Page images

pernicious form of debt, far more oppressive and association to depress prices in buying and advance destructive to enterprise than permanent land mort. them in selling.” gage. This indebtedness has carried an enormous interest, disguised in supplies of merchandise,

WHAT CONSTITUTES A QUORUM. charged at a large advance upon cash prices. With

D EPRESENTATIVES Roger Q. Mills and Thomas an increasing degree of independence and gradual

B. Reed are given a hearing in the North advance in economic education, there is a strong

American Review for January on the question of determination to throw off a burden so unendurable,

what constitutes a quorum. and hence arises a general demand for more avail. able money at a low rate of interest. The sub

Mr. Mills' View. treasury plan of the Alliance is a form of crop Having in mind, no doubt, Theodore Stanton's mortgage by the Government, at two per cent. article of last month, in which it was shown that instead of ten to twenty, naturally growing out of in practically all of the legislative bodies of Europe the prevalent and ancient custom of crop liens, and the quorum is determined by the number of memtherefore more profitable even than a Government

bers present, Mr. Mills takes occasion to say, in the land mortgage."

opening paragraph of his paper, that the question This, then, to the cotton-grower is an eminently

to be discussed is American and not European. “It serious question, this question of two per cent. in arises out of the construction of a specific provision terest or twenty.

of the Constitution which creates the House and Mr. Dodge sketches in a satisfactory manner the

the Speaker, and its decision must be determined causes of complaint in the East, the jealousy of by that constitution and the interpretation it Western competition in cereals and beef, the dissat received from the Speakers who have presided over isfaction with the methods of distributing the public the House during its existence, and not by the prac. lands, the “double tax” on mortgage indebtedness, tice of European assemblies or the opinions of Eurothe accusations of favoritism in railway manage- pean statesmen." ment and the making of freight rates, the unjust Section 5, Article I., of the Constitution, provides, disparity between the long and the short haul.

it is shown, that a majority of each house shall IN THE FAR WEST.

constitute a quorum to do business. This is inter

preted to mean that members must not only be Complaints are neither numerous nor loud on the

present, but must also speak, make motions and Pacific slope. Prosperity is so general there, in

vote, or, in a word, must do business before they agricultural circles, that the list of grievances can.

can constitute a quorum. The Constitution takes no vassed is short. In California the most prominent

notice of a man, he holds, who is present but disability which many farmers are anxious to re

abstains from acting. “It is only those who are move is excessive cost of transportation. The fruit-growers look to a possible Nicaragua

present, acting and doing business, that it regards.

Members present doing nothing imperil no right canal and to competing railways to the West, which

and do no injury to any one ; but members present will cut down rates. They especially deprecate

who attempt to make laws affecting the rights and delays in freight transportation, so fatal to their

liberties of the whole people may do indefinite fruit product.

mischief to millions." THE RAPACIOUS MIDDLEMAN.

He charges Mr. Reed with having, in 1880, taken Among the more general grievances, not the least the same views which he as Speaker opposed. is the exaction of the middleman. “The farmer In reply to the question, What good can be accom is appalled to see the long line of intermediaries plished by compelling the attendance of absentees if who pass his produce from hand to hand over con numbers present do not constitute the quorum ? Mr. tinents and seas, each taking his toll, until little of Mills says: "The answer is that when all absentees the ultimate value is left to the grower. They are are present there must be a majority on one side or legion in numbers, in forms of pretended service, the other of every question. A majority of those with hearts beating in unison for the appropriation present are always ready to act without compulsion, of the largest possible share of the values handled. but they are not sufficiently numerous to make the These organizations are manifold ; they are asso. constitutional quorum. Compulsory attendance ciated in trade guilds, societies, exchanges, and supplies the requisite number, and that acts of its boards of trade; they are known individually as own volition. If those who are opposing a measure commission men, brokers, forwarders, jobbers, retail find, when their numbers are full, that they can de. dealers, hucksters, and pedlers; an army of men feat it by voting against it, they will do so without who produce nothing and yet aspire to own every compulsion; if those who are advocating it find, thing. Their service, so far as it facilitates distri. when the House is full, that they can pass it, they bution and exchange, is recognized as legitimate • will do so without compulsion and end the struggle. and useful; yet they are too many in number and The compulsory attendance, therefore, is to produce too greedy in spirit, taking more for their share the constitutional quorum, and let the advocates of than the service is worth, and using their advantage the measure take themselves the whole responsibility

for its passage, instead of compelling those who oppose it to supply the quorum and share with its friends the responsibility for a measure which the minority hold to be fraught with the direst mis. chief."

