« НазадПродовжити »
All this is introductory matter, but withal very necessary for a proper understanding of the main issue of the book-a study of strikes-to which fully a third of the space is devoted. Nor is any aspect of the subject overlooked. The psychology underlying strikes, the organisation of strikes, the practice of picketing, what the law thinks about industrial conflicts, and much more that is germane,-all receive attention. But the most interesting section is that which deals with strike statistics. Dr. Schwittau is quite emphatic in his declaration that the German method of collecting materials is far inferior to the English. The Board of Trade has special Labour correspondents whose business this very important work is ; in Germany it is placed in the hands of the local police. Further comment is needless from the point of view of exact statistics. As for the ideal system of strike figures, Dr. Schwittau suggests a scheme which should find general support. To begin with, there should be a clear delimitation of the strike uniteither the area affected, or the industry concerned, or the particular business or factory where the trouble prevails. In any event, it should be perfectly plain. Next in importance is the duration of the strike. In England, for example, no statistics are compiled about strikes that last a shorter period than a day, though in America even strikes of such brief length are noted and considered (since 1901). As for the number of strikers, a few accompanying facts should always be given-e.g., sex, and whether organised workers are concerned or not. The length of the conflict is, of course, a necessary fact; so is the cause of the strike, and last, not least, what the results were-a question manifestly difficult to determine. It would be a boon to economic science all over the world if it were possible to come to some agreement about one general method of collecting and publishing strike statistics.
An interesting accompaniment of the growth of trade union influence is the resort to the boycott and the institution of the label, two topics which have not hitherto received much attention. Dr. Schwittau treats of both very fully, giving not only a description of each, but also a consideration of their effectiveness. Both in England and in Germany the label is not so well-known as in America. In England opinion among trade unionists seems to be divided upon the subject. Nevertheless, the trade union label is to be found in this country; we have ourselves eaten bread which bore a label attesting that the baker was a good trade union man.
A thorough treatment of industrial disputes must take cognisance of the organisation of both sides. This Dr. Schwittau does. His study of masters' organisations is no less thorough than that of the men's. Finally, he devotes a good chapter to the settlement of disputes, and this particular section is distinguished by the illustrations drawn from the experience of Victoria, New Zealand, and Canada. In the rest of the book the author limits himself to the conditions prevalent in England, Germany, and the United States, conditions which, so far as the first two countries are concerned, he has studied at first hand on the spot. For the third he has had to rely on printed material, but so wide has his net been that he has swept in pretty well everything of significance.
This leads us to the last remark as to literature generally. No less than thirty pages are needed to give a list of the sources to which the author has referred. We may say that it will form a worthy adjunct to the excellent bibliography in Webb's History of Trade Unionism, including as it does works in four languages (English, French, German, and Russian). The book was written originally in Russian (1910), and was then translated into German (1912). The translator has performed his task satisfactorily enough, but there are numerous printer's errors which should be removed in the next edition. We cannot give a complete list, but such small slips as George III. without the initial capital, Weeb, or Ben Tilled, should certainly be avoided.
Industrial Warfare : the Aims and Claims of Capital and Labour.
By CHARLES WATNEY and JAMES A. LITTLE. (London:
WE like almost everything about this excellent book except the title. Industrial Warfare does not give at all a correct idea of its contents, and, apart from this, we cannot help thinking that the sooner the practice of speaking of industrial disputes in terms of war is abandoned, the better. The strike is not a state of war, neither is a lock-out. The sub-title, The Aims and Claims of Capital and Labour, however, really explains the scope and object of the book, and seems much more satisfactory. As the preface states, “Despite the universality of interest in the Labour movement, there does not appear to exist any epitome which may explain to the ordinary reader the exact significance and the probabilities of the growing unrest. With that primary object the authors have compiled this volume, though they venture to hope that even the student, the politician, and the expert may welcome a résumé in encyclopædic form which may usefully supplement the more detailed and specialised literature of the various aspects of the whole question” (p. v). This plan has been carried out very successfully. The book is, of course, almost entirely descriptive, and the authors have contented themselves for the most part with a bare statement of facts, abstaining, except in one or two places, from any argument or criticism. Generally speaking, what little criticism there is appears eminently sane, e.g., the view taken in the Introduction of the causes of labour unrest. The aims and aspirations of both employers and employed are very clearly and fairly explained, the information given is well arranged and put into very readable form, and the book is, as far as we are able to judge, remarkably accurate.
