« AnkstesnisTęsti »
claim amnesty to all political offenders and to restore the constitution. The Shah delayed his reply. It may have been only a coincidence, but a detachment of Russian Cossacks immediately crossed the southern frontier and occupied the town of Astara on the Caspian Sea. This is the advance guard of the expedition which the Russian Government has decided to send into Persia because of the state of anarchy prevailing there. It is most marked in and about the city of Tabriz, a city of about two hundred thousand persons, the second in the Empire, where the Nationalists are attempting to force the Shah again to grant a constitution to the country. Tabriz is the chief city in northwestern Persia, not far from Mount Ararat, and has been much the most conspicuous center of the Nationalist movement. Some time since the Shah repudiated the constitution to which he had sworn fealty. Insurrections followed in several of Persia's thirty-three provinces; but that in Azerbaijan, of which Tabriz is the capital, was by far the most strenuous. Tabriz established a local government of its own. It denied the Shah's sovereignty so long as he repudiated the constitution.
the city of Tabriz and the surrounding region held out against the imperial forces. The city is still beleaguered, but is fortunately not too far from Russian aid. During last week's fighting an American, Mr. Baskerville, who was acting with the Nationalists, was killed.
THE GERMAN NAVAL PROGRAMME
An extremely well. informed German correspondent writes The Outlook that the question how many modern battle-ships Germany will possess in 1912 has been definitely answered in the German Diet by the Chancellor of the Empire and the Secretary of the Navy. Prince Bülow stated: "As stipulated by law, we shall have ready, at the earliest in the fall of 1912, thirteen new large menof-war, amongst which there will be three armored cruisers." "I repeat emphatic ally once more," declared Admiral von Tirpitz shortly afterwards, "that in 1912 we shall have ready ten Dreadnoughts and three Invincibles, i. ., thirteen large modern battle-ships in all, and not seventeen.
I may add that this will be the case at the earliest in the fall of 1912, and not in February of that year." These statements, our correspondent says, are in perfect accord with the facts, known to every one who has carefully read the German Naval Act. How, then, could the British Cabinet form the idea that Germany would have seventeen Dreadnoughts at her disposal in 1912? This question has not yet been discussed in the British House of Commons. In all probability, however, it originated in a very peculiar miscalculation, caused by the neglect of the English statesmen to study thoroughly the German naval programme. As a consequence of certain conversations between Sir E. Grey and the German Ambassador in London, the British Cabinet was informed, before Prince Bülow's explanations in the Reichstag, that Germany, in the year mentioned, would have at her disposal thirteen modern ships. The English statesmen have made the mistake, evidently, of supposing that in this number only the modern battle-ships were included, but not the large cruisers. They consequently counted the three large cruisers of the Invincible class twice, arriving thus at the number of sixteen, to which they added the cruiser Bluecher. The latter, however, is not of the Invincible but of the Shannon size. If the Blücher is included, the same should be done with the corresponding vessels in England, and in that case a comparison will still more be in favor of Great Britain.
THE ENGLISH MISAPPREHENSION
The Opposition so misread these figures, our correspondent says, that Mr. Balfour arrived at the conclusion that there were to be twenty-five Dreadnoughts, proceeding from the supposition-since proved erroneous by Prince von Buelow-that Germany wants to accelerate her naval construction. He asserted that Germany has fourteen, or even seventeen, slips for Dreadnoughts, and assumed that she would launch eight Dreadnoughts every year. He disregarded the existence of a law fixing the number of Germany's war vessels. He drew his conclusions from what, in his opinion, was the capacity of the German
ship-yards, instead of taking into consideration what they have been ordered to do, namely, to construct thirteen vessels until the fall of 1912. In still another essential point Mr. Balfour was misled by his erroneous deduction. He referred to a former statement of Admiral von Tirpitz in his address of December, 1907, in which he gave the average figures of the time required for shipbuilding in England and Germany, covering a period of several years preceding 1907. These figures showed forty-four months for England and forty for Germany. Meanwhile the Dreadnought had actually. been constructed in twenty-seven months, and Mr. Balfour suggested that Germany could do the same with all her vessels. This, however, is not borne out by actual experience. The facts regarding the alleged acceleration of German naval construction are that not more than two of the four ships of this year's programme were accorded to two firms last fall. contracts made by the German Navy Department, of course, depended on the necessary appropriations, which, in fact, have but recently been passed by the Reichstag.
