Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

in a country where always the "landed proprietors" have owned many square miles, all worked by tenants (once by slaves), the "peasant" is not an innovation; he is the normal farmer.

The Italian landowners, under Fascist influences, see the need of modern farm machinery, and, while the many tenants upon the estates will each do his own cultivating, they will have the advantage of all the economies of bonanza farm machinery. Down with the wooden plow!

And they are learning to appreciate deep plowing, for Italy suffers from drought, and "dry farming" is desirable. They accept plowing thirty inches deep as fairly "deep" plowing, but in some orchards the soil is broken with dynamite more than two meters (nearly seven feet) down. Yet they know nothing of our Mid-West methods of subsurface soil packing to bring water within reach of the roots, nor of a surface "dust-blanket," to stop evaporation of moisture when it has climbed up to the surface.

"How are you developing industry, your Excellency?"

"By greater discipline. Remember that the spirit and character of the Italian is greatly changed since the war -especially since Fascism was adopted." "You favor the American methods of mass production?"

"Yes. And Italy stands first in all the world in development of hydrodynamic power. Italy ranks second in Europe in its marine, and third in the world."

"Will the Italian workmen submit to the severe routine and monotony of mass production, in which one man does just one particular thing, all day long? His stunt may be to put one certain bolt in place as the machine moves past him on a belt. Will the Italians do that?"

"Oh, yes; they are doing it."

"What will be the influence on Italian æsthetics when mass production is developed? Will the lovers of the beautiful find a decadence of taste in such methods?"

"No; they will always keep in touch with the artists. They will continue to make things beautiful, even when produced in great quantities-like the Fiat automobile."

"What if Henry Ford should come to Italy and compete with the Fiat?"

"Henry Ford is already in Italy. He has works at Trieste. Yet the Fiat continues."

True, the great Italian Fiat automobile factory, employing thousands of men, continues to run; but for months there has been public anxiety concerning it, and on the very day of the interview the report was published (even in a country where all news is cen

sored) that 10,000 men at the Fiat had been discharged.

There is said to be in Italy no "unemployment problem," for the Government forbids either strikes or lockouts. All labor disputes must be arbitrated by a magisterial court of three justices and two experts in the particular trade involved. Employers cannot discharge men without Government consent.

The Fiat-the "Ford" of Italy-has been struggling, and it is reported that, following a visit of its President to Premier Mussolini some months ago, the Government has supported it by buying many tractors, for which there is no immediate need.

"Here, I'll give you some pamphlets that tell about our policies of development."

Il Duce did not ring for a secretary to find the pamphlets, but strode to a table bearing stacks of booklets-perhaps twenty-five or thirty kinds-in Italian, German, French, and English, and, while continuing to talk, he searched out titles of English booklets to give his caller, as expressing his version of the problems. There was not a sign of termination of the interview, but I indicated my readiness to depart. Mussolini walked beside me across the spacious room, and at the door he gave me a cordial hand-shake and friendly smile of adieu.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

This work of an illustrative satirist shows a fine understanding of the use of black and white and mastery
of the etcher's line. This voung American artist is also a poetess and a writer of stories for little children


Gilbert Warns Germany


HE young American Agent-General for Reparation Payments, S. Parker Gilbert, has warned Germany that her economic policy is not sound and that she is heading for trouble if she continues along her present road.

Responsible for securing settlement of the war-damage accounts of the Allies and America, Mr. Gilbert addressed to the German Government on October 20 a long memorandum. It has just been published. The burden of it is that unwarranted Budget increases in the salaries of civil service employees and public officials and in pensions and payments to retired officials, together with unregulated borrowing and spending by German states and municipalities, threaten to swell expenditures and loan obligations to a point endangering fulfillment of the reparation program.

Germany replies that the Budget estimates represent the strictest economy, that all loans have been used for productive purposes, and that the stabilized currency shows what progress has been made. The Government would be expected to defend itself. But the Finance

[blocks in formation]

Minister, Dr. Koehler, seems to have A

allowed himself somewhat weakly to be persuaded into approving salary increases for officials the full import and scope of which he did not at first realize. He has since indicated that some of the proposed raises cannot go through in the face of the opposition of the AgentGeneral,

The disposition in Germany is, of course, to contend that the nation cannot bear the burden of reparations imposed by the Dawes Plan. The present challenge to the Agent-General does not seem to have been caused by an intention to create trouble for him, but rather by log-rolling among political factions to please their constituencies. It will nevertheless inevitably intensify the German antagonism to the reparation plan. The stage is set for a dramatic test of strength after next year, when the full

ROYAL legal battle appears to be impending between the subway companies in New York City and organized labor over the question of the limits of the court injunctions relating to industrial disputes.

When, about a year ago, a threatened strike was averted by a somewhat loose compromise, it was generally predicted that nothing but the maintenance of friendly relations between labor and capital in the subway management could prevent the essential questions involved. in that dispute from recurring. That is just what seems to have happened now.

The Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation has, so the employees allege, recently discharged employees because of their relations with a union not approved of by the company. The other proved of by the company. The other great transit corporation, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, has taken

the aggressive in a legal effort to make membership in unions not approved of by the road impossible. This company has lately announced its intention to apply to the New York State Supreme Court for an injunction which, if granted, would enjoin the American. Federation of Labor and its President, William Green, and all its other officers and its members, said to number 3,000,000, from either calling a strike of subway workers or of urging them to join the union known as the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees. An injunction on such a scale is unusual and carries the possibilities of enforcement by the courts in industrial disputes to a great range.

[ocr errors]

The Amalgamated Association is what is called an outside union and is the successor to another outside union which was engaged in controversy with the company some time ago.

If this injunction is granted, the question will arise whether the dissatisfied employees will have strength enough. to carry on the contest with the companies. The question in dispute, however, is whether the employees, as a body, are satisfied with what is called' the company union, which is alleged by many of them to be a mere sham and not to represent the men fairly. The members of this company union are numerous, because membership in it is made a part of the contract which every employee signs.

Some of the leaders of the employees assert that the Interborough Company has offered to teach the less skilled workers to become certified motormen, which is a sign, they say, that the company is preparing to force a strike and is getting ready to meet it.

The whole controversy has made it evident that the relations between employees and employers in this industry are not friendly and that there is no general attempt on the part of the employers to give the employees fair representation in arranging conditions of work and compensation. Such amicable

[blocks in formation]


Gigantic estimates about mass production, cost of converting the plant to its new uses, loss by the cessation of work on our old family friend Model T, have poured out with figures so vast that almost it needs an astronomer to grasp them. But still as we write, the New Model Ford (which ultimately will take its place, we are told, in the Ford Transportation Museum at Dearborn with Number 15,000,000 of the old model) is behind a high fence. A little later, A little later, when the new production line gets up its full speed, from eight to ten thousand Fords may be run off in twenty-four hours.

Well, we must wait and see. This is an age of standardization, division of labor, small profits and big sales-and assuredly Henry Ford is its prophet and the Ford its chief exemplar. The loss by cessation of sales between the old and the new will quickly be made up as 328

the cash pours in from those of us who have been saving up our money and who have faith in Henry Ford's promise that the new Ford will be the best low-priced car he knows how to make, that its price will be as low as business principles make possible, and (we think we may hope) will also please the taste as well as the purse of the American common people.

It is interesting to note that the name of Ford is coming to be known in air traffic as well as on the highway. A press despatch from Detroit describes a trip from Cleveland to Detroit in a giant all-metal airship of dealers who were privileged to inspect the mysterious motor car. This was incident to the opening of regular air-passenger service under Ford control.

Meantime public curiosity about Model A (as the new Ford car is designated) continues keen. Henry Ford has been such a magician in producing the seemingly impossible that one naturally wonders why the new model was not produced as soon as the old one ceased to be. But delay in production, so far from making the public indifferent, has whetted the public's curiosity. It is doubtful whether any advertising could equal in value this period of secrecy.

Everything else having been capitalized, Henry Ford now capitalizes delay.

Poincare and France's Pocketbook

[ocr errors]

OINCARÉ does not feel that his miracle of reorganizing France is complete. Taking advantage of the occasion of the dedication of a war memorial at Bar-le-Duc on October 15, he sounded the first warning note before the meeting of Parliament on November 30. The spring of 1928 will see a general election in which the future of his national Coalition Cabinet will be at stake.

The political break, if it occurs, will naturally not wait for the election, but will come in the election preparations. The chief danger lies in the proposed electoral alliance between the RadicalSocialist Party, numerically the strongest in the Chamber of Deputies, with the Socialist Party, which adheres to the non-Communist Second Socialist International. Edouard Herriot, formerly Premier and one of the leaders of the Radical-Socialist Party, is a member of the Poincaré Ministry of National

Union, as are some of his colleagues. An electoral alliance of Radical Socialists and Socialsts, under the leadership of Léon Blum, would oppose the Poincaré Ministry and probably prevent it from holding office.

Foreseeing exactly this, the Premier said in his Bar-le-Duc address: "It has never been more indispensable to achieve in an orderly manner' and with mutual confidence a monetary and financial restoration which is not yet complete, which could be forever compromised by imprudence, by carelessness, or by budgetary prodigality, but which controls nevertheless, without the boundaries as within them, the future of France."

In an article in the October number of "Foreign Trade" M. de Sanchez discusses "A Year of M. Poincaré" and says in part:

"Certain observers pretend that the success obtained by M. Poincaré in the solution of the financial reform of France was almost entirely due to the confidence which the middle-class Frenchmen had in his personal honesty and capacity. . . . But that confidence would not have persevered if M. Poincaré's acts had not proved that it was well founded. In the space of a year he has balanced the Budget, consolidated the greater part of the short-term debt coming due during the next three years. reduced by more than half the total of the monthly payments of the floating debt, put an end to all the noise about a forced consolidation, and reimbursed a

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »