Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pression of Corea by Japan and the "humiliating affront
inflicted upon the Hague tribunal by Japan."—Un
Diplomate writes of the Concordat agreed upon by the
Holy See and Russia concerning the study of the Rus-
sian language in the seminaries of Poland. Reports of
correspondents in Germany, England, Belgium.--Chron-
icle of the court of Rome. Catalogues of pontifical
nominations and of audiences granted by the Pope.
La Civiltà Cattolica (4 Jan.): The allocution pronounced by
Pope Pius in the Consistory of 16 December is given in
Latin and Italian." The Jubilee Year of the Holy Fa-
ther," a commemorative article upon the fiftieth anni-
versary of Pope Pius' ordination to the priesthood.-
"Theological Modernism," a critical application of the
philosophic principle of the Modernists to theology, with
a view to showing the incompatibility of these princi-
ples with Catholic theology.

(18 Jan.): "Historical Truth and Popular Culture," an
article protesting against that falsification of European
history which ascribes to the Revolution of 1789 the
origin of liberty, and to the Church during all the pre-
ceding years the fostering of despotism.-"Theolog-
ical Modernism" is continued.

España y América (1 Jan.): Father Juvencio Hospital, O.S.A.,
contributes a sketch of Buddhism as a religious system,
to his series on the religions of China. The opening
article of a proposed series, by Father S. Garcia, on
Modernism, contrasts the rationalistic and the traditional
Catholic conceptions of the nature and evolution of dog-
ma. Father Candido de la Puente tells of what he
declares to be a well-organized movement for the delib-
erate falsification of modern French history.

(15 Jan.): Father Meliton writes at length of a famous
painter known as "The Greek." He was a disciple of
Titian and founder of the school of Toledo, where he
died in 1625.-Felipe Robles discusses, from a philo-
sophical standpoint, the essence and definition of a verb.

France.

The chief pre-occupation of those who are interested in public events in France has been the state of affairs in Morocco and the changes which have been taking place. There, as in most of the other regions of the earth where one man is trying to control the doings of all the rest, the most perfect, if so it may be called, chaos exists. Abdul Aziz, hitherto the recognized Sultan, has been rejected by most of the tribes throughout the length and breadth of the country, after having been deposed in the capital itself. The ground for this deposition was, strange to say, the recognized democratic principle that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the people and had, therefore, no claim to be considered the accepted ruler of the country. This was the judgment of the religious authorities; it was accepted by the people dwelling in the capital; they accordingly formally proceeded to elect a new Sultan. Their choice fell upon Mulai Hafid, the brother of Abdul Aziz, who had already received the allegiance of a considerable number of the tribes in the South. The election made by the people of Fez has been accepted by most of the tribes even in the north, and so Abdul Aziz must be looked on, for the present at least, as merely an ex-Sultan, although still recognized by the Powers as the de jure ruler of the Moors, so far as it can be said that they have any ruler. For, besides Abdul Aziz and Mulai Hafid, there are two other claimants, to say nothing of Raisuli, the bandit, who still holds his own in the mountain fastnesses of northern Morocco, and has only just released from his clutches the Scotch Knight Sir Harry Maclean. The payment of an enormous ransom had been agreed upon for his release, as well as the giving up of a large number of the robber's friends and associates; but such was the disturbed state of the country that it was for a long time impossible to carry the agreement into effect. The new Sultan, Mulai Hafid, proceeded at once to declare a religious war against all foreigners, but so little is the fervor of the Mahometans that even warfare in the name of religion, that lowest form of zeal, has so far failed to stir them into action.

In view of the prolongation of the extremity of misery to which the prevailing anarchy subjects so many, it is impos

sible not to feel indignant at the action of the potentate who, by his intervention, is its cause, or at least its occasion. The peaceful penetration of Morocco by France was prevented, and the decisions of the Congress at Algeciras now rule the situation. The temptation to go beyond these decisions has been strong and there are foolish friends and astute enemies of France who would push on the French government to send troops into the interior and restore order by taking possession of the country. With great self-denial and good judgment all projects of this kind have been rejected, and strict adherence to the Act of Algeciras has been maintained and is to be maintained. On the other hand, the proposal of M. Jaurès and of the Socialists of whom he is the representative, which amounts to a complete abandonment of Morocco, has been negatived after a debate in the Chamber of Deputies in which, for the first time after his fall, M. Delcassé made a speech. To the present state of Europe, and to the existent relations of the various states one to another, M. Delcassé has been perhaps the most potent contributor. He conducted the negotiations which led to the Anglo-French entente and to the amicable understanding which now exists with Italy; to the restoration, in short, of France to the position which she had lost since the war of 1870; and if she had had the courage to stand by him, when he was attacked by Germany, the situation in Morocco would be very different from what it is to-day. But in a great crisis France seems to be paralyzed, and as she was afraid in 1882 to co-operate with England in Egypt, so in 1905 she failed to stand by the man who had in recent years been of the greatest service to her.

