Page images
PDF
EPUB

dustry was languishing on account of competition with the machine-made watch in America and elsewhere. The city corporation developed a system for distributing power to the local manufacturers through the pressure of water pumped from the Rhone by the Rhone. This gave a great stimulus to many industries, and more and more power was demanded. When experience had demonstrated the economy of electricity as an agency for lighting and for the distribution of power the city gained possession of all electrical appliances and attached them to their mill on the Rhone. By all these demands the power of the river as developed within the city limits was exhausted, and the demand for power to be used in manufacture was rapidly increasing. To meet the new demand the city government secured a site of four miles down the river, where they have constructed a dam of stone which appears as permanent as Niagara Falls, and where they get an immense head of water. This new mill is now nearing completion. From it power will be distributed by electricity and sold to small manufacturers in the city and suburbs. On my return to the city from my visit to the new mill I rode with a manufacturer from Zurich. He said that their com: pany bought power from a private company, and that they paid $3 for power which costs the Genevese manufacturer only $2.

“The surprising thing about the matter is the cool and matter of fact way in which the government enters upon these various industrial undertakings. A few days before I left Geneva the city gov. ernment voted to build at once twelve tenement houses to be owned and operated by the city. It was understood that this was only the beginning of an enterprise which admitted of infinite expansion.

“There is probably no part of Europe where the socialists are having so hard a tinie as in Switzerland.”

MR

SOCIAL REFORMS IN NEW ZEALAND. R. REEVES contributes to the National Re.

income tax, and landowners who have less than £500 worth of bare land value pay no land tax. This complete exemption of the very small land. owners forms an almost insuperable barrier to the progress of the single taxers. On all land over £500 value 1d. in the £ is paid. The mortgaged farmer deducts the amount of his mortgage from the value of his farm, and pays only on the remainder. The mortgagee pays 1d. in the £ on the mortgage, which for this purpose is treated as land. An additional graduated tax begins on holdings worth £5,000. At that stage it is an eighth of a penny. By progressive steps it rises until, on estates assessed at £210,000, it is 2d. Thus under the graduated and simple land tax together, the holders of the largest areas pay 3d. in the £, whilst the peasant farmers whose acres are worth less than £500 pay nothing. The graduated tax brings in about £80,000 a year ; the 1d. land tax about £200,000 ; the income tax about £70,000. The assessment and collection cause no difficulty. South Australia had a land tax before New Zealand ; New South Wales has imposed one since. Both differ from ours.

THE RELIEF OF MORTGAGEES. “ Various schemes for using the credit of the state to reduce current rates of interest have been before the public in more than one colony. The scheme of the New Zealand government has been fortunate enough to pass into law, and is contained in the Advances to Settlers act, 1894. Under it a state board may lend government money on leasehold and freehold security, but not on urban or suburban land, unless occupied for farming or marketgardening. The loan may amount to three fifths of the value of the security when freehold and onehalf when leasehold. The rate of interest charged is 5 per cent., but the borrower pays at the rate of 6 per cent. in half-yearly installments, the extra 1 per cent. being by way of gradual repayment of the principal. Mortgagees must in this way repay the principal in seventy-three half-yearly install. ments, provided they care to remain indebted so long."

LAND TENURE. The question of land tenure has occupied the attention of the colonial Parliament for some time.

“ In 1891 an attempt was made to pass an act greatly favoring perpetual leasing, with periodical revisions of rent. It was rejected in the Legislative Council. Next year the bill was sent up without the periodical revisions, and the Council accepted it."

The agitation for a periodical revision of rent continue :

“ For the present the perpetual lease on an un alterable rent is highly popular with selectors, and most of the Crown lands disposed of are taken up under this tenure.”

Another branch of the land question was that by which the legislature acquired compulsory powers for purchasing private estates :

view for August a most interesting and wellinformed article, entitled “Five Years' Reform in New Zealand." It was written before he was Agent-General, but it is thoroughly up to date. He describes the legislation of the most progressive colony in the Empire under five heads: The first, finance ; the second, land ; the third, constitutional reform ; the fourth, labor ; the fifth, law reform. It is too long to summarize the whole of what he has to tell us, but here are some of the more important points :

DIRECT TAXATION. * Since 1891 progression or graduation has been in New Zealand a cardinal principle of direct taxation. Income earners pay nothing up to £300 a year. Between £300 and £1,300, the tax is 6d. all around ; over £1,300 it rises to a shilling. Joint stock companies pay a shilling on all income. Land pays no

inspectors to lunatic asylums, factories, and other institutions, with improvements in the laws dealing with adoption of children and industrial schools, and with a severe law against the keepers of houses of ill-fame. Last, but by no means least, the influence of woman is believed to be evident in highly important measures dealing with the liquor laws and with a prohibitionist movement which is a very promi. nent feature of New Zealand public life.

