion of the country known as the Indian Territory. As a race the Indians are no longer hostile, but may be considered as submissive to the control of the Government. Few of them only are troublesome. Except the fragments of several bands, all are now gathered upon reservations.

It is no longer possible for them to subsist by the chase and the spontaneous productions of the earth.

With an abundance of land, if furnished with the means and implements for profitable husbandry, their life of entire dependence upon Government rations from day to day is no longer defensible. Their inclination, long fostered by a defective system of control, is to cling to the habits and customs of their ancestors and struggle with persistence against the change of life which their altered circumstances press upon them. But barbarism and civilization can not live together. It is impossible that such incongruous conditions should coexist on the same soil.

They are a portion of our people, are under the authority of our Government, and have a peculiar claim upon and are entitled to the fostering care and protection of the nation. The Government can not relieve itself of this responsibility until they are so far trained and civilized as to be able wholly to manage and care for themselves. The paths in which they should walk must be clearly marked out for them, and they must be led or guided until they are familiar with the way and competent to assume the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship.

Progress in this great work will continue only at the present slow pace and at great expense unless the system and methods of management are improved to meet the changed conditions and urgent demands of the service.

The agents, having general charge and supervision in many cases of more than 5,000 Indians, scattered over large reservations, and burdened with the details of accountability for funds and supplies, have time to look after the industrial training and improvement of a few Indians only. The many are neglected and remain idle and dependent, conditions not favorable for progress and civilization.

The compensation allowed these agents and the conditions of the service are not calculated to secure for the work men who are fitted by ability and skill to properly plan and intelligently direct the methods best adapted to produce the most speedy results and permanent benefits.

Hence the necessity for a supplemental agency or system directed to the end of promoting the general and more rapid transition of the tribes from habits and customs of barbarism to the ways of civilization.

With an anxious desire to devise some plan of operation by which to secure the welfare of the Indians and to relieve the Treasury as far as possible from the support of an idle and dependent population, I recommended in my previous annual message the passage of a law authorizing the appointment of a commission as an instrumentality auxiliary to those already established for the care of the Indians. It was designed that this commission should be composed of six intelligent and capable persons--three to be detailed from the Army--having practical ideas upon the subject of the treatment of Indians and interested in their welfare, and that it should be charged, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, with the management of such matters of detail as can not with the present organization be properly and successfully conducted, and which present different phases, as the Indians themselves differ in their progress, needs, disposition, and capacity for improvement or immediate self-support.

By the aid of such a commission much unwise and useless expenditure of money, waste of materials, and unavailing efforts might be avoided; and it is hoped that this or some measure which the wisdom of Congress may better devise to supply the deficiency of the present system may receive your consideration and the appropriate legislation be provided.

The time is ripe for the work of such an agency.

There is less opposition to the education and training of the Indian youth, as shown by the increased attendance upon the schools, and there is a yielding tendency for the individual holding of lands. Development and advancement in these directions are essential, and should have every encouragement. As the rising generation are taught the language of civilization and trained in habits of industry they should assume the duties, privileges, and responsibilities of citizenship.

No obstacle should hinder the location and settlement of any Indian willing to take land in severalty; on the contrary, the inclination to do so should be stimulated at all times when proper and expedient. But there is no authority of law for making allotments on some of the reservations, and on others the allotments provided for are so small that the Indians, though ready and desiring to settle down, are not willing to accept such small areas when their reservations contain ample lands to afford them homesteads of sufficient size to meet their present and future needs.

These inequalities of existing special laws and treaties should be corrected and some general legislation on the subject should be provided, so that the more progressive members of the different tribes may be settled upon homesteads, and by their example lead others to follow, breaking away from tribal customs and substituting therefor the love of home, the interest of the family, and the rule of the state.

The Indian character and nature are such that they are not easily led while brooding over unadjusted wrongs. This is especially so regarding their lands. Matters arising from the construction and operation of railroads across some of the reservations, and claims of title and right of occupancy set up by white persons to some of the best land within other reservations require legislation for their final adjustment.

The settlement of these matters will remove many embarrassments to progress in the work of leading the Indians to the adoption of our institutions and bringing them under the operation, the influence, and the protection of the universal laws of our country.

The recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of the General Land Office looking to the better protection of public lands and of the public surveys, the preservation of national forests, the adjudication of grants to States and corporations and of private land claims, and the increased efficiency of the public-land service are commended to the attention of Congress. To secure the widest distribution of public lands in limited quantities among settlers for residence and cultivation, and thus make the greatest number of individual homes, was the primary object of the public-land legislation in the early days of the Republic. This system was a simple one. It commenced with an admirable scheme of public surveys, by which the humblest citizen could identify the tract upon which he wished to establish his home. The price of lands was placed within the reach of all the enterprising, industrious, and honest pioneer citizens of the country. It was soon, however, found that the object of the laws was perverted, under the system of cash sales, from a distribution of land among the people to an accumulation of land capital by wealthy and speculative persons. To check this tendency a preference right of purchase was given to settlers on the land, a plan which culminated in the general preemption act of 1841. The foundation of this system was actual residence and cultivation. Twenty years later the homestead law was devised to more surely place actual homes in the possession of actual cultivators of the soil. The land was given without price, the sole conditions being residence, improvement, and cultivation. Other laws have followed, each designed to encourage the acquirement and use of land in limited individual quantities. But in later years these laws, through vicious administrative methods and under changed conditions of communication and transportation, have been so evaded and violated that their beneficent purpose is threatened with entire defeat. The methods of such evasions and violations are set forth in detail in the reports of the Secretary of the Interior and Commissioner of the General Land Office. The rapid appropriation of our public lands without bona fide settlements or cultivation, and not only without intention of residence, but for the purpose of their aggregation in large holdings, in many cases in the hands of foreigners, invites the serious and immediate attention of the Congress.

The energies of the Land Department have been devoted during the present Administration to remedy defects and correct abuses in the public-land service. The results of these efforts are so largely in the nature of reforms in the processes and methods of our land system as to prevent adequate estimate; but it appears by a compilation from the reports of the Commissioner of the General Land Office that the immediate effect in leading cases which have come to a final termination has been the restoration to the mass of public lands of 2,750,000 acres; that 2,370,000 acres are embraced in investigations now pending before the Department or the courts, and that the action of Congress has been asked to effect the restoration of 2,790,000 acres additional; besides which 4,000,000 acres have been withheld from reservation and the rights of entry thereon maintained.

I recommend the repeal of the preemption and timber-culture acts, and that the homestead laws be so amended as to better secure compliance with their requirements of residence, improvement, and cultivation for the period of five years from date of entry, without commutation or provision for speculative relinquishment. I also recommend the repeal of the desert-land laws unless it shall be the pleasure of the Congress to so amend these laws as to render them less liable to abuses. As the chief motive for an evasion of the laws and the principal cause of their result in land accumulation instead of land distribution is the facility with which transfers are made of the right intended to be secured to settlers, it may be deemed advisable to provide by legislation some guards and checks upon the alienation of homestead rights and lands covered thereby until patents issue.

Last year an Executive proclamation was issued directing the removal of fences which inclosed the public domain. Many of these have been removed in obedience to such order, but much of the public land still remains within the lines of these unlawful fences. The ingenious methods resorted to in order to continue these trespasses and the hardihood of the pretenses by which in some cases such inclosures are justified are fully detailed in the report of the Secretary of the Interior.

The removal of the fences still remaining which inclose public lands will be enforced with all the authority and means with which the executive branch of the Government is or shall be invested by the Congress for that purpose.

The report of the Commissioner of Pensions contains a detailed and most satisfactory exhibit of the operations of the Pension Bureau during the last fiscal year. The amount of work done was the largest in any year since the organization of the Bureau, and it has been done at less cost than during the previous year in every division.

On the 30th day of June, 1886, there were 365,783 pensioners on the rolls of the Bureau.

Since 1861 there have been 1,018,735 applications for pensions filed, of which 78,834 were based upon service in the War of 1812. There were 621,754 of these applications allowed, including 60,178 to the soldiers of 1812 and their widows.

The total amount paid for pensions since 1861 is $808,624,811.57.

The number of new pensions allowed during the year ended June 30, 1886, is 40,857, a larger number than has been allowed in any year save one since 1861. The names of 2,229 pensioners which had been previously dropped from the rolls were restored during the year, and after deducting those dropped within the same time for various causes a net increase remains for the year of 20,658 names.

From January 1, 1861, to December 1, 1885, 1,967 private pension acts had been passed. Since the last-mentioned date, and during the last session of the Congress, 644 such acts became laws.

It seems to me that no one can examine our pension establishment and its operations without being convinced that through its instrumentality justice can be very nearly done to all who are entitled under present laws to the pension bounty of the Government.

But it is undeniable that cases exist, well entitled to relief, in which the Pension Bureau is powerless to aid. The really worthy cases of this class are such as only lack by misfortune the kind or quantity of proof which the law and regulations of the Bureau require, or which, though their merit is apparent, for some other reason can not be justly dealt with through general laws. These conditions fully justify application to the Congress and special enactments. But resort to the Congress for a special pension act to overrule the deliberate and careful determination of the Pension Bureau on the merits or to secure favorable action when it could not be expected under the most liberal execution of general laws, it must be admitted opens the door to the allowance of questionable claims and presents to the legislative and executive branches of the Government applications concededly not within the law and plainly devoid of merit, but so surrounded by sentiment and patriotic feeling that they are hard to resist. I suppose it will not be denied that many claims for pension are made without merit and that many have been allowed upon fraudulent representations. This has been declared from the Pension Bureau, not only in this but in prior Administrations.

The usefulness and the justice of any system for the distribution of pensions depend upon the equality and uniformity of its operation.

It will be seen from the report of the Commissioner that there are now paid by the Government 131 different rates of pension.

He estimates from the best information he can obtain that 9,000 of those who have served in the Army and Navy of the United States are now supported, in whole or in part, from public funds or by organized charities, exclusive of those in soldiers' homes under the direction and control of the Government. Only 13 per cent of these are pensioners, while of the entire number of men furnished for the late war something like 20 per cent, including their widows and relatives, have been or now are in receipt of pensions.

The American people, with a patriotic and grateful regard for our ex-soldiers, too broad and too sacred to be monopolized by any special advocates, are not only willing but anxious that equal and exact justice should be done to all honest claimants for pensions. In their sight the friendless and destitute soldier, dependent on public charity, if otherwise entitled, has precisely the same right to share in the provision made for those who fought their country's battles as those better able, through friends and influence, to push their claims. Every pension that is granted under our present plan upon any other grounds than actual service and injury or disease incurred in such service, and every instance of the many in which pensions are increased on other grounds than the merits of the claim, work an injustice to the brave and crippled, but poor and friendless, soldier, who is entirely neglected or who must be content with the smallest sum allowed under general laws.

There are far too many neighborhoods in which are found glaring cases of inequality of treatment in the matter of pensions, and they are largely due to a yielding in the Pension Bureau to importunity on the part of those, other than the pensioner, who are especially interested, or they arise from special acts passed for the benefit of individuals.

The men who fought side by side should stand side by side when they participate in a grateful nation's kind remembrance.

Every consideration of fairness and justice to our ex-soldiers and the protection of the patriotic instinct of our citizens from perversion and violation point to the adoption of a pension system broad and comprehensive enough to cover every contingency, and which shall make unnecessary an objectionable volume of special legislation.

As long as we adhere to the principle of granting pensions for service, and disability as the result of the service, the allowance of pensions should be restricted to cases presenting these features.

Every patriotic heart responds to a tender consideration for those who, having served their country long and well, are reduced to destitution and dependence, not as an incident of their service, but with advancing age or through sickness or misfortune. We are all tempted by the contemplation of such a condition to supply relief, and are often impatient of the limitations of public duty. Yielding to no one in the desire to indulge this feeling of consideration, I can not rid myself of the conviction that if these ex-soldiers are to be relieved they and their cause are entitled to the benefit of an enactment under which relief may be claimed as a right, and that such relief should be granted under the sanction of law, not in evasion of it; nor should such worthy objects of care, all equally entitled, be remitted to the unequal operation of sympathy or the tender mercies of social and political influence, with their unjust discriminations.

The discharged soldiers and sailors of the country are our fellow-citizens, and interested with us in the passage and faithful execution of wholesome laws. They can not be swerved from their duty of citizenship by artful appeals to their spirit of brotherhood born of common peril and suffering, nor will they exact as a test of devotion to their welfare a willingness to neglect public duty in their behalf.

On the 4th of March, 1885, the current business of the Patent Office was, on an average, five and a half months in arrears, and in several divisions more than twelve months behind. At the close of the last fiscal year such current work was but three months in arrears, and it is asserted and believed that in the next few months the delay in obtaining an examination of an application for a patent will be but nominal.

The number of applications for patents during the last fiscal year, including reissues, designs, trade-marks, and labels, equals 40,678, which is considerably in excess of the number received during any preceding year.

The receipts of the Patent Office during the year aggregate $1,205,167.80, enabling the office to turn into the Treasury a surplus revenue, over and above all expenditures, of about $163,710.30.

The number of patents granted during the last fiscal year, including reissues, trade-marks, designs, and labels, was 25,619, a number also quite largely in excess of that of any preceding year.

The report of the Commissioner shows the office to be in a prosperous condition and constantly increasing in its business. No increase of force is asked for.

The amount estimated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1886, was $890,760. The amount estimated for the year ending June 30, 1887, was $853,960. The amount estimated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1888, is $778,770.

The Secretary of the Interior suggests a change in the plan for the payment of the indebtedness of the Pacific subsidized roads to the Government. His suggestion has the unanimous indorsement of the persons selected by the Government to act as directors of these roads and protect the interests of the United States in the board of direction. In considering the plan proposed the sole matters which should be taken into account, in my opinion, are the situation of the Government as a creditor and the surest way to secure the payment of the principal and interest of its debt.

By a recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States it has been adjudged that the laws of the several States are inoperative to regulate rates of transportation upon railroads if such regulation interferes with the rate of carriage from one State into another. This important field of control and regulation having been thus left entirely unoccupied, the expediency of Federal action upon the subject is worthy of consideration.

The relations of labor to capital and of laboring men to their employers are of the utmost concern to every patriotic citizen. When these are strained and distorted, unjustifiable claims are apt to be insisted upon by both interests, and in the controversy which results the welfare of all and the prosperity of the country are jeopardized. Any intervention of the General Government, within the limits of its constitutional authority, to avert such a condition should be willingly accorded.

In a special message transmitted to the Congress at its last session I suggested the enlargement of our present Labor Bureau and adding to its present functions the power of arbitration in cases where differences arise between employer and employed. When these differences reach such a stage as to result in the interruption of commerce between the States, the application of this remedy by the General Government might be regarded as entirely within its constitutional powers. And I think we might reasonably hope that such arbitrators, if carefully selected and if entitled to the confidence of the parties to be affected, would be voluntarily called to the settlement of controversies of less extent and not necessarily within the domain of Federal regulation.

I am of the opinion that this suggestion is worthy the attention of the Congress.

But after all has been done by the passage of laws, either Federal or State, to relieve a situation full of solicitude, much more remains to be accomplished by the reinstatement and cultivation of a true American sentiment which recognizes the equality of American citizenship. This, in the light of our traditions and in loyalty to the spirit of our institutions, would teach that a hearty cooperation on the part of all interests is the surest path to national greatness and the happiness of all our people; that capital should, in recognition of the brotherhood of our citizenship and in a spirit of American fairness, generously accord to labor its just compensation and consideration, and that contented labor is capital's best protection and faithful ally. It would teach, too, that the diverse situations of our people are inseparable from our civilization; that every citizen should in his sphere be a contributor to the general good; that capital does not necessarily tend to the oppression of labor, and that violent disturbances and disorders alienate from their promoters true American sympathy and kindly feeling.

The Department of Agriculture, representing the oldest and largest of our national industries, is subserving well the purposes of its organization. By the introduction of new subjects of farming enterprise and by opening new sources of agricultural wealth and the dissemination of early information concerning production and prices it has contributed largely to the country's prosperity. Through this agency advanced thought and investigation touching the subjects it has in charge should, among other things, be practically applied to the home production at a low cost of articles of food which are now imported from abroad. Such an innovation will necessarily, of course, in the beginning be within the domain of intelligent experiment, and the subject in every stage should receive all possible encouragement from the Government.

The interests of millions of our citizens engaged in agriculture are involved in an enlargement and improvement of the results of their labor, and a zealous regard for their welfare should be a willing tribute to those whose productive returns are a main source of our progress and power.

The existence of pleuro-pneumonia among the cattle of various States has led to burdensome and in some cases disastrous restrictions in an important branch of our commerce, threatening to affect the quantity and quality of our food supply. This is a matter of such importance and of such far-reaching consequences that I hope it will engage the serious attention of the Congress, to the end that such a remedy may be applied as the limits of a constitutional delegation of power to the General Government will permit.

I commend to the consideration of the Congress the report of the Commissioner and his suggestions concerning the interest intrusted to his care.

The continued operation of the law relating to our civil service has added the most convincing proofs of its necessity and usefulness. It is a fact worthy of note that every public officer who has a just idea of his duty to the people testifies to the value of this reform. Its staunchest, friends are found among those who understand it best, and its warmest supporters are those who are restrained and protected by its requirements.

The meaning of such restraint and protection is not appreciated by those who want places under the Government regardless of merit and efficiency, nor by those who insist that the selection of such places should rest upon a proper credential showing active partisan work. They mean to public officers, if not their lives, the only opportunity afforded them to attend to public business, and they mean to the good people of the country the better performance of the work of their Government.

It is exceedingly strange that the scope and nature of this reform are so little understood and that so many things not included within its plan are called by its name. When cavil yields more fully to examination, the system will have large additions to the number of its friends.

Our civil-service reform may be imperfect in some of its details; it may be misunderstood and opposed; it may not always be faithfully applied; its designs may sometimes miscarry through mistake or willful intent; it may sometimes tremble under the assaults of its enemies or languish under the misguided zeal of impracticable friends; but if the people of this country ever submit to the banishment of its underlying principle from the operation of their Government they will abandon the surest guaranty of the safety and success of American institutions.

I invoke for this reform the cheerful and ungrudging support of the Congress. I renew my recommendation made last year that the salaries of the Commissioners be made equal to other officers of the Government having like duties and responsibilities, and I hope that such reasonable appropriations may be made as will enable them to increase the usefulness of the cause they have in charge.

I desire to call the attention of the Congress to a plain duty which the Government owes to the depositors in the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company.

This company was chartered by the Congress for the benefit of the most illiterate and humble of our people, and with the intention of encouraging in them industry and thrift. Most of its branches were presided over by officers holding the commissions and clothed in the uniform of the United States. These and other circumstances reasonably, I think, led these simple people to suppose that the invitation to deposit their hard-earned savings in this institution implied an undertaking on the part of their Government that their money should be safely kept for them.

When this company failed, it was liable in the sum of $2,939,925.22 to 61,131 depositors. Dividends amounting in the aggregate to 62 per cent have been declared, and the sum called for and paid of such dividends seems to be $1,648,181.72. This sum deducted from the entire amount of deposits leaves $1,291,744.50 still unpaid. Past experience has shown that quite a large part of this sum will not be called for. There are assets still on hand amounting to the estimated sum of $16,000.

I think the remaining 38 per cent of such of these deposits as have claimants should be paid by the Government, upon principles of equity and fairness.

The report of the commissioner, soon to be laid before Congress, will give more satisfactory details on this subject.

The control of the affairs of the District of Columbia having been placed in the hands of purely executive officers, while the Congress still retains all legislative authority relating to its government, it becomes my duty to make known the most pressing needs of the District and recommend their consideration.

The laws of the District appear to be in an uncertain and unsatisfactory condition, and their codification or revision is much needed.

During the past year one of the bridges leading from the District to the State of Virginia became unfit for use, and travel upon it was forbidden. This leads me to suggest that the improvement of all the bridges crossing the Potomac and its branches from the city of Washington is worthy the attention of Congress.

The Commissioners of the District represent that the laws regulating the sale of liquor and granting licenses therefor should be at once amended, and that legislation is needed to consolidate, define, and enlarge the scope and powers of charitable and penal institutions within the District.

I suggest that the Commissioners be clothed with the power to make, within fixed limitations, police regulations. I believe this power granted and carefully guarded would tend to subserve the good order of the municipality.

It seems that trouble still exists growing out of the occupation of the streets and avenues by certain railroads having their termini in the city. It is very important that such laws should be enacted upon this subject as will secure to the railroads all the facilities they require for the transaction of their business and at the same time protect citizens from injury to their persons or property.

The Commissioners again complain that the accommodations afforded them for the necessary offices for District business and for the safe-keeping of valuable books and papers are entirely insufficient. I recommend that this condition of affairs be remedied by the Congress, and that suitable quarters be furnished for the needs of the District government.

In conclusion I earnestly invoke such wise action on the part of the people's legislators as will subserve the public good and demonstrate during the remaining days of the Congress as at present organized its ability and inclination to so meet the people's needs that it shall be gratefully remembered by an expectant constituency.


State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 6, 1887

To the Congress of the United States:

You are confronted at the threshold of your legislative duties with a condition of the national finances which imperatively demands immediate and careful consideration.

The amount of money annually exacted, through the operation of present laws, from the industries and necessities of the people largely exceeds the sum necessary to meet the expenses of the Government.

When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice. This wrong inflicted upon those who bear the burden of national taxation, like other wrongs, multiplies a brood of evil consequences. The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people's tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people's use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country's development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.

This condition of our Treasury is not altogether new, and it has more than once of late been submitted to the people's representatives in the Congress, who alone can apply a remedy. And yet the situation still continues, with aggravated incidents, more than ever presaging financial convulsion and widespread disaster.

It will not do to neglect this situation because its dangers are not now palpably imminent and apparent. They exist none the less certainly, and await the unforeseen and unexpected occasion when suddenly they will be precipitated upon us.

On the 30th day of June, 1885, the excess of revenues over public expenditures, after complying with the annual requirement of the sinking-fund act, was $17,859,735.84; during the year ended June 30, 1886, such excess amounted to $49,405,545.20, and during the year ended June 30, 1887, it reached the sum of $55,567,849.54.

The annual contributions to the sinking fund during the three years above specified, amounting in the aggregate to $138,058,320.94, and deducted from the surplus as stated, were made by calling in for that purpose outstanding 3 per cent bonds of the Government. During the six months prior to June 30, 1887, the surplus revenue had grown so large by repeated accumulations, and it was feared the withdrawal of this great sum of money needed by the people would so affect the business of the country, that the sum of $79,864,100 of such surplus was applied to the payment of the principal and interest of the 3 per cent bonds still outstanding, and which were then payable at the option of the Government. The precarious condition of financial affairs among the people still needing relief, immediately after the 30th day of June, 1887, the remainder of the 3 per cent bonds then outstanding, amounting with principal and interest to the sum of $18,877,500, were called in and applied to the sinking-fund contribution for the current fiscal year. Notwithstanding these operations of the Treasury Department, representations of distress in business circles not only continued, but increased, and absolute peril seemed at hand. In these circumstances the contribution to the sinking fund for the current fiscal year was at once completed by the expenditure of $27,684,283.55 in the purchase of Government bonds not yet due bearing 4 and 41/2 per cent interest, the premium paid thereon averaging about 24 per cent for the former and 8 per cent for the latter. In addition to this, the interest accruing during the current year upon the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the Government was to some extent anticipated, and banks selected as depositories of public money were permitted to somewhat increase their deposits.

While the expedients thus employed to release to the people the money lying idle in the Treasury served to avert immediate danger, our surplus revenues have continued to accumulate, the excess for the present year amounting on the 1st day of December to $55,258,701.19, and estimated to reach the sum of $113,000,000 on the 30th of June next, at which date it is expected that this sum, added to prior accumulations, will swell the surplus in the Treasury to $140,000,000.

There seems to be no assurance that, with such a withdrawal from use of the people's circulating medium, our business community may not in the near future be subjected to the same distress which was quite lately produced from the same cause. And while the functions of our National Treasury should be few and simple, and while its best condition would be reached, I believe, by its entire disconnection with private business interests, yet when, by a perversion of its purposes, it idly holds money uselessly subtracted from the channels of trade, there seems to be reason for the claim that some legitimate means should be devised by the Government to restore in an emergency, without waste or extravagance, such money to its place among the people.

If such an emergency arises, there now exists no clear and undoubted executive power of relief. Heretofore the redemption of 3 per cent bonds, which were payable at the option of the Government, has afforded a means for the disbursement of the excess of our revenues; but these bonds have all been retired, and there are no bonds outstanding the payment of which we have a right to insist upon. The contribution to the sinking fund which furnishes the occasion for expenditure in the purchase of bonds has been already made for the current year, so that there is no outlet in that direction.

In the present state of legislation the only pretense of any existing executive power to restore at this time any part of our surplus revenues to the people by its expenditure consists in the supposition that the Secretary of the Treasury may enter the market and purchase the bonds of the Government not yet due, at a rate of premium to be agreed upon. The only provision of law from which such a power could be derived is found in an appropriation bill passed a number of years ago, and it is subject to the suspicion that it was intended as temporary and limited in its application, instead of conferring a continuing discretion and authority. No condition ought to exist which would justify the grant of power to a single official, upon his judgment of its necessity, to withhold from or release to the business of the people, in an unusual manner, money held in the Treasury, and thus affect at his will the financial situation of the country; and if it is deemed wise to lodge in the Secretary of the Treasury the authority in the present juncture to purchase bonds, it should be plainly vested, and provided, as far as possible, with such checks and limitations as will define this official's right and discretion and at the same time relieve him from undue responsibility.

In considering the question of purchasing bonds as a means of restoring to circulation the surplus money accumulating in the Treasury, it should be borne in mind that premiums must of course be paid upon such purchase, that there may be a large part of these bonds held as investments which can not be purchased at any price, and that combinations among holders who are willing to sell may unreasonably enhance the cost of such bonds to the Government.

It has been suggested that the present bonded debt might be refunded at a less rate of interest and the difference between the old and new security paid in cash, thus finding use for the surplus in the Treasury. The success of this plan, it is apparent, must depend upon the volition of the holders of the present bonds; and it is not entirely certain that the inducement which must be offered them would result in more financial benefit to the Government than the purchase of bonds, while the latter proposition would reduce the principal of the debt by actual payment instead of extending it.

The proposition to deposit the money held by the Government in banks throughout the country for use by the people is, it seems to me, exceedingly objectionable in principle, as establishing too close a relationship between the operations of the Government Treasury and the business of the country and too extensive a commingling of their money, thus fostering an unnatural reliance in private business upon public funds. If this scheme should be adopted, it should only be done as a temporary expedient to meet an urgent necessity. Legislative and executive effort should generally be in the opposite direction, and should have a tendency to divorce, as much and as fast as can be safely done, the Treasury Department from private enterprise.

Of course it is not expected that unnecessary and extravagant appropriations will be made for the purpose of avoiding the accumulation of an excess of revenue. Such expenditure, besides the demoralization of all just conceptions of public duty which it entails, stimulates a habit of reckless improvidence not in the least consistent with the mission of our people or the high and beneficent purposes of our Government.

I have deemed it my duty to thus bring to the knowledge of my countrymen, as well as to the attention of their representatives charged with the responsibility of legislative relief, the gravity of our financial situation. The failure of the Congress heretofore to provide against the dangers which it was quite evident the very nature of the difficulty must necessarily produce caused a condition of financial distress and apprehension since your last adjournment which taxed to the utmost all the authority and expedients within executive control; and these appear now to be exhausted. If disaster results from the continued inaction of Congress, the responsibility must rest where it belongs.

Though the situation thus far considered is fraught with danger which should be fully realized, and though it presents features of wrong to the people as well as peril to the country, it is but a result growing out of a perfectly palpable and apparent cause, constantly reproducing the same alarming circumstances--a congested National Treasury and a depleted monetary condition in the business of the country. It need hardly be stated that while the present situation demands a remedy, we can only be saved from a like predicament in the future by the removal of its cause.

Our scheme of taxation, by means of which this needless surplus is taken from the people and put into the public Treasury, consists of a tariff or duty levied upon importations from abroad and internal-revenue taxes levied upon the consumption of tobacco and spirituous and malt liquors. It must be conceded that none of the things subjected to internal-revenue taxation are, strictly speaking, necessaries. There appears to be no just complaint of this taxation by the consumers of these articles, and there seems to be nothing so well able to bear the burden without hardship to any portion of the people.

But our present tariff laws, the vicious, inequitable, and illogical source of unnecessary taxation, ought to be at once revised and amended. These laws, as their primary and plain effect, raise the price to consumers of all articles imported and subject to duty by precisely the sum paid for such duties. Thus the amount of the duty measures the tax paid by those who purchase for use these imported articles. Many of these things, however, are raised or manufactured in our own country, and the duties now levied upon foreign goods and products are called protection to these home manufactures, because they render it possible for those of our people who are manufacturers to make these taxed articles and sell them for a price equal to that demanded for the imported goods that have paid customs duty. So it happens that while comparatively a few use the imported articles, millions of our people, who never used and never saw any of the foreign products, purchase and use things of the same kind made in this country, and pay therefor nearly or quite the same enhanced price which the duty adds to the imported articles. Those who buy imports pay the duty charged thereon into the public Treasury, but the great majority of our citizens, who buy domestic articles of the same class, pay a sum at least approximately equal to this duty to the home manufacturer. This reference to the operation of our tariff laws is not made by way of instruction, but in order that we may be constantly reminded of the manner in which they impose a burden upon those who consume domestic products as well as those who consume imported articles, and thus create a tax upon all our people.

It is not proposed to entirely relieve the country of this taxation. It must be extensively continued as the source of the Government's income; and in a readjustment of our tariff the interests of American labor engaged in manufacture should be carefully considered, as well as the preservation of our manufacturers. It may be called protection or by any other name, but relief from the hardships and dangers of our present tariff laws should be devised with especial precaution against imperiling the existence of our manufacturing interests. But this existence should not mean a condition which, without regard to the public welfare or a national exigency, must always insure the realization of immense profits instead of moderately profitable returns. As the volume and diversity of our national activities increase, new recruits are added to those who desire a continuation of the advantages which they conceive the present system of tariff taxation directly affords them. So stubbornly have all efforts to reform the present condition been resisted by those of our fellow-citizens thus engaged that they can hardly complain of the suspicion, entertained to a certain extent, that there exists an organized combination all along the line to maintain their advantage.

We are in the midst of centennial celebrations, and with becoming pride we rejoice in American skill and ingenuity, in American energy and enterprise, and in the wonderful natural advantages and resources developed by a century's national growth. Yet when an attempt is made to justify a scheme which permits a tax to be laid upon every consumer in the land for the benefit of our manufacturers, quite beyond a reasonable demand for governmental regard, it suits the purposes of advocacy to call our manufactures infant industries still needing the highest and greatest degree of favor and fostering care that can be wrung from Federal legislation.

It is also said that the increase in the price of domestic manufactures resulting from the present tariff is necessary in order that higher wages may be paid to our workingmen employed in manufactories than are paid for what is called the pauper labor of Europe. All will acknowledge the force of an argument which involves the welfare and liberal compensation of our laboring people. Our labor is honorable in the eyes of every American citizen; and as it lies at the foundation of our development and progress, it is entitled, without affectation or hypocrisy, to the utmost regard. The standard of our laborers' life should not be measured by that of any other country less favored, and they are entitled to their full share of all our advantages.

By the last census it is made to appear that of the 17,392,099 of our population engaged in all kinds of industries 7,670,493 are employed in agriculture, 4,074,238 in professional and personal service (2,934,876 of whom are domestic servants and laborers), while 1,810,256 are employed in trade and transportation and 3,837,112 are classed as employed in manufacturing and mining.

For present purposes, however, the last number given should be considerably reduced. Without attempting to enumerate all, it will be conceded that there should be deducted from those which it includes 375,143 carpenters and joiners, 285,401 milliners, dressmakers, and seamstresses, 172,726 blacksmiths, 133,756 tailors and tailoresses, 102,473 masons, 76,241 butchers, 41,309 bakers, 22,083 plasterers, and 4,891 engaged in manufacturing agricultural implements, amounting in the aggregate to 1,214,023, leaving 2,623,089 persons employed in such manufacturing industries as are claimed to be benefited by a high tariff.

To these the appeal is made to save their employment and maintain their wages by resisting a change. There should be no disposition to answer such suggestions by the allegation that they are in a minority among those who labor, and therefore should forego an advantage in the interest of low prices for the majority. Their compensation, as it may be affected by the operation of tariff laws, should at all times be scrupulously kept in view; and yet with slight reflection they will not overlook the fact that they are consumers with the rest; that they too have their own wants and those of their families to supply from their earnings, and that the price of the necessaries of life, as well as the amount of their wages, will regulate the measure of their welfare and comfort.

But the reduction of taxation demanded should be so measured as not to necessitate or justify either the loss of employment by the workingman or the lessening of his wages; and the profits still remaining to the manufacturer after a necessary readjustment should furnish no excuse for the sacrifice of the interests of his employees, either in their opportunity to work or in the diminution of their compensation. Nor can the worker in manufactures fail to understand that while a high tariff is claimed to be necessary to allow the payment of remunerative wages, it certainly results in a very large increase in the price of nearly all sorts of manufactures, which, in almost countless forms, he needs for the use of himself and his family. He receives at the desk of his employer his wages, and perhaps before he reaches his home is obliged, in a purchase for family use of an article which embraces his own labor, to return in the payment of the increase in price which the tariff permits the hard-earned compensation of many days of toil.

The farmer and the agriculturist, who manufacture nothing, but who pay the increased price which the tariff imposes upon every agricultural implement, upon all he wears, and upon all he uses and owns, except the increase of his flocks and herds and such things as his husbandry produces from the soil, is invited to aid in maintaining the present situation; and he is told that a high duty on imported wool is necessary for the benefit of those who have sheep to shear, in order that the price of their wool may be increased. They, of course, are not reminded that the farmer who has no sheep is by this scheme obliged, in his purchases of clothing and woolen goods, to pay a tribute to his fellow-farmer as well as to the manufacturer and merchant, nor is any mention made of the fact that the sheep owners themselves and their households must wear clothing and use other articles manufactured from the wool they sell at tariff prices, and thus as consumers must return their share of this increased price to the tradesman.

I think it may be fairly assumed that a large proportion of the sheep owned by the farmers throughout the country are found in small flocks, numbering from twenty-five to fifty. The duty on the grade of imported wool which these sheep yield is 10 cents each pound if of the value of 30 cents or less and 12 cents if of the value of more than 30 cents. If the liberal estimate of 6 pounds be allowed for each fleece, the duty thereon would be 60 or 72 cents; and this may be taken as the utmost enhancement of its price to the farmer by reason of this duty. Eighteen dollars would thus represent the increased price of the wool from twenty-five sheep and $36 that from the wool of fifty sheep; and at present values this addition would amount to about one-third of its price. If upon its sale the farmer receives this or a less tariff profit, the wool leaves his hands charged with precisely that sum, which in all its changes will adhere to it until it reaches the consumer. When manufactured into cloth and other goods and material for use, its cost is not only increased to the extent of the farmer's tariff profit, but a further sum has been added for the benefit of the manufacturer under the operation of other tariff laws. In the meantime the day arrives when the farmer finds it necessary to purchase woolen goods and material to clothe himself and family for the winter. When he faces the tradesman for that purpose, he discovers that he is obliged not only to return in the way of increased prices his tariff profit on the wool he sold, and which then perhaps lies before him in manufactured form, but that he must add a considerable sum thereto to meet a further increase in cost caused by a tariff duty on the manufacture. Thus in the end he is aroused to the fact that he has paid upon a moderate purchase, as a result of the tariff scheme, which when he sold his wool seemed so profitable, an increase in price more than sufficient to sweep away all the tariff profit he received upon the wool he produced and sold.

When the number of farmers engaged in wool raising is compared with all the farmers in the country and the small proportion they bear to our population is considered; when it is made apparent that in the case of a large part of those who own sheep the benefit of the present tariff on wool is illusory; and, above all, when it must be conceded that the increase of the cost of living caused by such tariff becomes a burden upon those with moderate means and the poor, the employed and unemployed, the sick and well, and the young and old, and that it constitutes a tax which with relentless grasp is fastened upon the clothing of every man, woman, and child in the land, reasons are suggested why the removal or reduction of this duty should be included in a revision of our tariff laws.

In speaking of the increased cost to the consumer of our home manufactures resulting from a duty laid upon imported articles of the same description, the fact is not ever looked that competition among our domestic producers sometimes has the effect of keeping the price of their products below the highest limit allowed by such duty. But it is notorious that this competition is too often strangled by combinations quite prevalent at this time, and frequently called trusts, which have for their object the regulation of the supply and price of commodities made and sold by members of the combination. The people can hardly hope for any consideration in the operation of these selfish schemes.

If, however, in the absence of such combination, a healthy and free competition reduces the price of any particular dutiable article of home production below the limit which it might otherwise reach under our tariff laws, and if with such reduced price its manufacture continues to thrive, it is entirely evident that one thing has been discovered which should be carefully scrutinized in an effort to reduce taxation.

The necessity of combination to maintain the price of any commodity to the tariff point furnishes proof that someone is willing to accept lower prices for such commodity and that such prices are remunerative; and lower prices produced by competition prove the same thing. Thus where either of these conditions exists a case would seem to be presented for an easy reduction of taxation.

The considerations which have been presented touching our tariff laws are intended only to enforce an earnest recommendation that the surplus revenues of the Government be prevented by the reduction of our customs duties, and at the same time to emphasize a suggestion that in accomplishing this purpose we may discharge a double duty to our people by granting to them a measure of relief from tariff taxation in quarters where it is most needed and from sources where it can be most fairly and justly accorded.

Nor can the presentation made of such considerations be with any degree of fairness regarded as evidence of unfriendliness toward our manufacturing interests or of any lack of appreciation of their value and importance.

These interests constitute a leading and most substantial element of our national greatness and furnish the proud proof of our country's progress. But if in the emergency that presses upon us our manufacturers are asked to surrender something for the public good and to avert disaster, their patriotism, as well as a grateful recognition of advantages already afforded, should lead them to willing cooperation. No demand is made that they shall forego all the benefits of governmental regard; but they can not fail to be admonished of their duty, as well as their enlightened self-interest and safety, when they are reminded of the fact that financial panic and collapse, to which the present condition tends, afford no greater shelter or protection to our manufactures than to other important enterprises. Opportunity for safe, careful, and deliberate reform is now offered; and none of us should be unmindful of a time when an abused and irritated people, heedless of those who have resisted timely and reasonable relief, may insist upon a radical and sweeping rectification of their wrongs.

The difficulty attending a wise and fair revision of our tariff laws is not underestimated. It will require on the part of the Congress great labor and care, and especially a broad and national contemplation of the subject and a patriotic disregard of such local and selfish claims as are unreasonable and reckless of the welfare of the entire country.

Under our present laws more than 4,000 articles are subject to duty. Many of these do not in any way compete with our own manufactures, and many are hardly worth attention as subjects of revenue. A considerable reduction can be made in the aggregate by adding them to the free list. The taxation of luxuries presents no features of hardship; but the necessaries of life used and consumed by all the people, the duty upon which adds to the cost of living in every home, should be greatly cheapened.

The radical reduction of the duties imposed upon raw material used in manufactures, or its free importation, is of course an important factor in any effort to reduce the price of these necessaries. It would not only relieve them from the increased cost caused by the tariff on such material, but the manufactured product being thus cheapened that part of the tariff now laid upon such product, as a compensation to our manufacturers for the present price of raw material, could be accordingly modified. Such reduction or free importation would serve besides to largely reduce the revenue. It is not apparent how such a change can have any injurious effect upon our manufacturers. On the contrary, it would appear to give them a better chance in foreign markets with the manufacturers of other countries, who cheapen their wares by free material. Thus our people might have the opportunity of extending their sales beyond the limits of home consumption, saving them from the depression, interruption in business, and loss caused by a glutted domestic market and affording their employees more certain and steady labor, with its resulting quiet and contentment.

The question thus imperatively presented for solution should be approached in a spirit higher than partisanship and considered in the light of that regard for patriotic duty which should characterize the action of those intrusted with the weal of a confiding people. But the obligation to declared party policy and principle is not wanting to urge prompt and effective action. Both of the great political parties now represented in the Government have by repeated and authoritative declarations condemned the condition of our laws which permit the collection from the people of unnecessary revenue, and have in the most solemn manner promised its correction; and neither as citizens nor partisans are our countrymen in a mood to condone the deliberate violation of these pledges.

Our progress toward a wise conclusion will not be improved by dwelling upon the theories of protection and free trade. This savors too much of bandying epithets. It is a condition which confronts us, not a theory. Relief from this condition may involve a slight reduction of the advantages which we award our home productions, but the entire withdrawal of such advantages should not be contemplated. The question of free trade is absolutely irrelevant, and the persistent claim made in certain quarters that all the efforts to relieve the people from unjust and unnecessary taxation are schemes of so-called free traders is mischievous and far removed from any consideration for the public good.

The simple and plain duty which we owe the people is to reduce taxation to the necessary expenses of an economical operation of the Government and to restore to the business of the country the money which we hold in the Treasury through the perversion of governmental powers. These things can and should be done with safety to all our industries, without danger to the opportunity for remunerative labor which our workingmen need, and with benefit to them and all our people by cheapening their means of subsistence and increasing the measure of their comforts.

The Constitution provides that the President "shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union." It has been the custom of the Executive, in compliance with this provision, to annually exhibit to the Congress, at the opening of its session, the general condition of the country, and to detail with some particularity the operations of the different Executive Departments. It would be especially agreeable to follow this course at the present time and to call attention to the valuable accomplishments of these Departments during the last fiscal year; but I am so much impressed with the paramount importance of the subject to which this communication has thus far been devoted that I shall forego the addition of any other topic, and only urge upon your immediate consideration the "state of the Union" as shown in the present condition of our Treasury and our general fiscal situation, upon which every element of our safety and prosperity depends.

