« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. Moody. In all the industries of Massachusetts.
Mr. Moody. Including agriculture and everything. You ask me what those industries are. They are agricultural implements, arms and ammunition, artisans' tools, boots and shoes, &c., then running through all the textiles and through all the iron, wood, and leather manufactures. These are all included in the 55 industries. The other industries are of very minor importance, employing but a very small comparative portion of the people. But the whole number of the productive classes in Massachusetts in 1865 was 425,000, and the increase in 1875 amounted to 122,795, to which the number of discharged soldiers was added, making the whole number 185,089. Of that 185,000, only 45,000 found employment, leaving 140,000 without employment.
The CHAIRMAN. Where are they?
Mr. MOODY. We have no knowledge of any migration from Massachusetts. There is no claim of migration from there. Now where are they?
The CHAIRMAN. We see a great many Massachusetts men in New York.
Mr. Rice. You do not believe that Mr. Wright's tables showing 28,000, or thereabouts, unemployed in Massachusetts are reliable ?
Mr. Moody. In answer to that I can only say that the figures which I have given you are taken from Mr. Wright's reports. I am perfectly astonished that a man should disregard the reports of his own sworn agents who carefully canvassed the whole State, and that he should go to police officers and to boards of assessors, who know nothing of the subject, and ask them to impeach the report of his own agents.
The CHAIRMAN. But what evidence is there that Mr. Wright has neglected to take the evidence of his own agents ?
Mr. MOODY. His own figures.
The CHAIRMAN. His own figures do not contain evidence that he has not taken the information which he has obtained from his agents. I understand that he has taken the census of the unemployed labor of Massachusetts at the present time, and that it shows some 28,000 (males and females) out of employment.
Mr. MOODY. He does not pretend that he has taken the census. All that he pretends to have done is to have sent out a circular asking the police of the cities and towns, and the assessors in other parts of the State, to give their estimate of the number of persons unemployed.
Mr. RICE. Do you think that statistics obtained from the assessors of towns, and from the police authorities in cities, are less reliable than those obtained from agents sent around on the business of getting statistics?
Mr. Moody. These do not pretend to be statistics; they are merely estimates obtained from those authorities.
The CHAIRMAN. This is the language of Mr. Wright: “We say the figures herein reported are reliable. We have given the croaker the benefit of every doubt. When the board of assessors of any town or the authorities of any city have differed among themselves as to the number of unemployed, we have without exception used the largest number. We have not been content even to halve the difference. For instance, the chief of police of Salem and his men concurred in an estimate for that city; afterward the mayor wrote the bureau that he believed the number was much larger, and stated what he thought it should be. We therefore adopted the mayor's figures. We have done this invariably; and whenever the assessor of any town or the authorities in any city have been unable or unwilling to make a report, representatives of the bureau have given the place a thorough canvass by interviewing all classes of peopleoverseers of the poor, employers of labor, road-men, and all in a position to give information-and obtained a fair estimate. With rare exceptions the town and city officials have not only responded cheerfully to the request of the State, but have in most instances spent a good deal of time in obtaining the actual number of persons out of employment."
Mr. Moody. The figures which I have been giving you are from this official report of Mr. Wright, and those figures are obtained by estimates received from the parties to whom he credits them. Here is the official report for 1875. One or the other is wrong.
The CHAIRMAN. He does not base the number out of employment in the year 1875 on the actual census, but he tells how he got the figures.
Mr. MOODY. But there has been no change of population amounting to hundreds of thousands in Massachusetts.
The CHAIRMAX. I don't know about Massachusetts, but there has been an enormous migration to the West during the last few years.
Mr. Moody. Not ont of Massachusetts. I do not place the smallest particle of confidence in this statement of Mr. Wright's as against his own figures here.
Mr. Rice. Let me testify to one thing. My own city is one of the cities mentioned in Mr. Wright's report. I took pains to go and ask the clerk of our board of overseers of the poor, whom I consider to be a remarkably intelligent and efficient official, and he told me that the statement by Mr. Wright tallied with his own information.
Mr. Moody. With reference to the poor? Mr. Rice. With reference to the unemployed in the city, so that I have one straw of evidence that goes to'corroborate Mr. Wright's statement.
