« PreviousContinue »
the people of the United States. They listen to your debates of policy, they determine which party they will prefer to power, they choose and prefer as between men, but their real affection, their real force, their real irresistible momentum is for the ideas which men embody. I never go on the streets of a great city without feeling that somehow I do not confer elsewhere than on the streets with the great spirit of the people themselves, going about their business, attending to the things which immediately concern them, and yet carrying a treasure at their hearts all the while, ready to be stirred not only as individuals but as members of a great union of hearts that constitutes a patriotic people. This sight in the river touches me merely as a symbol of all this; and it quickens the pulse of every man who realizes these things to have anything to do with them. When a crisis occurs in this country, gentlemen, it is as if you put your hand on the pulse of a dynamo, it is as if the things that you were in connection with were spiritually bred, as if you had nothing to do with them except, if you listen truly, to speak the things that you hear.
These things now brood over the river; this spirit now moves with the men who represent the Nation in the Navy; these things will move upon the waters in the maneuvers-no threat lifted against any man, against any nation, against any interest, but just a great solemn evidence that the force of America is the force of moral principle, that there is nothing else that she loves, and that there is nothing else for which she will contend.
ADDRESS AT THE PAN AMERICAN FINAN
CIAL CONFERENCE, PAN AMERICAN
MAY 24, 1915
The diplomatic and consular appropriations bill, approved by President Wilson March 4, 1915, contained a provision for a financial conference of the Americas:
“ The President is hereby authorized to extend to the Governments of Central and South America an invitation to be represented by their ministers of finance and leading bankers, not exceeding three in number in each case, to attend a conference with the Secretary of the Treasury in the City of Washington, at such date as shall be determined by the President, with a view to establishing closer and more satisfactory financial relations between their countries and the United States of America, and authority is hereby given to the Secretary of the Treasury to invite, in his discretion, representative bankers of the United States to participate in the said conference, and for the purpose of meeting such actual and necessary expenses as may be incidental to the meeting of said conference and for the entertainment of the foreign conferees the sum of $50,000 is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury.”
In pursuance of this act the Secretary of State extended invitations, on behalf of the President, to the countries of Latin America, all of which were represented by delegates of their choice at a meeting held in Washington, May 24-29, 1915. Of this conference, the Honorable William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, was president, and at the opening session of the conference, President Wilson delivered the following address.
MR. CHAIRMAN, GENTLEMEN OF THE AMERICAN REPUB
LICS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The part that falls to me this morning is a very simple one, but a very delightful one. It is to bid you a very hearty welcome indeed to this conference. The welcome is the more hearty because we are convinced that a conference like this will result in the things that we most desire. I am sure that those who have this conference in charge have already made plain to you its purpose and its spirit. Its purpose is to draw the