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October 1, 1898
During the week the The Army Investigation President has practically completed his Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of the War Department. Eight members of the Commission have accepted appointment, and the name of the ninth will probably be announced within a day or two. As at present constituted, the Commission includes Major-General Grenville M. Dodge, of New York State, who served with great credit in the Civil War as a Major-General in the Army of the Tennessee; Colonel J. A. Sexton, of Illinois, Colonel Charles Denby, of Indiana, General James A. Beaver, of Pennsylvania, and General Woodbury, of Vermont, all of whom also saw service during the Civil War, while General Beaver and General Woodbury have been Governors of their respective States, and Colonel Denby has a fine record of service as Minister to China for many years; MajorGeneral J. M. Wilson and Major-General A. M. McCook, of the regular army; and Captain E. P. Howell, the well-known Georgia journalist, who served in the Confederate army with gallantry. The various utterances of Secretary Alger the past week indicate a change of attitude. Instead of making the broad declaration that there have been no avoidable deficiencies, Secretary Alger now seems inclined to admit that there have been many defects, but to assign responsibility for the failures to subordinate officers in the Medical and Military Departments. Thus at Camp Poland Secretary Alger said, "The commanders of camps are responsible for the condition of their camps," and "Had the War Department been acquainted with the conditions said to have existed at Chickamauga, the troops there would have been moved long before they were." It is hardly necessary to point out that, if the War Department was not acquainted with the conditions in its camps, it should have been. At Chattanooga Secretary Alger spoke of the
"incompetent officers in charge of some of the camps," and in an interview held at Cincinnati he said, "General inexperience and reckless exposure to unnecessary risk is the real cause of all our army trouble." At Lexington, Kentucky, Secretary Alger's repeated request that officers should feel free to point out defects met a response in the public statement of General Wiley that he had over and over again made requisitions for stretchers, but had failed to receive them, and that when men fell in the ranks under the heat" they were forced to lie exposed to the hot sun for hours with no medical attendance." General Wiley also pointed out that the Medical Director at Chickamauga was a veterinary surgeon with no military training whatever, who, when he was asked for a disinfectant for the sinks, said that disinfectants were not needed, and that "such stuff never keeps off typhoid fever." We are pleased to see that since these statements of General Wiley this Medical Director has been forced to resign. Notwithstanding General Wiley's straightforward criticisms, Secretary Alger, in his final address to the soldiers, congratulated them on the excellent care which they had received. A correspondent calls our attention to the fact that every one of the members of one Illinois company which has been in Porto Rico has signed for publication a statement that the only food served to them for weeks at a time was pork and hardtack, both in a condition unfit to eat, although transports were at the dock full of good food. Such incidents as this, and those pointed out by General Wiley, will undoubtedly receive careful attention at the hands of President McKinley's Commission. It is sufficient here to say that, while it is perfectly obvious that subordinate officers, and especially those in the Quartermaster's Department, have been criminally ignorant and careless, this fact by no means removes the ultimate responsi bility from the head of the War Department,
by whom they were appointed; and that if, as is generally believed, many of these appointments were made, not for fitness, but for political reasons, the responsibility is doubled.
Little news has come from the Military Commissions in Cuba and Porto Rico during the week. Affairs seem to be moving much more rapidly in Porto Rico than in Cuba. It is understood that
the Spanish members of the Military Commission have intimated that it would be impossible to complete the evacuation of Cuba before the end of February, and that in response our representatives have been instructed by
the President to insist that the evacuation be completed by the end of the year. The issuing by Captain-General Blanco of an order for removing the remains of Christopher Columbus and the monument surmounting his tomb in the cathedral at Havana to Spain
has attracted some attention, and it has even been argued that such an act would be an infraction of the terms of the protocol. From the Philippines the most important news is the publication of an appeal to the foreign powers by Aguinaldo and his supporters. This appeal sets forth that the insurgents have thirty thousand men organized as a regular army; that they are able and willing to carry on the civil government of the islands. They therefore entreat the foreign governments to acknowledge the belligerency and independence of the Philippines. Representatives of the Filipinos have reached this country as a commission to present their case to President McKinley, who will probably see them, but only as individuals and not
as representatives of any supposed government. The published claim that our Consul-General at Manila, Mr. Wildman, after Admiral Dewey's entrance into Manila Bay, entered into an agreement with Aguinaldo that this Government should aid in securing the indepedence of the Philippines, has little cor.sequence. It is not probable that any such engagement was made, and it is certain that Consul-General Wildman had no authority to bind the United States in that way.
Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Phil.ppines
New York Politics
The past week has been a busy one in State politics, and the present week will be still more so. As we go to press the Republican Convention in this State is meeting at Saratoga. The
indications still are that Colonel Roosevelt will be nominated by a large majority, although Governor Black has continued his efforts to secure a renomination as an indorsement of his administration, and will probably make a strong fight in the Convention. The political sensation of the week in New York has been the publication by Colonel Roosevelt's political enemies in his own party of an affidavit made by Mr. Roosevelt when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In it he disclaims residence in New York City, and claims exemption from taxation there. He adds, "In October last my
family came on here from Oyster Bay, Long Island, and since then I have been and now am a resident of Washington." Under the Constitution of New York the Governor must have been a resident of the State for five years, and the claim is made that if Colonel Roosevelt were a legal non-resident of the State for a single day during that period, he is ineligible. This is a purely technical objection, and the technical points raised must be considered with reference to all the evidence obtainable. Colonel Roosevelt's friends in reply say that Oyster Bay is and has been Colonel Roosevelt's residence; that he has paid taxes there on personal property as well as real property, and that, with reference to the affidavit, he gave explicit directions to his attorney and business manager that the affidavit should not be used if it should occasion The letters containing these instructions have not been published, but will probably be presented at
any doubt about his residence.
the Convention. Colonel Roosevelt's friends seem confident that the objection raised has no serious force. We refrain from expressing an opinion on this purely technical legal point until the full evidence has been placed before the public. Meanwhile general enthusiasm for Colonel Roosevelt as a candidate ished. The Democrats of the State are at has undoubtedly increased rather than diminodds on the silver question, and if the Democratic Convention to be held at Saratoga this week does not indorse the Chicago platform, the silver Democrats will hold a Convention of their own, will indorse the Chicago platform fully, and will nominate separate candidates.
In Other States
In New Jersey the Republican State Convention last week nominated the Hon. Foster M. Voorhees, who has been Acting Governor, by acclamation,
There is little or no doubt that he will be elected. The platform declared for the single standard, and indorsed the St. Louis platform and the general policy of the Administration; a clause urging investigation into the conduct of the war was dropped from the platform. In Connecticut the Democrats nominated Mr. Daniel M. Morgan, of Bridgeport, as their candidate for Governor. He is a man of high personal character. The great fight in the Convention was over the money question, and the result was the ad-pting of a financial plank declaring in favor of bimetallism as affording "the most stable standard of value," and also declaring the party "unalterably opposed to monometallism of any kind." The gold-standard Democrats consider that this is a defeat for the freesilver element, as the gold-standard men believe that the free coinage of silver would be silver monometallism. Whether the majority of the delegates who voted for the resolution so believe or not is another question. No doubt, however, the defeat of a motion to substitute a direct indorsement of the Chicago platform was a distinct blow to the silver men. The Connecticut platform denounces the management of the war as regards the treatment of the soldiers, denounces the condition of civic affairs in Connecticut as corrupt, demands home rule for cities and boroughs, denounces "the scandalous sale of valuable public rights and franchises in the State," and invites attention to the evils of the present method of representation in the Connect cut General Assembly. The Michigan Republicans have unanimously renominated Governor Pingree by acclamation, and have commended his efforts for equalizing taxation in the State. The platform heartily indorses both President McKinley and Secretary Alger.
Count Cassini, the Russian Russia in China Ambassador in this country, in a recent interview with a newspaper correspondent, declares explicitly that Russian policy does not conflict with the interests of the United States in any part of the world, and especially in China. In building the Siberian railroad, he said, it was found that the route necessary to reach Vladivostok presented engineering difficulties that were practically insurmountable, and that in order to obtain a port which should be free from ice and thus make it possible for the railroad
to become a successful enterprise, Manchuria must be crossed. To secure these necessary conditions, and the traffic which will justify the building of the railroad, an ice-free terminus at the south was secured by obtaining from the Chinese Government, for a term of years, a lease of a large territory. This arrangement between Russia and China was not animated by hostile purposes toward other Powers. Russia has no desire to prevent other nations from increasing their commercial privileges in that country. The English have had a free hand in the neighborhood of Hong-Kong, and the Germans in the Shan-Tung Peninsula. In the judgment of the Russian Ambassador, there will be no real partition of China. It is not the purpose of the Russian Government to annex Chinese territory, but to secure the right of way for the Siberian railroad. with a commercial outlet from Siberia, together with other necessary commercial facilities for the great northeastern territory which Russia controls in Asia. This may all be true; what the Russian Ambassador fails to emphasize is the fact that the occupation of large sections of Chinese territory is practically a division of China. The fact ought to be accepted.
