« AnteriorContinuar »
Thursday, June 26, 1890.
Published weekly by J. MORRISon-Fuller,
at 3 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.
SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00 PER YEAR.
NOTICE THE WORKS OF HERBERT SPENCER. Subscribers will receive FREE (to the amount of their subscription) any of the Works of Herbert Spencer they may select. Authorized Edition.
For it is one of those open secrets, which seem the more secret because they are so open, that all phenomena displayed by a nation are phenomena of Life, and are without exception dependent on the laws of Life. There is no growth, decay, evil, improvement, or change of any kind, going on in the body-politic, but what has its original cause in the actions of human beings; and there are no actions of human beings but what conform to the laws of Life in general, and cannot be truly understood until those laws are understood. We do not hesitate to assert, that without a knowledge of the laws of Life, and a clear comprehension of the way in which they underlie and determine social growth and organization, the attempted regulation of social life must end in perpetual failures.
See, then, the immense incongruity between the end and the means. See, on the one hand, the countless difficulties of the gigantic task; and on the other hand, the almost total unpreparedness of those who undertake it. Need we wonder that legislation is continually breaking down? Is it not natural that complaint, amendment, and repeal should form the staple business of every session? Is there anything more than might be expected in the absurd JackCadeisms which almost nightly disgrace the debates? . . . One would think that the whole system had been framed on the sayings of some political Dogberry :
art of healing is difficult; the art of government easy. The understanding of arith metic comes by study; while the understanding of society comes by instinct. Watch-making requires a long apprenticeship; but there needs none for the making of institutions. To manage a shop properly, requires teaching; but the management of a people may be undertaken without preparation."- Herbert Spencer,
Price 5 Cents.
Devoted to the record of the facts and considerations which show that Individual Liberty is good for the people of the United States:
And that, therefore, Legislative Regulation is injurious for them.
IN MEDIAS RES.
June 16th, a new conference with the House on the Anti-Trust bill was agreed to, and Mr. Blair introduced a joint resolution.
It requests the President of the United States to institute an international conference, to meet in Washington in February, 1891, with a view to the formation of an international alliance for the suppression of slavery and the slave trade, and of the traffic in intoxicating liquors, firearms and destructive substances with uncivilized people. And to provide for the establishment of schools of common knowledge, art, and industry; also to secure the disarmament of nations and the establishment of international courts, and appropriating $100,000 for the expenses of the conference.
The consideration of the Silver bill was then resumed, and Mr. Daniel continued his speech. He spoke in favor of the bill and of free coinage of silver, but said that the measure was an experiment, one which Congress was bound to try (!)
Mr. Allison continued to debate. He said that the increased coinage of silver, or the issue of paper on the security of bullion, was made necessary by the retirement of the national bank circulation, which retirement was itself due to the paying off of the national debt. In the place of government bonds, silver must be made the basis of a paper money. As the matter stood, there was absolutely no means by which the volume of the circulating medium could regulate itself,
Congress had taken the business of furnishing money out of the hands of the States [he did not say of the people], and now must see the business through.
This was followed by questions, recriminations, and personal explanation of no interest and less importance, and the time for debate was again extended.
June 17th, Mr. Wolcott spoke on the Silver bill, but said nothing.
Then a vote was taken on amendments. The first was to strike out the provision making the treasury notes issued on silver bullion (or for silver bullion, rather) legal tender for private and public debts. The amendment was rejected and the provision stands (50-14). The clause providing for bullion redemption was struck out (57–7).
The section, ordering free coinage when the price reached $1 for 371.25 grains fine silver, was retained (46-6).
June 20th, the Post-office and the Diplomatic Appropriation bills were reported from committee. The former carries $72,461,000, an increase of $473,000 over the House appropriation.
Then the Legislative, etc., bill, was taken up and passed, after various salaries had been increased by amendment, as others had already been increased by the bill over former amounts. The only offer to reduce a salary was made by Mr. Stewart. He wanted to strike out the appropriation for the executive officer of the geological survey. The cost of this department, in salaries alone, is over $100,000, and the aggregate is over $1,000,000, and all this has grown out of an item in a former bill, appropriating $5,000 for a map. Mr. Stewart proposed to strike out the salary of the executive officer, $3,000; but the proposition was frowned down.
June 21st, the bill expropriating the funds of the Mormon Church to the use of the public schools of Utah, which had passed the House, was passed by the Senate. The amendment offered, to leave the money with the Church, with orders to apply it to purposes of education, was rejected.
