Imágenes de páginas

fight on Speaker Cannon, although his district in Illinois is a Republican stronghold and the labor leaders could not hope to bring about his defeat in a "Republican year."

Mr. Gompers stumped the Littlefield and Cannon districts, making a number of aggressive and strong speeches. Some accused him of using "threats," of "dictating" to labor, of "invading" territory in which he had no business. He replied that he was doing what hundreds of other campaign orators, including cabinet officers like Taft and Moody and Root, were doing; that he had as much right to urge and advise voters to elect these and defeat those candidates as partisan campaigners had to try to make and unmake careers, and that his methods were identical with those of "regular" campaigners.

When the campaign was over and the votes were counted it was found that the independent labor movement in politics had caused no material damage to the existing parties. None of the candidates on what was called by the daily press "labor's blacklist" had been defeated. Speaker Cannon had been elected by an increased majority, perhaps on account of his "Presidential boom." Mr. Littlefield's majority had, indeed, been greatly reduced, but so had the majorities of the other Maine Representatives, whom labor had not opposed.


Was, then, the labor campaign a total failure? Such was the verdict of many newspapers and party politicians, but the Federation took an entirely different view. Mr. Gompers said in the organ of that organization that the campaign had "achieved much more than we had hoped." A great educational work had been instituted; an impression had been made; two trade-union men, nominated by the regular parties, had been elected to Congress, and the number of unionists in State legislatures had been increased. "We confidently expect," added Mr. Gompers, "a fairer and more judicial temper on the part of the coming session toward our demands."

There were those who thought that the executive committee of the Federation had misrepresented the rank and file in going into politics. They predicted that the annual convention would rebuke, perhaps retire, President Gompers. It not only reelected him and his associates, but unqualifiedly indorsed his course.

The campaign just described had one in

teresting sequel. At the Minneapolis convention several delegates complained of the lack of a definite labor "platform." In a general way, they said, every intelligent man knows what union labor is striving for, but the new situation and the new rôle of labor called for a formal, precise statement of labor's principles and objects. A declaration of such principles was accordingly drawn up and unanimously adopted by the convention. It is less "radical" than the platform of the British Trade Union Congress, but it is doubtful whether three or four years ago the Federation would have been ready to accept it in its entirety. Here it is in condensed form:

1. Free schools and compulsory education. 2. Unrelenting protest against the issuance and abuse of injunction process in labor disputes.

3. A workday of not more than eight hours in the 24-hour day.

4. A strict recognition of not over eight hours per day on all federal, State, or municipal work and at not less than the prevailing rate per diem wage of the class of employment in the vicinity where the work is performed.

5. Release from employment one day in seven. 6. The abolition of the contract system on public work.

7. The municipal ownership of public utilities. 8. The abolition of the sweatshop system. 9. Sanitary inspection of workshop, factory, and home.

10. Liability of employers for injury to body or loss of life.

II. The nationalization of telegraph and telephone.

12. The passage of anti-child-labor laws in fense of them where they have been enacted into States where they do not exist, and rigid delaw.

13. Woman suffrage co-equal with man suff


14. Suitable and plentiful playgrounds for children in all cities.

15. Continued public agitation for public bathhouses in all cities.

cities and towns that there shall be bathroom 16. Qualifications in all permits to build in all and bathroom attachments in all houses or compartments used for habitation.

17. A system of finance whereby money shall be issued exclusively by the Government, with such regulations and restrictions as will protect it from manipulation by the banking interests for their own private gain.

Another development of some importance is the "partial affiliations" arranged by the convention with the national farmers' organization, the Equity Association, which claims a membership of 900,000. This affiliation will consist in the mutual demand for the "union label" on agricultural and manufactured products. Henceforth delegates of the farmers' association will sit as delegates in the Federation convention.



