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OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7974, 1 August 1889
OUR AMERICAN LETTER.
Keoki;k (lowa, U.S.A.), June 21, CANADIAN NOTES. The Bearing Sea seal-fishery question is widening the breach between tho United States and our northern neighbor. It is reported that the British Government have yielded to pressure from Canada, and have ordered three warships to the North Pacific to protect Canadian sealers from American revenue cutters. Three of the l&tter—the Thetis, Bear, and Rush—are now in the Behring Sea, with orders to seize all vessels, American or foreign, that may be found killing seals in violation of United States laws. It is further reported that, on the assumption that protection will be afforded, a large fleet of Canadian sealers will sail northward, and that the revenue cutters will be fully occupied during the approaching season if a serious attempt is made to enforce the statutes. On the other hand, it is stated that the British warships are ordered northward merely on a cruise, presumably to satisfy the Canadian demand for action of some kind, and that it is officially denied that there is any purpose to prevent the enforcement of the Presidents proclamation. Naturally the Cauadians infer that tho departure of the fleet can have no other meaning than to prevent the seizure of Canadian or British vessels outside the three-mile limit from the shore. Great Britain has given the United States no warning of her purpose to contest the States claim of sovereignty over Behring Sea. Great Britain has, commercially considered, no ground of complaint against the United States for protecting the f ur-3eal interests; for, while the seals are captured by an American company, the fact that the skins are dyed and manufactured in England gives the latter a fair division of profit. Without regulation and protection to the seals during the breeding season the valuable fur species would soon become extinct. Under existing law no killing can be done until after the young are reared. Tho number slaughtered even then is limited by law, and males should be taken in preference to females. The result of this wise regulation is that the annual droves are steadily increasing instead of diminishing. The claim of tho United States to exclusive jurisdiction may be open to dispute, but the wisdom of protecting tho saals against indiscriminate slaughter in tho breeding season is good policy tor England as well as for the United States, therefore British interference is extremely improbable.
The Bank of Montreal has managed to pay a dividend of 10 per cent, for the year and add li per cent, to its reserve fund, The result calls forth unqualified admiration of the management which could roll up so much prolit when the bulk of its business appears to have been lending money at an average rate not much exceeding 2 per cent, per annum. Large bodies of capital are earning less and less each succeeding year, and the tendency is in the direction of still further shrinkage of the earning power. The bank's manager states in his report that between this date and the close of the century something like L 130,000,000 of railway bonds now bearing not less than 0 per cent, interest, and some as high as 10 rer cent., will fall due, and that these will be refunded to-day at perhaps little more than 4 per cent. lie intimates that it is his conviction that only by a great expansion in the lending capacity of the bank could the shareholders look for a maintenance of the present rates of profit for many years longer. There can be no doubt that the remark holds equally good with regard to banking in the United States, though the latter may be supposed to average a somewhat higher rate than does tho Bank of Montreal, which earns on its capital more than five times the average rate of the year for call loans.
MORMON IMMIGRATION. During the last month a large rumber of Mormon emigrants left Utah and passed through Montana, travelling by waggons to North-west British territory. Their destination seems to be the country through which the Gualt Railway passes. Some time ago a man purchased from this company several thousand acres of land, but how many acres and the exact terms of the purchase are not known. The deal is, however, a large one, and the Dominion is likely to have a large accession of Mormon Saints to its population within a short time. I apprehend that once under British law short work will be made of their peculiar institution of plurality of wives. We can spare enough of them to people a good-sized province, and welcome. THE ANNEXATION QUESTION. Mr Erastus Winan presents a vigorous and well-written article in the current ' North American Review ' on the proposed annexation of Canada to the United States, He says: "Eight out of every ten Canadians prefer to remain British subjects. The Roman Catholic Church, which is the dominant power in Quebec, and the Orange order, which bids fair to be the dominant power in Ontario, are both hostile to the annexation idea. Furthermore, it is hardly probable that the governing class of Great Britain would consent to transfer nearly 'half the British Empire' to this country on any terms.' On the whole, therefore, he concludes that it is a mere waste of breath to talk about annexation under present circumstances. There are, however, influences at work among the Canadian people creating a sentiment that will change the circumstances and disrupt the alliance between Romanism and Orangeism. The passage by the Legislature of Quebec of an act giving the Jesuits the sum of LBO.OOO in payment for property once held by them, but long ago confiscated, is one of these things. The GovernorGeneral has not passed this Act, which it is in his power to disallow. He h&s been urgently petitioned to do so, and there is an open threat that his failure to do so will have unpleasant consequences. At a large convention composed ot delegates from all parts of the Dominion, one of the members said that" the country wasbeing handed over to Roman Catholic influences, and that loyal British subjects would leave the country or seek a remedy through union with the United States." Other delegates favored the " absolute independence of Canada, and the breaking of all ties that unite it to the Mother Country." Sir John M'Donald is in a quandary. He does not wish to antagonize so powerful a movement, and at the same time he cannot afford to lose the support of the clerical party of Quebec to the Conservatives. The probabilities are that the Act will stand, and that the cause of annexation will mako large and powerful gains. THE BOODLEKS' LIST. A census of Americans residing in Canada, under a cloud as it were, gives a total of 2,000. This fragrant colony includes all classes of defaulters, thieves, and boodlers. Canada has said that she is tired of them, and they must go home now, i ECONOMY WITH A VENGEANCE. Since January the Canadian Parliament voted railway and other subsidies amounting to L 10,600,000, but just before adjournment it abolished its chaplain. The man of God was paid LBO per annum. Ulysse§,
OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7974, 1 August 1889
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