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convention, already signed by the delegates of more than twenty sovereign States, further commends it to the favorable action of the Senate of the United States, whose ratification it still awaits.

Since my last annual message, and in obedience to the acts of the Congress of April 22 and 26, 1898, the remaining volunteer force enlisted for the Spanish War, consisting of 34,834 regulars and 110, 202 volunteers, with over 5,000 volunteer officers, has been discharged from the military service. Of the volunteers, 667 officers and 14,831 men were serving in the Philippines, and 1,650 of the regulars, who were entitled to be mustered out after the ratification of the treaty of peace. They voluntarily remained at the front until their places could be filled by new troops. They were returned home in the order in which they went to Manila, and are now all of them out of the service and in the ranks of citizenship. I recommend that the Congress provide a special medal of honor for the volunteers, regulars, sailors, and marines on duty in the Philippines who voluntarily remained in the service after their terms of enlistment had expired.

By the act of March 2, 1899, Congress gave authority to increase the Regular Army to a maximum not exceeding 65,000 enlisted men, and to enlist a force of 35,000 volunteers, to be recruited from the country at large. By virtue of this authority the Regular Army has been increased to the number of 61,999 enlisted men and 2,248 officers, and new volunteer regiments have been organized aggregating 33,050 enlisted men and 1,524 officers. Two of these volunteer regiments are made up of colored men, with colored line officers. The new troops to take the places of those returning from the Philippines have been transported to Manila to the number of 581 officers and 26,322 enlisted men of the Regular Army and 594 officers and 15,388 enlisted men of the new volunteer force, while 504 officers and 14,119 men of the volunteer force are on the ocean en route to Manila.

The force now in Manila consists of 905 officers and 30,578 regulars, and 594 officers and 15,388 of the volunteers, making an aggregate of 1,499 officers and 45,966 men. When the troops now under orders shall reach Manila the force in the archipelago will comprise 2,051 officers and 63,483 men. The muster out of the great volunteer army organized for the Spanish War and the creation of a new army, the transportation from Manila to San Francisco of those entitled to discharge and the transportation of the new troops to take their places have been a work of great magnitude well and ably done, for which too much credit cannot be given the War Department.

During the past year we have reduced our force in Cuba and Puerto Rico. In Cuba we now have 334 officers and 10,796 enlisted men

in Puerto Rico, 87 officers and 2,855 enlisted men and a battalion of 400 men composed of native Puerto Ricans; while stationed throughout the United States are 910 officers and 17,317 men, and in Hawaii 12 officers and 453 enlisted men.

The operations of the Army are fully presented in the report of the Secretary of War. I cannot withhold from officers and men the highest commendation for their soldierly conduct in trying situations, their willing sacrifices for their country, and the integrity and ability with which they have performed unusual and difficult duties in our island possessions.

In the organization of the volunteer regiments authorized by the act of March 2, 1899, it was found that no provision had been made for chaplains. This omission was doubtless from inadvertence. I recommend the early authorization for the appointment of one chaplain for each of said regiments. These regiments are now in the Philippines, and it is important that immediate action be had.

In restoring peaceful conditions, orderly rule, and civic progress in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and, so far as practicable, in the Philippines, the rehabilitation of the postal service has been an essential and important part of the work. It became necessary to provide mail facilities both for our forces of occupation and for the native population. To meet this requirement has involved a substantial reconstruction. The existing systems were so fragmentary, defective, and inadequate that a new and comprehensive organization had to be created. American trained officials have been assigned to the directing and executive positions, while natives have been chiefly employed in making up the body of the force. In working out this plan the merit rule has been rigorously and faithfully applied.

The appointment of Director-General of Posts of Cuba was given to an expert who had been Chief Post-Office Inspector and Assistant Postmaster-General, and who united large experience with administrative capacity. For the postmastership at Havana the range of skilled and available men was scanned, and the choice fell upon one who had been twenty years in the service as deputy postmaster and postmaster of a large city. This principle governed and determined. the selection of the American officials sent not only to Cuba, but to Puerto Rico and the Philippines, and they were instructed to apply it so far as practicable in the employment of the natives as minor postmasters and clerks. The postal system in Cuba, though remaining under the general guidance of the Postmaster-General, was made essentially independent. It was felt that it should not be a burden upon the postal service of the United States, and provision was made that any deficit in the postal revenue should be a charge upon the general revenues of the island.


Though Puerto Rico and the Philippines hold a different relation to the United States, yet, for convenience of administration, the same principle of an autonomous system has been extended to them. The development of the service in all of the islands has been rapid and successful. It has moved forward on American lines, with free delivery, money order, and registry systems, and has given the people mail facilities far greater and more reliable than any they have ever before enjoyed. It is thus not only a vital agency of industrial, social, and business progress, but an important influence in diffusing a just understanding of the true spirit and character of American administration.

The domestic postal service continues to grow with extraordinary rapidity. The expenditures and the revenues will each exceed $100,000,000 during the current year. Fortunately, since the revival of prosperous times the revenues have grown much faster than the expenditures, and there is every indication that a short period will witness the obliteration of the annual deficit. In this connection the report of the Postmaster-General embodies a statement of some evils which have grown up outside of the contemplation of law in the treatment of some classes of mail matter which wrongly exercise the privilege of the pound rate, and shows that if this matter had been properly classified and had paid the rate which it should have paid, instead of a postal deficit for the last fiscal year of $6,610,000, there would have been on one basis a surplus of $17,637,570, and on another of $5,733,836. The reform thus suggested, in the opinion of the Postmaster-General, would not only put the postal service at once on a self-sustaining basis, but would permit great and valuable improvements, and I commend the subject to the consideration of the Congress.

