|The American Presidency Project|
|• William Howard Taft|
|Address Accepting the Republican Presidential Nomination|
|July 28, 1908|
|Senator Warner and Gentlemen of the Committee:
I am deeply sensible of the honor which the Republican National Convention has conferred on me in the nomination which you formally tender. I accept it with full appreciation of the responsibility it imposes.
Gentlemen, the strength of the Republican cause in the campaign at hand is in the fact that we represent the policies essential to the reform of known abuses, to the continuance of liberty and true prosperity, and that we are determined, as our platform unequivocally declares, to maintain them and carry them on. For more than ten years this country passed through an epoch of material development far beyond any that ever occurred in the world before. In its course, certain evils crept in. Some prominent and influential members of the community, spurred by financial success and in their hurry for greater wealth, became unmindful of the common rules of business honesty and fidelity and of the limitations imposed by law upon their action. This became known. The revelations of the breaches of trust, the disclosures as to rebates and discriminations by railways, the accumulating evidence of the violation of the anti-trust law by a number of corporations, the overissue of stocks and bonds on interstate railways for the unlawful enriching of directors and for the purpose of concentrating control of railways in one management, all quickened the conscience of the people, and brought on a moral awakening among them that boded well for the future of the country.
The man who formulated the expression of the popular conscience and who led the movement for practical reform was Theodore Roosevelt. He laid down the doctrine that the rich violator of the law should be as amenable to restraint and punishment as the offender without wealth and without influence, and he proceeded by recommending legislation and directing executive action to make that principle good in actual performance. He secured the passage of the so-called rate bill, designed more effectively to restrain excessive and fix reasonable rates, and to punish secret rebates and discriminations which had been general in the practice of the railroads, and which had done much to enable unlawful trusts to drive out of the business their competitors. It secured much closer supervision of railway transactions and brought within the operation of the same statute express companies, sleeping car companies, fast freight and refrigerator lines, terminal railroads and pipelines, and in order to avoid undue discrimination, forbade in future the combination of the transportation and shipping business under one control.
President Roosevelt directed suits to be brought and prosecutions to be instituted under the anti-trust law, to enforce its provisions against the most powerful of the industrial corporations. He pressed to passage the pure food law and the meat inspection law in the interest of the health of the public, clean business methods and great ultimate benefit to the trades themselves. He recommended the passage of a law, which the Republican Convention has since specifically approved, restricting the future issue of stocks and bonds by interstate railways to such as may be authorized by Federal authority. He demonstrated to the people by what he said, by what he recommended to Congress, and by what he did, the sincerity of his efforts to command respect for the law, to secure equality of all before the law, and to save the country from dangers of a plutocratic government, toward which we were fast tending. In this work Mr. Roosevelt has had the support and sympathy of the Republican party, and its chief hope of success in the present controversy must rest on the confidence which the people of the country have in the sincerity of the party's declaration in its platform, that it intends to continue his policies.
Mr. Roosevelt has set high the standard of business morality and obedience to law. The railroad rate bill was more useful possibly in the immediate moral effect of its passage than even in the legal effect of its very useful provisions. From its enactment dates the voluntary abandonment of the practice of rebates and discriminations by the railroads and the return by their managers to obedience to law in the fixing of tariffs. The pure food and meat inspection laws and the prosecutions directed by the President under the anti-trust law have had a similar moral effect in the general business community and have made it now the common practice for the great industrial corporations to consult the law with a view to keeping within its provisions. It has also had the effect of protecting and encouraging smaller competitive companies so that they have been enabled to do a profitable business.
But we should be blind to the ordinary working of human nature if we did not recognize that the moral standards set by President Roosevelt will not continue to be observed by those whom cupidity and a desire for financial power may tempt, unless the requisite machinery is introduced into the law which shall in its practical operation maintain these standards and secure the country against a departure from them.
The chief function of the next Administration, in my judgment, is distinct from, and a progressive development of, that which has been performed by President Roosevelt. The chief function of the next Administration is to complete and perfect the machinery by which these standards may be maintained, by which the lawbreakers may be promptly restrained and punished, but which shall operate with sufficient accuracy and dispatch to interfere with legitimate business as little as possible. Such machinery is not now adequate. Under the present rate bill, and under all its amendments, the burden of the Interstate Commerce Commission in supervising and regulating the operation of the railroads of this country has grown so heavy that it is utterly impossible for that tribunal to hear and dispose of, in any reasonable time, the many complaints, queries and issues that are brought before it for decision. It ought to be relieved of its jurisdiction as an executive, directing body, and its functions should be limited to the quasi-judicial investigation of complaints made by individuals and made by a department of the Government charged with the executive business of supervising the operation of railways.
There should be a classification of that very small percentage of industrial corporations having power and opportunity to effect illegal restraints of trade and monopolies, and legislation either inducing or compelling them to subject themselves to registry and to proper publicity regulations and supervision of the Department of Commerce and Labor.
The field covered by the industrial combinations and by the railroads is so very extensive that the interests of the public and the interests of the businesses concerned cannot be properly subserved except by reorganization of bureaus in the Department of Commerce and Labor, Agriculture, and Justice, and a change in the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It does not assist matters to prescribe new duties for the Interstate Commerce Commission which it is practically impossible for it to perform, or to denounce new offenses with drastic punishment, unless subordinate and ancillary legislation shall be passed making possible the quick enforcement in the great variety of cases which are constantly arising, of the principles laid down by Mr. Roosevelt, and with respect to which only typical instances of prosecution with the present machinery are possible. Such legislation should and would greatly promote legitimate business by enabling those anxious to obey the Federal statutes to know just what are the bounds of their lawful action. The practical constructive and difficult work, therefore, of those who follow Mr. Roosevelt is to devise the ways and means by which the high level of business integrity and obedience to law which he has established may be maintained and departures from it restrained without undue interference with legitimate business.
It is agreeable to note in this regard that the Republican platform expressly, and the Democratic platform impliedly, approve an amendment to the Interstate Commerce Law, by which interstate railroads may make useful traffic agreements if approved by the Commission. This has been strongly recommended by President Roosevelt and will make for the benefit of the business.
