Foreign Details by the Africa.Awful Calamity in Turin — Destructive Fire in Lenden — Public Anxiety with regard to the Cotton Supply in England, &c., &c
The Cunard Steamship Africa, Capt. Shannon, which sailed from Liverpool at 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 31st ult., and from Queenstown on the 1st inst., arrived at New York at 10 o'clock on the night of the 12th inst., bringing passengers and the European mails dated on the 31st of August.
Dreadful Calamity in Turin.A letter from Turin, of the 28th of August says: ‘ A very awful calamity has befallen Turin this morning. A fire broke out in the Via diPo, which resisted for a few hours the efforts of the fire brigade, aided by the regular troops. These latter were carried away by their zeal for the public cause, and ventured into the burning buildings with a rash courage, to which about a dozen of them fell victims. Colonel Trotti, a brave Piedmontese officer; Major Fiore, of the Carabineers, and another Major of the Forty-sixth infantry, while endeavoring to check the ardor of the troops, were crushed by a falling wall. ’
Great fire in London.The London News, of the 31st of August, says: ‘ At five o'clock last evening an extensive fire broke out on the premises of Messrs. Harrison & Wilson, sugar bakers and refiners, situate in Upper Dock street, East Smithfield, and within a few yards of the St. Katharine Dock. The premises consisted of an immense block of brick buildings, covering more than a quarter of an acre of ground, about eighty feet in height and fifty feet in width, containing nine stores. The loss of property is estimated at £30,000. Messrs. Harrison & Wilson are insured, but whether to the full amount of their loss is not known. ’
Strike in the Iron trade.The strike in the iron trade in the north of England still continues, and seven thousand men are reported to be off work in one concern alone — the Consett and Der went Iron Works. At Consett the reduction proposed is in the case of puddlers 6d. per ton, and in the case of rollers ten per cent. In Wales the rate of wages is considerably below the northern district, and in Scotland the workmen have accepted the reduction proposed.
Mexican affairs.The London Post, of the 31st August, says: ‘ The private letters addressed to some of our first house, connected with Mexico, describe the situation of affairs as very deplorable.--Nobody buys, nobody sells, and nobody pays. Beyond the capital there is in fact no Government, and the position is said to be far worse than during the last three years, when, at any rate, sixteen out of the twenty States were in favor of Juarez, while at present the republic is divided into three factions. The cessation of diplomatic intercourse by Sir Charles Wyke with the Juarez government (although for the moment the former could perhaps not have acted otherwise) is considered as calculated to retard matters instead of advancing them. The co-operation in that respect of the French Minister, M. de Saligny, is looked upon with mistrust, since France's claims upon Mexico are but trifling. Spain, after England, has the largest claim, and then follows America. ’
Absolute necessity of a cotton supply in England.[From the London Times, August 30.] The supply and the consumption of the last two years have been unexampled. All the markets are glutted with cotton goods.--We are expecting an immense increase from India, and the extraordinary step of the detention of next year's cotton crop in the United States need have no other effect than to reduce our consumption for one year to two-thirds of the late average. With one year's notice, it is considered we may easily make ourselves safe for the future. The great fact we have to deal with is one independent of tariffs, of blockades, of combination among merchants or manufacturers, and of every artifice for steaming or meeting the tide of calamity. It is the great fact of the war itself. That war must employ, on both sides together, at least half a million men. There is not far from that number already under arms, and the cry is continually for more men. The apology for every reverse is the want of reserves to relieve the long engaged, to protect the guns, to save the position from being outflanked, and to keep up the numbers to the programme. Battles to decide the future of a whole contenent, and to figure, as New York papers vainly boasted among the decisive victories of the world, are not to be fought with a division of 20,000 men. Dominion is not so easy; glory is not cheap. The Americans have to screw up their scale of ideas much higher than this. How they are to raise the men and the money is another question, but the men must be raised, and if the eloquence of the New York journals is worth the villainous paper upon which it is printed, the men will be raised, and we shall see every man capable of bearing arms responding to the call. But all that will be so much strength and so many hands taken away from all the reproductive industries of America, from cotton, sugar and tobacco, among the rest. Where the disarrangement of labor will stop it is not easy to say. England and the neighboring countries of Europe have seen trades and manufactures rise and fall; fly off to more tolerant shores, or better affected populations; flourish and disappear. Who shall say whether the United States we used to admire, and even envy, may not before long be a page of history? It is not our province to appeal much to the enterprise of manufacturers and the cupidity of capitalists. Were we to advise our moneyed or mercantile readers to ‘"hold"’ cotton, loud