Page images
PDF
EPUB

III.

AS MAYOR OF BUFFALO.

con

his affection for the hills and lochs of his controlled everything, but this did not native land, and without engaging ac- prevent him from boldly fighting for the tively in public life he ever strove to ele- best interests of the city; and he disvate civic ideals.

played such business foresight and sagacHe is a true democrat, using that term ity, such a sense of fairness coupled with in its broadest and noblest signification aggressive honesty, regardless of what as one who has faith in the people, as one the privileged classes desired, that he who believes in putting into practice the won the confidence of the rank and file bed-rock principles

principles that differentiate to such a degree that when nominated a democracy from a government by class- for mayor last autumn he turned the rule. “In any case of doubt,” says Republican majority of ten thousand into Mayor Adam,“ leave it to the people”; a Democratic majority of ten thousand, and in this, one of his favorite maxims, or an overturn of twenty thousand votes we see the true democrat.

in the city. Not only does he believe in DirectLegislation, but like other broad-visioned and practical thinkers who are not interested in private corporations or who are Mr. Adam was in Scotland when the not beholden to those who are, and who political forces began to prepare for the have also studied the subject sufficiently municipal contest. He reached Buffalo to decide intelligently, Mayor Adam is a short time before the nominating cona strong believer in public-ownership. vention assembled. By common

He entered politics by one of those seem- sent be had been selected as the standarding accidents that so frequently prove bearer not only of the Democrats but of the turning-points in one's life. It was the people who placed good government in 1895. The Democrats wanted and loyalty to the fundamental ideals of strong and influential man for council- free institutions above partisanship. man in a certain district. No one sug- He announced his platform to be Hongested seemed to measure sufficiently esty versus Graft. A grafter he defined large to make success even probable. as a thief in disguise. After his nominaOne of the politicians strolled to the tion he went before the people speaking window of the room in which the con- from three to five times every day, exference was being held and looking out plaining the evils and weaknesses of the he caught sight of the erect figure of the municipal government and insisting that great Buffalo merchant walking down a great municipality should be conducted the street.

as a great business enterprise, for the “Why not nominate J. N. Adam?” benefit of all the interested ones, which said the man at the window.

in the case of the city meant all the peo"The very person !" exclaimed another. ple, and that it should not be run for a

And so he was nominated. He pro- set of favored politicians, corporations tested, urging that he was a business man or any other class seeking special priviand not a politician. “The very kind of leges and unjust immunities. man who is needed," urged his friends, The Republican party and the corporaand his sense of duty to the common good tions waged a vigorous battle, bringing or civic responsibility led him to accept. all their forces to bear to defeat this man He was elected and since then he has been in whom the people believed much as in in the council or on the board of aldermen other days the masses had believed in ever since, until he was elected last autumn Jefferson and in Lincoln. But all the to be the chief magistrate of the city. resources of the machine and the corpora

In the city government he was in a tions were unable to defeat the will of the hopeless minority, as the Republicans people. The magnitude of the victory,

а

however, astounded those who had long ish bribery or corruption or any attempt held the people in contempt.

to wrongfully control or influence the After the election the successful can- conduct of our public affairs, no matter didate, having about two months before how high or low the wrongdoer may be. he assumed office, visited various leading “I hope and trust no necessity for such American municipalities in order to per use of power ever will arise, but if it does sonally study conditions and to confer I will act fearlessly, doing my füll duty with leading officials. When he returned in accord with my oath of office, and shall he forestalled the office-seeking army by expect the coöperation of all public offiannouncing the names of those he ex- cials and of all good citizens." pected to appoint to various offices that would become vacant during his term, When the Mayor assumed the office, and in every instance it was found that he he found that the city employés were in had been guided by the same general many instances slack in their duties but principles that would have governed him over-alert to get more pay than was due if he had been managing a great private for any over-time service. He changed business instead of a municipality; that all this by example and precept. Every is, he selected only the men he believed day he is at his post at eight o'clock in would be the best qualified to render the the morning, and he let the employés city the most efficient and unselfish ser- understand once and for all that they vice, without regard to politics or any were expected to serve the city just as other consideration save the giving to the faithfully as they would serve a private city of the most efficient and honest ser- employer, and if they were not prepared vice. He also displayed great wisdom to do this others would take their places. in giving representatives of different sec- In his inaugural message, among other tions of the people fair representation, strong and brave words, the Mayor atso that all elements should be justly con- tacked the swindling of the city out of sidered.