Some of the suggestions of the Democratic platform relate really to this subordinate and ancillary machinery to which I have referred. Take for instance the so-called " physical valuation of railways." It is clear that the sum of all rates or receipts of a railway, less proper expenses, should be limited to a fair profit upon the reasonable value of its property, and that if the sum exceeds this measure, it ought to be reduced. The difficulty in enforcing the principle is in ascertaining what is the reasonable value of the company's property, and in fixing what is a fair profit. It is clear that the physical value of a railroad and its plant is an element to be given weight in determining its full value; but as President Roosevelt in his Indianapolis speech and the Supreme Court have in effect pointed out, the value of a railroad as a going concern, including its good will, due to efficiency of service and many other circumstances, may be much greater than the value of its tangible property, and it is the former that measures the investment on which a fair profit must be allowed. Then, too, the question, "What is a fair profit," is one involving not only the rate of interest usually earned on normally safe investments, but also a sufficient allowance to make up for the risk of loss both of capital and interest in the original outlay. These considerations will have justified the company in imposing charges high enough to secure a fair income on the enterprise as a whole. The securities at market prices will have passed into the hands of subsequent purchasers from the original investors. Such circumstances should properly affect the decision of the tribunal engaged in determining whether the totality of rates charged is reasonable or excessive. To ignore them might so seriously and unjustly impair settled values as to destroy all hope of restoring confidence and forever to end the inducement for investment in new railroad construction which, in returning prosperous times, is sure to be essential to our material progress. As Mr. Roosevelt has said in speaking of this very subject: "
The effect of such valuation and supervision of securities can not be retroactive. Existing securities should be tested by laws in existence at the time of their issue. This Nation would no more injure securities which have become an important part of the National wealth than it would consider a proposition to repudiate the National debt."
The question of rates and the treatment of railways is one that has two sides. The shippers are certainly entitled to reasonable rates; but less is an injustice to the carriers. Good business for the railroads is essential to general prosperity. Injustice to them is not alone injustice to stockholders and capitalists, whose further investments may be necessary for the good of the whole country, but it directly affects and reduces the wages of railway employees, and indeed may deprive them of their places entirely.
From what has been said, the proper conclusion would seem to be that in attempting to determine whether the entire schedule of rates of a railway is excessive, the physical valuation of the road is a relevant and important but not necessarily a controlling factor.
I am confident that the fixing of rates on the principles suggested above would not materially impair the present market values of railroad securities in most cases, for I believe that the normal increase in the value of railroad properties, especially in their terminals, will more than make up for the possible overcapitalization in earlier years. In some cases, doubtless, it will be found that overcapitalization is made an excuse for excessive rates, and then they should be reduced; but the consensus of opinion seems to be that the railroad rates generally in this country are reasonably low. This is why, doubtless, the complaints filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission against excessive rates are so few as compared with those against unlawful discrimination in rates between shippers and between places. Of course, in the determination of the question whether discrimination is unlawful or not, the physical valuation of the whole road is of little weight.
I have discussed this with some degree of detail, merely to point out that the valuation by the Interstate Commerce Commission of the tangible property of a railroad is proper and may from time to time be necessary in settling certain issues which may come before them, and that no evil or injustice can come from valuation in such cases, if it be understood that the result is to be used for a just purpose, and the right to a fair profit under all the circumstances of the investment is recognized. The Interstate Commerce Commission has now» the power to ascertain the value of the physical railroad property, if necessary, in determining the reasonableness of rates. If the machinery for doing so is not adequate, as is probable, it should be made so.
The Republican platform recommends legislation forbidding the issue in the future of interstate railway stocks and bonds without Federal authority. It may occur in such cases that the full value of the railway, and, as an element thereof, the value of the tangible property of the railway, would be a relevant and important factor in assisting the proper authority to determine whether the stocks and bonds to be issued were to have proper security behind them, and in such case, therefore, there should be the right and machinery to make a valuation of the physical property.
Another suggestion in respect to subordinate and - ancillary machinery necessary to carry out Republican policies is that of the incorporation under National law or the licensing by National license or enforced registry of companies engaged in interstate trade. The fact is that nearly all corporations doing a commercial business are engaged in interstate commerce, and if they all were required to take out a Federal license or a Federal charter, the burden upon the interstate business of the country would become intolerable.
It is necessary, therefore, to devise some means for classifying and insuring Federal supervision of such corporations as have the power and temptation to effect restraints of interstate trades and monopolies. Such corporations constitute a very small percentage of all engaged in interstate business.
With such classification in view, Mr. Roosevelt recommended an amendment to the anti-trust law, known as the Hepburn Bill, which provided for voluntary classification, and created a strong motive therefore by granting immunity from prosecution for reasonable restraints of interstate trade to all corporations which would register and submit themselves to the publicity regulations of the Department of Commerce and Labor.
The Democratic platform suggests a requirement that corporations in interstate trade having control of 25 per cent, of the products in which they deal shall take out a Federal license. This classification would probably include a great many small corporations engaged in the manufacture of special articles, or commodities whose total value is so inconsiderable that they are not really within the purview or real evil of the anti-trust law.
It is not now necessary, however, to discuss the relative merit of such propositions, but it is enough merely to affirm the necessity for some method by which greater executive supervision can be given to the Federal Government over those businesses in which there is a temptation to violations of the anti-trust law.
The possible operation of the anti-trust law under existing rulings of the Supreme Court has given rise to suggestions for its necessary amendment to prevent its application to cases which it is believed were never in the contemplation of the framers of the statute. Take two instances: A merchant or manufacturer engaged in a legitimate business that covers certain states, wishes to sell his business and his good will, and so in the terms of the sale obligates himself to the purchaser not to go into the same business in those states. Such a restraint of trade has always been enforced at common law. Again, the employees of an interstate railway combine and enter upon a peaceable and lawful strike to secure better wages. At common law this was not a restraint of trade or commerce or a violation of the rights of the company or of the public. Neither case ought to be made a violation of the anti-trust law. My own impression is that the Supreme Court would hold that neither of these instances is within its inhibition, but, if they are to be so regarded, general legislation amending the law is necessary.
The suggestion of the Democratic platform that trusts be ended by forbidding corporations to hold more than 50 per cent, of the plant in any line of manufacture is made without regard to the possibility of enforcement or the real evil in trusts. A corporation controlling 45 or 50 per cent, of the products may by well-known methods frequently effect monopoly and stamp out competition in a part of the country as completely as if it controlled 60 or 70 per cent, thereof.