Mr. MOODY. I have a straw in the other direction. A short time since there was a meeting held in the office of the mayor of the city of Boston, at the request of the Rev. Edward Everett Hale and a few others, to see what could be done for the unemployed laborers in that city. I was one of the parties present. As a preparation for that meeting I went around among the industries in the city of Boston and obtained reports from them. They were the representative industries, including building organs, iron works, leather, &c. I went round and obtained the statistics as to the number of persons employed, and their wages as compared with three years ago. I got eleven reports. In some cases where there had been employed between three and four thousand persons three years ago, they were employing at the same date this year only 44 per cent. of the usual number. I forget what the exact figures were, but there was a decrease of 56 per cent. in the number of persons employed. At that very meeting the overseers of the poor of the city of Boston reported that they had less application for assistance than they had had previously in a term of years, while the superintendent of streets reported that there was a larger number of applications for labor than he had ever known before. Nevertheless, the fact still remains that Mr. Wright's report of 1875 shows 140,000 people out of employment, not accounted for in the industries of that State, who should be accounted for, and that would make for the whole United States (estimating the population of Massachusetts as one twenty-seventh of the whole) 3,780,000 persons out of employment. Mr. Wright gives 28,000 for the total number reported or estimated as unemployed in Massachusetts. That would give in the United States 759,716 persons out of employment (and Mr. Wright claims that Massachusetts fairly represents the Union in that respect). Mr. Wright stated in his report that there are on the average three dependents on each person in the productive classes. Multiply 759,716 by 3 and there would be, according to Mr. Wright's showing, 2,279,148 persons in the United States without means of subsistence. These persons are living either as mendicants or as thieves, or else they are starving.
Mr. Rice. According to your estimate how many would there be out of employment; you say 3,780,000 ?
Mr. Moody. This is based on the figures of Mr. Wright.
Mr. Rice. Multiply that figure by three and it would make nearly twelve millions in the United States without means of subsistence ?
Mr. Moody. Nearly twelve millions.
Mr. RICE. Do you think that nearly 12,000,000 of the population of the United States are at the present time mendicants or thieves ?
Mr. Moody. I believe that approximately one-half of the population of these United States has not a sufficient amount of employment to obtain subsistence.
Mr. Rice. I am very sorry to hear the testimony of so respectable a gentleman to such an effect.
Mr. Moony. There is another point to which I wish to call attention. At the close of the war of the rebellion there were discharged from the armies of the North over a million men.
Mr. Atkinson, in his article in the International Review, puts the figure at 1,500,000. There were discharged from the Southern armies at least 500,000 more; so that, in 1865, some 2,000,000 of men were turned out of the armies, North and South, who never entered into the industries of the country except through the displacement of others. That is a very important thing to be considered by this committee.
Mr. RICE. You have gone through very elaborately with your statement and views, and this discrepancy between your estimate and the estimate of Mr. Wright is very great. I should be glad to ask you some more questions, but I do not think it best to
I think that I perhaps see the tendency of your testimony and of your views. On a subsequent day Mr. Moody again appeared before the committee and submitted the following: Statement showing the mumber of unemployed in the State of Massachusetts, as shown by the
census report of that State for 1875, published in June, 1877, by Hon. Carroll D. Wright, chief of the bureau of statistics of labor.
The total number belonging to the productive classes in that State, in 1865, was very nearly 450,000. The bureau of statistics of labor report for 1875, in the statement of the
principal manufactures for 1845, 1855, 1865, and 1875 (see pp. 129-134), shows that in these industries, 55 in all, there were employed in 1875.
248, 313 225, 979
Showing an increase in employment of.....
The increase in the population of that State during that decade was 30.38
(see pp. 26 and 30). At that rate the increase upon 225,979, employed in 1865, for the next ten years, was..
68, 652 Of which number there found employment
22, 334 Leaving unemployed and unaccounted for.......
46, 318 These are the facts of the report. Based upon these facts, and at the same
rates, I find that the increase upon the total number of the productive classes, i. e., 450,000, for that period, was..
136, 710 Total number finding employment...
44,668 Total unemployed and unaccounted for in Massachusetts in 1875......
92,042 Multiplying this number by 27, to obtain approximately the whole number of unemployed in the United States, gives....
2,485, 134 In this statement no account is taken of the 62,294 men returned to the industries of that State at the close of the war of the rebellion, who were disbanded in 1865–66, after the census of 1865 was taken. This number of men should enter into the statement somewhere, it being a number added to that of the normal increase herein considered, and is a factor which Mr. Wright has not noticed. This fact shows that the soldiers who were returned from our armies at the close of the rebellion have never entered into the industries of our country except as they displace others.
