« PrécédentContinuer »
be interfered with excepting under threat and possibly by the actual levying of war. Even if this could be avoided, a new frontier line, 5,000 miles in length, would have to be constantly patrolled to prevent the smuggling of a drug which is so small in bulk that it can be concealed about the person in a way that would baffle the energies of the most vigilant of custom house services. The loss of revenue would amount to an enormous sum, and 10,000 men would at once have to be added to the Indian army. These sacrifices would have to be made in order to prevent the consumption of opium by Asiatic subjects, on whom it produces hardly any of the disastrous consequences which admittedly flow from the unrestricted sale of alcohol in England. All this was set forth with great air of authority, and with a consciousness of supreme rectitude which carried the whole House away with it. After Sir Henry's speech the agitation for the prohibition of the production of opium in India evaporated into thin air.
The last case in which Sir Henry Fowler was called upon to take a stand in opposition to a very strong drift of official opinion was in the case of Chitral. The attack upon the English Resident in that remote capital of the mountainous wilderness of Pathanistan, compelled the dispatch of a relieving force, which started with the most positive assurances of a resolution to retire as soon as the residency was relieved. The work given it to do was brilliantly accomplished, at an expenditure of wellnigh three millions sterling. Then the Government of India, going back upon its public and solemn pledges, insisted upon being allowed to make a road to Chitral to garrison the fort, and, in short, to bring all the weltering wilderness of hills within the Indian frontier. Lord Roberts, the late commanderin-chief in India, strongly supported this policy of annexation-all pledges to the contrary notwithstanding. Mr. Curzon declared it was indispensable. The Times made every one believe it was practically decided upon. There was no public protest against it at home. Only in Russia a low ominous growl could be heard, with dark suggestions as to the worse than Punic faith of the Indian Government.
All this while Sir Henry Fowler was carefully studying the question, interviewing experts, and forming his own conclusion. That conclusion was clear and unmistakable. At any cost, almost without counting of costs, he would keep the pledges of the Indian Government and clear out of Chitral. The whole of the Indian Council, with the solitary exception of Lord Roberts, supported him in this resolve. The whole of the cabinet, without even a single exception, indorsed his decision. On the Monday following the fatal Friday of the cordite division, Ministers had arranged to make public declaration of the policy of evacuation in both Houses. Before then the bolt fell and the govern ment ceased to exist, so the execution of the evacuation has been left over for their successors.
In many other matters, notably in the stimulus
which he has given to the construction of railways in India on a rupee basis, Sir Henry Fowler has done what could be done to promote the welfare and prosperity of the millions of India, who have never had at Downing Street any English statesman who watched more sedulously over their interests.
Whatever may be said concerning the policy of Mr. Morley, it has undoubtedly had one notable result. Ireland, by the concurrent testimony of judges, journalists, Unionists and policemen, has never in all its history been more profoundly tranquil than it has been under Mr. Morley. The Isle of Saints has almost begun to resume its saintly character. cepting for those ebullitions of temper that follow too liberal potations, Ireland would be a crimeles land. No turbulent agitation, agrarian or otherwise, has disturbed the quiet industry of her peasants. Without coercion of any kind, by simply applying to the Irish nation the principles of sympa thetic administration based upon representative government, peace reigns in Ireland as it has never reigned for the last twenty years.
THE FRUITS OF CONFIDENCE.
The result has been due to the confidence with which Mr. Morley and his colleagues have been able to inspire the Irish, that they needed no stimulus of agitation or of outrage to induce them to do their level best to secure justice for Ireland and justice for the Irish tenant. And Mr. Morley has justified this confidence. The whole of the first session was given up to Home Rule. The bill passed the House of Commons, where eighty-two days were consumed in its discussion; it was contemptuously flung out by the House of Lords, after a brief debate of four days. The Evicted Tenants bill, prepared with much care, was forced through all its stages in the House of Commons only to be strangled in the House of Lords. The Irish Land bill, which was the last
legislative attempt to deal with the perennial agrarian question, was hailed in Ireland as offering the prospect of a final solution of these difficulties. It was choked out of existence when the Opposition defeated the Government on the question of cordite. The Municipal Franchise bill is almost the only shred of legislation that has escaped the general wreck. Yet notwithstanding the fact that Ireland has got nothing in the shape of legislation, Ireland is tranquil, not because Ireland is content, but because Irishmen have had confidence that Mr. Morley and his colleagues would do all that can be done by men to do them justice and secure them the right of self-government.