The proposal to compel every corporation to sell its commodities at the same price the country over, allowing for transportation, is utterly impracticable. If it can be shown that in order to drive out competition, a corporation owning a large part of the plant producing an article is selling in one part of the country, where it has competitors, at a low and unprofitable price, and in another part of the country, where it has none, at an exorbitant price, this is evidence that it is attempting an unlawful monopoly, and justifies conviction under the anti-trust law; but the proposal to supervise the business of corporations in such a way as to fix the price of commodities and compel the sale at such price is as absurd and socialistic a plank as was ever inserted in a Democratic political platform.
The chief difference between the Republican and the Democratic platforms is the difference which has heretofore been seen between the policies of Mr. Roosevelt and those which have been advocated by the Democratic candidate, Mr. Bryan. Mr. Roosevelt's policies have been progressive and regulative; Mr. Bryan's destructive. Mr. Roosevelt has favored regulation of the business in which evils have grown up so as to stamp out the evils and permit the business to continue. The tendency of Mr. Bryan's proposals has generally been destructive of the business with respect to which he is demanding reform. Mr. Roosevelt would compel the trusts to conduct their business in a lawful manner and secure the benefits of their operation and the maintenance of the prosperity of the country of which they are an important part; while Mr. Bryan would extirpate and destroy the entire business in order to stamp out the evils which they have practised.
The combination of capital in large plants to manufacture goods with the greatest economy is just as necessary as the assembling of the parts of a machine to the economical and more rapid manufacture of what in old times was made by hand. The Government should not interfere with one any more than the other, when such aggregations of capital are legitimate and are properly controlled, for they are then the natural results of modern enterprise and are beneficial to the public. In the proper operation of competition the public will soon share with the manufacturer the advantage in economy of operation and lower prices.
When, however, such combinations are not based on any economic principle, but are made merely for the purpose of controlling the market, to maintain or raise prices, restrict output and drive out competitors, the public derives no benefit and we have a monopoly. There must be some use by the company of the comparatively great size of its capital and plant and extent of its output, either to coerce persons to buy of it rather than of some competitor or to coerce those who would compete with it to give up their business. There must usually, in other words, be shown an element of duress in the conduct of its business toward the customers in the trade and its competitors before mere aggregation of capital or plant becomes an unlawful monopoly. It is perfectly conceivable that in the interest of economy of production a great number of plants may be legitimately assembled under the ownership of one corporation. It is important, therefore, that such large aggregations of capital and combinations should be controlled so that the public may have the advantage of reasonable prices and that the avenues of enterprise may be kept open to the individual and the smaller corporation wishing to engage in business.
In a country like this, where, in good times, there is an enormous floating capital awaiting investment, the period before which effective competition, by construction of new plants, can be introduced into any business, is comparatively short, rarely exceeding a year, and is usually even less than that. Existence of actual plant is not, therefore, necessary to potential competition. Many enterprises have been organized on the theory that mere aggregation of all, or nearly all, existing plants in a line of manufacture, without regard to economy of production, destroys competition. They have, most of them, gone into bankruptcy. Competition in a profitable business will not be affected by the mere aggregation of many existing plants under one company, unless the company thereby effects great economy, the benefit of which it shares with the public, or takes some illegal method to avoid competition and to perpetuate a hold on the business.
Unlawful trusts should be restrained with all the efficiency of injunctive process, and the persons engaged in maintaining them should be punished with all the severity of criminal prosecution, in order that the methods pursued in the operation of their business shall be brought within the law. To destroy them and to eliminate the wealth they represent from the producing capital of the country would entail enormous loss, and would throw out of employment myriads of workingmen and workingwomen. Such a result is wholly unnecessary to the accomplishment of the needed reform, and will inflict upon the innocent far greater punishment than upon the guilty.
The Democratic platform does not propose to destroy the plants of the trusts physically, but it proposes to do the same thing in a different way. The business of this country is largely dependent on a protective system of tariffs. The business done by many of the so-called "trusts" is protected with the other business of the country. The Democratic platform proposes to take off the tariff on all articles coming into competition with those produced by the so-called "trusts," and to put them on the free list. If such a course would be utterly destructive of their business, as is intended, it would not only destroy the trusts, but all of their smaller competitors. The ruthless and impracticable character of the proposition grows plainer as its effects upon the whole community are realized.
To take the course suggested by the Democratic platform in these matters is to involve the entire community, innocent as it is, in the punishment of the guilty, while our policy is to stamp out the specific evil. This difference between the policies of the two great parties is of especial importance in view of the present condition of business. After ten years of the most remarkable material development and prosperity, there came a financial stringency, a panic and an industrial depression. This was brought about not only by the enormous expansion of business plants and business investments which could not be readily converted, but also by the waste of capital, in extravagance of living, in wars and other catastrophes. The free convertible capital was exhausted. In addition to this, the confidence of the lending public in Europe and in this country had been affected by the revelations of irregularity, breaches of trust, overissues of stock, violations of law, and lack of rigid State or National supervision in the management of our largest corporations. Investors withheld what loanable capital remained available. It became impossible for the soundest railroads and other enterprises to borrow money enough for new construction or reconstruction.
Gradually business is acquiring a healthier tone. Gradually all wealth which was hoarded is coming out to be used. Confidence in security of business investments is a plant of slow growth and is absolutely necessary in order that our factories may all open again, in order that our unemployed may become employed, and in order that we may again have the prosperity which blessed us for ten years. The identity of the interests of the capitalist, the farmer, the business man and the wage-earner in the security and profit of investments cannot be too greatly emphasized. I submit to those most interested to wage-earners, to farmers, and to business men, whether the introduction into power of the Democratic party, with Mr. Bryan at its head, and with the business destruction that it openly advocates as a remedy for present evils, will bring about the needed confidence for the restoration of prosperity.
The Republican doctrine of protection, as definitely announced by the Republican Convention of this year and by previous conventions, is that a tariff shall be imposed on all imported products, whether of the factory, farm or mine, sufficiently great to equal the difference between the cost of production abroad and at home, and that this difference should, of course, include the difference between the higher wages paid in this country and the wages paid abroad, and embrace a reasonable profit to the American producer. A system of protection thus adopted and put in force has led to the establishment of a rate of wages here that has greatly enhanced the standard of living of the laboring man. It is the policy of the Republican party permanently to continue that standard of living. In 1897 the Dingley Tariff Bill was passed, under which we have had, as already said, a period of enormous prosperity.