indeed would be the complaints and dark the insinuations, if cotton were to fall. We can appeal, however, as the Manchester Cotton Company has appealed, to the recognized duties of the State, and to the public spirit which inspires and assists it. The State has accepted the office of collecting information for commerce, of smoothing its way, and rendering more substantial assistance where none other is to be expected. Now is the time for straining every nerve to develope the cotton cultivation in India and other soils pronounced favorable. So long as this duty seemed to depend on the problematical and unfriendly assumption that America might one day keep her cotton to herself, in order to destroy our manufactures, Government might be excused from interfering in the matter. We are now called on to act, not on a bare possibility or unwarrantable suspicion, but on a plain matter of fact. At this moment the export of cotton from the United States is actually prevented and effectually hindered by the presence of cruisers, as well as by measures taken by the belligerents directly for the purpose. Both sides believe it to be necessary to prevent the sale and export of cotton in order to starve out the foe. Into the wisdom and practical character of this proceeding it is useless to inquire. It is at least a notice to us to take care of ourselves, and, if the Governments of North America are taking measures to keep all their cotton at home, the British Government surely has an equal obligation to procure it elsewhere. In concert with the Manchester Cotton Company, it is arranging for the immediate completion of roads, the construction of landing and shipping piers, the erection of cotton gin factories, pressing houses, offices and stores, the scientific investigation of the cotton districts, the opening up of the Godavery, and, by the way, an increase of the cultivation in Egypt. The Manchester people are strong in hope that India only wants a little attention to supply every possible gap in the American supplies. In behalf of the State, we think we may say that all the scruples against interference in mercantile affairs will be walved when the prosperity of the country and the subsistence of millions are at stake. If the merchants and manufacturers only know and say what ought to be done, there will be no lack of will to do it on the part of government.
Surat cotton were last week exported to New York. We have reason to believe that the following are the circumstances which gave rise to the statement: Some time since about twenty bales of Surat were sent to the United States by way of sample. On Saturday last an eminent firm purchased fifteen thousand bales Surat on speculation, but as yet not one bale of that lot has been weighed over. A short time since five hundred bales American were shipped to New York, and several small orders have been executed on American account, probably with the expectation of shipment at a future period.
Cotton in Venezuela.Mr. Hemming, Consul of Venezuela in London, writes to the London News on this subject. He says:--One gentleman who had sent a cargo to Liverpool informed me that he was quite satisfied with the result. In addition to the above I have the advantage of the best possible authority on this subject, Senor Linden, the Belgian naturalist, who is the present director of the botanical department of the Zoological Garden in Paris, and was many years resident in Venezuela, having recently given the opinion that there are several provinces in that country, each of which is more favorable for the cultivation of cotton than the State of Louisiana, and that in the aggregate they could grow three times as much cotton as is produced in the whole of the cotton-growing districts of the late United States.
A commercial Cure for the cotton difficulty,
Our present stock of American cotton is, say 580,000 bales. Taking the average weekly consumption, at the end of seven weeks this stock will be reduced to 300,000 bales. In the
meantime trade improves; our millions prosper; there is peace on the continent; our commerce is unrestrained, except as regards the ports of the Confederate States.
What will be the consequence of all this?
There will be a large demand upon manufacturers for their stuffs, and upon merchants for their cottons, which must then shoot up to a price, which, if named now, would only raise a laugh.
Let us bring a strong and conclusive argument to settle the matter once and forever.
Suppose unprecedented high prices were given for manufactured stuffs, and the stock of cotton so low that nothing but working short time could secure the raw material for a month at the most, why should spinners hesitate to convert it into yarns?
When the present stock of American is exhausted, their value will be immensely augmented.
Then surely there is no earthly reason why spinners should not spin so long as they can buy cotton.
It will at once occur to every spinner who has a stock of cotton that it is the safest and most profitable course to turn it into yarn with the utmost dispatch, because, should the American war be suddenly terminated, his cotton would show a loss, but his yarns would immediately increase in value on the re-opening of the American trade.
Then what must be done to modify the consumption of that staple upon the supply of which four millions of our poorer classes depend upon for their daily bread?
There is nothing for it but the establishment of a higher scale of prices.
Consumption can only, thus be stayed.
[from Gore's commercial Advertiser, Aug. 29.]
Lord Palmerston's observations on the Bull Run fight.
