Page images
PDF
EPUB

prehensions that the importunities of the reactionary party at the imperial court, which was known to be bitterly hostile to the reforms which the Emperor had granted, might induce him not to redeem his promises, were constantly gaining ground, although the semi-official journals from time to time tried to reassure the public by asserting that the delays in the publication of the draft of the new law arose solely from the profound and protracted discussions to which the examination of all the questions bearing upon the subject had given rise in the meetings of the imperial Cabinet and the Council of State. They pointed also to the comparatively lenient course which the Minister of the Interior, the Marquis de Lavalette, had been pursuing toward the Paris papers since the publication of the imperial letter of January 19, 1867.

At length, in the early part of January, 1868, the Government submitted the new press law to the Corps Législatif. This law provided in its first paragraph that the French press should be free, but subjected it in its subsequent sections to so many oppressive restrictions that the independent and liberal journals, with one accord, pronounced it utterly unsatisfactory, and even went so far as to declare that it was very doubtful if the existing state of affairs was not preferable to the condition in which the new law would place the French press. While the new law, it is true, put an end to the discretionary power of the Minister of the Interior and the prefects of the departments over the political press, and abolished the system of authorization for those who wished to start newspapers or establish printing-offices, it proposed no reduction of the burdensome caution-money, lessened the still more burdensome stamp-tax but very slightly, fixed the fines, which the correctional tribunals were empowered to impose upon editors, publishers, and printers, for the most trifling press offences, at the most unheard-of rates, and added to the existing press régime so many new and odious features, that Emile de Girardin, editor-in-chief of La Liberté, indignantly pronounced the new law a "hateful trap" (un piége odieux), and the first impulse of all the opposition papers was to call upon the representatives of their party in the halls of the Corps Législatif to reject the law in toto.

The majority of the Corps Législatif, on its part, did not seem to be very anxious to pass the new law. Largely composed as it was of ultra-conservative members, it was seriously dissatisfied with what few additional liberties the new law granted to the press, especially with the section which permitted every Frenchman, of good repute and in the full possession of his civil and political rights, to establish political journals without previous authorization on the part of the Government. It was thought that, in consequence of this paragraph, liberal journals would spring up in all rural districts, and by their influence secure the election of a

great many opposition deputies in districts then represented by conservative adherents of the second empire. Many of the department prefects added to the reluctance of the majority of the Corps Législatif by their protests against the new press law, which they asserted in their reports to the Minister of the Interior would give fresh vitality to the revolutionary (i. e. anti-Bonapartist) element in the country, and greatly lessen their influence over the electoral body in the provincial districts. The reactionary club of the so-called Arcadians, embracing upward of one hundred members of the Corps Législatif, resolved at one time to vote for the rejection of the entire law; and the reactionists at the imperial court were incessantly dinning into the ears of Napoleon III. that the "revolutionists" would use the new law as a powerful engine for overthrowing his dynasty.

In the mean time, however, the opposition journals had thought better of the matter, and deemed it advisable to accept the new law, which was, after all, a slight progress toward liberty; and when the committee, to which the draft of the new law submitted by the Government had been referred, after a very long delay finally reported it back to the Corps Législatif, they urged their political friends in the Legislature to vote in such a manner as to secure the adoption of the law, without regard to its illiberal features. The amendments proposed in the report of the committee added to the oppressive character of the law. The nonauthorization clause in regard to the establishment of new printing-offices, the reduction of the stamp-tax, and other liberal features, had been struck out from the drafts submitted by the Government, and in their places had been inserted paragraphs rendering the position of political editors, correspondents, publishers, and printers of newspapers, more precarious and difficult than before.

