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wholly untainted by that silly sentimentality which is often more dangerous to both the subject and the object than downright iniquity.
In Panama we are successfully performing what is to be the greatest engineering feat of the ages, and while we are assuming the whole burden of the work, we have explicitly pledged ourselves that the use is to be free for all mankind. In the islands of the Caribbean we have interfered not as conquerors, but solely to avert the need of conquest. The United States Army is at this moment in Cuba, not as an act of war, but to restore Cuba to the position of a self-governing republic. With Santo Domingo, we have just negotiated a treaty especially designed to prevent the need of any interference either by us or by any foreign nation with the internal affairs of the island, while at the same time securing to honest creditors their debts and to the government of the islands an assured income, and giving to the islanders themselves the chance, if only they will take advantage of it, to achieve the internal peace they so sorely need.
Mr. Root's trip thru South America marked the knitting together in the bonds of self-respecting friendship of all the republics of this continent; it marked a step toward the creation among them of a community of public feeling which will tell for justice and peace thruout the western hemisphere. By the joint good offices of Mexico and ourselves, we averted one war in Central America, and did what we could to avert another, altho we failed. We have more than once, while avoiding officious international meddling, shown our readiness to help other nations secure peace among themselves. A difficulty which we had with our friendly neighbor to the south of us, we solved by referring it to arbitration at The Hague. A difficulty which we had with our friendly neighbor to the north of us, we solved by the agreement of a joint commission composed of representatives of the two peoples in interest. We try to avoid meddling in affairs that are not our concern, and yet to have our views heard where they will avail on behalf of fair-dealing and against cruelty and oppression. We have concluded certain arbitration treaties. I only regret that we have not concluded a larger number.
Our representatives will go to the Second Peace Conference at The Hague instructed to help in every practicable way to bring some steps nearer completion the great work which the First Con
ference began. It is idle to expect that a task so tremendous can be settled by one or two conferences, and those who demand the impossible from such a Conference not only prepare acute disappointment for themselves, but by arousing exaggerated and baseless hopes which are certain to be disappointed, play the game of the very men who wish the Conference to accomplish nothing. It is not possible that the Conference should go more than a certain distance further in the right direction. Yet I believe that it can make real progress on the road toward international justice, peace and fair-dealing. One of the questions, although not to my mind one of the most important, which will be brought before the conference, will be that of the limitation of armaments. The United States, owing to its peculiar position, has a regular army so small as to be infinitesimal when compared to that of any other first-class power. But the circumstances which enable this to be so are peculiar to our case, and do not warrant us in assuming the offensive attitude of schoolmaster toward other nations. We are no longer enlarging our navy. We are simply keeping up its strength, very moderate indeed when compared with our wealth, population and coast-line; for the addition of one battleship a year barely enables us to make good the units which become obsolete. The most practical step in diminishing the burden of expense caused by the increasing size of naval armament would, I believe, be an agreement limiting the size of all ships hereafter to be built; but hitherto it has not proved possible to get other nations to agree with us on this point.
More important than reducing the expense of the implements of war is the question of reducing the possible causes of war, which can most effectually be done by substituting other methods than war for the settlement of disputes. Of those other methods, the most important which is now attainable is arbitration. I do not believe that in the world as it actually is, it is possible for any nation to agree to arbitrate all difficulties which may arise between itself and other nations; but I do believe that there can be at this time a very large increase in the classes of cases which it is agreed shall be arbitrated, and that provision can be made for greater facility and certainty of arbitration. I hope to see adopted a general arbitration treaty among the nations; and I hope to see the Hague Court greatly increased in power and
permanency, and the judges in particular made permanent and given adequate salaries, so as to make it increasingly probable that in each case that may come before them, they will decide between the nations, great or small, exactly as a judge within our own limits decides between the individuals, great or small, who come before him. Doubtless many other matters will be taken up at The Hague; but it seems to me that this of a general arbitration treaty is perhaps the most important. Again wishing you all good fortune in your work, Sincerely yours,
You all know every President must have some man who is his right hand. Sometimes they get a man who is more than a right hand, and does for him some of the head work as well. We are now to hear from a gentleman who has traveled further North and further South than any other Secretary of State we were ever blessed with, carrying the olive branch of Peace and Brotherhood to the furthest Republic in the South, and up to Canada in the North. He has made, he is going to make, a great, great record. (Applause.)
