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when it had been in operation three months had cost about 34 cents per head for each animal inspected. It is believed that experience will reduce the cost to 3 cents. The microscopic inspection of hogs has been in operation only a very short time. For the first month it cost 2013 cents per head, for the second 13 cents per head. It is expected that the cost will shortly be reduced to 5 cents. As a result of the adoption of our inspection laws, our pork products find markets now in Germany, Denmark, France, and Italy, from all of which they were formerly excluded. The British restrictions upon the importation of American cattle have not as yet been modified.
PRESIDENT HARRISON approved October 1, 1890, an act whose title declares that it is adopted "to reduce the revenue and equalize duties on imports and for other purposes." Thus the McKinley Bill became a law, and the famous McKinley tariff was put in operation. This tariff supersedes one provided for in an act approved March 3, 1883. The McKinley tariff contains several features which should be noticed here.
Schedule G, which in the earlier act bore the title "Provisions," now bears the title "Agricultural Products and Provisions," and provides duties on live animals, breadstuffs, farinaceous substances, dairy products, farm and field products, seeds, fish, fruits and nuts, meat products, salt, and miscellaneous products. Other schedules provide duties on wool, lumber, tobacco, spirits, wines, flax, hemp, jute, and leather. The table given below, prepared from the report of the Secretary of Agriculture for 1890, shows some of the more important changes.
by one tenth of a cent per pound on sugars produced by or exported from a country which pays a higher export bounty on them than on sugars of a lower saccharin strength. To the American sugar-producer there is granted a bounty of 2 cents per pound on beet, sorghum, sugar-cane, and maple-sugar testing not less than 90 degrees by the polariscope, and a bounty of 1 3/4 cents per pound on sugar testing less than 90 degrees, but not less than 80 degrees. The payment of this bounty began July 1, 1891, and is to continue until July 1, 1905. Machinery brought to this country to be used in the production of raw sugar from native-grown beets is admitted duty free until July 1, 1892. On the free list are jute, manila, Sisal grass, the substances used for manure, and animals imported for breeding purposes, provided that they be pure-blooded, of a recognized breed, and are duly registered in the book of record established for that breed.
It is yet too early to show the results of these provisions, but attention should be called to the fact that the McKinley Act recognizes the farmer's claim to be taken into account in any legislation furnishing protection to our industries.
SECTION 3 of this act is the famous reciprocity legislation. It reads as follows:
With a view to secure reciprocal trade with countries producing the following articles, and for this purpose, on and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, whenever and so often as the President shall be satisfied that the Government of any country producing and exporting sugars, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, raw and uncured, or any of such articles, imposes duties or other exactions upon the agricultural or other products of the United States, which in view of the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides into the Old tariff. 20% ad val...
Sugars are free except those above No. 16 Dutch standard in color, which pay a duty of one half cent per pound. This duty is increased
Over 1 year, $10.
Over 1 year, $1.50.
United States he may deem to be reciprocally unequal and unreasonable, he shall have the power and it shall be his duty to suspend, by proclamation to that effect, the provisions of this act relating to the free introduction of such sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the production of such country, for such time as he shall deem just, and in such case and during such suspension duties shall be levied, collected, and paid upon sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides, the product of or exported from such designated country.
Then follow the duties: on sugar varying from seven tenths of a cent to 2 cents per pound; on molasses, 4 cents per gallon; on coffee, 3 cents per pound; on tea, 10 cents per pound; on hides, 12 cents per pound. This provision was intended to secure trade privileges in return for the free admission of products into this country. Under it there have been concluded treaties providing for reciprocity with Brazil, Cuba, and Porto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Salvador, Trinidad, Barbadoes, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, British Guiana, and Jamaica, Nicaragua, Germany, and Honduras. To describe the provisions of all these treaties would require too much space. That with Brazil admits the following articles, products of the United States, free of all duties, national, State, or municipal: wheat; wheat-flour; maize and its manufactures; rye, rye-flour, buckwheat, buckwheatflour, and barley; potatoes, beans, and peas; hay and oats; salted pork; fish, salted, dried, or pickled; cotton-seed oil; coal; rosin, tar, pitch, and turpentine; agricultural tools, implements, and machinery; mining and mechanical tools, implements and machinery, including stationary and portable engines, and all machinery for manufacturing and industrial purposes except sewing-machines; instruments and books for the arts and sciences; and railway-construction material and equipment. In addition, the following articles are admitted at a reduction of
25% from the duties provided in the tariff now in force or from any which may be adopted hereafter: lard and its substitutes; hams; butter and cheese; canned and preserved meats, fish, fruit, and vegetables; manufactures of cotton; manufactures of iron and steel not included in the former list; leather and its manufactures, except boots and shoes; lumber, timber, and the manufactures of wood, including cooperage, furniture, wagons, carts, and carriages; manufactures of rubber.
