NOT many weeks ago, a person of some importance, with a punctilious disrelish for generous commendation, said, “The only political capital which Theodore Roosevelt possesses is courage.” It is permitted to us to doubt if one who uttered so foundationless an apothegm even suspects the high character of the endowment with which he credited President Roosevelt. There is the courage which all normal men have in actual danger, — the courage which holds them fast under fire ; there is also the courage which endures after the imagination has pictured horrors whose images drive many into panic; there is the courage which takes large responsibilities, — the courage essential to commanders in chief; there is, in civic life, the courage of first thoughts as well as the courage of convictions. The soldier or sailor who has merely the lowest kind of courage (which is often, after all, only another kind of fear, fear of contemporaneous opinion) will go forward no faster than his years carry him; the man who has the courage to subdue his imagination and to stay the panic of others is certainly fit to command divisions and squadrons, and may go higher; the man who reasons out his way to an object, and, with the responsibilities of life and death and of the honor and safety of the country upon him, goes directly to his end, possesses the serene soul of a great commander. The political leader who is ready for a fray at the drop of the first word, and has the courage to oppose without the tact to make gain by persuasion, goes nowhere; but he who contends for a well - reasoned principle, stands by it amid all dangers, wins support for it from whom he may, fighting only when persuasion fails, though then fighting with his fortunes for the stake, has the kind of courage which he must possess who attains to the heights on which a President stands. If Theodore Roosevelt’s only capital be courage, it must be this kind of courage,— a courage which is an element of a well-rounded character, in which large intelligence, prudence, forethought, and patience are found in abundance.
Mr. Roosevelt, at this writing, has been three months President, and I shall try to give, as briefly as possible, an outline of his administration during this period. The task is set me at a very early day, — too early for the prediction of results, but not too early to explain the steps taken which are indicative of the character of the administration, of what we may expect of the President. As to what we are to expect from Congress, and especially from the Senate, which asserts and exercises so much power over Presidents, time must determine.
In the first place, when President Roosevelt came into office, the civil service of the country was in a state of demoralization such as had not been known since the days of Grant. The evil influences of war had left their impress everywhere, but here so deeply that the friends of the merit system, and the officers charged with its administration, had reached the state of depression in which the mind wonders whether absolute ruin can be averted. All effort for advancement had been abandoned ; every energy was exerted to save what remained, and to prevent further demoralization and even disintegration. By means of devices — some cunning, and some merely impudent — the law was evaded in many departments of the government. To reveal the conditions prevailing in the civil service three months ago is not a grateful task, but some conception of them is necessary if we are to estimate the burden which has rested upon the shoulders of the new President. This burden will be, perhaps, sufficiently obvious to the readers of the Atlantic Monthly, if it be simply added that predatory politicians had again captured many important places in the service; that the federal offices in the Southern states were filled, almost without exception, with social outcasts whose business in politics was not only to enjoy the emoluments of office, but to sell quadrennially to the highest bidder nearly one third of the delegates to the National Convention of their party; that this corrupt organization was in close alliance with the Democratic rings of the Southern states, dividing the plunder between them, keeping down the Republican vote, and preventing decent whites from joining the Republican party. The role which the dominant Democrats have played is that of indorsers: they have assured the President, and the other powers at Washington, of the good character of the Republican officeholders in their part of the country. The conspiracy against morality and good government is as broad as the South. The Democratic politicians sustain the wretches who control the Republican organizations of the South, both because by reason of such leadership they retain their own power easily and cheaply, and because the Republican beneficiaries of the policy share with them the federal employments. No wonder that Mr. Procter, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, told a Boston audience that the South had been treated as a conquered province, and that if the Senators and Representatives of Massachusetts should secure the appointment, in their state, of such men as hold federal offices in every state of the South, there would be a revolution in the Commonwealth. In the capital, one officer, at least, has openly used his government place for party purposes, and in more than one department the rules for promotions for merit have been openly violated. So much for the evil effects of war upon the civil service of the country.
In view of the existence of this state of things, the reason for speaking first of the civil service in an article on Theodore Roosevelt as President must be clear to every one. He entered upon the duties of his office during the recess of Congress. He was not obliged, as most Presidents are, to choose a Cabinet, to frame a policy, to set an administration going. He took up the task which had been dropped by Mr. McKinley, but he took it up at a time when the distracting pressure of exoteric interests had been lightened, and when, therefore, the Executive might turn his attention to such affairs of domestic importance as had gone awry. Moreover, he was, in his place at the head of the nation, absolutely free from obligations to any leader or faction of his party. His enemies had nominated him for Vice President, partly to prevent his reëlection as governor of New York, and partly in the hope that in the vice presidency he would find his political grave. A terrible tragedy had wrought their disappointment, and they suddenly found themselves face to face with a man of whom they had thought to rid themselves, against whose natural and characteristic assertions of independence and idealism they had not even the right to protest.