The reports of the heads of Departments, which will be submitted, contain full and explicit information touching the transaction of the business intrusted to them and such recommendations relating to legislation in the public interest as they deem advisable. I ask for these reports and recommendations the deliberate examination and action of the legislative branch of the Government.

There are other subjects not embraced in the departmental reports demanding legislative consideration, and which I should be glad to submit. Some of them, however, have been earnestly presented in previous messages, and as to them I beg leave to repeat prior recommendations.

As the law makes no provision for any report from the Department of State, a brief history of the transactions of that important Department, together with other matters which it may hereafter be deemed essential to commend to the attention of the Congress, may furnish the occasion for a future communication.


State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 3, 1888

To the Congress of the United States:

As you assemble for the discharge of the duties you have assumed as the representatives of a free and generous people, your meeting is marked by an interesting and impressive incident. With the expiration of the present session of the Congress the first century of our constitutional existence as a nation will be completed.

Our survival for one hundred years is not sufficient to assure us that we no longer have dangers to fear in the maintenance, with all its promised blessings, of a government rounded upon the freedom of the people. The time rather admonishes us to soberly inquire whether in the past we have always closely kept in the course of safety, and whether we have before us a way plain and clear which leads to happiness and perpetuity.

When the experiment of our Government was undertaken, the chart adopted for our guidance was the Constitution. Departure from the lines there laid down is failure. It is only by a strict adherence to the direction they indicate and by restraint within the limitations they fix that we can furnish proof to the world of the fitness of the American people for self-government.

The equal and exact justice of which we boast as the underlying principle of our institutions should not be confined to the relations of our citizens to each other. The Government itself is under bond to the American people that in the exercise of its functions and powers it will deal with the body of our citizens in a manner scrupulously honest and fair and absolutely just. It has agreed that American citizenship shall be the only credential necessary to justify the claim of equality before the law, and that no condition in life shall give rise to discrimination in the treatment of the people by their Government.

The citizen of our Republic in its early days rigidly insisted upon full compliance with the letter of this bond, and saw stretching out before him a clear field for individual endeavor. His tribute to the support of his Government was measured by the cost of its economical maintenance, and he was secure in the enjoyment of the remaining recompense of his steady and contented toil. In those days the frugality of the people was stamped upon their Government, and was enforced by the free, thoughtful, and intelligent suffrage of the citizen. Combinations, monopolies, and aggregations of capital were either avoided or sternly regulated and restrained. The pomp and glitter of governments less free offered no temptation and presented no delusion to the plain people who, side by side, in friendly competition, wrought for the ennoblement and dignity of man, for the solution of the problem of free government, and for the achievement of the grand destiny awaiting the land which God had given them.

A century has passed. Our cities are the abiding places of wealth and luxury; our manufactories yield fortunes never dreamed of by the fathers of the Republic; our business men are madly striving in the race for riches, and immense aggregations of capital outrun the imagination in the magnitude of their undertakings.

We view with pride and satisfaction this bright picture of our country's growth and prosperity, while only a closer scrutiny develops a somber shading. Upon more careful inspection we find the wealth and luxury of our cities mingled with poverty and wretchedness and unremunerative toil. A crowded and constantly increasing urban population suggests the impoverishment of rural sections and discontent with agricultural pursuits. The farmer's son, not satisfied with his father's simple and laborious life, joins the eager chase for easily acquired wealth.

We discover that the fortunes realized by our manufacturers are no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight, but that they result from the discriminating favor of the Government and are largely built upon undue exactions from the masses of our people. The gulf between employers and the employed is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich and powerful, while in another are found the toiling poor.

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters.

Still congratulating ourselves upon the wealth and prosperity of our country and complacently contemplating every incident of change inseparable from these conditions, it is our duty as patriotic citizens to inquire at the present stage of our progress how the bond of the Government made with the people has been kept and performed.

Instead of limiting the tribute drawn from our citizens to the necessities of its economical administration, the Government persists in exacting from the substance of the people millions which, unapplied and useless, lie dormant in its Treasury. This flagrant injustice and this breach of faith and obligation add to extortion the danger attending the diversion of the currency of the country from the legitimate channels of business.

Under the same laws by which these results are produced the Government permits many millions more to be added to the cost of the living of our people and to be taken from our consumers, which unreasonably swell the profits of a small but powerful minority.

The people must still be taxed for the support of the Government under the operation of tariff laws. But to the extent that the mass of our citizens are inordinately burdened beyond any useful public purpose and for the benefit of a favored few, the Government, under pretext of an exercise of its taxing power, enters gratuitously into partnership with these favorites, to their advantage and to the injury of a vast majority of our people.

This is not equality before the law.

The existing situation is injurious to the health of our entire body politic. It stifles in those for whose benefit it is permitted all patriotic love of country, and substitutes in its place selfish greed and grasping avarice. Devotion to American citizenship for its own sake and for what it should accomplish as a motive to our nation's advancement and the happiness of all our people is displaced by the assumption that the Government, instead of being the embodiment of equality, is but an instrumentality through which especial and individual advantages are to be gained.

The arrogance of this assumption is unconcealed. It appears in the sordid disregard of all but personal interests, in the refusal to abate for the benefit of others one iota of selfish advantage, and in combinations to perpetuate such advantages through efforts to control legislation and improperly influence the suffrages of the people.

The grievances of those not included within the circle of these beneficiaries, when fully realized, will surely arouse irritation and discontent. Our farmers, long suffering and patient, struggling in the race of life with the hardest and most unremitting toil, will not fail to see, in spite of misrepresentations and misleading fallacies, that they are obliged to accept such prices for their products as are fixed in foreign markets where they compete with the farmers of the world; that their lands are declining in value while their debts increase, and that without compensating favor they are forced by the action of the Government to pay for the benefit of others such enhanced prices for the things they need that the scanty returns of their labor fail to furnish their support or leave no margin for accumulation.

Our workingmen, enfranchised from all delusions and no longer frightened by the cry that their wages are endangered by a just revision of our tariff laws, will reasonably demand through such revision steadier employment, cheaper means of living in their homes, freedom for themselves and their children from the doom of perpetual servitude, and an open door to their advancement beyond the limits of a laboring class. Others of our citizens, whose comforts and expenditures are measured by moderate salaries and fixed incomes, will insist upon the fairness and justice of cheapening the cost of necessaries for themselves and their families.

When to the selfishness of the beneficiaries of unjust discrimination under our laws there shall be added the discontent of those who suffer from such discrimination, we will realize the fact that the beneficent purposes of our Government, dependent upon the patriotism and contentment of our people, are endangered.

Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government; but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of rule.

He mocks the people who proposes that the Government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor. Any intermediary between the people and their Government or the least delegation of the care and protection the Government owes to the humblest citizen in the land makes the boast of free institutions a glittering delusion and the pretended boon of American citizenship a shameless imposition.

A just and sensible revision of our tariff laws should be made for the relief of those of our countrymen who suffer under present conditions. Such a revision should receive the support of all who love that justice and equality due to American citizenship; of all who realize that in this justice and equality our Government finds its strength and its power to protect the citizen and his property; of all who believe that the contented competence and comfort of many accord better with the spirit of our institutions than colossal fortunes unfairly gathered in the hands of a few; of all who appreciate that the forbearance and fraternity among our people, which recognize the value of every American interest, are the surest guaranty of our national progress, and of all who desire to see the products of American skill and ingenuity in every market of the world, with a resulting restoration of American commerce.

The necessity of the reduction of our revenues is so apparent as to be generally conceded, but the means by which this end shall be accomplished and the sum of direct benefit which shall result to our citizens present a controversy of the utmost importance. There should be no scheme accepted as satisfactory by which the burdens of the people are only apparently removed. Extravagant appropriations of public money, with all their demoralizing consequences, should not be tolerated, either as a means of relieving the Treasury of its present surplus or as furnishing pretext for resisting a proper reduction in tariff rates. Existing evils and injustice should be honestly recognized, boldly met, and effectively remedied. There should be no cessation of the struggle until a plan is perfected, fair and conservative toward existing industries, but which will reduce the cost to consumers of the necessaries of life, while it provides for our manufacturers the advantage of freer raw materials and permits no injury to the interests of American labor.

The cause for which the battle is waged is comprised within lines clearly and distinctly defined. It should never be compromised. It is the people's cause.

It can not be denied that the selfish and private interests which are so persistently heard when efforts are made to deal in a just and comprehensive manner with our tariff laws are related to, if they are not responsible for, the sentiment largely prevailing among the people that the General Government is the fountain of individual and private aid; that it may be expected to relieve with paternal care the distress of citizens and communities, and that from the fullness of its Treasury it should, upon the slightest possible pretext of promoting the general good, apply public funds to the benefit of localities and individuals. Nor can it be denied that there is a growing assumption that, as against the Government and in favor of private claims and interests, the usual rules and limitations of business principles and just dealing should be waived.

These ideas have been unhappily much encouraged by legislative acquiescence. Relief from contracts made with the Government is too easily accorded in favor of the citizen; the failure to support claims against the Government by proof is often supplied by no better consideration than the wealth of the Government and the poverty of the claimant; gratuities in the form of pensions are granted upon no other real ground than the needy condition of the applicant, or for reasons less valid; and large sums are expended for public buildings and other improvements upon representations scarcely claimed to be related to public needs and necessities.

The extent to which the consideration of such matters subordinate and postpone action upon subjects of great public importance, but involving no special private or partisan interest, should arrest attention and lead to reformation.

A few of the numerous illustrations of this condition may be stated.

The crowded condition of the calendar of the Supreme Court, and the delay to suitors and denial of justice resulting therefrom, has been strongly urged upon the attention of the Congress, with a plan for the relief of the situation approved by those well able to judge of its merits. While this subject remains without effective consideration, many laws have been passed providing for the holding of terms of inferior courts at places to suit the convenience of localities, or to lay the foundation of an application for the erection of a new public building.

Repeated recommendations have been submitted for the amendment and change of the laws relating to our public lands so that their spoliation and diversion to other uses than as homes for honest settlers might be prevented. While a measure to meet this conceded necessity of reform remains awaiting the action of the Congress, many claims to the public lands and applications for their donation, in favor of States and individuals, have been allowed.

A plan in aid of Indian management, recommended by those well informed as containing valuable features in furtherance of the solution of the Indian problem, has thus far failed of legislative sanction, while grants of doubtful expediency to railroad corporations, permitting them to pass through Indian reservations, have greatly multiplied.

The propriety and necessity of the erection of one or more prisons for the confinement of United States convicts, and a post-office building in the national capital, are not disputed. But these needs yet remain answered, while scores of public buildings have been erected where their necessity for public purposes is not apparent.

A revision of our pension laws could easily be made which would rest upon just principles and provide for every worthy applicant. But while our general pension laws remain confused and imperfect, hundreds of private pension laws are annually passed, which are the sources of unjust discrimination and popular demoralization.

Appropriation bills for the support of the Government are defaced by items and provisions to meet private ends, and it is freely asserted by responsible and experienced parties that a bill appropriating money for public internal improvement would fail to meet with favor unless it contained items more for local and private advantage than for public benefit.

These statements can be much emphasized by an ascertainment of the proportion of Federal legislation which either bears upon its face its private character or which upon examination develops such a motive power.

And yet the people wait and expect from their chosen representatives such patriotic action as will advance the welfare of the entire country; and this expectation can only be answered by the performance of public duty with unselfish purpose. Our mission among the nations of the earth and our success in accomplishing the work God has given the American people to do require of those intrusted with the making and execution of our laws perfect devotion, above all other things, to the public good.

This devotion will lead us to strongly resist all impatience of constitutional limitations of Federal power and to persistently check the increasing tendency to extend the scope of Federal legislation into the domain of State and local jurisdiction upon the plea of subserving the public welfare. The preservation of the partitions between proper subjects of Federal and local care and regulation is of such importance under the Constitution, which is the law of our very existence, that no consideration of expediency or sentiment should tempt us to enter upon doubtful ground. We have undertaken to discover and proclaim the richest blessings of a free government, with the Constitution as our guide. Let us follow the way it points out; it will not mislead us. And surely no one who has taken upon himself the solemn obligation to support and preserve the Constitution can find justification or solace for disloyalty in the excuse that he wandered and disobeyed in search of a better way to reach the public welfare than the Constitution offers.

What has been said is deemed not inappropriate at a time when, from a century's height, we view the way already trod by the American people and attempt to discover their future path.

The seventh President of the United States--the soldier and statesman and at all times the firm and brave friend of the people--in vindication of his course as the protector of popular rights and the champion of true American citizenship, declared: The ambition which leads me on is an anxious desire and a fixed determination to restore to the people unimpaired the sacred trust they have confided to my charge; to, heal the wounds of the Constitution and to preserve it from further violation; to persuade my countrymen, so far as I may, that it is not in a splendid government supported by powerful monopolies and aristocratical establishments that they will find happiness or their liberties protection, but in a plain system, void of pomp, protecting all and granting favors to none, dispensing its blessings like the dews of heaven, unseen and unfelt save in the freshness and beauty they contribute to produce. It is such a government that the genius of our people requires--such an one only under which our States may remain for ages to come united, prosperous, and free. In pursuance of a constitutional provision requiring the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, I have the satisfaction to announce that the close of the year finds the United States in the enjoyment of domestic tranquillity and at peace with all the nations.

Since my last annual message our foreign relations have been strengthened and improved by performance of international good offices and by new and renewed treaties of amity, commerce, and reciprocal extradition of criminals.

Those international questions which still await settlement are all reasonably within the domain of amicable negotiation, and there is no existing subject of dispute between the United States and any foreign power that is not susceptible of satisfactory adjustment by frank diplomatic treatment.

The questions between Great Britain and the United States relating to the rights of American fishermen, under treaty and international comity, in the territorial waters of Canada and Newfoundland, I regret to say, are not yet satisfactorily adjusted.

These matters were fully treated in my message to the Senate of February 20 1888, together with which a convention, concluded under my authority with Her Majesty's Government on the 15th of February last, for the removal of all causes of misunderstanding, was submitted by me for the approval of the Senate.

This treaty having been rejected by the Senate, I transmitted a message to the Congress on the 23d of August last reviewing the transactions and submitting for consideration certain recommendations for legislation concerning the important questions involved.

Afterwards, on the 12th of September, in response to a resolution of the Senate, I again communicated fully all the information in my possession as to the action of the government of Canada affecting the commercial relations between the Dominion and the United States, including the treatment of American fishing vessels in the ports and waters of British North America.

These communications have all been published, and therefore opened to the knowledge of both Houses of Congress, although two were addressed to the Senate alone.

Comment upon or repetition of their contents would be superfluous, and I am not aware that anything has since occurred which should be added to the facts therein stated. Therefore I merely repeat, as applicable to the present time, the statement which will be found in my message to the Senate of September 12 last, that--Since March 3, 1887, no case has been reported to the Department of State wherein complaint was made of unfriendly or unlawful treatment of American fishing vessels on the part of the Canadian authorities in which reparation was not promptly and satisfactorily obtained by the United States consul-general at Halifax. Having essayed in the discharge of my duty to procure by negotiation the settlement of a long-standing cause of dispute and to remove a constant menace to the good relations of the two countries, and continuing to be of opinion that the treaty of February last, which failed to receive the approval of the Senate, did supply "a satisfactory, practical, and final adjustment, upon a basis honorable and just to both parties, of the difficult and vexed question to which it related," and having subsequently and unavailingly recommended other legislation to Congress which I hoped would suffice to meet the exigency created by the rejection of the treaty, I now again invoke the earnest and immediate attention of the Congress to the condition of this important question as it now stands before them and the country, and for the settlement of which I am deeply solicitous.

Near the close of the month of October last occurrences of a deeply regrettable nature were brought to my knowledge, which made it my painful but imperative duty to obtain with as little delay as possible a new personal channel of diplomatic intercourse in this country with the Government of Great Britain.

The correspondence in relation to this incident will in due course be laid before you, and will disclose the unpardonable conduct of the official referred to in his interference by advice and counsel with the suffrages of American citizens in the very crisis of the Presidential election then near at hand, and also in his subsequent public declarations to justify his action, superadding impugnment of the Executive and Senate of the United States in connection with important questions now pending in controversy between the two Governments.

The offense thus committed was most grave, involving disastrous possibilities to the good relations of the United States and Great Britain, constituting a gross breach of diplomatic privilege and an invasion of the purely domestic affairs and essential sovereignty of the Government to which the envoy was accredited.

Having first fulfilled the just demands of international comity by affording full opportunity for Her Majesty's Government to act in relief of the situation, I considered prolongation of discussion to be unwarranted, and thereupon declined to further recognize the diplomatic character of the person whose continuance in such function would destroy that mutual confidence which is essential to the good understanding of the two Governments and was inconsistent with the welfare and self-respect of the Government of the United States.

The usual interchange of communication has since continued through Her Majesty's legation in this city.

My endeavors to establish by international cooperation measures for the prevention of the extermination of fur seals in Bering Sea have not been relaxed, and I have hopes of being enabled shortly to submit an effective and satisfactory conventional projet with the maritime powers for the approval of the Senate.

The coastal boundary between our Alaskan possessions and British Columbia, I regret to say, has not received the attention demanded by its importance, and which on several occasions heretofore I have had the honor to recommend to the Congress.

The admitted impracticability, if not impossibility, of making an accurate and precise survey and demarcation of the boundary line as it is recited in the treaty with Russia under which Alaska was ceded to the United States renders it absolutely requisite for the prevention of international jurisdictional complications that adequate appropriation for a reconnoissance and survey to obtain proper knowledge of the locality and the geographical features of the boundary should be authorized by Congress with as little delay as possible.

Knowledge to be only thus obtained is an essential prerequisite for negotiation for ascertaining a common boundary, or as preliminary to any other mode of settlement.

It is much to be desired that some agreement should be reached with Her Majesty's Government by which the damages to life and property on the Great Lakes may be alleviated by removing or humanely regulating the obstacles to reciprocal assistance to wrecked or stranded vessels.

The act of June 19, 1878, which offers to Canadian vessels free access to our inland waters in aid of wrecked or disabled vessels, has not yet become effective through concurrent action by Canada.

The due protection of our citizens of French origin or descent from claim of military service in the event of their returning to or visiting France has called forth correspondence which was laid before you at the last session.

In the absence of conventional agreement as to naturalization, which is greatly to be desired, this Government sees no occasion to recede from the sound position it has maintained not only with regard to France, but as to all countries with which the United States have not concluded special treaties.

Twice within the last year has the imperial household of Germany been visited by death; and I have hastened to express the sorrow of this people, and their appreciation of the lofty character of the late aged Emperor William, and their sympathy with the heroism under suffering of his son the late Emperor Frederick.

I renew my recommendation of two years ago for the passage of a bill for the refunding to certain German steamship lines of the interest upon tonnage dues illegally exacted.

On the 12th [2d] of April last I laid before the House of Representatives full information respecting our interests in Samoa; and in the subsequent correspondence on the same subject, which will be laid before you in due course, the history of events in those islands will be found.

In a message accompanying my approval, on the 1st day of October last, of a bill for the exclusion of Chinese laborers, I laid before Congress full information and all correspondence touching the negotiation of the treaty with China concluded at this capital on the 12th day of March, 1888, and which, having been confirmed by the Senate with certain amendments, was rejected by the Chinese Government. This message contained a recommendation that a sum of money be appropriated as compensation to Chinese subjects who had suffered injuries at the hands of lawless men within our jurisdiction. Such appropriation having been duly made, the fund awaits reception by the Chinese Government.

It is sincerely hoped that by the cessation of the influx of this class of Chinese subjects, in accordance with the expressed wish of both Governments, a cause of unkind feeling has been permanently removed.

On the 9th of August, 1887, notification was given by the Japanese minister at this capital of the adjournment of the conference for the revision of the treaties of Japan with foreign powers, owing to the objection of his Government to the provision in the draft jurisdictional convention which required the submission of the criminal code of the Empire to the powers in advance of its becoming operative. This notification was, however, accompanied with an assurance of Japan's intention to continue the work of revision.

Notwithstanding this temporary interruption of negotiations, it is hoped that improvements may soon be secured in the jurisdictional system as respects foreigners in Japan, and relief afforded to that country from the present undue and oppressive foreign control in matters of commerce.

I earnestly recommend that relief be provided for the injuries accidentally caused to Japanese subjects in the island Ikisima by the target practice of one of our vessels.

A diplomatic mission from Korea has been received, and the formal intercourse between the two countries contemplated by the treaty of 1882 is now established.

Legislative provision is hereby recommended to organize and equip consular courts in Korea.

Persia has established diplomatic representation at this capital, and has evinced very great interest in the enterprise and achievements of our citizens. I am therefore hopeful that beneficial commercial relations between the two countries may be brought about.

I announce with sincere regret that Hayti has again become the theater of insurrection, disorder, and bloodshed. The titular government of president Saloman has been forcibly overthrown and he driven out of the country to France, where he has since died.

The tenure of power has been so unstable amid the war of factions that has ensued since the expulsion of President Saloman that no government constituted by the will of the Haytian people has been recognized as administering responsibly the affairs of that country. Our representative has been instructed to abstain from interference between the warring factions, and a vessel of our Navy has been sent to Haytian waters to sustain our minister and for the protection of the persons and property of American citizens.

Due precautions have been taken to enforce our neutrality laws and prevent our territory from becoming the base of military supplies for either of the warring factions.

Under color of a blockade, of which no reasonable notice had been given, and which does not appear to have been efficiently maintained, a seizure of vessels under the American flag has been reported, and in consequence measures to prevent and redress any molestation of our innocent merchantmen have been adopted.

Proclamation was duly made on the 9th day of November, 1887, of the conventional extensions of the treaty of June 3, 1875, with Hawaii, under which relations of such special and beneficent intercourse have been created.

In the vast field of Oriental commerce now unfolded from our Pacific borders no feature presents stronger recommendations for Congressional action than the establishment of communication by submarine telegraph with Honolulu.

The geographical position of the Hawaiian group in relation to our Pacific States creates a natural interdependency and mutuality of interest which our present treaties were intended to foster, and which make close communication a logical and commercial necessity.

The wisdom of concluding a treaty of commercial reciprocity with Mexico has been heretofore stated in my messages to Congress, and the lapse of time and growth of commerce with that close neighbor and sister Republic confirm the judgment so expressed.

The precise relocation of our boundary line is needful, and adequate appropriation is now recommended.

It is with sincere satisfaction that I am enabled to advert to the spirit of good neighborhood and friendly cooperation and conciliation that has marked the correspondence and action of the Mexican authorities in their share of the task of maintaining law and order about the line of our common boundary.

The long-pending boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua was referred to my arbitration, and by an award made on the 22d of March last the question has been finally settled to the expressed satisfaction of both of the parties in interest.

The Empire of Brazil, in abolishing the last vestige of slavery among Christian nations, called forth the earnest congratulations of this Government in expression of the cordial sympathies of our people.

The claims of nearly all other countries against Chile growing out of her late war with Bolivia and Peru have been disposed of, either by arbitration or by a lump settlement. Similar claims of our citizens will continue to be urged upon the Chilean Government, and it is hoped will not be subject to further delays.

A comprehensive treaty of amity and commerce with Peru was proclaimed on November 7 last, and it is expected that under its operation mutual prosperity and good understanding will be promoted.

In pursuance of the policy of arbitration, a treaty to settle the claim of Santos, an American citizen, against Ecuador has been concluded under my authority, and will be duly submitted for the approval of the Senate.

Like disposition of the claim of Carlos Butterfield against Denmark and of Van Bokkelen against Hayti will probably be made, and I trust the principle of such settlements may be extended in practice under the approval of the Senate.

Through unforeseen causes, foreign to the will of both Governments, the ratification of the convention of December 5, 1885, with Venezuela, for the rehearing of claims of citizens of the United States under the treaty of 1866, failed of exchange within the term provided, and a supplementary convention, further extending the time for exchange of ratifications and explanatory of an ambiguous provision of the prior convention, now awaits the advice and consent of the Senate.

Although this matter, in the stage referred to, concerns only the concurrent treaty-making power of one branch of Congress, I advert to it in view of the interest repeatedly and conspicuously shown by you in your legislative capacity in favor of a speedy and equitable adjustment of the questions growing out of the discredited judgments of the previous mixed commission of Caracas. With every desire to do justice to the representations of Venezuela in this regard, the time seems to have come to end this matter, and I trust the prompt confirmation by both parties of the supplementary action referred to will avert the need of legislative or other action to prevent the longer withholding of such rights of actual claimants as may be shown to exist.

As authorized by the Congress, preliminary steps have been taken for the assemblage at this capital during the coming year of the representatives of South and Central American States, together with those of Mexico, Hayti, and San Domingo, to discuss sundry important monetary and commercial topics.

Excepting in those cases where, from reasons of contiguity of territory and the existence of a common border line incapable of being guarded, reciprocal commercial treaties may be found expedient, it is believed that commercial policies inducing freer mutual exchange of products can be most advantageously arranged by independent but cooperative legislation.

In the mode last mentioned the control of our taxation for revenue will be always retained in our own hands unrestricted by conventional agreements with other governments.

In conformity also with Congressional authority, the maritime powers have been invited to confer in Washington in April next upon the practicability of devising uniform rules and measures for the greater security of life and property at sea. A disposition to accept on the part of a number of the powers has already been manifested, and if the cooperation of the nations chiefly interested shall be secured important results may be confidently anticipated.

The act of June 26, 1884, and the acts amendatory thereof, in relation to tonnage duties, have given rise to extended correspondence with foreign nations with whom we have existing treaties of navigation and commerce, and have caused wide and regrettable divergence of opinion in relation to the imposition of the duties referred to. These questions are important, and I shall make them the subject of a special and more detailed communication at the present session.

With the rapid increase of immigration to our shores and the facilities of modern travel, abuses of the generous privileges afforded by our naturalization laws call for their careful revision.

The easy and unguarded manner in which certificates of American citizenship can now be obtained has induced a class, unfortunately large, to avail themselves of the opportunity to become absolved from allegiance to their native land, and yet by a foreign residence to escape any just duty and contribution of service to the country of their proposed adoption. Thus, while evading the duties of citizenship to the United States, they may make prompt claim for its national protection and demand its intervention in their behalf. International complications of a serious nature arise, and the correspondence of the State Department discloses the great number and complexity of the questions which have been raised.

Our laws regulating the issue of passports should be carefully revised, and the institution of a central bureau of registration at the capital is again strongly recommended. By this means full particulars of each case of naturalization in the United States would be secured and properly indexed and recorded, and thus many cases of spurious citizenship would be detected and unjust responsibilities would be avoided.

The reorganization of the consular service is a matter of serious importance to our national interests. The number of existing principal consular offices is believed to be greater than is at all necessary for the conduct of the public business. It need not be our policy to maintain more than a moderate number of principal offices, each supported by a salary sufficient to enable the incumbent to live in comfort, and so distributed as to secure the convenient supervision, through subordinate agencies, of affairs over a considerable district.

I repeat the recommendations heretofore made by me that the appropriations for the maintenance of our diplomatic and consular service should be recast; that the so-called notarial or unofficial fees, which our representatives abroad are now permitted to treat as personal perquisites, should be forbidden; that a system of consular inspection should be instituted, and that a limited number of secretaries of legation at large should be authorized.

Preparations for the centennial celebration, on April 30, 1889, of the inauguration of George Washington as President of the United States, at the city of New York, have been made by a voluntary organization of the citizens of that locality, and believing that an opportunity should be afforded for the expression of the interest felt throughout the country in this event, I respectfully recommend fitting and cooperative action by Congress on behalf of the people of the United States.

The report of the Secretary of the Treasury exhibits in detail the condition of our national finances and the operations of the several branches of the Government related to his Department.

The total ordinary revenues of the Government for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1888, amounted to $379,266,074.76, of which $219,091,173.63 was received from customs duties and $124,296,871.98 from internal revenue taxes.

The total receipts from all sources exceeded those for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1887, by $7,862,797.10.

The ordinary expenditures of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1888, were $259,653,958.67, leaving a surplus of $119,612,116.09.

The decrease in these expenditures as compared with the fiscal year ended June 30, 1887, was $8,278,221.30, notwithstanding the payment of more than $5,000,000 for pensions in excess of what was paid for that purpose in the latter-mentioned year.

The revenues of the Government for the year ending June 30, 1889, ascertained for the quarter ended September 30, 1888, and estimated for the remainder of the time, amount to $377,000,000, and the actual and estimated ordinary expenditures for the same year are $273,000,000, leaving an estimated surplus of $104,000,000.

The estimated receipts for the year ending June 30, 1890, are $377,000,000, and the estimated ordinary expenditures for the same time are $275,767,488.34, showing a surplus of $101,232,511.66.

The foregoing statements of surplus do not take into account the sum necessary to be expended to meet the requirements of the sinking-fund act, amounting to more than $47,000,000 annually.

The cost of collecting the customs revenues for the last fiscal year was 2.44 per cent; for the year 1885 it was 3.77 per cent.

The excess of internal-revenue taxes collected during the last fiscal year over those collected for the year ended June 30, 1887, was $5,489,174.26, and the cost of collecting this revenue decreased from 3.4 per cent in 1887 to less than 3.2 per cent for the last year. The tax collected on oleomargarine was $723,948.04 for the year ending June 30, 1887, and $864,139.88 for the following year.

The requirements of the sinking-fund act have been met for the year ended June 30, 1888, and for the current year also, by the purchase of bonds. After complying with this law as positively required, and bonds sufficient for that purpose had been bought at a premium, it was not deemed prudent to further expend the surplus in such purchases until the authority to do so should be more explicit. A resolution, however, having been passed by both Houses of Congress removing all doubt as to Executive authority, daily purchases of bonds were commenced on the 23d day of April, 1888, and have continued until the present time. By this plan bonds of the Government not yet due have been purchased up to and including the 30th day of November, 1888, amounting to $94,700,400, the premium paid thereon amounting to $17,508,613.08.

The premium added to the principal of these bonds represents an investment yielding about 2 per cent interest for the time they still had to run, and the saving to the Government represented by the difference between the amount of interest at 2 per cent upon the sum paid for principal and premium and what it would have paid for interest at the rate specified in the bonds if they had run to their maturity is about $27,165,000.

At first sight this would seem to be a profitable and sensible transaction on the part of the Government, but, as suggested by the Secretary of the Treasury, the surplus thus expended for the purchase of bonds was money drawn from the people in excess of any actual need of the Government and was so expended rather than allow it to remain idle in the Treasury. If this surplus, under the operation of just and equitable laws, had been left in the hands of the people, it would have been worth in their business at least 6 per cent per annum. Deducting from the amount of interest upon the principal and premium of these bonds for the time they had to run at the rate of 6 per cent the saving of 2 per cent made for the people by the purchase of such bonds, the loss will appear to be $55,760,000.

This calculation would seem to demonstrate that if excessive and unnecessary taxation is continued and the Government is forced to pursue this policy of purchasing its own bonds at the premiums which it will be necessary to pay, the loss to the people will be hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since the purchase of bonds was undertaken as mentioned nearly all that have been offered were at last accepted. It has been made quite apparent that the Government was in danger of being subjected to combinations to raise their price, as appears by the instance cited by the Secretary of the offering of bonds of the par value of only $326,000 so often that the aggregate of the sums demanded for their purchase amounted to more than $ 19,700,000.

Notwithstanding the large sums paid out in the purchase of bonds, the surplus in the Treasury on the 30th day of November, 1888, was $52,234,610.01, after deducting about $20,000,000 just drawn out for the payment of pensions.

At the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1887, there had been coined under the compulsory silver-coinage act $266,988,280 in silver dollars, $55,504,310 of which were in the hands of the people.

On the 30th day of June, 1888, there had been coined $299,708,790; and of this $55,829,303 was in circulation in coin, and $200,387,376 in silver certificates, for the redemption of which silver dollars to that amount were held by the Government.

On the 30th day of November, 1888, $312,570,990 had been coined, $60,970,990 of the silver dollars were actually in circulation, and $237,418,346 in certificates.

The Secretary recommends the suspension of the further coinage of silver, and in such recommendation I earnestly concur.

For further valuable information and timely recommendations I ask the careful attention of the Congress to the Secretary's report.

The Secretary of War reports that the Army at the date of the last consolidated returns consisted of 2,189 officers and 24,549 enlisted men.

The actual expenditures of the War Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1888, amounted to $41,165,107.07, of which sum $9,158,516.63 was expended for public works, including river and harbor improvements.

"The Board of Ordnance and Fortifications" provided for under the act approved September 22 last was convened October 30, 1888, and plans and specifications for procuring forgings for 8, 10, and 12 inch guns, under provisions of section 4, and also for procuring 12-inch breech-loading mortars, cast iron, hooped with steel, under the provisions of section 5 of the said act, were submitted to the Secretary of War for reference to the board, by the Ordnance Department, on the same date.

These plans and specifications having been promptly approved by the board and the Secretary of War, the necessary authority to publish advertisements inviting proposals in the newspapers throughout the country was granted by the Secretary on November 12, and on November 13 the advertisements were sent out to the different newspapers designated. The bids for the steel forgings are to be opened on December 20, 1888, and for the mortars on December 15, 1888.

A board of ordnance officers was convened at the Watervliet Arsenal on October 4, 1888, to prepare the necessary plans and specifications for the establishment of an army gun factory at that point. The preliminary report of this board, with estimates for shop buildings and officers' quarters, was approved by the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications November 6 and 8. The specifications and form of advertisement and instructions to bidders have been prepared, and advertisements inviting proposals for the excavations for the shop building and for erecting the two sets of officers' quarters have been published. The detailed drawings and specifications for the gun-factory building are well in hand, and will be finished within three or four months, when bids will be invited for the erection of the building. The list of machines, etc., is made out, and it is expected that the plans for the large lathes, etc., will be completed within about four months, and after approval by the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications bids for furnishing the same will be invited. The machines and other fixtures will be completed as soon as the shop is in readiness to receive them, probably about July, 1890.

Under the provisions of the Army bill for the procurement of pneumatic dynamite guns, the necessary specifications are now being prepared, and advertisements for proposals will issue early in December. The guns will probably be of 15 inches caliber and fire a projectile that will carry a charge each of about 500 pounds of explosive gelatine with full-caliber projectiles. The guns will probably be delivered in from six to ten months from the date of the contract, so that all the guns of this class that can be procured under the provisions of the law will be purchased during the year 1889.

I earnestly request that the recommendations contained in the Secretary's report, all of which are, in my opinion, calculated to increase the usefulness and discipline of the Army, may receive the consideration of the Congress. Among these the proposal that there should be provided a plan for the examination of officers to test their fitness for promotion is of the utmost importance. This reform has been before recommended in the reports of the Secretary, and its expediency is so fully demonstrated by the argument he presents in its favor that its adoption should no longer be neglected.

The death of General Sheridan in August last was a national affliction. The Army then lost the grandest of its chiefs. The country lost a brave and experienced soldier, a wise and discreet counselor, and a modest and sensible man. Those who in any manner came within the range of his personal association will never fail to pay deserved and willing homage to his greatness and the glory of his career, but they will cherish with more tender sensibility the loving memory of his simple, generous, and considerate nature.

The Apache Indians, whose removal from their reservation in Arizona followed the capture of those of their number who engaged in a bloody and murderous raid during a part of the years 1885 and 1886, are now held as prisoners of war at Mount Vernon Barracks, in the State of Alabama. They numbered on the 31st day of October, the date of the last report, 83 men, 170 women, 70 boys, and 59 girls; in all, 382 persons. The commanding officer states that they are in good health and contented, and that they are kept employed as fully as is possible in the circumstances. The children, as they arrive at a suitable age, are sent to the Indian schools at Carlisle and Hampton.

Last summer some charitable and kind people asked permission to send two teachers to these Indians for the purpose of instructing the adults as well as such children as should be found there. Such permission was readily granted, accommodations were provided for the teachers, and some portions of the buildings at the barracks were made available for school purposes. The good work contemplated has been commenced, and the teachers engaged are paid by the ladies with whom the plan originated.

I am not at all in sympathy with those benevolent but injudicious people who are constantly insisting that these Indians should be returned to their reservation. Their removal was an absolute necessity if the lives and property of citizens upon the frontier are to be at all regarded by the Government. Their continued restraint at a distance from the scene of their repeated and cruel murders and outrages is still necessary. It is a mistaken philanthropy, every way injurious, which prompts the desire to see these savages returned to their old haunts. They are in their present location as the result of the best judgment of those having official responsibility in the matter, and who are by no means lacking in kind consideration for the Indians. A number of these prisoners have forfeited their lives to outraged law and humanity. Experience has proved that they are dangerous and can not be trusted. This is true not only of those who on the warpath have heretofore actually been guilty of atrocious murder, but of their kindred and friends, who, while they remained upon their reservation, furnished aid and comfort to those absent with bloody intent.

These prisoners should be treated kindly and kept in restraint far from the locality of their former reservation; they should be subjected to efforts calculated to lead to their improvement and the softening of their savage and cruel instincts, but their return to their old home should be persistently resisted.

The Secretary in his report gives a graphic history of these Indians, and recites with painful vividness their bloody deeds and the unhappy failure of the Government to manage them by peaceful means. It will be amazing if a perusal of this history will allow the survival of a desire for the return of these prisoners to their reservation upon sentimental or any other grounds.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy demonstrates very intelligent management in that important Department, and discloses the most satisfactory progress in the work of reconstructing the Navy made during the past year. Of the ships in course of construction five, viz, the Charleston, Baltimore, Yorktown, Vesuvius, and the Petrel, have in that time been launched and are rapidly approaching completion; and in addition to the above, the Philadelphia, the San Francisco, the Newark, the Bennington, the Concord, and the Herreshoff torpedo boat are all under contract for delivery to the Department during the next year. The progress already made and being made gives good ground for the expectation that these eleven vessels will be incorporated as part of the American Navy within the next twelve months.

The report shows that notwithstanding the large expenditures for new construction and the additional labor they involve the total ordinary or current expenditures of the Department for the three years ending June 30, 1888, are less by more than 20 per cent than such expenditures for the three years ending June 30, 1884.

The various steps which have been taken to improve the business methods of the Department are reviewed by the Secretary. The purchasing of supplies has been consolidated and placed under a responsible bureau head. This has resulted in the curtailment of open purchases, which in the years 1884 and 1885 amounted to over 50 per cent of all the purchases of the Department, to less than 11 per cent; so that at the present time about 90 per cent of the total departmental purchases are made by contract and after competition. As the expenditures on this account exceed an average of $2,000,000 annually, it is evident that an important improvement in the system has been inaugurated and substantial economies introduced.

The report of the Postmaster-General shows a marked increase of business in every branch of the postal service.

The number of post-offices on July 1, 1888, was 57,376, an increase of 6,124 in three years and of 2,219 for the last fiscal year. The latter-mentioned increase is classified as follows:

New England States -

Middle States - 181

Southern States and Indian Territory (41) - 1,406

The States and Territories of the Pacific Coast - 190

The ten States and Territories of the West and Northwest - 435

District of Columbia - 2


State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 4, 1893

To the Congress of the United States:

The constitutional duty which requires the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient is fittingly entered upon by commending to the Congress a careful examination of the detailed statements and well-supported recommendations contained in the reports of the heads of Departments, who are chiefly charged with the executive work of the Government. In an effort to abridge this communication as much as is consistent with its purpose I shall supplement a brief reference to the contents of these departmental reports by the mention of such executive business and incidents as are not embraced therein and by such recommendations as appear to be at this particular time appropriate.

While our foreign relations have not at all times during the past year been entirely free from perplexity, no embarrassing situation remains that will not yield to the spirit of fairness and love of justice which, joined with consistent firmness, characterize a truly American foreign policy.

My predecessor having accepted the office of arbitrator of the long-standing Missions boundary dispute, tendered to the President by the Argentine Republic and Brazil, it has been my agreeable duty to receive the special envoys commissioned by those States to lay before me evidence and arguments in behalf of their respective Governments.

The outbreak of domestic hostilities in the Republic of Brazil found the United States alert to watch the interests of our citizens in that country, with which we carry on important commerce. Several vessels of our new Navy are now and for some time have been stationed at Rio de Janeiro. The struggle being between the established Government, which controls the machinery of administration, and with which we maintain friendly relations, and certain officers of the navy employing the vessels of their command in an attack upon the national capital and chief seaport, and lacking as it does the elements of divided administration, I have failed to see that the insurgents can reasonably claim recognition as belligerents.

Thus far the position of our Government has been that of an attentive but impartial observer of the unfortunate conflict. Emphasizing our fixed policy of impartial neutrality in such a condition of affairs as now exists, I deemed it necessary to disavow in a manner not to be misunderstood the unauthorized action of our late naval commander in those waters in saluting the revolted Brazilian admiral, being indisposed to countenance an act calculated to give gratuitous sanction to the local insurrection.

The convention between our Government and Chile having for its object the settlement and adjustment of the demand of the two countries against each other has been made effective by he organization of the claims commission provided for. The two Governments failing to agree upon the third member of the commission, the good offices of the President of the Swiss Republic were invoked, as provided in the treaty, and the selection of the Swiss representative in this country to complete the organization was gratifying alike to the United States and Chile.

The vexatious question of so-called legation asylum for offenders against the state and its laws was presented anew in Chile by the unauthorized action of the late United States minister in receiving into his official residence two persons who had just failed in an attempt at revolution and against whom criminal charges were pending growing out of a former abortive disturbance. The doctrine of asylum as applied to this case is not sanctioned by the best precedents, and when allowed tends to encourage sedition and strife. Under no circumstances can the representatives of this Government be permitted, under the ill-defined fiction of extraterritoriality, to interrupt the administration of criminal justice in the countries to which they are accredited. A temperate demand having been made by the Chilean Government for the correction of this conduct in the instance mentioned, the minister was instructed no longer to harbor the offenders.

The legislation of last year known as the Geary law, requiring the registration of all Chinese laborers entitled to residence in the United States and the deportation of all not complying with the provisions of the act within the time prescribed, met with much opposition from Chinamen in this country. Acting upon the advice of eminent counsel that the law was unconstitutional, the great mass of Chinese laborers, pending judicial inquiry as to its validity, in good faith declined to apply for the certificates required by its provisions. A test case upon proceeding by habeas corpus was brought before the Supreme Court, and on May 15, 1893, a decision was made by that tribunal sustaining the law.

It is believed that under the recent amendment of the act extending the time for registration the Chinese laborers thereto entitled who desire to reside in this country will now avail themselves of the renewed privilege thus afforded of establishing by lawful procedure their right to remain, and that thereby the necessity of enforced deportation may to a great degree be avoided.

It has devolved upon the United States minister at Peking, as dean of the diplomatic body, and in the absence of a representative of Sweden and Norway, to press upon the Chinese Government reparation for the recent murder of Swedish missionaries at Sung-pu. This question is of vital interest to all countries whose citizens engage in missionary work in the interior.

By Article XII of the general act of Brussels, signed July 2, 1890, for the suppression of the slave trade and the restriction of certain injurious commerce in the Independent State of the Kongo and in the adjacent zone of central Africa, the United States and the other signatory powers agreed to adopt appropriate means for the punishment of persons selling arms and ammunition to the natives and for the confiscation of the inhibited articles. It being the plain duty of this Government to aid in suppressing the nefarious traffic, impairing as it does the praiseworthy and civilizing efforts now in progress in that region, I recommend that an act be passed prohibiting the sale of arms and intoxicants to natives in the regulated zone by our citizens.

Costa Rica has lately testified its friendliness by surrendering to the United States, in the absence of a convention of extradition, but upon duly submitted evidence of criminality, a noted fugitive from justice. It is trusted that the negotiation of a treaty with that country to meet recurring cases of this kind will soon be accomplished. In my opinion treaties for reciprocal extradition should be concluded with all those countries with which the United States has not already conventional arrangements of that character.

I have deemed it fitting to express to the Governments of Costa Rica and Colombia the kindly desire of the United States to see their pending boundary dispute finally closed by arbitration in conformity with the spirit of the treaty concluded between them some years ago.

Our relations with the French Republic continue to be intimate and cordial. I sincerely hope that the extradition treaty with that country, as amended by the Senate, will soon be operative.

While occasional questions affecting our naturalized citizens returning to the land of their birth have arisen in our intercourse with Germany, our relations with that country continue satisfactory.

The questions affecting our relations with Great Britain have been treated in a spirit of friendliness.

Negotiations are in progress between the two Governments with a view to such concurrent action as will make the award and regulations agreed upon by the Bering Sea Tribunal of Arbitration practically effective, and it is not doubted that Great Britain will cooperate freely with this country for the accomplishment of that purpose.

The dispute growing out of the discriminating tolls imposed in the Welland Canal upon cargoes of cereals bound to and from the lake ports of the United States was adjusted by the substitution of a more equitable schedule of charges, and my predecessor thereupon suspended his proclamation imposing discriminating tolls upon British transit through our canals.

A request for additions to the list of extraditable offenses covered by the existing treaty between the two countries is under consideration.

During the past year an American citizen employed in a subordinate commercial position in Hayti, after suffering a protracted imprisonment on an unfounded charge of smuggling, was finally liberated on judicial examination. Upon urgent representation to the Haytian Government a suitable indemnity was paid to the sufferer.

By a law of Hayti a sailing vessel, having discharged her cargo, is refused clearance until the duties on such cargo have been paid. The hardship of this measure upon American shipowners, who conduct the bulk of the carrying trade of that country, has been insisted on with a view of securing the removal of this cause of complaint.

Upon receiving authentic information of the firing upon an American mail steamer touching at the port of Amapala because her captain refused to deliver up a passenger in transit from Nicaragua to Guatemala upon demand of the military authorities of Honduras, our minister to that country, under instructions, protested against the wanton act and demanded satisfaction. The Government of Honduras, actuated by a sense of justice and in a spirit of the utmost friendship, promptly disavowed the illegal conduct of its officers and expressed sincere regret for the occurrence.

It is confidently anticipated that a satisfactory adjustment will soon be reached of the questions arising out of the seizure and use of American vessels by insurgents in Honduras and the subsequent denial by the successful Government of commercial privileges to those vessels on that account.

A notable part of the southeasterly coast of Liberia between the Cavally and San Pedro rivers, which for nearly half a century has been generally recognized as belonging to that Republic by cession and purchase, has been claimed to be under the protectorate of France in virtue of agreements entered into by the native tribes, over whom Liberia's control has not been well maintained.

More recently negotiations between the Liberian representative and the French Government resulted in the signature at Paris of a treaty whereby as an adjustment certain Liberian territory is ceded to France. This convention at last advices had not been ratified by the Liberian Legislature and Executive.

Feeling a sympathetic interest in the fortunes of the little Commonwealth, the establishment and development of which were largely aided by the benevolence of our countrymen, and which constitutes the only independently sovereign state on the west coast of Africa, this Government has suggested to the French Government its earnest concern lest territorial impairment in Liberia should take place without her unconstrained consent.

Our relations with Mexico continue to be of that close and friendly nature which should always characterize the intercourse of two neighboring republics.

The work of relocating the monuments marking the boundary between the two countries from Paso del Norte to the Pacific is now nearly completed.

The commission recently organized under the conventions of 1884 and 1889 it is expected will speedily settle disputes growing out of the shifting currents of the Rio Grande River east of E1 Paso.

Nicaragua has recently passed through two revolutions, the party at first successful having in turn been displaced by another. Our newly appointed minister by his timely good offices aided in a peaceful adjustment of the controversy involved in the first conflict. The large American interests established in that country in connection with the Nicaragua Canal were not molested.

The canal company has unfortunately become financially seriously embarrassed, but a generous treatment had been extended to it by the Government of Nicaragua. The United States are especially interested in the successful achievement of the vast undertaking this company has in charge. That it should be accomplished under distinctively American auspices, and its enjoyment assured not only to the vessels of this country as a channel of communication between our Atlantic and Pacific sea-boards, but to the ships of the world in the interests of civilization, is a proposition which, in my judgment, does not admit of question.

Guatemala has also been visited by the political vicissitudes which have afflicted her Central American neighbors, but the dissolution of its Legislature and the proclamation of a dictatorship have been unattended with civil war.

An extradition treaty with Norway has recently been exchanged and proclaimed.

The extradition treaty with Russia signed in March, 1887, and amended and confirmed by the Senate in February last, was duly proclaimed last June.

Led by a desire to compose differences and contribute to the restoration of order in Samoa, which for some years previous had been the scene of conflicting foreign pretensions and native strife, the United States, departing from its policy consecrated by a century of observance, entered four years ago into the treaty of Berlin, thereby becoming jointly bound with England and Germany to establish and maintain Malietoa Laupepa as King of Samoa. The treaty provided for a foreign court of justice; a municipal council for the district of Apia, with a foreign president thereof, authorized to advise the King; a tribunal for the settlement of native and foreign land titles, and a revenue system for the Kingdom. It entailed upon the three powers that part of the cost of the new Government not met by the revenue of the islands.

Early in the life of this triple protectorate the native dissensions it was designed to quell revived. Rivals defied the authority of the new King, refusing to pay taxes and demanding the election of a ruler by native suffrage. Mataafa, an aspirant to the throne, and a large number of his native adherents were in open rebellion on one of the islands. Quite lately, at the request of the other powers and in fulfillment of its treaty obligation, this Government agreed to unite in a joint military movement of such dimensions as would probably secure the surrender of the insurgents without bloodshed.

The war ship Philadelphia was accordingly put under orders for Samoa, but before she arrived the threatened conflict was precipitated by King Malietoa's attack upon the insurgent camp. Mataafa was defeated and a number of his men killed. The British and German naval vessels present subsequently secured the surrender of Mataafa and his adherents. The defeated chief and ten of his principal supporters were deported to a German island of the Marshall group, where they are held as prisoners under the joint responsibility and cost of the three powers.

This incident and the events leading up to it signally illustrate the impolicy of entangling alliances with foreign powers.

More than fifteen years ago this Government preferred a claim against Spain in behalf of one of our citizens for property seized and confiscated in Cuba. In 1886 the claim was adjusted, Spain agreeing to pay unconditionally, as a fair indemnity, $1,500,000. A respectful but earnest note was recently addressed to the Spanish Government insisting upon prompt fulfillment of its long-neglected obligation.

Other claims preferred by the United States against Spain in behalf of American citizens for property confiscated in Cuba have been pending for many years.

At the time Spain's title to the Caroline Islands was confirmed by arbitration that Government agreed that the rights which had been acquired there by American missionaries should be recognized and respected. It is sincerely hoped that this pledge will be observed by allowing our missionaries, who were removed from Ponape to a place of safety by a United States war ship during the late troubles between the Spanish garrison and the natives, to return to their field of usefulness.

The reproduced caravel Santa Maria, built by Spain and sent to the Columbian Exposition, has been presented to the United States in token of amity and in commemoration of the event it was designed to celebrate. I recommend that in accepting this gift Congress make grateful recognition of the sincere friendship which prompted it.

Important matters have demanded attention in our relations with the Ottoman Porte.

The firing and partial destruction by an unrestrained mob of one of the school buildings of Anatolia College, established by citizens of the United States at Marsovan, and the apparent indifference of the Turkish Government to the outrage, notwithstanding the complicity of some of its officials, called for earnest remonstrance, which was followed by promise of reparation and punishment of the offenders.

Indemnity for the injury to the buildings has already been paid, permission to rebuild given, registration of the school property in the name of the American owners secured, and efficient protection guaranteed.

Information received of maltreatment suffered by an inoffensive American woman engaged in missionary work in Turkish Koordistan was followed by such representations to the Porte as resulted in the issuance of orders for the punishment of her assailants, the removal of a delinquent official, and the adoption of measures for the protection of our citizens engaged in mission and other lawful work in that quarter.

Turkey complains that her Armenian subjects obtain citizenship in this country not to identify themselves in good faith with our people, but with the intention of returning to the land of their birth and there engaging in sedition. This complaint is not wholly without foundation. A journal published in this country in the Armenian language openly counsels its readers to arm, organize, and participate in movements for the subversion of Turkish authority in the Asiatic provinces. The Ottoman Government has announced its intention to expel from its dominions Armenians who have obtained naturalization in the United States since 1868.

The right to exclude any or all classes of aliens is an attribute of sovereignty. It is a right asserted and, to a limited extent, enforced by the United States, with the sanction of our highest court. There being no naturalization treaty between the United States and Turkey, our minister at Constantinople has been instructed that, while recognizing the right of that Government to enforce its declared policy against naturalized Armenians, he is expected to protect them from unnecessary harshness of treatment.

In view of the impaired financial resources of Venezuela consequent upon the recent revolution there, a modified arrangement for the satisfaction of the awards of the late revisory claims commission, in progressive installments, has been assented to, and payments are being regularly made thereunder.

The boundary dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana is yet unadjusted. A restoration of diplomatic intercourse between that Republic and Great Britain and reference of the question to impartial arbitration would be a most gratifying consummation.

The ratification by Venezuela of the convention for the arbitration of the long-deferred claim of the Venezuelan Transportation Company is awaited.

It is hardly necessary for me to state that the questions arising from our relations with Hawaii have caused serious embarrassment. Just prior to the installation of the present Administration the existing Government of Hawaii had been suddenly overthrown and a treaty of annexation had been negotiated between the Provisional Government of the islands and the United States and submitted to the Senate for ratification. This treaty I withdrew for examination and dispatched Hon. James H. Blount, of Georgia, to Honolulu as a special commissioner to make an impartial investigation of the circumstances attending the change of government and of all the conditions bearing upon the subject of the treaty. After a thorough and exhaustive examination Mr. Blount submitted to me his report, showing beyond all question that the constitutional Government of Hawaii had been subverted with the active aid of our representative to that Government and through the intimidation caused by the presence of an armed naval force of the United States, which was landed for that purpose at the instance of our minister. Upon the facts developed it seemed to me the only honorable course for our Government to pursue was to undo the wrong that had been done by those representing us and to restore as far as practicable the status existing at the time of our forcible intervention. With a view of accomplishing this result within the constitutional limits of executive power, and recognizing all our obligations and responsibilities growing out of any changed conditions brought about by our unjustifiable interference, our present minister at Honolulu has received appropriate instructions to that end. Thus far no information of the accomplishment of any definite results has been received from him.

Additional advices are soon expected. When received they will be promptly sent to the Congress, together with all other information at hand, accompanied by a special Executive message fully detailing all the facts necessary to a complete understanding of the case and presenting a history of all the material events leading up to the present situation.

By a concurrent resolution passed by the Senate February 14, 1890, and by the House of Representatives on the 3d of April following the President was requested to "invite from time to time, as fit occasions may arise, negotiations with any government with which the United States has or may have diplomatic relations, to the end that any differences or disputes arising between the two governments which can not be adjusted by diplomatic agency may be referred to arbitration and be peaceably adjusted by such means." April 18, 1890, the International American Conference of Washington by resolution expressed the wish that all controversies between the republics of America and the nations of Europe might be settled by arbitration, and recommended that the government of each nation represented in that conference should communicate this wish to all friendly powers. A favorable response has been received from Great Britain in the shape of a resolution adopted by Parliament July 16 last, cordially sympathizing with the purpose in view and expressing the hope that Her Majesty's Government will lend ready cooperation to the Government of the United States upon the basis of the concurrent resolution above quoted.

It affords me signal pleasure to lay this parliamentary resolution before the Congress and to express my sincere gratification that the sentiment of two great and kindred nations is thus authoritatively manifested in favor of the rational and peaceable settlement of international quarrels by honorable resort to arbitration.

Since the-passage of the act of March 3, 1893, authorizing the President to raise the grade of our envoys to correspond with the rank in which foreign countries accredit their agents here, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany have conferred upon their representatives at this capital the title of ambassador, and I have responded by accrediting the agents of the United States in those countries with the same title. A like elevation of mission is announced by Russia, and when made will be similarly met. This step fittingly comports with the position the United States hold in the family of nations.

During my former Administration I took occasion to recommend a recast of the laws relating to the consular service, in order that it might become a more efficient agency in the promotion of the interests it was intended to subserve. The duties and powers of consuls have been expanded with the growing requirements of our foreign trade. Discharging important duties affecting our commerce and American citizens abroad, and in certain countries exercising judicial functions, these officers should be men of character, intelligence, and ability.

Upon proof that the legislation of Denmark secures copyright to American citizens on equal footing with its own, the privileges of our copyright laws have been extended by proclamation to subjects of that country.

The Secretary of the Treasury reports that the receipts of the Government from all sources during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1893, amounted to $461,716,561.94 and its expenditures to $459,374,674.29. There was collected from customs $205,355,016.73 and from internal revenue $161,027,623.93. Our dutiable imports amounted to $421,856,711, an increase of $52,453,907 over the preceding year, and importations free of duty amounted to $444,544,211, a decrease from the preceding year of $13,455,447. Internal-revenue receipts exceeded those of the preceding year by $7,147,445.32. The total tax collected on distilled spirits was $94,720,260.55, on manufactured tobacco $31,889,711.74, and on fermented liquors $32,548,983.07. We exported merchandise during the year amounting to $847,665,194, a decrease of $182,612,954 from the preceding year. The amount of gold exported was larger than any previous year in the history of the Government, amounting to $108,680,844, and exceeding the amount exported during the preceding year by$58,485,517.

The sum paid from the Treasury for sugar bounty was $9,375,130.88, an increase over the preceding year of $2,033,053.09.

It is estimated upon the basis of present revenue laws that the receipts of the Government for the year ending June 30, 1894, will be $430,121,365.38 and its expenditures $458,121,365.28, resulting in a deficiency of $28,000,000.

On the 1st day of November, 1893, the amount of money of all kinds in circulation, or not included in Treasury holdings, was $1,718,544,682, an increase for the year of $112,404,947. Estimating our population at 67,426,000 at the time mentioned, the per capita circulation was $25.49. On the same date there was in the Treasury gold bullion amounting to $96,657,273 and silver bullion which was purchased at a cost of $126,261,553.

The purchases of silver under the law of July 14, 1890, during the last fiscal year aggregated 54,008,162.59 fine ounces, which cost $45,531,374.53. The total amount of silver purchased from the time that law became operative until the repeal of its purchasing clause, on the 1st day of November, 1893, was 168,674,590.46 fine ounces, which cost $155,930,940.84. Between the 1st day of March, 1873, and the 1st day of November, 1893, the Government purchased under all laws 503,003,717 fine ounces of silver, at a cost of $516,622,948. The silver dollars that have been coined under the act of July 14, 1890, number 36,087,285. The seigniorage arising from such coinage was $6,977,098.39, leaving on hand in the mints 140,699,760 fine ounces of silver, which cost $126,758,218.

Our total coinage of all metals during the last fiscal year consisted of 97,280,875 pieces, valued at $43,685,178.80, of which there was $30,038,140 in gold coin, $5,343,715 in silver dollars, $7,217,220.90 in subsidiary silver coin, and $1,086,102.90 in minor coins.

During the calendar year 1892 the production of precious metals in the United States was estimated to be 1,596,375 fine ounces of gold of the commercial and coinage value of $33,000,000 and 58,000,000 fine ounces of silver of the bullion or market value of $50,750,000 and of the coinage value of $74,989,900.

It is estimated that on the 1st day of July, 1893, the metallic stock of money in the United States, consisting of coin and bullion, amounted to $1,213,559,169, of which $597,697,685 was gold and $615,861,484 was silver.

One hundred and nineteen national banks were organized during the year ending October 31, 1893, with a capital of $11,230,000. Forty-six went into voluntary liquidation and 158 suspended. Sixty-five of the suspended banks were insolvent, 86 resumed business, and 7 remain in the hands of the bank examiners, with prospects of speedy resumption. Of the new banks organized, 44 were located in the Eastern States, 41 west of the Mississippi River, and 34 in the Central and Southern States. The total number of national banks in existence on October 31, 1893, was 3,796, having an aggregate capital of $695,558,120. The net increase in the circulation of these banks during the year was $36,886,972.

The recent repeal of the provision of law requiring the purchase of silver bullion by the Government as a feature of our monetary scheme has made an entire change in the complexion of our currency affairs. I do not doubt that the ultimate result of this action will be most salutary and far-reaching. In the nature of things, however, it is impossible to know at this time precisely what conditions will be brought about by the change, or what, if any, supplementary legislation may in the light of such conditions appear to be essential or expedient. Of course, after the recent financial perturbation, time is necessary for the reestablishment of business confidence. When, however, through this restored confidence, the money which has been frightened into hoarding places is returned to trade and enterprise, a survey of the situation will probably disclose a safe path leading to a permanently sound currency, abundantly sufficient to meet every requirement of our increasing population and business.

In the pursuit of this object we should resolutely turn away from alluring and temporary expedients, determined to be content with nothing less than a lasting and comprehensive financial plan. In these circumstances I am convinced that a reasonable delay in dealing with this subject, instead of being injurious, will increase the probability of wise action.

The monetary conference which assembled at Brussels upon our invitation was adjourned to the 30th day of November of the present year. The considerations just stated and the fact that a definite proposition from us seemed to be expected upon the reassembling of the conference led me to express a willingness to have the meeting still further postponed.

It seems to me that it would be wise to give general authority to the President to invite other nations to such a conference at any time when there should be a fair prospect of accomplishing an international agreement on the subject of coinage.

I desire also to earnestly suggest the wisdom of amending the existing statutes in regard to the issuance of Government bonds. The authority now vested in the Secretary of the Treasury to issue bonds is not as clear as it should be, and the bonds authorized are disadvantageous to the Government both as to the time of their maturity and rate of interest.

The Superintendent of Immigration, through the Secretary of the Treasury, reports that during the last fiscal year there arrived at our ports 440,793 immigrants. Of these, 1,063 were not permitted to land under the limitations of the law and 577 were returned to the countries from whence they came by reason of their having become public charges. The total arrivals were 141,034 less than for the previous year.

The Secretary in his report gives an account of the operation of the Marine-Hospital Service and of the good work done under its supervision in preventing the entrance and spread of contagious diseases.

The admonitions of the last two years touching our public health and the demonstrated danger of the introduction of contagious diseases from foreign ports have invested the subject of national quarantine with increased interest. A more general and harmonious system than now exists, acting promptly and directly everywhere and constantly operating by preventive means to shield our country from the invasion of disease, and at the same time having due regard to the rights and duties of local agencies, would, I believe, add greatly to the safety of our people.

The Secretary of War reports that the strength of the Army on the 30th day of September last was 25,778 enlisted men and 2,144 officers.

The total expenditures of the Department for the year ending June 30, 1893, amounted to $51,966,074.89. Of this sum $1,992,581.95 was for salaries and contingent expenses, $23,377,828.35 for the support of the military establishment, $6,077,033.18 for miscellaneous objects, and 518,631.41 for public works. This latter sum includes $15,296,876.46 for river and harbor improvements and $3,266,141.20 for fortifications and other works of defense.

The total enrollment of the militia of the several States was on the 31st of October of the current year 112,597 officers and enlisted men. The officers of the Army detailed for the inspection and instruction of this reserve of our military force report that increased interest and marked progress are apparent in the discipline and efficiency of the organization.

Neither Indian outbreaks nor domestic violence have called the Army into service during the year, and the only active military duty required of it has been in the Department of Texas, where violations of the neutrality laws of the United States and Mexico were promptly and efficiently dealt with by the troops, eliciting the warm approval of the civil and military authorities of both countries.

The operation of wise laws and the influences of civilization constantly tending to relieve the country from the dangers of Indian hostilities, together with the increasing ability of the States, through the efficiency of the National Guard organizations, to protect their citizens from domestic violence, lead to the suggestion that the time is fast approaching when there should be a reorganization of our Army on the lines of the present necessities of the country. This change contemplates neither increase in number nor added expense, but a redistribution of the force and an encouragement of measures tending to greater efficiency among the men and improvement of the service.

The adoption of battalion formations for infantry regiments, the strengthening of the artillery force, the abandonment of smaller and unnecessary posts, and the massing of the troops at important and accessible stations all promise to promote the usefulness of the Army. In the judgment of army officers, with but few exceptions, the operation of the law forbidding the reenlistment of men after ten years' service has not proved its wisdom, and while the arguments that led to its adoption were not without merit the experience of the year constrains me to join in the recommendation for its repeal.

It is gratifying to note that we have begun to attain completed results in the comprehensive scheme of seacoast defense and fortification entered upon eight years ago. A large sum has been already expended, but the cost of maintenance will be inconsiderable as compared with the expense of construction and ordnance. At the end of the current calendar year the War Department will have nine 12-inch guns, twenty 10-inch, and thirty-four 8-inch guns ready to be mounted on gun lifts and carriages, and seventy-five 12-inch mortars. In addition to the product of the Army Gun Factory, now completed at Watervliet, the Government has contracted with private parties for the purchase of one hundred guns of these calibers, the first of which should be delivered to the Department for test before July 1, 1894.

The manufacture of heavy ordnance keeps pace with current needs, but to render these guns available for the purposes they are designed to meet emplacements must be prepared for them. Progress has been made in this direction, and it is desirable that Congress by adequate appropriations should provide for the uninterrupted prosecution of this necessary work.

After much preliminary work and exhaustive examination in accordance with the requirements of the law, the board appointed to select a magazine rifle of modern type with which to replace the obsolete Springfield rifle of the infantry service completed its labors during the last year, and the work of manufacture is now in progress at the national armory at Springfield. It is confidently expected that by the end of the current year our infantry will be supplied with a weapon equal to that of the most progressive armies of the world.

The work on the projected Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park has been prosecuted with zeal and judgment, and its opening will be celebrated during the coming year. Over 9 square miles of the Chickamauga battlefield have been acquired, 25 miles of roadway have been constructed, and permanent tablets have been placed at many historical points, while the invitation to the States to mark the positions of their troops participating in the battle has been very generally accepted.

The work of locating and preserving the lines of battle at the Gettysburg battlefield is making satisfactory progress on the plans directed by the last Congress.

The reports of the Military Academy at West Point and the several schools for special instruction of officers show marked advance in the education of the Army and a commendable ambition among its officers to excel in the military profession and to fit themselves for the highest service to the country.

Under the supervision of Adjutant-General Robert Williams, lately retired, the Bureau of Military Information has become well established and is performing a service that will put in possession of the Government in time of war most valuable information, and at all times serve a purpose of great utility in keeping the Army advised of the world's progress in all matters pertaining to the art of war.

The report of the Attorney-General contains the usual summary of the affairs and proceedings of the Department of Justice for the past year, together with certain recommendations as to needed legislation on various subjects. I can not too heartily indorse the proposition that the fee system as applicable to the compensation of United States attorneys, marshals, clerks of Federal courts, and United States commissioners should be abolished with as little delay as possible. It is clearly in the interest of the community that the business of the courts, both civil and criminal, shall be as small and as inexpensively transacted as the ends of justice will allow.

The system is therefore thoroughly vicious which makes the compensation of court officials depend upon the volume of such business, and thus creates a conflict between a proper execution of the law and private gain, which can not fail to be dangerous to the rights and freedom of the citizen and an irresistible temptation to the unjustifiable expenditure of public funds. If in addition to this reform another was inaugurated which would give to United States commissioners the final disposition of petty offenses within the grade of misdemeanors, especially those coming under the internal-revenue laws, a great advance would be made toward a more decent administration of the criminal law.

In my first message to Congress, dated December 8, 1885, I strongly recommended these changes and referred somewhat at length to the evils of the present system. Since that time the criminal business of the Federal courts and the expense attending it have enormously increased. The number of criminal prosecutions pending in the circuit and district courts of the United States on the 1st day of July, 1885, was 3,808, of which 1,884 were for violations of the internal-revenue laws, while the number of such prosecutions pending on the 1st day of July, 1893, was 9,500, of which 4,200 were for violations of the internal-revenue laws. The expense of the United States courts, exclusive of judges' salaries, for the year ending July 1, 1885, was $2,874,733.11 and for the year ending July 1, 1893, $4,528,676.87.

It is therefore apparent that the reasons given in 1885 for a change in the manner of enforcing the Federal criminal law have gained cogency and strength by lapse of time.

I also heartily join the Attorney-General in recommending legislation fixing degrees of the crime of murder within Federal jurisdiction, as has been done in many of the States; authorizing writs of error on behalf of the Government in cases where final judgment is rendered against the sufficiency of an indictment or against the Government upon any other question arising before actual trial; limiting the right of review in cases of felony punishable only by fine and imprisonment to the circuit court of appeals, and making speedy provision for the construction of such prisons and reformatories as may be necessary for the confinement of United States convicts.

The report of the Postmaster-General contains a detailed statement of the operations of the Post-Office Department during the last fiscal year and much interesting information touching this important branch of the public service.

The business of the mails indicates with absolute certainty the condition of the business of the country, and depression in financial affairs inevitably and quickly reduces the postal revenues. Therefore a larger discrepancy than usual between the post-office receipts and expenditures is the expected and unavoidable result of the distressing stringency which has prevailed throughout the country during much of the time covered by the Postmaster-General's report. At a date when better times were anticipated it was estimated by his predecessor that the deficiency on the 30th day of June, 1893, would be but a little over a million and a half dollars. It amounted, however, to more than five millions. At the same time and under the influence of like anticipations estimates were made for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 1894, which exhibited a surplus of revenue over expenditures of $872,245.71; but now, in view of the actual receipts and expenditures during that part of the current fiscal year already expired, the present Postmaster-General estimates that at its close instead of a surplus there will be a deficiency of nearly $8,000,000.

The post-office receipts for the last fiscal year amounted to $75,896,933.16 and its expenditures to $81,074,104.90. This post-office deficiency would disappear or be immensely decreased if less matter were carried free through the mails, an item of which is upward of 300 tons of seeds and grain from the Agricultural Department.

The total number of post-offices in the United States on the 30th day of June, 1893, was 68,403, an increase of 1,284 over the preceding year. Of these, 3,360 were Presidential, an increase in that class of 204 over the preceding year.

Forty-two free-delivery offices were added during the year to those already existing, making a total of 610 cities and towns provided with free delivery on June 30, 1893. Ninety-three other cities and towns are now entitled to this service under the law, but it has not been accorded them on account of insufficient funds to meet the expenses of its establishment.

I am decidedly of the opinion that the provisions of the present law permit as general an introduction of this feature of mail service as is necessary or justifiable, and that it ought not to be extended to smaller communities than are now designated.

The expenses of free delivery for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, will be more than $11,000,000, and under legislation now existing there must be a constant increase in this item of expenditure.

There were 6,401 additions to the domestic money-order offices during the last fiscal year, being the largest increase in any year since the inauguration of the system. The total number of these offices at the close of the year was 18,434. There were 13,309,735 money orders issued from these offices, being an increase over the preceding year of 1,240,293, and the value of these orders amounted to $127,576,433.65, an increase of $7,509,632.58. There were also issued during the year postal notes amounting to $12,903,076.73.

During the year 195 international money-order offices were added to those already provided, making a total of 2,407 in operation on June 30, 1893. The number of international money orders issued during the year was 1,055,999, an increase over the preceding year of 72,525, and their value was $16,341,837.86, an increase of $2,221,506.31. The number of orders paid was 300,917, an increase over the preceding year of 13,503, and their value was $5,283,375.70, an increase of $94,094.83.

From the foregoing statements it appears that the total issue of money orders and postal notes for the year amounted to $156,822,348.24.

The number of letters and packages mailed during the year for special delivery was 3,375,693, an increase over the preceding year of nearly 22 per cent. The special-delivery stamps used upon these letters and packages amounted to $337,569.30, and the messengers' fees paid for their delivery amounted to $256,592.71, leaving a profit to the Government of $80,976.59.

The Railway Mail Service not only adds to the promptness of mail delivery at all offices, but it is the especial instrumentality which puts the smaller and way places in the service on an equality in that regard with the larger and terminal offices. This branch of the postal service has therefore received much attention from the Postmaster-General, and though it is gratifying to know that it is in a condition of high efficiency and great usefulness, I am led to agree with the Postmaster-General that there is room for its further improvement.

There are now connected to the Post-Office establishment 28,324 employees who are in the classified service. The head of this great Department gives conclusive evidence of the value of civil-service reform when, after an experience that renders his judgment on the subject absolutely reliable, he expresses the opinion that without the benefit of this system it would be impossible to conduct the vast business intrusted to him.

I desire to commend as especially worthy of prompt attention the suggestions of the Postmaster-General relating to a more sensible and business like organization and a better distribution of responsibility in his Department.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy contains a history of the operations of his Department during the past year and exhibits a most gratifying condition of the personnel of our Navy. He presents a satisfactory account of the progress which has been made in the construction of vessels and makes a number of recommendations to which attention is especially invited.

During the past six months the demands for cruising vessels have been many and urgent. There have been revolutions calling for vessels to protect American interests in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Argentina, and Brazil, while the condition of affairs in Honolulu has required the constant presence of one or more ships. With all these calls upon our Navy it became necessary, in order to make up a sufficient fleet to patrol the Bering Sea under the modus vivendi agreed upon with Great Britain, to detail to that service one vessel from the Fish Commission and three from the Revenue Marine.

Progress in the construction of new vessels has not been as rapid as was anticipated. There have been delays in the completion of unarmored vessels, but for the most part they have been such as are constantly occurring even in countries having the largest experience in naval shipbuilding. The most serious delays, however, have been in the work upon armored ships. The trouble has been the failure of contractors to deliver armor as agreed. The difficulties seem now, however, to have been all overcome, and armor is being delivered with satisfactory promptness. As a result of the experience acquired by shipbuilders and designers and material men, it is believed that the dates when vessels will be completed can now be estimated with reasonable accuracy. Great guns, rapid-fire guns, torpedoes, and powder are being promptly supplied.

The following vessels of the new Navy have been completed and are now ready for service: The double-turreted coast-defense monitor Miantonomoh, the double-turreted coast-defense monitor Monterey, the armored cruiser New York, the protected cruisers Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, San Francisco, Charleston, Atlanta, and Boston, the cruiser Detroit, the gunboats Yorktown, Concord, Bennington, Machias, Castine, and Petrel, the dispatch vessel Dolphin, the practice vessel Bancroft, and the dynamite gunboat Vesuvius. Of these the Bancroft, Machias, Detroit, and Castine have been placed in commission during the current calendar year.

The following vessels are in process of construction: The second-class battle ships Maine and Texas, the cruisers Montgomery and Marblehead, and the coast-defense monitors Terror, Puritan, Amphitrite, and Monadnock, all of which will be completed within one year; the harbor-defense ram Katahdin and the protected cruisers Columbia, Minneapolis, Olympia, Cincinnati, and Raleigh, all of which will be completed prior to July 1, 1895; the first-class battle ships Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Oregon, which will be completed February 1, 1896, and the armored cruiser Brooklyn, which will be completed by August 1 of that year. It is also expected that the three gunboats authorized by the last Congress will be completed in less than two years.

Since 1886 Congress has at each session authorized the building of one or more vessels, and the Secretary of the Navy presents an earnest plea for the continuance of this plan. He recommends the authorization of at least one battle ship and six torpedo boats.

While I am distinctly in favor of consistently pursuing the policy we have inaugurated of building up a thorough and efficient Navy, I can not refrain from the suggestion that the Congress should carefully take into account the number of unfinished vessels on our hands and the depleted condition of our Treasury in considering the propriety of an appropriation at this time to begin new work.

The method of employing mechanical labor at navy-yards through boards of labor and making efficiency the sole test by which laborers are employed and continued is producing the best results, and the Secretary is earnestly devoting himself to its development. Attention is invited to the statements of his report in regard to the workings of the system.

The Secretary of the Interior has the supervision of so many important subjects that his report is of especial value and interest.

On the 30th day of June, 1893, there were on the pension rolls 966,012 names, an increase of 89,944 over the number on the rolls June 30, 1892. Of these there were 17 widows and daughters of Revolutionary soldiers, 86 survivors of the War of 1812, 5,425 widows of soldiers of that war, 21,518 survivors and widows of the Mexican War, 3,882 survivors and widows of Indian wars, 284 army nurses. and 475,645 survivors and widows and children of deceased soldiers and sailors of the War of the Rebellion. The latter number represents those pensioned on account of disabilities or death resulting from army and navy service. The number of persons remaining on the rolls June 30, 1893, who were pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890, which allows pensions on account of death and disability not chargeable to army service, was 459,155.

The number added to the rolls during the year was 123,634 and the number dropped was 33,690. The first payments on pensions allowed during the year amounted to $33,756,549.98. This includes arrears, or the accumulation between the time from which the allowance of pension dates and the time of actually granting the certificate.

Although the law of 1890 permits pensions for disabilities not related to military service, yet as a requisite to its benefits a disability must exist incapacitating applicants "from the performance of manual labor to such a degree as to render them unable to earn a support." The execution of this law in its early stages does not seem to have been in accord with its true intention, but toward the close of the last Administration an authoritative construction was given to the statute, and since that time this construction has been followed. This has had the effect of limiting the operation of the law to its intended purpose. The discovery having been made that many names had been put upon the pension roll by means of wholesale and gigantic frauds, the Commissioner suspended payments upon a number of pensions which seemed to be fraudulent or unauthorized pending a complete examination, giving notice to the pensioners, in order that they might have an opportunity to establish, if possible, the justice of their claims notwithstanding apparent invalidity.

This, I understand, is the practice which has for a long time prevailed in the Pension Bureau; but after entering upon these recent investigations the Commissioner modified this rule so as not to allow until after a complete examination interference with the payment of a pension apparently not altogether void, but which merely had been fixed at a rate higher than that authorized by law.

I am unable to understand why frauds in the pension rolls should not be exposed and corrected with thoroughness and vigor. Every name fraudulently put upon these rolls is a wicked imposition upon the kindly sentiment in which pensions have their origin; every fraudulent pensioner has become a bad citizen; every false oath in support of a pension has made perjury more common, and false and undeserving pensioners rob the people not only of their money, but of the patriotic sentiment which the survivors of a war fought for the preservation of the Union ought to inspire. Thousands of neighborhoods have their well-known fraudulent pensioners, and recent developments by the Bureau establish appalling conspiracies to accomplish pension frauds. By no means the least wrong done is to brave and deserving pensioners, who certainly ought not to be condemned to such association.

Those who attempt in the line of duty to rectify these wrongs should not be accused of enmity or indifference to the claims of honest veterans. The sum expended on account of pensions for the year ending June 30, 1893, was $156,740,467.14.

The Commissioner estimates that $165,000,000 will be required to pay pensions during the year ending June 30, 1894.

The condition of the Indians and their ultimate fate are subjects which are related to a sacred duty of the Government and which strongly appeal to the sense of justice and the sympathy of our people.

Our Indians number about 248,000. Most of them are located on 161 reservations, containing 86,116,531 acres of land. About 110,000 of these Indians have to a large degree adopted civilized customs. Lands in severalty have been allotted to many of them. Such allotments have been made to 10,000 individuals during the last fiscal year, embracing about 1,000,000 acres. The number of Indian Government schools opened during the year was 195, an increase of 12 over the preceding year. Of this total 170 were on reservations, of which 73 were boarding schools and 97 were day schools. Twenty boarding schools and 5 day schools supported by the Government were not located on reservations. The total number of Indian children enrolled during the year as attendants of all schools was 21,138, an increase of 1,231 over the enrollment for the previous year.

I am sure that secular education and moral and religious teaching must be important factors in any effort to save the Indian and lead him to civilization. I believe, too, that the relinquishment of tribal relations and the holding of land in severalty may in favorable conditions aid this consummation. It seems to me, however, that allotments of land in severalty ought to be made with great care and circumspection. If hastily done, before the Indian knows its meaning, while yet he has little or no idea of tilling a farm and no conception of thrift, there is great danger that a reservation life in tribal relations may be exchanged for the pauperism of civilization instead of its independence and elevation.

The solution of the Indian problem depends very largely upon good administration. The personal fitness of agents and their adaptability to the peculiar duty of caring for their wards are of the utmost importance.

The law providing that, except in special cases, army officers shall be detailed as Indian agents it is hoped will prove a successful experiment.

There is danger of great abuses creeping into the prosecution of claims for Indian depredations, and I recommend that every possible safeguard be provided against the enforcement of unjust and fictitious claims of this description.

The appropriations on account of the Indian Bureau for the year ending June 30, 1894, amount to $7,954,962.99, a decrease as compared with the year preceding it of $387,131.95.

The vast area of land which but a short time ago constituted the public domain is rapidly falling into private hands. It is certain that in the transfer the beneficent intention of the Government to supply from its domain homes to the industrious and worthy home seekers is often frustrated. Though the speculator, who stands with extortionate purpose between the land office and those who, with their families, are invited by the Government to settle on the public lands, is a despicable character who ought not to be tolerated, yet it is difficult to thwart his schemes. The recent opening to settlement of the lands in the Cherokee Outlet, embracing an area of 6,500,000 acres, notwithstanding the utmost care in framing the regulations governing the selection of locations and notwithstanding the presence of United States troops, furnished an exhibition, though perhaps in a modified degree, of the mad scramble, the violence, and the fraudulent occupation which have accompanied previous openings of public land.

I concur with the Secretary in the belief that these outrageous incidents can not be entirely prevented without a change in the laws on the subject, and I hope his recommendations in that direction will be favorably considered.

I especially commend to the attention of the Congress the statements contained in the Secretary's report concerning forestry. The time has come when efficient measures should be taken for the preservation of our forests from indiscriminate and remediless destruction.

The report of the Secretary of Agriculture will be found exceedingly interesting, especially to that large part of our citizens intimately concerned in agricultural occupations.

On the 7th day of March, 1893, there were upon its pay rolls 2,430 employees. This number has been reduced to 1,850 persons. In view of a depleted public Treasury and the imperative demand of the people for economy in the administration of their Government, the Secretary has entered upon the task of rationally reducing expenditures by the elimination from the pay rolls of all persons not needed for an efficient conduct of the affairs of the Department.

During the first quarter of the present year the expenses of the Department aggregated $345,876.76, as against $402,012.42 for the corresponding period of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893. The Secretary makes apparent his intention to continue this rate of reduction by submitting estimates for the next fiscal year less by $994,280 than those for the present year.

Among the heads of divisions in this Department the changes have been exceedingly few. Three vacancies occurring from death and resignations have been filled by the promotion of assistants in the same divisions.

These promotions of experienced and faithful assistants have not only been in the interest of efficient work, but have suggested to those in the Department who look for retention and promotion that merit and devotion to duty are their best reliance.

The amount appropriated for the Bureau of Animal Industry for the current fiscal year is $850,000. The estimate for the ensuing year is $700,000.

The regulations of 1892 concerning Texas fever have been enforced during the last year and the large stock yards of the country have been kept free from infection. Occasional local outbreaks have been largely such as could have been effectually guarded against by the owners of the affected cattle.

While contagious pleuro-pneumonia in cattle has been eradicated, animal tuberculosis, a disease widespread and more dangerous to human life than pleuro-pneumonia, is still prevalent. Investigations have been made during the past year as to the means of its communication and the method of its correct diagnosis. Much progress has been made in this direction by the studies of the division of animal pathology, but work ought to be extended, in cooperation with local authorities, until the danger to human life arising from this cause is reduced to a minimum.

The number of animals arriving from Canada during the year and inspected by Bureau officers was 462,092, and the number from transatlantic countries was 1,297. No contagious diseases were found among the imported animals.

The total number of inspections of cattle for export during the past fiscal year was 611,542. The exports show a falling off of about 25 per cent from the preceding year, the decrease occurring entirely in the last half of the year. This suggests that the falling off may have been largely due to an increase in the price of American export cattle.

During the year ending June 30, 1893, exports of inspected pork aggregated 10,677,410 pounds, as against 38,152,874 pounds for the preceding year. The falling off in this export was not confined, however, to inspected pork, the total quantity exported for 1892 being 665,490,616 pounds, while in 1893 it was only 527,308,695 pounds.

I join the Secretary in recommending that hereafter each applicant for the position of inspector or assistant inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry be required, as a condition precedent to his appointment, to exhibit to the United States Civil Service Commission his diploma from an established, regular, and reputable veterinary college, and that this be supplemented by such an examination in veterinary science as the Commission may prescribe.

