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body, to consist of two Indian judges, and two judges of the superior courts. The law-officers of the Crown were not mentioned; and the inference drawn by many from the omission was not only that judicial experience was to be held a requisite for the appointment, but that the new Court of appeal was not to be made a new opportunity for political appointments, and to provide rewards for parliamentary supporters, as is the case, to the scandal of our law, with the highest judicial posts in England, the Lord Chancellorship and the chiefships of the Common-Law Courts.' When the appointments under the new Act came to be made, which was not done until the latest possible moment, one of the Indian posts was given to Sir James Colvile, and the other was not filled up at all. Sir Montague Smith was transferred from the Common Pleas to the new bench, and for the fourth place, the Attorney-General, Sir Robert Collier, was designated. To qualify him legally for the post, he was appointed to the Common Pleas for two days, and then translated—an evasion of the Government's own acts so violent and so transparent, that it aroused an immediate outcry. No fitter man personally could have been chosen for the post than Sir Robert Collier, and no particle of blame or of discredit could attach to him. He had every qualification for the place, both natural and acquired ; more than that, it might well be supposed, à priori, that the varied knowledge and experience necessary for the new Appellate Court would be more likely to be found in a law officer of the Crown than in a puisne judge. But the language and purport of the Act were too clear to admit of reasonable doubt, and when it was known that the Lord Chief Justice Cockburn had addressed a protest to the Government on the subject, the force of adverse criticism was increased. Nor was it allayed by the publication of the correspondence relating to this protest, which will be found among the papers attached to this volume. Whether it was a dignified or proper measure in an official of Sir Alexander Cockburn's position to publish such a correspondence in the newspapers was very questionable. Whether he had any personal right whatever to take up the cudgels in behalf of the "dignity of the judicial office," as against his superior in judicial office, the Lord Chancellor, was more questionable still. And lastly, a protest which would have carried due weight if made when the intended appointment was first made known, became merely embarrassing to the Government by being deferred till the appointment of Sir R. Collier to the Common Pleas had been completed, and it was too late for the Premier to break faith with a valuable servant who had only accepted the lower office on the faith of an immediate translation to the higher. But none the less were the arguments used by the Chief Justice in his letter unanswerable ; and nothing could justify the Lord Chancellor's discourtesy, or Mr. Gladstone's disingenuousness. It will be seen,
reference to the latter's letter, that he affected to understand Sir 'ockburn's protest as made against the appointment of the ney-General to a seat in the Common Pleas—an affectation
which, when in the face of the clear terms of Sir A. Cockburn's letter, speaks for itself. The whole transaction, though effaced for the moment by the national anxiety for the Prince of Wales, was fraught with evil augury for the coming session.
The prevalence of strikes was one of the most dangerous features of the year; and, in this form at least, the spread of Communism was an unquestionable fact. The features of these combinations are always the same. A dispute arises between masters and men about money, or about time, and time is money. The men strike; the masters try after other men. If the freemasonry of the artisan be not too powerful, they succeed. Strangers, possibly foreigners, arrive at the empty works. What follows? Rattening, intimidation for the new comers, fire for the mill.
A strike of 9050 engineers of Newcastle was the most remarkable of the year, and illustrated best the power of the trades unions to sustain the operatives in their movement. It was a strike for 10 per cent. more pay, or rather to give 10 per cent. less work (nine hours instead of ten) for the same pay. The Nine Hours League, and other societies, not only supplied the engineers with funds during sixteen weeks of idleness, but were very influential in inducing foreign workmen to refuse offers made to them to take up their work. Nowhere was less willingness shown to submit the question to arbitration, but the engineers relied upon their combined strength, and upon the fact that the masters in Sunderland had conceded the hour. Nor was this, or strikes like this, a mere local combination. The very same spirit that moved the engineers of Newcastle moved the mechanics of the Prussian capital, and later of the Belgian capital. From the engineers of Newcastle the mania to strike actually spread to the police of the same town. The colliers of Northumberland and of Dean Forest, Gloucestershire, with the iron-workers of North Staffordshire, all turned out together. Nor were these the only bodies of men at one time on strike. There were also the dyers of Bradford, the quarrymen of Leeds, and the crate-makers of the Potteries, not to mention minor attempts to coerce employers by refusing to work.
Delegates, representing some 30,000 or 40,000 iron-workers, colliers, and miners of South Wales and Monmouthshire came to a resolution to appeal for an advance of 10 per cent. in wages. The Newcastle strike ended in a practical victory for the workmen. After various formal attempts at arbitration had been made and failed, in which Mr. Mundella. was a prime mover, two informal negotiators, unauthorized by either masters or men, met together and agreed on terms which were afterwards accepted by both parties. These terms involved a formal concession of the men's demands from the 1st January, 1872, when the nine hours' day was to begin, the masters, gaining the delay. Besides this, the men engaged to work overtime whenever the masters should think it necessary; but the wages for the nine hours' day were to be as high as they were for the ten hours. The agreement was to be valid for
a year, but to be determinable at the end of six months by a month's notice from either party, if either should wish to determine it. It was said that the leaving of the “overtime” in the discretion of the masters gave a great victory to the latter. But the men had, through their leader, Mr. Burnett, always expressed their wish to save the masters from serious trade difficulties by working overtime when it should really be necessary to execute important contracts, and the extra price to be paid for overtime must always be a real check on needless and arbitrary demands for it. The masters in fact promised to yield every thing, after ten weeks, which they said it was impossible for them to yield.
More practically interesting to the general public was a strike of the telegraph clerks which took place in the month of December. Manchester was the chief seat of the strike, but Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, and several other large centres, were much incommoded. The circumstances of the strike were these :
It seems that the clerks, not being contented with Government treatment, formed for themselves a sort of trade union, called the Telegraphic Association. The Post-office authorities regarded this as a means of promoting disaffection, and nine of the employés of the Manchester district were suspended for connexion with the society. The other clerks to some extent taking their side, 120 struck work at Manchester. The same day at Liverpool a deputation of telegraphic manipulators waited upon the postmaster and requested him to demand of Mr. Scudamore, the head of the department in London, that all the clerks who had been suspended for joining the association should be reinstated. The deputation stated that, unless the request was immediately complied with, the members of the association in Liverpool would strike. Mr. Scudamore was communicated with by telegraph, and declined to accede to the demand. About fifty telegraph manipulators then left their work, but their places were immediately filled up, partly by clerks who had been sent down from London to meet the emergency. The movement was repeated at Glasgow, where seventy clerks struck; at Dublin, 200 turned out; at Bradford, twelve; and it is calculated that about 570 in all joined the insurrection. The Irish Times related how, one day in Dublin, on the bell ringing from London advising the clerks at the General Post Office that important intelligence was about to be transmitted, the male employés, numbering about sixty, with a number of young ladies who were working in circuits, rose from their instruments en masse, and refused to receive or transmit messages. The female telegraphists joined the strike in Dublin. Twenty-three telegraph clerks in Edinburgh struck, but their places were filled up.
Although the terms offered by Mr. Scudamore were rejected by the body of the Manchester men at one o'clock on December 12, which closed the time of grace during which they might return to service without prejudice, several individuals had yielded. At a meeting held in the evening, a resolution to accept Mr. Scudamore's
terms, if the men could be received upon that condition, was carried by about fifty votes against a dozen, the members of the Executive Committee, whose suspension was the proximate cause of the strike, remaining neutral. A deputation then waited upon the postmaster, who replied that he could now only deal with individual applications for return to service, but he would accept as many as were willing to resign their connexion with the association. These terms, after some discussion, were accepted. All the clerks who remained on strike after one o'clock were served with written notices of dismissal in the course of the afternoon. The strike at Dublin also terminated, the men having agreed to sign a paper expressing their regret at having joined in the movement.
