« PrejšnjaNaprej »
A Monthly Magazine for Self-Education.
Hig h w a
INCE the first announcement of the aimed at is Russia. The Chinese settlement Franco-Russian alliance nothing has is based on the very principles specified in so surprised the world as the sud- the treaty, and the alliance may therefore den publication of the Anglo-Japa- seem purposeless. But it is to be borne in nese treaty in regard to China and Korea. mind that Russia still occupies Manchuria, A defensive and offensive alliance between the great and rich province she captured Great Britain and a non-Christian oriental during the late upheaval, and shows no people-a people, too, whose entrance intention of retiring. She disclaims any upon a civilized life is so recentis cer- purpose of permanent annexation, but her tainly one of the sensational political events unsuccessful attempts to conclude a treaty of the recent period. There has been talk with China confirming her control are reabout an understanding with Japan for garded as evidence of bad faith and duplicity. some years, not only in England but else- The Manchurian question is officially stated where in Europe, but a hard-and-fast alliance to be within the scope of the Anglo-Japanese no one dreamed of as an early possibility. convention, but exactly what this means is not clear. It is not believed that a demand for evacuation will be made upon Russia. Such a demand would mean war, and England would hardly risk war with Russia even under more favorable conditions than those prevailing today when her army is busy in South Africa. To diplomatic pressure without threats of coercion Russia will pay no attention, as she has hastened to declare.
Only a few weeks ago Mr. Chamberlain repeated the boast regarding England's magnificent isolation. She had no need of allies or friends, Mr. Chamberlain declared, so long as the colonists were loyal to the empire. Yet at that very time the foreign office was concluding a treaty with Japan covering the great question of far eastern policy. For it should be understood that the alliance is not general, like that between Russia and France; it is limited by its terms to the field of far eastern affairs.
In an official statement the St. Petersburg foreign office has made singularly ironical and somewhat contemptuous comments on the treaty. It said that the preamble was so satisfactory that Russia would have cheerfully signed it had she been asked; that the talk of war in the instrument was very strange and gratuitous, for no power was threatening China or the open door; and that Russian policy would not be modified in any way by reason of the treaty. This is a plain hint as to the futility of any opposition to her Manchurian plans, whatever they are.
The United States has given no official
The scope or purpose of the alliance is defined in the treaty with great care, though it is supposed that there is another treaty, explanatory and restrictive, which has not been made public. The territorial and commercial status quo is to be preserved in China and in Korea. The door is to remain open, and the independence and integrity of the countries named are to be protected by armed resistance if necessary.
It is generally understood, notwithstanding official denials, that the power chiefly
In Europe this visit has continued to be expression of opinion on the treaty. Our The good relations with Russia and Germany the subject of speculative comment. forbid such expression. We have, however, Prince is supposed to have brought to Presisome special diplomatic consistently advocated the open door, and dent Roosevelt that feature of the alliance pleases Ameri- message from Emperor William, and confircans. In England there is some doubt in mation of this has been found in one somethoughtful circles as what delphic utterance made by the prince to the wisdom of the at the press dinner. If you wish to grasp step, for the hos- the hand which is a friendly one," he said, tility of the Conti- " and which under the circumstances is anynent is certain to be thing but mailed, you have only got to look intensified by the for it on the other side of the North Atlantreaty. For exam- tic, and you will find it." It is easy to read ple, the London Spec- a reference to an "alliance" into these tator, a ministerial words, but there is no warrant for such a and influential jour- construction of them. nal, says:
Germany, it is true, has reached a turning point in her diplomacy. The triple alliance is crumbling, Italy drawing near to France, and Austria-Hungary protesting against the German commercial policy as antagonistic to her industrial interests and inconsistent with That Germany may political friendship. need new alliances is quite probable, but the United States will make no exception in this case any more than it has made in the case of Great Britain.
CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT,
Reëlected president of the
"We object to the treaty not only because of the open declaration of hostilities toward Russia, though this, of course, National American Womis officially denied, but an Suffrage Association. because it places our future relations with both France and Russia at the mercy of Japan. Even if it were held that Russia was an enemy and never could be a friend we would protest against this sort of an alliance to curb her."
Prince Henry's Visit, and After.
The visit of Prince Henry of Prussia to the United States has passed into history. The first ceremonies were rather formal and cold, but the unaffected simplicity and straightforwardness of the prince soon conquered all hearts, and the popular reception accorded him in every place visited was cordial in the extreme. The prince himself, particularly in his neat address to the newspaper men of New York, referred to his "mission" in the United States as that of strengthening the bonds of amity and sympathy between the two peoples. The universal verdict is that in this he has been eminently Successful.
JOHN BULL SECURES A NEW PARTNER.
- Cleveland Plain Dealer.
publication of certain diplomatic correspond- in any case, without the aid of the reaction
aries. Méline is not unwilling to profit by nationalist support, and this has alienated from him the sympathy of many moderates. The present ministry, as has been explained
ence by the Berlin foreign office has shown that before and during the Spanish war Germany did nothing to encourage resistance to the United States. A proposal to present a collective note to our government declaring on previous occasions, is kept in power by that Spain's concessions rendered armed the Radicals, Socialists, and uncompromising intervention unnecessary and unjustifiable, Republicans. Without the support of the was opposed by Emperor William as "preju- Socialists the Waldeck-Rousseau government dicial and futile." In fact, no European could not have commanded the necessary power save Austria entertained at that time any serious notion of offering gratuitous advice or hinting at coercion to the United States. The revelations on this point tended to make Prince Henry's visit more successful than it could have been had there remained in the American mind a lingering suspicion of German hostility at the time of our difficulty with Spain.
We desire the friendship of all the powers, but this must be had on our own terms, as to which there can be no uncertainty. On this side the Monroe doctrine; in the Orient the open door and equality of commercial opportunity.
The republic itself is in no danger. At the worst the. so-called moderate Republicans, led by ex-Premier Méline, the champion of protection and the enemy of Socialism, will obtain the ascendancy, though not,
The Elections in France.
Toward the end of April and the beginning of May, France will hold her national elections. The campaign has been rather quiet, in spite of the bitter and passionate hatred
felt by many powerful elements for the Third PERRY MEMORIAL RECENTLY UNVEILED AT KURIHAMA, Republic in general and the present "ministry of republican defense" in particular. The so-called nationalist movement, though aimless and without a program, is very strong in the large cities, especially in Paris, and it is certain that the party in power will lose a number of seats in the chamber of deputies. Gains in the country districts are, however, expected to overbalance the apparently inevitable losses, and the premier, Waldeck-Rousseau, seems to be confident of a decisive victory.
On the other majority of the chamber. hand, no Republican minority opposed by the Socialists can do without the support of the Radicals. The factions that have for years plotted and conspired to overthrow the republic will be content this spring with defeating Waldeck-Rousseau and General These André, the vigorous minister of war. factions include the Royalists, the Bonapartists, the anti-Semites, and the nondescript Nationalists. They are making common cause and subordinating everything to the single purpose named.
Will they succeed? At one time impartial observers were inclined to predict such success, but at this writing the situation
seems to favor the ministry, and it is probable some say certain - that in the new chamber the present government will have a larger majority than it has had since it assumed the task of pacifying France, asserting the supremacy of the civil power, and restoring discipline in the army. deck-Rousseau has proved himself a masterful statesman, and his achievements in domestic and foreign politics have been alike substantial and numerous. The pope, while condemning his act against the monastic congregations, has ordered the Catholics to submit and accept the republic. The renewal of the alliance with Russia, and the unmistakable reëstablishment of friendly relations with Italy, have given the French government prestige and strength. Something has been done for labor, and a great strike of the miners has been averted by the adoption of an eight-hour day for that great industry, this eight-hour law to go into effect gradually during a period of four years.
