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A Triumph for International Arbitration
January 3, 1903
A substantial gain for the cause of international arbitra
tion, and therefore for the world's peace and advancing civilization, is found in the agreement to submit the Venezuelan dispute to the Hague Tribunal. willingness, one may even say eagerness, of all the parties concerned to submit the case to President Roosevelt was highly gratifying to our pride as a Nation, and was an honest tribute to Mr. Roosevelt's fairness, ability, and integrity. But of far greater importance than such considerations is the indorsement of the principle of arbitration through a permanently constituted international court. It may now reasonably be hoped that the time is at hand when disputes between nations will be submitted to the Hague Tribunal almost as a matter of course, and that its scope and power may be greatly extended. In addition to this prime reason for congratulation it may be added that there are special reasons why arbitration by this country alone was not desirable in this case. In a sense the United States is indirectly involved in everything connected with South America, and it is better that it should not be asked to adjudicate questions relating to the right of interference by foreign nations in Venezuela for the protection of the property rights of their subjects; that it should not put itself in danger of being regarded by foreign Powers as a police force to aid in the collection of debts for them in South American countries; that it should not, by a possible adverse decision, make itself disliked in the South American countries over which, in an international sense, it must exercise some right of guardianship; and that it should not, through a judicial decision, pass upon what may be its own future action. The exact points to be adjudi
cated, as determined by the notes interchanged between Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Venezuela, and the United States, have not yet been announced; but it is understood that they will be included in a protocol which is now being arranged; that they will not involve in any way the Monroe Doctrine; that if Venezuela shows reasonable willingness to conciliate the Powers, and perhaps to furnish some kind of guarantee for the payment of an adverse award, the blockade now existing will be withdrawn before the investigation of the arbitrators actually begins. President Roosevelt and Secretary Hay have exerted a decisive influence in the negotiations which have led to the happy determination to refer the matter to the Hague Tribunal; and again they have deserved the praise and appreciation of the American people without regard to party. It is thought that our Minister, Mr. Bowen, may appear in the negotiations as the accredited representative of Venezuela, but not of the United States. The English papers pretty generally agree that President Roosevelt's course in declining to act as arbitrator was wise from his point of view and that of the United States, although from the English standpoint they regret it.The week in Venezuela itself was an uneventful one when it is considered that, theoretically at least, a state of war exists. The blockade is being enforced, but apparently with mildness as regards neutral vessels. For instance, the mail steamship Caracas, plying between the United States and Venezuela, was allowed to land mail and passengers at La Guayra, although it was compelled to leave the harbor immediately thereafter. There have been no hostilities of any kind; and both President Castro and the commanders of the foreign forces now in Venezuelan waters are evidently trying to maintain quiet and avoid collision
until the diplomatic negotiations are completed.
If the New York "Times"
Cuban Reciprocity correctly reports Senator Burrows, of Michigan, he affords a striking illustration of the unstatesmanlike tendency in certain quarters to leave the great National and even international questions to be decided by purely local interests. After saying that in his State there are sixteen beet-sugar factories, representing a stock valuation of $12,000,000, and that the beet-growers are going on January 8 to hold a convention to decide whether a reduction of twenty per cent. on Cuban sugar will seriously injure their business, he proceeds as follows:
In case the decision of the beet-growers shall be that the ratification would be injurious to their industry, I do not suppose any Republican who advocates the protective tariff will support the treaty. It is not to be assumed that a treaty would be ratified providing for the easier entry of certain American manufactures into Cuba at the sole expense of another industry of this country. This is not the reciprocity contemplated in the Republican National platform.
To see a Senator of the United States practically abdicating his function, which is to legislate for the whole Nation, and leaving a convention representing one industry, in which his constituents have a special interest, to determine for him how he shall act and vote in the United States Senate, is not an altogether admirable spectacle. It will seem to most readers of the press-we should think it would seem so to the beet-sugar growers of Michigan-to mark a decided deterioration from the days of Webster and Clay and Cass. General Cass was not a great man; but he would hardly have notified the public that he was waiting till a convention representing $12,000,000 worth of stock held by his constituents told him how to vote. He would have been more likely to go to the convention when it met to tell them what their interests, bound up as they are with the interests of the whole country, required.
