Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 3, 1907, (In two parts), Part II
File No. 7187.
Ambassador Thompson to the Secretary of State.
Mexico , October 22, 1907 .
Sir: For the information of the department I inclose herewith clippingsa of everything that was printed in the Mexican Herald with reference to the visit of Mr. Root to Mexico from the time of his reception by the Mexican committee at San Antonio, Tex., until his return to the United States.
I have, etc.,
Speech of welcome delivered by Gen. Pedro Rincon Gallardo September 29, 1907.
Your Excellency: Especially appointed for this purpose by the President, in behalf of the Government of the Republic, we have the honor to tender to your excellency the most cordial welcome for your happy arrival to Mexico, whose people, of whom we must consider ourselves the faithful echo, pledge the continued good relations with the people of the United States. The reception is an homage to your well-known merits, and the people are anxious to receive your excellency as their illustrous guest and highly esteemed friend. The same people of Mexico, during your excellency’s brief sojourn amongst us, will show how true is their esteem for you and how proud they will feel on the occasion of this visit of your excellency, accompanied by Mrs. and Miss Root, an event, the memory of which will remain forever engraved in our hearts.
Mr. Root’s reply.
Gen. Rincon Gallardo and Gentlemen of the Committee: I beg you to believe that I am highly appreciative of the cordial and hospitable greeting with which I have been received by you on the threshold of your beautiful and wonderful country. I hope that the visit which now begins will not merely give me personally the opportunity which I have long desired to see this great country and its marvels, to meet its public men, and especially to see its illustrious President. I hope that it will also serve, as it is intended to serve, as evidence of the desire of the Government and people of the United States to strengthen and increase the steadfast friendship which they have long felt for the people and Government of Mexico.
Speech of President Diaz at banquet given at the National Palace October, 1907.
Most Excellent Sir: In the name of the Mexican people and of their Government I tender you this banquet, acknowledging thereby those sentiments of sympathy which are felt and which distinguish one and another, the people of the United States, the great citizen who presides over its high destinies, and the illustrious statesman who honors us with his interesting, transcendental, and very welcome visit. Bonds of sympathy and fellow-feeling, Mr. Secretary, which are not new, but which germinated in the breasts of our fathers at the inception of the independence of our country, our fathers who contemplated with patriotic enthusiasm the daring exploits in war and imitated the political examples set by your heroic liberators; and sentiments which we, of subsequent generations, have also cultivated, because, in studying the causes which produce the prodigious national prosperity with which your country has astounded the world, we become accustomed to admire, to magnify, perhaps, [Page 853] the indomitable will, energy, labor, and civic and patriotic solidarity which constitute the energetic, sociable, and abundantly productive type of your countrymen.
The Mexican people, Mr. Secretary, are honored as well as pleased to have you in their midst—honored, because you are the fountain of honor as a noted statesmen of our century, and highly pleased because your clear and rapid conception promises us that, seeing with your own eyes the kind and well-merited feelings with which we harbor your countrymen who seek in our land the generous treatment proportionate to their intelligence, perseverance, and indefatigable labor, you may affirm that in Mexico we profess ideas which, carried to the practice of strict reciprocity, must make happy and loyal friends the two nations which are united by contiguity.
In conclusion, gentlemen, I extend my thanks to the distinguished ladies and misses who have had the kindness to honor and embellish our tables with their presence, and permit me to invite you to drink with them and with me, hoping that prodigious harmonization of individual rights and correct liberties, which is called the United States of America, may be perpetuated in its increasing moral and material progress, which has given prestige throughout the world to government by popular representation.
I drink also for the personal happiness of that grand friend of universal peace, President of the grand Republic, the Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, and that our illustrious guest and his lovable family may find in Mexico a mansion as pleasing as their interesting visit is to the Mexican people.
Mr. Root’s reply.
Your Excellency: I thank you most sincerely for the kind and gracious words which you have used regarding my poor self, regarding my President, from whom I bring you and to the Mexican people a message of deep and warm friendship and good wishes, and as to my country, which I believe is fitly represented by this brief visit of friendship, with the purpose, not of creating, for they are already created, but of increasing and advancing the ideas of amity and mutual helpfulness between two great Republics.
I can not keep my mind from reverting to a former visit by an American Secretary of State to the Republic of Mexico. Thirty-eight years ago Mr. Seward, a really great American Secretary of State, visited this country. How vast the difference between what he found and what I find. Then was a country torn by a civil war, sunk in poverty, in distress. Now I find a country great in its prosperity, in its wealth, in its activity and enterprise, in the moral strength of its just and equal laws, and unalterable purpose to advance its people steadily along the pathway of progress. Mr. President, the people of the United States feel that the world owes this great change chiefly to you. They are grateful to you for it, for they rejoice in the prosperity and happiness of Mexico. We believe, sir, that we are richer and happier because you are richer and happier, and we rejoice that you are no longer a poor and struggling nation needing assistance, but that you are strong and vigorous, so that we can go with you side by side in demonstrating to the world that republics are able to govern themselves wisely—side by side in helping to carry to our less fortunate sisters the blessing of peace.
Mr. President, I have said that we need not create, but wish to strengthen, the ties of friendship. It is my hope that through more perfect understanding, through personal intercourse, through the more complete unity of action to be acquired by the individual intercourse of the men of Mexico and the men of the United States, not only may our friendship be increased, but our power for usefulness—for that usefulness demonstrates the right of nations to be perpetuated—may be enlarged.
For the generous hospitality, for the spirit of friendship with which you and the people of Mexico have welcomed me as a representative of the United States, I thank you and them, and I hope that there may be found in this visit and in this welcome not merely the pleasure of a holiday, but a step along the pathway of two great nations in their service to humanity.
Speech of Governor Guillermo de Landa y Escandon, Municipal Palace, October 3, 1907.
Your Excellency: Last year, in accordance with the wishes of your President, you undertook to visit and become acquainted with Latin-America, and for that purpose you made an extended voyage which was fruitful in happy results.[Page 854]
At the beginning of the sixteenth century adventurous Spanish and Portuguese navigators sailed from the Atlantic into the Pacific, effecting important discoveries of which the object was to rescue from darkness populous regions which, since then, have formed part of the civilized world. You have sailed over nearly the same route four centuries later, proclaiming a message of peace and concord in all those regions whose inhabitants greeted you with acclamations from the northern ports of Brazil round to those of Colombia and Panama.
You are now crowning your mission by visiting the Mexican Republic, and you arrive at this capital animated by the same aspirations as actuated you when you set foot on the cruiser Charleston in the port of New York on July 4, 1906.
Your aims are so noble and great that they can not but be sincere. The course which you have set before yourself would not be possible for one whose head did not harbor the loftiest ideals, and whose heart did not quicken to the finest sentiments.
Your President is a great man; rectitude and loyalty are the dominant features of his character. A soldier, and a brave one, he knows what war is, and, therefore, he abhors it with all the force of his large heart; the war which engages his thoughts is war upon war itself.
It would not befit me at this moment, much as I should wish, to extol the character of the Supreme Magistrate of my country. But I may say that, though a soldier like your own President, he detests war in the same degree, so that the ideals and aims of both great men are alike directed toward an object sublime and desired of all men—peace.
The nations which both statesmen govern follow their lead in this respect with energetic unanimity, and it is safe to augur the happiest results from a concert so auspicious.
You, sir, second the purposes of both of those leaders with a zeal which nothing can cool; your mind has been formed at the bar—in the school of justice—and, like our two Presidents, you abominate injustice and double dealings.
You also know what war is and you share the aversion for it of the two great American statesmen who are the standard bearers of peace in the new world.
