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Thursday, October 2, 1890.
Published weekly by J. MORRISON-FULLER, at 3 Somerset Street, Boston, Mass.
SUBSCRIPTION, $1.00 PER YEAR.
Senator Hale introduced, Sept. 23d, in the Senate a joint resolution for the erection in the District of Columbia of a memorial building, which shall be a suitable monument to the memory of Gen. Grant, and contain a naval and military museum. In the interior court of the building are to be placed the mortal remains of distinguished Americans. Referred to the Committee on Public Buildings.
On the same day the Senate considered a resolution directing the Committee on Education and Labor to investigate the charges and statements made in the memorial of the Woman's National Industrial League. The resolution was referred to the committee.
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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.
The measure for the relief of the Supreme Court embodied in the bill to regulate the jurisdiction of the United States courts was passed by the Senate on Sept. 24th. The bill as passed provides for the appointment of an additional circuit judge, and creates in each circuit a court of appeals, which is to be a court of record, with appellate jurisdiction. It is not thought that the House will have time to act upon the Senate amendments to the original House bill, and another year will probably pass before the bill becomes a law. Meanwhile the Supreme Court is said to be five years behind its docket.
On Sept. 25th, the House adopted the conference report on the Land Forfeiture Bill and unanimously passed the bill reported by the chairman of the committee on naval affairs appropriating one million dollars for the purchase of nickel ore for the manufacture of steel A resolution was passed directing the committee on post-offices to investigate certain charges of peculation against the postmasters of the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses.
On Sept. 26th, the House passed a resolution directing the committee on accounts to investigate the allegation that the postmaster of the House has on the roll of his employees a person employed in the government printing office who out of his salary of $100 a month pays $95 to the son of the postmaster. On the same day, a bill was passed prohibiting "bookmaking" in the District of Columbia. At its evening session the House passed 112 private pension bills.
The House bill appropriating one million dollars for the purchase of nickel ore passed the Senate on Sept. 27th.
The House adopted the conference report on the Tariff Bill, on Sept. 27th, by a vote of 151 to
79, three Republicans voting with the Democrats. The conference consented to the Senate reciprocity provision; made sugar up to No. 16 free, and placed a duty of five tenths of a cent on sugar over No. 16, and made binding twine dutiable.
In the River and Harbor Bill, which is now a law, a clerical error has been discovered which seriously cuts down the appropriation for improving the Illinois River. In engrossing the bill, the clerk left out the word "hundred" and the appropriation was made $2,000 instead of $200,000. The judiciary committee advises the introduction of a joint resolution providing for the rectification of the error.
A resolution is to be introduced in the House calling upon the postmaster-general to inform the members what methods are in vogue in his department for keeping the accounts between the contractor for stamped envelopes and the department. It has been discovered that this business is conducted in the most careless manner, and many instances of slackness and inaccuracy are being cited by the members in favor of an investigation.
A favorable report has been made from the committee on post-offices and post roads upon the joint resolution allowing the postmastergeneral to expend $10,000 to test the system of the free-delivery services in small towns and villages.
Eighty private pension bills were passed by the Senate, in half an hour one day last week.
Representative Cummings points out that the Eight-Hour Back Pay Bill recently passed by the House as a "labor" bill, and of which the Republicans are trying to make political capital, is a shadow, not a substance, and will not enable any laborer to collect his claim. The amendments, which were passed without any discussion, take the life out of the bill and make it worthless. The amendment which makes it unlawful for any attorney to receive a fee exceeding five per cent of the amount of the claim makes it impossible for those whose claims range from $25 to $150 to prosecute them, since no attorney would prosecute a claim for $5 or $10. Of the effect of the amendment which provides that the act shall not be operative whenever the court shall find that the workman performed his services under express or implied contract and received the amount agreed upon, Representative Cummings says:
"In some of the arsenals in the West, the workmen were forced to sign a contract to work ten hours, instead of eight, without any increase of wages, under pain of dismissal. In other places the men worked ten hours, without protest, under threat of dismissal if they did not do so. In other cases the men worked ten hours under protest, and in still others worked ten hours under an express promise on the part of the Secretary of the Navy that they would be paid for the extra work. This amendment binds the workmen of the arsenals by an agreement which they were forced into making by the government officials. It leaves out the men who had worked the extra hours without protest under fear of discharge. It even gives the Court power to leave out the men who had protested. It leaves out the men who had worked ten hours under an express promise from the Secretary of the Navy that they should have pay for the extra hours. The Court of Claims may say that the men, having accepted what was paid them at the time, have waived their right to the extra pay, and the law construes that into an implied agreement to take what they got in satisfaction of the debt."