The Navy has maintained the spirit and high efficiency which have always characterized that service, and has lost none of the gallantry in heroic action which has signalized its brilliant and glorious past. The Nation has equal pride in its early and later achievements. Its habitual readiness for every emergency has won the confidence and admiration of the country. The people are interested in the continued preparation and prestige of the Navy and will justify liberal appropriations for its maintenance and improvement. The officers have shown peculiar adaptation for the performance of new and delicate duties which our recent war has imposed.

It cannot be doubted that Congress will at once make necessary provision for the armor plate for the vessels now under contract and building. Its attention is respectfully called to the report of the Secretary of the Navy, in which the subject is fully presented. I unite in his recommendation that the Congress enact such special

legislation as may be necessary to enable the Department to make contracts early in the coming year for armor of the best quality that can be obtained in this country for the Maine, Ohio, and Missouri, and that the provision of the act of March 3, 1899, limiting the price of armor to $300 per ton be removed.

In the matter of naval construction Italy and Japan, of the great powers, laid down less tonnage in the year 1899 than this country, and Italy alone has less tonnage under construction. I heartily concur in the recommendations for the increase of the Navy, as suggested by the Secretary.

Our future progress and prosperity depend upon our ability to equal, if not surpass, other nations in the enlargement and advance of science, industry, and commerce. To invention we must turn as one of the most powerful aids to the accomplishment of such a result. The attention of the Congress is directed to the report of the Commissioner of Patents, in which will be found valuable suggestions and recommendations.

On the 30th of June, 1899, the pension roll of the United States. numbered 991,519. These include the pensioners of the Army and Navy in all our wars. The number added to the rolls during the year was 40,991. The number dropped by reason of death, remarriage, minors by legal limitation, failure to claim within three years, and other causes, was 43, 186, and the number of claims disallowed was 107,919. During the year 89,054 pension certificates were issued, of which 37,077 were for new or original pensions. The amount disbursed for army and navy pensions during the year was $138,355,052.95, which was $1,651,461.61 less than the sum of the appropriations.

The Grand Army of the Republic at its recent national encampment held in Philadelphia has brought to my attention and to that of the Congress the wisdom and justice of a modification of the third section of the act of June 27, 1890, which provides pensions for the widows of officers and enlisted men who served ninety days or more during the War of the Rebellion and were honorably discharged, provided that such widows are without other means of support than their daily labor and were married to the soldier, sailor, or marine on account of whose service they claim pension prior to the date of the act.

The present holding of the Department is that if the widow's income aside from her daily labor does not exceed in amount what her pension would be, to wit, $96 per annum, she would be deemed to be without other means of support than her daily labor, and would be entitled to a pension under this act; while if the widow's income. independent of the amount received by her as the result of her daily

labor exceeds $96, she would not be pensionable under the act. I am advised by the Commissioner of Pensions that the amount of the income allowed before title to pension would be barred has varied widely under different administrations of the Pension Office, as well as during different periods of the same administration, and has been the cause of just complaint and criticism.

With the approval of the Secretary of the Interior the Commissioner of Pensions recommends that, in order to make the practice at all times uniform and to do justice to the dependent widow, the amount of income allowed independent of the proceeds of her daily labor should be not less than $250 per annum, and he urges that the Congress shall so amend the act as to permit the Pension Office to grant pensionable status to widows under the terms of the third section of the act of June 27, 1890, whose income aside from the proceeds of daily labor is not in excess of $250 per annum. I believe this to be a simple act of justice and heartily recommend it.

The Dawes Commission reports that gratifying progress has been made in its work during the preceding year. The field-work of enrollment of four of the nations has been completed. I recommend that Congress at an early day make liberal appropriation for educational purposes in the Indian Territory.

In accordance with the act of Congress approved March 3, 1899, the preliminary work in connection with the Twelfth Census is now fully under way. The officers required for the proper administration of the duties imposed have been selected. The provision for securing a proper enumeration of the population, as well as to secure evidence of the industrial growth of the Nation, is broader and more comprehensive than any similar legislation in the past. The Director advises that every needful effort is being made to push this great work to completion in the time limited by the statute. It is believed that the Twelfth Census will emphasize our remarkable advance in all that pertains to national progress.

Under the authority of the act of Congress approved July 7, 1898, the commission consisting of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney-General, and the Secretary of the Interior has made an agreement of settlement, which has had my approval, of the indebtedness to the Government growing out of the issue of bonds to aid in the construction of the Central Pacific and Western Pacific railroads. The agreement secures to the Government the principal and interest of said bonds, amounting to $58,812,715.48. There has been paid thereon $11,762,543.12, which has been covered into the Treasury, and the remainder, payable within ten years, with interest at the rate of 3 per cent per annum, payable semiannually, is secured by the deposit of an equal amount of first-mortgage bonds of the Pacific Railway companies. The amounts paid and secured to be

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