When it is remembered that the average number dependent upon the productive class, men and women, is a little over three, some idea may be formed of the magnitude of the distress and peril which lies in this host of idlers.
In this statement ng account is taken of the time lost by those who have work for only one-half or one-quarter of the year, or more or less, which, as shown by this bureau report, amounts to a fraction more than one-fourth; equal to one-fourth of the whole industrial class who find employment.
Neither is any account taken of another fact shown in this same report, viz, that the average daily wages paid in 1875 to those who were employed was $1.19, which, since that time, has been reduced at least 25 per cent.
W. GODWIN MOODY. The CHAIRMAN. May not the explanation of the discrepancy be that Mr. Wright has since made investigation on the subject, thus obtaining new light?
Mr. Moody. There may be a miracle of that kind.
Mr. Moody. I hope I have assisted somewhat in stirring the waters. This report was made public last year, and I harelly think that so great a miracle has been performed as to work so great a change between the statement furnished in the report and the estimates of the police of the State of Massachusetts.
VIEWS OF MR. HERBERT RADCLYFFE.
NEW YORK CITY, August 21, 1878. Mr. HERBERT RADCLYFFE appeared before the committee.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. State your residence and occupation.—Answer. I reside in Boston; I am unfortunately a journalist.
Q. Are you connected with any newspaper ?-A. For the moment I am not. Two months ago I was editor of the Boston Journal of Commerce, a paper which I founded six years ago. I am now the agent of the Business Improvement Society of Boston.
Q. Have you had occasion in the course of your business or studies to investigate the depression of labor and the causes of it, and to ascertain whether any remedies can be suggested ?-A. I have examined into the conditions of labor as connected with business interests, but otherwise not. I have examined the condition of business and the existing depression and the causes of it, and the remedies.
Q. Do you consider that business is depressed !-A. That is beyond all dispute.
Q. How would you detine the depression; is it a depression as to volume of business, or is it as to prices of commodities ?-A. I think that there is no profit to the manufacturer, and that the volume of business is as restricted as it can possibly be to the closest point.
Q. Do you think that the volume of general business is less in amount than it was in the year 1872, which was a year of great prosperity !-A. I think that in some departments it is greater, while in others it is less.
Q. Specify the departments in which you think that the volume of business is as great as it was in 1872, and those departments in which you think it is less than it was in 1872 ?-A. There is a larger grain business. There is a much larger business in all bread stuffs than there was in 1872, owing to the increased export abroad; but, when you come to manufacturing, there is a much less volume of business, with the exc on of cotton goods, which also have an export trade.
Q. Then I understand you to say that the cotton business is not less in volume than it was in 18727-A. I should think that the cotton trade is larger than it was in 1872 in consequence of the export trade.
Q. How is it with the boot and shoe trade; is that larger or smaller than it was in 1872?–A. There is not so large an export trade in that business, but undoubtedly I should think it is larger than it was in 1872.
Q. How with the woolen business !--A. That, I think, is less than in 1872. Q. Have you any figures on the subject?-A. I have not any figures on the subject. We are importing $26,000,000 worth of woolen goods a year, and so long as we are doing so we are really buying what we ought to be manufacturing.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not the point. Suppose we imported $36,000,000 worth in 1872, and only $26,000,000 worth now, we might be making more; so that that does not prove anything.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I have prepared a statement which I would like very much to read to the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. We will hear the statement; but, as a preliminary matter, I wished to come to details in order to ascertain where the business had fallen off.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. As I said before, I think it has fallen off wherever the export trade has not come to our relief.
The CHAIRMAN. Take the manufacture of iron, where we have a very small export trade. Do you know whether the quantity of iron made and sold now is less than it was in 1872?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I should not like to answer that question. I think that the product of iron has been so inflated, and there is such an immense difficulty in placing that product on the home market, that the business must be seriously depressed.
The CHAIRMAN. All the iron that was made in 1877 was sold, and the stock of iron on hand at the beginning of that year was reduced, so that there was no difficnlty in selling it. The difficulty was in getting a price which would be remunerative.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. Do you really consider that the iron produced in 1877 was marketed into the consumers' hands?
The CHAIRMAN. I know that it was marketed.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. Was it not transferred from the factories into the wholesale stores, and have not these wholesale stores since failed, and is it not so that the iron has not got into the consumers' hands at all?
The CHAIRMAN. That is not the fact.
