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The National tribune. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, January 01, 1879, Image 2

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Panics in England.
Two years ago Lho worklugniQii of tho "United States
had reached tbo height of their suffering from lho panic
of 1878; food was dear, prices had not yot fallen, the cost.
Of living was excessive, the demand for labor had nearly
ceased. "Want spread over all our vast fortilo territory;
oven the industrious suffered and perished in the commer
cial distress produced by fluctuating currency, a period of
speculation, political agitation, fear, distrust, hopeless
ncss. In 1870 wo were threatened with a discontented
people, violent political movements, riots, rage; evon the
tramp became a political power, the wildest agitators the
agents of a discontented party. That period has passed
away, and peace and plenty have returned once more.
"VVhilo wo wore suffering) England still retained its pros
perity its commercial activity, its appearance of general
ease. Its pauperism diminished, its revenue grow, its
workingmen enjoyed a comparative freedom from the ills
that had bofallon Germany, France America. But sud
denly all this has changed. A panic, a period of distress,
has fallon upon England moro sevoro than any thing it
lias known for half a century. Trade has almost stopped,
factories aro closed, mines aro valueless, great firms and
institutions aro bankrupt; but the saddest trait of this
unlooked-for revolution is the intonso suffering of tho i n
dustrious poor. Tho account of their misery roads liko
somo impossible fable. In tho midst of the enormous
wealth of England one would suppose that such scones as
are related in the English paporsjcould never occur. Says
the Daily jtfcwa: " We drew attention the other day to
tho distress which has seized our manufacturing districts,
and to tho horrible detail with which tho columns of the
local newspapers are filled. There has been no such timo
of suffering since tho cotton famine Tho numbers on the
books of tho various agencies for relief, startling as they
appear, aro hitherto short of what they were at that time;
but already stages of destitution have been reached for
which it is difficult to find a parallel." It gives instances
one of a woman who, in her despair, stole cat's meat
from a butcher's shop, and was found soon after with her
family devouring it raw. Sho was well dressed, it is said.
Honest men thrown out of work, who havo never begged,
have sold all their furniture, oven tho vessels in which thoy
cooked their food, tho very grate, before they would ask
for aid. Tho sufferers aro numbered by hundreds of thou
sands, perhaps millions. Tho winter opens on them black
with despair. Meantime the ruling party are wasting
great sums on shameful wars, in military display; propose
no measure of rolief for their suffering countrymen; aslc
for a public grant of money to the famishing Turks at
Rhodope. There is no American whoso hoart does not
bleed, for tho suffering multitudes at Sheffield, Leeds, or
Glascow, who would not rejoice to pour tho rich abund
ance of Kansas or Minnesota into the famished mouths of
England's industrious poor.
But tho panic, the period of commercial depression, is
something with which England has long been familiar.
The wealthiest of nations, it scorns the victim of a regular
recurrence of these disasters. So regularly do they come
that an intelligent professor in a recent lecture endeavored
to connect them with tbo sun spots. There was one in
1825-20, one in 1887-89, ono in 1847, 1801, 1867, 1878. It
is nofcuecossary to go so far to find their causes as Profes
sor lloscoe; thoy havo usually been the results of events
altogether mundane and plain to every eye. Tho panic of
1847- is described by Morier Evans. It came in the
midst of a scone of general -prosperity; speculation raged
in all ranks of life; it was tho period of the railway mad
ness, when all England was covered by a net-work of real
or imaginary lines of travel or traffic, that were sometimes
paid but never built, and oftelier built and never paid for.
HudsOn, the railway autocrat, held in his hand the capi
tal of England; noblemen, women of rank and title, cler
gymen, merchants, laborers, rushed with eagerness to in
vest their money in wild speculation; 3,000,000,000 was
invested, it was estimated, in railways; every kind of mad
venture grew popular; the wild revelry rose to an extraor
dinary pitch. But it fell almost in a moment. The rail
way projects failed, and ruined rich and poor; tho famine
in Ireland came to add to the general suffering; a bad
harvest in England, food riots in Scotland, completed the
destruction of public confidence. Then came failures of
great houses so uulooked for as to seem incredible; the
governor of tho Bank of Egl.md failed: tho bank trem-
Sailk before tho ffeiioral torrnr: rtlrl itinraimtUn flrma nT mi
.j 1.1...1 '..... " i .",', " :rr "."
