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county, but in proportion to the amount of grants each county received from the State !
Altogether, in this treatise, although we have had to differ from some of its conclusions and some of its methods, the student will find a careful, thoughtful and able examination of a very complicated subject—an examination which places in the hands of all caring to study the matter much that is most helpful, much that is indispensable. And if we have ventured to disagree with Mr. Chapman in no uncertain manner, it is the disagreement of respect for a cautious and able investigator. Mr. Chapman has taken a comprehensive survey of his subject. He has adopted the analytical method of treatment, and has come to his conclusions after close examination of details, and once
more the irresponsible methods of politicians, aided by the inefficient criticism of Government departments, stands condemned by the light of expert research. The objections which we have raised to Mr. Chapman's conclusions in no wise affect the final results. Our objections apply to some of the intermediate stages, and amount to this—that Mr. Chapman has not gone far enough along the lines he himself has started from. If he had proceeded as far as he could have gone, his results would have been far more conspicuous, but they would have been of the same character. And we cannot help asking how long it will be before the Government will recognise such criticism as this, and whether the Royal Commission now sitting will report fully on scientific lines, or will follow the old lines and give the world a political report.
Dictionary of Political Economy. Edited by R. H. INGLIS
PALGRAVE, F.R.S. Vol. III., N-Z. (London: Macmillan
and Co: 1899. Medium 8vo. 762 pp. Price 21s. net.)
Plaudite! The third act is over, and the first Dictionary of Political Economy to be completed in the English language is before us. The list of contributors is a brilliant one. They have played their parts well, and the editor has managed them with great ability. Though he has himself written very little for the Dictionary, his influence in it has been felt throughout, and his leisure has for many years been absorbed in unremitting attention to the work, which will remain his lasting monument. A word of thanks is also due to the publishers for their public spirit in making themselves responsible for so considerable an undertaking. If its success is at all commensurate with its deserts, they may congratulate themselves upon a very valuable venture. No working economist can afford to be without this Dictionary. To consult it is to save time. If we do not find in the compass of an article all we need to know on a given subject, we are always supplied with references to more ample sources of knowledge. Hitherto, many of us have wasted half our labour in vainly searching for the proper books or reading the wrong ones. Much of this should now be at an end.
Mr. Palgrave's Dictionary emerges successfully from the severe test of comparison with its French and German predecessors. It embraces a wider range of topics; and, instead of finding the whole of the work done by a few able hands, we discover that the editor has apparently aimed at securing a specialist for each important article. Space would fail us to examine the articles in detail; but, opening the volume at hazard, we find in successive pages the authors of lengthy books giving us the pith of their work in articles, e.g., Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice writes on Petty, M. Schelle on the Physiocrats, Professor Sidgwick on Political Economy, Mr. T. Mackay on Poor Law, and Dr. Bonar on Population. Add to this that legal, commercial, and financial terms are included in the Dictionary, and that, for instance, every coin of importance seems to be accurately described by one or other of the Mint officials, and it will be seen that the number of contributors is necessarily very large. There are more articles and more specialists than in the other Economic Dictionaries. For this reason the articles are of unequal value; but the inequality is due rather to the excellence of the best than the defects of the worst.
Comparing this third volume with the first and second volumes, we think we discover a marked improvement, especially in the direction of short articles on early and obscure writers, admirably executed by M. Castelot in many cases, and by an increased attention to bibliography. The editor has, no doubt, profited by experience, and if he were beginning his task anew would improve considerably even upon the present work. Dr. Bonar's admirable article upon Adam Smith is especially worthy of notice, and his wise and learned co-operation throughout has tended to make the Dictionary what it is. Professor Flux's article on Polegraphy breaks fresh ground in statistics. The Dictionary well repays consecutive reading, but where there is so much to praise it is almost invidious to particularise. The index prepared by Miss Ethel Faraday is an especially valuable adjunct to the cross references in the articles; and when we look at the list of contributors, even after deducting the numerous foreign authorities, and remember that some of our most eminent economists have not found time to write for the Dictionary, and that others have not lived to see their articles published, we may fairly flatter ourselves upon the good muster of trained economists which England is able to produce at the present time.
Le Travail aux Points de Vue Scientifique Industriel et Social.
Par ANDRÉ LIESSE, Professeur d'Economie industrielle et de Statistique au Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. (Paris : Guillaumin et Cie. 1899.
1899. 525 pp. 8vo.) Of the writing of many books on a subject so important as Labour, there is no end ; and their study is truly a weariness to the flesh when their authors content themselves with trite repetitions of well-worn ideas. But M. Liesse has succeeded in making his volume fresh and interesting, and there are few of us who could read it without profit. He approaches the subject from the standpoint of the biologist. The help which chemistry, physiology, anthropology, psychology and other studies can bring to a comprehension of the effective working of the human machine is lucidly afforded us. While statistics and examples are used to illustrate ideas rather than to demonstrate conclusions, the author successfully avoids the danger of talking at large. He is terse, sensible, and suggestive without being vague, shows a close acquaintance with the literature of the different branches of his subject, and well deserves a recommendation to English readers.
