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elected. Very much useful and interesting legislation is now under discussion at Washington, but the country refuses to pay any respect to a surviving Democratic Congress, when the elections have gone so overwhelmingly the other way. Not until next December, thirteen months after its election, will the new Congress meet in its first regular session. Meanwhile, the results of the November elections will make themselves inanifest more promptly in other directions. With the opening of the year, new mayors are entering upon their difficult tasks, and a great number of state legislatures are assembling, with work of more than usual importance laid out for them by their constituents. The eyes of the people, in many communities at least, will be turned with far keener interest to their new city and state governments than to their somewhat discredited national law makers at Washington.
of The President's message was not a thrill. Progress Civil Service ing document, although it was useful as
Reform. a summary of our foreign relations and domestic affairs. It was more emphatic in its omissions than in its utterances, and was better received, apparently, by the Republican than by the Democratic press. President Cleveland's non-partisan attitude has been growing continually more obvious. It is now shown in his strong disposition to make further extensions in the sphere of operation of the civil service law. In this policy Mr. Cleveland can now make no mistake on the side of precipitancy. The last elections have done more than anything else
that has ever happened in the United States to sustain the contentions of the civil service reformers; and the great mass of citizens of all parties are quite ready to see every branch of the public business of the country performed in a businesslike way, by persons chosen and retained for merit and competency, without any regard to their political claims or affiliations. The Civil Service Reform League has held its annual meeting, going to Chicago this year: and it never met under more auspicious circumstances. Hon. Carl Schurz, the president of the League, made an important address that deserves to rank with the annual reviews which his predecessor, the lamented George William Curtis, was wont to present on similar occasions. The doings of the present administration have been most perplexingly inconsistent as regards the civil service. At times, one has been almost forced to believe that no administration in the history of the country was ever more shameless in its use of the offices for spoils. The administration at other times has seemed to rise to most commendable heights of disinterestedness in the distribution of patronage. Upon the whole, the cause of clean and honest government is making unmistakable progress in the United States. Many of the newly-elected state governors are expressing themselves as deterniined to give their states an example of businesslike, nonpartisan administration, and various mayors-elect are announcing their plans in similar terms. The overwhelming defeat of the Democrats, in spite of their possession of all the power and influence of federal patronage, has made civil service reformers out of some of the most obdurate spoilsmen in the House of Representatives. They are forced to admit that for most congressmen the chance to dispense patronage is a source of weakness rather than of strength.
The President's message, the annual report Currency of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Reform. 01
report of the Controller of the Currency all give much prominence to the question of currency reform, and Congress has taken the matter in hand with an interest and a degree of intelligent comprehension that had hardly been anticipated. Recent experience has taught the country several important lessons. It has shown that the volume of outstanding treasury notes puts a wholly unnecessary and exceedingly difficult and costly burden upon the public treasury, through the necessity of maintaining large reserves of gold in order to redeem notes which are never canceled and which may therefore be used again and again to deplete the stock of accumulated gold. Again, it has been made clear to the wholo business world that our banking system does not af. ford any such elasticity of currency as the strenuous demands of business sometimes make desirable. In fact, the recent money panic was due in large part to our system of banking, which refuses to give credit and lend money precisely at those times when banks should come forward and sustain the commercial and industrial world. What is now proposed is some
sary in order to preserve the national credit and the parity of our different forms of money. A good monetary system bears a vital relationship to the industrial life and prosperity. It is evident that our present system can be materially improved ; but as for those who complain of it too bitterly, we should suggest that residence for a year or two in a country whose currency is really vicious and debased would give them a totally different view of conditions in their own country. We want a dollar that shall be safe, stable, and relatively equable as a measure of value, but we want no crude experiments.
