Imágenes de páginas

under penalties ranging from one hun- ploy of the Grand Trunk road applied dred to one thousand dollars a day in for a board of conciliation. The disthe case of employers, ten to fifty for pute was a particularly complex one, employees, and fifty to one thousand for comprising differences as to hours, any one inciting to strike or lockout. The wages, shop rules, and reinstatement of Government does not assume the duty a portion of the men who had been on of punishing violations of the Act, but strike or locked out over a year. A legal machinery is provided which any board was at once constituted, consistaggrieved party may set in motion. ing of Wallace Nesbitt, K.C., a leading

The essence of the measure, it will be Toronto lawyer, representing the railway; seen, is compulsory suspension of hos J. G. O'Donoghue, solicitor of the Trades tilities pending investigation. Concilia- and Labor Congress, nominated by the tion is tenfold more difficult after hos- machinists; and Professor Adam Shortt, tilities have openly broken out; passions of Queen's University, selected by the are inflamed, positions have been taken Minister of Labor as Chairman. Three from which pride forbids retreat; the sessions spent in investigation enabled original cause of the dispute is forgotten the board to allay the irritation felt by in the new grievances which friction de- both parties to the dispute, and to bring velops. Yet altogether to forbid recourse each to a sympathetic understanding to the ultimate weapon of strike or lock- . of the other's position. The resulting out is scarcely possible in fluid, individ- agreement was a compromise, though, as ual, complex America; from compulsory the Chairman notes in his report, “ no arbitration the road leads steep and slip- attempt was made to settle difficulties pery to government regulation of wages, on the easy but demoralizing principle assizes of bread, and actions against of splitting the difference; every attenforestallers, engrossers, regraters, and ye tion was given to deciding each matter other troublers of the common weal. on its merits.” Mr. C. M. Hays, GenThe Canadian compromise protects the eral Manager of the Grand Trunk, and public without doing violence to “the other leading officials of the road, who natural rights of free-born British sub- had at first been opposed to the board's jects." It insists first on exhausting all intervention, attended all the sessions, possibilities of settlement. Then, if con- and expressed themselves at the close of ciliation fails, either party is at liberty the proceedings as thoroughly convinced to reject the solution proposed and of the practicability of the new law. strike or lock out to heart's content. In Practical evidence of their satisfaction nine cases out of ten the public disap- was afforded when shortly afterwards proval of the side which rejects a fair the Grand Trunk took the initiative in compromise can be relied on for speedy referring to conciliation a dispute with settlement. The tenth may be offered the locomotive engineers of the company up on the altar of individual freedom. which had been the subject of almost

The Act has been in force eight months, daily but fruitless conferences for over too short a period to provide a final test, two months. Here again the deliberabut sufficient to permit some tentative tions of the board, consisting of Proconclusions. It has been invoked in a fessor Shortt, Mr. Nesbitt, and Mr. Carscore of disputes, reaching from Nova dell, were crowned with success. An Scotia to British Columbia, and involv- agreement on all rules and rates was ing a wide range of issues. And in the drawn up for three years. light of this experience the consensus of A more difficult problem was presentopinion is that its success, while noted by a dispute between the Canadian unqualified, is undeniable. Whatever Pacific and its telegraph operators. future industrial legislation is passed in Rumblings of a strike that would tie up Canada will start from this new level. the whole system had been heard all

The most marked success achieved by summer. The men were strongly organthe measure has been in the railway ized and officered, and demanded very field. Within less than a month after substantial concessions, including its enactment the machinists in the em- twenty five per cent increase in wages.



