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LONDON. THURSDAY, 18 OCTOBER, 1888.
WE are in for a critical time in the fortunes of the Liberal party. Three great political events are close upon us - the Parnell Commission, the Birmingham Conference, and the elections for the County Councils. On the first we have had our say; on the second we shall have something further to say by and bye. For the present we content ourselves with repeating our hope that a definite social programme will be attached to the political pronouncement. Why should not the Conference give us (1) a strong resolution on ground rents and mining royalties; (2) a declaration in favor of payment of members, which Mr. GLADSTONE has practically added to our programme, and which labor organisations, representing a quarter of a million of workers, have inscribed on their banners; (3) a new departure in the question of the housing of the poor, material for which exists in abundance in the report of the Royal Commission which sat in 1885; (4) a handsome advance on the whole taxation question, on the lines of the spring debates on the division of the rate. These are advances for which the Radical party look, which are much over-dated already, which will gain us recruits by the thousand among the body of workers who take little interest in party politics, and which will rivet the bonds of attachment already existing between the labor organisations, old and new, and the party of political progress, of social hope, and of re-constructive statesmanship.
But we in London have a still more immediate task before us. The County Councils give us a great chance, and we must see that we use it to the uttermost. The other day Mr. JOHN MORLEY pointed to the enlargement of the functions of the County Councils and of the District Councils, which must inevitably be created, as the most profitable bit of political work to which the Liberal party could set its hand. That is very true. On what lines, however, are we to go in these first elections? Are we to make use of our party organisations or not? Are we to have a show Board made up of celebrities who won't attend, or of local workers who know the business of local government and have at the same time political views which they will carry into the work of the Board? Practically this question is being settled for us. The School Board contest is a little bit taking the edge off the fight for the County Council; but in North-east London, where the steady enthusiasm and untiring energy of Professor STUART are as a light set on a hill, the Liberal and Radical workers have taken their line. They are going for good local men where they can get them. They are putting all they know into the fight. They are getting out their programmes, working their volunteer organisations, and by the middle of November they will, we hope, begin the work of personal canvass. So far as we can ascertain, this is what is happening all over London. The associations have placed their choice in men whom they know and trust. Where local workers are not available, distinguished Londoners and adepts at Local Government like Sir CHARLES DILKE and Mr. FIRTH have received nominations. This, too, is as it should be. The County Council for London will have a strong core of local political energy, with an outside crust of celebrities.
And now as to the programme. It should be political, sanitary, social. With a really strong central government in power in London, there is no reason why we should suffer gas and water monopolies to override us, market rings to raise the price of our food, sweaters' dens to spread disease and suffering, whole quarters of East and South London to stew in dismal neglect, the prey of the house farmer with influence on the Vestry; and of the cheap tenement landlord, unchecked even by the fear of the sanitary inspector. What do not we want? We want libraries, schools, parks, peoples' palaces. We want all the appliances of civilisation, all the means of culture which great and active communities like Birmingham, informed by a true public spirit, have been able to secure. Above all, we want relief from the infamous oppression of the industry of London by a class which shaves off to a nicety every inch of surplus value which the labors of the community add to its wealth. How long are the small shopkeepers of London - once the bulwark of the Liberal party - to grunt and sweat under the burden of landlordism? Precisely so long as they hang on to Lord SALISBURY'S coat-tails. If they want a rating reform they can have it; if they want to save their capital, their savings, their businesses from the clutch of the PORTMANS and the WESTMINSTERS, if they want social order instead of social anarchy, if they want a London where men can live rationally instead of "hearing each other groan," they can have that too. Let them vote for candidates pledged to rating reform, and we shall have a strong Radical party in power, not only in the Council, but in Parliament as well.
