MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER March 1 1909

MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER March 1 1909

MEN AND EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

R. P. CHESTER

The famous French guillotine, or “the widow,” as it is familiarly referred to, has been re-erected at Bethune, in the North of France, and on the first day of its restoration as an instrument of the law four criminals were beheaded in the presence of 30,000 people. For a good many years now the guillotine had been disused, not from any lack of work, but because President Fallieres loves to pardon those condemned to capital punishment, and his Prime Minister, M. Clemenceau, does not believe in carrying out the death sentence. When he was editor-in-chief of the Aurore, a newspaper founded in the interests of the unfortunate Captain Dreyfus, M. Clemenceau wrote many articles against the death penalty; but murders increased, the most revolting criminals had their dcatli sentences commuted, the people became alarmed, the law courts protested, the Chamber of Deputies took the same view, and the hands of President and Premier were forced. Hence we see “the widow,” as the guillotine is called, again brought out of its hiding place, and it is likely to be kept busy

for some time. M. Deibler, the headsman, who corresponds to the hangman in England, did not desert “the widow” even in her darkest hour. He kept her joints well oiled, for he knew that the time would come when she would again be called to the protection of the body politic. The calling of headsman is hereditary in the Deibler family. Five generations of Deiblers have profited by it. The present follower of this sanguinary calling receives a salary from the State of £1,000, and a percpiisite of £4 for every head he cuts off. Besides a residence in town he has a pretty villa hard by the suburb of Vincennes. M. Deibler has a high forehead which might be described as intellectual if his face were not so heavy; his mild blue eyes are far from being as ferocious as one would expect in a man of his calling. He keeps at his own expense four assistants, but he himself looks after the most minute details, even to the placing of the basket.

Great praise has been bestowed and rightly so, on the men who operated the wireless service on board the illfated steamer Republic and the vari-

ous liners which gathered to her assistance. But in addition to the wireless system of communication, there was another device, without which the telegraphic communication might have been practically useless. The electric bell, illustrated on this page, was brought into requisition, when the wireless had brought the assisting vessels as close as possible. This bell, fixed below the water, sent out the signal sound-waves, which guided the on-coming ships straight through the fog to the ship in distress. Without this bell, the time of finding the damaged vessel might have been prolonged disastrously.

The accompanying comparative picture of the salaries of what might not inaptly be termed the general managers of five of the great nations of the world, has a certain interest for Canadians, in view of the fact that our own Governor-General does not receive an income commensurate with his position. It seems as if in democratic countries, the tendency is to pay the lowest possible salary to the chief executive and yet expect him to present a brave front to the world. In the United States they are now agitating for an increase of the Presidential salary by at least one hundred per cent. Our own Governor-General is paid $50,000, and with that sum is expected to entertain lavishly and in every way maintain the dignity of his

position. To illustrate the calls upon him, reference need only be made to a ball given in Toronto by one of Earl Grey’s predecessors which is reputed to have cost him $12,500, or onefourth of his annual salary.

If the average man were asked to name a typical British naval officer.

Two Notable English Obituaries

the chances are that “Beresford” would be the unanimous reply. And now comes news that this veteran sailor is to resign the command of the Channel Fleet, which will hereafter form a part of the main fleet under the

supreme command of Vice-Admiral Sir Wm. H. May. It is not so long ago that Lord Charles Beresford, who is a great fancier of bulldogs, as might naturally be expected, presented each battleship of his fleet with a

fighting sample of his favorite canine, sired by the famous “Dick Stone,” whose value is more than £1,000.

Two notable Englishmen passed away last month, both of whom occupied distinguished positions in the world of letters, one as a creator and the other as a preserver of literature. Mr. Arthur William a Becket wrote for many English periodicals, notably

Punch, though he began his career as a lawyer. Lord Amherst, of Hackney, was a great collector of books and amassed a very valuable collection of examples of the printing art. Owing to financial losses, he was compelled a few months ago to sell his wonderful collection at auction. The parting from his treasures proved too much

for him and he died virtually of a broken heart.

A novelty in a ferry steamer is shown in the illustration. Its distinguishing feature is the floor which can be raised or lowered to suit the tide. Usually in such cases it is necessary to raise or lower the landing stage, thereby consuming time, but with this arrangement the floor of the ferry is

adjusted to the proper height before the boat comes to the stage. It is in operation in Glasgow harbor, Scotland.

Dr. Sven Hedin is probably the most conspicuous explorer of the present day. He is a Swede by birth, and first came into prominence in 1890,

when he struggled to the summit of a hitherto unsealed volcanic peak in Persia. He began his work in Central

Asia in 1893, and has devoted his life since then to investigating the mysteries, both scientific and social, of that unknown region. He travels alone, not sharing his exploits with any companion of equal social rank. During his fifteen years of exploration he has amassed an immense amount of valuable scientific information, in the fields of zoology, botany, geology, morphology, topography and geography.

