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I have received absolutely no information concerning any cruelties committed “upon citizens who have declared their intention to become naturalized in this country," or upon any persons who had a right to claim or have claimed for any reason the protection of the United States Government.
In the absence of such authentic detailed knowledge on the subject as would justify our interference no "expostulations have been addressed by this Government to the Government of Turkey in regard to such matters."
The last inquiry contained in the resolution of the Senate touching these alleged cruelties seeks information concerning “any proposals made by or to this Government to act in concert with other Christian powers regarding the same.”
The first proposal of the kind referred to was made by the Turkish Government through our minister on the 30th day of November, when the Sultan then expressed a desire that a consul of the United States be sent with a Turkish commission to investigate these alleged atrocities on Armenians. This was construed as an invitation on the part of the Turkish Government to actually take part with a Turkish commission in an investigation of these affairs and any report to be made thereon, and the proposition came before our minister's second dispatch was received and at a time when the best information in the possession of our Government was derived from his first report, indicating that the statements made in the press were sensational and exaggerated and that the atrocities alleged really did not exist. This condition very much weakened any motive for an interference based on considerations of humanity, and permitted us without embarrassment to pursue a course plainly marked out by other controlling incidents.
By a treaty entered into at Berlin in the year 1878 between Turkey and various other governments Turkey undertook to guarantee protection to the Armenians, and agreed that it would “periodically make known the steps taken to this effect to the powers, who will superintend their application."
Our Government was not a party to this treaty, and it is entirely obvious that in the face of the provisions of such treaty above recited our interference in the proposed investigation, especially without the invitation of any of the powers which had assumed by treaty obligations to secure the protection of these Armenians, might have been exceedingly embarrassing, if not entirely beyond the limits of justification or propriety.
The Turkish invitation to join the investigation set on foot by that Government was therefore, on the 2d day of December, declined. On the same day, and after this declination had been sent, our minister at Constantirople forwarded his second dispatch, tending to modify his former report as to the extent and character of Armenian slaughter. At the same time the request of the Sultan for our participation in the . investigation was repeated, and Great Britain, one of the powers which joined in the treaty of Berlin, made a like request.
In view of changed conditions and upon reconsideration of the subject it was determined to send Mr. Jewett, our consul at Sivas, to the scene of the alleged outrages, not for the purpose of joining with any other government in an investigation and report, but to the end that he might be able to inform this Government as to the exact truth.
Instructions to this effect were sent to Mr. Jewett, and it is supposed he has already entered upon the duty assigned him.
I submit with this communication copies of all correspondence and dispatches in the State Department on this subject and the report to me of the Secretary of State thereon.
Washington, January 3, 1895. To the Senate of the United States:
In response to the resolution of the Senate of the 4th ultimo, requesting “any reports or correspondence relating to affairs at Bluefields, in the Mosquito territory," and also information as to "whether any American citizens have been arrested or the rights of any American citizens at Bluefields have been interfered with during the past two years by the Government of Nicaragua,” I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying papers.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 9, 1895. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I submit herewith certain dispatches from our minister at Hawaii and the documents which accompanied the same.
They disclose the fact that the Hawaiian Government desires to lease to Great Britain one of the uninhabited islands belonging to Hawaii as a station for a submarine telegraph cable to be laid from Canada to Australia, with a connection between the island leased and Honolulu.
Both the Hawaiian Government and the representatives of Great Britain in this negotiation concede that the proposed lease can not be effected without the consent of the United States, for the reason that in our reciprocity treaty with the King of Hawaii he agreed that as long as said treaty remained in force he would not “lease or otherwise dispose of or create any lien upon any port, harbor, or other territory in his dominion, or grant any special privilege or right of use therein, to any other power, state, or government."
At the request of the Hawaiian Government this subject is laid before the Congress for its determination upon the question of so modifying the treaty agreement above recited as to permit the proposed lease.
It will be seen that the correspondence which is submitted between the Hawaiian and British negotiators negatives the existence on the part of Hawaii of any suspicion of British unfriendliness or the fear of British aggression.
The attention of the Congress is directed to the following statement contained in a communication addressed to the Hawaiian Government by the representatives of Great Britain:
We propose to inform the British Government of your inquiry whether they would accept the sovereignty of Nicker Island or some other uninhabited island on condition that no subsidy is required from you. As we explained, we have not felt at liberty to entertain that question ourselves, as we were definitely instructed not to
ask for the sovereignty of any island, but only for a lease simply for the purpose of the cable.
Some of the dispatches from our minister, which are submitted, not only refer to the project for leasing an uninhabited island belonging to Hawaii, but contain interesting information concerning recent occurrences in that country and its political and social condition. This information is valuable because it is based upon the observation and knowledge necessarily within the scope of the diplomatic duties which are intrusted solely to the charge of this intelligent diplomatic officer representing the United States Government at Hawaii.
