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Thursday, October 9, 1890.
Published weekly by J. MORRISON-FULLER, at 3 Somerset Street, Boston, Mass.
SUBSCRIPTION, $1.00 PER YEAR.
POLITICS; EVENTS; COMMENTS; LITERA · TURE; (BOOKS, REVIEWS, ETC.)
IN MEDIAS RES.
On Aug. 20th, the House passed, with amendments, the Senate Bill, providing for an inspection of meats for exportation, prohibiting the importation of adulterated articles of food and drink, and authorizing the President to make proclamation suspending the importation of articles whenever he is satisfied that there is good reason to believe that the articles are adulterated to any extent dangerous to the health and welfare of the people of the United States. Sect. 5 of the bill provides:
"That whenever the President shall be satisfied that unjust discriminations are made by or under the authority of any foreign State against the importation to or sale in such foreign State of any product of the United States, he may direct that such products of such foreign State so discriminating against any product of the United States as he may deem proper shall be excluded from importation to the United States; and in such case he shall make proclamation of his direction in the premises, and therein name the time when such direction against importation shall take effect, and after such date the importation of the articles named in such proclamation shall be unlawful. The President may at any time revoke, modify, terminate, or renew any such direction as, in his opinion, the public interest may require."
The Tariff Bill passed the Senate by a small majority, on Sept. 30th. Three Republicans voted with the minority; not, however, it is thought, from any opposition to the principles underlying the measure, but from motives of
Price 5 Cents.
The McKinley-Aldrich tariff bill, the bill providing for the monthly purchase of four million five hundred thousand ounces of silver, the customs administrative bill, the dependent and disability pension bill, the anti-trust bill, the anti-lottery bill, the provision for a world's fair in Chicago in 1892 to celebrate the four hundreth anniversary of the discovery of America, the admission of Wyoming and Idaho to Statehood, the meat inspection bill, the landgrant forfeiture bill, the original-package bill, the bill recommended by the International Maritime Conference to prevent collisions at sea, and the provisions (in the naval appropriation bill) to add to the new navy three lines of battle ships: one protected cruiser, one torpedo cruiser, and one torpedo boat.
The appropriations made by the first session of the Fifty-first Congress have amounted to the following sums:
Agriculture, $1,799,100; Army, $24,206,471; Diplomatic and Consular, $1,710,815; District of Columbia (including $1,200,000 for the Rock Creek Park), $6,969,444; Fortifications, $4,232,935; Indian, $7,263,116; Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, $21,030,752; Military Academy, $435,296; Navy (including $1,000,000 for nickel to be used in making plates for protection of vessels), $24,136,035; Pensions, $98,459,461; Post-office, $72,226,699; River and Harbor, $24,981,295; Sundry civil, $29,738,282; Deficiencies (including $10,316 appropriated by House to-day for the pay of members), $38,688,615; Miscellaneous, $5,435,184. Total, $361,311,503. The permanent annual appropriations for the year 1890-91 amount to $101,628,453, making the grand total for the year $462,939,956.
The bill prohibiting "bookmaking" has been vetoed by the President. The objection is that the bill is not as thorough a measure as the President thinks it should be.
There were eighteen contested election cases before the House, and seven of the Republican contestants have been seated. The Senate had only one election contest, and the Republican contestant was seated.
At the beginning of the session radical changes were made in the rules of the House.
The Committee of Accounts submitted its report upon the case of the postmaster of the House on Oct. 1st, unanimously declaring him guilty of the charges made by the Enloe resolution. The committee finds that postmaster Wheat not only took $150 per month out of the mail contract, to which he had no legal right, but that he connived in carrying on the rolls men not employed, their salaries being turned over to his son. The office of the postmaster has been declared vacant.
The minority of the House committee appointed to investigate the charges against Pension Commissioner Raum have prepared a report in which they state that the evidence shows that the commissioner promoted an employee for taking stock in Refrigerator speculation, and that he has generally failed to esteem the serious responsibilities of his office.
A Washington correspondent of the Globe Democrat says that "one of the most active workers for silver legislation" has made the statement that the rise of silver has put $1,000,000 into the pockets of Congressmen. Twelve Senators and fifteen Representatives have participated in this affair. Before the Silver Bill became a law the amount of silver taken in by the various pools for the expected rise was 40,000,000 ounces. The money was spent in Washington to influence legislation; no votes were bought; but "some of them were shown how they could make a little money by speculating on the rise of silver, which was sure to follow the passage of a favorable bill. Several Senators and Representatives put in their money and took a few thousand ounces apiece. There were others who had n't the money to speculate with. It was arranged that the impecunious should have certain amounts carried for them by the pools. If silver went up they were to have the profits. If it did n't go up they were to get nothing. About $250,000 was put up to get the silver which was bought and carried for those Senators and Representatives who did n't invest their own money. Of course this $250,000 was not spent or lost. Those who raised it got it all back, less interest and commissions. The Senators and Representatives for whom the silver was bought got the profits." The Congressmen thus carried were
mostly Republicans, and a few subordinate officials of the Treasury Department were taken in for the information they could furnish. A few of the Congressmen approached declined to become involved in the speculation.
In the "debate" on the adoption of the Conference report of the Tariff Bill, on Sept. 27th, Representative Cummings, (New York), said :
"Mr. Speaker, the doctrine of American protection is the most pernicious that has ever pyæmiated any people. It proposes to deprive men of markets which they may choose, and where they can do the best for themselves. It drains the money of the country from the pockets of the many and concentrates it in the hands of the few-mostly in cities and large manufacturing towns. It makes the head plethoric and the extremities bloodless. It depletes the nation to weakness and gives bonds and mortgages as return nutriment. It hamstrings trade. It is adjusted not to bring revenue, but to hinder exchanges. Convulsions will inevitably result from the disorder which it creates.
