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TABLE OF CONTENTS.
XXV–THE POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
XXVI–THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE,
XXVII–THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS,
The Democratic party of the United States, in national convention assembled, renews the pledge of its fidelity to Democratic faith and reaffirms the platform adopted by its representatives in the convention of 1884, and endorses the views expressed by President Cleveland in his last annual message to Congress, as the correct interpretation of that platform upon the question of tariff reduction; and also endorses the efforts of our Democratic representatives in Congress to secure a reduction of excessive taxation.
Chief among its principles of party faith, are the maintenance of an indisso. luble union of free and indestructible states, now about to enter upon its second century of unexampled progress and renown; devotion to a plan of government regulated by a written constitution, strictly specifying every granted power and expressly reserving to the States or people the entire ungranted residue of power; the encouragement of a jealous popular vigilance, directed to all who have been chosen for brief terms to enact and execute the laws and are charged with the duty of preserving peace, insuring equality and establishing justice.
The Democratic party welcome an exacting scrutiny of the administration of the executive power, which four years ago was committed to its trust in the election of Grover Cleveland President of the United States; and it challenges the most searching inquiry concerning its fidelity and devotion to the pledges which then invited the suffrages of the people.
During a most critical period of our financial affairs, resulting from over-taxa. tion, the anomalous condition of our currency, and a public debt unmatured, it has, by the adoption of a wise and conservative course, not only averted disaster, but greatly promoted the prosperity of the people.
It has reversed the improvident and unwise policy of the Republican party touching the public domain, and has reclaimed from corporations and syndicates, alien and domestic, and restored to the people nearly 100,000,000 of acres of valuable land, to be sacredly held as homesteads for our citizens.
While carefully guarding the interest of the taxpayers, and conforming strictly to the principles of justice and equity, it has paid out more for pensions and bounties to the soldiers and sailors of the republic than was ever paid before during an equal period.
By intelligent management and a judicious and economical expenditure of the public money, it has set on foot the reconstruction of the American navy upon a system which forbids the recurrence of scandal and insures successful results.
It has adopted and consistently pursued a firm and prudent foreign policy, preserving peace with all nations, while scrupulously maintaining all the rights and interests of our own government and people at home and abroad.
The exclusion from our shores of Chinese laborers has been effectually secured under the provisions of a treaty, the operation of which has been postponed by the action of a Republican majority in the Senate.
Honest reform in the civil service bas been inaugurated and maintained by President Cleveland, and he has brought the public service to the highest standard of efficiency, not only by rule and precept, but by the example of his own untiring and unselfish administration of public affairs.
In every branch and department of the Government under Democratic control the rights and the welfare of all the people have been guarded and defended ; every public interest has been protected, and the equality of all our citizens before the law, without regard to race or color, has been steadfastly maintained.
Upon its record thus exhibited and upon the pledge of a continuance to the peo. ple of the benefits of good government, the National Democracy invokes a renewal, of popular trust by the re-election of a Chief Magistrate who is faithful, able and prudent.
They invoke an addition to that trust by the transfer also to the Democracy of the entire legislative power.
The Republican party, controlling the Senate, and resisting in both houses of Congress a reformation of unjust and unequal tax laws, which have outlasted the necessities of war and are now undermining the abundance of a long peace, deny to the people equality before the law and the fairness and the justice which are their right. Thus the cry of American labor for a better share in the rewards of indus. try is stifled with false pretenses ; enterprise is fettered and bound down to home markets; capital is discouraged with doubt, and unequal, unjust laws ean neither be properly amended nor repealed.
The Democratic party will continue, with all the power confided to it, the struggle to reform these laws in accordance with the pledges of its last platform, endorsed at the ballot-box by the suffrages of the people.
Of all the industrious freemenof our land an immense majority, including every tiller of the soil, gain no advantage from the tax laws, but the price of nearly everything they buy is increased by the favoritism of an unequal system of tax legislation.
All unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation.
It is repugnant to the creed of Democracy that by such taxation the cost of the necessaries of life should be unjustifiably increased to all our people.
Judged by Democratic principles, the interests of the people are betrayed when by unnecessary taxation trusts and combinations are permitted and fostered, which, while unduly enriching the few that combine, rob the body of our citizens, by depriving them as purchasers,of the benefits of natural competition. Every Democratic rule of governmental action is violated when through unnecessary taxation a vast sum of money, far beyond the needs of an economical administration, is drawn from the people and the channels of trade and accumulated as a demoralizing sur. plus in the national treasury.
The money now lying idle in the federal treasury resulting from superfluous taxation, amounts to more than $125,000,000, and the surplus collected is reaching the sum of more than $60,000,000 annually.
Debauched by this immense temptation, the remedy of the Republican party is to meet and exhaust by extravagant appropriations and expenditures, whether constitutional or not, the accumulations of extravagant taxation.
The Democratic policy is to enforce frugality in public expense and abolish unnecessary taxation.
Our established domestic industries and enterprises should not, and need not, be endangered by a reduction and correction of the burdens of taxation. On the contrary, a fair and careful revision of our tax laws, with due allowance for the difference between the wages of American and foreign labor, must promote and encourage every branch of such industries and enterprises, by giving them assurance of an extended market and steady and continuous operation.
In the interest of American labor, which should in no event be neglected, the revision of our tax laws contemplated by the Democratic party, would promote the advantage of such labor, by cheapening the cost of the necessaries of life in the home of every working man, and at the same time securing to him steady and remunerative employment.
Upon this question of tariff reform, so closely concerning every phase of our national life, and upon every question involved in the problem of good govern. ment, the Democratic party submits its principles and professions to the intelligent suffrages of the American people.
Resolved, That this convention hereby indorses and recommends the early pass. age of the bill for the reduction of the revenue now pending in the House of Re. presentatives.
Resolved, That a just and liberal policy should be pursued in reference to the Territories ; that right of self-government is inherent in the people and guaranteed under the Constitution; that the Territories of Washington, Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico are by virtue of population and development entitled to admission into the Union as States, and we unqualifiedly condemn the course of the Republi. can Party in refusing Statehood and self-government to their people.
Resolced, That we express our cordial sympathy with the struggling people of all nations in their effort to secure for themselves the inestimable blessings of selfgovernment and civil and religious liberty, and we especially declare our sympathy with the efforts of those noble patriots who, led by Gladstone and Parnell, have conducted their grand and peaceful contest for home rule in Ireland.
DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM ADOPTED AT CHICAGO, JULY 10, 1884,
AND REAFFIRMED AT ST. LOUIS, JUNE 7, 1888. The Democratic Party of the Union, through its representatives in National Convention assembled, recognizes that, as the nation grows older, new issues are born of time and progress, and old issues perish. But the fundamental principles of the Democracy, approved by the united voice of the people, remain, and will