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Congress and the country if we treat them as units of the fleet, and submarines, destroyers, colliers, supply vessels, hospital vessels, and the like, as satellites of the fleet. What we want is a fleet, and we need also many satellites to operate with the fleet. When we have built up one fleet; and submarines, destroyers, colliers, supply vessels, ments and brigades, then we must proceed to another fleet, and get the battleships and concurrently all the adjuncts, that go with that fleet. Argument so based will appeal more strongly to Congress than the plea simply for battleships; because, if we have one fleet and a partly formed second fleet, it is only logical to suppose that Congress will give what is necessary to complete that second fleet. Then, when we have completed the second fleet, perhaps we can go right on to another.
Now, in view of the immense amount of money that fleets are costing us, we must come down to the question of close economy. Many of the older officers officers of my rank will remember that in the British Navy economy was formerly practiced to such an extent that the first lieutenant had to buy, from his private purse, a good deal of the paint with which he painted his vessel; and he also carried around, from ship to ship, the brass belaying pins,- his private property. We have not reached that stage, but we are coming nearer to it, and we have got to be more economical.
The Secretary has shown, and I quoted him with considerable success recently in New York, that, at the battle of Santiago, we made three and one-half per cent of hits, but now make 331⁄2 per cent; that the distances then were one and one-half miles, but have now extended to six miles; that we then loaded a big gun in five minutes, while we now load a still bigger gun twice in one minute; and that computation shows that we have improved, since the battle of Santiago, twelve hundred times. The inference to be drawn is that the navy is itself doing well afloat and is working with Congress and the Secretary. But there is still much to do on shore.
Wherever we can save a dollar, we have got to do it; and we can not do it except by what is styled "scientific management." In order to compass that, we must reorganize. Of course, we are all satisfied statically with ourselves and the Navy Department, but every now and then a change must come. A few years ago, officers were called on to do special duty that was formerly done by clerks. A clerk came to me, and complained that a duty turned over to officers had been done by himself for thirty years. I said: "There is going to be a great improvement; things have got to go ahead, and there will probably be a few corpses. Don't be a corpse."
The Secretary uses an especially apt term in one of his speeches. He says that we have now reached the "psychological period" of naval reformation, or reorganization, or economy, as you chose to take it. Surely that is a fact. All naval officers remember how a few years ago everything ran to building the ship. That was the dominant idea. Now, we have reached the point where we have a fairly strong navy, and the question is comprehensive efficiency with economy. The Secretary proposes certain reorganization. Naturally, having been in the navy fifty-two years, I have rarely seen the time when reorganization could be attempted without a "kick." When I first entered the navy, the navy was very conservative as to changes of instrumentalities and also as to changes of methods. We have now got to the point where we promptly accept improvement in instrumentalities, but we are still super-conservative, I think, in regard to methods.
We have had a number of bureaus, more or less closely related, but each one has been a propaganda of its own corps, privileged to break the regulations to a certain extent, and to receive personal letters from members of its own corps. The fault lies somewhat with the line, perhaps. We have never had a line bureau in the navy quite strong enough in respect to personnel to further the cause of a staff corps as well as that of the line. We have been rather too human. I think things should be brought to such a pass that we shall have one officer in the Department to look out for all personnel,- the staff officer as well as the line officer,- thus ruling out corps propaganda by bureaus. The line and staff movement, as it existed during the most critical times in the Civil War and immediately following, and as I knew it, is not known to our younger officers of to-day. They have only the traditions left. There is hardly the slightest argument left for a line and staff fight. The Marine Corps formerly was not a great corps. Look at it now. It is improved and right up to date. It is a splendid corps, and we hear no complaints about it. The Pay Corps has improved in its examinations, in its esprit, and in everything else. The Medical Corps has improved. Look at the splendid hospitals; you can examine them and see what they are.
There is logically nothing left of the old line and staff movement. There should be no such thing in the navy as corps d'élite. All corps are now virtually equal in capability, and we have no special fault to find with any one of them. We had real difficulties on board ship in the Civil War and afterwards, growing out of the old line and staff argument and fighting. We did not think
the engineers quite prepared to take the place they now have. Now, we have got them educated until one cannot tell an engineer from a line officer. On the other hand, the staff pestered Congress for thirty years to do away with the executive officer. To-day there is not a staff officer in the service who would do away with him.
Now, another thing; let us take the doctors as an example. We have said of the doctors, "Oh, yes; they are doctors; but they want to be called something else." They do not want to be known as doctors. As to this, it may be said that they share our dangers with us; they share the duties with us; they are brother officers and good friends. If they want to be known first as naval officers and second as doctors, it is patriotic and a fine. service feeling.
