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Royal Commission on the Natural Resources, Trade, and Legisla
tion of Certain Portions of His Majesty's Dominions.
Minutes of Evidence. Part 1.: Migration. [Cd. 6516.] 1912.
Price 28. 9d.
Part II. : Natural Resources, Trade, and Legislation. [Cd. 6517.]
1912. Price 3s. 6d.
THESE first instalments of the Report of the Dominions Commission contain no more than minutes of preliminary evidence taken in the United Kingdom, together with some papers laid. The first volume treats principally of the facilities for emigration to the principal colonies, and comprises evidence from the AgentsGeneral and from representatives of a number of emigration societies. The second volume deals with a great variety of topics, of which the proposal for a British Empire Trade Mark is dealt with at the greatest length. The Commissioners proceeded in January, 1913, to New Zealand and Australia.
Consular Report on the German Law of 1909 against Unfair
Competition. [Cd. 6006–2.] 1913. Price 2d.
This summary is by Sir Francis Oppenheimer. The general principle of the German law is as follows: "Whosoever commits in commercial intercourse for the purposes of competition acts which are contrary to 'good faith,' can be brought before the courts, for the purposes of an injunction and the payment of damages.” It has been held that “acts” are deemed to be contrary to “good faith” if they are contrary to the sense of decency of the fair and just-minded among the class concerned. Besides this general principle, the law refers to certain specific abuses of unfair competition, of which the chief are abuses in advertisement, abuses in connection with "sales" (i.e., clearance sales, &c.), unfair competition arising out of deceptive quantities sold in retail parcels, the bribing of employés, and unfair comment by a competitor against a man's business reputation.
Statement of the Rates of Import Dulies levied by Foreign
Countries upon the Produce and Manufactures of the United Kingdom, so far as notified to the Board of Trade in October, 1912. [Cd. 6475.] 1912. Price 4s. 10d.
Return Relating to the Rates of Import Duties levied upon
Articles Imported into the British Self-Governing Dominions, Crown Colonies, Possessions and Protectorates, so far as notified to the Board of Trade in October, 1912. [Cd. 6476.] 1912. Price 38. 3d.
THESE two volumes, comprising between them about two thousand pages, form a most valuable and complete work of reference on the subject dealt with. They are classified according to commodities, so that it is possible to compare at a glance the relative height of the tariffs on similar products in a great variety of countries. The rates of duty are given in the English equivalents as well as in the foreign measures and currencies. It is intended to keep these returns up to date by re-issuing them from time to time in the future.
Report of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise for 1911–12.
[Cd. 6462.] Price 9 d. 1912.
This issue contains some useful statistical information relating to Old Age Pensions, and gives an account of the principal alterations effected by the new Old Age Peņsions Act of 1911.
Statement showing how Deposits in Government Savings Banks
in Certain Foreign countries and British Possessions are Employed. [Cd. 6300.] Price 1d. 1912.
Return Showing for every year from 1800 to 1910, inclusive, the
Current Price of British Wheat per quarter, the Highest and
Statistical Abstract for the British Self-Governing Dominions,
Crown Colonies, Possessions, and Protectorates, in each year from 1897 to 1911. (49th number.) [Cd. 6533.] 1912. Price ls. 10d.
Final Report on the First Census of Production of the United
Kingdom (1907). [Cd. 6320.] 1912. Price 7s. 6d. This Report is dealt with in Professor Bowley's article above. Report on Strikes and Lock-Outs and on Conciliation and Arbitra
tion Boards in the United Kingdom in 1911, with Comparative Statistics for 1902–1910. [Cd. 6472.] 1912. Price 10d.
Report on Profit-Sharing and Labour Co-partnership in the
United Kingdom. [Cd. 6496.] 1912. Price 81d. To be reviewed.
Report and Evidence of the Committee of Inquiry into Conditions
of Employment in the Linen and other Making-up Trades of the North of Ireland. [Cd. 6509.] 1912. Price 1s. 9d. To be reviewed.
