The President’s Words at Buffalo
noteworthy address of our late and much lamented President McKinley,
at Buffalo, his last public address, nothing was more significant
than his words touching the immediate need of great enlargement
of our merchant marine.
Following his remarks on tariff revision
and reciprocity, he goes on to say: “Then, too, we have inadequate
steamship service. New lines of steamers have already been put in
commission between the Pacific Coast ports of the United States
and those on the western coast of Mexico and Central and South America.
These should be followed up with direct steamship lines between
the eastern coast of the United States and South American ports.
“One of the needs of the times is
direct commercial lines from our vast fields of production to the
fields of consumption that we have but barely touched. Next in advantage
to having the thing to sell is to have the conveyance to carry it
to the buyer. We must encourage our merchant marine. We must have
more ships. They must be under the American flag, built and manned
and owned by Americans. These will not only be profitable in a commercial
sense, they will be messengers of peace and amity whereever [sic]
In these words, the President has
truly voiced the fast growing purpose of the American people that
no longer shall ninety-one per centum of our enormous volume of
foreign trade go in foreign bottoms, but that America shall once
more have a merchant marine worthy of her commercial traditions
and befitting her place in the world’s wealth and industries.
All signs indicate that a great revival
of American shipbuilding is at hand. It is a thousand pities that
our good President could not have lived to see our merchant service
expand to meet the growing needs of the nation, which during his
administration has had such unparalleled prosperity.