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parts of the world that would undoubtedly redound vastly to our credit, and in five years, in my opinion, increase our exports by 40 per cent. That is the reason for the second clause.
The third clause touches a very vital point, and that is the creation of a merchant marine of individual ownership, that is, the small tramp steamer and the sailing vessel. That is absolutely essential for the development of the commercial interests of the country. Men who deal in the export business in every port will undoubtedly confirm what I say, that to-day we are hampered to a degree absolutely ruinous by reason of the fact that we are not able to secure the necessary tramp steamers and sailing vessels to carry our products. That touches the farmer as closely as the merchant. To-day, for instance, there are at least six cargoes for steamers on our west coast below San Francisco, Seattle and Tacoma, and yet it is impossible to obtain those vessels within sixty or ninety days. If we had home-built vessels they would be available at all times. By reason of that fact we are probably losing over $1,500,000 in wheat, flour and lumber that could go to Asia, Africa and Australasia. We have lost the carrying of much lumber as well. There is not a merchant in New York doing a large export business but would tell you that if we had proper subventions all our vessels would be built in our American yards, and gradually our exports on American ships would grow larger. That is a matter which I believe the people of the country absolutely demand, and that is the reason for the third clause.
The fourth clause deals with questions of peace and war. There is nothing new or important to say in regard to peace. Our country produces many articles in times of peace. The products of the mine, the field and the factory come from inland to our seaports, and it is a disgrace that the American flag is taken down when those products reach a seaport and we have to put them on alien ships flying alien flags in order to send them to other parts of the world. [Applause.]
You all know about war. We recently sent a magnificent fleet of sixteen warships, unequaled by that of any nation of the world, to go on a mission of peace to visit foreign lands. Yet at the same time we were in that humiliating position that we had but one ship that could fly our flag and carry the necessary provisions and coal to man and equip that fleet properly.
There are two propositions which can be arranged to accomplish this purpose. The first is a proposition to have the United States build all colliers and transports needed in case of war. But, gentlemen, that would only be done at an enormous cost. I do not hesitate to say that at least $100,000,000 would have to be paid out by the Government to secure an adequate number of transports and colliers in case of exigency.
Under those circumstances does it not appeal to gentlemen of this Board as far more desirable and better that we should, by proper subvention or in some other way to be determined by Congress, secure properly built ocean steamers and sail vessels so that those vessels will be run in times of peace for the benefit of the country? Then when war shall assail us, if it ever does again, the President of the United States will be able to call upon, not ten or twenty vessels that may be hanging around our navy yards, but will be able to call upon a thousand, if necessary, splendid ships, to do our own carrying on requisition of the Government, perhaps within twentyfour hours, or certainly within a week. I think it will appeal to every man here that this is the best and most economical plan, and that is the reason for that fourth clause.
I think that covers generally all the recommendations we have made. The committee was unanimous on these points, so I will not consume further time regarding general features, because, as I said in the beginning, they are generally thoroughly understood and thoroughly agreed to by all of us. I only want to say this, I think it is time we should make a stand. I think it is time that this Board and every trade organization, every chamber of commerce and board of trade throughout the United States should make its voice heard on this important question for the benefit of our people. Congress has been a laggard for twenty years in relation to this matter, and we should not be satisfied with anything but full justice, now that we have waited so long.
Why, it was only three years ago that a joint commission was appointed by Congress, which traveled through the country investigating, and made proper recommendations finally. Yet so unwilling to act or so dilatory has Congress been that to this day it has not moved for the benefit of this great interest. In fact, they started out with a splendid bill, but they did not put it through. They then dismantled the ship which was to fly our flag, took off half the masts. Then last year they put in another bill which would have had practically the effect of stripping the ship of all that was left, and to-day they are simply giving us a measure as to which it is very questionable whether it will be of advantage to us at all. It simply increases the subvention to mail carrying ships, putting them in the first class, instead of the second class. While I am perfectly willing to take whatever we can get from Congress, I think we should speak with a loud voice as to what we think we ought to have, and then perhaps we might be grateful for what we could get. But let us not for a moment get away from that idea which is fixed in the minds, I believe, of most of the people of the country, that if we do not do something, and if any catastrophe should arise in consequence of which we could not secure ships, and aliens could not carry our agricultural, mining and manufacturing products, we would lose more than in five or six months of war, to say nothing of twelve months of war if it should unfortunately happen between two great nations, than all the subventions you will possibly pay in fifty years, at the rate proposed of $5,000,000 to $8,000,000 per year.