More general uneasiness, however, was caused by this strike than by any that had occurred, and the general anxiety for some definite means of meeting and forestalling the danger of these combinations was much and sensibly increased. The constitution of some powerful Court of Arbitration was the measure that found most favour with those conversant with the difficulties of the subject; but the prospect of such a court seemed as far off as ever when the year closed.
The Colonieg-Fenians at the Red River Settlement-Australia-Declaration respecting the Rights of the Colonies—British India—The Mussulman Population
- The Wahabees-Hostilities with the Tribes—The Murder of Chief Justice Norman-Home Affairs—The School Boards and Education-Contagious Diseases Acts-Report of the Commission—The Census in Parliamentary Boroughs—The Money Market during the Year-Trade and Joint Stock Speculation-Mining and other Companies-Public Securities-Commerce- Increase in Imported Food-Differences in the Church- The Voysey and Purchas Judgments-The Archbishop's Letter-Dr. Magee—The Tichborne Trial-Retirement of the Speaker- Mr. Brand-Mr. Childers at Pontefract-Peaceful Close of the YearThe Queen's Letter.
The year 1871 passed without the occurrence of any events of active importance in the colonial dependencies of our Empire. The peace of the interior of the Canadian dominion was once more, but slightly, disturbed by an idle attempt of some Fenian agitators to excite the population of the Red River Settlement, now the territory of“ Manitoba,” in which the revolt of Niel and his confederates took place in 1870. They crossed the frontier from the American State of Minnesota, but seem to have exhibited no eager appetite for fighting, and were easily induced to surrender to a small force of United States' troops which followed them. The leaders were brought before the State authorities, but released, on the ground (which certainly appears obvious enough) that the acts alleged against them took place out of American jurisdiction, and were not (we conclude) within the provisions of extradition law.
The Australian colonies had for some years been feeling their way (through the action of some of their ablest and most energetic citizens) towards a federation, if not political, at least for commercial purposes. But this arrangement, which promises so many advantages, has hitherto been prevented by intercolonial difficulties. approach towards it was made this year, in connexion with the dissatisfaction felt with certain provisions of our Treaty with the Zollverein, and with some expressions in a despatch of Lord Kimberley in relation thereto, which deserves record as having produced an expression of sentiment respecting the rights of the colonies to maintain their own tariffs, irrespective of any commercial treaties entered into by the mother country; and, farther, of the right of the colonies to impose any duties they think fit on British or other goods“ not being differential ;” that is, as appears from the contexts, not differential as against foreign countries. “ The Memorandum on the subject of Lord Kimberley's Despatch, as
agreed to by the Delegates from New South Wales, Tasmania, and
South Australia. “We are of opinion that the right of the Legislatures of these colonies to direct and control their fiscal policy, as among themselves, without interference on the part of her Majesty's Ministers in England, is a right which it is our duty to assert and maintain.
“ We desire that the connexion between the mother country and her offspring in this part of the world should long continue, and we emphatically repudiate all sympathy with the views of those who, in the Imperial Parliament and elsewhere, have expressed a wish that the bonds which unite us should be severed.
“As members of the British Empire, the relations of which with other countries are conducted by the Imperial Government, we deny that any Treaty can be properly or constitutionally made which directly or indirectly treats these colonies as foreign communities.
“With the internal arrangement of the Empire, whether in its central or more remote localities, foreign countries can have no pretence to interfere, and stipulations respecting the trade of one part of the Empire with another, whether by land or sea, are not stipulations which foreign Governments ought to be allowed to become parties to in any way.
“We all agree that efforts should be made in our respective Legislatures to provide at as early a period as practicable, for this mutual freedom of trade; but we at the same time assert the right of the colonies we respectively represent to impose such duties on imports from other places, not being differential, as the colony may think fit.” “ The Resolutions in reference to Intercolonial Tariffs as agreed to by
the Delegates from New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, and Victoria. “ The Delegates from the Governments of New South Wales,