At the very beginning of his term the President was called upon to apply his principles and his experiences as a civil service reformer. He knew the service from top to bottom. He had been active in the reform movement, and had been a member of the federal Civil Service Commission. Never in the history of the office has the country had a President so well equipped for the tasks of administration; never one with such an intimate knowledge of the civil service, of its virtues and its weaknesses, of the shifts of those who desire to defeat the merit system, of the attitude of Congressmen toward it, of the means by which evasion can be discovered and opposition brought to naught. Knowledge had strengthened his theories, and he was possessed of a deep conviction not only of the value, but of the necessity of the merit system. Therefore, it followed instantly upon his entrance into the presidency that the spirits of civil service reformers began to revive; from one end of the country to the other, the service itself took on a new air; those whose places and fortunes depended upon their own deserts took heart; those who had only political or personal influence to sustain them faced a discouraging future. Very soon the Civil Service Commission itself was strengthened by the appointment of Mr. W. Dudley Foulke, who has been a practical worker in behalf of the merit system for years. When this appointment was made, the administration of the civil service law passed not only into the hands of those who believed in it, but into the hands of two men whose ability and tact are equal to their zeal, — Mr. Procter, the chairman, and Mr. Foulke. With Mr. Roosevelt as President, the war on the merit system ceases for three years, at least; and at the end of that period its professed enemies will hardly have the courage to repeat their farcical assaults upon it in Congress, or their real and insidious raids upon it in the departmental and outside services.
The changes which the President has already made in the rules for the classified service are of the first importance. Among the earliest of them is one modifying the order of May 29, 1900, concerning which there has been much controversy. That order exempted from the operation and protection of the law, among others, certain designated employees and laborers of the War Department, and directed that appointments to such places and employments should be made by regulations and tests to be prescribed by the Secretary of War. This new order had not been put into operation when Mr. Roosevelt became President, and he revoked it, thereby restoring sixteen hundred persons to the classified service, and relieving Secretary Root of a task that had loomed up disagreeably before him.
Another order placed sixty Indian agents in the classified service. The importance of this change can best be illustrated by a quotation from a petition of the Indians of Fort Berthold Agency, directed to the President, and dated October 23, 1900. After reciting their charges against their agent, who was appointed and retained through political influence of the kind which has always injured our unfortunate Indian service, the petitioners say: —
“We are driven to appeal to you to relieve us from our intolerable position. We are tired of having our agency, our substance, our chances for becoming respected and self-supporting citizens, given over to these politicians who use us for political traffic. We are tired of inspectors who win our confidence and sell our interests to the highest political bidder. We are tired of having our agent place the example of drunkenness before our young men and offer them intoxicating liquors. We are tired of the spectacle of our agent’s wife, decked in a blanket, dancing the Indian dances with our Indians, who were four years ago almost entirely weaned from these old and evil customs. We are tired of chasing this political phantom. We want the fulfillment of promises. We want either the appointment of Mr. Robinson as agent, with Mr. Mattoon as clerk, or the return of Mr. Mattoon as our agent. Not only our agency, but the whole Indian nation is crying out against the evils of the political deals put upon it. We want a thorough course of civil service reform, — agents appointed from the ranks of workers in the Indian service, appointed for good morals and good standing in the Indian Department. Then we will be free from political espionage, — free to grow and become good, self-supporting citizens of the great West. We feel that the sympathy of both our commissioner and the Secretary of the Interior is and has been with us in our struggle for the right, but the Indian service has been politically handicapped. ”
Here are set forth, in strong but true colors, the evils which Mr. Roosevelt’s new rule will eventually abolish.
Heretofore the commissioners have often met with difficulty in securing evidence to sustain charges of violations of the civil service law, because officers and employees have refused to testify, and the commissioners have lacked the power to compel them. Mr. Roosevelt has issued a new rule, which gives the commissioners power to compel such testimony under penalty of dismissal. Another abuse has been the evasion of the law through transfers. A post office, for example, was about to be raised to the grade which would bring its employees within the classified service. The spoilsmen would rush their friends into its clerkships and other places. When the post office was promoted, the recipients of the spoils would go with it into the classified service, and would then be transferred to postal appointments which had been closed to them before except through competitive examination. The President has issued an order forbidding the transfer of any one who has not served for six months in the office before its inclusion in the classified service. The commissioners have also been clothed with an important authority for the prevention of the too frequent shifty evasions of the law; in brief, they may stop the pay, through a certification to the proper authority, of one who is in the service through a violation of the law.
