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The War in Venezuela 229
Cuban and Philippine Legislation 230
The Anti-Trust Bills 230
The Statehood Bill 231
The Panama Canal Treaty 231
The Alaskan Treaty 233
Legislatures Deadlocked and Disgraced.. 234
The Colorado Conflict 234
The Hew York Franchise Tax 23S
The Western Union vs. the Pennsylvania 235
The Coal Famine 236
The Trial of Colonel Lynch 237
Education in China 238
The American Institute of Social Service. 239
Julian Ralph 240
Wireless Telegraphy 241
Episcopal Elections 241
nethodlst Reunion 241
Dr. Hall In India 242
District Attorney Jerome 242
Selling and Giving 243
The Certitude of Immortality 244
Impressions of a Careless Traveler. L. A. 246
A Fight for the City.-LU. The Alliance
Between Puritan and Grafter 251
By Alfred Hodder
The German Immigrant in America 260
By Edward A. Steiner
The Passing of the County Court 264
By Catherine P. Woods
BOOKS AND AUTHORS:
By George Kennan
Three Volumes of Criticism (Perry, Brooke,
Books of the Week 272
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_ „, ,, , It is certainly difficult
The War in Venezuela J
to apply any other term than war to the events of last week— the bombardment day after day of Fort San Carlos by three German war-ships, with its active and desperately continued defense, the destruction of a fishing village, and the enforcement of the blockade so closely that twelve fishermen on a little island were, it is reported, cut off from supplies and starved to death. The prestige of Germany, so the German Chancellor declared, required these things, as well as the recalcitrancy of the Venezuelans; but public opinion both in England and America, if one may judge by the comments of the press, does not consider that" prestige greatly enhanced by acts of force toward a weak nation, acts certainly not absolutely necessary, even if technically justified, and especially to be regretted because they occurred precisely when the prospects of amicable arbitration were most satisfactory. Even at the beginning of this week it is not certain exactly what took place at Fort San Carlos. This fort guards the entrance to Lake Maracaibo, where one Venezuelan gunboat remained uncaptured. Either with a view to seizing this gunboat or to prevent violations of the blockade, the German small war-ship Panther approached the entrance. German accounts say that she was fired on by the fort; Venezuelan accounts say that the Panther fired the first shot; other reports, which seem inherently rather more probable, say that the fort fired a blank shot as a notification that the Panther should communicate her intentions to the fort before passing; at all events, the Panther opened fire in earnest, was vigorously shelled by the fort, was repulsed, and later returned with two larger ships, the Vineta and Falke, and began a terrible bombardment. The fort was soon battered and nearly
destroyed, but only after a very brave defense and a considerable number of fatalities; even as we write it does not appear positively either that the fort is in the hands of the Germans or that the Panther has crossed the bar into the Lake—the other vessels are of too great draught to do so.
It was only after some days Hostilities0 tnat Germany made the statement that the attack on the fort was caused by a prior act of hostility on the part of its Venezuelan commander, General Bello, while the Venezuelan Foreign Minister as late as January 25 declared positively that the Panther attacked first and without provocation. Meanwhile Mr. Bowen, our Minister to Venezuela, now acting as Venezuela's agent to procure a settlement with Great Britain, Germany, and Italy, arrived in Washington and at once undertook negotiations looking to a cessation of the blockade, a guarantee of some sort that Venezuela would obey the decision of the Hague Tribunal—possibly through banks or by putting the Venezuelan customs undercharge of a commission—and the early reference of the dispute to that international court. The renewal of hostilities had an adverse influence, but the opinion is now expressed at Washington that a settlement of some kind will soon be reached. The English people and press have shown uneasiness at what they do not hesitate to call Germany's unwise, wanton, and brutal conduct, and, in the words of the "St. James's Gazette," express the hope that "the Americans will understand that the German proceedings are as little approved by the British nation as by themselves." It is evident that in such a state of tension as exists in and about Venezuela it is perfectly easy to find an excuse for using force; it is said with reason that the opposite course, the avoidance of arbitrary measures except under extreme provocation, should be taken by a great Power trying to deal firmly but not roughly with a weak debtor for what seems to be after all a comparatively small money demand. Especially is violence regrettable at a time when the United States has used its good offices to bring about a peaceful settlement, and acts of force, unless absolutely needed, may be interpreted as in a way a slight to this Nation. It does not appear that President Roosevelt has made any remonstrance with Germany; it is ceitain that he would not do so without an absolutely complete knowledge of the facts; it is equally certain that his influence will be used to its utmost for peace, forbearance, and arbitration.
The week in Congress
Cuban and Philippine r ,, f - .
Legislation was ful1 of interesting
events. To begin with, the Cuban treaty was modified as the Beet-Sugar Association demanded, by incorporating the provision that the duty on sug.ir imported from any foreign country should not be lowered during the term of the treaty. This was virtually a pledge that no other reciprocity treaties should be made with sugar-producing countries during the next five years, and that Germany, for example, should not be accorded the commercial privileges of "the most favored nation" if she offered us concessions similar to those offered by Cuba. Our reciprocity treaty with Hawaii. was never regarded as in violation of our treaties with the European Powers guaranteeing them the commercial treatment of the " most favored nation," because no one of them cared to make corresponding reciprocal concessions to us; but the Cuban treaty in its new form makes possible protests from other Powers. This feature of the Cuban treaty, coupled with the fact that it changes tariff schedules without the concurrence of the House of Representatives, has been made the occasion of Democratic hostility to the treaty, and only the refusal of Senator Morgan, of Alabama, and one or two others to act with their party in this matter has prevented the blocking of the treaty by partisan opposition. In the Senate's
modifications of the Philippine Bill the influence of the beet-sugar interests is also apparent. These interests, united with those of the tobacco-growers, have changed the text of the act so that Philippine sugar and tobacco sent to this country must be subjected to fifty per cent, instead of twenty-five per cent, of the rates imposed on foreign sugar and tobacco. When the House of Representatives acted on the Philippine Currency Bill last week, all of the Democrats united with twenty-odd anti-silver Republicans to extend our currency system to the Philippines, instead of following the Insular Committee's plan to give the islands a silver currency to be kept at par with gold by the Philippine Government. The vote in favor of the substitute was 146 to 128. The extraordinary support given by the free-silver party to an apparently anti-silver measure was avowedly based upon the Democratic objection to a colonial system and all attempts to treat the people of the Territories differently from those of the States.
The Anti-Tru.t Bin. Last week th'e more aggressive friends of antitrust legislation were somewhat alarmed to find that they were likely to secure an uncontested victory at the present short session of Congress. Senator Elkins, of West Virginia, the Chairman of the Committee on Inter-State Commerce, has introduced a modified form of Attorney-General Knox's anti trust proposals as an amendment to the bill creating a new Department of Commerce. As the Department of Commerce Bill has already passed both houses (though not in the same form in each house) and is in the hands of a conference committee, any amendments now made to the bill can secure immediate consideration in both houses—for conference reports on bills which have already passed take precedence of all new legislation. The introduction of anti-trust legislation in this manner, therefore, insures prompt action. The feature of the situation which causes alarm to the antitrust radicals is the fact that Senator Elkins has been regarded as a pro-trust radical, and the modified form of AttorneyGeneral Knox's programme which he has accepted is understood to represent the