The reason which actuated
the Department in taking this step was by no means military, but purely commercial. It aimed to prevent the formation of a trust and to secure favorable prices. It will be seen that, under the circumstances as here set forth, there is no intention of accelerating naval construction in Germany, even if the facilities of the navy yards were such as to make it possible. The British Cabinet has received detailed and exact information about all these facts through the German Ambassador in London. If nevertheless a panic has been all but provoked by erroneous statements promulgated in the British Parliament, the responsibilities for this wanton scare should not be charged to Germany. It is unfortunate that this statement of the situation from a German point of view was not before the English people before the recent agitation had gained such headway.
tariff hodgepodge. In the domain of natural resources, the country has now awakened to the need of dealing with some one natural resource-say a rivernot piecemeal, as has been done in the past, but with proper regard for all of the benefits which the river may confer upon the people. Hitherto the River and Harbor Bill has meant the dredging of a river's mouth only to be filled up again by the best kind of top-soil swept down by floods and freshets from the bordering farms. The value of a river for irrigation purposes or for the development of hydraulic or electric power has been largely lost sight of in the frantic and spasmodic efforts made toward giving it some use for navigation. Now, however, under the co-ordination proposed by the Conservation Commission, a river is to be treated as a whole, and its development in any particular departments must yield a maximum of benefit with a minimum of interference with any one of the river's uses. Something of the same sort may happen to the tariff schedules, if the rate of progress now inaugurated should continue. Hitherto, in taking up a particular schedule, Congress has apparently thought, first, last, and all the time, of what it might do to secure the greatest possible protection to the manufacturer. Last week's debate conclusively shows that, even against the ablest advocate of special interests-Senator Aldrich-as leader, the opposition was able to convince the country that the "insurgents" in either house of Congress would deal with each schedule in a more scientific way than that of the "standpatters." The " insurgents" would consider each schedule in the light, first, of the greatest amount of revenue to be obtained by the Federal Government; second, with the view of equalizing duties, as far as possible, to the consumer; and third-not first-for the purpose of encouraging American industries. In this connection a significant event of the week was the introduction by Senators Beveridge and La Follette, as amendments to the Payne Bill, of bills to create a non-partisan tariff commisison to gather impartially information concerning tariff rates and classifications. Under such a commission the whole country would doubtless be con
sidered-Government, consumers, manufacturers rather than any one element. Thus the tariff would be no longer, as it has been, a conflict of local issues, always in some manufacturer's interest. During the debate on the Payne Bill in the House several "stand-patters" were converted to the tariff commission idea, and so strong has this sentiment become in the Senate that the conservatives themselves now propose a compromise; namely, a tariff bureau, presumably as a part of the Treasury Department. Such a Bureau of Tariff Research, composed of trained experts, would be a great advance on the present system, by which each protected interest furnishes information, This bu
reau ought to lead to a permanent, nonpartisan commission.
