Publication information
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Source: Leslie’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The President’s Message”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 93
Issue number: 2404
Pagination: 302

“The President’s Message.” Leslie’s Weekly 5 Oct. 1901 v93n2404: p. 302.
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William McKinley (last public address: personal response); Theodore Roosevelt (first annual message to Congress); William McKinley (presidential policies); United States (trade policy); William McKinley (public statements).
Named persons
William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.


The President’s Message

     THE most significant public utterance that President McKinley had made, since his election, was delivered at Buffalo a few days before his death. Within ninety days the message of President Roosevelt will be read before Congress, and it is safe to say that it will embody the earnest recommendations the late President made to the common people in his Buffalo speech. He declared himself in favor of such modifications of the protective tariff, in those directions in which the revenues are not required to encourage home industries, as will extend and promote our markets abroad by reciprocity of commercial interests. He spoke for the encouragement by subsidies of our merchant marine, the completion of an isthmian canal, and the construction of a Pacific cable.
     It will be remarkable if these suggestions do not constitute the principal recommendations of the new President’s message, as they were obviously the most striking and important utterances of his predecessor. Few Presidents have taken the public as fully into their confidence as had President McKinley. On more than one important occasion he outlined an important public policy before taking final action, with an evident purpose to give the people time for its thoughtful consideration and for an expression of public opinion. He could not have chosen a better time or place for his latest and most important utterance than that which he selected at Buffalo. He had a magnificent audience, gathered from every section of the country, and their approval of his policy was hearty and sincere.
     It was a bold thing for a Republican President, and one who had for years been regarded as the chief exponent and expounder of the doctrine of protection, as President McKinley had been, to advocate a departure from a cardinal principle of his party. That a change is necessary, now that our home market is secure, and that additional markets for our surplus products must be sought for abroad, few will deny. President McKinley, with his accustomed felicity of phrasing, gave public notice that “the period of exclusiveness is passed” [sic]. He said:
     “The expansion of our trade and commerce is the pressing problem. Commercial wars are unprofitable. A policy of good-will and friendly trade relations will prevent reprisals. Reciprocity treaties are in harmony with the spirit of the times; measures of retaliation are not. If perchance some of our tariffs are no longer needed for revenue, or to encourage and protect our industries at home, why should they not be employed to extend and promote our markets abroad?”
     This ringing appeal for a new departure must be heard. It is the first question that ought to be considered at the approaching Congress. That body has its work already well cut out.



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