These are the accomplishments of the President, during the first three months of his administration, for the purification of the civil service. They certainly augur well for the future, and the country may reasonably expect such an extension of the fundamental principle of the law to the more important branches of the service — to the consular service, for example — that, at the end of the present term, in 1905, the opportunities of the spoils politicians will be fewer than they have ever been in the history of the government.
Among the branches of the public service in which the merit system has not prevailed are those where it is of the most obvious importance. The President’s opportunities for giving the country the benefit of the services of the ablest and worthiest officers of the army and navy have been systematically neglected. With rare exceptions, promotions to brigadier and major generalships in the army have been made on political or personal or social influence, and rarely as a recognition of merit or a reward for service. Details to pleasant posts, to agreeable duties, to staff places, which carry temporarily higher rank and better pay, have depended on the same unjust and unworthy principle. The favorites of fortune and of society, and the officers with influential political friends, have worn the stars of the army, and have had the easy, well-paid opportunities of both services. When Mr. Cleveland was President, and Mr. Lamont Secretary of War, some changes for the better were made; but Mr. Roosevelt has decreed an end to the evil, and has announced in his message that all promotions and details in the army shall be made “solely with regard to the good of the service and to the capacity and merit of the man himself. No pressure, political, social, or personal, of any kind, will be permitted to exercise the least effect in any question of promotion or detail; and if there is reason to believe that such pressure is exercised at the instigation of the officer concerned, it will be held to militate against him.” These sentences apply to the navy as well as to the army, and are like fresh, strong northwest breezes stirring up the waters of a neglected and stagnant pool. The President quickly demonstrated the sincerity of his words by appointing as chief of ordnance, with the rank of brigadier general, a captain who was twenty-ninth on the list of the officers of his corps. The old rule not only put age and incompetency at the head of the army, but also told with special force against the graduates of the Military Academy, who have no politics and usually very few friends among the politicians. During Mr. Roosevelt’s administration, officers who have accomplished something, and the younger and educated soldiers, will have a chance such as the service has not been blessed with since the necessities of the Civil War brought to the front Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, and other graduates of West Point.
The genuineness of the President’s attitude toward the army and navy, the strength of his determination to compel discipline, and his fearlessness in the discharge of his duties are shown in the deserved rebuke which he has administered to General Miles. The disastrous controversy in the navy touching Admiral Schley had been aggravated by failure on the part of the Executive to suppress it by quick and decisive action. It had lived mainly because the right thing had not been done at the right time. If the judgment that was rendered by the Court of Inquiry had been rendered by the Executive as soon as the partisan and sectional campaign in Schley’s behalf had broken out, the claims finally made for him could not have lived a moment in the face of the ridicule with which they would have been greeted. But the scandalous talk went on, encouraged by the promotion of Schley; the events of the campaign faded out of the public memory; the real commander in chief, suffering from the injustice of the country to himself and his loyal captains, was forgotten, or, if remembered, was made the victim of the coarsest insults that ingratitude could invent; the whole naval service was in a state of intense exasperation, to the detriment of its discipline and to the threatened injury of the country; finally, the admiral of the navy, who had done so much and received so much, threw oil upon the flames by flying in the face of the law and the facts, by denying the decision of the courts, by doing his best to take from Admiral Sampson the honors that were his, after denying him the right to be heard in his own defense. At such a moment, when the navy was almost in a state of insubordination against the admiral who had been so unjust and so ungrateful, when passion was at its hottest, General Miles, forgetting his duty of subordination, careless of the obligation which rested upon him to set an example of discipline, indifferent to the welfare of the two services and to the necessity of preserving active good will between them, joined in the controversy, and, in an interview which was printed in a daily newspaper, took the side of Admiral Dewey, and therefore excited the wrath of a very large majority of the navy against the commander of the army.
