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present; and it is pretty obvious from the report that the first concern of most of those attending the lectures was to improve their knowledge of the language of the country they were visiting.
It is possible that this state of affairs was not altogether present to the minds of the authorities of the London School of Economics when they invited the Society to hold its 1912 meeting in London ; otherwise they would have been satisfied with the attendance of 203 persons "mostly from the Continent," and would not have been disappointed at the presence of "so few Englishmen.” Many of those present had their expenses paid by their own governments and schools. Mr. Reeves, in his Preface, remarks that “it would be well for English County Councils, Chambers of Commerce, &c., to offer similar encouragement to their picked students.” But this is already being done by several education authorities for teachers of languages in their areas; and doubtless teachers in commercial schools are as eligible as others. Certainly more could profitably be done in this direction. We are still quite absurdly insular in this country; and if half the teachers of “Commercial French” or “Commercial German" in evening classes could be given an opportunity to go to France or Germany for three weeks, it would do them a great deal of good and possibly some little good to British trade. But we need not overestimate the example we are asked to follow.
Of the lectures given in London ten are printed in the present volume. The first is on the Bank of England, by Mr. Frederick Huth Jackson. It shows how all is for the best in the best of all possible banking systems. Then follows one by Dr. ArmitageSmith on the British System of Taxation. It indicates, not obscurely, to the benighted foreigner how superior is the British system of taxation for revenue only--with the not insignificant exception of the taxes on alcohol-to the sort of thing they ought to be groaning under in their own countries. Incidentally it expounds Adam Smith’s canons in a free-trade sense which had not occurred to the master. When Smith spoke of the desirability of “certainty,” he at any rate was not thinking of the "real incidence" of import duties. Next comes a lecture on Postal Organisation, which contains some interesting bits of information, but also a large quantity of quite uninstructive detail : like the table of the London staff and their scales of pay, with entries such as this :
Of different quality are Mr. Douglas Owen’s lectures on London as a Port, and on the Machinery of Marine Insurance; two well-written sketches, which will set a student thinking. Much the same may be said about Mr. Barling on British Shipping. It is amusing to see how afraid the lecturer is to speak quite frankly in favour of shipping combines. “The rebate system certainly rules out a certain measure of competition-but the position of the shipowner is at least deserving of recognition,” &c. The humour of the situation is that while everybody in England still does lip service to Competition, everyone whose business makes it his interest to combine is now hard at work combining. Mr. Bisgood's two lectures on Life and Fire and other more modern forms of Insurance also have form and movement; and perhaps their matter is rather more novel. It is interesting to notice the tendency towards amalgamation in insurance business, and the practical control of the whole of the fire insurance business obtained by the Fire Offices' Committee or “Tariff.” The lecturer becomes positively amusing when he describes the methods of "industrial” insurance. According to Mr. Bisgood, the £4,000 subscribed capital of the Prudential has been raised to a present capital of £1,000,000 solely by appropriations from profits, and last year it paid £550,000 to its shareholders. This is probably unparalleled ; but it is this sort of thing, on a lesser scale, which makes it so difficult to ascertain statistically the rate of profit. The next lecture, on the Coal Industry, is platitudinous; and, coming from the Editor of the Colliery Guardian, rather disappointing. The coal miners will take note of the observation as to wages boards, that the admission of “the principle that other factors, besides selling prices, such as trade prospects, the volume of trade, &c., may be introduced in settling the wage rate” “has operated in the long run to the advantage of the workmen." But one would like to know what is really meant by a sage-sounding utterance like this: "Those who may be best trusted to form an estimate are agreed in believing that ... a permanent rise in the price of fuel may be looked for as soon as a revival in the demand places the balance of power in the hands of the trade.” There is much virtue in as soon as."
An outline by Mr. Graham of the various branches of the Woollen and Worsted Industries completes the series.
In his Preface Mr. Reeves thus expresses himself
"It is a mistake to think that we are indifferent on the question of commercial education in England. The leading men in
industrial and commercial affairs are keenly and anxiously interested. But they have not yet decided what type of education is required. Let us trust they will do so before long. When the young man who wishes to enter business knows that a certain definite type of education is required, he will not be backward in getting that education."
My experience, I am afraid, is less encouraging than Mr. Reeves's. I have come across very few leading men who can be called “keenly and anxiously interested ” without a straining of language. A few, very few, are really keen, though many are vaguely dissatisfied with things as they are. It is hopeless (I cannot help thinking) to expect the business world itself ever to "decide what type of education is required." Those of us who are in charge of Schools of Economics and Faculties of Commerce have the task laid upon us of translating the inarticulate desires of the business world into systematic intellectual disciplines. And I cannot but regret that Mr. Reeves should have employed, even within marks of quotation, the term “business-getter” to describe the product we are to aim at. In a sense, every efficient business man is a “business-getter.” But the term owes its present vogue to a rather cheap sort of "business magazine,” which identifies commercial ability with adroit advertising and seductive correspondence. These have their place ; but their present prominence in such magazines is due chiefly to the fact that they are the easiest things for the "business journalist” to write about amusingly.