Welcome, excellency, to this ancient capital of the Empire of Montezuma. She opens her gates to you and to your family, and offers you the sincerest hospitality, hoping you may preserve of her recollections as lasting as she will preserve of the visit of one whose happy mission it has been to carry everywhere the spirit of peace, good will, and fraternity.
Mr. Root’s reply.
Governor Landa, your welcome now is as it has been from the first instant of my visit, both graceful and grateful. I have been most delighted by the many interesting things I have seen here.
Above all things, I feel impelled to say that the most interesting thing in Mexico, so far as my knowledge goes, is your President. [Applause.] It has seemed to me that of all the men now living Porfirio Diaz, of Mexico, was best worth seeing. Whether one considers the adventurous, daring, chivalric incidents of his early career; whether one considers the vast work of government which his wisdom and courage and commanding character has accomplished; whether one considers the singularly attractive personality, no one lives to-day who I would rather see than President Diaz. If I were a poet I would write sophistry; if I were a musician I would compose triumphal marches; if I were a Mexican I should feel that the steadfast loyalty of a lifetime could not be too much in return for the blessings that he had brought to my country. As I am neither poet, musician, nor Mexican, but only an American who loves justice and liberty and hopes to see their reign among mankind progress and strengthen and become perpetual, I look to Porfirio Diaz, the President of Mexico, as one of the great men to be held up for the hero worship of mankind.
Speech of Lic. Manuel Calero, President of the Chambers of Deputies, October 3, 1907.
Honorable Secretary of State, welcome; the national representation, the chamber that constitutionally symbolizes that people which in this section of the Western Hemisphere, is ever striving, ever wrestling to attain a higher civilization, to win for itself a respected name among nations, feels pleasure in [Page 855] welcoming you to its midst, for you are at the present moment the symbolical representation of a great and friendly people and the personification of its brotherly feelings toward us. You, honored sir, are our guest and were the traditional chivalry of our people not sufficient justification for our cordiality toward you, the high character of your office, the luster encircling your name, and the mission of peace which brings you to this land, all would move us to open our arms to you.
Your name is not unknown to us. We have followed the trail of your labors and triumphs for the last decade. We know, too, that the people whence you have come, and, setting aside all false modesty, can truly say we know them better than they do us.
That you once wronged, that, when burning political, economical, and humane problems beset you, the course of justice was momentarily hampered, we have not forgotten; we have not. But as the years rolled on you have won back, inch by inch, your place in our affections; the intercourse every day closer and closer between your people and ours, stepping over the bounds set by race and tongue, has infused new life into this feeling of mutual good will and friendship, which tend to establish harmony of ideals and close similarity of destiny.
We, less blessed by fortune, but no whit less rich in ideals and lofty aspirations, feel pleasure in studying you. We shall endeavor to reap benefits from the lessons of your success, and we shall try to avert the great evils which are born of a prosperity such as yours, and which would undermine the walls of your civilization did there not arise from out of your midst men of great virtue and indomitable, strength of will, armed for the fray against guilt, combating evil, true apostles of right. Theodore Roosevelt is one of such fighters, the most conspicuous of our times, the ardent devotee of justice, who claims for good citizens, for the rich and the poor, the proud and the humble, perfect equality and liberty unrestrained, without which lawful energies may not expand, and demands alike for all equal justice equal treatment, “a square deal,” to use his own concise and vigorous phrase.
This it is which explains the whole-hearted prestige won by your chief executive within the limits of your own country, and which has passed the bounds of your territory and has been merged into international prestige accorded to him by all cultured nations. And, in no small measure, did you with your knowledge, your ceaseless labor and your delicate tact, contribute to this happy end. Thus the world has seen how the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, outreaching the roar of the cannons of Mukden, puts an end to the war which in shame to human culture heralded the dawn of the twentieth century; it has seen how, in deference to his initiative, the cultured nations of the world hastened to meet at The Hague conference, and how, as a reward for his constant efforts, united with those of the glorious Chief Executive of this Republic, who now receives you with every mark of honor, the disorders in the neighboring republics to the south were pacified, and these are now making ready for a work of peace and harmony, the beginning of that longed for era of prosperity.
That international importance achieved by your Government and your country had its beginning when President Monroe gave forth to the world his famous doctrine, so debated, so misunderstood, and perhaps so dangerous, if—as has sometimes been thought—it might be used as a means of illegitimate preponderance at the expense of the sovereignty of other nations. The Monroe doctrine embodies, nevertheless, and we should not hesitate in saying so, the first principle of international law of a great part of this continent, if not the whole. This it means for us Mexicans, ever since the President of the Republic announced it to Congress in his memorable message of April, 1896, received with general acclamation by the national representation, and later by the whole country. The integrity of the nations of this continent is of vital interest to all, collectively, and not only to the country immediately affected. Any attack on this integrity should constitute an offense in the eyes of the other nations of America. Accordingly, one of our great thinkers and statesmen has wisely said: “America for Americans means each country for its own people, to the exclusion of all foreign interference, whether this comes from other countries of this continent or whether it comes from any other nation whatsoever. And we in our trying struggles of the past have given ample proof to the whole world of our homage to independence and our hatred to all foreign intervention, to use President Diaz’s own words.”
Accept as the supreme dogma of our political religion the immortal words of President Lincoln, that “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people” shall not perish from earth.[Page 856]
Mr. Root’s reply.
Mr. President and Members of the Chamber of Deputies of the United States of Mexico: I am doubly sensible of the high honor which you have conferred upon me by this audience to-day. I am sensible also of the great mark of friendship to my country involved in the reception of one of her officers in this distinguished manner by the law-making—by the popular law-making—body of this great Republic. I sincerely hope, not merely that I personally may never do ought to show myself to have been unworthy of your consideration, but that my country may forever, in its attitude and conduct toward the people of Mexico, justify your kindness.
You will gather from my words, which your President has been good enough to quote in the admirable and grateful address which he has just made, that I am one of those who believe that the old days when nations sought to enrich themselves by taking away the wealth of others by force ought to pass and are passing. I believe, and I am happy to know that the great mass of my countrymen believe, that it is not only more Christian, not only more honorable, but also more useful and beneficial for all nations, and especially all neighboring nations, to unite in helping each other create more wealth, so that all may be rich and prosperous, rather than to seek to take it away from each other.
I find here in this sanctuary of laws, in this body charged with making the laws, the most interesting, the most important, and the most sacred thing in the Republic of Mexico. I am not unmindful of the difficulties which confront you, gentlemen of the Chamber of Deputies, in the task that you perform for your country. The discussion of public questions, the reconciliation of differing opinions, the adjustment of different local interests from all over this vast country, the reaching of just conclusions, the compromises necessary so often for different interests, present to the members of a legislative body of a republic difficulties little understood by the people at large and requiring for their solution the highest order of ability, self-denial, and love of country. I beg you to take my testimony, coming from another land long engaged in grappling with the same kind of difficulties; I beg you to take my testimony that the troubles for your country in legislating for your country, and which you are to encounter in the future, are not peculiar to your country, to your race, to your institutions, to your customs. They inhere in the task that is before every legislative body representing the vastly differing interests, opinions, sentiments, and desires of a people.
