Newspaper Page Text
VOLUME 98.—N0. 131.
NO BIG BATTLES WERE FOUGHT. Beyond Sorties, Minor Skirmishes and Bombardments. . ■ The Week's News Shows No Change In the Situation io Senth Africa. The Naval Brigade Shells the Boer Positions About Ladysmith, But Their Fire Fails to Elicit Any Sign of Life Among the Enemy —A British Cruiser Seizes a Ger man Steamer in Delagoa Bay. LONDON, Dec. 31, 4:30 a. m.—The War Office, when communicating about midnight copies of the messages ex changed between the Queen and the inhabitants of Kimberley, stated that no further, news had been received up to that hour, and nothing of importance has come from other sources during the night. The week's sorties, skirmishes, recon noiasances and bombardments at va rious points where the British and thei Boers confront each other, so far as can j be Judged, has had no effect upon the general situation at the seat of war, which is practically the same as it was a week ago. During the night of December 2Sth Ladysmith and Chiveley Camp were in . full communication, the former report ing all well. While the signaling was in progress the Boers attempted to muddle the messages with flashlights from each; extremity of their long entrenched line.. The naval brigade took advantage of the opportunity to shell the Boer posi- 1 tions, which were plainly revealed by their own lights. The naval battery* resumed the shelling of the Boer' trenches on the morning of December 29th, but their fire failed to elicit any; sign of life. A dispatch from Cape Town, dated Wednesday, December 27th, announced that an armored train had restored communication with Dordrecht, where the Free State flag had been hauled down and that the Boers had been driven from the adjacent hills to Storm berg. LONDON, Dec 30.—The War Office has received a dispatch dated Cape Town, Friday, December 20th, evening, saying that Colonel Kekewich wired, through the General commanding at Modder River, December 2iith, as fol lows:* "I am desired by the Mayor and coun cli to forward the following for trans mission through the proper channel: ! " 'To Her Mott Gracious Majesty, the Queen: The inhabitants of Kimberley beg to send your majesty New Year's greetings. The trouble they have passed through and are still enduring only I tends to love and loyalty toward your: majesty's throne and person. " "U. S. HENDERSON, Mayor, " 'On behalf of the inhabitants.' " The War Offlce also issued the fol-1 lowing, addressed to the Secretary of State for War: "Please send the following to Colonel Kekewich for communication to the Mayor and council for the Queen: " 'I am deeply touched by your kind 1 and loyal New Tear's greetings. Ii watch with admiration your determina-, tion and gallant defense, though I re gret the unavoidable loss of life in-! curred.' " The reported sortie from Ladysmith, resulting in the capture of a Boer po sition, is not confirmed, and apparently is only a Kaffir story. A Chiveley dis patch dated Friday, December 29th, makes no mention of it. The same mes sage shows renewed activity on the part of the British apparently prepara tory to some action. The Boer position eastward of the camp was thoroughly reconnoitered De cember 28th without drawing the en-, emy. The naval guns engaged in daily practice, and it is said on good author- • ity that thirty or forty Boers have been killed by the firing during two days. A dispatch from Durban predicts that Ladysmith will be relieved on or about January 7th. While there is not'-iing to bear out this forecast, there is some disposition to believe that General Bull er is preparing another attempt to ad vance, this time by an attack on the Boer position on Innlawe mountain. Advices from Cape Town say there is * great disaffection there at the action of the British insurance companies, who are retarding volunteering by making policy-holders pay war risk premiums, while the agencies of the It-ading Amer ican companies allow perfect freedom for naval and military service. The Government has accepted 128 Ceylon volunteers, mostly planters, and has also accepted the offers of Indian princes to supply horses. The non-arrival of the Majestic, due it Cape Town Thursday, is causing ■ some surprise among the public, who expected she would maintain her usual trans-Atlantic speed. Shipping circles,; however, explain that this is due to' the conditions Imposed by coaling en j route, the necessity of economizing her! supply and of traversing the tropics, all of which, they add, combine heavily to discount her usual rate of speed. They say all trans-Atlantic liners would be similarly handicapped. An incredible report is circulating- in Vienna that Slatln Pasha is on his way to the Cape to serve the British, and it is regarded as much more probable that he is going to Khartoum, as he recently said he proposed to make a tour of the Soudan. VIENNA. Dec 30.