AT a time when the American Congress seems incapable of mustering a majority on any subject, it has with practical unanimity passed upon an issue probably the most momentous upon which it has ever taken action. By majorities of five to one in the House and ten to one in the Senate, Congress has voted the practical exclusion of foreigners and the total exclusion of Asiatics from settlement in the United States. This action may have been wise; indeed I am inclined to think it fundamentally right and inevitable. But it is not so clear that the actors were wise or that the manner and motive of their action were justifiable. The avowed reason for this action, at least in individual cases, was a trivial diplomatic incident, capable, perhaps, of the construction placed upon it, but equally capable of a different construction had such been desired. The real reason was a political and economic situation superficially perceived and little understood, and the compelling cause a vast, cosmic pressure of which political discussion has as yet betrayed no consciousness. This action, considered in its immediate international reactions, in its relation to our traditional policy, and in the immeasurable scope of the forces which it challenges connotes a crisis, not only in our national life but in the life of the w orld, compared with which our struggles for national union and for the abolition of slavery are of but secondary importance.
The action in question presents three distinct problems which, beginning with the trivial, rise in overwhelming crescendo, to the momentous. The first is a diplomatic episode; the second is the problem of race discrimination; the third, the problem of exclusion. Let us give to each of these an attention somewhat proportioned to its merits.
The diplomatic episode looms large in the discussion of the moment and obscures the larger issues. Its details are familiar. The exclusion of the Japanese, long a recognized policy of our government, has for some years been effected without law or treaty by the so-called ‘Gentleman’s Agreement,’ a pledge on the part of the Japanese Government not to grant passports to Japanese settlers and a perfectly correct refusal of our Government to admit them without. This considerate method of exclusion, so passionately desired by Japanese sensibilities, was unsatisfactory to the radical elements of the Pacific Coast, apparently not because it was ineffectual, but because it was too gentlemanly. The stigma which the Japanese sought to avoid is precisely the thing which certain elements desire to affix, race competition having long since engendered race antipathy. The minor issue in the immigration bill was, therefore, between the Gentleman’s Agreement and a flat law of exclusion.
As a compromise it was suggested that the Gentleman’s Agreement be itself enacted into law, thus ensuring greater sanction and perhaps greater stability. It was in support of this measure that Ambassador Hanihara addressed to Secretary Hughes his letter in which he made the unfortunate allusion to ‘grave consequences.’ This letter was sent by Secretary Hughes, a pronounced supporter of the proposed compromise, to the Senate, apparently with the thought that it would further the desired end.
The effect was the reverse. The Senate chose to construe the letter as a threat and found in it a reason or a pretext for the overwhelming rejection of the compromise.
Need the Senate have taken this attitude in deference to our national interests? The expression, ‘grave consequences,’ is one of a series including: ‘would regard as an unfriendly act,’‘could not view with indifference,’ and so forth — which, in the euphemistic language of diplomacy, have acquired a more or less technical meaning. I think, however, that no one experienced in diplomatic usage will claim that these expressions are equivalent. To ‘regard as an unfriendly act’ is a direct threat of war and must be followed by a declaration of war if the other country persists in the objectionable course. A statement that we ‘could not view with indifference’ means a very strong protest with war as a possibility, but it hardly necessitates an immediate declaration of war as an alternative or precludes another settlement. An allusion to ‘grave consequences,’ though serious, is a much milder term and by no means implies a threat of war.
Not only is this term milder and more vague, but it can hardly be said that this technical meaning debars the phrase from use in the looser, popular sense. It is obvious that very many relations between nations might be characterized as grave even when the possibility of war was excluded. Thus the Chinese boycott of Japanese goods following the episode of ‘the twentyone points’ was certainly a grave consequence. Nor is it too much to say that the situation already created by the action of Congress is to be thus characterized.
It is clear, therefore, that these words, whether used technically or popularly, did not necessarily imply a threat of war or of other unfriendly action on the part of the Japanese Government. They did imply, of course, deep resentment on the part of the Japanese people with whatever of inconvenience and loss that might entail. That was a foregone conclusion. “Whether it meant more than this was to be inferred from the situation.
