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tives—uncertain. While some anticipate a clash between the two houses, which would necessitate an appeal to the electorate, the probability is that a compromise will be effected, and that a tariff for revenue chiefly, with incidental protection, will be adopted after a thorough discussion of the courses open to the young nation. But what would happen in the event of inability of the two chambers to reach an agreement? As intimated, first a new election would have to be ordered. It is to be borne in mind that the Australian senators, like the representatives, are elected directly by the people, and that the senate derives an authority from this fact such as is possessed by no other upper house in existence. Revenue bills must originate in the house, but the senate may amend them. The constitution provides that if the discord continues after an election definitely turning on a certain issue upon which the houses are at war a joint session shall be held and the measure voted upon and passed by a bare majority of the senators and representatives sitting as one body. This arrangement gives the lower branch a decided advantage, owing to its numerical superiority. The present Australian ministry is committed to a high tariff, and much will depend on its willingness to make concessions for the sake of a prompt settlement and the relief of trade and commerce from stagnation and disturbing agitation. The cabinet is responsible to the house alone, and can be ousted from office either by an adverse vote in that body or by a defeat at the joint session. There is little doubt that Premier Barton will yield something to the opposition and consent to a moderate tariff as a provisional solution of the federation’s first and most difficult problem.
Chicago as a seaport, though it is situated a thousand miles from the sea! A recent business experiment of an enterprising Chicago firm has attracted much comment and wonder. It is sought to determine the practicability of direct shipment of goods produced in the middle west to European ports – Liverpool, Hamburg, Havre, etc.— and the bringing of return cargoes to Chicago. A steamer, the Northwestern, was specially built for the purpose, and the same firm has contracted for three other steamers adapted to the peculiar requirements of lake and ocean commerce.
The steamer was loaded down to the full
depth of twenty-one feet at the point of departure, taking a grain cargo to Buffalo. There it must be lightened to twelve feet in order to pass the Welland and other Canadian canals and the shallows of the St. Lawrence river. At Montreal it can be loaded down again with any cargo intended for European markets. These difficulties are, of course, serious drawbacks, and another drawback is the necessity of limiting the ocean voyages to the spring and summer months, as the craft could not ride the waves of the Atlantic in stormy weather. Nevertheless there is believed to be a fair profit in direct commerce between Chicago and Europe. The Northwestern carried out machinery, manufactures, packing-house products, and grain. There is no lack of disposition among Illinois manufacturers and shippers to lend all possible assistance to the enterprise, though in the east it is regarded with some distrust, if not amusement. Chicago is herself so great a marvel, and her achievements are so extraordinary, that her latest ambition may prove more practicable than the ordinary resident of the sea-coast is inclined to believe. It is pointed out, moreover, that her route to the sea may eventually be via the Mississippi. Her $35,000,000 channel, at first a purely sanitary project, may become a link in a great waterway to the Gulf of Mexico. In some respects Chicago is backward and unfortunate. The Illinois constitution of
1870, a product of Granger rule, restricts and hampers her development. She needs a modern charter and home rule, while the constitution puts her on the same footing as any city, town, or village by prohibiting all special legislation with regard to revenue, borrowing, taxation, the administration of justice, etc. Efforts to amend the constitution and to give Chicago a free hand are obstructed by the country representatives, and a movement for a convention to revise the organic laws has just been defeated. But while the city is poor, dirty, and dilapidated, her industries, population, and private wealth grow steadily, and private enterprise is far in advance of municipal activity. A “city beautiful” campaign has been started which promises much substantial improvement in the way of cleaner streets, small parks, suppression of the smoke nuisance, and chaotic construction of private