Mr. President and gentlemen of the Chamber of Deputies, it is my sincere desire and the desire of my countrymen that in the performance of this task for the Republic of Mexico you may be guided in wisdom and in peace. May you possess that self-restraint which is so necessary to the preservation and security for property, for enterprise, and for life, guarding you always from unwise extremes, leading you always to test every question of legislation by sound principles accorded by history. May you always, and every one of you, be so inspired by love of country, so that you may be able to sink all personal ambitions and interests to do only that which is for the benefit of your country; so that through your actions and inspired by your example the spirit of nationality which I see growing among the people of Mexico may continue to increase until it is the living and controlling spirit of all the people from the Gulf to the Pacific. May you have in your deliberations and your action something of the self-sacrificing spirit of the humble priest, Hidalgo, which, without ambition on his part, with no other motive but the love of his country upon his part, has written his name among the great benefactors of humanity. May you have something of the patriotism and genius of Benito Juarez, which enabled him with his strong hand to take Mexico out of the conditions of warring factions when individual ambition rose above the love of country. May you have something of that constancy and high courage which has made the soldier and the statesman who now sits in the chair of the chief magistrate of Mexico a place in the history above scores and hundreds of emperors and kings with high sounding title and no record in life but the desire for personal advancement.
And so, members of the Chamber of Deputies—may I say, my friends—brothers in the work of seeking by law to advance the peace and prosperity of mankind; to bring in the rule of justice, of ordered liberty, of peace, of happy homes, of opportunity for children to rise, of opportunity for old age to pass its days in peace. My brother workers in the cause of popular government, [Page 857] of human rights and human happiness, I thank you for the opportunity to say, “God bless you in your labors,” which will always have my sympathy and the sympathy of my people.
Speech of Gen. G. H. M. y Agramonte.
[Luncheon given by the American colony at the Mexican Country Club, October 4, 1907.]
As chairman of a committee of the American colony, the pleasant duty devolves upon me to welcome, in behalf of the colony, an illustrious countryman, and a prominent member of the official family of the President of the United States—the Secretary of State.
The opportunity has been afforded us through one of the many acts of exquisite courtesy for which the Government of Mexico is noted in its intercourse with those of us from north of the Rio Bravo, and to which unfailing courtesy we can all bear witness.
For the kindly spirit that actuated the Mexican Government in breaking in upon the official programme for the entertainment of its guest—our countryman—and placing him in our hands for this occasion, I believe that we are extremely grateful. For the graceful act of the Mexico Country Club in permitting us the use of this magnificent building in which to entertain our guest there is no lack of appreciation.
As Americans, knowing our own people and our own country as we do, and keenly alive to everything that may obtain for its weal or its woe, our very absence from it making our hearts grow fonder of it, the joy we feel in welcoming one who has held the bright banner of our country full high advanced, is greater than any words of mine can express.
We love our country; we love it as the blessed consummation of human hopes. The world has been full of sorrow. The tearful eyes of humanity have never been dry; but in this western world, on this new continent, stretching from ocean to ocean, in the maturity of the ages has come forth a nation whose institutions and example shall aid in lifting the nations of the world into the sunlight of God’s glorious liberty.
We have no king, no royal family upon which can be centered the loyal emotions of a great people. To us the only representative of the whole people is the glorious blue, “thick sprinkled” with stars and striped with vivid red and white.
You, sir, have held aloft that banner. You have added to the glory of our country.
On the sacred field of Gettysburg, ground consecrated by torrents of American blood, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, gave to us a classic which will live while our country exists. You, sir, in your exposition of the attitude of the United States toward other countries, have enunciated a classic that also will live and be a bond of friendship between us and all the nations of this hemisphere.
Gentlemen, I will read to you that classic:
“We wish no other victories than those of peace, no more territory than ours, no other sovereignty except that we have over ourselves.
“We consider the independence and the rights of the smallest and weakest members of the family of nations entitled to a respect equal to the respect that we have for the greatest empires; and we think that the observance of this respect of the interests of the weak is the main guaranty against the oppression of the stronger.
“We neither claim nor want any right, privilege, or faculty which we are not ready to accord freely to all the American republics.
“We want to be greater, more prosperous, to extend our commerce and develop our wealth, our wisdom, and our energy; but our conception of the way to obtain that is not to knock down the others and take profit from their ruin, but to help our friends to obtain a common prosperity and a common development, so that we altogether become greater and stronger.”
With such dignified sentiments resounding in our ears, have we not reason to be proud of our guests?
And now, sir, in the name of the American colony of Mexico, I bid you welcome. Yes, thrice welcome! May every choice blessing attend upon you and those you hold dear.[Page 858]
Mr. Root’s reply.
Mr. Chairman, Fellow-Americans: It is a long way from the Bowery [applause], but I feel quite at home. [Applause.] It is delightful to feel that my country is illustrated in this land of beauty by so many handsome and cheerful-looking men; it is delightful to see the evidences of prosperity in, I think, every American here, and it is delightful to see that that subtle, indefinable quickening of spirit that comes from separation has given each of you, an exile in a foreign land, a new significance in every star and stripe and every reference to the old flag and the old home.
Your welcome is very grateful to me; your kind expressions I most heartily reciprocate. I do not wish to return evil for good by preaching, but it occurs to me that you have—I will not say that you have left your country for your country’s good—you have not abandoned your opportunities to serve her; you have rather reached the position where you have new opportunities for service as American citizens. One serious fault which formerly existed to a very great extent among Americans, and which has been growing less, was a certain provincial and narrow way of looking at foreigners. There was a good deal of truth underlying the observations and characterizations of Mr. Dickens which made our people so angry sixty or seventy years ago. One of our American humorists refers to the people of a western mining camp as looking upon a newcomer with the idea that he had the defective moral quality of being a foreigner. Now the residium of that old feeling stands in the way of American trade and American intercourse generally with other nations. No one can do more to advance the disappearance of that attitude than you who have experienced the friendship and kindliness of the people of this foreign country; you who have learned by your personal experience how many and how noble are the characteristics of this foreign people; you who have been able to see how much we Americans may well learn from them, you can, each one of you, be a teacher of your countrymen in your continued intercourse with your homes and your home associates in the gospel of courtesy and kindliness toward all mankind. [Applause.]
There is one other thought that comes naturally to my mind. You not only have not abandoned your duties toward your country by coming to this foreign land, but you have acquired new duties toward the community and the nation which has given you welcome and shelter and prosperity. [Applause.] There is underlying all the materialism and the hard practical sense of the American people regulating its own Government for its own interests—there is underlying that a certain idealism which carries a conception of a missionary calling to spread through the length and breadth of the world the blessing of justice and liberty and of the institutions which we believe make for human happiness and human progress. That mission is to be fulfilled, not by making speeches and the giving of advice, the writing of books, or even the publication of newspapers; it can best be fulfilled by personal influence and intercourse of men one with another. No American who is in a foreign land can help representing his country; its honor and its good name rest upon each one of us the moment we cross the border. You not only represent your country, but you have a duty to perform toward the country in which you live, giving to her and to her people through your efforts and all your association the best contribution that your training as American citizens, that the traditions of centuries of American life enable you to give, toward the maintenance of law and order, toward the promotion of all ideas that you have been taught in your youth to consider sacred, toward holding up the hands of authority, toward the inculcation of the sentiment of loyalty, toward the perpetuity of the Government which gives you security for your lives and your property in your new home. [Applause.]
I have one prominent thought in meeting you to-day; it is, while you continue to be good, loyal American citizens, you should be good and loyal Mexican residents. I can no better voice the sentiment of all of my countrymen here I know, and I can no better represent the feelings of our friends who remain at home, than by asking you to rise and join me in drinking to the long continuance of life, strength, and usefulness for the man who, more than any other, or all others, has given you the opportunities that you now enjoy, President Porfirio Diaz. [Applause.]
Speech of Governor Gullermo de Landa, October 5, 1907.
