Page images

ticle. Accompanying the Record is a translation into Spanish of Senator Root's remarks.

These papers have been sent to the Department at Senator Root's instance with the request that they be sent, through the channel of the Legation, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of [name of country]. You are instructed to carry out this wish of Senator Root.

I am [etc.]



Speech of Senator Elihu Root in the United States Senate, January 16, 1913.

[Extract from Congressional Record of January 16, 1913.]


Mr. ROOT. Mr. President, I ask the indulgence of the Senate while I make a statement in a matter of personal privilege.

On the 26th of October last there was published in the newspaper" El Cronista" in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, a false and fabricated pretended speech alleged to have been made by me regarding the relations between the United States and Central and South America. I send to the desk a translation of this pretended speech, and will ask that it be printed in the RECORD as a part of my statement, without detaining the Senate by reading it in full.


The following paragraphs of a recent speech of Mr. Root, United States Senator, exSecretary of State, and one of the most eminent personages of the Yankee country, ought to be known in Central America.

As follows:

"Our position in the Western Hemisphere is unique and without example in modern Estory. This Nation is a greater and nobler Rome, placed by God to act as arbitrator, not only in the destinies of all America, but also in Europe and Asia, through its natural resources and industrial products which supply the world. The English and German Armies are fed with the meat which we send them. The supplies which Europe buys of us it could not obtain in any other world market if our exportation was suspended.

"Our manifest destiny as controller of the destinies of all America is a fact so inevitable and logical that only the means which we should employ in order to arrive at this end are left to be discussed; but no one doubts our mission and our intention to fulfill it. or, what is more significant, of our power to accomplish it.

"In the second half of the twentieth century they who study the map will be very surprised that we should have waited so long to round out the natural frontiers of our territory to the Panama Canal, and on the other side; to the Southern Continent, and that in the same manner (haya pasado con las Antillas todas, como en el viejo mundo, de no haberse encontrado el nuevo) the same should have happened to all the Antilles as happened in the Old World-that is, not to have discovered the New World, with the difference that we have no need of a Columbus, but rather of a simple joint resolution of our Congress.

"It is a question of time when Mexico, Central America, and the islands which we still lack in the Caribbean Sea shall fall beneath our flag. When the Panama Canal is open it would be as insufficient to place a sentinel only in Porto Rico, without doing the same in Cuba, as if a man tied one arm in order to row, or a lady to put in one earring to adorn herself for a feast.

"Not long ago the Porto Rican delegates, headed by the representative of that island, who has a seat in our Congress, but does not vote, visited me in order that I, as president of the committee on Latin America affairs, should inform them what policy we proposed to follow in Porto Rico, and I expressed myself more or less as follows:

"I told them that I have been. and always shall be, opposed to granting North American citizenship to the Porto Ricans, as well as to other Latin Americans who, for inevitable reasons, pass under our control. I believe that it would be prejudicial for both parties.

"As this desired citizenship from the outset would have to be understood in autonomous form, once granted greater discontent would not be long in following, maintaining that as citizens they are not equal to those of the Union.

The granting of citizenship implies many other things and is clothed with uncertainty and in any case it is too much to ask that we compromise ourselves for the Antilles with their handful of millions of inhabitants whose race, civilization, aspirations, and customs are not only distinct, but even antagonistic to ours.

"I told them that they were, after all, Latins, and as such, although the inheritors of glorious historic and artistic traditions and possessed of great domestic virtue and instruction, above all in abstract sciences, and a disposition for the arts, as Latins, I repeat. they understood citizenship and other fundamental principles in a different way to the Saxons: and as these principles are judged by results, we are right and they are wrong. With the Latin Americans there does not exist, nor can we have anything in

common, if we except the good will which we mutually profess; but great as are these good wishes, they do not suffice to fill the gulf which separates us.

"The United States augments in population, riches, and importance daily, and we can with difficulty take care of our own affairs, but being the case, why complicate our task with new lodgers in the house, as the Latin Americans converted into citizens of our great Nation cannot help but be?'

"I understand and confess that we are governing badly in Porto Rico, as we governed badly in Cuba the second time. But though we may do it badly we shall always do it better than the natives. In the Philippines, where our rule has been more strict, the results have been admirable. And the Porto Ricans, Cubans, and Filipinos should be convinced of the fact that, since our experience with the annexation of Hawaii, we will not repeat the expedient of citizenship.

"If it were possible for these Latin America nationalities to understand selfcontrol' and self-government,' as is the case with our northern neighbors, then Pan Americanism would be a beautiful reality, without necessitating our learning to command in Spanish; but can they or do they know how to govern themselves? Let Haiti say; let Mexico say; let Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and, above all, Cuba, twice instructed by us, watched diplomatically since and whose present economical disorganization is as disastrous as in the colonial epochs, say. In the hands of these people is their fate; but I doubt whether it will be good unless it is beneath our protectorate.