Mr. Mills contends that no parliamentary body should ever compel any member to vote or abstain from voting; he is responsible only to his constituents for his acts. Although members by withhold ing their votes delay legislation, he believes that it is better that this be done than that, as he considers it, the Constitution be impaired.

of non-procedure ; that a systematic way of doing something gives the right to a systematic power of preventing the very thing the rules were established to accomplish ?"

If to the ordinary checks and balances to hasty legislation are added, Mr. Reed concludes, "the divine right of a minority to stop all business, surely this Government, of which we have made rather frequent and obtrusive boasting as being a Govern. ment of the people, is only an irresponsible despotism. For despotism was never anything more than the rule of the few over the many."

Mr. Reed's View.. Mr. Reed opens the negative side of the debate with a short dissertation on rights. There are, he asserts, rights and rights-rights which only the supreme law can take away, and then only after compensation, as the right to an estate in fee simple, and rights which may be easily taken away, as the closing of a highway to the public. “During the last Congress there was much talk by the Demo cratic press and much haranguing on the floor of Congress about the rights of minorities. Most of the talk and about all of the haranguing were based upon the false idea that the rights in question were real estate in fee simple, not to be diverted, instead of public rights of way, to be changed any time the majority deemed it to be for the good of the com munity.” Another source of error was, he further asserts, “the notion entertained that a minority in Congress is always a political minority. Three quarters of the questions which arise are not political. One-half, at least, of the bad results or disorder and wilfulness on the part of the few against the many were not political. ... What are called the rights of minorities in deliberative assemblies are like the rights of any individual in a highway, subject at all times to the control of the whole community. Strictly speaking, they are, like the rights in a highway, bestowed not for the benefit of the minority, but solely for the benefit of the whole.”

The right of debate, which is regarded as among the most cherished rights of minorities, is held by Mr. Reed to be not a right of minorities as such. Debate is not for the benefit of the minority, nor “ to enable the minority to prevent conclusions, but to enable the majority to come to right conclusions."

“Some also of the rights of minorities,” he con tinues, " are supposed to reside in the rules of a de. liberate body. These are said to be the charters of the power held by the fewer.” But what are rules? he asks. “The Constitution uses the full expression, and says that each house may det-rmine the rules of its proceedings. How does a house proceed? Solely by majorities. Rules, then, are only methods of procedure established not for the benefit of the few, but to enable the whole body to accomplish in an orderly and systematic way its duties and pur poses. What can it be but a perversion of words to claim that in rules of procedure are sacred rights

EX-GOVERNOR HILL ON THE PARDONING POWER. THE North American Review adds this month to T its list of contributors the name of Senator David B. Hill, of New York, who writes upon “The Pardoning Power.”

His preliminary survey of the subject is clear and concise. “There has been a tendency of late years toward the establishment of a council or board in which should be reposed at least some advisory functions pertaining to pardons. It has been strongly urged that the power is a judicial function, and that its lodgment in the executive or in the Legislature is an anomaly in our institutions. It has also been argued that the power is too important a one to be reposed in a single official, especially a chief executive, who is usually overburdened with administrative duties, and who must find it impossible to devote the necessary time for the proper consideration of the numerous cases which are constantly be. fore him. On the other hand it is said that there ought not to be a division of responsibility in such matters. It is suggested that, while the responsi. bility is fearful to contemplate, its very magnitude induces scrupulousness and caution. It is contended that a tribunal of four men can better evade, shift and shirk responsibility than can one official, and that the latter is less likely to be moved by extraneous influences than is a council or board. Hamilton, who was versed in the science of government, reached the conclusion that 'one man appears to be a more eligible dispenser of the mercy of the Government than a body of men.' The force of that conclusion is much augmented if it be conceded that the one man is conscientious, independent, and resolute.” Mr. Hill's seven years' experience as Governor has convinced him that the pardoning power should be lodged in the chief executive alone.

Clemency, he assumes, should be based upon public considerations. In the exercise of this prerogative the executive “should always act from the highest motives of public policy and regardless of personal consequences.”

He lays down six general rules which it may be safe for the executive to follow. 1. The executive should not interfere to correct mere errors of law which may be remedied by an appellate court. 2. He should await the final determination of a crim. inal case. 3. The findings upon disputed questions of fact decided by a jury should usually be regarded as conclusive. 4. Newly discovered evidence of the innocence of the prisoner may be accepted, provided relief based upon it cannot be had in court. 5. Cases should not be considered where the term of imprisonment does not exceed a year, except upon the allegation of entire innocence. 6. The prison. er's conduct while in prison must have been good.

