Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Q. Do you think they stimulate the inventive genius of the people at all ?-A. Most unquestionably I think they stimulate it.

Q. And result in more inventions than otherwise ?-A. Yes, sir; I do indeed. But mark you-I thank you for that I would have the patent laws used here as they were used in that country where the despotisms of Napoleon are spoken of. When this bad actor went to Paris in 1-36, a minister of Napoleon went and says to that bad actor: “You come here with a very valuable discovery ; the teeming millions of France want the benefit of that discovery; we see what your people have been doing in England with Mr. Thomas, of Southampton ; we see how you have changed the millions of England; we wish to take care of the people of France; you appoint an arbitrator, our government will appoint another, and the two shall select a third, and the conclusion they come to-Mr. Bad Actor, you must take that sum that these three men of your own choice say you shall take;" and this enterprising American got some millions of dollars from the French Government. And here, then, sir, here in fact is the kernel of the nut; the French Government turns around to the thirty-six inillions of theirs and says : “ Here we have a splendid invention ; in the first instance we have this, and have pit it into your arsenals, and the army of France is clothed with it.” That is the first thing they did.

Q. You would have the government pay to the patentee the value of the patent, and then have the invention free to all the people ?-A. No, sir; I would not. I wish to give to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's. As I said when I started, I want all I can get for my labor. I wish the government to take the thirty-six millions or fortyfive millions of the United States and say: "You can purchase a right to make one rifle, one gun, one thousand or a million of the same : but you must pay so much into the excheqner of the United States, as a man who sells whisky, ale, and beer pays into the exchequer of the United States.

By Mr. TuomPSOX: Q. Then, would you pay the inventor nothing from any source whatever ?-A. Pay him, unquestionably pay him. Q. How ?-A. As Louis Napoleon would have paid him, and paid this bad actor.

By Mr. RICE: Q. We have misunderstood you. What did Napoleon do?-A. When Isaac M. Singer went to Paris in 1858—he went to sell his patent-the French Government stepped in and said: “This is a very valuable thing; you are an alien.” That was an excuse, not a very good one, but excellent for one of the Napoleons. “I want to use that machine; we know what you have been making in America; we know you stopped the manufactories of Southampton, of Dundee, of Manchester, and other places; we will not allow you to get a patent here in France to stop the French people from using it, but you appoint a man, one of your own countrymen, the Government here will appoint another, and let these two men select a third, and what the three conclude you shall receive for the right of your patent in France you shall get." Mr. Singer said: “I am perfectly satisfied.” He was a wise, sober man in that case. He says, I am quite willing to submit my case to arbitration. They said Mr. Singer was to get some million of dollars.

Q. Now, do you approve of that mode?-A. I do, most certainly.

Q. How would you have Mr. Singer recompensed in this country-in the same way ?-A. Precisely in the same way.

Q. When a man has discovered a new invention which is valuable to the community, would you have him receive a sum fixed by arbitration at the outset say, and then leave the invention free to all ?-A. Yes, sir. This applies not in one but in nearly every branch of business. Give us the freedom to sell onr labor at the bighest market; let labor be untrammeled-I use a common phrase, but I don't mean it as common-let no “sucker” live on the resources of the intelligent classes or draw from any man the fruit of his labor, no communistic theorist plunder the producers.

By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. You believe, then, that the use of machinery, under the laws that govern patents, is detrimental to the working classes ?-A. I believe that all that exists is good, and I believe that all is for the good of man, but then if any engine is detrimental to man let us break it up. Let us break up the steamboats of the Atlantic steamship companies ; let us break up all macbinery. Of course I am not in favor of the destruction of all kinds of machines.

By Mr. RICE: Q. You do not believe the laboring classes have been injured by the results of the introduction of machinery ?-A. No, sir; but I believe the laboring classes have been injured by the government of which you are a member.

