That a President of the United States should harshly dismiss his Secretary of State on the grounds of usurpation of executive power, because that Secretary called informal cabinet meetings during the President's incapacity, seems unthinkable. The government must function, and if the President is unable to direct its work the cabinet--those men whom the President himself has chosen as his official advisors--has not only the right but the duty to meet for discussion and interchange of ideas on pressing governmental affairs.
If the ridiculous assertion that Mr. Lansing's calling cabinet members together to confer on inter-departmental matters constituted an assumption of executive power, if this assertion is not the real motive for his dismissal, the President's selection of a pretext is exceedingly unfortunate. The whole correspondence, moreover, lacks entirely that generesity of spirit that helped to make Woodrow Wilson the spokesman of the world. Public sentiment is overwhelmingly in sympathy with Robert Lansing, and, unless new facts come to light, the nation is sure to judge this incident as one of the most unhappy of the Wilson administration.