The CHAIRMAX. I wish to say to you that we have an iron-trade association which keeps an accurate statement of all facts connected with the trade, and it is a fact that the stock of iron in the hands of consumers and producers is less now than it was a year ago, and that the whole quantity of iron made last year was greater than was made in any previous year, except 1872 and 1873. Now, if you have a written statement the committee will hear it.
(Mr. Radelyffe proceeded to read a paper which he subsequently declined to leave with the committee, and in regard to points in which the following discussion arose :)
Mr. Rice. Do you think that there has been rascality in the management of savings banks ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I think that a good deal of loss from savings banks has been ineritable.
Mr. Rice. It has been inevitable from the depreciation of property ?
Mr. Rice. Do you think that the proportion of loss of property invested in savings banks has been any greater than the proportion of loss froin investments in other kinds of property?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I should not like to say that it has been any greater, but still the workingman has grown suspicious of savings banks.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that the government should establish a system of uniform protection to investors in savings banks ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that the general government is better qualified to undertake that task than the State governments are, which are the immediate creatures of the people ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. My suggestion is that this should be a subject of Congressional
investigation. I will state furthermore, as one argument in favor of national legislation on the subject, that the national government now looks after the national banks, and there should be some similar protection to the laboring classes, I think, in the regnlation of insurance companies and savings banks. That would do a good deal to destroy the bad feeling which now exists against these institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. You know what happened to the National Insurance Company organized by act of Congress?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. Yes; I do.
The CHAIRMAN. And you know what happened to the only savings bank ever organized by Congress ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any encouragement for Congress to engage in such work after the failure of the Freedman's Savings Bank and the National Insurance Company?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. The national banks are regulated very well, and are very creditable to the nation.
Mr. Rice. Has there not been as large a percentage of failure among the national banks as among the savings banks ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I should not think so. You understand I do not advocate national legislation on the subject; I only suggest whether that is not a fit subject for this commiitee to investigate.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that it is the rich who hold government bonds?
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever examined the list at the Treasury Department of the regular holders of government bonds ?
Mr. RADCYLFFE. I have not, but I should think that such property has been, up to very recently, in the hands of the rich; but, from the distrust of the laboring classes in savings banks, owing to the failures of such banks, a good deal of money has been placed by the laboring classes in government bonds.
The CHAIRMAN. But the savings banks themselves, previous to the panic of 1873, were the largest domestic holders of government bonds.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. I hardly think that that statement is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. They were the largest class of holders. The Bowery Savings Bank in the city of New York held $17,000,000 of government bonds, and all the savings banks in the State of New York held, in the aggregate, a sum which I am almost afraid to repeat, but very largely over $100,000,000. That was true of the country at large, and an inspection of the registry-books at the Treasury Department will show that the great mass of the pnblic debt is held either by savings banks, or by estates and trustees in moderate amounts. The astonishing fact is developed there that $1,000 is nearer the average amount held by each holder than any other sum. The savings banks, the insurance companies, and the middle classes are the great holders of government bonds, as shown by the books of the Treasury Department.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. Our savings banks in Massachusetts have invested much more largely in real estate than they have in government bonds.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the government be able to place a 4 per cent. bond on the market at par, as it is now doing, if such bonds were not exempt from taxation ?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. We cannot tell that until it is tried. I have got some remarks written in regard to a tariff system, which I would like to read.
The CHAIRMAN. This is not a committee to revise the tariff. That belongs to the Committee of Ways and Means, which is to have a subcommittee at the custom-house next week. We want to know the causes of the present depression in business. You say that the tariff is one of these causes. You say that the tariff is an incongruous mess, and that it ought to be remedieil. I agree with you, but we are not to undertake the correction of a tariffsystem. You may omit that portion of your paper, therefore, and go on with the other remedies that you have to suggest.
Mr. Rice. Everybody would be glad to see the tariff improved if we could only see how it could be improved without making matters worse.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. My object was to show by figures that the markets of the world would be open to our manufactures, and that labor would be therefore employed, if our present tariff system was changed.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that is one of the points.
Mr. RADCLYFFE. Of five manufactured articles, Great Britain exported in 1876 $62,000,000 worth. Our whole export trade for that year was only $644,000,000. We will have to secure a portion of England's export trade before we can have our factories and labor in a prosperous condition.
Mr. RICE. Are we not taking some of their trade from them now?
Mr. RADCLYFFE. A very small amount. The majority of our exports is not in map ufactured goods, but in provisions and brea-lstuffs, which the people need at home.
Mr. Rice. Are not the shoe and leather inanufactories of Massachusetts exporting their product?