REFORMATORIES FOR WOMEN. We have the strange and not creditable spectacle of a total absence of reforming institutions for the benefit of female offenders, while in the case of men the Elmira Reformatory and other institutions offer various intermediate havens before the “dull ob. struction" of state prison or penitentiary is reached. This fact means that while a great hulking man offender may, if extenuating circumstances exist, be sent to the Elmira Reformatory, comfortably housed, fed, educated, be surrounded with every encouraging and de-brutalizing influence, a weak, delicate, and, perhaps, refined woman, must be, if sentenced at all, sent to the penitentiary among the "vilest and most hardened of her sex.” Here is a gap which should be filled beyond a peradventure.


T New York, writes in Scribner's for January on the subject of “Crime and the Law."

Mr. Smyth, speaking from the fulness of a con siderable experience, gives it as his opinion that the criminal law is administered, on the whole, with very creditable fairness. His enumeration of the safeguards which the law furnishes the person accused of crime do, indeed, seem well calculated to give the individual every reasonable chance, and as far as our criminal theory is concerned, do certainly answer many of the criticisms launched against the present system. Then, as to the application of the law, it is doubtless true, as Mr. Smyth asserts, that sympathy is oft-times misplaced, and that the rascal who snatches a woman's pocket-book may be much less deserving of pity on account of his four years in jail than the innocent woman whose scanty and hard-earned surplus he has attempted to appropriate.

NEEDED REFORMS. If not absolutely Rhadamanthine, Mr. Smyth thinks our present jury system and general method of criminal procedure exceedingly good, and much better than any alternative before us. However, he suggests that certain details will bear revision.

He would give more discretion to the judge, this to be accomplished by making the minimum punish ment for the greater crime more nearly approach the maximum punishment for the lesser. For instance, he points out that “if a man steal $24 in money he cannot be more severely punished than by a year's imprisonment and a fine; but if he steals $26 in money, while the circumstances may not be more aggravated than in the other case, he cannot receive less than two years' imprisonment. There is, of course, little or no moral difference between stealing a sum over $25 or under that amount, and while a distinction founded on the amount stolen may in some cases be fair, yet it would seem that the minimum punishment for the greater crime and the maximum for the lesser one should more nearly approach. There are frequent circumstances in which a crime comes within the technical definition of a robbery or burglary of the first degree, and yet there are circumstances surrounding the case which would make a punishment less than the minimum now provided equitable. This is especially true of first offenders."


T Johns Hopkins University, has in the Atlantic Monthly a strong and an interesting paper under the title “The Creed of the Old South,” Professor Gildersleeve speaks confessedly from an ex parte point of view; he is an ex-Confederate speaking to the world which has his subject in perspective; his is a word of explanation from a son of Dixie, unreconstructed, sorrowing, but-eminently reasoning. The paper is largely reminiscent, and it sparkles here and there at unexpected turns with flashes of that wit which always transfigures whatever this writer has to say ; which distinguishes him almost as much as his unquestionable Greek.

What Professor Gildersleeve particularly emphasizes is the loyalty-infinitely sincere, whether misguided or no—which the Southerner felt to his State. This was the creed of the old South; not slavery, not the "mudsill” theory

“There is such a thing as fighting for a principle, an idea ; but principle and idea must be incarnate, and the principle of States' rights was incarnate in the historical life of the Southern people of the thirteen original States. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were openly and officially on the side of the South. Maryland as a State was bound hand and foot. We counted her as ours, for the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay united as well as divided. Each of these States had a history, an individuality. Every one was something more than a certain aggregate of square miles, wherein dwelt a certain number of uncertain inhabitants, something more than a territory transformed into a State by the magic of political leger. demain ; a creature of the central Government and duly loyal to its creator."

