The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, April 15, 1898, Image 5

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Such is the Tenor cf the Message on Cuban
Affairs Sent to the Two Houccs of
Congress on Monday.
Ixecuthe Opjcses RecDjnitian of Ceirtry 2s Inxlhatail favors the
Orantin) of Aathoritj to I'se Sach Forces of llz t'nltcd
St3tes. as are Necessary to End Hostilities ar.J
Establish a Stable Government.
WASHINGTON. April 12 The pres
ident sent the following messaga to
the congress of the Unhed State:
Obedient to the precept cf the con
stitution which commands the presi
dent to give congress from time to
time Information of the state of the
union, and to recommend to their con
sideration such measure as he shall
, Judge necessary and expedient, it be
comes my duty now to address your
body with regard to the, grave crisis
that has arisen In the relations of
the United States to Spain, by reason
of the warfare that for more than
three years has raged in the neighbor
ing Island of Cuba. I do so because
cf the Intimate connection cf the Cu
ban question with the state of our
own union, and the grave relation the
eourse which is now incumbent upon
the nation to adopt must needs bear
to the traditional policy of ouj gov
ernment. If It is to accord with the
precept laid down by the founders of
the republic and religiously observed
by succeeding administrations to the
present day. The present revolution
is but the successor of other similar
insurrections which have occurred in
Cuba against the dominion of Spain,
extending over a - period of nearly
half a century, each of which, during
its progress, has subjected the United
States to great effort and expense in
enforcing its neutrality laws, caused
enormous losses to the Americau
trade and commerce, caused irritation,
snnpyance and disturbance among our
citizens, and, by the exerrlee of cruel
ana Darharous and uncivilised prac
tices or warrare, shocked the sensi
bilities and offended the humane sym
pathies of our people.
Since the present revolution began
' in February. I89.ri thu
seen the fertile domain at our
inresnoia ravaged by fire and sword In
the course Of a striiPE'la iinsniialoa In
the history of the island and rarely
parsiieiea as to me number of the
combatants and bitterness of the con
test bv SJl V revolution nf mrulara
times where a dependent people, striv
ing ;o oe tree, nave been opposed by
the power of the sovereign-state. Our
people have beheld a once prosper
ous community reduced to compara
tive want, its commerce virtually par
alyzed. Its exceptional productiveness
diminished, its fields laid waste, Its
mills in ruins and its people perish
ing by tens of thousands from hun
ter and starvation. We have found
ourselves constrained in the observ
ance of that strict neutrality which
our laws and which the law of ra
tions enjoins, to police our own wat
ers, and watch our own seaports in
prevention of any unlawful act in aid
of the Cubans. Our trade has suffer
ed so the capital Invested by our citl
sens In Cuba has been largely lost
and the forbearance of our people has
been so sorely tried as to beget a per
ilous unrest among our own citizens,
which has Inevitably found its expres
sion from time to time in the na
tional legislature so that issues whol
ly external to our own body politic
engross attention and stand in the
way of that close devotion to domes
tic advancement that becomes a self
eontented commonwealth whose pri
mal maxim has been me avoidance
of all foreign entanglements. All this
must needs awaken and has indeed
aroused the utmost concern on the
part of this government, as well dur
ing my predecessor's as my own
In April, 1896. the evils from which
our country suffered through the Cu
ban war became so onerous that my
predecessor made an effort to bring
about a peace throush the mediation
of this governbent in any way that
might tend to an honorable adjust
ment of the contest between Spain
and Its coveted colony, on the basis
of some effective scheme of self-government
for Cuba under the flag and
sovereignty of Spain. It failed, through
the refusal of the Spanish government
then in power to consider any form
of mediation or Indeed any plan of
settlement which did not begin with
the actual submission of the insur
gents to the mother country, and then
only on such terms as Spain Itself
might see fit to grant. The war con
tinued unabated. The resistance of
the Insurgents was in bo wise dimin
ished. (The effort nf Knaln wr Iiki.h
bath by the dispatch of fresh levies
to Cuba and by the addition to the
horrors of the strife of a new and In
human phase happily unprecedented
in the modern history of civilized,
Christian peoples. The policy of de
vastation and concentration, Inaugu
rated by General Weyler on October
10, 1896, In the province of Pinar del
rlo, was thence extended to embrace
all of the Island to which the power of
the1 Spanish arms was able to reach
by occupation or by military opera
tions. The peasantry, including all
dwelling in the open agricultural in
terior, were driven into the garrison
towns or isolated places held by the
troops. The raising and movement of
provisions of all kinds were inter
dicted. The fields were laid wasK
dwellings unroofed and fired, mills de
stroyed and, in short, everything that
could desolate the land and render it
unfit for human habitation or support
was commanded to be destroyed, by
one or the other of the contending
parties, and executed by all the powers
at their disposal.