As the wages paid were already higher be credited chiefly to the Department's than on any other railway on the conti- men rather than its measures, there is nent, the company stood firm in refusal. no doubt that the prospect of an investiDuring September the operators applied gation contributed powerfully to bring for a board of conciliation, to which both sides to terms. Messrs. Shortt, O'Donoghue, and Nes- The soundness of the faith placed in bitt were chosen as before. Great the power of an informed public opinion difficulty was experienced in reaching a was well illustrated in a longshoremen's settlement, and at one time the outlook dispute in Montreal during May. Under was so pessimistic that preliminary strike the apprehension that the Act did not orders were issued by the executive. apply to them, about fifteen hundred longFinally, however, the strenuous efforts shoremen struck for higher wages. Mr. of the arbitrators succeeded, to great F. A. Acland, Secretary of the Departpublic relief. Their decision, which was ment, explained its provisions to the accepted by both parties, granted an men, and a week after striking they increase of fourteen per cent in the pay- returned to work and applied for a board roll, but refused other concessions de- of conciliation. The board, of which manded by the men.

Archbishop Bruchesi was Chairman, Inevitably the Act was at first regarded recommended that half the increase with intense suspicion in many labor demanded by the men be granted unconcircles, particularly in the Rocky Moun- ditionally, and the other half as a bonus tain mining district. While it was being conditional on remaining at work all passed through Parliament a dispute was season. The longshoremen's union being waged between the Western Coal rejected the settlement. Their action Operators and the United Mine Workers immediately alienated the good will of over the terms of renewal of the annual press and public, by whom the settlement contract. No agreement was reached, was regarded as eminently fair, and under and early in April the men applied for the force of their disapproval the men intervention. A board was at once were compelled to capitulate after two appointed, with Sir William Mulock as or three days' resistance. Chairman. Unfortunately, some legal The acceptance of the Act is compulquibbling by the operators over techni- sory only on quasi-public industries. Procal irregularities in the men's applica- vision is made, however, for the inclusion tion confirmed the latter's suspicions that of other lines of industry if both parties to the board was to be used as a pretext for a dispute so agree. A strike in the cotton delay. Before investigation was begun mills of Valleyfield, Quebec, involving the men went on strike, or rather, in over two thousand employees, gave opportheir own fine distinction, they “quit tunity for the application of this provision. work;" as the officials of the union were The good offices of Messrs. Acland and opposed to the action, and no strike pay De Breuil, of the Department of Labor, was given, it was perhaps not technically led to a temporary agreement under a strike. Without waiting for the board which work was resumed and the chief to take action, Deputy Minister King matters in dispute referred to a board intervened, and, after explaining the pro- of conciliation. The board reached a visions of the Act to the men, many of satisfactory conclusion on the existing whom were foreigners, succeeded in grievances, and provided for the referinducing them to return to work under ence of future troubles to a local coma two years' agreement granting a slight mitee. increase in wages.

Provision was made In the opposite scale to these sucfor the establishment of a permanent cesses must be weighed several instances joint committee of miners and operators. of failure. The most important arose As Chairman of this committee, the out of a dispute in the Cumberland coal Minister of Labor has recently selected mines at Springhill, Nova Scotia. The the Rev. Hugh R. Grant, the original machinery of the Act was duly called of Ralph Connor's Sky Pilot. While into play; a board of conciliation was the success achieved in this case is to appointed, made an investigation, and issued its report. Pending the inquiry clauses of the Act. Charges were laid the men remained at work. The settle against James McGuire. President of the ment proposed did not satisfy them, miners' union, and Robert Roadhouse, however, and, as the Act permits, they its organizer, of inciting employees of went out on strike to enforce their full the various mines to go on strike, and demands. Three months passed before against William Hewitt for going on agreement was reached and work re- strike. The local police magistrate found sumed. The specific points at issue were James McGuire guilty on the first of the insignificant, but they brought to a head charges preferred. and sentenced him to the irritation that had been accumulating pay a fine of five hundred dollars, or in between the company and the workmen default to undergo six months imprison. for years. Unfortunately, the board ment with hard labor. This case has seems to have considered itself bound, as been appealed to the High Court and in a court of law, to consider only these pending the appeal decision has been specific issues, and made no effort to reserved on the other charges If the grapple with the broader aspects of the sentence is confirmed, the miners threater. dispute. Naturally, the settlement pro- to bring suit against the companies for posed, while a strictly judicial finding their infraction. failed to present an enduring basis of An encouraging feature of the situaagreement between the parties concerned, tion is that the attitude of the labor or a clear guide to public opinion. world to the new legislation has grown