Professor Gildersleeve makes out a good case in his further argument that love of the State was not an unnatural phenomenon, has been paralleled in many instances, where the more local division was not nearly so clearly defined as the States of our Union; where no body of traditions and distinct political history had served to individualize as with

them. And he shows how a passionate devotion to It is an unwelcome feature of the reviewer's task one's State might well co-exist with a broader that the presentation of the extractum carnis of such patriotism, which undoubtedly was in Southern a paper as is before us leaves no opportunity for an hearts.

attempt to appreciate the literary side, yet more,

the rather sad, but very fascinating, personal side NO PHYSICIAN TO LOCATE THE COLOR BLINDNESS.

of Professor Gildersleeve's essay. As to the merits of the creed, isolated, there is, as Professor Gildersleeve says, no umpire to ade. quately decide. Enough that there was the creed,

THE POPE AND THE FUTURE OF THE PAPACY. absolutely confided in. “All that I can vouch for is the feeling; the only point that I have tried to D R. F H. GEFFCKEN, who has become a fre. make is the simple fact that, right or wrong, we quent contributor to the Forum on European were fully persuaded in our own minds, and that questions, has an article in the January number, there was no lurking suspicion of any moral weak. entitled “The Pope and the Future of the Papacy." ness in our cause. Nothing could be holier than He holds that the complaints of Leo XIII, of be. the cause, nothing more imperative than the dutying deprived of the liberty necessary to his office of upholding it. There were those in the South are unfounded. While no longer a sovereign, he is, who, when they saw the issue of the war, gave up it is held, treated as a sovereign in important re. their faith in God, but not their faith in the cause. spects. “His person is inviolable. Any offence or

“It is perfectly possible to be fully persuaded in attempt against it is to be punished as those comone's own mind without the passionate desire to mitted against the king, nor can any functionary make converts which animates the born preacher, of the state enter his residence without his permisand any one may be excused from preaching when sion. he recognizes the existence of a mental or moral T he consequence is that the Pope has become color-blindness, with which it is not worth while more independent and more irresponsible than ever to argue. There is no umpire to decide which of before. He has not to fear any attack on his person the disputants is color-blind, and the discussion is either by revolution or by a foreign power. If a apt to degenerate into a wearisome reiteration of sovereign state offends another Government by points which neither party will concede.”

action or word the latter is entitled to demand

satisfaction, and if it is refused, to declare war. WILL A “NEW GENERATION” ARISE ?

The Pope is free of such reprisals. A state offended Professor Gildersleeve gives curious examples of by him can only break off its diplomatic relations this color-blindness. He contrasts the cases of with the Curia. It cannot make him personally General Thomas, who clung to the Union, and of responsible. Having guaranteed his inviolability, General Lee, who clung to Virginia.

Italy cannot allow a foreign Government to proceed “There may,” says he, “arise a new generation against the Pope on Italian soil nor do it herself.” in Virginia, or even a generation of Virginians, The Pope, indeed, can declare laws of Government who will learn and confess that Thomas loved null and void. With the exception of the civil list Virginia as well as the sons she has preferred to stipulated by the law of 1871, Dr. Geffcken asserts, honor, and served her better. But no representa the Pope avails himself of all the privileges which tive Virginian shares that prophetic vision; the that act confers upon the Papacy. color-blindness, on whichever side it is, has not yielded to treatment during the twenty-five years

A NORMAL SOLUTION IMPOSSIBLE. that have elapsed since the close of the war, and The anomalous position occupied by the Pope is, may as well be accepted for an indefinite period. for the present at least, without a remedy, Professor

"That the cause,” concludes this notable Southern Geffcken believes. Rome has changed in the last soldier and American scholar, “we fought for and twenty years, and “many independent interests have our brothers died for was the cause of civil liberty, sprung up which prevent the re-establishment of and not the cause of human slavery, is a thesis the temporal power.” And, on the other hand, it is which we feel ourselves bound to maintain when not likely that the Pope will leave Rome. “A new ever our motives are challenged or misunderstood, capital of the Catholic Church is not to be improif only for our children's sake. But even that will vised ; the Papacy is too old a tree to be transnot long be necessary, for the vindications of our planted ; all its historical origins and actual interests principles will be made manifest in the working are rooted in Roman soil; and the whole Papal out of the problems with which the Republic has to bureaucracy would feel exiled in a foreign country.” grapple. If, however, the effacement of State lines A normal solution of the Papal question, he con. and the complete centralization of the Government cludes, is impossible. “All that is possible, so far as shall prove to be the wisdom of the future, the can be foreseen, is to maintain the modus vivendi poetry of life will still find its home in the old established by the law of guarantees, and to avoid order, and those who loved their State best will live as much as possible any infringement upon it, so longest in song and legend-song yet unsung, legend that the latent antagonism of the two hostile powers not yet 'crystallized.'"

may not become acute."

THE PAPACY AND DEMOCRACY, D Y far the most interesting and remarkable of

D the articles in the Revue des Deux Mondes for December is the justification of the Papal interven. tion in the social question, of which M Anatole Leroy. Beaulieu published the first part under the title of “ The Papacy, Socialism, and Democracy." THE EVILS OF THE DAY MORAL RATHER THAN SOCIAL.

