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same objects. This, like the bill empowering the Imperial Government to acquire all the German railroads, was rejected; the Reichstag objecting to them because they would greatly increase the patronage of the Government and its influence in elections; also, because these monopolies would place under the control of the executive the machinery for raising a large part of the revenue, and the power of increasing it at will: although its expenditure would still depend on the vote of the Reichstag, the effect would be to free the Government still more from parliamentary control. The Government would, moreover, by the control of the railway system, have power to favor or coerce individuals, towns, and districts. The command of the Prussian railroads already places it in the power of the central authorities to bring pressure on the other lines, and, as the Prussian budget makes an excellent showing for state management, there is a prospect of the eventual accomplishment of the railroad scheme. In the session of 1883 Prince Bismarck asked for an accession to the sources of revenue in the shape of timber-duties. It was opposed by the wood-working industries, and after an excited contest the bill was rejected, only by the temporary defection of the Polish deputies from the Center. A favorite scheme of the German Chancellor for rendering the Government finances in a measure independent of the exigencies of party politics was to induce the Reichstag to vote the budget biennially. The Liberal Opposition has been weakened and divided by his parliamentary policy to such an extent that there was not the material in the present Reichstag to resist the Emperor's appeal. To escape the necessity of voting the budget for two years, and yet show becoming respect for the wishes of the Emperor, the deputies took up the sick and accident insurance bills. But in the end, by the aid of the Clericals, who were conciliated by the modification of the May laws, the supplies for two years were submissively granted. As soon as the budget was forced through, the Emperor closed the session. June 12th. It was the longest on record, having opened April 27, 1882. The first fruit of the high tariff, in the way of relief for the poorer classes, was the abolition of the two lowest categories of the classtax in Prussia. The Prussian Diet declined to grant Prince Bismarck's demand for an augmentation of the excise duties, which he declared necessary in default of the tobacco monopoly, and for the exemption of all incomes below $300, but abolished the class-tax on incomes below $215, whereas previously all households whose annual incomes exceeded $100 were liable to the class-tax—that is, the tax on incomes between $100 and $750. Nearly 3,750,000 persons, or about one fifth of those subject to this tax, were relieved.*
The accident and sickness insurance bill, in the form in which it was first laid before the Reichstag in the previous session, proposed that the Imperial Government should insure the work-people, and the employers and communes provide the premiums. The existing law of employers' liability required masters to provide the means for caring for employés injured in their service without fault of their own. It was ineffective, on account of the difficulty of proving that an accident is not due to a workman's own negligence. The insurance companies were accused of overcharging and defrauding the working-people. The bill was opposed by a large majority of the Reichstag, on the grounds that Government insurance would ruin the existing companies, that it would reduce the working-men to the condition of pensioners and destroy their independence, and that it would place great powers of coercion and interference in the hands of the agents of the Government. The bills were withdrawn and remolded, and when again laid before the Reichstag in the session of 1882–'83, were freed of the feature of Government administration. The new bills proposed that insurance should be undertaken by the existing companies, trade-guilds, and communal institutions. It was proposed that the state should furnish part of the premiums. This share was to be one fourth, another fourth was to be assessed on the employers and presumably paid out of their profits, and the remaining one half was to be estopped from the wages of the workmen and likewise collected from the employers. Accident-insurance was made obligatory on all employed in mines, factories, and other industrial establishments, on railroads, and by steamship companies. In the case of an accident, the workman was to be a charge on the sick-insurance fund for the first three months, and then, if the disability continued, the charge would be transferred to the accident-insurance fund. There was bitter opposition to both bills. The clauses making insurance compulsory and laying part of the burden on the Imperial Government, were especially obnoxious to the believers in the traditional doctrines of political economy. The scruples of those who were alarmed at the socialistic features of the project were met by the argument that the bills form part of a series of projects which would take the place of all other pauper legislation. It was a matter of imperial concern to legislate for the extinction of pauperism, which is usually the result of sickness or accident. By helping to tide the workman over periods of incapacity, and enabling him to retain his position as a self-supporting member of society, the state would relieve the communes which have already to support the indigent and helpless by the poor-rates. In support of the clause compelling employers to provide a part of the premium, the preventive effect of such a provision was urged. It would impel employers, whose neglect is the frequent cause of accident and sickness, to employ precautions for the safety and health of their employés. The alternative proposal of voluntary insurance would