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the leaders of different parties, who determine in advance the number of the seats on the committee to which each party shall be entitled." The statement is based apparently upon the authority of Lebon, Dupriez and Laband, but the customs of the Reichstag have gone still further from the original intention. At present the matter is left entirely to the Senioren-Convent, who not merely determine the number of seats to which each party is entitled, but also name the men. The secretary then reports the names as if the men had been elected by the sections and the sections do not take the trouble to meet at all for the purpose of electing committees.
It seems possible at times to select a subject that has interested Mr. Lowell particularly, judging from the amount of space that has been given it. The discussion on the Initiative and Referendum is such an one, and is on the whole, I think, the best that we have in English. The facts regarding the votes in the different cantons and in the federal government have been tabulated in convenient form so that the reader is able to form an independent opinion. There is so much discussion at the present time regarding the extension of the system in this country that it seems wise to give to the question what might otherwise seem an undue amount of space.
In the, relatively speaking, very brief discussion regarding proportional representation, Mr. Lowell does not seem quite so much at home. Although the canton of Berne rejected the proportional system, as he says, the fact that the city of Berne adopted it should have been noted. It is hardly accurate, again, to consider the minority system of representation found in Illinois as a system of proportional representation. Few, if any, of the advocates of the latter system so understand it. On page 233 of the second volume in a note it is stated that in the Canton of Geneva the representatives to the Great Council are now chosen in a single district, and that before the proportional system was adopted, there were three districts. In fact, the districts were not combined when the new system was adopted; but under the proportional system the city elects thirty-four representatives and the other two districts, Rive Droite and Rive Gauche, elect twenty-six and forty respectively.
These criticisms, however, are only on minor matters. It is hardly to be expected that in a work covering so wide a range, some slight errors in details should not be found. On the whole the work seems to be accurate, and Mr. Lowell has certainly shown, in general, excellent judgment in the space allotted to the different
subjects considered. The publishers have perhaps invited hostile criticism by suggesting in some of their advertisements that this work does for Continental Europe what Mr. Bryce's American Commonwealth does for the United States; but I think that the author would hardly make the claim. Mr. Bryce has made what may be fairly called an exhaustive study of our government national and state and local, of our people and of our most important voluntary institutions that have social and political influence. Mr. Lowell has made a most admirable sketch of the governments of Continental Europe, and the work has been done in a singularly clear and impartial way by a man who has the wisdom to look at society as it is, and to represent it in action. The only work with which it is fairly to be compared is that of Dupriez on the Cabinets. It has no rival in its own field in English, and it is a trustworthy work which not merely every student of politics ought to read and which should be a standard work of reference in all our universities, but it is one which should also be in the library of every man who takes an interest in public life and wishes to be well informed.
JEREMIAH W. JENKS. Cornell University.
Recent Studies of the Liquor Problem. We group together three publications of unequal size and quite different character, because they all illustrate a certain method of investigation. They all spring from the desire to study the liquor problem, without bias and in the scientific spirit.
Mr. Moore is a resident of Hull House, Chicago, and in his short article, which is illustrated from photographs, he endeavors to show the really useful social function performed by the saloon for its patrons, in spite of the great evils which result from drunkenness. These evils, he says, “are many and grave, and cry out to society for proper consideration. But proper consideration involves a
1 The Liquor Problem in its Legislative Aspects. By Frederic H. Wines and John
Koren. An investigation made under the direction of Charles W. Eliot, Seth Low, and James C. Carter, sub-committee of the Committee of Fifty to investigate the liquor problem. Boston and New York, Houghton, Miffin & Co., 1897-Svo, vi, 342 pp. The Saloon Question in Chicago. By John E. George, Ph.B. Economic Studies,
Vol. II, No. 2, published for the American Economic Association, by the
Macmillan Co. New York-110 pp. The Social Value of the Saloon, illustrated, by E. C. Moore. The American Journal of Sociology for July, 1897.
whole and not a half truth, and the whole truth involves its own power of proper action. In the absence of higher forms of social stimulus and larger social life, the saloon will continue to function in society.” (p. 12.)
Mr. George's essay brought him the Cushing prize, offered in the Northwestern University for the best essay on the subject with which he deals. He does not attempt to pass any judgment on the saloon, but has given us a very interesting statistical study of the saloon question as it exists in Chicago, explaining the reasons, partly due to climate, partly due to population, for the large number of saloons in that city, and giving some idea of the amount of money disbursed and received by them. He also discusses the legal control of the saloon, and give some police statistics, unfortunately not covering a sufficiently long period to be of great value.