What a chance we have if we will use it! And what a chance exists of getting rid of perhaps the very worst of the many administrative evils from which we suffer. Now, no Liberal candidate must be allowed to stand for one moment on any other platform than the control of the police by the people. As soon as Parliament meets we shall have a demand for an increase of the London police. Under the new County Government Bill, Londoners, instead of paying a portion of the cost of their police, will pay the whole, and will at the same time be without the shadow of power to direct them. The addition of 1,000 men to the police force means £30,000 a year, or a halfpenny rate. Now, to begin with, this increase has not a shadow of justification, and that for two reasons. In the first place, Sir CHARLES WARREN'S own report shows that we have now more constables per head of population than we had in 1849. In the second place we require not more policemen - who should be guardians of order, not detectives - but a better organisation of the force we possess. In other words, we do not want disguised soldiers to beat us down in Trafalgar-square, under the orders of a central military dictator, but constables organised on local lines, under local inspectors with local knowledge, a renewal of the old neighborly idea of the policeman as a man chosen by those around him to do the special work of looking after their lives and property while they look after their business. Now, notoriously Sir CHARLES WARREN'S régime has not done this. But even if it had, if instead of a carnival of undetected crime we had had a model administration, we should still preach in season and out of season the Radical doctrine that serious social disorders, such as the experience of the past few months has revealed, are not to be met by a mere screwing-down of the boiler, an addition to the repressive forces in society. Brothers, is there no misery in London, are there no wrongs, no injustices, which need something more than the iron heel of authority to trample out the cry of protest - nay, even of ignorant and passionate revolt? That was not the old Liberal method; it must not be the method now. We believe we are going to win over this fight for the County Council, and that London is simply suffocating with the desire to rid itself of its oppressors. But even if we are not, let us get our programme and our principles to the fore. Let Londoners know what we have to offer them over this vital question of Local Government - what is our social Gospel, what our political Hope and Faith.
Already the usual "selection" of the music - waltzes, quadrilles, lancers, and fantasias - in the "Yeomen of the Guard" is in hand, though the score will not be obtainable for two or three weeks. A provincial company is ready to start on its pilgrimage.
As the law stands in the States copyright is only granted to citizens of the great republic. Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan get easily over the difficulty, however. They simply get a citizen - in the case of the "Yeomen of the Guard" it will be a Mr. Wadsworth, of Boston Massachusetts - to put his name to the score and thus preserve the monopoly.
At the Edinburgh Police-court a cabman was yesterday charged with having on the 7th instant passed Dalry Free Church at more than a "walking pace." It transpired that he was driving a doctor, and the charge was found "not proven."
A committee of the Holborn Guardians have been inquiring into the curiously large consumption of stimulants in the City-road Workhouse during the half year to Michaelmas, 1887. The report they presented last night said: -
"Your committee are thoroughly convinced that the truth has not been elicited. The inaccuracies in the medical book appear to be of so grave a nature and to have been so systematically made, that your committee feel that no confidence can be placed in the officers responsible for the management. Beyond doubt a systematic of fraud has been committed." - The Clerk said he had discovered that in six months 11 gallons of wines and spirits had been consumed in excess of that ordered by the medical officer and shown on the patients' cards. - Mr. Howes moved that the master (Mr. Daniells) and assistant master be called upon to resign. He observed that the spirits had been artfully put down to the inmates whose complaints would seem to need them. After a spirited discussion, in which by some members the master was warmly defended, and Miss Baker observed that there was no evidence to show who had consumed the stimulants, the motion was carried by 10 to 9.
In the Richest City in the World!
Shortly before ten o'clock this morning a man was found lying dead on a doorstep in St. John-street-road, Clerkenwell, just opposite Sadler's Wells Theatre. Police-constable 223 G took him in a cab to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where it was found that death was due to starvation and exposure.
Right reverend prelates of the Established Church assembled yesterday at the new hall of Sion College, on the Embankment, to listen and speak to matters relative to mission work among the 100,000 Jews residing in this country. The Chairman of the meeting (the Bishop of Salisbury) lamented that the Church of England had done comparatively little for these people. The Bishop of Bedford remarked that they were the laughing-stock of the Jewish community when they attempted to convert them by such an insufficient number of missionaries as they had at present. Resolutions were passed to the effect that the Jews, "God's ancient people," had a special claim to the practical sympathy of English Christians; that for the fund for Alexandria special efforts should be made; and that the whole movement ought to be supported to a greater extent by "faithful members of the Church."
Deserted by All at Night except Policemen and a Few Prowlers.
This morning the police reported that no arrests had been made during the night. Several suspected localities are being watched night and day. Within a wide area around the scene of the murders there is scarcely a rood of ground that is not under surveillance. Miles of streets in the neighborhood of Whitechapel, Leman-street, Commercial-street, and Bethnal-green, may now be traversed at night without ever meeting a female. A few weeks ago the opposite was the case. The police say this will be the case while the murderer is at large.
A memorial, signed by upwards of 200 traders of Whitechapel, has been sent to the Home Secretary, through Mr. S. Montagu, M.P. They say: - "For some years past we have been painfully aware that the protection afforded by the police has not kept pace with the increase of population in Whitechapel. Acts of violence and of robbery have been committed in this neighborhood almost with impunity owing to the existing police regulations and the insufficiency of the number of officers. The universal feeling prevalent in our midst is that the Government no longer ensures the security of life and property in the East of London, and that in consequence respectable people fear to go out shopping, thus depriving us of our means of livelihood. We confidently appeal to your sense of justice, and ask that the police in this district may be largely increased, in order to remove the feelings of insecurity which is destroying the trade of Whitechapel."