The consequent material development has greatly changed the conditions under which many articles described by the schedules of the tariff are now produced. The tariff in a number of schedules exceeds the difference between the cost of production of such articles abroad and at home, including a reasonable profit to the American producer. The excess over that difference serves no useful purpose, but offers a temptation to those who would monopolize the production and the sale of such articles in this country, to profit by the excessive rate. On the other hand, there are some few other schedules in which the tariff is not sufficiently high to give the measure of protection which they should receive upon Republican principles, and as to those the tariff should be raised. A revision of the tariff undertaken upon this principle, which is at the basis of our present business system, begun promptly upon the incoming of the new administration, and considered at a special session with the preliminary investigations already begun by the appropriate committees of the House and Senate, will make the disturbance of business incident to such a change as little as possible.
The Democratic party in its platform has not had the courage of its previous convictions on the subject of the tariff, denounced by it in 1904 as a system of the robbery of the many for the benefit of the few, but it does declare its intention to change the tariff with a view to reaching a revenue basis and thus to depart from, the protective system. The introduction into power of a party with this avowed purpose can not but halt the gradual recovery from our recent financial depression and produce business disaster compared with which our recent panic and depression will seem small indeed.
As the Republican platform says, the welfare of the farmer is vital to that of the whole country. One of the strongest hopes of returning prosperity is based on the business which his crops are to afford. He is vitally interested in the restraining of excessive and unduly discriminating railroad rates, in the enforcement of the pure food laws, in the promotion of scientific agriculture, and in increasing the comforts of country life, as by the extension of free rural delivery. The policies of the present Administration, which have most industriously promoted all these objects, can not fail to commend themselves to his approval; and it is difficult to see how with his intelligent appreciation of the threat to business prosperity involved in Democratic success at the polls he can do otherwise than give his full and hearty support to the continuation of the policies of the present Administration under Republican auspices.
We come now to the question of labor. One important phase of the policies of the present Administration has been an anxiety to secure for the wage-earner an equality of opportunity and such positive statutory protection as shall place him on a level in dealing with his employer. The Republican party has passed an employers liability act for interstate railroads, and has established an eight-hour law for government employees and on government construction. The essence of the reform effected by the former is the abolition of the fellow-servant rule, and the introduction of the comparative negligence theory by which an employee injured in the service of his employer does not lose all his right to recover because of slight negligence on his part. Then there is the act providing for compensation for injury to government employees, together with the various statutes requiring safety appliances upon interstate commerce railroads for the protection of their employees, and limiting the hours of their employment. These are all instances of the desire of the Republican party to do justice to the wage-earner. Doubtless a more comprehensive measure for compensation of government employees will be adopted in the future; the principle in such cases has been recognized, and in the necessarily somewhat slow course of legislation will be more fully embodied in definite statutes.
The interests of the employer and the employee never differ except when it comes to a division of the joint profit of labor and capital into dividends and wages. This must be a constant source of periodical discussion between the employer and the employee, as indeed are the other terms of the employment.
To give to employees their proper position in such a controversy, to enable them to maintain themselves against employers having great capital, they may well unite, because in union there is strength and without it each individual laborer and employee would be helpless. The promotion of industrial peace through the instrumentality of the trade agreement is often one of the results of such union when intelligently conducted.
There is a large body of laborers, however, skilled and unskilled, who are not organized into unions. Their rights before the law are exactly the same as those of the union men, and are to be protected with the same care and watchfulness.
In order to induce their employer into a compliance with their request for changed terms of employment, workmen have a right to strike in a body. They have a right to use such persuasion as they may, provided it does not reach the point of duress, to lead their reluctant co-laborers to join them in their union against their employer, and they have a right, if they choose, to accumulate funds to support those engaged in a strike, to delegate to officers the power to direct the action of the union, and to withdraw themselves and their associates from dealings with, or giving custom to, those with whom they are in controversy.
What they have not the right to do is to injure their employer's property, to injure their employer's business by use of threats or methods of physical duress against those who would work for him, or deal with him, or by carrying on what is sometimes known as a secondary boycott against his customers or those with whom he deals in business. All those who sympathize with them may unite to aid them in their struggle, but they may not through the instrumentality of a threatened or actual boycott compel third persons against their will and having no interest in their controversy to come to their assistance. These principles have for a great many years been settled by the courts of this country.
Threatened unlawful injuries to business, like those described above, can only be adequately remedied by an injunction to prevent them. The jurisdiction of a court of equity to enjoin in such cases arises from the character of the injury and the method of inflicting it and the fact that suit for damages offers no adequate remedy. The unlawful injury is not usually done by one single act, which might be adequately compensated for in damages by a suit at law, but it is the result of a constantly recurring series of acts, each of which in itself might not constitute a substantial injury or make a suit at law worth while, and all of which would require a multiplicity of suits at law. Injuries of this class have since the foundation of courts of equity been prevented by injunction.
It has been claimed that injunctions do not issue to protect anything but property rights, and that business is not a property right; but such a proposition is wholly inconsistent with all the decisions of the courts. The Supreme Court of the United States says that the injunction is a remedy to protect property or rights of a pecuniary nature, and we may well submit to the considerate judgment of all laymen whether the right of a man in his business is not as distinctly a right of a pecuniary nature as the right to his horse or his house or the stock of goods on his shelf; and the instances in which injunctions to protect business have been upheld by all courts are so many that it is futile further to discuss the proposition.
It is difficult to tell the meaning of the Democratic platform upon this subject. It says:
"Questions of judicial practice have arisen especially in connection with industrial disputes. We deem that the parties to all judicial proceedings should be treated with rigid impartiality, and that injunctions should not be issued in any cases in which injunctions would not issue if no industrial dispute were involved."
This declaration is disingenuous. It seems to have been loosely drawn with the especial purpose of rendering it susceptible to one interpretation by one set of men and to a diametrically opposite interpretation by another. It does not aver that injunctions should not issue in industrial disputes, but only that they should not issue merely because they are industrial disputes, and yet those responsible for the declaration must have known that no one has ever maintained that the fact that a dispute was industrial gave any basis for issuing an injunction in reference thereto.
The declaration seems to be drawn in its present vague and ambiguous shape in order to persuade some people that it is a declaration against the issuing of injunctions in any industrial dispute, while at the same time it may be possible to explain to the average plain citizen who objects to class distinction that no such intention exists at all. Our position is clear and unequivocal. We are anxious to prevent even an appearance of any injustice to labor in the issuance of injunctions, not in a spirit of favoritism to one set of our fellow citizens, but of justice to all of our fellow citizens. The reason for exercising or refusing to exercise the power of injunction must be found in the character of the unlawful injury and not in the character or class of the persons who inflict this injury.