THE HE framers of our Constitution were fathers?" is the question he asks of his readkeen students of history. Monarchal ers; and then he directs their attention first Europe had warned them of the danger from to the claim of the Senate to have the power an Executive possessed with autocratic pow- to control the national purse. The Constiers and the Roman republics had taught them tution provides that all bills for raising revthat equal danger lay in a legislature that enue shall originate in the House of Rephad the power to reduce the Executive to a resentatives. The Constitution also provides mere puppet," a puppet to dance when that the Senate shall have the power to amend Congress pulled the strings." To allocate to such bills. But it seems very clear that it . the Executive and the legislature the exer- was not intended that the Senate should have cises of powers not to be infringed by the the power to amend in the sense that a bill other was their delicate task, and that they can virtually originate in the Senate. How were eminently successful is evidenced by a is it to-day in actual practice? comparison of our growth and strength with the checkered career of European monarchies. More than a century, however, has intervened since the Constitution was framed and adopted, and it will not be surprising to find that its original intent has been perverted. Indeed, questions of constitutional law and reform are occupying the minds of many to-day who think they can detect the seeds of decadence and perhaps disaster in our departure from the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution. A thoughtful and timely article on this subject appears in the In the words of Mr. Mason, of Virginia, initial number of the American Political when addressing the Constitutional ConScience Review (Baltimore), written by A. vention: Maurice Low, the well-known English journalist and correspondent at our national capital.

Mr. Low's study of the American Constitution and life has led him to certain general conclusions which have been adopted by many of our keenest thinkers and writers in public life to-day. His summary of the broad principles lying back of the Constitution is well worth noting:

It was contemplated that there should be: First, an Executive untrammeled by the legislature in the exercise of his constitutional rights. Second, a Senate which should supervise the Executive so as to prevent the appointment of improper or unfit persons to public office, or the making of treaties detrimental to national interests, and which should have co-ordinate powers with those of the House of Representatives except in legislation affecting "money bills." Third, a House of Representatives that should have control over the national purse.

"How far have the American people departed in principle from the scheme of their

The House passes a tariff bill, which the Senate proceeds to "amend" in accordance with its own views or the special interests repthe Senate strikes out of a tariff bill passed by resented by particular Senators. Surely when the House everything except the enacting clause, writes in a new bill, and returns it to the House with an ultimatum that the House must either 66 amendment or no tariff accept the Senate bill will be passed, it is obvious that that particular bill has originated in the Senate, even though the constitutional form has been observed because its origin can be traced to the House.

The Senate did not represent the people but the States in their political character. It was improper, therefore, that it should tax the peoHouse of Representatives, chosen frequently and ple. Again, the Senate is not like the obliged to return frequently among the people. A bare negative was a very different thing from that of originating bills. The practice of England was in point. The House of Lords does not represent nor tax the people.

[ocr errors]

That Hamilton held this view is evident, for, he said, speaking of the House," They, in a word, hold the purse." And here Mr. Low well remarks: very Against this power kings and oligarchs have contended in vain. The purse is more potent than the sword, for it is only when the purse is opened that the sword is unsheathed."

Mr. Low finds another instance of usurpation in the manner in which the Senate has encroached upon the prerogatives of the Executive.

In dividing the responsibility for making appointments between the President and the

Senate, that is, in making the Presidential ap- Said Hamilton: "Should any circumstances pointment subject to confirmation by the Senate, occur which require the advice and consent it was intended to put in the hands of the Senate that power to prevent the President from of the Senate he may at any time convene making an improper appointment; but it was not them. Thus we see that the Constitution intended that the Senate should be able to dic- provides that our negotiations for treaties tate the President's nominees. That possible as- shall have every advantage which can be sumption was scouted as preposterous. derived from talents, information, integrity, and deliberate investigations, on the one hand, and from secrecy and dispatch on the other."

But what is the condition of affairs to-day? The President negotiates a treaty, but that treaty the Senate regards in the same light as it does an appropriation bill passed by the House. It is merely a scheme, a project," an outline expressing the views of the negotiators, which the Senate will accept or reject at its pleasure.


The Senate now assumes the right not only to amend treaties, so that by the power of amendment it exercises the same control over the conduct of foreign relations as it does over the national purse, but also to be consulted in advance of and during the progress of treaty negotiations.

Such was Hamilton's view also, and it did not seem possible to him that "the majority of the Senate would feel any other complacency toward the object of an appointment than such as the appearances of merit might inspire, and the proofs of the want of it destroy." Wise man though he was, he could not anticipate the time when the courtesy of the Senate " would "put it into the power of a single Senator to defeat a nomination; nay, even more than that, to coerce a President into nominating a man of whom he did not approve.' Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, and Roosevelt have had to steer a very fine course to avoid shipwreck of their nominations, and not always were they successful.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Presidents Jackson and Grant keenly resented the demands made upon them by the For fear that the President might betray Senate. The late Secretary Hay complained his country, the Constitutional Convention bitterly of Senatorial opposition to treaty deemed it also wise that absolute authority negotiation. "More than once I have heard should not be possessed by a sovereign in the Mr. Hay say that in dealing with foreign negotiation of treaties, but at the same time governments he felt as if he had one hand he was to be given such latitude as would tied behind his back and a ball and chain insure "that perfect secrecy and immediate about his leg, as he was always hampered by dispatch" which are sometimes "requisite." the Senate."


