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tical property, be granted simultaneously in all of the 36,000 communes of the republic. This proposal was at once rejected by Premier Clémenceau. Then began the exchange of encyclical and parliamentary declaration. After the ministerial rejection of the bishops' proposal M. Briand issued a circular, accompanied by specimen formulas, which the mayors of communes were instructed to follow in leasing churches. The plan therein proposed
The new law, it must be admitted, is really a blow at the very constitution of the Catholic hierarchy, which cannot accept a governmental régime contrary to its own constitution. Hence the uncompromising attitude of the Vatican. Protestants and Jews have 'always maintained a more or less congrega
THE CENTER OF THE FRENCH CHURCH QUESTION tional form of government, and therefore see
ON THE GOVERNMENT SIDE.
no particular objection to the new French
(M. A. Briand, Minister of Education and Public
He is regarded as a coming Premier.)
Worship, who is enforcing the Church Separation law. But Catholic ecclesiastics, not only in France, but also in this country,-as may be seen from the large meetings recently held in New York and other American cities to protest against what is termed the persecution of the French Catholics,-see in the attitude of the French Government more than a desire to separate church and state. To them it is religious persecution. Why, they ask, should the French Government withhold from the internal constitution of the Catholic Church in France such recognition as is accorded in the United States, Great Britain, and Prussia? The Paris government, on the other hand, maintains that, by the new law, the Roman Catholic
was rejected by the Vatican as furnishing no security for worship under Catholic auspices. A compromise, however, was finally arrived at regarding the leasing of property which promises to provide a modus vivendi for the immediate future at least.
the point most strenuously insisted upon by the church. A number of our readers have apparently been puzzled by our statement last month that the Catholic hierarchy was recognized in this country, in England, and in Prussia, but not by the present French law. The explanation is this: In most of the States of the American Union the law provides a method by which religious societies may become incorporated by a process similar to that provided for the incorporation of civil bodies. Under these laws the management and control of property and of temporal affairs are placed in the hands of certain persons generally known as boards of trustees, with duties similar to those of directors of business corporations. In the matter of religious creed and observance, however, the trustees, as well as other members of the corporation, are subject to the discipline, rules, and customs of the particular religion to which the incorporated body belongs. The same general attitude toward religious organizations is maintained in Great Britain and Prussia. On the other hand, the new French law vests in the "associations cultuelles" the power "to provide for the cost, maintenance, and public worship" of a religion, giving them practical authority to disregard the final authority of the bishop and, of course, that of Rome.
This working compromise virtuthe ally fulfills two essential conditions. It preserves the essential points of the governmental law of separation and, on the other hand, indirectly at least, recognizes the Catholic hierarchy, which was
Church simply ceases to be a privileged and subsidized religious organization in France. The irreconcilable positions are: The claim of the papacy that the church in France is that of Rome and free of French law, and the claim of the state that the church in France is nothing more nor less than a department of French national activity and as such subject to national control.
An Income Tax jor France.
Scarcely less important to Frenchmen than the church-separation conflict now raging is the measure proposed by the Finance Minister, M. Caillaux, approved by the government and introduced into the Chamber of Deputies on February 7, for a national incon.e tax. The proposition is to tax all incomes above $1000 a year. Those derived from personal and real property will pay 4 per cent., those from commerce 31⁄2, and those from wage employment 3. The system is intended to replace all the older forms of direct taxation, such as door, window, and poll tax. French rentes, in which most of the people have invested their savings, are directly exempted from the stamp tax, but the income derived from them will be taxed according to the above scale. Foreign securities of all kinds are admitted freely to the French market on payment of a small tax of 2 per cent. on their nominal value, and 5 per cent. on the income they yield. The Finance Minister estimates that among the 10,000,000 taxpayers of France there are approximately 500,000 who will be liable to this progressive income tax, which will net the government twenty-four millions a When this tax measure becomes a law, as it undoubtedly will, Portugal, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, and the United States will be the only countries which have not adopted an income tax of some kind.
The statesmen of the Vatican feel that the troubles of the hierarchy in France are to a degree offset by what is virtually a clerical victory in Spain, coming at almost the same time as the triumphant return of the Centrum, or Catholic, party, with a gain of several seats in the German Reichstag. Even the situation in France itself seemed less hard to deal with after Minister Briand's conciliatory circular published early in February. More than a generation ago it was assumed that the temporal power of the Catholic Church throughout the world had ended. These
A Clerical Victory in Spain.
