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LEADING ARTICLES OF THE MONTH.
BRITISH CRITICISMS OF THE BALFOUR
R. BALFOUR'S reconstruction of his cabinet seems to have given very small satisfaction to his own party, or indeed to any one else. The most angry complaints are to be found in the National Review, the one Unionist organ. The editor gives a prominent position to an article by a contributor who signs himself "A Conservative," and who speaks his mind with emphasis. His chief complaint is that Mr. Austen Chamberlain has not been made Chancellor of the Exchequer in order that Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, the one statesman of commanding influence in the ministry, should have the powerful support of his son in. the plans which he cherishes for drawing closer the bonds of empire. Instead of Mr. Austen Chamberlain, Mr. Ritchie is Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Ritchie is inert, a believer in shibboleths, and incapable of thinking out for the nation a new course of economic policy. Mr. Balfour's zeal for reform has evaporated at the first obstacle. Lord Halsbury and Lord Ashbourne have defied his wishes. It counts eighteen ministers, practically the same ministers, against twenty of Lord Salisbury's cabinet. It remains unwieldy, incapable of vigorous action, and out of touch with the country and the party, which is beginning to resent the appropriation of all offices by the members of a small clique.
THE NEW APPOINTMENTS.
The changes that have been made are by no means for the better. Lord Londonderry's ap pointment as President of the Board of Education affords the exact measure of Mr. Balfour's zeal for efficiency. The appointment was made as if to illustrate the absolute defiance of tradition and experience which is characteristic of Mr. Balfour's changes. Mr. Gerald Balfour has been allowed to remain at the Board of Trade, where his record may be summed up as one of apathy and inaction. Mr. Wyndham, who is full of promise, but who never gives any performance, enters the cabinet. Lord Selborne, under whom the navy has gone backward, and Mr. Brodrick, who has done little for army reform, retain their respective offices. Lord Cadogan has returned from Ireland without adding to his reputation, and the government's policy continues to be the negation of strength and determination. At the best, the new government will be a government of stagna
(President of the Board of Education.)
tion, tempered by such jobbery as its refusal to intervene in the London and Globe scandal. At its worst, if severely tried, it may wreck the party. Mr. Balfour's lack of foresight in foreign policy is proved by the permission which he has given to Mr. Brodrick and Lord Roberts to attend the German manoeuvres, which are being held in Poland under circumstances peculiarly distasteful to every Pole. The nation is weary, not of the policy of the government, but of its inadequate performance.
AN EDITOR'S VIEWS.
The editor of the National is quite as emphatic. New blood, he says, is conspicuous by its absence. The age of the members of the new cabinet averages fifty-four and one-half, as against fifty-seven in its predecessor. There is no reason to suppose that the new cabinet will be stronger and bolder in its policy than its two predecessors, and it has been received by the country with indifference or aversion. At least half a dozen of the old cabinet might have been dispensed with, without any loss to the ministry or to the coun
try. North Leeds indicates the discontent with which the great constituencies see the choice of Mr. Balfour as premier, and the complete indifference of the ministry to administrative reform. There is a fixed belief in Ulster that slowly but surely the government of Ireland is being surrendered to the Roman Catholics. Mr. Wynd. ham and Lord Cadogan have managed to make Ulster believe that loyalty does not pay, and all classes and sections are united in opposition to the government. Mr. Sloan's election is a spoke in Mr. Balfour's wheel. It is a thousand pities that Mr. Brodrick and Lord Roberts should be brought into a local quarrel in the German Emperor's train. The Russian heir-apparent refused to attend the manoeuvres, although he was first asked. This visit will not add to the popularity of the government in the country, and it will probably result in dust being thrown into the eyes of the British war minister and the commander-in-chief.
The Test of Efficiency.
"Calchas," in the Fortnightly Review for September, reviews in a very hostile spirit the changes which Mr. Balfour has made in his ministry. Apart from the appointment of Mr.
MR. GEORGE WYNDHAM.
(Chief Secretary for Ireland.)