By the time the present administra
tion took office, a year ago. reconcen
trstton so-called bad been made ef
fective" over the bitter tart of the four
I ii III
central and western provinces, Santa
Clara, Matanzas. Havana and Pinar del
Rlo. The agricultural population, to
the estimated number of 300,000 or
more, was herded within the towns
and their immediate vicinage, deprived
of the means of support, rendered des
titute of shelter, left poorly clad anil
exposed to the most unsanitary condi
tions. As the scarcity of food Increased
with the devastation of the depopu
lated areas of production, destitution
and want became misery and starva
tion. Month by month the death rat
Increased in an alarming ratio. By
March. 1897, according to conservative
estimates from official Spanish sources,
the mortality among the reconrentra
do from starvation and the diseases
thereto Incident exceeded 50 per
centum of their total number. No
practical relief was accorded to the
destitute. The overburdened towns,
already suffering from the general
dearth, could rive no aid. So-ealleJ
zones of cultivation established within
the immediate area of effective mili
tary control about the cities and fortl
fiecf camps proved Illusory as a remedy
for the suffering. The unfortunates,
being for the most part women and
children, with aged and helpless men,
enfeebled by disease and hunger, co"ld
not have tilled the soil without toolt,
seed or shelter for their own support,
or for the supply of the cities. It-,
concentration, adopted avowedly as a
war measure, in order to cut oft the
resources of the Insurgents, works
Its predestined results. As I said 'la
my message of last December, It 'was
not civilized warfare; It was extermi
nation. The only peace It could beget
was. that of the wilderness and th&
Meanwhile the miuiary situation In
the Island had undergone a noticeable
change. The extraordinary actlvltv
that characterized the second year of
the war when the Insurgents invaded
even the hitherto unharmed fields of
Plnar del Rlo and carried havoc anl
destitution up to the walls of the city
of Havana Itself, had relapsed Into a
dogged struggle in the central and
eastern provinces. The Spanish arms
regained a measure of control in Plnai
del Rlo and parts of Havana, but,
under the existing conditions of tli'j
rural country, without immediate im
provement of their productive situ
atlon. Even thus partially re
stricted, the revolutionists had
their own territory and their
submission put forward by Spain as
the essential and sole basis of peace,
seemed as far distant as at the outset
At this state of affairs my adminis
tration found itself confronted with
the grave problem of its duty. My
message of last December reviewed
the situation and detailed the steps
taken with a view of relieving its
acuteness and opening the way to
some form of honorable settlement.
The assassination of the prime min
ister, Canovas. led to a change of gov
ernment In" Spain. The former ad
ministration, pledged to subjugation
without concession, gave place to that
of a more liberal party, committed
long In advance to a policy of reform,
Involving the wider principle of home
rule for Cuba and Porto Rico. The
overtures of this government, made
through Its new envoy. General Wood
ford, and looking to an immediate
and effective amelioration of the con
dition of the island, although not ac
cepted to the extent of admitted me
diation in any shape, were met by
assurances that home rule In an ad
vanced phase would be forthwith of
fered to Cuba without awaiting for
the war to end, and that more hu
mane methods should henceforth pre
vail In the conduct of hostilities. In
cidentally with these declarations the
new government of Spain continued
and completed the policy already be
gan by its predecessor of testifying
friendly regard for this nation by re
leasing American citizens held under
one charge or another connected with
the Insurrection, so that, by the end
of November, not a single person en
titled in any way to our national pro
tection remained in a Spanish prison.
Wfllle these negotiations were In
progress the increasing destitution of
the unfortunate reeoncentradoes and
the alarming mortality among them
claimed earnest attention. The suc
cess which had attended the limited
measure of relief extended to the suf
fering American citizens among them
by the judicious expenditure of the
money appropriated expressly for their
succor by the joint resolution ap
proved May 24, 1897, prompted the
humane extension of a similar scheme
of aid to the great body of sufferers.