—The report that Slatin Pasha is on his way to Cape Town is officially contradicted. He starts for Egypt January 25th. A GERMAN STEAMER SEIZED. DURBAN, Friday, Dec. 29.—The British cruiser Magicienne seized the German steamer Bundesrath in Dela goa Bay. She will be brought before a court. LONDON, Dec. 30. —A representative of the Associated Press has learned that there were three German officers and twenty men attired in khaki, and intending to serve the Boers on board the Bundesrath, which explains her capture. THE RECORD-UNION. Regarding the traffic generally en the east coast of Africa the British Ad miralty officials say the British Gov ernment desires that all ordinary and legitimate trade conducted by foreign vessels, should suffer as little restric tion as possible. HAMBURG, Dec. 30.—The Directors of the German East African line have received news of the arrest of the im perial mail steamer Bundesrath. The commander of the port of Durban re fused an explanation of the cause of the seizure. It is declared here that there was no contraband of war on board, and when application v, as made to the German Foreign Office, the lat ter Immediately promised interposition with the British Government. LOURENZO MARQUES, Dec. 30 — The capture of the Bundesrath has in creased the already strong anti-British feeling here among the Hollander and German population. BRITISH LOSSES SEVERE. PRETORIA, Friday, Dec. 29.—Three British prisoners from Malapo report that Captains Vernon and Sandford of Colonel t Baden-Powell's staff were killed during the engagement in which Lords Edward Creit and Cavendish- Benetlck were wounded. The object of the sortie was to capture Boer cannon. The losses of the British were very se vere. The "Long Tom" injured at Lady smith has been repaired and is being re placed. The new contract reducing, the price of dynamite Instituted by the Raad in August was registered December 28th between the Government and the fac tory. AN ARTILLERY DUEL. LOURENZO MARQUES, Friday, Dec. 29. —Advices received here from Pretoria under date of Wednesday, De cember 27th, say that an official dis patch from Mafeking announces that in the sortie which the British made from that place December 25th, at tacking one of the Boer forts with can non, Maxima and an armored train so persistently, that the .fighting raged up to the walls of the fort, the British lost 109 killed and wounded, while the Boers only lost two men killed and seven wounded. The dispatch adds that Captains Kirkwood and Frefell were captured by Boer scouts near Colenso and were being sent to Pretoria. Ten unloaded shells inscribed "The Season's Greeting," have been fired at Ladysmith. Ten South African medical students from Edinburgh have arrived at Pr - toria from Delagoa Bay with five tons of medical stores. A dispatch from the Boer camp at Modder River dated Thursday, Decem ber 2Sth, reports an artillery duel last ing an hour. December 27th a British reconnoitering party made a sortie, >ut did not come within the Boer The British on December 28th • m menced a steady bombardment of the Boer position. BOERS FORCED TO RETIRE. CAPE TOWN, Friday, Dec. 29.— Ti. troops in the British camp of Victoria West turned out last night to repel an attempt of the Boers to cut the railroad near the station. A patrol reported early in the evening that they had sighted the Boers in the neighborhood. At 10 o'clock at night the Boers opened a heavy fire near the station. The Brit ish replied, and the Boers retired at daybreak, their attempt having turned out a failure. IN THE PHILIPPINES. COL. LOCKETT AGAIN ROUTS THE FILIPINOS. By a Brilliant Charge Drives the Enemy From Their Position, the Rebels Losing Heavily. MANILA, Dec. 31.—(9:30 a. m.).— Colonel Lockett has had a second en gagement with the insurgents north west of Montalban, and by a brilliant charge drove the enemy from their po sition. Only one American officer and five men were wounded, but the loss of the insurgents was heavy. Our troops captured a number of rifles and a quantity of ammunition and provi sions. MANILA, Dec. 30.—(3 p. m.).