Now the situation was to a remarkable degree reassuring. There has, undoubtedly, long been a party in Japan which looks forward to the necessity, possibly even the desirability of eventual war with the United States; but there is reason to believe that this party has steadily lost ground in recent years. The Washington Conference with its cancellation of the AngloJapanese Alliance and other measures greatly lessened the power of Japan for such an offensive. On top of this came the earthquake, which for a considerable time virtually paralyzes Japan as a military nation. These, one and all, do not preclude the possibility of war between Japan and the United States, but they do postpone that possibility for a considerable period. Economic relations, in turn, amounting to little less than dependence, preclude any rational resort to other forms of hostility.
If Ambassador Hanihara, therefore, intended his message as a threat, it was peculiarly ill-timed and foolish. Japanese statesmen have rarely been open to this charge. In astuteness, ability to size up the situation, and above all in self-control and ability to dissemble and bide their time they have few equals. It was therefore perfectly possible to construe this message in an innocent sense. Secretary Hughes, the equal perhaps of Heflin and Caraway, evidently so construed it. Possibly contact with Secretary Hughes misled the Ambassador into thinking that he represented the temper of the American people. He did not. The American people has drifted into an attitude of antipathy toward the Japanese and the Congressional sounding boards at Washington reverberate the antipathy. The call was for drastic action, however unnecessary and however unwise. The problem was to find the pretexts. The message could be made to serve the purpose and it was so used. We threw away, deliberately and consciously, the results of our finest diplomatic achievement since Roosevelt kept the Kaiser out of Venezuela; and we reopened the sorest international wound in our recent history. All for nothing.
It is claimed, of course, that the Gentleman’s Agreement had been evaded. Does anybody think the exclusion law will not be evaded? that our Canadian and Mexican borders will be effectively policed? Does anybody think that a million Japanese settled across the Mexican border would be restrained by that international chalk-mark? Was Japanese official honor, probably the highest in the world, worth nothing as enlisted for our protection in the Gentleman’s Agreement? One of the finest achievements of statesmanship is to lay the onus of action upon the other party, to enlist his sense of honor and moral responsibility on your side.
This achievement of Roosevelt we have wantonly sacrificed. Congress has failed disastrously to consider the ‘imponderables.’
Thus far we have considered only the question of method. We now come to a far more vital question, race discrimination. This takes two forms — absolute exclusion of the non-white races, and unequal restriction as applied to the white race. Of the nonwhite we shall consider only the Japanese who alone have the organization and the alertness to make serious protest. We shall not quite forget, however, that back of Japan are other races, many fold more numerous and potentially more powerful, for whom the logic of events makes Japan, in a sense, the spokesman. What differences, relevant to our inquiry, exist between these races and the white races in whose favor we discriminate?
The assumption on both sides is that the difference is one of quality or capacity. The whites constantly imply if they do not assert their superiority, and the non-whites as constantly resent it. Passionate arguments against this assumption only bear witness to its reality and establish a presumption in its favor. Whoever heard of Englishmen arguing that they were the equal of Hindus, or resenting Tagore’s claims in behalf of his race? While no measurement is possible and no criteria can be agreed upon or defined, we only make ourselves foolish by arguing for the equality of the races of men. Equal in God’s sight if you will, but if this is so, then frankly that is one of the last points on which we are likely to come into sympathetic understanding with the Almighty.
But while we must recognize immense differences of attainment and presumably of potential capacity as between different races, it is by no means clear that the line is to be drawn between white and non-white. Not all the white races are of high capacity nor all the non-whites feeble. The history of China and Japan, already a very long one, does not stamp them as inferior. England boasts that for over eight hundred years her island home has been inviolate. Japan, similarly situated and confronted by a far more powerful enemy, can boast an immunity three times as long. The Mongolian East was civilized and had its inimitable art and its aristocracy of letters when the Saxons were tending swine in sheepskin clot hing. When we opened the door of Japan with complacent condescension, the interchange of amenities brought to our President beautiful specimens of gold lacquer, bronze, silver, porcelain, rolls of silk brocade and pongee, coral and silver ornaments and other articles innumerable, in return for our own gracious gifts to his Imperial Majesty, which included among other things a diminutive locomotive, a telegraph key and wire, a natural history of the State of New York, sixteen volumes of the Annals of Congress, Journal of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York, two volumes of Lighthouse Reports, a barrel of whiskey with an assortment of other liquors, and three ten cent boxes of tea. A dozen other notables received more modest gifts in all of which whiskey figured largely. Speaking of national affronts, it must not be forgotten that Japan has had something to put up with.
