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Under these circumstances, it would seem only reasonable to give Cuba some advantages as compared with foreign nations in the American market. From the strictly economic point of view, the reciprocity bargain would be an excellent one for us, because the Cuban market would be beneficial to many lines of American production and industry, while the concessions granted by us in return would hurt none of our industries, and would cost us nothing appreciable. The remission in favor of the Cubans of a portion of the tariff on their sugar crop would benefit them, without affecting by a single cent the price that any Western producer would obtain for his sugar-beets, or any Louisianian for his cane.
The Fallacy of
It is plain that there is a good arthe Beet-Sugar gument, from the standpoint of the Argument. American sugar producer, against a general lowering of the tariff on sugar. But it is equally plain that a reduced rate on the Cuban crop alone could not affect the level of sugar prices in the United States. The home producer, who declares that he wants the benefit of the tariff, has to-day exactly the same degree of effective protection that he had before we admitted Porto Rican sugar free of duty. And he would have neither more nor less tariff protection remaining to him, whether one policy or another should be adopted in respect to Cuba. The men who have been telling him things contrary to this have been either ignorant themselves, or else have been guilty of confusing his mind intentionally. The remission of 20 per cent. of the duty upon the Cuban crop alone would have exactly the same effect as the admission, free of duty, of one-fifth of the Cuban sugar crop, while charging full duty rates upon the other four-fifths. And this admission, free of duty, of one-fifth of the Cuban sugar crop would affect the beet-sugar producers of the United States neither more nor less unfavorably than the addition to our home sugar crop of an equivalent quantity. In other words, the effect of a 20 per cent. reduction upon the Cuban tariff would be simply that of the addition of, say, 100,000 tons to the domestic sugar crop, out of a total consumption of considerably more than 2,000,000 tons.
The merest schoolboy knows that the How Prices American price is fixed by the deficit that we have to import at the full duty Even if we admitted the whole of the Cuban crop free of duty, instead of only one-fifth of it, as is proposed, the American beet-sugar producer would not be affected at all, because we should still have to import from other countries
SENATOR BURROWS, OF MICHIGAN. (Who led the Republican group of Senators that opposed the policy of Cuban reciprocity.)
about 1,000,000 tons, or half our total consumption, at full tariff rates, and this, of course, would maintain the price. The average American citi. zen, from his standpoint as a sugar consumer, has nothing at stake whatever in the controversy that has been pending. He will continue to pay for the sugar he uses the price prevailing in the world markets, -as in England, for instance,plus some charge for transportation, and plus the full rate of the Dingley tariff. It might, how. ever, make some difference to a man engaged in the sugar-refining business where his factories are located. The Western farmer had been so carefully hoodwinked that he did not for a time see that the extra profit due to the tariff does not go into his pocket, but into that of the owner of the beet-sugar factory. But his eyes are opening.
The present economic position of Is Annexation Cuba is about as forlorn as Florida's would be if Florida were a separate republic, without separate trade relations with the United States. If Congress refuses to give Cuba special tariff treatment, it follows inevitably that Cuba must seek admission as a State, and we should not be justified in refusing to admit her. It is possible, indeed, that this is what the lobbies are really driving at. It is obvious that the great sugar refineries situated on the Atlantic seaboard might be expected to have some interest in the progress and development of the canesugar industry of the West Indies, from which
they derive their supplies of raw material. Thus, a policy at Washington that would precipitate the annexation of Cuba might, in the end, prove considerably to the advantage of the so-called American sugar trust." Undoubtedly, the behavior of the gentlemen acting ostensibly against the sugar trust, and in the interest of the beet-sugar producers, has been the one and only thing that has revived the talk of annexation, and made it possible if not probable. The men who own the principal beet sugar factories, of the West, and who have been supposed at Washington to represent the farmers, do, as a matter of fact, represent Eastern capital. What motive lies behind their conduct, unless it be that of producing distraction and despair in Cuba, in order that they may buy the sugar lands at reduced prices, and then bring about annexation, to their own vast enrichment?
American farmers from a few States, Cuba's Condi- chiefly new ones, have been duped tion Critical. into bringing pressure upon their representatives at Washington; and these representatives have presented no argument, and given no reason, for their position,-except that they have discovered a sentiment in their States against doing anything for Cuba. This sentiment at home has, in its turn, been produced by active and persistent scheming, which began, two or three years ago, in preparation for the present situation. Meanwhile, if the plotters have intended to bring financial ruin upon Cuba, they must have felt last month that their cause was making headway. Authentic reports from the island were marked by deep gloom and anxiety. General Wood's administration had done splendid things, but had spent money freely to accomplish them. President Palma was expected to maintain the high standard throughout, yet saw no way to provide sufficient public revenue to keep the work up to the mark set under the American occupation. The situation was altogether a painful and a cruel one, whether viewed from the public or the private standpoint. The people of the United States have intended to deal justly by Cuba, and the men of those parts of the West who have been so determined to prevent Cuban reciprocity have simply been misled as to the facts and conditions.
