Country Notes [excerpt]
It is by an undeniable stroke of
fate’s irony that the man of whom it was said at one time that he
was elected Vice-President of the United States in order to prevent
his election to the supreme office of the State, has now, by the
automatic action of the constitution, following the fatal and dastardly
act of an Anarchist, succeeded to a two or three years’ term of
that highest office. Acting-President Roosevelt has given proof
of his courage in fields both military and political before this;
but never, we think, has he shown that high quality more conspicuously
than in his recently-delivered address. Much there is in that address
which we as a nation must welcome warmly. In the first place, it
is the address of the man who has ever shown himself the most strenuous
enemy of that “Tammany Hall” which stands, in our view, for all
that is least honourable and desirable in American politics. The
important offices are to be entrusted, regardless of favour and
affection, to men of the highest integrity. Moreover, the address
shows a distinct leaning towards a relaxation of protective duties.
Only such duties are to be imposed as shall be necessary for the
revenue of the country and for the encouragement of certain industries.
There is a note of Protection in this last qualification, but Mr.
Roosevelt’s utterances on the whole have more of the tone of freedom
in these matters than we have yet heard from any American holding
so high an office. And, finally, he expresses himself distinctly
in favour of arbitration in international difficulties. If only
a portion of the promise that this programme holds out be fulfilled,
the Acting-President will do a great work for his country and for
all others that come into trade intercourse with it.