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THE GRAND INAUGURAL PARADE PASSING THE REVIEWING STAND IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE
[Drawn by a " Call" artitt from a description by telegraph,]
WASHINGTON, March 4.— The inaugural address made by President McKinley was listened to
with close attention by those near enough to understand his words, but the crowd around the platform
was so large that many "were unable to hear him. He said:
Fellow-Citizens: In obedience to the will of the people, and in their presence by the authority vested in me by this oath,
I assume the arduous and responsible dutie3 of President of the United States, reiving on the support of my countrymen and
invoking the euidanc-* of Almighty God. Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the Go lof our fathers, who
has singularly favored the American people in every National trial, and who will not forsake us so long as we obey his com
mandments and walk hunibiy in his footsteps. The responsibilities of the high tru-t to which I have been called, always of
grave importance, are augmented by the prevailing business conditions, entailing idleness upon willing labor and loss to useful
enterprise. This causes suffering from industrial disturbances, from which speedy relief must be had.
Our financial system needs some revision. Our money is good now, but its value must not further be threatened. It should
all be put on an enduring basis, not subject to easy attacks nor its stability to doubt or dispute. Our currency should continue
under the suoervision of the Government. The several forms of our paper-money offer, in my judgment, a constant embarrass
ment to the Government and a safe balance in the treasury. Therefore I believe it necessary to devise a system which, without
diminishing the circulating medium or offering a premium for its contraction, will present a remedy for those arrangements,
which, temporary in their nature, mieht well in the years of our prosperity have been displaced by wiser provisions. With ade
quate revenue secured, but not until then, we can enter upon such changes in our fiscal laws as will, while insuring safety and
volume to our money.no longer impose upon the Government the necessity of maintaining so large a gold reserve, with its
attendant and inevitable temptations to speculation.
Most of our financial laws are the outgrowth of experience and trial, and should not be amended without investigation and
demonstration of the wisdom of the proposed changes. We must be ''sure we are right" and "make haste slowly." If, therefore,
Congress in its wisdom shall deem it expedient to create a commission to take under early consideration the revision of our coin
age, banking and currency law--, and give them that exhaustive, careful and dispassionate examination that their importance de
mands, I shall cordially concur in such action.
If such power is vested in the President, it is my purpose to appoint a commission of prominent, well-informed citizens of
different parties, who will command public confidence both on account of their ability and special fitness for the work. Busi
ness experience and public training may thus be combined, an 1 the patriotic zeal of the friends of the country be so directed that
suca a report will be made as to receive the support of all parties and our finances cease to be the subject of mere partisan conten
tion. The experiment is, at all events, worth a trial, and, in my opinion, it can but prove beneficial to the entire country.
The question of international bimetallism will have early and earnest attention. It will be mv constant endeavor to secur^
it by co-operation with the other great commercial powers of the world. Until- that condition is arrived at, when the parity of
our gold and silver money springs from and in supported by the relative value of the two metals, the value of the silver already
coined and of that which may hereafter be coined, mu3t be kept constantly at par with gold by every resource at our command.
The credit of the Government, the integrity of iis currency and the inviolability of its obligations must be preserved. This was
the commanding verdict of the people, and it will not be unheeded.
Economy is demanded in every branch of the Government at all times, but especially in periods like the present of de
pression in business and distress among the people. The severest economy must be observed in all public expenditures, and ex
travagance sioppe i wherever it is found, and prevented wherever in the future it may be developed. If the revenues are to re
main as now the only relief that can come must be from decreased expenditures. But the present must not become the perma
nent condition of the Government. It lias been our uniform practice to retire, not increase, our outstanding obligations, and
this policy must again be resumed and vigorously enforced.
Our revenues should always be large enough to meet with ease and promptness not only our current needs and the principal
and interest of the public debt, but to make proper and liberal provision for that most deserving body of public creel itors, the
soldiers and sailor and the widows and orphans who are the pensioners of the United States. The Government shou'd not be
permitted to run behind or increase its debts in times like the present. Suitably to provide against this is the mandate of duty —
the certain and easy remedy for most of our financial difficulties.
A deficiency is inevitable so long as the expenditures of the Government exceea its receipts. It can only be met by loans
or an increased revenue. While a large annual surplus of revenue may invite waste and extravagance, inadequate revenue creates
distrust and undermines public and private credit. Neither should be encouraged. Between more loans and more revenue there
ought to be but one opinion — we should have mure revenue, and that without delay, hindrance or postponement. A surplus in
the treasury created try loans is not a permanent or safe reliance. It will suffice while it lasts, but it cannot last long while the
outlays of the Government are greater than its receipts, as has been the case during t^e past two years. Nor must it be forgotten,
however much such loans may temporarily relieve the situation, tne Governniem is still indebted for the amount of the surplus
thus accrued, which It must ultimately pay, while its ability to pay is not strengthened, but weakened, by a continued deficit.
