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A man in Wisconsin engaged an English woman to come to this country as his housekeeper, promising work to her two boys also. The English party are at present detained on board ship, having been denied a landing, under the Contract Labor Law.
An outcome of the present agitation in regard to the use of money at elections is the arrest of the mayor of Alleghany City, Pa., for alleged perjury. The mayor affirmed, when taking the oath, that he used no money to secure his election.
Judge Houston, of Burlington, Ia., has published in the Hawkeye, of that city, an article on a decision of the United States Supreme Court of several years ago parallel in principle to the late "original-package" decision, but in which the Court reached an apparently opposite conclusion. This case, found in Vol. 114, United States Reports, page 622, holds that after property imported into the State had reached its destination it was at once a commodity and became part of the general mass of property in the State without having passed out of the hands of the consignee. In the later decision this case was apparently overlooked.
The application of the High-License Law in Baltimore, Md., has resulted in the closing of nearly 2,000 saloons, and an increase to the city revenue of about $400,000 a year.
It is stated that the governor of Illinois will call an extra session of the State Legislature to consider the World's Fair question. There are several legal obstacles which have to be met. Some members of the legislature have died, others have moved away, and still others are occupying Federal offices. Notice is necessary that these vacancies may be filled. Any amendment to the Constitution must be published before Aug. 1, in order that the necessary three months shall elapse before it is voted upon at the regular November election. The legislature will be asked to submit to the people a Constitutional amendment to permit Chicago to guarantee $5,000,000 of the Fair Association's bonds.
A cracker trust has been formed which inincludes nearly all the prominent cracker manufacturers in the country. The rumored capital is $10,000,000.
The Standard Oil Company has purchased the Forest Oil Company for $1,600,000 and has agreed to take the remaining $400,000 worth of stock.
At Minneapolis, Minn., representatives from about sixty of the most prominent lumber firms of the Mississippi Valley and Northern Wisconsin met to form a combination to raise the price of lumber. Capital to the amount of more than $150,000,000 was represented. A committee was appointed to draw up a schedule and price list.
A large butchers' combination has been effected in New York. The Eastmans Company has united with several other large companies, and the object of the union is said to be to secure better and increased facilities for the preparation of dressed beef and cattle for export to England.
The governor of Nebraska has revoked his call for a special session of the legislature. The best legal authorities united in the opinion that any legislation accomplished by the special session would be invalid, as some districts would not be represented, there not being enough time to elect members where vacancies had occurred.
The Louisiana Lottery has again turned its attention to North Dakota in its efforts to gain a renewal of its charter. The Lottery Company claims that the next legislature will be chiefly of such men as are in favor of the scheme, and that no governor can be elected against the company's opposition.
Oregon, in the late election, returned a Republican Representative to Congress, elects a Democratic governer, and Republicans for the remainder of the State ticket. The legislature stands, Senate: Republicans 22; Democrats, 8. House: Republicans, 28; Democrats, 22.
Philadelphia is having trouble with her HighLicense Law. A wholesale license is granted, under which liquor sellers are privileged to sell in quantities of more than one quart, the liquor not to be drunk on the premises. One "wholesale" place sells four glasses, with the total of a quart, for fifteen cents. Others sell in quart kettles, and provide tables in the
adjoining yard for the buyers' accommoda
The Commission created by the last New York Legislature for the purpose of inquiring into the expediency of consolidating the various municipalities around the Harbor of New York has begun its work. Committee favors the union of New York, Brooklyn, Long Island City, and Staten Island under one municipal government. The scheme proposed is that the city should extend twenty miles from City Hall in all directions. It has been estimated that in thirty years that area would be occupied by 9,000,000 inhabitants, making it the greatest city in the world.
The prosecutor in the case of the New Jersey election officers, who have been indicted for perjury, has successfully applied for a 66 struck jury." This is a blow to the defendants, who had hoped for a trial under the present petit jury. In a "struck jury," under New Jersey law, the Court selects forty-eight reputable citizens as a panel. From this panel the prosecution and defence are allowed to strike twelve names each. A jury must then be selected from the remaining twenty-four.
At Calais, Me., the wharfmen have struck for $1.50 per day.
The Union granite workers at Montpelier, Vt., have struck. The strike was ordered on account of the employment of non-union men.
The strike of the New Haven, Conn., masons ended in a failure on the part of men to secure any advance in wages, or recognition of their union.