A NEW PHILIPPINE
The President of the United States himself has now submitted a tariff bill to Congress. It is a Philippine tariff bill. In the Senate it has been referred to the Committee on the Philippines, and in the House to the Committee on Ways and Means. In his message of transmission the President justly claims for the measure that it revises the present Philippine tariff, simplifies it, and makes it conform as nearly as possible to the regulations of the customs laws of the United States, especially with respect to packing and packages; that the present Philippine regulations have been cumbersome and difficult for American merchants and exporters to comply with; that the bill's purpose is to meet the new conditions to arise under the section of the pending United States tariff bill, which provides, with certain limitations, for free trade between the United States and the islands; finally, that the bill has been drawn with a view to preserving to the islands as much customs revenue as possible and to protect in a reasonable measure those industries which now exist in the islands. The President adds:
Islands. It is of great importance to the welfare of the islands that the bill should be Payne Bill, with special reference to the propassed at the same time with the pending visions of which it was prepared. The Philippine Islands are dependent on certain taxes on imports from this country for a considerable portion of their revenue. It would be hardly fair to the Filipinos to take away this revenue and protection without giving an offset. Accordingly, General Clarence R. Edwards, Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, in transmitting the bill to the Secretary of War and through him to the President. calls attention to what is not as generall understood as it should be, namely:
The result of the free admission of Amer ican goods into the Philippine Islands mus revolutionize business in the Philippines and unless the adoption of that policy i accomplished by a revision of the preser Philippine tariff it will be disastrous to some important industries in the islands, and also result in such serious loss to the custom revenue as to embarrass the Philippine go
Concerning the insistence of our manufacturers that the tobacco and sugar brought into America from the islands, free or at reduced rates, must be solely the product of the soil or industry of the Philippines, General Edwards says:
The schedules relating to the introduction of tobacco, Sumatra leaf, and sugar are made identical with the pending Payne Bill, and therefore have removed the apprehension that these goods can be imported into the Philippine Islands at
a less tarifl rate and thence into the United States free as the growth and product of the Philippine Islands.
General Edwards adds that the propose revision has the approval of the Governo General and the government he represen in the Philippine Islands.
tolerable rapid transit situation in New York City. It passed last week an act amending the Rapid Transit Act which was proposed by the Public Service Commission. The amendments broaden the conditions under which the Commission may grant franchises for rapid transit lines. Under the present regulations as
The bill now transmitted has been drawn by a board of tariff experts, of which the insular collector of customs, Colonel George R. Colton, was the president. The board held a great many open meetings in Manila, and conferred fully with representatives of all business interests in the Philippine laid down in the Elsberg Law, subways
may be built by private capital only in the single case of extensions to existing lines; otherwise they must be built with the city's money, or, which is the same thing, by the use of the city's credit. In either of these cases the franchise or lease may not be for a longer period than twenty-five years, wih renewals of twenty years. has been found that this period is too short to attract private capital; and attempts to build subways with the city's money have been prevented by the decision of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment that the municipality was too near the limit of its borrowing capacity to undertake so large a work by means of bond issue. The situation, therefore, has resulted in a deadlock which has continued for a considerable time and which could be resolved only by further legislation. The amendments just passed permit the building of subways in three ways. First, subways may be built by private capital, under an indeterminate franchise, which may be terminated by the city at any time after ten years on the payment to the traction company of the actual cost of the road, plus a profit of fifteen per cent. In awarding such a franchise the Public Service Commission may also establish an amortization period-that is, a period during which the earnings of the road will suffice to reimburse the company holding the franchise for the entire cost of construction; at the end of this period the road shall automatically become the prop erty of the city without any payment whatever. It is further provided that the net profit from the operation of such a road, after deducting interest on the company's bond at a rate not exceeding five per cent, and a dividend on its stock at a rate not exceeding six per cent, shall be equally divided between the company and the city. Secondly, subways may be built by the use of the city's money with provisions for an operating lease similar to those of the franchise described above. In the case of this method of construction also provision is made for the division between the company and the city of excess profits. Third, subways may be built by assessment, either of the whole or a part of the cost of construction, upon the property which would be benefited by the construction of the
subway. This method is the same as is now used for what are known as local improvements," such as the opening of streets. These amendments largely expand the powers and discretion of the Public Service Commission in the treatment of the rapid transit problem. But in spite of the savage criticism (part of which has taken the form of a somewhat disingenuous campaign of advertising by the corporation which operates the New York Subway) to which the Commission has been recently subjected, thoughtful observers must be convinced that it has shown itself worthy of receiving such powers. The criticism of the Commission's work is the usual portion of any public body which by doing its duty comes into conflict with special interests, and the advertising to which we have referred above is a testimony to the fact that the Public Service Commission is supported by public opinion. public opinion. The enactment of these amendments to the Rapid Transit Law is à long step toward the securing of adequate rapid transit for New York City. But one thing more is necessary to put the city in that absolute command of the situ ation which it should unquestionably have. The Constitution of the State should be amended so as to permit indebtedness incurred for the acquisition or construction of transit lines, docks, etc., which have come to pay a profit to the city, to be excluded in the determination of the city's debt limit. A constitutional amendment to this effect passed the last Legislature. Before it becomes effective it must be passed at this session of the Legislature and be accepted by the voters of the State at the next general election. The Legislature has done well in acting so far to relieve New York's need for internal transportation; but if by failure to pass this constitutional amendment at this session it puts off this further relief for two years more, it will do much to nullify the good it has accomplished.