"Did not the North American Government find itself on the eve of change to replace the present administration or to confirm it in power, no one would deny that in these hours we would have already solved the Mexican and Central American complication and given special attention to the economical affairs of the Great Antilla (Cuba). And whoever speaks of national finances, speaks of all the Government and national system. Fortunately, and soon, we shall reach a tragical position, since alea jacta est," and whoever of the three candidates occupies the White House, as they are of one opinion regarding foreign policy and, above all, expansion in America, the country can trust in the Congress, which with hands free will know how to second the Chief of State, as in 1812, 1845, 1861, and 1898."

This pretended speech contains most arrogant and offensive statements as to the relations which do and should exist between the United States and the Latin-American countries of these continents. I have denied over my own signature the authenticity of this speech, and my denial has been published in Tegucigalpa. I should let the matter rest there were it not that this pretended speech is being published all over Central and South America, and that some years ago, while Secretary of State, I made a visit to South America and represented the United States in many expressions of friendship toward the people of the Latin-American countries. Owing to this and to the fact that I am still connected with the Government of the United Sates, these expressions in this pretended speech are being treated by the people of Latin America as indicating either a change in the attitude of the people of the United States or insincerity in the former expressions of friendship.

I send to the desk and ask to have the Secretary read one illustration of the way in which this paper is being used. It is an extract from an editorial published in the newspaper "El Fonógrafo," of Maracaibo, Venezuela, on the 28th day of November, 1912.


The Secretary read as follows:

It will be read as desired.

Senator Elihu Root, who before the whole Spanish America protested, when he was Secretary of State, that the United States did not desire even 1 inch more of territory than that which it already possessed and that the sovereignty of our different States would be respected, and who praised us for our ability and aptness for 'self-government, by one stroke of the pen has blotted ont those statements and other still stronger ones which he made in regard to the autonomy and independence of Spanish America. In his last speech he says: "All America down to Panama, including the islands of the Carib bean Sea, must be under our flag. We need Cuba, Mexico, and Central America as a man needs his two arms and a woman her two earrings."

In view of this flagrant contradiction, will there be anyone amongst us who will have a particle of faith in the friendly protests of the United States?

We must not entertain any illusions. It is evident that the United States not only do not intend to endeavor to prevent Europe from taking possession of Latin America, but they themselves pretend to become the arbiters of our political and commercial destinies. Mr. ROOT. Because of the use which is being made of this publication by the enemies of the United States, by the men who wish to stir up strife and create ill feeling between the Latin-American countries and the United States, I wish to repeat here in the most formal and public manner, and to make a public record of the denials which I have already made as to the authenticity of this pretended speech.

The alleged expressions which are thus imputed to me are impudent forgeries. I never made any such speech. I never said any such things or wrote any such things. The expressions contained in these spurious and pretended extracts are inconsistent with my opinions and abhorrent to my feelings. They are the exact opposite of the views which I have expressed on hundreds of occasions during many years, both publicly and privately, officially and personally, and which I now hold and maintain. I will add. Mr. President, that they are inconsistent th the views and the feelings of the great body of the American people.


File No. 710.11/102a.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, March 12, 1913-1 p. m.

To the American Diplomatic Officers in Latin America.

In view of questions which are naturally uppermost in the public. mind just now, the President issued the following statement to the public, March 11, 1913.

"One of the chief objects of my administration will be to cultivate the friendship and deserve the confidence of our sister republics of Central and South America, and to promote in every proper and honorable way the interests which are common to the peoples of the two continents. I earnestly desire the most cordial understanding and cooperation between the peoples and leaders of America and, therefore, deem it my duty to make this brief statement.

"Cooperation is possible only when supported at every turn by the orderly processes of just government based upon law, not upon arbitrary or irregular force. We hold, as I am sure all thoughtful leaders of republican government everywhere hold, that just government rests always upon the consent of the governed, and that there can be no freedom without order based upon law and upon the public conscience and approval. We shall look to make these principles the basis of mutual intercourse, respect, and helpfulness between our sister republics and ourselves. We shall lend our influence of every kind to the realization of these principles in fact and practice, knowing that disorder, personal intrigues, and defiance of constitutional rights weaken and discredit government and injure none so much as the people who are unfortunate enough to have their common life and their common affairs so tainted and disturbed. We can have no sympathy with those who seek to seize the power of government to advance their own personal interests or ambition. We are the friends of peace, but we know that there can be no lasting or stable peace in such circumstances. As friends, therefore, we shall prefer those who act in the interest of peace and honor, who protect private rights, and respect the restraints of constitutional provision. Mutual respect seems to us the indispensable foundation of friendship between states, as between individuals.