A suggestion to this end was acqui
esced in by the Spanish authorities.
On the 24th of December last I caused
to be issued an appeal to
the American people inviting
contributions In money or in
kind for the succor of the starving
sufferers In Cuba, following this on
the 8th of January by a similar pub
lic announcement of the formation of
a central Cuban relief committee, with
headquarters in New York city, com
posed of three members representing
the American National Red Cross and
the religious and business elements
of the community. The efforts of that
committee have been untiring and ac
complished much. Arrangements for
free transportation to Cuba have
greatly aided the charitable work. The
president of the American Red Cross
and the representatives of other con
trlbntery organisatioas have generous
ly visited Cutis and co-operated with
the consul gem-rat and the local au
thorities to make effective distiibuMon
of the relief collected through efforts
of the central commute. Nearly $M0,
000 In money and supplies has already
reached the sufferers and more Is
forthcoming. The supplies are ad
mitted duty free and transportation
to the Interior has been arranged, o
that the relief, at first necessarily
confined to iavana and the larger cit
ies. Is now extended through moat. If
not all. of the towns where suffering
exists. Thousands of lives have al
ready been saved. The necenslty ftir a
change in the condition of th recon
tradoes is recognized by the Spanish
government. Within a few days past
orders of General Weyler have been
revoked, the recoucentradoes sre, it
is said, to be permitted to return to
their homes and aided to resume the
self-supporting pursuits of pesce; pub
lic works have been ordered to give
them employment and a sunvof $600,
000 has been aproprlated for their
The war In Cuba Is of cuch a nature
that short of subjugation or exterml
ntlon victory for either side seems
Impracticable. .The alternative lies in
the physical exhaustion of the one
or the other party, or perhaps of both
a condition which in effect ended
the ten years' war by the truce of
Zanjon. The prospect of such a pro
traction and conclusion of the pres
ent strife Is a contingency hardly to
be contemplated with equanimity by
the civilized world, and least of all by
the United States, affected and in
jured as we are, deeply and intimately
by Its very existence.
Realizing this, it appears to be my
duty, In a spirit of true friendliness,
not less to Spain than to the Cubans
who have so much to lose by the
prolongation of the struggle, to seek
to bring about an Immediate termina
tion of the war. To this end I sub
mitted on the 27th ultimo, as a re
sult of much representation and cor
respondence, through the United
States minister at Madrid, propositions
to the Spanish government looking
to an armistice until October 1, for
the negotiations of peace with the
good offices of the president. In addi
tion I asked the immediate revocation
of the order of reconcentratlon, so as
to permit the people to return to their
farms and the needy; to be relieved
with provisions and supplies from the
United States, co-operating with the
Spanish authorities so as to afford full
The reply of the Spanish cabinet
was received on the night of the 31st
ultimo. It offers, as the means to
bring about peace in Cuba, to confide
the preparation thereof to the Insular
department, Inasmuch as the concur
rence of that body would be necessary
to reach a final result. It being, how
ever, understood that the powers re
served by the constitution of the cen
tral government are not lessened or
diminished. As the Cuban parliament
does not meet until the 4th of May
next, the Spanish government would
not object, for Its part, to accept at
once a suspension of hostilities, It
asked for by the Insurgents from the
general-in-chief, to whom it would
pertain, In such case, to determine
the duration and conditions of the ar
mistice. The proposition submitted by Gen
eral Woodford and the reply of the
Spanish government were both in the
form of brief memoranda, the texts
of which are before me, and are sub
stantially in the language above giv
en. The function of the Cuban par
liament in the matter of "preparing"
peace and the manner of its doing so
are not expressed in the Spanish mem
orandum; but from General Wood
ford's explanatory reports of prelim
inary discussions preceding the final
conference it is understood that the
Spanish government stands ready to
give the Insular congress full pow-
ers to settle terms of peace with the
insurgents whether by direct negotla- '
tion or indirectly by means of legls- I
latlon does not appear. i
With this last overture In the direc
tion of immediate peace and its dis-
appointing reception by Spain, the
executive was brought to the end of
his effort.