One of the members of the committee appointed by Speaker Reed to investigate the charge against Gen. Raum, the commissioner of pensions, that he has been engaged in selling to employees of the Pension Office shares of worthless stock in a corporation of which he is president, promising the employees promotion in office in consideration of such purchase of stock, was found to be one of the stockholders in the corporation, the value of whose stock is to be determined by the committee. A protest having been made in the House against the continuance of the member ou the committee, he was obliged to resign.
It is proposed to tax celibates in France. The total number of celibates, counting from the age of twenty-four to fifty-nine, is 3,974, 180, and out of this number there are 1,750,000 young women. M. Jules Simon is in favor of exempting the women, saying that it is probable that a vast number of the ladies have not had any chance to marry, and it would not be fair to punish them for what was the fault of others. But the 2,223,480 men he considers excellent material" for taxation.
Twelve thousand letters are received daily at the Pension Office. There are now pending 450,000 pension claims.
Information comes to the Boston Herald directly from "one of the foremost merchants in the city" that an agent has been soliciting funds from the Boston manufacturers supposed to be benefited by the tariff bill, in aid of Mr. McKinley's re-election. The State of Ohio has lately been redistricted, and Major McKinley's re-election is a matter of doubt.
A newspaper dispatch from Chicago announces that the United States District Attorney of that district has filed an information for the seizure of an edition of Balzac's "Droll Stories," and that he will move for an order excluding it from the mails.
STATE, MUNICIPAL, ETC.
Ex-sheriff McFadden, of Augusta, Me., who, with the authority of the governor of the State, had seized liquors in "original packages," in violation of the law, which liquors have been returned to the importer, is now a defendant in a suit brought against him by the importer to recover heavy damages. McFadden contends that the State is bound to pay the expense of his defence, but the opinion of the governor's council is that the State is not legally bound by the governor's arbitrary action. McFadden will present his claim to the next Legislature.
The Mississippi Constitutional Convention finally adopted the following recommendation of the Franchise Committee: "Every voter [otherwise qualified] shall be able to read a section of the Constitution of this State, or he shall be able to understand the same when read to him, or give a reasonable interpretation thereof."
M. H. De Young, proprietor of the San. Francisco Chronicle, and member of the Columbian Exposition, is reported to have said to an interviewer:
"I am not a candidate in the sense of making a fight for the United States Senatorship. The cost of getting elected to the Senate from California is about $300,000. I will not buy an office at that or any other figure. Of course, I would not refuse the office. Who would?"
The Massachusetts Untaxed Ballot League says, in the address recently issued, referring to the practical effect of the poll-tax prerequisite, that,
"There is a general concensus of opinion among those who have to do with practical politics that the tax qualification now imposed upon the franchise does not in any sense answer the purpose of a property qualification, of which historically it is a sur
vival, but that it merely serves to demoralize a large number of voters, to degrade politics, and to perpetuate the evils connected with the use of money in political campaigns. It is well known that at every election there are thousands of poll-taxes paid by political committees and by candidates for office. The evil influence of this practice, which will inevitably continue as long as the requirement is in force, cannot easily be measured. In many places there are large numbers of men who have come to depend upon politicians for the payment of their taxes, and who will not vote unless they receive this assistance. Not only is the independence of the voter impaired by his acceptance of such a favor, but the political necessity of providing for the payment of these taxes increases the tendency to nominate men of means for public office."
The last Legislature passed a statute compelling the Boston City Government to appoint some one to have supervision over the electric wires and appliances. But the City Council has taken no action in the matter, and it is understood that the City Council is unwilling to carry out the law, because the electric-power companies object to the form of the proposed ordinance, and also because the police authorities object to having the regulation of their wires taken from their hands.
Justice Allen, of the Supreme Court, has rendered a decision to the effect that the law providing a penalty for "repeating" at elections does not apply to voting on the question of granting licenses for sale of intoxicating beverages. He holds that the statute providing for the punishment of those who knowingly give more than one ballot at one time of balloting at any State, national, or municipal election does not signify that ballots in cities upon the question of licenses should be taken to be ballots given at an election.
In addition to the regular salary which the State Auditor receives in Illinois, every auditor since 1872 has openly taken, contrary to the express provision of the Constitution, $5,000 a year from the fees collected from the insurance companies. A move is to be made to stop this practice and impeach the present State Auditor when the next Legislature meets.
George V. L. Meyer, who has served on the Tinance Committee of Boston for the last two years, writes in the Herald, on the cost of running the city, and the ways of diminishing the expenses. He says:
"I am satisfied that some of the school buildings erected in the last ten years have cost the city from