In Lowell, Mass., fifty plasterers struck for an advance of twenty-five cents a day. The lathers have decided to ask an advance of fifty cents per thousand after June 10.
In New York City the cigar-making strikers to the number of about 600 asked for an advance of $2.00 per thousand, and that none but union men should be employed by the firm. The firm served about forty of the strikers' families, which occupied the firm's tenement houses, with notices of ejectment. The strikers decided to compel the firm to evict them, and were granted their demands at the last moment. The Cloakmakers' Union received notice that their demands for an increase in wages and employment of union men only would be granted.
In Brooklyn, N. Y., 800 tin and sheet-iron roofers have struck for an eight-hour day, and no reduction in wages.
The Rochester, N. Y. Sash, Door, and Blind Makers' Union struck for nine hours. The strike has failed, and the union men are returning to work at the old rate.
At Pittsburg and Allegheny, Pa., the stonecutters to the number of 700 have struck for an advance of four cents an hour.
Fifty silk-ribbon weavers in Paterson, N. J., have struck on account of a 15-per-cent reduction in wages. The manufactures claim the reduction was necessitated by the general depression in that class of business.
Two hundred and fifty employees of the Columbus, O., Consolidated Street Railway have struck for an advance in wages.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, over 1,000 carpenters have struck for a nine-hour day.
The strike which has lasted a long time at Squire's pork-packing establishment in Cambridge, Mass., has failed. The men have agreed to return with no stipulations, not even that they should be accepted in a body. day, and pay for ten hours.
The wood-turners of Boston, Mass., have almost universally succeeded in gaining a nine-hour day, with pay for ten hours. The carpenters have succeeded in some cases in getting an eight-hour day, and no reduction in wages. Two contractors in Newton and seven in Allston have acceded to the strikers' demands.
The Rock Island, Ill., union carpenters to the number of 100 have struck for a nine-hour
The cloakmakers and finishers of Chicago, Ill., have struck for restriction of the work day to ten hours, and for a regular weekly payday. Nearly 1,000 men are idle.
At Fort Wayne, Ind., the four weeks' carpenters' strike has ended. The bosses have agreed to the men's demands. At Terre Haute, the strike failed, the poverty of the strikers not permitting them to hold out longer.
In St. Louis, Mo., the lathers and harnessmakers are still on the strike.
The past month of May will go on record as one in which an unprecedented number of strikes took place. Between May 1 and May 29, 243 strikes, involving 67,507 persons, were reported. A comparison of the first five months of the last few years is here given :
1890, 580 strikes, 136,454 strikers. 1889, (C 296 1888, 389 1887, 511 66 1886,
A most piteous appeal comes to us at this time in behalf of silver. The woes and sufferings of this substance, essence, entity (it is hard to find a name sufficiently reverential) have been depicted in the most beautiful and touching language. Silver, we are told, hast been "insulted " and " degraded"; it has even been called a "commodity." To-day the alarming intelligence reaches us that "silver is being murdered in the house of its friends." The great crime of 1873 against silver still remains unavenged. The sacred name of religion is invoked. Gold and silver, according to Mr. Sherman, were created by the Almighty as money, and such they have been from the beginning of time. "What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" is the solemn exhortation of Mr. Plumb. Surely it behooves all good men to rally to the rescue of this precious metal, and to see whether, by the sacrifice of hecatombs of kids and unblemished goats, this nation may be saved from the wrath to come.
The great danger seems to be that silver will depreciate in value, owing to the machinations of Wall Street and "gold bugs." Evidently the thing needful is that Congress unanimously pass an act making the ratio of value between silver and gold 1:16; or, perhaps it would be well to pass an amendment to the Constitution to that effect. There are few things of which governments have not tried to regulate the value at one time or another, usually without much success. But these other things were commodities, silver being in its essence a money, something quite different in kind. Congress can surely regulate the value of that. All that is necessary is a fiat; but perhaps it would be well to put just three and one fifth times as much silver in a dollar as there is gold in a half-eagle.