Aside from George Washington, no man of the period which saw the birth of the United States of America more deserves recognition and remembrance from the American people. He was a faithful soldier in the war of the Revolution; a zealous participant in the framing of the Constitution; a potent influence in securing the ratification of the Constitution by the States; one of the most able and valuable associates of the first President during his administration; the creator of the entire financial system of the new Nation; the founder of the Federalist party. He was the most brilliant man of his generation. Talleyrand said of him: "I have known nearly all the marked men of my time, but never one on the whole equal to Hamilton." James Bryce wrote in his "American Commonwealth,"" Equally apt for war and civil government, with a profundity and aptitude of view rare in practical soldiers and statesmen, he stood in the front rank of a generation never surpassed in history-a generation which includes Burke, Fox, Grattan, von Humboldt, Wellington, and Napoleon." And more recently he has said: "Hamilton was a thinker for the world, one of universal history's exceptional and brilliant men. His genius is worked into the very body and tissue of your institutions. I agree with Senator Lodge that his description of Hamilton as the greatest constructive statesman of the nation is not overpraise." To his great work as the first Secretary of the Treasury Daniel Webster paid this tribute : "He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of public credit, and it sprang upon its feet. The fabled birth of Minerva from the brain of Jove was hardly more sudden or more perfect than the financial system of the United States as it burst forth from the conceptions of Alexander Hamilton." For a century this country has neglected the memory of this great statesman. At last an association has been formed to remedy in fitting fashion this neglect. The President of the association is Mr. Justice Harlan, of the United States Supreme Court, and the organization numbers among the members of its Board of Trustees Mr. Justice Brewer, the Hon. George B. Cortelyou, Senator Lodge, Admiral Dewey,
Governor Guild, of Massachusetts, Governor Sheldon, of Nebraska, Governor Hughes, of New York, the Hon. Joseph H. Choate, and other prominent Americans. The purpose of the association is to erect in a prominent situation in Washington a fitting memorial. For this purpose it is planned to raise the sum of one hundred thousand dollars by private subscription. Already Congress has created a commission to select a site for the memorial upon property belonging to the United States, and has appropriated the sum of ten thousand dollars for the preparation of a site so selected and the erection of a pedestal upon which to place the memorial. The site which is considered by the members of the association as an ideal one, and which it is hoped can be secured, is at the head of Pennsylvania Avenue, on the esplanade on the south front of the Treasury Building. The Secretary of the Alexander Hamilton National Memorial Association is Franklin W. Collins, 8 Jackson Place, Washington, D. C., to whom great credit is due as the originator and promoter of the excellent idea of this memorial.
A PICTURESQUE WESTERN STATESMAN
Author of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; a leading influence in the defeat of the Force Bill; friend of Abraham Lincoln; one of the two Senators who got Andrew Johnson out of bed (in a stupidly drunken condition, Mr. Stewart declared) and had him sworn in as President after Lincoln's assassination; Senator for twenty-nine years from the young State of Nevada; the man who coined the phrase "the crime of '73 "-William M. Stewart was assuredly one of the most picturesque personalities of Washington. He began to work when he was thirteen years old, but managed to take a partial course of study at Yale. The goldmining excitement of 1849 drew him to San Francisco, and his mining career in the Sierra Nevadas began in 1850. His successes as miner, mining lawyer, and advocate of Union principles in the war need not be recounted here. He was the first Senator elected from Nevada, and served from 1864 to 1875, when he returned to Nevada to build up an impaired