r luuuiuu crouiG una cc
The Bank of England
ot its own solvency
tho immonso number of depositors who suddenly
lor payment mane
them; ton times
was represented
- nouses. 1 know this bill will pa,ss, and before the ad-
unucss lesser ones leu together. journmont l ticsiro to Qouplo thisamendmont to it in order
withheld its aid, fearful, porhaps, ' that its passngo may be assured, I am sure a larffo ma
in cnsoOf a general demand formnnnv: . ioritv of t.hn mnmlinrs limn lmv ftii'fflnimif. rnrtiv1 viw Aa,
called ablod soldiers to favor tho repeal Of this law. Its repeal
it impossible lor the banks to satisfy will allow an opportunity for doing justice to tlioso en-
tliom ; ton times the amount ol the currency Of the country titled to pensions. Under tho construction nlacod on that
by its deposits, and when tho panic came statuto by tho Adjutant-tionoral's Office and the Comniis-
thcro was not monoy enough to satisfy half the demand. ! sionor of Pensions no soldier can obtain the romoval of
Even tho Bank of England, it was said, must havo stop- tho bar it forms unices a record of big disability had been
, pod had its depositors prosscd for payment. Had tho panic made at tho War Department during his service in the
contiuucd another day, every bank must, have closed its i Army,
doors. But it nassed awav. tho jrrcni; bnrlv nf dnnnsitnrR ' .a.... p..ii ... .i ..... i. m
, recovered thoir confidence the oFowd in Lombard stroot. . ".r ruiauer uiseUBSioii py -AH&sra. TOWns-
disappoared; and it was a fortunate trait of this peculiar howl, bmith, l inloy, Baker and Hewitt, of iNOW
financial terror that it affected only slightly the indnstrial York, McMahon., of Ohio, obtained tho floor,
classes, that tho factories remained open, the mines pro- Mr. McMahon. I offer an amendment which 1 can
ductivo, and that soon a now period of prosperity dawned , hardly sav eh.iinrns oxisttmr low. bid. it. nmv nlmncm viuf..
upon the busy people. iwr practice, a practice which I bono cent lemon on tho
, JN one ot tlioso commercial disasters seem to approach other side will not insist on perpetuating by raising a
, tho present in seventy or in probable duration. It is a point of order if the amendment bo amenable to such a
decay m tho resources of England, a decline in values that point. Let the amendment bo read. I think it will speak
affects every interest of tho nation. Tho rents of farms, for itself.
t it is said, havo sunk one-third; tho farmer complains that The Clerk read as follows :
I ho can no longer compete at a high rent with tho wheat- Skc. . No pensioner's 'name shall bo stricken from
growers of Russia and America; the manufacturer closes the rolls nor shall his pension bo reduced without previous
his laotory or reduces the watres: the iron t.radn of Eutr- nrfw fn n, i-wMic'rum. . ,.,i .iwU ,.,. i. n,v,.:..i:
mid SP.filVlK fllmflsr. finnrl. Thiirn icn ffimnml dimwin ntmn i T.,:.. 1... i- i.i; .1' a. .. . . i
' -"-- ......-.,. v ..w... a A.wAxy W W WA.VAfc UUIJIUVIIIVIUH
I ifi I i:in intn iiiin iijiiiii lit iimiiii ' 11.1.I1 : I. iihiikiiiii uiiiuiiri
nf iii'nnvlrtT ln,il 4irtr frrA 4 1 .. I- .!!! iMinlml.li. .-.n.... .. !, t. i. i. i . .. n . . --
, r-i'i ..u, .uui, mm. m inuuduij iiuvoi uu uc uisconciuuea or rcaucea ue snau iirst. give a Hearing to'
repaired. A recent English writer, when war with This- tho ponsioner and permit an examination of the testimony
i sia was imminent, describod with much enthusiasm tho upon either side, and he shall receive and consider further
enormous wealth of his country, tho amount it cou'd testimony offered in rebuttal, subject to his powor to sus-
waste m a mad and useless contest. Tho whole wealth of pCnd payment during such inqniry. And in all applica
kgnnnfUaLnSti.mj!iefi at 8,500,000,000, or more than tions for pension or bounty the petitioner or his attornoy
. SnM?S'2S,000; m 1Sl5 lfc llad been only aboufc ?t0000'- shall havo a right to inspect all testimony on reports con-
i 200'?0?' l,he incmo assessments since 1815 had increased corning his olaim that may bo On file in tho department,
fourfold; the "potential taxation," says Mr. Fairer, Mr. Smitit, of Pennsylvania. It is incumbent on the-
socretrry of the Board of Trade, "might be indefinitely gontloman to show that his amendment does not chalice
raised. oxRem. nnrhrma thes fnv mi cmrifc an A trtlionA " nv4:,, inn. rpu ,-..i ,.i tj-i. . .9
A billion Of dollars COllld onsilv 1)ft Rnnrpd. lm flimiclif. in rtf lo. Ttrl.ir.1 ii.m l,o.vrt ...,j-J i J.n ,i ' ..t. x.
