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home in the quiet and monotony of farm life,--but the social surroundings, especially in a Western state like Iowa, were almost idyllic.
In any case, it is obvious that such an experience as this, interesting as it must be to every one who wishes a close view of the lives of manual workers, can tell but a fragment of the story, and by no means the most significant fragment. It is the casual unmarried labourer whom Mr. Wyckoff sees and consorts with. Of the labourer who marries and founds a family, and so constitutes the normal case, or at least the case which we should wish to be normal, he could see virtually nothing. No doubt the unskilled labourers are in large part recruited from the ranks of the casual and unmarried searchers for work, but it is at least a question whether they constitute the most important element in the class. It would be easy to get a distorted impression as to the condition of this social stratum, if the inevitable limitation in Mr. Wyckoff's observations were forgotten.
Mr. Flynt's volume touches an entirely different problem. He disguised himself, apparently not for one continuous journey, but on several occasions, as a professional tramp, thus consorting familiarly with the “hobos," as these gentry are termed in the slang of the United States. Himself a hobo for the time being, he studied their habits and ways, even their jargon, and here reports his observations. While most of his experiences were with the American tramps, he associated also for brief periods with those of Germany and England, and with the religious and unreligious beggars of Russia; and he gives interesting accounts of his experiences in these countries also. The life of the habitual beggar and vagabond, it seems, is much easier and more prosperous in the United States than in England or Germany; Mr. Flynt reports a much higher standard of comfort and even of outward apparrel. Police supervision is on the whole more effective in England and Germany than in the United States, but varies again in different parts of the United States, being more stringent, forinstance, in Massachusetts than in the neighbouring states of New York and Pennsylvania. Whatever the degree of police activity, Mr. Flynt points out that it is hopeless to suppress habitual beggary as long as a mass of well-to-do people, and of the poor no less, will respond indiscriminately to appeals to their compassion. Such seems to be the disposition of the kind-hearted Germans; hence the continuance in Germany of professional vagabondage, notwithstanding a high degree of police vigilance. In the United States the nuisance is spread and maintained by the railways, whose lax management enables the tramps to transfer themselves over the wide continent with astounding ease. Mr. Flynt reports that a tramp may appear on Broadway in New York on one day, and two weeks thereafter may present himself in San Francisco. Like their betters, the tramps move with the seasons, and betake themselves southward in large numbers during the winter months. The common mode of transportation is in empty freight cars, blackmail being often
paid to the brakemen, at a price of something like ten cents per hundred miles. Where empty freight cars are not available, the tramps ride, incredible as it may seem, on the trucks under the body of the car. It is clear that regular inspection and policeing of the railway trains would go far to abate the nuisance, to the gain alike of the public and of the railways. Mr. Flynt estimates that there are in the United States not less than sixty thousand tramps ; a number which stringent police regulation could very easily reduce to much smaller dimensions.
While the tramp is usually distinct from the criminal, there is inevitable a constant contact between the two classes, and more or less transference from one to the other. The habitual criminal, after he has lost his nerve, becomes the comparatively harmless professional tramp. In his opening chapters, Mr. Flynt, as the outcome of his contact with the criminal class, comes to the conclusion that they are not physical, moral and mental degenerates, and that the criminological theories which rest on the assumption of abnormal or stunted development, are not in accord with the facts. The criminal is far from an irresponsible person. His general health is good, unless broken by confinement in prison. His education is not below the average, although he commonly deceives prison officials as to the extent of his attainments. In short, Mr. Flynt believes that he is “physically, mentally and morally responsible,” and needs to be dealt with accordingly.
F. W. TAUSSIG
Bei Krupp. Eine Socialpolitische Reiseskizze. By Dr. W. KLEY.
(Leipzig: Dunkler and Humblot. 1899. Pp. 165.)
