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Charles Grilk '98 was the last Harvard speaker, his opening remarks being devoted to rebuttal and an attempt to parry the most formidable arguments of his opponents. He said that the Cabinet system cannot work in this country because of the difference in the circumstances surrounding the government and the difference in the social conditions of the people. In England, Cabinet government was evolved in the struggle between the King and the people. The people had to have centralized leadership to compete with the centralized power of the King. It was a work of reform rather than of creation. In America we have had no struggle against ruler or class. Our problem has been chiefly the up building of a nation, a task which demands slow and sure steps.
The conservatism of the English people has acted as a check upon their legislation, and the lower classes have not been represented in Parliament, but have been contented to be ruled by the higher classes. England is virtually an aristocracy. The United States is a democracy. Our machinery of Government is careful and more safe.
As Mr. Phelps, our late Minister to England, has said, "the two systems are not interchangeable; each is best where it is." The Cabinet system, all the eminent commentators agree cannot be introduced into this country.
Our present system of government has carried the nation safely through its most critical periods. It has given satisfaction for over a century and has the complete confidence of the people.
When the gentlemen advocate a measure which will overthrow this Government by weakening the power of the President, by eating away the check of the Senate and the Supreme Court, which will make our system unstable and open the doors to socialism, they should not have made assertions, but should have brought forward specific, undeniable evidence of incurable evils inherent in our present system.
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