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Coal Prices

covers ordinances of this description. It company, said: “Where dealers seek to reads as follows:

obtain an unfair profit from the public, The court cannot undertake to guarantee

you will promptly take steps to supply the the company any fixed or certain returns upon reasonable demands of the public directly," its investment. The exercise of such a power and still later it was generally announced would work an utter destruction of the legislatire right to regulate rates of water companies

by the press that the coal operators would and other corporations operating works of open agencies in New York, if it were public utility. We think the decisions have

necessary, to bring the price of coal down already gone to the verge of safety in nullify

to $6.50 per ton. It is not necessary to ing legislative acts of this character; and to go jarther and say that the courts will not

maintain that Government has a right only preserve property from confiscation and to regulate prices in order to show that destruction by legislative power, but will also when an article of universal need is sold assure to its owners a definite and fixed rate

at exorbitant profit--running in this inof profit upon their investment, would be an act of judicial usurpation.

stance from $3 to $6 per ton—the rights of the people to secure the necessities of

existence at living prices must be upheld An aspect of the coal question in some manner. Exorbitant

that deserves immediate atten

tion is that of price. The rich man's present annoyance and difficulty

One way of upholding the

The Duty on are as to obtaining coal at any price, Coal

people's coal rights is to while the wants of the very poor man

remove the duty. A correhave, to a considerable extent at least, spondent in western Connecticut informs been met by provision for the sale of coal us that, “ inspired by The Outlook's ediin pails at a price not much higher than torial [in the issue for December 20] on ordinarily prevails for this kind of trade. the duty of Congress and the duty on coal, But there are a vast number of people citizens are circulating this petition in this who are unwilling to purchase their coal and several other Connecticut towns : supply by the pailful, to whom, neverthe- “To the National Congress: We, undersigned less, the increase from a fair to an exor

citizens and voters, in view of the widespread bitant price is a very serious burden. It schools, and our churches, and in view of the

want for coal in our homes, our factories, our is understood that the operators and whole. continued high prices of what little coal there sale dealers are selling coal at not over is to be had, demand of Congress an immedi$5.50 per ton for domestic purposes; but

ate suspension of all duties on all coals from

outside of our National boundaries, for a in New York the retail prices still reach

period of not less than six months. And that $3 and even $12. Is there no remedy Congress shall do all in its power not only to for this? Have the operators no public · make the importation of coal free, but also to duty in the matter? It may be said that

encourage by all possible means its immediate the retail dealers have a right to a larger people. We call upon our local member of

importation to meet the serious needs of the protit than usual on account of their losses Congress to present this petition immediately during the summer, and the cost and to the assembled Congress.” trouble of selling coal one ton at a time He adds: “Men of every class are signing instead of the larger usual quantities; with intense interest and the strongest debut, allowing for this, the margin of profit termination that something shall be done. still remains not only large, but, in the The signers are merchants, manufacturers, opinion of many, extortionate. It is factory lands, professional believed by those who understand the farmers. I have never seen anything of trade that the retail dealers depend upon the kind taken hold of with such unanimthe operators, and that in ordinary times ity and intensity. The very politicians the retail prices are largely governed by whom I thought might hesitate, for supthe operators' wishes. Now, it will be posed prudential partisan reasons, have remembered that the operators have made thrown all such feeling to the winds. A certain public promises. In one interview man whom I most expected to hesitate Mr. Baer is reported to have said: “There exclaimed: WhatI sign to suspend the will be plenty of winter coal here at a fair duty on coal for six months ? I would be price.On October 23 last Mr. Baer, glad to sign to remove such duty forin a letter to the general manager of his ever!?” The form of petition which our correspondent sent us is a convenient abandonment of annual sessions. Fortuone, and we hope that other communities nately, we have no reason to fear that the will adopt the method which he describes Alabama reformers will abandon their agiof bringing the sentiments of the voters tation even if they are defeated this year. directly to the attention of Congress. It A recent letter from one of them says: is well to write personally to individual I have just returned from a mill where the Representatives and Senators, but it must employees, children and all, are worked for be remembered that many citizens will

men, and

thirteen hours a day—from 5:30 in the morn

ing to 6:30 at night, with but twenty minutes sign a petition who will not venture to

for dinner. The same mill, when it is rushed, take the responsibility, or who cannot works its hands from three to four nights in take the time, to write a personal letter. succession until 9:30 and sometimes 10 o'clock. We have as yet to see a single sound objec- Such exploitation as this of the physical tion made to the proposal that American strength of half-grown children, such citizens should be relieved, at least tem- deprivation of the pleasures of childhood porarily, of the illogical and-at the and of the mental equipment needed for present moment-insufferable burden of

maturer years, are sure to touch the hearts being taxed for exercising their right of all who have no pecuniary interests in to protect themselves against cold and maintaining the false system, and the disease.