Mr. Ward, I think, has rather taken my thunder away in stating present conditions at the Navy Department. We have at the head of the Navy Department a gentleman of an experience much broader, in a public way, than that of any officer of the Navy. He has had political experience, as speaker of the House in Massachusetts; and business experience, as officer of great business concerns; then he was ambassador to two naval nations; then, Postmaster General; and now he is Secretary of the Navy. He has studied naval questions deeply, very deeply. Insight is the parent of foresight. Unless we have studied far more deeply, it is well to defer to one who has made the interests of the service a matter of profound investigation. The methods of the Navy Department have been unduly exhaustive of money. They can be improved; and all should put their minds and hearts into the work, to find how the dollar can be made to go farther.
I go no further with this appeal to the line and staff, because nobody contradicts me. After my lecture to the New York Yacht Club, I went to my friend's home, where we sat before an open fire talking over the lecture. I had exhibited diagrams of storms, in which were the lines called "isobars." I said to my friend:
"That will do," he said. "How long can you talk?" I replied, "I can talk a week, if you will get somebody to rise up and contradict me occasionally."
"I think I was wrong in defining isobars' to those clever yachtsmen; probably they knew more about them. than I myself do.".
He replied, "My dear Sigsbee, give yourself no concern; we don't yet know the difference between isobars and gratebars."
I trust I have made myself clearer than I did to the New York Yacht Club.
REMARKS OF MR. WARD
Admiral Sigsbee had to retire from the navy, as I had to resign from the navy, to learn what the Navy League has known for a long time that there is no strength in the navy, unless line and staff, marine corps, army, and navy, are absolutely on an equal plane,- all for national defense. It is inevitable that a man mixed intimately with any one of those professions - each man trying to do the best he can for that particular branch with which he is associated — should strive to push that ahead for the sake of the whole, but sometimes to the detriment of the whole. Nevertheless, Admiral Sigsbee knows, and the Navy League knows, that we want no more line and staff in the navy than we do politics in the navy.
get through in five minutes; but if I do not, I trust some brother, in the event I have struck trotting ground, will make the suggestion that five minutes more be given me. This is a great big country; it is the home of more than ninety million people. Most of the citizens of the United States do not bother about the line, and the staff, the army, and the navy. Many of them do not know exactly what is meant by the line and the staff; but we are all proud of the navy; we are all proud of the army; and regarding them, we are all at heart substantially one,-making allowance, from time to time, whether our Democratic friends, under the lead of Brothers Fitzgerald and Clark and Sherley — sitting, two of them, immediately to my right shall be in control and enjoy full responsibility, or whether we Republicans, with the pendulum, as we hope, swinging the other way, shall remain in power or partial power, for the next four years. So that, after all, in all questions affecting the army, or the navy, or battleships, or cruisers, or colliers, or the Panama Canal, or public defense, we are substantially one, but divided as to who shall be in command.
The condition, from a political standpoint, is peculiar. The principal competitor, perhaps, for the Presidential nomination in one party is the college professor, former president of Princeton, who is now extremely radical. Job, afflicted by permission of the Almighty, covered with boils, answered to the three comforters, and said, "Oh, that mine enemy would write a book!" I think Brother Clark might now well say, "Mine enemy hath written five books."
On the other hand, we Republicans, not knowing whether we are afoot or ahorseback, have a condition in which the friends of the present Executive are seeking to do everything within the bounds of reason to insure. for him a second term; while that wonderful man, who, by his own statement, was President for two terms, and, following the traditions commencing with Washington, said he would never ask a third, seemingly is running a race with the college professor, to see which is the best representative of the sentiment that, on appeal, the plain people can be trusted by direct popular vote to reverse the findings of the courts of last resort.
You, Brother Fitzgerald, upon the one hand, are for economy, or for any old thing that will give your party the majority of votes; and it may be that, in the caucus behind closed doors, you may have agreed that there shall be no new battleships authorized. On the other hand, some of us will favor two battleships, and some four, just as we respectively believe will be best for our great Republic.
May I be permitted, even if it takes seven minutes ininstead of five, to speak a little, claiming the privileges of an old man, by way of reminiscence? I was chairman of the Committee on Appropriations in 1898, as you, Mr. Fitzgerald, are chairman now. The Republican party was in full power; McKinley being President. Largely on account of the determined agitation of a Democratic minority in the House seeking for power, war was demanded to relieve Cuba. We resisted. I recollect that after the destruction of the Maine I received a request from President McKinley to be at the White House at the hour of nine o'clock on Sunday evening. Of course, I obeyed. When I appeared there, by accident or design-I know not which-General Grosvenor was there. He, the President, and myself talked of the situation; and finally, to make a long story short, the President drew a long breath and said:
"I hope that cup may pass from us, but I wish I had an appropriation to get ready for war with Spain. There seems to be a public sentiment for it."
