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Mail for War Prisoners WITZERLAND handles all mail to

and from prisoners of war free of cost. In April of this year the Swiss Post Office forwarded to prisoners of war 326,241 letters daily and 102,209 parcels, weighing up to twelve pounds; it also handled an average of 7,994 money orders a day. From the beginning of the war to the end of 1915 the Berne Transit Bureau forwarded to the belligerent countries 74,256,858 letters and postcards addressed to prisoners of war, besides 19,028,192 large and small parcels. During the same period th Swiss Post Office transmitted 3,066,597 money orders aggregating $8,654,336. All this was done free of charge and cost the Swiss Government over $2,000,000. Letters and parcels from prisoners to correspondents in the United States are handled by our Post Office free of charge, but postage is required for forwarding from this country.

Mercantile Marine Losses THE THE Bureau Veritas, an authoritative

French marine publication, has collated statistics of the war losses of the mercantile marine, which differ widely from the figures given out by German authorities. The losses from Aug. 1, 1914, to May 1, 1916, as reported by the French publication represents a total of 1,475 vessels with gross tonnage of 3,324,

725. The world's tonnage is 50,000,000, hence the loss is a little over 6 per cent. The chief sufferers are tabulated as follows:

Total No. Steam. Sail. Tons. British

.641 513 98 1,448,699 French

45 18 157,987 German .411

87 1,106,457 Austrian 49 48

1 173,417 American


7,202 Dutch 20 20

48,452 Norwegian


76 24 116,434 The German losses represent 18 per cent. of Germany's total at the outbreak of the war; England's loss is 7 per cent. The Germans seized in their ports sixtythree vessels with a tonnage of 142,936. Great Britain's seizures total 490,032 tons. Portugal seized German vessels with a total of 196,407 tons. The seizures are not included in the reports of losses. The Hamburg-American Company alone has lost during the war 48 vessels out of 205; the Hansa Line of Bremen 36 ships out of 74; the Kosmos Line 29 out of 59; the North German Lloyd 28 out of 142.

The losses from May 1, 1916, to Sept. 1, 1916, which were quite heavy among the Allies, are not included in the above. In August, 1916, alone the German Admiralty claims its submarines destroyed 126 hostile ships, totaling 170,679 gross tons; also thirty-five neutral ships carrying contraband, totaling 38,568 tons.


PURCHASE OF DANISH WEST INDIES THE Senate on Sept. 6 ratified the THE

treaty between the United States and Denmark for the purchase of the Danish West Indies for $25,000,000 without an opposing vote. Agreement to the sale by all political parties in Denmark, with the early consummation of the transaction, is confidently expected. The United States thus secures 33,000 square miles of new territory. In comparison with previous purchases of this kind

The Louisiana Purehase comprised 828,000 square miles

and cost us (in 1803) $15,440,000. We paid Mexico in 1848 $15,000,000 for the 529,189 square miles in which California was included, and in 1867 we paid Russia for Alaska $7,200,000. In 1853 we paid $10,000,000 for the Gadsden Purchase, lands in Arizona and New Mexico, 45,000 square miles, and in 1898 we paid Spain $20,000,000 when we took over the Philippines, Guam, and Porto Rico. For Florida, in 1819, the price was $5,000,000, and that recently paid for Panama was $10,000,000 down and $250,000 annually for the Canal

the price is high.



Zone. In the purchase of these islands the are annually appointed by the Secretary amount of territory acquired evidently of the Navy to be midshipmen; he is also had no bearing on the price. Our Gov to appoint annually from civil life 30 Enernment paid the exorbitant amount signs for engineering duties, graduates of asked not only to secure the islands, but engineering institutions. The Marine to prevent their going to any other Corps is increased about 5,000, with 300 power.

new commissions. The discussion leading up to this pur The Secretary of the Navy expects chase reopened questions concerning the that the construction of all the vessels Monroe Doctrine. The enlarged inter provided for in the program will be under pretation given to Monroe's dictum in way by March 1, 1917, and that all will our own day had raised the question be completed well within the three-year whether the acquirement of these Danish period. islands by any other European power would not be an intolerable violation of AVIATION IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY the principle at stake. The event, there


FEATURE of the new Army bill fore, lends timeliness to an article else

enacted at the recent session of where in this issue of CURRENT HISTORY

Congress is the provision for aviation. MAGAZINE, in which the historic develop

It provides for the training of 1,000 aviament of the Monroe Doctrine is traced.

tors, half of 'whom will be active and

half in the reserve service. The plans OUR NEW NAVAL PROGRAM

call for an equipment which will include

aeroplanes of all the various military THE United States Congress which ad

types, for a thorough system of training, journed Sept. 8, after a session last

for the mobilization, and so far as posing nearly ten months, made the largest

sible the standardization, of the various naval appropriation ever passed by any

industries which can be utilized in the legislative body in time of peace.


manufacture of aeroplanes their bill provides for the construction of 157

equipment for military purposes, and, new vessels of all classes, and will put

lastly, for means by which any young the United States second among the naval

man who can pass the mental, physical, powers of the world. Provision is made

and moral test of the regular service may for 10 battleships, 6 battle cruisers, 10

obtain the practical and theoretical inscout cruisers, 50 destroyers, 9 fleet sub

struction necessary to equip him for a marines, 58 coast submarines, and 13

commission as an officer of the aerial reauxiliary vessels, all having a total dis

serve service. placement of 813,000 tons. The program

There will be established a system of covers three years.

training schools, which are expected to The cost of the vessels authorized, plus

be second to none in the world. The mathe 20 per cent. additional for expediting

chines manufactured especially for trainthe construction, amounts to $654,000,

ing purposes will be of types to fly from 000; the total cost of vessels from 1883 to

thirty-eight to sixty miles an hour, and 1915, inclusive, was $700,000,000.


designed with the idea of obtaining a bill also carries these important provis- machine easy for a novice to operate. ions: $13,700,000 for a Government armor plant, projectile plant, and laboratories,

NEW FEDERAL REVENUE LAW and $3,500,000 for naval aeronautics and

THE new revenue bill doubles the inipersonnel of the navy. is increased by tial income tax, making it 2 per 1,525; 900 in the line, 330 in the Medical cent. on incomes over $3,000 in the case Corps, 130 in the pay corps, 70 in the of unmarried persons or over $4,000 for construction, 20 in the engineers, 25 in persons “ at the head of a family.” An the Chaplains, 50 in the dental surgeons.

additional tax is levied on incomes exThe enlisted force of the navy will be ceeding $20,000, increasing to 13 per increased by 24,000 men, of whom 25 cent. on incomes of over $2,000,000. All


a naval flying corps. The commissioned THE

A 35 per

the existing stamp taxes are abolished. billions, with interest at 5 per cent. and There is a tax of 50 cents on each $1,000 1 per cent. sinking fund, the present revestock (market value) of corporations in nue will meet all current expenditures, as excess of $99,000.

well as the colossal war drain, and will A 30 per cent. duty is assessed on dye still leave a comfortable surplus. stuffs to begin at once, also on medicinals and flavors, the duty to be reduced

OUR TRADE WITH HOLLAND gradually after five years. cent. tax is put on blended wines and

10 ENGLAND has become so aroused

over the extraordinary increase of cents a gallon on brandy spirits. The

Holland's importations of food products, law also provides for a Federal inheri

a large proportion of which find their tance tax beginning at 1 per cent. on

way into Germany, that she has laid a estates up to $50,000, 9 per cent between

virtual embargo on all food products from $4,000,000 and $5,000,000, 10 per cent.

the United States to Holland. On Sept. 14 over $5,000,000.

notice was given that she refused to allow A tariff commission is authorized, the

the Netherlands Oversea Trust to accept President to appoint and designate the

any further American consignments and Chairman. Salaries are fixed at $7,500

declined to grant assurance for Amera year. The commission's duties are to

ican shipments destined for either Holinvestigate trade conditions and changes

land or Scandinavian countries. Under in case of production and to report its

this order only cargoes for Scandinavia findings from time to time to Congress;

and Holland, when acco

companied by asit has no executive authority; $300,000

surances of their innocent destination, is appropriated annually for the work of

will be allowed by the Allies to proceed. the commission. Copper smelters, under

The embargo on Holland doubtless the new law, are to pay a tax of 1 per

arises from the following statistics recent. on gross receipts up to $1,000,000,

cently procured by Great Britain: In the 2 per cent. up to $10,000,000, 3

first six months of 1914 the shipments of in excess of $10,000,000.

butter to Germany from Holland were

7,671 tons, in the same period of 1916 GREAT BRITAIN'S WONDERFUL WEALTH

19,026 tons; cheese jumped from 6,312 tons to 45,969 tons, cocoa from 1,025 tons

to 3,302 tons, eggs from 7,868 tons to perts, Great Britain has provided 20,328 tons, meat from 5,820 tons to 40,for the interest and sinking fund of its

248 tons, potato flour from 20,985 tons to colossal war debt twice over by the im

52,298 tons, spirits from 447 hectoliters position of new taxes. The total debt

to 37,638. The shipments to England July 29, 1916, was, in round numbers,

from Holland in the same period showed $14,000,000,000; if the war continues to

enormous reductions as compared with March, 1917, it is estimated the debt will

the same period in 1914. be $17,000,000,000. The present debt averages 4162 per cent. interest; add 1

THE MEXICAN CONFERENCE per cent. sinking fund, and the total annual charge on the debt now is $745, THE troubles on the Mexican border 000,000. Prior to the war the expenses,

seem now to be fairly on the way ircluding interest charges, was $1,000,

toward a satisfactory solution through 100,000 per annum. The revenue for the

the labors of the joint high commission

which has been in session at New Loncurrent year, due to the imposition of extraordinary income and excise taxes, will

don, Conn., since Sept. 6. The commis

sion consists of three of Mexico's ablest be $2,500,000,000. Deducting one billion dollars as the normal rate of expenditure,

men and three Americans of like endowthere still remains one and one-half bill

ment, namely: ions for new interest and sinking fund,

Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the In

terior. which is twice the amount now required.

George Gray of Wilmington, Del., former Even if the national debt reaches twenty Federal Judge.

per cent.

A CCORDING to British Treasuryesi

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Dr. John R. Mott of New York, General Secretary of the World's Student Christian Federation.

Luis Cabrera, Minister of Finance in the Carranza Cabinet.

Alberto J. Pani, President of the Mexican National Railways.

Ignacio Bonillas, Sub-Secretary in the Mexican Department of Communications.

The first two weeks of the conference have been devoted to a broad discussion of the economic and political problems that underlie the whole question of the Carranza Government's ability to restore security of life and property in Mexico as well as along the border. At this

the production of sugar has increased 10 to 12 per cent., and will easily meet the requirements without any importations. The blockade on importations of cattle feed has rendered difficult, he says, the keeping of live stock and limited meat and milk products, but this deficiency is being met by economies. He states that the 1916 harvest is much better than in 1915, and that the increase in breadstuffs over 1915 will amount to several million tons.


writing (Sept. 20) a plan to guard the THE official reports show that there is

border by a mixed American and Mexican patrol operating within a restricted neutral zone is under consideration. The fact of chief significance thus far, however, is that the members of the commission have met in a spirit of accord and mutual respect, and that both countries are confidently expecting a workable program at their hands, in which the early withdrawal of General Pershing's expedition from Mexican soil and the recall of most of our National Guard regiments from the Rio Grande will be the salient features. It is expected that an American loan will figure indirectly in the effort to increase the efficiency of the Mexican Government.

a decided decrease of drunkenness in London. During the first eight months of this year the total convictions for drunkenness in the London district were 20,477, against 37,570 in the same period in 1915 and 45,540 in the corresponding period of 1914. Some decrease is attributed to the absence of men at the front, but the decrease in convictions of women is almost in the same proportions; the statistics of female convictions are, respectively, for the first eight months of 1914, 1915, and 1916, 12,164, 11,231, and 6,797,

The average weekly number of convictions for drunkenness from January to June last was 835 in England and 454 in Scotland, as compared with 1,558 and 754, respectively, from January to June, 1915.

