The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 16, 1913, Image 1

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The Commoner
VOL. 13, NO. 19
Lincoln, Nebraska, May 16, 1913
Whole Number 643
Two Historic Documents
President Wilson's letter of recognition, de
livered to tlio president of the Chinese republic
upon the organization of the legislature, and the
reply of Yuan Shi Kai, the provisional presi
dent, deserves a place in the school books of
both countries. The United States took the
initiative in welcoming the great republic which
has just been established in the orient. The
president's letter reads as follows:
"The government and people of the United
States, having recently testified their( sympathy
with the people of China upon their assump
tion of the attributes and powers of self-government,
deem it opportune at this time, when
the representative national assembly has met
to discharge .the high duty of setting the seal of
full accomplishment upon the aspirations of the
Chinese people, that I extend in the name of
my government and my countrymen, a greet
ing of welcome to the new China thus entering
into the family of nations.
"In taking this step I entertain the confident
hope and expectation that the Chinese nation
will attain tho highest degree of development
and woll being and that under tho now rule all
established obligations of China which pass to
the provisional governor will in turn, pass to
and bo served by the government established by
the assembly."
The pleasuro which It gave our chjof execu
tive to extend this welcome to, tho nation which
has Just secured for its people participation In
their government is manifested in tho languago
employed by President Wilson. Tho reply that
comes back from China Is as cordial in sentiment
and as beautiful In phraseology. It reads:
"In tho name of the republic of China I thank
you most heartily for tho messagd of recogni
tion which you have sent to mo through your
honored representative In this capital. The sen
timents of amity and good will which it be
speaks, and tho expressions of greetings and wel
come which it conveys, at once testify to tho
American spirit of mutual helpfulness and
friendly intercourso between China and the
United States. Though unfamiliar with tho re
publican form of government, tho Chinese
people are fully convinced of tho soundness of
tho principle which underlies it and which is so
luminously represented by your glorious com
monwealth. Tho solo aim of tho government
which they havo established, thereforo, is and
will bo to preserve this form of government
and to perfect its workings, to tho end that they
may enjoy Its unalloyed blessings; prosperity
and happiness within, through tho union of law
and liberty; and peace and friendship without,
through the faithful execution of all established
Tho little chlldron of this and succeeding
generations can uso the letters exchanged upon
this epoch-making occasion as .models In states
craft as well as In composition. Tho names of
tho two executives are linked together In his
tory and each has helped to mako tho other's
fame more enduring by the sentiments expressed
and tho languago employed.
California-Japan Situation
As the readers have been informed through
tho newspapers, Mr. Bryan has Just returned to
Washington from a two weeks' trip to the Paci
fic coast, where he went at tho direction of
President Wilson to confer with tho governor
and legislature of California in regard to anti
alien land legislation. The important facts re
lating to tho trip have been spread before tho
readers in the Washington and Sacramento dis
patches, but the story is more accurately told
in the resolution introduced by Senator Cur
tin, which was defeated, in the law passed, in
the final statement made to a joint session of
the legislature by Mr. Bryan and in tho re
sponse made by Senator Gates, the leader of
that body. Mr. Bryan set forth tho object of
the trip.vtho president's preferences and his
objections to the bill as it had passed the senate,
and as it later passed tho assembly. Senator
Gates expressed, in graceful language, the state's
appreciation of the president's efforts, its re
spect for his wishes and its regret that it could
not agree with him as to the language to be
employed in the measure which the legislature
felt It, Its duty to pass.
Tho experiment made by the president, in
sending a member of the cabinet to confer with
tho state authorities, was a new one, and what
ever the outcome of the conferenco may bo, some
satisfaction can bo derived from tho fact that tho
president's representative was welcomed with
cordiality and treated with courtesy. He was,
while in California, the guest of Governor and
Mrs. Johnson, who proved most hospitable
hosts; he occupied while at tho capital the office
of Lieutenant Governor Wallace, met the mem
bers of the assembly at a dinner given at the
Hotel Sacramento by Speaker Young, and, upon
invitation, visited both the senate and the as
sembly at session when they were not consider
ing tho alien land bill.
There were three executive sessions at which
ho addressed the members of-tho senate and
assembly and answered questions submitted by
the members of the two houses. The final ses
sion was an open one and was confined to tho
reading of tho address of Mr. Bryan which ap
pears in this Issue, and tho delivery of tho re
sponse by Senator Gates.
Mr. Bryan's address to tho California legis
lature upon leaving tho stato is in full, as
Governor Johnson, Lieutenant Governor Wal
lace, Speaker Young, and Members of tho Legis
lature: As I am departing this afternoon for
Washington, I deem it proper that I should say
a 'final word to you. My coming, at tho presi
dent's r.equest upon tho mission that brought
me, was unusual, and yet in the president's
opinion, not only right in principle but wise in
policy. It was in keeping with his own course
In appearing In person to deliver a message to
congress. He recognizes the division of tho
powers of government among the three depart
ments, tho executive, tho legislative and tho
judicial, but ho feels that, as they must co
operate in the conduct of the government, thero
should be the utmost frankness and cordiality
between them In the performance of their re
spective duties. In liko manner, while ho
recognizes the division of responsibility between
tho federal government and tho several states,
ho believes that this division should not preclude
conference and consultation between tho execu
tive of tho nation and those entrusted by your
state constitution with tho exercise of stato
A question having arisen which, while local
in its immediate operation is yet national and
even international in some of its phases, ho
ventured to advise against the uso of certain
language In bills which wore under considera
tion. When it seemed probable that the words,
would bo used, notwithstanding the advice
which he had earnestly given, ho asked whether
it would bo agreeable to the legislature to havo
the secretary of state visit Sacramento to con
fer In regard to the national and international
phases of the question. Tho reply made by tho
legislature was in the form of & resolution
which reads as follows: ,
"Resolved, by the senate of tho state of Cali
fornia, that while this senate respectfully main
tains tho right of the legislature of the state of
California to legislate on the subject of land
ownership within tho stato, It will bo entirely
agreeable to tho senate to have tho secretary ot
stato of the United States visit Sacramento for
the purposes indicated In tho president's tele
gram; and, be It further
"Resolved, that in view of the probable early
adjournment of tho legislature, tho secretary
of tho senate be and he Is hereby instructed to
transmit forthwith these resolutions by tele
graph to tho president."
Tho assembly passed a similar resolution.
If these resolutions could not be construed
as an Invitation, It at least, expressed full ac
quiescence, and the president felt so deeply upon
tho subject that he sent me hero to confer with
I need not recount the experiences through
which wo have passed. The legislature, In so
far as it has acted, has found It inconsistent
with Its view of its responsibilities to follow the
president's advice in the wording of tho bill
which it regarded it as Its duty to pass. While
I shall not attempt to form a judgment as to
tho action of tho assembly on this subject, I
havo so fully presented the president's views
that I do not deem a longer stay necessary. On
the contrary, I feel that I can bo more useful
at Washington when tho president has before
him tho bill as it reaches tho governor, if it
shall finally pass the assembly.
I can not, however, take my departure with
out giving expression to my appreciation of the
spirit in which, as a representative of the
president, I have been received, and of the
courtesies that havo been shown me at all times
by Governor Johnson, by Lieutenant Governor
Wallace, by Speaker Young and by the mem
bers of both tho senate and tho assembly. The
amity that has characterized the intercourso
between the officials of this state is in keeping,
I think, with the course that should be pursued
by those who, acting under a sens of responsi
bility about matters in which they are jointly
concerned, are unable to agree upon tho means
to be employed for reaching the end In view.
Tho president has impressed upon mo at all
times that I should emphasize the fact that his
only purpose Is to confer with the legislature
as to the national and International phases of
the question under consideration, and that he
confers as a not unsympathetic friend who de
oires to aid to the extent of his ability in a