The man who has a business which is being unlawfully injured is entitled to the remedies which the law has always given him, no matter who has inflicted the injuries. Otherwise, we shall have class legislation unjust in principle and likely to sap the foundations of a free government.
I come now to the question of notice before issuing an injunction. It is a fundamental rule of general jurisprudence that no man shall be affected by a judicial proceeding without notice and hearing. This rule, however, has sometimes had an exception in the issuing of temporary restraining orders commanding a defendant in effect to maintain the status quo until a hearing. Such a process should issue only in rare cases where the threatened change of the status quo would inflict irreparable injury if time were taken to give notice and a summary hearing. The unlawful injury usual in industrial disputes, such as I have described, does not become formidable except after sufficient time in which to give the defendants notice and a hearing. I do not mean to say that there may not be cases even in industrial disputes where a restraining order might properly be issued without notice, but, generally, I think it is otherwise. In some State courts, and in fewer Federal courts, the practice of issuing a temporary restraining order without notice, merely to preserve the status quo on the theory that it will not hurt anybody, has been too common. Many of us recall that the practice has been pursued in other than industrial disputes, as, for instance, in corporate and stock controversies like those over the Erie Railroad, in which a stay order without notice was regarded as a step of great advantage to the one who secured it, and a corresponding disadvantage to the one against whom it was secured. Indeed, the chances of doing injustice on an ex parte application are much increased over those when a hearing is granted, and there may be circumstances under which it may affect the defendant to his detriment. In the case of a lawful strike, the sending of a formidable document restraining a number of defendants from doing a great many different things which the plaintiff avers they are threatening to do, often so discourages men always reluctant to go into a strike from continuing what is their lawful right. This has made the laboring man feel that an injustice is done in the issuing of a writ without notice. I conceive that in the treatment of this question it is the duty of the citizen and the legislator to view the subject from the standpoint of the man who believes himself to be unjustly treated, as well as from that of the community at large. I have suggested the remedy of returning in such cases to the original practice under the old statute of the United States and the rules in equity adopted by the Supreme Court, which did not permit the issuing of an injunction without notice. In this respect, the Republican Convention has adopted another remedy, that, without going so far, promises to be efficacious in securing proper consideration in such cases by courts, by formulating into a legislative act the best present practice.
Under this recommendation, a statute may be framed which shall define with considerable particularity, and emphasize the exceptional character of the cases in which restraining orders may issue without notice, and which shall also provide that when they are issued, they shall cease to be operative beyond a short period, during which time notice shall be served and a hearing had unless the defendant desires a postponement of the hearing. By this provision the injustice which has sometimes occurred by which a preliminary restraining order of widest application has been issued without notice, and the hearing of the motion for the injunction has been fixed weeks and months after its date, could not recur.
The number of instances in which restraining orders without notice in industrial disputes have issued by Federal courts is small, and it is urged that they do not therefore constitute an evil to be remedied by statutory amendment. The small number of cases complained of above shows the careful manner in which most Federal judges have exercised the jurisdiction, but the belief that such cases are numerous has been so widespread and has aroused such feeling of injustice that more definite specification in procedure to prevent recurrence of them is justified if it can be effected without injury to the administration of the law.
With respect to notice, the Democratic platform contains no recommendation. Its only intelligible declaration in regard to injunction suits is a reiteration of the plank in the platforms of 1896 and 1904 providing that in prosecutions for contempt in Federal courts, where the violation of the order constituting the contempt charged is indirect, i.e., outside of the presence of the court, there shall be a jury trial.
This provision in the platform of 1896 was regarded then as a most dangerous attack upon the power of the courts to enforce their orders and decrees, and it was one of the chief reasons for the defeat of the Democratic party in that contest, as it ought to have been. The extended operation of such provision to weaken the power of the courts in the enforcement of its lawful orders can hardly be overstated.
Under such a provision a recalcitrant witness who refuses to obey a subpoena may insist on a jury trial before the court can determine that he received the subpoena. A citizen summoned as a juror and refusing to obey the writ when brought into court must be tried by another jury to determine whether he got the summons. Such a provision applies not alone to injunctions, but to every order which the court issues against persons. A suit may be tried in the court of first instance and carried to the Court of Appeals, and thence to the Supreme Court, and a judgment and decree entered and an order issued, and then if the decree involves the defendant's doing anything or not doing anything, and he disobeys it, the plaintiff who has pursued his remedies in lawful course for years must, to secure his rights, undergo the uncertainties and the delays of a jury trial before he can enjoy that which is his right by the decision of the highest court of the land. I say without hesitation that such a change will greatly impair the indispensable power and authority of the courts. In securing to the public the benefits of the new statutes enacted in the present Administration, the ultimate instrumentality to be resorted to is the courts of the United States. If now their authority is to be weakened in a manner never known in the history of the jurisprudence of England or America, except in the constitution of Oklahoma, how can we expect that such statutes will have efficient enforcement? Those who advocate this intervention of a jury in such cases seem to suppose that this change in some way will inure only to the benefit of the poor workingman. As a matter of fact, the person who will secure chief advantage from it is the wealthy and unscrupulous defendant, able to employ astute and cunning counsel and anxious to avoid justice.
I have been willing, in order to avoid a popular but unfounded impression that a judge, in punishing for contempt of his own order, may be affected by personal feeling, to approve a law which should enable the contemnor upon his application to have another judge sit to hear the charge of contempt, but this, with so many judges as there are available in the Federal court, would not constitute a delay in the enforcement of the process. The character and efficiency of the trial would be the same. It is the nature and the delay of a jury trial in such cases that those who would wish to defy the order of the court would rely upon as a reason for doing so.
The administration of justice lies at the foundation of government. The maintenance of authority of the courts is essential unless we are prepared to embrace anarchy. Never in the history of the country has there been such an insidious attack upon the judicial system as the proposal to interject a jury trial between all orders of the court made after full hearing and the enforcement of such orders.
