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sm seemed to call for the upholding of President McKinley's hands, and the measures that he favored-financial, military, and otherwise-were loyally adopted by Congress in a spirit that added much to the impression of firm purpose and united front that this country was making upon the world at large. There is no reason to think that Congress will not attach due weight to the


views and recommendations of President Roosevelt. But after a period of strenuous public activity the time has arrived for careful deliberation and full debate, and the Fifty-seventh Congress is likely to prove itself a rather careful and conservative body.



men in private life qualified to speak for substantial interests,-whether labor, finance, industrial capital, protected manufactures, or shipping, and to representatives of the interests of localities, such as particular States or insular possessions. By virtue of this plan of conferring with leading public men and with representatives of particular interests or places, the President has come to have a knowledge of the immediate drifts and currents of American public opinion that no other man can be said to possess so completely. Such an understanding could but lend an air of firm grasp to the President's discussion of leading questions in his first message. Naturally, he will be in full harmony with the positions of the Cabinet officers touching their respective departments, but he will not follow the custom of embodying in the message a summary of departmental information.


Meanwhile, the President's Message Roosevelt's will not have occasioned much, if Message. any, surprise or disquietude. Roosevelt recognizes to the utmost the dignity and responsibility of Congress as a coördinate branch of the Government, and he will do his full part to maintain that harmony of view and spirit of coöperation and mutual respect between the executive and legislative branches that are always necessary in this country if anything whatever is to be accomplished. To that end the President has taken the principal leaders and chairmen of committees of both houses into his confidence during the preparation of his message, and he has also listened willingly to

The Isthmian Canal Commission, of Canal Report and New Treaty which Admiral Walker is the chairReady. man, appointed three years ago, was expected to have its final report ready for transmission to Congress in December, and to that end was in session at Washington last month. A million dollars had been appropriated for the use of this commission in the making of surveys and the supply to Congress and the country of more complete information than had ever before been obtained. The preliminary reports of this commission favored the Nicaragua route. Within the past few weeks the officers of the French Panama Canal Company have been conferring with

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the canal commissioners at Washington with the object of bringing about a purchase of their unfinished work by the United States. It is probable that Congress and the country will continue to prefer the Nicaragua route as amended and supported by the Walker Commission. It is expected that President Roosevelt will strongly advocate the construction of an isthmian canal with as little delay as possible. He will be prepared to transmit to the Senate a new treaty with England to supersede the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. was signed at the State department by Secretary Hay and Lord Pauncefote on November 18. The Isthmian Canal Commission has embodied a very high order of engineering talent, and there is every reason to believe that its services have been rendered with the utmost thoroughness, industry, and fidelity, as well as with zeal and the spirit of patriotism.

Work of the


Another very important national comIndustrial mission has completed its work after Commission. sessions lasting three years. We publish elsewhere,

MR. ALBERT CLARKE. (Chairman of the Industrial Commission.)

from the pen of Professor Lindsay, of the University of Pennsylvania, an article summarizing its elaborate investigations and reports. The conditions of labor, trade, and industrial protection of this country have been so exhaustively examined by the Industrial Commission that its printed report fills fourteen large volumes. Dr. Lindsay, took expert charge for the commission of portions of its work relating to transportation, railway labor, etc. One of the most important subjects considered was that of the socalled trust movement, this portion of the investigation being especially in charge of Professor Jenks, of Cornell University. These massive volumes, like those in which the Isthmian Canal Commission has reported its studies and conclusions, are a veritable mine of valuable information for the guidance of Congress and the instruction of the country. The report of this Industrial Commission will be made at a favorable moment, because the public mind is exceptionally open to conviction, and there has not for a long time been so little disposition to act first and think afterward.


The data of various kinds comprised A New Cabinet in the report of the Industrial Commission will be peculiarly pertinent in view of the proposition to create a new cabinet portfolio of commerce and industry. It is understood that President Roosevelt will recommend the creation of such a department. The relation of the Government to commerce and industry is already vast and intricate; and the history of the early future of the United States is destined more than ever before to be a history of industry and trade. Every great modern government exists in large part for the sake of safeguarding and developing the economic activities of the people. The government of England, especially, is commercial in its motive. The pending question of tariff reciprocity in this country, for example, is not one that concerns primarily the national exchequer, that is to say, is not essentially a question of public finance; but it is rather a question of trade policy affecting labor and capital. In like manner the pending question of steamship subsidies is one that does not concern primarily any of the existing executive departments. The oversight of the country's trade does not belong in the nature of the case to the State Department or the Treasury Department; but it would afford very important functions for a department of commerce. If great corporations and combinations of capital are in the future to be brought under national supervision, whether with or without a constitutional amendment, such oversight must be exercised through executive officers; and the interests involved are of such magnitude that it would hardly seem feasible to deal with them through a bureau or a permanent commission attached either to the Treasury or the Interior Department. A hundred considerations, in short, point toward the advisability of a new executive department headed by an officer of cabinet rank to concern itself with matters of national commerce and industry. It would seem as if the creation of such a department, and the appointment of an energetic and able man at the head of it, with assistants possessing scientific knowledge and administrative ability, might prove to be the necessary point of departure for a gradual reconstruction of American policy respecting the national economic life.