The exports of agricultural products from the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, attained the enormous figure of $800,000,000, in round numbers, being 78.7 per cent of our total exports. In the last fiscal year this aggregate was greatly reduced, but nevertheless reached 615,000,000, being 75.1 per cent of all American commodities exported.

A review of our agricultural exports with special reference to their destination will show that in almost every line the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland absorbs by far the largest proportion. Of cattle the total exports aggregated in value for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, $26,000,000, of which Great Britain took considerably over $25,000,000. Of beef products of all kinds our total exports were $28,000,000, of which Great Britain took $24,000,000. Of pork products the total exports were $84,000,000, of which Great Britain took $53,000,000. In breadstuffs, cotton, and minor products like proportions sent to the same destination are shown.

The work of the statistical division of the Department of Agriculture deals with all that relates to the economics of farming.

The main purpose of its monthly reports is to keep the farmers informed as fully as possible of all matters having any influence upon the world's markets, in which their products find sale. Its publications relate especially to the commercial side of farming.

It is therefore of profound importance and vital concern to the farmers of the United States, who represent nearly one-half of our population, and also of direct interest to the whole country, that the work of this division be efficiently performed and that the information it has gathered be promptly diffused.

It is a matter for congratulation to know that the Secretary will not spare any effort to make this part of his work thoroughly useful.

In the year 1839 the Congress appropriated $1,000, to be taken from the Patent Office funds, for the purpose of collecting and distributing rare and improved varieties of seeds and for prosecuting agricultural investigations and procuring agricultural statistics. From this small beginning the seed division of the Department of Agriculture has grown to its present unwieldy and unjustifiably extravagant proportions.

During the last fiscal year the cost of seeds purchased was $66,548.61. The remainder of an appropriation of $135,000 was expended in putting them up and distributing them. It surely never could have entered the minds of those who first sanctioned appropriations of public money for the purchase of new and improved varieties of seeds for gratuitous distribution that from this would grow large appropriations for the purchase and distribution by members of Congress of ordinary seeds, bulbs, and cuttings which are common in all the States and Territories and everywhere easily obtainable at low prices.

In each State and Territory an agricultural experiment station has been established. These stations, by their very character and name, are the proper agencies to experiment with and test new varieties of seeds; and yet this indiscriminate and wasteful distribution by legislation and legislators continues, answering no purpose unless it be to remind constituents that their representatives are willing to remember them with gratuities at public cost.

Under the sanction of existing legislation there was sent out from the Agricultural Department during the last fiscal year enough of cabbage seed to plant 19,200 acres of land, a sufficient quantity of beans to plant 4,000 acres, beet seed enough to plant 2,500 acres, sweet corn enough to plant 7,800 acres, sufficient cucumber seed to cover 2,025 acres with vines, and enough muskmelon and watermelon seeds to plant 2,675 acres. The total quantity of flower and vegetable seeds thus distributed was contained in more than 9,000,000 packages, and they were sufficient if planted to cover 89,596 acres of land.

In view of these facts this enormous expenditure without legitimate returns of benefit ought to be abolished. Anticipating a consummation so manifestly in the interest of good administration, more than $100,000 has been stricken from the estimate made to cover this object for the year ending June 30, 1895; and the Secretary recommends that the remaining $35,000 of the estimate be confined strictly to the purchase of new and improved varieties of seeds, and that these be distributed through experiment stations.

Thus the seed will be tested, and after the test has been completed by the experiment station the propagation of the useful varieties and the rejection of the valueless may safely be left to the common sense of the people.

The continued intelligent execution of the civil-service law and the increasing approval by the people of its operation are most gratifying. The recent extension of its limitations and regulations to the employees at free-delivery post-offices, which has been honestly and promptly accomplished by the Commission, with the hearty cooperation of the Postmaster-General, is an immensely important advance in the usefulness of the system.

I am, if possible, more than ever convinced of the incalculable benefits conferred by the civil-service law, not only in its effect upon the public service, but also, what is even more important, in its effect in elevating the tone of political life generally.

The course of civil-service reform in this country instructively and interestingly illustrates how strong a hold a movement gains upon our people which has underlying it a sentiment of justice and right and which at the same time promises better administration of their Government.

The law embodying this reform found its way to our statute book more from fear of the popular sentiment existing in its favor than from any love for the reform itself on the part of legislators, and it has lived and grown and flourished in spite of the covert as well as open hostility of spoilsmen and notwithstanding the querulous impracticability of many self-constituted guardians. Beneath all the vagaries and sublimated theories which are attracted to it there underlies this reform a sturdy common-sense principle not only suited to this mundane sphere, but whose application our people are more and more recognizing to be absolutely essential to the most successful operation of their Government, if not to its perpetuity.

It seems to me to be entirely inconsistent with the character of this reform, as well as with its best enforcement, to oblige the Commission to rely for clerical assistance upon clerks detailed from other Departments. There ought not to be such a condition in any Department that clerks hired to do work there can be spared to habitually work at another place, and it does not accord with a sensible view of civil-service reform that persons should be employed on the theory that their labor is necessary in one Department when in point of fact their services are devoted to entirely different work in another Department.

I earnestly urge that the clerks necessary to carry on the work of the Commission be regularly put upon its roster and that the system of obliging the Commissioners to rely upon the services of clerks belonging to other Departments be discontinued. This ought not to increase the expense to the Government, while it would certainly be more consistent and add greatly to the efficiency of the Commission.

Economy in public expenditure is a duty that can not innocently be neglected by those intrusted with the control of money drawn from the people for public uses. It must be confessed that our apparently endless resources, the familiarity of our people with immense accumulations of wealth, the growing sentiment among them that the expenditure of public money should in some manner be to their immediate and personal advantage, the indirect and almost stealthy manner in which a large part of our taxes is exacted, and a degenerated sense of official accountability have led to growing extravagance in governmental appropriations.

At this time, when a depleted public Treasury confronts us, when many of our people are engaged in a hard struggle for the necessaries of life, and when enforced economy is pressing upon the great mass of our countrymen, I desire to urge with all the earnestness at my command that Congressional legislation be so limited by strict economy as to exhibit an appreciation of the condition of the Treasury and a sympathy with the straitened circumstances of our fellow-citizens.

The duty of public economy is also of immense importance in its intimate and necessary relation to the task now in hand of providing revenue to meet Government expenditures and yet reducing the people's burden of Federal taxation.

After a hard struggle tariff reform is directly before us. Nothing so important claims our attention and nothing so clearly presents itself as both an opportunity and a duty--an opportunity to deserve the gratitude of our fellow-citizens and a duty imposed upon us by our oft-repeated professions and by the emphatic mandate of the people. After full discussion our countrymen have spoken in favor of this reform, and they have confided the work of its accomplishment to the hands of those who are solemnly pledged to it.

If there is anything in the theory of a representation in public places of the people and their desires, if public officers are really the servants of the people, and if political promises and professions have any binding force, our failure to give the relief so long awaited will be sheer recreancy. Nothing should intervene to distract our attention or disturb our effort until this reform is accomplished by wise and careful legislation.

While we should stanchly adhere to the principle that only the necessity of revenue justifies the imposition of tariff duties and other Federal taxation and that they should be limited by strict economy, we can not close our eyes to the fact that conditions have grown up among us which in justice and fairness call for discriminating care in the distribution of such duties and taxation as the emergencies of our Government actually demand.

Manifestly if we are to aid the people directly through tariff reform, one of its most obvious features should be a reduction in present tariff charges upon the necessaries of life. The benefits of such a reduction would be palpable and substantial, seen and felt by thousands who would be better fed and better clothed and better sheltered. These gifts should be the willing benefactions of a Government whose highest function is the promotion of the welfare of the people.

Not less closely related to our people's prosperity and well-being is the removal of restrictions upon the importation of the raw materials necessary to our manufactures. The world should be open to our national ingenuity and enterprise. This can not be while Federal legislation through the imposition of high tariff forbids to American manufacturers as cheap materials as those used by their competitors. It is quite obvious that the .enhancement of the price of our manufactured products resulting from this policy not only confines the market for these products within our own borders, to the direct disadvantage of our manufacturers, but also increases their cost to our citizens.

The interests of labor are certainly, though indirectly, involved in this feature of our tariff system. The sharp competition and active struggle among our manufacturers to supply the limited demand for their goods soon fill the narrow market to which they are confined. Then follows a suspension of work in mills and factories, a discharge of employees, and distress in the homes of our workingmen.

Even if the often-disproved assertion could be made good that a lower rate of wages would result from free raw materials and low tariff duties, the intelligence of our workmen leads them quickly to discover that their steady employment, permitted by free raw materials, is the most important factor in their relation to tariff legislation.

A measure has been prepared by the appropriate Congressional committee embodying tariff reform on the lines herein suggested, which will be promptly submitted for legislative action. It is the result of much patriotic and unselfish work, and I believe it deals with its subject consistently and as thoroughly as existing conditions permit.

I am satisfied that the reduced tariff duties provided for in the proposed legislation, added to existing internal-revenue taxation, will in the near future, though perhaps not immediately, produce sufficient revenue to meet the needs of the Government.

The committee, after full consideration and to provide against a temporary deficiency which may exist before the business of the country adjusts itself to the new tariff schedules, have wisely embraced in their plan a few additional internal-revenue taxes, including a small tax upon incomes derived from certain corporate investments.

These new adjustments are not only absolutely just and easily borne, but they have the further merit of being such as can be remitted without unfavorable business disturbance whenever the necessity of their imposition no longer exists.

In my great desire for the success of this measure I can not restrain the suggestion that its success can only be attained by means of unselfish counsel on the part of the friends of tariff reform and as a result of their willingness to subordinate personal desires and ambitions to the general good. The local interests affected by the proposed reform are so numerous and so varied that if all are insisted upon the legislation embodying the reform must inevitably fail.

In conclusion my intense feeling of responsibility impels me to invoke for the manifold interests of a generous and confiding people the most scrupulous care and to pledge my willing support to every legislative effort for the advancement of the greatness and prosperity of our beloved country.



State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 3, 1894

To the Congress of the United States:

The assemblage within the nation's legislative halls of those charged with the duty of making laws for the benefit of a generous and free people impressively suggests the exacting obligation and inexorable responsibility involved in their task. At the threshold of such labor now to be undertaken by the Congress of the United States, and in the discharge of an executive duty enjoined by the Constitution, I submit this communication, containing a brief statement of the condition of our national affairs and recommending such legislation as seems to me necessary and expedient.

The history of our recent dealings with other nations and our peaceful relations with them at this time additionally demonstrate the advantage of consistently adhering to a firm but just foreign policy, free from envious or ambitious national schemes and characterized by entire honesty and sincerity.

During the past year, pursuant to a law of Congress, commissioners were appointed to the Antwerp Industrial Exposition. Though the participation of American exhibitors fell far short of completely illustrating our national ingenuity and industrial achievements, yet it was quite creditable in view of the brief time allowed for preparation.

I have endeavored to impress upon the Belgian Government the heedlessness and positive harmfulness of its restrictions upon the importation of certain of our food products, and have strongly urged that the rigid supervision and inspection under our laws are amply sufficient to prevent the exportation from this country of diseased cattle and unwholesome meat.

The termination of the civil war in Brazil has been followed by the general prevalence of peace and order. It appearing at an early stage of the insurrection that its course would call for unusual watchfulness on the part of this Government, our naval force in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro was strengthened. This precaution, I am satisfied, tended to restrict the issue to a simple trial of strength between the Brazilian Government and the insurgents and to avert complications which at times seemed imminent. Our firm attitude of neutrality was maintained to the end. The insurgents received no encouragement of eventual asylum from our commanders, and such opposition as they encountered was for the protection of our commerce and was clearly justified by public law.

A serious tension of relations having arisen at the close of the war between Brazil and Portugal by reason of the escape of the insurgent admiral Da Gama and his followers, the friendly offices of our representatives to those countries were exerted for the protection of the subjects of either within the territory of the other.

Although the Government of Brazil was duly notified that the commercial arrangement existing between the United States and that country based on the third section of the tariff act of 1890 was abrogated on August 28, 1894, by the taking effect of the tariff law now in force, that Government subsequently notified us of its intention to terminate such arrangement on the 1st day of January, 1895, in the exercise of the right reserved in the agreement between the two countries. I invite attention to the correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Brazilian minister on this subject.

The commission organized under the convention which we had entered into with Chile for the settlement of the outstanding claims of each Government against the other adjourned at the end of the period stipulated for its continuance leaving undetermined a number of American cases which had been duly presented. These claims are not barred, and negotiations are in progress for their submission to a new tribunal.

On the 17th of March last a new treaty with China in further regulation of emigration was signed at Washington, and on August 13 it received the sanction of the Senate. Ratification on the part of China and formal exchange are awaited to give effect to this mutually beneficial convention.

A gratifying recognition of the uniform impartiality of this country toward all foreign states was manifested by the coincident request of the Chinese and Japanese Governments that the agents of the United States should within proper limits afford protection to the subjects of the other during the suspension of diplomatic relations due to a state of war. This delicate office was accepted, and a misapprehension which gave rise to the belief that in affording this kindly unofficial protection our agents would exercise the same authority which the withdrawn agents of the belligerents had exercised was promptly corrected. Although the war between China and Japan endangers no policy of the United States, it deserves our gravest consideration by reason of its disturbance of our growing commercial interests in the two countries and the increased dangers which may result to our citizens domiciled or sojourning in the interior of China.

Acting under a stipulation in our treaty with Korea (the first concluded with a western power), I felt constrained at the beginning of the controversy to tender our good offices to induce an amicable arrangement of the initial difficulty growing out of the Japanese demands for administrative reforms in Korea, but the unhappy precipitation of actual hostilities defeated this kindly purpose.

Deploring the destructive war between the two most powerful of the eastern nations and anxious that our commercial interests in those countries may be preserved and that the safety of our citizens there shall not be jeopardized, I would not hesitate to heed any intimation that our friendly aid for the honorable termination of hostilities would be acceptable to both belligerents.

A convention has been finally concluded for the settlement by arbitration of the prolonged dispute with Ecuador growing out of the proceedings against Emilio Santos, a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Our relations with the Republic of France continue to be such as should exist between nations so long bound together by friendly sympathy and similarity in their form of government.

The recent cruel assassination of the President of this sister Republic called forth such universal expressions of sorrow and condolence from our people and Government as to leave no doubt of the depth and sincerity of our attachment. The resolutions passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on the occasion have been communicated to the widow of President Carnot.

Acting upon the reported discovery of Texas fever in cargoes of American cattle, the German prohibition against importations of live stock and fresh meats from this country has been revived. It is hoped that Germany will soon become convinced that the inhibition is as needless as it is harmful to mutual interests.

The German Government has protested against that provision of the customs tariff act which imposes a discriminating duty of one-tenth of 1 cent a pound on sugars coming from countries paying an export bounty thereon, claiming that the exaction of such duty is in contravention of Articles V and IX of the treaty of 1828 with Prussia.

In the interests of the commerce of both countries and to avoid even the accusation of treaty violation, I recommend the repeal of so much of the statute as imposes that duty, and I invite attention to the accompanying report of the Secretary of State, containing a discussion of the questions raised by the German protests.

Early in the present year an agreement was reached with Great Britain concerning instructions to be given to the naval commanders of the two Governments in Bering Sea and the contiguous North Pacific Ocean for their guidance in the execution of the award of the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration and the enforcement of the regulations therein prescribed for the protection of seal life in the waters mentioned. An understanding has also been reached for the payment by the United States of

$425,000 in full satisfaction of all claims which may be made by Great Britain for damages growing out of the controversy as to fur seals in Bering Sea or the seizure of British vessels engaged in taking seal in those waters. The award and findings of the Paris Tribunal to a great extent determined the facts and principles upon which these claims should be adjusted, and they have been subjected by both Governments to a thorough examination upon the principles as well as the facts which they involve. I am convinced that a settlement upon the terms mentioned would be an equitable and advantageous one, and I recommend that provision be made for the prompt payment of the stated sum.

Thus far only France and Portugal have signified their willingness to adhere to the regulations established under the award of the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration.

Preliminary surveys of the Alaskan boundary and a preparatory examination of the question of protection of food fish in the contiguous waters of the United States and the Dominion of Canada are in progress.

The boundary of British Guiana still remains in dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela. Believing that its early settlement on some just basis alike honorable to both parties is in the line of our established policy to remove from this hemisphere all causes of difference with powers beyond the sea, I shall renew the efforts heretofore made to bring about a restoration of diplomatic relations between the disputants and to induce a reference to arbitration--a resort which Great Britain so conspicuously favors in principle and respects in practice and which is earnestly sought by her weaker adversary.

Since communicating the voluminous correspondence in regard to Hawaii and the action taken by the Senate and House of Representatives on certain questions submitted to the judgment and wider discretion of Congress the organization of a government in place of the provisional arrangement which followed the deposition of the Queen has been announced, with evidence of its effective operation. The recognition usual in such cases has been accorded the new Government.

Under our present treaties of extradition with Italy miscarriages of justice have occurred owing to the refusal of that Government to surrender its own subjects. Thus far our efforts to negotiate an amended convention obviating this difficulty have been unavailing.

Apart from the war in which the Island Empire is engaged, Japan attracts increasing attention in this country by her evident desire to cultivate more liberal intercourse with us and to seek our kindly aid in furtherance of her laudable desire for complete autonomy in her domestic affairs and full equality in the family of nations. The Japanese Empire of to-day is no longer the Japan of the past, and our relations with this progressive nation should not be less broad and liberal than those with other powers.

Good will, fostered by many interests in common, has marked our relations with our nearest southern neighbor. Peace being restored along her northern frontier, Mexico has asked the punishment of the late disturbers of her tranquillity. There ought to be a new treaty of commerce and navigation with that country to take the place of the one which terminated thirteen years ago. The friendliness of the intercourse between the two countries is attested by the fact that during this long period the commerce of each has steadily increased under the rule of mutual consideration, being neither stimulated by conventional arrangements nor retarded by jealous rivalries or selfish distrust.

An indemnity tendered by Mexico as a gracious act for the murder in 1887 of Leon Baldwin, an American citizen, by a band of marauders in Durango has been accepted and is being paid in installments.

The problem of the storage and use of the waters of the Rio Grande for irrigation should be solved by appropriate concurrent action of the two interested countries. Rising in the Colorado heights, the stream flows intermittently, yielding little water during the dry months to the irrigation channels already constructed along its course. This scarcity is often severely felt in the regions where the river forms a common boundary. Moreover, the frequent changes in its course through level sands often raise embarrassing questions of territorial jurisdiction.

Prominent among the questions of the year was the Bluefields incident, in what is known as the Mosquito Indian Strip, bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and within the jurisdiction of Nicaragua. By the treaty of 1860 between Great Britain and Nicaragua the former Government expressly recognized the sovereignty of the latter over the strip, and a limited form of self-government was guaranteed to the Mosquito Indians, to be exercised according to their customs, for themselves and other dwellers within its limits. The so-called native government, which grew to be largely made up of aliens, for many years disputed the sovereignty of Nicaragua over the strip and claimed the right to maintain therein a practically independent municipal government. Early in the past year efforts of Nicaragua to maintain sovereignty over the Mosquito territory led to serious disturbances, culminating in the suppression of the native government and the attempted substitution of an impracticable composite administration in which Nicaragua and alien residents were to participate. Failure was followed by an insurrection, which for a time subverted Nicaraguan rule, expelling her officers and restoring the old organization. This in turn gave place to the existing local government established and upheld by Nicaragua.

Although the alien interests arrayed against Nicaragua in these transactions have been largely American and the commerce of that region for some time has been and still is chiefly controlled by our citizens, we can not for that reason challenge the rightful sovereignty of Nicaragua over this important part of her domain.

For some months one, and during part of the time two, of our naval ships have been stationed at Bluefields for the protection of all legitimate interests of our citizens. In September last the Government at Managua expelled from its territory twelve or more foreigners, including two Americans, for alleged participation in the seditious or revolutionary movements against the Republic at Bluefields already mentioned; but through the earnest remonstrance of this Government the two Americans have been permitted to return to the peaceful management of their business. Our naval commanders at the scene of these disturbances by their constant exhibition of firmness and good judgment contributed largely to the prevention of more serious consequences and to the restoration of quiet and order. I regret that in the midst of these occurrences there happened a most grave and irritating failure of Nicaraguan justice. An American citizen named Wilson, residing at Rama, in the Mosquito territory, was murdered by one Arguello, the acting governor of the town. After some delay the murderer was arrested, but so insecurely confined or guarded that he escaped, and notwithstanding our repeated demands it is claimed that his recapture has been impossible by reason of his flight beyond Nicaraguan jurisdiction.

The Nicaraguan authorities, having given notice of forfeiture of their concession to the canal company on grounds purely technical and not embraced in the contract, have receded from that position.

Peru, I regret to say, shows symptoms of domestic disturbance, due probably to the slowness of her recuperation from the distresses of the war of 1881. Weakened in resources, her difficulties in facing international obligations invite our kindly sympathy and justify our forbearance in pressing long-pending claims. I have felt constrained to testify this sympathy in connection with certain demands urgently preferred by other powers.

The recent death of the Czar of Russia called forth appropriate expressions of sorrow and sympathy on the part of our Government with his bereaved family and the Russian people. As a further demonstration of respect and friendship our minister at St. Petersburg was directed to represent our Government at the funeral ceremonies.

The sealing interests of Russia in Bering Sea are second only to our own. A modus vivendi has therefore been concluded with the Imperial Government restrictive of poaching on the Russian rookeries and of sealing in waters which were not comprehended in the protected area defined in the Paris award.

Occasion has been found to urge upon the Russian Government equality of treatment for our great life-insurance companies whose operations have been extended throughout Europe. Admitting as we do foreign corporations to transact business in the United States, we naturally expect no less tolerance for our own in the ample fields of competition abroad.

But few cases of interference with naturalized citizens returning to Russia have been reported during the current year. One Krzeminski was arrested last summer in a Polish province on a reported charge of unpermitted renunciation of Russian allegiance, but it transpired that the proceedings originated in alleged malfeasance committed by Krzeminski while an imperial official a number of years ago. Efforts for his release, which promised to be successful, were in progress when his death was reported.

The Government of Salvador having been overthrown by an abrupt popular outbreak, certain of its military and civil officers, while hotly pursued by infuriated insurgents, sought refuge on board the United States war ship Bennington, then lying in a Salvadorean port. Although the practice of asylum is not favored by this Government, yet in view of the imminent peril which threatened the fugitives and solely from considerations of humanity they were afforded shelter by our naval commander, and when afterwards demanded under our treaty of extradition with Salvador for trial on charges of murder, arson, and robbery I directed that such of them as had not voluntarily left the ship be conveyed to one of our nearest ports where a hearing could be had before a judicial officer, in compliance with the terms of the treaty. On their arrival at San Francisco such a proceeding was promptly instituted before the United States district judge, who held that the acts constituting the alleged offenses were political and discharged all the accused except one Cienfuegos, who was held for an attempt to murder. Thereupon I was constrained to direct his release for the reason that an attempt to murder was not one of the crimes charged against him and upon which his surrender to the Salvadorean authorities had been demanded.

Unreasonable and unjust fines imposed by Spain on the vessels and commerce of the United States have demanded from time to time during the last twenty years earnest remonstrance on the part of our Government. In the immediate past exorbitant penalties have been imposed upon our vessels and goods by customs authorities of Cuba and Puerto Rico for clerical errors of the most trivial character in the manifests of bills of lading. In some cases fines amounting to thousands of dollars have been levied upon cargoes or the carrying vessels when the goods in question were entitled to free entry. Fines have been exacted even when the error had been detected and the Spanish authorities notified before the arrival of the goods in port.

This conduct is in strange contrast with the considerate and liberal treatment extended to Spanish vessels and cargoes in our ports in like cases. No satisfactory settlement of these vexatious questions has yet been reached.

The Mora case, referred to in my last annual message, remains unsettled. From the diplomatic correspondence on this subject which has been laid before the Senate it will be seen that this Government has offered to conclude a convention with Spain for disposal by arbitration of outstanding claims between the two countries, except the Mora claim. which, having been long ago adjusted, now only awaits payment as stipulated, and of course it could not be included in the proposed convention. It was hoped that this offer would remove parliamentary obstacles encountered by the Spanish Government in providing payment of the Mora indemnity. I regret to say that no definite reply to this offer has yet been made and all efforts to secure payment of this settled claim have been unavailing.

In my last annual message I adverted to the claim on the part of Turkey of the right to expel as persons undesirable and dangerous Armenians naturalized in the United States and returning to Turkish jurisdiction. Numerous questions in this relation have arisen. While this Government acquiesces in the asserted right of expulsion, it will not consent that Armenians may be imprisoned or otherwise punished for no other reason than having acquired without imperial consent American citizenship.

Three of the assailants of Miss Melton, an American teacher in Mosul, have been convicted by the Ottoman courts, and I am advised that an appeal against the acquittal of the remaining five has been taken by the Turkish prosecuting officer.

A convention has been concluded with Venezuela for the arbitration of a long-disputed claim growing out of the seizure of certain vessels the property of citizens of the United States. Although signed, the treaty of extradition with Venezuela is not yet in force, owing to the insistence of that Government that when surrendered its citizens shall in no case be liable to capital punishment.

The rules for the prevention of collisions at sea which were framed by the maritime conference held in this city in 1889, having been concurrently incorporated in the statutes of the United States and Great Britain have been announced to take effect March 1, 1895, and invitations have been extended to all maritime nations to adhere to them. Favorable responses have thus far been received from Austria, France, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

In my last annual message I referred briefly to the unsatisfactory state of affairs in Samoa under the operation of the Berlin treaty as signally illustrating the impolicy of entangling alliances with foreign powers, and on May 9, 1894, in response to a resolution of the Senate, I sent a Special message and documents to that body on the same subject, which emphasized my previously expressed opinions. Later occurrences, the correspondence in regard to which will be laid before the Congress, further demonstrate that the Government which was devised by the three powers and forced upon the Samoans against their inveterate hostility can be maintained only by the continued presence of foreign military force and at no small sacrifice of life and treasure.

The suppression of the Mataafa insurrection by the powers and the subsequent banishment of the leader and eleven other chiefs, as recited in my last message, did not bring lasting peace to the islands. Formidable uprisings continued, and finally a rebellion broke out in the capital island, Upolu, headed in Aana, the western district, by the younger Tamasese, and in Atua, the eastern district, by other leaders. The insurgents ravaged the country and fought the Government's troops up to the very doors of Apia. The King again appealed to the powers for help, and the combined British and German naval forces reduced the Atuans to apparent subjection, not, however, without considerable loss to the natives. A few days later Tamasese and his adherents, fearing the ships and the marines, professed submission.

Reports received from our agents at Apia do not justify the belief that the peace thus brought about will be of long duration. It is their conviction that the natives are at heart hostile to the present Government, that such of them as profess loyalty to it do so from fear of the powers, and that it would speedily go to pieces if the war ships were withdrawn. In reporting to his Government on the unsatisfactory situation since the suppression of the late revolt by foreign armed forces, the German consul at Apia stated:

That peace will be lasting is hardly to be presumed. The lesson given by firing on Atua was not sufficiently sharp and incisive to leave a lasting impression on the forgetful Samoan temperament. In fact, conditions are existing which show that peace will not last and is not seriously intended. Malietoa, the King, and his chiefs are convinced that the departure of the war ships will be a signal for a renewal of war. The circumstance that the representatives of the villages of all the districts which were opposed to the Government have already withdrawn to Atua to hold meetings, and that both Atua and Aana have forbidden inhabitants of those districts which fought on the side of the Government to return to their villages, and have already partly burned down the latter, indicates that a real conciliation of the parties is still far off. And in a note of the 10th ultimo, inclosing a copy of that report for the information of this Government, the German ambassador said:
The contents of the report awakened the imperial Government's apprehension that under existing circumstances the peace concluded with the rebels will afford no assurance of the lasting restoration of tranquillity in the islands. The present Government has utterly failed to correct, if indeed it has not aggravated, the very evils it was intended to prevent. It has not stimulated our commerce with the islands. Our participation in its establishment against the wishes of the natives was in plain defiance of the conservative teachings and warnings of the wise and patriotic men who laid the foundations of our free institutions, and I invite an expression of the judgment of Congress on the propriety of steps being taken by this Government looking to the withdrawal from its engagements with the other powers on some reasonable terms not prejudicial to any of our existing rights.
The Secretary of the Treasury reports that the receipts of the Government from all sources of revenue during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to $372,802,498.29 and its expenditures to $442,605,758.87, leaving a deficit of $69,803,260.58. There was a decrease of $15,952,674.66 in the ordinary expense of the Government as compared with the fiscal year 1893.

There was collected from customs $131,818,530.62 and from internal revenue $147,168,449.70. The balance of the income for the year, amounting to $93,815,517.97, was derived from the sales of lands and other sources.

The value of our total dutiable imports amounted to $275,199,086, being $146,657,625 less than during the preceding year, and the importations free of duty amounted to $379,795,536, being $64,748,675 less than during the preceding year. The receipts from customs were $73,536,486.11 less and from internal revenue $13,836,539.97 less than in 1893.

The total tax collected from distilled spirits was $85,259,250.25, on manufactured tobacco $28,617,898.62, and on fermented liquors $31,414,788.04.

Our exports of merchandise, domestic and foreign, amounted during the year to $892,140,572, being an increase over the preceding year of $44,495,378.

The total amount of gold exported during the fiscal year was $76,898,061, as against $108,680,444 during the fiscal year 1893. The amount imported was $72,449,119, as against $21,174,381 during the previous year.

The imports of silver were $13,186,552 and the exports were $50,451,265.

The total bounty paid upon the production of sugar in the United States for the fiscal year was $12,100,208.89, being an increase of $2,725,078.01 over the payments made during the preceding year. The amount of bounty paid from July 1, 1894, to August 28, 1894, the time when further payments ceased by operation of law, was $966,185.84. The total expenses incurred in the payment of the bounty upon sugar during the fiscal year was $130,140.85.

It is estimated that upon the basis of the present revenue laws the receipts of the Government during the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 1895, will be $424,427,748.44 and its expenditures $444,427,748.44, resulting in a deficit of $20,000,000.

On the 1st day of November, 1894, the total stock of money of all kinds in the country was $2,240,773,88.8, as against $2,204,651,000 on the 1st day of November, 1893, and the money of all kinds in circulation, or not included in the Treasury holdings, was $1,672,093,422, or $24.27 per capita upon an estimated population of 68,887,000. At the same date there was held in the Treasury gold bullion amounting to $44,615,177.55 and silver bullion which was purchased at a cost of $127,772,988. The purchase of silver bullion under the act of July 14, 1890, ceased on the 1st day of November, 1893, and up to that time there had been purchased during the fiscal year 11,917,658.78 fine ounces, at a cost of $8,715,521.32, an average cost of $0.7313 per fine ounce. The total amount of silver purchased from the time that law took effect until the repeal of its purchasing clause, on the date last mentioned, was 168,674,682.53 fine ounces, which cost $155,931,002.25, the average price per fine ounce being $0.9244.

The total amount of standard silver dollars coined at the mints of the United States since the passage of the act of February 28, 1878, is $421,776,408, of which $378,166,793 were coined under the provisions of that act, $38,531,143 under the provisions of the act of July 14, 1890, and $5,078,472 under the act providing for the coinage of trade-dollar bullion.

The total coinage of all metals at our mints during the last fiscal year consisted of 63,485,220 pieces, valued at $106,216,730.06, of which there were $99,474,912.50 in gold coined, $758 in standard silver dollars, $6,024,140.30 in subsidiary silver coin, and $716,919.26 in minor coin.

During the calendar year 1893 the production of precious metals in the United States was estimated at 1,739,323 fine ounces of gold of the commercial and coinage value of $35,955,000 and 70,000,000 fine ounces of silver of the bullion or market value of $46,800,000 and of the coinage value of $77,576,000. It is estimated that on the 1st day of July, 1894, the stock of metallic money in the United States, consisting of coin and bullion, amounted to $1,251,640,958, of which $627,923,201 was gold and $624,347,757 was silver.

Fifty national banks were organized during the year ending October 31, 1894, with a capital of $5,285,000, and 79, with a capital of $10,475,000, went into voluntary liquidation. Twenty-one banks, with a capital of $2,770,000, were placed in the hands of receivers. The total number of national banks in existence on the 31st day of October last was 3,756, being 40 less than on the 31st day of October, 1893. The capital stock paid in was $672,671,365, being $9,678,491 less than at the same time in the previous year, and the surplus fund and individual profits, less expenses and taxes paid, amounted to $334,121,082.10, which was $16,089,780 less than on October 31, 1893. The circulation was decreased $1,741,563. The obligations of the banks to each other were increased $117,268,334 and the individual deposits were $277,294,489 less than at the corresponding date in the previous year. Loans and discounts were $161,206,923 more than at the same time the previous year, and checks and other cash items were $90,349,963 more. The total resources of the banks at the date mentioned amounted to $3,473,922,055, as against $3,109,563,184.36 in 1893.

From the report of the Secretary of War it appears that the strength of the Army on September 30, 1894, was 2,135 officers and 25,765 enlisted men. Although this is apparently a very slight decrease compared with the previous year, the actual effective force has been increased to the equivalent of nearly two regiments through the reorganization of the system of recruiting and the consequent release to regimental duty of the large force of men hitherto serving at the recruiting depots. The abolition of these depots, it is predicted, will furthermore effect an annual reduction approximating $250,000 in the direct expenditures, besides promoting generally the health, morale, and discipline of the troops.

The execution of the policy of concentrating the Army at important centers of population and transportation, foreshadowed in the last annual report of the Secretary, has resulted in the abandonment of fifteen of the smaller posts, which was effected under a plan which assembles organizations of the same regiments hitherto widely separated. This renders our small forces more readily effective for any service which they may be called upon to perform, increases the extent of the territory under protection without diminishing the security heretofore afforded to any locality, improves the discipline, training, and esprit de corps of the Army, besides considerably decreasing the cost of its maintenance.

Though the forces of the Department of the East have been somewhat increased, more than three-fourths of the Army is still stationed west of the Mississippi. This carefully matured policy, which secures the best and greatest service in the interests of the general welfare from the small force comprising our Regular Army, should not be thoughtlessly embarrassed by the creation of new and unnecessary posts through acts of Congress to gratify the ambitions or interests of localities.

While the maximum legal strength of the Army is 25,000 men, the effective strength, through various causes, is but little over 20,000 men. The purpose of Congress does not, therefore, seem to be fully attained by the existing condition. While no considerable increase in the Army is, in my judgment, demanded by recent events, the policy of seacoast fortification, in the prosecution of which we have been steadily engaged for some years, has so far developed as to suggest that the effective strength of the Army be now made at least equal to the legal strength. Measures taken by the Department during the year, as indicated, have already considerably augmented the effective force, and the Secretary of War presents a plan, which I recommend to the consideration of Congress, to attain the desired end. Economies effected in the Department in other lines of its work will offset to a great extent the expenditure involved in the proposition submitted. Among other things this contemplates the adoption of the three-battalion formation of regiments, which for several years has been indorsed by the Secretaries of War and the Generals Commanding the Army. Compact in itself, it provides a skeleton organization, ready to be filled out in the event of war, which is peculiarly adapted to our strength and requirements; and the fact that every other nation, with a single exception, has adopted this formation to meet the conditions of modern warfare should alone secure for the recommendation an early consideration.

It is hardly necessary to recall the fact that in obedience to the commands of the Constitution and the laws, and for the purpose of protecting the property of the United States, aiding the process of Federal courts, and removing lawless obstructions to the performance by the Government of its legitimate functions, it became necessary in various localities during the year to employ a considerable portion of the regular troops. The duty was discharged promptly, courageously, and with marked discretion by the officers and men, and the most gratifying proof was thus afforded that the Army deserves that complete confidence in its efficiency and discipline which the country has at all times manifested.

The year has been free from disturbances by Indians, and the chances of further depredations on their part are constantly becoming more remote and improbable.

The total .expenditures for the War Department for the year ended June 30, 1894, amounted to $56,039,009.34. Of this sum $2,000,614.99 was for salaries and contingent expenses, $23,665,156.16 for the support of the military establishment, $5,001,682.23 for miscellaneous objects, and $25,371,555.96 for public works. This latter sum includes $19,494,037.49 for river and harbor improvements and $3,947,863.56 for fortifications and other works of defense. The appropriations for the current year aggregate $52,429,112.78, and the estimates submitted by the Secretary of War for the next fiscal year call for appropriations amounting to $52,318,629.55.

The skill and industry of our ordnance officers and inventors have, it is believed, overcome the mechanical obstacles which have heretofore delayed the armament of our coasts, and this great national undertaking upon which we have entered may now proceed as rapidly as Congress shall determine. With a supply of finished guns of large caliber already on hand, to which additions should now rapidly follow, the wisdom of providing carriages and emplacements for their mount can not be too strongly urged.

The total enrollment of the militia of the several States is 117,533 officers and enlisted men, an increase of 5,343 over the number reported at the close of the previous year. The reports of militia inspections by Regular Army officers show a marked increase in interest and efficiency among the State organizations, and I strongly recommend a continuance of the policy of affording every practical encouragement possible to this important auxiliary of our military establishment.

The condition of the Apache Indians held as prisoners by the Government for eight years at a cost of half a million dollars has been changed during the year from captivity to one which gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for self-support and at least partial civilization. Legislation enacted at the late session of Congress gave the War Department authority to transfer the survivors, numbering 346, from Mount Vernon Barracks, in Alabama, to any suitable reservation. The Department selected as their future home the military lands near Fort Sill, Ind. T., where, under military surveillance, the former prisoners have been established in agriculture under conditions favorable to their advancement.

In recognition of the long and distinguished military services and faithful discharge of delicate and responsible civil duties by Major-General John M. Schofield, now the General Commanding the Army, it is suggested to Congress that the temporary revival of the grade of lieutenant-general in his behalf would be a just and gracious act and would permit his retirement, now near at hand, with rank befitting his merits.

The report of the Attorney-General notes the gratifying progress made by the Supreme Court in overcoming the arrears of its business and in reaching a condition in which it will be able to dispose of cases as they arise without any unreasonable delay. This result is of course very largely due to the successful working of the plan inaugurating circuit courts of appeals. In respect to these tribunals the suggestion is made, in quarters entitled to the highest consideration that an additional circuit judge for each circuit would greatly strengthen these courts and the confidence reposed in their adjudications, and that such an addition would not create a greater force of judges than the increasing business of such courts requires. I commend the suggestion to the careful consideration of the Congress. Other important topics are adverted to in the report, accompanied by recommendations, many of which have been treated at large in previous messages, and at this time, therefore, need only be named. I refer to the abolition of the fee system as a measure of compensation to Federal officers; the enlargement of the powers of United States commissioners, at least in the Territories; the allowance of writs of error in criminal cases on behalf of the United States, and the establishment of degrees in the crime of murder. A topic dealt with by the Attorney-General of much importance is the condition of the administration of justice in the Indian Territory. The permanent solution of what is called the Indian problem is probably not to be expected at once, but meanwhile such ameliorations of present conditions as the existing system will admit of ought not to be neglected. I am satisfied there should be a Federal court established for the Territory, with sufficient judges, and that this court should sit within the Territory and have the same jurisdiction as to Territorial affairs as is now vested in the Federal courts sitting in Arkansas and Texas.

Another subject of pressing moment referred to by the Attorney-General is the reorganization of the Union Pacific Railway Company on a basis equitable as regards all private interests and as favorable to the Government as existing conditions will permit. The operation of a railroad by a court through a receiver is an anomalous state of things which should be terminated on all grounds, public and private, at the earliest possible moment. Besides, not to enact the needed enabling legislation at the present session postpones the whole matter until the assembling of a new Congress and inevitably increases all the complications of the situation, and could not but be regarded as a signal failure to solve a problem which has practically been before the present Congress ever since its organization.

Eight years ago in my annual message I urged upon the Congress as strongly as I could the location and construction of two prisons for the confinement of United States prisoners. A similar recommendation has been made from time to time since, and a few years ago a law was passed providing for the selection of sites for three such institutions. No appropriation has, however, been made to carry the act into effect, and the old and discreditable condition still exists.

It is not my purpose at this time to repeat the considerations which make an impregnable case in favor of the ownership and management by the Government of the penal institutions in which Federal prisoners are confined. I simply desire to again urge former recommendations on the subject and to particularly call the attention of the Congress to that part of the report of the Secretary of War in which he states that the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., can be turned over to the Government as a prison for Federal convicts without the least difficulty and with an actual saving of money from every point of view.

Pending a more complete reform, I hope that by the adoption of the suggestion of the Secretary of War this easy step may be taken in the direction of the proper care of its convicts by the Government of the United States.

The report of the Postmaster-General presents a comprehensive statement of the operations of the Post-Office Department for the last fiscal year.

The receipts of the Department during the year amounted to $75,080,479.04 and the expenditures to $84,324,414.15.

The transactions of the postal service indicate with barometric certainty the fluctuations in the business of the country. Inasmuch, therefore, as business complications continued to exist throughout the last year to an unforeseen extent, it is not surprising that the deficiency of revenue to meet the expenditures of the Post-Office Department, which was estimated in advance at about $8,000,000, should be exceeded by nearly $1,225,000. The ascertained revenues of the last year, which were the basis of calculation for the current year, being less than estimated, the deficiency for the current year will be correspondingly greater, though the Postmaster-General states that the latest indications are so favorable that he confidently predicts an increase of at least 8 per cent in the revenues of the current year over those of the last year.

The expenditures increase steadily and necessarily with the growth and needs of the country, so that the deficiency is greater or less in any year, depending upon the volume of receipts.