The President has suspended by proclamation the free admission into the United States of sugar, molasses, coffee, tea, and hides from Colombia, Hayti, and Venezuela.
acknowledgment by the country that it is the This section may be taken as an express duty of the National government to make it possible for the farmer to find favorable mar
COLLECTION AND DISSEMINATION OF
AMONG the most important acts of Congress touching the welfare of the farmer are those which provide for the establishment of institutions of learning which are to give special attention to agriculture and the sciences related to it; for the maintenance of agricultural experiment stations which are devoted to the scientific investigation of agricultural problems; and for the elevation of the United States Department of Agriculture to a cabinet department. All these acts will be sufficiently noticed in other articles in this series. These three educational agencies, the colleges, the stations, and the Department, are the most important ones now at work for the betterment of agricultural matters, for nothing can benefit the farmer so much as a knowledge of the best methods of farming for the region in which he may live. A. W. Harris.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
Responsibility for Political Corruption.
IT is the habit of many persons who deplore the existence of corruption in American politics to place the main responsibility for it upon the ignorant voters. "If we had not such a large ignorant vote, a great deal of it foreign," they say, we should get along much better. We should not have so much money used corruptly in carrying elections, or in influencing the course of legislation." Is this an accurate diagnosis of the case? Let us consider the chief forms of corruption, and see whether it is.
To begin with national politics, the chief method of corruption is the use of large sums of money in carrying Presidential elections. A great deal of this money is used for legitimate purposes, but a great deal more of it has been used in the recent past for the direct purchase of votes. This was conceded to be the case in the campaign of 1888, when both political parties raised unprecedentedly large campaign funds, each making excuse that it must do so to counteract the other. The corrupt purpose of these rival funds was disclosed by the fact that they were raised during the final days of the campaign, when the legitimate work of electioneering had been finished. There were no more documents to be distributed, no more halls and headquarters to be hired, few or no more parades to be organized or mass meetings to be held.
Who supplied the money for those funds? Did it come from the ignorant and foreign portion of the electorate, or from its intelligent, native, and more respectable elements? It is unnecessary to answer these questions. Did not the contributors suspect that their money was to be used for corrupt purposes? If they did not, what other use did they think would be made of it? If they did suspect, why did they, as reputable citizens, upright and honorable members of society, contribute it? Simply because they had become so interested in the campaign, so desirous of partizan victory, that their moral sense was blunted to practical extinction. They shut their eyes and consciences at the same time; gave their money, asked no questions as to its use, and got ready to toss up their hats with joy at the victory which they hoped it would bring. Yet if their money went into the hands of a professional corruptionist, who distributed it among his agents, which agents went with it into the slums of great cities and bought with it the votes of ignorant and foreignborn electors, thus debauching the suffrage-upon whose head rested the responsibility? Which was the more guilty in the sight of God and man, the poor, ignorant wretch who yielded to the temptation of the man who went to him with the money in his hand, or the respectable, intelligent, honorable member of society who supplied the temptation?
Partizanship is not the only motive for such giving. Positions of honor and profit in the public service, legislation of great value to private business interests, are bought and sold in advance of election, the goods to be delivered in case of success at the polls. Here again the authors of the corruption are the men who VOL. XLIV.- 62.
supply the money, not the men who are tempted to take it at the sacrifice of their honor.