"The United States has nothing to seek in Central and South America except the lasting interests of the peoples of the two continents, the security of governments intended for the people and for no special group or interest, and the development of personal and trade relationships between the two continents which shall redound to the profit and advantage of both and interfere with the rights and liberties of neither.

"From these principles may be read so much of the future policy of this Government as it is necessary now to forecast, and in the spirit of these principles I may, I hope, be permitted with as much confidence as earnestness to extend to the Governments of all the Republics of America the hand of genuine disinterested friendship, and to pledge my own honor and the honor of my colleagues to every enterprise of peace and amity that a fortunate future may disclose."


File No. 711.0012/64.


Statement made by the Secretary of State on April 24, 1913, on presenting the President's Peace Plan to the Representatives, some thirty-six in number, of the Foreign Governments, who constitute the Diplomatic Circle at Washington.

YOUR EXCELLENCIES: I have called you together in order that I may present to you all, simultaneously, a plan for the promotion of peace which I am directed by the President to submit. It reads as follows:

The parties hereto agree that all questions of whatever character and nature, in dispute between them, shall, when diplomatic efforts fail, be submitted for investigation and report to an international commission (the composition to be agreed upon); and the contracting parties agree not to declare war or begin hostilities until such investigation is made and report submitted.

The investigation shall be conducted as a matter of course upon the initiative of the commission, without the formality of a request from either party; the report shall be submitted within (time to be agreed upon) from the date of the submission of the dispute, but the parties hereto reserve the right to act independently on the subject matter in dispute after the report is submitted.

You will notice that it is very brief and deals only with the principles involved, not with the details which must be considered in embodying the principles in diplomatic form. The President's object is to hasten universal peace. All arbitration treaties contain certain exceptions that is, certain questions are not to be submitted to arbitration, and, as these questions are of the highest importance, they are likely to become themselves a cause of war.

The plan proposed by the President, through you, to the nations which you represent, is intended to supplement the arbitration treaties now in existence and those which may be hereafter made. It is intended to subject to investigation those disputes which have not up to this time been considered fit subjects for arbitration. It is based upon the belief that we have now reached a point in the progress of civilization when nations cannot afford to engage in war before the cause of the war is impartially investigated and openly declared to the world. It is believed that the period of investigation-a time to be fixed by agreement, and which may be different in different agreements-will enable the parties to the controversy to separate questions of fact from questions of national honor and reach some amicable adjustment of their differences. The period of investigation will also allow passion to subside and the great forces that work for peace to assert themselves. When men are excited they talk about what they can do; when they are calm and capable of deliberation they talk about what they ought to do. And this is true of nations as well as of individuals. Public opinion is an increasing force in the world, and the time provided for investigation permits the formation and expression of public opinion.

You will note that while the proposed plan provides for the investigation of all questions which do not yield to diplomatic treatment, it reserves to each of the contracting nations the right to act independently after the investigation is concluded. If, after the time

specified elapses and after the results of the investigation are made known, the nations still desire war, they are at liberty to settle their differences with the sword, but it is believed that this will seldom be the case and it is hoped that this agreement when entered into will make war between the contracting parties a remote possibility.

The plan as outlined does not prescribe the method by which the commission will be created. This is a matter of detail which is left for discussion. It may differ in the different agreements entered into, but it is desired that the commission shall be permanent in character, in order that the investigation may be made by the commission, upon its own initiative, without the formality of a request from either party. This is suggested because of the fear that in times of exciteient neither party might be willing to ask for investigation lest such a request be regarded as an evidence of weakness.

In the original draft, as presented to the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, a suggestion was made that the period of investigation should not be utilized for a change in the naval program of the contracting nations, but this is a detail which has been omitted from the plan as proposed because it was feared that different nations might look upon it from different standpoints.

The plan has been made as simple as possible and everything has been eliminated except the things which seem essential to its success, and this Government stands ready to discuss with those Governments which are willing to enter into such an agreement such details as it may be necessary to consider.

In conclusion, let me assure you that I am very much gratified to be the medium through which the President presents this plan to the nations represented here, and I esteem myself fortunate to occupy the office with which the President has honored me at the time when the step is taken in the interest of peace. Our nation desires to use its influence for the promotion of the world's peace, and this plan is offered by the President with the hope that its acceptance by the nations will exert a large influence in this direction.

I thank you for your courtesy in coming at this time and giving me your attention. I hand to each one of you a copy of the plan as outlined, and on behalf of the President, I respectfully invite your cooperation in putting it into effect.

File No. 711.0012/102a.

To the diplomatic officers of the United States in Argentina, AustriaHungary, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Haiti, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, July 7, 1913. SIR: The following nations: Argentina, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Haiti, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Santo Domingo, Spain and Sweden, have announced their acceptance

« PreviousContinue »