Canal Committee, opened with a speech in support of the Nicaragua route. On the following day, Senator Hanna spoke in favor of what was known as the Spooner substitute for the Hepburn bill. It will be remembered that the House, with almost absolute unanimity, had voted to adopt the Nicaragua route, and had instructed the President to proceed with the work. The Spooner substitute in the Senate proposed the adoption of the Panama route, provided the President, on due investigation, should find that the French company, which was proposing to sell its assets to us for $40,000,000, could deliver the property with a clear title. The Isthmian Canal Commission had preferred the Panama route, but had at first recommended the other, chiefly because of the large price asked by the French company for its claims. It took the ground, in its original report, that the work already done at Panama would not be worth more than $40,000,000 to a builder who should undertake to complete the canal. Thereupon, the French company promptly reduced its price from more than a hundred millions to forty millions, and the Commission, upon being reassembled, made a supplementary report, recommending the Panama route, if acquired under the reduced terms.
be 183 miles long, and the Panama only 49. If the Nicaragua route should finally be defeated, it may, perhaps, be said that the scale was turned by the recent terrible eruption of volcanoes in the West Indies. More than once, in years past and gone, arguments have been made against the Nicaragua route on the ground of its lving in a dangerously volcanic region. But the argument made no impression on the public mind until Senator Hanna advanced it again, with great maps and charts, in the Senate chamber, while Mont Pelée and La Soufrière were still in active eruption, and the newspapers were full of the terrors of volcanoes and earthquakes. The Senate on the 19th voted for Panama by a decisive majority. The question was at once taken up again in the House, with no certainty as to results, but a chance of concurrence on Panama.
The people of the Opinion in United States are Suspense. strongly committed to the policy of an interoceanic canal owned and con. trolled by the United States Government. For many reasons of an historical and more or less sentimental nature, they would have preferred the Nicaragua route. They have been abundantly justified in viewing the French project of selling out to the United States with suspicion and distrust. If, therefore, the Panama route should win in the end, it must be on its sheer merits and in spite of the plea that our Government should not have involved itself in any negotiations with a private European company, but should have dealt solely and directly with the Government of Colombia, securing an outright acquisition of the Isthmian route, including full sovereignty over the whole or a part of the Colombian State of Panama. On its face, the French charter had already been forfeited, and the circumstances of its alleged extension were said to be irregular. If, however, the physical conditions render the Panama route decidedly preferable, the tangle regarding rights,
(Who has been more prominently identified with the leading subjects of legislation in the Senate, during this session, than any other man.)
claims, and franchises can, of course, be straightened out. ened out. There is no reason to think that any man with a particle of influence in either House of Congress, or in our executive government, is placing himself in a suspicious attitude by favoring the Panama route, any more than there is reason to suppose that the geologists have been bribed to invent stories about Nicaragua volcanoes. President Roosevelt will not buy out the French com. pany in case of the adoption of the Spooner substitute until all doubts and difficulties of a legal and diplomatic nature have been completely cleared away. Although the House voted for the Nicaragua route, its vote was intended, not so much to settle the route question finally as to show its disposition to have an interoceanic canal built by the Government without further delay.
Photo copyrighted, 1902, by Pach Brothers.
vision of new buildings for the academy. The United States army is now in a state of the highest efficiency. By a recent order issued at the War Department the total army strength will be cut down from (in round figures) 77,000 men, as at present, to 66,000. It will be organized on the plan of keeping about one-third of it in the Philippines, with such shifting of men and regiments as to equalize Philippine service. Heretofore promotions in the navy have been made by seniority, while in the army they have been made by selection. It is understood that President Roosevelt and Secretary Moody have decided to apply the army system to the navy, at least to some extent. The Senate did not agree to the provision in the House naval bill requiring that onehalf of the new vessels authorized should be built in government yards. The naval bill, as passed by the Senate, appropriated an amount exceeding $78,000,000. Both Houses agreed in ordering two new battleships, two new cruisers, and two new gunboats, but the Senate also added an order for five submarine torpedo boats. The Senate also recommended an increase in the number of cadets at the Naval Academy at Annapolis by ninety-five, and an appropriation was made for another new building at Annapolis. Much interest in naval circles has been manifested in the plans for a great series of naval maneuvers on a scale never before undertaken by the United States.
