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The President's Great Achievement.
A Threatened Public Calamity..
CONTENTS FOR OVEMBER, 1902.
John Edward Redmond, M. P.......... Frontispiece
The Progress of the World
The Parties in Interest..
The Settlement of the Coal Strike.
Mr. Morgan as deus ex machina.
Too Busy in Wall Street for Labor Problems... 516
By Frank Julian Warne.
Capital Blind and Deaf..
With portraits of President Mitchell.
With portraits of W. H. Truesdale, F. D. Underwood,
Record of Current Events....
With portraits of Jefferson Davis, John F. Hill, D. C.
Cartoon Comments on the Coal Strike and i
541 Carroll D. Wright: A Character Sketch.... 548 By H. T. Newcomb.
With portrait of Colonel Wright.
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The Bohemian Question in Austria..
The British and American Educational Situation
Leader of the Irish Nationalists in the House of Commons and head of the United Irish League, who arrived in this country on October 17.
Review of Reviews.
NEW YORK, NOVEMBER, 1902.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORLD.
On a desk calendar entitled "The
dent's Great Shakespearean Year," the quotation Achievement. for October 15 was: 66 All great achievements are the natural fruits of a great character." On that date President Roosevelt terminated the most formidable industrial deadlock in the history of the United States by securing from representatives of the opposing forces their assent to his plan for bringing about an immediate resumption of anthracite coal mining, and a deliberate and permanent adjustment of the questions in controversy. President Roosevelt had been told that he had no warrant for intervention; that he must almost certainly fail if he tried; and that he would injure his prestige and perhaps sacrifice his political future if he essayed to step outside the role of his constitutional duties to act as industrial peacemaker in a time of national emergency. But Mr. Roosevelt's whole career has been built upon a succession of sacrifices of his political future. In his
courage mounts to the occasion." Some men calculate with such nicety that they lose all power of bold and effective action.] We have endeavored, more than once, to make it clear that Mr. Roosevelt is not an imprudent or unsafe man, but that he is one of those rare Executives able to think with great concentration; to assimilate varied and complex facts; to listen to many counselors with a mind that does not flag, or wander, or cease to dominate the topic of discussion, and to get the best results out of consultations with a vigor of intellectual digestion that very few men possess.
This anthracite coal strike-which Public Calam- had begun early in May, had not ity. caused the public any very serious inconvenience during its first ten or twelve weeks. The price of coal had, of course, ad. vanced; but poor people were needing only a very little through the summer for kitchen use, and the cool and agreeable summer had been
followed by a mild September. But with the approach of October the situation grew serious in the extreme. Many industries dependent upon the use of anthracite coal became greatly embarrassed. The supply was so meager that factory managers were put to their wits' end to get fuel enough at $15 or $20 a ton to keep their machinery running; whereas, in normal times, their supplies had cost perhaps $3 a ton. The great majority of the retail coal dealers were entirely sold out, and for the poor who were obliged to buy in small quantities the price had reached a cent a pound, or even more, with prospect of a total cessation of the anthracite supply. Soft coal was being largely substituted for hard coal; but it also, in the East, had advanced 300 or 400 per cent. in price, and it was not well adapted for chimneys, furnaces, stoves and grates that had been constructed for anthracite. Furthermore, the cessation of anthracite mining during that half of the year in which the bulk of the winter's supply is produced had created a situation of scarcity that could not have been wholly overtaken by the utmost effort to substitute the bituminous article. With our cold American winters, the fuel supply is a necessity ranking only second to the supply of bread; and, indeed, the supply of bread was already affected, for the bakers in the large Eastern cities had, as a general rule, been compelled to advance the price of the standard loaf.
Thus, the interest of the general pubThe Parties lie in the coal strike had rapidly outgrown that of the two parties in dispute. The striking miners were being supported by contributions from their fellow-unionists employed in the bituminous mines of the country, and by funds from other organized labor bodies, and were not in any dire want. Their confidence was firm, and they showed not the slightest sign of surrender. The operators, on the other hand, -leagued in a firm and closely-organized mo
nopoly, with absolute control of the anthracite coal trade, were indifferent equally to the demands of the miners and to the clamorings of the public. They issued solemn pronunciamentoes, of a metaphysical nature, evidently intended to create discussion and divert attention from the practical situation. It had all along been believed by the public that the readjustment of the finances of several of the coal-carrying railroads, and the creation of the so-called anthracite coal trust, had left the real authority centered in the banking house of J. P. Morgan & Co.; and that Mr. Morgan himself, by speaking the word at any time, could have brought about a conference which would have ended the deadlock and given the public its coal supply. But Mr. Morgan had been in Europe most of the summer, and he was occupied with several other business situations of vast magnitude. The coal trust was in the hands of a board of directors consisting of the presidents of a group of coal-carrying railroads. The headship of this group of presidents fell to Mr. George F. Baer, by virtue of the fact that he had been made president of the Reading Company, which, with its railroad lines and its coal mines, is much the largest single factor in the federated group of interests that constitutes the monopoly of anthracite coal mining, carrying, distribution, and sale.