Connected with the demand for a larger coinage of silver seems to be the fear that there is not enough money in the country to do the business with. The only grounds for this fear are that most persons find it difficult to get as much money as they need. It is well to remember that an increase in the metallic circulation of a country beyond the actual requirements is an evil. The metallic currency of a nation is so much unproductive wealth. Prof. Cairnes likened it to the cash reserve of a private merchant. Evidently if a merchant is enabled to dispense safely with a portion of his ready money, he will be able to add this portion to his productive capital, and do a larger business. So a nation which does not yield gold and silver can obtain them only by parting with elements of real wealth; and a nation which does yield these metals must expend a portion of its labor and capital in procuring them, which otherwise might have contributed to its positive welfare. The idea that there should be enough metallic circulation in a country to do away with the necessity for credit in making exchanges is wholly barbarous. "It is in enabling a nation to reduce within the narrowest limits this unproductive portion of its stock that the chief advantage of a good banking system consists; and if the augmentation of the metallic currency of a country be not an evil, then it is difficult to see in what way the institution of banks is a good."
In the debates on the Silver question which have occurred in both the Senate and the House, the most remarkable statements were, perhaps, those which admitted that neither party had received any instructions from their constituents how to vote on this question. It is acknowledged that the pending measures are important and that they touch questions of fundamental policy. Not a single instruction have members received from their party platforms how they should act in the matter. The whole scheme is one that has been hatched since the present Congress was elected; the electors have not voted on this question. But when matters of fundamental policy and of admitted importance are voted through by irresponsible representatives, where does Democracy come in? How is liberty being secured by the reckless disregard of the basis of Democracy?
Lord Wemyss stated in a speech in the House of Lords that in the five years preceeding 1889 there were introduced in Parliament three hundred and eight "Socialistic" bills, of which forty were carried, — ten interfering with the sale of liquor. This, no doubt, seems a slow proceeding to our Socialist friends, but it is not without promise for them. Have they, by the way, ever agreed on just how many bills of Parliament are required to remodel society? Is the number eighty or eight hundred? The average number" carried" during the period referred to has been eight per annum: in ten, or in a hundred years, then, we may all be reformed.
Mr. C. Wood Davis, having proved that the reason why the American farmer is not prosperous is because there is so much unoccupied land in this country, and having drawn the corollary that farming will be profitable as soon as the lands are all taken up, presents in the Forum for this month a discussion upon "The Exhaustion of the Arable Lands." With the present rate of increase in population, he tells us, this exhaustion will practically be reached within the present century. The maximum population which can be supported during this century by American agriculture is 75,960,000; after that "consumption must, as in Europe, be met from the products of a given and unexpanding area supplemented by an importation of food." Evidently previous writers. on the natural resources of the United States have been marvellously deceived, and their estimates of the population which could be supported are ludicrously in excess. Mr. Atkinson will need to revise his address, "Consumption Limited, Production Unlimited."
The comparison with Europe, however, suggests an unpleasant doubt regarding Mr. Davis's promise of prosperity for the Americau farmer. The exhaustion of arable lands there has long been complete, and still the
American farmer is now, and always has been, much more prosperous than the European farmer. Why should the exhaustion of arable lands and the importation of food bring prosperity here and not there?
In the same magazine Mr. Bronson Keeler makes an earnest plea for Governmental control of telegraph lines. The first argument is, that in nearly all countries the telegraph is held to belong properly to the Government, and it is not well for this country to be an exception. Then, the rates might be less. In Great Britain they are only a little more than a half what they are here. But the civil service there is infinitely better than it is here. The plan would add to the excitement of Presidential elections, as there would be from 30,000 to 50,000 more offices to scramble for.
Three girls rushed into a burning house the other day in Brooklyn, removed two infants from danger, and extinguished the flames, while some men stood gaping in the street waiting for something to "turn up." If we accept the orthodox view of the inviolable differences of the sexes, this fact compels us to conclude that miracles still occur. For the nature of women, we are told, is to weep and faint; only by an unnatural metamorphosis can they think and act.
It has often been argued, with considerable force, that the plan of having Cabinet officers take part in Congressional debates would work well. No doubt some small advantages might be gained by this means, but no advantage whatever results from the practice of Congressional committees in giving private hearings to Cabinet officers. Repeatedly this winter reports have appeared to the effect that a Naval Committee or an Appropriation Committee was engaged in the consideration of Secretary Tracey's naval scheme; and more than once I think that the Secretary had had a conference with this or that committee. Now, this is an extremely objectionable practice. The only influence on legislation by members of the Cabinet recognized by the Constitution is what may attach to their prescribed reports, otherwise their influence on legislation was intended to be nil; and so it should be.