taxes on millions of dollars' worth of He gave fair warning to all grafters property by the public service corporathat he would do his utmost to have them tions, through the connivance of the State receive such punishment as the enemies Board of Tax Commissioners. of the state deserve. On the subject of It matters not where one looks in the official duty and of faithlessness to the state government of New York since the solemn obligation imposed upon them Platt - Odell - Harriman-Root-Ryan -Highe said:

gins elements have become the dominant

power in the Empire State, the corpora"Every public official should be inter- tions and special privilege grafters seem ested in keeping the conduct of affairs to have absolute control. The insurance free from the giving or taking of anything department, with its Hendricks at the to which the giver or laker is not honestly head, has been fully exposed, but so rotentitled—or in one word, graft. I be- ten is the state government that the faithlieve graft should be scotched by not only less head was not summarily removed. arresting and trying, but by convicting The bank department became so maland imprisoning the grafter, whether he odorous and such a crying scandal that be an office-holder or not.

it seemed for a time that even Governor “Disguise should not be permitted to Higgins and his confederates would be keep a thief out of jail, and a grafter is unable to head off an investigation, and a thief in disguise. I will do all in my there was general consternation among power to put any grafting public official the master-spirits of the Root-Ryan-Hignot only out of office, but into jail. I gins machine at Washington and Albany, will do all in my power to expose

and
pun-

no less than among the high financiers,

and word came from Washington that a is an important business matter affecting public investigation would be a public vitally the financial welfare of our City.” calamity, so in spite of the scandal the investigation was refused. The State The Mayor next showed how the pubTax Commission seems to be equally lic-service companies dodged paying a complacent to the public-service corpora- part of the taxes on the pitifully low valutions, judging from the facts brought out ation that the State Commission had in Mayor Adam's message and subse- obligingly given them. quent revelations. The public-service

As before stated, the new chief execucompanies of Buffalo are taxed on only tive of Buffalo is a strong believer in $14,000,000 of property, although the public-ownership. In his message he stocks and bonds of one corporation ex- says: ceed $30,000,000. The city of Buffalo

"Municipal-ownership is coming surewas not notified when there was to be a ly, and recent developments in cities public hearing at Albany before the Com- throughout the country indicate it is mission, though the corporations were coming swiftly. In Buffalo it may arrive all duly notified, but the city found out sooner than expected." when the hearing was to be held and sent the Corporation Counsel and the Com- The Mayor had the Comptroller inmissioner of Public Works. The trip sert an item of $250,000 in estimates for was fruitless, however, as the officials a municipal lighting and power-plant, found when they reached Albany that in conformity with the vote of the people

everything had been cut and dried.” favorable to the establishment of a public In referring to the subject the Mayor in lighting and power-plant. The faithless his message said:

Board of Aldermen, however, struck out

the item, in spite of the fact that the peo“In the matter of special franchises, ple had voted for the municipal plant and we find ourselves at the mercy of the the majority of the aldermen, we also Board of State Tax Commissioners, a understand, had prior to the election body which fixes the valuations and pledged themselves to carry out the will whose course at times has caused us al- of the people. most to wonder if they regarded Buffalo In his message Mayor Adam thus as aught but a place for immune corpor- voices his sentiments on the Referendum: ations.”

“A symptom of the attitude of our citIn commenting on the shameful action izens on the question of municipal-ownof the State Tax Commission in placing ership is found in the referendum vote the valuation for all public utility cor- on the lighting question. I believe in poration property at $14,000,000, the the Referendum. It means more direct Mayor said:

and more frequent instructions from our

citizens to their public servants." “The people of the city resent such proceedings. Such conduct of public He is very outspoken in his advocacy affairs is fit subject for legislative inves- of this necessary method for maintaining tigation, and I believe that legislative free government, agreeing with Governor enactment not only should require the Folk, Mayor Johnson and other popular State Tax Commission to hear the City, leaders, that the hope of free institutions but also to take into account the capitali- depends on getting back to the people, zation and selling value of each corpora- which can be done only by breaking the tion in making the franchise valuations. backbone of the present corrupt rule of The valuation of special franchises is corporate wealth through criminal bosses not a lottery or a matter of chance. It

It and money-controlled machines, by giv

ing the people an opportunity to instruct which he hopes to see become one of the their servants or to veto measures which most effective of the higher educational are as clearly against the wishes and in- institutions of the land. terests of the people as they are in the He is a great reader and much of his interest of corrupt corporations and priv- keenest pleasure comes from the perusal ileged classes. He believes in direct of the master-thoughts of our noblest responsibility to the people and he has thinkers. He is a great lover of the poems no sympathy with the attitude of our of Robert Browning, although Robertson grafting statesmen who are the tools and of Brighton is said to be his favorite attorneys of the trusts, monopolies and author. class interests. “Public office," he de- In Mayor Adam the forces of fundaclares, “is not a private graft. Our mu- mental democracy, clean government nicipal affairs are the business of the and civic advance have another strong people of this city. I am answerable to leader-a man of the Lincoln stamp, the people and I would rather be answer- whose aggressive honesty, large business able to 400,000 people than to one boss. ability and loyalty to the interests of the You can trust the people.”

people place him in the class of American The Mayor is a strong champion of municipal leaders of whom Mayor Johneducation and is actively engaged in the son of Cleveland is the pioneer and honeffort being made to extend and enlarge ored leader. the University of Buffalo, an institution Boston, Mass. B. O. FLOWER.