If the relative showing at that time was not wholly flattering to us, I doubt if the subsequent period has redressed the balance. It is a period in which we have little occasion to be ashamed of our achievements, but even less has Japan. Very wonderful has been the Anglo-Saxon’s progress and his peaceable adaptation to modern conditions during the last seventy years; but the record of the Japanese during the same period is one for which the AngloSaxon can offer no counterpart at any period of his history.
We would better go slow, then, in provoking comparisons of capacity between ourselves and the Japanese. The facts cited are typical and relevant, nor do I know any counter facts to offset them. It is a matter both of fairness and of good policy to withdraw all insinuations or implications of Japanese inferiority. Judged by any common-sense standard, the white races as a whole are superior to the non-white, but there are whites who are less fit for American citizenship than the Japanese, and we have received such and are still receiving them into our fellowship.
The test is not capacity or superiority but assimilability. By this I do not mean ability to learn our ways, our habits of thought, and our ideals. There is no reason to doubt that the Japanese can become as good an American as the best in these respects. But can he cease to become Japanese and become one of us so that we shall not think of him as anything different or remember his origin any more than we remember our own ancestry of a few generations back? This is primarily a question of intermarriage. If he will marry us and we him, we shall forget. If not, not. This the white races do, though with unequal facility. The German or the Norwegian released from Ellis Island may not seem an eligible party, but. no one draws the line at his son or daughter. In two or three generations at most the separate strain is lost and we are all Americans together.
But we do not wish to marry the Japanese and the Japanese are as little disposed to marry us. Procreation therefore perpetuates the race distinction instead of obliterating it. With extensive contact there would no doubt be some crossing of the line; but most of it at the bottom of the social scale and thus of a nature to discredit the union. The lot of the Eurasians in the East or of the mulattoes with us is not one to commend their origin to right-thinking persons.
But why this necessity of assimilation if the Japanese can acquire our ideals and become loyal supporters of our institutions? Why can we not live in harmony side by side — distinct, yet united by a common loyalty to a common government ? This question is very honestly asked by a certain number of the benevolently minded to whom the policy of exclusion is inherently distasteful. It is perhaps sufficient to reply that we are not very harmonious at best, that differences of opinion and clashes of interest are at all times threatening our peace and limiting our power of action, and that differences of any sort are constantly exploited by the spirit of faction. Even the temporary race-consciousness of our immigrant population, obliterated in a generat ion or two, is a grave political and social danger. What would it be if it were perpetual?
But in the case of the Japanese there is a far graver danger. The white races, broadly speaking, have reached a common solution of the problem of civilization. They differ widely in their standard of living and in innumerable details, but they seek well-being in fairly uniform ways and under similar conditions they work by similar methods toward similar ends.
Not so the Japanese. They have reached a very different solution of the great problem — a solution which is quite as satisfactory to them as ours to us and which may well be our envy and our despair. They have made far better terms with nature than we seem able to make, terms which permit them not only to live but to provide themselves with the elegances and refinements of a very high civilization at a fraction of the cost which our method imposes upon us. If their standard of living were inferior to ours, they would quickly learn to prefer ours when brought in contact with it. But it is not inferior. It lacks much that we care for, but it has much that they care for and that ours lacks. In a word, they have hit upon a marvelously efficient and cheap way of getting highgrade results. This gives to their way of life a tenacity which a life of squalor and deprivation does not possess.
No doubt with prolonged contact even this difference would disappear. We should adopt their way of living or they ours or there would be a compromise between the two. But the two facts to be remembered are first, that we are dealing with a relatively permanent rather than a temporary raceconsciousness; and second, that theirs is a tenacious rather than a willingly surrendered way of life. For both these reasons the disparity is likely to be long continued. For generations the Japanese would remain among us a peculiar people.
And during all this period, be it remembered, the odds would be overwhelmingly against us. They would make money where we should lose and would flourish where we should starve. The competition might be perfectly honorable, even considerate; but it would be not the less fatal to the dispossessed and disastrous to the social order.
It may be objected that this process of displacement is always going on, that the fit are always displacing the unfit and that philosophically considered it has its justification. This is true; but few realize how delicate is the adjustment required to permit the continuance of this wholesome process without disrupting society. Every society has its submerged tenth, its margin of the inefficient that it is concerned to eliminate, but with the least possible disturbance to the social structure. Let the number become too great or the process too harsh, and society is at once confronted with a revolt which may prove its undoing. The rejected must be too few and too weak to be dangerous, too obviously unfit to inspire dangerous sympathies or futile efforts at rehabilitation. Exceed those limits in whatever manner, and you raise up against society an enemy against which the organism is incapable of protecting itself.