In my annual message of December
last I said: "Of the untried meas
ures there remain: Recognition of
the Insurgents as belligerents; recog
nition of the independence of Cuba;
neutral intervention to end the war
by imposing a rational compromise
between the contestants and Inter
vention in favor of one or the other
I speak not of forcible annexation,
for that cannot be thought of. That,
by our code of morality, would be
criminal aggression. Thereupon, I
reviewed these alternatives, in the
light of President Grant'r measured
words, uttered in 1875, when, after
seven years of sanguinary, destructive
and cruel barbarities In Cuba he
reached the conclusion that recogni
tion of the independence of Cuba was
impracticable and indefensible, and
that the recognition of belligerence
was not warranted by the facts, ac
cording to the tests of public law. I
commened especially upon the latter
aspect of the question, olnting out
the inconveniences and positive dan
gers -of a recognition, which, while
adding to the already onerous burdens
of neutrality within our own jurisdic
tion, could not in any way extend our
influence or effective offices in the ter
ritory of hostilities. Nothing has since
occurred to "change my view in this
regard, and I recognize as fully now
as then that the issuance of a procla
mation of neutrality, by which pro
cess the so-called recognition of bel
ligerence is published, could not of its
elf, and unattended by other action
accomplish nothing toward the one
end for which "we labor, the instant
pacification of Cuba and the cessation
of hostilities.
Turning to the question of Interven
tion at this time, the Independence
of the present insurgent government
In Cuba, we find safe precedents in
our history from an early day. They
are well summed up in President
Jackson's message to congress, Decem
ber 21, 1826, on the subject of the
recognition of the Independence of
Texas. He said:
"In all the contentions that have
arisen out of the revolutions of France
out of the disputes relating to the
crews of Portugal and Spain, out of
the sepsratlon of the American pos
sessions of both from the European
foveraaunt, and oat of the numerous
and constantly occurring struggles for
domination In Spanish America, so
wisely consistent with our principle
Has been the action or our government
that we have under the most critical
circumstances avoided all censure and
encountered no other evil thar. that
produced by a transient re estrange
ment of go,d will In thos against
whom we hsve been bv force of evi
dence compelled to decide."
It has thus been made known to the
world that the uniform pull, y anl
practice of the United Sinus is to
avoid all Interference In dinputej of
other nations, and eventually to recog
nize the authority of the prevailing
party wfihout reference to the merits
of the original controversy. Hut on
this, as on every other occasion, safety
's to he found In a rigid adherence to
"In the contest between .fpaln and
the revolted colonies we stood aloof
and waited not only until the ability
of the new states to protect themselves
was fullv established, but until the
danger of their being sgaln suhjugaUd
had entirely passed away. Then, and
not until then, were they recognized.
Such was our course In regard to
Mexico Itself.
"It Is tiue that with regard to Texas
the civil authority of Mexico has been
expelled. Its invading army defeated,
the chief of the republic himself csp
ttired, snd all present power to control
the newly organized government of
today annihilated within its confines,
but on the other hand there is in sp
pearance, ' at least, an Immense dis
parity of physical force on the aide cf
Texas. The Mexican republic, under
another executive. Is rallying its forces
under a new leader and menacing a
fresh Invasion to recover its lost do
main. "Upon the issue of this threatened
invasion the Independence of Texss
may be considered as suspended, snd
were there nothing peculiar In the sit
uation of the United States and Texas,
our acknowledgement of Its lndepen
dence at such a crisis should scarcely
be regarded as consistent with that
prudent reserve with which we have
hitherto held ourselves bound to treat
all similar questions."
