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The effect of the new, tariff means forded while the debate is in progress a great deal to the welfare and pros- in both Houses for all the facts to be perity of the country and everything brought out and the dangers, if they to the Democrats. It is twenty years are real, to be exposed. The Presisince the last Democratic tariff was dent and his supporters in Congress placed on the statute books, and what hope that the Bill will not be amended followed is still bitterly remembered. in any substantial particular, and Opinions differ as to whether the while it will probably pass the House disastrous times that were the sequel in the form in which it was introduced, of that Bill were the consequence of its passage through the Senate will that legislation or were due to other encounter greater opposition. One causes, and as it is a question that thing is inade apparent by the Bill and cannot be satisfactorily determined it that is the wisdom of Mr. Borden and is not necessary for me to attempt to his Party in rejecting the Taft offer ascertain the truth. But if again the of reciprocity. What Canada would same thing should happen, if the pas- have been forced to buy at a heavy sage of the Democratic tariff law price is now hers for nothing, and if brings about a panic, or cuts down reciprocity is as greatly for the benefit employment or diminishes wages, that of Canada as it was proclaimed to be will be the last of Democratic tar- she will secure all the advantage withiff revision for a great many years to out having delivered herself bound to come. The people were persuaded to the United States and imperilled her allow the Democrats to try the experi- economic independence. ment because of the belief that it Mr. Wilson has been in office too could be done successfully, and they short a time to prognosticate his fuwere in a mood to believe that on the ture, but long enough to give a very tariff could be piled all the evils of clear idea of his motives, his methods which they complained, but the Ameri- and his mentality. In a few weeks be can people, I am convinced, are not has made a profound impression upon content to buy cheap prices at the the country, for here is a new kind of cost of low wages. They want things President, a man who comes to the cheap and wages high, and we shall Presidency with a different concept see whether it is possible for the Dem- of his duties, his responsibilities and ocrats to work the economic miracle. his privileges from his predecessors,
What effect the new tariff will have who has brought a new atmosphere on British exports it is as yet too into the White House. According to early to be able to determine, but popular opinion—the least reliable seemingly it should stimulate them and the most fleeting of judgments, and provide a larger market for tex. and almost invariably wrong-with tiles, both cotton and wool. Some of the accession of Mr. Roosevelt to the American manufacturers of those the Presidency there began a new era articles are pessimistic and see only in American politics. For the sake of ruin facing them; domestic industries, convenience public opinion in this they say, are to be sacrificed for the case may be regarded as correct. Mr. benefit of the foreigner; the Bill is
Roosevelt set the pace. He defied really in the interest of Europe and traditions and established precedents of Americans will have to pay the bill.
his own. He loved the spectacular. It is expected that the new law will He made the Presidency dominant in not go into effect until late in summer, American politics. His attempt was so that full opportunity will be af
to make Congress subservient to the LIVING AGE VOL. LIX. 3122
President, but he had neither tact to ercion of Congress. Mr. Roosevelt be a successful diplomat nor sufficient held that an executive officer might "stick" to map out a programme or do anything that the law did not expolicy and adhere to it against all pressly forbid; Mr. Taft was governed allurements or opposition. His mind by the principle that an executive offwas too vivid; it could be too easily cer might do only those things for distracted. Typical of this is the way which there was express sanction in be evaded tariff revision. He came law. Mr. Roosevelt delighted in into the White House determined to the unusual and nothing gave him revise the tariff and believing that the greater pleasure than to do things that people insisted upon it. Economics would make him talked about; Mr. were neither in Mr. Roosevelt's line Taft had no love of the theatrical, and nor did they make a powerful appeal; was indifferent to public approval not schedules were fleshless and bloodless founded on solid achievement. things; while social questions pulsed Now comes Mr. Wilson, who comes with humanity. But the tariff was a at a time when the people want nei. burning question and he felt he ther a second Roosevelt nor a second must take it up. The Republican Taft, but want a combination of both leaders, Senator Aldrich, Speaker with an added element. What that Cannon and the rest of them, persuaded element is they are unable to define, him that it was bad policy and the but they know it must be there if the wisest thing was to leave the tariff administration is to realize expectaalone, and he yielded to their persua- tions and be a success. Perhaps the sion. This does not reflect upon Mr. ordinary man in his rough and ready Roosevelt's courage, although it may way of reaching a conclusion without be a reflection upon his judgment; it going through the laborious intermedoes show, however, that he was diate process of scientific analysis amenable to argument and was will- would say: "Mr. Roosevelt tried to do ing to subordinate his will to the ad- too much and did too little, and Mr. rice of men who had their own pur- Taft was content not to attempt too pose to serve.