American people, having emancipated Cuba, set for themselves the task of making it an American community, with all which that implies; or will they leave Cuba a Spanish-American community to retrograde to the condition of Hayti? The real prosperity of a people depends far more upon their industry than upon their politics; and their politics is largely important for the bearing which it has upon their industry. The welfare of every man is bound up with that of his neighbor; the welfare of every community is bound up with that of its neighboring community. If we attach Cuba to us by commercial ties, if we extend our arterial system to her, so that the lifeblood of commerce will flow freely back and forth between her and America, American capital will go to Cuba, Americans will migrate there, the population will increase in number and improve in quality, the same transformation will be effected there that was effected in Louisiana, and there will not be slavery to retard the process. In contrast with the provincial $12,000,000 policy of Senator Burrows, we put here the statesmanlike view of General James H. Wilson, in his address delivered last October before the Commercial Club of Chicago. We quote from it a few sentences. The whole speech is well worth careful study:
The simple fact is that Cuba does not come to us as a beggar, but with full hands, asking us for fair exchange, which will not only enrich her, but add greatly to our own prosperity. It has been stated that of every ten dollars we enable her to make out of her products, she will for years give us nine as profit upon the I believe that this statement is within the goods she will take from us in exchange, and limits of probability.
But when I consider our own commercial and political interests in Cuba, I am fully persuaded that it would pay for us to go still further, and, anticipating the annexation of Cuba, which must come in the end, give her at once absolute free entry for her natural and manufactured products into the United States, in exchange for free entry for ours into Cuba under the protection of a common tariff as against the rest of the world.
This absolute freedom of inter-State trade we think of too little and value too lightly. It lies at the very foundation of our National prosperity and glory, and we owe to it much of our preponderating influence in the commercial world. If granted to Cuba by treaty or by an Act of Congress, it would do more, in
my judgment, than any other measure which could be devised to extend our foreign trade, and not only to enrich and make Cuba prosperous and happy, but to fill her up with Americans, and thus hasten her preparation for incorporation into the Great Republic. What statesmanship calls for is a treaty with Cuba by which she would leave America to determine all her foreign relations, including her tariff system, and America would take down all tariff barriers between her and America. Whether political annexation is ever to come, it will be time enough to consider by and by. Commercial annexation might well be perfected to-day. True statesmanship would endeavor to make Cuba at once American, in her industry, her schools, her liberties. No real or imagined interests represented by $12,000,000, or any other amount, should be permitted to stand in the way of such a consummation.
The organization and The Police in New York administration of the police in New York City is a matter of more than local interest, because it ought to furnish an object-lesson to other cities. For this reason the report of the special Commission, consisting of ex-District Attorney Philbin, Colonel Partridge, and General A. D. Andrews, made to Mayor Low last week, recommending certain elements in a reorganization of the police, deserves general consideration, and those who have to do with police organization in other municipalities would do well to secure this report in full and give it careful reading. The Commission-Commissioner Partridge dissenting-recommends the establishment of the three-platoon system-that is, as we understand it, the division of the police into three watches of eight hours each; a chief of the police to be placed in direct control of the force, under the title General Inspector; a single Police Commissioner, but with a term of office to be fixed at fourteen years, the Commissioner being irremovable except on charges made and proved; and, as now, the members of the police force to have the right of trial and dismissal and the right to appeal to the courts for a review of their cases after trial before the police tribunal. Most of these recommendations appear to The Outlook wise. The objections to the three-platoon system are well
worthy of serious consideration, but the substitution of this for the two-platoon system is in the line of the modern movement for the reduction of hours of labor. The fact that it would require an increase in the police forces is not a serious objection. The fact that it gives longer rest and larger opportunities for the policemen in family life seems to us to outweigh the objections against
it. We are doubtful about the recommendation that policemen should continue to have a right to appeal to the courts for the review of their cases when the decision of the police tribunal is against them. These appeals in the past have had the effect to reinstate on the force, on technical grounds, men who had been discharged for good and sufficient reason. This right of appeal has also the effect to weaken discipline by depriving the head of the police force of power to discharge except in cases where legal evidence admissible before courts of law can be secured. It appears to The Outlook that some modification of the methods of military tribunals in the army would be an improvement on the present system. On this subject, however, The Qutlook must report that the general judgment of experts, including Mr. Philbin, the former District Attorney, and Mr. Jerome, the present District Attorney, and including also all the members of the Police Commission, sustains the proposal that justice requires a continuance of the system of appeals from police tribunals to the courts. The ground of their judg ment is thus stated:
To intrust the removal of members of the police force, without an appeal to the courts, to such police officials as we have sometimes possible for a corrupt head of the department had and may again have, would be to make it to exercise a tyranny that would create a demoralization most detrimental to public welfare. Experience has shown that the courts where it was manifest that serious errors had have only failed to sustain the Commissioner prevented the accused from having a fair trial.