Two additional instances may be cited more favorable with actual experence of open violation of the Act. The recent of its working. When the measure was telegraphers' strike in the United States introduced in the House, it was strongly led to a sympathetic walkout by a small opposed by the railway unions particu number of operators in the employ of Tarly, but, except in procuring some the Great Northwestern Company, with minor amendments. their hostility proved out any attempt being made to secure ineffectual. Many railway men still per. the intervention of the Department of sist in their opposition, but the majority Labor. No action was taken to punish seem to have come round at least to this infraction. Again, in Cobalt, On- benevolent neutrality. The official protario's silver field, a difference as to nouncement on the subject was given at wages between the managers and a the annual session of the Trades and recently organized branch of the Western Labor Congress in Winnipeg in SeptemFederation of Miners led to three thou- ber. In spite of the denunciation of the sand men going on strike last July. The measure by several delegates, a revolumen were not alone in violating the Act, tion expressing approval carried by four as the managers had also clearly in to one. Even more significant was the fringed one of its provisions by posting action of the Congress in voting by a a change of wages without giving the three to one majority, and in face of an required thirty days' notice. An attempt adverse report by the committee, in favor was made by the Department of Labor of extending the operation of the Act to to procure a settlement, but without all industries. Several minor amend. effect. The matter was not pressed, as ments were suggested—the elimination it was felt that no serious public incon- of the clause penalizing inciting to strike venience was being caused. Silver mines, or lockout, the admission of other than while coming within the letter of the British subjects to membership in the law, are scarcely to be classed with those boards of conciliation, and the alteration vital quasi-public industries to which of the penalty section so as to make the alone the measure was meant to apply. employer liable to fine for each employee The strike has not yet formally ended, locked out. but acceptance of the men's demand, in It is not probable that any extensive some instances, and substitution of non- changes will be made in the Act until it union miners in others, has restored has been tested by further experience. normal conditions. In September the One weakness which may call for amendmining companies invoked the penal ment is the anomalous provision for enforcing the penalty clause The Gov. for the Dominion, while under the present ernment was more discreet than valorous Act the boards are selected anew on each in leaving the initiative in this matter to occasion The permanent board has the private action

Yet it should be recog incalculable advantage of experience; the nized that the existing arrangement has temporary permits greater scope in choice the merit of Aexibility, especially desir and avoids the accumulation of distrust able in the experimental stage Legal of any individual member.

. Hitherto it proceedings are likely to be taken only has proved possible to combine these when the violation entails serious con- advantages by choosing for repeated sequences. The logic of the situation, service those members who had gained however, would seem to necessitate that general confidence. The obvious draw. the Government should eventually as- back to the continuance of this policy sume responsibility for enforcement. is the difficulty of procuring good men

The omission of any provision for whose business or professional interests interpreting the award of the temporary permit such frequent breaks. boards of conciliation may yet cause Aside from a change in the constitution trouble Inevitably differences of opin of the board, a solution may be hammered ion will arise regarding the meaning or out by the extension of the practice of scope of various provisions, no matter collective bargaining by joint agreement how carefully the award be drawn. In between the parties involved without outthe case of localized industries the solu. side intervention. It is, in fact, one of tion is comparatively simple: in the the chief merits of the Canadian measure settlement of the Alberta coal mines and that it is not only compatible with direct the Valleyfield cotton mills disputes. negotiation between employer and emlocal committees were established for ployee, but encourages it. The practice this secondary arbitration. The prob. of collective bargaining is steadily making lem presented by awards covering the its way in America, however temporarily relations of railway companies and their checked by the excesses of those unions employees the continent across is more which persist in coupling it with the difficult. The board which originally demand for a closed shop, and of those gave the award would naturally be most reactionary manufacturers' associations capable of interpreting it, but, if it were which, under the cloak of attack on the to be reconvened every time the necessity closed shop, endeavor to thwart all union for expounding some special clause arose, activity whatever. Government interits character would be radically changed. vention succeeds best when designed as This possibility, in fact, brings up the a supplement to this more organic and question of the relative merits of per- enduring agency of industrial peace, manent or professional versus temporary rather than, as in the New Zealand or amateur boards. The abortive measure development, a substitute for it. The of 1902 provided for permanent boards, arbitrator is, after all is said that can be one in each province and a general one said, a deus ex machina.



