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drive her at reduced speed against adverse winds and waves to her far-off destination. It was the testimony of her gallant captain and of all her officers and passengers that the ship was at no time in danger and that the only inconvenience experienced was due to the loss of time, while those on board were anxious only because they appreciated the uneasiness of their friends on shore at lack of any tidings. A good ship, with plenty of searoom, in the hands of experienced navigators, is altogether likely to keep afloat. As a practical moral, it may be remarked that there is nothing in all this recent history of disaster at sea which should cause the heart of any man or woman to sink or to fail who has been planning a journey across the sea for pleasure, instruction, or business ends. Recklessness is not courage, and foolhardiness is not to be praised; but on the other hand longevity was never attained by any man or woman as a result of a cowardly shrinking from the risks that attend
measure whatsoever. As for the Senate, it became even more plainly evident that under its present rules any conceivable proposal would incur enough opposition to prevent its passage lefore the close of the session. At length, on February 8, President Cleveland sent a message to Congress declaring that the government had made an arrangement by which it would sell four per cent. long-time bonds to the amount of some $65,000,000, unless within the course of ten days Congress should enact legislation which would give the President and Secretary of the Treasury power to borrow without the embarrassing restrictions which are imposed by the existing statute of 1875.
The bargain that Secretary Carlisle had Buying Gold
from the made with prominent New York bankRothschilds. ers was, in fact, concluded with those financiers as representatives of the Rothschilds and other large European investors ; and our government
the performance of the ordinary tasks of life. To aroid danger is often to rush into its very face. Fortunately, modern travel is not extra hazardous.
The eyes of the whole world were turned A Third Government during the last weeks of January and the
Loan. first weeks of February upon the American financial situation as focussed in Washington. The withdrawal of gold from the treasury had continued at an unprecedented rate for shipment abroad, and it became evident that unless Congress should come to the relief of the Secretary of the Treasury it would become necessary for the Administration on its own authority to make another issue of bonds in order to buy gold. Mr. Springer and the Ways and Means Committee were absolutely unable to carry through the House of Representatives any financial
was allowed a premium which made the interest rate equivalent to 334 per cent. When it is remembered that Secretary Windom only a few short years ago was readily able to borrow money on the credit of the United States at 2 per cent., and that he actually did extend at this low rate large blocks of bonds which were about to become payable, it is deeply humiliating to reflect that now in a time of profound peace, when the comparative stagnation of private enterprise has piled up both in Europe and America vast quantities of capital seeking safe investment in public securities, our government should be compelled to pay 334 per cent. All of our outstanding bonds are payable in " coin,” and as a matter of fact our government has never attempted to pay off any of its obligations in any other than the very best kind of dollars in existence.
What's in o But these foreign bidders for our pro
Word ? posed new loan declared that if we should
1,000,000. change the word “coin” to the word "gold" in the new bonds, they would take them on the basis of 3 per cent, rather than 332. This difference on so large an amount would mean for the whole continuance of the bond issue a saving of more than $16,000,000 in interest. We have never paid our bonds in anything cheaper than the gold dollar, and there can be no reason for thinking that the people of the United States, having made a loan for the express purpose of procuring gold, would be disposed to pay that particular loan back in anything of lesser value. It does not seem to us that any very serious point of principle would have been yielded in saving this $16,000,000 by making the bonds expressly payable in gold. But on the 14th the House emphatically refused to adopt the President's recommendation. The whole situation is deplorable and humiliating in the extreme. During these years when steady reduction of the public debt ought to have been easily accomplished, and when the revenues of the government ought to have been sufficient for every purpose of a generous and enlightened public expenditure, we have witnessed the spectacle of a Democratic Congress looking on, half recklessly, half vacuously, while a Democratic Administration has been compelled to make bond issue after bond issue in order to pay current bills and maintain the public credit. Nobody knows whether or not this third recent issue of bonds will be any more successful than the first and the second in giving the treasury a stock of gold that it can kеер.
The present Congress expires by limitation What of on the fourth day of March, and its sucthe Future ?
er cessor will be overwhelmingly Republican in the lower House, while, as we explained last month, neither Republicans nor Democrats will have a clear majority in the Senate. The two parties, it must be remembered, are not squarely arrayed on different sides of financial questions. The lines of cleavage are in the main sectional ; and, except for the compact little Populist handful, the party name signifies nothing as to views upon currency and coinage questions. The entrance upon the scene, therefore, of a new Congress, whether called to meet in special session or not, can give us no assurance of any definite dealing, whether wise or unwise, with the overwhelming issue of the year. If the Democratic party, -owing to radical differences of opinion between the East, as represented by the President and his faction, and the South and West, as represented by more than half the Democratic senators and representatives, -has found it impossible to solve financial questions, it does not by any means follow as a foregone conclusion that the Republican party in the present state of confused and discordant national opinion would have very much better success if it were suddenly entrusted with the complete responsibility. Republican statesmen are evidently sober enough in view of the future.
Pos Strong superlatives are seldom justified.
of Tevertheless it would not seem ill-advised Incapacity. to declare that the whole financial history of modern nations furnishes no instance of incapacity so great, of statesmanship so utterly wanting, of common sense so pitiably abdicated, as our own country has shown in the past two years. There has been frittered away the highest public credit that any nation had ever attained ; and this change has been wrought when no difficulties whatever existed except the one difficulty that the party in power could not agree upon any policy. Whatever President Cleveland and the New York banking interests may think, the people of the United States do not want long-time interest-bearing bonds issued in times of peace. The people would unquestionably have preferred an issue of short-time treasury certificates of one sort or another to meet temporary exigencies, and a prompt levy of sufficient new taxes to bring current revenues up to the point of meeting amply both the current expenditures and also all further tasks imposed by the necessity of maintaining the gold reserve and the interchangeability of all sorts of money It is to be regretted that everybody at Washington might not have been willing at least to agree upon some plan which would prevent the use of the out standing greenbacks as an endless chain for drawing gold out of the treasury.
While our southern and western The Future
statesmen are still bent upon securing Gold Production. the free coinage of silver, it is at least worth while to note the fact that the relative scarcity of gold may be considerably affected by new conditions of production. The distinguished editor of the Economiste Français, M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, has recently predicted that the annual production of gold in the coming quarter century will be double that of the average of the past twenty or thirty years. He has given close attention to the opening up of the South African gold mines and anticipates an enormous output in that region. In this connection, it is also interesting to observe that certain experts in Denver-which has been the very heart and center of the free silver movement-now declare that Colorado has already reached a point in the production of gold where her mining interests as a whole would sacrifice more than they would gain by the free coinage of silver. Colorado's production of gold and silver last year was approximately $24,000,000, equally divided between the two. Not to repeat the arguments that are advanced in order to convert Colorado from its free silver doctrines, it is evident that some impression upon local public opinion is likely to be made by the increase from year to year in the output of the western gold mines. M. LeroyBeaulieu contends that the present is a highly opportune time for the United States to change its policy, to abandon its predilection for silver and to proceed to absorb its full share of the world's stock of gold. It might be argued with some seriousness that if the
free-silver men should agree for the time being to join hands with the so-called “ goldbugs," this country could in a few years control the bullion inarket in such a fashion that overtures for international bimetallism would come from the other side of the sea.
incumbency has done much to promote a closer relationship between the government's engineering corps and the civilians of the engineering profession. It is said that Col. Craighill may, a few months hence, succeed to the headship of the military engineers. His successor as president of the American Society is Dr. George S. Morrison, a distinguished civil engineer of New York. While the United States government and the great railroad corporations have been fortunate in the quality of the engineering talent at
Meanwhile, beneath all the confusion The Confidence of the American that prevails and all the uncertainty as People.
ple. to the legislative outcome, there is one good sign that is clearly visible. That sign is the unshaken confidence of the great mass of American citizens. They believe in the ultimate triumph of their own governmental institutions and policies. They do not for a moment doubt the essential good faith and integrity of the President, the Cabinet and both houses of Congress. In many ways they show their unwillingness to permit the distracted state of the public treasury to interfere much with their buying and selling and ordinary transactions. Poten. tially, as everybody knows, the United States government has unrivalled resources. A man worth a million dollars may find himself away from home with an empty pocket, and may be subjected to considerable inconvenience in getting money enough to pay his hotel bill. The staunchest business concerns not unfrequently find themselves, through some miscalculation or unforeseen conjunction of circumstances, compelled to borrow money for temporary purposes at a rather high rate of interest. The people of Europe will make a very grotesque mistake if they assume that our American treasury situation at the present moment signifies anything comparable with the collapse, two or three years ago, of the treasury and the public credit in the Argentine Confedera. tion, or the bankruptcy that has overtaken little Greece and threatens Italy. Our government will weather these disturbances of the financial atmosphere, and the result will be, in the course of a very few years, an improved banking and currency system ; a public revenue adequate to the public necessities; and a public policy which will make it a matter of perfect indifference to the United States treasury whether-in the mutations of commerce and exchange the stream of the world's gold should be flowing from London to New York or from New York to London.