The late panic disclosed a lack of elasticity in our financial system. This has been provisionally met by an act of the present Congress permitting the issue of additional emergency bank notes, and insuring their withdrawal when the emergency has passed, by a high rate of taxation. It is drawn in conformity with the present system of banknote currency but varies from it in certain respects by authorizing the use of commercial paper and bonds of good credit, as well as United States bonds, as security for its redemption. It is expressly but a temporary measure and contains a provision for the appointment of a currency commission to devise and recommend a new and reformed system of currency. This inadequacy of our present currency system, due to changed conditions and enormous expansion, is generally recognized. The Republican platform well states that we must have a more elastic and adaptable system to meet the requirements of agriculturists, manufacturers, merchants and business men generally, which must be automatic in operation, recognizing the fluctuation in interest rates," in which every dollar shall be as good as gold, and which shall prevent rather than aid financial stridency in bringing on a panic.
In addition to this, the Republican platform recommends the adoption of a postal - savings - bank system in which, of course, the Government would become responsible to the depositors for the payment of principal and interest. It is thought that the government guaranty will bring out of hoarding-places much money which may be turned into wealth-producing capital, and that it will be a great incentive for thrift in the many small places in the country having now no savings-bank facilities, which are reached by the Post Office Department. It will bring to every one, however remote from financial centers, a place of perfect safety for deposits, with interest return. The bill now pending in Congress, which of course the Republican Convention had in mind, provides for the investment of the money deposited in National banks in the very places in which it is gathered, or as near thereto as may be practicable. This is an answer to the criticism contained in the Democratic platform that under the system the money gathered in the country will be deposited in Wall Street banks. The system of postal savings banks has been tried in so many countries successfully that it cannot be regarded longer as a new and untried experiment.
The Democratic platform recommends a tax upon National banks and upon such State banks as may come in, in the nature of enforced insurance, to raise a guaranty fund to pay the depositors of any bank which fails. How State banks can be included in such a scheme under the Constitution is left in the twilight zone of State's rights and Federalism so frequently dimming the meaning and purpose of the promises of the platform. If they come in under such a system, they must necessarily be brought within the closest National control, and so they must really cease to be State banks and become National banks.
The proposition is to tax the honest and prudent banker to make up for the dishonesty and imprudence of others. No one can foresee the burden which under this system would be imposed upon the sound and conservative bankers of the country by this obligation to make good the losses caused by the reckless, speculative and dishonest men who would be enabled to secure deposits under such a system on the faith of the proposed insurance; as in its present shape the proposal would remove all safeguards against recklessness in banking, and the chief, and in the end probably the only benefit, would accrue to the speculator, who would be delighted to enter the banking business when it was certain that he could enjoy any profit that would accrue, while the risk would have to be assumed by his honest and hard-working fellow. In short, the proposal is wholly impracticable unless it is to be accompanied by a complete revolution in our banking system, with a supervision so close as practically to create a government bank. If the proposal were adopted exactly as the Democratic platform suggests, it would bring the whole banking system of the country down in ruin, and this proposal is itself an excellent illustration of the fitness for National control of a party which will commit itself to a scheme of this nature without the slightest sense of responsibility for the practical operation of the law proposed.
The Democratic party announces its adhesion to this plan, and only recommends the tried system of postal savings banks as an alternative if the new experimental panacea is not available. The Republican party prefers the postal savings bank as one tried, safe, and known to be effective, and as reaching many more people now without banking facilities than the new system proposed.
A plan for guaranty of deposits by the voluntary act of the banks involved has been favorably reported to the House of Representatives. This is, of course, entirely different from the scheme in the Democratic platform, omitting, as it does, the feature of compulsory participation. This proposition will unquestionably receive the thoughtful consideration of the National Monetary Commission.
The Republican party has pursued consistently the policy originally adopted with respect to the dependencies which came to us as the result of the Spanish war.
The material prosperity of Porto Rico and the progress of its inhabitants toward better conditions in respect to comfort of living and education, should make every American proud that this nation has been an efficient instrument in bringing happiness to a million people.
In Cuba, the provisional government established in order to prevent a bloody revolution has so administered affairs and initiated the necessary laws as to make it possible to turn back the island to the lawfully elected officers of the Republic in February next.
In the Philippines the experiment of a national assembly has justified itself, both as an assistance in the government of the islands and as an education in the practice of self- government to the people of the islands. We have established a government with effective and honest executive departments, and a clean and fearless administration of justice; we have created and are maintaining a comprehensive school system which is educating the youth of the islands in English and in industrial branches; we have constructed great government public works, roads and harbors; we have induced the private construction of eight hundred miles of railroad; we have policed the islands so that their condition as to law and order is better now than it ever has been in their history. It is quite unlikely that the people, because of the dense ignorance of 90 per cent., will be ready for complete self-government and independence before two generations have passed, but the policy of increasing partial self-government step by step as the people shall show themselves fit for it should be continued.
The proposition of the Democratic platform is to turn over the islands as soon as a stable government is established. This has been established. The proposal then is in effect to turn them over at once. Such action will lead to ultimate chaos in the islands and the progress among the ignorant masses in education and better living will stop. We are engaged in the Philippines in a great missionary work that does our nation honor, and is certain to promote in a most effective way the influence of Christian civilization. It is cowardly to lay down the burden until our purpose is achieved.
Many unfortunate circumstances beyond human control have delayed the coming of business prosperity to the islands. Much may be done in this regard by increasing the trade between the islands and the United States, under tariff laws permitting reciprocal free trade in the respective products of the two countries, with such limitations as to sugar and tobacco imported into the United States as will protect domestic interests. The admission of 350,000 tons of sugar from the Philippine Islands in a foreign importation of 1,600,000 tons, will have no effect whatever upon the domestic sugar interests of the United States, and yet such an importation from the Philippine Islands, not likely to be reached in ten years, will bring about the normal state of prosperity in these islands in reference to sugar culture.
The same thing is true of a similar limitation on the importation of tobacco. It is not well for the Philippines to develop the sugar industry to such a point that the business of the islands shall be absorbed in it, because it makes a society in which there are wealthy landowners, holding very large estates, with valuable and expensive plants, and a large population of unskilled labor. In such a community there is no farming or middle class tending to build up a conservative, self-respecting community, capable of self-government. There are many other products, notably that of Manila hemp, to which the energy of the islands can be, and is being, directed, the cultivation of which develops the class of small and intelligent farmers.
