Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today -100: June 19, 1914: Of yielding, civil wars within civil wars, neutrals, gunboats, treaties, assassination plots, ethnic cleansing, and damaged kaisers

Headline of the Day -100: “Asquith Yields to Suffragettes.” The prime minister agrees to meet a deputation of East End working-class women, Sylvia Pankhurst is informed as she hunger- and thirst- strikes on the steps of Parliament, having come straight from Holloway Gaol to continue her protest. Shuttle diplomacy between the prime minister and Sylvia was undertaken by Labour MP (and former secret lover of Sylvia) Keir Hardie.

Pancho Villa denies that there are any differences between himself and Carranza... at least any that will interfere with the war. What seems to have happened is that he demanded and got absolute control of the rebel military while Carranza has control of the government.

The American delegates to the Niagara conference, while complaining that the Mexican delegates released their note to the Americans to the press, do the same. They insist that the US is only interested in the pacification of Mexico and deny that they intend to impose a rebel government. But, they say, if the Huerta delegates got their way and a “neutral” interim president were chosen, the Constitutionalists would simply ignore him and continue to capture Mexico City. Also, at this late date, who’s left who’s neutral?

As the rebel gunboat Tampico is sinking after being attacked by a Federal gunboat, its captain, Hilario Malpica, rather than be captured, shoots himself in the head. The story going around is that he was a Federal lieutenant but in love with the daughter of a Constitutionalist leader, who made turning over the boat a condition of being granted his daughter’s hand. Seems unlikely.

Congress is considering a treaty with Nicaragua that includes a $3 million loan to allow that country to pay off loans from American banks. Some congresscritters are threatening to investigate just how it was that those banks got control of Nicaragua’s railroads and national bank, maybe even question a banker or two. It is also noted that Nicaraguan institutions are now infested with over-paid American employees. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan blames the situation on Taft administration policies.

There’s a report that someone tried to assassinate the Russian tsar by placing a bomb on railroad tracks. Russian officials deny anything of the sort happened, but a mail train preceding the royal train did wreck itself.

Greece is now expelling ethnic Turks from Macedonia. Fortunately, the refugees are finding that there are whole villages in Turkey now denuded of Greeks, so they can move right in. Amazing how these things work out.

Given the shortfall in revenues from the new income tax, the commissioner of internal revenue is asking for extra powers to force companies to tell it who owns their stock and what dividends they are paid and to allow access to all their records, and the power to compel testimony under penalty of a $10,000 fine.

I guess the US military is still occupying the Colorado coal zone. Small coal companies are complaining that the order excluding all miners who hadn’t previously worked there is hurting them, while the larger mines, operating happily at half-capacity, have no incentive to settle the strike while their smaller competitors are being driven out of business.

Headline of the Day -100: “The Damage to the Kaiser.; BIG LINER BUELOW IS FAST ON ROCKS.” Again, that’s a ship, not the actual royal person.

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