The very great interest that American Engineers and Works public opinion has begun to show ia the
idea of a Nicaragua canal constructed by the government, in a national cable line to the Hawaiian Islands, in deepened channels between the Great Lakes and the eastern seaboard, and in other large projects of engineering, may well make the country thankful for the superb training which West Point, Willett's Point and our other army schools has given to the accomplished corps of men who belong to the United States military engineering service. One of these eminent army engineers, Col. William P. Craighill, retired in January from the presidency of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His
their command, the American municipal governments, vast as their engineering and architectural tasks have been, as a rule have wasted much money and sacrificed many great opportunities through the lack of adequate professional advice. The Rapid Transit Commission of New York, who are about to decide upon the final routes and plans for an underground electric system, have recently shown excellent judgment by submitting all their preliminary proposals to the critical revision of a board of highly expert and authoritative engineers. The investment in this professional advice will in the long run have saved the public treasury many times the cost of the engineers' fees. Gradually our cities are learning to do public business in a businesslike way. The principal American cities, in the aggregate, are spending several hundred million dollars every year in new buildings, street improvements, water works, sewerage systems, bridges, and various affords excuse for the erection of buildings of considerable magnitude in a great number of towns. The growth of federal business in the larger cities requires new buildings from time to time. It is the policy of the government that all its buildings shall have a character more or less ambitious, ornate, and monumental.
The amount of money thus expended for What Might Have Been. 8°
" governmental structures in the thirty
years since the close of the Civil War reaches a stupendous figure. Inasmuch as the vast array of public buildings which stand in evidence as a result of all this outlay make conspicuous architectural pretensions, it is not unfair to pass criticism upon the results. Considered as a whole, these buildings are sorry failures from the artistic point of view. The World's Fair buildings, at Chicago, hastily extemporized for the transient shelter of a six months' international exhibition, showed our own citizens, as well as the artists of Europe, how great and beautiful was the work that American architects could do if they had the opportunity. Why should not the same quality of genius that the World's Fair directorate was able to secure for temporary structures, be employed by the United States government in its far greater outlays upon monumental public buildings that must stand for many decades if not for centuries? It is evident that something is wrong in the system at Washington. Leading American architects are
COL. CRAIGHILL, OF THE ARMY ENGINEERS.
other public works. That they should fail to see the wisdom of making these permanent outlays only upon the strength of the very highest obtainable advice in technical and artistic directions, would seem incredible to a municipal administrator from Paris, Berlin or Vienna, not to mention Birmingham or Edinburgh. No investment in the making of public improvements pays so well as the preliminary investment in the best possible quality of professional advice.
If the United States government has Our Governmental been fortunate as regards the engineerArchitecture.
re. ing talent available for much of its public work, it has been far less fortunate in the architectural talent it has employed. The current statement that the United States government is from year to year engaged in larger building operations than any other public authority or private proprietor in the whole world, is probably true. Besides the great array of public buildings at Washington, the United States is represented by one or more structures in every leading city and town of the country. As smaller towns become large, it is the policy of the government to erect its own post office building rather than to use rented quarters; and the necessity for United States court rooms, internal-revenue offices, branch pension offices, public land offices, United States marshals' headquarters, and local shelter for other governmental agencies and services,
A GLIMPSE OF THE VIENNA CITY HALL.
protesting against a system that deprives the government of the artistic talent which it might readily command. Instead of a series of ugly failures from the artistic standpoint, our public buildings might have been wondrously beautiful without having cost a single additional penny. Indeed, under a strictly professional and businesslike system, instead of a partisan and spoils system, incomparably better results from every point of view might have been attained with a saving of millions of dollars.
Some New Edi- ne new Library fices, at Home building at Wash
and Abroad. ington, which this REVIEW described and illustrated last year, is a fortunate exception
BOSTON'S NEW PUBLIC LIBRARY. to the rule of unsuccessful government architecture. Best of all, we have at Washington its law makers. But the recent government buildings in the Capitol itself the most dignified and imposing in Vienna are a triumph of glorious architecture. governmental structure to be found in any country. every great type and school being adequately repreThe new Reichstag building at Berlin, which resem- sented. The City Hall, in particular, is a marvelous bles somewhat our new Congressional Library, comes adaptation of Gothic principles to civic construction. far short of being the splendid and imposing edifice The citizens of Hamburg are this year putting the that the German Empire might well have reared for finishing touches upon a very beautiful new City
Hall, which will form one of the chief ornaments of that great commercial emporium. Some of the English cities also have of late erected very noteworthy municipal buildings. No city in the world, it may be guessed, has ever spent a fraction of the amount upon a city hall that Philadelphia has invested in the huge structure that now approaches completion. But words of praise for Philadelphia's monumental building are few and faint. It does not find favor in the eyes of disinterested critics. One does not like to contemplate what architectural transformations might have been accomplished for the city of Philadelphia if the precise amount of money that has been poured into the City Hall could have been placed at the disposal of the architectural talent which created the White City at Chicago. We may only hope that a wiser era is about to dawn
for Philadelphia, and for all the THE PHILADELPHIA CITY HALL,
rest of our American cities.