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ness; would you unfold to the public all the details of every man's private business !A. There is no necessity for that. The government to-day claims the right to go into any one's business and examine his books. The rerenuo department claims that right.
Q. No; it not only does not claim it, but it has no such right. Let me ask yoa to what extent you propose to go!–A. We propose, in the first place, that the sanitary conditions of the different factories and mills, workshops, dwelling-honses, &c., ought to be inspected. It ought to be ascertained what wages are paid to the people working in each different employment, whatever they may be ; what profit it is that the employers receive from the earnings of their employés ; how the money is distributed otherwise than by paying wages; what percentages are paid to stockholders of such concerns—for they are mostly joint-stock concerns; very few are held by any single individual; also, what education children receive that work in these mills; for we know there are thousands of them working in these mills that ought to have gone to school, who never grow up to a properly-developed race, but are crippled by being confined in these factories. There bave been laws passed for these children to go to school a certain portion of their time, but they are not carried out. Six months ago a case happened in Massachusetts where a man was beaten because he dared to notify the anthorities that a certain mill-owner was allowing the men to go into the factors before the proper bour of day. Such things would be done away with if the proper officers were employed.
Q. In what place in Massachusetts was that incident that you refer to ?-A. It was in Fall River.
Q. Do I understand that this investigation is to be so complete into the private business of every man that his profits and losses are to be under the supervision and investigation of the government, and made public; is that your idea ?-A. I don't say that they should be made public; they should be printed for reference.
Q. What is the object of the inquiry if it is not made public t-A. If a person is ill, and you, as a physician, endeavor to treat the disease, whatever it may be, you bave got to show where the root of it lies.
Q. Who is the physician in this case ; who is going to treat the disease -A. The government. The people ought to do it through their
proper officers. Q. How can they select the proper officers without baving the knowledge you bave got? If you limit it to the officers the public will never know it. How can they select proper officers !-A. Certainly they can. We are supposed to know the duties of the different officers in the States, and in the United States, and in the cities. We also know the duties of the officers of the labor bureau of statistics, and, knowing their duty, we know whom to elect for the office capable of carrying out the duties of that office.
Q. What would you have those officers do with this information when they get it? A. Recommend laws to the different States and to the United States Government for the bettering of the condition of the people, because they would see by taking such an account that people are not paid, educated, and fed as they onght to be.
Q. Would they not bave to give this information to the public as the reason why they recommend the laws ?-A. Yes, sir; they should. According to the table, there are 80 per cent. of the population of Massachusetts in those circumstances ; 14 per cent. are in comfortable circumstances, and 6 per cent. are rich enough to live in luxury, showing again by figures that the real producers do not receive what they ought to. We claim that the production, consumption, and distribution is unnatural as it exists to-day in the present state of society.
By Mr. THOMPSOX : Q. Do you hold, if those remedies that you speak of were advisable, that Congress bas the power to pass a law regulating this qnestion in Massachusetts ?-A. I hold that Congress, being the servants of the people, bave to look to the interests of the people, and if they find there is anything wanted to remedy any evil in existence, then they bave power to remedy it; and I do believe that the United States to-day, the people at large-the vast majority of them-would hail any real act carried out by Congress, not only on the statute-book, but carried really into effect; I don't believe there wonld be any objection to it.
Q. Do you think Congress bas any power to make purely local laws for Massachu. setts !-A. If, in accordance to the Constitution as it now exists, Congress claims it has no right or power to remedy those evils, then you must change your Constitution to change that power. A common trade union goes on from year to year. If they find that their by-laws, as they are, do not answer the times, wbat do they do? They call a general meeting, or wait for a general meeting to come along, to make propositions, and then change them to suit the times, and the government should do so more than any one else.
Q. If the legislature of Massachusetts should fail to provide a common-scbool system, requiring ch ldrea betweeu certaru a yes to attend school aud forbidding those children
to labor in factories, do you think Congress should supply that omission ?-A. No, sir; I don't mean it in that sense.
Q. How do you propose for Congress to remedy that ?-A. If there is an amendment made to the Constitution of the United States, it is supposed to be ratified.
Q. I ask you if Congress should supply that omission that I have suggested 1-A. That could be done if the Constitntion of the United States was so changed.
Q. I am speaking of it under the affairs as they now exist ?-A. I don't know that that is a material matter to the subject under debate-whether they could do so now.
Q. You are now addressing a portion of the Representatives of Congress, asking, not aid from State laws, but through Congressional legislation. Now, has this committee or the body of Representatives power to do the acts or pass the laws that you suggest ? -A. It is not proper to give a question in place of an answer, but under the circumstances I am compelled to do so.