A great event of the past month was fecting Army the celebration at West Point of the and Navy hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Military Academy. The ceremonies were impressive, and the speeches were of a high order of merit and interest. Gen. Horace Porter, our ambassador at Paris, was the chief orator, but the President and the Secretary of War made eloquent and memorable addresses, and General Schofield and General Alexander,-the latter a distinguished Confederate veteran,spoke wisely and impressively. We publish elsewhere an article on West Point and the celebration from the pen of Colonel Tillman, one of the professors in the academy. The celebration was rendered the more enthusiastic by an action of Congress which had made certain an appropriation. of about $6,000,000 for the much-needed pro
river and harbor bills of former years. The new bill dwarfs anything of the kind in our history. It amounted to $60,000,000 when it left the House; the Senate added $10,000,000, and the conference committee split the difference. Thus it carries a total appropriation, in round figures, of $65,000,000. Of this amount something under $30,000,000 will be paid out of the Treasury next year, and the payment of the remainder will be distributed through several years, as called for by the improvement contracts. Το put it mildly and cautiously, this measure is not defensible as meritorious legislation. Congress made confession of the impropriety of the methods by which such vast raids on the Treasury are organized, by putting in this very bill a clause providing that there shall be created a permanent board of engineer officers, to pass henceforth upon all proposed river and harbor improvements.
This union of local interests for a Another Log- grand raid upon the United States Rolling Affair. Treasury can be applied to other ob jects besides the improvement of rivers and harbors. Thus the method has been successfully adopted this year by nearly two hundred cities, towns, and villages, which, being ambitious to have the United States build for them pretentious public structures, pooled their issues and forced through Congress the so-called "Omnibus Public Buildings Bill." As passed, it makes a net demand on the Treasury for about $20,000,000,-petty villages in some cases securing large sums for wholly unnecessary federal buildings. Such a combination, of course, is almost impossible to beat. The country, as well as local interests, imperatively needs large expenditure for improved postal facilities in New York City, and appropriations were duly made for New York in the new measure. But the bill was so skilfully constructed on the united-we-stand-divided-we-fall principle that the group of New York Congressmen, in order to secure a meritorious and necessary appropriation, were obliged to vote for a bill which, in many of its details, was an outrageous imposition upon the taxpayers of the United States. Here again Congress needs to provide a way by which to protect the country against a vicious application of the log-rolling principle in a new direction. Of course, many of the items in the river and harbor bill, and many of those in the omnibus buildings bill as well, were meritorious.
in the Union. This bill passed the House of Representatives on May 9. If the admission of these States meant nothing to the Union except four members in the House of Representatives (Oklahoma would be entitled to two, while the others would have one apiece), there would be no very serious objection to the statehood bill. But it is a wholly different matter to add six more members to the United States Senate from States of scanty population. The objection is not theoretical only, but practical. For example, if the people of the United States had been proportionately represented in the Senate last month, there would have been no difficulty at all about securing justice for Cuba. A number of the eighteen or nineteen Senators who refused absolutely to act with the President, and with the majority of the prominent and influential Senators of their own party, were men from comparatively small States. Thus, if representation in the Senate were according to population, New York, as compared with Nevada, ought to have four hundred Senators, for New York has two hundred times as many inhabitants as Nevada. Yet, in this contest over a great issue that involves the public honor, Nevada exactly counterbalances New York in the Senate. If Senator Mason of Illinois is omitted, the remaining eighteen Republican Senators who refused to act with their colleagues represent, in the aggregate, about as many people as the inhabitants of the one State of New York.
The grotesque inequality of represen Against Ad- tation in the Senate has come to be one of the most serious practical difficulties with which our American political system has to contend. To admit just now three more States of small population would be to make a bad matter worse. By the last census Oklahoma had not quite 400,000 people, New Mexico had 195,000, and Arizona had less than 123,000. Oklahoma is certainly developing rapidly, but its present boundary lines are not satisfactory. With the addition of the Indian Territory, it would have an area about equal to that of Missouri, Wisconsin, or North Dakota, and it would even then be a good deal smaller than many other of the States. It would be both absurd and scandalous to admit Oklahoma with its present boundaries. It is true that Arizona and New Mexico have large areas, but most of their land is mountainous or desert waste; and even if united into one State, their territory would be considerably smaller than that of Texas. The Republican members of the Senate Committee on Territories, of which Mr. Beveridge, of Indiana, is chairman,-voted last month not to consider the omnibus statehood bill at the