I am proud, although it is a surprise to me, to respond to the toast to our President. Last night you paid such a high compliment to our President that you gained the hearts of all of us.[Page 859]
It is rather difficult for me to make a toast to the President. I have as a Mexican the greatest admiration for him, and as a man I have the honor to be one of his most devoted and closest friends. You know, just as well as we Mexicans do, because many of you have resided in Mexico many years, the work that General Diaz has done for this country, and I will limit myself to a reference to some of the incidents of his life during his early military career. In 1857 General Diaz was military commandant in the city of Tehuantepee—that is to say, fifty years ago—and an American warship was lying in the harbor very close to the present harbor of Salina Cruz. The general was invited by the captain of the vessel to take lunch on board the ship, and he responded to that compliment by inviting the officers and crew of the vessel to a banquet in the city of Tehuantepec.
One of the officers made the remark to the mayor of the city that it was remarkable for so young a man to be a military officer and to be promoted so rapidly. General Diaz was very young in those days. The mayor, in answer to that, said: “It is true he is very young, but he has already served his country; he has already shed his blood, he carries a bullet in one of his sides; he was wounded in one of the last battles of the revolution.” Then the captain of the vessel said to General Diaz: “We have a very skillful surgeon on board; would you like to have that bullet extracted?” General Diaz objected because he thought it would keep him in bed for several days, and he was obliged to be always on horseback, ready to fight the enemy. [Applause.]
Finally he decided to have the bullet extracted, and the ability of that surgeon probably saved the life of our President, and it was probably due to the skill of an American surgeon that we have now in Mexico at the head of this nation a man who is the best friend of your country, who admires President Roosevelt, and who has done for Mexico what Mexico is as a nation. [Applause.]
Now, it was fortunate that in those days an American war ship should have been at this place, and that an American surgeon should have extracted that bullet, and, as I told you before, probably it was because of the ability of the American surgeon who saved the life of the President that we now have the one we all admire and love.
I have the honor to propose the health of your President, Mr. Roosevelt.
Response of Ambassador Thompson.
It is said that silence is golden, and so it is; and this saying should be especially applicable on the present occasion when my chief has all the privileges. Perhaps, however, it may not be inappropriate here for me to speak briefly of the unfolding of the national life of Mexico and of the American in Mexico.
It is now past thirty-one years since my first visit to this country, and during practically all of these thirty-one years the destinies of Mexico have been guided by the illustrious Diaz. Thirty-one years ago conditions in Mexico were such that in few places could a man be reasonably sure of his life if there was the slightest cause for it to be taken. At that time the country was filled with banditti, and the earth was the depository of practically all of the wealth it was possible to put out of sight. The land had been rent with wars for generations, and little thought was given by the masses to anything other than unfriendly strife of one character or another. There was not in the Republic, outside of the City of Mexico, anything which could legitimately have been called bank, and in this place little could have been said to their praise. To-day there are in the City of Mexico three of the great banking institutions of the world, and many smaller ones, although just as respectable and responsible, and in every State of the Republic there are strong banks, making the banking facilities of the country practically the same as those of our own. The banditti have for years been unknown in Mexico.
The national finances of Mexico in 1876 were at the lowest conceivable ebb, and even at the late date of 1902 the total revenue of the Republic was only $66, 147,048, while the revenue for the fiscal year just closed was $113,000,000, leaving a surplus of near $20,000,000 beyond all national requirements. And notwithstanding this, during the past two years material reductions have been made in the taxes paid direct by the people.
The advent of Diaz came as a rising sun after the darkest of nights. The more than thirty years since 1876 have brought revolution after revolution in Mexico, but not revolutions of the old kind. The revolutions of the past [Page 860] thirty years have been those of mind and of commercial industry. During practically all of these thirty years practical peace has reigned supreme, and to-day there is no country on earth where greater harmony exists.
Industrially the advances in Mexico during the time of Diaz, and especially during the past ten years, have been the marvel of the world. Thirty years ago there was little known of the railway in Mexico, the line from Veracruz to the City of Mexico, comprising 263 miles, being all there was in the country at that time. To-day Mexico is reasonably well covered with this great civilizer; and the end is not yet, because railway projects and construction are to be found in every direction.
Agriculturally speaking, the changes have been as pronounced as the changes in railway conditions; and the mining industry of Mexico has reached a point where it practically occupies the attention of the world. Nearly every country on earth has more or less of mining; but during the past ten years no country on earth has shown such a vast development in this line of industry as has Mexico, and it is very certain that from a standpoint of possibilities we may say that only the smallest sort of a beginning has been made.
Thirty years ago there were practically no Americans in Mexico, and the few that were here, with now and then an exception, were here because they could not stay at home; and there was no American capital invested in the Republic. To-day what a different condition we find. There are in the Republic of Mexico something like 40,000 Americans, and the majority of them are honest and industrious people who would be a credit to any country. Their sphere of action covers practically every known occupation; and the amount of American money invested in Mexico is thought to be something like $700,000,000.
Thirty years ago to-day had anyone suggested that the relationship between our country and Mexico would ever be what it is; that at this time Mexico would be showing such great good will toward our country, and that the secretary of the most important bureau of the our Government would be on a friendly mission, at the invitation of the Mexican President, the suggestion would have been met with the greatest scepticism. Had any American thirty years ago to-day suggested that Mexico at this time would have shown the greatest degree of progress of any country on the face of the earth, considering all conditions, the suggestion would have been met with ridicule.
That these changes have been brought about by the great force, ability as a constructor, and the tact of eGneral Diaz no one can question. He has made it possible for all of us to live here in contentment and under prosperous conditions, and if anyone of us in any sense has failed the blame can not be placed at the door of the Mexican.
To-day Mr. Root is here on a mission of good will, in order that a still greater impetus may be given to the already extremely friendly relations existing between our country and Mexico, and that the American may be still further helped in his effort to do for himself in Mexico that which at this time it is difficult for him to do in his own country. I am sure that every thinking American will avail himself of the added heart beats that this visit has given to both Mexican and American to increase his sphere of usefulness to his individual self. Then, with much to thank Mr. Root for, let us drink to his health and happiness and long-continued usefulness.
Speech of Lic. Joaquin D. Casasus, in conferring upon Secretary Root the degree of honorary member of the Mexican Academy of Legislation and Jurisprudence.
The Mexican Academy of Legislation and Jurisprudence has intrusted me with the most gratifying task of expressing in its name its good wishes for your safe arrival in our midst, and of voicing the joy it experiences at being afforded the opportunity of publicly testifying to the high respect and esteem in which it holds the great statesman, the eminent jurisconsult, and the illustrious orator who in his position as Secretary of State of the United States of America is now amongst us, the distinguished guest of the Mexican nation.
Had I taken into account solely my own merits, notably defficient, especially when measured by the side of those possessed by the other members composing our academy, I should have refused such a high distinction. I thought, however, I could discern in its resolution the marked purpose that its homage should reach your ears through the echoes of a friend’s voice, and so be all the more welcome to you. With this reason, therefore, in mind, I did not hesitate [Page 861] in accepting it. Nay, more; this has made me think once and again that the abundant proofs of your good will—for which I shall ever remain indebted to you—the very base and foundation of our friendship, were those which you earnestly desired to convey to Mexico in the person of him who was then its representative in Washington.