Thereupon Andrew Jackson pro
ceeded to consider the risk that there
might be Imputed to the United States'
motives of selfish Interests In view of
the former claim on our part to the
territory of Texas and of tne avowed
purpose of the Texans In' seeking re
cognition of Independence as an Inci
dent to tbo incorporation of Texss n
the union, concluding thus:
"Prudence, therefore, seems to indi
cate that we should still stand aloof
and maintain our present attitude, If
not until Mexico Itself, or one of the
great foreign powers shall recognize
the Independence of the new govern
ment, at least unm the lapse of time
or the course of events shall have
proved beyond cavil or dispute the
ability of the people of mat country
to maintain their separate sovereignty
and to uphold the government consti
tuted by them. Neither of the con
tending parties can justly complain of
this course. By pursuing it we are but
carrying out the long established pol
icy of our government, a policy which
has secured to us respect and influence
abroad and inspired confidence at
home." These are the words of the
resolute and patriotic Jackson. They
are evidence that the United. States, in
addition to the test Imposed by public
law as to the condition of the recog
nition of Independence by a neutral
state (to-wlt, that the revolted state
shall-'Constitute in fact a body politic
having a government In substance as
well as name, possessed of the ele
ments of stability and forming de
facto. If left to itself, a state smong
the nations reasonable capable of dis
charging the duties of state): has im
posed for its own goverance In dealing
with cases like these the further con
dition that recognition of independent
statehood Is not due to a revolted de
pendency until the danger of its belnt;
again subjugated by the parent state
has entirely passed away. This ex
treme test was In fact applied In the
case of Texas. The congress to whom
President Jackson referred the ques
tion as "one probably leading to war"
and therefore a proper subject for a
"previous understanding with that
body, by whom war alone can be de
clared, and by whom all the provisions
for sustaining Its perils must be fur
nished," left the matter of the recog
nition of Texas to the executive pro
viding merely for sending a diplomatic
agent, when the president should bs
satisfied that the republic of Texas
had become "an independent slate."
It was so recognized by President
Van Buren, who commissioned a
charge d' affaires March 17, 1837, after
Mexico had abandoned an attempt to
reconquer the Texan territory and
then there was at the time no bona
fide contest going on between the in
surgent province and its former sov
ereign. I said In my message of December
last: "It Is to be seriously considered
whether the Cuban insurrection pos
sesses beyond dispute the attributes of
statehood, which alone can demand
the recognition of belligerency In its
The same requirement must cer
tnlnly be no less seriously considered
when the graver Issue of recognizing
Independence Is In question, for no
less positive test can be applied to the
greater act than to the lesser, while
on the other band the Influences and
consequences of the struggle upon the
Internal policy of a recognizing state,
whieh form important factors when
the recognition of belligerency is con
cerned, are secondary If not rightly
illiminable factors when the real ques
tion Is whether the community claim
ing recognition Is or is not Independ
ent beyond peradventure.
Nor from the standpoint of expedi
ence do I think it would be wise or
prudent for this government to recog
nize at the present time the indepen
dence of the so-called Cuban republic.
Such recognition is not necessary In
order to enable the United States to
intervene and pacify the Island. To
commit this country to the recognition
of any particular government in Cuba
might subject us to embarrassing con
ditions of International obligation to
ward the organization so recognized.
In case of intervention- our conduct
would be subjected to the approval or
disapproval of such government and
we would be required to submit to Its
direction snd assume to it the mere
relation of a friendly ally. When it
shall appear hereafter that there is
within the Island a government cap
able of performing the duties snd dis
charging the functions of a separate
nation, snd having as a matter of fset
the proper forms and attributes of
nationality, sue government can be
promptly and readily recognized, and
the relations and Interests of the
United Slates with siicti nation ad
There remain the alternative forms
of Intervention to end the war, either
as an Impartial neutral, by I in posing
a rational compromise between the
contestants or ss an active ally of the
one party or the other.
As to the first. It Is not to be forgot
ten that during the last few month
the relation of the United States has
virtually been one of friendly Inter
vention .n many ways, not so cone I u
aive, but all tending to tne exertion nf
a potential Influence toward an ultl
mate panne result. Just and honorable
to all interests concerned. The spirit
of aii our acts hitherto has been an
earnrst, unseifisn desire for peace and
prosperity In Culm, untarnished by
differences between us an . ...taln, and
unstained by the blood of American
The forcible Intervent!. n of the
United states as a nei:tral to stop the
war. according to the dictates of hu
manity and following many historical
precedents where neighboring states
have Interfered to check the hopeless
sacrifice of life by Internecine conflicts
beyond their border. Is Justifiable
on national groups. It involves,
however, hostile constraint upon both
the parties to the contest, as well to
enforce a truce as to guide the event-
tusl settlement.
The grounds for such Intervention
may be briefly summarized as follows:
1. In the cause of humanity and to
nut an end to the barbarities, blood
shed, starvation and horrible miseries
now existing there, snd which the
nsrtles to the conflict are either un
able or unwilling to stop or mitigate,
It Is no answer to say this Is all in
another country, belonging to another
nation and Is therefore none of our
business. It Is specially our duty for
It Is right at our door.
2. We owe It to our citizens In Cuba
to afford them that protection and In
demnity for life and property which
no government there can or will afford
and to that end to terminate tne eon
dltlons which deprive them of legal
3. The right to Intervene may be
Justified by the very serious Injury to
the commerce, trade and business of
our people and by the wanton destruc
tion of properly and devastation oi
the Island.
4. And which Is of the utmost 1m
portance. The present condition of
affairs in Cuba la a constant menace to
our neace, and entails upon this gov
ernment an enormous expense. With
such a conflict waged for years In an
island so near us and with wnlch our
people have such trade and business
relat ons when tne lives sna noerty
of our citizens are In constant danger
and their property destroyed ana
themselves ruined where our trading
vessels are liable to relzure and are
seized at our very door by war ships
of a foreign nai.on. the expeditions of
filibustering that w are powerless to
prevent altogether and the irritating
questions and entanglements thus aris-
iner all these and otners tuai i neea
not mention with the resulting
strained relations are a constant men
ace to our peace and ronin-' us to keep
an a semi-war footing witn a nation
with which we are at peace.
. These elements of danger and dis
order already pointed out have been
strikingly Illustrated by a tragic event
which has deeply and Justly moved tho
American people. I have already trans
mitted to congress the report of the
naval court of Inquiry on the destruc
tion of the battleship Maine in the
harbor of Havana during the night
of the lGth of February. 1 he destruc
tlon of that noble vessel has filled the
national heart with Inexpressible sor
row. 'iwo hundred and fifty-eight
brave sailors and marines and two
officers of our navy, reposing In the
fancied set irlty of a friendly harbor,
have been hurled to death grief and
want brought to their homes and sor
row to the nation.
The naval court of Inquiry, which
It Is needless to say, commands the
unqualified confidence of the govern
ment, was unanimous in us conclusion
that the destruction of the Maine was
caused by an exterior explosion, that
of a submarine mine. It did not as
sume to place the responsibility. That
remains to be fixed.
In any event, the destruction of the
Maine, by whatever exterior force. 15
a patent and Impressive proof of a
state of things In Cuba that is intol
erable. That condition Is thus shown
to be such that the Spanish govern
ment cannot assure safety and security
to a vessel of the American navy In
the harbor of Havana on a mission cf
peace and rightfully there.
Further referring in this connection
to recent diplomatic correspondence, a
dispatch from our minister to Spain
of the 2fith ult contained the state
ment that the Spanish minister for
foreign affairs assured him positively
that Spain will do all that the highest
honor and Justice lequlres In the mat
ter of the Maine. The reply above
referred to of the 31st ult. also con
tained an expression of the readiness
of Spain to submit to an arbitration
all the differences which can arise In
this ma.ier, which is subsequently ex
plained by the note of the Spanish
minister at Washington of the 10th
l ist, ss follows:
"As to the question of fact which
springs from the diversity of views
from the report of the American and
Spanish boards Spain proposes that
the faci be ascertained by an impartial
Investigation by experts, which de
cision Spain accepts In advance."
To this I have made no reply.
The long trial has proved that the
object for which Spain has waged the
war cannot be attained, lae fire of
insurrection may flame or may smoul
der with varying seasons, but It has
not been, and it Is not plain that it
can be, extinguished by present
methods. The only hope of relief and
repose from a condition which cannot
longer be endured Is the enforced
pacification of Cuba. In the name cf
humanity. In the name of civilization,
In behalf of the endangered American
Interests, which gives us the right and
duty to speak and to act, the war In
Cuba mast atop
President Grant. In 1875. after dis
cussing the phases of the contest as it
then apeared snd Its hopelessness and
apparent Indefinite prolongation, said:
"In snch event I am of the opinion
that other nations will be compelled
to sssnme the responsibility which de
volves npon them snd to seriously
consider the only remaining measures
possible, mediation and intervention.