fail altogether, because the working-people could not save the premiums out of their wages, and the employers would not voluntarily contribute. By the opponents of the bills it was argued that the effect of the state subsidy and assessment on the employers would simply be to reduce wages by so much. The fate of the measures depended on the course which the Center party would take. With them the objections against the accident-insurance bill prevailed, and the subsidy provision was stricken out. The bill was consequently withdrawn, to be presented again in the following session. The sick-insurance bill received their support, and was carried by a majority rarely got together in the present divided and distracted state of the popular representation, showing the cogency of the various motives which actuate the different parties to approve legislation for the benefit of the “poor man.” The vote was 216 to 99, the two Conservative fractions, the Center, the National - Liberals, the People's party, and eleven Secessionists, voting in the affirmative, and the Progressists, most of the members of the Liberal tinion, and the SocialDemocrats, in the negative. The Liberals accuse the Chancellor of venting his antipathy against the trading and manufacturing classes in his legislative programme, which imposes many new burdens on them, while it relieves the land-owning and farming classes of a part of their burdens. They made it a condition of their adherence to the sick-insurance project that its provisions should be extended to agricultural laborers. An amendment to this effect was added, but at the last hour it was rejected, and the bill passed in almost the original shape. Cabinet Changes.—Surprise and a degree of dissatisfaction were felt at the removals, within a few days of each other, of the chiefs of the war and naval ministries, who had held their posts for ten years. The retirement of Gen. von Kameke was due to a difference between him and the Emperor. The Progressist deputies would only agree to an augmentation of military pensions on the condition that officers should be subject to direct taxation the same as civilians. The Minister of War was willing to accept the compromise, but the Emperor William insisted on perpetuating the invidious privilege. A disagreement with the Chancellor is said to have led to the resignation of Baron von Stosch. It was expected that the place would be filled this time by a naval officer, but the Emperor's predilection for the military profession had again to be gratified by the appointment of an infantry general to the direction of the navy.
* According to the returns of issi, 80 per cent. of the population of Prussia had less than $100 of annual income,
nearly 68 per cent. belonged to households with incomes fall; within the class-tax, and only 24 per cent. had over $750 conne,
Retirement of Parliamentary Leaders.-During the debates on the church bill Herr von Bennigsen, leader of the National-Liberal party from its foundation, discouraged by the manner in which Prince Bismarck treated him and his party after he lost their support and by differences with the remnant of the great party who still followed his lead, resigned his seats in the Reichstag and Prussian Landtag and retired from political life. Only a few months before, Eduard Lasker, the other great Liberal leader, had laid down his mandate and permanently retired.
Prussia and the Watican,—Just before the close of the session the Prussian Minister of Worship, Von Gossler, introduced in the Landtag a bill relaxing the May laws, which embodied the concessions that the Government was willing to make for the relios of the spiritual deprivations of the Catholic population. The bill, which was passed by a majority of 224 Conservatives and Clericals to 107 Liberals and Free Conservatives, fell short of the demands of the Vatican, but in the minds of the Liberals imported nothing less than the penitential pilgrimage to Canossa. In the negotiations with the Curia since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, the fundamentally different principles of the Prussian state and the Papacy could not be harmonized so as to afford the basis of an agreement, but a modus wivendi was equally desired on both sides. On Dec. 3d, 1882, the Pope wrote to the Emperor William, expressing his satisfaction at the reopening of diplomatic intercourse by the return of the Prussian legation to Rome. The Emperor's reply, sent December 22d, expressed the hope that such a conciliatory step would be met by concessions showing a like disposition on the Pope's part, and intimated that, if the Vatican would agree to notify the civil authorities of ecclesiastical appointments, the Government would feel encouraged to move in the matter of recasting the legislation which is necessary to protect the rights of the state which are assailed when it has to sustain a contest with the Church. The Pope replied, January 30th, offering a concession, viz., that the bishops should thenceforward be permitted to give notice to the Prussian Government of new appointments of cures, without waiting for the revision of the ecclesiastical laws, imposing, however, the condition that the revision should be extended to the laws which impede the exercise of ecclesiastical duties and the training of the clergy. The immediate object of the negotiations was to supply pastors to the numerous parishes which had long been bereft of all cure of souls, an evil and a scandal which the Government had stronger motives for remedying than the Pope. The points in controversy involved the three main provisions of the Falk laws, which formed the subject-matter of the three principal acts: 1. That the ecclesiastical dignitaries should advise the provincial authorities of all appointments to eccle: siastical posts. 2. That disciplinary authority over priests should be exercised solely by Germans. 