Mr. Morgan had, it was understood,
"deus ex practically agreed early last spring, machina." in view of his expected absence from the country for some months and of his absorption in other affairs, to leave to this group of railway presidents the full authority to represent the coal monopoly in its controversy with the miners. He had returned from Europe on August 20. It had been the hope of everybody that he would see the impossibility of a solution of the trouble on the lines that the board of railway presidents had adopted, and that he would take the matter up on its own merits. So sensitive, indeed, was Mr. John Mitchell, the head of the striking Miners' Union, to the demands of the suffering public for a resumption of the coal supply, that he went so far-though this fact was not made public at the time.-as to offer to undertake to persuade the miners to resume work at once on Mr. Morgan's promise to take up the miners' claims in his own way, and to render a decision upon the questions in controversy. This remarkable offer was made in perfect good faith, quixotic though it might seem to some people. The leader of one compact party in a great industrial conflict proposed to lay down arms on condition that the one really controlling head of the equally compact party on the other side
should, himself, name the terms upon which future peace could be maintained. This was
characteristic of Mr. John Mitchell's breadth of mind, and of his instinctive belief in the American love of justice and fair play. He believed the miners' cause would be safe even in the hands. of its most inveterate opponents, if the points at issue could but be taken up responsibly upon their real merits.
Too Busy in
The principal trouble in this proWall Street for Labor tracted anthracite dispute had grown Problems. out of the fact that the labor situation in the coal mines has never had (since the change of conditions that has been brought about by the creation of the anthracite monopoly) any real consideration whatever from the people in actual authority. This larger mastery of the production and mining of anthracite coal has been, from the point of view of private finance, a great triumph. The gentlemen who have come forward as official heads of the coal-carrying railroads, and who in that capacity jointly manage the anthracite coal fields, are not in their present positions by virtue of any especial knowledge of the way to solve labor disputes. They are part of a great financial and administrative organization that has been endeavoring so to regulate the coal output; so to adjust freight charges; so to apportion shipments; and-with competition eliminated,so to fix at profitable levels the market price of coal, as to put new value into depressed or nondividend paying stocks. It has been their task to make money for their stockholders,-partly from those legitimate savings by which combinations can capitalize competitive waste; but partly, also, by exactions from the general public. In short, they have been reaping the reward of successful monopoly control of the production, transportation, and marketing of an article of common use and prime necessity. These things, rather than labor problems, had been claiming their best attention.
This modern reorganization of the Capital Blind anthracite business, moreover, was and Deaf. only an incident in that stupendous movement.-centered principally in Wall Street, -for combining industrial and transportation companies, floating new issues of bonds and stocks, and rolling up with dazzling and unprecedented rapidity vast private wealth. Still further, let it be said with unshrinking frankness, that most, if not all, of the men most largely concerned on the capitalistic side have been, to no small extent, absorbed in the bril liant personal opportunities that these Wall
MR. W. H. TRUESDALE. (President of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad.)
Street reorganizations and combinations have afforded for the making or multiplication of their own personal fortunes. Thus, instead of being the men who had best understood the coal miners' situation in eastern Pennsylvania, they have been the men who have seemed to careful observers to understand it least of all,-so intently have their minds been fixed upon other objects and other considerations. It is only upon this theory that their mistaken utterances during the five months of the coal strike could possibly be accounted for, as well as their total failure to see themselves, and the situation they had created, as they were seen by almost everybody else. Before the strike began efforts had been made by patriotic and publicspirited men, who compose the National Civic Federation, to avert a struggle by conciliation. or arbitration. The Civic Federation is made
Copyright, 1901, by Gutekunst.
MR. GEORGE F. BAER. (President of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway.)
up, in considerable part, of large employers of labor. It is entitled to public confidence; and it could have averted the anthracite trouble with perfect ease if it had not found the operators wholly intractable.
Indeed, a careful study of all the Was the Strike facts made it rather difficult not to believe that, for some reason or another, the operators desired at the outset to have the strike come on; and that, during most of its continuance, they did not wish to have it terminated. Why they should have desired a strike, is a question that has been variously answered. Under cover of the confusion there were said to be large transfers of the securities of some of the companies concerned; and it was the opinion, in certain business circles, that the strike had been employed to depress values
Photo by A. Dupont.
MR. R. M. OLYPHANT.
MR. T. P. FOWLER.
MR. E. B. THOMAS.
(President of the Delaware & Hudson (President of the New York, Ontario & (Chairman of the Executive DepartCompany.) Western Railway.) ment, Erie Railroad.)