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judicial body, the Customs Court, de- and the latter in impeachment by the signed to obviate previous confusion House. The important report of the in interpreting various provisions of Monetary Commission in the early the tariff law on appeal in contested part of 1912, while not strictly the re
sult of an“ investigation," was made This Administration will be noted only after the most careful and thoralso for the number, extent and thor- ough research, both in this country oughness of Congressional investiga- and abroad, under the conduct of the tions. Not only was the Interior De- National Monetary Commission, of partment under fire in the Ballinger which Senator Nelson W. Aldrich controversy but every other execu- was chairman. This report, in brief, tive department and the civil service recommended the establishment of a as well — the case of Dr. Harvey W. National Reserve Association, a union Wiley, head of the Chemical Bureau for holding a part of the cash reserves of the Agricultural Department, ex- of National banks, for issuing circuciting the greatest public interest and lating notes under government reguresulting in his complete exoneration lation, and for acting as fiscal agent of all charges brought against him. of the United States Treasury to supIt is well to note in passing that the port the credit of the banks and Agricultural Department made Nation. searching investigation of its own No other President since Washinginto the high cost of living." There ton has made so many appointments were also investigations of the Steel to the Supreme Court, and President Trust, the operations of the Sugar Taft's judicial temperament and Trust, the alleged “Money Trust” training stood the Nation in good and the methods of the Attorney-Gen- stead in selecting or promoting the eral in the enforcement of anti-trust following judges: In 1909, Horace H. laws; of express companies, the Lurton, of Tennessee; in 1910, Charles American Woolen Company and ques- E. Hughes, of New York, Willis Van tions pertaining to employers' liabil- Devanter, of Wyoming, Joseph R. ity and workingmen's compensation; Lamar, of Georgia, and Edward D. of the Titanic disaster, which resulted White, of Louisiana
White, of Louisiana — the latter bein efficient legislation safe-guarding ing an elevation to the chief-justiceocean travel; of charges of bribery ship; in 1912, Mahlen Pitney, of New in connection with the election of Wil Jersey. The President made only liam Lorimer, of Illinois, to the Sen- two Cabinet changes — the exchange ate, and of Judge Robert W. Archbald of Richard A. Ballinger for Walter of the Commerce Court, for alleged L. Fisher in the Interior Department, illegal transactions - the former re- and Jacob M. Dickinson for Henry L. sulting in the defendant's resignation, Stimson in the War Department.
There were three other events barring vessels owned directly or inwhich will loom large in the history directly by railroads, and fixing a toll
, of President Taft's Administration. of $1.20 per net registered ton on forOne was the decennial census that eign merchant ships, and 50c per ton carried the population of the United on foreign battleships, the former beStates, including its dependencies, ing based on tonnage and the latter over the hundred million mark on displacement. The toll for mer101,100,000 — the continental popu- chant vessels is the same as the relation, not including dependencies, duced Suez Canal rates will be in being 91,972,266. This furnished a 1913; but on the Panama Canal no basis for a new appointment of 42 per capita passenger tolls will be adadditional members of the House of ditionally assessed. Our battleship Representatives, carrying the total to rates are, however, somewhat higher 433. Another was the passage of a than those on the Suez Canal. It is bill submitting to the States the ques- estimated that the rates agreed upon tion of an amendment to the Federal will produce enough revenue by 1925 Constitution in favor of the direct to pay the cost of operation and mainelection of United States Senators - tenance, the government and sanitathe culmination of years of discussion tion of the Canal Zone, interest on the and hitherto fruitless effort. The capital invested in the canal, and the
, admission of New Mexico (January annual payment of $250,000 to the 6, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, Republic of Panama; and to place 1912) made intact the continental sis- $3,750,000 in a sinking fund toward terhood of States and added two new the ultimate amortization of the instars to the flag — 48 in all.
vestment in the project. Not only did The Panama Canal was practically the clause relating to railroad-owned completed by the close of the Admin- ships hamper the coastwist trade of istration, and plans were well under Canada, but the toll on foreign ships way for its formal opening in 1915. was held by Great Britain to be a vioThe total cost up to this time was ap- lation of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty proximately $375,000,000 every
of 1902, which declared specifically dollar of which ” President Taft pro- that the Panama Canal should be open claimed with pride, “ has been hon- to vessels of all nations on terms of estly expended." Preliminary ex- entire equality" and that there should penditures for the fortification of the be“ no discrimination in respect of canal, to the extent of $3,000,000, were the conditions or charges of traffic or appropriated in 1911.
otherwise.” President Taft asserted In May of 1912 the House passed that the United States had full right a bill admitting to free use of the to regulate traffic in the manner procanal all American-owned ships, de- vided by the pending bill, but nevertheless sent a message to Congress treaty with Nicaragua, and the negoasking the House and Senate to pass tiation of another with Honduras, on resolutions declaring that the United the successful plan of the San Do. States had no intention of violating mingo act of the previous Administhe Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.
tration. The policy of these treaties The foreign relations of the United for the United States is to liquidate States during the years 1909–1912 the foreign obligations of the abovewere peaceful, and, in the main, cor- named South American republics with dial, and while there were no occa- liens on customs receipts as security, sions for large achievements, the di- turning over 55 per cent to the forplomacy of the State Department eign bondholders and 45 per cent. to under Secretary Knox proved itself, the government of each republic conin such opportunities for exercise as cerned. The chief objection to this presented themselves, to be of a high policy, as voiced by Senator Bacon of order. The delicate and often trying Georgia, is that “it practically comquestions that came up in connection pels the United States to take over with the Mexican insurrection and these Latin countries one after anthe mobilization of United States other." The broad general answer troops upon her frontier, were han- of diplomacy and humanity is that, in dled with conspicuous skill, as was the case of these small republics the final settlement of the long pend- which are constantly involved in the ing disputes with Venezuela. The ar- naturally insistent attempts of credbitration treaties with several coun- 'itor nations to collect their debts, the
, tries, the new treaty with Japan, and only desire of the United States is to especially the securing of a joint substitute economic prosperity for treaty between the United States, predatory strife” – which appears Great Britain, Russia and Japan for- to be a broad, statesmanlike view. bidding pelagic sealing in the North Perhaps the greatest non-political Pacific for fifteen years, were note- event that will be forever associated worthy. Perhaps no other action of with the Administration of President the State Department met with more
Taft was the announcement of Lieucriticism than the so-called “ dollar tenant Robert E. Peary, U. S. N., on diplomacy” (while the United States September 6, 1909, that, on April 6 policy in Nicaragua is a phase of of the same year he had discov“ dollar diplomacy,” it, in reality, ered the North Pole.* It was the means much more, viz. : the giving of
* Five days before Lieutenant Peary's anGovernment aid to American capital
nouncement, Dr. Frederick A. Cook, another seeking investments in foreign lands Arctic explorer, surprised the world by declaring
that he had discovered the North Pole on April and American producers seeking mar
21, 1908. His claims, however, have not stood the kets abroad for goods) which led to a test of a rigid examination by scientists, while