WORLD VOYAGE OF THE NAVY
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT always regarded his sending of the battle fleet of the navy around the world as a most important service to peace. He decided upon it at a critical moment in the relations between the United States and Japan. Throughout the entire year of 1907 he was endeavoring with zeal and infinite patience to induce the California Legislature to refrain from violently offensive action on the subject of Japanese immigration and the treatment of Japanese children who had been excluded from the public schools. In the end he succeeded completely, both in Congress and in California. Writing from Oyster Bay to Secretary Root, on July 13, he refers to his plan in regard to the fleet:
"I am more concerned over the Japanese situation than almost any other. Thank Heaven we have the navy in good shape. It is high time, however, that it should go on a cruise around the world. In the first place I think it will have a pacific effect to show that it can be done; and in the next place, after talking thoroughly over the situation with the naval board I became convinced that it was absolutely necessary for us to try in time of peace to see just what we could do in the way of putting a big battle fleet in the Pacific, and not make the experiment in time of war.
" Aoki and Admiral Yamamoto were out here yesterday at lunch. Aoki is a singularly cool and wise old boy. I am afraid he is much more so than his fellow countrymen. Yamamoto, an ex-Cabinet Minister and a man of importance, evidently had completely misunderstood the situation here and what the possibilities were. I had a long talk with him through an interpreter.