« AnteriorContinuar »
The latter part of the work is taken up with an account of the motions that have been made in the parliaments of different countries with the object of recommending the employment of international arbitration and of inserting arbitration clauses in treaties, and especially with a complete statement of the international differences that, as a matter of fact, have been submitted to arbitrators for their settlement. It is interesting to note the rapidly increasing number of questions as important as the delimitation of frontiers, or even as the right to the possession of territory, that have been settled in this way; while very many less important ones, relative to the rights of navigation, of fishing, of the seizure of ships or the confiscation of cargoes, which often arouse bitter feeling between friendly nations, have been settled without difficulty.
The ultimate purpose, of course, of the peace societies is to endeavor to found an international court that may settle all disputes between nations that enter into the agreement establishing the court. As yet there is little to report along this line beyond the resolutions of the societies themselves; but actions that tend strongly that way are found in the treaties providing for permanent arbitration, between the countries agreeing to them, of all questions of dispute that may arise. Such treaties exist between several States of Central America, between States of Central America and those of South America, and between States of the three Americas. Treaties of commerce and of navigation, providing for settlement by arbitration of disputes on this subject, exist between France and the Republic of Equador, between Switzerland and Salvador, but as yet none of the greater nations have entered into such treaties between one another. The most important step that has been taken, perhaps, toward the formation of a general tribunal of arbitration is found in the action of the United States, which has asked foreign nations to enter into a permanent arrangement with it for the submission to arbitration of all questions of dispute that may arise between them.
An appendix to the book contains copies of the texts of the several resolutions, petitions, and conventions that exist between different nations, providing for arbitration, or for any peaceful settlement of disputes. While it is not to be expected that we are to see the settlement of all difficulties without war for a long time yet to come, the rapidly growing importance of arbitration as a means of settling international disputes does seem to show that wars are to become much less frequent, and we may reasonably hope that within a comparatively short time only questions of the most vital importance to the interests of nations, such as those that involve a nation's existence, must be submitted to the arbitrament of war. Perhaps no greater service to
the cause of peace can be rendered than by the publication from time to time of books such as this one, which shows accurately and completely what has been already accomplished in that direction. JEREMIAH W. JENKS.
An Essay on Judicial Power and Unconstitutional Legislation. By BRINTON COXE. Pp. xvi, 415. Price $3.00. Philadelphia: Kay & Brother, 1893.
This volume does not quite agree in its contents with the title given it. Mr. Coxe died, leaving his work unfinished, but this introductory historical part, fortunately complete in itself, had already received his final revision, and is now published under the title of the projected completer undertaking. Mr. Coxe had proposed to show "that the Constitution of the United States contains express texts providing for judicial competency to decide questioned legislation to be constitutional or unconstitutional, and to hold it valid or void accordingly." The author's contention that judicial authority to determine the constitutionality of legislation is provided for "in express terms," instead of being "based upon implication and inference," may or may not be sound; but the question need not be discussed here, since it is one which he did not reach in the volume before us. While the essay shows on almost every page abundant evidence of much thought and extensive investigation, one is yet bound to point out that judicious rewriting and rearrangement might have reduced the essay proper to one-fourth its present length, through the relegation to foot-notes and appendices of a large amount of illustrative and remote material, with the result of thereby obtaining a far more logical and consistent presentation of the subject. A large portion of the German, Roman, Canon and even English law referred to, and dwelt upon at considerable length, seems far fetched; certainly many of the cases cited bear little resemblance to unconstitutional legislation in the American sense of the expression. Often such legislation was unconstitutional in a sense similar to the modern English use of the term, but not the American. The latter part of the volume is more satisfactory. Considerable use is made of the Rhode Island case of Trevett vs. Weeden, the first American case, according to Judge Cooley, in which a law "was declared unconstitutional and void." If, however, Mr. Coxe's repeated assertion is true, that Rhode Island was at that time living under an unwritten constitution-an assertion to which exception may be taken-then the law in question was unconstitutional, if unconstitutional at all, in the English sense only. On an early page Mr.
Coxe lays great stress on the Dred Scott case as deciding certain congressional legislation unconstitutional. To be sure, a majority of the court did say that the Missouri Compromise was repugnant to the Constitution and void, but this was pure obiter dictum, as was clearly shown at the time by the present Mr. Justice Gray and Ex-Judge John Lowell.
The foregoing are some of the unfavorable estimates which the reviewer feels compelled to make. The book is, nevertheless, suggestive and instructive, but needs in many places to be read with caution. CHARLES F. A. CURRIER.
The Union Pacific Railway. A Study in Railway Politics, History and Economics. By JOHN P. DAVIS, A. M. Pp. 247. Price $2.00. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co., 1894.
National Consolidation of the Railways of the United States. GEORGE H. LEWIS, M. A. Pp. 326. Price $1.50. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1893.