Dr. W. KLEY's visit to Essen, which he here describes, was chiefly with a view of studying the attempts made by the firm of Krupp to solve the housing problem for the large industrial colony which has sprung up round their works, but it has inspired him with the deepest admiration for everything that he found there, and not least for the personality of the founder of the firm, Alfred Krupp. This admiration has indeed led him into what we cannot help suspecting to be some. what undiscriminating praise for all the arrangements made by the firm for their workpeople, and he is astonished at the ingratitude of the latter whenever they fail to take the same view; but still he certainly shows that the government of an industrial colony by a benevolent despotism at Essen is one of the most ambitious and also the most successful attempts of the kind which has ever been made.
At the beginning of 1899 the number of persons employed in different capacities by the firm of Krupp was no less than 41,750, and of these 25,133 were directly connected with the iron-works at Essen. As until 1844 there were less than 100 men employed in the works, and the whole population of the town amounted to about 7,000, it is evident that the question of housing the rapidly growing population must have presented serious difficulties. These, however, have from
the beginning been met and overcome by the energetic action of the firm. As early as 1856 large barracks or lodging-houses for unmarried workmen were built, and these are still in use. Dr. Kley speaks very favourably of the rather rough comfort and plentiful wholesome food which is provided in them for very low prices, though the detailed and stringent rules as to the conduct and manners of the inmates, which he quotes, would scarcely be tolerated perhaps by English workmen. In 1863 the firm built its first colony of dwellings for workmen's families, and has added to these from time to time; so that in 1897 the number of such dwellings was 3,390, of which 1,758 were tworoomed, 1594 three-roomed, 400 four-roomed, and the remainder of five or more rooms. Most of them are built in small detached houses, each containing one, two, or four dwellings. Dr. Kley describes some of these houses as having very attractive architectural features, as well as being well-built and commodious, and the illustrations in his book quite support this claim. The dwellings are let to workpeople only, at moderate rents, the regular payment of which is rigidly enforced; and a staff of inspectors, with the power of entering any dwelling at any time, see that they are kept in good repair and require cleanliness and orderliness from the tenants. One colony at a little distance from the town consists of almshouses for the use of disabled workpeople, and of workmen's widows; and amongst the various groups of dwellings provision has been made for post-offices, markets, libraries, and assembly-rooms.
The firm of Krupp has further undertaken to provide all the necessaries of life for the workpeople. It has its own gas-works and water-works, the purity of both water and gas being ensured by a daily analysis. In 1868 a small co-operative store in the town fell into difficulties, and was taken over by the firm, and this has developed into a large commercial business. In 1896 there were seventy-three retail stores under the management of the firm, and to supply their needs two slaughter-houses, one mill, two bake-houses, one ice-factory, one brush factory, two tailors' workshops, and one shoemakers' workshop had been opened. The good quality and purity of the goods sold in the stores was from the first insisted upon, and at the beginning the prices charged were only sufficient to cover the actual expenses. It was, however, found that this attracted a large number of customers who were not connected with the iron-works, and the prices were therefore raised to the level of those current in the neighbourhood. All workpeople employed by the firm of Krupp, who deal with the stores, are provided with books in which the amount of their purchases is entered, and receive a dividend at the end of the year in proportion to this amount, so that the character of cooperative stores is to some extent maintained. The work people, or customers, do not, however, appear to be in any way associated with the management. Several restaurants and public houses, as well as an hotel, have also been provided and are managed by the firm.
The interests of the work people with regard to sick and accident funds, old age pensions, and savings banks have not been neglected, and Dr. Kley shows how in these respects the firm of Krupp antici. pated the requirements of the German insurance laws, and still goes far beyond them.
Another very interesting section of the book is devoted to the life of Alfred Krupp, the real founder of the firm, and to his relations with his work people. The latter were not always peaceable, but if he seems to have succeeded in carrying out the determination he expressed, " to be and remain the master in his own house and on his own land,” he never forgot to provide for the welfare of those who were dependent upon him in the way which he considered best.
