Source: Providence News
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The President at Buffalo”
City of publication: Providence, Rhode Island
Date of publication: 6 September 1901
Volume number: 19
Issue number: 138
|“The President at Buffalo.” Providence News 6 Sept. 1901 v19n138: p. 4.|
|William McKinley (last public address: personal response); William McKinley (public statements).|
The President at Buffalo
At the Pan-American exposition yesterday, President
McKinley made an [sic] notable address. It was not one of those perfunctory
speeches usual on occasions of such a character, but an eloquent declaration
of principles and purposes that must appeal to the heart and sense of every
true American. While the spirit of the address, so far as it deals with foreign
concerns is eminently patriotic, it is in no sense aggressive. Indeed, though
thoroughly American, the president shows himself to be heartily in favor of
amity between the nations, which he believes can be developed and fostered by
commerce, backed by good will.
On this point the president is especially and convincingly explicit. He says: “The period of exclusiveness is past. 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.”
That is a perfectly plain and logical conclusion. This country cannot hope forever to sell its products in foreign countries and buy nothing in return. International trade is an exchange by which all the parties to it are benefited. By increasing this trade we will not only add to own property [sic], but aid in promoting that of the countries with which we have commercial relations.
The president did not fail to call attention to one of the greatest needs of the nation—an adequate steamship service to carry our freights to and from foreign ports. There is abundant capital seeking investment, yet it is not used for the development of our merchant marine doubtless because of the small return that is possible under present conditions. When Congress takes proper action, as the president seems hopeful it will, the $150,000,000 now paid annually for the transportation of ocean freights will not go almost entirely to the owners of foreign ships as at present.
President McKinley’s address as a whole is inspiring and uplifting and proves, though no proof was needed, that he is a statesman as well as a patriot.