he Sir John Thompson, Prime Minister of Premiership Canada, died suddenly on December 12 in of Canada. Windsor Castle. He had gone to England with other Canadians to represent certain official interests, and had been called to Windsor to receive the Queen's hospitality and to pay his respects. His career had been an honorable and faithful, rather than a showy or brilliant one. He had risen to the first place in the Dominion through industrious exercise of fine talents, and not through political intrigue. His party in Canada was not without men of equal repute and ability to close the gap. Lord Aberdeen, the Governor-General, promptly selected the Hon. Mackenzie Bowell as the successor of Sir John Thompson ; and accordingly the optimistic and energetic gentleman who has lately rendered conspicuous service as Minister of Trade and Commerce, and who had previously filled other cabinet positions,
HON. WM. M. SPRINGER, Chairman of the House Committee on currency, etc. plan of bank note issues which may be made, in the first place, to assist in retiring or locking up a large part if not all of the outstanding volume of greenbacks and treasury notes ; and which, in the second place, shall have such an element of elasticity as to make the circulating medium expand and contract as the state of business may dictate. Our Canadian neighbors have a flexible and successful system of bank note issues, and the plans now under discussion at Washington resemble in many respects the Canadian currency and bank system. Our monetary circulation has become complicated and diverse, and it needs simplification. Secretary Carlisle's proposals, while in some respects perhaps far from ideal or theoretical perfection, at least point the way toward a currency system that would be a great improvement over the existing one. Upon one thing at least let us congratulate ourselves. It is not necessary for us in practical business to note any distinctions in the form of our currency. For purposes of ordinary exchange it does not make the slightest difference whether one receives payment in gold, silver, greenbacks, bullion certificates, or national banknotes, because the national credit is behind all these varieties of circulating medium, and none of them will be permitted to come to grief. Nothing in Mr. Cleveland's message has a firmer tone or a clearer ring than his declaration that the administration will not hesitate to issue bonds and buy gold whenever it seems neces
he was a man of administrative capacity and experience, and he stepped into Sir John Macdonald's place without causing a single tremor in the machinery of government. In like manner Sir John Thompson, who was Minister of Justice, was eminently prepared to succeed to the post of prime minister and president of the council, when death removed his colleague and chief. The death of Sir John left a cabinet in which were several gentlemen eminently qualified to sit at the head of the table. The Hon. Mackenzie Bowell's appointment must needs be popular, for his personal affability is united with very genuine enthusiasm for Canada, and with those large aspirations which have brought him inside the circle of the statesmen of British imperial tendencies who are clasping hands across oceans, projecting Pacific cables, subsidizing steamship lines, and in short devoting most skillful and commendable attention to the large political and commercial interests which the British flag represents.
to it. Canada's natural right to regulate such a question as that of international copyright would seem to follow readily enough from her right to regulate so great a matter as her tariff duties on imports. But it seems to be generally understood that the agreement existing between Great Britain and the United States included the whole British Empire ; and if the British Government should now permit Canada to adopt a separate system, it is feared that the United States might alter the arrangements of 1891, and that British authors would be left once more without any protection against American piracy. We are not ready to believe that this consequence would follow. We should strenuously protest against any such withdrawal on the part of the United States, and should urge the maintenance of the agreement between Great Britain and this country, no matter what course Canada should pursue. Attempts, by the way, are on foot in Congress to weaken our international copyright legislation at the point which gives protection to the real owners of property in certain forms of art work. The whole tendency of our time is in the direction of a more complete and absolute recognition of the right of property in literature and art, and it is to be hoped that our Congress will do nothing in the opposite direction.