supporters of the reform know that they

have only to continue their work to sucOne more Southern ceed. Our correspondent believes that The Child Labor Conflict State seems to have the cause will also appeal to the conat the South

responded to the sciences of those who are financially appeal for legislation restricting the em- interested in maintaining the present sysployment of children in factories. In tem, and asks us, so far as we are able, Virginia the House of Delegates has to appeal to the New England stockpassed an act prohibiting factory labor holders in Southern mills to use their for children under twelve, and regulating influence with their corporations on the the labor of those between twelve and side of humanity. “ If,” he writes, “the fourteen. The Senate is likely to concur, Northern men who are involved in these and the influence of Virginia be put on Southern enterprises will get squarely and the side of those who have so long been explicitly on the side of legislation, every struggling for a similar law in Alabama State in the South can have a child-labor and hope to see the fruits of their labors law before the first of March." when their Legislature meets next month. Unfortunately, however, another Southern State nearer than Virginia has kept its

The consternation influence on the wrong side—the Georgia

Damages Awarded

created in trade

Against a Trade-Union Legislature having adjourned for four years

union circles last without enacting the moderate child labor year, when the House of Lords decided in law demanded. As Alabama also now the Taff Vale Railway case that a tradehas a Constitution providing for legislative union could be made a party to a suit,

a a sessions only once in four years, the cor- was increased last week when the jury, in porate influences opposed to restriction a damage suit brought by the same railare likely to take courage from their suc- road, awarded the company damages to cess in Georgia and fight desperately in the amount of $135,000 against the union Alabama also against any restrictive to which its striking employees belonged measure, knowing that the defeat of the the Amalgamated Society of Railway Serreform this year gives them four years more vants. Until the decision of the House of license, and puts upon the reformers of Lords last year, the historians of labor the necessity of keeping up an agitation legislation in Great Britain had uniformly during a long period when public attention laid it down as a fundamental principle

a is hard to arouse because no legislative that a trade-union could neither sue nor action is possible. This obvious effect be sued. In fact, Parliament had so careof infrequent sessions of the Legislature fully avoided any enactment compromising ought to be considered in the Northern this principle that it was generally sup States which are considering the proposed posed to have adopted it in its full vigor, . In the case brought before the Law Lords back. All these men have been thrown it was only the right of a court to enjoin a upon the labor market since August. union from a certain form of picketing Simultaneously there came slack times that was directly involved, but the de and lower wages in the great industrial cision that the union as an association centers of England and Scotland, espe could be made the party to a suit car- cially in the engineering and ship-building ried with it the doctrine that the funds of trades. The various Government facsuch an association were liable to attach- tories have also been dismissing men in ment in any damage suit that might be large numbers since the peace, and as brought. In the case decided last week trade generally is showing some decline, this doctrine was applied. The Amal- the outlook for the industrial population gamated Society and its officials, includ- is more gloomy this winter than it has ing Richard Bell, M.P., have been been at any time since 1892–3. At that found guilty of maintaining a system of time the municipalities, at the instigation picketing and terrorism to bring about a of the Government, found work for many strike and prevent the employment of non- of the unemployed, and it now seems union men, and are held responsible for probable that public works will have to all damages resulting to the railroad from be started to help the growing army of these actions. These damages, as before the unemployed over the present winter. stated, are reckoned at 27,000 pounds While the war was on, it was expected in sterling. In England the situation is England that a large number of soldiers likely to call for Parliamentary action would settle in South Africa when peace defining more precisely just what forms was declared. The War Office took measof picketing a union may employ, and just ures to facilitate such settlements. But what acts of individual unionists may be the vast majority of the men whose periods laid at the door of the organization. The of service ended with the war preferred English unions have always found Parlia- to return and take their chances in the ment much more friendly to them than labor market at home. From July to the courts, and they naturally expect to September last there was a considerable do so again, but it does not seem likely working-class emigration to South Africa. to American observers that Parliament There are, however, comparatively few will give new sanction to the old doctrine opportunities for an industrial population that a union cannot be held legally respon- in South Africa, and many of the men sible for its official acts. Certainly in New who went out from England are back York State, under the code of civil pro- again and are adding to the congestion of cedure, “ unincorporated associations con- the labor market at home. Many more sisting of more than seven members”. are stranded in the coast cities of South which have been held to include unincorpo- Africa, and in Cape Town the Governjat :d trades-unions—can be sued through ment has had to take measures for the actions brought against their presidents relief of these men. In Germany even and treasurers, and the property of the darker conditions are depicted in the association bound by the judgments given. iabor reports, though in that country the The general principle that there can be situation is neither complicated nor exno power without responsibility is one to plained by returning troops. According which no exception can be made in favor to the quarterly bulletin of the New York of the labor union.

