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The shareholders are to be exclusively Russians and Chinese. The line is to be completed in six years; capital 5,000,000 paper roubles. It was mainly to provide for the construction of this railway that the Russo-Chinese bank was recently founded. Its capital of £1,000,000 sterling was largely subscribed in France.
The total distance of the Manchurian railway will be 1,280 miles, of which 946 will pass through Chinese territory. It will be 342 miles shorter than if built within the Russian border, and at most 400 miles southward of the latter in the region of better climate and more productive soil. The Chinese government may either purchase the railway after thirty-six years or take possession without payment at the end of eighty years. The concession to the company includes commercial and industrial undertakings, the workings of coal mines, etc. Goods in transit over the line will be free from all Chinese taxes. Merchandise imported by the railway into China from Russia or vice versa will pay one-third less than the import or export duties levied at the Chinese sea ports. The railway is to be guarded by the company's own police force.
Korea.-Russian influence is dominant in the Korean peninsula; but the exact political status of the kingdom is still apparently incapable of definition by outside observers. Rumors and counter-rumors fill the air. The reported establishment of a joint protectorate by Japan and Russia (p. 612) was contradicted by dispatches in October. It is possible that light may soon be thrown upon the situation.
THE PARTITION OF AFRICA.
A recently published article by Henry M. Stanley, M. P., entitled "The Story of the Development of Africa,' contains the following timely and interesting information. regarding the territorial acquisitions of the leading European powers in the dark continent during the last decade:
"Within the last ten years France has acquired of equatorial Africa about 300,000 square miles, in which there are now 300 Europeans; Germany 400,000 square miles; Italy 547,000 square miles; and Portugal has now a defined territory extending over 710,000 square miles. France, moreover, has been active farther north, in the Sahara and in West Africa, and claims right over 1,600,000 square miles, while Germany, in southwest Africa and the Cameroons, asserts her rule over 540,000 square miles." England was the last European power to engage in the rush for African territory. Her efforts for some years after the Berlin conference of 1885, which resulted in the establishment of the Kongo Free State, had been confined to reserving spheres of influence rather than to violent annexation, and to moderating the passion for African land manifested by Germany, France, and Italy. If any power had the moral right to interfere with this fierce lust for annexation, it must be admitted that, after policing the African coasts for over half a century, exploring the interior, and establishing Christian missions in East Africa, Nyassa Land, and Uganda, England was fairly entitled to it. Between 1886 and 1890 Englishmen succeeded in forming the famous South Africa Company,
the African Lakes Company, and the Imperial British East Africa Company. The Royal Niger Company had obtained a charter in 1886; and in October, 1889, a somewhat similar one was granted to the South Africa Company, with administrative power over 750,000 square miles. In 1891 it absorbed the African Lakes Company; and thus British Central Africa, with 500,000 square miles, was formed. To the British East Africa Company was given authority over 700,000 square miles. By placing these statistics in a tabular form the reader may best see the subdivision which has taken place since February 25, 1885:
Italo-Tunisian Treaty.-An incident indicative of the improved relations between France and Italy under the administration of Premier di Rudini, the successor of Signor Crispi, was the signing, about September 30, of a treaty between France and Italy, whereby Italy virtually recognizes Tunis as a French dependency. The Roman Opinione, an Italian government organ, is authority for the statement that the treaty is only a prelude to "more important events" and to the "improvement of the economic relations between the two countries.
Italian foreign policy is evidently undergoing some change-witness Abyssinia, and now Tunis, as well as the persistent though as yet unfounded rumors of the altered attitude of Italian public opinion toward the Triple Alliance. By the present treaty Italy abandons a longcherished grievance; she accepts the situation in North Africa created by the establishment of the French protectorate, although she has about 20,000 subjects in Tunis to France's 10,000; and she paves the way for an ending of that economic war which has been waged for years between her and France, and which, to as great a degree as her enormous military expenditures, has been a cause of the present financial and industrial depression of the kingdom.
There is no evidence forthcoming, however, that Italy's formal obligations to the powers of central Europe have undergone any change. The new treaty, from a political
point of view, is to be taken as merely indicating the growth of a better sentiment among Italians in regard to the French republic, which may have far-reaching influence in the unknown emergencies of the future.
There is now only one obstacle to the complete, formal annexation of Tunis to the French dominions. That obstacle is England, the only important power that has not yet come to an understanding with France on this subject. The British government can scarcely be expected to abandon its position without receiving some valuable quid pro quo, either in Egypt, or Newfoundland, or IndoChina.
Italy and Brazil.-About the middle of November a settlement of the differences between Italy and Brazil (p. 612), was reached.
Brazil, it is stated, will pay a fixed sum (4,000 contos) in liquidation of all claims of Italy, except those which arose from outrages upon Italian subjects in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catharina, which will be submitted to a mixed arbitration committee. Italy promises to remove her consul at Sao Paulo, Signor Brichanteaux, who led a demonstration during the recent troubles in that city. Italians will also again be permitted to emigrate to Brazil.