I said, "Mr. President, if you will send a message to Congress in the morning, before the sun goes down you will have an appropriation for whatever you ask. The money is in the Treasury to prepare for war, and I think an appropriation would be good for war, if we must have it, or good for peace."
He replied: "I am not yet ready to do it, but I wish I had the appropriation. There are certain matters from the diplomatic standpoint that must be adjusted, or tried to be adjusted, before war comes, if it must come; and God knows," he said, "when war comes, what the end will be."
I said, "Mr. President, if you will send a message, it will be easy."
He answered, "I am not ready."
I said: "I will see what can be done in the morning." When the House met, Speaker Reed being in the chair, he was opposed to a war with Spain, and wisely opposed, I dropped in the basket, under the rules of the House, with a reference to the Committee on Appropriations, a bill to appropriate $50,000,000 for the public defense, to be expended by the President in his discretion. The news of that action went all over the world inside of ten minutes. The next day, before the sun went down, that bill was written into law, and preparations and expenditures were being made for the struggle which seemed to be inevitable. At that time we were in a state of unpreparedness; we needed hospital ships, we needed colliers, we needed almost everything.
In a short time, war was declared by Congress, and we
all know what followed. I have frequently thought since then of that statement of the then President of the United States, that no man could tell, when war came, what the end thereof would be. The end came; and with it responsibility for Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines rested on our shoulders. I happen to know that it was the intention of the Executive to take a naval station alone in Luzon; but how the public sentiment of the great republic affects legislation! The inherited thirst for territory, coming to us, as it does, from our forbears for two thousand years, the desire of good people to Christianize countries where the Christian religion from their standpoint did not obtain, the desire for new territory that our children and our children's children might occupy, and other considerations resulted in the Treaty of Paris. It required two-thirds of the Senate. to ratify that treaty; and it would have been impossible to ratify it had it not been for the "Peerless Leader," Bryan, who came to Washington and furnished Democratic votes enough to ratify that treaty in the Senate. And we acquired the Philippines; we are responsible for Cuba; we have Porto Rico, and we have, by inheritance, the Monroe Doctrine.
When that wonderful ship, the Oregon, - now antiquated,―started on her journey around the Horn, how we watched her progress day by day and how eager we were to get advices from her! We did not know the strength of the fleet of Spain. Boston seemed somewhat alarmed, and sent her valuables inland. Torpedoes were planted in the Potomac and in all our harbors, so that navigation became perilous. Subsequent developments proved that we were not in danger from the fleet of Spain; but lo and behold! the trip of the Oregon around the Horn begot the Panama Canal; and that wonderful feat of engineering is nearing completion, and we will have to deal with it during the present session of Congress. How shall it be controlled? What tolls shall be charged? What kind of a permanent government shall they have on the Canal Zone, where you cannot get a real jury with a search warrant?
After all, with the patriotism, the good manhood, and good womanhood, and good childhood of ninety million people, we are safe, and it is difficult for us to realize that any arm of the public service should be strengthened; but I am here to say to you that, when that canal is completed, fortify it as you may with high-powered guns, with all the forts that you please, yet for its real protection, now and in the future, we must depend upon the strength of the great Republic as manifested in the arm. of defense that is called the navy.
This is a time when we ought to take an account of stock, without regard to what advantage may be sought to be gained by the saving of perhaps even millions of dollars in appropriations by a cheese-paring policy of economy, because the country does not care much about it. Great stress is laid upon the statement that we must run the public service for less money; but the people of the country, irrespective of party, do not care what the appropriations are for the army and the navy, provided the best interests of ninety million people are served by apt and proper authorizations and appropriations. [Cries of "Right! Right!"] We are confronted by many serious questions. We have to face domestic questions, not directly connected with the army and the navy. Those branches represent the mere arm of force, and constitute a very small portion of the citizenship of the great Republic. They are great from the standpoint of gentlemen who are in the navy and army; but represent the mere arm of force, a very, very small per cent of the great citizenship.