The history of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads began sixty years ago, and presents one of the most complicated and instructive problems of American industrial history. Mr. Davis has treated this problem fully and well, and has succeeded in showing how this industrial undertaking has influenced the political and legal development of the United States. The book is withal a most opportune one. The maturity of the companies' first mortgage bonds and the United States Government's subsidy bonds, during the four years from 1895 to 1899, makes the relationship of the government to the Pacific roads a very live question. By what reorganization or refunding scheme the future prosperity of the roads may be secured, and the United States guaranteed against the loss of the $125,000,000 which the roads will owe her by the year 1899 is a matter to which Congress and the companies involved are giving their earnest attention. The problem was further complicated when the Union Pacific was forced into the hands of receivers, on October 13, 1893. Mr. Davis' book appeared just after this event, late enough, however, for the insertion of a note concerning the receivership.
The eight chapters of the book discuss the "Genesis of the Pacific Railway;" the work of "Asa Whitney" during the decade from 1840 to 1850; the "Sectionalism and Localism" which prevented the construction of the road before the War of the Rebellion; "The Charter" of 1862 and 1864; the ceremonies that took place when the roads were "Done;" a full account of the organization and operations of the
"Credit Mobilier;" the amendments made in previous laws by the "Thurman Act;" and lastly the problems of the "Present and Future."
The best chapters are those treating of the "Credit Mobilier" and of the "Present and Future." The discussion of the Credit Mobilier Company is very clear, concise and complete. The account is admirably dispassionate. The plain story of the "Credit Mobilier" is the best criticism that can be made of it, and of the subsequent methods of railroad construction; for, as Mr. Davis says, p. 196, "The Credit Mobilier Scheme, though peculiar, was neither new nor uncommon; instead of standing alone as an example of the perfidy of particular men, it was only the type of the railway construction company of the period from 1860 to 1880.
The conclusion to which Mr. Davis comes as the result of his study is of especial interest. The three courses of future action, which the United States can choose from, are the assumption of the property by the United States through foreclosure of her mortgage and the payment of the prior claims of first mortgage bond-holders, or the exaction of the payment by the companies of a large enough percentage of their net earnings into the sinking fund to amortize their indebtedness, capital and interest, or the refunding of the debt due the government and the provision for periodical payments sufficient to liquidate the debt within some such period as fifty or one hundred years. Mr. Davis favors the last method. His plan calls for "the ascertainment of the worth of the debt at the time of settlement, on some just basis, and the provision for its payment in annual or semi-annual installments (usually in bonds) either equal or in an ascending or descending ratio, all secured by a lien or mortgage upon the present subsidized lines, and upon as much more property as the companies can offer for security."
Mr. Lewis, in his "National Consolidation of Railways," has presented an original plan for the solution of the intricate railway problem. The plan provides for "the formation of a great national railway corporation owning and controlling all the railways of the country, and governed by an organization representing the State and national governments and the stockholders [private persons] owning the road." "The Consolidated Railway Company of the United States" is to be governed by a large board of commissioners. The President of the United States is to appoint the president of the board and six commissioners, each State is to have one commissioner and the owners of the railroads as many as the several States. The real work of the commission is to be carried on by an executive committee of five persons, of whom the president of the company shall be chairman. All
railroads doing interstate business are to be forced to join the consolidated company. They are to receive of the stock of the company a sum equal to the market value of their own assets. They are to be obliged to change their separate existence for membership in the consolidated by being taxed ten per cent of their gross receipts. The stock of the consolidated company is to bear three per cent interest, the payment of which is to be guaranteed by the United States. Mr. Lewis believes that the consolidation of the railways under one management is sure to come. He thinks it would be extremely dangerous for this management to be under the control of one or more private individuals. He hopes his plan will secure all the benefits connected with State ownership, without entailing the burdens.
Few will be able to accept Mr. Lewis' plan as offering a solution of the railway problem. Furthermore, the specialist and even he who is only fairly familiar with transportation questions will find most of the discussions contained in the first one hundred and fifty pages of the book either trite or superficial. The remaining one hundred and seventy-five pages are devoted to an elaboration of the author's plan. The book is expanded by numerous quotations to unnecessary length. The quotations ought to have been fewer, or have been run in as foot
In spite of these serious defects, however, one must fully sympathize with this earnest and temperate discussion of the railway problem by a lawyer and a layman, who is not "inspired by any hostility to private capital invested in " railroads. In a letter received by the writer of this review Mr. Lewis modestly says: "I have never flattered myself that the plan was perfect, or beyond criticism, nor am I strenuous that the special scheme I advocate should be adopted. My desire is to help, as far as I may, to turn the public mind to a thoughtful and thorough discussion of this problem, in the hope that some effective and satisfactory solution may be discovered."
Histoire des Doctrines Economiques. Par A. la faculté des lettres de Bordeaux. Pp. 359. et Cie, 1892.
EMORY R. JOHNSON.
ESPINAS, Professeur à
Professor Espinas' book satisfies, on the whole, the requirements of a good history of economic theory. His choice of material is fairly judicious, for the purposes of a sketch, his judgment is temperate and his expositions are reasonably accurate. He shows, to be sure, some national bias, in emphasizing the importance of French writers more, perhaps, than a strictly impartial critic would do; but the bias is evidently unconscious, so that he cannot fairly be accused of prejudice.