LABOR AND LAW. “ The labor laws of New Zealand have been published in a cheap and handy volume for general information. Therein are comprised twenty acts of Parliament, directly regulating the relations of employers and employed. Of these acts, no less than fifteen have been passed during the four years dealt with in this article."

One of the last things which the New Zealand legislature has done has been to codify its law, task which the mother country has not yet ventured to attempt. Altogether Mr. Reeves explains how it is that New Zealand has come to be regarded as the Mecca of social reformers throughout the English speaking world.

THE

** The Liberals have after four years' conflict with the Upper House, managed to pass a Lands for Settlement bill, taking power to repurchase, for full and fair value, portions of private estates. Where this cannot be done by mutual arrangement, the right to take the land by compulsion is given, subject to certain safeguards."

ELECTORAL REFORMS. Electoral reforms of very drastic measure have been carried. Liberal members have been introduced into the second chamber, and it is interesting to note that Mr. Reeves inclines to nominate rather than to an electorate second chamber. He says :

“ Indeed, Australian Democrats have constantly expressed to me their opinion, the outcome of hard experience, that if a second Chamber is wanted at all, it is better to have it nominated than elective."

The franchise of the Lower House has also been materially modified :

The one-man-one-vote was carried to its complete issue by the clause providing for one man one registration ;' that is to say, that no voter could register on more than one roll. Consequently, property owners were not only cut down to one vote in one district at a general election, but were prevented from voting in another district at a by-election. The right to vote by letter was extended from seamen to shearers and commercial travelers. But of course by many degrees the greatest extension of the franchise was the inclusion of women in the ranks of voters.“

WOMEN SUFFRAGE.

The remarkable thing about the franchisement of women which has been carried out in New Zealand was that the question was never submitted to the constituency as a direct issue. A majority of membei were found to be in favor of it, and the bill was passed. The results, Mr. Reeves says, have been extremely satisfactory :

The rush of the women on to the electoral rolls ; the interest taken by them in the election contests ; the peaceable and orderly character of these contests ; and the unprecedented Liberal majority returned by the polls, are all matters of New Zealand history. So is the fact that most of the women voters showed no disposition to follow the clergy in assailing the national system of free, secular, and compulsory education.

That they clearly pronounced in very many cases for temperance reform is true. That they were by no means unanimous in favor of total prohibition is true also. On the whole, the most marked feature of their first use of the franchise was their tendency to agree with, rather than diverge from, their male entourage. WHAT THE WOMEN VOTERS HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.

" There are some who connect the appearance of women in the political arena with the recent passing of an Infants' Life Protection act, the raising of the age of consent to 15, the appointment of female

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN EGYPT.
HE Edinburgh Review publishes an article on

Egypt, which has been very much praised up in some of the papers ; but it does not contain much that is new. The writer says quite frankly that even if it were possible, it would not be right to devote the whole or the bulk of the reserve fund of the Egyptian treasury to the reconquest of the Soudan. The money should be spent on making the great reservoir. The cost, however, of the Soudan expedition ought to be borne by the British taxpayer.

AS TO THE SOUDAN EXPEDITION. Whatever the expense of the Soudan expedition, it is Great Britain which will have to defray the lion's share of its cost.

“ It comes to this, then, that the success and the justification of the present forward movement in the Soudan depends upon the readiness of the Government and the country to face resolutely the fresh responsibility which it involves. The advance on Dongola was a bold move. Boldly persisted in, it will result in advantage alike to this country, to Egypt, and to the general interests of civilization. But to insure such a result three things are neces. sary : That, however gradually we may advance, we should not desist till the barbarous despotism of the Khalifa is a thing of the past ; that we should, from the outset, proceed to organize the administration of the reconquered provinces on our own lines ; and that, whatever expense their reconquest and reorganization may involve, we should not allow it to imperil the hardly-won solvency of the Egyptian government. That may seem a large pro gramme, but there is nothing appalling in the task

If Engand reconquers the Soudan at her own cost, then she can establish in the recovered country good administration, unfettered by any of those influences, native or international, which have hampered, though they have not frustrated, her civilizing mission.

