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Thursday, October 23, 1890.
Published weekly by J. MORRISON-FULLER, at 3 Somerset Street, Boston, Mass.
SUBSCRIPTION, $1.00 PER YEAR. POLITICS; EVENTS; COMMENTS; LITERA· TURE; (BOOKS, REVIEWS, ETC.)
IN MEDIAS RES.
The Commissioner of the General Land Office, in his last annual report to the Secretary of the Interior, says that the area patented to the States under the grants for educational and internal improvements has increased three hundred per cent. For the benefit of the railroad companies there were patented under the law 363,362 acres. The commissioner says that the most valuable timber on public lands is being rapidly exhausted, and that the laws upon the subject are utterly inadequate to protect properly either the public forests from unlawful appropriation or the interests of the settlers.
The Indian Conference, in the platform for 1890, emphasizes the necessity of non-partisan administration and permanent tenure in the Indian bureau, and protests against the removal of capable officials for party reasons. Among the other suggestions made to Congress are, first, that Congress make such increasing appropriations as may be necessary to provide all Indian children with common-school education at Government expense, and second, that Congress provide for the extension of education in industrial arts, which are essential to preparation for self-support.
There is a movement on foot among New York merchants to organize a Business Men's Protective Association for the purpose of defending legitimate business interests against improper legislation. The organization is to be non-partisan. In the call issued by the originators of the scheme, it is stated that:
Price 5 Cents.
"The New York Business Men's Protective Association is to protect business men of the State from improper and unwise legislation affecting legitimate business; to protest against the encroachments of monopolies upon public rights; to discourage fraudulent practices in business, and for such other purposes as the association may deem necessary to the public welfare."
"That a necessity exists for the formation of an organization of this kind," say the merchants, “is made more and more apparent every year by a condition forced upon business men of fighting single handed unjust and discriminating bills introduced into our legislative halls, which are designed to embarrass and annoy the business community; by the usurpation of power to perpetuate monopolies, and confer upon a favored few undue advantages over the many; by the growing tendency on the part of political organizations to work out their selfish and oft-times corrupt schemes in a manner calculated to prolong their ascendency in power to the detriment of the mercantile interests of the State."
It is not generally known that there exists in the United States a national organization of railway employees, one of the main objects of which is the prevention of legislation hostile to the interests of railroad companies and their employees. The preamble to the Constitution of the organization (which includes all the branches of the service) is as follows:
"The highest court in several of the States has decided that the railroad commission may make, according to the present laws, any rate they please for the railroads, whether it pays for the service or not. A majority of the legal voters make the commission by electing the governor. The railroad employees are voters, and have the right to help make the rates. We are entitled to a fair day's wages for a fair day's work, and we cannot get, or expect it, unless the roads get a fair price for services rendered. The tendency of late is towards a heavy reduction in rates. Those who make such demands of the roads do not stop to consider the vast army of employees and their families who are directly dependent upon the earnings of the road which employs them. This condition has assumed such proportions that our railways are getting neither fair nor living prices, and, as a result, their employees cannot get fair wages or steady employment. In union among ourselves we shall find strength to protect our interests, and we shall find it in no other way. We, the railroad employees in the United States and Territories, agree to form an association to promote our interests, and our social and intel
Judge Somerville, member of the Board of General Appraisers, has rendered an opinion upon an important question that has arisen under the customs administration law. The decision is rendered upon a number of protests made by importers against the classification of worsteds as woollens, and it involves the constitutionality of the tariff law, which is brought in question by the circumstances under which it passed the House. It is well known that, in order to procure the quorum, a majority of which was necessary to pass the bill, Speaker Reed counted as present the Democratic Congressmen who were present and who refused to vote on the call of the roll on the passage of the bill. According to universal parliamentary usage,
members whose names appeared on neither side of the roll-call have been held to be constructively absent. Speaker Reed ignored this general rule for the partisan purpose of carrying the bill, and, having the constructive absentees under his eye, counted them as present, contrary to their wishes, and thus secured the necessary quorum. The importers claim that the law passed under these circumstances is unconstitutional, and all importations of worsteds having been classed as woollens under it, the importers question every such decision. Judge Somerville is his decision sustains the ruling of Speaker Reed, and declares the law constitutional. But the importers will probably carry the case into the United States Supreme Court.
Based on the prices now prevailing, and on the statements of dealers, a moderate estimate of the increased cost of living in this city for the year 1891 is one fifth. That is to say, it will take $1.20 to buy what has been got for $1. A man who gets $600 a year will be no better off than he would have been last year with $500; a man with $900 no better than he would have been last year with $750.