The President acted promptly. General Miles was sent for. He was invited into the Cabinet room, but avoided a private interview, and was publicly reprimanded. Secretary Root, acting under the direction of the President, sent him a reproof, which will be of record for all time, the like of which no general officer of our army had ever before received. His duty was pointed out to him, his offense explained, and he was informed that the obligation to maintain discipline increased, rather than diminished, with increase of rank. Meanwhile, Secretary Long was permitted a free hand in dealing with the report of the court which found that Schley had shown himself a dilatory and vacillating commander, and, in his indorsement, he indirectly informed Admiral Dewey that his dissenting opinion, which he had not been asked for, in which he gave to Schley the honors of the destruction of Cervera’s fleet, was an impropriety. Not only that: the Secretary so pointed out the character of the impropriety as to show that it consisted in the admiral’s effort to rob a brother officer of his honors after refusing a hearing. In censuring General Miles and Admiral Dewey, and in indorsing the just verdict against Schley, the President had no thought but to do that which he deemed right, — to do justice, to teach a lesson of discipline to the lieutenant general of the army, to put an end to a disrupting controversy in the navy: and in doing this he invited a storm of criticism, faced an angry mob in and out of Congress, but taught a needed lesson to the two services, and, incidentally, to heroes who abuse their popularity to the injury of the government whose welfare they are bound to put above their own ambitions.
So far, we have considered that part of the public service which will be generally recognized as non-political, and to which almost any business man would at once and without question apply the merit system. There is, also, a numerous and important class of offices known as presidential offices, because the President nominates and the Senate confirms those who perform their duties. No effort has yet been made to include these offices within the merit system, although the time is probably coming when the system will be extended to first-class post offices, customs and internal revenue collectorships, and to the diplomatic as well as the consular service. Heretofore, however, these important offices have always been regarded as the spoils of the victors. A general change, a universal sweeping out of incumbents, efficient as well as inefficient, good as well as bad, has been expected as a matter of course with every change of administration. The vicious practice is followed whether the change in Presidents be simply of one individual of a party for another, or of one party for the other. In the one case, the personal adherents of the new President used to take the places vacated by the expulsion of the personal adherents of the retiring President; in the other, Republicans have been succeeded by Democrats, or vice versa. In either case, the public service suffers, and the country pays the political debts of an individual or a party. Of recent years the power of the Senate has enormously developed, so that the federal patronage in the different states has been bestowed upon their Senators, who, with rare exceptions, have had merely to name their candidate in order to secure his nomination by the President. The meretricious “rule of courtesy,” also, by which the Senate is guided, has been so extended that a President denies the application of a Senator at the peril of seeing his own selections rejected by the confirming power; for the Senators stand by one another with the loyalty of pretorian guards. So dominating has the Senate become that a President has been known to ask, in all meekness of spirit, for the privilege of naming one of his own subordinates to an office situated in his own state. It must not be imagined, of course, that such a request from the President would be met churlishly: a Senator can be generous to the Executive, on occasion.
The attitude of President Roosevelt on the subject of his own appointments is interesting and refreshing. He treats Senators as advisers, but not as controllers of his discretion. The offices for which he makes nominations are to him. as they are to the law, executive and administrative, and therefore he is responsible for the character of the men whom he selects. Senators are now beginning to learn from experience with the new President that they can secure an appointment in each instance only for one who, in the President’s judgment, is the best of all who are named for the place. Republican Senators are consulted first, as a matter of course, but they are not the only persons whose advice is sought. The testimony of others is taken. The Representatives in Congress are not neglected, and the investigation into character and capacity does not stop even here. If the case is a difficult one, if the President remains in doubt after all his inquiries of Republican Senators and Representatives and of the leaders of Republican organizations, he does not hesitate to seek advice elsewhere; and occasionally he receives disinterested and valuable counsel from gold Democrats, especially in the Southern states, where the character of the Republican organization is so bad that its testimony as to applicants for office is quite worthless; indeed, it would not be far from the truth to say that a recommendation from a Southern Republican organization is evidence of the bad character of the person in whose favor it is given. That the President will be deceived and misled, and will make mistakes in his selections, goes without saying. Mistakes are inevitable under our system. No human mind is capable of making the right choice between candidates for every federal office in our widespread country. What is important to know is that the President will never appoint any one merely on the recommendation of a Senator or any other party leader, or as a personal favor, or to build up a faction for himself or for another. He will not, if he can help it, permit the employment of the public service for private orparty ends. His attitude in this respect is illustrated by a recent incident. A Senator had named two candidates for an internal revenue colleetorship, both of whom proved to be utterly worthless. At last the President asked the Senator if he could not find a good man anywhere in his state. The Senator replied that he had done his best; that he had named the two men who could get the most Roosevelt delegates for 1904. He was reasoning along customary lines from a familiar premise; and so fixed was his habit of thought that it was some time before the President was able to convince him that he was looking, not for delegates, but for a good internal revenue collector. Indeed, the President was forced, finally, to pry open the senatorial mind to the truth by declaring that if a good Republican could not be named, he would himself find a Democrat.