The Postmaster-General states that this deficiency is unnecessary and might be obviated at once if the law regulating rates upon mail matter of the second class was modified. The rate received for the transmission of this second-class matter is 1 cent per pound, while the cost of such transmission to the Government is eight times that amount. In the general terms of the law this rate covers newspapers and periodicals. The extensions of the meaning of these terms from time to time have admitted to the privileges intended for legitimate newspapers and periodicals a surprising range of publications and created abuses the cost of which amounts in the aggregate to the total deficiency of the Post-Office Department. Pretended newspapers are started by business houses for the mere purpose of advertising goods, complying with the law in form only and discontinuing the publications as soon as the period of advertising is over. "Sample copies" of pretended newspapers are issued in great numbers for a like purpose only. The result is a great loss of revenue to the Government, besides its humiliating use as an agency to aid in carrying out the scheme of a business house to advertise its goods by means of a trick upon both its rival houses and the regular and legitimate newspapers. Paper-covered literature, consisting mainly of trashy novels, to the extent of many thousands of tons is sent through the mails at 1 cent per pound, while the publishers of standard works are required to pay eight times that amount in sending their publications. Another abuse consists in the free carriage through the mails of hundreds of tons of seed and grain uselessly distributed through the Department of Agriculture. The Postmaster-General predicts that if the law be so amended as to eradicate these abuses not only will the Post-Office Department show no deficiency, but he believes that in the near future all legitimate newspapers and periodical magazines might be properly transmitted through the mails to their subscribers free of cost. I invite your prompt consideration of this subject and fully indorse the views of the Postmaster-General.

The total number of post-offices in the United States on the 30th day of June, 1894, was 69,805, an increase of 1,403 over the preceding year. Of these, 3,428 were Presidential, an increase in that class of 68 over the preceding year.

Six hundred and ten cities and towns are provided with free delivery. Ninety-three other cities and towns entitled to this service under the law have not been accorded it on account of insufficient funds. The expense of free delivery for the current fiscal year will be more than $12,300,000, and under existing legislation this item of expenditure is subject to constant increase. The estimated cost of rural free delivery generally is so very large that it ought not to be considered in the present condition of affairs.

During the year 830 additional domestic money-order offices were established. The total number of these offices at the close of the year was 19,264. There were 14,304,041 money orders issued during the year, being an increase over the preceding year of 994,306. The value of these orders amounted to $138,793,579.49, an increase of $11,217,145.84. There were also issued during the year postal notes amounting to $12,649,094.55.

During the year 218 international money-order offices were added to those already established, making a total of 2,625 such offices in operation June 30, 1894. The number of international money orders issued during the year was 917,823, a decrease in number of 138,176, and their value was $13,792,455.31, a decrease in amount of $2,549,382.55. The number of orders paid was 361,180, an increase over the preceding year of 60,263, and their value was $6,568,493.78, an increase of $1,285,118.08.

From the foregoing statements it appears that the total issue of money orders and postal notes for the year amounted to $165,235,129.35.

The number of letters and packages mailed during the year for special delivery was 3,436,970. The special-delivery stamps used upon these letters and packages amounted to $343,697. The messengers fees paid for their delivery amounted to $261,209.70, leaving a balance in favor of the Government of $82,487.30.

The report shows most gratifying results in the way of economies worked out without affecting the efficiency of the postal service. These consist in the abrogation of steamship subsidy contracts, reletting of mail transportation contracts, and in the cost and amount of supplies used in the service, amounting in all to $16,619,047.42.

This report also contains a valuable contribution to the history of the Universal Postal Union, an arrangement which amounts practically to the establishment of one postal system for the entire civilized world. Special attention is directed to this subject at this time in view of the fact that the next congress of the union will meet in Washington in 1897, and it is hoped that timely action will be taken in the direction of perfecting preparations for that event.

The Postmaster-General renews the suggestion made in a previous report that the Department organization be increased to the extent of creating a direct district supervision of all postal affairs, and in this suggestion I fully concur.

There are now connected with the Post-Office establishment 32,661 employees who are in the classified service. This includes many who have been classified upon the suggestion of the Postmaster-General. He states that another year's experience at the head of the Department serves only to strengthen the conviction as to the excellent working of the civil-service law in this branch of the public service.

Attention is called to the report of the Secretary of the Navy, which shows very gratifying progress in the construction of ships for our new Navy. All the vessels now building, including the three torpedo boats authorized at the last session of Congress and excepting the first-class battle ship Iowa, will probably be completed during the coming fiscal year.

The estimates for the increase of the Navy for the year ending June 30, 1896, are large, but they include practically the entire sum necessary to complete and equip all the new ships not now in commission, so that unless new ships are authorized the appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, should fall below the estimates for the coming year by at least $12,000,000.

The Secretary presents with much earnestness a plea for the authorization of three additional battle ships and ten or twelve torpedo boats. While the unarmored vessels heretofore authorized, including those now nearing completion, will constitute a fleet which it is believed is sufficient for ordinary cruising purposes in time of peace, we have now completed and in process of construction but four first-class battle ships and but few torpedo boats. If we are to have a navy for warlike operations, offensive and defensive, we certainly ought to increase both the number of battle ships and torpedo boats.

The manufacture of armor requires expensive plants and the aggregation of many skilled workmen. All the armor necessary to complete the vessels now building will be delivered before the 1st of June next. If no new contracts are given out, contractors must disband their workmen and their plants must lie idle. Battle ships authorized at this time would not be well under way until late in the coming fiscal year, and at least three years and a half from the date of the contract would be required for their completion. The Secretary states that not more than 15 per cent of the cost of such ships need be included in the appropriations for the coming year.

I recommend that provision be made for the construction of additional battle ships and torpedo boats. The Secretary recommends the manufacture not only of a reserve supply of ordnance and ordnance material for ships of the Navy, but also a supply for the auxiliary fleet. Guns and their appurtenances should be provided and kept on hand for both these purposes. We have not to-day a single gun that could be put upon the ships Paris or New York of the International Navigation Company or any other ship of our reserve Navy.

The manufacture of guns at the Washington Navy-Yard is proceeding satisfactorily, and none of our new ships will be required to wait for their guns or ordnance equipment.

An important order has been issued by the Secretary of the Navy coordinating the duties of the several bureaus concerned in the construction of ships. This order, it is believed, will secure to a greater extent than has heretofore been possible the harmonious action of these several bureaus and make the attainment of the best results more certain.

During the past fiscal year there has been an unusual and pressing demand in many quarters of the world for the presence of vessels to guard American interests.

In January last, during the Brazilian insurrection, a large fleet was concentrated in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. The vigorous action of Rear-Admiral Benham in protecting the personal and commercial rights of our citizens during the disturbed conditions afforded results which will, it is believed, have a far-reaching and wholesome influence whenever in like circumstances it may become necessary for our naval commanders to interfere on behalf of our people in foreign ports.

The war now in progress between China and Japan has rendered it necessary or expedient to dispatch eight vessels to those waters.

Both the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Treasury recommend the transfer of the work of the Coast Survey proper to the Navy Department. I heartily concur in this recommendation. Excluding Alaska and a very small area besides, all the work of mapping and charting our coasts has been completed. The hydrographic work, which must be done over and over again by reason of the shifting and varying depths of water consequent upon the action of streams and tides, has heretofore been done under the direction of naval officers in subordination to the Superintendent of the Coast Survey. There seems to be no good reason why the Navy should not have entire charge hereafter of such work, especially as the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department is now and has been for many years engaged in making efficient maps entirely similar to those prepared by the Coast Survey.

I feel it my imperative duty to call attention to the recommendation of the Secretary in regard to the personnel of the line of the Navy. The stagnation of promotion in this the vital branch of the service is so great as to seriously impair its efficiency.

I consider it of the utmost importance that the young and middle-aged officers should before the eve of retirement be permitted to reach a grade entitling them to active and important duty.

The system adopted a few years ago regulating the employment of labor at the navy-yards is rigidly upheld and has fully demonstrated its usefulness and expediency. It is within the domain of civil-service reform inasmuch as workmen are employed through a board of labor selected at each navy-yard and are given work without reference to politics and in the order of their application, preference, however, being given to Army and Navy veterans and those having former navy-yard experience.

Amendments suggested by experience have been made to the rules regulating the system. Through its operation the work at our navy-yards has been vastly improved in efficiency and the opportunity to work has been honestly and fairly awarded to willing and competent applicants.

It is hoped that if this system continues to be strictly adhered to there will soon be as a natural consequence such an equalization of party benefit as will remove all temptation to relax or abandon it.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior exhibits the situation of the numerous and interesting branches of the public service connected with his Department. I commend this report and the valuable recommendations of the Secretary to the careful attention of the Congress.

The public land disposed of during the year amounted to 10,406,100.77 acres, including 28,876.05 of Indian lands.

It is estimated that the public domain still remaining amounts to a little more than 600,000,000 acres, including, however, about 360,000,000 acres in Alaska, as well as military reservations and railroad and other selections of lands yet unadjudicated.

The total cash receipts from sale of lands amounted to $2,674,285.79, including $91,981.03 received for Indian lands.

Thirty-five thousand patents were issued for agricultural lands, and 3,100 patents were issued to Indians on allotments of their holdings in severalty, the land so allotted being inalienable by the Indian allottees for a period of twenty-five years after patent.

There were certified and patented on account of railroad and wagon-road grants during the year 865,556.45 acres of land, and at the close of the year 29,000,000 acres were embraced in the lists of selections made by railroad and wagon-road companies and awaited settlement.

The selections of swamp lands and that taken as indemnity therefor since the passage of the act providing for the same in 1849 amount to nearly or quite 80,500,000 acres, of which 58,000,000 have been patented to States. About 138,000 acres were patented during the last year. Nearly 820,000 acres of school and education grants were approved during the year, and at its close 1,250,363.81 acres remained unadjusted.

It appears that the appropriation for the current year on account of special service for the protection of the public lands and the timber thereon is much less than those for previous years, and inadequate for an efficient performance of the work. A larger sum of money than has been appropriated during a number of years past on this account has been returned to the Government as a result of the labors of those employed in the particular service mentioned, and I hope it will not be crippled by insufficient appropriation.

I fully indorse the recommendation of the Secretary that adequate protection be provided for our forest reserves and that a comprehensive forestry system be inaugurated. Such keepers and superintendents as are necessary to protect the forests already reserved should be provided.

I am of the opinion that there should be an abandonment of the policy sanctioned by present laws under which the Government, for a very small consideration, is rapidly losing title to immense tracts of land covered with timber, which should be properly reserved as permanent sources of timber supply.

The suggestion that a change be made in the manner of securing surveys of the public lands is especially worthy of consideration. I am satisfied that these surveys should be made by a corps of competent surveyors under the immediate control and direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office.

An exceedingly important recommendation of the Secretary relates to the manner in which contests and litigated cases growing out of efforts to obtain Government land are determined. The entire testimony upon which these controversies depend in all their stages is taken before the local registers and receivers, and yet these officers have no power to subpoena witnesses or to enforce their attendance to testify. These cases, numbering three or four thousand annually, are sent by the local officers to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for his action. The exigencies of his other duties oblige him to act upon the decisions of the registers and receivers without an opportunity of thorough personal examination. Nearly 2,000 of these cases are appealed annually from the Commissioner to the Secretary of the Interior. Burdened with other important administrative duties, his determination of these appeals must be almost perfunctory and based upon the examination of others, though this determination of the Secretary operates as a final adjudication upon rights of very great importance.

I concur in the opinion that the Commissioner of the General Land Office should be relieved from the duty of deciding litigated land cases, that a nonpartisan court should be created to pass on such cases, and that the decisions of this court should be final, at least so far as the decisions of the Department are now final. The proposed court might be given authority to certify questions of law in matters of especial importance to the Supreme Court of the United States or the court of appeals for the District of Columbia for decision. The creation of such a tribunal would expedite the disposal of cases and insure decisions of a more satisfactory character. The registers and receivers who originally hear and decide these disputes should be invested with authority to compel witnesses to attend and testify before them.

Though the condition of the Indians shows a steady and healthy progress, their situation is not satisfactory at all points. Some of them to whom allotments of land have been made are found to be unable or disinclined to follow agricultural pursuits or to otherwise beneficially manage their land. This is especially true of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, who, as it appears by reports of their agent, have in many instances never been located upon their allotments, and in some cases do not even know where their allotments are. Their condition has deteriorated. They are not self-supporting and they live in camps and spend their time in idleness.

I have always believed that allotments of reservation lands to Indians in severalty should be made sparingly, or at least slowly, and with the utmost caution. In these days, when white agriculturists and stock raisers of experience and intelligence find their lot a hard one, we ought not to expect Indians, unless far advanced in civilization and habits of industry, to support themselves on the small tracts of land usually allotted to them.

If the self-supporting scheme by allotment fails, the wretched pauperism of the allottees which results is worse than their original condition of regulated dependence. It is evident that the evil consequences of ill-advised allotment are intensified in cases where the false step can not be retraced on account of the purchase by the Government of reservation lands remaining after allotments are made and the disposition of such remaining lands to settlers or purchasers from the Government.

I am convinced that the proper solution of the Indian problem and the success of every step taken in that direction depend to a very large extent upon the intelligence and honesty of the reservation agents and the interest they have in their work. An agent fitted for his place can do much toward preparing the Indians under his charge for citizenship and allotment of their lands, and his advice as to any matter concerning their welfare will not mislead. An unfit agent will make no effort to advance the Indians on his reservation toward civilization or preparation for allotment of lands in severalty, and his opinion as to their condition in this and other regards is heedless and valueless.

The indications are that the detail of army officers as Indian agents will result in improved management on the reservations.

Whenever allotments are made and any Indian on the reservation has previously settled upon a lot and cultivated it or shown a disposition to improve it in any way, such lot should certainly be allotted to him, and this should be made plainly obligatory by statute.

In the light of experience and considering the uncertainty of the Indian situation and its exigencies in the future, I am not only disposed to be very cautious in making allotments, but I incline to agree with the Secretary of the Interior in the opinion that when allotments are made the balance of reservation land remaining after allotment, instead of being bought by the Government from the Indians and opened for settlement with such scandals and unfair practices as seem unavoidable, should remain for a time at least as common land or be sold by the Government on behalf of the Indians in an orderly way and at fixed prices, to be determined by its location and desirability, and that the proceeds, less expenses, should be held in trust for the benefit of the Indian proprietors.

The intelligent Indian-school management of the past year has been followed by gratifying results. Efforts have been made to advance the work in a sound and practical manner. Five institutes of Indian teachers have been held during the year, and have proved very beneficial through the views exchanged and methods discussed particularly applicable to Indian education.

Efforts are being made in the direction of a gradual reduction of the number of Indian contract schools, so that in a comparatively short time they may give way altogether to Government schools, and it is hoped that the change may be so gradual as to be perfected without too great expense to the Government or undue disregard of investments made by those who have established and are maintaining such contract schools.

The appropriation for the current year, ending June 30, 1895, applicable to the ordinary expenses of the Indian service amounts to $6,733,003.18, being less by $663,240.64 than the sum appropriated on the same account for the previous year.

At the close of the last fiscal year, on the 30th day of June, 1894, there were 969,544 persons on our pension rolls, being a net increase of 3,532 over the number reported at the end of the previous year.

These pensioners may be classified as follows: Soldiers and sailors survivors of all wars, 753,968; widows and relatives of deceased soldiers, 215,162; army nurses in the War of the Rebellion, 414. Of these pensioners 32,039 are surviving soldiers of Indian and other wars prior to the late Civil War and the widows or relatives of such soldiers.

The remainder, numbering 937,505, are receiving pensions on account of the rebellion, and of these 469,344 are on the rolls under the authority of the act of June 27, 1890, sometimes called the dependent-pension law.

The total amount expended for pensions during the year was $139,804,461.05, leaving an unexpended balance from the sum appropriated of $25,205,712.65.

The sum necessary to meet pension expenditures for the year ending June 30, 1896, is estimated at $140,000,000.

The Commissioner of Pensions is of the opinion that the year 1895, being the thirtieth after the close of the War of the Rebellion, must, according to all sensible human calculation, see the highest limit of the pension roll, and that after that year it must begin to decline.

The claims pending in the Bureau have decreased more than 90,000 during the year. A large proportion of the new claims filed are for increase of pension by those now on the rolls.

The number of certificates issued was 80,213.

The names dropped from the rolls for all causes during the year numbered 37,951.

Among our pensioners are 9 widows and 3 daughters of soldiers of the Revolution and 45 survivors of the War of 1812.

The barefaced and extensive pension frauds exposed under the direction of the courageous and generous veteran soldier now at the head of the Bureau leave no room for the claim that no purgation of our pension rolls was needed or that continued vigilance and prompt action are not necessary to the same end.

The accusation that an effort to detect pension frauds is evidence of unfriendliness toward our worthy veterans and a denial of their claims to the generosity of the Government suggests an unfortunate indifference to the commission of any offense which has for its motive the securing of a pension and indicates a willingness to be blind to the existence of mean and treacherous crimes which play upon demagogic fears and make sport of the patriotic impulse of a grateful people.

The completion of the Eleventh Census is now in charge of the Commissioner of Labor. The total disbursements on account of the work for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to $10,365,676.81. At the close of the year the number of persons employed in the Census Office was 679; at present there are about 400. The whole number of volumes necessary to comprehend the Eleventh Census will be 25, and they will contain 22,270 printed pages. The assurance is confidently made that before the close of the present calendar year the material still incomplete will be practically in hand, and the census can certainly be closed by the 4th of March, 1895. After that the revision and proof reading necessary to bring out the volumes will still be required.

The text of the census volumes has been limited as far as possible to the analysis of the statistics presented. This method, which is in accordance with law, has caused more or less friction and in some instances individual disappointment, for when the Commissioner of Labor took charge of the work he found much matter on hand which according to this rule he was compelled to discard. The census is being prepared according to the theory that it is designed to collect facts and certify them to the public, not to elaborate arguments or to present personal views.

The Secretary of Agriculture in his report reviews the operations of his Department for the last fiscal year and makes recommendations for the further extension of its usefulness. He reports a saving in expenditures during the year of $600,000, which is covered back into the Treasury. This sum is 23 per cent of the entire appropriation.

A special study has been made of the demand for American farm products in all foreign markets, especially Great Britain, That country received from the United States during the nine months ending September 30, 1894, 305,910 live beef cattle, valued at $26,500,000, as against 182,611 cattle, valued at $16,634,000, during the same period for 1893.

During the first six months of 1894 the United Kingdom took also 112,000,000 pounds of dressed beef from the United States, valued at nearly $10,000,000.

The report shows that during the nine months immediately preceding September 30, 1894, the United States exported to Great Britain 222,676,000 pounds of pork; of apples, 1,900,000 bushels, valued at $2,500,000, and of horses 2,811, at an average value of $139 per head. There was a falling off in American wheat exports of 13,500,000 bushels, and the Secretary is inclined to believe that wheat may not in the future be the staple export cereal product of our country, but that corn will continue to advance in importance as an export on account of the new uses to which it is constantly being appropriated.

The exports of agricultural products from the United States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to $628,363,038, being 72.28 per cent of American exports of every description, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain took more than 54 per cent of all farm products finding foreign markets.

The Department of Agriculture has undertaken during the year two new and important lines of research. The first relates to grasses and forage plants, with the purpose of instructing and familiarizing the people as to the distinctive grasses of the United States and teaching them how to introduce valuable foreign forage plants which may be adapted to this country. The second relates to agricultural soils and crop production, involving the analyses of samples of soils from all sections of the American Union, to demonstrate their adaptability to particular plants and crops. Mechanical analyses of soils may be of such inestimable utility that it is foremost in the new lines of agricultural research, and the Secretary therefore recommends that a division having it in charge be permanently established in the Department.

The amount appropriated for the Weather Bureau was $951,100. Of that sum $138,500, or 14 per cent, has been saved and is returned to the Treasury.

As illustrating the usefulness of this service it may be here stated that the warnings which were very generally given of two tropical storms occurring in September and October of the present year resulted in detaining safely in port 2,305 vessels, valued at $36,183,913, laden with cargoes of probably still greater value. What is much more important and gratifying, many human lives on these ships were also undoubtedly saved.

The appropriation to the Bureau of Animal Industry was $850,000, and the expenditures for the year were only $495,429.24, thus leaving unexpended $354,570.76. The inspection of beef animals for export and interstate trade has been continued, and 12,944,056 head were inspected during the year, at a cost of 1 3/4 cents per head, against 4 3/4 cents for 1893. The amount of pork microscopically examined was 35,437,937 pounds, against 20,677,410 pounds in the preceding year. The cost of this inspection has been diminished from 8 3/4 cents per head in 1893 to 6 1/2 cents in 1894.

The expense of inspecting the pork sold in 1894 to Germany and France by the United States was $88,922.10. The quantity inspected was greater by 15,000,000 pounds than during the preceding year, when the cost of such inspection was $172,367.08. The Secretary of Agriculture recommends that the law providing for the microscopic inspection of export and interstate meat be so amended as to compel owners of the meat inspected to pay the cost of such inspection, and I call attention to the arguments presented in his report in support of this recommendation.

The live beef cattle exported and tagged during the year numbered 353,535. This is an increase of 69,533 head over the previous year.

The sanitary inspection of cattle shipped to Europe has cost an average of 10 3/4 cents for each animal, and the cost of inspecting Southern cattle and the disinfection of cars and stock yards averages 2.7 cents per animal.

The scientific inquiries of the Bureau of Animal Industry have progressed steadily during the year. Much tuberculin and mallein have been furnished to State authorities for use in the agricultural colleges and experiment stations for the treatment of tuberculosis and glanders.

Quite recently this Department has published the results of its investigations of bovine tuberculosis, and its researches will be vigorously continued. Certain herds in the District of Columbia will be thoroughly inspected and will probably supply adequate scope for the Department to intelligently prosecute its scientific work and furnish sufficient material for purposes of illustration, description, and definition.

The sterilization of milk suspected of containing the bacilli of tuberculosis has been during the year very thoroughly explained in a leaflet by Dr. D. E. Salmon, the Chief of the Bureau, and given general circulation throughout the country.

The Office of Experiment Stations, which is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture, has during the past year engaged itself almost wholly in preparing for publication works based upon the reports of agricultural experiment stations and other institutions for agricultural inquiry in the United States and foreign countries.

The Secretary in his report for 1893 called attention to the fact that the appropriations made for the support of the experiment stations throughout the Union were the only moneys taken out of the National Treasury by act of Congress for which no accounting to Federal authorities was required. Responding to this suggestion, the Fifty-third Congress, in making the appropriation for the Department for the present fiscal year, provided that--

The Secretary of Agriculture shall prescribe the form of annual financial statement required by section 3 of said act of March 2, 1887; shall ascertain whether the expenditures under the appropriation hereby made are in accordance with the provisions of said act, and shall make report thereon to Congress. In obedience to this law the Department of Agriculture immediately sent out blank forms of expense accounts to each station, and proposes in addition to make, through trusted experts, systematic examination of the several stations during each year for the purpose of acquiring by personal investigation the detailed information necessary to enable the Secretary of Agriculture to make, as the statute provides, a satisfactory report to Congress. The boards of management of the several stations with great alacrity and cordiality have approved the amendment to the law providing this supervision of their expenditures, anticipating that it will increase the efficiency of the stations and protect their directors and managers from loose charges concerning their use of public funds, besides bringing the Department of Agriculture into closer and more confidential relations with the experimental stations, and through their joint service largely increasing their usefulness to the agriculture of the country.
Acting upon a recommendation contained in the report of 1893, Congress appropriated $10,000 "to enable the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate and report upon the nutritive value of the various articles and commodities used for human food, with special suggestions of full, wholesome, and edible rations less wasteful and more economical than those in common use."

Under this appropriation the Department has prepared and now has nearly ready for distribution an elementary discussion of the nutritive value and pecuniary economy of food. When we consider that fully one-half of all the money earned by the wage earners of the civilized world is expended by them for food, the importance and utility of such an investigation is apparent.

The Department expended in the fiscal year 1893 $2,354,809.56, and out of that sum the total amount expended in scientific research was 45.6 per cent. But in the year ending June 30, 1894, out of a total expenditure of $1,948,988.38, the Department applied 51.8 per cent of that sum to scientific work and investigation. It is therefore very plainly observable that the economies which have been practiced in the administration of the Department have not been at the expense of scientific research.

The recommendation contained in the report of the Secretary for 1893 that the vicious system of promiscuous free distribution of its departmental documents be abandoned is again urged. These publications may well be furnished without cost to public libraries, educational institutions, and the officers and libraries of States and of the Federal Government; but from all individuals applying for them a price covering the cost of the document asked for should be required. Thus the publications and documents would be secured by those who really desire them for proper purposes. Half a million of copies of the report of the Secretary of Agriculture are printed for distribution, at an annual cost of about $300,000. Large numbers of them are cumbering storerooms at the Capitol and the shelves of secondhand-book stores throughout the country. All this labor and waste might be avoided if the recommendations of the Secretary were adopted.

The Secretary also again recommends that the gratuitous distribution of seeds cease and that no money be appropriated for that purpose except to experiment stations. He reiterates the reasons given in his report for 1893 for discontinuing this unjustifiable gratuity, and I fully concur in the conclusions which he has reached.

The best service of the statistician of the Department of Agriculture is the ascertainment, by diligence and care, of the actual and real conditions, favorable or unfavorable, of the farmers and farms of the country, and to seek the causes which produce these conditions, to the end that the facts ascertained may guide their intelligent treatment.

A further important utility in agricultural statistics is found in their elucidation of the relation of the supply of farm products to the demand for them in the markets of the United States and of the world.

It is deemed possible that an agricultural census may be taken each year through the agents of the statistical division of the Department. Such a course is commended for trial by the chief of that division. Its scope would be: (1) The area under each of the more important crops.
(2) The aggregate products of each of such crops.
(3) The quantity of wheat and corn in the hands of farmers at a date after the spring sowings and plantings and before the beginning of harvest, and also the quantity of cotton and tobacco remaining in the hands of planters, either at the same date or at some other designated time.

The cost of the work is estimated at $500,000.

Owing to the peculiar quality of the statistician's work and the natural and acquired fitness necessary to its successful prosecution, the Secretary of Agriculture expresses the opinion that every person employed in gathering statistics under the chief of that division should be admitted to that service only after a thorough, exhaustive, and successful examination at the hands of the United States Civil Service Commission. This has led him to call for such examination of candidates for the position of assistant statisticians, and also of candidates for chiefs of sections in that division.

The work done by the Department of Agriculture is very superficially dealt with in this communication, and I commend the report of the Secretary and the very important interests with which it deals to the careful attention of the Congress.

The advantages to the public service of an adherence to the principles of civil-service reform are constantly more apparent, and nothing is so encouraging to those in official life who honestly desire good government as the increasing appreciation by our people of these advantages. A vast majority of the voters of the land are ready to insist that the time and attention of those they select to perform for them important public duties should not be distracted by doling out minor offices, and they are growing to be unanimous in regarding party organization as something that should be used in establishing party principles instead of dictating the distribution of public places as rewards of partisan activity.

Numerous additional offices and places have lately been brought within civil-service rules and regulations, and some others will probably soon be included.

The report of the Commissioners will be submitted to the Congress, and I invite careful attention to the recommendations it contains.

I am entirely convinced that we ought not to be longer without a national board of health or national health officer charged with no other duties than such as pertain to the protection of our country from the invasion of pestilence and disease. This would involve the establishment by such board or officer of proper quarantine precautions, or the necessary aid and counsel to local authorities on the subject; prompt advice and assistance to local boards of health or health officers in the suppression of contagious disease, and in cases where there are no such local boards or officers the immediate direction by the national board or officer of measures of suppression; constant and authentic information concerning the health of foreign countries and all parts of our own country as related to contagious diseases, and consideration of regulations to be enforced in foreign ports to prevent the introduction of contagion into our cities and the measures which should be adopted to secure their enforcement.

There seems to be at this time a decided inclination to discuss measures of protection against contagious diseases in international conference, with a view of adopting means of mutual assistance. The creation of such a national health establishment would greatly aid our standing in such conferences and improve our opportunities to avail ourselves of their benefits.

I earnestly recommend the inauguration of a national board of health or similar national instrumentality, believing the same to be a needed precaution against contagious disease and in the interest of the safety and health of our people.

By virtue of a statute of the United States passed in 1888 I appointed in July last Hon. John D. Kernan, of the State of New York, and Hon. Nicholas E. Worthington, of the State of Illinois, to form, with Hon. Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor, who was designated by said statute, a commission for the purpose of making careful inquiry into the causes of the controversies between certain railroads and their employees which had resulted in an extensive and destructive strike, accompanied by much violence and dangerous disturbance, with considerable loss of life and great destruction of property.

The report of the commissioners has been submitted to me and will be transmitted to the Congress with the evidence taken upon their investigation.

Their work has been well done, and their standing and intelligence give assurance that the report and suggestions they make are worthy of careful consideration.

The tariff act passed at the last session of the Congress needs important amendments if it is to be executed effectively and with certainty. In addition to such necessary amendments as will not change rates of duty, I am still very decidedly in favor of putting coal and iron upon the free list.

So far as the sugar schedule is concerned, I would be glad, under existing aggravations, to see every particle of differential duty in favor of refined sugar stricken out of our tariff law. If with all the favor now accorded the sugar-refining interest in our tariff laws it still languishes to the extent of closed refineries and thousands of discharged workmen, it would seem to present a hopeless case for reasonable legislative aid. Whatever else is done or omitted, I earnestly repeat here the recommendation I have made in another portion of this communication, that the additional duty of one-tenth of a cent per pound laid upon sugar imported from countries paying a bounty on its export be abrogated. It seems to me that exceedingly important considerations point to the propriety of this amendment.

With the advent of a new tariff policy not only calculated to relieve the consumers of our land in the cost of their daily life, but to invite a better development of American thrift and create for us closer and more profitable commercial relations with the rest of the world, it follows as a logical and imperative necessity that we should at once remove the chief if not the only obstacle which has so long prevented our participation in the foreign carrying trade of the sea. A tariff built upon the theory that it is well to check imports and that a home market should bound the industry and effort of American producers was fitly supplemented by a refusal to allow American registry to vessels built abroad, though owned and navigated by our people, thus exhibiting a willingness to abandon all contest for the advantages of American transoceanic carriage. Our new tariff policy, built upon the theory that it is well to encourage such importations as our people need, and that our products and manufactures should find markets in every part of the habitable globe, is consistently supplemented by the greatest possible liberty to our citizens in the ownership and navigation of ships in which our products and manufactures may be transported. The millions now paid to foreigners for carrying American passengers and products across the sea should be turned into American hands. Shipbuilding, which has been protected to strangulation, should be revived by the prospect of profitable employment for ships when built, and the American sailor should be resurrected and again take his place--a sturdy and industrious citizen in time of peace and a patriotic and safe defender of American interests in the day of conflict.

The ancient provision of our law denying American registry to ships built abroad and owned by Americans appears in the light of present conditions not only to be a failure for good at every point, but to be nearer a relic of barbarism than anything that exists under the permission of a statute of the United States. I earnestly recommend its prompt repeal.

During the last month the gold reserved in the Treasury for the purpose of redeeming the notes of the Government circulating as money in the hands of the people became so reduced and its further depletion in the near future seemed so certain that in the exercise of proper care for the public welfare it became necessary to replenish this reserve and thus maintain popular faith in the ability and determination of the Government to meet as agreed its pecuniary obligations.

It would have been well if in this emergency authority had existed to issue the bonds of the Government bearing a low rate of interest and maturing within a short period; but the Congress having failed to confer such authority, resort was necessarily had to the resumption act of 1875, and pursuant to its provisions bonds were issued drawing interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum and maturing ten years after their issue, that being the shortest time authorized by the act. I am glad to say, however, that on the sale of these bonds the premium received operated to reduce the rate of interest to be paid by the Government to less than 3 per cent.

Nothing could be worse or further removed from sensible finance than the relations existing between the currency the Government has issued, the gold held for its redemption, and the means which must be resorted to for the purpose of replenishing such redemption fund when impaired. Even if the claims upon this fund were confined to the obligations originally intended and if the redemption of these obligations meant their cancellation, the fund would be very small. But these obligations when received and redeemed in gold are not canceled, but are reissued and may do duty many times by way of drawing gold from the Treasury. Thus we have an endless chain in operation constantly depleting the Treasury's gold and never near a final rest. As if this was not bad enough, we have, by a statutory declaration that it is the policy of the Government to maintain the parity between gold and silver, aided the force and momentum of this exhausting process and added largely to the currency obligations claiming this peculiar gold redemption. Our small gold reserve is thus subject to drain from every side. The demands that increase our danger also increase the necessity of protecting this reserve against depletion, and it is most unsatisfactory to know that the protection afforded is only a temporary palliation.

It is perfectly and palpably plain that the only way under present conditions by which this reserve when dangerously depleted can be replenished is through the issue and sale of the bonds of the Government for gold, and yet Congress has not only thus far declined to authorize the issue of bonds best suited to such a purpose, but there seems a disposition in some quarters to deny both the necessity and power for the issue of bonds at all.

I can not for a moment believe that any of our citizens are deliberately willing that their Government should default in its pecuniary obligations or that its financial operations should be reduced to a silver basis. At any rate, I should not feel that my duty was done if I omitted any effort I could make to avert such a calamity. As long, therefore, as no provision is made for the final redemption or the putting aside of the currency obligation now used to repeatedly and constantly draw from the Government its gold, and as long as no better authority for bond issues is allowed than at present exists, such authority will be utilized whenever and as often as it becomes necessary to maintain a sufficient gold reserve, and in abundant time to save the credit of our country and make good the financial declarations of our Government.

Questions relating to our banks and currency are closely connected with the subject just referred to, and they also present some unsatisfactory features. Prominent among them are the lack of elasticity in our currency circulation and its frequent concentration in financial centers when it is most needed in other parts of the country.

The absolute divorcement of the Government from the business of banking is the ideal relationship of the Government to the circulation of the currency of the country.

This condition can not be immediately reached, but as a step in that direction and as a means of securing a more elastic currency and obviating other objections to the present arrangement of bank circulation the Secretary of the Treasury presents in his report a scheme modifying present banking laws and providing for the issue of circulating notes by State banks free from taxation under certain limitations.

The Secretary explains his plan so plainly and its advantages are developed by him with such remarkable clearness that any effort on my part to present argument in its support would be superfluous. I shall therefore content myself with an unqualified indorsement of the Secretary's proposed changes in the law and a brief and imperfect statement of their prominent features. It is proposed to repeal all laws providing for the deposit of United States bonds as security for circulation; to permit national banks to issue circulating notes not exceeding in amount 75 per cent of their paid-up and unimpaired capital, provided they deposit with the Government as a guaranty fund, in United States legal-tender notes, including Treasury notes of 1890, a sum equal in amount to 30 per cent of the notes they desire to issue, this deposit to be maintained at all times, but whenever any bank retires any part of its circulation a proportional part of its guaranty fund shall be returned to it; to permit the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare and keep on hand ready for issue in case an increase in circulation is desired blank national-bank notes for each bank having circulation and to repeal the provisions of the present law imposing limitations and restrictions upon banks desiring to reduce or increase their circulation, thus permitting such increase or reduction within the limit of 75 per cent of capital to be quickly made as emergencies arise.

In addition to the guaranty fund required, it is proposed to provide a safety fund for the immediate redemption of the circulating notes of failed banks by imposing a small annual tax, say one-half of 1 per cent, upon the average circulation of each bank until the fund amounts to 5 per cent of the total circulation outstanding. When a bank fails its guaranty fund is to be paid into this safety fund and its notes are to be redeemed in the first instance from such safety fund thus augmented, any impairment of such fund caused thereby to be made good from the immediately available cash assets of said bank, and if these should be insufficient such impairment to be made good by pro rata assessment among the other banks, their contributions constituting a first lien upon the assets of the failed bank in favor of the contributing banks. As a further security it is contemplated that the existing provision fixing the individual liability of stockholders is to be retained and the bank's indebtedness on account of its circulating notes is to be made a first lien on all its assets.

For the purpose of meeting the expense of printing notes, official supervision, cancellation, and other like charges there shall be imposed a tax of say one-half of 1 per cent per annum upon the average amount of notes in circulation.

It is further provided that there shall be no national-bank notes issued of a less denomination than $10; that each national bank, except in case of a failed bank, shall redeem or retire its notes in the first instance at its own office or at agencies to be designated by it, and that no fixed reserve need be maintained on account of deposits.

Another very important feature of this plan is the exemption of State banks from taxation by the United States in cases where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury and Comptroller of the Currency by banks claiming such exemption that they have not had outstanding their circulating notes exceeding 75 per cent of their paid-up and unimpaired capital; that their stockholders are individually liable for the redemption of their circulating notes to the full extent of their ownership of stock; that the liability of said banks upon their circulating notes constitutes under their State law a first lien upon their assets; that such banks have kept and maintained a guaranty fund in United States legal-tender notes, including Treasury notes of 1890, equal to 30 per cent of their outstanding circulating notes, and that such banks have promptly redeemed their circulating notes when presented at their principal or branch offices.

It is quite likely that this scheme may be usefully amended in some of its details, but I am satisfied it furnishes a basis for a very great improvement in our present banking and currency system.

I conclude this communication fully appreciating that the responsibility for all legislation affecting the people of the United States rests upon their representatives in the Congress, and assuring them that, whether in accordance with recommendations I have made or not, I shall be glad to cooperate in perfecting any legislation that tends to the prosperity and welfare of our country.



State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 2, 1895

To the Congress of the United States:

The present assemblage of the legislative branch of our Government occurs at a time when the interests of our people and the needs of the country give especial prominence to the condition of our foreign relations and the exigencies of our national finances. The reports of the heads of the several administrative Departments of the Government fully and plainly exhibit what has been accomplished within the scope of their respective duties and present such recommendations for the betterment of our country's condition as patriotic and intelligent labor and observation suggest.

I therefore deem my executive duty adequately performed at this time by presenting to the Congress the important phases of our situation as related to our intercourse with foreign nations and a statement of the financial problems which confront us, omitting, except as they are related to these topics, any reference to departmental operations.

I earnestly invite, however, not only the careful consideration but the severely critical scrutiny of the Congress and my fellow-countrymen to the reports concerning these departmental operations. If justly and fairly examined, they will furnish proof of assiduous and painstaking care for the public welfare. I press the recommendations they contain upon the respectful attention of those charged with the duty of legislation, because I believe their adoption would promote the people's good.

By amendatory tariff legislation in January last the Argentine Republic, recognizing the value of the large market opened to the free importation of its wools under our last tariff act, has admitted certain products of the United States to entry at reduced duties. It is pleasing to note that the efforts we have made to enlarge the exchanges of trade on a sound basis of mutual benefit are in this instance appreciated by the country from which our woolen factories draw their needful supply of raw material.

The Missions boundary dispute between the Argentine Republic and Brazil, referred to the President of the United States as arbitrator during the term of my predecessor, and which was submitted to me for determination, resulted in an award in favor of Brazil upon the historical and documentary evidence presented, thus ending a long-protracted controversy and again demonstrating the wisdom and desirability of settling international boundary disputes by recourse to friendly arbitration.

Negotiations are progressing for a revival of the United States and Chilean Claims Commission, whose work was abruptly terminated last year by the expiration of the stipulated time within which awards could be made.

The resumption of specie payments by Chile is a step of great interest and importance both in its direct consequences upon her own welfare and as evincing the ascendency of sound financial principles in one of the most influential of the South American Republics.

The close of the momentous struggle between China and Japan, while relieving the diplomatic agents of this Government from the delicate duty they undertook at the request of both countries of rendering such service to the subjects of either belligerent within the territorial limits of the other as our neutral position permitted, developed a domestic condition in the Chinese Empire which has caused much anxiety and called for prompt and careful attention. Either as a result of a weak control by the central Government over the provincial administrations, following a diminution of traditional governmental authority under the stress of an overwhelming national disaster, or as a manifestation upon good opportunity of the aversion of the Chinese population to all foreign ways and undertakings, there have occurred in widely separated provinces of China serious outbreaks of the old fanatical spirit against foreigners, which, unchecked by the local authorities, if not actually connived at by them, have culminated in mob attacks on foreign missionary stations, causing much destruction of property and attended with personal injuries as well as loss of life.

Although but one American citizen was reported to have been actually wounded, and although the destruction of property may have fallen more heavily upon the missionaries of other nationalities than our own, it plainly behooved this Government to take the most prompt and decided action to guard against similar or perhaps more dreadful calamities befalling the hundreds of American mission stations which have grown up throughout the interior of China under the temperate rule of toleration, custom, and imperial edict. The demands of the United States and other powers for the degradation and punishment of the responsible officials of the respective cities and provinces who by neglect or otherwise had permitted uprisings, and for the adoption of stern measures by the Emperor's Government for the protection of the life and property of foreigners, were followed by the disgrace and dismissal of certain provincial officials found derelict in duty and the punishment by death of a number of those adjudged guilty of actual participation in the outrages.

This Government also insisted that a special American commission should visit the province where the first disturbances occurred for the purpose of investigation. The latter commission, formed after much opposition, has gone overland from Tientsin, accompanied by a suitable Chinese escort, and by its demonstration of the readiness and ability of our Government to protect its citizens will act, it is believed, as a most influential deterrent of any similar outbreaks.

The energetic steps we have thus taken are all the more likely to result in future safety to our citizens in China because the Imperial Government is, I am persuaded, entirely convinced that we desire only the liberty and protection of our own citizens and redress for any wrongs they may have suffered, and that we have no ulterior designs or objects, political or otherwise. China will not forget either our kindly service to her citizens during her late war nor the further fact that, while furnishing all the facilities at our command to further the negotiation of a peace between her and Japan, we sought no advantages and interposed no counsel.

The Governments of both China and Japan have, in special dispatches transmitted through their respective diplomatic representatives, expressed in a most pleasing manner their grateful appreciation of our assistance to their citizens during the unhappy struggle and of the value of our aid in paving the way to their resumption of peaceful relations.

The customary cordial relations between this country and France have been undisturbed, with the exception that a full explanation of the treatment of John L. Waller by the expeditionary military authorities of France still remains to be given. Mr. Waller, formerly United States consul at Tamatav, remained in Madagascar after his term of office expired, and was apparently successful in procuring business concessions from the Hovas of greater or less value. After the occupation of Tamatav and the declaration of martial law by the French he was arrested upon various charges, among them that of communicating military information to the enemies of France, was tried and convicted by a military tribunal, and sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment.

