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But, although indignation may be felt at this new step, it will not cause surprise to any one who has paid attention to the treatment which has been meted out for a long time by Prussia to a quiet and law-abiding race. The present is but the most recent of a long series of desperate efforts to secure by force what fair competition has failed to obtain. When brought face to face, the Poles have always outmatched the Germans. Seeing this, Prince Bismarck introduced a colonization law which, with increasing degrees of stringency, has ever since formed the basis of Prussian policy in the Polish districts. Germans were assisted by the State in order that they might emigrate into Poland, estates of the Poles were bought and divided among these emigrants. Every means was used to destroy the Polish ideas of nationality; their language was discouraged in the schools and in public. Every Pole was forbidden to set up a new dwelling on his own land. Immense sums of money were spent in support of these measures.

But in spite of all, the Poles, like the Israelites of old, have grown stronger under oppression. The attempts to displace them have given them a cohesion such as never existed before. Their numbers have increased, and instead of having lost their own, not merely have they not become less numerous in their own country, but they have spread in large numbers into Silesia, and large colonies of them have migrated to the opposite side of Prussia—the Rhine Provinces. They have turned the Germans out of trades which they had previously monopolized and have secured possession of the best lands. In Poland the immigrating Germans have become isolated. This is the reason for which Prince Bülow has introduced the new law. He wishes by forced expropriation to save the Germans from being overrun; and by injustice he hopes to save the State. It is not the first time that such attempts have been made; nor have they always been frustrated. Let us hope that this attempt may prove disastrous to its authors.

The Navy Bill involving, as already mentioned, a large increase in the number of ships to be built in each year, together with a proportionate addition to the annual expenditure, has passed its second reading in the Reichstag, the only opponents being the Social Democrats. The Catholic Centre gave its support to the measure. In fact, travelers in Germany affirm that

one.

agreement is the necessity of having a great navy, and that they are prepared to make sacrifices in order to secure this object. One result of the increase proposed by the government is that the British cabinet has definitely decided to construct at once the long-projected naval station at Rosyth, to the west of the North Sea; while Mr. Stead, that heretofore ardent advocate of disarmament, declares that it is now the duty of Great Britain to lay down two Dreadnoughts or Invincibles for each German

The outcry raised against General Keim has induced him to resign the Presidency of the Navy League. What effect this will have upon its strength and efficiency it is too soon to judge.

Meanwhile a new question has arisen which is greatly exercising the mind of diplomatists. It is called the Northern Question, and it concerns the freedom of the Baltic. Rumors are about that it is the wish of the Emperor that this sea should be declared to be the private property of the powers situated upon its shores, and that other nations should be shut out. Such a project cannot, however, have been seriously made; the mere declaration of it would lead to war.

The more pro• bable account is that, on the contrary, the object of the negotiations is that the status quo of the Baltic, as a mare liberum, should be guaranteed by Germany, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark.

The internal questions which have Austria-Hungary. so long agitated Austria having

at length been settled, it has now become possible to take more energetic action in foreign affairs. Macedonia lies at her doors, a region the whole of which, for the past few years, has been the scene of massacres innumerable. Ten thousand murders in four years, it is said on good authority, have been committed with impunity, to say nothing of devastated villages, ruined industries, and the absence of any sense of security. It says little for modern progress and a great deal for long-standing selfishness that such a state of things, fully known and understood, as it has been, should be allowed to continue. Some efforts have been made to curb the Turkish power, but it is clear to all who are willing to see that, as long as that power continues to exist, no permanent settlement can be made. The agreement of Austria and Rus

agony. The new activity manifested by Austria may possibly break up the union between the two countries. Mutual rivalry may break out, and this may lead to more good being done than has been accomplished by their alliance. The proposal of Austria to develop her railway system, so that it may reach the Ægean and the Mediterranean has excited the keenest criticism in Russia, and may lead to open opposition to Austrian plans.