BRITISH EGYPT.

BY ERNEST CROSBY,
Late Judge of the Mixed Tribunal at Alexandria.

PART I.

Cairo, gave

features are concerned, be condemned N A RECENT Blue Book on Egypt,* used in condemnation or justification of

or justified by the arguments ordinarily Lord Cromer devotes several pages those who attempt by violent means to to a recapitulation of the recent history effect radical changes in the form in which of that country, and he expresses himself their country is governed.” Lord Milner, with a frankness that does him credit. “In 1882,” says he, “a serious

revolution formerly Undersecretary for Finance at

the same character to Arabi's took place in Egypt. I use the word rebellion eight years or more ago in his revolution advisedly. The idea, which work on England in Egypt. “Their at the time obtained a certain amount of first object,” he tells us (that is, of “Aracredence, that the Arabi movement was

bi and his associates "),“... were neither a military mutiny and nothing more, is unreasonable nor blameworthy.” (Page wholly erroneous. It was, in its essence,

18.) “The European concession-hunter a genuine revolt against misgovernment, and loan-monger, the Greek publican such as has frequently happened in other and pawnbroker, the Jewish and Syrian countries. It may, in so far as its broad

money-lender and land-grabber, who * Egypt, No. 1, 1905. Reports by His Majesty's could always with ease obtain the ‘proAgent and Consul-General on the Finances, Admin- tection of some European power, had istration and Condition of Egypt and the Soudan in battened on the Egyptian treasury and 1904, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty, April, 1905.

the poor Egyptian cultivator to an almost incredible extent. In a very great meas- again. The modern Egyptian cat, for ure then there was reasort in the onslaught instance, is like no other cat in the world. upon European privilege, and even in He seems to have stepped down from the ominous and misleading watch-cry some temple-wall, and the camel, it has of 'Egypt for the Egyptians.”” The been well said, is older than the pyramids. concurrence of two such authorities as If it be true that ancient history preLord Cromer and Lord Milner must be dominates in the land of the Pharaohs, held to establish once for all the justifi- it is no less true that modern history has cation of the rising of 1882, and to put an not altogether passed it by. Alexander end to the vulgar belief which long sur- and Cæsar visited Alexandria, but so did vived in the British colony in Egypt that Napoleon, and indeed this is the only Arabi was a reckless and criminal ad- spot in the world associated with all three venturer who should have been sum- of the great commanders. For many marily hanged. The opinion of both years Mohammed Ali attracted the attenthese noble historians that Arabi could tion of the world to the Nile Valley, and not have been safely entrusted with the during the last quarter of the nineteenth government of the country in no wise century the storm-center of Christendom detracts from the initial purity of his and of Islam was never long absent motives. This official admission of the from its banks. We have at last come to just character of an insurrection, the a point of rest. The Soudan has been suppression of which gave Great Britain reconquered and occupied by England the opportunity to take possession of the in the name of the Khedive, the intention Delta, seems to cast something of a of remaining in Egypt permanently has cloud upon the title of that country, and been acknowledged at Westminster, and invites a discussion of all the circum- the unaccustomed lull which has set in stances which led up to the final subjec- at the beginning of the twentieth century tion of the khediviate to the British affords an opportunity to investigate at crown. By what right is England in leisure the latest deposits which the rise Egypt and what are the main functions and fall of empire have left in this rewhich she is performing there? To markable land. answer these questions briefly is the ob- It was Napoleon who drew Great ject of this paper.

Britain into Egypt a century ago.

UnEgypt is history. Just as in some fortunately for him the works of Captain countries the edges of geological strata Mahan had not then been written, and are so laid bare that the trained eye can he hardly appreciated the importance of spell them out like the ruled lines of a the sea-power. Egypt is practically an manuscript, so on the banks of the lower island, surrounded by water and desert, Nile the records of human history have and armies are useless there for the purbeen so accumulated, preserved and un- pose of keeping open the way to the base covered that he that runs may read. Not of supplies or of retreat, unless supported only do the ruins of temple, tomb and by a dominant naval force. The French mosque speak of Pharaoh and Ptolemy, defeated the Mamelukes, but when NelCæsar and Saladin,-not only do we see son destroyed their fleet in the Bay of in the museum of Gizeh the actual life- Aboukir, they were obliged to evacuate. like bodies of Seti and Rameses, and those England might then have taken possession of their servants and domestic animals, of the Delta, had it not been for the rise and the jewelry and household utensils of a daring young Albanian adventurer, which they wore and used, but in the Mohammed Ali Pasha, who secured the living men and women of to-day, in the governorship of the country for himself fellah and his beasts of burden, we be- and defeated their army at Rosetta, and hold the ancient sculptures come to life the heads of General Frazer, the British

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »