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OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7947, 1 July 1889
OUR AMERICAN LETTER.
Keokuk, lowa (U.S.A.), May, ISB9. ECONOMIC EVENTS.
Two or three economic events of interest hft/e occurred quite recently. Among them was the total failure of the Copper Convention in Paris to come to an agreement for restricting the production of that article and raising its price. The cablegram statee that the owner of the Anaconda Mine told hU French confreres, in tryinjj to bring them to an agreement, that it cost him but 3 cents a pound to produce the copper bars which ■under the late syndicate were sold for five times that amount. If this be true, then the anti - monopolists have been undervaluing the profits which they were supposed to greatly exaggerate. Whjle this big copper trust failed, another one at Chicago succeeded. The three great ateel mills of Chicago, which manufacture two-thirds of the steel rails made in this country, and have a capacity for supplying mora than the country needs, were merged into one. company, with a capital of L 5,000,000. While this was going on, the first systematic effort to disarm labor organisations of one of their most dangerous weapons the boyoott was begun in ' Rochester (New York). The ' Post Express' of that city has brought suit against the: officers of the Central Labor Union for L 2,00 damages on account of a boycott which they had declared against it. In this boycott no physical force was employed, and no attempt made to deprive the non-union workmen of employment, as in other places, j They merely threatened to withdraw their' patronage from all the customers of the paper. If this case is decided in the Courts against fcHe XTnion the great lever will be of ( no further use to American employes. MR ANDREW CARNEGIE'S WORKWOMEN. Charles E. Wheeler, of Toledo, secretary of the Ohio Reform League, has been visiting Mr Carnegie's factories and inspecting the condition of his employees. He visited Mr Carnegie's factories in Pittsburg and his coke furnaces near Scotdale (Pa.), where he saw a lot of Hungarian women at work. This is the picture he gives of them : «' They were clothed with a short kilt and a pair of boots, and, so far as the eye could judge, that was all. From waist up they were as naked as the cold truth. In all the habits of daily life, with men they were as men." These Hungarian women were imported by Mr Carnegie under contract to work for him in these coke furnaces at a given rate of wages to crowd out American workmen. It will be remembered that Mr Carnegie ia one of the most blatant advocates in this country of Protection, on the ground j that the system will enable manufacturers, to pay higher wages to the toiling working , men.
The protected manufacturers of this country, Mr Carnegie included, employ, as a rule, the cheapest labor that they can obtain to do their work. If this were not the case there would have been no law passed prohibiting the importation of labor under contract. Mr Carnegie is not obliged to employ women to attend his coke ovens. He is rich enough to pay men for such work, buthe wanted cheap labor, and the Hungarian women supplied it. Yet he would have the people of this and other nations believe and think that he is a famous champion of labor and of ' Triumphant Democracy.' A small portion of the millions which he has gathered out of the people's taxes he has expended in free libraries and coaching tours through Great Britain and Europe, when he might have paid it in decent living wages to his workmen, and have enabled them to provide homes for their women, instead of compelling them to work like slaves at the coke ovens. The moral is plain: Mr Carnegie lives for Mr Carnegie first.,
the great sugar trlst. It is announced that the immense sugar refinery just built in Philadelphia at a cost of L 600.000 by Claus Spreckles, the Sugar King of the Pacific Coaßt, is to go in operation about the Ist June. This news is of interest to the whole country, since it indicates the beginning of a fight against the powerful and grasping Sugar Trußt of New York. For some unexplained reason Mr Spreckles absolutely refussd to join the -combination of sugar refiners, but, on the •contrary, has began a fight against them on a scale that promises success. This Sugar Trust has been established but a Bhort time, still it is beyond dispute making enormous profits, as it virtually controls the entire sugar business of the country. The '"combine" made a clear profit of L 4,000,000 in ISSB, or 40 per cent, on a capital of L 10,000,000. This enormous tjain ia drawn from every householder in the land.
Mr Spreckles, has proved by his refinery in California, that beetroot sugar can be made in this country at a handsome profit, •and a company is now being organised, with a capital of L 1,000,000, to build ten beetroot sugar refineries in California, and put them ib immediate working. To the Philadelphia refinery and the California beetroot sugar interest, both -developed by Mr Spreckles, the whole country is looking for relief. No small operation is able to cope with the mighty Sugar Trust. TEMPERANCE MATTERS. The defeat of the Prohibition amendment in Massachusetts was caused by the large number who refused to vote. Thousands of men who deplore the evils of the liquor traffio, and most sincerely desire its abolition, will not vote for Prohibition until they are sure it is the popular side. Others refuse to vote for it, because they doubt whether the temperance sentiment is sufficiently developed to enforce the measure after it is passed. Others again refrain from voting for it, because they fear that it will damage the prospects of the political Sirty to which they belong. The want of a eep conviction and a fixed purpose to carry it out often appear in such an election. The fact that Massachusetts gave a majority of 44,000 against the amendment does not Bignify that a majority of the voters in that State believe in the saloon and want it to remain. Only two-thirds of the voters at the Presidential election voted on this occasion ; but who were tho delinquents ? Were they the liquor dealers and friends of the Baloon ? Not so in a single instance, The foes of " home" never halt between two opinions. The crushing defeat of the Amendment in Massachusetts has created a feeling amounting almost to a certainty of a like result in Pennsylvania. But the issue in Pennsylvania is very different. In Massachusetts the question was not whether the saloon ought everywhere to be licensed or outlawed, but whether it should be licensed where its suppression by outlawry was impossible, because of the weakness of public sentiment. In Pennsylvania no such local option privileges are granted to the people. Some of the leading politicians of all parties are working openly for the amendment. Even Senator Quay, the head and front of the Republican machine, has declared his purpose to vote for the amendment.