A. H. BLOMEFIELD
A History of the English Poor Law, Vol. III., from 1834 to the
Present Time, being a supplementary volume to "A History
We must take a preliminary objection to Mr. Mackay's work ; it is not well described by its title. The monumental treatise which bears the name of Sir George Nicholls, and has recently been edited by Mr. Willink, is a conscientious attempt to trace the development of a poor law step by step down to 1854, and it is remarkable as much for what it omits as for what it states. It does not aim at being a philosophical treatise or a moral essay. It is chary of principles, and equally chary of precepts. No doubt the reader rises from it with convictions which will guide his practice, but these are borne in upon him by the facts, not presented to him in a didactic form. Now Mr. Mackay's book is not really a continuation at all, and that for two reasons. First, it covers an immense amount of the same ground as does Nicholls's, and secondly, the spirit of it is wholly different. The facts do not teach a lesson, they illustrate a principle. In short, Mr. Mackay's cast of mind differs wholly from that of Sir George Nicholls's. The quotation from Hegel on the first page raised suspicions which the rest of the work justifies, for probably no man was ever less of a Hegelian than his predecessor.
The book falls into three parts, divided : I. chronologically, from 1834 to 1847 ; II. as to topics “ reserved for separate treatment"; III. the Present and the Future. As Part I. reaches to p. 329, and the whole book is 617 pp., it will be seen that more than half is taken up with the treatment of matters already handled by Nicholls. At any rate, the work has been carefully idone, the reasoning, assuming certain premises, is cogent, the style vigorous, and everywhere the reader is impressed with the writer's knowledge of his subject. Mr. Mackay holds a brief for a particular method of administration, and
this is an application of his general principles. He sees in the poor law a survival of the old status as opposed to contract, and he is set on getting rid of it. What we want is more competition to brace our jaded systems, to strengthen our moral fibre, and to make independent citizens. These objects are all more or less unattainable where a poor law is found. The extent to which such provision interferes with the true, proper development of society is a question of administration, but the fact of a poor law at all is in itself a hindrance. When, in addition, a poor law is administered with any but the utmost rigour, it is more than a hindrance, it is a corrupting force. So far does he carry his views that he is prepared to abolish wholly the element of local self-government. He has no confidence in the wisdom or the knowledge of the average ratepayer or his nominee; he is in favour of superseding them by representatives of a central office. As to this it may be said : (1) the difficulties of poor law administration are largely due to the admixture of the local and central principle of government. The scheme, so to say, was framed from the point of view of a highly centralised machinery, and, as a result, the only question which really interests Boards of Guardians is that on which they are allowed a discretion, viz., the kind of relief to be given. (2) It is, in view of the facts, impossible to avoid placing the administration in the hands of the taxed. They may be very ignorant, very partial, but political education is slow. Patience is essential to watch the growth of healthy wisdom in the electorate. No one can fail to see a great progress since 1834 in the knowledge and the spirit of guardians; it is for our generation to educate a yet larger body of electors. (3) The problem of administration is not so simple as it may seem. Thus, in the case of prisons, the substitution of a central authority for a local has robbed inspection of all its virtue. The experiments tried by local bodies are most instructive, and the influence of individuals can really tell.
The points on which Mr. Mackay seems to us to bring forward new matter or fresh light are these :
1. He has a better opinion than most of us of the Justice of the Peace as an administrator of the poor law. It has been long the fashion to speak as if the vices of the old system were mainly the result of magisterial interference. Mr. Mackay thinks that, at any rate, magistrates were as representative as modern guardians.
2. The relation between the Repeal of the Corn Laws and Settlement is well brought out, and the incompatibility of maintaining the one in face of the abolition of the other. We could wish that a little more had been said on the question : How far the new poor law really presupposed the abolition of the Corn Laws, and the opposition to it, was due to the fact that it preceded, instead of following, the abolition ?
3. The failure of the Union Chargeability Act of 1865 to fulfil the No. 37.- VOL. X