Following the course justified by abundant precedents, this Government requested from that of France the record of the proceedings of the French tribunal which resulted in Mr. Waller's condemnation. This request has been complied with to the extent of supplying a copy of the official record, from which appear the constitution and organization of the court, the charges as formulated, and the general course and result of the trial, and by which it is shown that the accused was tried in open court and was defended by counsel; but the evidence adduced in support of the charges, which was not received by the French minister for foreign affairs till the first week in October, has thus far been withheld, the French Government taking the ground that its production in response to our demand would establish a bad precedent. The efforts of our ambassador to procure it, however, though impeded by recent changes in the French ministry, have not been relaxed, and it is confidently expected that some satisfactory solution of the matter will shortly be reached. Meanwhile it appears that Mr. Waller's confinement has every alleviation which the state of his health and all the other circumstances of the case demand or permit.

In agreeable contrast to the difference above noted respecting a matter of common concern, where nothing is sought except such a mutually satisfactory outcome as the true merits of the case require, is the recent resolution of the French Chambers favoring the conclusion of a permanent treaty of arbitration between the two countries.

An invitation has been extended by France to the Government and people of the United States to participate in a great international exposition at Paris in 1900 as a suitable commemoration of the close of this the world's marvelous century of progress. I heartily recommend its acceptance, together with such legislation as will adequately provide for a due representation of this Government and its people on the occasion.

Our relations with the States of the German Empire are in some aspects typical of a condition of things elsewhere found in countries whose productions and trade are similar to our own. The close rivalries of competing industries; the influence of the delusive doctrine that the internal development of a nation is promoted and its wealth increased by a policy which, in undertaking to reserve its home markets for the exclusive use of its own producers, necessarily obstructs their sales in foreign markets and prevents free access to the products of the world; the desire to retain trade in time-worn ruts, regardless of the inexorable laws of new needs and changed conditions of demand and supply, and our own halting tardiness in inviting a freer exchange of commodities, and by this means imperiling our footing in the external markets naturally open to us, have created a situation somewhat injurious to American export interests, not only in Germany, where they are perhaps most noticeable, but in adjacent countries. The exports affected are largely American cattle and other food products, the reason assigned for unfavorable discrimination being that their consumption is deleterious to the public health. This is all the more irritating in view of the fact that no European state is as jealous of the excellence and wholesomeness of its exported food supplies as the United States, nor so easily able, on account of inherent soundness, to guarantee those qualities.

Nor are these difficulties confined to our food products designed for exportation. Our great insurance companies, for example, having built up a vast business abroad and invested a large share of their gains in foreign countries in compliance with the local laws and regulations then existing, now find themselves within a narrowing circle of onerous and unforeseen conditions, and are confronted by the necessity of retirement from a field thus made unprofitable, if, indeed, they are not summarily expelled, as some of them have lately been from Prussia.

It is not to be forgotten that international trade can not be one-sided. Its currents are alternating, and its movements should be honestly reciprocal. Without this it almost necessarily degenerates into a device to gain advantage or a contrivance to secure benefits with only the semblance of a return. In our dealings with other nations we ought to be open-handed and scrupulously fair. This should be our policy as a producing nation, and it plainly becomes us as a people who love generosity and the moral aspects of national good faith and reciprocal forbearance.

These considerations should not, however, constrain us to submit to unfair discrimination nor to silently acquiesce in vexatious hindrances to the enjoyment of our share of the legitimate advantages of proper trade relations. If an examination of the situation suggests such measures on our part as would involve restrictions similar to those from which we suffer, the way to such a course is easy. It should, however, by no means be lightly entered upon, since the necessity for the inauguration of such a policy would be regretted by the best sentiment of our people and because it naturally and logically might lead to consequences of the gravest character.

I take pleasure in calling to your attention the encomiums bestowed on those vessels of our new Navy which took part in the notable ceremony of the opening of the Kiel Canal. It was fitting that this extraordinary achievement of the newer German nationality should be celebrated in the presence of America's exposition of the latest developments of the world' s naval energy.

Our relations with Great Britain, always intimate and important, have demanded during the past year even a greater share of consideration than is usual.

Several vexatious questions were left undetermined by the decision of the Bering Sea Arbitration Tribunal. The application of the principles laid down by that august body has not been followed by the results they were intended to accomplish, either because the principles themselves lacked in breadth and definiteness or because their execution has been more or less imperfect. Much correspondence has been exchanged between the two Governments on the subject of preventing the exterminating slaughter of seals. The insufficiency of the British patrol of Bering Sea under the regulations agreed on by the two Governments has been pointed out, and yet only two British ships have been on police duty during this season in those waters.

The need of a more effective enforcement of existing regulations as well as the adoption of such additional regulations as experience has shown to be absolutely necessary to carry out the intent of the award have been earnestly urged upon the British Government, but thus far without effective results. In the meantime the depletion of the seal herds by means of pelagic hunting has so alarmingly progressed that unless their slaughter is at once effectively checked their extinction within a few years seems to be a matter of absolute certainty.

The understanding by which the United States was to pay and Great Britain to receive a lump sum of $425,000 in full settlement of all British claims for damages arising from our seizure of British sealing vessels unauthorized under the award of the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration was not confirmed by the last Congress, which declined to make the necessary appropriation. I am still of the opinion that this arrangement was a judicious and advantageous one for the Government, and I earnestly recommend that it be again considered and sanctioned. If, however, this does not meet with the favor of Congress, it certainly will hardly dissent from the proposition that the Government is bound by every consideration of honor and good faith to provide for the speedy adjustment of these claims by arbitration as the only other alternative. A treaty of arbitration has therefore been agreed upon, and will be immediately laid before the Senate, so that in one of the modes suggested a final settlement may be reached.

Notwithstanding that Great Britain originated the proposal to enforce international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea, based on the recommendations of the Maritime Conference of Washington, and concurred in, suggesting March 11, 1895, as the date to be set by proclamation for carrying these rules into general effect, Her Majesty's Government, having encountered opposition on the part of British shipping interests, announced its inability to accept that date, which was consequently canceled. The entire matter is still in abeyance, without prospect of a better condition in the near future.

The commissioners appointed to mark the international boundary in Passamaquoddy Bay according to the description of the treaty of Ghent have not yet fully agreed.

The completion of the preliminary survey of that Alaskan boundary which follows the contour of the coast from the southernmost point of Prince of Wales Island until it strikes the one hundred and forty-first meridian at or near the summit of Mount St. Elias awaits further necessary appropriation, which is urgently recommended. This survey was undertaken under the provisions of the convention entered into by this country and Great Britain July 22, 1892, and the supplementary convention of February 3, 1894.

As to the remaining section of the Alaskan boundary, which follows the one hundred and forty-first meridian northwardly from Mount St. Elias to the Frozen Ocean, the settlement of which involves the physical location of the meridian mentioned, no conventional agreement has yet been made. The ascertainment of a given meridian at a particular point is a work requiring much time and careful observations and surveys. Such observations and surveys were undertaken by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1890 and 1891, while similar work in the same quarters, under British auspices, is believed to give nearly coincident results; but these surveys have been independently conducted, and no international agreement to mark those or any other parts of the one hundred and forty-first meridian by permanent monuments has yet been made. In the meantime the valley of the Yukon is becoming a highway through the hitherto unexplored wilds of Alaska, and abundant mineral wealth has been discovered in that region, especially at or near the junction of the boundary meridian with the Yukon and its tributaries. In these circumstances it is expedient, and, indeed, imperative, that the jurisdictional limits of the respective Governments in this new region be speedily determined. Her Britannic Majesty's Government has proposed a joint delimitation of the one hundred and forty-first meridian by an international commission of experts, which, if Congress will authorize it and make due provision therefor, can be accomplished with no unreasonable delay. It is impossible to overlook the vital importance of continuing the work already entered upon and supplementing it by further effective measures looking to the exact location of this entire boundary line.

I call attention to the unsatisfactory delimitation of the respective jurisdictions of the United States and the Dominion of Canada in the Great Lakes at the approaches to the narrow waters that connect them. The waters in question are frequented by fishermen of both nationalities and their nets are there used. Owing to the uncertainty and ignorance as to the true boundary, vexations disputes and injurious seizures of boats and nets by Canadian cruisers often occur, while any positive settlement thereof by an accepted standard is not easily to be reached. A joint commission to determine the line in those quarters on a practical basis, by measured courses following range marks on shore, is a necessity for which immediate provision should be made.

It being apparent that the boundary dispute between Great Britain and the Republic of Venezuela concerning the limits of British Guiana was approaching an acute stage, a definite statement of the interest and policy of the United States as regards the controversy seemed to be required both on its own account and in view of its relations with the friendly powers directly concerned. In July last, therefore, a dispatch was addressed to our ambassador at London for communication to the British Government in which the attitude of the United States was fully and distinctly set forth. The general conclusions therein reached and formulated are in substance that the traditional and established policy of this Government is firmly opposed to a forcible increase by any European power of its territorial possessions on this continent; that this policy is as well rounded in principle as it is strongly supported by numerous precedents; that as a consequence the United States is bound to protest against the enlargement of the area of British Guiana in derogation of the rights and against the will of Venezuela; that considering the disparity in strength of Great Britain and Venezuela the territorial dispute between them can be reasonably settled only by friendly and impartial arbitration, and that the resort to such arbitration should include the whole controversy, and is not satisfied if one of the powers concerned is permitted to draw an arbitrary line through the territory in debate and to declare that it will submit to arbitration only the portion lying on one side of it. In view of these conclusions, the dispatch in question called upon the British Government for a definite answer to the question whether it would or would not submit the territorial controversy between itself and Venezuela in its entirety to impartial arbitration. The answer of the British Government has not yet been received, but is expected shortly, when further communication on the subject will probably be made to the Congress.

Early in January last an uprising against the Government of Hawaii was promptly suppressed. Martial law was forthwith proclaimed and numerous arrests were made of persons suspected of being in sympathy with the Royalist party. Among these were several citizens of the United States, who were either convicted by a military court and sentenced to death, imprisonment, or fine or were deported without trial. The United States, while denying protection to such as had taken the Hawaiian oath of allegiance, insisted that martial law, though altering the forms of justice, could not supersede justice itself, and demanded stay of execution until the proceedings had been submitted to this Government and knowledge obtained therefrom that our citizens had received fair trial. The death sentences were subsequently commuted or were remitted on condition of leaving the islands. The cases of certain Americans arrested and expelled by arbitrary order without formal charge or trial have had attention, and in some instances have been found to justify remonstrance and a claim for indemnity, which Hawaii has not thus far conceded.

Mr. Thurston, the Hawaiian minister, having furnished this Government abundant reason for asking that he be recalled, that course was pursued, and his successor has lately been received.

The deplorable lynching of several Italian laborers in Colorado was naturally followed by international representations, and I am happy to say that the best efforts of the State in which the outrages occurred have been put forth to discover and punish the authors of this atrocious crime. The dependent families of some of the unfortunate victims invite by their deplorable condition gracious provision for their needs.

These manifestations against helpless aliens may be traced through successive stages to the vicious padroni system, which, unchecked by our immigration and contract-labor statutes, controls these workers from the moment of landing on our shores and farms them out in distant and often rude regions, where their cheapening competition in the fields of bread-winning toil brings them into collision with other labor interests. While welcoming, as we should, those who seek our shores to merge themselves in our body politic and win personal competence by honest effort, we can not regard such assemblages of distinctively alien laborers, hired out in the mass to the profit of alien speculators and shipped hither and thither as the prospect of gain may dictate, as otherwise than repugnant to the spirit of our civilization, deterrent to individual advancement, and hindrances to the building up of stable communities resting upon the wholesome ambitions of the citizen and constituting the prime factor in the prosperity and progress of our nation. If legislation can reach this growing evil, it certainly should be attempted.

Japan has furnished abundant evidence of her vast gain in every trait and characteristic that constitutes a nation's greatness. We have reason for congratulation in the fact that the Government of the United States, by the exchange of liberal treaty stipulations with the new Japan, was the first to recognize her wonderful advance and to extend to her the consideration and confidence due to her national enlightenment and progressive character.

The boundary dispute which lately threatened to embroil Guatemala and Mexico has happily yielded to pacific counsels, and its determination has, by the joint agreement of the parties, been submitted to the sole arbitration of the United States minister to Mexico.

The commission appointed under the convention of February 18, 1889, to set new monuments along the boundary between the United States and Mexico has completed its task.

As a sequel to the failure of a scheme for the colonization in Mexico of negroes, mostly immigrants from Alabama under contract, a great number of these helpless and suffering people, starving and smitten with contagious disease, made their way or were assisted to the frontier, where, in wretched plight, they were quarantined by the Texas authorities. Learning of their destitute condition, I directed rations to be temporarily furnished them through the War Department. At the expiration of their quarantine they were conveyed by the railway companies at comparatively nominal rates to their homes in Alabama, upon my assurance, in the absence of any fund available for the cost of their transportation, that I would recommend to Congress an appropriation for its payment. I now strongly urge upon Congress the propriety of making such an appropriation. It should be remembered that the measures taken were dictated not only by sympathy and humanity, but by a conviction that it was not compatible with the dignity of this Government that so large a body of our dependent citizens should be thrown for relief upon the charity of a neighboring state.

In last year's message I narrated at some length the jurisdictional questions then freshly arisen in the Mosquito Indian Strip of Nicaragua. Since that time, by the voluntary act of the Mosquito Nation, the territory reserved to them has been incorporated with Nicaragua, the Indians formally subjecting themselves to be governed by the general laws and regulations of the Republic instead of by their own customs and regulations, and thus availing themselves of a privilege secured to them by the treaty between Nicaragua and Great Britain of January 28, 1860.

After this extension of uniform Nicaraguan administration to the Mosquito Strip, the case of the British vice-consul, Hatch, and of several of his countrymen who had been summarily expelled from Nicaragua and treated with considerable indignity provoked a claim by Great Britain upon Nicaragua for pecuniary indemnity, which, upon Nicaragua's refusal to admit liability, was enforced by Great Britain. While the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Nicaragua was in no way questioned by Great Britain, the former's arbitrary conduct in regard to British subjects furnished the ground for this proceeding.

A British naval force occupied without resistance the Pacific seaport of Corinto, but was soon after withdrawn upon the promise that the sum demanded would be paid. Throughout this incident the kindly offices of the United States were invoked and were employed in favor of as peaceful a settlement and as much consideration and indulgence toward Nicaragua as were consistent with the nature of the case. Our efforts have since been made the subject of appreciative and grateful recognition by Nicaragua. The coronation of the Czar of Russia at Moscow in May next invites the ceremonial participation of the United States, and in accordance with usage and diplomatic propriety our minister to the imperial court has been directed to represent our Government on the occasion.

Correspondence is on foot touching the practice of Russian consuls within the jurisdiction of the United States to interrogate citizens as to their race and religious faith, and upon ascertainment thereof to deny to Jews authentication of passports or legal documents for use in Russia. Inasmuch as such a proceeding imposes a disability which in the case of succession to property in Russia may be found to infringe the treaty rights of our citizens, and which is an obnoxious invasion of our territorial jurisdiction, it has elicited fitting remonstrance, the result of which, it is hoped, will remove the cause of complaint. The pending claims of sealing vessels of the United States seized in Russian waters remain unadjusted. Our recent convention with Russia establishing a modus vivendi as to imperial jurisdiction in such cases has prevented further difficulty of this nature.

The Russian Government has welcomed in principle our suggestion for a modus vivendi, to embrace Great Britain and Japan, looking to the better preservation of seal life in the North Pacific and Bering Sea and the extension of the protected area defined by the Paris Tribunal to all Pacific waters north of the thirty-fifth parallel. It is especially noticeable that Russia favors prohibition of the use of firearms in seal hunting throughout the proposed area and a longer closed season for pelagic sealing.

In my last two annual messages I called the attention of the Congress to the position we occupied as one of the parties to a treaty or agreement by which we became jointly bound with England and Germany to so interfere with the government and control of Samoa as in effect to assume the management of its affairs. On the 9th day of May, 1894, I transmitted to the Senate a special message, with accompanying documents, giving information on the subject and emphasizing the opinion I have at all times entertained, that our situation in this matter was inconsistent with the mission and traditions of our Government, in violation of the principles we profess, and in all its phases mischievous and vexatious.

I again press this subject upon the attention of the Congress and ask for such legislative action or expression as will lead the way to our relief from obligations both irksome and unnatural.

Cuba is again gravely disturbed. An insurrection in some respects more active than the last preceding revolt, which continued from 1868 to 1878, now exists in a large part of the eastern interior of the island, menacing even some populations on the coast. Besides deranging the commercial exchanges of the island, of which our country takes the predominant share, this flagrant condition of hostilities, by arousing sentimental sympathy and inciting adventurous support among our people, has entailed earnest effort on the part of this Government to enforce obedience to our neutrality laws and to prevent the territory of the United States from being abused as a vantage ground from which to aid those in arms against Spanish sovereignty.

Whatever may be the traditional sympathy of our countrymen as individuals with a people who seem to be struggling for larger autonomy and greater freedom, deepened, as such sympathy naturally must be, in behalf of our neighbors, yet the plain duty of their Government is to observe in good faith the recognized obligations of international relationship. The performance of this duty should not be made more difficult by a disregard on the part of our citizens of the obligations growing out of their allegiance to their country, which should restrain them from violating as individuals the neutrality which the nation of which they are members is bound to observe in its relations to friendly sovereign states. Though neither the warmth of our people's sympathy with the Cuban insurgents, nor our loss and material damage consequent upon the futile endeavors thus far made to restore peace and order, nor any shock our humane sensibilities may have received from the cruelties which appear to especially characterize this sanguinary and fiercely conducted war, have in the least shaken the determination of the Government to honestly fulfill every international obligation, yet it is to be earnestly hoped on every ground that the devastation of armed conflict may speedily be stayed and order and quiet restored to the distracted island, bringing in their train the activity and thrift of peaceful pursuits.

One notable instance of interference by Spain with passing American ships has occurred. On March 8 last the Allianca, while bound from Colon to New York, and following the customary track for vessels near the Cuban shore, but outside the 3-mile limit, was fired upon by a Spanish gunboat. Protest was promptly made by the United States against this act as not being justified by a state of war, nor permissible in respect of vessels on the usual paths of commerce, nor tolerable in view of the wanton peril occasioned to innocent life and property. The act was disavowed, with full expression of regret and assurance of nonrecurrence of such just cause of complaint, while the offending officer was relieved of his command. Military arrests of citizens of the United States in Cuba have occasioned frequent reclamations. Where held on criminal charges their delivery to the ordinary civil jurisdiction for trial has been demanded and obtained in conformity with treaty provisions, and where merely detained by way of military precaution under a proclaimed state of siege, without formulated accusation, their release or trial has been insisted upon. The right of American consular officers in the island to prefer protests and demands in such cases having been questioned by the insular authority, their enjoyment of the privilege stipulated by treaty for the consuls of Germany was claimed under the most-favored-nation provision of our own convention and was promptly recognized.

The long-standing demand of Antonio Maximo Mora against Spain has at last been settled by the payment, on the 14th of September last, of the sum originally agreed upon in liquidation of the claim. Its distribution among the parties entitled to receive it has proceeded as rapidly as the rights of those claiming the fund could be safely determined.

The enforcement of differential duties against products of this country exported to Cuba and Puerto Rico prompted the immediate claim on our part to the benefit of the minimum tariff of Spain in return for the most favorable treatment permitted by our laws as regards the production of Spanish territories. A commercial arrangement was concluded in January last securing the treatment so claimed.

Vigorous protests against excessive fines imposed on our ships and merchandise by the customs officers of these islands for trivial errors have resulted in the remission of such fines in instances where the equity of the complaint was apparent, though the vexatious practice has not been wholly discontinued.

Occurrences in Turkey have continued to excite concern. The reported massacres of Christians in Armenia and the development there and in other districts of a spirit of fanatic hostility to Christian influences naturally excited apprehension for the safety of the devoted men and women who, as dependents of the foreign missionary societies in the United States, reside in Turkey under the guaranty of law and usage and in the legitimate performance of their educational and religious mission. No efforts have been spared in their behalf, and their protection in person and property has been earnestly and vigorously enforced by every means within our power.

I regret, however, that an attempt on our part to obtain better information concerning the true condition of affairs in the disturbed quarter of the Ottoman Empire by sending thither the United States consul at Sivas to make investigation and report was thwarted by the objections of the Turkish Government. This movement on our part was in no sense meant as a gratuitous entanglement of the United States in the so-called Eastern question nor as an officious interference with the right and duty which belong by treaty to certain great European powers calling for their intervention in political matters affecting the good government and religious freedom of the non-Mussulman subjects of the Sultan, but it arose solely from our desire to have an accurate knowledge of the conditions in our efforts to care for those entitled to our protection.

The presence of our naval vessels which are now in the vicinity of the disturbed localities affords opportunities to acquire a measure of familiarity with the condition of affairs and will enable us to take suitable steps for the protection of any interests of our countrymen within reach of our ships that might be found imperiled.

The Ottoman Government has lately issued an imperial irade exempting forever from taxation an American college for girls at Scutari. Repeated assurances have also been obtained by our envoy at Constantinople that similar institutions maintained and administered by our countrymen shall be secured in the enjoyment of all rights and that our citizens throughout the Empire shall be protected.

The Government, however, in view of existing facts, is far from relying upon such assurances as the limit of its duty. Our minister has been vigilant and alert in affording all possible protection in individual cases where danger threatened or safety was imperiled. We have sent ships as far toward the points of actual disturbance as it is possible for them to go, where they offer refuge to those obliged to flee, and we have the promise of other powers which have ships in the neighborhood that our citizens as well as theirs will be received and protected on board those ships. On the demand of our minister orders have been issued by the Sultan that Turkish soldiers shall guard and escort to the coast American refugees.

These orders have been carried out, and our latest intelligence gives assurance of the present personal safety of our citizens and missionaries. Though thus far no lives of American citizens have been sacrificed, there can be no doubt that serious loss and destruction of mission property have resulted from riotous conflicts and outrageous attacks.

By treaty several of the most powerful European powers have secured a right and have assumed a duty not only in behalf of their own citizens and in furtherance of their own interests, but as agents of the Christian world. Their right is to enforce such conduct of Turkish government as will restrain fanatical brutality, and if this fails their duty is to so interfere as to insure against such dreadful occurrences in Turkey as have lately shocked civilization. The powers declare this right and this duty to be theirs alone, and it is earnestly hoped that prompt and effective action on their part will not be delayed.

The new consulates at Erzerum and Harpoot, for which appropriation was made last session, have been provisionally filled by trusted employees of the Department of State. These appointees, though now in Turkey, have not yet received their exequaturs.

The arbitration of the claim of the Venezuela Steam Transportation Company under the treaty of January 19, 1892, between the United States and Venezuela, resulted in an award in favor of the claimant.

The Government has used its good offices toward composing the differences between Venezuela on the one hand and France and Belgium on the other growing out of the dismissal of the representatives of those powers on the ground of a publication deemed offensive to Venezuela. Although that dismissal was coupled with a cordial request that other more personally agreeable envoys be sent in their stead, a rupture of intercourse ensued and still continues.

In view of the growth of our interests in foreign countries and the encouraging prospects for a general expansion of our commerce, the question of an improvement in the consular service has increased in importance and urgency. Though there is no doubt that the great body of consular officers are rendering valuable services to the trade and industries of the country, the need of some plan of appointment and control which would tend to secure a higher average of efficiency can not be denied.

The importance of the subject has led the Executive to consider what steps might properly be taken without additional legislation to answer the need of a better system of consular appointments. The matter having been committed to the consideration of the Secretary of State, in pursuance of his recommendations an Executive order was issued on the 20th of September, 1895, by the terms of which it is provided that after that date any vacancy in a consulate or commercial agency with an annual salary or compensation from official fees of not more than $2,500 or less than $1,000 should be filled either by transfer or promotion from some other position under the Department of State of a character tending to qualify the incumbent for the position to be filled, or by the appointment of a person not under the Department of State, but having previously served thereunder and shown his capacity and fitness for consular duty, or by the appointment of a person who, having been selected by the President and sent to a board for examination, is found upon such examination to be qualified for the position. Posts which pay less than $1,000 being usually, on account of their small compensation, filled by selection from residents of the locality, it was not deemed practicable to put them under the new system.

The compensation of $2,500 was adopted as the maximum limit in the classification for the reason that consular officers receiving more than that sum are often charged with functions and duties scarcely inferior in dignity and importance to those of diplomatic agents, and it was therefore thought best to continue their selection in the discretion of the Executive without subjecting them to examination before a board. Excluding 71 places with compensation at present less than $1,000 and 53 places above the maximum in compensation, the number of positions remaining within the scope of the order is 196. This number will undoubtedly be increased by the inclusion of consular officers whose remuneration in fees, now less than $1,000, will be augmented with the growth of our foreign commerce and a return to more favorable business conditions.

In execution of the Executive order referred to the Secretary of State has designated as a board to conduct the prescribed examinations the Third Assistant Secretary of State, the Solicitor of the Department of State, and the Chief of the Consular Bureau, and has specified the subjects to which such examinations shall relate.

It is not assumed that this system will prove a full measure of consular reform. It is quite probable that actual experience will show particulars in which the order already issued may be amended and demonstrate that for the best results appropriate legislation by Congress is imperatively required.

In any event, these efforts to improve the consular service ought to be immediately supplemented by legislation providing for consular inspection. This has frequently been a subject of Executive recommendation, and I again urge such action by Congress as will permit the frequent and thorough inspection of consulates by officers appointed for that purpose or by persons already in the diplomatic or consular service. The expense attending such a plan would be insignificant compared with its usefulness, and I hope the legislation necessary to set it on foot will be speedily forthcoming.

I am thoroughly convinced that in addition to their salaries our ambassadors and ministers at foreign courts should be provided by the Government with official residences. The salaries of these officers are comparatively small and in most cases insufficient to pay, with other necessary expenses, the cost of maintaining household establishments in keeping with their important and delicate functions. The usefulness of a nation's diplomatic representative undeniably depends much upon the appropriateness of his surroundings, and a country like ours, while avoiding unnecessary glitter and show, should be certain that it does not suffer in its relations with foreign nations through parsimony and shabbiness in its diplomatic outfit. These considerations and the other advantages of having fixed and somewhat permanent locations for our embassies would abundantly justify the moderate expenditure necessary to carry out this suggestion.

As we turn from a review of our foreign relations to the contemplation of our national financial situation we are immediately aware that we approach a subject of domestic concern more important than any other that can engage our attention, and one at present in such a perplexing and delicate predicament as to require prompt and wise treatment.

We may well be encouraged to earnest effort in this direction when we recall the steps already taken toward improving our economic and financial situation and when we appreciate how well the way has been prepared for further progress by an aroused and intelligent popular interest in these subjects.

By command of the people a customs-revenue system designed for the protection and benefit of favored classes at the expense of the great mass of our countrymen, and which, while inefficient for the purpose of revenue, curtailed our trade relations and impeded our entrance to the markets of the world, has been superseded by a tariff policy which in principle is based upon a denial of the right of the Government to obstruct the avenues to our people's cheap living or lessen their comfort and contentment for the sake of according especial advantages to favorites, and which, while encouraging our intercourse and trade with other nations, recognizes the fact that American self-reliance, thrift, and ingenuity can build up our country's industries and develop its resources more surely than enervating paternalism.

The compulsory purchase and coinage of silver by the Government, unchecked and unregulated by business conditions and heedless of our currency needs, which for more than fifteen years diluted our circulating medium, undermined confidence abroad in our financial ability, and at last culminated in distress and panic at home, has been recently stopped by the repeal of the laws which forced this reckless scheme upon the country.

The things thus accomplished, notwithstanding their extreme importance and beneficent effects, fall far short of curing the monetary evils from which we suffer as a result of long indulgence in ill-advised financial expedients.

The currency denominated United States notes and commonly known as greenbacks was issued in large volume during the late Civil War and was intended originally to meet the exigencies of that period. It will be seen by a reference to the debates in Congress at the time the laws were passed authorizing the issue of these notes that their advocates declared they were intended for only temporary use and to meet the emergency of war. In almost if not all the laws relating to them some provision was made contemplating their voluntary or compulsory retirement. A large quantity of them, however, were kept on foot and mingled with the currency of the country, so that at the close of the year 1874 they amounted to $381,999,073.

Immediately after that date, and in January, 1875, a law was passed providing for the resumption of specie payments, by which the Secretary of the Treasury was required whenever additional circulation was issued to national banks to retire United States notes equal in amount to 80 per cent of such additional national-bank circulation until such notes were reduced to $300,000,000. This law further provided that on and after the 1st day of January, 1879, the United States notes then outstanding should be redeemed in coin, and in order to provide and prepare for such redemption the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized not only to use any surplus revenues of the Government, but to issue bonds of the United States and dispose of them for coin and to use the proceeds for the purposes contemplated by the statute.

In May, 1878, and before the date thus appointed for the redemption and retirement of these notes, another statute was passed forbidding their further cancellation and retirement. Some of them had, however, been previously redeemed and canceled upon the issue of additional national-bank circulation, as permitted by the law of 1875, so that the amount outstanding at the time of the passage of the act forbidding their further retirement was $346,681,016.

The law of 1878 did not stop at distinct prohibition, but contained in addition the following express provision:

And when any of said notes may be redeemed or be received into the Treasury under any law from any source whatever, and shall belong to the United States, they shall not be retired, canceled, or destroyed, but they shall be reissued and paid out again and kept in circulation. This was the condition of affairs on the 1st day of January, 1879, which had been fixed upon four years before as the date for entering upon the redemption and retirement of all these notes, and for which such abundant means had been provided.
The Government was put in the anomalous situation of owing to the holders of its notes debts payable in gold on demand which could neither be retired by receiving such notes in discharge of obligations due the Government nor canceled by actual payment in gold. It was forced to redeem without redemption and to pay without acquittance.

There had been issued and sold $95,500,000 of the bonds authorized by the resumption act of 1875, the proceeds of which, together with other gold in the Treasury, created a gold fund deemed sufficient to meet the demands which might be made upon it for the redemption of the outstanding United States notes. This fund, together with such other gold as might be from time to time in the Treasury available for the same purpose, has been since called our gold reserve, and $100,000,000 has been regarded as an adequate amount to accomplish its object. This fund amounted on the 1st day of January, 1879, to $114,193,360, and though thereafter constantly fluctuating it did not fall below that sum until July, 1892. In April, 1893, for the first time since its establishment, this reserve amounted to less than $100,000,000, containing at that date only $97,011,330.

In the meantime, and in July, 1890, an act had been passed directing larger governmental monthly purchases of silver than had been required under previous laws, and providing that in payment for such silver Treasury notes of the United States should be issued payable on demand in gold or silver coin, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. It was, however, declared in the act to be" the established policy of the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio or such ratio as may be provided by law." In view of this declaration it was not deemed permissible for the Secretary of the Treasury to exercise the discretion in terms conferred on him by refusing to pay gold on these notes when demanded, because by such discrimination in favor of the gold dollar the so-called parity of the two metals would be destroyed and grave and dangerous consequences would be precipitated by affirming or accentuating the constantly widening disparity between their actual values under the existing ratio.

It thus resulted that the Treasury notes issued in payment of silver purchases under the law of 1890 were necessarily treated as gold obligations at the option of the holder. These notes on the 1st day of November, 1893, when the law compelling the monthly purchase of silver was repealed, amounted to more than $155,000,000. The notes of this description now outstanding added to the United States notes still undiminished by redemption or cancellation constitute a volume of gold obligations amounting to nearly $500,000,000.

These obligations are the instruments which ever since we had a gold reserve have been used to deplete it.

This reserve, as has been stated, had fallen in April, 1893, to $97,111,330. It has from that time to the present, with very few and unimportant upward movements, steadily decreased, except as it has been temporarily replenished by the sale of bonds.

Among the causes for this constant and uniform shrinkage in this fund may be mentioned the great falling off of exports under the operation of the tariff law until recently in force, which crippled our exchange of commodities with foreign nations and necessitated to some extent the payment of our balances in gold; the unnatural infusion of silver into our currency and the increasing agitation for its free and unlimited coinage, which have created apprehension as to our disposition or ability to continue gold payments; the consequent hoarding of gold at home and the stoppage of investments of foreign capital, as well as the return of our securities already sold abroad; and the high rate of foreign exchange, which induced the shipment of our gold to be drawn against as a matter of speculation.

In consequence of these conditions the gold reserve on the 1st day of February, 1894, was reduced to $65,438,377, having lost more than $31,000,000 during the preceding nine months, or since April, 1893. Its replenishment being necessary and no other manner of accomplishing it being possible, resort was had to the issue and sale of bonds provided for by the resumption act of 1875. Fifty millions of these bonds were sold, yielding $58,633,295.71, which was added to the reserve fund of gold then on hand. As a result of this operation this reserve, which had suffered constant and large withdrawals in the meantime, stood on the 6th day of March, 1894, at the sum of $107,446,802. Its depletion was, however, immediately thereafter so accelerated that on the 30th day of June, 1894, it had fallen to $64,873,025, thus losing by withdrawals more than $42,000,000 in five months and dropping slightly below its situation when the sale of $50,000,000 in bonds was effected for its replenishment.

This depressed condition grew worse, and on the 24th day of November, 1894, our gold reserve being reduced to $57,669,701, it became necessary to again strengthen it.

This was done by another sale of bonds amounting to $50,000,000, from which there was realized $58,538,500, with which the fund was increased to $111,142,021 on the 4th day of December, 1894.

Again disappointment awaited the anxious hope for relief. There was not even a lull in the exasperating withdrawals of gold. On the contrary, they grew larger and more persistent than ever. Between the 4th day of December, 1894, and early in February, 1895, a period of scarcely more than two months after the second reenforcement of our gold reserve by the sale of bonds, it had lost by such withdrawals more than $69,000,000 and had fallen to $41,340,181. Nearly $43,000,000 had been withdrawn within the month immediately preceding this situation.

In anticipation of impending trouble I had on the 28th day of January, 1895, addressed a communication to the Congress fully setting forth our difficulties and dangerous position and earnestly recommending that authority be given the Secretary of the Treasury to issue bonds bearing a low rate of interest, payable by their terms in gold, for the purpose of maintaining a sufficient gold reserve and also for the redemption and cancellation of outstanding United States notes and the Treasury notes issued for the purchase of silver under the law of 1890. This recommendation did not, however, meet with legislative approval.

In February, 1895, therefore, the situation was exceedingly critical. With a reserve perilously low and a refusal of Congressional aid, everything indicated that the end of gold payments by the Government was imminent. The results of prior bond issues had been exceedingly unsatisfactory, and the large withdrawals of gold immediately succeeding their public sale in open market gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that a large part of the gold paid into the Treasury upon such sales was promptly drawn out again by the presentation of United States notes or Treasury notes, and found its way to the hands of those who had only temporarily parted with it in the purchase of bonds.

In this emergency, and in view of its surrounding perplexities, it became entirely apparent to those upon whom the struggle for safety was devolved not only that our gold reserve must, for the third time in less than thirteen months, be restored by another issue and sale of bonds bearing a high rate of interest and badly suited to the purpose, but that a plan must be adopted for their disposition promising better results than those realized on previous sales. An agreement was therefore made with a number of financiers and bankers whereby it was stipulated that bonds described in the resumption act of 1875, payable in coin thirty years after their date, bearing interest at the rate of 4 pet cent per annum, and amounting to about $62,000,000, should be exchanged for gold, receivable by weight, amounting to a little more than $65,000,000.

This gold was to be delivered in such installments as would complete its delivery within about six months from the date of the contract, and at least one-half of the amount was to be furnished from abroad. It was also agreed by those supplying this gold that during the continuance of the contract they would by every means in their power protect the Government against gold withdrawals. The contract also provided that if Congress would authorize their issue bonds payable by their terms in gold and bearing interest at the rate of 3 per cent per annum might within ten days be substituted at par for the 4 per cent bonds described in the agreement.

On the day this contract was made its terms were communicated to Congress by a special Executive message, in which it was stated that more than $16,000,000 would be saved to the Government if gold bonds bearing 3 per cent interest were authorized to be substituted for those mentioned in the contract.

The Congress having declined to grant the necessary authority to secure this saving, the contract, unmodified, was carried out, resulting in a gold reserve amounting to $107,571,230 on the 8th day of July, 1895. The performance of this contract not only restored the reserve, but checked for a time the withdrawals of gold and brought on a period of restored confidence and such peace and quiet in business circles as were of the greatest possible value to every interest that affects our people. I have never had the slightest misgiving concerning the wisdom or propriety of this arrangement, and am quite willing to answer for my full share of responsibility for its promotion. I believe it averted a disaster the imminence of which was, fortunately, not at the time generally understood by our people.

Though the contract mentioned stayed for a time the tide of gold withdrawal, its good results could not be permanent. Recent withdrawals have reduced the reserve from $107,571,230 on the 8th day of July, 1895, to $79,333,966. How long it will remain large enough to render its increase unnecessary is only matter of conjecture, though quite large withdrawals for shipment in the immediate future are predicted in well-informed quarters. About $16,000,000 has been withdrawn during the month of November.

The foregoing statement of events and conditions develops the fact that after increasing our interest-bearing bonded indebtedness more than $162,000,000 to save our gold reserve we are nearly where we started, having now in such reserve $79,333,966, as against $65,438,377 in February, 1894, when the first bonds were issued.

Though the amount of gold drawn from the Treasury appears to be very large as gathered from the facts and figures herein presented, it actually was much larger, considerable sums having been acquired by the Treasury within the several periods stated without the issue of bonds. On the 28th of January, 1895, it was reported by the Secretary of the Treasury that more than $172,000,000 of gold had been withdrawn for hoarding or shipment during the year preceding. He now reports that from January 1, 1879, to July 14, 1890, a period of more than eleven years, only a little over $28,000,000 was withdrawn, and that between July 14, 1890, the date of the passage of the law for an increased purchase of silver, and the 1st day of December, 1895, or within less than five and a half years, there was withdrawn nearly $375,000,000, making a total of more than $403,000,000 drawn from the Treasury in gold since January 1, 1879, the date fixed in 1875 for the retirement of the United States notes.

Nearly $327,000,000 of the gold thus withdrawn has been paid out on these United States notes, and yet every one of the $346,000,000 is still uncanceled and ready to do service in future gold depletions.

More than $76,000,000 in gold has since their creation in 1890 been paid out from the Treasury upon the notes given on the purchase of silver by the Government, and yet the whole, amounting to $155,000,000, except a little more than $16,000,000 which has been retired by exchanges for silver at the request of the holders, remains outstanding and prepared to join their older and more experienced allies in future raids upon the Treasury's gold reserve.

In other words, the Government has paid in gold more than nine-tenths of its United States notes and still owes them all. It has paid in gold about one-half of its notes given for silver purchases without extinguishing by such payment one dollar of these notes.

When, added to all this, we are reminded that to carry on this astound, lug financial scheme the Government has incurred a bonded indebtedness of $95,500,000 in establishing a gold reserve and of $162,315,400 in efforts to maintain it; that the annual interest charge on such bonded indebtedness is more than $11,000,000; that a continuance of our present course may result in further bond issues, and that we have suffered or are threatened with all this for the sake of supplying gold for foreign shipment or facilitating its hoarding at home, a situation is exhibited which certainly ought to arrest attention and provoke immediate legislative relief.

I am convinced the only thorough and practicable remedy for our troubles is found in the retirement and cancellation of our United States notes, commonly called greenbacks, and the outstanding Treasury notes issued by the Government in payment of silver purchases under the act of 1890.

I believe this could be quite readily accomplished by the exchange of these notes for United States bonds, of small as well as large denominations, bearing a low rate of interest. They should be long-term bonds, thus increasing their desirability as investments, and because their payment could be well postponed to a period far removed from present financial burdens and perplexities, when with increased prosperity and resources they would be more easily met.

To further insure the cancellation of these notes and also provide a way by which gold may be added to our currency in lieu of them, a feature in the plan should be an authority given to the Secretary of the Treasury to dispose of the bonds abroad for gold if necessary to complete the contemplated redemption and cancellation, permitting him to use the proceeds of such bonds to take up and cancel any of the notes that may be in the Treasury or that may be received by the Government on any account.

The increase of our bonded debt involved in this plan would be amply compensated by renewed activity and enterprise in all business circles, the restored confidence at home, the reinstated faith in our monetary strength abroad, and the stimulation of every interest and industry that would follow the cancellation of the gold-demand obligations now afflicting us. In any event, the bonds proposed would stand for the extinguishment of a troublesome indebtedness, while in the path we now follow there lurks the menace of unending bonds, with our indebtedness still undischarged and aggravated in every feature. The obligations necessary to fund this indebtedness would not equal in amount those from which we have been relieved since 1884 by anticipation and payment beyond the requirements of the sinking fund out of our surplus revenues.

The currency withdrawn by the retirement of the United States notes and Treasury notes, amounting to probably less than $486,000,000, might be supplied by such gold as would be used on their retirement or by an increase in the circulation of our national banks. Though the aggregate capital of those now in existence amounts to more than $664,000,000, their outstanding circulation based on bond security amounts to only about $190,000,000. They are authorized to issue notes amounting to 90 per cent of the bonds deposited to secure their circulation, but in no event beyond the amount of their capital stock, and they are obliged to pay 1 per cent tax on the circulation they issue.

I think they should be allowed to issue circulation equal to the par value of the bonds they deposit to secure it, and that the tax on their circulation should be reduced to one-fourth of 1 per cent, which would undoubtedly meet all the expense the Government incurs on their account. In addition they should be allowed to substitute or deposit in lieu of the bonds now required as security for their circulation those which would be issued for the purpose of retiring the United States notes and Treasury notes.