The canvas has given birth to a new temperance organisation composed of men from all parts and all religious denominations, who have united for the suppression of the saloon as a common enemy. It is known as the Union Prohibitory League of Penny}, vania. Among its declarations are the following :
1, We owe primary allegiance to God and humanity, to our country and commonwealth, and will hold all party affiliations subordinate to these higher olaims. 2. Retaining our personal liberty to choose our political associations as to us shall deem beßt, we proclaim that we are, and will be for ever, free from the dominion of the rum power, and demand that all political connection between the saloon and the State, through whatever party, shall be for ever totally dissolved.
It is difficult to discover in this declaration anything harsh or unreasonable. The movement means organisation, union, and active co-operation of all the elements of temperance effort, church organisation, and political partisf» who desire the overthrow
of the saloon. We ahftll see shortly who really desire Hnittn and victory.
As was expected, the President's proclamation maintaining the principle of exclusivo jurisdiction in the waters of Behring Sea, ceded by Russia to the United States, promises to lead to new complications with Canada. The proclamation was issued in obedience to an Act of Congress which makes it the duty of the President, at a timely season of each year, to warn poachers from Alaskan waters and to direct the despatch of revenue cruisers to enforce the law. In the Dominion Parliament the subject was brought up in a speech by Mr Prior, M.P. for Victoria, who censured the Imperial Government for their delay in securing compensation for the three Canadian vessels c iptured last year, and for failing to send a war vessel to the Aleutian Islands for the protection of Canadian sealers. Mr Davies, another speaker, despaired of receiving proper support from England, and declared that outrages on Canadian ships would continue until Canada had the right to send an accredited representative to Washington, with power to negotiate treaties. It will be remembered that Sir R. Cartwright introduced a motion asking the Crown to permit Canada to negotiate and sign commercial treaties for her own advantage with foreign PoWers, followed bjr similar remonstrances against dilatory British diplomacy, He argued that Canada was old enough to manage her ofth affairs, and declared that the establishment of a representative at Washington clothed with ample authority to present grievance's and push questions to a final settlement, would alone meet the requirements. Such declarations show the drift of Canadian opinion, reveal the extent of their opposition to the assertion of American rights in Behring Sea, and a determination to pressallclaimsfordamage already incurred, and to emphasise the inclination of Canadian sentiment towards independence. Sir John M'Donald, the head of the Government, could not, of course, join the Opposition members in impeaching the control exercised by the Crown over the foreign relations of Canada; and contented himself with expressing the belief that the American claim to exclusive jurisdiction in Behring Sea would be resisted by all maritime Powers, and that the new British Minister at Washington would secure compensation for despoiled Canadian vessel-owners. The J contemptuousrefereneesbytheotherspeakers to the present American Administration are as unjust as they are insulting. The proclamation of the President was made necessary by Aot of Congress, and is in strict accord with existing treaties. The passage by the Dominion Parliament of the Weldon Extradition Bill is as drastic a piece of legislation as could well be devised. The Treaty with England of 1842 covers seven offences for which fugitive criminals may be summoned to the United States, but this Bill enlarges the list to coyer nearly every offence prohibited by Canadian law, or for which the American authorities would be likely to ask the return of a criminal. Fugitives may now be surrendered to the United States for any offence named in the list, whether the offence is recognised in the treaties negotiated with England or not; the only Condition being that the prisoner shall be tried only for the crime for which he has been extradited. Unfortunately the retroactive clause was struck out of the Bill as finally passed ; but American fugitives who may hereafter seek a refuge in Canada will be liable to surrender, without respect to the existing Extradition Treaty. The benefits accruing to the United States under this Bill far exceed those contemplated by the Supplementary Treaty recently rejected by our Senate, without involving any leturn. As a matter of fact, the passage of the Bill is a practical declaration of independence by Canada. It substitutes legislative enactment in place of treaties, over-rides the British Treaty of 1870 by adding other crimes to the list, and is a radical departure from all former procedure. Moreover, the Washington Government can make no return, while sharing the benefits of an Act which will relieve Canada of its criminal population. Now that Canada will cease to be a refuge asylum for Americandefaulters, boodlers, bank cashiers, and commercial rogues it is to be hoped that Moxico will do likewise, and close the gates upon the fugitive criminal upon the South as well as upon the North. Ulysses.
OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7947, 1 July 1889
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