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Mr. Mitchell was sent for; and he went to Washington firmly opposed Settlement. to the acceptance of a tribunal which one side to a controversy was seemingly endeavoring to make up in a pettifogging spirit in its own interest. President Roosevelt convinced him, however, that it would be possible to choose perfectly fair-minded men from the categories prescribed by the operators, and names were freely discussed. Mr. George W. Perkins, of Mr. Morgan's firm, then went to Washington; and, through him, the employing interests were persuaded to consent that the President should
FRANK P. SARGENT.
(Now Commissioner of Immigration, formerly head of Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, who aided President Roosevelt in securing arbitration.)
Copyright, 1901, by Pach Bros., New York.
MR. J. P. MORGAN.
(Who responded to the President's appeal and arranged to arbitrate the strike.)
add a sixth member to the five they had proposed. Thus, a seemingly irreconcilable situa tion was harmonized by President Roosevelt, when he found himself dealing with a reason able man on one side and a reasonable man on the other. It is hard to get committees to act as sensibly as their members would have acted individually. When Mr. Morgan took up the matter, the solution was near.
The operators had stipulated that the The Tribunal tribunal should be made up of an
army or navy engineer; an expert mining engineer; a man who had had experience with the coal business as an operator or merchant; a United States judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; and an eminent man, recognized as a sociologist. To those the Presi dent chose to add a sixth, who should be an eminent Roman Catholic prelate, nearly all of the miners being adherents of the Catholic Church. General Wilson, Judge Gray, and Bishop Spalding, are men of ripe years and national fame; eminently qualified, by character, intelligence, and experience, to serve on any tribunal of arbitration. Mr. Parker-selected as a mining expert is our foremost authority upon coal statistics. He is editorially connected with a
Judge George Gray, of Delaware.
THREE OF THE SIX COAL-STRIKE ARBITRATORS.
technical and trade journal that has been aggressively opposed to the miners and their organization at every stage. Mr. Parker would have made an invaluable expert witness before the tribunal, and it is not to be assumed that he will be unduly biased as a judge. Mr. Watkins, who was formerly an independent anthracite mine owner, is in a position to understand intimately the views of the so-called coal trust. Mr. Clark-who was selected by President Roosevelt as the eminent man acquainted with sociology-is head of the order of railroad conductors, and a man of great intelligence, respected alike by capitalists and trade-unionists, and thor
oughly acquainted with labor problems, as such." Carroll D. Wright, who was named as recorder of the commission, will presumably take the initiative in conducting its investigations; he is, in many ways, the most highly-qualified man in the country to ascertain the facts involved in this controversy, and to weigh the merits of the opposing contentions. Taken as a whole, it is an admirable commission; and its appointment represents a humane and Christian solution, advantageous to labor, and reassuring to capital. Why should the business interests of this country he endangered by labor disputes and strikes when a resort to such a tribunal as this one is
almost always readily available? There has never been a moment since their present organization was formed when the coal miners of Pennsylvania would not have been eager to submit their claims to such a tribunal. It is a great thing that the employers have now been forced by public opinion to realize that they too must be somewhere nearly as reasonable as the tradeunions. Common sense has indeed won a victory.
A New Crop of Radicals.
The coal strike overshadowed all other topics last month; yet the acute phases of the subject did not prevent a widespread discussion of the principles involved. For once, many of the extreme social and economic radicals were content to be silent in order to hear astonishing avowals from the mouths of men heretofore regarded as the very high priests of conservatism. What was there for the extremists to say when men like Richard Olney, formerly Attorney-General and Secretary of State, should declare that the anthracite operators who had called on the President to suppress the law-breaking strikers, were themselves "the most unblushing and persistent law-breakers." Continuing in this vein Mr. Olney, said:
For years they have discriminated between customers in the freight charges on their railroads in violation of the interstate commerce law. For years they have unlawfully monopolized interstate commerce in violation of the Sherman anti-trust law. Indeed, the very best excuse and explanation of their astonishing attitude at the Washington conference is that, having violated so many laws for so long and so many times, they might rightfully think they were wholly immune from either punishment or reproach.
A BREAKER IN THE HARD-COAL REGION, WITH SOFT-COAL TRAINS PASSING EN ROUTE TO NEW YORK.
There were no doubts whatever as to the views and sympathies of ex-President Cleveland, who heartily approved of the steps taken by President Roosevelt. As against the assertion by the operators of the unqualified right to manage. their own affairs without interference, either from the workmen or from the public, the answer of aroused American conservatism was that in the last analysis the rights of the private owners of the coal mines were least important of all. The most fundamental right was that of
the public to obtain its necessary fuel supplies. Next in importance was the well-being of the large population employed in the hard and dangerous work of mining coal for public use. American conservatism will not confiscate anybody's property, and it will doubtless deal most tenderly with the issues of watered stocks and bonds that the monopoly exploitation of the anthracite coal fields has converted into the semblance of sacred vested interests.
But American economic thinking An Advance has made a great advance. Public ownership of coal mines has now been talked of, not merely by the class of men called rabid socialists, but by hard-headed business men and shrewd practical politicians. We are not, indeed, going to have public ownership and operation of coal mines in the United States at any time in the near future ;—at least, there is no probability of such a development. But we may fairly hope to have a state of public intelligence and political honesty which will bring about the rigid enforcement of means to regulate and control such combinations as the one which has brought on this great anthracite trouble of the present year. One of the disadvantages of the country is, that so many lawyers of the ability and force of Mr. Richard Olney, instead of being engaged on the side of the public, are the advisers of the great trusts and combinations which rely upon expert legal counsel to point out the way to violate the laws. Meanwhile, there has also been a renewed study of labor questions, and a hopeful revival of interest in the question how best to keep the peace between capital and labor.
