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GOMPERS DEFEATS THE DEFEATISTS

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DELICATE SITUATION confronted Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor and chief American delegate at the fourth Inter-Allied Labor and Socialist Conference in England, but the London dispatches tell us that he met and managed it triumphantly. The Gompers party had to meet spokesmen for the British workingmen who are sharply divided on the question of peace terms, and particularly on the question whether British labor representatives should meet representatives of the German Majority Socialists at some neutral capital to discuss warquestions. While there is no doubt, we are told, that a large majority of British workingmen are with the Americans on the main issue, there were pacifist and defeatist members at the conference, to whom Mr. Gompers administered a thorough drubbing. As a London correspondent of the New York World puts it, "he took off the gloves and let himself go in striking style," with the result that the pacifists were deprived of the support of the waverers and found themselves sharply isolated. The Socialist pacifists of Bolshevik tendencies, we read, were regarded with even greater antipathy by the majority of British Laborites than the Simon-pure pacifists. The general result of the conference is to make the attitude of British and Allied Labor toward German militarism plainer than ever, and to rout completely its small international pacifist Bolshevik faction, and "the completeness of this victory was largely due to Gompers's dominant will and powerful eloquence." Of his determined stand not to meet enemy representatives, the Chicago Tribune says it is "wholly in accord with the excellent judgment he and other American labor-leaders have generally displayed during the course of the war," and its influence on pacifist and defeatist leaders is of especial importance. In pacifist and Socialist circles, remarks the Chicago Daily News, Mr. Gompers has been misrepresented "as a jingo and arch reactionary, a victim of too close personal and political intercourse with American captains of industry and finance." He has made it his business to refute such charges, and this journal goes on to say that

"The war-aims committee of the Inter-Allied Labor Conference in London has presented a report recommending that the I conference 'subscribe to the fourteen points formulated by President Wilson, thus adopting a policy of clearness and moderation as opposed to a policy dictated exclusively by changes on the war-map.' The report in effect approves the suggestions made to the conference by Mr. Gompers and his fellow delegates, who declared that the armies of the Central Powers 'should be opposed so long as they respond to the orders and control of their militaristic and autocratic governments, which now threaten the existence of all self-governing peoples.' This is the only position that a genuine labor conference can adopt without stultifying itself."

The fourteen proposals of President Wilson may be thus summarized from his address to Congress of January 8, 1918: Days of private international understandings are gone and covenants of peace must be reached in the open.

Freedom of the seas in peace or war.

Removal of economic barriers among nations associating themselves to maintain peace.

Guaranties of the reduction of armaments.

Impartial adjustment of colonial claims, based on popular rights.
Evacuation of and opportunity for Russia.
Evacuation of Belgium.

Evacuation of French territory, and righting of the Alsace-
Lorraine wrong.

Readjustment of Italy's frontiers along lines of nationality. Free opportunity for autonomous development of the peoples of Austria-Hungary.

Evacuation of Roumania, Servia, and Montenegro, and guaranties for all the Balkan states.

Sovereignty for Turkey's portion of the Ottoman Empire and autonomy for other nationalities.

An independent Poland with access to the sea. General association of nations for mutual guaranties of independence and territorial integrity to large and small states alike.

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the basis of your family income, about how much you ought to receive of that $6,000,000,000 in gilt-edged securities which the Government is offering to beat the Hun, and, incidentally, to inculcate habits of saving in these extravagant States.

It is stated that the responsibility for the success of the Liberty Loans to be raised this year rests largely on families receiving incomes of $10,000 and under. Such families receive over eighty per cent. of the entire national income, which is conservatively estimated at $60,000,000,000. Still more striking is the fact that of the 23,500,000 family groups into which our population naturally falls, 23,140,000, having incomes of $5,000 or less, receive seventy-six per cent. of the national income, and 21,175,000 of these families, receiving incomes of $2,000 or less, are credited with over two-thirds of the national income.

