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our houses, and would Mr. Hayes get anything more than his residence at the White House and his bread and butter 1
Mr. THURBER, I think that that is very true.
The CHAIRMAN. I am carrying out your idea to the ultimate limit; and that decides the thing. And, after all, I doubt whether Mr. Vanderbilt has such a very good time with all this great wealth of his. He is absolutely overrun with business. He can scarcely get a minute to call his own. He lives the life of a slave. He administers the business of a great property which employs tbousands of people who are tolerably well off. And Mr. Vanderbilt has what? A good house, a fast pair of horses to drive when he has the time to devote to driving. I doubt whether he enjoys his dinner half as much as anybody in this room does, although I have no doubt that he has a great deal finer dinner than anybody bere can have. Yet there is the fact, that he is the servant of everybody who uses the New York Central Railroad.
Mr. THURBER. That is very trne, and I fancy that you and myself and others, who have got beyond the point of any fear as to our eating and drinking, are very fond of stating that that is all that we have got in the world, but at the same time we are not willing to give up the surplus.
The CHAIRMAN. Society has to have these different places, and somebody has to fill them, and until somebody can point out a better mode to secure the general welfare than the present mode, we cannot proceed to legislate. If anybody can point out specific acts of legislation that bear harsbly on one class, and that give special priv. ileges to other classes, these are the things which we want to sweep from the statutebook. No man who bas his head up wants to go down, nor do the people who are down want him to go down; but they want to get up themselves; and we all see that for hundreds of years past society has gone on improving and becoming better and better.
Mr. THURBER. I believe that that is quite correct, and I believe that men who would pull down before they see what they are going to put in the place of what is pulled down, are not the men who will command the support of the intelligent workingmen of this country. I think that some of the doctrines enunciated by the extreme radicals are such that they will not commend themselves to the good judgment of the average working men. I know many workingmen who perbaps work as hard and as long as anybody, and I have talked with them, and I must say that they take these things for pretty nearly what they are worth. You will not find that the laboring classes are going to be led off on a wild-goose chase to break up the present condition of society before they have another one to put in its place. Mr. White spoke yesterday of the great evils of speculation in business. I agrie with him, so far as the evils of speculation are concerned, and I think that it is something which might be well considered by this committee, for the reason that it has a very material bearing on the kubor troubles and on the commercial troubles. In fact the labor troubles are the result of commercial troubles. The speculation referred to is the selling of more than is produced; the selling of what is never expected to be delivered. Within the last few years the country has undergone great changes, and in no respect perhaps greater than in the selling of goods without ever expecting to deliver them. That speculation has gone from stocks into all articles of merchandise. Take the item of cotton alone, and there is ten times as much cotton sold as is produced.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you prohibit a man from selling what he does not own! Mr. THURBER. I would probibit the selling of what is not to be delivered.
The CHAIRMAN. How can anybody determine that question? Suppose I sell you 100 bales of cotton, how can anybody tell whether it is going to be delivered or not! If you come to me and say, “Mr. Hewitt, I want to be let off from that contract, and I will give you $1,000"; what is there immoral in that?
Mr. THURBER. It is precisely on the same principle as gambling:
The CHAIRMAN. No. Will you prohibit the selling of that which a man does not own! That is the test. If you buy from me to-morrow 100 tons of pig-iron which you want to use in September, and if you afterwards come to me and say, “Mr. Hewitt, I ain very sorry, but my enterprise has collapsed and I do not want that 100 tons of pigiron; will you not let me off?” What is there wrong in that!
Mr. Thurber. Suppose I buy 100 tons of pig-iron from you deliverable at a certain date, and that it is against the law for you and me to settle a difference without the actual transaction having been consummated; then there is nothing wrong in it!
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose you were going to build a store with an iron front, and that you want pig-iron, and I sell it to you in good faith, and that afterward you fiod that you cannot go on with your building, and you come back to me and say, "I do not want that one hundred tons of pig-iron," and I am willing to let you off, ought the law to compel me to deliver that one hundred tons of pig-iron to you and compel you to pay me for it!
Mr. THURBER. I think that, if it were necessary to make a law that an actual delivery should take place in every commercial transaction, in order to avoid the great
evils that have been accumulating and are accumulating on us in this way, I would go so far as to say that you should deliver me that one hundred tons of pig-iron, and that I should take it from you even if I should sell it again at a loss.
The CHAIRMAN. But what is to prevent is going through this operation-my complying with the law and then you turning and saying to me, “Mr. Hewitt, will you buy this back from me?” I say, “Certainly," and I buy it back.
Mr. THURBER. That might be.
The CHAIRMAN. I only want to show you that laws of that sort cannot be executed against the will of the parties concerned.
Mr. THURBER. But suppose you make a law that no such transaction shall be collectible in law, or can be enforced under the law any more than a gambling debt can be enforced legally, would not that remedy this extreme speculation in all the great staples, and which results in simply gambling operations ?
The CHAIRMAN. I have got iron-works and I supply my people with pork and flour. If I go and make a contract with you for a year, and the prices of those things go up after the contract is made, and you come up to me and say, “This is a time contract and I will not deliver the pork and flour," what do you say as to the propriety of that?
Mr. THURBER. Is not that to be got around again?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; you can get around things of that sort, and that is the difficulty with all that kind of legislation.
Mr. THURBER. I believe that it is within the scope of human ingenuity to form a law that will not interfere with the making of contracts for future delivery of goods where actual delivery is to take place, and that will discriminate against excessivo speculation in products that are never intended to be delivered.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is to decide whether they are going to be delivered !
Mr. THURBER. Yes.
Mr. Rice. Do you think that there is any difficulty in having a man brought before a jury and having the jury to decide whether he was gambling or not when playing cards, if tbe public officers will do their duty ?
Mr. THURBER. I think you might sometimes run across a man who would perjure himself.
Mr. Rice. Do you not think that if a prosecuting officer did his duty, and a complaint were made to bim that a room is kept for the purpose of gambling, a jury night not pass upon that question and say whether the card-playing was carried on for gambling or for social recreation and enjoyment? Do you not think the jury would find that out?
Mr. THURBER. Yes; and I think it would be a check against gambling.
Mr. RICE. Do you not think that if a law were made making it a statutory crime to go into those transactions that you have been speaking of, selling and never delivering (which, as you say, is a kind of gambling), and if the district attorney was required to prosecute those who went into it, that would not put a stop to it in the process of time?
Mr. THURBER. I think that it would have that tendency.
Mr. Rice. Do you not think that a jury would find out whether the sale was made for the purpose of delivery or wbether it was a mere stock-jobbing operation ?
Mr. THURBER. I think it would in most instances, and I think that public opinion, in that as in other cases which we have spoken about (when full light is thrown upon it and focalized), would do a great deal toward remedying it.
Mr. Rice. Would you not, by such legislation, reach the root of the evil and cure it? Mr. THURBER. I think so, to a great extent.
The CHAIRMAN. One of the objects of inviting you before this committee was to get from you a statement relative to the prices of food products such as are consumed by families—the retail and the wholesale prices. The committee has not yet been able to get such a statement. Will you be good enough to take the trouble to prepare such a statement covering the periods mentioned in our circular, from 1862 till the present time, so that that statement may be given to the public?
Mr. THURBER. I will do so with pleasure.
VIEWS OF MR. SILAS R. KENYON. Mr. SILAS R. KENYON, of Newark, N. J., appeared before the committee and stated, in answer to questions by the chairman, that he was an inventor and a practical inechanic-one of the hard-fisted sons of toil, and that one of the greatest causes of
the present depression in business was the want of confidence. The time bad been, he said, when manufacturers would manufacture largely, and when their goods would be taken by the jobbers in large amounts; that hence a inaiket for goods was made, but that that was not the case to-day to any extent, in consequence of the lack of confidence. The collection of the revenue was also very faulty; the American merchant having to pay for his goods and take them, while the foreign importer allowed them to go into bond and to remain there without paying duties on them until he was able to sell them. He was most strenuously opposed to a free trade. He thought that the producers of this country had a right to expect legislative protection; they could not protect themselves. He admitted that mechanics did not do their duty as electors. It was their duty to say who the law-makers sball be and what kind of laws they should make. This was the duty of the laboring men of the country, for they were by far the most numerous. The remedy was in the ballot in this country. Another difficulty was that there were too many men in the cities. The introduction of machinery and of improved iniplements had reduced labor to a great extent, or at least to some extent. As an instance of that he mentioned that ten years ago Massachusetts had thirty thousand more laborers employed in making boots and shoes than she has to-day, while she was now producing $72,000,000 worth more of boots and shoes than she did then.
The CHAIRMAN. Is not that a good thing for all the millions of people in this country who are not engaged in making boots and shoes ?