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rial leaders argued that the business of the country is in good condition, that the country has borne magnificently the shock that came with the assassination of President McKinley, that we have gone through the excitement and distraction of a foreign war, with its accompaniment of military and territorial expansion, and that on every account it would be unwise to enter now upon a line of legislative action that might seriously disturb the course of business prosperity. Certainly, if it is to be only at the expense of a protracted and passionate agitation that anything. can be accomplished for a modification of the tariff, or the adoption of a reciprocity policy, there is wisdom in the conservatism of these Senatorial leaders. But there is no good reason why henceforth the tariff question should be the football of political parties. It ought to be possible to introduce considerable modifications in several schedules by common consent, so to speak, and without any harmful agitation whatsoever. industries, generally speaking, have reached a point of maturity. How best to safeguard and promote their further development, while giving due consideration to the status of American labor, is a subject that calls for patient and skillful inquiry on the part of statesmen, business men, and political economists. Meanwhile, the country is doing very well indeed, and there is no need whatever for abrupt action.

Wanted: The



The great demand of the day in all Facts in the departments of life and activity is for Case. real knowledge. The isthmian-canal question has been before the country for several decades, yet Congress was doubtless justified in expending a million dollars for this latest inquiry in acknowledgment of the fact that the requisite information was still lacking upon which to base action so momentous as the construction of an interoceanic waterway. It is almost inevitable that Congress will decide that the country cannot take up the ship-subsidy question without far more knowledge than it now possesses. more that topic is discussed the plainer does it become that almost nobody understands it at all. There is an oft-quoted remark of Bismarck's to the effect that only two men-himself and one other had ever understood the Schleswig-Holstein question, and that the other man was long since dead. Before a country like ours can enter upon an important phase of economic policy like the paying of subsidies to develop the business of sailing merchant ships under the American flag there must be a great many men who firmly believe that they understand the subject in its principal bearings. With all deference to those who have been prominent in its recent discussion,

we may venture to assert the belief that there are not 25 people out of the 75,000,000 inhabitants of the United States who could pass an examination that would show them sufficiently wise and well-informed to proceed at once to formulate an American policy for developing the merchant marine by means of ship subsidies.


There are a great many more men, As to Reci- doubtless, who could pass an intelligent examination upon the subject of tariff reciprocity. But this subject also is one that offers difficulties of a most exasperating nature; and it requires most careful study and examination. Reciprocity as Mr. Blaine conceived of it a dozen years ago was a part of his large western hemisphere policy, which had its political as well as its commercial bearings. His thought was not of trade reciprocity between the United States and Europe, but rather of the establishment of direct communication between the United States and the Latin republics on the plan of opening our ports to West Indian sugar and tobacco, and to South American coffee, hides, and other leading products, in exchange for concessions that would admit American goods to those countries on terms greatly superior to those granted to European countries. The future historian of American political and trade policy will probably justify Mr. Blaine's proposal as statesmanlike in a high sense, being peculiarly adapted to the conditions that existed at that time; and the historian will recite as singularly unfortunate the series of political accidents and partisan decisions that thwarted and blighted Mr. Blaine's brilliant policy. But the conditions are more complicated to-day, and it would be correspondingly difficult to set forth a consistent and acceptable plan of reciprocity. It was evident last month that practical business men, irrespective of party lines, were proposing to take these questions of reciprocity and tariffrevision into their own hands. An important convention of manufacturers, under the chairmanship of Mr. Theodore C. Search, of Philadelphia, met at Washington to formulate their views in favor of a reciprocity policy. On the other hand, a league of American agricultural producers, under the special direction of Mr. Herbert Myrick, was preparing to resist to the utmost any concessions in favor of Cuban or other foreign sugar or tobacco, while a delegation from Cuba arrived at Washington to present arguments and petitions for the opening of the American market to Cuba's chief productions. It will be found hard indeed to reconcile the diverse views that will be presented to Congress. In this matter, therefore, as in others, the one


thing needful is full and clear knowledge of the changed conditions, and of the probable results of a given line of action. More and more we shall accept the idea that the vast undertakings of a government like ours must be based upon scientific knowledge. And far from grudging what it costs to make investigations and collate facts as preliminary to important decisions, we shall realize that such outlays are the best and most economical of all public investments.


A case in point is the gathering and Importance of the Census collection of statistical facts, such as Work. has been performed through the Census Bureau. Such work is simply indispensable; its results are in demand at every turn. should insist upon its constant improvement in scope, method, and accuracy. To that end the Census Bureau should not be reëstablished for each decennial period, but should have a continuous existence. A great army of subordinate employees is, of course, needed for a comparatively short period; but the nucleus of the organization should not be allowed to disappear. There is work of first-class importance for the census office to do through every working day of every year of the decade, as well as in the tenth year, in which there must be a counting of heads. This idea of a permanent census bureau has been unuer discussion for ten or twelve years. Congress ought now to adopt it in principle, leaving details. to be worked out in the light of experience. The creation of a permanent bureau is the necessary starting point. It need not be very elaborate

or expensive. A permanent census office would actually save money, while securing better results than are possible by the present method.