THE recent estimate of the United States Mint Director that during the next 20 years the world's gold production will average $400,000,000 per annum stands in marked contrast to the flurry and sensation which were created 15 years ago by the predictions of a German professor that, because of certain geological conditions, the world's gold supplies are limited, and that soon we would have to submit to regularly diminishing yields, thus causing industrial and financial depressions of perhaps unparalleled. severity. The effects of the comparative abundance or scarcity of this metal are admitted to be far-reaching, for it has now become the standard of value of the civilized world, and it is in terms of gold that finance and commerce literally think and live. World-wide statistics tending to show that the supply of this metal is practically inexhaustible have been collected and form the

basis of a valuable and interesting article by A. Selwyn-Brown in the November number of Moody's Magazine.

Recent estimates of the world's gold production in modern times place the United States first, with a total output of $2,860,854,000. Next in line, and only one-third of a billion less, stands Australasia, in which country gold was not discovered until 1850. Russia, including Siberia, ranks third, with an output of $1,434,679,000.

In the year 1905, the world's gold output of $379,000,000 surpassed all previous records, showing an increase of nearly $30,000,000, or 8.8 per cent. above that of 1904. North America led with $118,000,000, then Africa with $113,000,000, and Australasia with $85,000,000. In our own country the past year's output has broken all records. Colorado leads first with $25,000,000, and next comes California with $19,000,000,

Alaska's output of $14,000,000 shows an increase of more than 50 per cent. over the year preceeding, and the 1906 yield is estimated at $20,000,000. Nevada, which is again coming rapidly to the front, produced nearly $5,000,000.

In British Columbia and the Yukon gold production has been important; and many of the rivers in northwestern Canada are rich in auriferous sand and gravel beds awaiting the development of the gold dredging industry. Mexico's output of $14,000,000 shows an increase of 40 per cent. over that of 1903, and the rapid introduction of railroads in that country assures a steady increase of gold from that source.

The yield in South America is small at present, only $11,000,000, Brazil, Chile, and the three Guianas being the leading producers. It is a well-established fact, however, that both flanks of the Andes and its subsidiary ranges are rich in gold-bearing veins, and investors are only waiting for the extension and improvement of transportation facilities.

Russia and Siberia produce about $22,000,000, but the Urals and the mountains in the southeastern section will yield rich returns to mining operations. The rest of Asia yields about $24,000,000, half of which is from British India, China and Japan contributing about $4,500,000 each.

The yield in Africa during the past statistical year was $90,000,000. The Transvaal mines are having a temporary setback due to coolie labor. But British capitalists are now developing valuable gold mines in Rhodesia, the Gold Coast, and Egypt, which, in early times, was important as a gold mining country.

[ocr errors]

The gold-bearing areas of Australasia are beyond comparison greater than in any other country." The mining operations there are as yet in their infancy, vast auriferous areas being scarcely touched; yet in 55 years of her history she has produced almost as much gold as the United States in 113 years, "and this with an amount of capital which sinks into insignificance when compared with the immense amount invested in the development of the American gold fields." In 1905 the output was $60,000,000.


And should there ever be need for working the volcanic and sedimentary rocks that are auriferbe found. The waters of the sea, also, are ous the means of profitably working them will auriferous, and there can be little doubt that if ever in the remote future there should be extraordinary demand for gold, means could be found for profitably reducing the gold in the sea




outcrop at the surface are subject to constant Those oceanic gold fields on which the veins attrition by the waves. This causes the shedding of gold which is concentrated by the sea and washed ashore. Gold deposits thus formed exist in many countries, and they are remarkable in that they are renewed or enriched by almost every storm that passes over them. occur in the Pacific beaches from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and throughout the coasts of Australia and New Zealand. The gold output this year is expected to reach $4.000.000. The from the gold-bearing beaches at Nome, Alaska, coast between Cape Nome and Point Rodney, for a distance of more than 20 miles, is being worked for gold by hundreds of men. The beach is, in places, auriferous for a width 2000 feet inland from the tide level, and to a depth of 50 feet.