The history which M. Leroy-Beaulieu apparently proposes to himself to sketch is nothing less than the moral history of contemporary Europe, and the central figure upon which he fixes the eyes of his readers is the head of the Roman Church. Rome typifies for him the religion of Western Europe. What he has to say is that either this religion has a part to play still in the historic drama or it has none. If, as some people think, its part has been played and is now ended, there is nothing more of any interest to be said about it; if, on the contrary, it has yet a share in the evolution of the nations, scarcely any subject of inquiry can be more fruitful than the endeavor to determine what this share may rightly be. For his own part, M. Leroy-Beaulieu makes the clearest announcement of his belief that religion, and religion only, can provide a solution of the difficulties with which modern society is beset. “The social problem is,” he declares in unequivocal terms, “ before all things a religious and moral problem. It is not only a question of stomachs, it is quite as much, and more perhaps, a spiritual question-a question of the soul, Social reform can only be accomplished by means of moral reform. In this sense Tolstoï and the mystics speak the truth. In order to raise the life of the people we must raise the soul of the people. In order to reform society we must reform man-reform the rich, reform the poor, reform the workman and reform the master, and give back to both of them what is at present lacking, equally to each of them a Christian spirit.”

RELIGION THE ONLY BASIS OF MORALITY. M. Leroy-Beaulieu is well aware that he is not alone in the importance which he attributes to moral reform. He quotes from Saint-Simon and Isaac Pereira-as he might have quoted from almost every school of modern reform-to show how men of absolutely opposed religious views share his opinions in this respect. His arguments must be taken frankly on the ground whici. he has chosen for them, and this ground is that modern morality is inextricably associated with the Gospel of Christ. He does not discuss the truth of revealed religion. He appears, if one may be permitted to read between the lines, to hold rather the philosophic view that it is beside the question. He only maintains that without it the morality of the age must fall to pieces. “Outside Christianity," he says, “there is nothing but the war of classes. . . . Do we seek a specific? I know of no other. God alone can give us back social peace. It belongs to His Christ alone to pronounce our Pax Vobiscum."

POLICE IN CASSOCKS. But he perceives that if the Gospel is to give peace to the world it must be on condition that it acts upon the rich as well as upon the poor. The time is past in which the Church can play, with any profit to itself or others, the part of “police in cassocks” which was assigned to it by the threatened autocracies of the earlier part of the century. A mistaken desire for temporal dominion has led the papacy hitherto to ally itself with the powers that be. The policy of the long pontificate of Pius IX. was dominated by this desire. In pursuit of it the papacy consented to use the Church as an instrument in the hands of political authority. It be. came, under the influence of Napoleon and of Thiers, a sort of watch-dog for vested interests. Naïvely, simply, without meaning any harm, it was assumed that in playing this part the Church was doing good service to society. So long as the Church directed its efforts toward securing for itself a share in this world's goods it was only natural that it should encourage the illusion.

A PURIFIED PAPACY. In relinquishing the dream of temporal power the papacy has become again the spiritual power which it was of old. Leo XIII. looks round upon a scene of which the principal features are altered more by the inward than by the outward change in the attitude and position of the Holy See. The concern of the Church henceforth is not with the political, but with the moral history of its day. The successor of St. Peter looks no longer through narrow vistas of thrones and dynasties upon the maintenance of which his own depends. A wider prospect falls beneath his eyes. On every side he sees the opposing forces of the great social question arrayed for battle against each other. An international war of poor and rich is on the eve of breaking out. He has nothing material to lose or gain in the event. He sees in the whole a great moral problem, of which he believes himself to hold the solution. It is not surprising, then-on the contrary, it is in keeping with all the best traditions of the supreme guardian of virtue upon earth-that he should step down into the arena and insist upon his right to point out the path of peace. This and this only is, in M. Leroy-Beaulieu's opinion, what Leo XIII. has done in issuing the encyclical Rerum Novarum. It is as a moral instruction, and not as a lesson in political economy, that it must be accepted by the faithful.

DEMOCRACY WITHOUT SOCIALISM. M. Leroy-Beaulieu does not admit that this conti. nuity of the policy of the Holy See has been broken by the espousal of the democratic cause. What Leo XIII. has done is a direct continuation of the policy which has always guided the acts of the sovereign pontiffs. The application of it only has changed. Rome has always sought to ally herself with the great powers. Hitherto they have been the political powers. Henceforth, if she is to maintain her

« PreviousContinue »