3. That education in a German school and university and a state examination were essential to qualify a person for the discharge of clerical functions. A note from Cardinal Jacobini to Herr von Schlözer, Prussian envoy to the Vatican, explained the position taken by the Curia. The Prussian Government in reply, May 5th, expressed willingness to agree to the appointment of vicars without notification, while requiring it for the priests who are appointed to a parish connected with a benefice, so that the Church would be enabled to provide for the reading of the mass and the administration of the sacraments independently of the Government, the only requirements being that the officiating priests should be native Germans who have received the legally prescribed education. The Government promised a revision of the May laws, and agreed to renounce the right to forbid the appointment of priests, but insisted that the Pontiff should first concede the right of notification, deeming it a point of honor that he should grant the right which is conceded to other governments. The only answer made to the demand of the Pope to have the education of young priests placed under the direction of the bishops was that the Government had already shown much compliance with regard to state examinations of candidates and the opening of priests’ seminaries. The Vatican returned an unfavorable answer. The Government, instead of pursuing the negotiations in which it continually lost ground, seized the opportunity to execute one of the sudden strokes for which Prince Bismarck is famous, interrupting the negotiations by the proposal in the Diet of the new ecclesiastical law, and thus endeavoring to cover its retreat by an assumption of independence. The bill embodied larger concessions than were offered in the note of May 5th. The parishes of which the patronage was in the hands of the Government were already provided with priests under the laws of July 14, 1880, and May 31, 1882. The present act removed all responsibility from the Government for the lack of spiritual ministrations in the remaining parishes of which the bishops have the patronage. The bill consisted of six clauses:
The first and most important clause enacts that the bishops shall no longer be required to notify to the Government authoritics the names of those candidates for the priestly office whose appointments can unconditionally be canceled, or who are only appointed as substitutes or delegates. The bishops o thus be enabled at once to provide the vacant parishes with chaplains, vicars, adjuncts, etc., without any previous notification to the Government. By clause 2, however, this concession is not to extend to the cases of those priests who are intrusted with the administration of parishes.
Clause 3 declares that the Ecclesiastical Court is no longer the highest tribunal of appeal for the clergy against the decisions of the Government authorities in matters regarding the appointment of candidates, the discipline in clerical sciminaries, or episcopal rights in vacant dioceses.
Clause 4 provides that the Government authorities shall continue to be entitled to oppose the appointment of any candidate who shall appear to be unfit for an ecclesiastical office on account of his civil or political ition, or whose education has not been completed according to the prescribed laws. ...The reasons for opposing the appointment of a candidate are always to be given, and the Church authorities will be allowed to appeal against this decision to the Minister of Public Worship, who represents the highest Court of Appeal. Clause 5 enacts that the holy sacraments can be administered by missionary priests in all vacant parishes, as well as in those where the priests have been forbidden to conduct religious services, under the May laws. And clause 6 repeals all former legislation which is contrary to the above five clauses. The bill was passed with the exception of the fourth clause. The ecclesiastical courts which administered the veto power over ecclesiastical appointments had been the subject of continual reproaches from the Clericals. The transfer of its jurisdiction to the Ministry of Worship was not, however, looked upon in the light of a concession by the adherents of the Vatican, though satisfaction was expressed with regard to the main provisions of the act. The Pork Question.—The prohibition of American pork products raised a subject of dissatis. faction and controversy between Germany and the United States. (See Pork, Prohibition of AMERICAN.) In April the Chancellor chose to take offense at a dispatch from Minister Sargent to the Government at Washington, in which the motive for the interdict was stated to be, not fear of trichinosis, but the protection of German hog-growers. Reflections were made also on the lack of harmony between German public opinion and the Government. This confidential dispatch was reproduced from a New York paper in the “North-German Gazette,” and the American minister was angrily attacked. An apology was afterward offered, with comments on the indiscretion of the American Government in publishing confidential dispatches. Spanish Treaty.—In the latter part of August the members of the Reichstag were startled by a summons to an extraordinary session. When they assembled on August 29th, it was explained to be for the purpose of ratifying the treaty of commerce with Spain. The Emperor had signed it provisionally, expecting to ask from Parliament, when it met regularly, an act of indemnity for this divergence from constitutional forms. But organs of the press called in question the right of the Government to act as it had done, and the applicability of the principle of indemnity recognized in other states to the Imperial Constitution. The Progressists assailed the Government for the violation of the Constitution, but the majority simply approved the treaty and the fisheries convention, and the Reichstag was then prorogued. The treaty runs until June 30, 1887. The most important concession made by Germany is the reduction of her dock dues from forty to ten marks, and of her customs duties on southern fruits, fresh grapes, olive-oil, chocolate, raisins, etc. She has further promised not to raise her duties on wine, with one exception, rye, and other articles. Spain definitely fixed her duties on several articles of import, especially spirituous liquors and spirits, iron and steel wire, and rails. Copyright Treaty.—A copyright treaty between France and Germany was concluded April 19th. This convention replaces the former ones between France and single German states. An author obtains under this treaty all the rights of native authors, except as to the duration of the copyright, which must not exceed that ac.# his own country. Manuscripts, as well as published works, are protected. Publishers can obtain copyrights. The rights extend to musical compositions, works of art, etc., and can be secured by the heirs, assigns, and legal representatives of the author. Copyrighted literary productions can be drawn from in the preparation of school-books or of works of a scientific character. The restriction of the reproduction of articles from newspapers and periodicals to publications of the same class and the obligation to cite the source of a reproduction are not continued in the new treaty. According to French law, every use of a melody without the permission of the composer is illegal, but the German principle was retained in the treaty, which requires only that a composition should have distinguishing characteristics, though an unauthorized arrangement of an air is forbidden. Public presentations of musical or dramatic compositions without authority are made actionable. An author preserves the right of translation for ten years if he has a translation published in either country within three years, otherwise he can not restrain the publication of a translation in the other country. Authors of musical and dramatic productions also retain exclusive rights of translation for the same periods. No registration or other formality is required to secure authors' rights. The convention is binding on both governments for six years, and then remains in force until one year after a notice of repeal has been received from either party. Relations with France.—The continuance of the Austro-German alliance, which was said to be in danger of breaking off, was confirmed by the annual meeting of the Emperors at Ischl, and by other convincing signs. The influence of Prince Bismarck was seen to prevail in Europe to an extent which excited the susceptibilities of the French. Not only was Italy's understanding with the allied empires admitted by the Italian Minister of the Exterior and the Hungarian Premier in public announcements, but the Spanish commercial treaty, the visit of King Alfonso to the Emperor, and the return visit of the Crown Prince, showed that Spain also had gravitated toward the league of peace. In September the German Chancellor, in the “North-German Gazette,” the official organ, raised a warning cry against France as the disturbing influence in Europe. Like similar
notes of alarm on the same subject, one of which was uttered earlier in the year, immediately after Signor Mancini's announcement of the triple alliance in the Italian Parliament, the time was chosen when there seemed to be the least occasion for it. It had the appearance, therefore, of a menace, and did not fail to give offense to the sensitive French people. The appointment of King Alfonso to the honorary colonelcy of the regiment garrisoned in Strasburg excited the Parisians to the demonstrations at the station which Alfonso was subjected to on his return from Germany. The German press called upon the Government to take up the insult, but Prince Bismarck was careful not to provoke the French popular temper too far. The attendance of King Alfonso of Spain, and King Milan of Servia, besides the King of Saxony, the Crown Prince of Portugal, and the Prince of Wales, as the guests of the Emperor at the autumn manoeuvres, which began September 14th, was among the indications of the supreme influence of Bismarck and his peace policy in Europe. Alsace-Lorraine.—The imperial province was agitated more than usual, in 1883, by the language question. The deputies in the Reichstag kept up their attitude of opposition. In August, the lieutenant-general, Marshal Manteuffel, called forth indignant protests by refusing permission to one of them, M. Antoine, to start a French journal in Metz. The order that discussions in municipal councils should be conducted in German was followed a few months after by an attempt to banish French from the schools. The four hours a week which were devoted to the teaching of French were reduced to two. Inundations.—In November and December, 1882, the Rhine and its tributaries, the Main and the Moselle, rose above the highest floodmark recorded in the century. Between Cologne and Coblenz the plains were entirely submerged, and many towns and villages inundated, among them the city of Coblenz. Below that place inany houses crumbled down. The waters subsided about the middle of December, but a week or two later heavy rains fell and the waters rose to a higher point than before. The rise was so rapid as to cause a large loss of life. Nearly all the towns and villages on the lowlands of the Rhine valley were under water. In seven villages alone 400 buildings fell in. Near Carlsruhe a bridge fell, precipitating 20 persons into the river, and on the Baden state railroad a derailed train plunged into the water, drowning several passengers. A boat capsized and drowned 28 peasants who had just been rescued from their houses. In Mayence, soldiers were employed night and day in constructing protective embankments, and bridges for the escape of the citizens in case these gave way. A lake, five miles broad, formed between Wesel and Emmerich. In Frankenthal, 6,000 people were driven from their homes. The distress was