The attention of readers of Professor Irving Fisher's article on A More Stable Gold Standard, in the last issue of the JOURNAL, is called to an article contributed by Mr. Aneurin Williams to the ECONOMIC JOURNAL of June, 1892, under the title of A "Fixed value of Bullion” Standard. There is a fairly close resemblance between the proposals made by Mr. Williams twenty years ago and those for which Professor Fisher is now conducting so vigorous a campaign :--though Mr. Williams proposed to sell notes, not gold coins, at a varying price in terms of gold bullion. It is interesting also to recall the severe criticisms which were made, from the old-fashioned point of view, in the following number of the JOURNAL by Sir Robert Giffen on what he termed proposals for "fancy currencies."
The principal British Index Numbers have now been published for 1912. Mr. Sauerbeck's Index Number has risen from 80 in 1911 to 85 in 1912, or 6.25 per cent. ; the Economist's from 115.75 to 121.25, or 4:67 per cent., and the Board of Trade's from 109 3 to 1150, or 5:2 per cent. The Board of Trade's Index Number for retail prices of food has risen from 109:3 to 114:9, or 5:1 per cent. Since 1900 the movements of these index numbers, all the numbers for 1900 being reduced to 100 for purposes of comparison, have been as follows:-
1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912
Bd. of Trade Bd. of Trade Wholesale. Retail Food. 100
It has been announced that Mr. Sauerbeck will no longer continue the compilation of his index number, but that it will appear in future in the Statist.
THE fluctuations in the percentages of unemployed in the period 1903–1912, according to the Board of Trade's returns relating to about 850,000 members of Trade Unions, have been as follows :
1903 1904 1905 1906 1907
4.7 6:0 5.0 3.6 3.7
1908 1909 1910 1911 1912
7.8 7.7 4:7 3:0 3.2
But for the inflated figure for March, due to the coal dispute, the percentage for 1912 would have been a good deal lower than for 1911.
DR. JAMES BONAR, Deputy Master of the Ottawa Mint, recently delivered an interesting address in Canada on the roundabout way in which the huge loans, now being made by this country to Canada, are remitted. In fifteen years Canada's loans, for all purposes, chiefly from England, have amounted to about £400,000,000. In 1911 they were about £44,000,000, and 1912 £36,000,000. As a natural consequence of this huge import of capital, Canada has an adverse trade balance, amounting in 1911 to £35,000,000. But, Dr. Bonar pointed out, the balance of trade between Great Britain and Canada is in Canada's favour-by £5,500,000. The loans cannot be made, therefore, by the method of direct trading. We find, on the other hand, that between Canada and the United States there is a trade balance adverse to
1 For the Economist index number the mean is taken between the index at the beginning and end of the year, i.e., the index for 1912 is the mean between the index for Jan. 1, 1912, and that for Jan. 1, 1913.
Canada to the amount of £35,000,000. Thus, in a sense, the English loan may be said to have financed the American trade.
A CORRESPONDENT writes : An Investigation of the conditions of Life of the Finnish Workman, by one of the women factory inspectors of Finland, has been lately published. Out of 953 expenditure books issued, to be filled in during fifty-two weeks, 380 were found to be perfect. Among other interesting results, the following average percentages were found to be spent on different forms of food : bread, 14:1; milk and cream, 99; butter, 7:8; cheese, 0:5; eggs, 0.8; meat (excluding sausages), 6:2; sausages, 1.4; fish, 18; potatoes, 2:4; vegetables, 0:7; fruit, 1; sugar, 4:3; coffee, 2:7; tea, 0:2; salt, vinegar, and spices, 0:3; mineral water and beer, 0-7; sundries, 0:6; making a total of 55:4 per cent. The proportionate expenditure on different articles as compared with that in other countries worked out as follows :
THE effect of a shortening of the working day on the employer's cost of production has recently been the subject of investigation in France. As is well known, the first attempt to fix a working-day in France by the State was the decree of September 9th, 1848, which provided for a 12-hours day; and a 12 hours day remained the normal maximum until 1900, when 11 hours was fixed by statute. The law of 1900 provided, however, that two years after its promulgation (i.e., March 30th, 1902) the legal working-day should be reduced to 10} hours; and two years after that (i.e., on March 30th, 1904) to 10 hours. But there was never any very strict enforcement of the law. Wherever the conditions were such as to warrant a longer working day, means were provided which allowed of the prolongation. Even where the law has been tolerably well maintained, employers are not, however, complaining of the increased cost of production necessitated by the increased cost of labour. One result of the shortened working-day has been an increase in the system of piece-work, which is replacing to some extent the former conditions of timework.