In speaking of the occupation of Fashoda by the French expedition under Major Marchand, we intimated the probability of a peaceful and satisfactory settlement of the French and English claims to the territory about Fashoda. News now comes that General Kitchener has returned to Omdurman from Fashoda, and that the British pos: ess Fashoda. No collision between the French and English expeditions occurred, and Major Marchand, while refusing to retire from the territory without orders from the French Government, did not oppose the rais. ing of the British and Egyptian flags. The disputed claims can now be settled in peace and at leisure by the two Governments through diplomacy. Evidences increase that the opening up of the Soudan to trade will be of great commercial importance. The Khalifa has not been captured, but his forces seem to have been dispersed completely. An indication of the terrible effectiveness of modern instruments of warfare, and especially of machine guns, is shown by the fact that the losses of the Dervishes' forces at the battle of Omdurman are put at ten thousand, while the combined British and Egyptian
army lost only about fifty killed. Probably vantage; he can pay nothing, and owe the never in history has there been such a ratio of loss in a great battle.
President Angell, on his return from Turkey last week, pointed out the difference between the claims which the United States is making upon Turkey for damages inflicted upon American citizens and the demands made by other Governments. The Sultan has refused to recognize these claims, and has denied his responsibility upon grounds which are unsatisfactory to all the Powers, including the United States. He bases his refusal on the alleged fact that the damages suffered by foreign citizens were the result of mob riots, and he has gone further and told the European Powers that he is entitled to indemnities from them, because Europeans fired upon and killed Turkish soldiers from their own houses. As a rule, the claims of the foreign Governments for damages are for losses sustained by their citizens through mob violence, while our claims are for property destroyed, not by mobs, but by soldiers who were supposed to be guarding that property, and who were, therefore, the agents of the Turkish Government. When this aspect of the American claims was pointed out to the Sultan, he stubbornly held the ground which he had previously taken, and refused to make any specific answers to the American claim. In the judgment of President Angell, an armed demonstration will be the only means of securing restitution from the Turkish Government. The Sultan, according to the same authority, is a man of decided ability. He is the actual ruler of Turkey, and his prestige has been immensely increased by the success which attended Turkish arms in the war with Greece. That war has revived the Mohammedan spirit, and it is inaccurate any longer to speak of Turkey as the "sick man of Europe" That phrase hardly applies to a country which possesses a powerful army of 300,000 thoroughly equipped men, trained in modern tactics by German officers, and armed with weapons of the most improved kind. The real fact in the case, so far as the claims against Turkey are concerned, is probably that the treasury is empty, and that, if the claims of one country were paid, the Sultan would be obliged to pay the claims of all others. President Angell, commenting upon this aspect of the case, said, very epigrammatically, "A bankrupt has an ad
Turkey and Our Claims
Archbishop Ireland's remarks on the policy of the Roman Catholic Church in regard to Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines are wise and patriotic. He denies the statement that an ecclesiastical commission will be sent from this country to investigate Roman Catholic Church affairs in any of the islands, and asserts that the Spanish clergy will be left in charge, as being the most competent to deal with the new conditions imposed by our Government. We do not know whether the Archbishop speaks from personal knowledge when he says that the priests in Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines will be in accord with American ideas and progress, or whether it is simply his own opinion; possibly instructions have been issued from the Vatican as to the attitude of the Spanish clergy under the changed conditions. The main point is that, according to Archbishop Ireland, the policy of our Administration will be faithfully supported by his Church. It is not yet settled whether the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Cardinal Gibbons shall be extended so as to include the whole or a part of the territory. There is no doubt that the American Catholic clergy can co-operate most efficiently in facilitating the acceptance of American ideas and the practical adjustment of ecclesiastical administration in the islands to the new demands made upon it. But these will not be onerous; they will, in fact, make the Church comparatively free by separating it from the State. In the Philippines the religious orders have had fierce and vexatious contests with the civil power during more than three hundred years, and these will be henceforth most unlikely. When the clergy see that their religious rights are in no way interfered with, but rather secured by tolerance and impartial government, they are sure to recognize the benefits of their new allegiance.
Church Problems in the Conquered Islands