When we come to State and municipal politics, we find the same evil of corruption in elections traceable to the same sources, and we find an even greater one in the buying and selling of legislation in the legislative bodies. It is a matter of common knowledge that all the great railway and other corporations, all the banks and chartered institutions which have large vested rights and interests to protect, are obliged to keep close watch by means of hired agents upon the law-making bodies of the various States, to guard themselves against hostile legislation, or to promote the passage of favorable measures. In many instances large sums of money are devoted each year to this work in the legis latures. It is disguised under some such term as "legal expenses," but the managers of the corporations and institutions who authorize its expenditure know what its purposes are. It is admitted, indeed, by many of them that the money is used for corrupt purposes, but it is claimed that such use is an absolute necessity for the protection of the property which is in their charge. They argue that so long as legislative bodies are constituted as they are at present, with venal elements frequently holding the balance of power, direct bribery is the only method for warding off injurious legislation, or securing desirable legislation.
Before inquiring as to the responsibility for this kind of corruption, let us see to what it leads. It has brought into public life a class of men known as legislative "jobbers" or "strikers." Frequently, in order to get elected, these pay sums several times as large as the salary which the office affords, their object being to get into a position in which they can traffic in legisla tion. They introduce measures designed to injure corporate and vested rights, in order to be "bought off" from pressing them. They organize "cliques" and "combines," and require payment for the votes of this organized gang of plunderers for or against any measure in which they think there is "something for them." These men would never have thought of going into a legislature had not the business of paying for legislation been encouraged and built up by the corporations and other aggregations of capital.
Is there any doubt about the responsibility for this kind of corruption? Does it rest upon the miserable creatures who have been attracted, like flies to offal, by the bribes offered in the halls of legislation, or upon the men of character and standing in the community who as presidents, directors, and managers of corporations and institutions furnish the bribes? What would happen if these presidents, directors, and managers, from one end of the land to the other, were to come together and declare that henceforth not a cent would they authorize for use in influencing legislation of any kind? What would happen if they were to agree that in every instance in which a demand were made upon them by a legislator or his agent for money as a price of legislation, they would make public exposure of the same, and do their utmost to have the guilty person punished? Would not the whole nefarious and demor
alizing business disappear, and with it the legislative "jobbers" and "strikers" it has bred and nourished until they have made popular government a mockery, and the halls of legislation, in more than one instance, a den of thieves?
There has never been any corruption in politics, in any nation that the world has ever seen, in which the responsibility did not rest upon the man who offered the bribe rather than upon the man who took it. It does not lessen this responsibility if there be one or a dozen middlemen between the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker. What is wanted is a moral sense which will be as keen in political matters as it is in private and commercial matters. No reputable man ought to give a dollar for political purposes unless he can have in return an accounting for its use. Every man who contributes to a large campaign fund, to be expended by a professional corruptionist without any public or private accounting of the uses to which it is put, is an accomplice in a gigantic scheme of bribery which he has helped to make possible. Every man who contributes a penny to the blackmail levied against him, either as an individual or as a member of a corporation, is an accomplice in the systematic debauching of popular government which is in progress in the legislative bodies of this country to-day.
Why is it that it is so difficult to secure a more honest administration of the government of a great city like New York? There are many reasons, but the chief of them is not the cupidity and ignorance of the lower class of voters. Why do men not only consent to pay "assessments" to the Tammany dictators as the price of nominations for office, but why do they also consent to contribute directly to its campaign funds under fear of hostile treatment in case they refuse? An instance is within our knowledge in which the members of a firm were as individuals deeply interested in the campaign of the People's Municipal League against Tammany Hall in 1890, and as individuals were contributors to the League's fund, yet as a firm they contributed also to the Tammany Hall fund in order to be on good terms with Tammany after election. The idea that their moral obligations as good citizens were greater than their business interests did not occur to them, or, if it did, was not powerful enough to control their conduct. Instead of being the source of our political corruption, the ignorant voter is the victim of it. If he be foreign-born, almost the first lesson he receives in American politics is that elections are controlled by corrupt men for corrupt purposes, and that the rich and respectable members of American society supply money for this work of debauchery. Instead of educating him to a high and just conception of his duties and privileges as a citizen, we are teaching him the lowest one possible. The dangerous consequences of such teaching need not be pointed out. Every instinct of patriotism, as well as every moral obligation, ought to show to every man who loves his country what his duty is in the premises.