New York Times.
Statistics furnished by the British customs officers at the ports of British Columbia show that during the year 1889 something like 180,000 pounds of smoking opium was smuggled into the United States, causing a loss of revenue amounting to $1,800,000. From March, 1887, until December, 1889, there were landed in British Columbia 6.816 Chinamen, four fifths of whom were smuggled into the United States. The Treasury Department believes that the extent of smuggling is even greater than the figures show, and it is feared that the new tariff law will result in a vast increase of the smuggling trade.
The Treasury Department will give within the next few weeks a series of hearings to persons interested in the subject of creating a national bureau of maritime information Recommendations will be made to Congress, in the line proposed by the International Marine Conference. The proposed bureau will have charge of matters relating to merchant vessels and seamen, and will make suggestions both to the Government and to shipowners relative to new apparatus and plans for marine use, such as life-saving appliances, systems of running lights and signals in thick weather; will collect information regarding maritime matters and publish the same, and prepare recommendations to Congress.
A newspaper dispatch from Washington says: "There are now stored away in the basement
of the building used by Robert P. Porter as his headquarters hundreds of machines which were provided for tabulating census returns, but which have proved useless for the purpose. They were invented by a cousin of Mr. Porter, and purchased under a contract with a company in which the inventor was foremost. Upon trial being made, however, the machines were discovered to be practically useless for the purposes for which they were intended, and they have been gradually discarded. This matter has been called to the attention of several congressmen, and it is probable that an investigation will shortly be ordered into the transaction."
In 1850 there was one criminal in the United States to every 3,410 people. In 1890 there is one criminal in the United States to every 860 people.
A dispatch from Rome announces that the committee appointed to arrange for a representation of Italian art and industry at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 has dissolved, the committee having found that in view of the United States' new tariff law few Italian manufacturers, or others, were willing to send exhibits to Chicago.
The French government will submit to the Senate and Chamber simultaneously a bill providing for a maximum tariff on goods from countries whose customs regulations are unfavorable to French products, and a minimun tariff on imports from countries favorable to France in their tariffs.
The international telegraphic rates on the continent will conform, after next July 1st, with the schedule fixed by the recent telegraphic conference in Paris. Between Germany and adjoining countries, the rate will be two and one half cents per word; between Germany and Great Britain and Italy, three and one half cents per word; and between Germany and Russia or Spain, five cents per word.
With the view to encourage sheep breeding in Crimea, the Russian Ministry of the Interior has decided to advance money on profitable terms to ranchmen importing and breeding the best kinds of sheep.
The Vienna correspondent of the London Times says that the Austrian government will negotiate with Germany for the purpose of concluding a treaty which shall enable manufacturers to make calculations on a firm basis without fear of being upset by new customs regulations,
A recent imperial decree has interdicted the teaching of French in all the primary schools of Alsace-Lorraine.
The French Minister of Finance intends to propose a special tax on patent and other medicines that obtain large sales through extensive advertising. His proposal is "heartily approved" by the Academie de la Medicine.
Riots are reported in various parts of China, caused by the efforts to collect the new native opium import.
Certain French newspapers are charging the French Minister of Finance with making use of his official position to conduct speculations on the Bourse. The general impression is that a repetition of the Wilson scandals is about to be witnessed in Paris.
In England there is no Sunday closing act; in Wales there is. There is nearly fifty per cent more Sunday drunkenness in Wales than in England.
An agent who has lately returned to Halifax from Prince Edward Island says that the crew of the schooner "Mary Jane" might have been saved had not the government official insisted on obtaining permission from Ottawa to allow the would-be rescuers a government boat. While this permission was being obtained the crew perished.
STATE AND MUNICIPAL.
San Francisco fruit dealers have lately organized a society for mutual protection against police discrimination and injustice. There is a city ordinance in existence regulating the obstruction of the sidewalks, and the small dealers claim that the ordinance is not equitably enforced. At a meeting of the fruit dealers, the temporary chairman stated at the police of the city contented themselves with the enforcement of the law against the poor dealers in the outskirts of the city, and paid no attention whatever to the infractions of the wealthier houses along the streets mentioned. He related how the houses along those streets daily exposed their entire stock of merchandise along the sidewalk in front of their stores, leaving only a narrow passageway for pedestrians, and how those whose business compelled them to pass along those streets did so at their cost, as the projecting steel bands of the fruit boxes and the sharp edges of the same often worked sad havoc with their clothing. Such was a daily occurrence, he