In the preparation of the table at the end of this article, we are told, the fact should be borne in mind that the calculations are based upon the requirements of the Government for a full year; the table, therefore, indicates the approximate amount of a family's yearly income which should be set aside. The average number of persons in a family is assumed to be 4.5, on the basis of the census calculations. In using the table, it is to be remembered that it is a table of averages, similar to the longevity tables issued by insurance companies, and is therefore to be corrected to fit individual cases. If the head of a family has few calls upon his income, he should plan to invest more heavily than the man who has debts to liquidate, or many dependents.

Contributions to war-charities, assuming that the large organizations will require perhaps $300,000,000 during the year, are shown in the right-hand column of the table. Systematic giving is recommended as preferable to hit-or-miss methods. In applying the table to the present issue of $6,000,000,000 in

Liberty Bonds, probably the forerunner of other issues to the total amount of $10,000,000,000 more during the fiscal year ending next June, there must first be deducted from the amount indicated by the table the estimated amount of the Federal income tax, which must be paid on June 15, 1918. This amount should be set aside as income is received, and, if the sum is large enough, invested in United States four per cent. certifi

SLACKERS AIDING THE "U"-BOATS

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66

HE SHIPYARD SLACKER, 'as shameful a creature as a coward in the Army in France," as Colonel Roosevelt calls him, is held responsible by the press for the fact that the greatest ship-building yard in the world is not doing half that is expected of it. While the enormous majority of American shipyard-workers are given credit for breaking all the world's ship-building records in August and putting American ship-production ahead of all Allied losses that month, rather bitter comment is leveled at labor conditions in some of the Delaware River yards, and there is uneasiness lest a similar state of affairs may be found in the other yards. As VicePresident Piez, of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, candidly confessed: "The Hog Island yard expected to turn out fortyeight ships. It will do well to turn out twenty." As proof of slacking, newspaper writers note that while on September 13 the Hog Island riveters, spurred on by wagers or prizes or a desire to celebrate General Pershing's birthday, drove 195,242 rivets, only 89,407 were driven on September 17. Says the New York Sun:

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"The trouble comes from slackers of different types. Some are inefficient men, wholly incapable of doing a good day's work, who have wormed their way into the shipyards in order to pick up high wages and escape the draft. Ball-players, actors, pugilists-men from every non-essential walk-have found the shipyards the place for soft living. Their employment has incensed some of the men who really know how to work. In the Cramps' shipyards some of the workers have quit because these impossible fellows were put over them as bosses. The hiring of these dodgers of the draft, these creatures who come to 'work' with flowers in their coat-lapels and whisky on their breath, has been the worst evil of shipyard labor. . . . .

"The other evil in the yards comes from a common human weakness, the desire to loaf, that has afflicted man since Adam's time. In a great many men that desire finds accomplishment when wages are abnormally high. When a workman is able to make three or four times as much money as he made before the war he often succumbs to the temptation to work only half as long. This weakness has been observed for a year, not only in the shipyards, but in almost every industry where war-prices and the cost of labor have fattened the pay-envelops. . . . This, we say, is a human weakness, but it is not easily pardonable. Real labor, the kind that America depends on, will have no sympathy for the loafer who, with a yellow heart and a spaghetti spine, has cut in two the production of ships at Hog Island."

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Patriotic shipyard workers along the Delaware-and they are a vast majority, the Philadelphia Inquirer insists--have no use for the "easy-job" slackers, we gather from the Philadelphia newspapers and press dispatches. One complaint is voiced as a slogan: "It's not what you know; it's who you know." the Cramps' yard 2,000 men went on a brief strike as a protest against the presence of actors, ball-players, friends of politicians, and others, who, to escape army service, were being given jobs they were utterly incompetent to fill. Admiral Bowles, in charge of the Delaware River district, has admitted that "there

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are slackers" at Hog Island, tho the large majority are doing
their best. He has suggested that the fundamental trouble with
them is that "they are getting too much money." But Mr. Piez
has a remedy both for the "soft jobs" and for the "loafing."
For one thing, he has announced that after November 1 no
Class I men are to be employed at Fleet Corporation shipyards,
unless they are skilled men of exceptional ability. Then the
"work-or-fight" rule will be applied to shipyards in
this way, the Washington Post hears: "If any
workman is absent from duty more than three
days in a month, without a reasonable excuse for
such, as illness, he will be adjudged a slacker, his
exemption will be withdrawn, and he will be
shoved up into Class I, from which he will be
quickly inducted into the military service."

In the Newburg speech containing the already
quoted denunciation of shipyard slackers, Colonel
Roosevelt also spoke of the good worker in the
shipyards as standing "honorably forward like a
good soldier in the Army." Such men speak for
themselves in the Pusey and Jones Shipbuilder,
published by shipyard workers at Gloucester City,
New Jersey. The editor declares that with com-
paratively few exceptions the workmen in this
most essential industry "have been loyally at their
posts all through the war." Of course, he adds,
there have been some causes for dissatisfaction, but
"with the present facilities for a fair adjustment
there is no excuse for holding up the flow of
ships while these differences are being settled."

166

confident prediction by those in authority that by the first of next year American yards will be delivering ships at the rate of 500,000 tons a month. Even on the basis of present construction, say shipping officials quoted in the New York Journal of Commerce, after the first six months of next year the United States will be independent in the matter of shipping and will not have to charter British and other European vessels, as at

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Hog Island, "the ideal shipping plant of the
war," suffers from "lacking labor" as well as
slacking labor," the New York Tribune remarks,
since it "has never been able to obtain more than
half the number of riveters required to complete
the forty-eight ships on schedule time." Mr.
Judson C. Welliver notes in the New York Globe
that there are only 29,000 workers at Hog Island,
where there should be 38,000. He points out that
a great many of them are necessarily inexperienced
men, and that only a little over half of them are
native Americans. He reminds us of the charges
of graft and extravagance in connection with building the
Hog Island yard, and concludes that in the general opinion of
those best informed "Hog Island is too big a plant for a single
management to handle efficiently." It does not seem to the
New York Evening Post that there has been much real slack-
ing at Hog Island. It points out that one of the low riveting
records was made on a rainy day when comparatively few men
were at work, and is inclined to think that Hog Island has been
the chief victim of our "good old American optimism" as to
what we would achieve in ship-building "because it was the pet
project of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, and as such the
center of a mass of sanguine publicity." But "if we expect too
much in advance we are not disheartened by the discovery that
we must revise our hopes downward," and, The Evening Post
concludes, "the total figures for our new shipping are anything
but disappointing."

In fact, so far from disappointing are the figures that the
Shipping Board announces that last May Allied construction
passed destruction for the first time, while in August ship con-
struction in the United States alone was greater than the total
Allied and neutral destruction for the month. "Never again
will they catch us," says Chairman Hurley; "from now on we
will be overcoming the early losses they inflicted upon us."
Now that the yard construction is about completed, our energies
can be centered on the building of the ships themselves, and the
Washington correspondent of the Brooklyn Eagle notes the

present, in order to transport and supply its forces in France. According to a statement of the Shipping Board, the United States in August took rank as the world's greatest ship-building nation. There are now 203 shipyards with 1,020 shipways in the United States. The Hog Island yard with its fifty ways is equipped to produce more tonnage annually than the prewar output of all the shipyards of Great Britain. Our yards have been constantly gaining on British yards since the beginning of the year and now lead by 90,000 tons. During the past twelve. months total launchings have reached 3,000,000 tons deadweight, and more than 2,000,000 tons of new ships have been completed and delivered to the Shipping Board. The status of world tonnage to the first of September, excluding Germany and Austria, is thus set forth by the Shipping Board:

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