Mr. Kenyon. Certainly. That is right. Now, I propose a remedy for these thirty thousand people thrown out of employment in the boot and shoe business and for other thousands of people thrown out of employment in otber lines of business. It is that they go upon the public lands of the country. I propose tbat the government shall furnish them the means of going there. That will make the public lands useful and will improve business, and the government will lose nothing by it. The institution of savings banks has been referred to. I am in favor of the government being the savings bank of the people; that is, I am in favor of the establishment of a sayings bank in every post-office in the country, where the laborer can go and deposit his earnings and receive a small interest—3.65 perhaps. That will encourage the laborer and hold out inducements to him to save bis earnings. In regard to the tariff, the people of this nation and of all other nations of the world, I think, are willing to have a foreign market for their products. We can expect no market for our napufactures except a market that we make at home, and we shall be obliged to make our own market. The laborers in the United States are a very different class of men from those that I have seen in Europe. You cannot bring the American laborer down to the level of the European laborer, and I am glad of it. Hence we cannot compete with Europe unless we subject the laborer of America to the starving prices of the Old World. The State of Massachusetts to-day bas agents in every town in England trying to get up trade. The Fall River manufacturers have been pressing their goods, and have had their agents in London and other English cities.
Mr. RICE. And they are selling a great many goods there.
Mr. KENYON. Yes; but at so low a rate that the Fall River manufacturer cannot produce them with any profit to himself. Some of the mills in Fall River are closed and idle to-day.
Mr. Rice. That is owing to fraud and dishonest practices. It has been said, however, that Fall River manufacturers are able to make their cotton fabrics and sell them in London and make a slight profit on them; and the same thing is claimed by the manufacturers of other fabrics here.
Mr. KENYON. We had in 1870 ten million spindles in the United States and forty mill. ion people. The increase of the inbabitants has kept pace, perhaps, with the increase of spindles. Now Fall River manufactures three-fourths of all the print goods man. ufactured in the United States. The estimate is that one-third of the cost of these goods is labor, and, in order to sell these goods in a market where labor is less expensive than here, our labor must be reduced in cost. It cannot be otherwise. I think that these evils can be all corrected and the thing be made satisfactory by settling the western lands with a portion of our inhabitants. I think that it is practicable to encourage these unemployed men to go out there. When the crisis of 1873 came they had the means of going out, but they staid here waiting for better times, until they have exhausted all that they had, and now they have no means of getting away:
The CHAIRMAN. I understand your remedy to be an improvement of the savingsbank system, a colonization system by the transfer of surplus labor to the West, and a protective tariff. I did not understand you to say whether you wanted more protection than we have now or not. Do you desire more protection than we have at present?
Mr. KENYON. I desire a tariff sufficient for revenue, and I desire that the laborers of this country shall be protected in their rights and in their labor from the introduction of articles and goods from other countries where labor is in a very different conditiou to what it is here.
The CHAIRMAN. Practically you wish the prohibition of foreign products ?
The CHAIRMAN. We have got a tariff now that is supposed to be tolerably protective. Do you think that it should be higher or lower!
Mr. KENYON. The tariff on some things is perhaps suficient now. All that we can produce at home should receive a sufficient protection so as to gnarantee to our producers here that they will not be undersold by foreign competition. I come here to convey to you the feelings of the people of this country, and those feelings are that the government should be more economical; that it is too expensive; that it costs the tax-payer too much to run the government. The people are obliged to economize, and they believe that the government should economize also. I hope that the people will hold their servants to a strict accountability and to economy in the affairs of the government.
Mr. RICE. A great part of the revenue of the government is collected from duties on foreign articles (which you are in favor of), and from imposts on tobacco and whisky, which we are told people ought not to use.
Mr. Kenyon. We collect about $160,000,000 of revenue. Now I pledge my honor as a mechanic that the mechanics and producers of this country would by far prefer to allow their productions to be taxed for the support of the government and for paying interest on the national debt rather than to have the government supported and the interest paid by importing goods that are produced by low-paid labor, while our laborers here bave nothing to do.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you not know that every time that the Democrats in Congress have tried to introduce any measure of economy it was resisted by my Republican friends there, and that we could get no economical measure through
Mr. Rice. We found that when the river and harbor bill came up, making appropriations for every Democratic district in the country, every Democratic member voted for it.
The CHAIRMAN. It was a bill appropriating $7,000,000 to be expended in employing the idle labor of the country in works of internal improvement; but I must say that I voted against the bill.
Mr. KENYON. We laborers are no longer to toe the line of any particular party.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad to hear you say so, for I was a little afraid that my party was not going to support me; and now perhaps I shall get somebody else to do it.
Mr. KENYON. Another remark which I would like to make is, that there is too much bad literature printed in this country and too much of it read; and I am sorry to say that my friends the mechanics read and pay for three-fourths of it.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you think about the evidence taken before this committee; is that of a bad nature to be read ?
Mr. KENYON. I am sorry to say that some of it will never hatch. Much of it I am inclined to believe we shall not receive any benefit from.
The Chairmax. Do you think that this committee ought to have printed a good deal of what has been said here?