I hope the Congress will see fit to grant the request of the HawaiianGovernment, and that our consent to the proposed lease will be promptly accorded. It seems to me we ought not by a refusal of this request to stand in the way of the advantages to be gained by isolated Hawaii through telegraphic communication with the rest of the world, especially in view of the fact that our own communication with that country would thereby be greatly improved without apparent detriment to any legitimate Amer
ican interest. GROVER CLEVELAND.
Executive MANSIon, January 11, 1895. To the Senate of the United States:
In response to the resolution of the Senate of the 19th ultimo, requesting the record of the extradition proceedings in the case of General Ezeta, etc., I transmitherewith a letter from the Secretary of State, with accom
panying papers. GROVER CLEVELAND.
ExecutIVE MANSION, Washington, January 15, 1895. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit a report from the Secretary of State, with accompanying papers, in response to the resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant,
requesting "all correspcudence or other papers relating to the delivery by the United States consul at Shanghai of two Japanese citizens to the Chinese authorities," and information whether the said Japanese were put to death after being tortured, and whether there was any understanding with the Chinese Government that officers of the United States should aid, assist, and give comfort to any Japanese citizen desiring to leave China, and whether the United States consul at Hankow was reprimanded by Chinese officials for aiding Japanese citizens to leave the country, and whether all information was refused to the United States consul at Ningpo when he made inquiries as to the charges against certain Japanese citizens arrested there."
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 28, 1895. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
In my last annual message I commended to the serious consideration of the Congress the condition of our national finances, and in connection with the subject indorsed a plan of currency legislation which at that time seemed to furnish protection against impending danger.* This plan has not been approved by the Congress. In the meantime the situation has so changed and the emergency now appears so threatening that I deem it my duty to ask at the hands of the legislative branch of the Government such prompt and effective action as will restore confidence in our financial soundness and avert business disaster and universal distress among our people.
Whatever may be the merits of the plan outlined in my annual message as a remedy for ills then existing and as a safeguard against the depletion of the gold reserve then in the Treasury, I am now convinced that its reception by the Congress and our present advanced stage of financial perplexity necessitate additional or different legislation.
With natural resources unlimited in variety and productive strength and with a people whose activity and enterprise seek only a fair opportunity to achieve national success and greatness, our progress should not be checked by a false financial policy and a heedless disregard of sound monetary laws, nor should the timidity and fear which they engender stand in the way of our prosperity.
It is hardly disputed that this predicament confronts us to-day. Therefore no one in any degree responsible for the making and execution of our laws should fail to see a patriotic duty in honestly and sincerely attempting to relieve the situation. Manifestly this effort will not succeed unless it is made untrammeled by the prejudice of partisanship and with a steadfast determination to resist the temptation to accomplish party advantage. We may well remember that if we are threatened with
*See pp. 5985-5988.
financial difficulties all our people in every station of life are concerned; and surely those who suffer will not receive the promotion of party interests as an excuse for permitting our present troubles to advance to a disastrous conclusion. It is also of the utmost importance that we approach the study of the problems presented as free as possible from the tyranny of preconceived opinions, to the end that in a common danger we may be able to seek with unclouded vision a safe and reasonable protection.
The real trouble which confronts us consists in a lack of confidence, widespread and constantly increasing, in the continuing ability or disposition of the Government to pay its obligations in gold. This lack of confidence grows to some extent out of the palpable and apparent embarrassment attending the efforts of the Government under existing laws to procure gold and to a greater extent out of the impossibility of either keeping it in the Treasury or canceling obligations by its expenditure after it is obtained.
The only way left open to the Government for procuring gold is by the issue and sale of its bonds. The only bonds that can be so issued were authorized nearly twenty-five years ago and are not well calculated to meet our present needs. Among other disadvantages, they are made payable in coin instead of specifically in gold, which in existing conditions detracts largely and in an increasing ratio from their desirability as investments. It is by no means certain that bonds of this description can much longer be disposed of at a price creditable to the financial character of our Government.
The most dangerous and irritating feature of the situation, however, remains to be mentioned. It is found in the means by which the Treasury is despoiled of the gold thus obtained without canceling a single Gov. ernment obligation and solely for the benefit of those who find profit in shipping it abroad or whose fears induce them to hoard it at home. We have outstanding about five hundred millions of currency notes of the Government for which gold may be demanded, and, curiously enough, the law requires that when presented and, in fact, redeemed and paid in gold they shall be reissued. Thus the same notes may do duty many times in drawing gold from the Treasury; nor can the process be arrested as long as private parties, for profit or otherwise, see an advantage in repeating the operation. More than $300,000,000 in these notes have already been redeemed in gold, and notwithstanding such redemption they are all still outstanding.
Since the 17th day of January, 1894, our bonded interest-bearing debt has been increased $100,000,000 for the purpose of obtaining gold to replenish our coin reserve. Two issues were made amounting to fifty millions each, one in January and the other in November. As a result of the first issue there was realized something more than $58,000,000 in gold. Between that issue and the succeeding one in November, comprising a