Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

27 articles on this Page












SPIRIT OF THE PRESS THE. QUARTER'S REVFNTE. The Times observes that the return of the revenue for the quarter which ended on Sunday confirms the tale that is told in our advertising columns, in the Stock Exchange lists, and by all who go into the city to buy and sell. The course of business is just now at high tide. We are passing through a phaso) of abundant prosperity. Orders have been flowing in upon our manufacturers faster than they can be executed. The Board of Trade returns shew that the amount of commodities imported and exported con- tinues to increase beyond all precedent. The Clearing- house total of the half-year is larger than it has ever been before. The traffic receipts of railways grew week after week. Certain results noccessarily follow. Railway stocks have for some time been steadily improv- ing in value. The shares in business companies have shewn a similar movement; and, as a matter of course, these flattering results, coinciding with a large develop- ment, of trade, have brought into the market-fre, indeed, daily bringing into the market—numberless new projects to tempt the avidity of the capitalist. Is there any use in hinting that the pice is becoming somewhat too rapid ? We fear little or none. Apart altogether from irregular and accidental items of increase, the revenue. of the past quarter is more than a million in excess of the revenue of the same period of last year. There never was a Budget less ambitious than that for the present financial year, and it is satisfactory to think that it may be rewarded with the success due to modest merit. We do not lose sight of the risks which have to be run between now and next ApriL The harvest will certainly be late, and, though its pIOS. pectslare at present fair, there is a possibility that it will prove deficient. We cannot tell on the 1st of July in a backward year what may be its yield. Xor can any one predict the issue of the struggle between employers and employed which has stopped the building trade of London in all its branches. But if the genius of common sense prevail, and the harvest be favourable, Mr. Lowe mar an- ticipate an overflowing Exchequer. THE ALABAMA QUESTION*. American rumour assures us, remarks the Standard, that before even the Indirect Claims were condemned a settle- ment of the Direct had been arrived at; that in fact the abandonment of the one was the price of a favourable decision on the other. We heard this, from Transatlantic sources, long ago; and now rye are told in one quarter that two of the Arbitrators have pronounced themselves privately in favour of the DirectClaims-an act which would justify us, were the story true, in demanding of their Governments their immediate recall, or in withdrawing on the instant from the Arbitration; and in another quarter that the terms and amount of the verdict have already been ad- justed, and that the arguments to come are merely a solemn farce. It must be remembered that on the Ameri- can side the whole matter has degenerated into a pecu- niary speculation that the claims have been bought up by a ring of jobbers of the Fisk and Gould stamp, who rely on their political influence to extort the whole of their demand witR a handsome profit; that these men are able to pay for information and for politi- cal services, and would hardly have preferred the abandonment of the Indirect Claims tap-the failure of the Arbitration and the chances of future negotiation with a Government so imbecile as ours, unless they had reason to believe that the verdict would be in their favour. On the other hand, we must also remember that these same men are thoroughly un- scrupulous, with large influence in the press, and interests to serve by false information. Be the truth how it may, there is sufficient reason for grave anxiety, and sufficient suspicion to deprive the Arbitration of all its moral weight.; and we cannot but feel that, not only as a matter of English policy, but in the interests of neutrality and in those of international arbitration, the Treaty of Wash- ington, and, indeed, our whole departure from the original policy of Lord Russell, has been a blunder and a disaster. The Telegraph says that with diplomatic obstacles now so wholly swept away, with the Co art entering upon steady business, and with the key-note oflts duties and objects so admirably sounded by its high-minded chief, all is indeed going well. Even the tedious and more than once well-nigh hopeless negotiations of the past four months aTe no longer to be regretted. Count Sclopis made an admirable remark upon this point; he observed that there was no reason to be sorry because the great case of America v. England had reached the Arbitral Court only after so much agitation, and so many conflicting communication3 .^ike all right ideas, this noolest of inspirations— the idea of submitting the -,(Ie and strength of two mighty empires to t^' majesty of law-—MS gained by delay. r^'Profited hJ opposition, bv ^^je. bv mali°T]vi~' by cynical scepticism- Before << -Srteenth" had dawned upo*- l^ake Leman, the —idiple of international equity a*d already made two immense conquests. One wa? 1D respect of the patient and enlightened temper wb"11 had been revealed as exist- ing in the two people" I the other was the interest and anxious goodwill auelril towards our mutual effortfc by the public op^cn of Europe. Now that we are out of the wood," we can afford to look back and be glad that the earliest enterprise of arbitration had to be made in such un- explored ground and through the gloom of such heavy shadows. It gave us time to find out that statesmen wero not in advance of populations in the matter, but that the moral sensa of mankind had grown sufficiently strong to keep the old fierce Bobadil moods quiet, or nearly so; and to ensure for us in the press of Europe a just support, when we protested against the consequential claims as fatal to arbitral appeals. It is not merely an instance of all's well that ends well" over which we have now reason to rejoice but we may be actually glad of our very diffi- culties and despondencies to-day, because the issue of them proves their value as tests, and because it is once again clear, in the light of this happy change inaugurated at last in history, that good is for ever stronger than evil. THE BUILDING STRIKE. Well-meant efforts to bring the master builders and their workmen to a friendly settlemont of their differences are still being made, says tne Post, but, as might be ex- pected by those who look below the surface, without nny pracfical effect. Mediation Jan produce but little effect, it is to be feared. If, indeed, the dispute were, in its causes, of recent origin, it might be different. And if the great fundamental In.w of demnnd regelating supply were on both hands -is the dominant consideration wnich should regulate the relations between employe)- and employed, there might be Setter hope of a satisfactory and speedy termination to the difference. However much the public might be expected to sympathise philanthropically with a movement for shortening the hours of physical toil, they can scarcely be'looked to to cheerfully countenance a movement having for its end a very great enhance- ment of the already exceptionally heavy price they pay for all building operations, and probably they will not be Sony to learn that the founding of a London company of builders on co-operative principles has just been pro- posed. This view, moreover, will be strengthened when it is known that in other countries the workmen labour considerably longer in the day and receive much less re- muneration, whether computation be made for time or for work done. In fact, the international aspect of the case must be admitted, and must operate in several respects and this consideration, it is to be hoped, will ultimately, if not just at present, bo instrumental in bringing about a satisfactory and tolerably permanent* settlement of the labour question. But ere this consummation be arrived at it seems but too probable that the secret springs of action' at work must cause the question to pass through many embarrassing and deplorable phases. s THE ALBERT COMPANY. V The Daily News thinks no one will say that the time which the House of Comnjons gave to Mr. Cave's motion on the affairs of the Albert and European Life Assurance Companies, on Friday evening, was ill-bestowed. The practical question now before Parliament is whether the shareholders and policyholders of the European Society shall enjoy advantages such we have seen were extended to thotfe of the Albert by the Act of last Session. A Bill for effecting that object, and constituting a special authority similar to that exercised by Lord Cairns, is now before the House of Lords for second reading. We can hardly suppose that the House of Lords will re- nounce the principle which governed its decision last year. Then, acting on the ordinary maxims of common sense, it carried its views of expediency into an unknown field. The result has abundantly vindicated its wisdom. Now its intuitive judgment has the support and sanction of a year's experience. We cannot doubt that the brilliant success of the Albert arbitration will be regarded as a decisive argument in favour of giving the advantages of the same mode of settlement to the untortunate persons involved in the ruin of the European Company; and this done, Parliament may, perhaps, see its way to pass some measure for putting Life Assurance generally on a footing of greater security in this country. —. I

[No title]



[No title]

[No title]





[No title]