Q. Tell us how.-A. I will tell you; indeed I will. I tell you when the Democratic party held power, free trade was the law; but another party coming into power intro

duced the system of protective tarifts. What was the result? Why tens of thousands of those who afterwards became skilled artisans and mechanics flooded in from the country districts and settled in cities and towns. Capitalists invested their money, aud men became machinists, and the virgin soil of the West was neglected. The government protected capital, and tariff was put on anything that you could make here; it became so that it glutted the market, as far as labor was concerned; and when the government administers a poison, it behooves the government to administer the antidote.

By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. What is the antidote ?-A. Since the American Government has raised up a brass wall, miles in thickness, around capital, it becomes the absolute duty of the government to shatter that wall to pieces in various ways. One way is this: the surplus population of our cities can be assisted very much ; the moneys that we need to keep in existence a useless and unconstitutional Army, give them to take men from the cities and towns to the western plains.

By Mr. RICE: Q. That is, you would help the surplus populations of the cities to go on to the public lands 1--A. Yes, sir; just as the French Government did after the revolution of 1792.

Q. What about the tariff?-A. Shatter it as England did. Q. You believe in free trade ?-A. Free as the wind from heaven, and I believe that the man that has not maubood enough to go out West ought to have the proud privilege of starving in the city.

By Mr. TuomPSON: Q. Did you not complain a moment ago that the government permitted machinery to come in from other cities and manufacture fabrics here to the injury of the laborer ? A. No, sir; I did not; that is the absurd position the government is in.

Q. You were repeating the old man eloquent, but so eloquent you did not understand.-A. I did not come here to be eloquent. I am more eloquent with the hammer and file than with the tongue.

Q. But I understood you to say so.-A. I showed that as one of the absurdities of the government; the government allows free einigration; I showed we had no protective tariff for mechanics, skilled artisans, and mechanics. I said it was absurd to allow free emigration, to fetch the watchmakers and machinist with the machine or watch he made before he left England; it allows them to come here without paying a cent, but the watch or machine must pay a heavy duty. I simply said that to show the absurdity of the thing. I simply come liere to give my ideas, not to make a speech.

By Mr. RICE: Q. I nnderstood you were opposed to the admission of foreign manufactures free of dnty here?--A. No, sir; I am in favor of free trade, as free as England recognizes it. The next thing that the American Government ought to do is to tix the patent laws. In the first place, were the American Government to do what the French Governmeut does, then we would not have this to complain of that I am about to complain of now. Five men forin a sewing-machine combination, and Mr. Potter, now president of the Domestic Company, then president of the Grover & Baker Company, is one. Since 1-62 or 1864, I don't remember the year, another extension of the patent rights was given to the sewing-machine company. Since that time there has been manufactured in the United States 8,000,000 of sewing machines. I undertook, on one occasion, to make a sewing machine, two or three. I had to clear to Canada. Why? Because I dared to use that wbich the law says I had a right to use, the ordinary principles of mechanics. You are aware, sir, that none of the five principles of mechanics are patentable ; nevertheless, every one of these principles is patented by the company owning the sewing-machines. Now, remember, I had to clear to Canada, unless I chose to allow myself to be put in Ludlow-street jail. Why? On account of infringing patent rights.

Q. You admit that the patentee ought to have compensation ?--A. Yes, sir; but if I admit that you are to get a pound of my flesh, it does not follow that you are to take my life, take my all.

Q. Your point is, it ought to be different from what it is ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Yet so long as the United States has seen fit to give the patentee a royalty, he ought to be protected in that?-A. No, sir; lie ought not to be.

Q. You say be ought to have a compensation ?-A. He ought to have compensation.

Q. If he has not bad his compensation in a million of dollars at the outset, as Singer bad from Napoleon, is it wrong that he should have it, say a royalty of a dollar on each macbine?-A. Wait a moment and you will see I am right. Suppose it were conducted here as it is in Saxony; suppose it were conducted here as it is in Glasgow or Edinburgb, any kivd of patent; or, if you like, as I instanced, in the first place, that of France. I go to the government to ask permission to make so many of these sublime machines. The government says: “Are yon able to pay a certain sum?" I say: "Yes, there is the money." I step into the market, and this is the result; this would be the result: I would be able to offer to the people of the United States a sewing-machine similar to that which Mr. Muller, the president of the company in Saxony, exhibited in the Centennial Exbibition, where it was sold for fifteen German thalers, less than fifteen American dollars; while on the very same floor of Machinery Hall this company I have spoken of, and other companies protected by tariff bere, were selling their machines for $65; and were Mr. Muller to come here he would be put in Ludlow-street jail; were Mr. Muller to sell his machines here the company would take care that the high tariff would keep him away.

By Mr. BOYD : Q. What you are opposed to is the extension of the patent under royalty to the inventor ?–A. That is what I object to. There is a company that bought a patent two or three years ago; the patent is still in force. It is called the Domestic Company. It was formerly called the Grover & Baker Company. They come here to the market and advertise in a greenback organ, “ No patronage; co-operation; buy from the manufacturer and save $10 out of $60.” That is, they agree in this: they are free traders when their patent has expired; but go to their office where the patent has not expired. Go to their office a Saturday and ask them what they think of the Domestic patent. Well, of the Domestic patent I think a great deal. Catch them in their other office on Monday, and ask them what they think of protection. I think nothing of protection at all. Allow me to put another case: Go out to Elizabeth, a company where I worked for years, and was not discharged either, ask them what they think of patent rights; they will tell you they were very sorry the injunction did not lie against Mr. Stuart, of Thirty-seventh street, New York; they were very sorry becanse Judge Woodruff did not hold that to prevent Mr. Stuart from making their machine. They were very sorry that Judge Woodruff could not grant an injunction holding that the man who could make a barrel just round had a right to have the manufacture of it preserved to him by a trade-mark. Then that company tried to stop that man. I don't know the man. They are lovers of this tariff. When they found the people of Glasgow could beat them at their own game, they went forth to the city of Glasgow and established a large factory at Mile End, and are free traders there; like, in fact, as the story of Esop says, they blow hot and cold; they warm their hands with tbeir breath and cool their bands with their breath.

By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. Is there any other matter besides the patent laws that contributes to the depres. sion of business ?-A. Yes, sir; I believe there are others.

Q. Well, what others ?-A. Well, it is for the Government of the United States to observe thoroughly, to enforce thoroughly democratic principles in each and all of their departments, no favoritism, to have no preference for any individual of the United States, and to recognize the Constitution to the very letter and spirit. When you asked me that question, perhaps I did not intend to say what I am about to say; but it is very proper it should be said. The Constitution provides for the equality of all men, my right to pursue this, that, or the other mode of effort and life, aud my right to express my views and say who shall represent me. I believe that the best thing you can do is simply this: the people in November, 1976, recognized free trade wben they elected the head and front of free trade; the capitalists combined one with the other against the spirit and letter of the Constitution ; they created another branchI was going to call it a legislative branch. It is not a legislative branch; it is not recognized in the Constitution. The result was that the first wish of the people was set aside, and a fraud put into his place. I came not here to make a speech; but, as you asked that question, the reason why I say a fraud was put in his place is that I came here as an advocate of free trade, and his platform was free trade. The poison can be eliminated by simply saying that all errors can be corrected, and the laws passed by the Congress of the United States are not like the laws of the Medes and Persians. Simply say we can correct an error, we can meet the complaints of the people, and if an error has been done we can rectify it, and will.

By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. How would you rectify it ?-A. I am telling how I would rectify it, and if I can't give you a point, simply say again I am a fraud. I believe that here yesterday by the pedagogue of New Jersey, the yeomen were spoken of. The yeomen of England were imposed upon by a man who was put in office; his name was Cromwell. The English people did what the American people should do; they read up the law and they found that the heir to the throne was in France, and they said this man is a usurper. They turned to the constitution and corrected the error, what the American people ought to do throngb their representatives. You are aware of that. They said we liave been in error in allowing this usurper to be over us, and they did correct the error.

