It is confidently believed that the balance of trade in favor of the United States will increase, not diminish, and that the pledge of Congress to resume specie payments in 1879 will be easily accomplished, even in the absence of much-desired further legislation on the subject.
We have seen that one of Pitt's earliest efforts at legislation had been directed to a reform in Parliament, an object which to the end of his life he considered of great importance, though the revolutionary spirit aroused by the troubles in France, and the open sympathy with the French Jacobins and Republicans avowed by a party among ourselves which, if numerically weak, was sufficiently loud and active to be dangerous prevented him from ever re-opening the subject.
The adverse decision in the test case, the progress of which they had most intelligently followed, was a matter of great disappointment. The entire experience left on my mind a mistrust of all legislation which was not preceded by full discussion and understanding.
The most significant of modern developments in legislation concerning voting is the new practice of recognizing by law political parties, and of regulating by law the mode of their nominations.
When we reflect upon the difficulty and delicacy of this operation, it is important that it should never be attempted but with the utmost caution. Frequent legislation in regard to any branch of industry, affecting its value, and by which its capital may be transferred to new channels, must always be productive of hazardous speculation and loss.
"The undersigned is also of opinion that it is expedient for this Government to extend an invitation to the commercial nations of the world to join in convention for the purpose of considering whether it is wise to provide by treaties and concurrent legislation for the use of both silver and gold in all such nations upon a fixed relative valuation of the two metals; and, finally, that until such an agreement between this Government and other commercial nations can be effected, the United States should pursue the existing policy in regard to the resumption of specie payments."
The Army appropriation act of 191:2 also carried legislation for the consolidation of the Quartermaster's Department, the Subsistence Department, and the Pay Corps into a single supply department, to be known as the Quartermaster's Corps.
This legislation will prescribe an improved appraisal of need, better adjustment of the various programs to local conditions, and a more equitable sharing of costs between the States and the Federal Government. The prosperity of our small business enterprises is an indispensable element in the maintenance of our economic strength.
We have become forever emancipated from the tyranny of custom morality under which the majority of men have lived. Legislation is, to be sure, continually on the increase, shutting men out from the ever-new ways they discover to prey upon their fellows. But nevertheless, the freedom with which men may now live their own lives according to their own ideas is almost a new phenomenon upon the earth.
But he does succeed in getting enough out of them to pay for the unhulled rice he gives them, and he more than evens up on the children. If ever there was a land where legislation on the subject of child labor is needed, it is here. Children are overworked from infancy. They do much of the work of the Islands, and the last drop of energy and vitality is gone before they reach manhood or womanhood.