Saturday, March 05, 2011

Today -100: March 5, 1911: Of Le Juif Déserteur, truces, populistic heresies

The French prime minister praises Henri Bernstein for withdrawing his play, but the violence does not end. The son of the the Comédie-Française’s director fights a duel with the editor of the Camelots du Roi organ L’Action Française. They exchanged four bullets before moving on to rapiers. The son guy got injured. The NYT says that the whole brouhaha couldn’t happen here: “if any representatives of the lawless tried to disturb a performance of a play they would be suppressed, partly by efficient police, largely by the opposition of playgoers in general to rude conduct in theatres. We do not even hiss plays here.”

The Honduran peace conference between the government and rebels agrees on a provisional president, pending new elections in October, so the US envoy doesn’t have to pick one for them. Dr. Francisco Bertrand is a backer of the former president and current rebel leader Manuel Bonilla. His cabinet will consist of equal numbers of men from both sides. There will be an amnesty and the government will pay the war expenses of both sides.

On the last, remarkably foul-tempered day of the lame-duck Congressional session (though Taft plans to call a special session of the newly elected Congress to vote on the dreaded Canadian reciprocity treaty), Sen. Robert Owen (D-OK) filibusters everything in sight to prevent the admission to statehood of Republican New Mexico unless Democratic Arizona is admitted at the same time. He wins that, but the final bill for both territories falls short of the necessary 2/3 vote (45-39).

Then, Sen. Joseph Weldon Bailey (D-TX), who once beat up another senator during a debate, melodramatically resigns – or tries to resign – from the Senate in fury at his fellow Democrats for voting for the Arizona constitution despite the inclusion of provisions for initiative, referendum and recall, which he calls “populistic heresies” in his resignation telegram to the governor of Texas. He had to send that telegram because Vice President Sherman, presiding over the Senate, refused to accept his resignation. The governor didn’t accept it either. Bailey later calmed down and rescinded his resignation, accepting the Democratic senators’ explanation that they also hate those provisions but wanted to let the people of Arizona decide for themselves.

The immigration authorities prevented a ship smuggling “contraband” Chinese coolies landing at San Pedro, shooting at the launch. So the coolies were dumped into the Pacific Ocean and drowned instead. The same thing happened two weeks ago, so they knew what might happen when they stopped it from landing.

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