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
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
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
$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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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:
- The area under each of the more important crops.
- The aggregate products of each of such crops.
- 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
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
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
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.