Among many other good qualities he has, he is a New Yorker. I beg leave to present to you Honorable Elihu Root, Secretary of State.
The American Sentiment of Humanity
HON. ELIHU ROOT
In every country which has reached a high stage of civilization may be seen the working of two distinct and apparently inconsistent motives or principles in national conduct. On the one hand, there is the narrowly and immediately utilitarian motive, and there is the competitive attitude fashioned upon the habits of self-preservation and self-assertion enjoined by the necessities of the struggle for existence. With this motive each country pursues specific national advantages, meeting in a hard, dry, business-like way, without sympathy or sentiment, the facts of a
world in which there is much selfishness and greed, in which every nation is primarily looking out for itself, and in which there is ordinarily some aggressor ready to take advantage of the overtrusting and defenceless.
On the other hand, there is the ethical, altruistic, human impulse that presses forward constantly toward ideals. Its possessors, loving liberty and justice and peace, long to make all men free and safe and secure in their rights; their eyes are fixed upon the ultimate good toward which civilization tends; they are striving that better things shall replace the cynicism and selfishness and cruelty which have always so widely characterized mankind; they assert principles and set up standards of action, which they call upon mankind to adopt; and mankind too often gives theoretical assent but denies practical conformity. In every man's nature there are manifestations or traces of each of these impulses ; in every nation there are many citizens in whom one, and many in whom the other impulse strongly predominates. As circumstances bring one class of motives or another into control of national conduct in different fields of national action, strangely variant and inconsistent national action results. The same nation may be seen at one time hard and practical, at another or perhaps in another field at the same time, exhibiting the highest degree of unselfishness and humanity. Under the predominance of one motive national power has been built up; administration has been made effective; commerce has been extended; material wealth, the matrix of civilization, has been created and protected; the citizens of each country have been secured against aggression from without; and, in the slow process of centuries, the code of practical rules convenient and necessary to the peaceable intercourse of nations has been elaborated. Under the predominance of the other motive, the conception of individual charity and humanity, which found its highest expression in the Christian Revelation, has slowly impressed itself upon the conception of national duty and responsibility. In its development the idea of national conscience and national ethics has been forced into the international system which formerly acknowledged the undisputed sway of selfishness and cruelty, long condemned as immoral in the relations between individuals.
It is natural that the hard and practical motive shall be uppermost in the men engaged in the conduct of government; they are
endowed with limited and definite powers and charged with specific trusts for the benefit of their own people; their duties are to protect and advance the interests of their own country, and those duties relate, in the main, to the material interests of their countrymen; their specific powers are given to them for that specific purpose; they have no warrant of attorney to express or give effect to the benevolent or humanitarian impulses of their constituents; under constitutional government, as a rule, such expression is not conferred by law upon public officers, but is reserved to the people. In the discharge of their international duties governmental officers have to deal with a world of selfish competition and ever-present possibility of aggression and inquiry, which compel them to think first and chiefly of the interest of their own country as a lawyer argues the case of his client. They are constrained by the rules of conduct between nations which the experience of centuries has shown to be necessary to the peace of the world. Among the first of these is, that the government of each nation shall attend to its own business, and respect the sovereignty and refrain from interfering with the internal affairs of every other nation. This rule is the chief protection of the liberty of small and weak nations against the aggression of the strong. To break it down whenever the officers of one government disapprove the conduct of another government within its own jurisdiction, would be to break down the barriers which civilization has erected for the protection of the weak, with results as fatal as if the executive were allowed to make orders and the judge to issue decrees according to their own kindly impulses without regard to the limitations of law.
It is natural that the altruistic and humanitarian view, broader and less immediately practical, shall be taken by students and thinkers, by teachers and philosophers, by men who, not burdened by the necessity of putting theories into practice, are at liberty to look upon the world as it ought to be and to urge mankind on toward acceptance of their ideals. These men are masters of their own power; they have a warrant from all whom their eloquence, their persuasion, their reasoning, or the inherent soundness of their ideas bring into agreement with them, to press their views upon the world and insist upon conformity. In every civilized land their numbers, their power and their following have increased, most of all in lands where