Gold is also found over large areas in the sands and clay, especially in arid regions, where the gold is extracted by means of the paddocking process. This is done by digging a large basin, called a paddock, about half an acre in extent, in which a dredge is built. "Water is pumped into the paddock from artesian wells, or other sources, to float the dredge. And as the dredge works away the ground to the required depth and width, it fills in behind with the waste removed from the front with little loss of water." Some of the gold-saving dredges, such as are used on rivers, have a capacity of 200,000 cubic yards of sand per month. The cost of a modern gold dredge is about $50,000, and it requires a crew of from four to six men to operate it.

Improvements in mining methods and metallurgical processes are continually being made; so that low grades of ore are now worked with profit, and old mines which had been abandoned are now yielding handsome returns. A further saving is effected by doing away with the use of timber to support the roof of the excavated ground, the waste material from the mine itself or from the surface above being used for that purpose.

The author contends that the world's supply of gold is literally inexhaustible; that The writer concludes that the estimate of Gold in small quantities occurs in enormous $400,000,000 per annum for the world's masses of rock throughout the world. ... gold output is too low.



UR highly specialized state of industry though he may have entered it with ambiis not without its disadvantages. In tion. In tion. But, even as such, even as a piecethe modern machine shop, where piece-work work man, he needs supervisors and direchas almost eliminated the skilled all-around tors, and it is to supply this demand that mechanic, the employer now finds it difficult Mr. Becker is principally concerned. to secure intelligent foremen and overseers to guide and direct the labors of others. Where the mechanics of the near future are to come from is a question which has been asked by many thoughtful industrial managers. The first of a series of two articles on this question by O. M. Becker, in the Engineering Magazine for November, may well command the attention of any boy or young man who is looking forward to the machinist's calling; and it will also prove a fruitful source of ideas for employers as well.

The danger of the specialist in any calling is that he is apt to get a distorted or onesided view of life. To this rule the piecework machinist is no exception. He operates but one machine, year in and year out, does but one kind of work, until the monotony of the reduplicative process makes a mere machine of him, and his ambition for anything different or better is choked. Thus are affected not only the industrial efficiency of the worker, but also his life and social character.

The supply of trained mechanics in this country falls far short of the demand, and a very large proportion of the present supply are foreigners who have obtained their training in their native countries. "The American-born skilled workman is coming to be all but unknown, and the reputation of the American workman for turning out superior products is in reality a reputation belonging in large part to the foreign-born mechanic working in American shops under American methods."



Two sources of supply suggest themselves: The trade and factory schools, and a revival of the apprenticeship system. Of the few trade schools we have, less than half a dozen, so far as an extended investigation reveals, undertake to meet the situation squarely by making the learning of a trade under the conditions that prevail in the actual productive shop the primary object, and the acquisition of book learning' and mere dexterity of second importance." The future good in an extended course, however, does not appeal to the American boy, because he wants dollars immediately; and this being the case, he goes straight to the factory and becomes a piece worker. Factory schools are still in their infancy, and have no appreciable effect in supplying the demand. The best of these schools, however, do not go far enough, and the difficulty of keeping the boys long enough to learn a trade has proved a serious drawback.


By a process of elimination, therefore, the author is driven to advocate the adoption of the apprenticeship system. The formulated set of conditions adopted by the National Metal Trades Association, which its members are advised to incorporate in their apprenticeship agreements or regulations, are substantially as follows:

I. He must be over 15 years of age. 2. The regular time of apprenticeship to be four years.

3. The period to be divided so that the apprentice may obtain experience in the various classes of work and upon different tools.


The American boy is proving short-sighted in his desire to get rich quick." To begin as an apprentice at 6 cents an hour when he can earn 12 cents at piece work by running a machine seems to him the height of folly. But before he makes the choice, let him realize that when he once enters the door of the piece-work shop, he is doomed for life. "Once the machine gets its grip upon him he never escapes. The rare exception only proves the rule." His work is monotonous, his horizon is narrow, and there

It is the judgment of Mr. Becker that

is little opportunity for development even these conditions are good as far as they go,

4. A duly signed certificate is to be given to the boy successfully completing his apprenticeship.

5. Every opportunity of advancement is to be given him.

6. As generous compensation as possible is to be allowed.

7. A bonus of $100 to be given at the completion of the contract.

8. The member shall reserve the right to dismiss an unpromising or incompetent boy.

« AnteriorContinuar »