Colombia and Costa Rica.-Another victory for the principle of arbitration was the conclusion of a treaty at Bogota, early in November, by which Costa Rica and Colombia agreed to submit the disputed question of their boundary to the arbitration of the president of France, or, failing him, of President Diaz of Mexico, or again, if both these men declined to act, of the president of the Swiss Confederation. The history of the negotiations, and the interest of the United States in the dispute, are indicated as follows:
On Secretary Bayard's advice, during President Cleveland's first administration, the controversy was referred to Spain for decision, that country being at the time engaged in drawing a boundary line between Venezuela and Colombia. The Spanish government, while acceding to the request, deferred taking up the Costa Rica case until it could complete the Venezuelan-Colombian boundary case. During the delay, it appears, Colombia made grants in the disputed territory to a New Jersey company and to the Panama Canal Company. In the resulting friction, Colombia asserted that the time within which Spain should have acted on the boundary question had expired, and in 1891 she withdrew from the treaty. Two years ago Secretary Gresham urged both countries to submit the matter to impartial adjudication; and from negotiations then begun the present treaty of Bogota is the
Costa Rica claims on the Atlantic coast as far south as the island of Escudo de Veragua and the River Chiriqui, inclusive, and on the Pacific as far as Burica point. Colombia claims north to Correta
point on the Atlantic, and to the River Golfito on the Pacific. United States has large interests in this territory.
Colombia and Nicaragua.-At the close of the year a sharp tension had apparently developed in the relations of Colombia and Nicaragua over their respective territorial claims to the Mosquito coast and Corn Island, the latter a valuable strategic point lying about thirty-six miles out at sea, and commanding the Atlantic entrance to the various proposed trans-isthmian canals.
Late in November a rumor was spread that Colombia was contemplating a military occupation of Corn Island. President Zelaya of Nicaragua promptly sent detachments of troops instructed to maintain the sovereign rights of Nicaragua; and Colombia was warned, diplomatically and through the press, that an attempt on her part to seize Corn Island might lead to a warlike combination of Salvador and Honduras in support of Nicaragua against her-these three republics being now affiliated as sister members of the Greater Republic of Central America. No further developments had occurred up to the end of the year.
It is said that Colombia's contemplated move was in response to a petition from the inhabitants of Corn Island, who were dissatisfied with the heavy taxes laid upon them by Nicaragua, especially the tax of $6 a gallon on liquor.
Until the fifties Corn Island was in the possession of Colombia, but was ceded to King George of the Mosquito reservation, on condi tion, Colombia claims, that it should be returned when ever requested. In 1889, when it was reported that Colombia was about to retake the island, Nicaragua sent an armed force to protect it. No attempt, however, was made by Colombia; and in 1890 Nicaragua took formal, undisturbed possession.
Miscellaneous.-The relations of England and Liberia have recently been strained as the result of outrages by Liberians on British subjects from Sierra Leone. The chief source of trouble seems to be the importation of cheap Kroo labor from the British colony. In November, Colonel Cardew, governor of Sierra Leone, under threat of landing an armed force from the two British warships which accompanied him, and of seizing the customs house, forced Liberia to pay $1,000 as indemnity for outrages upon British subjects at Grand Bassa.
Several instances of British vessels being fired upon by the one gunboat which constitutes the navy of Liberia, have since been reported.
On December 30 the Swiss federal council announced its decision as arbitrator of the claim of the French merchant and ship-owner, M. Fabiani, against Venezuela.
The claim, amounting to 56,000,000 francs, was based on injuries alleged to have been received during the administration of President Blanco. The award simply recognizes the fact that justice was
denied to Fabiani, and fixes the indemnity to be paid to him by Venezuela at 4,346,656 francs.
The decision solves many points affecting the rights of nations, private and international rights, and gives exhaustive explanations thereon. The document, it is expected, will be of the highest order of international value.
UNITED STATES POLITICS.
OUR record of developments in the presidential campaign which closed November 3 will be found elsewhere under the heading "The November Elections," with detailed tabulated statement of the vote by states (p.781).
Problems Still Unsettled.-There are still unsolved many grave problems which neither this election, nor in fact any single election, can finally dispose of; and the general rejoicing of the victors in the recent contest is tempered by doubtful misgivings over these still unsettled questions.
Silver Agitation to be Continued.-Although some of the representative organs of the South have expressed the opinion that silver agitation had now better be abandoned in view of the decisive verdict rendered at the polls, there is no evidence that the leading champions of the temporarily lost cause take this hopeless view of the situation. On November 6, Mr. Bryan, the defeated silver candidate for president, issued a rallying cry to the bimetallists of the United States not to give up the struggle. Said he:
"The friends of bimetallism have not been vanquished; they have simply been overcome. They believe that the gold standard is a conspiracy of the money changers against the welfare of the human race; and, until convinced of their error, they will continue the warfare against it. In spite of the efforts of the administration and its supporters, in spite of the threats of money-loaners at home and abroad, in spite of the coercion practiced by corporate employers, in spite of trusts and syndicates, in spite of an enormous republican campaign fund, and in spite of the influence of a hostile daily press, bimetallism has almost triumphed in its first great fight. The loss of a few states-and that, too, by very small pluralities-has defeated bimetallism for the present; but bimetallism emerges from the contest stronger than it was four months ago. * * *
"In the face of an enemy rejoicing in its victory, let the roll be called for the next engagement, and urge all friends of bimetallism to renew their allegiance to the cause. If we are right, as I believe we are, we shall yet triumph. Until convinced of his error, let each ad