M. CAILLAUX, FRENCH MINISTER OF FINANCE. (Who is piloting an income-tax measure through the Parliament at Paris.)
political developments indicate how formidable a power that church still is even in temporal affairs. In two months Spain has had four ministries, three of them pledged to the Liberal anti-Clerical program. The advent of the fourth, under the Conservative Señor Maura, may be regarded as a temporary setback for the Spanish separation program. On January 7, when the Cortes met after the holidays, it was believed that the way to separation of church and state was short. Dissensions among the Liberals as to the Associations bill, however, brought on another crisis, which resulted in the resignation of the Liberal cabinet and the triumph of the Conservatives under Maura. On January 26, however, King Alfonso, realizing that Señor Maura could not command a majority, suspended the sessions. Elections to the Cortes are announced to take place in April, and the new body will meet in May. The whole subject of the relations between Spain and the Holy See is treated on page 346 this month. Spanish trade continues to prosper, but, in the readjustment of tax conditions, there have been a number of labor demonstrations and bread
THE KAISER'S ORGANIZER OF VICTORY. (Herr Friederich Dernburg, the German Jew banker of American training who has revolutionized the German colonial office and to whom, more than to any other one man, is due the government's victory in the recent elections. Reproduced from the painting by Slevoght.)
riots in Valencia and Catalonia, both centers of republicanism and of enemies of the monarchy. It is worth noting, in passing. that a new Spanish Minister to Washington, Señor Ramon Piña, has been appointed and will very soon take up his duties at our national capital.
"Totally unexpected" is the verdict of Germans and, in genElections. eral, it may be said, of the rest of Europe upon the results of the general elections in the German Empire (January 25 and February 5) for a Reichstag to succeed the one dissolved by Chancellor von Bülow on December 13, last. It had been confidently predicted, in fact, taken for granted, that the Social Democrats of the empire would gain many votes and from five
predecessor. The results, however, show that while the Center, or Catholic, party and the Poles gained several seats, the Social Democrats, or Socialists, as they are better known, lost 36. After the first ballot (on January 25), a government victory was indicated, but its proportions were not discernible until the questions of new ballotings and contested constituencies had been finally decided. The strength of the principal groups in the new Reichstag, which began its sessions on February 19, is as follows: Center 108, as against 104 in the old. house; Conservatives 80, as against 74; Agrarians and Anti-Semites 29, as against 21. Socialists 43, as against 79; National Liberals 55, against 51; Radicals 46, against 36; Poles 20 or 21, against 16. While the government's victory is a substantial one, an analysis of the results will show that the Socialist losses have not been so great as it would seem at first glance. The big Socialist vote of three and a half years ago was an abnormal one, including as it did all the discontents" and counting against a vast number of the small merchants, bourgeoisie of the towns, who are generally apathetic in the matter of voting. This year the "dis
THE GOVERNMENT'S VICTORY.
to twenty seats; that the other sections of the A SOCIALIST VIEW OF THE CHANCELLOR'S PART IN opposition would retain their strength, and that the government would be confronted by a Reichstag more unmanageable than its
(Extract from a recent speech by Prince von
Bülow: "The idea of a personal government in Germany is absurd.")-From Ulk (Berlin).
contents" voted for the government, and yet the Socialist vote is nearly a quarter of a million greater than it was in 1903.
for Mr. Dernburg.
In the campaign preceding the elections Chancellor von Bülow introduced a number of American electioneering methods into his propaganda. He, himself, on more than one occasion went into districts where political feeling was intense, and made speeches. He also issued manifestoes in the name of the Emperor, calling upon the voters to declare against the Socialists, whom he characterized 23 unpatriotic and dangerous to the state. The head of the German colonial department, the vigorous and untiring Friederich Dernburg, also electioneered. In fact, Herr Dernburg is really the hero of the contest, the Kaiser's organizer of victory. provoked the battle and bore the burden of the fray. In lectures, speeches, and conferences he told the people about Germany's empire in Africa, with the eloquence of a company promoter and the fervor of an apostle. Herr Dernburg is an interesting figure and a man of wide experience in modern methods of administration. W. T. Stead calls him a "thorough-paced American hustler suddenly let loose in the china-shop of German bureaucracy." He is making the German colonies a matter of business rather than of politics, and his watchword is: 'We make railways; we make no wars." He is now preparing for a tour around Africa, to study the industrial development of Germany's possessions in that continent.
it is true that two main divisions of the opposition to the Kaiser's colonial policy have increased their representation. The Clerical Center party has emerged from the battle strengthened, and the Poles have gained four, and perhaps five, seats. Even with its great strength, however, the Centrum is helpless without its allies, and the Poles are naturally interested first of all in their own affairs. Despite, therefore, the increase in the popular vote scored by the Socialists, the Kaiser may legitimately regard the results of the election as an indorsement of his imperial policy, particularly in its colonial phase. This indorsement may get him his new budget for colonial expenditures. It will no doubt be regarded by His Majesty as popular authorization of his pet scheme of elevating the colonial department to the rank of a cabinet
The New Alignment.