, inflict xipon Russia and the Russians all tho penalties due Mr. McMahox. It may change an existing practice -
to ambition and overbearing greed. Mr. Shaw Lefovro but suppose tho law does not authorize tho practice
i has recently repeated the flattering record. But a later Mr. Smith, of Pennsylvania. Practice makes law.
writer, in less fanciful language, throws a shade of doubt ' Mr. MM.uios. But you say that my amendment
! on the brilliant picture. Already a few brief months of changes tho law. I submit that when this Government
.panic have diminished the fancied wealth; tho vast hoard has examined a man's case and allowed him a pension
has been i lessoned by at least one-eighth, if not oue-sixth. thereby admitting that it owes him so much monev ner
TIia hnnlrrnntnv nf iinfiM(o lint? nnf f?i.,,, a i:n;,. n.o. n. . i.n.? i . ... . . , . . x rl
-. , : x l,7 ""vo a.o wou juugnxiiu. a uiiiiwii, m uiuiiiu uuuur Luo uiw, uioio is no siaiuto or legal provision
which authorizes tho Commissioner of Pensions to send
out ono of these pimps called ' special agents" to go into
the neighborhood of tho pensioner and take testimony
nrivatelv without uofcioo to iho nnnsirmnr. qo T.f li?c at-
knowledge of tho proceeding which deprives him of his
IT -----.- ""V -swhw 4uh " A-VJA vV
shrinkage in tho value of real property is great, and and
is estimated to havo lost one-fourth nv nnn.sivf.li its vnlnn
, of five years ago. The earnings of the working classes have
! diminished, it is assorted, "one hundred millions" annu
I ally. The value of 'British industries" from five to
j seven hundred
i slowly wastincr
1 fading resources
perils of war. the other side ought to bo ashamed to have made such n.
Between the two pictures there is no doubt a happy law. Such a proceeding takes from a man a right which
mean. England will recover itself; and every American the Government has conceded to, him ; a right of property
farmer and trader is personally interested in the welfare so scrupulously guarded by the law that it cannnot ho
of tho industrious, untiring population that from London taken from him for a debt ; it cannot be assigned by tho
to Glasgow offers the bebt market for Ameriern produc-1 man himself. Yet this right thus carefully guarded is,
tions. The nrosneritv of the English wnrlcinn- nlassec; ' under the existincr nnlctice taken amvlwan,i.w ,.