The banks already existing, if they desired to avail themselves of the provisions of law thus modified, could issue circulation, in addition to that already outstanding, amounting to $478,000,000, which would nearly or quite equal the currency proposed to be canceled. At any rate, I should confidently expect to see the existing national banks or others to be organized avail themselves of the proposed encouragements to issue circulation and promptly fill any vacuum and supply every currency need.

It has always seemed to me that the provisions of law regarding the capital of national banks, which operate as a limitation to their location, fail to make proper compensation for the suppression of State banks, which came near to the people in all sections of the country and readily furnished them with banking accommodations and facilities. Any inconvenience or embarrassment arising from these restrictions on the location of national banks might well be remedied by better adapting the present system to the creation of banks in smaller communities or by permitting banks of large capital to establish branches in such localities as would serve the people, so regulated and restrained as to secure their safe and conservative control and management.

But there might not be the necessity for such an addition to the currency by new issues of bank circulation as at first glance is indicated. If we should be relieved from maintaining a gold reserve under conditions that constitute it the barometer of our solvency, and if our Treasury should no longer be the foolish purveyor of gold for nations abroad or for speculation and hoarding by our citizens at home, I should expect to see gold resume its natural and normal functions in the business affairs of the country and cease to be an object attracting the timid watch of our people and exciting their sensitive imaginations.

I do not overlook the fact that the cancellation of the Treasury notes issued under the silver-purchasing act of 1890 would leave the Treasury in the actual ownership of sufficient silver, including seigniorage, to coin nearly $178,000,000 in standard dollars. It is worthy of consideration whether this might not from time to time be converted into dollars or fractional coin and slowly put into circulation, as in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury the necessities of the country should require.

Whatever is attempted should be entered upon fully appreciating the fact that by careless, easy descent we have reached a dangerous depth, and that our ascent will not be accomplished without laborious toil and struggle. We shall be wise if we realize that we are financially ill and that our restoration to health may require heroic treatment and unpleasant remedies.

In the present stage of our difficulty it is not easy to understand how the amount of our revenue receipts directly affects it. The important question is not the quantity of money received in revenue payments, but the kind of money we maintain and our ability to continue in sound financial condition. We are considering the Government's holdings of gold as related to the soundness of our money and as affecting our national credit and monetary strength.

If our gold reserve had never been impaired; if no bonds had ever been issued to replenish it; if there had been no fear and timidity concerning our ability to continue gold payments; if any part of our revenues were now paid in gold, and if we could look to our gold receipts as a means of maintaining a safe reserve, the amount of our revenues would be an influential factor in the problem. But, unfortunately, all the circumstances that might lend weight to this consideration are entirely lacking.

In our present predicament no gold is received by the Government in payment of revenue charges, nor would there be if the revenues were increased. The receipts of the Treasury, when not in silver certificates, consist of United States notes and Treasury notes issued for silver purchases. These forms of money are only useful to the Government in paying its current ordinary expenses, and its quantity in Government possession does not in the least contribute toward giving us that kind of safe financial standing or condition which is built on gold alone.

If it is said that these notes if held by the Government can be used to obtain gold for our reserve, the answer is easy. The people draw gold from the Treasury on demand upon United States notes and Treasury notes, but the proposition that the Treasury can on demand draw gold from the people upon them would be regarded in these days with wonder and amusement; and even if this could be done there is nothing to prevent those thus parting with their gold from regaining it the next day or the next hour by the presentation of the notes they received in exchange for it.

The Secretary of the Treasury might use such notes taken from a surplus revenue to buy gold in the market. Of course he could not do this without paying a premium. Private holders of gold, unlike the Government, having no parity to maintain, would not be restrained from making the best bargain possible when they furnished gold to the Treasury; but the moment the Secretary of the Treasury bought gold on any terms above par he would establish a general and universal premium upon it, thus breaking down the parity between gold and silver, which the Government is pledged to maintain, and opening the way to new and serious complications. In the meantime the premium would not remain stationary, and the absurd spectacle might be presented of a dealer selling gold to the Government and with United States notes or Treasury notes in his hand immediately clamoring for its return and a resale at a higher premium.

It may be claimed that a large revenue and redundant receipts might favorably affect the situation under discussion by affording an opportunity of retaining these notes in the Treasury when received, and thus preventing their presentation for gold. Such retention to be useful ought to be at least measurably permanent; and this is precisely what is prohibited, so far as United States notes are concerned, by the law of 1878, forbidding their further retirement. That statute in so many words provides that these notes when received into the Treasury and belonging to the United States shall be "paid out again and kept in circulation."

It will, moreover, be readily seen that the Government could not refuse to pay out United States notes and Treasury notes in current transactions when demanded, and insist on paying out silver alone, and still maintain the parity between that metal and the currency representing gold. Besides, the accumulation in the Treasury of currency of any kind exacted from the people through taxation is justly regarded as an evil, and it can not proceed far without vigorous protest against an unjustifiable retention of money from the business of the country and a denunciation of a scheme of taxation which proves itself to be unjust when it takes from the earnings and income of the citizen money so much in excess of the needs of Government support that large sums can be gathered and kept in the Treasury. Such a condition has heretofore in times of surplus revenue led the Government to restore currency to the people by the purchase of its unmatured bonds at a large premium and by a large increase of its deposits in national banks, and we easily remember that the abuse of Treasury accumulation has furnished a most persuasive argument in favor of legislation radically reducing our tariff taxation.

Perhaps it is supposed that sufficient revenue receipts would in a sentimental way improve the situation by inspiring confidence in our solvency and allaying the fear of pecuniary exhaustion. And yet through all our struggles to maintain our gold reserve there never has been any apprehension as to our ready ability to pay our way with such money as we had, and the question whether or not our current receipts met our current expenses has not entered into the estimate of our solvency. Of course the general state of our funds, exclusive of gold, was entirely immaterial to the foreign creditor and investor. His debt could only be paid in gold, and his only concern was our ability to keep on hand that kind of money.

On July 1, 1892, more than a year and a half before the first bonds were issued to replenish the gold reserve, there was a net balance in the Treasury, exclusive of such reserve, of less than $13,000,000, but the gold reserve amounted to more than $114,000,000, which was the quieting feature of the situation. It was when the stock of gold began rapidly to fall that fright supervened and our securities held abroad were returned for sale and debts owed abroad were pressed for payment. In the meantime extensive shipments of gold and other unfavorable indications caused restlessness and fright among our people at home. Thereupon the general state of our funds, exclusive of gold, became also immaterial to them, and they too drew gold from the Treasury for hoarding against all contingencies. This is plainly shown by the large increase in the proportion of gold withdrawn which was retained by our own people as time and threatening incidents progressed. During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, nearly $85,000,000 in gold was withdrawn from the Treasury and about $77,000,000 was sent abroad, while during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1895, over $117,000,000 was drawn out, of which only about $66,000,000 was shipped, leaving the large balance of such withdrawals to be accounted for by domestic hoarding.

Inasmuch as the withdrawal of our gold has resulted largely from fright, there is nothing apparent that will prevent its continuance or recurrence, with its natural consequences, except such a change in our financial methods as will reassure the frightened and make the desire for gold less intense. It is not clear how an increase fix revenue, unless it be in gold, can satisfy those whose only anxiety is to gain gold from the Government's store.

It can not, therefore, be safe to rely upon increased revenues as a cure for our present troubles.

It is possible that the suggestion of increased revenue as a remedy for the difficulties we are considering may have originated in an intimation or distinct allegation that the bonds which have been issued ostensibly to replenish our gold reserve were really issued to supply insufficient revenue. Nothing can be further from the truth. Bonds were issued to obtain gold for the maintenance of our national credit. As has been shown, the gold thus obtained has been drawn again from the Treasury upon United States notes and Treasury notes. This operation would have been promptly prevented if possible; but these notes having thus been passed to the Treasury, they became the money of the Government, like any other ordinary Government funds, and there was nothing to do but to use them in paying Government expenses when needed.

At no time when bonds have been issued has there been any consideration of the question of paying the expenses of Government with their proceeds. There was no necessity to consider that question. At the time of each bond issue we had a safe surplus in the Treasury for ordinary operations, exclusive of the gold in our reserve. In February, 1894, when the first issue of bonds was made, such surplus amounted to over $18,000,000; in November, when the second issue was made, it amounted to more than $42,000,000, and in February, 1895, when bonds for the third time were issued, such surplus amounted to more than $100,000,000. It now amounts to $98,072,420.30.

Besides all this, the Secretary of the Treasury had no authority whatever to issue bonds to increase the ordinary revenues or pay current expenses.

I can not but think there has been some confusion of ideas regarding the effects of the issue of bonds and the results of the withdrawal of gold. It was the latter process, and not the former, that, by substituting in the Treasury United States notes and Treasury notes for gold, increased by their amount the money which was in the first instance subject to ordinary Government expenditure.

Although the law compelling an increased purchase of silver by the Government was passed on the 14th day of July, 1890, withdrawals of gold from the Treasury upon the notes given in payment on such purchases did not begin until October, 1891. Immediately following that date the withdrawals upon both these notes and United States notes increased very largely, and have continued to such an extent that since the passage of that law there has been more than thirteen times as much gold taken out of the Treasury upon United States notes and Treasury notes issued for silver purchases as was thus withdrawn during the eleven and a half years immediately prior thereto and after the 1st day of January, 1879, when specie payments were resumed.

It is neither unfair nor unjust to charge a large share of our present financial perplexities and dangers to the operation of the laws of 1878 and 1890 compelling the purchase of silver by the Government, which not only furnished a new Treasury obligation upon which its gold could be withdrawn, but so increased the fear of an overwhelming flood of silver and a forced descent to silver payments that even the repeal of these laws did not entirely cure the evils of their existence.

While I have endeavored to make a plain statement of the disordered condition of our currency and the present dangers menacing our prosperity and to suggest a way which leads to a safer financial system, I have constantly had in mind the fact that many of my countrymen, whose sincerity I do not doubt, insist that the cure for the ills now threatening us may be found in the single and simple remedy of the free coinage of silver. They contend that our mints shall be at once thrown open to the free, unlimited, and independent coinage of both gold and silver dollars of full legal-tender quality, regardless of the action of any other government and in full view of the fact that the ratio between the metals which they suggest calls for 100 cents' worth of gold in the gold dollar at the present standard and only 50 cents in intrinsic worth of silver in the silver dollar.

Were there infinitely stronger reasons than can be adduced for hoping that such action would secure for us a bimetallic currency moving on lines of parity, an experiment so novel and hazardous as that proposed might well stagger those who believe that stability is an imperative condition of sound money.

No government, no human contrivance or act of legislation, has ever been able to hold the two metals together in free coinage at a ratio appreciably different from that which is established in the markets of the world.

Those who believe that our independent free coinage of silver at an artificial ratio with gold of 16 to 1 would restore the parity between the metals, and consequently between the coins, oppose an unsupported and improbable theory to the general belief and practice of other nations; and to the teaching of the wisest statesmen and economists of the world, both in the past and present, and, what is far more conclusive, they run counter to our own actual experiences.

Twice in our earlier history our lawmakers, in attempting to establish a bimetallic currency, undertook free coinage upon a ratio which accidentally varied from the actual relative values of the two metals not more than 3 per cent. In both cases, notwithstanding greater difficulties and cost of transportation than now exist, the coins whose intrinsic worth was undervalued. in the ratio gradually and surely disappeared from our circulation and went to other countries where their real value was better recognized.

Acts of Congress were impotent to create equality where natural causes decreed even a slight inequality.

Twice in our recent history we have signally failed to raise by legislation the value of silver. Under an act of Congress passed in 1878 the Government was required for more than twelve years to expend annually at least $24,000,000 in the purchase of silver bullion for coinage. The act of July 14, 1890, in a still bolder effort, increased the amount of silver the Government was compelled to purchase and forced it to become the buyer annually of 54,000,000 ounces, or practically the entire product of our mines. Under both laws silver rapidly and steadily declined in value. The prophecy and the expressed hope and expectation of those in the Congress who led in the passage of the last-mentioned act that it would reestablish and maintain the former parity between the two metals are still fresh in our memory.

In the light of these experiences, which accord with the experiences of other nations, there is certainly no secure ground for the belief that an act of Congress could now bridge an inequality of 50 per cent between gold and silver at our present ratio, nor is there the least possibility that our country, which has less than one-seventh of the silver money in the world, could by its action alone raise not only our own but all silver to its lost ratio with gold. Our attempt to accomplish this by the free coinage of silver at a ratio differing widely from actual relative values would be the signal for the complete departure of gold from our circulation, the immediate and large contraction of our circulating medium, and a shrinkage in the real value and monetary efficiency of all other forms of currency as they settled to the level of silver monometallism. Everyone who receives a fixed salary and every worker for wages would find the dollar in his hand ruthlessly scaled down to the point of bitter disappointment, if not to pinching privation.

A change in our standard to silver monometallism would also bring on a collapse of the entire system of credit, which, when based on a standard which is recognized and adopted by the world of business, is many times more potent and useful than the entire volume of currency and is safely capable of almost indefinite expansion to meet the growth of trade and enterprise. In a self-invited struggle through darkness and uncertainty our humiliation would be increased by the consciousness that we had parted company with all the enlightened and progressive nations of the world and were desperately and hopelessly striving to meet the stress of modern commerce and competition with a debased and unsuitable currency and in association with the few weak and laggard nations which have silver alone as their standard of value.

All history warns us against rash experiments which threaten violent changes in our monetary standard and the degradation of our currency. The past is full of lessons teaching not only the economic dangers but the national immorality that follow in the train of such experiments. I will not believe that the American people can be persuaded after sober deliberation to jeopardize their nation's prestige and proud standing by encouraging financial nostrums, nor that they will yield to the false allurements of cheap money when they realize that it must result in the weakening of that financial integrity and rectitude which thus far in our history has been so devotedly cherished as one of the traits of true Americanism.

Our country's indebtedness, whether owing by the Government or existing between individuals, has been contracted with reference to our present standard. To decree by act of Congress that these debts shall be payable in less valuable dollars than those within the contemplation and intention of the parties when contracted would operate to transfer by the fiat of law and without compensation an amount of property and a volume of rights and interests almost incalculable.

Those who advocate a blind and headlong plunge to free coinage in the name of bimetallism, and professing the belief, contrary to all experience, that we could thus establish a double standard and a concurrent circulation of both metals in our coinage, are certainly reckoning from a cloudy standpoint. Our present standard of value is the standard of the civilized world and permits the only bimetallism now possible, or at least that is within the independent reach of any single nation, however powerful that nation may be. While the value of gold as a standard is steadied by almost universal commercial and business use, it does not despise silver nor seek its banishment. Wherever this standard is maintained there is at its side in free and unquestioned circulation a volume of silver currency sometimes equaling and sometimes even exceeding it in amount both maintained at a parity notwithstanding a depreciation or fluctuation in the intrinsic value of silver.

There is a vast difference between a standard of value and a currency for monetary use. The standard must necessarily be fixed and certain. The currency may be in divers forms and of various kinds. No silver-standard country has a gold currency in circulation, but an enlightened and wise system of finance secures the benefits of both gold and silver as currency and circulating medium by keeping the standard stable and all other currency at par with it. Such a system and such a standard also give free scope for the use and expansion of safe and conservative credit, so indispensable to broad and growing commercial transactions and so well substituted for the actual use of money. If a fixed and stable standard is maintained, such as the magnitude and safety of our commercial transactions and business require, the use of money itself is conveniently minimized.

Every dollar of fixed and stable value has through the agency of confident credit an astonishing capacity of multiplying itself in financial work. Every unstable and fluctuating dollar fails as a basis of credit, and in its use begets gambling speculation and undermines the foundations of honest enterprise.

I have ventured to express myself on this subject with earnestness and plainness of speech because I can not rid myself of the belief that there lurk in the proposition for the free coinage of silver, so strongly approved and so enthusiastically advocated by a multitude of my countrymen, a serious menace to our prosperity and an insidious temptation of our people to wander from the allegiance they owe to public and private integrity. It is because I do not distrust the good faith and sincerity of those who press this scheme that I have imperfectly but with zeal submitted my thoughts upon this momentous subject. I can not refrain from begging them to reexamine their views and beliefs in the light of patriotic reason and familiar experience and to weigh again and again the consequences of such legislation as their efforts have invited. Even the continued agitation of the subject adds greatly to the difficulties of a dangerous financial situation already forced upon us.

In conclusion I especially entreat the people's representatives in the Congress, who are charged with the responsibility of inaugurating measures for the safety and prosperity of our common country, to promptly and effectively consider the ills of our critical financial plight. I have suggested a remedy which my judgment approves. I desire, however, to assure the Congress that I am prepared to cooperate with them in perfecting any other measure promising thorough and practical relief, and that I will gladly labor with them in every patriotic endeavor to further the interests and guard the welfare of our countrymen, whom in our respective places of duty we have undertaken to serve.



State of the Union Address
Grover Cleveland
December 7, 1896

To the Congress of the United States:

As representatives of the people in the legislative branch of their Government, you have assembled at a time when the strength and excellence of our free institutions and the fitness of our citizens to enjoy popular rule have been again made manifest. A political contest involving momentous consequences, fraught with feverish apprehension, and creating aggressiveness so intense as to approach bitterness and passion has been waged throughout our land and determined by the decree of free and independent suffrage without disturbance of our tranquillity or the least sign of weakness in our national structure.

When we consider these incidents and contemplate the peaceful obedience and manly submission which have succeeded a heated clash of political opinions, we discover abundant evidence of a determination on the part of our countrymen to abide by every verdict of the popular will and to be controlled at all times by an abiding faith in the agencies established for the direction of the affairs of their Government.

Thus our people exhibit a patriotic disposition which entitles them to demand of those who undertake to make and execute their laws such faithful and unselfish service in their behalf as can only be prompted by a serious appreciation of the trust and confidence which the acceptance of public duty invites.

In obedience to a constitutional requirement I herein submit to the Congress certain information concerning national affairs, with the suggestion of such legislation as in my judgment is necessary and expedient. To secure brevity and avoid tiresome narration I shall omit many details concerning matters within Federal control which, though by no means unimportant, are more profitably discussed in departmental reports. I shall also further curtail this communication by omitting a minute recital of many minor incidents connected with our foreign relations which have heretofore found a place in Executive messages, but are now contained in a report of the Secretary of State, which is herewith submitted.

At the outset of a reference to the more important matters affecting our relations with foreign powers it would afford me satisfaction if I could assure the Congress that the disturbed condition in Asiatic Turkey had during the past year assumed a less hideous and bloody aspect and that, either as a consequence of the awakening of the Turkish Government to the demands of humane civilization or as the result of decisive action on the part of the great nations having the right by treaty to interfere for the protection of those exposed to the rage of mad bigotry and cruel fanaticism, the shocking features of the situation had been mitigated. Instead, however, of welcoming a softened disposition or protective intervention, we have been afflicted by continued and not unfrequent reports of the wanton destruction of homes and the bloody butchery of men, women, and children, made martyrs to their profession of Christian faith.

While none of our citizens in Turkey have thus far been killed or wounded, though often in the midst of dreadful scenes of danger, their safety in the future is by no means assured. Our Government at home and our minister at Constantinople have left nothing undone to protect our missionaries in Ottoman territory, who constitute nearly all the individuals residing there who have a right to claim our protection on the score of American citizenship. Our efforts in this direction will not be relaxed; but the deep feeling and sympathy that have been aroused among our people ought not to so far blind their reason and judgment as to lead them to demand impossible things. The outbreaks of the blind fury which lead to murder and pillage in Turkey occur suddenly and without notice, and an attempt on our part to force such a hostile presence there as might be effective for prevention or protection would not only be resisted by the Ottoman Government, but would be regarded as an interruption of their plans by the great nations who assert their exclusive right to intervene in their own time and method for the security of life and property in Turkey.

Several naval vessels are stationed in the Mediterranean as a measure of caution and to furnish all possible relief and refuge in case of emergency.

We have made claims against the Turkish Government for the pillage and destruction of missionary property at Harpoot and Marash during uprisings at those places. Thus far the validity of these demands has not been admitted, though our minister, prior to such outrages and in anticipation of danger, demanded protection for the persons and property of our missionary citizens in the localities mentioned and notwithstanding that strong evidence exists of actual complicity of Turkish soldiers in the work of destruction and robbery.

The facts as they now appear do not permit us to doubt the justice of these claims, and nothing will be omitted to bring about their prompt settlement.

A number of Armenian refugees having arrived at our ports, an order has lately been obtained from the Turkish Government permitting the wives and children of such refugees to join them here. It is hoped that hereafter no obstacle will be interposed to prevent the escape of all those who seek to avoid the perils which threaten them in Turkish dominions.

Our recently appointed consul to Erzerum is at his post and discharging the duties of his office, though for some unaccountable reason his formal exequatur from the Sultan has not been issued.

I do not believe that the present somber prospect in Turkey will be long permitted to offend the sight of Christendom. It so mars the humane and enlightened civilization that belongs to the close of the nineteenth century that it seems hardly possible that the earnest demand of good people throughout the Christian world for its corrective treatment will remain unanswered.

The insurrection in Cuba still continues with all its perplexities. It is difficult to perceive that any progress has thus far been made toward the pacification of the island or that the situation of affairs as depicted in my last annual message has in the least improved. If Spain still holds Havana and the seaports and all the considerable towns, the insurgents still roam at will over at least two-thirds of the inland country. If the determination of Spain to put down the insurrection seems but to strengthen with the lapse of time and is evinced by her unhesitating devotion of largely increased military and naval forces to the task, there is much reason to believe that the insurgents have gained in point of numbers and character and resources and are none the less inflexible in their resolve not to succumb without practically securing the great objects for which they took up arms. If Spain has not yet reestablished her authority, neither have the insurgents yet made good their title to be regarded as an independent state. Indeed, as the contest has gone on the pretense that civil government exists on the island, except so far as Spain is able to maintain it, has been practically abandoned. Spain does keep on foot such a government, more or less imperfectly, in the large towns and their immediate suburbs; but that exception being made, the entire country is either given over to anarchy or is subject to the military occupation of one or the other party. It is reported, indeed, on reliable authority that at the demand of the commander in chief of the insurgent army the putative Cuban government has now given up all attempt to exercise its functions, leaving that government confessedly (what there is the best reason for supposing it always to have been in fact) a government merely on paper.

Were the Spanish armies able to meet their antagonists in the open or in pitched battle, prompt and decisive results might be looked for, and the immense superiority of the Spanish forces in numbers, discipline, and equipment could hardly fail to tell greatly to their advantage. But they are called upon to face a foe that shuns general engagements, that can choose and does choose its own ground, that from the nature of the country is visible or invisible at pleasure, and that fights only from ambuscade and when all the advantages of position and numbers are on its side. In a country where all that is indispensable to life in the way of food, clothing, and shelter is so easily obtainable, especially by those born and bred on the soil, it is obvious that there is hardly a limit to the time during which hostilities of this sort may be prolonged. Meanwhile, as in all cases of protracted civil strife, the passions of the combatants grow more and more inflamed and excesses on both sides become more frequent and more deplorable. They are also participated in by bands of marauders, who, now in the name of one party and now in the name of the other, as may best suit the occasion, harry the country at will and plunder its wretched inhabitants for their own advantage. Such a condition of things would inevitably entail immense destruction of property, even if it were the policy of both parties to prevent it as far as practicable; but while such seemed to be the original policy of the Spanish Government, it has now apparently abandoned it and is acting upon the same theory as the insurgents, namely, that the exigencies of the contest require the wholesale annihilation of property that it may not prove of use and advantage to the enemy.

It is to the same end that, in pursuance of general orders, Spanish garrisons are now being withdrawn from plantations and the rural population required to concentrate itself in the towns. The sure result would seem to be that the industrial value of the island is fast diminishing and that unless there is a speedy and radical change in existing conditions it will soon disappear altogether. That value consists very largely, of course, in its capacity to produce sugar--a capacity already much reduced by the interruptions to tillage which have taken place during the last two years. It is reliably asserted that should these interruptions continue during the current year, and practically extend, as is now threatened, to the entire sugar-producing territory of the island, so much time and so much money will be required to restore the land to its normal productiveness that it is extremely doubtful if capital can be induced to even make the attempt.

The spectacle of the utter ruin of an adjoining country, by nature one of the most fertile and charming on the globe, would engage the serious attention of the Government and people of the United States in any circumstances. In point of fact, they have a concern with it which is by no means of a wholly sentimental or philanthropic character. It lies so near to us as to be hardly separated from our territory. Our actual pecuniary interest in it is second only to that of the people and Government of Spain. It is reasonably estimated that at least from $30,000,000 to $50,000,000 of American capital are invested in plantations and in railroad, mining, and other business enterprises on the island. The volume of trade between the United States and Cuba, which in 1889 amounted to about $64,000,000, rose in 1893 to about $103,000,000, and in 1894, the year before the present insurrection broke out, amounted to nearly $96,000,000. Besides this large pecuniary stake in the fortunes of Cuba, the United States finds itself inextricably involved in the present contest in other ways, both vexatious and costly.

Many Cubans reside in this country, and indirectly promote the insurrection through the press, by public meetings, by the purchase and shipment of arms, by the raising of funds, and by other means which the spirit of our institutions and the tenor of our laws do not permit to be made the subject of criminal prosecutions. Some of them, though Cubans at heart and in all their feelings and interests, have taken out papers as naturalized citizens of the United States--a proceeding resorted to with a view to possible protection by this Government, and not unnaturally regarded with much indignation by the country of their origin. The insurgents are undoubtedly encouraged and supported by the widespread sympathy the people of this country always and instinctively feel for every struggle for better and freer government, and which, in the case of the more adventurous and restless elements of our population, leads in only too many instances to active and personal participation in the contest. The result is that this Government is constantly called upon to protect American citizens, to claim damages for injuries to persons and property, now estimated at many millions of dollars, and to ask explanations and apologies for the acts of Spanish officials whose zeal for the repression of rebellion sometimes blinds them to the immunities belonging to the unoffending citizens of a friendly power. It follows from the same causes that the United States is compelled to actively police a long line of seacoast against unlawful expeditions, the escape of which the utmost vigilance will not always suffice to prevent.

These inevitable entanglements of the United States with the rebellion in Cuba, the large American property interests affected, and considerations of philanthropy and humanity in general have led to a vehement demand in various quarters for some sort of positive intervention on the part of the United States. It was at first proposed that belligerent rights should be accorded to the insurgents--a proposition no longer urged because untimely and in practical operation dearly perilous and injurious to our own interests. It has since been and is now sometimes contended that the independence of the insurgents should be recognized; but imperfect and restricted as the Spanish government of the island may be, no other exists there, unless the will of the military officer in temporary command of a particular district can be dignified as a species of government. It is now also suggested that the United States should buy the island--a suggestion possibly worthy of consideration if there were any evidence of a desire or willingness on the part of Spain to entertain such a proposal. It is urged finally that, all other methods failing, the existing internecine strife in Cuba should be terminated by our intervention, even at the cost of a war between the United States and Spain--a war which its advocates confidently prophesy could neither be large in its proportions nor doubtful in its issue.

The correctness of this forecast need be neither affirmed nor denied. The United States has, nevertheless, a character to maintain as a nation, which plainly dictates that right and not might should be the rule of its conduct. Further, though the United States is not a nation to which peace is a necessity, it is in truth the most pacific of powers and desires nothing so much as to live in amity with all the world. Its own ample and diversified domains satisfy all possible longings for territory, preclude all dreams of conquest, and prevent any casting of covetous eyes upon neighboring regions, however attractive. That our conduct toward Spain and her dominions has constituted no exception to this national disposition is made manifest by the course of our Government, not only thus far during the present insurrection, but during the ten years that followed the rising at Yara in 1868. No other great power, it may safely be said, under circumstances of similar perplexity, would have manifested the same restraint and the same patient endurance. It may also be said that this persistent attitude of the United States toward Spain in connection with Cuba unquestionably evinces no slight respect and regard for Spain on the part of the American people. They in truth do not forget her connection with the discovery of the Western Hemisphere, nor do they underestimate the great qualities of the Spanish people nor fail to fully recognize their splendid patriotism and their chivalrous devotion to the national honor.

They view with wonder and admiration the cheerful resolution with which vast bodies of men are sent across thousands of miles of ocean and an enormous debt accumulated that the costly possession of the gem of the Antilles may still hold its place in the Spanish crown. And yet neither the Government nor the people of the United States have shut their eyes to the course of events in Cuba or have failed to realize the existence of conceded grievances which have led to the present revolt from the authority of Spain--grievances recognized by the Queen Regent and by the Cortes, voiced by the most patriotic and enlightened of Spanish statesmen, without regard to party, and demonstrated by reforms proposed by the executive and approved by the legislative branch of the Spanish Government. It is in the assumed temper and disposition of the Spanish Government to remedy these grievances, fortified by indications of influential public opinion in Spain, that this Government has hoped to discover the most promising and effective means of composing the present strife with honor and advantage to Spain and with the achievement of all the reasonable objects of the insurrection.

It would seem that if Spain should offer to Cuba genuine autonomy--a measure of home rule which, while preserving the sovereignty of Spain, would satisfy all rational requirements of her Spanish subjects--there should be no just reason why the pacification of the island might not be effected on that basis. Such a result would appear to be in the true interest of all concerned. It would at once stop the conflict which is now consuming the resources of the island and making it worthless for whichever party may ultimately prevail. It would keep intact the possessions of Spain without touching her honor, which will be consulted rather than impugned by the adequate redress of admitted grievances. It would put the prosperity of the island and the fortunes of its inhabitants within their own control without severing the natural and ancient ties which bind them to the mother country, and would yet enable them to test their capacity for self-government under the most favorable conditions. It has been objected on the one side that Spain should not promise autonomy until her insurgent subjects lay down their arms; on the other side, that promised autonomy, however liberal, is insufficient, because without assurance of the promise being fulfilled.

But the reasonableness of a requirement by Spain of unconditional surrender on the part of the insurgent Cubans before their autonomy is conceded is not altogether apparent. It ignores important features of the situation--the stability two years' duration has given to the insurrection; the feasibility of its indefinite prolongation in the nature of things, and, as shown by past experience, the utter and imminent ruin of the island unless the present strife is speedily composed; above all, the rank abuses which all parties in Spain, all branches of her Government, and all her leading public men concede to exist and profess a desire to remove. Facing such circumstances, to withhold the proffer of needed reforms until the parties demanding them put themselves at mercy by throwing down their arms has the appearance of neglecting the gravest of perils and inviting suspicion as to the sincerity of any professed willingness to grant reforms. The objection on behalf of the insurgents that promised reforms can not be relied upon must of course be considered, though we have no right to assume and no reason for assuming that anything Spain undertakes to do for the relief of Cuba will not be done according to both the spirit and the letter of the undertaking.

Nevertheless, realizing that suspicions and precautions on the part of the weaker of two combatants are always natural and not always unjustifiable, being sincerely desirous in the interest of both as well as on its own account that the Cuban problem should be solved with the least possible delay, it was intimated by this Government to the Government of Spain some months ago that if a satisfactory measure of home rule were tendered the Cuban insurgents and would be accepted by them upon a guaranty of its execution the United States would endeavor to find a way not objectionable to Spain of furnishing such graranty. While no definite response to this intimation has yet been received from the Spanish Government, it is believed to be not altogether unwelcome, while, as already suggested, no reason is perceived why it should not be approved by the insurgents. Neither party can fail to see the importance of early action, and both must realize that to prolong the present state of things for even a short period will add enormously to the time and labor and expenditure necessary to bring about the industrial recuperation of the island. It is therefore fervently hoped on all grounds that earnest efforts for healing the breach between Spain and the insurgent Cubans upon the lines above indicated may be at once inaugurated and pushed to an immediate and successful issue. The friendly offices of the United States, either in the manner above outlined or in any other way consistent with our Constitution and laws, will always be at the disposal of either party.

Whatever circumstances may arise, our policy and our interests would constrain us to object to the acquisition of the island or an interference with its control by any other power.

It should be added that it can not be reasonably assumed that the hitherto expectant attitude of the United States will be indefinitely maintained. While we are anxious to accord all due respect to the sovereignty of Spain, we can not view the pending conflict in all its features and properly apprehend our inevitably close relations to it and its possible results without considering that by the course of events we may be drawn into such an unusual and unprecedented condition as will fix a limit to our patient waiting for Spain to end the contest, either alone and in her own way or with our friendly cooperation.

When the inability of Spain to deal successfully with the insurrection has become manifest and it is demonstrated that her sovereignty is extinct in Cuba for all purposes of its rightful existence, and when a hopeless struggle for its reestablishment has degenerated into a strife which means nothing more than the useless sacrifice of human life and the utter destruction of the very subject-matter of the conflict, a situation will be presented in which our obligations to the sovereignty of Spain will be superseded by higher obligations, which we can hardly hesitate to recognize and discharge. Deferring the choice of ways and methods until the time for action arrives, we should make them depend upon the precise conditions then existing; and they should not be determined upon without giving careful heed to every consideration involving our honor and interest or the international duty we owe to Spain. Until we face the contingencies suggested or the situation is by other incidents imperatively changed we should continue in the line of conduct heretofore pursued, thus in all circumstances exhibiting our obedience to the requirements of public law and our regard for the duty enjoined upon us by the position we occupy in the family of nations.

A contemplation of emergencies that may arise should plainly lead us to avoid their creation, either through a careless disregard of present duty or even an undue stimulation and ill-timed expression of feeling. But I have deemed it not amiss to remind the Congress that a time may arrive when a correct policy and care for our interests, as well as a regard for the interests of other nations and their citizens, joined by considerations of humanity and a desire to see a rich and fertile country intimately related to us saved from complete devastation, will constrain our Government to such action as will subserve the interests thus involved and at the same time promise to Cuba and its inhabitants an opportunity to enjoy the blessings of peace.

The Venezuelan boundary question has ceased to be a matter of difference between Great Britain and the United States, their respective Governments having agreed upon the substantial provisions of a treaty between Great Britain and Venezuela submitting the whole controversy to arbitration. The provisions of the treaty are so eminently just and fair that the assent of Venezuela thereto may confidently be anticipated.

Negotiations for a treaty of general arbitration for all differences between Great Britain and the United States are far advanced and promise to reach a successful consummation at an early date.

The scheme of examining applicants for certain consular positions to test their competency and fitness, adopted under an Executive order issued on the 20th of September, 1895, has fully demonstrated the usefulness of this innovation. In connection with this plan of examination promotions and transfers of deserving incumbents have been quite extensively made, with excellent results.

During the past year 35 appointments have been made in the consular service, 27 of which were made to fill vacancies caused by death or resignation or to supply newly created posts, 2 to succeed incumbents removed for cause, 2 for the purpose of displacing alien consular officials by American citizens, and 4 merely changing the official title of incumbent from commercial agent to consul. Twelve of these appointments were transfers or promotions from other positions under the Department of State, 4 of those appointed had rendered previous service under the Department, 8 were made of persons who passed a satisfactory examination, 7 were appointed to places not included in the order of September 20, 1895, and 4 appointments, as above stated, involved no change of incumbency. The inspection of consular offices provided for by an appropriation for that purpose at the last session of the Congress has been productive of such wholesome effects that I hope this important work will in the future be continued. I know of nothing that can be done with the same slight expense so improving to the service.

I desire to repeat the recommendation contained in my last annual message in favor of providing at public expense official residences for our ambassadors and ministers at foreign capitals. The reasons supporting this recommendation are strongly stated in the report of the Secretary of State, and the subject seems of such importance that I hope it may receive the early attention of the Congress.

We have during the last year labored faithfully and against unfavorable conditions to secure better preservation of seal life in the Bering Sea. Both the United States and Great Britain have lately dispatched commissioners to these waters to study the habits and condition of the seal herd and the causes of their rapid decrease. Upon the reports of these commissioners, soon to be submitted, and with the exercise of patience and good sense on the part of all interested parties, it is earnestly hoped that hearty cooperation may be secured for the protection against threatened extinction of seal life in the Northern Pacific and Bering Sea.

The Secretary of the Treasury reports that during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1896, the receipts of the Government from all sources amounted to $409,475,408.78. During the same period its expenditures were $434,678,654.48, the excess of expenditures over receipts thus amounting to $25,203,245.70. The ordinary expenditures during the year were $4,015,852.21 less than during the preceding fiscal year. Of the receipts mentioned there was derived from customs the sum of $160,021,751.67 and from internal revenue $146,830,615.66. The receipts from customs show an increase of $7,863,134.22 over those from the same source for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1895, and the receipts from internal revenue an increase of $3,584,537.91.

The value of our imported dutiable merchandise during the last fiscal year was $369,757,470 and the value of free goods imported $409,967,470, being an increase of $6,523,675 in the value of dutiable goods and $41,231,034 in the value of free goods over the preceding year. Our exports of merchandise, foreign and domestic, amounted in value to $882,606,938, being an increase over the preceding year of $75,068,773. The average ad valorem duty paid on dutiable goods imported during the year was 39.94 per cent and on free and dutiable goods taken together 20.55 per cent.

The cost of collecting our internal revenue was 2.78 per cent, as against 2.81 per cent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1895. The total production of distilled spirits, exclusive of fruit brandies, was 86,588,703 taxable gallons, being an increase of 6,639,108 gallons over the preceding year. There was also an increase of 1,443,676 gallons of spirits produced from fruit as compared with the preceding year. The number of barrels of beer produced was 35,859,250, as against 33,589,784 produced in the preceding fiscal year, being all increase of 2,269,466 barrels.

The total amount of gold exported during the last fiscal year was $112,409,947 and of silver $60,541,670, being an increase of $45,941,466 of gold and $13,246,384 of silver over the exportations of the preceding fiscal year. The imports of gold were $33,525,065 and of silver $28,777,186, being $2,859,695 less of gold and $8,566,007 more of silver than during the preceding year.

The total stock of metallic money in the United States at the close of the last fiscal year, ended on the 30th day of June, 1896, was $1,228,326,035, of which $599,597,964 was in gold and $628,728,071 in silver.

On the 1st day of November, 1896, the total stock of money of all kinds in the country was $2,285,410,590, and the amount in circulation, not including that in the Treasury holdings, was $1,627,055,641, being $22.63 per capita upon an estimated population of 71,902,000.

The production of the precious metals in the United States during the calendar year 1895 is estimated to have been 2,254,760 fine ounces of gold, of the value of $46,610,000, and 55,727,000 fine ounces of silver, of the commercial value of $36,445,000 and the coinage value of $72,051,000. The estimated production of these metals throughout the world during the same period was 9,688,821 fine ounces of gold, amounting to $200,285,700 in value, and 169,189,249 fine ounces of silver, of the commercial value of $110,654,000 and of the coinage value of $218,738,100 according to our ratio.

The coinage of these metals in the various countries of the world during the same calendar year amounted to $232,701,438 in gold and $121,996,219 in silver.

The total coinage at the mints of the United States during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1896, amounted to $71,188,468.52, of which $58,878,490 was in gold coins and $12,309,978.52 in standard silver dollars, subsidiary coins, and minor coins

The number of national banks organized from the time the law authorizing their creation was passed up to October 31, 1896, was 5,051, and of this number 3,679 were at the date last mentioned in active operation, having authorized capital stock of $650,014,895, held by 288,902 shareholders, and circulating notes amounting to $211,412,620.

The total outstanding circulating notes of all national banks on the 31st day of October, 1896, amounted to $234,553,807, including unredeemed but fully secured notes of banks insolvent and in process of liquidation. The increase in national-bank circulation during the year ending on that day was $21,099,429. On October 6, 1896, when the condition of national banks was last reported, the total resources of the 3,679 active institutions were $3,263,685,313.83, which included $1,893,268,839.31 in loans and discounts and $362,165,733.85 in money of all kinds on hand. Of their liabilities $1,597,891,058.03 was due to individual depositors and $209,944,019 consisted of outstanding circulating notes.

There were organized during the year preceding the date last mentioned 28 national banks, located in 15 States, of which 12 were organized in the Eastern States, with a capital of $1,180,000, 6 in the Western States, with a capital of $875,000, and 10 in the Southern States, with a capital of $1,190,000. During the year, however, 37 banks voluntarily abandoned their franchises under the national law, and in the case of 27 others it was found necessary to appoint receivers. Therefore, as compared with the year preceding, there was a decrease of 36 in the number of active banks.

The number of existing banks organized under State laws is 5,708. The number of immigrants arriving in the United States during the fiscal year was 343,267, of whom 340,468 were permitted to land and 2,799 were debarred on various grounds prescribed by law and returned to the countries whence they came at the expense of the steamship companies by which they were brought in. The increase in immigration over the preceding year amounted to 84,731. It is reported that with some exceptions the immigrants of the past year were of a hardy laboring class, accustomed and able to earn a support for themselves, and it is estimated that the money brought with them amounted to at least $5,000,000, though it was probably much in excess of that sum, since only those having less than $30 are required to disclose the exact amount, and it is known that many brought considerable sums of money to buy land and build homes. Including all the immigrants arriving who were over 14 years of age, 28.63 per cent were illiterate, as against 20.37 per cent of those of that age arriving during the preceding fiscal year. The number of immigrants over 14 years old, the countries from which they came, and the percentage of illiterates among them were as follows: Italy, 57,515, with 54.59 per cent; Ireland, 37,496, with 7 per cent; Russia, 35,188, with 41.14 per cent; Austria-Hungary and provinces, 57,053, with 38.92 per cent; Germany, 25,334, with 2.96 per cent; Sweden, 18,821, with 1.16 per cent; while from Portugal there came 2,067, of whom 77.69 per cent were illiterate. There arrived from Japan during the year only 1,110 immigrants, and it is the opinion of the immigration authorities that the apprehension heretofore existing to some extent of a large immigration from Japan to the United States is without any substantial foundation.