Austen Chamberlain, his readjustments are commonplace, pointless, and inept. The present opposition, even without Mr. Morley, Sir William Harcourt, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, would supply a ministry with a larger number of efficients than are to be found in Mr. Balfour's cabinet. Calchas" deals faithfully with Lond Rosebery's absurdly inadequate speech on the North Leeds election, which Calchas" says was a stupefying surprise to the victors hardly less than to the vanquished. After long immo. bility in national conviction. there can be little doubt that the nation is now prepared, as it has never been before, to change, and to change constantly, until it gets a ministry to its mind. A new political world has come into existence since 1900. The war has destroyed much which was in the national repute, the prestige of British shipping has been almost extinguished, and on the diplomatic side it has been discovered that the German Empire as the bed rock of England's external relations is a rotten foundation. England has completely lost the reputation of technical preeminence in industry and commerce. For the first time, perhaps, for two or three centuries there is no longer a department of national life in which anything like the old leadership of English intellect is recognized by the world.
THE ATLANTIC SHIPPING COMBINE.
THE "Morganeering" of British shipping is
still a subject of discussion in the English
Mr. Edmund Robertson, M.P., contributes to the Pall Mall Magazine for September a lucid exposition of the shipping combine." The following is his brief summary of the gigantic deal:
"The new company then will become the owner of all the shares in all the companies, and will, through its ownership of the shares, direct and control the combined fleets of all these concerns. It is important that this peculiarity of the combine' should be kept steadily in mind, for a good deal depends upon it. The flag of each company, whether British or American, will be the same as before, but a foreign corporation will be the owner of all the shares in all the companies."
The great difference between the British. American and the German-American mergers,the retention of the control of the German companies in German hands,-is one of necessity rather than choice. Mr. Robertson says that the German companies were prevented by their subsidies from entering the combine on the same terms as the English companies.
AMERICAN RAILROAD INTERESTS.
The motive for the deal was simply that the venders thought it to their advantage to sell, and the purchasers to theirs to buy. Nothing more occult than this. The advantages of the combine were truly stated by Mr. Russell Rea, M.P., who said that the origin of the movement was in the business necessities of the great American railroads deriving their revenue mainly from carrying American produce across the continent to be shipped to Europe.
"The old system, under which each railroad company made its own arrangements with the various steamship companies, is said to have produced intolerable confusion and embarrassment in the handling of cargo. When, some time ago, certain of the trunk lines pooled their interests and became one association with one mind and one policy, the organization of sea traffic, on lines corresponding with the organization of the land traffic, became a business necessity. It was a vital matter for them-the associated railroads'to be able to direct the movements of freight steamers, to allot their ports, and fix the dates of their sailing.'"'
THE FIRST STEP IN TRUST REGULATION. RESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S utterances on
the trust question have been approved by many conservative journals which have offered scant encouragement to the ordinary anti-trust propaganda. Thus, the Bankers' Magazine for September, which has no sympathy with those who seek to "make a political issue of an evolu. tion in economic science," strongly endorses the policy of publicity advocated by the President as a first step in the regulation of the trusts. The inventors and promoters of the trust system, it declares, are themselves largely responsible for the darkness covering their operations. It is undeniable that the trust managers gained temporary advantages, in many cases, by keeping secret many details of organization.
Public hostility was excited, according to the Bankers' Magazine writer, more by the prospect of great profits under the trust system than by any real or supposed faults in the system itself. This brought about the interference of the state for purposes of taxation. It was a spirit of greed that dictated much of the anti-trust legis lation now on the statute books, and the trusts have resisted the attack in a similar spirit. They have often appeared to defy the law.
The narrow motive of securing information, for the state or for individuals, as to the moneymaking capacity of particular trusts is no part of the President's purpose in advocating publicity.
"It is to show the effect on the industries of the country and the general welfare of the people of a system of business which seeks to do away with competition. The public ought to take very little interest as a whole in the individuals or
cliques of speculators who happen to be in control or to be quarreling over some money-making proposition. The real question is of the general or universal effect of a business system on the prosperity of the whole people. It is a waste of time to call attention to exceptional financial success on the part of individuals when it is the underlying system that should be examined.
of the law.
WHY PUBLICITY IS DEMANDED.
"Those who manage trusts have, no doubt, in a great measure, pursued a policy of concealment. They have been excusable on account of the manner in which they have been attacked. Public prosecutors, often excited by demagogical motives, with the desire of popularity, have attacked corporations and trusts without preliminary investigation of the ground or knowledge Most of these suits by public prosecutors have resulted in ridiculous failure. But in consequence it has been given out as an excuse for failure, which was in most cases anticipated, that trusts have a mysterious capacity of resistance impervious to the weapons of the law. Like the mediæval dragon, they are armed at all points. But all this is nonsensical. It is no doubt true that as new conditions arise in any branch of human activity old laws become inadequate, but there never has yet been a time when legislators have failed to adapt the law to new conditions when these conditions were understood. The first step is to understand them.