By Mr. Rice: Q. The representatives made the error in the first place by putting in the wrong man 1-A. Yes, sir; but, if I mistake not, the maker of the vessel can break the vessel ; the potter makes the vessel for good or evil, and he that creates can destroy.

Q. Would you have them now do the other thing?-A. Yes, sir; consistency is a jewel.

By Mr. THOMPSON : Q. Is not that in process now ?-A. I think it is in process, very slowly; and perhaps it is like the mills of the gods.

By Mr. RICE: Q. I would like to ask you a few questions on points that have been presented here by others. You think there are a great many people out of work now?-A. I think about a million and a half idle men; that is, men and women, who on Monday morning can say, “God knows, I don't kuow where to go and earn my dinner."

Q. What do you think is the cause of this want of employment ?-A. There are various causes, but the principal one is encouraging monopolies. I am with my communistic friends on that. You can assist us. You can aid us. Now, suppose for a moment that I spent about twenty years in this country trying to assist myself and help others, and I can't get work; I have paid the taxes directly and indirectly; I have been of some little benefit to these people in the city of Brooklyn-I think I have, and some say I bave-I find I can't get work as a machinist; still my children are growing up; I have got to go and ask a position of the politician; often his influence can't get me a position ; I turn then to this government; say, gentlemen, you have given millions and hundreds of millions, in the shape of money and property, to men who had not the first mark in their pockets ; in fact who bad to borrow the money to get their act through Congress; you put them in a higher position than the dukes of Germany ever held; what is good for one should not be bad for the other; give me assistance. Mark me, although I am against this fraudulent money, as there is a gem in the head of the toad, there is a gem in this. Let the government assist us as they have assisted steamboat companies, as the government subsidizes day after day; and is it not subsidizing every day the Pacific and other railroads? 1 say, then, give us means to get west to settle there, and in a few years the peasantry of America will be like the peasantry of France, the bappiest and most prosperous people on the face of God's green earth. France has less large estates than what are here. What is the result? These people have the land divided and subdivided among themselves, and this is the result. These people were able to step in with their means and wipe off the German debt in a few years. The French people had money, but they had also muscular brawn; hence their success.

Q. Then you would have the government aid the poor to go to the western lands ?A. Simply in this extraordinary case.

Q. Do you believe in co-operation, such as has been advanced here ?-A. I do indeed; but if I recognize co-operation I don't recognize coercion. Co-operation is often ased as a misnomer for coercion ; but, as Mr. Hewitt put it yesterday, say, if a man wants to work tifteen and another is for only eight hours, let each work according to bis choice. Mr. Hewitt's ideas cover mine exactly; 1 favor co-operation.

Q. Do you believe in the restriction by the government of the hours of labor ?A. No, sir; I do not. If God has endowed me--some of my friends don't recognize the idea of a God, this old idea of Deity--if He bas endowed me with the power to make a locomotive in six months, when the theoretical communist would take eighteen months, I ought to be allowed to do it.

Q. You don't believe in the restriction of the hours of labor ?-A. That law was offered to four millions of people here in the city of New York, and the four millions voluntarily broke it; and some of these men whom I have beard here I have heard on rostrums fulminating their financial heresies and their social heresies, and some others, that if they were propagated among the people would give us a liell upon earth.