—The funeral of General Henry W. Lawton. who was killed at San Mateo, Decem ber 18th, was held to-day with impres sive ceremonies. The remains were conveyed from the Paco Cemetery down the Luneta to Pasig, thence to the transport Thomas, which sailed this afternoon. As the body was removed from the vault Chaplain Marry read the pray ers. The personal staff of the late General was augmented by Color Ser geant Simon. Trumpeter Haberkam and Privates Oakum and Mohrusen. The latter, who were closely connect ed with General Lawton's recent cam paigns, bore the casket from the vault to a six horse caisson awaiting at the gate. The funeral procession was composed of the band of the Twentieth Regi ment, General Hall and his staff, two troops of the Fourth Cavalry who were with General Lawton at the time of his death, a battery of artillery and a number of clergymen. The caisson, covered with flowers, the personal staff, officers on foot, Generals Wheel er, Bates, Forsythe, Kobbe and Schwan and Admiral Watson in thre& carriages, a naval battalion, Major General Otis and staff, the foreign Consuls in full dress and the members of thf Philippine Supreme Coi rt. Na tive delegations from the towns where General Lawton established civil gov ernments held wreaths. Women from the same towns waited upon Mrs. Lawton yesterday, and presented her with their condolences and flowers. Crowds of natives and Americans witnessed the procession. The band played dirges, and the crowds uncov ered. At Pasig the casket was transferred to a tug, "taps" was sounded and prayers were offered by Chaplain Pierce,. Four enlisted pall-bearers will ac company the remains to the United States. A Banking Firm Suspends. BERLIN, Dec*3o.—A private bank ing firm of Goerlitz, Prussian Silesia, has suspended. The liabilities are near ly two million marks. Some small banks in Berlin and London are said to be affected to a considerable extent. A local paper reports the arrest of two of the Arm's principals. SACRAMENTO, SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 31, 1899.-TWELVE PAGES. GLOOMY WEEK IN LONDON CIRCLES. The Recent Death of the Duke of Westminster, Combined With Mjurnlng on Acconut of Losses Throughout the War, Left Few of the Titled Families of Great Britain Free to Celebrate tbe Christmas Holidays Witb tbe Usual Festivities. (Copyrighted, 1599, by Associated Press.) LONDON, Dec. 30.—The death of the Duke of Westminster, combined with the mourning already prevalent on ac count of the war loss<*s, left few. of the titled families of Great Britain free to celebrate Christmas week with the usual festivities. The Grosvenor family has so many ramifications among the nobility, and such a large number of other titled people have recently died, that one would almost think the court was in mourning. To this condition of affairs! a pathetic paradox is found in the so ciety news columns, which daily an nounce a long list of forthcoming mar riages, the bridegrooms in a majority of the cases being soldiers. It is a sea son of short engagements and sudden deaths. Momentarily expecting orders to start for South Africa, tha British officers have apparently taken the op portunity of "striking while the iron is hot," and many a quiet marriage is now followed within a few days by a fare well at Southampton. For instance, Major Maxse, who took part in the re cent defeat of the Khalifa, returned to England, married Lord Leeomleld's daughter, and is now on his way to the Cape. The martial spirit and universal de sire to serve the country at the front shows no signs of abatement. The ac tion of England's Premier Duke, the Duke of Norfolk, who is Postmaster General, and by no means a young man, volunteering for active service, is the latest example of the spirit which pervades all classes. The Duke of Nor folk's position in ths Cabinet and his tremendous business interests, to say nothing of his power as lay head of the Catholic Church in England, will prob ably prevent the acceptance of his oifer. The Duke of Connaught, whose ! ardent requests to be allowed to go to I South Africa have been refused, is men tioned as likely to succeed General Rob erts in command of the British forces in Ireland. No little comment has been caused by the War Office's tardy recognition of the engineers and artillery. Until Gen eral Warren cf the engineers was sent out all the general officers in the field were cavalrymen or infantrymen. The country howled for General Warren's appointment, and at last the man who knows South African topography bet ter than any other General received recognition. Then followed in quick succession General Roberts, an artill eryman, and GeneraJs Kitchener and Chermside, engineers, until the cam paign now bids fair to be chiefly di i rected by the hitherto neglected "gun ners and sappers." The impression continues to gain ground that General Buller and his sub ordinates have been instructed to un dertake no important movement until the arrival of General Roberts, and I Roberts will amalgamate the guns un j der Generals Gatacre, Warren and ' French, subsequently marching upon j Bloemfontein to capture that place and draw off the Boers from Ladysmith. To ; accomplish this it is believed that JCim ! berley and Mafeking may be sacrifted. j Whether General Buller will acquiesce lin this arrangement is seriously doubt ied by many who. know him, and they 1 are rather inclined to believe he will j attempt to emulate General