PUBLICITY IN THE CASE OF BANKS.
"To discover the real nature and purpose and meaning of such an economical activity as a trust, it would appear to be better to study it in its ordinary normal existence, and not when stirred up to an unusual kind of life by hostile attacks. The publicity which the President refers to is the publicity of the general operations of a trust, similar to that now required by law as to the general operations of a national bank. The legitimate business of a bank is not hampered by the publicity, nor is any secrecy necessary to the inception of business or as to private dealings necessarily revealed. Publicity of this kind is the trail which shows that business, secret enough while doing, after it is finished, was done accord. ing to law. This trail is so complete in the case
of a bank that if it indicates violations of law, it becomes impossible to deny or evade the sequences of them. But it was many yea
a code of laws suitable for the guidance of the banking business was formulated. The perfection of this code is the result of continual amendment. In regard to so recent a development of industrial method as trusts and combined corporations, it cannot be expected that suitable laws will be enacted in a moment. Time and trial will be necessary. But, as the President says, the people must learn what these so-called monsters really are, and not suffer themselves to be misled by the scare utterances of the enemies of the trust, or of those who seek to use them as a political issue.
The utterances of the President are far in
advance of the usual party platform which, lacking real knowledge, joins in the scare outcry as the easiest and safest political course."
WHAT ORGANIZED LABOR HAS LEARNED.
UNDER this title Mr. Ralph M. Easley, secre
tary of the National Civic Federation, sketches in the October McClure's the progress of trades-unionism in the United States, and sums up the most important lessons that have come to the organizers of labor through hard experience. The first system of regular annual conferences and joint agreements was arranged in the year 1865 by the United Sons of Vulcan, employed in boiling pig iron. The present rapid advance of organized labor is shown by a doubling in membership within the past three years. Easley sees, too, a marked improvement in the character of the unions, their broadening policies, the conservatism of their leaders, and the resulting joint conferences and agreements with employers based on mutual concessions. He gives many recent evidences of this improvement in the situation, such as the recent joint agreement between the American Newspaper Publishers' Association, and the International Typographical Union, and the Printing Pressmen's Union, for five years.
He shows how the president of the International Longshoremen's Union, Mr. Daniel J. Keefe, actually hired non-union men to replace strikers who had broken a union contract. Mr. Easley says that non-union prejudice is dying out. In the Iron Moulders' Union, for instance, only twenty-five of the thirteen hundred agreements to-day restrict employment to union men. characteristics of the walking delegates are improving, the best labor leaders are resolutely opposing any breaking of labor contracts, and they are, too, denouncing the sympathetic strike.
A LABOR CREED.
Mr. Easley gives what he calls "the revised creed of organized labor," constructed from the lessons of practical experience.
"1. Strikes are bad, and should be a last resort.
2. Scales of wages should be determined by mutual concessions in conferences with employers rather than by a demand submitted by the union as an ultimatum.
3. When thus determined, this scale becomes a contract, which is not only as sacred as any business contract, but the violation of which by the union is also the most disastrous blow that can be struck at the principle of unionism.
"4. Sympathetic strikes are unwise, because they violate contracts, bring injury to friendly employers and the friendly public, and arouse public opinion against the organization.
5. It is not essential to a contract that nonunion men should be excluded from employment. along with union men, provided they receive the same pay.
6. The union should attract the non-unionist by persuasion, not force, into membership. Violence in conducting a strike alienates the public, brings the courts and the militia to the support of employers, and reacts disastrously upon the union.
8. Unionists should welcome new machinery. 9. Unions should abandon arbitrary restrictions on output, and direct their attention to questions of hours of labor and rates of pay.
THE RELIEF SYSTEM OF THE MINE
MANY contradictory statements have ap
peared in the newspapers relating to the distribution of the relief fund among the striking anthracite mine workers. Very few attempts have been made, however, to ascertain just what system of accounting is employed in this distribution. The clearest statement of the matter that has come to our notice is contributed by Dr. Walter E. Weyl to Charities for September 6.