By Mr. Rice: Q. Admitting that Congress has not the power to do it now, do you think that it is best that the Constitution should be so amended that Congress could establish these laws-these regulations for the different States-instead of having it left to the States themselves? Which do you think would be the best for the people that you represent !-A. I think the Constitution should be so amended that Congress could enforce those laws in the different States.
Q. And you think that more good would be done by leaving it to Congress to do the work than by leaving it to the States to do the work, each in itself ?-A. If it were conducted by one government only, instead of by so many different governments under the Federal Government, it might be more just to the people at large.
Q. You believe rather in a central government ?-A. I do; I believe in centralization.
Q. Disseminating all things from a central source rather than having it done by local governments in their respective jurisdictions ?-A. Yes, sir; I do. I believe in centralization.
Q. That is, you believe that the present system of the Federal Government, the States reserving to themselves these local powers, is rather a mistake than otherwise ?-A. That I consider a failure. I do believe there are in this city to-day thousands of bankers and merchants who certainly do not belong to our organization, but who would rather that the laws were more uniform in the United States, because you know better than I can tell you that the laws differ so much in the different States of the United States, that they come in conflict with one another in all sorts of business.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. You have given us now some extracts taken from the census report and the labor bureau report of Massachusetts, of the difference between the earnings of different classes of the community. Have you investigated, or have you an opinion as to the causes of that difference of compensation to different classes in the community ?A. Yes, sir ; we have an opinion formed according to our honest conviction, and, having investigated the matter, we think we know the cause. In the first place, we all know that machinery has constantly been improved. It is being more and more used, you might say, every day. If you look at the record of the Patent Office and find all the patents that are taken ont for improvements of machinery and new inventions, those facts would be established. By the introduction of machinery in mechanical labor and also in agricultural labor, thousands and thousands have been thrown out of em. ployment. It is well known, and true, that there are many people employed in manufacturing these machines, but not a tenth are so employed that are thrown out of employment by the use of these machines.
By Mr. RICE: Q. I would like to repeat the question to you that I proposed yesterday, or that some of us did. Do you think that production has been greatly increased by machinery ?-A. There are two ways of answering that. It bas been increased in one sense of the word ; that is to say, the people or the manufacturers can produce quicker, faster, than they were able to with manual labor ; but in quantity it has not been increased so much.
Q. Sapposing there bad been no machinery, against which you are now complaining, would there not have been a great many fewer at work on those things which are produced by the aid of machinery than there now are ?-A. I believe not. I think there would be more employment than what there is now.
Q. On those articles that are the product of machinery ?-A. There are some products that could not be produced without machinery.
Q. Sappose there were no boot and shoe machinery; do you believe there would be as many people at work on boots and shoes as there now are ?-A. I think there would
Q. You think there would be more people making cotton cloth, more people making
woolen cloth, if there had been no machinery, than there are as it is ?-A. Going back to the ages before machinery came into use, a great many of the people used to make these cotton cloths themselves. It was not so much a manufacturing article.
Q. The question is whether, on the whole, in your judgment, machinery has tended to increase or diminish employment?-A. Machinery has certainly diminished the actual employment of humanity.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Do you think that machinery is beneficial or injurious to the great mass of humapity ?--A. I believe machinery is of the greatest benefit to the human race, but I do believe it, and know it, that as it is being used to-day, it is a curse to humanity, because the benefits of all machinery are monopolized by capitalists. The laboring classes receive po benefits from machinery whatever. Our mechanics to-day are poor mechanics with very few exceptions. It is vot necessary, except in very few cases, for a man to learn his trade. All he has to do is to attend the machine. The machine does the work. Therefore it is easy for one man to go from one business into another, because all he needs he can learn in a quarter of a day; he don't need any knowledge of the trade. You not only through machinery have thrown men out of work, but you have made a poor manufacturing race all over.
Q. You think the owners of the machines get too much ?-A. They do, as I have shown in those tables.
Q. Therefore it is the owners of the machines and not the machinery that, in your judgment, are injurious to the well-being of society ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Could the inachinery exist without capital to build and own it?-A. I believe it could. In order to answer that we would have to ascertain what capital is.
Q. What is your definition of capital? I want you to define where the cause of the trouble is. You now say it is not in the machinery ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Where is it!-A. It is in the false distribution of the results of labor.
Q. That is, the owners of machinery get too much ?-A. They do, and the real manufacturers of all wealth get, you might say, nothing:
Q. Is there anything to prevent other capitalists from becoming the owners of machinery if machinery is getting too large a profit!-A. There is, to the best of my knowledge, pothing to prevent it now in the constitution of any government, either State or Federal Government.
