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THE ECONOMIC JOURNAL
OUR ANNUAL MEETING.
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the BRITISH ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION was held at 9, Adelphi Terrace, W.C., on Wednesday, the 22nd March, to elect the officers of the Association and to receive the Report of the Auditors.
The following Members of the Council who retired by rotation were re-elected : Mr. Ernest Aves, Prof. C. F. Bastable, Major P. G. Craigie, the Rev. Prof. Cunningham, Prof. F. Y. Edgeworth, Sir Robert Giffen, Mr. Henry Higgs, Prof. J. K. Ingram, the Rev. L. R. Phelps, and Mr. John Rae.
The dinner of the Association was held in the evening at the Westminster Palace Hotel. Sir Robert Giffen took the chair, and among those present were Lady Giffen, Prof. W. J. Ashley and Mrs. Ashley, Mr. W. M. Acworth, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Bateman, Prof. Edgeworth, Miss M. A. Ellis, Prof. Foxwell, Mr. F. C. Harrison, Prof. Hewins, Mr. Higgs, Mrs. Birkbeck Hill, Mr. F. W. Lawrence, Mr. L. Magnus, Sir W. Markby, Mr. G. T. Pilcher, Mr. L. L. Price, Mr. L. C. Probyn, Mr. D. Renton, Mr. D. F. Schloss, Mr. P. Selby, Mr. W. T. Shaw, Prof. J. Westlake, and Mr. R. D. Wilson.
After dinner, Prof. Ashley delivered an address (see next page). A vote of thanks was moved to Prof. Ashley by Sir R. Giffen, seconded by Mr. Bateman, and carried by acclamation. The rest of the evening was given up to conversation.
No. 34.-Vol. IX.
ALTHOUGH a subject of Her Britannic Majesty, I have, for the last few years, been entrusted with a share in the teaching work of a great American university; and, before that, I acted for some time in a like capacity in one of the universities of Canada, a country whose economic conditions present in some respects a close similarity to those of the neighbouring republic. It has accordingly been suggested that some American topic would not be inappropriate as my theme this evening; and it has even been intimated that some observations on the subject of “Trusts,” which are now engaging so much attention on both sides of the Atlantic, would not be unwelcome to this assembly.
I cannot, indeed, profess to have myself investigated in any detail the actual working of any of the great organisations known by that name. My sources of information are the books and articles accessible to any student of economics. But to have lived for ten years in the economic and psychological atmosphere of America may perhaps enable one, in some measure, to disentangle the larger and deeper forces which are at work from the merely superficial; and American phenomena may, perhaps, gain in significance when they are compared with like movements on this side of the Atlantic. I shall limit my field by omitting from consideration combinations or monopolies of a purely commercial or speculative character, like the recent Leiter corner in wheat, important as they are; and I shall confine myself to industrial combinations—combinations, that is, entered into by companies or individuals themselves engaged in production.
A dozen years ago the American public suddenly awoke to the fact that the supply of some of the commodities of com
* An address at the annual dinner of the British Economic Association, on March 22, 1899.