Measures have been enacted to prevent corruption and the use of money in the elections, and these will interfere with the plans of the heterogeneous opposition. A manifesto by Prince Victor Napoleon, the pretender, has fallen flat, eliciting no interest and serving to exhibit the weakness and hopelessness of the Napoleonic movement. The verdict rests with the workmen and the peasants, and these desire peace, social reform, and internal improvement. The anti-government coalition is "organized discontent."
The Merger and the Trust Law. Not wholly unexpected was the decision of the supreme court that it had no jurisdiction in the suit of the state of Minnesota vs. the Northern Securities Company. Though the shares of the company showed an advance in price as the immediate effect of the ruling, there is really nothing in the reasons set forth by the court to furnish cause for satisfaction to the promoters of the combination. The court had no jurisdiction, not because the controversy could not be heard
and determined, but because not all the necessary parties had been brought in by the application of the Minnesota authorities. The Northern Securities Company represented a majority of the stock of the
merged" railroad corporations, the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific, while the minority stockholders were not represented. They could not be brought in without defeating the jurisdiction of the court, and this, of course, was the reason for their exclusion in the first place. The two railroads, nominally still independent corporations, were parties defendant, but they were Minnesota corporations, and the state could not bring any bill in equity against them in the supreme court.
With regard to the claim of the state to represent the public interest, Justice Shiras said in his opinion:
"Even a state, when she voluntarily becomes a complainant in a court of equity, cannot claim to represent both sides of the controversy. Not only have the stockholders, be they few or many, a right to be heard
through the officers and directors whom they have legally selected to represent them, but the general interests of the public, which might be deeply affected by the decree of the court, are entitled to be heard, and that, when the state is the complainant, and in a case like the present, can only be effected by the presence of the railroad companies as parties defendant.”
Governor Van Sant has announced his has been severely criticized for "intervenintention of instituting a suit in the federal courts in the district to which New Jersey belongs, and the merits of the case of the northwestern states against the merger will in some way reach the supreme tribunal.
ing," without good reason, in an affair that did not concern him. Other papers, not quite so outspoken, expressed regret and disappointment at the action, and even intimated that the president might lose the confidence of the business men (or of Wall Street, rather). His step "disturbed" the trading in stocks and produced uncertainty and timidity, etc. But it is hard to understand and impossible to sympathize with this attitude. It is the sworn duty of the president to execute and enforce the federal laws. The trust law is in force, and proceedings under it must be brought by the federal district attorneys under the direction of the attorney-general, who is simply an agent of the chief executive. Mr. Knox is an able corporation lawyer, and his opinion is of great weight.
The president has no other legal adviser, and it is obviously absurd to imply that he should have disregarded the deliberately reached conclusion of the attorneygeneral. Besides, the merger method is being widely applied, and it is essential to have a final determination of its legality. All interests should desire this and welcome an early test. Congress may or may not enact
In certain financial papers the president new trust and pooling legislation, but exist
ing law must be authoritatively construed and duly enforced. Any other course would be anarchical.
For this, however, the promoters of the combination have been prepared ever since the beginning of the agitation against the attempted evasion or violation of their laws in regard to railroad monopoly. What came to them as a great shock was the announcement of Attorney-General Knox of a bill in equity to dissolve the merger under the Sherman anti-trust law that rather neglected statute under which two attempts at pooling were signally defeated some three years ago. The attorney-general, asked by President Roosevelt to render an opinion as to the legality of the form of combination applied in the Northern Securities Company, had reported that the "merger" was repugnant to the federal anti-trust act. Thereupon he was directed by the President to bring a bill in the federal court of the proper district for the dissolution of the company and the return of the stock to those who had transferred it for the purpose of effecting the combination.
Toward Industrial Peace. The practical movement toward the prevention of strikes and needless disturbances is making gratifying progress. The industrial department of the National Civic Federation, as our readers are aware, has organized a committee representing capital, labor, and the public at large, for the purpose of promoting conciliation and arbitration. This
-Cleveland Plain Dealer. executive committee, of