The President makes no war on Senators and their personal power. He has never yet sought to build up a personal organization of his own. His principle in Washington is the same as it was at Albany. He did not war with Senator Platt and Mr. Odell. He contented himself with demanding, in every instance, the best possible man for the place. If the organization named such a man, he was appointed. If the Addicks faction in the state of Delaware, for example, should name a better man for an office than the candidate of the worthier faction, the Addicks man would receive the appointment. If the Kerens man of Missouri or the Burton man of Kansas — an extreme supposition, though not impossible or even unprecedented — is the best offered, he will succeed. The extent of the Senator’s or the party leader’s privilege is the opportunity to name the best candidate, and priority.
Little by little, Senators are learning that the President is keeping his hands off from faction fights and their own political affairs. He is not looking for delegates; he is not building up or pulling down with an eye to the convention of 1904. If he receives the nomination then, it will be because his administration has been successful, and because the rank and file of his party want him. It will not be because he has a machine to support him; nor will he fail of receiving the nomination by the opposition of the enemies inevitably created by such a machine. The politicians are learning that when the President disapproves of their recommendations it is always in behalf of better men named by others. They are not “turned down,” in the ordinary sense of the politician’s term, when their advice is rejected; they have not gained a personal triumph when their man is appointed. The decision is not as to them at all, is not intended to affect their political fortunes one way or the other, but is invariably based on the merits or demerits of their recommendations.
The consequence of this attitude is that the President is forcing the recommendation of good men from those who have been in the habit of naming politicians who would advance their patrons’ fortunes. This has already had an important influence on the character of the federal bench. In the appointment of judges, the President insists on a most thorough investigation into the characters and capacities of all who are named for a vacancy. This investigation is made by himself and Attorney-General Knox, and the opinion of the bar is often likely to have more weight than that of the politicians. The Republican machine of Virginia, for example, was opposed to both Judge Lewis and Henry Clay McDowell, Jr. The party leaders desired the selection of a lawyer of their own kidney, but, after a long struggle and many cunning efforts to circumvent the President, they learned that Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Knox were well informed as to the relative merits of Virginia lawyers, and they assented to Mr. McDowell’s appointment. Judge Jones, a Democrat of Alabama, and Mr. Baker, of Indiana, were selected purely because the President believed that they were the best men who could be found for the positions. It has been said that the selection of Judge Baker was a triumph for Senator Beveridge; for while Senators are beginning to realize the truth, the ordinary newsgatherer continues to cling to the idea that, in every appointment, some one must be “turned down,” and some one else must “win out.” Senator Beveridge was shrewd enough to select the lawyer who of all the bar of Indiana was thought by the President the one best qualified for a judgeship, and Senator Fairbanks opposed Mr. Baker on old-fashioned spoils principles. If both Senators had united in opposition, Judge Baker would nevertheless have been appointed; for the President was satisfied, by an independent investigation, that he was preeminently the man for the place. Of all the appointments that he is called upon to make, the President properly regards those to the bench as the most important, and he hopes that hereafter his judicial appointees will be spoken of as examples of what judges should be, and that they will furnish a standard, to attain which future Presidents will be obliged to search as carefully, to investigate as closely, to take as much personal pains as he is taking now.
When Mr. Roosevelt succeeded to the presidency, he promised to continue the policy of his predecessor, and he invited Mr. McKinley’s Cabinet to retain their portfolios to the end of his term. The feature of the so-called McKinley policy which was of most importance to the country was that touching its money, its currency, and its commercial interests. Certainly there is no change here. So far as our insular or colonial system can be said to have been determined, it also will evidently undergo no change; but in many of its important features it was and is in an embryonic state. New questions are constantly arising; new phases of old questions are constantly presenting themselves. For example, the recent decision of the Supreme Court determining the status of the Philippines under the tax clause of the Constitution has made tariff legislation necessary. The bill which, at this writing, has just passed the House of Representatives, having the concurrence of the administration, imposes upon imports into the Philippines the taxes levied under the McKinley administration, and on imports from the Philippines the Dingley rates which were collected by the McKinley administration. The Taft Commission continues the work which it began under Mr. McKinley. There is precisely the same determination to put down the “insurrection.” In the policy of justice to the Cubans as regards commercial relations, the new President agrees with Mr. Root, Mr. McKinley’s Secretary of War. We find, also, the continuance of opposition to tariff changes except through reciprocity treaties ; an advocacy of ship subsidies, but not of the adoption of the Frye bill of the last session of Congress; the same purpose to construct an isthmian canal; a firm adherence to the Monroe Doctrine; and the same view of the Chinese Exclusion Act that Mr. McKinley entertained.