Yesterday Lord Palmerston was formally installed in his office of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, with much pomp and circumstance, and amid every demonstration of popular enthusiasm.
The banquet was held in the Maison Dien, which has been recently restored and decorated.
The building, which was formerly a religious house of the or er of the Templars, is now used as a town hall.
It is the very edifice in which, according to local tradition, the recreant King John delivered his Kingdom to the Papal Legate, Pandulf, and undertook to do homage for it as a vassal of the Pope, paying 1,000 marks as annual tribute.
The Chairman rose to introduce the toast of the evening.
Having referred to the ancient glories of the ports, and enlogized the character and merits of their distinguished guest, his Worship gave the health of Viscount Palmerston, their new Lord Warden.
The toast was received with vehement and prolonged cheering.
Lord Palmerston then rose and said:‘--Mr. Mayor and gentlemen, it is really not one of those commonplace expressions which are usual on these occasions, it I say that no words can adequately express the smallest portion of the gratitude which I feel for the kind, the warm, the cordial reception which I have met with, not only in this hall, but in every part of the precincts of Dover through which I have passed during the proceedings of to-day.
Colonel McMurdo truly observed that recent events in America should teach us a valuable lesson.
The example of what has happened across the Atlantic shows that you may collect thousands of men together and put uniforms on their backs and muskets in their hands, but you do not thereby convert them into soldiers or into an army--(hear, hear)-- here must be discipline. It is not enough that there should be individual bravery.
Why, our cousins in America, as individual men, are as brave as any that tread the earth. They are of the same stock as ourselves, they are descended from the same parents, are animated by the same spirit, and prepared to encounter equal dangers.
But when thousands of men as personally courageous as any race in existence get together, each man wanting that confidence in his comrade which discipline and training can alone supply, they exhibited to the world that unfortunate rapidity of movement which took place at Bull Run. (Laughter.) That, I say, is no disparagement to the valor of the Americans, but affords, I repeat, a lesson which we curselves may usefully ponder and remember — viz: that discipline and organization are indispensable to make any army efficient in the field.
[from the London Times, August 29.]
The abolition aspect of the War.
The Confederates, in fact, settled the fate of slavery when they drilled and armed their two negro regiments; and the Government merely corroborates that settlement by authorizing the formation of a similar force on the other side.
The difference is that the Southern leaders do not know what they are doing, while the Government is perfectly aware of the import of what it ordains, and thoroughly conscious that it cannot recede from its position.
The position is, however, manifestly and avowedly a provisional one; and the necessary conclusion is that the Federal cause is henceforth identified with the abolition of slavery.
[from the London News, Aug. 30.]
South. Thus the authorities at Washington destroyed the very revenue on which they had calculated. Mr. President Lincoln has now taken a step even more decided, having issued a proclamation suspending ‘"all commercial intercourse with the South,"’ so that by land as well as by sea eleven States are completely severed from the remaining twenty-three; and to this sweeping enactment it is evident that the Federal tax collectors cannot form an exception. The mails of the South are stopped, and the smuggler alone remains to carry on any precarious intercommunication. It is plain that the budget of the last session of the Congress is mere waste paper in the seceded States, and the North is now thrown on its own unaided resources — The banks of New York and Boston have subscribed for the present loan, and just now they are well stocked with bullion; but there is no certainty that what departs will return — indeed, it only can return through the channels of trade, and these must be choked by war. The exports of the South are stopped, and they who cannot sell have not the means of buying, while the new Morrill tariff must restrict the trade of the North. There appears, then, no source from which the stream of bullion will continue to flow into the banks. New loans, then, must be sought for in Europe; but can they be raised in that quarter? Granting that seven per cent, is a tempting bait, it is counteracted by the character of the borrowers, for though the federation has ever kept good faith with its creditors, many of the separate States have repudiated, and Philadelphia bonds have become a bye-word for dishonesty. If we do not insist on the immorality of loans knowingly granted to prolong civil war, it is because experience has taught us that in the acquisition of wealth virtue imposes no restraint which selfishness is willing to obey; and it would be vain for us to urge that every five-pound note embarked in this quarrel might multiply the sad list of widows and orphans and of young men maimed for life. All that we have attempted is to warn the cupidity to which the tempting lure of seven per cent. is now being offered, that the security is decidedly bad; and though the loss of principal and interest would be the befitting punishment of the crime, we hope the penalty may be avoided by rejecting the proposal.