[ocr errors]

WHERE are two great reasons why deal with the facts of history understandT' Professor A. F. Pollard's “ Fac- ably and convincingly, must be an adept

tors in Modern History " is to in the dangerous art of generalization. be regarded as a most important contri- It may be objected that a general statebution to recent historical writing. In ment is never entirely accurate, never the first place, it presents with excep perfectly true, that there are always tional clearness some fundamental but qualifying particular exceptions which often misinterpreted facts in the devel- should be taken into account. But the opment of modern society. And, sec- thinker who permits such exceptions to ondly, it brings out with equal force the terrorize him into doubt and uncertainty qualifications indispensable to the suc- with regard to the great general truths cessful historian. It is the merest truism persi sting in spite of them will only o say that the lessons contained in the imperfectly instruct and persuade. The xperiences of past generations of man- chances are that his audience will not

are valueless to present and future listen to him. “When a fact is generalinns unless they are set forth so ized,” to recall Sir W. Hamilton's pithy

ommand widespread attention, saying, “our discontent is quieted and appreciation, and acceptance. History, we consider the generality itself as tantain other words, to be useful must be mount to an explanation.” In the volstudied, to be studied it must be read, ume before us general statements are and to be read it must be written lucidly very much in evidence. And, not infreand attractively. Narrative skill, the art quently, exceptions to them occur inof telling a story in a way that will appeal stantly to one's mind. For all of this, in to the interest and stimulate the imagina- the majority of instances, careful reflection of the reader or hearer, is thus the tịon will show that they remain essengreatest requisite of the historian. tially true. Besides being characterized

Yet it is notorious that the present-day by bold yet not rash generalization, Prohistorian is largely indifferent to narra- fessor Pollard's work is distinguished by tive skill. His concern, rather, seems a method of treatment that can hardly to be to trace out relationships of cause fail to stimulate the reader to do some and effect through the accumulation of a thinking for himself. This is, perhaps, mountain of facts, the manner of pre- particularly apparent in the admirable senting these relationships and these chapter on the advent of the middle class, facts being of quite secondary consider- whose development during the fourteenth ation. The result to the so-called general and fifteenth centuries was, in Professor reader--to whom, after all, history should Pollard's opinion, one of the greatest primarily be addressed-is a succession factors in transforming the mediæval of arid, uninteresting, almost meaning into the modern world. To quote, by less volumes. Not that the historian way of illustrating the ability with which should disregard facts. On the contrary, he states and expands a central thought: it is his business to collect, scrutinize, Nearly every movement of this period is and co-ordinate them—always, however, a symptom of this middle-class development. remembering that, as Professor Pollard

The Renaissance represents its intellectual insists, facts and figures are dry bones

aspect; art, science, and letters had hitherto

been ecclesiastical; the Renaissance is a into which life can be breathed only by secular and sometimes even pagan revolt the exercise of imagination. And he well against this sacerdotal monopoly. The defines imagination as "the power of

“the power of Reformation is its religious counterpart, the realizing things unseen, and of realizing domination by the Church over the relations

rebellion of the middle-class laity against the the meaning of things seen."

between God and man. Socially, we see It follows, too, that the successful his- rich burghers competing with feudal lords torian, the writer who would and does

for rank and title. Michael de la Pole, Earl

of Suffolk, in Richard 11.'s reign, is the first ' Factors in Modern History. By A. F. Pollard. Englishman who owed his peerage to wealth G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York.

derived from trade; knighthoods are won in


« AnteriorContinuar »