Joseph N. Teal who is spoken of from Oregon as a possible Secretary of the Interior, is a good lawyer and a most public-spirited man who has been identified with every sane movement for progress in that state. He is a man of means and is deeply interested in questions of conservation and the improvement of our waterways. ...
... As a matter of party politics I do not think that any Pacific Coast state can be made Democratic by the appointment of a member of the Cabinet from it; as a matter of national politics, it seems to be necessary that that part of the country should have a voice in the council of the President.
Now, I want to say a word or two on a more important matter. You realize, I presume (and Governor Wilson evidently does) that there is talk of a probable panic in the air. He dealt with this matter masterfully in his New York speech. Worse things than panic can befall a nation. We must preserve our self-respect as a self-governing people. But what is the cause of this loose talk? Apprehension. The business interests of the country do not know what they are to expect. As a party we are too much given to generalization; we have too little precision of thought. You will notice how the New York papers of yesterday speak of Governor Wilson’s bill regarding the regulation of trusts. This is something definite, and does not frighten because it is known. The problems we have to deal with—the tariff, currency, and trusts— should all be dealt with in this same manner. The Administration should have a definite program on each one of these questions; and I mean by that, bills framed in conference between the leaders which should be presented as party measures at the very first possible moment. I have information that the banks are already saying that they will stop loans until these questions are dealt with. This is the way by which panic can be produced. The country is too prosperous to allow a widespread industrial panic if the measures favored by the Government commend themselves to the people as sane and necessary. Why can’t we, as the boys on the street say, “beat them to it”? If Congress is called by the middle of March, and the tariff is quickly put out of the way, and a currency bill promptly follows, we can restore the mind of the country to its normal state by midsummer. You know that this problem of government is largely one of psychology. The doctor must speak with definiteness and certainty to quiet the patient’s nerves, and the doctor is the party as represented in the President and Congress.
With warm regards to Mrs. House, believe me, as always, cordially yours,
To Mitchell Innes
Washington, February 26, 1913
My dear Mr. Innes,—I received your pamphlet and have read it through with the deepest interest. These young men [Footnote: A group of young men organized for social and political betterment, who sought advice.] are deserving of the strongest encouragement. I have no criticism whatever to make of their prospectus—for that word, I presume, without slight, can be properly used.