Those misunderstandings and conAmerican flicts which have so disturbed Euro
Principles. pean industry, and curtailed its development, are not wanted in the United States. This country has prospered on two general principles, (1) that of encouraging the largest pos sible output, and (2) that of paying liberal wages; while English and European tradeunionism has stood for small output, fixity of condition, and stagnant rather than buoyant industry. The kind of trade-unionism that refuses to give the industrious and ambitious man a chance, as against the lazy, inferior, and incompetent workman, is mischievous; and it must be reformed, or destroyed. Strikes are a perilous resort, and are always evidence of stupidity on one side or on both sides; and, generally, of turpitude on the one side or the other. The public does not hold to severe enough account the men who are ultimately discovered to
have been responsible for a needless labor conflict. Some labor leaders are reckless and fanatical, and some capitalists are pompous and arbitrary; but the leaders on both sides are usually well-meaning, and responsive to an ap peal to the sense of fair play. The real fault will generally be found to lie simply in a lack of intelligence. This is the trouble that chiefly afflicts Wall Street at present in its new rôle as center of American industrial activity.
The ignorance of Wall Street touchIgnorance in ing the history of labor movements, the personality of labor leaders, the aims of trade-unionism, and the ordinary working in the labor market of the law of supply and demand, is greater than is commonly believed. lieved. Wall Street very much dreads and dislikes what it calls a harsh and indiscriminate attempt at the enforcement of the anti-trust laws; yet it has been indulging in the fantastic dream that, with its new and experimental weapons of industrial combination, it could at once go forth and destroy so firmly established a force as trade-unionism. It would seem clear to the most ordinary intelligence that the one indispensable policy for Wall Street to adopt was that of liberality toward labor and large encouragement to trade-unionism. Trust methods make it easily possible for industries to pay good wages and keep the peace with their men ; and thereby they strengthen themselves at a thousand points. "Collective bargaining," made possible by the existence on the one side of large capitalistic combinations, and of tradeunions on the other side, affords the easiest and best attainable method by which the trust magnates can keep clear of labor troubles, and carry on their affairs profitably and safely. To many thoughtful observers of this strike in its successive phases, the most painful and the most disquieting thing of all, therefore, was the revelation it gave of the short-sightedness of a group of employers who were risking everything they had to fight desperately against the very methods of dealing with their labor-problems that would have been most beneficial to themselves. The worst of it was they thought their ignorance wisdom, and distrusted the wisdom of their own friends who really knew. There were individual men in Wall Street who would have arrived at wise conclusions; but they were not given the full opportunity.
Thus, the final concessions were An Exceptional coaxed out of the operators at the last moment by Mr. George W. Perkins, of Mr. Morgan's firm; and there had never
been a time for eighteen months or two years when, if Mr. Perkins had been authorized to act for the capitalists as Mr. Mitchell was acting for the laborers, the situation could not have been promptly harmonized to the permanent, as well as the temporary, advantage of everybody concerned. He understands that capital and labor should be joint industrial forces; that one needs the other; that it is good for the country that both should be prosperous; and that it is just as fair for one as for the other to be organized, and to deal through accredited representatives. He can grasp the essential principles, and he is practical. It was not men of Mr. Perkins' type who ever supposed that the circulation of petty slanders about John Mitchell would help to settle the anthracite deadlock. Organized labor certainly needs honest and upright leadership; and fortunately, in men like John Mitchell, and like Mr. Clark, of the Railway Conductors,whom President Roosevelt has selected as a member of the arbitration board,-American trade-unionism to-day has a number of men who lead wisely and intelligently. But, on the other hand, the vast aggregations of organized capital also need wise leadership, and they cannot well endure many such shocks of confidence as this anthracite trouble has produced.
Centralized The combinations of capital are not Human Wel- all of them predatory or improper;
fare. many of them are excellently conducted, and they are becoming great balancewheels, so to speak, that help like the succession of regular crops to keep the flow of national prosperity smooth and steady. Thus, Mr. Morgan's great steamship combination is a most legitimate and admirable triumph of industrial organization and financiering genius. The Steel Corporation bids fair to prove itself not a trust, in any monopoly sense, but a wonderful experiment in the field of industrial economics, a creditable evolution and a valuable factor in this country's prosperity. A number of the great railroad combinations, in like manner, are in the line of genuine progress. Apart from technical questions of a legal nature, it is not to be assumed, off-hand, that even the anthracite operators' agreement is not also a move in the right direction. But the responsibility that goes with the conduct of these vast enterprises cannot be best exercised by men whose mood is arrogant. Power, when it makes men ruthless, is not in fit hands. Let us hope Wall Street will have learned something from this last experience; and that it will, at least, have a better instinct as to the men competent to give it advice in problems involving human welfare.
The politicians had been much puzzled over the question how this strike would affect the approaching elections. Early in October-when the President's efforts seemed doomed to failure through the obduracy of the capitalists, it was widely believed that the new Congress would be overwhelmingly Democratic. whelmingly Democratic. President Roosevelt, himself, probably shared in that opinion. No very logical reason could be given; but, as a rule, in this country the party in power is always punished for anything in the nature of a widespread calamity. It has seemed to fall peculiarly to the lot of the Democratic party to claim that it ought to be rewarded when the people are in trouble; but that is merely because the Republicans happen to have been dominant in our generation much more than half the time. If the political pendulum should prove to have swung the other way this fall, it will not be due to any lack of popular affection for the President and confidence in him. Republican candidates for Congress, indeed, would many of them have been in better position before the people this fall if there had not been something of a prevalent impression that the majority party in Congress had not been supporting the Pr dent with due loyalty.
The Political Pendulum.