The Mexican people, from the very moment in which you set foot on its soil, and our Government from the time it tendered you the invitation that your visit to Latin America should have in Mexico its fitting end and crowning point, have proved to you, in abundant measure, by manifestations of every kind, that their earnest desire is that the ties which have for so many years bound us to your country, united by common interests and strengthened by common ideals, should every day grow closer and closer. They have also applauded the constant zeal shown by your Government in fostering relations more and more cordial with the Republics of America, so that, inspired by the same spirit and guided by the same policy, they should make this western continent of ours the arena of the peaceful struggle of human effort. Nor do we deny you the enthusiastic and universal praise of which your labor as Secretary of State of the United States of America is deserving, since the programme of your international policy, later incorporated by President Roosevelt into his last message to Congress, found a sympathizing echo in every Mexican heart; that programme which you made known to the world when, having the Pan-American conference for your tribune and the whole of America grouped around you for your auditorium, we were all welcomed on the hospitable soil of the noble and heroic Brazilian people.
Nevertheless, the Mexican Academy of Legislation and Jurisprudence, while recognizing your merits as a statesman, has desired to confine itself to honoring the lawyer who has brought fame and glory to the American bar, the jurisconsult who has won the unstinted admiration of all the nations ruled by democratic institutions, and the orator whose eloquence takes us back to the times of the Latins, be his voice resounding in the courts of justice or heard in the academies and universities, or pealing forth clear and inspired in the popular tribune.
You, honored sir, we regard as the perfect type of the lawyer who has known how to perform the sacred task commended to him by modern society. The lawyer is a priest whose duty it is, in the bitter battles of life waged by human conflicting interests, to fulfill a mission of peace and harmony. He is, in very deed, the champion of homes when persecuted by human cruelty; he who strengthens the bonds of love which maintain the family union untainted, when the depravity of customs threatens its downfall. In stretching out a helping hand to the toiler he is ever a master; in carrying out an equitable distribution of fortunes made, an adviser; in proclaiming the respect due to the law, an example, and an authority in maintaining its prestige in the social community. His knowledge should be an arsenal from which to arm the weak and a shield with which to protect the powerful; his voice should be beseeching in its pleading for pardon from society for those who by their crimes undermine its foundations, but inexorable in its demand when in the name of society he calls for punishment. To the poor who strive to defend the bread earned for their children, he is a stay; to the rich who worry over productive investments for their fortunes, a guide; and if, in the errors committed by both sides and which ever tend to separate them he should be equity, then to put an end to the struggles into which they will irreparably be drawn he must ever be justice itself.
And you have been all this in your exemplary life of lawyer; this is what has won for you the love of the poor, the confidence of the rich, and the respect of the whole of society; which has placed you in the forerank of the distinguished men of the American bar, from which only the pressing needs of serving the greater political interests of your country could draw you.
Your important labors as a statesman and jurisconsult do not call forth our admiration any the less.
The jurisconsult of our days is not only he who in the Roman Forum ex solio tanquam ex tripode solved the conflicts which arose from the applying of the law; because now the part taken by the people in governmental affairs and the ever-increasing necessities of democratic life have widened his sphere of influence, and he has become to society what the lawyer has been to the individual and the family. The jurisconsult is a mentor of nations; in the midst of our eagerness to achieve greater prosperity and in our constant wrestle as citizens to form part of the public administration he it is who points out the path of [Page 862] our social and political life, and has to dictate the laws which should conform to our customs as well as those which should be necessary to determine its evolution. He it is who, standing on the prow, with gaze fixed on the distant horizon, steers the ship through the paths which guide nations to the haven of greater prosperity.
And you belong to the assembly of jurisconsults who are the glory and pride of the American Continent.
Still fresh in men’s minds are the honors you reaped in the University of Yale with the course of lectures you delivered on the part to be taken by citizens in the government. Your lessons have taught what are the rights to be exercised by citizens in nations ruled by democratic institutions and what their duties in order that governments should be the true representatives of the people’s will.
But again, the academy deems it but just to accord all honor to the great orator whose voice all America has been heeding with universal approval for more than a year; heeding, because that voice has ever been the expression of the lofty ideals which America has been pursuing from the earliest days of her freedom and independence.
Nor is your eloquence the fruit of meditation and study; it savors not, like that of Demosthenes, of the midnight oil. It is fresh and spontaneous, such as ought to be at the command of men ever ready to speak to the people of their rights and duties in democracies. It abounds always in that cold reasoning and that inflexible logic which alone can persuade and convince.
But your eloquence contains, besides, all the warmth, all the majesty, and all the sparkle of the Latin eloquence.
Plutarch relates, in his life of Cicero, that when the great orator thrilled the inhabitants of Rhodes with his speeches Apollonius Molon one day, after listening to him, showed no sign of admiration, but that when Cicero had finished he said: “Cicero, I, none the less than the others, praise and admire you; but I weep for the fate of Greece, for you have taken to Rome the best that was left to Greece—wisdom and eloquence.”
We in Latin America, less selfish than Apollonius Molon, do not weep; rather do we cheer and reward the orator from whose lips we have heard resound the accents of the Latin eloquence.
The Mexican Academy of Legislation and Jurisprudence, on presenting you to-day with the diploma which confers upon you the decree of honorary member, has desired to make known to the whole country your undoubted merits as lawyer, jurisconsult, and orator, and on this solemn occasion to bestow upon you its highest possible distinction.
Welcome to our midst. May your visit to Mexico be fruitful in good results to both countries; may it be, above all, one more tie to bind the sincere and unshaken friendship which unites them both; and, since it is the end of your triumphal journey to Latin America, may it add, in your great career as a statesman, fresh fame to your labor and glory to your illustrious name.
Mr. Root’s reply.
I am highly appreciative of the very great honor which you have now conferred upon me. It is all the more grateful to me that in the ceremony which makes me an associate of this distinguished body so prominent a part should be taken by a gentleman who, as the representative of Mexico in the capital of the United States, has not only taught me to admire his rare intellectual ability, but has won from me, by the grace and purity of his character, the warmth of friendship which adds especial pleasure to every new association with him into which I can enter. I feel, sir, that the compliment which you have paid to this little work of mine, produced without any idea that it should receive so distinguished an honor or find its way so far from home, I must ascribe rather to friendship than to any intrinsic merit of the work; but I thank you, and I am most appreciative of the honor that you do me in causing it to be translated ino Spanish and making it the subject of your resolution.
Circumstances have not permitted, and do not permit, that I should present to the academy any thesis or discussion adequate to be associated with the admirable and well-considered papers which have been read by Mr. Casasus and yourself. I wish, however, in addition to expressing my thanks, to indicate in a few words the special significance which this academy and my new association with it seem to me to have. We are passing, undoubtedly, into a new era of international communication. We have turned our backs upon the old days of armed invasion, and the people of every civilized country are constantly [Page 863] engaged in the peaceable invasion of every other civilized country. The sciences, the literature, the customs, the lessons of experience, the skill, the spirit of every country, exercise an influence upon every other. In this peaceful interchange of the products of the intellect, in this constant passing to and from of the people of different countries of the civilized world, we find in each land a system of law peculiar to the country itself, and answering to what I believe to be a just description of all laws which regulates the relations of individuals to each other, in being a formulation of the custom of the civil community. These systems of law differ from each other as the conditions, the customs of each people differ from those of every other people. But there has arisen in recent years quite a new and distinct influence, producing legal enactment and furnishing occasion for legal development. That is the entrance into the minds of men of the comparatively new idea of individual freedom and individual equality. The idea that all men are born equal, that every man is entitled to his life, his liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; the great declarations of principle designed to give effect to the fundamental ideas of liberty and equality are not the outcome of conditions or customs of any particular people, but they are common to all mankind.