Mr. Morley has had great difficulties to surmount, some of which indeed have proved insuperable. The stolid and impassable barrier which the House of Lords offered to all his remedial legislation was only one of the obstacles in his path. From an adminis
trative point of view, a difficulty almost as great was the perpetuation of the old boycott which the Home Rulers kept up against the Home Rule Government. Mr. Morley might be a Home Ruler, but he was not an Irishman. Therefore, he was to be treated at the Secretary's lodge as if he had been a land grabber on an evicted farm. He was to be left severely alone. No self-respecting Nationalist with any regard for a reputation for patriotism would be seen rubbing shoulders with Honest John in his official capacity. Because some of his predecessors had given them the hospitality of the jail, they scorned to accept the hospitality of the lodge. The fatal split between the Parnellites and the Nationalists accentuated the difficulty. No Nationalist dare move a step or wag a finger without squinting over his shoulder to see if a Parnellite was watching with intent to misrepresent him. For the Irish, in some respects the bravest of men, are sometimes the most arrant cowards.
Under Mr. Morley all questions of Irish adminis tration were dealt with from the point of a sympathizer and a friend, who was endeavoring, so far as was possible to him, to carry out in office what a popularly elected Irish National administration would do if it had been called into existence. It will be some time before the Irish see his like again.
VIII. THE ARMY AND THE NAVY.
Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, who was censured by the snap vote of the House of Commons on the question of the supply of cordite, was one of the most popular Ministers both with the service and in the House of Commons. But for the reluctance of his colleagues to spare him he would have been elected Speaker by a unanimous vote of the House; and at the War Office, from the royal duke down to the latest recruit, there was no one who did not regard him as their friend. A sturdy, manly, genial Scot, Sir Campbell-Bannerman devoted himself to the welfare of the soldier. He attempted no heroic reforms.
THE WAR OFFICE, 1892-95.
The army, in his opinion, was in a very healthy condition. The troops were never better fed, clothed and housed. They were never more sober and more contented. The officers were devoted to their duties; for since the abolition of purchase soldiering has become a profession of absorbing interest. What was wanted, therefore, was to give the service space to grow and time to breathe. So the late War Secretary kept a vigilant and sympathetic eye upon all that could minister to the efficiency of the service, and satisfied himself that the army was ready to go anywhere and do anything. To improve the organization at headquarters, he succeeded in arranging for the retirement of the Duke of Cambridge, the announcement of that fact being his last official act before his fall. It was a delicate and painful operation, which was accomplished with a kindly tact that nothing could excel.
THE ADMIRALTY AND ITS DOCKS.
Lord Spencer, as First Lord of the Admiralty, charged with the maintenance of the efficiency of the first line of our defense, has brought the navy up to the highest pitch of efficiency it has ever reached. His predecessors had built many ships, but they had omitted to man them. They had multiplied the number of vessels, but they had done nothing to provide them with docks and shelter. The equipage also had not been kept up, and, in short, Lord Spencer found he had to spend, and spend freely, in order to keep the navy up to the mark. He added over 6,000 men to the roll-call to begin with. He surmounted the difficulty about stokers, so that the British navy will no longer be in danger of not being able to go into action for lack of men to get the steam up in the stoke-hole. Then he set to work to increase the number of quick-firing guns, and to arm the bluejackets and marines with the magazine rifle. But the great achievement of his reign at the Admiralty was the commencement of a series of great harbor works for the purpose of providing the fleet with safe retreat at Dover, Portland and Gibraltar. No board of the Admiralty could be got to face this duty heretofore, and it is to Lord Spencer's credit that he has not waited for the steed to be stolen before fitting a lock to the stable door.
There are now under construction at the dockyards and private yards ten first class battle ships, six cruisers of the first class, thirteen of second class and two of third class, forty to fifty torpedo boat destroyers and four sloops. Side by side with this new construction, older vessels have been reconstructed and repaired; and what is, perhaps, one of the most important changes, the new ships are being fitted with water tube boilers, which are a great improvement on all that has gone before. The naval estimates for 1895-96 amount to £18,701.000, an increase of £4,460,900 more than the vote for 1893-94. As the result of this expenditure the fleet is in a position to cope successfully with that of any two rivals. England can build a first class battle ship in two years, whereas it takes other nations four or five years to construct a similar vessel. The French have some half dozen of their ironclads laid up for reconstruction. On the whole, therefore, the British people have every reason to feel confidence in the ability of their navy to guard their shores and to police the seas.