Some New

The work of the census of 1900 is Census Data. exceptionally well advanced, and its principal tabulations will be completed next summer,-two years after the enumeration was made. In previous census-takings, from four to six years has been required for collating and finally publishing the immense mass of data collected concerning population, agriculture, and other matters of chief inquiry. Few people have paused to consider how vast are the computations necessary to arrive at what would appear to be simple and summary conclusions. Two or three thousand people are still at work in the census office at Washington tabulating the reports sent in by the local enumerators and agents. From time to time the Census Bureau completes and sends out bulletins covering some particular inquiry. Up to the beginning of November, there

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population. In 1900, only 13.7 per cent. of the total population was foreign-born The native population had increased 22.5 per cent. in the decade, as against 12.4 per cent. for the foreignborn. The school-age tables reveal the interesting fact that for the entire country 95.4 per cent. of the population between the ages of five and twenty years is native-born, and only 4.6 is foreign-born. In the Southern States, as a rule, the foreign-born population of school age is only a small fraction of 1 per cent. In the State of New York it is 12 per cent., in Massachusetts 15.9, and in Connecticut 12.7. In New York, it is chiefly to be found in the metropolis, where the problems of education are on that account of a peculiar nature.

Taking the country at large, it is ob Evidences vious that with sufficient energy and of Progress. intelligence applied to the work of ele mentary education it would be entirely possible to take the children of foreign-born parents and train them into thoroughgoing Americans, with a good use of the English language and a proper sense of the meaning and value of our citizenship. A careful examination of these population statistics in detail must greatly assist in the comprehension of the educational work that constitutes the principal task of our generation in this country. The race statistics show that the white population continues to grow appreciably faster than the colored. The mortality statistics, though confessedly far from accurate, for reasons beyond the power of the census office to control, show at least beyond a reasonable doubt that the general conditions of health improve from decade to decade, and that the average duration of life in this country is steadily increasing. Such data lend encouragement to further efforts in the direction of medical investigation and intelligent sanitary rules and regulations. Gradually improved methods as respects sewers, water-supply, control of infectious diseases, inspection of milk and food supplies, and improved knowledge of private as well as public hygiene, are working a profound revolution. The careful application of statistical tests proves such progress, and enables one community to profit by the experience of another.

Apropos of the movement that is Statistics of Negro Illit sweeping the entire South for the

eracy exclusion of illiterate negroes from the voting privilege, some of the tables of this bulletin of October 31 are of especial timeliness and interest. It must be assumed that the statistics are fairly correct, although it is not so easy as it might be thought at first blush to divide the literate from the illiterate and make a correct

count of the two classes. The man who can merely write his name and read a few words may, for all practical purposes, be as uneducated as the man who happens not to have learned to sign his name. According to this report, of the entire body of negro men above the age of twenty-one in the United States, 52.7 per cent. are literate and 47.3 are illiterate. As showing the results of American schools in the Northern States where the foreign-born population chiefly exists, it is well worth while to note the fact that, whereas 11.5 per cent. of the foreign-born white male population above the age of twenty-one is illiterate, only. 2 per cent. of the men of voting age who were born in the United States of foreign parents are classed as illiterates; while of all the white men of voting age in the country born of native Amer ican parents, 5.8 per cent. are illiterate. Taking the negro males in the Southern States of voting age, the illiterates are 61.3 per cent. in Louisiana, 59.5 in Alabama, 56.4 in Georgia, 54.7 in South Carolina, 53.2 in Mississippi, 53.1 in North Carolina, 52.5 in Virginia, 49.5 in Kentucky, 47.6 in Tennessee, 45.1 in Texas, 44.8 in Arkansas, 42.7 in Delaware, 40.5 in Maryland, 39.4 in Florida, 37.8 in West Virginia, and 31.9 in Missouri. In New York, on the other hand, where there are a good many negro men of voting age, the percentage of illiteracy among them is only 11.3; while in Pennsylvania it is 17.5. In Kansas, whither a good many negroes have gone, the percentage among them of adult male illiteracy is 28.1. In the District of Columbia, which has a large negro population in fairly good economic circumstances, the percentage of male illiteracy is 26.1. The negro colony of Massachusetts numbers 40,000 souls, and only about 10 per cent. of the adult males are unable to read and write.

Changes in


Where the negro element is relativeRelative Race ly small, as in the Northern States, its educational progress would seem to be very considerable. It is to be noted incidentally that in some of the Northern States the negro element is growing by migration from the South. Thus, there are now just about as many negroes in Pennsylvania as in Missouri, although twenty years ago there were almost twice as many in Missouri as in Pennsylvania. The negroes of New Jersey, whose adult males show an illiteracy of only 18.3 per cent., have almost doubled in numbers in the past twenty years. There are now more negroes in Massachusetts than in Dela ware, although twenty years ago there were 50 per cent. more in Delaware. In the past twenty years the white population of Maryland has increased nearly 230,000, while the negro

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