Before the jurists and lawyers of the world there lies the task of adapting each special system of municipal law to the enforcement of the general principles which have come into the life of mankind within so recent a time and which are cosmopolitan and world-wide and belong in no country especially. These principles have to be fitted to your laws in Mexico and our laws in the United States and to the French laws in France and the German laws in Germany, and the task before the jurists and lawyers of the world is to formulate, to elaborate, to secure the enactment and the enforcement of such practical provisions as to weld together in each land the old system of municipal law, which regulates the relations of individuals with each other in accordance with the time-honored traditions and customs of the race and country and these new principles of universal human freedom. [Great applause.] Now, that task is something that can not be accomplished except by scientific processes, by the study of comparative jurisprudence, by the application of minds of the highest order in the most painstaking and practical way. In the adaptation of these new ideas common to all free people, the best minds of every people should assist every other people and receive assistance from every other people. The study of comparative jurisprudence, apparently dry, purely scientific, is as important to the well-being of the citizen in the streets of Mexico or Washington as those scientific observations and calculations which seem to be purely abstract have proved to be to the mariner on the ocean or the engineer of the great works of construction which are of such practical value; and we ought to promote the existence of societies of this character in every civilized land and the free intercourse of intercommunication of such societies, the existence of such a spirit of comradeship between them that they can freely give and take the results of their labors, of their experience and their skill.
This is of immense practical importance in the administration of government and the progress of ordered liberty in the world, for, after all, the declaration of political principles is of no value unless laws are framed adequate to bring principles down to the practical use of every citizen, and the framing of such laws in every land is the work of the jurists of the land. It is because I may be associated with you in doing what little a lawyer can do toward helping to the accomplishment of this great beneficent and necessary work for civilization that I find the greatest pleasure in accepting your election as a member of this academy and find cause for gratification beyond the mere personal vanity or personal feeling.
Permit me to express the warmest good wishes for the continued activity, prosperity, and usefulness of this distinguished body which has so greatly honored me by this election. [Applause.]
Speech of Ambassador Thompson at banquet given by him in honor of Secretary Root, October 5, 1907.
Probably not before has there been such a gathering of distinguished men as are to-night seated at this table at the foot of the famous Castle Chapultepec. The honored Secretary of State of the American nation is here, the guest of the great Mexican Republic, with such honors showered upon him as should not and will not soon be forgotten by a most friendly and appreciative people nor by the immediate recipient of Mexico’s greeting.[Page 864]
Personally I feel, I am sure, no less satisfaction than Mr. Root on this occasion, a dinner given by me in honor of the chiefs of the Mexican nation and other distinguished Mexicans, for the purpose of demonstrating as best I can my regard for them, not only because of the very great honor Mexico is doing my country and my chief, but in part for many kindly and friendly acts of the past. That the chiefs of staff of the Mexican President and many other high officials of nation and state have responded to an invitation with their presence on this occasion, thus further honoring my country, Mr. Root, and myself, calls for an expression of good will that I offer as a toast to Mexico and its illustrious President, General Diaz.
Response of Vice-President Corral to the toast of Ambassador Thompson.
Mr. Ambassador: I thank you on behalf of my colleagues of the Mexican cabinet and the officials, to whom this banquet has been dedicated, for the exquisite kindness with which you have honored us in giving to us a seat at your table.
I consider myself very fortunate to address such a distinguished gathering in these solemn moments, when the Mexican Republic offers its hospitality to the honorable Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Elihu Root, one of the most eminent men of the world, both for his wisdom and his political works, as a defender of the rights of nations and as a courageous knight of American democracy and universal peace.
It is very satisfactory for Mexico to demonstrate her sympathy to a guest of such high merit, and I assure you, Mr. Ambassador, that his visit to this country will create new and stronger bonds of durable friendship between the two sister republics of North America, and will be a new element of the highest value for the mission of concord which you have accomplished with so great ability and which is a real cause of satisfaction to us.
I thank you once more for your good wishes for Mexico and the President of the Republic, and, in my turn, I have the honor to invite all present to raise our cups to the powerful nation, the United States, and to its great President, Theodore Roosevelt.
Following Vice-President Corral’s response to Ambassador Thompson, Secretary Root spoke briefly expressing his appreciation of the warm reception accorded him and the interest and sympathy manifested in his mission to Mexico.
Speech of the Minister of Hacienda, José Yves Limantour.
You have come to this country with the assurance, often reiterated and always received with applause, of close and sincere fraternity between our two countries, the permanence of which is guaranteed by our common ideals and mutual respect.
Your mission challenges our warmest sympathy. Voices more authoritative than mine have informed you of this fact and the attitude of the Mexican people is its corroboration. You have been the apostle of a grand idea, the most vital, perhaps, of any affecting the international politics of this continent and assuredly the only one capable of harmonizing the interests and the hearts of all the inhabitants of the New World. That idea consists in laying down, as the invariable basis for the relations of the countries of America with one another, the sacred principles of justice and the territorial integrity of each one of them.
Such being the pledge which we have from your lips, and feeling confident that the immense majority of your countrymen indorse the declaration to that effect, made by you during your memorable journey of last year and during the journey that is now in progress, we welcome you as one welcomes a loyal and disinterested friend, without the mental reservation that one sometimes feels in clasping the hand of the great, and moved by the hope of thus contributing, in the best manner possible to us, toward the realization of an aim that is commended by a high and enlightened patriotism.
Mexico’s course for the future is clearly marked out, at any rate as far as human foresight can safely reach. Her geographical situation and the conditions governing the international politics of America assure to her as long as the views which you have proclaimed, with a conviction so sincere, predominate in your own country, that tranquillity in her international relations, [Page 865] which she needs in order to devote herself to intellectual culture and to the development of her abundant and varied natural resources, while at the same time offering hospitality to all well-meaning persons who bring hither their contingent of industry and civilization. With a programme such as this it has been easy, and will be still easier in the future, to regulate our conduct toward you, the citizens of the great nation beyond the Rio Grande. You will always be welcome, and it is right and proper that useful and agreeable neighbors, who give proofs of their desire to be on good terms and to cooperate in all the works of progress, should be; and I believe that you are quite convinced that both out of interest and good will the Mexican people will offer you every facility that may enable you to take an active part in the social and economic development of this Republic.
It is far from my thoughts at the present moment to extol the virtues and the good qualities of my countrymen. I may be permitted, however, as minister of finance, to say a few words in regard to one or two economic facts that have an important bearing on business relations.
Mexico at the present time, as you well know, is not a country exclusively engaged in mining and farming, but also carries on an extensive commerce and possesses fairly prosperous manufacturing industries. There are many lines of activity demanding industry, intelligence, and capital, and there is an ample field for the utilization of all elements of that nature coming to us from abroad. But a point which all persons interested in Mexico’s business affairs will do well in realizing is the honesty and prudent habits which characterize mercantile transactions in this country. “Booms “and “bluff” are exotic plants which can with difficulty be acclimatized here, and speculative combinations rarely enter into the calculations of the merchant.
A single example will suffice to illustrate the characteristics to which I am referring in that period of stress from 1892 to 1894, when the country, after suffering the loss of several harvests in succession and the ravages of a severe epidemic, was further tried by the sudden depreciation of silver, which in the course of a few months cut the gold value of our currency in half, everyone thought that the economic constitution of the nation would not be able to withstand the shocks so repeated and formidable; and yet we continued to meet our debts with religious punctuality, and it was noted with surprise that not a single failure of importance occurred in any part of the republic.
We may be charged with undue timidity, with slender experience in certain methods that are common elsewhere in the initiation of business undertakings. But these deficiencies and others which no doubt are ours will not debar us, let us hope, from being admitted to join the grand onward march of humanity, and particularly of that portion of the human family inhabiting the New World, toward higher conditions of physical and moral welfare.