What may be expected to happen when the line is drawn between two races consciously distinct, and the losing race is in the majority? What prospect is there that a race as virile as our own, and perfectly capable of annihilating its rival by weapons ready to its hand, would submit to be peaceably dispossessed by economic forces so favorable to its opponent? The question has already been answered by the revolt of the Pacific Coast. It is well that the decision has come thus early when the result is assured without a struggle and with a minimum of cost. With a larger Japanese population on the Pacific Coast, race rivalry would have become race conflict with an inevitable appeal of the Japanese to the mother country for aid that could not and would not have been refused. If we want war with Japan, the sure way to get it is to open our doors to Japanese immigration.
Most of the foregoing holds with equal or greater force of other Asiatic peoples. Chinese and Hindus are even less assimilable than Japanese. They have lass powerful backing and this makes their exclusion easier — but not less imperative. Our door is and must be closed to Asiatic immigration, to the immigration of the non-white, id est, the non-marriageable races.
Turning to the white races the case is somewhat different. These are assimilable, though unequally and after a certain delay. At the head of the eligible list stand the English, who have the advantage of a common language. A close second stand the Nordics generally, — the Germans, Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, — whose assimilability has long been demonstrated. There can be no question that the Mediterranean peoples become less quickly and less completely American than the Nordics, due in part to their different temperament but more to their different inheritance of political and social ideas. In marked contrast with these easily assimilable races stand the Jews, not because of inferiority or inherent defects but because they have managed, through all the vicissitudes of twenty troubled centuries, to obey too strictly the injunction: ‘Come ye out from among them and be ye separate.’ Something of race solidarity which is in part their choice and in part imposed upon them remains as an uneliminable obstacle to their assimilation.
Our policy of discrimination as applied to the white races is a pretty delicate matter. Our preference for the Nordics is undoubtedly justified, but among peoples as among individuals, the expression of these preferences needs to be tempered by discretion. The choice of the census of 1890 as the basis of our quota is probably less offensive than calling names; but it is entirely arbitrary and a very bold expression of Nordic preference. Perhaps no better method could have been devised, but it has glaring defects. It favors the English, but also the Irish a matter for finite congratulation. If it excludes the Russian Jew, there is nothing to prevent the large German quota being entirely Jewish.
But this question of discrimination as between whites loses significance in the face of clear indications that it is a stepping-stone to complete exclusion. It is not so much the fact of restriction as its progressive character, not so much the decision as the increasing unanimity with which we have reached it, that counts. The previous quota of three per cent is reduced to two per cent, and this is reinforced by an absolute numerical limit. Exceptions have been abolished. It is amazing with what rapidity this new policy has developed. For years no restrictive measure could secure a majority in Congress. When finally voted it was vetoed; then vetoed again and passed over the veto; and now in this most drastic form it is voted with approximate unanimity. No one doubts the country’s consent. What next? The tide may turn, but there is no sign of its turning. The prospect is for complete exclusion at an early date.
This is the momentous issue already referred to as more important than slavery or national union. Slavery was a domestic issue. It aroused the opposition of philanthropists, but it affected the life of the outside world but little. National union was perhaps of more interest, for upon it depended our weight in the council of nations. But neither of them approximated in international interest to this problem of immigration which our senators affirm to be ‘a purely domestic question.’ It is, on the contrary, the most obviously international of all our modern questions. The transfer of citizens from one allegiance to another is clearly a matter of joint concern.
For let us not forget, this policy is absolutely without precedent in the history of the world. There have been plenty of exclusions but not of this kind. There have been hermit nations like Japan and Korea that forbade all intercourse with foreigners, punishing either entrance or exit with death. There have been attempts without number to expel undesirables and to attract desirables, all predicated upon the right which we now invoke of determining the kind of persons with whom we shall choose to live. But never before has a nation attempted exclusion under such conditions and for such ends as in the present instance.