The debates on the press law in the Corps Législatif were exceedingly stormy. The opposition orators fought its oppressive paragraphs step by step, but did not succeed in wresting any concessions from the conservative majority, and giving a more liberal character to the important law. On the contrary, the so-called Guilloutet amendment, which was carried by a very large majority, in rendering more stringent the responsibility of editors, reporters, and publishers, in regard to articles written about the affairs of private persons, added another most burdensome feature to it. At the final vote on the law it was carried by an overwhelming majority, only seven of the Arcadians voting against it; the majority of the colleagues of the latter, yielding to the urgent wishes of the Government, had voted for the law. The Senate passed the law likewise, though not without gloomy predictions on the part of many of its reactionary members; and on the 11th of May the law was promulgated. The following circular, which M. Pinard, the

Minister of the Interior, issued a few days afterward to the prefects of the several departments in regard to the new press law, shows the important changes which it introduced in the legal condition of the political journals:

M. LE PRÉFET: In realizing the promise of January 19, 1867, the new press law puts an end to the discretionary power of the administration. The necessity of previous authorization and the disciplinary powers of the minister are at the same time abolished. Henceforth the press will only have as its judges the judges of every citizen. It will no longer be under tutelage. Henceforth it is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Seals to give detailed instructions to the public prosecutors as to the execution of a law which only maintains the repressive action of the tribunals toward the press. But if the part of the administration is profoundly changed, it remains none the less considerable; it is transformed and does not disappear. What is this part as toward the judicial authority? What, as toward the writer? In what degree shall you concur, as administrative power, in the application of the new law? Brief explanations will suffice to settle upon these three points the character and the nature of your intervention.

When the judicial authority has to begin a prosecution having a political character, it is essentially desirable that it should be in agreement with you. It alone has to decide the question of legality, but you will often have to give your opinion as to the question of opportuneness. This situation implies that frequent relations and an understanding will be more than ever necessary between you and the public ministry. It also requires that you should not point out any article to the bar without having previously referred it to me, and that you should keep me fully acquainted with the phases as well as the results of every prosecution.

Toward the writer, who does not come under the application of the repressive laws, you have a double duty to fulfil the duty of surveillance and the duty of good relations. The duty of surveillance is indispensable to place you in a position to rectify erroneous facts. The more the control of the press is extended to the acts and intentions of the authorities, the more it becomes important to establish its truth. You have at your disposal either the communiqué, a direct reply to the journal that has led the public into error, or the contrary asserted insertion in another journal. These two methods of rectification possess no serious value save when they are made use of immediately. They only strike the mind of the reader when they put on a brief, a taking form, when they avoid the warmth of controversy and the length of discussion. They should confine themselves to correcting the erroneous figures of the inexact fact. As previously, you will be good enough to submit to me in advance every communiqué together with the article by which it is called forth. The duty of good relations is the best means of defence. It compromises neither the dignity of the Government nor the independence of the writer. You will understand how to keep up these relations with all those who shall address themselves loyally to you. When essential questions do not divide us, these relations may often prove the cause of voluntary rectifications. In bringing men closer together, they may bring ideas closer also; they may, at any rate, obtain more justice in appreciating intentions; they may cause private wounds to be avoided, and may take from controversy that aggressive character which sometimes separates men more widely than the contradiction of principles.

You will have, M. le Préfet, to assist in the application of the law by watching over the execution of three new regulations. These refer to the declaration, to the deposit, and to the authorization of special printing-offices.

The declaration is to be made upon stamped paper.

It must precede the publication of the journal by at least fifteen days, and must be accompanied by evidence establishing its sincerity. Article 2 sets forth all that this declaration must contain. The declaration only gives the right of publishing a journal to those who are at the same time Frenchmen and of full age, and in enjoyment of their civil and political rights. The declaration once received, you will deliver a receipt to the declarant, and you will employ the fifteen days elapsing between the declaration and the expiration of the term fixed for publication in verifying the capacity of the declarant. You will demand for this purpose bulletin No. 2 from the judicial file at the public prosecutor's office in the declarant's original domicil. You will first communicate to me the declaration, and ultimately the evidence you will have gathered as to the declarant in the course of this examination.

The deposit of two copies of the journal, as prescribed by Article 7, shall be made at Paris at the ministry of the Interior. In the departments it must be made at the prefecture in the chief town of the department, at the subprefecture in the chief town of the district, and at the mairie for other towns. One of these two copies must be sent immediately by the préfet, the sub-préfet, or the mayor, to the ministry of the Interior (departmental press-office). A similar deposit is required, by the second paragraph of Article 7, for the office of the public prosecutor, In towns where there is no tribunal of first instance, this deposit must be made at the mairie, and the mayor must immediately send to the public prosecu tor's office the two copies of this second deposit. You will be good enough to watch that these various_deposits are made with the greatest regularity. The more liberty is extended, the greater the necessity for the surveillance of the Government.

Every manager of a journal shall be authorized, when he may request it, to have a printing-office_reserved exclusively for printing his newspaper. The Legislature has not yet settled the question by the monopoly of liberty of printing and publishing, but it has desired that, previous to this definitive solution, the journalists might always be certain of having a printer. It promises, henceforth, an authorization. and the Government would not be able to refuse it either to the manager of the industrial, the literary, or the purely political journal. Furthermore, this printing-office could not be diverted from its object. It is created for no other purpose than to secure the free establishment of the journal. It must only print that journal itself, or any thing forming an essential element of its publication, as prospectus, posters, postage bands, subscription lists, and receipts. It could not go beyond this without encroaching upon establishments now in existence, and whose monop oly is still maintained by law.

This arrangement shows you, M. le Préfet, the liberal intentions animating the Emperor's Government and the Corps Législatif in this matter. If the Legisla ture holds that the manager of a journal should always find a printer, it is a logical and legitimate consequence to favor the establishment of new printing and publishing offices wherever it might be justified by serious needs. Thus, in making proposals to me upon this point, you will have to take into account st the same time the guarantees candidates must offer, and the degree of utility the issue of new privileges would present in certain localities.

I confine myself, M. le Préfet, to these brief explanations. It would be useless to revert to the other arrangements of the decree of February 17, 1852, which still remain in vigor, and over the execution of which you have watched up to this day. Should the stamp right disappear in some cases, should it be restricted in others, the application of these arrange ments comes more especially within the province of the Minister of Finance, who will instruct his agents upon this point.

No change is imported either into the amount of

the caution-money or into the rules accompanying its payment. You will have, as formerly, to place the declarants in a position to deposit at the office of the Treasurer-General of your department the cautionmoney to which they are subjected, and you will transmit the receipt of the payment to the Finance Minister. PINARD, Minister of the Interior.

No sooner had the new press law been promulgated, than a great many new papers were started both in Paris and in the departments. Up to the 1st of July, 1868, sixty-four new journals, mostly weeklies, had been established in the departments, and seven new dailies and twenty-three new weekly papers in Paris. A very noteworthy fact was, that most of these new papers were organs of the most advanced wing of the Liberal party. Public opinion in France was evidently awakening from its long torpor, and not a few of the newly-established papers used a more defiant language toward the Government than had been heard for long years past. These audacious sheets were so eagerly read by the people, that some of them obtained in the course of a few days a truly enormous circulation. Especially was this the case with La Lanterne, a weekly politico-satirical paper, whose wonderful success marks an era in the history of French journalism, and which immediately found a great many rivals and imitators, none of which, however, were able to gain an equal degree of popularity. La Lanterne, issued every week in pamphlet form, consisted entirely of spicy little paragraphs written by Henri Rochefort, a young journalist of strongly democratic views, whose satirical attacks and mots upon all the "dark spots" of the Second Empire were greatly relished by vast numbers of French readers. The first nine issues of La Lanterne reached the enormous aggregate circulation of 1,155,000 copies, and its subscription list was rapidly increasing when the heavy sentences imposed upon the editor and proprietor by the Sixth Chamber of the Correctional Tribunal of Paris caused M. Henri Rochefort to remove the office of the paper from Paris to Brussels, and Aix-la-Chapelle, where it is now issued alternately, and where every week upward of one hundred thousand copies of the Lanterne, printed on very thin letter-paper, are sent in sealed envelopes to the subscribers of the paper in Paris.

Of the numerous imitators which La Lanterne found among the other newly-established Paris papers, La Cloche, edited by Ferrayus (Louis Ulbach), and Le Diable à Quatre, edited by Villemessant, Lockroy, and other eminent journalists, were the most successful; La Cloche reaching a circulation of eighty thousand copies, and Le Diable à Quatre selling about sixty thousand copies.

The increasing boldness with which the organs of the opposition criticised many acts of the Government, led to a large number of prosecutions of liberal papers. Especially numerous were the press trials which took place before the Sixth Chamber of the Cor

rectional Tribunal of Paris. The worst fears of the opposition, in regard to the servility of these correctional judges, were more than verified. A prosecution of a newspaper before them, with very rare exceptions, was equivalent to a condemnation, and the sentences, as a general thing, were so severe as to create the most marked dissatisfaction in the minds of the people. Despite the fines and imprisonments imposed upon editors and printers, the tone of the Liberal papers grew daily more independent; and at the beginning of November, when the Government tried to prevent them from advertising subscriptions for the erection of a monument in honor of Baudin, one of the illustrious victims of the coup d'état, whose humble grave, until then unknown, had been recently discovered, the whole independent press of Paris, with one accord, bade defiance to the Government and refused to obey its behests. The prosecutions which were instituted in consequence of this bold attitude against the Reveil, the Temps, the Journal de Paris, the Avenir National, and other leading journals, resulted in severe sentences against their editors and publishers; but these sentences had been wrung from the correctional tribunal only by the peculiar construction of the old Law of General Security; and in several other cities of France, especially in Clermont and Castres, editors were acquitted on the same charges on which their Parisian colleagues had been convicted. Besides, the language which the counsel of the prosecuted journalists used at these trials in criticising the coup d'état and Bonapartism in general, was so scathing and bitter that public opinion became greatly exasperated, and when M. Pinard, the Minister of the Interior, who had been the soul of these press prosecutions, made himself and the Government an object of ridicule by the vast display of military precautions on the 3d of December, in order, as he pretended, to nip in the bud a contemplated rising of the revolutionists, the Emperor dismissed him on the 18th of December in a somewhat abrupt manner, and appointed in his stead M. de Forcade, who is generally believed to be in favor of a more liberal and moderate course toward the press.

Among the other noteworthy events which took place in the affairs of French journalism in 1868 is the change which the Moniteur Universel underwent toward the close of the year. Already in the early part of 1868 the Emperor Napoleon had ordered his Minister of State to take steps for severing the connection of the Government with the Moniteur, which had been its official organ, as well as that of all the preceding régimes, and for establishing a new official journal. M. Rouher and his colleagues vainly tried to dissuade the Emperor from his purpose, and the efforts of M. Dalloz on the part of the proprietors of the Moniteur remained equally unsuccessful. In the autumn of 1868 active preparations were made for

establishing the new official journal, which was to bear the name Moniteur Officiel. M. Dalloz appealed to the courts to enjoin the Minister of State from applying the name Moniteur to the new paper, and a permanent injunction to this effect was granted, whereupon M. Rouher decreed that the new Government paper should be entitled Journal Officiel de l'Empire Français; the offer of M. Dalloz to let the Government use the name Moniteur upon the payment of 2,800,000 francs having been previously rejected. The Moniteur Universel, which, it is believed, is now controlled by the princes of the Orleans dynasty, will be published, as heretofore, twice a day.

The list of press trials in France from the promulgation of the law of May 11, 1868, down to the 31st of December, 1868, shows that the defendants were convicted in sixtyfour cases, and that they were sentenced to undergo terms of imprisonment amounting in the aggregate to sixty-six months, and to pay fines footing up to 121,957 francs. The two most severe sentences were those passed upon Henri Rochefort, who was condemned to be imprisoned for twenty-nine months, and fined 26,000 francs.

According to the official reports published on the 15th of October, 1868, 1,668 journals are published in the French empire. Paris has 69 political and 710 non-political journals. The Siècle, the organ of the Democratic bourgeoisie, has still the largest circulation of any political paper in France, its daily sales being rarely less than 42,000 copies. Its advertising receipts are upward of nine hundred thousand francs. In the autumn of 1868 it sustained a heavy loss in the death of its principal stockholder and managing editor, M. Havin, to whose judicious management the Siècle is indebted for much of its prosperity. Louis Jourdan remains the leading editor. The Temps, another organ of the moderate democracy, circulates about ten thousand copies, and is noted for the great ability of its editorial staff, which embraces some of the most illustrious names of French journalism. The Avenir National, advocating the principles of the more advanced wing of the Democratic party, had a circulation of eight thousand copies on the 1st of July, 1868, which its publishers claim has been nearly doubled in November and December. It has sustained heavy losses in consequence of repeated prosecutions on the part of the Government. Its managing editor is M. A. Peyrat. The Journal des Débats, the organ of the liberal Orleanists, has a circulation of nine thousand copies. It maintains its high reputation for literary ability, PrévostParadol, Edouard Laboulaye, Michel Chevalier, Jules Janin, and other eminent writers being among its editors and contributors. La Liberté, Emil de Girardin's journal, claims the largest circulation next to the Siècle. At the beginning of 1868 it had upward of thirty thousand subscribers, but it is said to have

lost over ten thousand of them in the course of the year. Its advertising receipts are over eight hundred thousand francs a year. Le Figaro, Villemessant's paper, a gossipy, but able and brilliant sheet, has also a very large circulation. The rival of the Figaro is the Gaulois, which was started in the spring of 1868 and acquired great popularity by the articles of Edmond About and the enterprise it displayed in obtaining early and reliable news about the Spanish revolution. In November M. Henri de Pène, one of the founders of the Gaulois, withdrew from that journal and established a similar one, called Paris, which has as yet not obtained a very marked success. The Opinion Nationale, A. Guéroult's paper, an advocate of moderate democratic principles, and not entirely hostile to the Second Empire, lost in 1868 much of its former popularity, its circulation having dwindled down in the course of the year from sixteen thousand copies to less than half that number.

The ultramontane and legitimist papers, the Gazette de France, the Union, the Monde, and the Univers, have only between three and six thousand subscribers each. Though edited with much ability, they are losing concerns, and are kept alive only by liberal contributions from wealthy members of their respective parties.

The Patrie and the Constitutionnel are the two leading semi-official papers. The Constitutionnel, with a circulation of ten thousand copies, is edited by M. Henri Baudrillart, the distinguished political economist, and Robert Mitchell, the son of an American, but naturalized in France. The Patrie, with a circulation of fourteen thousand copies, is now under the editorial control of Clément Duvernois, heretofore managing editor of the Epoque, a paper representing the principles of the liberal wing of the Bonapartists, but of very limited circulation. Ernest Dréolle, for many years the leading writer on the staff of the Patrie, was forced in October to leave that journal in consequence of a quarrel between two members of the imperial Cabinet, and he issued in November the first number of a new semi-official paper, named Le Public, which met with but very little success. The Etendard, with between three and four thousand subscribers, is edited by M. Aug. Vitu. The France, the organ of the Vicomte de Laguéronnière, has six thousand subscribers; and the Pays, edited by Granier and Paul de Cassagnac, sells only between 800 and 1,000 copies daily, and is considered the most unpopular paper in France. The Cassagnacs pay to the owners of the Pays fifty thousand francs a year, and in return receive all the money paid in for subscriptions and advertisements. La Presse, now under the control of Mirès, the famous banker, circulates between 5,000 and 8,000 copies.

Among the first-class political weeklies es tablished in Paris since the promulgation of the new press law, the Electeur, the organ of

Jules Favre and the members of the Left in the Corps Législatif, the Tribune, edited by Eugene Pelletan, and the Reveil, M. Delecluze's journal, deserve special mention. Their circulation on the 1st of November was, respectively, 25,000, 18,000, and 14,000 copies.

FRENCH EXHIBITION. In the ANNUAL CYCLOPEDIA of last year, under the head of the "French Exhibition," brief notices were given of some of the material and machines then exhibited, but there was a very important omission in one of the awards of the new prize. The Emperor of France proposed ten awards of 10,000 francs each (nearly $2,000 gold), or 100,000 francs in the aggregate, to ten different individuals or associations, who, in a series of years, had accomplished the most to secure a state of harmony between employers and their work-people, and most successfully advanced the material, intellectual, and moral welfare of the same. A special jury was appointed from the different countries represented in the exhibition. Five hundred applications were received from France and other countries on the Continent of Europe, from Great Britain and the United States.

Nine of the awards were given to France, Germany, and other countries in Europe, one to the United States, and none to Great Britain. The name of the Pacific Mills, Lawrence, Mass., was placed third in the list of ten successful candidates; this award was among the highest made at the Exposition, and the highest received by a citizen of the United States. The recompense awarded consisted of a gold medal with appropriate emblems, and motto, and name on it; nine thousand francs in money, and a diploma printed on medallion card suitable for framing.

The "Pacific Mills" is the corporate name of a joint-stock company, devoted to the manufacture, from the raw staples, of ladies' dress goods, of cotton wholly, of worsted wholly, and of cotton and wool combined, and the printing or dyeing of the same.

There are now in operation about 100,000 spindles for spinning cotton, with cleaning, picking, and carding machines to supply them, and about 16,000 spindles for worsted, with all the necessary preparing machines to occupy 3,500 looms for weaving the two classes of goods above-named and others, together with 22 printing-machines, producing a weekly average of about 700,000 yards. The machinery is propelled by 8 turbine wheels, of about 1,500 horse-power. About 3,600 work-people are now employed by the company; of these there are 1,680 men, 1,510 women, 80 boys between 10 and 12 years, 140 boys from 12 to 18 years, 40 girls from 10 to 12 years, and 150 girls from 12 to 18 years.

In the origin of the establishment the principle was adopted by the managers that there was to be a mutual dependence between employers and employed, each having rights which the other should respect. For the maVOL. VIII.-19 A

terial well-being of the laborers, special care was used, in the original construction of the work-rooms, to make them cheerful, comfortable, and well-ventilated. Houses were constructed, which should give to families residences at a moderate rent, that would secure the health and comfort of the work-people. The weekly rent for these houses is about equal to one-eighth of men's wages. Large buildings were erected for the use of single females whose residences were at a distance. The rooms are arranged for two persons each; well ventilated and lighted, and comfortably furnished. Unmarried men are never allowed to lodge in these houses, nor in any case a married man excepting he is accompanied by his wife, and even then but rarely. Females pay about one-third of their average wages for rooms in these boarding houses, including food, lights, and washing. It is common to provide coal, and sometimes flour, for the work-people, at the cost price of large quantities.

Each person employed by the company must be a member of an association called "Pacific Mills Relief Society," the entire management thereof being in the hands of the work-people, each officer being chosen by themselves from their own number, excepting the president, which office has always been filled by the resident manager. Each person, on commencing service, pays two cents per week to the relief fund. When the sum in the hands of the treasurer of the society, who is always the confidential clerk of the company, and keeps the deposit with the company for protection, has reached the sum of $1,500, the weekly subscription of all persons who have been employed by the company three months ceases, while it continues with the new-comers. condition of funds occurs so often that for nearly one-half the time the older employés are not assessed. Persons in the employment of the company three months become full members of the Relief Society, and entitled to certain privileges. If sickness occurs, preventing any from labor, the sick one becomes the special charge of certain appointed stewards, to see that a nurse and physician are secured, if necessary, and to draw from the wardrobe of the society such changes of personal and bed linen as the circumstances demand.

This

Each sick person (if the illness continues one week) who has paid two cents per week for at least three months, receives $2.50 for the first ten weeks of sickness, and $1.88 per week for longer-continued sickness. In cases of special need the officers of the society are authorized to make an extra allowance. Those who die poor have their funeral expenses paid, and are respectably buried in the beautiful lot in the city cemetery belonging to the society. In some cases the deceased has been sent to his native town, by the desire of his friends, without cost.

The total amount of money expended for the benefit of sick members in twelve years of its

« PreviousContinue »