Sir Charles Warren has sent out a statement to the morning papers in which he says that the marked desire evinced by the inhabitants of the Whitechapel district to aid the police in the pursuit of the author of the recent crimes has enabled him to direct that, subject to the consent of occupiers, a thorough house-to-house search should be made within a defined area. With few exceptions the inhabitants of all classes and creeds have freely fallen in with the proposal, and have materially assisted the officers engaged in carrying it out. Sir Charles Warren feels that some acknowledgement is due for the cordial co-operation of the inhabitants, and he is gratified that the police officers have carried out so delicate a duty with the marked goodwill of all those with whom they have come in contact. Sir Charles Warren takes this opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of an immense volume of correspondence of a semi-private character on the subject of the Whitechapel murders, which he has been quite unable to respond to in a great number of instances; and he trusts that the writers will accept this acknowledgement in lieu of individual replies. They may be assured that their letters have received every consideration.
Because a drunken woman fell down and injured her chin early this morning, and was found lying bleeding in the gutter, there was a widespread rumor in the district that another horrible tragedy had been committed.
Another man has just been arrested in Whitechapel. He is about 35 years of age, and has recently been living in Whitechapel. He is somewhat confused as to his whereabouts lately.
The police selected to make the house to house search completed their labors to-day. They have distributed many thousands of handbills, leaving them in every room in the lodging-houses. The greatest good feeling prevails towards the police, and noticeably in the most squalid dwellings the police had no difficulty in getting information. But not the slightest clue has been obtained.
THE POLICE GO TO WORK WITH A BLOODHOUND AT LAST.
The Dog Sniffs About the Vault, but Finds Nothing - The Police Mean to Dig by Night for the Rest of the Remains.
Just after eight o'clock last night half a dozen police officers led an ugly-looking bloodhound to the precincts of the new police premises, where a leg was found yesterday belonging to the trunk recently discovered there. The dog was one of the pair that are supposed to have been sworn in as members of the Metropolitan police force for special duty in connection with prospective Whitechapel murders. Upon the occasion of the original discovery of the Whitehall remains, a suggestion was made to the police that a dog might be useful in any further search, but the idea was not deemed valuable. Now, however, when the investigations of a private gentleman and his "spitz" terrier have resulted in the finding of another portion of the body, the police seem to have thought that some use might as well be made of the bloodhound that were eating their heads off in the official kennel. Hence
As eye-witness of what took place says that the bloodhound had to be coaxed and pushed, and almost bullied into the subterranean passages where the search was to be carried on. When the party came to the entrance to the vaults the officer in command gave the order to let the dog loose to see what he would do. The well-fed brute, feeling no particular anxiety of any sort, and being very unused to damp vaults, flashing bullseyes, and narrow plank bridges, simply looked at his conductors inquiringly. He nosed about for a few moments without discovering a trail. Finally, one of the inspectors suggested that the dog might get on better if they gave him something to start on. So one of the party crossed the drain leading to the vault where the remains had been found, and invited the hound to follow. An officer in the rear, becoming impatient, prodded the dog with his stick and at length induced him to make the passage of the plank. Once in the vault and in the presence of the blood-stains on the wall against which the trunk had lain, the dog appeared to
Notwithstanding the coldness of the trail, he rushed about most frantically. But finding no trail leading out of the vault his excitement was short lived. His curiosity had been raised however, and for two hours he went sniffing about the premises, the officer close to his heels, but he always came back to the vault as if that was the only place worthy of his attention. No digging was done, but after the party had left they bethought themselves that the stirring up of the mould might have given the dog a better chance, and it was determined to repeat the experiment in the near future. It is said at the building works that
over the whole interior of the vaults, and that the work will probably be carried on at night, so as not to interfere with the progress of the building operations.
Dr. Bond made an examination this morning of the portion of the leg found yesterday. Comparing it with the trunk, he says it belongs to the same body. It is in a better state of preservation. This is accounted for by it being sufficiently covered with earth to exclude the air. Dr. Bond also says both portions of the body had been lying where found for over six weeks, notwithstanding the statements made by people at the works that they were not there on the Friday or Saturday previous to their discovery.
Is all the Barking about their Value Going to Lead to a Bite?
More consummate nonsense has appeared in the London Press during the last fortnight upon the subject of bloodhounds (writes a thoroughly well-informed correspondent) than could have been believed possible even in the depth of the silly season. Sides have been taken by rival editors, and the virtues and the failings of the bloodhound have been as warmly canvassed as if a great political question was at stake. Divested of the spurious halo of romance that has been placed around it, the bloodhound boom resolves itself into the very simple question - is this dog, or is he not, capable of tracking a fugitive from justice through the streets of London? To this the only appropriate answer is, perhaps he might; more probably, unless exceptionally favored by good fortune, he would fail in his attempt. In the latter case he should not be blamed for failing to achieve an almost impossible task; in the former, he should not be considered infallible, as the
would doubtless be in his favor. Mr. George Krehl, the kennel editor of the Stockkeeper, than whom there is no better judge of a dog in existence, is very careful to let Barnaby and Burgho down easily in his account of their hunt after Sir Charles Warren. He says it was a bad morning for scent, and rather flatters the hounds for not being put off the trail by the baker's boy and the policeman who crossed it. This is certainly qualified praise to bestow upon an animal who is to hunt his quarry in Whitechapel; but Mr. Krehl is cautious and declines to commit himself. Likewise the "eminent veterinary surgeon from the south-western district" - the first letter of whose name is probably Sewell - is a perfect monument of discretion. He came, and he saw, but there all his active participation in the Warren chase ended. Both Mr. Krehl and the eminent veterinary surgeon have reputations to lose, and consequently are not going to give themselves away after the manner of newspaper scribes, by prophecies on the subject.
Both gentlemen knew full well what a bloodhound is capable of doing, but they, and in fact no one else can foretell what evil influences may militate against good work in London. Neither is a bloodhound the only member of the canine race that possesses a good nose and powers of tracking. The discovery of the remains at Whitehall yesterday was not the work of a bloodhound. The Bolton dog which discovered the fragments of the girl concealed up a chimney was a mongrel. All we know of the illustrious Barnaby and Burgho is that they were equal to hunting London's chief policeman in the park. The arrival of the bloodhounds was heralded by much tall talk. This has been scarcely justified by results. True, they have not been asked to do much, but what the public would like to know is are Barnaby and Burgho up to tracking a criminal through the streets of London; or is the bloodhound boom to begin and end in a capital advertisement for Mr. Brough and Mr. P. Lindley?
Narrow Escape of a Family of Whitechapel Jews from a Fiery Death.
A fire broke out at an early hour this morning at 96, Leman-street. The place is a Jewish co-operative grocery and general store, kept by Marcus Landan, a Polish Jew. The fire broke out about ten minutes to two o'clock in the basement of the three-floored building. Landor, his wife, and nine children were all asleep in the top flat. The house, however, is only a few yards from Leman-street Police-station, and not far from Commercial-road and Bishopsgate fire stations, so that assistance was speedily obtained from the police and the fire authorities. The firemen's hose was quickly at work, and a number of policemen, headed by Sergeant Garrard and Constable 35 H, dashed up the staircase and succeeded in bringing the occupants down to safety before the fire had taken a hold. Difficulty was experienced in the rescue of an old female servant who slept in a room by herself, and who seemed terribly frightened on being acquainted with the situation she was in. Fortunately the fire was confined to the basement, which was completely gutted. The building is stored with a large quantity of groceries of all kinds, the place being patronised principally by foreign Jews. There were several barrels of oil on the premises, but the fire was got under before it could reach them. The damage was largely confined to the basement. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Henry Irving visited Bolton yesterday to lay the stone of a new theatre. Thousands of people cheered the tragedian. At a banquet at the Town Hall Mr. Irving said: - Gentlemen, support the theatre. It is a mighty engine for good or evil; support the good theatre, and you will be greatly benefiting the community. In Germany the theatre is a part of the daily life and recreation of the people, and is largely supported by the State, and, as I have said elsewhere, I doubt not but that by-and-bye every city will have its own theatre built by its municipality, its management entrusted to a competent lessee. The theatre is the best antidote to the drink-demon. Your theatre-goer is not a public-house lounger. Encourage the working classes to support good creditable plays; let members of religious bodies know there is no harm, but rather good, in entering into wholesome theatrical amusements, and they will help in disarming many forces which make for moral evil.
A laborer named James Farrell, of 43, Campbell-road, Holloway, dropped down dead from heart disease in the Holloway-road on Saturday, and it was stated at the inquest last evening that immediately his death was discovered someone seized his hat, but was stopped as he was walking off with it. Another thief managed to steal a silk handkerchief from his neck. The thieves missed £3 which were in a small pocket of the man's clothes.
The body of a middle-aged woman was taken from the Thames at Putney last night. She wore a wedding ring, but there was nothing on the body to lead to her identification.