The volume published by the Committee of Fifty is a more ambitious undertaking than either of the essays just considered. In fact, this volume itself constitutes but a small part of a very large work which the Committee of Fifty is, and has been for four years, prosecuting. The mere existence of this committee is a significant sign of the times. It was formed in 1893, and consists of fifty gentlemen, representing many occupations, many shades of thought, and many views on the liquor problem itself, but all united in the desire to secure a reliable mass of information which can be trusted by those who desire to combat or diminish the evils of alcoholic stimulants. The Committee contains a number of university presidents, such as President Eliot, President Low, President Gilman; economists, such as David A. Wells, Carroll D. Wright, and Prof. Ely; physiologists, such as Dr. Billings, Prof. Bowditch, Prof. Welch, Prof. Chittenden; clergymen, such as Dr. Rainsford, Bishop Potter, Dr. Munger, Father Doyle; business men and lawyers such as Wm. E. Dodge, Wm. Bayard Cutting, Jacob H. Schiff, James C. Carter, C. J. Bonaparte. The Committee is divided into four sub-committees, one of which is studying the physiological aspects, another the legislative aspects, another the economic aspects, and another the ethical aspects of the problem. The volume before us is but a part of the work of one of the committees, namely, the committee on legislative aspects. The physiological committee has thus far only published single monographs, while the work of the economic and ethical committee, though being actively prosecuted, has not yet reached the stage of publication.
The volume issued by the legislative committee takes up eight
different States, representing eight different types of liquor legislation. Of these eight States, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are treated by Mr. Koren, while Missouri, Iowa, Ohio and Indiana are treated by Dr. Wines. Mr. Koren devoted a year and a half to his work, and Dr. Wines over a year. The impartiality and accuracy of their statements are vouched for by the Committee, which also supplies an admirable summary of the work of the special investigators.
It is not surprising that this investigation should not have resulted in any positive recommendations. It was not intended to. All of the systems investigated seem to be beset with so many difficulties and lead often to such unexpected results, that it would be difficult for an impartial student to absolutely commit himself to one or the other. Indeed, the frequency with which the liquor laws in the States under consideration have been amended shows how many defects have been discovered in them by the State legislatures. Yet, though the book does not result in deciding what is the ideal system of liquor legislation, it does give us some valuable facts with regard to specific points. One fact is, that prohibition does not prohibit. It “has succeeded in abolishing and preventing the manufacture on a large scale of distilled and malt liquors, within the areas covered by the Committee,” but “it has failed to exclude intoxicants completely, even from districts where public sentiment has been favorable." Another undoubted fact is, that prohibitory legislation, and indeed all liquor legislation of a stringent character, tends to produce very grave political evils and to directly promote blackmail and corruption. High license as carried out in Massachusetts has diminished the number of saloons, but as far as the statistics of arrest are concerned it does not seem to have diminished the prevalence of drunkenness. The most successful system among those considered, in reducing intoxication, seems to be the South Carolina dispensary system, but this has been on trial for too short a time to enable us to base any final conclusion upon it, and it has resulted in political evils of very great magnitude. The danger of drawing wrong conclusions from statistics, especially from police statistics, is emphasized by the book; and many people who read it may be disappointed that it is not more conclusive. But if there is one thing that it is important to emphasize in this day of overlegislation, it is that legislation, especially on social and moral subjects, is not an exact science. It must proceed slowly and cautiously, and we cannot hope for any progress except by the multipli
cation of just such studies as the Committee of Fifty has given us in this book; studies which enter impartially into the details of different systems, and, by showing what their good and bad features are, make it more easy to avoid the evil and follow the good in future legislation.
H. W. F.
La Viriculture, Ralentissement du Mouvement de la Population,
Dégénérescence,–Causes et Remèdes. Par G. de Molinari, Correspondant de l'Institut, Redacteur en chef du Journal des Economistes. Paris, Guillaumin et Cie, 1897-ii, 253 pp.
In primitive and semi-barbarous stages of society, according to M. de Molinari, there were various institutions, customs, and laws which regulated population, both in respect to its numbers, its quality, and the cost of reproduction. When liberty became the rule of society, there was at first a strong tendency towards overpopulation, on account of the abuse of this liberty, and the evils of this period were well set forth by Malthus. Since his time, however, the growth of population has been less rapid, and instead of increasing beyond the opportunities for its employment, it has actually, in some cases, fallen short of this. Particularly is this true of France, where under-population rather than over-population is the calamity that its statesmen most fear. This falling off in the natural increase is due, according to the author, not to physiological, but to economic and moral causes, stimulated by the burden of army service, by heavy taxes, by the increasing difficulty of university studies, by the natural habits of frugality of the French people, etc.
M. de Molinari is, however, not discouraged by this state of things. True to the central idea of the book, that the market (le debouché) always governs the movement of the population, he says: “As long as the capital accumulated on the soil of France and the industries which use it shall exist and grow, so long the population will exist and grow in the same proportion. If it does not recruit itself sufliciently by the interior natality, it will be recruited, or still better will continue to be recruited, by exterior natality and immigration” (p. 87). The maintenance of the population by immigration he considers to be a blessing rather than an evil, since it gives the French the benefit of increased labor without the cost of producing that labor. He says: “While the insufficiency of indigenous natality stimulated an immigration which saved France several millions, emigration took away from Germany an excess of population which had cost it a larger sum in the same interval. In a war