W. J. ASHLEY
(Edition Pol-Moss. 1912.
La Réclame. By VICTOR MATAJA.
THE significance of the present pamphlet lies in the fact that it is by the pen of a distinguished Austrian jurist, who in 1910 published a serious work on “Advertising" in general, which has had a large vogue on the Continent of Europe. The present study suffers from severe compression of material to an extent which almost destroys the logical significance of the concrete teaching which it is the author's aim to impress on his readers.
Another handicap to its wide acceptance in this country lies in the fact that it is addressed to the author's fellow-countrymen, who have not yet reached the same level of enterprise and progressive methods in business which are the current standard among western communities. Various principles are enunciated
and practices enjoined which in this country are methods so well known that they are on the point of being replaced. The most useful lessons which he has to inculcate are drawn chiefly from American experience. Still he throws due weight on one or two principles which, though well known, are often forgotten among us; such as, that it is at present more difficult to sell à commodity than to manufacture it (p. 14); that the effect of very extensive advertising is to make known not only the qualities, but the defects of any commodity with startling rapidity (p. 22); that the special influence of psychology on advertising is critically important (p. 30, 31); that the cumulative effect of good advertising makes the results achieved by it advance in geometrical progression (p. 39); that the manufacturer maintains touch with the consumer only through a long chain of intermediaries (p. 48); and finally, which is the keynote of the book, that no advertising will secure a permanent sale for what is not wanted by the public (p. 52).
G. BINNEY DIBBLEE
Experiments in Industrial Organisation. By EDWARD CADBURY,
with a Preface by Professor W. J. ASHLEY. (Longmans, Green and Co. 1912. Pp. 296.)
MR. CADBURY'S volume contains a detailed and extremely interesting account of the various forms of welfare work which are in operation at the Bournville cocoa and chocolate factory. We have all, of course, long been aware of the general character of what his firm has endeavoured to do for its workpeople, and have been ready to join in the tribute of admiration which Professor Ashley, in his introductory Preface, pays to their active sense of social duty. I doubt, however, if many, even of those who have had the
have had the privilege of personally visiting Bournville, have hitherto fully realised how great an amount of thought and care must have been expended in the development of the various arrangements, organisations and institutions which are now flourishing there. I shall not attempt in this review any enumeration of them or any summary of Mr. Cadbury's book. To appreciate what is being done one needs, not an outline, but the detail to be found in the book itself. The underlying spirit, however, is well shown in a small rule on a matter of minor importance : “The names of a few girl employees, who suffer from weak heart, etc., are sent by the doctor to the Girls' Works Committee, and these girls are allowed to leave their workrooms
five minutes before the usual time of closing, both at the dinnerhour and in the evening, in order that they may avoid the rush which is inevitable when thousands are leaving work” (p. 96). A trifle this, no doubt, but a trifle indicative of much! Mr. Cadbury's book contains a few references to general questionshow far an employer, in establishing institutions, should make them special to his works or general to his town or village, and so forth—but practically the whole of it consists in a simple and direct account of the work of the firm. To students whose interest in economics is bound up with an interest in bettering social life, it cannot be recommended too strongly. For in it they will find set out an example of what Dr. Marshall has taught us to regard as a great need of the age-true economic chivalry.
A. C. PIGOU
Medical Benefit in Germany and Denmark. By I. G. GIBBON,
B.A., D.Sc. (London: P. S. King & Son. 1912. Pp.
Price 6s. net.)
In this book Mr. Gibbon maintains, and even increases, the reputation which he already possessed as an authority on this subject. Compared with his previous work on Unemployment Insurance, this one seems to be the better of the two. For it possesses to the full the many merits of the earlier book, and, in addition, is decidedly the more readable. As before, Mr. Gibbon is most happy in his selection both of subject-matter and treatment. He has limited his inquiries to two countries which form an admirable contrast to one another. For Germany has a compulsory, and Denmark a voluntary, system. The working of the two, therefore, can be contrasted, and a very interesting contrast it is. Moreover, in each of them the system of insurance is more widely extended than elsewhere. It is a pity, however, that at the end a chapter has not been devoted to a general comparison of the workings of the two systems, summing up what has been said about them in the body of the book.
The general method of treatment is of the same character as that adopted in Unemployment Insurance. The subject is divided into five chief sections, dealing respectively with choice of medical practitioners, their remuneration, control of medical service, medical and surgical requirements, and institutional benefit. Finally, there is a short chapter on insurance and public health authorities, and a longer one of general conclusions, summarising the detailed verdicts which he has given in