AS TO EVACUATION. The reviewer then proceeds to discuss the further question as to the British position in Egypt. It appears that the natives need as much as, perhaps more than, ever to be saved from themselves. The case against abandoning the country is overwhelming :

But if that be so, and if, as seems increasingly evident, the British people are now determined not to surrender their control over the destinies of Egypt, has not the time come for clearly announcing that determination ? What possible advantage can there be in attempting to hide our resolutions from the world, or to meet the inquiries, which France is sure to make from time to time, as to the date of our withdrawal, with the old shuffling excoses ?

It would surely be less dishonest to say at once that we find we are unable to do what we have so often declared that we were going to do, than to keep on repeating that we mean to do it, when we have not the least idea when or how. No doubt our declarations about withdrawal, absolutely sincere when first made, are very difficult to get over. But they will not become less difficult by being repeated now when they have ceased to be sincere."

order to insure general recognition of our position as protectors of Egypt, there are many concessions, important from the point of view of French sentiment, which we could afford to make. No doubt to arrive at any understanding with France would be a work of great difficulty. It might take a long time ; but it is not hopeless if we can once make up our minds to let France and Europe know what we really mean. In the discussions which are sure to arise, both at home and abroad, with regard to the Soudan campaign and the questions arising out of it --questions like that of the powers of the Caisse or the extent of the jurisdiction of the mixed tribunals :-we shall have ample opportunities of inaking our objects and intentions clear. It is of importance that we should use them to free our diplomatic attitude with regard to the Egyptian question from that evasiveness and ambiguity with which it has hitherto not unnaturally been reproached.”

THE HOPE OF SOUTH AFRICA. R. A. MICHIE writes an article on “ The Hope

ANNEX ? NO, ONLY OCCUPY. France, of course, would protest, and the reviewer does not for moment suggest that France would easily and at once agree ; but France at present clings desperately to every shape of international control in Egypt, because it is hoped by this means to worry England to withdraw. If once she realized that this was hopeless, she might be induced to surrender weapons which only made her odious in Egyptian eyes, but which were quite ineffectual for the purpose for which she employs them. The reviewer concludes as follows :

“The British people, if we read their mind aright, have no wish to annex Egypt. They do mean to remain responsible for her security and good government. They are determined not to let the work of the last fourteen years be undermined or overthrown, and they will not tolerate interference with it from any quarter. Now that is a policy to which the majority of the powers are already tacitly consenting, and in which even France may utimately be willing to acquiesce. No doubt she would prefer that we should renounce any predominance whatever in Egypt ; but if that were clearly hopeless she might see more wisdom in joining with others to recognize the exceptional rights which our exceptional sacrifices have give us than in advertising her impotence by barren protests and ineffectual acts of annoyance. And, on the other hand, in

in Blackwood's Magazine for August. Mr. Michie is a gentleman who has spent sufficiently short time in South Africa to have acquired the right to dogmatize with all the sweet assurance of one who has been there, you know." He is very severe upon the raiders, from Mr. Rhodes downward. He says that outside the inner and outer Rhodesian circles Mr. Rhodes is regarded by the South African world as the curse of Africa :

In Cape Town the Rhodesian and anti-Rhodesian currents are sharply divided, like the two ocean currents which are split by the promontory. In the country, as you recede from the capital, the Rhodesian cult becomes paler and colder until you reach Johannesburg, where the name is execrated--a fact unknown or unnoticed in England. And it is a curious commentary on recent events that the Uitlander community there evinced no sympathy with the political conspiracy which was artificially associated with the Jameson raid. They in whose names the ‘reform' agitation was raised, by external agency, repudiate the whole business as a mere scheme of Mr. Rhodes' to achieve some purpose of his own to which they were not parties, and which he has never disclosed. The so-called reform movement in Johannesburg, whose object was to redress grievances which were no longer tolerable, was, in its later phase at least, not only unpopular, but anti-popular, for its obvious purpose, as was speedily perceived, was to enthrone a select group of capitalists, in whose justice, purity, and philan. thropy the general community of Johannesburg felt less confidence than in the corrupt administration of the Hollander-ridden Boers. Rhodesian and antiRhodesian agreed in considering the whole reform agitation a 'put-up job.'”.

WHAT MUST BE DONE.