A New Movement in Municipal Reform. A FEW public-spirited young men in New York City have set on foot a project which ought to find imitators in all other large cities of the land. They have founded a City Club, composed of men who are in favor of better municipal government, and who are sufficiently
anxious to obtain it to work together for that end without regard to the considerations of national politics. It is proposed to have a club-house which, in addition to the usual accompaniments of such buildings, will have facilities for publishing and distributing docu. ments and other educational literature. The minimum membership of 500, proposed as a beginning, was quickly reached, and the membership is approaching its first thousand. The idea is to organize ultimately the intelligence and morality of the community as thoroughly as the cupidity and ignorance of it have for years been organized by the political machines, and thus to make the former a power which shall drive the latter from the control of the government.
The alacrity with which eminent citizens of all political faiths have joined in the movement furnishes evidence, as encouraging as it is surprising, that there is an abundance of public spirit in the city which has generally been accused of having less of that quality than almost any other in the country.
But in how many other cities do the most intelligent elements of the population neglect entirely municipal affairs for the greater part of the time, taking only a brief and often misdirected interest in them for a few weeks preceding an election? The men who make politics their occupation and means of livelihood devote all their energies to the business every day in the year. They have their meeting-places, or halls, and their organization is in constant readiness for a contest. They would never make the blunder of allowing their organization to go to pieces after each election, trusting to luck to get it together again in time to carry the next election.
There is not a city in the land in which the respectable and intelligent citizens are not in an overwhelming majority. Bad municipal government in the United States, which is the almost universal rule, exists only because of the refusal of these citizens to take control of their own affairs. They allow themselves, in the first place, to be divided into two factions because of their national political affiliations. This gives the politicians who get their living out of bad municipal government their most important point of vantage: they have the enemy surely and permanently divided. Having given the politicians this advantage at the outset, the intelligent and respectable citizens give them the further advantage of refraining from all permanent organization. These are notorious facts, and it is unnecessary to dwell upon them, or upon the results which flow naturally from them.
The City Club idea is aimed directly at the two worst evils of our present system. It requires its disciples to say that they will leave national politics out of the problem, and that they will enroll themselves as members of a permanent organization, paying annual dues for its support and for the prosecution of its work, and holding themselves in readiness at all times to unite in a common movement for a common purpose. It is based on the belief that the intelligent citizen will find in civic pride an incentive to political work as powerful and absorbing as the ignorant and corrupt politician finds in the spoils of office. We do not believe that this is a misplaced confidence. There is no lack of civic pride in any city of America. It exists everywhere in constantly increasing volume, because of the shame which the scandals of municipal misgovernment are bringing upon us as a people. With proper organization it can be converted into a tremendous power for good, and
such organization the City Club idea seems surely to promise.
Every patriotic citizen, and every sympathizer with the hardships and sufferings of his fellow-creatures, ought to rejoice at an opportunity to join an organization of this character. Municipal misrule is a scandal and a shame, but its most deplorable aspect is the suffering which it causes to the most helpless portion of every city's population, the poor. It is upon them that the evil of dishonest and ignorant government bears most heavily in the end. In the model governments of cities like Glasgow, Berlin, Edinburgh, and Birmingham, it is the poor whose health, happiness, and security are most carefully provided for and protected. In many of our cities the government not merely ignores their needs, it brutally aggravates and multiplies their distresses. It does nothing to soften the hardness of their lives, but nearly everything possible to make their burdens heavier.
Another Word on "Cheap Money." WITH the failure of the free-coinage bill in Congress, the danger that this country might be called upon to pass through the quagmire of a fresh cheap-money experiment seems to have been averted, for the present surely, and in all probability for a long time to come. It is apparent now that whatever of popular sentiment there may have been behind the free-silver movement at its beginning, there was very little behind it at the time of the free-coinage bill's failure, and even less at this moment than there was then. The American people have always shown great quickness in educating themselves on financial and economic questions, and the sudden subsidence of the free-silver "craze" shows that the
work of education, so far as that form of cheap money is concerned, has been practically accomplished.