Then the bill to establish a school fund of the proceeds of public land sales and money received from railroads which had been subsidized by land grants, was taken up, and led to some debate. The wisdom or unwisdom of giving public money to schools was not broached. The bill proposes to begin by paying to so-called agricultural colleges (State colleges) $15,000 a year to each State, the amount to be increased yearly till it reaches $25,000. This subsidy is then to be continued. But the clause limiting the fund to the proceeds of sales and railroad payments, and the clause specifying the kind of education required to qualify colleges to receive the subsidy, were expunged, but the bill itself
June 16th, the session was consumed in debating the Sundry Civil Appropriation bill, in Committee of the Whole; and,
On June 17th, the bill was passed immediately, when the Indian Appropriation bill was taken up, and the consideration of it was continued on June 18th. A motion to reduce a
salary from $4,000 to $3,000 was rejected, but amendments, by which sums of $20,000, $12,000, $48,000, and $27,000 are refused from the Indians, were accepted. The bill, being reported from the Committee of the Whole, was passed. It appropriates about $6,000,000. The Silver bill was received from the Senate, but immediate consideration was refused.
June 19th, the session was spent in debating the action of the speaker in referring the Silver bill, just sent from the Senate, to the Committee on Coinage, etc. A number of votes were taken on motions to amend the journal, so that it should not appear from it that the bill had been so referred, on motions to table, to reconsider, etc. The party line in these divisions ran a little crooked: the two entirely distinct issues being involved whether to sustain the Speaker's action as a matter of parliamentary practice, or whether to sustain his action in its effect on the immediate fate of the Silver bill.
The anticipated suit to prevent the consummation of the proposed sale of the Union Stock Yards and Transit Company to an English syndicate, has been commenced in Chicago.
Sensational charges have been made in the bill, and the court is asked to remove the present officers of the corporation, appoint a receiver, and issue an injunction restraining the proposed issue of bonds, and the sale of the plant and stocks.
The cracker trust has extended West, and the corporation will shortly put up large factories in Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.
The Chicago Packing and Provision Company is the latest large industry to be bought up by an English syndicate.
It is the second largest packing establishment in that city.
The inequalities of our representative system are frequently commented upon. The dominant party in Congress is so exercised over the alleged fact, that certain persons in some sections are counted in apportioning representatives, whose votes are not counted or are not cast at elections, that it is seriously proposed to pass a federal election law, under which the dominant party can do its own registering and its own counting. The inequalities are not all confined on one side of Mason and Dixon's line. Mr. B. F. Meyers, in the North American, computes that if, in the different States, representatives had been elected in proportion to the votes cast by the different political parties, the present House would stand: Democrats, 162; Republicans, 155; Prohibitionists, 5; Union Labor, 3. It looks as if Republican ingenuity were a match for almost anything in the way of securing representatives. Still, of course, it would like to have the fruits of its ingenuity extended, and perhaps it really does not enjoy securing a "working majority" by going behind the returns of elections. One objection to a federal election law is, that it is unconstitutional, as applied to presidential elections, at any rate.
The time, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the
Congress may at any time make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators. Art. I., Sect. IV., § 1.
The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Art. II., Sect. I., § 4.
A federal law which does more than fix the time for choosing presidential electors is plainly against the letter of the Constitution, and one has only to call to mind the convention which framed that instrument, and imagine how such a law as is proposed would have been received by its members, to decide whether such law is against the spirit of the Constitution. It is safe to assert that a Constitution which contained the provisions proposed to be embodied in the law would not have been ratified by a single State.
This must be conceded to be some objec tion, though very likely it will weigh more with the people than with many of their representatives in Congress.
The plea under which the present revolutionary rules of the National House were justified was, that the rules would facilitate the doing of business by the majority, that under them the will of the majority (right or wrong) would prevail. Coming as it did from a party which represented a minority of the nation, this plea could not but be open to the charge of hypocrisy. The will of the majority in the House would necessarily, if it prevailed, override the will of the majority in the nation. The rules have been tried for nearly one session (let us hope that the present session is near its end), and never probably in the history of the country did so small a minority have such complete control over legislation. By means of the caucus system, a minority of the dominant party is able to commit that party to a course of action, and the new rules assist greatly in holding members to the course determined upon. One would suppose, on reading the reports in the papers, "The Speaker's triumph,' "What the Speaker will do," "When the Speaker will bring the session to an end," that in place of the promised rule of the majority, we have the rule of a minority of one. The complaint has frequently been made that the House does little business, owing to the lack of leaders. It has a leader now, and