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we should be fighting only General Huerta and those who adhere to him and give him their support, and our object would be only to restore to the people of the distracted republic the opportunity to set up again their own laws and their own government.
But I earnestly hope that war is not now in question. I believe that I speak for the American people when I say that we do not desire to control in any degree the affairs of our sister republic. Our feeling for the people of Mexico is one of deep and genuine friendship, and everything that we have so far done or refrained from doing has proceeded from our desire to help them, not to hinder or embarrass them. We would not wish even to exercise the good offices of friendship without their welcome and consent.
The people of Mexico are entitled to settle their own domestic affairs in their own way, and we sincerely desire to respect their right. The present situation need have none of the grave complications of interference if we deal with it promptly, firmly, and wisely.
No doubt I could do what is necessary in the circumstances to enforce respect for our Government without recourse to the Congress, and yet not exceed my constitutional power as President; but I do not wish to act in a matter possibly of so grave consequence except in close conference and co-operation with both the Senate and House. I therefore come to ask your approval that I should use the armed forces of the United States in such ways and to such an extent as may be necessary to obtain from General Huerta and his adherents the fullest recognition of the rights and dignity of the United States, even amid the distressing conditions now unhappily obtaining in Mexico.
There can in what we do be no thought of aggression or of selfish aggrandizement. We seek to maintain the dignity and authority of the United States only because we wish always to keep our great influence unimpaired for the uses
of liberty, both in the United States and wherever else it may be employed for the benefit of mankind.
[The important event that had led up to this incident was the continued refusal to recognize Huerta. A popular election had been set in Mexico for October 26, 1913, to elect a Constitutional President. On October 10 Huerta sent a strong force of soldiers to the Parliament House in Mexico City and arrested 110 members of the lower chamber, making himself supreme and rendering the election farcical. Congress gave President Wilson the approval for which he asked, by passing a joint resolution that the President was justified in using the armed forces of the United States to enforce demands on Huerta for unequivocal amends to the United States. This resolution was adopted April 22 1914.]
Wilson ORDERS DISSOLUTION OF NEW ENGLAND RAILROAD
MERGERS [EDITORIAL Note: As a result of sensational disclosures in New England relating to monopoly of transportation acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad as a principal, the Federal Government, in order to save the interests of stock-holders and of the public, proposed to the controlling financiers a systematic process of correcting the objectionable practices and of dissolving the unlawful combinations. After long negotiations the United States Attorney-General, J. C. McReynolds, was obliged to inform the President that the directors of the N. Y., N. H. and H. R. R. had failed to comply with the terms of settlement. The President thereupon gave the AttorneyGeneral the following written instruction:]
Their final decision in this matter causes me the deepest surprise and regret. Their failure upon so slight a pretext to carry out an agreement deliberately and solemnly entered into, and which was manifestly in the common interest, is to me inexplicable and entirely without justification.
You have been kind enough to keep me informed of every step the Department took in this matter and the action of the Department has, throughout, met with my entire approval. It was just, reasonable and efficient. It should have resulted in avoiding what must now be done.
In the circumstances the course you propose is the only one the Government can pursue. I therefore request and direct that a proceeding in equity be filed, seeking the dissolution of unlawful monopolization of transportation in New England territory now sought to be mantained by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company, and that the criminal aspects of the case be laid before a Grand Jury.
WOODROW Wilson. THE WHITE HOUSE, July 21, 1914.
[EDITORIAL Note: The suit was begun October 13, 1915, and ended January 10, 1916, in the acquittal of six defendants and a disagreement of the jury as to the guilt or innocence of the other five.]
Wilson's SPECIAL MESSAGE ON PROVISIONS FOR ADDI
(Delivered before Congress in Joint Session September
4, 1914.) Gentlemen of the Congress:
I come to you to-day to discharge a duty which I wish with all my heart I might have been spared; but it is a very clear duty, and therefore I perform it without hesitation or apology. I come to ask very earnestly that additional revenue be provided for the Government.
During the month of August there was, as compared with the corresponding month of last year, a falling off of $10,629,538 in the revenues collected from customs. A continuation of this decrease in the same proportion throughout the current fiscal year would probably mean a loss of customs revenues of from sixty to one hundred millions. I need not tell you to what this falling off is due. It is due, in chief part, not to the reductions recently made in the customs duties, but to the great decrease in importations; and that is due to the extraordinary extent of the industrial area affected by the present war in Europe. Conditions have arisen which no man foresaw; they affect the whole world of commerce and economic production; and they must be faced and dealt with.
It would be very unwise to postpone dealing with them. Delay in such a matter and in the particular circumstances in which we now find ourselves as a nation might involve consequences of the most embarrassing and deplorable sort, for which I, for one, would not care to be responsible. It would be very dangerous in the present circumstances to create a moment's doubt as to the strength and sufficiency of the Treasury of the United States, its ability to assist, to steady, and sustain the financial operations of the country's business. If the Treasury is known, or even thought, to be weak, where will be our peace of mind? The whole industrial activity of the country would be chilled and demoralized. Just now the peculiarly difficult financial problems of the moment are being successfully dealt with, with great self-possession and good sense and very sound judgment; but they are only in process of being worked out. If the process of solution is to be completed, no one must be given reason to doubt the solidity and adequacy of the Treasury of the Government which stands behind the whole method by which our difficulties are being met and handled.
The Treasury itself could get along for a considerable period, no doubt, without immediate resort to new sources of taxation. But at what cost to the business of the community? Approximately $75,000,000, a large part of the present Treasury balance, is now on deposit with national banks distributed throughout the country. It is deposited, of course, on call. I need not point out to you what the probable consequences of inconvenience and distress and confusion would be if the diminishing income of the Treasury should make it necessary rapidly to withdraw these deposits. And yet without additional revenue that plainly might become necessary, and the time when it became necessary could not be controlled or determined by the convenience of the business of the country. It would have to be determined by the operations and necessities of the Treasury itself. Such risks are not necessary and ought not to be run. We can not too scrupulously or carefully safeguard a financial situation which is at best, while war continues in Europe, difficult and abnormal. Hesitation and delay are the worst forms of bad policy under such conditions.
And we ought not to borrow. We ought to resort to taxation, however we may regret the necessity of putting additional temporary burdens on our people. To sell bonds would be to make a most untimely and unjustifiable demand on the money market; untimely, because this is manifestly not the time to withdraw working capital from other uses to pay the Government's bills; unjustifiable, because unnecessary. The country is able to pay any just and reasonable taxes without distress. And to every other form of borrowing, whether for long periods or for short, there is the same objection. These are not the circumstances, this is at this particular moment and in this particular exigency not the market, to borrow large sums of money. What we are seeking is to ease and assist every financial transaction, not to add a single additional embarrassment to the situation. The people of this country are both intelligent and profoundly patriotic. They are ready to meet the present conditions in the right way and to support the Government with generous self-denial. They know and understand, and will be intolerant only of those who dodge responsibility or are not frank with them.
The occasion is not of our own making. We had no part in making it. But it is here. It affects us as directly and palpably almost as if we were participants in the circum