A short time ago Liberty promised that the one or two criticisms of anarchy suggested by us should not pass unnoticed. But the editor appears to have concluded that his best course lay in counter-criticism. Exception is taken to our calling the men who so recklessly sacrifice their personal liberty to tradesunions" slaves by nature." We are quite willing to recognize in Liberty a champion of laboring men, of the "working class," as by a not very just restriction they are called, and an able champion too; but we object to the implication which excludes TO-DAY from all right to a place in the list. Says Liberty:
"In the first place, the workingmen, when organizing unions, copy the principles and methods of the State, and are no more slaves by nature than any of the very numerous supporters and admirers of the State."
But of what avail against To-DAY is this observation supposed to be? Is it to intimate that we are supporters and admirers of the State? Hardly; but the more general implication is equally beside the question. What though the admirers of the State are also slaves by nature: do you imagine that TO-DAY will shrink from the assertion? Not at all though it might become necessary to draw careful distinctions. But let us grant for the present that the supporters of the State are, equally with the men who yield their independence to the Union, slaves by nature. Then, I say again, both have their deserts. They are slaves by nature and they become slaves in fact. To such men the State, and those imitation States which spring up alongside, and, as you say, partly in consequence of the "huge compulsory organization," are thoroughly adapted. The wholly or partly compulsory organizations which exist are the results of more or less slavish natures. I am at a loss to see what there is specially unphilosophical in this view of the situation.
On the whole, I fear that I might more properly pass the epithet back to you, for very little reflection would have shown you that the aspect of trades-unionism, to which we take exception, is not at all the act of uniting and acting together in order to "contend with or defend themselves from the all-powerful possessors of natural wealth and capital." On the contrary, this act of voluntary cooperation is to be highly commended, even and specially when resistance is offered to the tyranny of that involuntary organization, the State, which the possessors of natural wealth and capital so generally succeed in seducing to their aid. It is perfectly evident, on the other hand, that we object to the encroachments of those voluntarily associated upon the personal freedom either of the associates or of others. So far as the associates are concerned, the evidence goes to show that they are often coerced by the organization to a much greater extent than they originally anticipated; though, on the whole, perhaps, they sign away their independence knowingly, in the hope of gaining something more valuable. Life is, to most persons, more valuable than liberty; and if the question is really one of life and death, it becomes questionable how far the
the description slaves by nature is justified. In this country, however, the lives of those who unite in the various labor organizations are not usually at stake; and what the . . . individuals really seek is . . some greater or less gain, by a sacrifice of independence and personal responsibility. But, you say, "it is not to be denied for a moment that workingmen are obliged to unite and act together, . . . and those who do so submit from irresistible necessity." Well then, how about the State and its supporters? Is not the State the result of irresistible necessity? and if you claim any philosophical advantage over us by your recognition of the physical necessity that compels workmen to submit to unions, why should not TO-DAY, if it consents to rank itself with government supporters at all, derive a like advantage from a like philosophy? Trades-unions are a necessity; and so is the State a much deeper and more permanent necessity. And the necessity in both cases arises from the fact that we are, one and all, of that despicable nature that we are slaves at one moment and tyrants the next. Only as we shall cease to be both - which are really one may we become adapted to freedom. The reference in TO-DAY to the tyranny of the Union was intended to be merely illustrative of the fact that we are slaves; and if the appearance arose of ascribing this trait to workmen specially, it was largely accidental. They may be more or less slavish than the other industrial class, the case is too complex to be decided by the evidence at hand. The antecedent probability is that they submit to tyranny more easily than others, but the difference is probably not great, not greater than what may be outlived in a single lifetime.
But the slavishness or the tyrannicalness that is in us all is greater than can be outlived in a single lifetime, therefore you cannot make a free man of one who is a slave by nature. Some few, very few indeed, more rare than jewels fine, or sparkling gems - are born free men. They serve to show us what we may become, if not individually, at least in the persons of our descendants. But the way to cultivate a free nature is not by joining a trades-union. The Union may be an irresistible necessity: granted; but it does not conduce to freedom.
Our greatest hope lies in the fact that slavishness and tyrannicalness generally go together, and that the rejection of the one kind of character involves the disappearance of the other. A due regard for one's own rights and freedom is an almost necessary accompaniment of respect for the rights of others. There are those who maintain that it would be more profitable for us to devote our attention to considering the rights of others than to be everlastingly dwelling on our own rights. There is much to be said on this side, but the case would be stronger if the two considerations were not, in fact, inseparable. And, even if the considerations are not identical or inseparable, the feelings, at any rate, which prompt attention to one's own rights are closely associated with the feelings which prompt respect of the rights of others. And feelings are the mainsprings of conduct.