Beer charged with duty for home consumption in England and Wales during the first six months of 1915 totaled 11,439,306 barrels, against 10,782,533 in the first six months of this year, and in Scotland 676,381, against 651,209. ·

Whisky cleared for home consumption in England and Wales for the first six months of 1915 amounted to 13,258,158 gallons, compared with 11,254,933 in the first half of this year, and in Scotland 3,685,935 gallons, against 2,688,915.


tary of the Interior, states that Germany, notwithstanding her industrial progress prior to 1914, did not neglect food production; hence he scoffs at the idea that the nation can be starved. In consequence of scientific cultivation agricultural schools, irrigation, drainage, rotation of crops, and artificial fertilization, the harvests from 1909 to 1912 compared with the period of 1883-86 show an increase in area cultivated of 5.8 per cent., but the increase in crops was 87.7 per cent., making the increase in the net return per hectare 77.7 per cent. He says without any imports whatsoever Germany's breadstuffs are more plentiful per capita than they were thirty years ago, also that the imports of meat and butter were comparatively light, and that

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the result of armed conflict a mathemat-
ical certainty. Only disaster and misery
with the recent uprising in Dublin.
quite clear that any one financing or
land is not seeking the well-being of Ire-
land, which could not conceivably come
from it, but is seeking to embarrass
England; to help, not Ireland, but the
nations fighting England. For the sake
of Ireland every one must hope that

while no troops fight more loyally and these efforts, if they really exist, will be
gallantly at the front in France than wholly abortive.
those recruited in Ireland, (and the offi-
cial army reports fully bear this out,)

SOCIAL RELIEF WORK IN ENGLAND AND there is still much unrest in the south

RUSSIA west of Ireland, in the regions about Cork and Killarney in particular. He ONE of the effects of the war through

out the civilized world has been the adds, and this is ominous, that a new rebellion is to be financed from the United unparalleled intensity of relief work carStates. Charles Stuart Parnell, by far

ried on by diverse social bodies both in the ablest leader Nationalist Ireland has

belligerent and neutral countries. While

the full extent of such work can never produced in our days, a man who united

be measured with any degree of accuracy, passionate patriotism with a dry, scien

the statistics based on the activities tific intellect, once said that Ireland was almost ideally unfitted for guerrilla war

of the major organizations in a certain fare (and that is what a

“ rebellion "

country are instructive in themselves.

Thus we find that in the first two years means) because it is like a basin, with a rim of mountains near the edge, but with

of war the people of England have volthe whole centre of the country an open

untarily contributed more than $250,

000,000 to the work of the various British plain. The entire coast is dominated by

organizations engaged in relief activities the English Navy, and must continue to

at home and at the front. The leading be, so long as that navy is in possession of the sea; the whole centre of the coun

fund in England is the Prince of Wales

Relief Fund, the receipts of which now try is indefensible by guerrillas; there

total more than $30,000,000. fore any attempted military operations are foredoomed to fail.

Russia's relief work is more astound

ing than that of England. This is partly The “rebellion" of 1798 demonstrated

due to the fact that the Russian social this. Foreign aid had been promised;

bodies are engaged in certain activitiesbecause of England's command of the sea, even before Trafalgar seven years

such as supplying clothes to the soldiers

at the later, no effective foreign aid could be

front—which in England or

France are the work of the Government sent. Guerrilla warfare broke out at different points along the “ rim” of the exclusively. Russia's leading social or

ganization, the basin, (Wexford, Down, Mayo,) but these

All-Russian Zemstvo efforts were neither correlated nor si

Union, has handled in the first two years multaneous, and ended in early disaster.

of the war the enormous sum of 2,500,Today such a “rebellion” is even more

000,000 rubles. On July 16, 1916, the certain to fail; no foreign aid, except,

Zemstvo Union had on its hands 1,500,perhaps, a submarine crew or two, can

000 pieces of underwear, while all suppossibly be sent; English garrisons, using plies on hand were insured at the sum

of 23,000,000 rubles.

In the two years railroads, can reach any point in the country within a few hours.

Their pos

the union has supplied the Government session of modern artillery would make

(for the army) with 78,000,000 pieces of underwear, while it expended for its own relief work 50,000,000 more such pieces.

All other items included, the union supIt is

plied the Government with 131,000,000 articles. The union's order department is now turning out for the Government 5,000,000 pairs of warm boots, 4,000,000 Winter coats, 5,000,000 pairs of gloves, and 10,000,000 pairs of socks. From Aug. 3, 1915, to Aug. 10, 1916, the union manufactured for its own activities goods worth 36,000,000 rubles. Up to Jan. 14,

could result to Ireland,

as was the case

otherwise abetting


rebellionin Ire

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