One misconception of fact with respect to our Philippine policy is that it is costing the people of the United States a vast annual sum. The expenses of the war in the Philippines from 1898 to 1902 involved the Government in an expenditure of less than $175,000,000. This was incident to war. The fact is that since the close of the war in 1902 and the restoration of order in the islands, the extra cost of the American troops of the regular army in the islands, together with that of maintaining about 4,000 Philippine scouts as a part of the regular army, does not exceed $6,000,000 annually. This is all the expense to which the United States has been put for five or six years last past. The expenses of the Civil Government in the islands since its establishment have been met entirely from the proceeds of taxes collected in the islands, with but one notably generous and commendable exception when the Congress of the United States appropriated $3,000,000 in 1902 to relieve the inhabitants of the islands from the dangers of famine and distress caused by the death from rinderpest of three- fourths of the cattle of the islands.
Both platforms declare, as they should, in favor of generous pensions for the veterans of the Civil and Spanish wars. I stop to note the presence here of a body of veterans of Ohio, and to express my thanks for the honor they do me in coming. I am lacking in one qualification of all Republican Presidents since Lincoln, that of having been exposed to danger and death on the field of battle in defense of our country. I hope that this lack will not make the veterans think I am any less deeply thrilled by the memory of their great comrades gone before — Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison and McKinley — all sons of Ohio, who left records reflecting glory upon their State and Nation, or that my sympathies with the valor and courage and patriotism of those who faced death in the country's crises are any less earnest and sincere than they would be had I the right to wear a button of the Grand Army or of the veteran association of any of our country's wars.
The Republican platform refers to the amendments to the Constitution that were passed by the Republican party for the protection of the Negro. The Negro, in the forty years since he was freed from slavery, has made remarkable progress. He is becoming a more and more valuable member of the communities in which he lives. The education of the Negro is being expanded and improved in every way. The best men of both races, at the North as well as at the South, ought to rejoice to see growing up among the Southern people an influential element disposed to encourage the Negro in his hard struggle for industrial independence and assured political status. The Republican platform, adopted at Chicago, explicitly demands justice for all men without regard to race or color, and just as explicitly declares for the enforcement, and without reservation, in letter and spirit, of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. It is needless to state that I stand with my party squarely on that plank in the platform, and believe that equal justice to all men, and the fair and impartial enforcement of these amendments is in keeping with the real American spirit of fair play.
Mr. McEanley and Mr. Roosevelt, and the Republican party, have constantly advocated a policy with respect to the Army and Navy that will keep this Republic ready at all times to defend her territory and her doctrines, and to assure her appropriate part in promoting permanent tranquility among the nations. I welcome from whatever motive the change in the Democratic attitude toward the maintenance and support of an adequate Navy, and hope that in the next platform the silence of the present platform, in respect to the Army, will be changed to an acquiescence in its maintenance to the point of efficiency in connection with the efficiently reorganized militia and the National volunteers, for the proper defense of the country in time of war, and the discharge of those duties in time of peace for which the Army, as at present constituted, has shown itself so admirably adapted in the Philippines, in San Francisco, in Cuba, and elsewhere. We are a world power and cannot help it, and, although at peace with all the world and secure in the consciousness that the American people do not desire and will not provoke a war with any other country, we must be prudent and not be lulled into a sense of security which would possibly expose us to national humiliation. Our best course, therefore, is to insist on a constant improvement in our navy and its maintenance at the highest point of efficiency.
The position which our country has won under Republican administrations before the world should inure to the benefit of every one, even the humblest of those entitled to look to the American flag for protection, without regard to race, creed or color, and whether he is a citizen of the United States or of any of our dependencies. In some countries with which we are on friendly terms, distinctions are made in respect to the treatment of our citizens traveling abroad and having passports of our Executive, based on considerations that are repugnant to the principles of our Government and civilization. The Republican party and administration will continue to make every proper endeavor to secure the abolition of such distinctions, which in our eyes are both needless and opprobrious.
In the matter of the limitation upon Asiatic immigration, referred to in the Democratic platform, it is sufficient to say that the present Republican Administration has shown itself able, by diplomatic negotiation, and without unnecessary friction with self-respecting governments to minimize the evils suggested, and a subsequent Republican Administration may be counted on to continue the same policy.
The conservation of National resources is a subject to which the present Administration has given especial attention. The necessity for a comprehensive and systematic improvement of our waterways, the preservation of our soil, and of our forests, the securing from private appropriation the power in the navigable streams, the retention of the undisposed-of coal lands of the Government from alienation, all will properly claim from the next Administration earnest attention and appropriate legislation.
I have long been of the opinion that the various agencies of the National Government established for the preservation of the National health, scattered through several departments, should be rendered more efficient by uniting them in a bureau of the Government under a competent head, and that I understand to be, in effect, the recommendation of both parties.
Another plank of the Democratic platform refers to the failure of the Republican Convention to express an opinion in favor of the publicity of contributions received and expenditures made in elections. Here again we contrast our opponents' promises with our own acts. Great improvement has taken place under Republican auspices in respect to the collection and expenditure of money for this purpose. The old and pernicious system of levying a tax on the salaries of Government employees in order to pay the expenses of the party in control of the Administration has been abolished by statute. By a law passed by the Republican Congress in 1907, contributions from corporations to influence or pay the expenses connected with the election of presidential electors or of members of Congress, is forbidden under penalty.
A resident of New York has been selected as treasurer of the Republican National Committee, who was treasurer of the Republican State Committee when Governor Hughes was elected in New York, and who made a complete statement within twenty days after the election, as required by the New York law, of the contributions received by him and the expenditures made by him or under his authority in connection with that election. His residence and the discharge of his duties in the State of New York subject him to the law of that State as to all receipts of the treasury of the National Committee from whatever source, and as to all its disbursements. His returns will be under the obligations and penalties of the law, and a misstatement by him or the riling of a false account will subject him to prosecution for perjury and violation of the statute. Of course, under the Federal law, he is not permitted to receive any contributions from corporations.
If I am elected President, I shall urge upon Congress, with every hope of success, that a law be passed requiring the filing in a Federal office of a statement of the contributions received by committees and candidates in elections for members of Congress, and in such other elections as are constitutionally within the control of Congress. Meantime the Republican party by the selection of a New York treasurer has subjected all its receipts and expenditures to the compulsory obligation of such a law.
The Democratic platform demands two constitutional amendments, one providing for an income tax, and the other for the election of Senators by the people. In my judgment, an amendment to the Constitution for an income tax is not necessary. I believe that an income tax, when the protective system of customs and the internal revenue tax shall not furnish income enough for governmental needs, can and should be devised which under the decisions of the Supreme Court will conform to the Constitution.