As Dr. Weyl points out, the relief system of the miners differs from that of charitable organi zations in that its central idea is "militant rather than charitable." That is to say, the object in view is the winning of the strike, rather than the prevention of suffering. The principle of absolute equality in the distribution of the fund has been discarded for the principle of distribu tion in accordance with the needs of the appli
The funds received by the national organiza. tion were divided among the three districts of the anthracite regions in proportion to the num. ber of mine workers in each, but each of these districts redistributed its quota according to the
requirements of the various locals composing it. Even here a rough approximation seems to have been made to the number of mine workers in the various locals, although some of the locals demanded less than their share, while others, it is claimed, have hitherto refused all aid whatsoever. In the distribution of relief no discrimination has been made against non-union miners, who receive the same amount of aid as the union miners.
PAYMENT IN GROCERY ORDERS.
"The system of accounting appears to be both simple and effective. The district officers have printed order books in the shape of check books, with detachable orders and stubs. A local makes a requisition for one or more of these books, and when relief is granted the name of the recipient and the amount granted are written upon the order and upon the remaining stub. The order which the miner receives is not convertible into cash, but is accepted by the local grocer in payment for flour, potatoes, meat, canned goods, etc. The grocer fills out the amounts and prices of the goods received upon the obverse of the order, and both grocer and miner sign this statement, thus minimizing the danger of allowing the grocer and miner in collusion to convert the order into cash and subsequently into whiskey. The grocer or other small local merchant surrenders the filled-out order and receives his payment in the form of a check. The local union thus retains the orig inal stub, the order accepted by the miner, the miner's receipt for the groceries purchased, and the stub of the check paid to the grocer. The local auditing committee reviews the workings of the system, and the district officials have equally the right to inquire into the distribution of the funds.
FOOD THE CHIEF ITEM.
"The reduction of the expense of relief is carried to a fine point, and relief is granted in a manner faintly suggesting Becky Sharp's famous plan of living on nothing a year. There are many men in the district who will not accept relief, and many others to whom it is not granted. The great army of those who have left do not, of course, receive relief, and men who have obtained work in the region also go without assistance. A corresponding reduction is made for miners or other mine workers who receive aid from relatives or friends, or whose daughters are employed as servants, mill hands, or otherwise."
After making such deductions, the amount granted bears an approximate proportion to the food requirements of the striking population. A
certain sum is allowed each single man, an additional sum for a wife, and still another sum for each child or other dependent, varying according to the age and requirements of each. Relief rarely takes the form of rent or clothing, and nothing is paid on account of fuel, since coal for that purpose may be picked from the culm heap.
EGYPT FOR THE EGYPTIANS.
NGLAND'S administration of Egypt has been so frequently cited as an object lesson of what colonial government should be, that the observations of an American traveler just now have a peculiar interest to all American citizens who are concerned, as we all should be, in the successful administration of our newly acquired American dependencies. There is, therefore, a special timeliness in the article on
The Egypt of To-day" contributed by Prof. J. W. Jenks, of Cornell University, to the first number of the International Quarterly, the successor of the International Monthly. Professor Jenks briefly relates the disasters of the political and financial history of Egypt as a Turkish province, and describes the ingenious system under which, since 1882, the country, while nominally under the authority of the Khedive, has been virtually a British protectorate, if not actually a British dependency. The Khedive. pays to his master, the Sultan of Turkey, an annual tribute of about $3,375,000. An advisory cabinet of six ministers, each in charge of a de partment, is nominally, in the name of the Khe dive, the law-making body. There is also the legislative council, to which proposed laws are submitted for advice. There is a general assembly meeting every two years, but the only power possessed by this body is that of making suggestions relating to the welfare of the country. The most important official of all, however, is an English financial adviser, who, without a vote, sits with the cabinet, must be given full information, and must be allowed to give advice. In each department there is also either an English adviser or an English permanent secretary, who must be given full knowledge of the working of the government, and must be permitted to make suggestions. These all act under the leadership of Lord Cromer, England's diplomatic agent and consul-general. There is an English army of occupation of some five thousand troops holding the citadel whose guns command the Khedive's capital, and this, it may well be believed, lends effective support to the advice of the English officials. Furthermore, the Egyptian army itself is trained and com