The Hungarian government has as last found a way by which it hopes to defeat the obstructive tactics by which it has of late been harrassed. It has been a very difficult task, for it owes its own existence to the wholesale use of these same tactics. The bill for universal suffrage, so long expected, has not yet been introduced. To prepare it is, perhaps, a still more difficult task; for in the eyes of the government the supremacy of the Magyars must be maintained over “the enemies of the nation,” as Count Apponyi styles the Croatians, Serbs, Roumanes, and Slovaks, who must all have seats and who are almost as numerous as the Magyars. However, a new Ban has been appointed for Croatia, and various concessions have been made to appease the feelings which have been outraged by the attempt to over-ride their cherished aspirations.

The third Duma still exists, but all Russia.

parties agree that the masses of

the people have lost all interest in it. Its existence is recognized as being conditioned on a complete subservience to the government and on its being a docile instrument of its will. One or two changes have taken place in the ministry, a notorious reactionary having been appointed minister of Education. The position of M. Stolypin himself is far from secure. Although he has become more and more autocratic, he is not altogether pleasing to the wielders of the real power. Meanwhile tyranny and oppression have full sway. The system of administrative exile for the punishment of political actions is in full activity. Men and women are being sent, at a moment's notice, to the ice-bound regions of Siberia, so little food and clothing being given them that they are always on the verge of starvation. The need that

The ministry of Signor Giolitti Italy.

still remains in office. One no

table change, however, has taken place. Ever since the formation of the kingdom a military officer has always had the charge of the War Department; on the resignation, however, in December last a civilian has been appointed. For the first time the military forces are brought into subordination. The present position of the army is said to be critical. Frontier defence has been neglected. Sufficient recruits to fill the cadres cannot be found. Discipline is poor, dissatisfaction and unrest exist as well among the officers as the men.

Officers criticize their superiors in magazines and newspapers. Modernism, in fact, has invaded the Italian army.

Throughout the country too, and not merely in the army, widespread dissatisfaction is felt. The Socialists are gaining greater influence, reckless labor agitations are fomented, while the authority of the State is being defied by many revolutionary anarchical groups. The assassin of King Humbert has been publicly glorified in the streets of Rome. The government is apathetic or sides with the most violent and least reasonable party.

The awful crime which has been Portugal.

committed in Portugal has made

that kingdom the chief centre of interest for the past few weeks. No words, of course, can express a sufficiently strong condemnation of the brutal deed, nor does it fall within the scope of these notes to describe it in detail. The events which take place in Portugal are, as a rule, so much outside of the movements to which the attention of the world is given, that a complete account of their sequence is difficult. No special correspondents are considered necessary to record them for the benefit of the students of current events. So far as we can learn, politics have for a long time been in a very bad way; both parties were equally corrupt; all the politicians were self-seekers and known to be such. The public debt was increasing, the public finances in confusion, education neglected, and all the efforts which were made by the King and the few public-spirited men in the country were nullified and frustrated by an obstructive Cortes. The King, about nine seriously anxious for real reform, to entrust him with a temporary dictatorship to set aside the parliament and to govern by decree. The country acquiesced quietly enough for the time being, in the hopes of good results, and many real reforms seem to have been effected. But as time went on Senhor Franco's methods became more drastic, and although a date had been fixed for the election of a new Parliament, newspapers were being more and more frequently suppressed, prominent politicians sent to prison, and a great number of malcontents arrested. Even municipal institutions were assailed, being taken over by commissions. On the very day of the murder judicial functions had, by decree, been given to the executive. In fact a feeling seems to have got abroad that the dictatorship was to be made permanent. This strengthened the hands of those who wished to establish a Republican form of government, and inflamed the passions of those who wished to destroy all government. And so persons willing to commit the atrocious crime were found.

The result has been the abolition of the dictatorship. A new sovereign has ascended the throne, called thereto by the constitution which he has sworn to observe and to cause to be observed. All parties have rallied round the youthful monarch; but an immediate change of ministers was demanded. Senhor Franco resigned and fled at once from the country. The new ministry, as an emergency measure, suspended all constitutional guarantees, and proclaimed martial law throughout the country. The next step which it took was a wiser one—it annulled all the decrees of the dictator by which the Press was controlled and those under which summary procedure was taken against political offences, and many of the political prisoners were at once released. The new King has declared in the clearest terms his purpose to remain ever faithful to the Constitution, and under no circumstances to have recourse to a dictatorship. A good lesson has been learned, but at an awful cost.

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