The movement to preserve historic places continues to attract sympathetic attention in various parts of the country, notably in and about New York. Recently the Board of Public Improvements of New York City took steps toward the acquirement of the Jumel mansion at 160th street and Harlem river. This is now the only building in New York identified as Washington's headquarters, all the others having been demolished. The mansion was built in 1750 by Roger Morris, a colonel in the British army, who married Mary Phillipse, the fair young woman whom Washington is said to have wooed and lost. Washington lived in the house from June to October, 1776. The place is of interest also from the fact that under its roof Aaron Burr was married to Madam Jumel. An effort is being made also to induce New York City to secure Fraunce's Tavern, at the corner of Broad and Pearl streets, with the other buildings in the block, to transform the land into a park, and to restore the tavern to its appearance in Revolutionary days. The tavern was built in 1762, and on December 4, 1783, Washington took farewell of his old comrades in arms in its “long room.” The place has degenerated into a restaurant and saloon, and as the present owner refuses to sell, the only way to secure the historic site and to preserve it as an educational and patriotic feature is for the city to acquire title to it by means of condemnation proceedings. During the last session of the New York legislature a bill was introduced appropriat
ing $50,000 for the purchase of the Hamilton Grange, the home of Alexander Hamilton, on 143rd street, New York City. A petition signed by five hundred prominent men was sent to the legislature in behalf of the bill. This house was built in 1802, and was occupied by Hamilton for only a short time, as he died on July 12, 1804, the day after his duel with Burr. It is proposed to make the Grange a repository of Hamilton relics and to maintain it as a museum. Near the Grange is the group of trees planted by Hamilton, originally thirteen, in memory of the thirteen
the west bank of the Hudson — which were in danger of ultimate demolition at the hands of the stone blasters who have been doing their work of vandalism for some years—are to be preserved and beautified. The legislatures of New Jersey and New York have made appropriations for the purchase of the property and for its transformation into a park. The legislature of New York did another good thing in passing a law broadening the scope of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, permitting it to acquire historic objects, or memorable or picturesque places, not only in the state of New York but anywhere in the United States. Having secured a national character this society is sure to become a strong and influential agency for preserving to posterity many places and objects of historic importance and value. This society surely deserves the active sympathy of all patriotic citizens throughout
trine that the new possessions are integral parts of the United States, and not “property” or “foreign territory” to which the rule of uniformity in taxation does not apply. The war revenue law contains a provision taxing domestic and export bills of lading. The stamp tax on export bills was ten times that on domestic bills. It was resisted on the ground that the provision was contrary to the express prohibition in the constitution against the taxation of exports. “No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state,” says the organic charter, and the question was whether a stamp tax on a document or evidence of exports was a tax on the things exported. The supreme court said in the concluding paragraph: “We are of opinion that a stamp tax on a foreign bill of lading is in substance and effect equivalent to a tax on the articles included in that bill of lading, and therefore a tax or duty on exports and in conflict with the constitutional prohibition.” Referring to the contention of counsel that, if a tax on foreign bills of lading is invalid, tonnage taxes and stamp duties on ships' manifests must also fail, the opinion remarks that, even if this result should follow, it would furnish no reason for not recognizing the obvious and true construction of the constitutional restriction. No fewer than four of the justices dissented from this ruling, and Justice Harlan declared it to be contrary to precedent, for the court, according to him, has always distinguished between a tax on things and a tax on the instruments or evidences of the transfer of things. There is little doubt that this statement is correct, and that the decision is a remarkable instance of broad construction, evincing a determination to enforce not merely the letter, but also the spirit of the constitution. The same doctrine, if applied to the Porto Rican and Philippine tariff cases, would dictate the conclusion that a tax on goods
MANUEL ALWAREZ CALDERON,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from Peru to the United States.
exported from the states or territories to the new possessions was an export tax, and, as such, unconstitutional. That is, it is an export tax if the dependencies are to be treated as “foreign territory” for the purpose of taxation. If they are not foreign territory, but parts of “the United States,” then there can be no tariff wall between them and the states and organized territories. While prediction and inference are hazardous, it is by no means unreasonable to conclude that the decision under review foreshadows the vindication of the position of the eminent attorneys who attacked the Porto Rican and Philippine tariffs as repugnant to the constitutional requirement of uniform duties and excises throughout the territory subject to the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the United States.