It has been rightly maintained that the best basis for international politics is mutual expedience. You may tell your countrymen that Mexico is resolved to conduct her foreign policy along those lines, favoring your interests compatibly with her own, and that not content with adjusting her acts to the formula in question, she will gladly give her support to all plans for the encouragement of intellectual relations and the communion of mutual regard, without which, after all, the lives of nations, like the lives of individuals, become impregnated with an atmosphere of selfishness unpropitious to the highest aims of civilized communities.
In fine, gentlemen, let us raise our glasses to the health and happiness of our distinguished guest and his most estimable family. Let us drink to the hope that his countrymen, taking to heart the gospel which he has proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of America, may become the firmest guarantors of lasting peace between the two nations, consolidated by warmth of mutual regard and the continued growth of common interests.
Speech of Lic. Ignacio Mariscal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the banquet given by him in honor of Secretary Root, October 7, 1907.
Hon. Mr. Root: Your presence amongst us as our illustrious guest is an event which will leave a mark in the history of Mexico, for yours is not only the visit of a most distinguished American, but also of the best representative, without the usual credentials, of a great Government and a great people. The fact of its not aiming at any particular diplomatic business, except tightening [Page 866] the bonds of friendship between our two countries, has made it the more important and congenial to all Mexicans. Some years ago we had here other prominent and representative Americans, such as General Grant and the Hon. William H. Seward, who came as friendly visitors wanting to know Mexico personally and be known by us. Their flying visits did a great deal of good to our official and popular relations, for they, besides great historical events, tended to a real sisterhood between the two republics of North America. Yours, sir, will complete that most important international work, since your high personality is eminently qualified, especially under the present circumstances, to increase the admiration and respect of all my thinking fellow-citizens toward the country of Washington, Lincoln, and General Grant.
We know, sir, as the whole world knows so well, the considerable part you have taken in the peace-promoting, civilizing foreign policy of President Roosevelt, and we fully appreciate your frequent, unequivocal demonstrations of amicable feeling to our Government and our people. For that reason you have been cordially welcomed by us as a friend coming among true friends. May your brief sojourn in this country leave you a souvenir as pleasant as the one it has already engraved in our memory and our hearts.
Trying to show you our sincere esteem and regard, I am going to propose a toast to your honor, not as a ceremonious courtesy, but as a really heartfelt sentiment:
“Brindemos, Señores, por nuestro ilustre huesped, el Honorable Señor Elihu Root.”
Mr. Root’s reply.
Your Excellency, Ladies, and Gentlemen: It is my happy fortune to reap where others have sown and enter into the fruits of others’ labors. When Mr. Seward and General Grant visited Mexico, your people, sir, were little known to the people of the United States. The shadow of a war still recent in the memory of men hung over the relations that existed between the two countries, the shadow of a war which, thank Heaven, would now be impossible. The commanding personality of General Grant made his warm friendship for Mexico the beginning of a new era of feeling and appreciation on the part of the people of the United States, and now I come in response to the kind and hospitable invitation of your distinguished president, not to mark out the pathway to friendship, but as the representative of an existing feeling of friendship on the part of my countrymen.
I have been deeply appreciative of all the delicate courtesy, the warmth of friendship, and hospitality which have welcomed me and my family here. But I was not surprised. It is but in conformity with all the relations which have existed between the department of foreign affairs of Mexico and the department of foreign affairs of the United States since you, sir, have held your present eminent position.
I wish not merely to express grateful appreciation for the kindness I have received here, but to express the same sentiment for all that you have done and all you have been in the relations between the two countries. The unvarying courtesy, the genuine and sincere desire for the reasonable and friendly disposal of all questions that have arisen between the two countries which have characterized the office of foreign affairs of Mexico have been a great factor in bringing about the happy relations that now exist. And we may say, with gratification, that there are no questions between Mexico and the United States which can give the slightest apprehension or cause the slightest concern as to their easy and satisfactory adjustment.
Of course between two countries with so long a common boundary, whose citizens are passing to and fro, whose citizens are investing money, each in the country of the other, questions are continually arising, but the all-important element for the decision of every question, the good understanding, kindly, feeling, and the habit of conductnig relations upon the basis of reason and friendship, practically disposes of all questions which can arise beforehand.
I suppose it is impossible to read the history of any country without feeling that the mistakes in its history have been the result of a shortsighted, narrow view on the part of its statesmen, its rulers, its legislators, under the influence of the particular time of particular local conditions.
We can, all of us look back in the history of our own country and of other countries and see how we now, with a broader view and free from the prejudices of the hour, would settle questions and solve difficulties in a far more satisfactory way.[Page 867]
I suppose that the true object which should be held before every statesman is so to deal with the question of the present that the spirit in which they are solved will commend itself to the generations of the future.
I think, sir, that the Government of Mexico has attained that high standard of statesmanship to an extraordinary degree. It certainly has done so in its relations with the Government of the United States, and as a result of the reasonable and kindly way in which we have been treating each other for these past years we behold not merely the fact that of your $240,000,000 of foreign trade, two-thirds of your exports are purchased by the United States and two-thirds of your imports are purchased from the United States; not merely that of your vast exports to the United States, notwithstanding our high protective policy, nine-tenths are free from all duty; not merely that $700,000,000 of capital of the United States has been invested in your thriving and progressive enterprises, so that now, while for three centuries and a half the people of Mexico were hiding their wealth under the ground to keep it from being taken away from them, for a quarter of a century you have been taking out from under the ground a wealth far surpassing any dreams of avarice in the days of old. More than all that, there has grown up and is continually developing between the people of the two countries a knowledge of each other, an appreciation of each other, a kindly feeling toward each other which makes for the perpetuity of good government in both countries and for the development of all the finer and better parts of citizenship in both countries, which will help both of us to advance along the pathway of progress, which will make every school in Mexico in which the future government and rulers of this vast land are being trained a better school, and make every school in the United States a better school; which will make every officer conscious of being one of a community of nations, conscious of having in his charge the good name of the country which is known to the people of the whole continent, a better officer than he would be if he were responsible only to his narrow community. As the result of these kindly relations we see two happy, progressive, prosperous nations; and, sir, it is my sincere hope that following the footsteps of the great Americans you have named, through your kindness and hospitality I may be able to add my little contribution toward this great work of national benefit and of international advancement to the cause of liberty, justice, and humanity.
Toast by Mr. Mariscal.
The pleasant visit of his excellency the American Secretary of State very naturally reminds us of the Chief Magistrate in the great neighboring Republic; and when alluding to President Roosevelt, who can ignore his prominent services rendered to all civilized nations by promoting peace among belligerents and the best means to prevent bloody and useless wars? His generous mediation has succeeded so far in Europe and Asia between Russia and Japan as well as in this New World among the conflicting States of Central America. This would be a sufficient reason for us to admire and respect that remarkable statesman; but we have another motive affecting more our country, the many evidences he has given of good will toward Mexico, and especially to our beloved President Diaz. I feel, then, happy, ladies and gentlemen, to propose a toast in honor of President Roosevelt, and I beg the worthy American ambassador to respond to it:
“Señores, por el elustre Presidente de la Gran Republica vecina, Señor Teodoro Roosevelt.”
Reply of Mr. Thompson.
A toast offered by you, Mr. Minister, to President Roosevelt is a toast not only to the American President, but to the American people for whom he stands, and, for that matter, all humanity.
Probably the world never knew, never will know, a chief of a nation whose daily official life was, or could be, more of an effort to stand close to the line of equity than that of President Roosevelt. How well he has succeeded, and is succeeding, the world knows. His unwritten but well-understood motto is “Justice to all,” no matter how weak or how strong. While for him the tongue sometimes condemns, the heart must always commend. Could man for himself wish more?[Page 868]
That you should offer a toast to this honored man tells more plainly than other words could do the sentiments of your illustrious chief, the truly great Mexican President, yourself, and the Mexican people, for your great friend of the North, the American nation. I thank you for all your toast implies.