With respect to the election of Senators by the people, personally I am inclined to favor it, but it is hardly a party question. A resolution in its favor has passed a Republican House of Representatives several times and has been rejected in a Republican Senate by the votes of Senators from both parties. It has been approved by the Legislatures of many Republican States. In a number of States, both Democratic and Republican, substantially such a system now prevails.
Our opponents denounce the Republican party for increasing the number of offices 23,000, at a cost of sixteen millions of dollars, during the last year. Such denunciation is characteristic of the Democratic platform. It fails to specify in any way what the offices are, and leaves the inference that the increase was resisted by the representatives of Democracy in Congress. As a matter of fact, the net number of offices increased was just about half the number stated; the increase was due chiefly to the enlargement of the Navy, the construction of the Panama Canal, the extension of the Rural Free Delivery, and to the new offices necessary in the enforcement of the pure food, meat inspection, railroad rate regulation, arid land reclamation, forest preservation and other measures which Congress passed with almost unanimous popular approval. The Democratic platform so far from attacking any of this legislation specifically approves much, and condemns none of it, and it is of course disingenuous to claim credit for approving legislation and yet to denounce the expenditures necessary to give it effect.
Again, it charges that a deficit of sixty millions of dollars between the receipts and expenditures during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, occurred. As explained by the Secretary of the Treasury, at least half of this deficit is only an apparent one. The falling off in receipts was, of course, occasioned by the unusual panic, but there is ample free money in the Treasury to meet the difference, and the difference itself is not half of it properly a deficit, because involved in it was the retirement of some thirty-three millions of the bonds of the Government.
During the past seven years the income and expenditures of the Government have been nearly equal, some years showing a surplus, and others, fewer in number, a deficit. Taking one year with another, including this year, there has been an average surplus. The surplus last year, for instance, was greater than the deficit this year, so that, in fact, under the present administration there has been no deficit, but a surplus, which is actually in the Treasury.
The Democratic platform nowhere points out the expenditures which might be reduced or avoided. It would be found generally that to the increases which have occurred, Democratic representatives in Congress made no opposition, but rather supported the measures providing them, and now the party has not the courage to indicate what part of Government cost it would end. It joins the Republican party specifically in approving the outlay of $150,000,000 as pensions. It expressly favors also the cost of greatly increased River and Harbor improvements, the cost of doubling the Navy, and of many other enterprises to which it urges the Government. Its attack, therefore, has nothing in it either of fairness or sincerity.
The truth is that it is known of all fair-minded men that there never has been an administration in the Government more efficiently conducted, more free from scandal, and in which the standard of official duty has been set higher than in the present Republican Administration, which the Democratic platform has thus denounced. It has had to meet the problems arising from the enormous expansion of Government functions under the new legislative measures as well as in the new dependencies, and in the greatest constructive work of modern times, the Panama Canal, and its members may well feel a just pride in the exceptional record for efficiency, economy, honesty and fidelity which it has made. We may rely upon our record in this regard in an appeal to the American people for their approval.
The foreign policy of this country under the present Administration has greatly contributed to the peace of the world. The important part the Administration took in bringing about an end of the Russian-Japanese War by a treaty honorable to both parties, and the prevention of wars in Central America and Cuba are striking instances of this. The arbitration treaties signed with all the important nations of the world mark a great step forward in the development of the usefulness of The Hague tribunal. The visit of Secretary Root to South America emphasized our friendship for our sister republics which are making such strides in the southern hemisphere, and met with a most cordial and gratifying response from our Latin-American colleagues. The assistance which we are rendering in Santo Domingo to enable that Government to meet its obligations and avoid anarchy is another instance of successful work of this Administration in helping our neighbors.
This Administration has by the promptness, skill and energy of its negotiations secured dominion in the Canal Zone of the Isthmus of Panama, without which the construction of the canal would have been impossible. It has subdued the heretofore insurmountable obstacle of disease and made the place of work healthy. It has created such an organization that in six years certainly, and probably in less, the Atlantic and Pacific will be united, to the everlasting benefit of the world's commerce, and the effectiveness of our Navy will be doubled.
The mere statement of the things actually done by this Administration at home, in our dependencies, and in foreign affairs shows a marvel of successful accomplishment, and if ever a party has entitled itself to the approval of its works by a renewed mandate of power from the people whom it served, it is the Republican party in the present campaign.
The only respect in which nothing has been done is in the development of our foreign marine. As long as we uphold the system of protection for our home industries we must recognize that it is ineffectual to assist those of our citizens engaged in the foreign shipping business, because there is no feasible means of excluding foreign competition, and that the only other method of building up such a business is by direct aid in the form of a mail subsidy. I am in favor of the bill considered in the last Congress as a tentative step. The establishment of direct steamship lines between our Atlantic ports and South America would certainly do much to develop a trade that might be made far greater. On the Pacific, the whole shipping trade threatens to pass into the control of Japan, Something ought to be done, and the bill which failed was a step in the right direction.
The Democratic party under its present leadership in previous campaigns has manifested a willingness to embrace any doctrine which would win votes, with little sense of responsibility for its practical operation. In its striving for success it has ignored the business prosperity of the country, has departed from sound economic and governmental principles, and has reversed its own traditional views of constitutional construction. Patriotic members of the party have refused to be controlled by party ties, and have either refrained from voting or have supported the Republican candidate. May we not appeal to these courageous and independent citizens again to give us their support in this campaign, because the reasons for their breaking the bonds of party are stronger to-day than ever before?
I have now reviewed at great length the principles at issue between the two parties. When I began the preparation of this speech of acceptance I had hoped to make it much briefer than it is, but I found on an examination of the platform and on a consideration of the many measures passed during the present Administration and the issues arising out of them, that it was impossible to deal with the subjects comprehensively with proper explanation and qualification in a short discussion. This is my excuse.
I have pointed out that the attitude of the Republican party with reference to evils which have crept in, due to the enormous material expansion of this country, is to continue the Roosevelt policies of progress and regulation, while the attitude of the Democratic party under its present leadership is the change for the sake of change to the point of irresponsible destruction, and that there is no hope whatever of a restoration of prosperity in returning it to power. As said in our platform, we Republicans go before the country asking the support, not only of those who have acted with us heretofore, but of all our fellow citizens who, regardless of past political differences, unite in the desire to maintain the policies, perpetuate the blessings and make secure the achievements of a greater America.
|Citation: William Howard Taft: "Address Accepting the Republican Presidential Nomination", July 28, 1908. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=76222.|
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