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appointment. The oath of office shall be taken by all officials and employees of the Washington Office.
Sec. 7. This order shall remain in force as a provisional order only, for the establishment of the Washington Office of The Panama Canal, until an order for the permanent organization of such office shall have been made.
Sec. 8. All rules, regulations and executive orders, not inconsistent with the provisions of this order and the Executive Orders of January 27, and February 2, 1914, heretofore made for the Isthmian Canal Commission, and applicable to conditions that will exist under these orders, shall be and are hereby continued in full force and effect, as rules, regulations, and executive orders for the government of officers and employees of The Panama Canal and the transaction of the business of The Panama Canal.
(Recommending Repeal of that Provision of the Panama Canal Act which Exempts
Vessels Engaged in the Coastwise Trade of the United States from Payment of Tolls. Delivered at a Joint Session of the two Houses of Congress, March 5, 1914.]
Gentlemen of the Congress:
I have come to you upon an errand which can be very briefly performed, but I beg that you will not measure its importance by the number of sentences in which I state it. No communication I have addressed to the Congress carried with it graver or more far-reaching implications as to the interest of the country, and I come now to speak upon a matter with regard to which I am charged in a peculiar degree, by the Constitution itself, with personal responsibility.
I have come to ask you for the repeal of that provision of the Panama Canal Act of August 24, 1912, which exempts vessels engaged in the coastwise trade of the United States from payment of tolls, and to urge upon you the justice, the wisdom, and the large policy of such a repeal with the utmost earnestness of which I am capable.
In my own judgment, very fully considered and maturely formed, that exemption constitutes a mistaken economic policy from every point of view, and is, moreover, in plain contravention of the treaty with Great Britain concerning the canal concluded on November 18, 1901. But I have not come to urge upon you my personal views. I have come to state to you a fact and a situation. Whatever may be our own differences of opinion concerning this much debated measure, its meaning is not debated outside the United States. Everywhere else the language of the treaty is given but one interpretation, and that interpretation precludes the exemption I am asking you to repeal. We consented to the treaty; its language we accepted, if we did not originate it; and we are too big, too powerful, too self-respecting a nation to interpret with a too strained or refined reading the words of our own promises just because we have power enough to give us leave to read them as we please. The large thing to do is the only thing we can afford to do, a voluntary withdrawal from a position everywhere questioned and misunderstood. We ought to reverse our action without raising the question whether we were right or wrong, and so once more deserve our reputation for generosity and for the redemption of every obligation without quibble or hesitation.
I ask this of you in support of the foreign policy of the administration. I shall not know how to deal with other matters of even greater delicacy and nearer consequence if you do not grant it to me in ungrudging measure.
[Asking Congress to Authorize the Use of the Land and Naval Forces to Main
tain the Dignity and Authority of the United States in Mexico and Compel Respect for the American Flag.-Read Before the Assembled House and Senate, April 20, 1914.]
Gentlemen of the Congress:
It is my duty to call your attention to a situation which has arisen in our dealings with Gen. Victoriano Huerta at Mexico City which calls for action, and to ask your advice and co-operation in acting
On April 9th a Paymaster of the U. S. S. Dolphin landed at the Iturbide bridge landing at Tampico with a whaleboat and boat's crew to take off certain supplies needed by his ship, and while engaged in loading the boat was arrested by an officer and squad of men of the army of General Huerta. Neither the Paymaster nor any one of the boat's crew was armed. Two of the men were in the boat when the arrest took place, and were obliged to leave it and submit to be taken into custody, notwithstanding the fact that the boat carried, both at her bow and at her stern, the flag of the United States. The officer who made the arrest was proceeding up one of the streets of the town with his prisoners when met by an officer of higher authority, who ordered him to return to the landing and await orders, and within an hour and a half from the time of the arrest orders were received from the commander of the Huertista forces at Tampico for the release of the Paymaster and his men.
The release was followed by apologies from the commander, and Jater by an expression of regret by General Huerta himself. General Huerta urged that martial law obtained at the time at Tampico; that AERIAL SCOUT MAKES SUCCESSFUL TOUR INLAND FROM
Lieut. P. N. L. Bellinger, in charge of the aeroplane squad of the United States Navy, under command of Rear-Admiral Fletcher, left the battle ship fleet in Vera Cruz harbor, Mexico, April 29, 1914, and made a successful flight of twenty-five miles inland to ascertain whether the Mexicans had destroyed the San Francisco bridge on the Interoceanic Railroad. He few back to the fleet and reported the bridge still intact.
orders had been issued that no one should be allowed to land at the Iturbide bridge, and that our sailors had no right to land there. Our naval commanders at the port had not been notified of any such prohibition, and, even if they had been, the only justifiable course open to the local authorities would have been to request the Paymaster and his crew to withdraw and to lodge a protest with the commanding officer of the fleet. Admiral Mayo regarded the arrest as so serious an affront that he was not satisfied with the apologies offered, but demanded that the flag of the United States be saluted with special ceremony by the military commander of the port.
The incident can not be regarded as a trivial one, especially as two of the men arrested were taken from the boat itself—that is to say, from the territory of the United States; but had it stood by itself, it might have been attributed to the ignorance or arrogance of a single officer.
Unfortunately, it was not an isolated case. A series of incidents have recently occurred which can not but create the impression that the representatives of General Huerta were willing to go out of their way to show disregard for the dignity and rights of this Government, and felt perfectly safe in doing what they pleased, making free to show in many ways their irritation and contempt.
A few days after the incident at Tampico an orderly from the U. S. S. Minnesota was arrested at Vera Cruz while ashore in uniform to obtain the ship's mail, and was for a time thrown into jail. An official dispatch from this Government to its embassy at Mexico City was withheld by the authorities of the telegraphic service until peremptorily demanded by our Chargé d'Affaires in person.
So far as I can learn, such wrong and annoyances have been suffered to occur only against representatives of the United States. I have heard of no complaints from other governments of similar treatment. Subsequent explanations and formal apologies did not and could not alter the popular impression, which it is possible it had been the object of the Huertista authorities to create, that the Government of the United States was being singled out, and might be singled out with impunity, for slights and affronts in retaliation for its refusal to recognize the pretensions of General Huerta to be regarded as the Constitutional Provisional President of the Republic of Mexico.
The manifest danger of such a situation was that such offenses might grow from bad to worse until something happened of so gross and intolerable a sort as to lead directly and inevitably to armed conflict. It was necessary that the apologies of General Huerta and his representatives should go much further, that they should be such as to attract the attention of the whole population to their significance, and such as to impress upon General Huerta himself the necessity of seeing to it that no further occasion for explanations and professed regrets should arise. I, therefore, felt it my duty to sustain Admiral Mayo