Referring again, in conclusion, to the contest to determine who shall be President, who shall have power, whether one party or the other, there are men seeking power who say in one breath that the people are competent for self-government and are fairly able to reverse by popular vote the construction placed by the courts upon the fixed law of the land, the Constitution; and, in the next breath, say, “We are for the short ballot," under which one or two men shall be elected and be responsible, and they shall designate all officers in our counties and townships. In other words, the people cannot be trusted to choose their local officers, those with whom they come in contact in our smaller divisions and sub-divisions, but they can be trusted, by direct vote, to reverse the courts of last resort in their adjudications. I have mentioned no name; I merely speak of the forces we have at work.
I have already detained you too long. Am I pessimistic? No. Am I fearful that the great Republic will fail? No. I would commit suicide in my old age, if I doubted the destiny of the United States. We may discuss the army and navy; we may discuss political forces; but, after all, the people decide, at the ballot box. If they make a mistake, the only question is, What will the penalty be? Thank God, as I am about to disappear from public life and soon to wear an asbestos or a muslin halo, I have full faith that if we make mistakes, whatever the penalty may be, we will pay it; but we will preserve the government of our fathers, will stand by the Monroe Doctrine, will carry all our burdens, and the great Republic
will continue to grow, remaining true to its citizenship, defying, if necessary, all the world that would attack us; and a thousand years from now, as the Navy League may meet in this or some other hall, you will take counsel with each other as to what preparations are needful and what policies should be followed to bring the greatest good to the greatest number.
REMARKS OF MR. WARD
You have just seen and heard one of our greatest American institutions - Uncle Joe Cannon-exercising the American privilege of free speech. He told us of the things which he did when he had power, but he never lacks power in his own personality. It will ever be with him.
I am going to tell you a secret. We interviewed twenty-four Democratic congressmen, trying to get three who would speak in favor of two battleships. Twenty-four of them said they were in favor of two battleships or more, but all asked to be excused, on account of the Democratic caucus; so we took a chance at Mr. Cannon, and I am sure he expresses the individual sentiment of the members of the Democratic caucus.
Now, as a more concrete example of what the Democratic caucus really thinks, I am going to call upon Mr. James Barnes.
ADDRESS OF MR. JAMES BARNES
Mr. President, Mr. Toastmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Fellow Members: It was a very self-confident and self-assured patriot who originally composed the famous and oft-quoted doggerel that runs, if I remember rightly, thus:
We do not want to fight, But, by jingo, if we do,
We've got the men,
We've got the ships, We've got the money, too.
There is a ring in these words that is inspiring. It would be a sad day if we had to change then, in the face of a threatening need, to read, perhaps, as follows:
We do not want to fight,
We have no men,
Whatever shall we do?
A Navy League is not a new idea. England has possessed one for many centuries, in the house of Lords; but it remained for an American, Captain Mahan, to write
It is a most undoubted Maxim, that the Honour, Securiety and Wealth of this Kingdom depends upon the Protection, and Encouragement of Trade, and the Improving and right Managing the Naval Strength thereof; And we have instances of several Nations, who were formerly great and powerful at Sea, who, by Neglect and Mismanagement, have lost their Trade, and seen their Maritime Strength entirely ruined.
I am still quoting from the preface:
These were the Words of the most August Assembly of the Nation, in an address to the Throne, upon an extraordinary Occasion; And a Nobler Member of that Illustrious Body, on another Occasion, has justly observed: That our Trade is the Mother and Nurse of our Seamen: Our Seamen the Life of our Fleet: and our Fleet the Security and Protection of our Trade: And that both together are the Wealth, Strength, and Glory of Great Britain.
Here is the epitome in a few words of the lesson of "The Influence of Sea Power."
We who study history are but beginning to appreciate what part, in the past story of this nation, ships and the men who went down to the sea in them, have played. We are supposed to be a peaceful and peace-loving nation, yet in the one hundred and thirty-six years of our existence we have had six foreign wars and survived the greatest civil conflict of history: The Revolutionary War; the Quasi-War with France; the war with Tripoli; the second war with Great Britain, the centennial of which takes place on the 17th of this coming June, which, by the way, is the hundred and thirty-seventh anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill; the war with Mexico; and the war with Spain. Including the great rebellion, every one of these conflicts and this is without detracting in the least from the glory won by the military branch, the land service every one of these conflicts. was decided at sea; or, to qualify this in a small way, the influence of the sailor was so paramount that, taking the contribution of his efforts towards the enforced and successful conclusion of hostilities, the work he did outweighs the influence of land victories or the successful display of diplomatic gifts. The navy made them possible. Yet we do not get this idea from a casual reading of history; it is a deduction forced only on the close student who knows his facts. Who made the operations