By Mr. Boyd: Q. You think that you have given all the suggestions you know as a remedy for the present condition of things. Now, have you any other remedies to suggest !-A. Well, no; nothing more than this one point. There is a little thing (holding up a piece of metal], the section of a screw; it is known by another name, but I call it the section of a screw. Had I made that in the last fourteen years I would have been put in jail. Here is something else [producing another piece of metal] more dastardly than anything yet, a horse-shoe, not much to look at, although it carries a wonderful tale with it. Mr. Phillips, of Massachusetts, tried to make a horse-shoe nail between two dies without having the impress of the die on the side of the nail. That had been applied in England for one hundred years, but our ingenious Yankee of Massachusetts failed. He says I am not to be beat; I want to have a monopoly of the nail-trade, I want to make all

the nails in Massachusetts. For eighteen months he failed. After seeing that he mus make a virtue of necessity, this enterprising Mr. Phillips went to a patent agent in the city of Boston. The patent agent said I have the idea ; patent the crease ; make it a trade-mark. Mr. Phillips tried to invent a thing for eighteen months, and finally made a virtue of necessity; he goes to the Patent Office and patents his horse-shoe nail and the crease in the center there.

By Mr. Rice: Q. That is on the same point you have already spoken of ?-A. On the same point. The patent was issued to a man that made a virtue of necessity. I hold that untrammeled liberty should be given in these things, that the patent law should be shattered; and, as I suggested about the grinding of God's mills, I pray they may grind a little faster.

VIEWS OF MR. F. BRUNER. Mr. F. BRUNER next appeared before the committee.

By Mr. RICE : Question. You represent yourself ?-Answer. Yes, sir ; I belong to the tailor's trade. I am not delegated by them to represent them here, and I only come before you as you have called for the men of most extreme views in all stations of society. That is what brings me here, for I consider myself one of the most extreme men living in regard to political views. That is what brought me here.

By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. Do you know the points to which the committee desire to call your attention iA. No.

Q. It is not extreme, or other views, or politics generally ; but what the committee desire your views upon, if you have any, is the cause of depression of business and labor generally, and the measures to relieve it.-A. As I mentioned, I am a tailor, and although I have no remedies to suggest, I will just state to you how far our trade has been brought down. I don't think there is any branch of business carried on in this city, or any part of the United States, which has been so much reduced as the tailor trade.

Q. What did it ?-A. The capitalists and overproduction, and the right of the individual to possess property which he has not earned bimself.

Q. How do you propose to remedy it?-A. I bave only one suggestion to make; I have listened here three days, and listened to all the different views, but I do think pretty much all the suggestions that have been made would only be putting a new patch upon an old garnient.

Q. What would you do 1-A. I would suggest that Congress assembles only one week; that is, to let us have a referendum; to give every individual the right to propose laws, and if a certain number assent that this law shall be brought to a vote, and if adopted by the majority of the people, it shall become a law. Then afterward to abolish the executive, Congress go home, abolish the judiciary, and let the people manage themselves.

Q. That would be radical ?-A. That is the only suggestion I have to make.

Q. Because this embraces everything, you bave no other suggestion, I suppose ?A. The views of the party to which I belong have been expressed here; an as I suppose all these things would only be patch-work, I could not suggest anything that would not bring about that state.

Q. Your statement covers all ?-A. Yes, sir.

[ocr errors]

VIEWS OF MR. PATRICK LOGAX.
PATRICK LOGAN next requested to be heard.
Mr. THOMPSON. The committee will hear you for a brief time.

Mr. Rice. I think it may as well be understood by the gentlemen that desire to be heard that the committee of course are inclined to get all the information they can upon the matters that are submitted to them, but we caunot hear every particnlar grievance, special personal grievance, because that would take all summer, and more, too; and where the subject has been once presented by a representative of a certain class of views it is not well for others to take up the time in going over the same subject. We merely make this suggestion to the gentleman, because if we listen to everybody's individual grievance we never should get through.

Mr. LOGAN. I look upon this committee as one of the best that has been appointed by Congress for many years, for this reason, sir, that it gives an opportunity to all classes of the community who have been desirous of laying before Congress their grievances; and I must say that you have got one thing in Washington, at least, that we did not get in New York-you have to contend with a great mountain of chaff in order to select a fow grains of wheat. I have listened, and I have read the whole proceedings that have been brought before this honorable committee, and I say although there may be a few grains of wheat selected the greater part has been å

« AnteriorContinuar »