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the feelings of the Gridiron Club, but I scarcely know whether to make a presentation to the memory of the reprobate the people were told you were or to the real Hanna of to-day, the statesman, the broad-gauged man of affairs, the good fellow and our friend. There are in this club sixty men, and as slight testimonial of the fact that all of them join in this expression of sentiment, the face of every one of them has been photographed indelibly on the indestructible copper of this sacred gridiron. It is unique, as you will see, but the sentiment behind it is far from singular.
"These sixty faces may recall to you the fact that you have achieved a triumph such as comes to but few men. You have destroyed a popular myth, and now to-day across the length and breadth of the country, Mark Hanna the boodler, Mark Hanna the bullying political boss, Mark Hanna the trickster and the parvenu, has absolutely disappeared from the public press. The purity of your life, the exquisite goodfellowship which we learned so rapidly to recognize, the steadfastness of your purposes, the honesty of your methods and above all the fidelity to the dead McKinley more tender even than to the living President, all these qualities have dissipated the black clouds of envy, of malice and of partisan venom, and have won for you a peculiar place in the hearts of the people.
"So, sir, it becomes my duty to present to you this emblazoned gridiron, bearing on its polished bars the individual portraits of our membership, which shall be at once a monument to the dead and gone Hanna the people tried so hard to hate, and also it shall be the final testimonial of the living Uncle Mark we have so learned to love."
Another cause contributed to the enhancement of Mr. Hanna's political prestige. The death of Mr. McKinley had not apparently done anything to diminish his influence at the White House. He entered at once into very intimate and confidential relations with the new President. When two men occupying responsible positions and forced by those positions into constant association work together smoothly and efficiently, the result looks so natural and inevitable that few people stop to consider how much easier and more natural a disagreement might have been. In the case of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Hanna a disagreement might have been plausibly predicted. In the past they had never been closely associated, and each was aware that he had been more or less criticised by the other. Each was aware of certain fundamental differences of opinion and political outlook. But both were also aware how necessary it was for Republican success that the new President and the old organization should not fall into a suspicious and hostile attitude one to the other. When the new President, the day after his predecessor's death, gave his wise and reassuring pledge that he would not depart from the policy of the McKinley administration, the way was open for a working agreement. Mr. Hanna immediately entered the opening. He was always willing to meet another man more than halfway, and after Mr. Roosevelt's pledge he was not only ready but eager to offer his services to the new President. They both had the good sense and the good feeling to recognize what the situation demanded and both proved capable of acting up to its needs. Each of them came to understand that he was dealing with a man who was dealing fairly and considerately with him. They became, consequently, not only efficient co-workers, but good friends. As they knew each other better, they liked each other the more. The President was loyal to his promise that during the remainder of the term he would consider himself as in a sense his predecessor's deputy. Mr. Hanna was equally true to his promise that the administration should have his loyal support and his best advice. With Mr. Roosevelt, as with Mr. McKinley, his influence, whatever it amounted to, was not due to friendship or favor. He was powerful with both men, because he was disinterested and because he was really useful, and apparently he was almost as frequently consulted by one as by the other. The private secretary of both the old President and the new states that Mr. Hanna's counsel was as influential in the White House in 1902 as it had been early in 1901.
Furthermore, during the long session of 1901-1902 Senator Hanna looms up, at least for the public eye, as a much bigger figure than ever in the legislative counsels of his country. I have already traced the gradual transition from his earlier silence in the public debates of the Senate to an active participation in the discussions of at least certain economic questions. The ship-subsidy bill first brought him prominently into notice as a legislator and debater; but during the long session of 1901-1902 his Senatorial activity was far from being confined to that one subject. He was throughout that session emphatically the most energetic and conspicuous member of the Senate. The business man, who not long before had asked the indulgence of his colleagues as a tyro in debating, had become, not of course the best debater in the Senate, but the speaker to whom all listened most attentively and whose words actually carried most weight.
He spoke during the session of 1901-1902 upon a much wider range of public business. It happened to be a very active legislative year, in which many important measures were enacted, and in which a still larger number received more or less consideration. Among the acts passed was one providing for the construction of an Isthmian Canal, one continuing in force the policy of excluding immigrants from China, one providing for civil government in the Philippines, one instituting a national system of irrigation, and one founding a Department of Commerce and Labor. In addition the ship-subsidy bill was, as we have seen, exhaustively debated and passed in the Senate, and the question of Cuban reciprocity received some preliminary consideration. Mr. Hanna took no part in the debate upon the Instrument of government for the Philippines nor in that upon the Irrigation Act; but in the discussion of all the other subjects of legislation his participation was in all cases important and in two cases absolutely decisive.
This enlargement of the scope of his legislative action is of peculiar significance in relation to the development of Mr. Hanna's public personality. He entered political life as a successful political manager and as a business man—the representative in politics of a business interest. He brought to his new task no special equipment for public life. He had never held an administrative office. He had never made any special study of the political and economic history of his own and other countries. He had never been trained to express himself with precision and with cumulative effect. He was entirely without that legal discipline which, in the majority of American political leaders, is substituted for a sound political and economic education. For a long time, consequently, he was dumb, except as the spokesman of his original interest in business; and he was dumb, because he was conscious of his own deficiencies and would not speak, except whereof he knew. But he had an alert and open mind. If he could not learn from books, he could learn even more from other men and from the increasing personal activities and responsibilities. He was gradually growing up to the job of being in a way the representative in the Senate of a responsible administration. Little by little experience of large affairs took the place of preliminary training. He began to participate in the discussion of other than business questions, because he had gradually come to know his own mind, and, still better, to formulate a group of general ideas in respect to public policy.
His increasing participation in the debates is not to be confused with a growing loquacity or fluency. If on the one hand he had no intellectual imagination or interest in ideas for their own sake, so, on the other, he had no more facility either with words or ideas. He was enterprising and experimental in action, but not in thought and in expression. Whatever he said was always the result of an actual experience. His ideas were his actions, and what he took to be his responsibilities turned inside out. When he spoke upon a wider range of public questions, it meant that he had become in a way an authority on those questions—an authority, not in the sense that he knew all about them and could discuss them exhaustively and luminously, but in the sense that he felt himself authorized to speak as a matter of personal experience and conviction and of public duty.
His attitude towards public questions was usually determined by a sense of national administrative responsibility. Thus during the session of 1901-1902 he argued at some length on behalf of a Department of Commerce and Labor, in order that the government might be equipped to serve the industry of the country as well as its agriculture. Again he argued in favor of the traditional policy of excluding Chinese immigration, but against certain proposed amendments to the Exclusion Act, which would have violated American treaty obligations and unnecessarily have injured Chinese susceptibilities. He spoke in favor of a proposed agreement with the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. providing for the erection of a Union station in Washington, whose location and design would be worthy of the capital of the United States. Finally he earnestly urged the adoption of a treaty of commercial reciprocity with Cuba on the ground chiefly of moral obligation. This final instance is particularly illuminating, because important business interests were opposed to the adoption and pressed him not to come out in its favor. He denied that any injury would result to American business, but he urged that the national moral obligation to promote the welfare of Cuba was manifest and valid. It ought to be redeemed, if necessary, even at some expense to American business.
His point of view in relation to all these questions of public policy was national. Each one of them involved an obligation on the part of the general government either to redeem a promise or to promote a genuine national interest; and it is not accidental that Senator Hanna was always found speaking and voting on this one side. He felt himself responsible for the promotion of the national welfare — in so far as it was involved in any proposed legislative action. He was not simply a Senator from Ohio. He was the leader of the party in complete control of the general government; and as the leader of the party and an influential member of the Senate, he became the representative in Congress of the responsible administration of the country. The President found it useful to consult with him about legislative affairs more than any other single Senator and Congressman. Senator Hanna was in a position to get things done. He could actually influence votes. A President who wanted to have things done was obliged to lean upon him.
Any attempt to describe Senator Hanna's position in the Senate during this session incurs dangers of exaggeration. His power was extraordinary, but it was very delicately balanced. As long as the balance was held, he could accomplish great things, but even a slight disturbance of the balance might have left him relatively uninfluential. Officially he was merely junior Senator from Ohio. All the rest was a matter of personal prerogative, depending on the confidence which the President, certain fellow-Senators, certain Republican leaders, and a certain part of the public had in him. If his power had been in any way strained or abused, the confidence on which it rested would have been shattered. If it had been even proclaimed