Letters of Franklin K. Lane eBook

Franklin Knight Lane
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 419 pages of information about Letters of Franklin K. Lane.
we send our ships out with guns or convoys?  Daniels said we must not convoy—­ that would be dangerous. (Think of a Secretary of the Navy talking of danger!) The President said that the country was not willing that we should take any risks of war.  I said that I got no such sentiment out of the country, but if the country knew that our Consuls’ wives had been treated so outrageously that there would be no question as to the sentiment.  This, the President took as a suggestion that we should work up a propaganda of hatred against Germany.  Of course, I said I had no such idea, but that I felt that in a Democracy the people were entitled to know the facts.  McAdoo, Houston, and Redfield joined me.  The President turned on them bitterly, especially on McAdoo, and reproached all of us with appealing to the spirit of the Code Duello.  We couldn’t get the idea out of his head that we were bent on pushing the country into war.  Houston talked of resigning after the meeting.  McAdoo will—­ within a year, I believe.  I tried to smooth them down by recalling our past experiences with the President.  We have had to push, and push, and push, to get him to take any forward step—­the Trade Commission, the Tariff Commission.  He comes out right but he is slower than a glacier—­and things are mighty disagreeable, whenever anything has to be done.

Now he is being abused by the Republicans for being slow, and this will probably help a bit, though it may make him more obstinate.  He wants no extra session, and the Republicans fear that he will submit to anything in the way of indignity or national humiliation without “getting back,” so they are standing for an extra session.  The President believes, I think, that the munitions makers are back of the Republican plan.  But I doubt this.  They simply want to have a “say”; and the President wants to be alone and unbothered.  He probably would not call Cabinet meetings if Congress adjourned.  Then I would go to Honolulu, where the land problem vexes.

I don’t know whether the President is an internationalist or a pacifist, he seems to be very mildly national—­his patriotism is covered over with a film of philosophic humanitarianism, that certainly doesn’t make for “punch” at such a time as this.

My love to you old man,—­do write me oftener and tell me if you get all my letters.

F. K L.

To George W. Lane

Washington, March 6, [1917]

Well my dear George, the new administration is launched—­smoothly but not on a smooth sea.  The old Congress went out in disgrace, talking to death a bill to enable the President to protect Americans on the seas.  The reactionaries and the progressives combined—­Penrose and La Follette joined hands to stop all legislation, so that the government is without money to carry on its work.

It is unjust to charge the whole thing on the La Follette group; they served to do the trick which the whole Republican machine wished done.  For the Penrose, Lodge people would not let any bills through and were glad to get La Follette’s help.  The Democrats fought and died—­because there was no “previous question” in the Senate rules.

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Letters of Franklin K. Lane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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