SIX YEARS OF CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.
HE leading article in Scribner's for August is by Theodore Roosevelt, who tells in plain language what has been done to advance the Civil Service law, and what to hinder its advancement, who have been the most prominent among its friends, and who among its foes, during the six years, May, 1889, to May, 1895, that he was a member of the National Civil Service Commission. In his own words, he tells "the adventures of Philip on his way through the world, and shows who robbed him, who helped him and who passed him by."
ARTHUR, HARRISON AND CLEVELAND ITS FRIENDS. First we are told that from the beginning of the present system each President of the United States has been its friend, but no President has been a radical Civil Service reformer. "Presidents Arthur, Harrison and Cleveland have all desired to see the service extended and to see the law well administered. No one of them has felt willing or able to do all that the reformers asked, or to pay much heed to their wishes, save as regards that portion of the service to which the law actually applied. Each has been a sincere party man, who has felt strongly on such questions as those of the tariff, of finance, and of our foreign policy, and each has been obliged to conform more or less closely to the wish of his party associates and fellow party leaders, and of course these party leaders and the party politicians generally wished the offices to be distributed as they had been ever since Andrew Jackson became President. In consequence the offices outside the protection of the law have still been treated under every administration as patronage, to be disposed of in the interests of the dominant party. An occasional exception was made here and there. The postmaster at New York, a Republican, was retained by President Cleveland in his first administration, and the postmaster of Charleston, a Democrat, was retained by President Harrison; but, with altogether insignificant exceptions, the great bulk of the non-classified places have been changed for political reasons by each administration, the office holders politically opposed to the administration being supplanted or succeeded by political adherents of the administration.
"Where the change has been complete it does not matter much whether it was made rapidly or slowly. Thus, the fourth class postmasterships were looted more rapidly under the administration of President Harrison than under that of President Cleveland, and the consular service more rapidly under President Cleveland than under President Harrison; but the final result was the same in both cases. Indeed, I think that the brutality which accompanied the
greater speed was in some ways of service to the country, for it directed attention to the iniquity and folly of the system, and emphasized, in the minds of decent citizens, the fact that appointments and removals for political reasons in places where the duties are wholly non-political cannot be defended by any man who looks at public affairs from the proper standpoint."
The advance has been made purely on two lines, that is, by better enforcement of the law, and by inclusion under the law, or under some system similar in its operations, of a portion of the service previously administered in accordance with the spoils theory. "Under President Arthur the first classification was made, which included fourteen thousand places. Under President Cleveland, during his first term, the limits of the classified service were extended by the inclusion of seven thousand additional places. During President Harrison's term the limit was extended by the inclusion of about eight thousand places; and hitherto during President Cleveland's second term, by the inclusion of some six thousand places; in addition to which the natural growth of the service has been such that the total number of offices now classified is over forty thousand. Moreover, Secretary Tracy, under President Harrison, introduced into the navy yards a system of registration of laborers, which secures the end sought for by the commission, and Secretary Herbert has continued this system. It only rests, however, upon the will of the Secretary of the Navy, and as we cannot expect always to have secretaries as single-minded in their devotion to the public business as Messrs. Tracy and Herbert, it is most desirable that this branch of the service should be put directly under the control of the commission."
ALSO THE CABINET OFFICERS.
Still further, Mr. Roosevelt informs us that the cabinet officers, though often not Civil Service reformers to start with, usually have become such before their terms of office expired. This was true, he says, without exception of all the cabinet officers with whom he was personally brought into contact while on the commission.
Since Congress has control of the appropriations for the commission, and as it cannot do its work without an ample appropriation, the action of Congress is vital to its welfare. "Many, even of the friends of the system in the country at large, are astonishingly ignorant of who the men are who have battled most effectively for the law and for good government in either the Senate or the lower House. It is not only necessary that a man shall be good and possess the desire to do decent things, but it is also necessary that he shall be courageous, practical and efficient, if his work is to amount to anything.