much and did not enough." That Mr. Taft belonged to the past rather perhaps is as near as the ordinary man than the new era. Coming after Mr. could express himself. It was charRoosevelt it was expected that he acteristic of Mr. Roosevelt that he enwould continue not only the Roose- joyed "stirring things up," and that at velt “policies"-policies that were never first was amusing, but later the people defined or concretely expressed
or were surfeited with excitement and reduced to a practical working basis- longed for a quieter life. Mr. Taft, but also the Roosevelt methods, which on the other hand, kept the pool staghe could not do because of tempera- nant-or the people got the impression mental idiosyncrasies. Mr. Roosevelt that he did, which amounts to the believed in the autocracy of the Presi- same thing in the end-and then they. dency, Mr. Taft did not. Mr. Roose- wanted fresh excitement. velt believed that Congress must do Mr. Wilson's opening weeks in the what the President directed, and if it Presidency have not been dull.
He did not Congress could be coerced; Mr. has given the country much to talk Taft respected the independence of about, but he has alarmed no one. He Congress, but insisted upon the Presi- has already violated more traditions dent maintaining his own indepen- and ignored more precedents than any dence and resisting the attempted co- of his predecessors in their full term,
but no apprehension has been caused. to serve, and in turn the Cabinet It is not so much what a man does as would make their recommendations to the way he does it that makes a thing the President, who, of course, would either sensational or only part of the be the final arbiter. Naturally the day's work. Twenty-four hours after office seekers were stunned and indigMr. Wilson had been in the White nant—what was the use of having House, a custom that was coeval with Won a glorious victory if they were the Republic had been thrown into the not to be the beneficiaries of the scrap heap. Day after day, for weary spoils?-and the country was someweeks and months, the newly inaugu- what amazed, but it found cynical enrated President was compelled hour joyment in the discomfiture of the after hour to listen to the demands place-hunting brigade and enthusiasand pleas for office. A greater part of tically approved the President's good his time was taken up in listening to sense. One reason perhaps why the senators and representatives who country acquiesced in Mr. Wilson's acwanted this man appointed to some tion was the manner in which it was petty place or who opposed his ap- done. It is the habit of nearly all pointment and presented the name of American public men to send
up a rival; to receiving delegations who trial balloons to test public sentiment urged candidates or had reasons to before irrevocably committing themgive why their names should not re- selves, and they put out "feelers" ceive consideration; to reading letters through the newspapers, which enand memorials, all either urging ap- ables them to fight or flee as wisdom pointments or vehemently protesting may dictate.
This is mistake. No President pretended he enjoyed this, The more a thing is discussed the more but he did not see how he could es
can be found for criticism cape it. It was the price he paid for and the dangers of attempting it; office. Men must be appointed, and when it becomes an accomplished fact only the President could decide their discussion ceases because it is a waste claims. Time and energy that should of time to flog a dead horse. Had Mr. have been reserved for serious matters Wilson given a hint of what he proof state were dissipated because the posed to do, doubtless the newspapers President must decide whether this would have offered him much valueman or that should postmaster at less advice and some of the party some insignificant place. Presidents leaders would have feared the consegrew restive and physically and men- quences and warned him not to risk tally suffered (the elder Harrison died antagonizing the rank and file thus a month after reaching the White early. Mr. Wilson said nothing. His House, his system broken down by the official announcement was all that he importunities of the office seekers), considered necessary. but no President had the courage or This gives an insight into his charthe wisdom to see that the relief was acter. It reveals at once the qualities in his own hands.
of courage, decision, and quick comMr. Wilson simply notified the office prehension; it shows him a man seekers and their patrons that he confident of himself that he need not would give no time to them, and that care whether everything he does meets it would be useless for them to come public approval or arouses hostility. to the White House. They must make After having issued his order the their applications to the members of President did not think it required to the Cabinet under whom they hoped be explained; neither directly
through the convenient medium of has facilitated the transaction of busiunofficial “friends" did he give his ness and thus far led to no abuse. reasons or seek to exploit his reform. The President's visitors are sifted Having in a quite unemotional way through his Secretary, who makes the done what he knew to be requisite, he President's engagements and watches turned to other matters, and the pub- the list to see they are kept and no lic took it as a matter of course that person overstays his allotted time. the President had a more profitable Many persons who would like to see use for his time than to waste it by the President must go away disaplistening to the appeals of office pointed; he is either too busy to see seekers.