Q. Or in the constitution of society, is there !-A. Certainly there is in the constitution of society.
Q: Suppose one capitalist has a lot of machinery aud it is making this enormous profit of which you speak, is there anything to prevent another capitalist buying that machinery and sharing that profit with him ?-A. No, sir.
Q. How does it happen, then, that this excessive profit comes to the owners of the machinery!-A. It happens because they do not pay to their employés what they ought to pay them.
Q. Here is capital begging to-day for borrowers at less than three per cent, in this city, and you say the owners of this machinery who are capitalists are getting excessive profits !-A. They are.
Q. Then why don't the other owners of capital go in and buy machinery and share the excessive profit with them, or what is to prevent them ?-A. Suppose a man received a certain amount of lumber, we will call it ten dollars' worth. Say he is a cabinetmaker. He receives this raw material to make bureaus, book-cases, or sofas, or wbatever the case may be out of it; after he has worked up this raw material, the material has thereby received the value of $50, for which it is sold. He receives for putting this value there through his own manual labor, about $15. The capitalist or the employer pockets $25—for what? For the mere buying of this ten dollars' worth of raw material, and furnishing a man to work it. A man has to furnish all his tools and his energy, for most of our manufacturers are incapable of conducting any concern; they have bired hands to conduct it for them. Do you think it is just that a man in tbat case should receive such a profit? for I can show you in this city where cabinetmakers do not receive as much as that.
Q. The point of my question is this : If the employer is receiving this excessive profit, what is there to prevent other people with capital from going into tbat branch of business and getting this excessive profit also ? Do they all get this excessive profit who are in the business? Have piano manufacturers been getting these excessive profits, and are they getting them now ?-A. As a class they do.
Q. Then they all get rich ?-A. They do. Plenty of failures have occurred, we know, but that does not alter the case.
Q. Take the cabinet-makers of New York. What percentage of the employers in making cabinet-work in New York have grown rich, in your judgment ?-A. The large manufacturers that have been able to monopolize trade are doing well and becoming rich, while the smaller manufacturers who have employed from two to six hands are being crowded out, because they cannot compete with the large manufacturers. The large manufacturer is able to furnish bis shop with machinery, therefore turning out everything so much cheaper while the small manufacturer is not able to buy macbinery; it is too expensive for him, and he bas pot got the capital to do it. In the last five years many of the smaller mannfacturers in the cabinet trade and in the piano business have been crowded out of business. They are either tuning, or repairing, or patching up furniture, or working for other employers. I know of a number working in that way who were well to do formerly, but through the use of machinery they could not compete with, and they were nodersold by, the large manufacturers, and the result was they had to go back to the bench.
By Mr. RICE: Q. How long have you been acquainted with the piano business ?--A. I became an apprentice to the piano business in 1859, at the corner of Mercer and Broome streets.
Q. Taking the wbole of the great piano manufacturers, were not many of them originally poor men-mechanics ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who have become capitalists by the force of their own energy, or the circumstances by which they have been surrounded ?-A. They have become capitalists, but not by the efforts of their own energy.
Q. They became capitalists from men of as humble origin and of as humble circumstances as anybody, have they not?-A. I know the Steinways worked for the firm of Bacon & Raven, in Baxter street, corner of Grand; also the Decker Brothers. There was Mr. Weber, also, my employer, he worked for Van Winkle in this city.
Q. Is it not an advantage to the laboring class that things have come to such a point, by machinery and by capital, &c., that men may start from humble origin, as these men have, and work themselves up to the position of wealth and influence that they now occupy; is that not a great advantage ?-A. In the first place, I believe there is no such chance in existence now, and has not been for years, and I don't believe there will ever be again; we don't want it to be; we want a better condition of society. None of these men in the trade that I personally know, have through their own earnings or energy accumulated what they possess to-day. I claim that those that have worked for them have been deprived of their earnings, for I claim, and am ready to prove, that capital is nothing but unpaid labor. If they had only taken what they earned themselves, they would never have become capitalists.
Q. Would you put a limit to the power of accumulation ?-A. I would have everything conducted co-operatively under the government. Q. Co-operation in the government would be one of your remedies ?-A. Yes, sir.
By the CHAIRMAN : Q. Would you have a general co-operation of everything ?-A. No, sir; a general co-operation under the government.
Q. That the government should take all the property and pay all the wages ?-A. No, sir.
Q. How would you work out your scheme :- A. The different trades would manufacture or do their different branches of industry under the government as a co-operative society.
Q. Under the government employ?-A. Under the government employ, and superintended by government officers.
Q. Would the government collect the proceeds of the industry and sell the goods ? Who would sell the goods ?-A. The heads of the different co-operative societies.
Q. What would they do with the money ?-A. Use it to defray the expenses of the society.
Q: Would you bave one general co-operative association of every branch of busines in the United States ?-A. Yes; they would be united under one head.