"There can never be permanent rest until there is freedom, and freedom can only come by cutting the ligatures that bind the national arteries. Everybody by this time ought to have learned that commerce means prosperity, and that commerce unnaturally restricted chokes national progress and impoverishes the people. You have no more right to fetter a man in the use of his money than in the earning of it. They are kindred offences, and they bring kindred evils. The commercial motto of the greatest value is to buy where you can buy the cheapest and sell where you can sell the dearest. This is what all are inclined to do. To sell in foreign markets and come home without any further bene-. fits in trade is like using a weaver's shuttle that only carries the thread one way. Half the benefit is lost. The most cruel blow that England struck at Ireland since the days of Cromwell was the restrictive statutes against Ireland's foreign trade a hundred years ago.
"It is about time that the inquiry was made, By what right do you deny people the choice of markets? By what right do you impose penalties upon the advantages that competition brings to the consumer, and grant free markets to the manufacturer? According to this bill, the manufacturer can sell his products untrammelled in any market in the world; but if the consumer crosses the line and makes purchases for his own benefit, you impose penalties upon him, and destroy the advantages which the market would otherwise give him. You extend the markets of the one; you restrict the markets of the other. . . .
tries, and buy the dearest in your boasted home market.
"Hampered as is trade by this bill, it is not strange that reciprocity has frantically broken out in the State Department, which had been supposed to be protection proof. It must have vent somewhere.
Smugglers or diplomatists will come to its relief. The association may appear unnatural, but it is forced.
"I know that under the right of eminent domain the Government may take private property for public use; but by what right does it interfere with daily individual transactions, and assume to tell a man who has earned his money where he shall spend it? "The advocates of this bill say that a high protective tariff will benefit agriculture. Well, we have had one for some time, and the steady decay of agricultural interest gives the lie to the statement. Under the so-called free-trade Walker tariff farm lands doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in value, according to location. Under the infamous protective system they have depreciated from a third to one half in value, even in the most favored localities. Under the Walker tariff we had no tramps, few beggars, and no strikes. Under your boasted protective systems tramps swarm, beggars increase in number, and strikes rise to the dignity of civil insurrections. . .
"You might as well tie cords around the arteries and intestines of a living body and expect it to have an unfevered head and a healthy stomach as to expect that commerce will do its beneficent work of progress and civilization hampered by the damnable restrictions of this atrocious measure. It is not protection of industry, but deprivation of markets. Like Fourierism and kindred exclusive communities, it eats itself up: it is self-destroying. But, Mr. Speaker, my time is up. The train is under way at a terrific rate of speed. The whistle of this tariff locomotive is screaming. Gagged and bound, I am still an unwilling passenger upon this Congressional Limited Marauding McKinley train. The Down East engineer of this Juggernaut express has pulled the throttle wide open, its Illinois stoker is shovelling in the coal, its Buckeye conductor is punching the tickets, and the Protection hoodlums are filling the air with wild hurrahs. Gentlemen, we are nearing the turn, and the cars will certainly jump the track. Again I utter my warning. It is all that I am allowed to do."
A member of the sub-committee of the House Judiciary Committee, which recently visited Boston to investigate the methods and offices of the clerks of the United States courts, is reported to have made the following statement in reference to the methods of naturalizing aliens which prevail in Boston:
"All applications for naturalization substantially are made to the United States courts. In one year, I think it was 1888, some six thousand aliens were naturalized in the United States courts in Boston,
and only seven were naturalized in the courts of Suffolk County. The applications for naturalization are heard and decided by the clerks, acting under what they call 'general authority from the judge.' Judge Nelson, of the District Court, was on the stand, and admitted this to be the practice. He also admitted that it was possible for any dishonest alien to impose on either the clerk or the judge, and that there was practically no protection against fraud; that any alien could come in, and, by making the usual affidavit, be admitted to citizenship, whether entitled thereto or not. No rules have been adopted by the United States courts at Boston to prevent fraud in these applications. Judge Nelson seemed to think that the hearing of these applications would be a great burden upon the Court, and therefore delegated his powers to the clerk and his deputies, with whom it is merely a matter of fees. The clerk of the Circuit Court admitted an increase of $5,000 a year from these fees, and it is asserted by outsiders that the fees amounted to a far larger sum. He does not account to the Government for these fees, but charges the Government for the blanks he uses. The Government does not derive one cent from the blanks he uses, but is compelled to furnish them free of charge. Judge Nelson, when pressed to give his authority for the delegation of his powers to the clerk and his deputies, refused to answer. He said it was a question of law, and that he was not there to answer questions of law. The procedure for the naturalization of aliens at Boston is a fraud upon the Government, and is a mere farce, except as it is a money-making business for the clerks. In that respect it is a real and substantial thing."
The long session of Congress was brought to a close on Oct. 1st. No vote of thanks to the speaker of the House was moved or given.
Philadelphia tailors are opposed to the provision which allows men returning from a foreign trip to bring five hundred dollars' worth of wearing apparel with them, free of tariff duties. They calculate that the average tourist is allowed, under the provision, to bring as many as fifteen suits, which would cost in the United States one thousand dollars, and that the average tourist's trip abroad being once every third year, the fifteen suits will last him during the whole period, depriving the home market of his custom entirely. So they want a change.
Every pound of leaf tobacco for cigar wrappers will be taxed one dollar and a quarter, or a hundred and sixty per cent more than at present, when the new tariff bill goes into effect. It is said that the stocks imported in anticipation by the manufacturers are so big that the Connecticut Valley planters will have a poor market for two or three years.