There is a good deal of rough and tumble fighting in Congress, as there is in all our political life, and a man is entirely out of place in it if he does not possess the virile qualities, and if he fails to show himself ready and able to hit back when assailed. Moreover, he must be alert, vigorous and intelligent, if he is going to make his work count. The friends of the Civil Service law, like the friends of all other laws, would be in a bad way if they had to rely solely upon the backing of the timid good. During the last six years there have been, as there always are, a number of men in the House who believe in the Civil Service law, and who vote for it if they understand the question and are present when it comes up, but who practically count for very little one way or the other, becarse they are timid or flighty, or are lacking in capacity for leadership or ability to see a point and to put it strongly before their associates."
There is need of further legislation to perfect and extend the law and the system; but Congress has never been willing seriously to consider a proposition looking to this extension. On the other hand, efforts to repeal the law or to destroy it by new legislation have been uniformly failures and have rarely gone beyond committee.
In conclusion, Mr. Roosevelt says: People sometimes grow a little downhearted about the reform. When they feel in this mood it would be well for them to reflect on what has actually been gained in the past six years. By the inclusion of the railway mail service, the smaller free delivery offices, the Indian school service, the Internal Revenue service, and other less important branches, the extent of the public service which is under the protection of the law has been more than doubled, and there are now nearly fifty thousand employees of the Federal Government who have been withdrawn from the degrading influences that rule under the spoils system. This of itself is a great success and a great advance, though, of course, it ought only to spur us on to renewed effort. In the fall of 1894 the people of the State of New York, by popular vote, put into their constitution a provision providing for a merit system in the affairs of the State and its municipalities; and the following spring the great city of Chicago voted, by an overwhelming majority, in favor of applying in its municipal affairs the advanced and radical Civil Service Reform law which had already passed the Illinois Legislature. Undoubtedly, after every success there comes a moment of reaction. The friends of the reform grow temporarily lukewarm, or, because it fails to secure everything they hoped, they neglect to lay proper stress upon all that it does Yet, in spite of all rebuffs, in spite of all disappointments and opposition, the growth of the principle of Civil Sevice Reform has been continually more rapid, and every year has taken us measurably nearer that ideal of pure and decent govern ment which is dear to the heart of every honest American citizen."
PROGRESS OF MUNICIPAL REFORM.
N the American Magazine of Civics, Mr. Clinton Rogers Woodruff sums up the more important achievements in the direction of municipal reform in the United States during the years 1894-5. In January, 1894, there were a few reform organizations in existence, mostly confined to the Atlantic seaboard cities. Now there are nearly two hundred municipal leagues, city and good government clubs, civic federations, and other associations of like purpose, in every part of the country. Four well-attended and representative national meetings have been held within sixteen months; the literature of the subject has increased amazingly, and there is a general and continuous discussion of it in all the leading newspapers.
"In May, 1894, there were six organizations to be found in New England; now, thirteen; in the Middle States, the nineteen of a year ago have increased to sixty-six; in the Southern Central States the increase has been from four to twenty-four; in the Northern Central States, from nine to thirty-seven; in the Western and Pacific States, from six to thirty-seven. From this summary we see the greatest increase to have been in the Middle States, and especially in New York and New Jersey, where the energetic assaults of Dr. Parkhurst upon Tammany misrule, the Lexow Committee's revelation of Tammany corruption, and the earnestness and vigor of the New York reformers have had a maximum of effect.
"In May, 1894, there were eleven associations in New York and three in New Jersey, compared with thirty-six in the former and twenty in the latter at the present time. In many other states the advance has been equally great; for instance, in Wisconsin we learn that it has been from two to seven; in California, the same; in Ohio, from two to twelve; in Minnesota, from one to seven; in Pennsylvania, from five to ten; in Illinois, the same; in Maryland, from four to eight.
DISTRIBUTION AMONG THE STATES.
"Of the thirteen organizations in New England, six are in Massachusetts, four in Connecticut, two in Rhode Island, and one in Maine. In the Middle States, Delaware alone is unrepresented on the list. All the Northern and Southern Central States now have active reform bodies within their bordersOhio leading off with twelve; Illinois coming next with ten; Wisconsin third, with nine; Michigan and Indiana have three each; Kentucky and Tennessee two each. In the South, Maryland heads the list with eight, Missouri and Georgia following with three each; Louisiana has two; Texas one; the District of Columbia three. In the West, the greatest activity is to be found on the Pacific coast, California leading with nine, Washington and Oregon each having two. In the interior, Minnesota leads with seven; Colorado has six, Iowa three, Nebraska, Kansas and Montana two each, and Utah one."