Gourgh, : w ho. under similar circumstances, re ! trieved his reverses in India while Sir j Charles Napier was coming out to su persede him. ' The seizures of cargoes of American ! flour off Delagoa Bay bid fair to excite ! much popular interest in England. It is generally looked upon as a fine point of international law that will be ami cably settled. So far no official steps in the matter have been taken, owing to the non-arrival of the necessary pa pers from Washington. The military ; and international law authorities are : almost unanimous in declaring that > Great Britain should not declare food stuffs contraband of war. The "Naval and Military Record" under this head says to-day: I "Fully 50 per cent, of our food uomos ' from America, the colonies and other countries. We have ceased to make any effort to be self-supporting. This con dition constitutes a danger only bear ; able because of our confidence In the i strength of the British navy and in the j friendship and self-interest of the Unit |ed State's. The States may be counted lon to All our larder in both peace and ! war, but so essentially have American j supplies become to our safety that, we must take no step likely to lead to an interruption of the enormous supply of foodstuffs. "Our enemies on the Continent would rejoice if we intercepted the foodstuffs now passing Into the Transvaal via Delagoa, Bay. A dangerous precedent would thus be created, which would be used against England at the Arst op portunity." A representative of the Associated Press learns that the wireless telegraph instruments recently captured from the Boers and described as Marconi's were not his manufacture. They were made by a well-known German Arm, whom Marconi once employed to experiment with plans he afterward discarded Marconi declares the instruments cap tured were not workable. Some feeling has been caused against the young In ventor by the Arst report, the belief spreading that he had broken his agree ment to supply only the British during trie present war. Princess Christian of Schleswlg-Hol stein (Princess Helena of England) for the first time in twenty years, is sitting for a portrait, and to an American painter, W. H. Funk. During the recent visit to Windsor of Conyngham Greene, former British ' agent at Pretoria, Queen Victoria asked him a lot of questions regarding Mrs Kruger, her housekeeping and personal characteristics. Mr. Greene entertained her majesty with incidents showing the simplicity of Mrs. Kruger's home life and her personal attention to kitchen duties, detailing with special zest upon the excellence of a certain dessert which Mrs. Kruger makes. Rumors recurred this week of Lord Salisbury's retirement at the end of the present Parliament and the succession of the Duke of Devonshire to the Con servative leaCi-ship. These seem found ed on nothing stronger than deduction from his age and re«ent bereavement. From one of the Premier's intimates, a representative of the Associated Press learns he has not mentioned any in clination to retire. The usual crowd of youngsters flocked to Drury Lane for the annual panto mime, though in the stalls and the boxes there were many sad little faces and black frocks. The other theaters have drawn good galleries, but the better part of the houses were not so well filled as usual during holiday week. Few changes have been made. Madame Patti heads the list of prom inent artists who will sing at Covent Garden on February 22d under the patronage of the Marchioness of Lans downe, in aid of the wives and families of officers killed during the war. On the same occasion the Duchess of Marl borough will recite a patriotic poem The Duke and Duchess of Marl borough entertained a large Christmas house party at Blenheim this week- OUTPUT OF GOLD AND SILVER. ESTIMATES OT DIRECTOR OF THE MINT ROBERTS Show a Large Increase In Produc tion of Both Metals in United States in 1899 Over 1898. WASHINGTON, Dec. 30.—The pre liminary estimate of the production or gold and silver in the United States during the calendar year 1899, made by Mr. Roberts, the Director of the Mint, shows a total gold production of $70,094,170, an increase over the pro duction of last year of '$0,230,670. The production of silver during the year is estimated at $74,424,694, an increase during the year of $4,040,211. The gold production by States for the years 1899 and 1898, is given as follows: GOLD PRODUCTION. States. 1899. IS9B. Nevada $2,442,000 $2,994,500 Washington 306,202 766,2u0 Oregon 1,550,387 1,177,600 Alaska 4,608,819 2,524.800 California 14,952,392 15,637,900 Idaho 2,480,620 1.716,900 Montana 4,919,897 5,126,900 Utah 3,369,509 2,2*5,400 Appalachian States .... ■337,344. 327,KW Colorado 26,000,000 23,105,300 South Dakota 6,120,000 5,699,700 Arizona 2,500,000 2,465,100 New Mexico 600,000 539,000 Wyoming 6,000 Others 500 Totals $70,694,170 $64,457,500 British Klondike 16,114,150 The estimated production of silver (coining value) during 1899 and 1898, are given as follows: States. 1899. 1898. Nevada $1,254,800 $1,040,808 Washington 452,542. »28,921 Oregon .. .. .1 192,940 168,081 Aiaska 258,585 119,467 California 1,396,363 830,448 Idaho 5,171,71" 6.560,065 Montana 20,040,130 19,144,663 Utah 9,696,969 8,385,810 Appalachian States ... 9,057 2,068 Colorado 31,208,637 29,498,958 South Dakota 550,700 196.913 Arizona 3,000,000 2,904.954 New Mexico 600,000 594,933 Texas 600,000 611,426 Others 42,020 Totals $74,424,696 $70,384,485 British Klondike 252,000 Funeral of Frederick Holzer. NEW YORK, Dec. 30.—The funeral of Frederick Holzer, 32 years old, one of the victims of the battleship Maine, took place in this city to-day. Services were held in St. Joseph's Church, a re quiem mass being- celebrated by Rev. Father Chidwick, who was the Chap lain of the Maine. Fifty members of the Cecelia Society and forty-eight ma rines and sailors from the navy yard, commanded by Lieutenant Dewey, a nephew of Admiral Dewey, formed the guard of honor. A firing party of seven teen marines fired three volleys at the grave. A Railway Official Suicides. GRAND RAPIDS (Mich.), Dec. 30.— Auditor U. B. Rogers of the Chicago and West Michigan and Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroads, com mitted suicide this noon by shooting himself through the head while sitting at his desk in his private office. Death was instantaneous. Despondency over a long illness probably caused the deed. Mr. Rogers had been appointed Auditor for the newly consolidated Pere Mar quette system. * W. J. McLean Arrives at Winnipeg. WINNIPEG, Dec. 30.— W. J. McLean, a former officer of the Hudson Bay Company, who was reported lost In the northern Slave Lake country, where he had gone in search of minerals for Chi cago parties, has reached here in safety. He reports having discovered valuable copper ore in the Athabasca region, and says his party suffered no privations, owing to the abundance of game. , Civil Service Law. WASHINGTON, Dec. 30.—The Civil Service Commission, in its annual re port to be issued next week will say that the civil service law is being more generally conformed to than ever be fore. It shows that the removal of em ployes, based upon its statistics for this year, now average slightly less than 2 per cent, of the whole number of classi fied places. Shot by Robbers. SIOUX CITY (la), Dec. 30.—John E. Robson, a well known contractor, was shot and robbed of $100 in his office last night. His assailants escaped, and left no traces behind. Robson's condi tion is critical. The Cruiser New York. ST. THOMAS (D. W. I.), Dec. 30.— The United States cruiser New York ar rived last evening, and leaves January 2d. BRITISH LOOK TOWARD AMERICA While Her Great Army Remains Passive in South Africa. Held at Bay by Two of the Smallest Re publics on the Face of the Earth, Longing Eyes Turn to America for the Good Will Which in the Past Has Been Almost Scorned —Papers and People on All Sides No Longer Make Any Attempt to Belittle the Desirability of Securing the Friendship of the Greatest Nation Among AU Powers. (Copyrighted, 1899, by Associated Press.) LONDON, Dec 30—It is strange to note that as the New Year dawns for Great Britain the greatest army she ever put in the field remains passive in South Africa, held at bay oy two of the smallest republics on tbe lace of the earth; while at home, in sipte of the large volume of trade and ap parent prosperity, her financial inter ests are in a state of instability not seen since the Baring crash. All Eu rope is yelping at her heels, and the necessity for America's friendship is recognized on all sides. Papers and people that for years have been reads with a jibe for Americas good will now no longer make any attempt to belit tle the desirability of securing her friendship. "America," says the "Globe,' us ually humorous at the expense of all things trans-Atlantic, "with a crop of 542,000,000 bushels, is especially in a position to help us." The economic shoe already begins to pinch the military foot- Not very se- , riously, but enough to suggest grave j cogitations as to what would happen if Great Britain were at war with a great Power. The fact that the Gov ernment has chartered so many trans ports has resulted in a rise in the price of bread, while coal is rising by leaps and bounds to famine prices. It is .such unpleasant results as these that silence the scoffer at things American, and induce such a vituperative publication as the "Saturday Review" to say: "The Americans have had their eyes open as to the possibilities of a foreign 1 policy, and are taking a sounder, besides a cooler view of the situation. They are not less