Farewell speech of Mr. Root.
This is the last opportunity I shall have to express to you my gratitude and keen appreciation for my family and myself for all your very great kindness to us during our visit to Mexico.
I came here with my mind filled by the idea of two countries, the United States of America and the United Mexican States, rather an abstract and cold conception. Gradually there has merged through the sea of faces that I have looked upon on entering Mexico, one by one, a group of lovely women and of fine and noble gentlemen, and beside the conception of two countries becoming more and more friendly to each other there has come a realization that I have gained new friends—a most grateful and most delightful thing. I shall never forget you, my friends; I shall never forget your courtesy and your kindness, and I know I can say the same for Mrs. Root, and I beg to offer as a toast to the personnel of the administration of President Diaz, a personnel which is more delightful and will be met with more pleasure than it was possible for me to conceive before coming here, and as I leave you I shall feel that with my limited Spanish, which consists of not more than a half a dozen words, I have however, the most valuable words in the language in being able to say: “Hasta Luego.”
Response for Señor Corral.
Sir: Since you have set foot on our soil we have had occasion to observe the high and well merited opinion which you entertain of our president, General Porfirio Diaz, and of his splendid and statesmanlike achievements, and if to this be added your own well-known merits, your lofty character, and the sagacious, yet kindly, notice which you have taken of all that you have seen, no wonder that you have won, not our admiration, not our respect, not our good will, for all these were yours already, but something more intimate, something that dwells deeper in the recesses of the heart—our affection.
Henceforth, sir, in addition to your high claims as an illustrious statesman and wise administrator, you have for us the endearing title of friend, a friend who appreciates us with fairness, who will rejoice at our future triumphs in the arena of progress, who will lament our misfortunes, who will applaud our victories and will encourage us in our discomfiture.
For some time past, especially since you undertook the noble task of proclaiming justice and righteousness as the basis for the relations of the republics of America with one another, we have known you and have followed with the liveliest interest your glorious career, of which the goal is the promotion of Ideals of human fraternity. We have admired you, we have applauded you as one applauds the eloquence of wise and good men. But henceforth a current of profound sympathy will flow between you and us, and our admiration and applause will reach you quickened by the vibrations of our enthusiasm.
Soon you will return to your own country, that splendid country where everything is great from the cataclysms of nature to the manifestations of freedom. Our most fervent desire is that you may take away an impression of Mexico and of her people as agreeable and affectionate as that which you leave behind, and that, in justice toward us, you will tell those among your countrymen who do not yet know us that ours is a civilized nation, working out its greater welfare, educating itself intellectually, living and desiring to remain in peace with itself and in peace with all who respect its rights, and which, in a word, is living up to its mission as a free and honorable community. Tell your President that in Mexico we appreciate and applaud his great and noble efforts in behalf of his country and in behalf of the peace of other nations, and that when his name is pronounced by us, it is pronounced with expressions of respect and homage for his good qualities.
Receive, sir, these words, which are the expression of sentiments that are sincere, as a new demonstration to yourself and to your distinguished family of our feelings of esteem and our desire for your happiness.[Page 869]
Speech of Governor Ahumada at Guadalajara, October 14, 1907.
Mr. Secretary: Although our President, Gen. Porfirio Diaz, with the high international representation awarded him by our institutions, and by the personal adhesion of all federal and state authorities, as well as by the love of the Mexican people in general, has already given a cordial welcome in the name of all of us, allow me, in the name of the State which I govern, to express to you the kind feelings of sympathy which exist in all hearts beating within this important section of our country. Jalisco, Mr. Secretary, has always been a land that loves all that is great and useful for the country, and as during the time when we fought for independence and liberty it did not spare its sons, in the same way we want to join our voice to the voice of the people that from the bravo to the usumacinta praise and bless you, to take our share in the work for peace which you initiated during the third Pan-American conference in Rio de Janeiro, which you continued by your visit to the main republics of South America, and which you are carrying to an end now by tokens of friendship which you are giving to Mexico and the people of the State of Jalisco. The people of this State believe that the best way to take part in this labor is to tell you through me: “Welcome be the noble emissary who, like the dove of the ark, brings the symbolic olive branch which announces that clouds have been dissipated and the sun of friendship among the towns of the new continent is rising.”
We should have been pleased to have you among us a longer time, to give you and the dear beings who accompany you better tokens of our esteem and to show you the high appreciation that we feel for the people of the United States and her great ruler, President Roosevelt. But inasmuch as this is impossible, owing to your important and urgent labors, which compel you to stay but a few hours among us, allow me, Mr. Secretary, to state that if our demonstrations of friendship are short, they are made in the land of traditional frankness and true friendship.
Let us drink, ladies and gentlemen, to the health of his excellency, Mr. Root, his distinguished wife, and his “simpatico” daughter, and wishing for all of them all kinds of happiness, let us prove that we have shaken their hands in the spirit that sons of Jalisco shake hands—our heart is our hand.
Mr. Root’s reply.
Governor Ahumada and Gentlemen: I thank you very heartily for your kind words, for your flattering description of myself, and for the spirit of friendship for my country which you exhibit. I am highly appreciative of all the hospitality, the warm welcome, and the graceful and most agreeable entertainment which you and your people of Guadalajara and of the State of Jalisco have given to my family and to myself.
I think it is perhaps fitting that I should make the last serious and extended visit of all which I have been making in Mexico to the city of Guadalajara. The most striking feature of Mexican life to a stranger is that rare combination of history and progress which one finds. The two eras of history, the Spanish, and before that the Indian civilization, which has to so great an extent passed away, and beside that the modern development, the spirit of modern enterprise, the active progress of mining and agriculture and manufactures, the stimulus of sound finance, and the general determination of the people to take rank with the great productive nations of the earth, nowhere have I found that combination more marked and distinct than I see it here in Guadalajara. As I said to you a short time ago, your excellency, the things that impressed me most on entering this city were, first, that it was clean; secondly, that there were many nice-looking people; thirdly, that it was cheerful; and, fourthly, that it had many beautiful buildings. I can add to that a fifth, that it is bright with the rainbow of hope for the fruits in all its many enterprises.
This may be the last time that I stand upon my feet to speak to any audience in Mexico before my departure for my own country, and there are two things that I wish to say; one is, that nothing could have been more generous, more tactful, and more grateful to us than the hospitality and friendship which my family and myself have received during the entire time since we crossed the border at Laredo. We are grateful for it, we are deeply appreciative of it. The other thing that I wish to say is that I have all the time since I came to Mexico been thinking about the question of permanence of your new prosperity.[Page 870]
I go back to my home encouraged and cheered by having found, as I believe, evidence, substantial evidence, that the new prosperity of Mexico is not evanescent, and temporary, but is permanent. I do not believe that Mexicans will ever again return to the disorder of the condition which characterized the first sixty years of her independence. I believe that during this long period of peace and order which has been secured for your people by your great, wise, strong President Diaz, there has grown up a new spirit among Mexicans and a new appreciation of individual duty to civilization in the maintenance of peace and order.
So, I go back, not only charmed with the beauty of your country, not only delighted with the opportunity to see the wonderful historic monuments you possess, not only delighted with the hospitality of your homes and charmed with the character of your people, but I go back with the feeling that the Mexican people have joined forever the ranks of the great, orderly, self-controlled, self-governing republics of the world.
- Speeches only are printed.↩