In the successful accomplishment of permanent reforms, the Civic Federation of Chicago and the Milwaukee Municipal League have more to show for their labors, perhaps, than any other two organizations. The victories for civil service reform in Chicago and Wisconsin were both due to the activities of these leagues.
SUGGESTIONS FROM NEW ZEALAND.
HE Hon. J. G. Ward addressed a special meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on New Zealand in 1895. This paper, with the discussion which followed, is published in the June number of the Journal of that society, and very good reading it is. Mr. Ward's paper gives us a brief compendium of the facts and figures concerning the present position of New Zealand. It is so much condensed that it is impossible to summarize it, but a few of the salient facts may be picked out with advantage.
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES.
It is only fifty-five years since the sovereignty of the Queen was proclaimed over the island of New Zealand and cannibal feasts were held within a short distance of the site of what is now an important city. To-day it is inhabited by 728,000 persons, of whom all but 50,000 are whites. It is crossed from end to end with railways and telegraphs, and the income of its population is over $135,000,000 a year, half of which comes from farms and mines. There are $90,000,000 of money on deposit in the colonies, and the value of manufactures produced in the year amounts to $45,000,000. New Zealand has 1,200 churches and chapels; 77 per cent. of the population can read and write. In the consumption of drink New Zealand is the eleventh in the list, coming after Switzerland, and the sixteenth in the consumption of tobacco, coming after France. In the last fifty years gold to the value of $245,000,000 has been sent out of the country. The average total wealth at the end of 1894 was estimated at $750,000,000 ; the public debts at $200,000,000, of which $75,000,000 were spent in railways, and 3 per cent. in the interest. The wealth of the United Kingdom is $1,235 per head, and that of New Zealand comes next, with $1,160. Such a record is one of which Mr. Ward and New Zealanders may well be proud.
Then passing on from realized progress, Mr. Ward proceeds to give some information on the social legislation that is so much in favor with the party in power. Mr. Ward says that woman suffrage has worked very well. The women exercised their judgment independently, and their presence at the polling booths did more than anything else to make the election go off smoothly and respectably. "You may depend upon it that men who do anything very bad will not be returned if the women, at any rate, can keep them out. I do not say there would be excessive fastidiousness applied in this direction, but
they would exercise ordinary intelligence, and see that good men were elected."
Mr. Ward speaks highly also of the machinery provided by the Arbitration law, which gives statutory powers to a council to settle trade disputes. This council consists of three members-one appointed by the trades unions, one by the employers of labor, and the third is nominated by the Governor and Council of the colony. This council of three is provided by the Governor with a judge of the Supreme Court as president. Mr. Ward thinks that if the provisions which make it mandatory on the part of those who have serious grievances to bring them before this court had existed in England, the boot strike in Northampton would never have taken place. Their factory laws, he thinks, are good and useful. Mr. Ward does not profess to believe in all the social legislation of New Zealand, but on the whole he thinks that it was inspired by a desire to prevent abuse and to make the position of the people better and happier than it was in former times.
In taxation, for instance, the principle has been adopted of gradation, based on the cardinal doctrine that people should pay according to their means. The system was purposely framed so as to break up the large tracts of country held in idleness, for the New Zealanders believe that close settlement is essential to prosperity, and therefore they tax land speculators who hold enormous tracts of land merely in order to gamble for a rise in land values, in such a way as to compel them to cut them up. The following is Mr. Ward's explanation of the way in which this is done:
"The amount raised under this system is $1,750,000; it is divided into land tax and income tax, and there are many who confound the two systems, which are as distinct as possible. It is provided that all improvements are exempt, so far as land is concerned, from this system of taxation; and the produce of land is exempt from the income tax. The effect has been to relieve those who are producers from having their efforts to produce from the soil taxed, and the way in which this has worked out is as follows: there are 94,000 land holders in the colony, and only 12,000 pay land tax. Those who say the system is unfair argue that the taxation should be spread over the whole 94,000, but they overlook the fact that, while the taxation of the colony touches the 12,000, the great majority of the others pay under the income tax system. This is a material point, on which there has been a good deal of misunderstanding. As a matter of fact, I am prepared to admit that there are strong arguments used by those who oppose the system, but there are equally strong, and, to my mind, more convincing, arguments in favor of the system. The desire in the colony is to have our land settled, and not, as was the case formerly, have many hundreds of thousands of acres lying idle.