From the Life-Saving Service it is reported that the number of disasters to documented vessels within the limits of its operations during the year was 437. These vessels had on board 4,608 persons, of whom 4,595 were saved and 13 lost. The value of such vessels is estimated at $8,880,140 and of their cargoes $3,846,380, making the total value of property imperiled $12,726,520. Of this amount $11,292,707 was saved and $1,432,750 was lost. Sixty-seven of the vessels were totally wrecked. There were besides 243 casualties to small undocumented craft, on board of which there were 594 persons, of whom 587 were saved and 7 were lost. The value of the property involved in these latter casualties is estimated at $119,265, of which $114,915 was saved and $4,350 was lost. The life-saving crews during the year also rescued or assisted numerous other vessels and warned many from danger by signals, both by day and night. The number of disasters during the year exceeded that of any previous year in the history of the service, but the saving of both life and property was greater than ever before in proportion to the value of the property involved and to the number of persons imperiled.

The operations of the Marine-Hospital Service, the Revenue-Cutter Service, the Steamboat-Inspection Service, the Light-House Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and other branches of public work attached to the Treasury Department, together with various recommendations concerning their support and improvement, are fully stated in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, to which the attention of the Congress is especially invited.

The report of the Secretary of War exhibits satisfactory conditions in the several branches of the public service intrusted to his charge.

The limit of our military force as fixed by law is constantly and readily maintained. The present discipline and morale of our Army are excellent, and marked progress and efficiency are apparent throughout its entire organization.

With the exception of delicate duties in the suppression of slight Indian disturbances along our southwestern boundary, in which the Mexican troops cooperated, and the compulsory but peaceful return, with the consent of Great Britain, of a band of Cree Indians from Montana to the British possessions, no active operations have been required of the Army during the year past.

Changes in methods of administration, the abandonment of unnecessary posts and consequent concentration of troops, and the exercise of care and vigilance by the various officers charged with the responsibility in the expenditure of the appropriations have resulted in reducing to a minimum the cost of maintenance of our military establishment.

During the past year the work of constructing permanent infantry and cavalry posts has been continued at the places heretofore designated. The Secretary of War repeats his recommendation that appropriations for barracks and quarters should more strictly conform to the needs of the service as judged by the Department rather than respond to the wishes and importunities of localities. It is imperative that much of the money provided for such construction should now be allotted to the erection of necessary quarters for the garrisons assigned to the coast defenses, where many men will be needed to properly care for and operate modern guns. It is essential, too, that early provision be made to supply the necessary force of artillery to meet the demands of this service.

The entire Army has now been equipped with the new magazine arms, and wise policy demands that all available public and private resources should be so employed as to provide within a reasonable time a sufficient number to supply the State militia with these modern weapons and provide an ample reserve for any emergency.

The organized militia numbers 112,879 men. The appropriations for its support by the several States approximate $2,800,000 annually, and $400,000 is contributed by the General Government. Investigation shows these troops to be usually well drilled and inspired with much military interest, but in many instances they are so deficient in proper arms and equipment that a sudden call to active duty would find them inadequately prepared for field service. I therefore recommend that prompt measures be taken to remedy this condition and that every encouragement be given to this deserving body of unpaid and voluntary citizen soldiers, upon whose assistance we must largely rely in time of trouble.

During the past year rapid progress has been made toward the completion of the scheme adopted for the erection and armament of fortifications along our seacoast, while equal progress has been made in providing the material for submarine defense in connection with these works.

It is peculiarly gratifying at this time to note the great advance that has been made in this important undertaking since the date of my annual message to the Fifty-third Congress at the opening of its second session, in December, 1893. At that time I informed the Congress of the approaching completion of nine 12-inch, twenty 10-inch, and thirty-four 8-inch high-power steel guns and seventy-five 12-inch rifled mortars.

This total then seemed insignificant when compared with the great work remaining to be done. Yet it was none the less a source of satisfaction to every citizen when he reflected that it represented the first installment of the new ordnance of American design and American manufacture and demonstrated our ability to supply from our own resources guns of unexcelled power and accuracy.

At that date, however, there were practically no carriages upon which to mount these guns and only thirty-one emplacements for guns and sixty-four for mortars. Nor were all these emplacements in condition to receive their armament. Only one high-power gun was at that time in position for the defense of the entire coast.

Since that time the number of guns actually completed has been increased to a total of twenty-one 12-inch, fifty-six 10-inch, sixty-one 8-inch high-power breech-loading steel guns, ten rapid-fire guns, and eighty 12-inch rifled mortars. In addition there are in process of construction one 16-inch-type gun, fifty 12-inch, fifty-six 10-inch, twenty-seven 8-inch high-power guns, and sixty-six 12-inch rifled mortars; in all, four hundred and twenty-eight guns and mortars.

During the same year, immediately preceding the message referred to, the first modern gun carriage had been completed and eleven more were in process of construction. All but one were of the nondisappearing type. These, however, were not such as to secure necessary cover for the artillery gunners against the intense fire of modern machine rapid-fire and high-power guns.

The inventive genius of ordnance and civilian experts has been taxed in designing carriages that would obviate this fault, resulting, it is believed, in the solution of this difficult problem. Since 1893 the number of gun carriages constructed or building has been raised to a total of 129, of which 90 are on the disappearing principle, and the number of mortar carriages to 152, while the 95 emplacements which were provided for prior to that time have been increased to 280 built and building.

This improved situation is largely due to the recent generous response of Congress to the recommendations of the War Department.

Thus we shall soon have complete about one-fifth of the comprehensive system the first step in which was noted in my message to the Congress of December 4, 1893.

When it is understood that a masonry emplacement not only furnishes a platform for the heavy modern high-power gun, but also in every particular serves the purpose and takes the place of the fort of former days, the importance of the work accomplished is better comprehended.

In the hope that the work will be prosecuted with no less vigor in the future, the Secretary of War has submitted an estimate by which, if allowed, there will be provided and either built or building by the end of the next fiscal year such additional guns, mortars, gun carriages, and emplacements as will represent not far from one-third of the total work to be done under the plan adopted for our coast defenses, thus affording a prospect that the entire work will be substantially completed within six years. In less time than that, however, we shall have attained a marked degree of security.

The experience and results of the past year demonstrate that with a continuation of present careful methods the cost of the remaining work will be much less than the original estimate.

We should always keep in mind that of all forms of military preparation coast defense alone is essentially pacific in its nature. While it gives the sense of security due to a consciousness of strength, it is neither the purpose nor the effect of such permanent fortifications to involve us in foreign complications, but rather to guarantee us against them. They are not temptation to war, but security against it. Thus they are thoroughly in accord with all the traditions of our national diplomacy.

The Attorney-General presents a detailed and interesting statement of the important work done under his supervision during the last fiscal year.

The ownership and management by the Government of penitentiaries for the confinement of those convicted in United States courts of violations of Federal laws, which for many years has been a subject of Executive recommendation, have at last to a slight extent been realized by the utilization of the abandoned military prison at Fort Leavenworth as a United States penitentiary.

This is certainly a movement in the right direction, but it ought to be at once supplemented by the rebuilding or extensive enlargement of this improvised prison and the construction of at least one more, to be located in the Southern States. The capacity of the Leavenworth penitentiary is so limited that the expense of its maintenance, calculated at a per capita rate upon the number of prisoners it can accommodate, does not make as economical an exhibit as it would if it were larger and better adapted to prison purposes; but I am thoroughly convinced that economy, humanity, and a proper sense of responsibility and duty toward those whom we punish for violations of Federal law dictate that the Federal Government should have the entire control and management of the penitentiaries where convicted violators are confined.

It appears that since the transfer of the Fort Leavenworth Military Prison to its new uses the work previously done by prisoners confined there, and for which expensive machinery has been provided, has been discontinued. This work consisted of the manufacture of articles for army use, now done elsewhere. On all grounds it is exceedingly desirable that the convicts confined in this penitentiary be allowed to resume work of this description.

It is most gratifying to note the satisfactory results that have followed the inauguration of the new system provided for by the act of May 28, 1896, under which certain Federal officials are compensated by salaries instead of fees. The new plan was put in operation on the 1st day of July, 1896, and already the great economy it enforces, its prevention of abuses, and its tendency to a better enforcement of the laws are strikingly apparent. Detailed evidence of the usefulness of this long-delayed but now happily accomplished reform will be found clearly set forth in the Attorney-General's report.

Our Post-Office Department is in good condition, and the exhibit made of its operations during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1896, if allowance is made for imperfections in the laws applicable to it, is very satisfactory. The total receipts during the year were $82,499,208.40. The total expenditures were $90,626,296.84, exclusive of the $1,559,898.27 which was earned by the Pacific Railroad for transportation and credited on their debt to the Government. There was an increase of receipts over the previous year of $5,516,080.21, or 7.1 per cent, and an increase of expenditures of $3,836,124.02, or 4.42 per cent. The deficit was $1,679,956.19 less than that of the preceding year. The chief expenditures of the postal service are regulated by law and are not in the control of the Postmaster-General. All that he can accomplish by the most watchful administration and economy is to enforce prompt and thorough collection and accounting for public moneys and such minor savings in small expenditures and in letting those contracts, for post-office supplies and star service, which are not regulated by statute.

An effective cooperation between the Auditor's Office and the Post-Office Department and the making and enforcement of orders by the Department requiring immediate notification to their sureties of all delinquencies on the part of postmasters, and compelling such postmasters to make more frequent deposits of postal funds, have resulted in a prompter auditing of their accounts and much less default to the Government than heretofore.

The year's report shows large extensions of both star-route service and railway mail service, with increased postal facilities. Much higher accuracy in handling mails has also been reached, as appears by the decrease of errors in the railway mail service and the reduction of mail matter returned to the Dead-Letter Office.

The deficit for the last year, although much less than that of the last and preceding years, emphasizes the necessity for legislation to correct the growing abuse of second-class rates, to which the deficiency is mainly attributable. The transmission at the rate of 1 cent a pound of serial libraries, advertising sheets," house organs" (periodicals advertising some particular "house" or institution), sample copies, and the like ought certainly to be discontinued. A glance at the revenues received for the work done last year will show more plainly than any other statement the gross abuse of the postal service and the growing waste of its earnings.

The free matter carried in the mails for the Departments, offices, etc., of the Government and for Congress, in pounds, amounted to 94,480,189.

If this is offset against buildings for post-offices and stations, the rental of which would more than compensate for such free postal service, we have this exhibit:

  Weight of mail matter (other than above) transmitted through the mails
  for the year ending June 30, 1896.

  Class                                    Weight        Revenue

  1. Domestic and foreign letters and
       postal cards, etc                 65,337,343     $60,624,464

  2. Newspapers and periodicals,
       1 cent per pound                 348,988,648       2,996,403

  3. Books, seeds, etc.,
       8 cents a pound                   78,701,148      10,324,069

  4. Parcels, etc., 16 cents a pound     19,950,187       3,129,321

  Total                                 512,977,326      77,044,257

The remainder of our postal revenue, amounting to something more than $5,000,000, was derived from box rents, registry fees, money-order business, and other similar items.

The entire expenditures of the Department, including pay for transportation credited to the Pacific railroads, were $92,186,195.11, which may be considered as the cost of receiving, carrying, and delivering the above mail matter. It thus appears that though the second-class matter constituted more than two-thirds of the total that was carried, the revenue derived from it was less than one-thirtieth of the total expense.

  The average revenue was--

  From each pound of first-class matter ......... cents    93.0
  From each pound of second class ............... mills     8.5
  From each pound of third class ................ cents    13.1
  From each pound of fourth class ...............  do      15.6

  Of the second class 52,348,297 was county-free matter.

The growth in weight of second-class matter has been from 299,000,000 pounds in 1894 to 312,000,000 in 1895 and to almost 349,000,000 in 1896, and it is quite evident this increasing drawback is far outstripping any possible growth of postal revenues.

Our mail service should of course be such as to meet the wants and even the conveniences of our people at a direct charge upon them so light as perhaps to exclude the idea of our Post-Office Department being a money-making concern; but in the face of a constantly recurring deficiency in its revenues and in view of the fact that we supply the best mail service in the world it seems to me it is quite time to correct the abuses that swell enormously our annual deficit. If we concede the public policy of carrying weekly newspapers free in the county of publication, and even the policy of carrying at less than one-tenth of their cost other bona fide newspapers and periodicals, there can be no excuse for subjecting the service to the further immense and increasing loss involved in carrying at the nominal rate of 1 cent a pound the serial libraries, sometimes including trashy and even harmful literature, and other matter which under the loose interpretation of a loose statute have been gradually given second-class rates, thus absorbing all profitable returns derived from first-class matter, which pays three or four times more than its cost, and producing a large annual loss to be paid by general taxation. If such second-class matter paid merely the cost of its handling, our deficit would disappear and a surplus result which might be used to give the people still better mail facilities or cheaper rates of letter postage. I recommend that legislation be at once enacted to correct these abuses and introduce better business ideas in the regulation of our postal rates.

Experience and observation have demonstrated that certain improvements in the organization of the Post-Office Department must be secured before we can gain the full benefit of the immense sums expended in its administration. This involves the following reforms, which I earnestly recommend:

There should be a small addition to the existing inspector service, to be employed in the supervision of the carrier force, which now numbers 13,000 men and performs its service practically without the surveillance exercised over all other branches of the postal or public service. Of course such a lack of supervision and freedom from wholesome disciplinary restraints must inevitably lead to imperfect service. There should also be appointed a few inspectors who could assist the central office in necessary investigation concerning matters of post-office leases, post-office sites, allowances for rent, fuel, and lights, and in organizing and securing the best results from the work of the 14,000 clerks now employed in first and second class offices.

I am convinced that the small expense attending the inauguration of these reforms would actually be a profitable investment.

I especially recommend such a recasting of the appropriations by Congress for the Post-Office Department as will permit the Postmaster-General to proceed with the work of consolidating post-offices. This work has already been entered upon sufficiently to fully demonstrate by experiment and experience that such consolidation is productive of better service, larger revenues, and less expenditures, to say nothing of the further advantage of gradually withdrawing post-offices from the spoils system.

The Universal Postal Union, which now embraces all the civilized world and whose delegates will represent 1,000,000,000 people, will hold its fifth congress in the city of Washington in May, 1897. The United States may be said to have taken the initiative which led to the first meeting of this congress, at Berne in 1874, and the formation of the Universal Postal Union, which brings the postal service of all countries to every man's neighborhood and has wrought marvels in cheapening postal rates and securing absolutely safe mail communication throughout the world. Previous congresses have met in Berne, Paris, Lisbon, and Vienna, and the respective countries in which they have assembled have made generous provision for their accommodation and for the reception and entertainment of the delegates.

In view of the importance of this assemblage and of its deliberations and of the honors and hospitalities accorded to our representatives by other countries on similar occasions, I earnestly hope that such an appropriation will be made for the expenses necessarily attendant upon the coming meeting in our capital city as will be worthy of our national hospitality and indicative of our appreciation of the event.

The work of the Navy Department and its present condition are fully exhibited in the report of the Secretary.

The construction of vessels for our new Navy has been energetically prosecuted by the present Administration upon the general lines previously adopted, the Department having seen no necessity for radical changes in prior methods, under which the work was found to be progressing in a manner highly satisfactory. It has been decided, however, to provide in every shipbuilding contract that the builder should pay all trial expenses, and it has also been determined to pay no speed premiums in future contracts. The premiums recently earned and some yet to be decided are features of the contracts made before this conclusion was reached.

On March 4, 1893, there were in commission but two armored vessels--the double-turreted monitors Miantonomoh and Monterey. Since that date, of vessels theretofore authorized, there have been placed in their first commission 3 first-class and 2 second-class battle ships, 2 armored cruisers, 1 harbor-defense ram, and 5 double-turreted monitors, including the Maine and the Puritan, just completed. Eight new unarmored cruisers and 2 new gunboats have also been commissioned. The Iowa, another battle ship, will be completed about March 1, and at least 4 more gunboats will be ready for sea in the early spring.

It is gratifying to state that our ships and their outfits are believed to be equal to the best that can be manufactured elsewhere, and that such notable reductions have been made in their cost as to justify the statement that quite a number of vessels are now being constructed at rates as low as those that prevail in European shipyards.

Our manufacturing facilities are at this time ample for all possible naval contingencies. Three of our Government navy-yards--those at Mare Island, Cal., Norfolk, Va., and Brooklyn, N. Y.--are equipped for shipbuilding, our ordnance plant in Washington is equal to any in the world, and at the torpedo station we are successfully making the highest grades of smokeless powder. The first-class private shipyards at Newport News, Philadelphia, and San Francisco are building battle ships; eleven contractors, situated in the States of Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and the State of Washington, are constructing gunboats or torpedo boats; two plants are manufacturing large quantities of first-class armor, and American factories are producing automobile torpedoes, powder, projectiles, rapid-fire guns, and everything else necessary for the complete outfit of naval vessels.

There have been authorized by Congress since March, 1893, 5 battle ships, 6 light-draft gunboats, 16 torpedo boats, and 1 submarine torpedo boat. Contracts for the building of all of them have been let. The Secretary expresses the opinion that we have for the present a sufficient supply of cruisers and gunboats, and that hereafter the construction of battle ships and torpedo boats will supply our needs.

Much attention has been given to the methods of carrying on departmental business. Important modifications in the regulations have been made, tending to unify the control of shipbuilding as far as may be under the Bureau of Construction and Repair, and also to improve the mode of purchasing supplies for the Navy by the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. The establishment under recent acts of Congress of a supply fund with which to purchase these supplies in large quantities and other modifications of methods have tended materially to their cheapening and better quality.

The War College has developed into an institution which it is believed will be of great value to the Navy in teaching the science of war, as well as in stimulating professional zeal in the Navy, and it will be especially useful in the devising of plans for the utilization in case of necessity of all the naval resources of the United States.

The Secretary has persistently adhered to the plan he found in operation for securing labor at navy-yards through boards of labor employment, and has done much to make it more complete and efficient. The naval officers who are familiar with this system and its operation express the decided opinion that its results have been to vastly improve the character of the work done at our yards and greatly reduce its cost.

Discipline among the officers and men of the Navy has been maintained to a high standard and the percentage of American citizens enlisted has been very much increased.

The Secretary is considering and will formulate during the coming winter a plan for laying up ships in reserve, thereby largely reducing the cost of maintaining our vessels afloat. This plan contemplates that battle ships, torpedo boats, and such of the cruisers as are not needed for active service at sea shall be kept in reserve with skeleton crews on board to keep them in condition, cruising only enough to insure the efficiency of the ships and their crews in time of activity.

The economy to result from this system is too obvious to need comment.

The Naval Militia, which was authorized a few years ago as an experiment, has now developed into a body of enterprising young men, active and energetic in the discharge of their duties and promising great usefulness. This establishment has nearly the same relation to our Navy as the National Guard in the different States bears to our Army, and it constitutes a source of supply for our naval forces the importance of which is immediately apparent.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior presents a comprehensive and interesting exhibit of the numerous and important affairs committed to his supervision. It is impossible in this communication to do more than briefly refer to a few of the subjects concerning which the Secretary gives full and instructive information.

The money appropriated on account of this Department and for its disbursement for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1896, amounted to more than $157,000,000, or a greater sum than was appropriated for the entire maintenance of the Government for the two fiscal years ended June 30, 1861.

Our public lands, originally amounting to 1,840,000,000 acres, have been so reduced that only about 600,000,000 acres still remain in Government control, excluding Alaska. The balance, being by far the most valuable portion, has been given away to settlers, to new States, and to railroads or sold at a comparatively nominal sum. The patenting of land in execution of railroad grants has progressed rapidly during the year, and since the 4th day of March, 1893, about 25,000,000 acres have thus been conveyed to these corporations.

I agree with the Secretary that the remainder of our public lands should be more carefully dealt with and their alienation guarded by better economy and greater prudence.

The commission appointed from the membership of the National Academy of Sciences, provided for by an act of Congress, to formulate plans for a national forestry system will, it is hoped, soon be prepared to present the result of thorough and intelligent examination of this important subject.

The total Indian population of the United States is 177,235, according to a census made in 1895, exclusive of those within the State of New York and those comprising the Five Civilized Tribes. Of this number there are approximately 38,000 children of school age. During the year 23,393 of these were enrolled in schools. The progress which has attended recent efforts to extend Indian-school facilities and the anticipation of continued liberal appropriations to that end can not fail to afford the utmost satisfaction to those who believe that the education of Indian children is a prime factor in the accomplishment of Indian civilization.

It may be said in general terms that in every particular the improvement of the Indians under Government care has been most marked and encouraging.

The Secretary, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and the agents having charge of Indians to whom allotments have been made strongly urge the passage of a law prohibiting the sale of liquor to allottees who have taken their lands in severalty. I earnestly join in this recommendation and venture to express the hope that the Indian may be speedily protected against this greatest of all obstacles to his well-being and advancement.

The condition of affairs among the Five Civilized Tribes, who occupy large tracts of land in the Indian Territory and who have governments of their own, has assumed such an aspect as to render it almost indispensable that there should be an entire change in the relations of these Indians to the General Government. This seems to be necessary in furtherance of their own interests, as well as for the protection of non-Indian residents in their territory. A commission organized and empowered under several recent laws is now negotiating with these Indians for the relinquishment of their courts and the division of their common lands in severalty and are aiding in the settlement of the troublesome question of tribal membership. The reception of their first proffers of negotiation was not encouraging, but through patience and such conduct on their part as demonstrated that their intentions were friendly and in the interest of the tribes the prospect of success has become more promising. The effort should be to save these Indians from the consequences of their own mistakes and improvidence and to secure to the real Indian his rights as against intruders and professed friends who profit by his retrogression. A change is also needed to protect life and property through the operation of courts conducted according to strict justice and strong enough to enforce their mandates.

As a sincere friend of the Indian, I am exceedingly anxious that these reforms should be accomplished with the consent and aid of the tribes and that no necessity may be presented for radical or drastic legislation I hope, therefore, that the commission now conducting negotiations will soon be able to report that progress has been made toward a friendly adjustment of existing difficulties.

It appears that a very valuable deposit of gilsonite or asphaltum has been found on the reservation in Utah occupied by the Uncompahgre Ute Indians. Every consideration of care for the public interest and every sensible business reason dictate such management or disposal of this important source of public revenue as will except it from the general rules and incidents attending the ordinary disposition of public lands and secure to the Government a fair share at least of its advantages in place of its transfer for a nominal sum to interested individuals.

I indorse the recommendation made by the present Secretary of the Interior, as well as his predecessor, that a permanent commission, consisting of three members, one of whom shall be an army officer, be created to perform the duties now devolving upon the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The management of the Bureau involves such numerous and diverse details and the advantages of an uninterrupted policy are so apparent that I hope the change suggested will meet the approval of the Congress.

The diminution of our enormous pension roll and the decrease of pension expenditure, which have been so often confidently for told, still fail in material realization. The number of pensioners on the polls at the close of the fiscal year ended June 30, 1896, was 970,678. This is the largest number ever reported. The amount paid exclusively for pensions during the year was $138,214,761.94, a slight decrease from that of the preceding year, while the total expenditures on account of pensions, including the cost of maintaining the Department and expenses attending pension distribution, amounted to $142,206,550.59, or within every small fraction of one-third of the entire expense of supporting the Government during the same year. The number of new pension certificates issued was 90,640. Of these, 40,374 represent original allowances of claims and 15,878 increases of existing pensions.

The number of persons receiving pensions from the United States, but residing in foreign countries, at the close of the last fiscal year was 3,781, and the amount paid to them during the year was $582,735.38.

The sum appropriated for the payment of pensions for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 1897, is $140,000,000, and for the succeeding year it is estimated that the same amount will be necessary.

The Commissioner of Pensions reports that during the last fiscal year 339 indictments were found against violators of the pension laws. Upon these indictments 167 convictions resulted.

In my opinion, based upon such statements as these and much other information and observation, the abuses which have been allowed to creep into our pension system have done incalculable harm in demoralizing our people and undermining good citizenship. I have endeavored within my sphere of official duty to protect our pension roll and make it what it should be, a roll of honor, containing the names of those disabled in their country's service and worthy of their country's affectionate remembrance. When I have seen those who pose as the soldiers' friends active and alert in urging greater laxity and more reckless pension expenditure, while nursing selfish schemes, I have deprecated the approach of a situation when necessary retrenchment and enforced economy may lead to an attack upon pension abuses so determined as to overlook the discrimination due to those who, worthy of a nation's care, ought to live and die under the protection of a nation's gratitude.

The Secretary calls attention to the public interests involved in an adjustment of the obligations of the Pacific railroads to the Government. I deem it to be an important duty to especially present this subject to the consideration of the Congress.

On January 1, 1897, with the amount already matured, more than $13,000,000 of the principal of the subsidy bonds issued by the United States in aid of the construction of the Union Pacific Railway, including its Kansas line, and more than $6,000,000 of like bonds issued in aid of the Central Pacific Railroad, including those issued to the Western Pacific Railroad Company, will have fallen due and been paid or must on that day be paid by the Government. Without any reference to the application of the sinking fund now in the Treasury, this will create such a default on the part of these companies to the Government as will give it the right to at once institute proceedings to foreclose its mortgage lien. In addition to this indebtedness, which will be due January 1, 1897, there will mature between that date and January 1, 1899, the remaining principal of such subsidy bonds, which must also be met by the Government. These amount to more than $20,000,000 on account of the Union Pacific lines and exceed $21,000,000 on account of the Central Pacific lines.

The situation of these roads and the condition of their indebtedness to the Government have been fully set forth in the reports of various committees to the present and prior Congresses, and as early as 1887 they were thoroughly examined by a special commission appointed pursuant to an act of Congress. The considerations requiring an adjustment of the Government's relations to the companies have been clearly presented and the conclusion reached with practical uniformity that if these relations are not terminated they should be revised upon a basis securing their safe continuance.

Under section 4 of the act of Congress passed March 3, 1887, the President is charged with the duty, in the event that any mortgage or other incumbrance paramount to the interest of the United States in the property of the Pacific railroads should exist and be lawfully liable to be enforced, to direct the action of the Departments of Treasury and of justice in the protection of the interest of the United States by redemption or through judicial proceedings, including foreclosures of the Government liens.

In view of the fact that the Congress has for a number of years almost constantly had under consideration various plans for dealing with the conditions existing between these roads and the Government, I have thus far felt justified in withholding action under the statute above mentioned.

In the case of the Union Pacific Company, however, the situation has become especially and immediately urgent. Proceedings have been instituted to foreclose a first mortgage upon those aided parts of the main lines upon which the Government holds a second and subordinate mortgage lien. In consequence of those proceedings and increasing complications, added to the default occurring on the 1st day of January, 1897, a condition will be presented at that date, so far as this company is concerned, that must emphasize the mandate of the act of 1887 and give to Executive duty under its provisions a more imperative aspect. Therefore, unless Congress shall otherwise direct or shall have previously determined upon a different solution of the problem, there will hardly appear to exist any reason for delaying beyond the date of the default above mentioned such Executive action as will promise to subserve the public interests and save the Government from the loss threatened by further inaction.

The Department of Agriculture is so intimately related to the welfare of our people and the prosperity of our nation that it should constantly receive the care and encouragement of the Government. From small beginnings it has grown to be the center of agricultural intelligence and the source of aid and encouragement to agricultural efforts. Large sums of money are annually appropriated for the maintenance of this Department, and it must be confessed that the legislation relating to it has not always been directly in the interest of practical farming or properly guarded against waste and extravagance. So far, however, as public money has been appropriated fairly and sensibly to help those who actually till the soil, no expenditure has been more profitably made or more generally approved by the people.

Under the present management of the Department its usefulness has been enhanced in every direction, and at the same time strict economy has been enforced to the utmost extent permitted by Congressional action. From the report of the Secretary it appears that through careful and prudent financial management he has annually saved a large sum from his appropriations, aggregating during his incumbency and up to the close of the present fiscal year nearly one-fifth of the entire amount appropriated. These results have been accomplished by a conscientious study of the real needs of the farmer and such a regard for economy as the genuine farmer ought to appreciate, supplemented by a rigid adherence to civil-service methods in a Department which should be conducted in the interest of agriculture instead of partisan politics.

The Secretary reports that the value of our exports of farm products during the last fiscal year amounted to $570,000,000, an increase of $17,000,000 over those of the year immediately preceding. This statement is not the less welcome because of the fact that, notwithstanding such increase, the proportion of exported agricultural products to our total exports of all descriptions fell off during the year. The benefits of an increase in agricultural exports being assured, the decrease in its proportion to our total exports is the more gratifying when we consider that it is owing to the fact that such total exports for the year increased more than $75,000,000.

The large and increasing exportation of our agricultural products suggests the great usefulness of the organization lately established in the Department for the purpose of giving to those engaged in farming pursuits reliable information concerning the condition, needs, and advantages of different foreign markets. Inasmuch as the success of the farmer depends upon the advantageous sale of his products, and inasmuch as foreign markets must largely be the destination of such products, it is quite apparent that a knowledge of the conditions and wants that affect those markets ought to result in sowing more intelligently and reaping with a better promise of profit. Such information points out the way to a prudent foresight in the selection and cultivation of crops and to a release from the bondage of unreasoning monotony of production, a glutted and depressed market, and constantly recurring unprofitable toil.

In my opinion the gratuitous distribution of seeds by the Department as at present conducted ought to be discontinued. No one can read the statement of the Secretary on this subject and doubt the extravagance and questionable results of this practice. The professed friends of the farmer, and certainly the farmers themselves, are naturally expected to be willing to rid a Department devoted to the promotion of farming interests of a feature which tends so much to its discredit.

The Weather Bureau, now attached to the Department of Agriculture, has continued to extend its sphere of usefulness, and by an uninterrupted improvement in the accuracy of its forecasts has greatly increased its efficiency as an aid and protection to all whose occupations are related to weather conditions.

Omitting further reference to the operations of the Department, I commend the Secretary's report and the suggestions it contains to the careful consideration of the Congress.

The progress made in civil-service reform furnishes a cause for the utmost congratulation. It has survived the doubts of its friends as well as the rancor of its enemies and has gained a permanent place among the agencies destined to cleanse our politics and to improve, economize, and elevate the public service.

There are now in the competitive classified service upward of 84,000 places, more than half of these having been included from time to time since March 4, 1893. A most radical and sweeping extension was made by Executive order dated the 6th day of May, 1896, and if fourth-class postmasterships are not included in the statement it may be said that practically all positions contemplated by the civil-service law are now classified. Abundant reasons exist for including these postmaster-ships, based upon economy, improved service, and the peace and quiet of neighborhoods. If, however, obstacles prevent such action at present, I earnestly hope that Congress will, without increasing post-office appropriations, so adjust them as to permit in proper eases a consolidation of these post-offices, to the end that through this process the result desired may to a limited extent be accomplished.

The civil-service rules as amended during the last year provide for a sensible and uniform method of promotion, basing eligibility to better positions upon demonstrated efficiency and faithfulness. The absence of fixed rules on this subject has been an infirmity in the system more and more apparent as its other benefits have been better appreciated.

The advantages of civil-service methods in their business aspects are too well understood to require argument. Their application has become a necessity to the executive work of the Government. But those who gain positions through the operation of these methods should be made to understand that the nonpartisan scheme through which they receive their appointments demands from them by way of reciprocity nonpartisan and faithful performance of duty under every Administration and cheerful fidelity to every chief. While they should be encouraged to decently exercise their rights of citizenship and to support through their suffrages the political beliefs they honestly profess, the noisy, pestilent, and partisan employee, who loves political turmoil and contention or who renders lax and grudging service to an Administration not representing his political views, should be promptly and fearlessly dealt with in such a way as to furnish a warning to others who may be likewise disposed.

The annual report of the Commissioners will be duly transmitted, and I commend the important matter they have in charge to the careful consideration of the Congress.

The Interstate Commerce Commission has during the last year supplied abundant evidence of its usefulness and the importance of the work committed to its charge.

Public transportation is a universal necessity, and the question of just and reasonable charges therefor has become of vital importance not only to shippers and carriers, but also to the vast multitude of producers and consumers. The justice and equity of the principles embodied in the existing law passed for the purpose of regulating these charges are everywhere conceded, and there appears to be no question that the policy thus entered upon has a permanent place in our legislation.

As the present statute when enacted was in the nature of the case more or less tentative and experimental, it was hardly expected to supply a complete and adequate system. While its wholesome effects are manifest and have amply justified its enactment, it is evident that all desired reforms in transportation methods have not been fully accomplished. In view of the judicial interpretation which some provisions of this statute have received and the defects disclosed by the efforts made for its enforcement, its revision and amendment appear to be essential, to the end that it may more effectually reach the evils designed to be corrected. I hope the recommendations of the Commission upon this subject will be promptly and favorably considered by the Congress.

I desire to recur to the statements elsewhere made concerning the Government's receipts and expenditures for the purpose of venturing upon some suggestions touching our present tariff law and its operation.

This statute took effect on the 28th day of August, 1894. Whatever may be its shortcomings as a complete measure of tariff reform, it must be conceded that it has opened the way to a freer and greater exchange of commodities between us and other countries, and thus furnished a wider market for our products and manufactures.

The only entire fiscal year during which this law has been in force ended on the 30th day of June, 1896. In that year our imports increased over those of the previous year more than $6,500,000, while the value of the domestic products we exported and which found markets abroad was nearly $70,000,000 more than during the preceding year.

Those who insist that the cost to our people of articles coming to them from abroad for their needful use should only be increased through tariff charges to an extent necessary to meet the expenses of the Government, as well as those who claim that tariff charges may be laid upon such articles beyond the necessities of Government revenue and with the additional purpose of so increasing their price in our markets as to give American manufacturers and producers better and more profitable opportunities, must agree that our tariff laws are only primarily justified as sources of revenue to enable the Government to meet the necessary expenses of its maintenance. Considered as to its efficiency in this aspect, the present law can by no means fall under just condemnation. During the only complete fiscal year of its operation it has yielded nearly $8,000,000 more revenue than was received from tariff duties in the preceding year. There was, nevertheless, a deficit between our receipts and expenditures of a little more than $25,000,000 This, however, was not unexpected.

The situation was such in December last, seven months before the close of the fiscal year, that the Secretary of the Treasury foretold a deficiency of $17,000,000. The great and increasing apprehension and timidity in business circles and the depression in all activities intervening since that time, resulting from causes perfectly well understood and entirely disconnected with our tariff law or its operation, seriously checked the imports we would have otherwise received and readily account for the difference between this estimate of the Secretary and the actual deficiency, as well as for a continued deficit. Indeed, it must be confessed that we could hardly have had a more unfavorable period than the last two years for the collection of tariff revenue. We can not reasonably hope that our recuperation from this business depression will be sudden, but it has already set in with a promise of acceleration and continuance.

I believe our present tariff law, if allowed a fair opportunity, will in the near future yield a revenue which, with reasonably economical expenditures, will overcome all deficiencies. In the meantime no deficit that has occurred or may occur need excite or disturb us. To meet any such deficit we have in the Treasury in addition to a gold reserve of one hundred millions a surplus of more than $128,000,000 applicable to the payment of the expenses of the Government, and which must, unless expended for that purpose, remain a useless hoard, or, if not extravagantly wasted, must in any event be perverted from the purpose of its exaction from our people. The payment, therefore, of any deficiency in the revenue from this fund is nothing more than its proper and legitimate use. The Government thus applying a surplus fortunately in its Treasury to the payment of expenses not met by its current revenues is not at all to be likened to a man living beyond his income and thus incurring debt or encroaching on his principal.

It is not one of the functions of our Government to accumulate and make additions to a fund not needed for immediate expenditure. With individuals it is the chief object of struggle and effort. The application of an accumulated fund by the Government to the payment of its running expenses is a duty. An individual living beyond his income and embarrassing himself with debt or drawing upon his accumulated fund of principal is either unfortunate or improvident. The distinction is between a government charged with the duty of expending for the benefit of the people and for proper purposes all the money it receives from any source, and the individual, who is expected to manifest a natural desire to avoid debt or to accumulate as much as possible and to live within the income derived from such accumulations, to the end that they may be increased or at least remain unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment of himself or the objects of his love and affection who may survive him.

It is immeasurably better to appropriate our surplus to the payment of justifiable expenses than to allow it to become an invitation to reckless appropriations and extravagant expenditures.

I suppose it will not be denied that under the present law our people obtain the necessaries of a comfortable existence at a cheaper rate than formerly. This is a matter of supreme importance, since it is the palpable duty of every just government to make the burdens of taxation as light as possible. The people should not be required to relinquish this privilege of cheaper living except under the stress of their Government's necessity made plainly manifest.

This reference to the condition and prospects of our revenues naturally suggests an allusion to the weakness and vices of our financial methods. They have been frequently pressed upon the attention of Congress in previous Executive communications and the inevitable danger of their continued toleration pointed out. Without now repeating these details, I can not refrain from again earnestly presenting the necessity of the prompt reform of a system opposed to every rule of sound finance and shown by experience to be fraught with the gravest peril and perplexity. The terrible Civil War, which shook the foundations of our Government more than thirty years ago, brought in its train the destruction of property, the wasting of our country's substance, and the estrangement of brethren. These are now past and forgotten. Even the distressing loss of life the conflict entailed is but a sacred memory which fosters patriotic sentiment and keeps alive a tender regard for those who nobly died. And yet there remains with us to-day in full strength and activity, as an incident of that tremendous struggle, a feature of its financial necessities not only unsuited to our present circumstances, but manifestly a disturbing menace to business security and an ever-present agent of monetary distress.

Because we may be enjoying a temporary relief from its depressing influence, this should not lull us into a false security nor lead us to forget the suddenness of past visitations.

I am more convinced than ever that we can have no assured financial peace and safety until the Government currency obligations upon which gold may be demanded from the Treasury are withdrawn from circulation and canceled. This might be done, as has been heretofore recommended, by their exchange for long-term bonds bearing a low rate of interest or by their redemption with the proceeds of such bonds. Even if only the United States notes known as greenbacks were thus retired it is probable that the Treasury notes issued in payment of silver purchases under the act of July 14, 1890, now paid in gold when demanded, would not create much disturbance, as they might from time to time, when received in the Treasury by redemption in gold or otherwise, be gradually and prudently replaced by silver coin.

This plan of issuing bonds for the purpose of redemption certainly appears to be the most effective and direct path to the needed reform. In default of this, however, it would be a step in the right direction if currency obligations redeemable in gold whenever so redeemed should be canceled instead of being reissued. This operation would be a slow remedy, but it would improve present conditions.

National banks should redeem their own notes. They should be allowed to issue circulation to the par value of bonds deposited as security for its redemption and the tax on their circulation should be reduced to one-fourth of 1 per cent.

In considering projects for the retirement of United States notes and Treasury notes issued under the law of 1890, I am of the opinion that we have placed too much stress upon the danger of contracting the currency and have calculated too little upon the gold that would be added to our circulation if invited to us by better and safer financial methods. It is not so much a contraction of our currency that should be avoided as its unequal distribution.

This might be obviated and any fear of harmful contraction at the same time removed by allowing the organization of smaller banks and in less populous communities than are now permitted, and also authorizing existing banks to establish branches in small communities under proper restrictions.

The entire case may be presented by the statement that the day of sensible and sound financial methods will not dawn upon us until our Government abandons the banking business and the accumulation of funds and confines its monetary operations to the receipt of the money contributed by the people for its support and to the expenditure of such money for the people's benefit.

Our business interests and all good citizens long for rest from feverish agitation and the inauguration by the Government of a reformed financial policy which will encourage enterprise and make certain the rewards of labor and industry.

Another topic in which our people rightfully take a deep interest may be here briefly considered. I refer to the existence of trusts and other huge aggregations of capital the object of which is to secure the monopoly of some particular branch of trade, industry, or commerce and to stifle wholesome competition. When these are defended, it is usually on the ground that though they increase profits they also reduce prices, and thus may benefit the public. It must be remembered, however, that a reduction of prices to the people is not one of the real objects of these organizations, nor is their tendency necessarily in that direction. If it occurs in a particular case it is only because it accords with the purposes or interests of those managing the scheme.

Such occasional results fall far short of compensating the palpable evils charged to the account of trusts and monopolies. Their tendency is to crush out individual independence and to hinder or prevent the free use of human faculties and the full development of human character. Through them the farmer, the artisan, and the small trader is in danger of dislodgment from the proud position of being his own master, watchful of all that touches his country's prosperity, in which he has an individual lot, and interested in all that affects the advantages of business of which he is a factor, to be relegated to the level of a mere appurtenance to a great machine, with little free will, with no duty but that of passive obedience, and with little hope or opportunity of rising in the scale of responsible and helpful citizenship.

To the instinctive belief that such is the inevitable trend of trusts and monopolies is due the widespread and deep-seated popular aversion in which they are held and the not unreasonable insistence that, whatever may be their incidental economic advantages, their general effect upon personal character, prospects, and usefulness can not be otherwise than injurious.

Though Congress has attempted to deal with this matter by legislation, the laws passed for that purpose thus far have proved ineffective, not because of any lack of disposition or attempt to enforce them, but simply because the laws themselves as interpreted by the courts do not reach the difficulty. If the insufficiencies of existing laws can be remedied by further legislation, it should be done. The fact must be recognized, however, that all Federal legislation on this subject may fall short of its purpose because of inherent obstacles and also because of the complex character of our governmental system, which, while making the Federal authority supreme within its sphere, has carefully limited that sphere by metes and bounds that can not be transgressed. The decision of our highest court on this precise question renders it quite doubtful whether the evils of trusts and monopolies can be adequately treated through Federal action unless they seek directly and purposely to include in their objects transportation or intercourse between States or between the United States and foreign countries.

It does not follow, however, that this is the limit of the remedy that may be applied. Even though it may be found that Federal authority is not broad enough to fully reach the case, there can be no doubt of the power of the several States to act effectively in the premises, and there should be no reason to doubt their willingness to judiciously exercise such power.

In concluding this communication its last words shall be an appeal to the Congress for the most rigid economy in the expenditure of the money it holds in trust for the people. The way to perplexing extravagance is easy, but a return to frugality is difficult. When, however, it is considered that those who bear the burdens of taxation have no guaranty of honest care save in the fidelity of their public servants, the duty of all possible retrenchment is plainly manifest.

When our differences are forgotten and our contests of political opinion are no longer remembered, nothing in the retrospect of our public service will be as fortunate and comforting as the recollection of official duty well performed and the memory of a constant devotion to the interests of our confiding fellow-countrymen.