friendly to us than be fore, but the insincere element has been eliminated, and has left a reliable sub strata of good will." Which contention the "Saturday Review" under different circumstances would doubtless hay constructed, into damning evidence of the insincerity of American friendship. It must r.ot be inferred that this view is held by many of the sincere English friends of America, who now point at what they are pleased to term its great friendship as proof of what they have always) maintained. With such a serious outlook for the coming year, it is hardly surprising that articles appear under the head ing, "Are we decadent?" and similar strains. On the other hand, there is still a small section of the press and public w-hich devoted its energies to sense lessly abusing the Boers, and prophe sying the speedy entry of the British into Pretoria. Yet, on the whole, the organs voicing the better class of opin ion face 1900 and its eventualities in South Africa with an even-minded un hysterical determination that compels ; admiration. That there will be a day of reckoning for some one is a certainty that even the most guarded and con servative dp not try to conceal. Wheth er it be Lord Lansdowne, Lord Wollse- I ley or General Buller.it is impossible to tell. But all the information obtain able at present and the gist of criti cisms point to Lord Lansdowne having to shoulder the onus for the terrible mismanagement. While Great Britain feeds contented ly upon long special cables showing American friendship, the Boer agents in Europe believe sentiment in the United States has been gradually turning Boer ward, until the time is now ripe to de velop it into material effect. Under this impression the Associated Press learns that they ate contemplating dispatching a special mission to the United States for the purpose of influencing public opinion, possibly by open meetings, and by personally assisting the efforts of those in Congress whom they believe friendly. Moreover, they consider it advisable to offset what they declare has been a systematic campaign of John Hays Hammond, the American engineer, who wp_s a member of the Johannesburg Reform Committee, to in fluence Washington opinion. If the plans now under consideration are car ried out, the mission -will include a very prominent Boer agent and a pro-Boer member of the British Parliament, who intended to sail this week, but was pre vented by what is thought to be a tem porary hitch in the arrangements. Their desire is to affiliate themselves with no particular party, but influencing polit ical and public opinion to secure at least an offer of mediation from the United States. A representative of the Associated. Press has made careful inquiries, but faiied to find any circumstances to war rant the belief that such an offer, how ever made, would receive the slightest consideration. The British Government is threatened with a coal famine, the most serious devedopment of recent weeks. Unless the conditions improve many industrial concerns depending on the coal supply may have to suspend operations before February, as their margin of profit is rapidly being wiped out. The root of the trouble appears to be the with drawal of so many colliers to take their places in the ranks of the reserves. Wages have gone up, but labor is hard to iflnd. The normal Christmas conges tion of traffic aggravates the situation, while the Government need of fuel for transports, war vessels and depots on the way to the Cape has created an unprecedented demand. TEACHING OF CLASSICS. Ruling Relative to the Christian Brothers' Schools in America, NEW TORK, Dec. 30.—A dispatch to the "Herald" from Rome says: The sacred congregation of the pro paganda has made its report on the dispute between the heads of the Christian Brothers in the United States and the French superiors of the order relative to the teaching of the classics in the Brothers' American schools. After consideration of the statement submitted by Archbishop Patrick W. Riordan of San Francisco, the congre gation rules that the American claims to greater lattitude in teaching than is permitted in Europe are inadmissible. It is expected that the Pope will con firm the report at once. Cardinal Satolll, who drafted the re port, said: "Just as the Americans adhere to their national Constitution, so the Christian Brothers must main tain theirs. That constitution forbids the teaching of the classics." "The teaching- of the classics in the American schools of the Christian Brothers," said Superior Brother Ru benstein, the head of the order, was permitted for a time, it is true, but only exceptionally. Now the field of classi cal tuition is left open, as always, to Jesuita We have but supported the fundamental rules of the order." The Roberts Case. WASHINGTON, Dec. 30.