Department of Labor--the best publication of its kind in the country- it was

simply the " speculation and overproducIn sharp contrast with tion in certain industries” which proA Hard Winter in the commercial prosper- duced the crisis. Significantly, this specEurope

ity here are the hard ulation and relative overproduction were times now reported in the principal coun- most marked in the industries controlled tries in Europe. In England the disband- by the great syndicates or trusts, which ing of the troops who served in South proved no better able than competing Africa has most seriously disturbed the concerns to reckon the future market labor market. Since the war came to an for their products. In Austria, accordend 110,000 soldiers have been brought ing to a recent despatch from Vienna, there are “in the iron trade alone one to do this. This means that not only in hundred and forty thousand men without Berlin women will not be matriculated, employment. Many factories are closed

Many factories are closed and can attend lectures only as “hearers or are running half-time. The authorities by special permission, but that probably fear an epidemic of typhus and far-reach- the majority of these institutions throughing famine.” The Austrian despatch goes out the country will follow the example of on to state that the industrial situation the leading Prussian school. As matters there is causing an enormous emigration now stand, only the Duchy of Baden, with to the United States, and our immigra- its two territorial universities of Heideltion reports here confirm this conclusion. berg and Freiburg, will permit women Immigrants to the port of New York are to matriculate and take a degree with more numerous than ever before, and the exactly the same conditions that obtain in height of the tide is the measure not only the case of men. In all of the other uniof prosperity here but of relative adversityversities women cannot become full-fledged abroad. Even from the most selfish students, and can be admitted to examinastandpoint, the hard times abroad are tions only as a special favor. Baden has matters for concern here. The army of in general exhibited a marked degree of un employed there means decreased con- liberality in extending the privileges of sumption of American goods, and lower its high schools to women, not only adwages there means cheaper production of mitting them to its universities, but also manufactures to displace American prod- to the regular gymnasium or secondary ucts in the newly gained markets. The schools at Pforzheim and elsewhere, and industrial world is one body, and a severe even establishing regular colleges for injury to one member has in time a weak- girls, 1. g. at Carlsruhe, leading up to the ening effect upon all.

universities. In this latter respect it has been timidly followed by Oldenburg and

one or two other smaller States of the Facts are increasing to German Empire; but as yet nearly all of The Woman Question show that in official cir- the girls' colleges in Germany correspondin Germany

cles in Germany a reac- ing to the regular classical gymnasium and tion has set in against further concessions the scientific Oberrealschule for boy's, of in the woman question. In the Father which colleges the best are found in Berland this problem is confined almost en- lin, Leipzig, Breslau, and Hanover, are tirely to the departments of higher educa- the work of private enterpri e.