them at the time or the Secretary can One might gather from this that dispose of them without troubling the President Wilson is a secretive man President, but the limit is stretched to who keeps himself aloof from the the utmost, and the President is very people. Before he was inaugurated good about receiving visitors. he announced his door would stand Prior to the present régime, when open, and anyone who had legitimate one wanted to see the Secretary to the business would not find it difficult to President (which is the official title) reach him, and the newspapers waxed a card was sent to him through, his facetious as they pictured the great doorkeeper. The Secretary to the American public, which is not noted President occupies an important and for its reticence or effacement, stroll- unique position; he combines the ing into the President's room, making functions of the King's private secreitself quite at home, interrupting a tary with those of the principal priCabinet Council or a Conference with vate secretary of the Prime Minister
Ambassador. Mr. Wilson, the and his parliamentary secretary; and newspapers said, meant well, but he ranks almost with a member of the would modify his ideas of conducting Cabinet, and, in a way, is of more the Government after reaching Wash- consequence than some of the Cabinet ington.
posts. The President must trust imEven the most exclusive Presidents plicitly not only in his Secretary's have been easy of access as compared loyalty but in his tact, judgment, and with the European ruler or a high discretion, for no matter how devoted functionary hedged about by doors he may be to the President's interests, and guards. It has not been difficult if he has not tact, judgment, and disfor anyone having business with the cretion he can do the President inPresident to see him; the casual visitor credible harm, as more than one Presiwho merely desired to "pay his re- dent has discovered to his cost by spects" found the way reasonably having selected the wrong man. The open. Naturally not everyone could relation between the President and walk in on the President unannounced, members of the Cabinet is seldom as and his secretaries tried to save him close as that between him and his as much as possible, but Mr. Wilson, Secretary when the proper relation exsince he has been in the White House, ists: a member of the Cabinet may has lived up to his pre-inauguration know only the work of his own departdeclaration. There was never a time ment unless some matter relating to when there has been so little formality another department causes it to beat the White House, or when its oc- come a cabinet question or a matter cupant could be so readily reached, of policy is to be discussed; the Secreand curiously enough this privilege tary has his finger on every depart.
ment, as all communications between prior to his nomination and after his the heads of departments and the election, and the President was so well President pass through the hands of satisfied with his ability that he the Secretary. Incidentally it may be offered him the Secretaryship. After added that two Secretaries in my being in Washington only a few days time became Cabinet Ministers. Mr. Mr. Tumulty took a step as radical as Lamont was Mr. Cleveland's Secretary that of his chief in refusing to see in his first administration, and in his office seekers. There was no reason, second was his Secretary of War. Mr. he said, why members of the Press Cortelyou was appointed by Mr. Mc- should have to send their cards to him Kinley his Secretary, and was made or make an appointment, his door by Mr. Roosevelt Secretary of Com- would always be open to them, and all merce and Labor, then Pastmaster- they had to do was to walk in. General and then Secretary of the To a foreigner familiar with the Treasury. Curiously enough,
European formality of approaching Cortelyou, as I now recall, is the only officialdom, this seemed too democratic American to have held three port- to be dignified, and a great many folios under the same President.
Americans, those especially with a The Secretary to the President is long Washington experience, naturally a very busy man and his certain that after the open door policy time is fully occupied during his offi- had been tried for a week or two it cial hours. His principal callers are would be abandoned, as Mr. Tumulty's politicians, who come to consult the entire time would be taken up in seePresident about legislation or party ing pressmen, and he would have no matters and to make suggestions or opportunity to attend to anything else. ask for his advice, and newspaper men So far the experiment has worked adseeking information. Of the latter mirably. Knowing that the door is there are some two hundred regularly open to them, men do not pass through accredited and representing American it unless they have a legitimate errand, newspapers in all parts of the country, and Mr. Tumulty has a happy faculty the Press agencies, and a few foreign for disposing of would-be lingering newspapers. The entire corps of cor- callers without giving offence. Inrespondents does not go to the White stead of the Secretary's office being House every day, for many of its crowded, as it used to be, now there members specialize, but a large num- are only a few persons, who in turn ber make a daily call, as it is neces- are received by the Secretary or taken sary for the correspondents to keep in to the President. close touch with the President through A short passage connects the Secrehis Secretary, especially if they repre- tary's office with the Presidents. The sent newspapers of his political faith. doors between the two rooms are kept When President Wilson was Governor open, and standing in the Secretary's of New Jersey his attention was at- office one can look into the President's tracted to a keen, alert young lawyer, room, but the President's desk is so a member of the legislature, who had placed that when he is sitting at it fearlessly opposed certain vicious legis- he cannot be seen. Frequently, howlation and with much force and ever, during the course of the morning earnestness championed legislation the President gets up from his desk that was in the public interest. This and moves about the room, and this young lawyer, Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty, he does when he wants to bring an acted as Governor Wilson's Secretary interview to a close. The average per