I therefore hope that this resolution will pass. It has been carefully and conscientiously drawn, having in view the ends we so much desire. [Great applause.]
Mr. Gibson, of New York. I want to second the resolution on behalf of my fellow-citizen, Mr. DOUGLAS, and I wish to say to the gentlemen here that Mr. DOUGLAS speaks from a vast experience. He is President of the Produce Exchange of New York City, and has been for a long time. He is himself in the shipping business, and when he castigates Congress and tells you what sort of people Congressmen are, it
may not be news to you, but he also speaks from experience.
The PRESIDENT.—Very good. Gentlemen, are you ready for the question.
The report of the committee was adopted.
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION. Mr. Estes, of Nashville, read and submitted the following report from the Committee on International Arbitration.
Your Committee on International Arbitration beg leave to report for adoption the following preamble and resolutions :
WHEREAS, The substitution of arbitration for war as a means for settlement of international disputes is consistent with relations of dignity between civilized nations, and is demanded for avoidance of wastages of the results of productive human effort, and by every rational consideration based on features of humanity and morality; therefore
Resolved, That the efforts which have been made and are being made in this and other countries for securing arbitration arrangements for settlement of international disputes are hereby recognized as in the highest degree promotive of civilization and of the world's welfare, and that the continuance of such efforts is commended for the good of the present and later generations of mankind.
Resolved, That the failure of the recent Hague Peace Conference to create a general arbitration peace court is to be regretted, and that one should be established as soon as possible.
Resolved, That the ratification of treaties with other governments by the United States, which contemplate the adjustment of differences as far as possible by arbitration, is a matter of high importance to the interests of international commerce and humanity, and that a convention for a general arbitration treaty is heartily endorsed by this body.
Resolved, That all who have in charge the training of children and the preparation of books for their guidance should make use of such means for emphasizing the desirability of peace with its many and easily recognized blessings rather than the magnificent and costly barbarity of
P. M. Estes, Chairman. Mr. Estes.—I move the adoption of that resolution, and I will simply say that the committee has been able to do better than simply to prepare the resolution and support it before the Poard, that it has been able to secure the attendance of Mr.
James Brown Scott, Solicitor for the Department of State, who will be introduced by the President.
The PRESIDENT.—With your consent, gentlemen, it will give me very great pleasure to ask Honorable James Brown Scott, Solicitor for the Department of State, who is with us this morning to speak to you. Mr. Scott was a worthy delegate from the United States to The Hague conference, and we heard of the very good work he did there and of the respectable position in which he helped to place our country before that body. Therefore it is a great pleasure for the Chair to say that Mr. Scott will say a few words to us. [Applause.]
Mr. JAMES BROWN SCOTT.—Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, a few minutes ago I was telephoned and asked if I could come here and say a few words in favor of this resolution. My presence here is a sufficient evidence of my appreciation of the honor you have extended to me.
I listened with great pleasure to the reading of the resolutions, and was perhaps a little struck by a regret expressed by your Chairman, namely, that this assemblage regrets the fact that an arbitration court was not established at The Hague for the judicial settlement of international conflicts or disputes which, if not settled peacefully, might lead to war, or if not to war, might at least create a bitterness which would cause nations more easily to rush into war than otherwise. It is my great pleasure this morning to assure you that however worthy your Chairman is of confidence, you should not believe him when he says that [laughter], because, as a matter of fact, a project for the establishment of a court of arbitration was introduced and was passed, passed at the last moment, on the last business day while the Chairman or President of the conference stood with the gavel in his hand. The newspaper reporters had already come to regard that conference as a failure and were absent on that occasion, and because of that fact that project seems to have been little known or appreciated in our country.
The situation was this: In 1899 there was established what was called a permanent court of arbitration. The countries agreed to select not more than four persons to serve as judges