military experience, a large knowledge of men, and familiarity with the city and its wants, and it is said that he made the condition of his acceptance a change in the law, in accordance with the recommendation of the Police Commission, fixing his term of office at fourteen years and making him irremovable except on charges. We shall look with interest to see whether he is able to overcome the serious defects in the police administration of New York City, without greater power of discipline than the Police Commissioner now possesses. We shall be surprised if he is able to do so without a change in the policy of municipal administration for which the Commissioner is not primarily responsible. The enactment of laws against vice, and particularly against liquor-selling, by the general sentiment of the State, the enforcement of which would be contrary to the general sentiment in the city of New York, has led to the adoption of a policy of enforcing the law in some cases and not in others, leaving the police captains to determine when they should and when they should not enforce it. Such a policy is fatal to discipline and often to honesty, and is a prolific source of blackmail.. If the laws against vice are to be enforced only when the violation of them becomes a public nuisance, the principle should be clearly enunciated by the Mayor, and the responsibility should be assumed by him. We do not believe that any Commissioner can prevent the police from being co partners with vice by sharing its profits, unless either the Legislature changes the laws against vice, so framing them as to make them possible of impartial enforcement, or the Mayor and Commissioner combine in a policy, frankly avowed, which shall clearly and intelligibly define the extent to which and the limits within which the police can be called on to enforce the present laws.
City, where business is mainly in a congested center and the new trolley lines have merely brought more distant suburbs within easy reach of this center, the result of the extraordinary growth of street-car travel has been to produce an overcrowding of cars altogether intolerable. During the holiday season the annoyance to which women were subjected stirred the whole city, and the energetic Merchants' Association and the Mayor demanded of the street-railway companies a series of reforms by which the situation should be relieved. Mayor Low put the emphasis of his demands upon the surely practicable expedient of running as many cars throughout the day as are run during the "rush hours," and with this demand for the public he coupled the demand that the motormen on the trolleys should be protected by vestibules. When horses were used, he pointed out, the companies had an excuse for not vestibuling the front platforms, but with the substitution of electric power the vestibules can no longer be in the way. The Merchants' Association added to these demands a very sharp one calling for "accommodation for every passenger, or the enforcement of a 'no seat, no fare"" ordinance. With the spirit which prompted this last demand we are in the fullest sympathy, but the demand itself is extreme. Passengers insist upon, crowding on cars when there is nothing but standing room and hardly that, and it is not fair-even if it is constitutional-to require the roads to carry them without pay. If anything is to be done along this line, it is much more feasible to adopt the suggestion of Mr. M. N. Forney's recent pamphlet on "The Overcrowding of Cars," demanding ordinances establishing the principle "no seat, half fare." Such an ordinance would be essentially fair, and although it would require elevated roads to provide conductors to give back half-fare slips to standing passengers, it would also speedily impel them to increase the number or size of their cars. Certainly the constitutionality of such an ordinance is not open to attack, as the company would have a greater profit from carrying crowded standing pas-.
Americans have long been the greatest street-car riding people in the world, and this form of National extravagance-or economy where time and strength are money-sengers at half fare than from carrying has been greatly developed during the past few years of financial prosperity and street-railway expansion. In New York
comfortably seated ones at full fare. The principle laid down by the Supreme Court of Iowa, and cited by Mr. Forney, fully