The arrival of distinguished visitors from
tors. currence, but the number has of late been somewhat greater than usual. We have chosen to present character sketches of two such visitors in this number of the REVIEW. Mr. Robert Donald, editor of an admirable weekly journal entitled London, gives our readers such a picture of John Burns as no one else, so far as we are aware, has ever furnished. Archdeacon Farrar illustrates the growing friendliness and good understanding among Christian men in England regardless of church affiliations, by, preparing for us an appreciative sketch of the Rev. Dr. Heary S. Lunn, who, if nothing adverse detains him, will land in New York before our next number is in
the hands of its readers. Dr. Lunn needs no introSIR JOHN THOMPSON,
duction to the constituency of the REVIEW OF RELate Premier of Canada,
VIEWS. His Grindelwald Summer Conferences in
the interest of the reunion of Christendom have been Among other errands which took Sirduly described and commented upon in these pages, Canadian Copyright. John Thompson to England, and perhaps and his fam us historical and educational pilgrim
the particular one, was the business of ages to English shrines, to Italy, and to the Holy laying before the final authorities the new Canadian Land, have had the special co-operation of this magacopyright act. Canada has decided to break away zine. Mr. John Burns arrived in New York several from the copyright policy of Great Britain, on the weeks ago in the capacity of a delegate from the Enbasis of which the United States has extended the glish Trades Congress to the meeting of the Americopyright privilege to English authors, and has deter- can Federation of Labor at Denver. He was accommined upon certain restrictions which are regarded panied by Mr. David Holmes as joint delegate. Mr. as more favorable to Canadian printers and publish- Burns has naturally appeared before the American ers than those which now exist. There might result people in his role of trades unionist and advanced lamuch practical inconvenience to the outside world of bor leader. He was received with interesting demonauthors, publishers and book manufacturers, if the strations in New York, and proceeded to Denver, Dominion should set up a separate policy of its own. where his outspoken opinions aroused no little disThe question now is whether the British government agreement. It is not so much in his capacity as a lawill disallow the Canadian act, or will finally consent bor leader that Mr. Robert Donald describes him
elsewhere in this number, as in that of a leader in
describes our institutions with a fidelity not equaled by any other writer, American or foreign. The new edition contains several hundred pages of additional matter, dealing with questions not discussed in the volumes as they first appeared ; and the entire work has been completely revised. The new edition will appear in the present month, and from advance sheets we have elsewhere made some comments upon the new chapters, besides having obtained a most interesting statement from Mr. Bryce himself.
Their But this penchant for instructing us Disposition to must be pardoned in visiting EnglishInstruct us.
e men. French or German visitors never think of instructing us before they have seen something of the country and acquired some knowledge of our life and institutions. But distinguished Englishmen bring with them a knowledge of our language; and we give them such opportunities to speak to audiences and to reporters as they can scarcely resist. They are profoundly convinced of the value to us of their unfavorable impressions, and they have the merit of rugged honesty, with none of the arts of subtle flattery. And so they are never abashed, and are always ready after twenty-four hours' experience on shore to pronounce judgment on the American climate, the failure of American domestic life, the futility of the Federal Constitution and our unworthiness and depravity in forty directions. Very much of what they say has an element of truth in it. The uselessness of it all, however, is due to the fact that it is we ourselves who must reform our own institutions in the light of our own experience and knowledge, through responsible participation in our own affairs. There is a vast deal that we can and ought to learn from foreign experience ; but it is we ourselves, studying foreign life and institutions on the ground, who must bring back and apply to our own conditions those principles and results which deserve our attention. Englishmen as a rule are deficient in the
DEAN HOLE. comparative faculty. Once in a while an eminent Englishman comes here to observe rather than to in
Mr. John Burns, as we have remarked, prostruct. Sir John Gorst looked somewhat into Amer
me, ceeded soon after his arrival at New York ican conditions a few weeks ago, with keen powers of
to the annual meeting of the American observation and discernment; but few people were Federation of Labor, held this year at Denver. The aware of his presence in America, and nothing was meeting was expected to be one of the largest and further from his mind than public pronouncements most important ever held in this country by repreupon our institutions. Dean Hole has preferred to sentatives of organized labor, the events of the year entertain us; and we are all grateful to him for let- having done so much to stimulate interest in labor ting our serious affairs alone. The only Englishman questions. While the convention was still sitting, of this generation who has earned the right to give us Judge Woods, of Illinois, passed sentence upon Mr. advice has seldom, if ever, ventured to do anything E. V. Debs and his associates who had been comof the sort. The Rt. Hon. James Bryce, M.P., would mitted for contempt of court while directing the be listened to with unbounded respect, even if he great railway strike last summer. Mr. Debs has should express harsh and dogmatic opinions. But been pronounced guilty and sentenced to six months' nobody ever pronounces such opinions on a foreign imprisonment. We have no disposition to take sides country after he has really become acquainted with in the controversy regarding the propriety of this it. Mr. Bryce has just completed the revision of his judgment. We do not for a moment believe that the great work, “ The American Commonwealth,” which courts of law in this country will return to the bar.
of the peaceful Armenians, who till the valleys. Of late years the Turkish government, which has never been able to control the Kurds, has hit upon the policy of making them over into a kind of irregular Turkish cavalry, in imitation of the Russian Cossacks. In their new capacity as Turkish troops, the Kurds have been even more predatory and cruel than before. The situation in Armenia has been greatly complicated by the fact that in the Russo-Turkish war of 1878 Russia made advances into Asia, and
barous doctrine of half a century ago, which made labor organizations synonymous with conspiracy. The case of Mr. Debs turns upon questions of fact rather than upon questions of principle. If, indeed, Debs and his associates were guilty of acts which if coinmitted by men organized as a commercial corporation would have been construed as conspiracy (or as punishable violations of the laws which are intended to secure immunity for the United States mails and for interstate traffic), then and only then should they be punishable. The law must deal impartially with all comers. Nobody can claim anything more than that. The meeting of the Federation at Denver seems to have brought to a sharp issue the latent differences between two wings of organized labor in this country. Mr. Gompers, the founder of the American Federation and until now its president, stood for the more conservative doctrines of the old trades unionism ; while a radical element declared itself for various political innovations in the general direction of socialism. This element united upon Mr. John McBride, of Ohio, the head of the coal-miners' union, as their candidate for the presidency. After an exciting contest, Mr. Gompers was defeated, and Mr. McBride is now president. The REVIEW several months ago published an interview with Mr. Gompers, in which, at a time when Mr. McBride was undergoing rather severe treatment from the press on account of his conduct of the coal strike, Mr. Gompers came to his defense and declared him to be a man of high character as well as of great force and ability. The visit of Mr. John Burns would seem to have had something to do with the turning of the scales. Mr. Gompers' defeat suggests that of Mr. Henry Broadhurst in England, when the new trades unionism led by John Burns captured the trades congress.
The eyes of the world have been diverted The Armenian from the invasion of China by the Japanese Question. troops, to the condition of an obscure province of Asiatic Turkey. For years the storm has been gathering in Armenia. The region is difficult of access, and those who might have given Europe and America the most trustworthy information, have had reasons for discreet silence. American educational and missionary interests are of importance throughout Asiatic Turkey; and for some time past they have been subjected to harassing and hostile treatment from the local Turkish authorities, with little encouragement when they have sued for redress at Constantinople. Their work has been in such a critical condition that they may be pardoned if they have been slow to inform the outside world of something far more serious-namely, Turkey's mistreatment of the Armenian people themselves. The Armenians are a Christian sect, of very ancient origin, who have remained firm in their adherence to Christianity through the vicissitudes of centuries. They are surrounded by fierce mountain tribes known as Kurds, who, being at once Mohammedans in relig ion and robbers by trade, have always been the terror
permanently acquired what is now known as her Trans-Caucasian province. This province comprises a considerable portion of what was once Turkish Armenia. The Armenians who have thus been brought under Russian rule enjoy peace and quietude, and live under conditions which in comparison with those across the Turkish frontier seem like paradise itself. Many peasants from Turkish Armenia are in the habit of crossing into the Russian province for summer employment. This circumstance has facilitated the development of a new spirit of Armenian revolt against the Turks. Doubtless Russia has been willing to aid somewhat in Armenian intrigues, because there is an Asiatic as well as a European path that leads toward Constantinople ; and if Bulgaria is contumacious and ungrateful, that is no reason why Armenia should prove reiractory. There is, indeed, no possible ground for an