Owing, perhaps, to the large expanse
of water sewtratlng the Island from
the yenlest!. the contending parties
appear to have within themselves a
depository of common confidence ts
suggest wisdom when passion and aa
cltement hsve their swsy, and to a
sume the part of peacemakers. In this
rase. In the earlier days of the contest,
the good oflires of the United States M
a mediator were tendered In good fait,
with ui any selfish purpose. In th
Interest of humanity and In slncer
friendship for both partlfs. but wer
st the time declined by Spain with th
declaration nevertheless thst st a fu
ture time they would be Indispensable
No Intimation has been received that
In Its opinion that time has bee
reached, and yet the strife continue
with all Its dread horrors and injuries)
to t ie Interests of the United State
and of other nations. Kach party
seems quite capable of working great
Injury and damage to the other a
well as to all the relations and Inter
ests dependent upon the existence t
peace In the Island, but they seem In
capable of reaching any adjustment,
and both have thus far failed at
achieving any success whereby one.
rsrty shall possess and control la
Island to the exclusion of the other.
Under Ihe circumstances the ageney
of others, either by mediation or by
Intervention, seems to be the only al
ternative which must sooner or laUs
be Invoked for the termination of th
In view of these farts snd these eosv
slderatlons. I ask the congress to a
thorlse and empower the president to
tske measures to secure a full settle
ment and termination of hostilities)
between the government of 8paln anel
the people of Cuba, and to secure t.
the Island the establishment of a stand
government capable of m''ntalnlnsf
order and observing Its International
obligations, ensuring peace and tran
quility and the security of Its citizens
as well as our own, snd to use th
military and naval forces of th
United States as may be necessary for
these purposes, and In the Interest
humanity and to aid In preserving th
lives of the starving people of th
Island, I recommend that the distrib
ution of food and supplies be contin
ued and that an appropriation be mad
out of the public treasury to supple
ment the charltv of our citizens. Th
Issue Is now with the congress. It la
a solemn responsibility. I have ex
hausted every effort to relieve the In
tolerable condition of affairs which ta
at our doors. Prenard to execut
every obligation Imposed upon me by
the constitution ana tne laws, 1 swam
your action.
In the last annual message of my
immediate predecessor, during th
pending struggle, It was said:
"When the Inability of Spain t
deal successfully with the Insurrec
tion has become manifest and it Is de
monstrated that Its sovereignty is ex
tinct In Cuba for all purposes of It
rightful existence, and when a hone
less struggle for Its re-establlsbment
has degenerated Into a strife wbleh
means nothing more than the use
less sacrifice of human life and th
utter destruction of the very subject
matter of the conflict, a situation will
be presented in which our obllgatlona
to the sovereignty of Spain will b
superseded by higher obllgatlona.
which we can hardly hesitate to reo
agnlze and discharge.
In my annual message to congress.
December last, speaking of this ques
tion, I said:
"The near future will demonstrate
whether the indispensable conditio
of a righteous peace, just alike to the
Cubans and to Spain,-as well aa
equitable to all our Interests so inti
mately Involved In the welfare of Cu
ba, Is likely to be attained. If not,
the exigency of further snd othr no
tion by the United States will re
main to be taken. When the time
comes that action will be determine
in the line of Indisputable right aa
duty. It will be faced without mis
giving or hesitancy in the light of th
obligation this government owes t
Itself, to the people who have confide
to It the protection of their Interest
and honor, and to humanity.
"Sure of the right, keeping free frona
all offense ourselves, actuated on'y by
upright and patriotic considerations,
moved neither by passion nor se'flsh
ness, the government will continue Its
watchful care over the rights ens)
property of American citizens and will
abate none of Its efforts to bring about
by peaceful agencies a peace which '
shall be honorable and enduring. It
It shall hereafter appear to be a duty
Imposed by our obligations to our
selves, to civilization and humanity to
Intervene with force. It shall be with
out fault on our part and orly b'era.ise
the necessity for such action will b
so clear as to command the support
and approval of the civilized world."
Yesterday and since the prapnratloa
of the foregoing message, offlrial In
formation was received by me that
the latest decree of the queen regent
of Spain directs General Blanco, I
order to prepare and facilitate peace,
to proclaim a suspension of hostilities.
the duration and details of which
have not yet been communicated t
me. This fact, with every other perti
nent consideration, will, I am sure,
have your Just and careful attention
in the solemn deliberations upon,
which you are about to enter. If thla
measure attains a successful result.
then our aspirations as a Chritlan,
peace loving people will be realized.
If it falls It will be only another jus
tification for our contemplated action.
Executive Mansion. April 11.
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