THE CENTURY rejoices sincerely in the assurances which have come to it from many sources that its efforts to assist in this work of education have not been unsuccessful. Now that the work is ended for the present, it may not be amiss, in taking leave of the subject in these columns, to quote a few striking passages, on the evils of cheap money, from the writings of two masters of vigorous English who studied different phases of those evils in former times. The truth of their forcible language will be all the more appreciated now, since we are coming more and more each day to a proper realization of the perils from which, as a nation, we have had so narrow an escape.
In 1722 one William Wood, a hardware merchant, obtained from the British crown a patent to coin copper money for Ireland to the amount of £108,000. He had no power to compel any one to take his halfpence, which he coined under this grant and sent to Ireland; and when a large batch of them arrived there the people refused to take and use them as money. They were made of such base metal, and were so much smaller than the English halfpence, that they were worth in gold or silver not more than a twelfth of their face-value. When the Irish people refused to accept them as money, there was talk of Wood's obtaining or ders from the crown compelling the king's commissioners and collectors of customs in Ireland to take them as money, and thus force them into circulation. Upon this proposition Dean Swift, then in the full vigor of his won
derful powers as a controversialist, published a series of pamphlets or letters addressed to the tradesmen, shopkeepers, farmers, and common people in general, on the subject of the debased coin, which made a powerful impression in both England and Ireland, and hastened the repeal of Wood's patent. These letters were signed "Drapier," and are known in the collections of Swift's works under that title. We shall make a few quotations from them with a view to showing how perfectly his arguments against the folly of debased or cheap money, made 170 years ago, apply to the proposal to inflict upon the American people a debased silver dollar worth only 70 cents.
It was urged in defense of Wood's money that copper halfpence were scarce in Ireland; that the people needed more copper money for the transaction of their business; and that if the supply were greater every. body would be more prosperous. All that sounds very familiar. It was also said, in answer to a query as to whether Wood would keep his coinage within the £108,000 limit, that he would be guided in that respect by the" exigencies of trade." That phrase also sounds very familiar. Here is what Swift says on that point:
less the exigencies of trade require it: First, I observe Wood proposes that he will not coin above £40,000 unthat this sum of £40,000 is almost double to what I proved to be sufficient for the whole kingdom, although we had not one of our old halfpence left. Again I ask, who is to be judge when the exigencies of trade require it? Without doubt he means himself, for as to us of this poor kingdom, who must be utterly ruined if his project should succeed, we were never once consulted till the matter was ther will these be ever at an end till he and his accomover, and he will judge of our exigencies by his own; neiplices will think they have enough.
In reference to the effects of cheap halfpence on the people of Ireland, Swift said:
Mr. Wood will never be at rest but coin on: so that in some years we shall have at least five times four score and ten thousand pounds of this lumber. Now the current money of this kingdom is not reckoned to be above four hundred thousand pounds in all; and while there is a silver sixpence, these blood-suckers will never be quiet. When once the kingdom is reduced to such a condition estates will all turn off their tenants for want of payment, I will tell you what must be the end: The gentlemen of because the tenants are obliged by their leases to pay sterling, which is lawful current money of England; then they will turn their own farmers, run all into sheep where they can, keeping only such other cattle as are necessary; then they will be their own merchants, and send their wool and butter and hides and linen beyond sea for ready money and wines and spices and silks. The farmers must rob or beg or leave the country. The shopkeepers in this and every other town must break and starve, for it is the landed man that maintains the merchant, and shopkeeper, and handicraftsman. I should never have done, if I were to tell you all the miseries that we shall undergo if we be so foolish and wicked as to take this cursed coin. In short, those halfpence are like the accursed thing, which, as the Scripture tells us, the children of Israel were forbidden to touch; they will run about like the plague and destroy everyone who lays his hands upon them.
Carlyle, in his "French Revolution," uses scarcely less vigorous, and even more picturesque, language in regard to the assignats which were issued in France between 1789 and 1796. These were in the form of paper money, based at first upon the security of confiscated church lands, and afterward upon all the national domains and other property. They were issued to the amount of over forty-five billion francs, and be