As long tion and public service, and only to a as the all-powerful State of Prussia shows very limited degree has it also a political so little inclination to make real concesaspect. Remarkable progress had been sions to the movement, but little permamade, especially in the attendance of nent and tangible gains can be expected. women at the universities. Here the And in Prussia the reaction is seemingly high-water mark of 1,262 was reached stronger than elsewhere. In Koenigsberg one year ago, and even last spring a total new restrictions were enacted that virof 1,029 was reported. Now only 737 tually exclude women from the medical women are enrolled in the twenty-one department, and this example has been universities of the country, and the prob- followed by Halle and Saxon Leipzig. It abilities are that there will be a further is rather remarkable that even where decrease, as the authorities in a number

can matriculate they make little of cases have assumed a hostile attitude use of this privilege. In Heidelberg, out toward the agitation. Notably is this the of 70 women students only 16 are macase in Berlin, where the conditions for triculated, and in Freiburg out of 43 admittance have been made more strin- only 18. A woman contingent is found gent, with the result that the enrollment at all of the German universities except decreased from 622 to 370 in a single the three smaller institutions at Greifswald, semester. Still more significant is the Münster, and Rostock, the attendance at fact that the University Senate, in re- the others ranging from 370 in Berlin to 2 sponse to a petition to admit women to in Tübingen. This

This same reactionary university privileges on exactly the same tendency appears also in the official de footing as the men, has promptly refused cree of the German Imperial Government


directing that henceforth special care shall the Transvaal, the Orange River Colony, be taken not to employ weak women in and Rhodesia-will be represented. the post-office and telephone departments, Under the existing Customs Union the nor in the public schools, the statistics of general rate of duties averages seven and recent years having shown that the physi a half per cent.

None of the South cal condition of women only in exceptional African colonies has any other productive cases permitted them to do their full duty industry than mining. There is no proin these callings, a fact probably explained tection to any industrial interests in the by the rigorous demands made by the existing tariff; but the Dutch farmers of German Government on all of its officials. Cape Colony have adequate protection

for home grown produce, and they have

also preferential rates on the railroads, The conference on the which add considerably to the protection The Customs Union Customs Union to be afforded colonial agriculture. In spite of and South Africa

held early in the new this protection to agriculture, neither Cape year will be the first occasion on which Colony nor Natal raises sufficient produce - there will be a meeting of representatives to supply its own needs. In the cities of of the old and new British colonies in the older colonies there is a strong feeling South Africa. Cape Colony, Natal, and that duties on foodstuffs should be rethe Free State were in a Customs Union duced, and that any deficit due to these before the war. The Transvaal had reductions should be made good by excise stood outside the Union, and had a tariff taxes, of which there are none at present. with many high duties which pressed The Transvaal representatives will go heavily on the mining companies and on into the conference to obtain lower duties the commercial and industrial population on all foodstuffs, but they will meet with of Johannesburg and the Rand. From much opposition from the Dutch element May, 1900, all the Transvaal laws have in Cape Colony, which has always stood been in force; although during this time out for protection for home-grown produce. the country has been under British rule. For a generation past the Dutch have In October, however, the old tariff was re- dictated the tariff policy of Cape Colony, vised and many changes made by procla- and, owing to the weight of Dutch influmation issued by Lord Milner. Reduc- ence, Cape Colony is likely to be the most tions were made in nearly every instance difficult colony to deal with in the Cusby these changes, for the revision was toms Union Conference. undertaken with the object of reducing the inordinately high cost of food supplies and of building materials imported from

For some years the

Religious Conditions oversea. Everything except brick and

statement has been stone which goes into a building in

repeatedly made and Johannesburg has to be imported from as often denied that Lord Kitchener, England, Germany, or America. Some after destroying the power of the Mahdi idea of what this entails may be realized and assuming the administration of the from a single instance. A barrel of Sudan, issued a decree prohibiting Chriscement which costs five shillings on the tian missionary work among the Mohamdock in London sells for thirty-eight or medans in the dependencies confided to forty shillings on the Rand. The high his charge ; and that this action was later price of food and the enormous cost of confirmed by Lord Cromer, British Plenibuilding material have formed one of the potentiary in Egypt, who, on his first visit most pressing local questions confronting to Khartûm, took occasion to assure the the High Commissioner since in July last Sudanese Sheiks that there would be no people began to return to Johannesburg. interference with their Muslim faith and It was to ease these conditions that the religious customs. It has been questioned Transvaal tariff was revised in October. whether this pledge, if given at all by As it stands it is only a provisional tariff, these proconsuls, has been maintained and it will not be made permanent until during the four years which have since after the approaching conference, at which elapsed, and whether, as regards a Chrisall sve colonies-Cape Colony, Natal, tian propaganda among the Moham


in the Sudan

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