That evening the Bankers
Club gave us a banquet. Baron Takahashi presiding. At this banquet, by
request of the Japanese. I delivered an address on shipping. address
before the bankers club...
Your Excellencies and
The subject assigned to
me this evening is "Shipping." I consider this one of the most important
that our respective countries have before them.
I know you don't want to
hear any ancient history, but by way of illustration, permit me to take
a few seconds in tracing the history of shipping as it has affected the
nations of the world.
When the Assyrians were
the leading nation their mer chant marine was the greatest, centering in
the Fersiari Gulf and extending their operations to China. After their
decline the center of commerce was transferred to the Egyptians, who had
many ships in the Red Sea as well as on the Mediterranean. Then the
Phoenicians got the largest merchant marine and became the greatest
commercial nation in the world, the center of their commerce being the
great cities of Tyre and Sidon. Their country was very small, not much
larger than the Island of Kiusha, but their ship* made them great
merchants. Then followed in succession Rome, Spain and Holland, the last
two named sent ships as far as Nagasaki. These in turn declined and the
prize was won by Great Britain, which stdl retains :t by all odds, she
having as much steam tonnage as all the other nations put together, and
to illustrate that it is not the size of the country that counts, we
could put Great Britain in our Lake Superior and there would still be
room enough for navigation.
This brings me to the
Pacific Ocean, and I want to make this prediction, that just as sure as
the center of commerce shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic,
so sure will it shift to this Pacific Ocean. When this takes place the
right to this commerce belongs to Japan and the United States of
America, as we are on its shores.
In looking at the map of
Asia I cannot help thinking what a similar position Japan occupies to
Asia that Great Britain occupies to Europe. Japan is well named the
Britain of the Orient, and you are making determined efforts to increase
your merchant marine.
Turning to America, it
looks discouraging. But we will yet have a merchant marine worthy of our
country and will assist you, or should I rather say work hand in hand
with you to develop and hold what rightly belongs to us both. We once
had the largest and best merchant marine in the world, but various
causes combined to change our position. The Civil War was the principal
cause of the change; then the evolution from wood to steel, and next the
development of our continent in the way of railroads, et cetera, all of
which fully occupied our attention.
You older men will
recollect when you learned geography at school, there was a blank space,
about one thousand miles wide by nearly two thousand miles long, that
was marked the "Great American Desert." That has now been changed to
populous and prosperous cities, with railroads running through il in all
directions. That was the work we were doing while we neglected both our
foreign trade and Ships. Now the time has come when we need foreign
trade and the building of ships will follow.
It is a common thing for
merchants to say that it does not matter what nationality the ship is
that carries the freight. This is a mistaken idea, as the owners of
ships are bound to work up business for their own country. An owner's
financial existence depends on procuring cargoes for his ships and
keeping them going, and it often happens when the owner can't get
cargoes he is forced to buy them on his own account, thereby
stimulating- and increasing trade And, as shown in the first part of my
address, the nation that has the largest merchant marine is the greatest
One of a Group of Three in the Temple at Mendoet—Java
This has been the history
of every nation from earliest times to the present. So let our
respective countries build up our merchant marines. Let us have fair and
Competition is said to be
the life of trade. The more honest competition we have the better
friends we will be, thereby strengthening the ties that bind us
together, namely, Trade, Commerce and Shipping: of the three, the
greatest of these is Shipping.
ship-owning is in a constant state of evolution, and unless we keep
up-to-date we become a back number. A modern steamer is no sooner
completed than some one builds a better and more economical one. You all
recollect when we had the one-cylinder condensing engine. This was
superseded by the two-cylinder compound, which we thought perfection in
the way of economy, but it was no time till the triple expansion engine
was invented, which uses the steam three times. Now we have the turbine
for fast steamers. It is still in its infancy and experimental stage,
and we will see great changes in it in the near future
So, to sum up, the
individual and the nation that can build, man and manage their vessels
iu the cheapest and most economical way will be first in the world's
commerce, and the nation that has the largest merchant marine will
certainly be the greatest, so I conclude by wishing you every success in
upbuilding your merchant marine.
'What a sad commentary on
our Congress. Since this speech was delivered many bad and vicious laws
have been passed to further tie up the bands of American shipowners,
while Japan, appreciating the Importance of a merchant marine, has
enacted favorable laws and hap done everything possible to help their
The Department of
Commerce gives us the results of trade to and from the United State? as
Before the war, Japanese
May 1, 1917, .Japanese vessels, 50.90%
Before the war. American vessels, 26.10%
May 1, 1917. American vessels, 1.97%
Surely comment is
unnecessary with such a showing as this.
This banquet was served
American style. All representatives of the press were excluded, to which
they took great exception, but the bankers wanted to have a heart to
heart talk with the Americans and it was well the representatives of the
press were not there as the Japanese insisted on our telling them why
the Japanese merchants were so unpopular throughout the world, which we
did. The bankers stated they were of the same opinion, and were doing
all they could to remedy matters. (1 am very pleased to say that to a
-very great extent this has been accomplished.) This meeting was
productive of beneficial results to both parties.
The following day we were
entertained at lunch by Baron Shibusawa, rightly called the "Grand Old
Man of Japan." at his beautiful home on the outskirts of Tokio. His
large grounds were beautifully decorated. Luncheon was served, and
afterwards a great theatrical performance was given us. After the
luncheon, the Baron delivered an address.
A coincidence, which
occurred while we were in Tokio. was the arrival of the American fleet
on its way around the world, which put in at Yokohama while we were
there. This added greatly to the interest in American affairs at this
We were entertained in
the grounds of Baron lwasaka. His are probably the largest private
grounds in Northern Japan. They are beautifully laid out with small
lakes and streams in the Japanese style. At this time Baron lwasaka was
President of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha.
On our return to the
hotel from this visit we had our greatest surprise. Four gorgeously
decorated and electrically lighted cars, that had been trimmed at an
expense of $400.00 each by the Tokio Railway Company, were waning for
us, the street car service was suspended, and we were taken all over the
city car system. Both sides of the streets were lit up n a multitude of
colors, and we were told afterwards that the people were all requested
by the police to stand on the sides of the streets until our cars
passed. We did not know this for some time, but we had noticed the
crowds in passing along and had come to the conclusion that the whole
great population of Tokio was standing on the various streets to see us
pass. This was the climax, and none of us (I think I am quite safe -n
saving; had previously seen anything to come up to such a demonstration
and perhaps never will again.
We. were then taken to
the Chamber of Commerce building, where a great platform had been
erected for our accommodation in front of the bidding. When we arrived
the passing of the guilds began in a great lantern procession which was
a wonderful transparency. We sat there for three hours while the
multitude passed before us. There were many thousands of them, sometimes
twenty-four abreast, so one can imagine the number that passed in three
hours' time. From there we went to the theater where another great
demonstration awaited us.
Mr. Asano, President of
the Tokio Kisen Kaisha, gave us a luncheon at his beautiful mansion, and
Admiral Togo, the hero of the Russian fleet battle, gave us a reception
at his residence where we were entertained by the Admiral and Countess
We then left Tokio for
Kyoto, stopping at the various large cities on the way. This city, like
all the others we had visited, was beautifully decorated. We were
accommodated in two hotels.
The day after our arrival
we were taken to Nodzugaw a at the head of the long rapids, where gaily
decorated boats were provided and we were run through the rapids, which
was a unique experience. A Japanese gentleman was in the boat with me,
and after looking at me for a long time he said, "I think you are Mr.
Dollar." I learned that he was Dr. Harada. President of Doshesha
College, one of the most prominent men of Japan.
Our becoming acquainted
was in a way that neither of us would forget, because he was one of the
passengers on the steamer "Roon" which I rescued and took to Moji on the
steamer "M. S. Dollar," We have been the best of friends ever since.