means wealth to the farmer of Georgia and Wisconsin, of , eeediug on the part of the Commissioner of Pensions T
rT .ii.nr,.... 1 ,..,,.. dft tinf. mnon tn oiirliof H'onffln.. l.I-iolCj
millions. Tho en.nif.nl of f.he nmmivv is
i . i , . ","' ""j - juu,u io .. uuu u ivio uitiv uio uumu una ul-uu scncKen
awav. and amidst a sfairvinn- neonle nnd frnm f.ho mile T mni,t 1-.01.0 Jo r, ,:.:. 1 .1.1
.-' O I---!-- "" 'v" . "" 'v'l"'"u ".- " " U.MBWUU iilW WHICH
England is once more plunged mto the authorizes such a nroceedimr. Tft.hnrois nm. r,.;nio
TftVflO (llirl alifnm'n Tli,
tho wheat, food, cotton, we export; but for their industry but he has improper agents. IIo is obliged to administer
and thrift the farms of Minnesota might long have re- tho law through defective instruments, and we know that
mninnrl illo ori1 flm ini-i-r-n AnUn nP r?...: , .,1 .- o01no.lin1ilfic An miw nnrl tlum rrrt- . lx,v .3ll.? ... t
I waste. Every year nations are becoming more necessary ments only occasionally of course with the gentlemen
to each other, more useful. England and America are in- nw i" power. I know cases where men havethus been-
dissolubly connected; the English working classes are our deprived improperly of their right, aud I am laboring in.
best customers, England our most natural market. Eu- fcllis House to prevent such an abuse, or rather I "am
j rope has already begun to lean upon America for its nee- laboring with reference to the other House, whore it is so.
; essaries of life: tho people of all lands are alreadv nerin- much harder than it is here to get a measure of f.hi v-'a
lllllO frt rlicpmmv -linil imif-nnl rlannnrlnnnn T- J- .. n1n.
i ""0 u.uwu.u. uvu u.uuuui uoiHiUUUUViC. JLU iO U SIUll
process, but it will prove a sure one. Nature decrees that
wars must ceaso at last. The time must come when oven
Russia and England shall discover that it is better to aid
uuuu w uBswoy uiicu ouier, x anics, too, nave uieiriesson; " "" ullv ummi ui i uutu uuuisi; ino MOvornment of
it is the old ono of Joseph -to save in the years of plenty ! tue united States for a pension has been allowed, by what
for the pinching times to come. ' authority does the Commissioner of Pensions send out
and privatelv got letters "or jifHn.vits from iri;,',.i .
through : not because it is a jonnblinan hodv nf .n,n.,
am laboring to get men restored to the pension-rolls who
have been stricken from them without a particle of notice
of any proceeding against them.
wnen tlio claim ot a man against the Government of
' the neighborhood of the nensiouer and Minn nh,nJ
We extract from the Conaressional Record S?" ,nover Pit?R tl-om to bo inspecled by tiie pen-
. rt, " JJiUliUl i
.led; 110 "leading firms," says Morier Evans, "were pomons OT tne apeeclies lately made by Messrs. Mr. San-ra, of Pennsylvania. Certainly the gentleman.
jyj.CM.anon ot Umo ana Townsnend ot Illinois, so 1S ll0C aaaressmg the uiiair on the point of order.
that our readers may gather some idea of the n' llcU5m' Covtainly a11 this is pertinont tothe-
line of discussion on matters relating to pensions The Chairman. The Chair thinks tliafc the gentleman
and the management of the Pension Office. , from OMo is using considerable latitude in disoHssinc tho
prostrated in threo months." Mr. Disraeli, then in the
fire of early ambition, described the national calamity in
Oriental imagery. Tho uprooting of commercial dynas
ties in England," he said, "were not less striking than
the fall of those political houses of which we have lately
heard so much." In 1848-49 kings and bill-brokers, em
perors and railway autocrats, had fallen together; their
disasters may be described, lamented over, but the calam
ities of the industrious poor in that season of depression
are written only in the books of eternal justice.
The next, severe panic in England, for we may pass over
the memorable season of 1861-08, was that of 1807, one of
the most peculiar, most startling, of all. It came without
notice, it passed away swiftly, like some furious storm.
But it loft behind traces of desolation, broken fortunes,
ruined reputations, a commercial terror that was almost
unknown before. In 18GG English trade was prosperous,
the country rich, tho people employed profitably; mines,
manufactures, commerce, flourishing; there seemed no
omen of danger in the future. When suddenly a great
institutiona discount company failed; a strange terror
arose, increased, it was said, by the malevolence of spec
ulators; and next the famous house of Overend, Gurney
& Co., one of tho oldest in the ciiy, was known to be m
difficulty. It had applied to the Bank of England for aid,
and was refused. Its deposits had amounted to $00,000
000; its depositors claimed their money. The great house
closed its doors, and was found to have wasted in mad
speculation tho resources of its customers, Its end was
covered with fraud, wastefulness, improvidence; it brought
with it a general disaster. Another bank soon failed, a
fierce excitement arose in London, an immense crowd fill
ed Lombard street, and all the neighborhood demanding
from the different banking houses that aro clustered on
those scenes of traffic tho monoy thoy had lent them in
their hour of confidence. "At mid-day," (12th of May j
says a contemporary writer. " the panic was at its height.
