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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/351

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347
EXTENSION OF OUR MERCHANT MARINE

But are we helpless, and are we outwitted? Let us look at these treaties, and see if anything could be added to the said opinion of our Attorney General. We shall find that almost without exception each of them contains a clause permitting either party at his pleasure, upon a specified notice generally of one year, to terminate it. No breach of treaty or of contract is necessary to terminate the treaties recited in the Attorney General's opinion. To serve general notice that unless these treaties are so modified as to give us back the freedom of 1789 we intend availing ourselves of their abrogating clauses would gain us respect from those very foreign chancelleries which to-day laugh openly over their success in catching our merchant marine in their net of treaties. It would be both interesting and useful for us to learn which, if any, of those chancelleries would decline to make such modifications, and thus force us to serve the required notice upon them! The Democratic party loves to quote Jefferson, and all parties to quote Washington—very good, let them, once freed from our present plight, join in re-enacting the laws which those two early statesmen put on our statute books. Fortunately we are not here confronted with a question like that involved in the Panama Canal Treaty—in that treaty there was no abrogating clause, and we will live up to that bargain in which England got so much the better of us, cost what it may. England will live to regret that treaty, or else she will wisely consent to its modification. Parenthetically, is it not the duty of our government, the very next time England asks a favor to exact, as a condition to granting it, that the Hay-Pauncefote be so modified that we can do what we like with the canal built by our brains and our millions!

This message comes from no youthful debating societies, nor is it prefaced by the word "please"—it comes from thousands of men, full grown in their heads as in their bodies, business men who have organized to protect their rights and to get what they deserve, and who have come to know of certain impediments thereto which they properly expect to have removed by the government which they themselves elected. No untried remedies are being sought—two of them have been successfully tested by the German Government and the third by our own dear country under the guidance of Washington and Jefferson. Here is the message—but what will our government do about it?

 

THE EXTENSION OF OUR MERCHANT MARINE
By GEORGE W. NORRIS

DIRECTOR OF WHARVES, DOCKS AND FERRIES, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

THE subject which has been assigned to me for discussion this afternoon is "The Extension of our Merchant Marine." With all respect I would suggest that "The Revival of our Merchant Marine"