A short summary of part of his work may prove useful as a specimen of his mode of treatment. He begins by discussing the “notion” of Labour. Without quoting the famous phrase "fixed and embodied in material objects," he shows clearly that mental effort absorbs energy and creates waste products in the body quite as much as physical work, while the waste products are not so easily eliminated, for lack of exercise. Even when this mental effort is "inhibition," resulting in abnegation or abstinence, it involves an expenditure of energy, a kind of reversing the engine. Passing to a comparison of the human body with a steam engine, M. Liesse brings out the points of resemblance and of difference. The transformation of food or fuel into energy leads to a consideration of the quantities and qualities of food required by the human organism in repose or in activity, the limitations of assimilation, the waste of energy in muscular or other friction, and the need of repose. Muscles, unlike the parts of an engine, require rest—a statement needing, perhaps, some little qualification, for even a locomotive is the better for an occasional rest. What distinguishes man particularly from an inanimate machine is the influence of the will upon his work, and indeed upon his health. The increased economic efficiency resulting from developed intelligence and self-reliance is made clear by examples of various types, from the savage to the modern English workman, and from a child to an adult, even when they are all engaged in the same simple operation. Much importance is attached to the fact that effort, whether mental or bodily, when so often repeated as to become a kind of habit, as automatic as the movement of the legs in walking, makes less demand upon the nervecentres. The order conveyed from the brain becomes, as it were, stereotyped ; and so the division of labour has its physiological economy. The opposition of routine handworkers to the introduction of machinery has, in turn, its physiological side—the new order of things imposing a greater, because an unwonted, effort upon the workman. On the general subject of the division of labour, M. Liesse has some valuable remarks. His conclusion is distinctly reassuring. He repudiates the idea that the introduction of machinery tends to brutalise the workman or to narrow his intelligence. On the contrary, the evolution of industry has quickened the intelligence of the labourer, whose general and technical education is best in countries where this evolution is most highly developed. Many of the propositions to be found in the book on these subjects can be matched e.g. out of Prof. Marshall's Principles ; but the grounds on which they are stated are primarily medical rather than economic. There is very little in the book to change our ideas. There is much to bring them into fuller light and to strengthen them by the support of other than strictly economic arguments. A useful task, ably performed.
Le Marché Financier en 1897–1898. Par ARTHUR RAFFALOVICH.
(Paris : Guillaumin et Cie. Pp. 889.)
SINCE 1891 M. Raffalovich issues every year a full and substantial report on the financial state of the principal nations of the world, completed by an appendix giving the most interesting documents and statistics concerning the period under review. Each country is dealt with in a chapter by itself, but with appropriate references to what has occurred elsewhere.
The main characteristic of these reports is, that the author does not consider his task as being at an end when he has compiled tables of rates of exchange or statistical abstracts of imports and exports, but sticks to the principle that all these material facts are intimately connected with events and tides of public feeling belonging to the psychological and subjective order of phenomena, and ought to be studied under this light. M. Raffalovich's publication is thus not only useful to the practical man, but will also be serviceable to the future student of the causes and effects which underlie the financial questions of our time. For instance, in the chapter on France in the last volume published, we meet accounts of the parliamentary debates on the privilege of the Bank, the reorganisation of the Parisian Bourse, on the influence of speculation on the price of bread, on agricultural credit and warrants, &c. For Germany, we gather information on the reactionary tendencies prevailing in certain governmental spheres; on the state of relations between masters and working people ; on the development of all branches of industry connected with electricity; on the existing private local post offices; on the Westphalian coal trust, &c.
The whole collection of volumes thus forms a connected series of historical sketches proceeding year by year. Their clear and spirited style causes the reader to remember the meeting voting thanks to Macaulay " for having written a history which working men can read and understand.” This compliment could not be indiscriminately applied to most books on finance.
NOTES AND MEMORANDA
THE ECONOMIC LEGISLATION OF THE YEAR 1899. Much of the legislation of the past year has, in one way or another, important economic bearings. There is the same width of range, as. usual, in the subjects dealt with, from the testing of chain cables to epileptic children; and it may perhaps save time to classify the Acts under heads, according as they affect, (1) municipal or local institutions ; (2) the larger areas of England, Scotland or Ireland; (3) the United Kingdom as unit, or (4) the interests of the whole Empire.
I. In the sphere of municipal economics far and away the most important Act of the past year was the London Government Act (62 and 63 Vict., c. 14)., dividing London outside the City into 28 metropolitan boroughs. Up to last year the basis of London government was the Metropolis Management Act of 1855: this dealt with the City of London and various parishes as set out in three Schedules, A, B and C: the parishes in Schedules A and B were given elective vestries, the majority of whose members were elected by the ratepayers, while a certain number sat ex officio: the numbers varied according to the size of the parishes, in some cases, e.g., Islington, the vestry numbering as many as 120.
The vestries of the fifteen largest parishes (i.e., those in Schedule A) were incorporated, and were given large powers of government, and are known as "administrative " vestries. Those in Schedule B were not incorporated, nor were they given any new powers, beside the ordinary powers of vestries, but they were grouped together in districts, for each of which a district Board, consisting of members elected by the various vestries, was set up. The district Boards had much the same powers as the administrative vestries. Over all was placed the Metropolitan Board of Works, which was abolished on the Local Government Act, 1888 (51 and 52 Vict., c. 41), coming into force. This Act made the whole area forming the “metropolis" under the 1855 Act an administrative county, and substituted the Council of the “county” for the Board of Works of the “metropolis." The vestries, however, for the parishes in Schedule A, the vestries and district Boards for those in Schedule B, and the arrangements for the anomalous parishes