Q. Who would that head be ?-A. The government or a government officer. Q. Wbat would be the duties of that head ; would he receive the money from the proceeds ?-A. He would receive no money whatever, any more than his salary from the government.
Q. What would his functions be ?-A. To see that the thing was carried on regularly and properly.
Q. How would the government live; what would the government pay its other expenses from! The government now pays tnem by taxation.-A. It would then also, but would receive its taxation from the different societies instead of receiving it from individuals.
Q. The question is how these members of the co-operative association are to live. Take your piano business. It is to be one great national piano trade ?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. And its products are to be sold by some one and to some one and at some price ?A. Yes, sir.
Q. And where and how are they to collect the money and how is the money to be distributed ?-A. Gather it be a clerk appointed by the co-operative society.
Q. Then the piano trade is to meet together and form one common stock ?-A. Not the entire trade in the United States. It is to be one common concern, but not done in ono cits. For instance, it would be one concern in New York and the same in Philadelphia and in Baltimore.
Q. Are they all to sell at the same price?-A. Why should they not?
Q. I am asking you what your idea is. Are they to sell the pianos at the same price ?-A. Certainly, because we are able to turn out an equal quality of work.
Q. Suppose a piano made in Philadelphia has a better tone than one made in New York ?-A. We claim we are all capable of performing good work if we have the time.
Q. Is it not a matter of fact that two pianos made in Albany by the same workman, with the same care, will have a different value in quality and tone 1-A. Yes, sir; they have not got a different value-one tone may be a little fuller than the otber.
Q. Would not a good judge of pianos give more for ope piano than for the other !-A. He might give more for it; the salesman would ask as much.
Q. There are a great many grades of pianos over the country ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. These grades have to have different values and different prices. Who is to regulate the values ?-A. The different co-operative concerns among tbemselves.
Q. Suppose one undersells the other ?-A. That could not be done. I said the different co-operative societies in the different cities would be managed by a board of officers of that trade.
Q. Philadelphia would be managed by one set of officers and New York by another, Suppose the Philadelphia board chose to sell their pianos for less than the New York society, what then ?-A. That could not be done, because the co-operative concern of each city would have a central organization.
Q. Would you have one uniform price for pianos throughout the United States ?-A. Why not? There would be different qualities, no doubt. You can buy an instrument for $100 in the city of New York and you can pay $1,000 for others. The different societies would be obliged to make cheaper and higher instruments, but the cheaper in. struments would be of uniform price as would be the higher ones. You could not sell a first-class instrument in New York for $500 and I sell one like it in Philadelphia for $300.
Q. Suppose the establishment in Philadelphia got short of money, what would happen then ?-A. That could not happen.
Q. Why not?--A. Because the society, on the principle I speak of, would regulate the hours of labor according to the wants of the people, so as to continually keep the people employed.
Q. Suppose the demand for pianos fell off at the other concern, and people had no money to buy pianos with, how would you regulate that—that would not bring money into the concern ?-A. No; if such a thing should happen the bours of labor would be reduced to keep the med employed, and should the money coming in not be sufficient under an industrial goveryment, as it ought to be, and not as it is to-day, the govern. ment would at all times, through other co-operative societies, step in to assist those, just as well as trade is carried on now by private hands, and they are all doing pretty well-why could not co-operative societies? They could do it because they could sell at reasonable rates.
Q. When a society got into distress for want of trade, you would help them out by taking the money from the other society ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you would make each trade guarantee the other trades all through the country 1-A. Yes, sir. Q. And you would enforce that by legislation ?--A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. Then, under that system, no man would get any more than his mere living; he could not accumulate anything beyond his overy-day existence ?-A. In the state of society I speak of there would be no desire for anybody to accumulate anything, because he would know he would be taken care of, as it were. He knows he has got constant employment. What more does he desire ?
Q. You have no family to support by your labor. Another man, who cannot do as much labor in a day as you can, bas a wife and ten children. You each receive the same amount of pay for your services daily, you $5 for yourself and he $5 for his wife and ten children, although he cannot do as much labor as you do?:-A. We claim in this State that every one should be paid according to his
Q. Necessities !-A. No, sir; not according to bis pecessities. I beg your pardon. According to his deeds, according to his services and abilities. We don't claim that a man performing $10 worth of labor through a day sbould receive but $5.
Q. Suppose the man who has the family that I have described receives as much for his day's work as you do. You have enongh to keep you, and he has not half enough. How is that deficiency to be made up ?-A. By the co-operative society.
Q. Then you would have a premium on large families ?-A. I don't know that we would. Under those circumstances to-day a man is not able to raise a large family, because the children are sick before they are born.