Mr. Kenyox. I do not want anything that I have said printed. What I have said is free, “ without money and without price.” I have great hope and confidence (as my brethren throughout the State bave) in this committee. I have more hope in it than in any committee that has ever been appointed by Congress in my day.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that, as Mr. Thompson got up this cominittee, tho New York Herald should hold me responsible for it?
Mr. Kenyon. The New York Herald very often holds folks responsible for what it ought not to.
Adjourned until Monday, the 26th.
New York, August 26, 1878. The CHAIRMAN stated that he had received this morning from Baltimore a postal card as follows:
“Mr. Hewitt: Cannot you use your talents to a better purpose than to ridicule the laboring man! You have made it a point to gather up all the crazy men of New York and show them up as a sample of American mechanics, but we see through your contemptible game. You are a fraud, a bad counterfeit, and every intelligent man can see your game.
“ JOHN PETERS." He said : My object in reading that card is merely to relieve a false impression which seems to have got some currency in the newspapers. The individuals who have testified here during the first session of the committee were not selected by the committee. They were voluuteers. The committee had met then for the first time. It had not organized previously, and had no means of summoning witnesses, so that the witnesses who appeared before it were volunteers. Every man who chose to be heard had his name set down on a list, and they were all called. Therefore they were not brought here by the committee. They came of their own accord. If they made any exhibition of themselves that is not agreeable to American mechanics generally, that certainly was not the fault of the committee. The committee has tried to get workingmen who are actually engaged in business to come here and testify, but, thus far, the committee has not succeeded as well as it could have wished. And the committee wishes it understood that, if any working mechanic wbo actually earns his living by daily labor desires to present any views to the committee, either personally or in writing, the committee will be extremely glad to get them. The committee wants the views of such persons. During the last week the gentlemen who testified here came at the request of the committee. They were gentlemen eminent in their respective departments of business; the object of the committee being to get information in regard to all departments of business. The committee has no theory at all. Of course its members have some ideas of their own, probably differing from each other. But the object of the committee here is to get facts from whatever quarters they can be obtained. We have had many letters from workingmen who could not come personally. These letters have been all duly filed, and will appear, so far as possible, in the evidence to be published by the committee, as part of the work of the committee. These letters generally have only one tone, which will be shown when they are in print. That is, that while the workingmen have suffered from the depression in business, yet those who bave been, as a rule, industrious, temperate, and careful, have sufficient work for the support of their families. There is very great complaint in all these letters that the workingmen are misrepresented by some of the statements made to the committee. They say that while they would be glad to see employment more abundant and wages higher, as a matter of fact, they are not discontented. That is the burden of a large number of these letters. The committee expects to sit until Wednesday next, within which time it hopes to be able to take the evidence of all who bave been invited up to this time. The committee then proposes to have a session at Pittsburgh and another at Chicago. And the committee ventures to express the hope that employers and laborers will prepare themselves to give definite information to the committee. What the committee wants is not theories, but facts. We have, I suspect, exhausted every known theory for the organization of society. We have had these theories presented in every possible form; and now, what the committee would like to get at is definite suggestions from people engaged in business as to legislation of a practical nature. It is not part of the work of the committee to reform society, and we do not expect to accomplish it. Perhaps the next Congress may do something to remove the evils complained of. If witnesses will keep this in mind, they will add very materially to the stock of information which the committee desires to get.
VIEWS OF MR. CHARLES H. MARSHALL,
Mr. CHARLES H. MARSHALL appeared by invitation of the committee. The CHAIRMAN. Please to state the business in which you are engaged. Mr. MARSHALL. I am engaged in the shipping and commission business in the city of New York.
The CHAIRMAN. The house with which you are connected, and of which you are the head, has been in existence a great many years, has it not?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes; between forty and fifty years. The line that I represent has been in existence ever since 1817-about sixty years. It was the first line that was formed immediately after the close of the war in 1815, although my family was not then in it. My father was not one of the organizers of the line, although he subsequently assumed control of it. It was called the Black Ball Line. At present it is no longer a regular line, as all the regular packet-ships have disappeared. They have been superseded by steamers.
The Black Ball Line was formed in 1817, and consisted originally of four vessels, which were, I think, the Amity, Pacific, Courier, and James Cropper, which sailed on the 1st of every month from New York and Liverpool.
This copy of an advertisement from the Globe, dated October 30, 1824, shows that line was increased to eight vessels, and that the sailing days were on the 1st and 16th of each month. They continued to sail thus regularly till about 1860, between forty and fifty years from the date of establishment. It was the first and the last regular sailing-packet service in the country.
OLD LINE OF LIVERPOOL PACKETS. " TO SAIL ON THE FIRST AND SIXTEENTH OF EVERY MONTH. “The Liverpool packets having met with general approbation and support, t e owners of them have concluded to add to the number of vessels employed in that estab