The next evening we
arrived at Osaka. The entire city was illuminated, and presented a
beautiful appearance as we passed through on the tra-n. Here we were
given a banquet on our arrival at the hotel where I addressed the
assembly. The large hall was full to overflowing and it was difficult to
make all hear.
Address at dinner. Asaka,
October 30, 1908.
We are very pleased to be
in your city tonight for various reasons. First, on account of your
ancient history- which your President tells us dates back about two
thousand years, and still more modern when the present city was
established about three hundred years ago. Our country is very much
younger, as it is only a little over four hundred years since Columbus
Your President has also
told us that the civilization of Japan came from this town as you have
always taken an active part in politics, literature, religion and
economics. In the last named you excel all the other cities of Japan,
and we in America consider the city of Osaka of greater importance than
any other city in Japan from a manufacturing standpoint as well as a
Out of the goodness of
your hearts you have shown us the most beautiful places in your country,
and I am sorry we did not have more time to see and study your
manufactures, as, being all practical men. we are especially interested
in your city.
When we received your
invitation you stated that the object of our visit would be to establish
more friendly relations and that the two nations should get better
acquainted with each other. We followed the text of your invitation to
the letter and intended to confine our efforts to the one object;
namely, to increase the friendship between us. We had not been in your
country more than three days when we discovered that the friendship
existing between the two nations, especially on your part, was so great
that any efforts we might make would be superfluous. The receptions
which you have given us and the cordial manner in which we have been
received everywhere, from the highest to the lowest, have convinced us
beyond a question of a doubt that the friendship between us is firmly
THE OLD PALACE—KYOTO
The Seat of Government when Admiral Perry Opened the Ports of Japan to
the Commerce of the World
THE MAYOR OF KYOTO AND HIS WIFE
Escorting Mr, and Mrs. Dollai and Friends Through Their Garden
We have had ovations,
which no member of our commission has ever seen excelled, in any
country. The enthusiasm which has been displayed all over your country
convinces us that your reception has been genuine and there is no doubt
existing in our minds but that you are sincere and that it comes from
your hearts. The reception given us on your streets tonight I am quite
safe in saying was greater than was ever given a body of commercial men
in the modern history of the world.
We thoroughly appreciate,
however, that the great demonstrations which we have received everywhere
are not on account of us personally, as we would be undeserving of any
part of it, being only merchants and citizens like yourselves, but we
understand that the great receptions have been tendered us on behalf of
our country from your nation.
When we found that we
could do nothing more in the way of friendship, we looked forward to see
how we could better our commercial relations. We, as a nation, are
extremely anxious to increase the commerce between our countries. and we
hope before we leave you to learn something that will enable us to
accomplish this result. We will be very pleased also to give you any and
all information in our possession and to assist you in arriving at this
The trade between our
countries has been steadily growing but our wish is that it will grow
faster, and we look to the merchants of Osaka to a great extent to
accomplish this result.
Seeing that you are the
great manufacturing center of this country, you have justly been called
the "Manchester of Japan." Osaka is the greatest ship-owning port in
Japan, and on account of this you may hope to increase your trade, as
the city that has the largest amount of shipping is always the greatest,
commercially. Being a shipowner myself, I condole with my fellow
shipowners on account of the depressed condition of business, but we
have reached bottom and will soon have an improvement.
In conclusion, I would
impress on you this fact, that before nations can increase their
commercial relations they must be friendly. This Commission has come to
the conclusion that nothing more can be. done in the way of increasing
our friendly relations. Friendship has reached its zenith here.
Therefore, all that remains for us on both sides of the Pacific is to
strain every nerve in our power to increase commerce.
We are sorry that we have
not more time at our disposal to study more fully the conditions in your
city so that we could better understand what you want to buy and sell.
By this time our party
had been worked to death and we were all worn out. The next day we.
spent visiting the sights of Kobe where there was much of interest to be
seen. The great shipyards, cotton mills and various industries, in both
Osaka and Kobe gave us a good insight into the great manufacturing
possibilities of this country.