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judicial body, the Customs Court, designed to obviate previous confusion in interpreting various provisions of the tariff law on appeal in contested
This Administration will be noted also for the number, extent and thoroughness of Congressional investigations. Not only was the Interior Department under fire in the Ballinger controversy but every other executive department and the civil service as well the case of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, head of the Chemical Bureau of the Agricultural Department, exciting the greatest public interest and resulting in his complete exoneration of all charges brought against him. It is well to note in passing that the Agricultural Department made a searching investigation of its own into the high cost of living." There were also investigations of the Steel Trust, the operations of the Sugar Trust, the alleged Money Trust" and the methods of the Attorney-General in the enforcement of anti-trust laws; of express companies, the American Woolen Company and questions pertaining to employers' liability and workingmen's compensation; of the Titanic disaster, which resulted in efficient legislation safe-guarding ocean travel; of charges of bribery in connection with the election of William Lorimer, of Illinois, to the Senate, and of Judge Robert W. Archbald of the Commerce Court, for alleged illegal transactions the former resulting in the defendant's resignation,
and the latter in impeachment by the House. The important report of the Monetary Commission in the early part of 1912, while not strictly the result of an "investigation," was made only after the most careful and thorough research, both in this country and abroad, under the conduct of the National Monetary Commission, of which Senator Nelson W. Aldrich was chairman. This report, in brief, recommended the establishment of a National Reserve Association, a union for holding a part of the cash reserves of National banks, for issuing circulating notes under government regulation, and for acting as fiscal agent of the United States Treasury to support the credit of the banks and Nation.
No other President since Washington has made so many appointments to the Supreme Court, and President Taft's judicial temperament and training stood the Nation in good stead in selecting or promoting the following judges: In 1909, Horace H. Lurton, of Tennessee; in 1910, Charles E. Hughes, of New York, Willis Van Devanter, of Wyoming, Joseph R. Lamar, of Georgia, and Edward D.
White, of Louisiana
White, of Louisiana - the latter being an elevation to the chief-justiceship; in 1912, Mahlen Pitney, of New Jersey. The President made only two Cabinet changes the exchange of Richard A. Ballinger for Walter L. Fisher in the Interior Department, and Jacob M. Dickinson for Henry L. Stimson in the War Department.
THE CENSUS OF 1910; PANAMA CANAL RATES.
There were three other events which will loom large in the history of President Taft's Administration. One was the decennial census that carried the population of the United States, including its dependencies, over the hundred million mark 101,100,000- the continental population, not including dependencies, being 91,972,266. This furnished a basis for a new appointment of 42 additional members of the House of Representatives, carrying the total to 433. Another was the passage of a bill submitting to the States the question of an amendment to the Federal Constitution in favor of the direct election of United States Senators the culmination of years of discussion and hitherto fruitless effort. The admission of New Mexico (January 6, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, 1912) made intact the continental sisterhood of States and added two new stars to the flag 48 in all.
The Panama Canal was practically completed by the close of the Administration, and plans were well under way for its formal opening in 1915. The total cost up to this time was approximately $375,000,000 every dollar of which " President Taft proclaimed with pride," has been honestly expended." Preliminary expenditures for the fortification of the canal, to the extent of $3,000,000, were appropriated in 1911.
In May of 1912 the House passed a bill admitting to free use of the canal all American-owned ships, de
barring vessels owned directly or indirectly by railroads, and fixing a toll of $1.20 per net registered ton on foreign merchant ships, and 50c per ton on foreign battleships, the former being based on tonnage and the latter on displacement. The toll for merchant vessels is the same as the reduced Suez Canal rates will be in 1913; but on the Panama Canal no per capita passenger tolls will be additionally assessed. Our battleship rates are, however, somewhat higher than those on the Suez Canal. It is estimated that the rates agreed upon will produce enough revenue by 1925 to pay the cost of operation and maintenance, the government and sanitation of the Canal Zone, interest on the capital invested in the canal, and the annual payment of $250,000 to the Republic of Panama; and to place $3,750,000 in a sinking fund toward the ultimate amortization of the investment in the project. Not only did the clause relating to railroad-owned ships hamper the coastwist trade of Canada, but the toll on foreign ships was held by Great Britain to be a violation of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1902, which declared specifically that the Panama Canal should be open to vessels of all nations" on terms of entire equality" and that there should be "no discrimination in respect of the conditions or charges of traffic or otherwise." President Taft asserted that the United States had full right to regulate traffic in the manner provided by the pending bill, but never
theless sent a message to Congress asking the House and Senate to pass resolutions declaring that the United States had no intention of violating the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.
The foreign relations of the United States during the years 1909-1912 were peaceful, and, in the main, cordial, and while there were no occasions for large achievements, the diplomacy of the State Department under Secretary Knox proved itself, in such opportunities for exercise as presented themselves, to be of a high order. The delicate and often trying questions that came up in connection with the Mexican insurrection and the mobilization of United States troops upon her frontier, were handled with conspicuous skill, as was the final settlement of the long pending disputes with Venezuela. The arbitration treaties with several countries, the new treaty with Japan, and especially the securing of a joint treaty between the United States, Great Britain, Russia and Japan forbidding pelagic sealing in the North Pacific for fifteen years, were noteworthy. Perhaps no other action of the State Department met with more criticism than the so-called "dollar diplomacy" (while the United States policy in Nicaragua is a phase of "dollar diplomacy," it, in reality, means much more, viz.: the giving of Government aid to American capital seeking investments in foreign lands and American producers seeking markets abroad for goods) which led to a
treaty with Nicaragua, and the negotiation of another with Honduras, on the successful plan of the San Domingo act of the previous Administration. The policy of these treaties for the United States is to liquidate the foreign obligations of the abovenamed South American republics with liens on customs receipts as security, turning over 55 per cent. to the foreign bondholders and 45 per cent. to the government of each republic concerned. The chief objection to this policy, as voiced by Senator Bacon of Georgia, is that "it practically compels the United States to take over these Latin countries one after another." The broad general answer of diplomacy and humanity is that, in the case of these small republics which are constantly involved in the naturally insistent attempts of creditor nations to collect their debts, the only desire of the United States is to "substitute economic prosperity for predatory strife"--which appears to be a broad, statesmanlike view.
Perhaps the greatest non-political event that will be forever associated with the Administration of President Taft was the announcement of Lieutenant Robert E. Peary, U. S. N., on September 6, 1909, that, on April 6 of the same year he had discovered the North Pole. It was the
Five days before Lieutenant Peary's announcement, Dr. Frederick A. Cook, another Arctic explorer, surprised the world by declaring that he had discovered the North Pole on April 21, 1908. His claims, however, have not stood the test of a rigid examination by scientists, while