THE COLLAPSE OF THE COLONIAL SECRETARY. work out, like that which crushed the best man ever
Of Mr. Chamberlain's conduct of affairs at the

sent to Africa-after Sir George Grey-nor must he Colonial Office, he remarks that the Colonial Office

have a task put upon him which man of woman was singular in its blank condition of its fore.

born could never yet perform—that of serving two knowledge. The communications which have taken

masters.” place between the Colonial Office and the Transvaal government have been of a character that defies classification :

THE RISE AND FALL OF ORANGEISM. “That a British statesman in his pride of place,

The Story of One Hundred Years. and with the force of a great empire behind him, should expose himself to discomfiture at the hands MR MICHAEL MACDONAGH contributes to

the Contemporary Review an interesting higof an unlettered peasant with a population scarcely

torical sketch of the Orange Society. Mr. Maclarger than that of Brighton at his back, in a field

Donagh is not an Orangeman and his chronicle is of diplomacy chosen by himself, and with weapons

not inspired by sympathy. It is, indeed, the work of his own selection, is an enigma for which we

of an enemy whose antipathy to Orangemen seems must seek some solution if we would comprehend

to be almost as intense as the detestation with which anything of what is now going on.

Orangemen regard the Pope. When all allowance “The diplomatic collapse of the Colonial Secre

is made for his enmity the story is still very intertary, if it may be considered as an episode by itself,

esting. Orangeism sprang out of just such circum. yields to a comparatively simple explanation, which,

stances as those which created the Land League: if not representing the ultimate verity, comes suffi.

Like all societies and confederacies, political as ciently near to serve as a working hypothesis."

well as agrarian, which have existed in Ireland, it
has had its origin in feuds associated with the

vicious land system of the country. The society That explanation is simply that Mr. Chamberlain

was established on September 21, 1795, in the county was competely in the dark as to arrangements. The

of Armagh.” Colonial Office knew nothing that the Chartered

Its precursor was a society of Protestant peasants Company did not choose to tell it, and hence when

who had been evicted to make room for Catholics. the press and the country urged prompt and decisive

and who went under the title of Peep o' Day action, the Colonial Secretary rushed into the open,

Boys," and carried fire and sword into the homewhile his adversary waited for him behind granite

steads of their hated rivals. bowlders. When the situation became clear, and Mr. Chamberlain saw how the land lay, he suddenly

“A BANDITTI OF MURDERERS." became passive, and perhaps a trifle dilatory. Mr. The Catholics organized in opposition a society Michie thinks that the Chartered land should be known as “ Defenders,” and one hundred years ago taken over by the Colonial Office, and the one hope last September the two factions came to open war at of South Africa is the Imperial factor :

the “ Battle of the Diamond.” The “ Peep o' Day “ South Africa requires first of all that the British Boys were victorious, and immediately after their government shall definitely assert its authority victory the Orange Society was born and at once there. This is the desire of Boer and Kaffir alike.

proceeded to acts of greatest atrocity: Secondly, efficient machinery to execute the will of “ The Orangemen demolished during the months the government, having as its head a competent that followed almost every Catholic house in the representative always in evidence in Africa, a real county of Armagh, and thousands of Papists were High Commissioner, shielded from every influence forced to fly for their lives to the province of Con. save that of the Crown. Of course this will cost naught, as well as to the neighboring counties of money, but not a tithe of what the neglect of our Cavan, Monaghan, and Tyrone. "To hell or Conduty has cost and will continue to cost us. And it naught' was the ultimatuin presented to the Catho. will be money well invested if it secures to us a man lics of northeast Ulster. Over .7,000 of them took -there are plenty of them to be had for the asking refuge in the remote western province. They call - who would rule the natives like a father, filling themselves Orangemen and Protestant boys,' said the place vacated by their dead or conquered chiefs ; Henry Grattan, in the Irish House of Coinmons in who would regulate the influx of settlers into new 1797, in the course of a debate on the deeds of the territory, while assisting them in all lawful enter- society. “They are a banditti of murderers, comprises, and who would defend both white and black mitting massacres in the name of God and exercisagainst all interference from without. Rhodesia

ing despotic powers in the name of liberty.'” has of course the most pressing claim, and there

SUPPRESSED AND REVIVED. need be no longer any delicacy about superseding the worthless sham that has pretended to govern Its subsequent history has borne abundant traces that territory. But the Queen's representative who of its sanguinary birth throes: shall wield this imperial authority in South Africa “ The misdeeds of the Orange Society have been must have no Downing Street scheme given him to frequently exposed in the Imperial Parliament. In

[ocr errors]

THE MIGHTY FALLEN,

He says:

1813 several petitions were presented to the Lords present declaration was substituted for the old ille and Commons praying for its suppression. Nothing gal oath, though the form of words is actually simiwas done by the government, however, till 1825, lar; and the Grand Lodge having been again opened when an act was passsed dissolving the society for in 1849, the institution began the present phase of three years. That act was evaded simply enough. its career. For the three years' of its existence the 'Orange Lodges' were called ' Brunswick Clubs,' and, when “ It was practically omnipotent in Ireland at the the act lapsed in 1828, the ‘Brunswick Clubs' were

opening of the century. Its members occupied all retransformed into Orange Lodges. At this time the

the high places of the land, executive and adminissociety was of the most wide reaching and formidable trative. It was sworn before the Select Committee character. In 1808 an Orange Society, distinct from in 1835 that there were 200,000 members of the socithe Irish organization, but with the same objects, ety in Ireland, and all its leaders were wealthy and had been established in England, with headquarters powerful territorial magnates. It has to-day at at Manchester. In 1821 the Grand Lodge was re most about 10,000 nominal members, but morally moved to London. The Duke of York was invited

and intellectually it has little or no influence. It is to become Grand Master; but he declined, on being

almost exclusively composed of the artisans and advised that the organization was illegal; but in laborers of the towns. There are not many sub1828, after the Act of Suppression had lapsed, the stantial men of business, or men of good social posiIrish and the English branches of the institution tion or ability, in its ranks. It is now regarded as were amalgamated, and, with Ernest, Duke of

an extremely vulgar and ludicrous movement by Cumberland (brother of George IV.), as Grand Mas

the vast majority of Protestants, who deplore its ter, the society, still oath bound, and with an elabo. sinister influence in destroying or impairing the rate system of secret signs and pass-words, com charities and amenities of religious and civic life in menced afresh its career of fratricidal strife.

Ireland.”
DISSOLVED BY ROYALTY.

HORRORS OF INITIATION. And now comes a remarkable episode in the his What goes on within the lodges no one but tory of the institution. In March, 1835, a debate in Orangemen can tell. Mr. MacDonagh, however, the House of Commons, initiated by Hume resulted gives some hints of the extraordinary and gruesome in the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire

nature of the ceremonial. into the origin, objects, and methods of the Orange It is to the revelations of the coroner's court and Society.

the police court that we are indebted for our infor“ It is a remarkable fact that not a single word in mation of the tomfooleries attending the ceremonies defense of the Orange Society is to be found ex of initiation in the Orange lodges. Mishaps resultpressed by any Minister of the Crown in the numer ing in loss of life or injury to limb occur in the ous Parliamentary debates of which the society has course of these extraordinary proceedings. A short been the subject, or in the reports of the various time ago a man was shot dead in an Orange lodge in Parliamentary committees that have inquired into the North of Ireland. It was explained at the inits objects and actions, or in any historical work by quest that revolver shots are used in the course of any independent and impartial Protestant writer. the ceremonies, and on this occasion it happened Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that no move that the weapon, unknown to the person who used ment in this kingdom has been so universally con it, was loaded with ball cartridges. On a similar demned and reprobated.

occasion in a Belfast lodge, a man ascending the “ As a result of the disclosures before the Select first three steps of Jacob's ladder,' blindfolded, fell Committee of 1835, a resolution was unanimously back and was killed. Another curious incident was adopted by the House of Commons praying the King

that of a man who, in going through the ceremony to take such measures as to him seemed advisable

of initiation to the second degree of Orangeism, was ' for the effectual discouragement of Orange Lodges,' put blindfolded into a blanket or net hammock, and and his Majesty in reply said: 'It is my firm in. swung about in it so violently that he sustained a tention to discourage all such societies in my domin dislocation of the spine at the back of the neck." ions, and I rely with confidence on the fidelity of my loyal subjects to support me in this determina For some months an interesting series of illustion.' Yielding, then, to the pressure of opinion trated articles, entitled “Haunts of the Poets,” by public, parliamentary, and royal—the Duke of Cum various writers, has been running in Atalanta. It berland dissolved the institution in Ireland, Great includes Wordsworth and Westmoreland, Scott and Britain and the Colonies. But so far as Ireland was the Scottish Highlands, Shelley and Surrey, Hampconcerned the society was merely disbanded as a stead and Keats, and Shenstone and Warwickshire. system of affiliated lodges under a Grand Lodge, In the August number Mr. Aymer Vallance writes for the lodges throughout the country continued to on the history of “Knives, Spoons and Forks; ” exist in an unaffiliated condition. This state of Barbara Russell on Home Arts and Industries ; things lasted till 1845, when the rules of the society Maud Venables Vernon on · Bands of Mercy;" and were revised by Mr. Joseph Napier, Q.C., and the Mr.R.O. A. Dawson on the “Modern Jews in Europe. "

99

« PreviousContinue »