The theatrical trust of America is the firm of Klaw & Erlanger, and the

head of that firm is Marc Klaw, whose portrait appears on this page. This firm controls pretty nearly all the theatrical business on this side of the Atlantic, there being very few “stars” who keep up a fight against the trust for any length of time. It may not be generally known that a percentage of the money paid by every visitor to a trust theatre goes to Klaw & Erlanger. That means that no matter how small an audience may be, the trust gets something out of it.

A 20th Century and an 18th Century Swiss

The great fighting machine, H.M.S. Dreadnought, of which we Britishers are so fond of boasting, has been long since outclassed in size and strength, as the accompanying diagram shows. With the completion of the Neptune, the British will have a group of eight homogeneous ships. The Germans have eight vessels in hand of one type, but of displacements rising from 17,000 to 19,000 tons. The eight American Dreadnoughts represent three different types, culminating in the monsters Oklahoma and Wyoming, of 26,500 tons apiece. The Japanese ships are 22,000 tons, and three of them are now building.

The Swiss President has probably the least power of any executive head in the world, owing to the fact that Switzerland, the mother of republics, has the most democratic constitution in the world. The President is elected annually and has no more power than his one vote in the executive gives him. He is really the head of the State only in name, for all power is vested in the Parliament. His salary is about three thousand dollars a year.

Canadians have an interest in the Swiss, from the fact that a large number of our best citizens are of Swiss birth or descent. Probably the most famous Swiss-Canadian was General Sir Frederick Haldimand, who was

one of the first Governors of Canada, holding the position of Governor of Quebec from June, 1778, to November, 1784. A number of his relatives still live in Quebec.

The Richard Chronosphere, or more popularly the Empire Clock, is an invention of an Englishman, resident in Woodstock, England. For two

years the inventor has been at work on the device. Its principal intention is to enable the time to be told at any moment in any part of the globe. The invention consists of an 8 inch, terrestrial globe, inclined 23Jd deg., which completes one revolution on its axis in twenty-four hours in the same direction as the earth itself turns. Parallel with the equator is a fixed ring dial, having the twenty-four 40

hours and sub-divisions engraved on it. The meridians of longitude are 15 deg. apart. Any meridian being adjusted to its own mean time, all the other meridians denote their own mean time, and each meridian will continue to do this correctly the whole of the twenty-four hours. His Majesty, the King, has expressed himself

as highly delighted with the clock, which he considers of great, educational value. He has ordered one for Windsor Castle.

The most perfect operating dress for surgeons yet devised, is described by a writer in the Illustrated' London News. The inventor, Dr. Doyen, a noted French surgeon, is shown in the illustration. The surgeon and his as-

sistant wear blouses and white aprons of material that has been sterilized, and the assistants who place these on them wear sterilized gloves. In addition, both surgeon and assistant disinfect their hands, cover them with sterilized glycerine, and wTear over them sterilized india rubber gloves that reach to the elbow. The head is completely covered with sterilized bandages, save only for the eyes.

The new Speaker of the Canadian Senate, Hon. James Kirkpatrick Kerr, is a remarkable personality in many ways. From youth he has led an active career, and there is probably no public man in Canada who is a better specimen of physical manhood, considering his years, than Senator Kerr. His alertness, agility and remarkably well preserved appearance for one, now in his sixty-eighth year, would attract attention in any gathering. As he walks along the streets of Toronto or Ottawa 'his bearing is so

dignified and erect and his step so firm and elastic, that many a head is turned in admiration as he passes. Yet the Speaker of the Upper Chamber is most approachable, kindly and courteous, and there is not, as one might suppose, the slightest trace of affectation about him. For a long period he has been prominent in political and legal circles. As a boy he attended the famous school conducted by the late Dr. Tassie, at Galt and Hamilton. He was called to the Bar in 1862, and became a partner with Hon. Edward Blake, and his brother, Hon. S. H. Blake, the firm being known as Blake, Kerr & Wells, and later as Blake, Kerr & Boyd, when Sir John Boyd was a member before his elevation to the High Court Bench. Senator Kerr has for more than a score of years been the head of Kerr, Davidson, Paterson & McFarland, and holds a commanding position at the Canadian Bar, being elected a Bencher of the Upper Canada Law Society in 1879

Three years previous he was created a Queen’s Counsel for Ontario, and for the Dominion by the Marquis of Lome in 1881. Irp important cases he has frequently appeared before the judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Politically, his record has been an active one. He has always been a staunch supporter and worker in the interest of the Liberal party,

and for twelve years was President of the Ontario Liberal Association. In 1891 he contested Centre Toronto as a candidate for the Commons. A few years ago he was elevated to the Senate. By judicial training, a long public career and sound judgment he is well fitted to preside over the de-> liberations of the Upper IIousç,