THE KAISER AS A GERMAN CITIZEN.
position. Of course, Herr Dernburg will be the first colonial minister. The results of the elections have increased the Kaiser's prestige at home and abroad. Will he construe them as indicating acquiescence on the part of his people in future adventures in weltpolitik to the disturbance of the peace of the world? French journals fear he will. The occasion gives him an excellent opportunity to prove that he is at heart passionately anxious, as he has always insisted he is, of maintaining international peace.
In three continental European Revolution countries,-Austria, Sweden, and Holland, new electoral systems providing for enlarged popular participation in government have either been actually introduced or are in process of becoming law. During the last week in January Kaiser Franz Joseph signed the Austrian UniversalSuffrage bill, passed by both houses of Parliament during the closing days of 1906, the law taking effect with the first day of the present year. By the terms of this new
statute the four classes recognized by the old franchise, the landed proprietors, the towns, the rural communes, and the cham bers of commerce,—are abolished as electoral divisions. Hereafter, every male Austrian of twenty-four years or over in possession of his civil rights will have a vote. To prevent race contests in this empire of many nationalities new constituencies will be organized for the electors of the different races, that is to say, Germans will vote only on a German register and only for German candidates, and Czech voters only on a Czech register for Czech candidates. Seats are to be allotted according to population and taxpaying capacity.
It is announced from Stockholm Democracy that the venerable King Oscar in Sweden. intends to retire permanently on June 6, which is the anniversary of his golden wedding. He has declared that he rejoices in the fact that the close of his reign has been marked by a wide extension of the Swedish suffrage right. According to the new law, practically universal suffrage will hereafter exist in Sweden. Other changes in the direction of democracy are made, including the reduction of the term of office of members of the upper house from nine to six years. At the next session of the Riksdag it is proposed to bring up for discussion the subject of a tri-national interparliamentary conference, suggested by a number of patriotic Scandinavians of the three countries. This conference, its projectors would have meet during the coming summer at Copenhagen to consider the proposition of an ultimate federation of the three states. The proposition, they plan, should be acted upon simultaneously by the Swedish Riksdag, the Danish Rigsdag, and the Norwegian Storthing. Actual political union of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway may yet be far off, but some sort of commercial and intellectual alliance, as well as an understanding for common protection, is not only possible but would be highly desirable in the interest of European peace as well as for the benefit of the Scandinavian peoples themselves.
conferred a great many special privileges. The recommendations of a state commission which has been sitting for some months are that the two chambers of the States-General (the Dutch Parliament) should have nearly equal powers, and that there should be universal suffrage extended to all Dutch citizens of thirty years of age, without regard to sex. The second important topic considered by the state commission is that of the succession to the throne. The Dutch are well aware of the longing with which the German Emperor looks toward not only their populous, wealthy home kingdom, with its fine, rich ports, but also toward their highly profitable, extensive oversea colonies. The present Prince Consort is a German, and, in the event of Queen Wilhelmina dying without issue, a German prince might succeed to the throne. He might negotiate a treaty with the Berlin government looking toward the admission of Holland into the German federation. To make this forever impossible the state commission recommends that the States-General have the power to provide for the succession to the throne or to change it in case of emergency, and to make it necessary for any monarch to secure the approval of the Parliament before any treaty could be negotiated with a foreign power. The progress of this bill is being watched in Germany with keen interest. Its passage would have a highly important bearing on the question of German expansion.
Voting for the Second Russian Duma.
No matter how the Russian Government may manipulate the election machinery and the legal requirements for the constitution of the second Duma, it will be impossible to get anything but a Radical Parliament from an electorate which is 95 per cent. Radical. This pre-election prophecy of one of the Constitutional Democratic leaders in St. Petersburg has been more than fulfilled. All through our month of February the elections were being held throughout the Czar's vast empire. It must be remembered that the Russian people vote only indirectly for Duma members, actually casting their ballots for members of a government assembly or electoral college, by which, on February 19, the actual members of the Duma were chosen. The system is somewhat cumbersome. The entire country is divided into two parts, the city and the country, twenty-nine members being returned from the great cities, of which St. Petersburg elects six, Moscow four, and