Men everywhere tend to multiply to the limit of sustenance, and since that limit is a fluctuating one, a season of crop failure exposes them to famine. Increase, crop failure, and famine, this is the normal cycle of life for an incontinent people. The majority of mankind has always been and still is in that class. The constant background of history is a succession of these cycles. Where relations between nations are complex and confused as in Europe, the sequence is obscured, and famine and pestilence are more or less systematically commuted for their more merciful alternate — war. But in the record of a hermit country, such as was Japan for two centuries and a half, where war was excluded by organization and isolation, the cycle was repeated with monotonous regularity. Men thought of famine as we do of death, as a thing sure to come though you could not tell just when.
This equilibrium which we may fairly characterize as the normal lot of mankind has long been the condition in India and China where the efforts of philanthropy and science advance the fighting line but gain no permanent advantage. It was the condition in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, though here famine was more often commuted to war than in the East. It is true in Russia to-day.
But for the last two or three centuries a favored portion of humanity has been granted a suspension of sentence, a suspension so long that it is mistaken for a permanent reprieve. During all these centuries of crowding and intermittent famine half the world was unknown and virtually unoccupied. Suddenly this empty world was discovered and appropriated by the more favorably situated of the old world peoples. They were slow to realize the advantage, and but a part availed themselves of it.
But to that limited part these discoveries brought an opportunity so vast that it changed for a time the fundamental laws of their being. As the barriers to occupancy were slowly broken down and the inertia of the situation overcome, all the pent up energies of the race were released and expansion proceeded unchecked. If the potato crop failed in Ireland, half Ireland moved overseas. If there was revolution in Germany, the defeated party came to America. If Russia persecuted her dissenters from the Orthodox faith, they found asylum in the new lands. Each year the movement became easier and the swelling tide increased. The new lands not only received the immigrants but sent back food to those who remained. Thus, while Europe was peopling a new world, she doubled her population at home. And still famine remained afar; the ban upon increase seemed lifted. Nature seemed even to have put a premium upon it. Coinciding, as the movement did, with a vast series of scientific discoveries and mechanical inventions, and favored of necessity for a time by the law of increasing returns, increase of population has for a century connoted an increase in well-being. Superficial thinking has been quick to throw the time-honored philosophy into the discard and grasp the proffered optimism. Nature is not niggardly but bountiful; famine is not necessary and therefore it is disgraceful, a concomitant of savagery and sloth. Thus a contributor to the Boston Transcript makes the confident assertion that, when our population reaches the figure of two billions, there will be more food per capita than now and we shall just be beginning to be comfortable.
This comfortable optimism leads to many agreeable conclusions. The notion that there is pressure of population in Europe is a myth. If Belgium imports four fifths of her food why can’t the rest of them do it? Why can they not house as many as they have standing-room for? The sufficient safeguard against famine is enterprise, thrift, civilization. The numerous population of Europe is not a source of hardship or danger. It is an advantage — a source of strength. This may sound a little extreme, as is wont to be the case when we formulate into definite propositions those vague assumptions to which we commit ourselves under the lead of interest and predilection. But left in their usual hazy and subconscious form they form one of the major premises of our modern psychology. Their significant corollary is that we inflict no hardship by restricting immigration. We may admit aliens if we please, as we may admit strangers to our homes; but we are equally free to exclude them and may do so without injury and without compunction.
Meanwhile the old world, in its turn, has developed a psychology equally abnormal, born of the situation. The peoples of Europe have been accustomed for centuries to find in emigration a refuge from famine, persecution, and misgovernment. If you cannot get a job or a piece of land in Europe, go and settle in America. If you are too old to go, send you son and let him send back his earnings for you to live on. If you are unreconciled to your government, go where there is a better one or one more pliable to your will. If you are persecuted or ostracized for your religious opinions, go where religion is a matter of private choice. Precept and practice have united in enforcing this philosophy — a philosophy endorsed by none more completely than by ourselves. Under this philosophy, the very antithesis of the stolid fatalism of static societies, the world has become fluid and dynamic. This enormous privilege of expansion, abnormal and temporary though it certainly is, has been of such scope and duration as to be mistaken for a permanent condition. This privilege of migration, almost unrestricted for three hundred years, has inevitably acquired in the popular mind the character of a natural and inalienable right.