The old policies are not changed, although they are likely to be modified, as they might have been had Mr. McKinley lived. Time as well as man changes policies. New questions present themselves, also, and the mind of the new President has necessarily a different point of view, and a perspective that differs from that of his predecessor. It is not only the combinations of wealth known as trusts which present themselves in larger proportions to the mind of the one than they did to that of the other, but the subjects of forestry and game preservation, of irrigation, of practical army and navy reforms, appeal more strongly to Mr. Roosevelt than they did to Mr. McKinley. The general policy of the one, however, if it differs in the relative proportions of its details, is substantially that of the other. Commercial and financial interests, at least, have the promise of essentially the same support and encouragement under Mr. Roosevelt that they had under the McKinley administration. How the plans that are in the area of discussion only are to work out is another question : whether expectations entertained by both administrations are to be realized, or abandoned as unworkable, time alone can tell; and time and changing and developing conditions would bring forth the same results to policies whether Roosevelt or McKinley were President. What we know is that the promise to maintain the general policy of the dead President has been kept, and is likely to be kept, by his living successor, and that the material welfare of the country is as safely and wisely guarded as it would have been if the awful tragedy at Buffalo had not been enacted.
It was impossible for the McKinley Cabinet to remain intact as the Roosevelt Cabinet, but the invitation to its members to remain was wisely given. There was in this invitation, however, precisely the guarantee that there is in an original appointment, and no more. A Cabinet remains together just so long as it works well unbroken and with the President. When it ceases to do so, a change is not only wise, but necessary to the welfare of the country. Mr. Roosevelt was no more bound to keep the Cabinet intact to the end of his term than Mr. McKinley would have been. His acceptance of the new President’s invitation did not bind any member of the Cabinet to remain any more than he would have been compelled to continue in office by reason of his acceptance of Mr. McKinley’s appointment. It is reasonably certain that neither Mr. Roosevelt nor the members of the Cabinet took any other view than this of their mutual relations. The Cabinet is the President’s political family, and there must be that intimacy between the chief and his associates which is inspired by friendship and confidence; and there must be, too, not only a common general purpose, but also an absolute agreement as to the best methods of attaining it. Two men having a common object cannot always, or nearly always, work with the same tools. No two Presidents, however much they might be in agreement, would select the same advisers. Mr. Roosevelt is fortunate in having at least four men in the present Cabinet whom he would now select for the places which they hold. Mr. Arthur was not so fortunate, nor were Tyler and Fillmore. The last two appointed absolutely new Cabinets, and several of them, while Mr. Arthur retained Mr. Robert T. Lincoln alone of the Garfield Cabinet. At this writing, Postmaster-General Smith has resigned, and Mr. Henry C. Payne has succeeded him. This change has been followed by the resignation of Mr. Gage, Secretary of the Treasury, and the appointment of Governor Shaw, of Iowa, to succeed him. Mr. Gage’s task has been well performed, but, in one form or another, the tariff question is again coming to the front, and in the consideration of its problems the new Secretary will probably be of more assistance to the President. The country will be glad to learn that Mr. Hay, at the President’s earnest request, has consented to remain in the Cabinet to the end of the term. The two men complement each other perfectly.
It is not yet the time to consider the effect of Mr. Roosevelt’s system of administration on his relations with the Senate, nor to discuss his policies of state; for the future alone can tell what will happen from the one, or in what direction and with what force and perspective the others are to develop. A marvelous change has already been wrought in the morale of the civil service ; much more ought to be done, and much will be done. A like change is promised for the army and navy. It remains to be seen whether or not the politicians will stand in the President’s way ; but at all events this is true : that the very efforts of the President to elevate the tone and character of the public services, the fine spirit in which he has begun to avail himself of his splendid opportunities, will influence for good the politics of the country, — help the blind to see the value of public chastity, and the deaf to hear the voices of the people greeting unselfish service in their behalf.
Henry Loomis Nelson.