—Repre sentati.e Tayler of Ohio, Chairman of the special committee which is investi gating the case of Brigham H. Roberts, says that the case will not come up for action in the House before the middle of January. The arguments will begin January 4th. When they are finished the committee will form its conclusions. Then the report must be written. As it will be exhaustive, the greatest care will be required in its preparation, and although it is the intention of the com mittee to proceed as rapidly as possible, Mr. Tayler does not think the case will reach the House by the middle of the month. Fire at Little Rock, Ark. LITTLE ROCK (Ark.), Dec. 30.— Three large seed houses and one of the meal houses of the Consumers' Oil Com pany mill, owned by Chicago capital ists, together with 200 tons of meal and about 3,000 tons of seed, were burned to-day. The loss will be total, about $80,000, with $40,000 insurance on the building. Two hundred men are thrown out of work. Consul to Pretoria Hay. LONDON, Dec. 30.—Adelbert S. Hay, the new United States Consul at Pre toria, left Waterloo Station here this morning for Southamption on his way to Cape Town. Mr. Hay Is charged with many commissions from relatives and friends of the British prisoners at Pretoria. Mrs. Langtry Sails for America. LIVERPOOL, Dec. 30.—The Cu narder Lucania, which sailed from here to-day forNNcrw r York, carries Mrs. Langtry, the actress. THREE NEW BATTLESHIPS. THE AMERICAN NAVAL BOARD OF CONSTRUCTION Agree* Upon Plans for Warships That Will Surpass Every thing Now Afloat. NEW YORK, Dec. 30.—A special to the "Tribune" from. Washington says: Designs for the greatest battleships ever projected, for the American navy were agreed upon by the Naval Board of Construction to-day after several months of discussion over the important questions of battery, armor, speed, coal capacity and displacement. The three new vessels —to be called the Georgia, the New Jersey and the Pennsylvania —will equal in formidabillty the finest line battleships yet laid down by any foreign Power, and, with the addition of typical American improvements, will surpass in fighting force any ships now afloat. The salient features of the de sign contemplate a displacement of 14,000 tons as compared with the Ore gon's 11,000 or the new Maine's 12,300. The speed is to be "at least 19 knots," with a coal capacity of 2,000 tons. There will be two super-imposed tur rets, one fore and the other aft, each containing two 12-inch and two 8-inch of the new elongated bore and .high smokeless powder velocity. The re maining guns of the main battery will consist of twelve G-inch quick firers in broadside. This arrangement of bat tery has been finally adopted instead of an alternative plan which provides for four 12-inch guns in turrets and six teen 0-inch broadside, which had been put forward to avoid the expedient of superimposed turrets. The board definitely determined upon the use of the most modern Krupplzed armor for the new vessels, its precise distribution to be decided upon after the chief constructor has made sufficient progress with the actual plans to de termine the proper arrangement of weights. The armor problem has been the most difficult to solve, and to this cause is attributable the delay In plan ning the ships. The Act authorizing the vessels was approved on March 3d last,' and it stipulated that no contract should be made for any portions of the vessels until a contract was made for the armor. Congress having limited the cost of armor to the ridiculous price of $300 a ton, it was evident from the be ginning that no satisfactory ship could be built under such restriction and for that reason the plans have been dis cussed with unusual deliberation. As the weight of armor entering into these ships was a very large item, the question of the adoption of Krupp or Harveyized material was extremely im portant. This can be readily appreci ated from the fact that 3,000 tons of the former (the approximate weight re quired for each battleship) Is equivalent as regards resistance to penetration to 4,000 tons of the latter. The total cost of each of these three ships when ready for sea will exceed $7,000,000 each. They will cruise 7,000 miles straightway, and there will not be three ships of similar offensive and de fensive strength in the fleet of any pos sible enemy. WHOLE NO. 19,012. MUCH PROPERTY GOES UP IN SMOKE. A Firs at Chicago, Breaking Out in the Early Morning, fcsults in a Lost of Nino Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars. Several Buildings Completely Gut ted and Others Badly Damaged —Nine Firemen Were Also In jured, Two Seriously—Was One of the Worst Fires the Depart ment Has Had to Deal With in Years. CHICAGO, Dec. 30.