Loans are imperative in great emergencies to preserve the Government or its credit, but a failure to supply needed revenue in
time of pe?,ce for the maintenance of either has no justification.
Tiie Lest way for the Government to maintain its credit is to pay as it goes — not by resorting to loans, but by keeping out ol
debt — through an adequate income secured by a system of taxation, external or internal, or both. It is the settled policy of the
Government, pursued from the beginning and practiced by all parties and administrations, to raise the bulk of our revenue from
taxes upon foreign productions entering the United States for sale and consumption, and avoiding, for the most part, every form
of direct taxation, except in time of war.
The country is clearly opposed to any needless additions to the subjects of internal taxation, and is committed by its latest
popular uti«rance to the yyatem of tariff taxation. There can be no misunderstanding, either, about the principle upon which
this tariff taxation shail be levied. Nothing has ever been made plainer at a general election than that the controlling prin
ciple in the raising of revenue from duties on imports is zealous care for American interests and American labor.
Tho people have declared that such legislation should be had as will give ample protection and encouragement to the in
dustries and the development of our country. It is therefore earnestly hoped and expected that Congress will, at the earliest
practicable moment, enact revenue legislation that will be fair, reasonable, conservative and just, and which, while supplying
sufficient revenue for pub:ic purposes, will still be signally beneficial and helpful to every section and every enterprise of the
people. To this policy we are all, of whatever party, firmly bound by the voice of the people— a power vastly more potential than
the expression of any political platform.
The paramount duty of Congress is to stop deficiencies by the restoration of that protective legislation which has always
been the firmest prop of the treasury. The passage of such a law or laws would strengthen the credit of the Government,
both at home and abroad, and go far toward stopping the drain upon the gold reserve held for the redemption of our currency,
which has been heavy and well nigh constant for several years.
In the revision of the tariff especial attention should be given to the re-enactment and extension of the reciprocity prin
ciple of the law ol 1890, under which so great a stimulus was given to our foreign trade in new and advantageous markets for our
surplus agricultural and manufactured produc s. The brief trial given this legislation amply justifies a further experiment and
additional discretionary cower in the making of commercial treaties, the end in view always to bo the opening up of new markets
for the products of our country by granting concessions to the products of other lands that we need and cannot produce our
selves and which do not involve any loss of labor to our own people, but tend to increase their employment.
The»iepression of the past four years has fallen with especial severity upon the great body of toilers of the country, and upon
none more than the holders of email farms. Agriculture has languished and labor suffered. The revival of manufacturing will
PRESIDENT McKINLEY'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL, FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 1897.
be a relief to both. No portion of our population is more devoted to tbe institutions of free government nor more loyal in their
support, while none Dears more cheerfullyor fuily its proper share id the maintenance of the Government or is better entitled to
its wise and liberal care and protection. Legislation helpful to producers is beneficial to all. The depressed condition of industry
on the farm and in the mine and factory has lessened the ability of the people to meet the demands upon them, and they right
fully expect that not only a system of revenue shall be established that will secure the largest income with the least burden, but
that every means will be taken to decrease rather than increase our public expenditures.
Business conditions are not the most promising. It wili take time to restore the prosperity of former years. If we caanot
promptly attain it, we can resolutely turn our faces in that direction and aid its return by fiiendly legislation.
However troublesome the situation may appear, Congress will not, I am sure, be found lacking in disposition or ability to
relieve it as far as legislation can do so. The restoration of confidenc3 and the revival of business which men of all parties so
much desire depend more largely upon the prompt, energetic action of Congress than upon any other single agency affecting the
situation. It is inspiring, too, to remember that no great emergency in the 108 years of our eventful National life has ever arisen
that has not been met with wisdom and coura-e by the American people, with fidelity to their best interests and highest destiny
and to the honor of the American name.
These years of glorious history have exalted mankind and advanced the cause of freedom throughout the world and immeas
urably strengthened the precious free institutions which we enjoy. The people love and will sustain these institutions. The
great essential to our happiness and prosperity is that we adhere to the principles upon which the Government was established
and insist upon their faithful observance. Equality of rights must prevail and our laws be always and everywhere respected and
We may have failed in the discharge of our full duty as citizens of the great Republic, bat it is consoling and encouraging to
realize that lreo speech, a free press, free thought, free schools, the free and unmolested rights of religious liberty and worship
and free and fair elections are dearer and more universally enjoyed to-day than ever before. These guarantees must be sacredly
preserved and wisely strengthened. The constituted authorities must be cheerfully and vigorously upheld. Lynchings must not
be toleerated in a great and civilized country like the United States. Courts — not mobs— must execute the penalties of the law.
The preservation of public order, the rights of discussion, the integrity of courts ana the orderly administration of justice must
continue forever the rock of safety upon which our Government securely rests.
One of the lessons tauglit by the election, which all can rejoice in, is that the citizens of the United States are both law
respecting and law-abi'Jing people, not easily swerved from the path of patriotism and honor. This is in entire accord with
the genius oi our institutions, and but emphasizes the advantages of inculcating even a greater love for law and order in the
Immunity should be granted to no one who violates the laws, whether individuals, corporations or communities, and the
constitution imposes on the President the duty of both its own legislation and of the statutes enacted in pursuance of its pro
visions.* I shall endeavor carefully to carry them into effect.
The declaration of the party now restored to power has been in the past that of "opposition to all combinations of capital,
organized in trusts or otherwise, to control arbitrarily the condition of trade among our citizens," and it has supported such
legislation "as will prevent the execution of all such schemes to oppress the people by undue charges on their supplies or by un
just rates for the transportation of their products to market."
This purpose will be steadily pursue.', both by the inforcement of the laws now in existence and the recommendation and
support of sucu new statutes as may be necessary to carry it into effect. Our naturalization and immigration laws should ba
further improved to th* constant promotion of a safer, a better and a higher citizenship, A grave peril to this republic would
be a citizenship too ignorant to understand or too vicious to appreciate the great value and beneficence of our institutions and
laws, and against all who come here to make war upon them our gates must be promptly and tightly closed.
Nor must we be unmindful of the needed improvement among our o-s-n citizens, but with the zeal of our forefathers encour
age the s Dread oi knowledge and free education. Illiteracy must be banished from the land if we shall attain that high de3tiny
as the foremost of tbe enlightened nations of tha world, which under providence we ought to achieve.
Iteforms in the civil service must go on, but changes should be real and genuine, not perfunctory nor prompted by a zeal in
behalf of any uarty, simply bacause it happens to be in power. As a member of Congress I voted and spoke in favor of the pres
ent law and I shall attempt its enforcement in the spirit in which it was enacted. The purpose in view was to secure the most
efficient service of tbe best men who would accept appointment under the Government, retaining faithful ?»nd devoted public
servants in office, but shielding none, under the authority of any rule or custom, who are inefficient, incompetsnt or unworthy.
The best interests of the country demand this and the people heartily approve the law wherever and whenever it has been thai
Congress should give prompt attention to the restoration of our American merchant marine, once the pride of the seas in all
the great ocean highways of commerce. To my mind few more important subjects so imperatively demand its 'intelligent con
sideration. The United States has progressed with marvelous rapidity in every field of enterprise and endeavor until we have
become foremost in nearly all the great lines, of inland trade, commerce and industry. Yet while this is triie ; our American
merchant marine has steadily declined until it is now lower, both in percentage of tonnage and number of vessels employed, than
it was prior to the Civil War. Commendable progress has been made of late years in the upbuilding of the American navy, but
we must supplement these efforts by providing as a proper consort for it a merchant marine amply sufficient for our carrying
trade to foreign countries. The question is one that appeals both to our business necessities ana the patriotic aspirations of a
It has been the policy of the United States since the foundation of the Governnnnt to cultivate relations of peace and
amity with all the nations of the world, and this accords with my conception of our duty now. We harve cherished the policy of
non-interference with the affairs of foreign Governments, wisely inaugurated by Washington, keeping ourselves fre9 from en
tanglement, either as allies or foes, content to leave undisturbed with them the settlement of their own domestic concerns.
It will be our aim to pursue a firm and dignified foreign policy which shall be just, impartial, ever watchful to our National
honor, and always insisting upon the enforcement of the lawful rights of American citizens everywhere. We want no wars of
conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression. A war should never be entered upon until every agency of
peace has failed : peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency ; arbitration is the true method of settlement of Interna
tional as well as local or individual difference. It was recognized as the best means of adjustment of differences between em
ployers and employes by the Forty-ninth Congress in 18S6, and its application was extended to our diplomatic relations by tht
unanimous concurrence of the Senate aud House of the Fifty-first Congress in 1890.
The later resolution was accepted as the basis of negotiations with us by the British House of Commons in 1893, and
upon our invitation a treaty of arbitration between the United States and Great Britain was signed at Washington and trans
mitted to the Senate for its ratification in January last. Since this treaty is clearly the result of our own initiative; since it
has been recognized as the leading feature of our foreign policy throughout our entire National history — the adjustment of diffi
culties by judicial methods rather than force of arms — and since it proves to] the world the glorious example of reason and peace,
not passion and war, controlling the relations between two of the greatest nations of the world* an example certain to be fol
lowed by others, I respectfully urge the early action of the Senate thereon, not merely as a matter of policy but as a duty to
mankind. The moral influence of the ramifications ot such a treaty can hardiy be overestimated i:i the cause of advancing
civilization. It may well engage the best thought of the statesmen and people of every country, and 1 cannot but consider
it as fortunate that it was reserved to the United States to take the leadership in such a great work.
It is tbe piactice to avoid as far as possible tbe convening of Congress in extraordinary session. It is an example which,
under ordinary circumstances and in the absence of a public necessity is not to be commended. But a failure to convene the