To further complicate our problem, these empty lands, while as yet they were but beginning to be filled, have passed largely under the control of a single people, themselves largely supplanters of rivals earlier in possession. The Spaniard still has a feeble mestizo hold on a large part of his original possession; but the most and best of the American continent, with nearly all of its mineral resources, as well as the whole of New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, are in Anglo-Saxon possession. This is more than half the white man’s land of the world and more than two thirds of the territory available for further settlement. To much of this the French and Spanish had an equal or prior claim. They lost it chiefly because of restriction or discrimination in connection with immigration. The Spanish favored Spaniards; the French would have none but Catholics. But the Anglo-Saxon, despite local intolerance in some of his settlements, has welcomed everybody. The AngloSaxon policy has been an open-door policy. His achievements in the way of assimilation have been simply colossal. From every part of Europe have come throngs with their babel of tongues, their diversities of practice and belief, all to become in due season fairly standardized Americans, speaking a more or less intelligible American dialect and measurably devoted to the country and the flag.
And here again this open-door policy has become to the popular mind a part of the constitution of nature, a natural right. What else does it mean when European and Japanese denounce our exclusion policy as unjust? They are as confident of their right to enter as we are of our right to keep them out, and all for the very good reason that they have so long enjoyed the privilege. Let the public make a thoroughfare through your premises for a sufficient number of years and you cannot close it. You have created a public highway. Europe has enjoyed this privilege since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, and privilege has hardened into right.
I am not defending this view. I am merely noting its existence. We have a head-on collision between two instinctive assertions of natural right. We are colliding, too, at a moment when the opposing forces are at their maximum of energy. The static mood has well nigh disappeared. The world is on the move. Never was the desire to migrate so general or the need so urgent as now. It is at such a time that we decide to close our gates, against Asiatics wholly, and against Europeans in major part. Thousands are waiting at the border, ready for the midnight rush when the ban is briefly lifted, and steamers are counting seconds in their race across the line. Foreign governments are clamoring for consideration for their nationals and threatening reprisals. But we sit complacently deaf.
There are reasons and good ones for what we are doing. The best reason of all is the desire that the Anglo-Saxon in his true character, undiluted and unperverted, shall inherit these lands and give his incomparable guidance to our developing world. It is an ideal to be boldly avowed. The best chance to make this an orderly world, a prosperous and peaceable world, is to make it an Anglo-Saxon world. Let those of other view act according to their conviction, but let us act according to our own. Every foot of soil that we control we hold in trust for that world of the future whose very flesh and blood is to be determined by our holding. It is a great trust and the end in view is worth any hazard.
But let us not be blind to the hazard. It is a fighting proposition that confronts us. The world will not tamely relinquish the prize that we withhold. The Anglo-Saxon still has room, enormous room, which others need and covet. Australia has a population of one and a half to the square mile, Canada two and a half, the United States 32, Europe (as a whole) 110, Italy 326, Japan 376, and England 649. Will these peoples acquiesce unresistingly in so unequal a division of the good things of the earth? Yes, if they must; not otherwise. There will be lip service to our doctrine that immigration is a purely domestic question, but it will be in recognition of our power, not of our right. The country is ours, we say. Well, we got here first. If we can hold it against later comers it will be ours; but our right will be the right of the strong. Against any ethical claim that we may assert, they can oppose another quite as good and one to them far more apparent.
I do not wish to imply that other nations will declare w ar upon us on this issue. Europe will not force open our gates as she did the gates of China, or as we did the gates of Japan. The conditions at present are unfavorable to such a course and grant us a deceptive immunity. Moreover the excluded peoples have other weapons in their armory, of which they have more than once made effective use. But the issue is a fighting issue and it engenders the fighting mood, a mood which may conceivably make the peaceable settlement of other issues impossible. The reaction of Japan to our decision is significant. An exceptionally friendly attitude has been suddenly followed by an attitude of bitter hostility. Whatever the possibilities of the new policy, it does not make for peace or fellowship. Our reputation as a refuge for the oppressed and a home of the free, though somewhat a matter of jest, was still an asset and an asset which we have now sacrificed. We enter upon a more difficult period of international relations, a period of increased contacts and lessened sympathies.
To summarize briefly. Restriction of immigration with total exclusion of Asiatics has become necessary if American development is to continue along our chosen lines. But exclusion is not a purely domestic problem nor does it rest upon an obvious natural right. Interests and instincts are sharply opposed and we shall not make away with the prize unchallenged. It is the most difficult thing we have ever tried to do, a thing fraught with great danger. We have no sufficient consciousness of these difficulties and these dangers. We are prodigal of the world’s good-will and reckless of its hostility. We must be wise as well as strong if we are to escape ‘grave consequences.’