The main body of the book consists of ten chapters, vi-xv inclusive, which deal with the relations of labour and capital in most of our industries. They contain information as to the amount of capital involved, the profits obtained, the wages earned, the hours of labour, &c., in the particular industry under discussion; while a careful account of the causes which have led to recent disputes, as well as of the way in which these disputes have been conducted, is given in the chapters dealing, e.g., with the railways, transport workers, and mines. At the end of each of these chapters dealing with particular trades there are a few paragraphs which may perhaps be described as a sort of industrial Who's Who, giving a short account of the principal trade union leaders, as well as of the leading figures amongst the employers. Besides these chapters, the book contains amongst other things a good statement of the views of the employers, of labour, and of the public respectively, as to the remedies for labour unrest, a good account of the extent of co-partnership and profit-sharing in industry, and a useful statement and explanation of legal rulings, especially in connection with trade unions.
Satisfactory as the book undoubtedly is on the whole, there are one or two weak points, slips, and omissions, which may be noticed. We cannot agree with the authors when they say “a general increase in the price of commodities rarely affects the very poor” (p. 7), or “there has not been much increase in the actual cost of living in recent years ” (p. 280). Nor do we think it is true to say that trade unionism is now reconciled to copartnership (p. 238). Surely more than 884,291 trade unionists were represented at the Congress in 1912 (p. 23), and why is there no mention of the Children Act of 1908 in the summary of labour legislation (ch. xxi)? These are, however, defects which should not detract greatly from the usefulness of the book, which ought to do something towards removing the many prejudices and misunderstandings prevailing among the working classes with regard to the position of employers in industrial questions, as well as the strange and widespread misconceptions which still exist among other classes as to the aims and aspirations of labour.
H. SANDERSON FURNISS
Provincial and Local Taxation in Canada. By SOLOMON
VINEBERG, PH.D. Columbia University Studies in Political
The medley of existing taxes in Canada, comprising at once the most primitive and the most advanced forms, can only be properly explained in relation to geographical and historical conditions, and to constitutional development. Dr. Vineberg has carried out the task with great care and thoroughness, reducing a chaotic mass of detail into intelligible order and interesting form. The hopeless failure of the personal property tax is well distinguished from the similar situation in the United States by the comparative ease and rapidity of the movement towards reform rendered possible by the absence of such constitutional restrictions as make progress so difficult in that country. An interesting point that is well made is the dynamic influence of this tax in discouraging the growth of distributing centres ; Winnipeg abandoned it and reaped the advantage of her present economic position, while Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are “growing restive under a system which gives an advantage to their competitors in Quebec and Ontario," the latter giving the tax up chiefly through agitation based upon a similar grievance. Businesses which do not carry large stocks but which have large annual returns are, of course, unduly favoured.
In his ideas of reform for the business tax, corporation tax, and other imposts, Dr. Vineberg sees always the complete income tax, but it is always “not yet”—“a sense of public morality and perfection of administrative machinery must first be developed. As an improvement upon the present business taxes he suggests a system which is not an income tax, but which is to yield the same results-a presumptive form scientifically determined. In each class of business the ratios borne by the rental value (of premises occupied) to profits are to be sampled and averaged. It is presumed that a well-defined mode is anticipated,
rather than an average.
The result will be an index number applicable to all rents in the same business, so that a tax may be levied upon the rent, thus weighted, to give a result like a tax on profits. If businesses tend to similarity in size, are so narrowly distributed geographically that the pure economic surplus in rental value hardly varies, present stable results in relation to the time-element, and also have little scope for the personal element, such a presumptive system may give a rough approximation. But on our side we are struck with the idea of taxing cotton profits or a financial agent's income on these lines! That an inquisitorial income tax is objectionable because it makes it "impossible to conceal a lean year,” would also be a somewhat refreshing point of view for our officials. The Canadian problem is bound up with the necessity for central co-ordination and conference, for the scientific elaboration of corporation taxes, and for administrative arrangements to prevent overlapping and duplication. "Let benefit enter in to designate the authority to which the tax is to be paid, while ability shall determine the amount payable,” is the author's wise saying, and its force is by no means limited to the problems of the West.
J. C. STAMP
Les Finances Ottomanes. By A. HEIDBORN.
Leipzig : C. W. Stern. 1912. Pp. 295.)
This ambitious treatise on public law and administration in the Ottoman Empire is planned in four volumes, of which the above is the second, dealing with Finance. The first has already won golden opinions for its comprehensiveness ; it treated of the sources and principles of Turkish legislation, of the head of the State, of nationality, and of justice. Let it be said at once that its companion volume is in no respect behind the first in the minuteness of its details. One would have expected a book of this kind to be a little dull. Readers will hardly find this to be the case throughout, for the historic notes on the different sorts of taxes, and the general comments on their effects, serve, here and there, as a welcome contrast to the facts and figures which the pages contain. Nevertheless, when all is said, the book is for the specialist, and he will find it invaluable.
In a country where there is a Government, but only a minimum of government (for as long as the provinces pay their taxes regularly the central power is very slack), a consideration of the