—Fire at an early hour to-day completely gutted the buildings extending from 210 to 222 Monroe street, badly damaged the build ing at 212-214 Monroe street, caused a loss aggregating $050,000, and resulted in the injury of nine firemen, two of them serious. The injured: Captain Robert O'Con nor, serious; James Wolley, serious; William Paden, Michael O'Hara, Cap tain John Evans, Captain William Ca rey, Captain Thomas O'Connor, Luke Hayes, Lieutenant Oswald. The fire is supposed to have origin ated on the second floor in the work room of Woolley & Co.! wholesale woolens, at 220 and 222 Monroe street, and, fanned by a fierce northwest wind, spread so rapidly that when the first company arrived on the scene the whole south end of the building was a mass of flames. A second and then a third alarm was sent in, but in spite of the tons of water thrown into the burning buildings by the thirty-eight engines and two fire tugs, the wind and the bitter cold so hindered the firemen that for a time the entire wholesale district was in danger. The flames quickly com municated to the building at 210 and 218 Monroe street, gradually spreading to 212 and 214 Monroe, where its progress was finally checked. Immense brands were carried as far as Twelfth street, and the firemen were busy extinguishing small fires on the roofs of surrounding buildings. The principal losses are: Building at 220-222 Monroe street, $225,000; Ed wards, Stanwood Company, successors to Phelps, Dodge & Palmer, boots and shoes, third and sixth floors, $200,000; Woolley & Co., first and second floors, woolen goods, $135,000; Schwartz & Kline, shirts fourth floor, $0,000; John Harper cloak manufacturer, fifth floor, $5,000; building at 210-218 Monroe street, occupied by J. W. Butler Paper Company, $25,000; J. W. Butler Paper Company, damage on stock, $250,0U0, fully insured; Henry O. Shepard Com pany, printers, occupying building at 212-214 Monroe street, $100,000. The building at 217 Fifth avenue was damaged $2,000. Beside this there were several minor losses caused by water. The escape from death of Captains O'Connor, Evans and Carey and Fire men Padden, O'Hara and three others who escaped Injury was little short of miraculous. All of the men were work ing on the roof of the building at 210 --218 Monroe street, and as the fire crept closer to the west side of the struct ure, the men were gradually driven to ward the middle of the roof. Suddenly the east wall of the building adjoining fell with a terrific crash. An immense mass of brick and timbers crushed into the roof where Captain O'Connor and his men were at work. The roof tore away from the sides and fell with a crash to the floor beneath, carrying pipemen O'Hara and Padden down In the debris, and leaving the others on the frail broken edge of the roof high above the flames. Captain O'Connor, Lieutenant Callahan and pipeman Hor gan finally succeeded In rescuing the two unfortunate men, and crawling along the shaking walls they made their way to a fire escape and de scended safely to the ground. After the lire had been raging about an hour and a half the walls began fall ing, and several firemen were more or less injured, James Woolley so se riously that he was taken to the hos pital. The fire was one of the worst the fire department has had to contend with in years. The cold was intense, the barometer being several degrees be low zero, and a number of firemen were severely frost bitten. Reciprocity Treaty With" France. WASHINGTON, Dec. 30.—1n order to correct a misapprehension as to the ef fect of the pending French reciprocity treaty upon wines, the State Depart ment has authorized the statement that so far from injuriously affecting Amer ican wines, the treaty actually secures a reduction of about 25 per cent, of duty on California wines imported into France. This has been secured with out any corresponding remission of our duty imposed upon French wines im ported into the United States. Venezuela's Late President. WASHINGTON, Dec. 30.—Word has been received here that General And **rade, late President of Venezuela, who fled on a warship when the Castro revolution proved successful, is- living quietly in Puerto Rico, where the Amer. ican rule affords him every proper pro tection. General Andrade has sent back the warship on which he left Venezuela, together with every other possession In any way belonging to the country, and he is now living as a private citizen. The Plague at Noumea. MELBOURNE (Victoria), Dec. 30.— Advices from Noumea, New Caledonia, say that five whites there have been at tacked by the plague, one of them, dying. Fifteen Kanakas and Chinese have died from the plague, and twelve are under treatment. Rudyard Kipling 111. LONDON, Dec. 30.—Rudyard Kipling and his wife and two children are con fined to their rooms, suffering from in fluenza, but there is no anxiety felt as to their condition.