Ever since his fall M. Delcassé has kept silence and has carefully avoided doing or saying anything calculated to embarrass his successors in office. The interpolation of M. Jaurès on the Moroccan policy of the government, however, made it incumbent upon him to give an exposition of the guiding principles of French foreign policy for the ten years during which he held office. This policy had as its result the destruction of the hegemony in European affairs of the Power most opposed to France. His fall had as its effect the placing of France in Morocco under the surveillance and control of other Powers. That he fell was due, he said, to the fact that his fellow-countrymen had been deceived and had been led to believe that he VOL. LXXXVI.—54

was leading them into war with Germany. There never was, he said, any real danger of a war, even if France had refused to take part in a Conference. That France did consent to take a part in the Conference was, he said, to be regretted. As, however, she had taken this course, she must, of course, loyally fulfil its provisions. The present moment he declared to be serious, the real stake at issue being the future of France as a Great Power. Her chief danger lay in her own hesitancy. Her duty was to become stronger and stronger; ready, indeed, to discuss all questions seriously, but at the same time maintaining the efficiency of her armies as also of her ententes and alliances. By a majority of 436 to 51 the Chamber expressed its confidence in the policy of the government. This policy consists in working under the Algeciras Act, protecting her subjects in Morocco, maintaining neutrality in its internal affairs, going "neither to Fez nor to Marakesh." On the other hand, any further nationalization than that introduced by the Act of Algeciras will be resisted.

Were it not for Morocco there would be very little to say about France. This is undoubtedly a good sign, for a peaceful, uneventful life, while bad for chroniclers, is good for nations. The Foreign Minister, M. Pichon, has paid a visit to Spain and people think, or at least say, that a definite agreement was made between the two countries. It seems certain that they are acting together more cordially than at first. No progress has been made in the social legislation which has been so often promised. A proposal, however, has been brought forward for electoral reform. Some two hundred members of the Chamber have formed a group for the adoption of the scrutin de liste and of the proportional representation of which Lord Courtney of Penwith has been so long an advocate in England. The present system in force in France is what is called the scrutin d'arrandissement. By this system one member is elected for each of the 591 constituencies into which France is divided. In the scrutin de liste the voting would be by departments, and each voter would have as many votes as there are members to be elected for the department. Second ballots are necessary under certain conditions in both systems; the new proposals, however, do not involve second ballots. The numerical importance of each party will be ascertained by the counting of the votes respectively given for each party, and the seats will be divided

in proportion to the number of votes secured. The system. of proportional representation has already been adopted in Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, and Argentina, and has for its main object the fairer representation to minorities. What right the 51 have to rule over the 49 has been and is an anxious question to many students of modern politics. Proportional representation solves this question by trying to take away this right. It remains to be seen whether or not its advocates will carry their point in France. In the event of their success it would, doubtless, have great influence over other countries.

Germany.

While in France discussions upon the best way of securing for each citizen a due share in the govern

ment are remote and academical, in Prussia the question has become very urgent and actual, and has led to a series of disturbances in the streets of Berlin. The Prussian franchise was described by Prince Bismarck as the most wretched of all electoral systems and seems to deserve the description. In each of the wards of every constituency the electorate is divided into three classes in accordance with the amount of their property as assessed. Let, for example, $300,000 represent the value of this property; then all who have property amounting to one-third of this sum form the first class, and these alone have the right to vote for its representatives. In some cases a single family or even one or two wealthy individuals form the class and send to the electoral college three representatives. The second class is made up in the same way of those whose property amounts to a second third of the total value. They are more numerous and less wealthy than are those who belong to the first class; but less numerous and more wealthy than those who make up the third class. Each of those classes sends three voters to the electoral college; this college, in turn, elects the Deputy of the ward to the Prussian Chamber. The result of this method is that in no case can the working classes elect a representative of their own. interests to defend and explain their wants; they are entirely. swamped by the richer classes.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that the members of the Reichstag are elected by universal suffrage; the workingman, who is powerless in his own country, has a voice in the

« AnteriorContinuar »