Whatever differences of opinion there may be regarding the economic and social effects of so-called trusts or huge combinations of industrial enterprises, it is generally admitted that inflation, over-capitalization, or “stockwatering,” is detrimental and inconsistent with the alleged justification of combination, namely, “economy.” But can over-capitalization be prevented by the courts? Curiously enough, the most sweeping answer in the affirmative has been made by the highest appellate tribunal of New Jersey – the state regarded as the mecca and home of trusts and questionable corporations.
The New York law provides that no stock shall be issued for less than its par value, and in that state the valuation placed upon property by directors is liable to be reviewed and overruled by the courts. In Maine, trusts have been held liable for stock issued in payment of overvalued property absorbed by a corporation. Under the New Jersey laws, an issue of stock by a corporation for property purchased or absorbed imposes upon the directors the duty to ascertain the real value of the property. The judgment of the directors, while entitled to weight, is not conclusive, and may be reviewed by a court of equity at the instance of dissenting or protesting stockholders. But if the stock has been issued, the judgment of the directors becomes conclusive, and only proofs of actual fraud in the transaction can be made the ground of judicial interference.
Such is the interpretation put upon the law by the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals. The court, in a case brought by certain stockholders of the American Smelting and Refining Company to prevent the
purchase of a plant at an excessive valuation, sustained an injunction issued in a lower court, and ordered a judicial inquiry into the value of the property sought to be absorbed. The directors were not accused of dishonesty. This, the opinion declared, was not at all necessary. It said:
“Their honest judgment, if reached without examination into the elements of value, or if used in part upon an estimate of matters which really are not property, or if plainly warped by self-interest, may lead to violation of the statutory rule as surely as would corrupt motive. The original issue of corporate stock is a special function in the exercise of which the legislature has fixed the standard to be observed, and it is the duty of the courts, so far as their jurisdiction extends, to see that this standard is not violated either intentionally or unintentionally.”
Many attorneys expressed surprise and apprehension over this radical ruling. But it cannot injure honest corporations that aim at economy and good management rather than at stock jobbing and speculation. Unfortunately, however, only stockholders can prevent inflation and the capitalization of possible and doubtful profits. If no complaint is made by a stockholder, the public has no way of procuring judicial scrutiny and intervention. This points to a serious defect in the law. Why should not the attorneygeneral of the state have the power to invoke the aid of the courts in enforcing the corporation low and restraining stock-watering and inflation?
In our February number an account was given of the “peace and arbitration ” conference held at Chicago under the auspices of the National Civic Federation. That conference appointed a committee of twelve to promote the cause of industrial conciliation and arbitration. That body has in turn appointed a large national committee to take charge of the work and organize in various localities smaller bodies, to gather information on trade agreements now in force, and to elaborate a general plan of action. Many men of prominence have accepted membership, and three great classes are represented – the employers, the employed, and the “general public,” which is the silent third party in every dispute between capital and labor. The public is represented by Cardinal Gibbons, Bishop Henry C. Potter of New York, President Seth Low of Columbia University, and Secretary R. M. Earley of the Civic Federation. The representatives of capital and organized labor are these:
Adolphus C. Bartlett, vice-president Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., Chicago; S. R. Callaway, president New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Company,
New York City; Chauncey H. Castle, president Stove Founders' National Defense Association (ComstockCastle Stove Company), Quincy, Ill.; W. J. Chalmers, National Metal Trades Association (Fraser & Chalmers Company), Chicago; E. E. Clark, grand chief conductor, Order of Railway Conductors, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Frank P. Sargent, grand master Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Peoria, Ill.; William H. Sayward, secretary National Association of Builders, Boston, Mass.; T. J. Shaffer, president Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers, Pittsburg, Pa.; H. J. Steinbiss, secretary and treasurer National Building Trades Council, St. Louis, Mo.; Henry White, general secretary United Garment Workers of America, New York City; James H. Bowman, president International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union, Chicago; D. A. Hayes, president Glass Bottle Blowers' Association of the United States and Canada, Philadelphia, Pa.; Martin Fox, president Iron Molders' Union of America, Cincinnati; G. Watson French, vicepresident Republic Iron & Steel Co., Chicago; James M. Lynch, president International Typographical Union, Indianapolis, Ind.; John Mitchell, president United Mine Workers of America, Indianapolis, Ind. ; James O'Connell, president International Association of Machinists, Washington; Samuel Gompers, president American Federation of Labor, Washington; D. R. Hanna, chairman Dock Managers' Association (M. A. Hanna & Co.), Cleveland; Henry W. Hoyt, president National Founders' Association (vice-president Gates Iron Works), Chicago; E. T. Jeffery, president Denver & Rio Grande Railway Company, Denver; Herman Justi, commissioner Illinois Coal Operators' Association, Chicago; E. D. Kenna, vice-president Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway system, Chicago; Daniel J. Keefe, president International Longshoremen's Association, Chicago.