Lombard street was actually blocked up by tho crowds of
espectable persons vho thronged the doors of the banks
and other establishments." ' While depositors rushed to
withdraw their money, a body of lookers-on gathered be
fore each bank or financial establishment, expecting to
j$eo it cloo its doors." One after another tho great bank
ng houses wore seen to fail; the Bank of London stopped;
European Bank, tho Consolidated Bank, and others
"We regret that we have not space to print the pm fc wc
whole debate i IcAnoK- T l m on o pomt of, order, strictly.
T5 if i i n i i x ii V' C??GBn- Xot the gentleman is on the point of dii
By all means let us have full debate on all -order. Laughtor.j
these questions, that the best and wisest course i PMr,.?MIT1!T of "Pennsylvania. The gentleman is talking
i i i . t - in in i.ii ,iir ii iirrifiiintt nr mnn lino tiAnitnn. - ,i . :ii. n -
- .. ..vw,,,,,,,,, imouvufiug iu uu WHU IU1S Dili,
may be taken in the management of these vast
Mr. Towxshekd, of Illinois. I beg leave to offer th
following amendment : That section 4717 of Revised State
utos be, and the same is hereby repealed.
j no uieric react uio section.
Mr. .McMahon. Of conrso it. is ilm rvnf; r . "
plauung ot and not the law. I would not charge tho gen
tleman with upholdiug such a law as this. Tho Corainis
siyner sits up in the Pension Bureau and the gentleman
talks to him and says, " ft is not nice to do this business
because we will have to develop tho names of parties " I
say every pensioner is entitled, as well as every criminal
"Tv RAfTmTT rC lmtnr,.l..n..in ,-J ..!. J - .1 . .
Mr. TowNsnEND, of Illinois. I am surprised that tho I n. tno.Jaild to be confronted with the witnesses against
jentleman from Pennsylvania, representing as he does the ""; n?t with tho names with their personal presence :
republican party, the vaunted friend of the soldier, should ' , U1U Iuta ,tjm.L we,s-w uopnvo tliqse poor men, for
aiso a question of order upon that section of the Rovised j non .0, ou D0 iae.s ot tlio llouso profess such
tion. Liiuiguter j-l am sure n no wore Hero he who has rosor
I wish to say further that the Adjutant-General and the ! U1 tho'so )0int8 of or(o1' woukl himself withdraw it.
LumiuiNiuum u rouwuus nave recomnienaoa mat that I oriere cne time limited to the debate G-rmwl
section be repealed. If repealed, wo will avoid a oonsiri. ! .. . l. w w cvpuea.
orable amount of special legislation as well as open the
door for claimants to obtain settlements in the Pension
Oflico of iust claims.
I boliovo, sir, tho amendment is germane to the bill, j
Amu quuisuuu i kiiow nas oeen dooatoa m past sessions,
and I behove it has been docided both ways. I know
there havo been amendments of the same nature offered
to other kind of bills which have been sustained over
points of order similar to tho ono now made, J havo in-
troclucod tho amendment at this time mainly because, ow- refused to pay his debts, to say, Why doiiVvou D
mg to tlio shortness ot the session, it is hardly possible to - him? "-that is, Why don't you Bene i Dunn to arfc
pass an independent bill for this purpose through both1 him?" st
Somo falsely think that ifc comes from tho Fronch
where donnez signifies "give me," implying u doniand
for Bomothing duo ; others, from dlinm (Saxon) "to thun
der; but tho true origin of this expression owes its birth
to ono Joo Dunn, a famous bailiff of Lincoln, England so
extremely active, and so dexterous at the management of
his rough business, that it became a proverb, when a man
at r
i '.v

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