SIR JOHN STAINER, The late musical composer. in Colorado and Kansas have been attributed by some superficial writers and public men to the absence of capital punishment in those states. Colorado has abolished that extreme penalty by law, while in Kansas its application depends entirely upon the discretion of the governor, and it has been abandoned in practise owing to the unwillingness of the chief executives to sign death warrants. As a matter of fact, “ lynch law'” exists in states that have preserved and enforced capital punishment, and there is absolutely no relation between mob rule and violence, and the employment of the death penalty. The governors of the five states which have done away with capital punishment are quite emphatic on this point. Their experience, and that of the commonwealths they represent, must be regarded as possessing high value as evidence. They gave their opinions to a Chicago newspaper in response to a direct question. The governor of Rhode Island stated that there was nothing in the record of crime in that community to indicate the desirability of restoring the death penalty, and that no one regrets its abolition. The governors of Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado expressed similar opinions, one or two of them testifying that the tendency under the humane system is to diminish mob violence rather than to increase it. This evidence should be duly considered by those states which, like Massachusetts, are now considering the proposition to do away with capital punishment. The scientific criminologists are practically agreed that the death penalty is a relic of barbarism, and a disgrace to modern civilization and jurisprudence, but the practical man resists this conclusion. It is therefore interesting to find that an official who has been public prosecutor for twenty-two years, Mr. Knowlton, the attorney-general of Massachusetts, unqualifiedly endorses the scientific view, and declares the death penalty to be unnecessary as a safeguard. He adds that nearly all those who have had much experience with criminals and penal institutions share his belief that punishment by death neither prevents nor diminishes the crime of murder, and that therefore society, having outgrown the stake, the rack, and the whipping-post, should abandon the gallows and the electric chair as similar relics of barbarism.
The subject of marriage and divorce has received no little attention of late, owing to some legislation in two or three states and
to two supreme court decisions declaring divorces granted in South Dakota and Pennsylvania to citizens of other states null and void. These decisions have been misinterpreted in some quarters, and sweeping conclusions have been drawn from them. Closer examination shows that no radical principle is laid down by the federal court, and that the evil of “easy divorces” is not to be cured by the courts. The constitution requires that “full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state,” and hence a decree of divorce granted by a court having jurisdiction of the parties must be recognized as valid throughout the union. The question of jurisdiction depends upon the laws of the particular state in which the judgment in any case is asked and rendered. There are no national divorce laws, and appeals against divorce decrees to the federal supreme court must be decided with reference to the law of the state which granted them. In one of the two cases decided by the supreme court the following situation was found, in the language of the opinion: “The law of North Dakota requires a domicile in good faith of the libelant for ninety days as a prere
quisite to jurisdiction of a case of divorce. The facts in evidence warranted and indeed required the finding
THE INTERNATIONAL JUGGLER.
THE WAITING PoWERS — “He seems to be able to keep it up forever.” —Kladderadatsch.