Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The author has no right to discard the ordinary methods of statistical inquiry. We have local variations in wages-what are the causes of these variations ? In such a case the ordinary statistical procedure is to determine whether the variations in the variable we are considering (in this case generally mean wages per hour) are correlated with some other variable (for instance, the density of the population). It may be urged that the theory of correlation is only completely useful and intelligible when the number of instances is large and the distributions are normal. But even if the number of instances is small, the correlation coefficient remains the best test we have of the possible causal connection between two sets of variables, and though the distributions are skew the correlation coefficient still has a meaning. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, volume lx., Mr. Yule states in conclusion that “ We can now see that the use of normal regression formulæ is quite legitimate in all cases so long as the necessary limitations of interpretation are recog. nised. Bravais' p" always remains a coefficient of correlation." This conclusion is, at any rate up to the present, unchallenged. It is therefore

very tiresome to find Mr. Lawrence saying (p. 8), “In order to test the correspondence between this population curve and the mean wage, there is constructed a curve showing the difference between the two : so that the result may be expressed as

square root of population Mean wage per

hour in

And in order to consider how far the population in any way
explains the fluctuation in wages, this new curve must be compared
with the mean wage curve to see which is the least irregular.” The
construction of such a difference curve is, of course, a familiar statis-
tical device and one of the greatest service in certain cases. But here
the problem is—What is the correspondence between the population
curve (that is, a curve showing the square root of the population divided
by 500) and the mean wage? The answer is to be found by calculating
the correlation coefficient. The answer to the inquiry is more simply
and accurately stated as follows 1: In the case of 75 towns (London
not being included) the mean wage is 7.86 pence per hour, with a
standard deviation of 0:59 pence per hour. The mean of the function
given by the square root of the population divided by 500 is 0-55, with
a standard deviation of 0.265, and the correlation coefficient of these
two is nearly 0:63-a high degree of correlation.

The regression equation can now be written down, and in calculating the standard deviation we have done much “ to form a numerical estimate of the total amount of the fluctuations for each of the two curves" (p. 9). The author adds together (irrespective of size) the amounts of the changes in passing from one town to the next. This procedure is open to the obvious objection (which the author very properly makes at

1 Mr. Lawrence kindly supplied me with the figures.


the top of page 10) that the result depends to some extent upon the order in which the towns are taken, and by various experiments he shows that this does not seriously affect the result. Still any method depending upon the order in which the variables are arranged when that order is fortuitous (and not for instance the order in time) is somewhat unsatisfactory.

It is necessary to complain again that in another passage the author while practically stating a regression equation does not state the standard deviation and the correlation coefficient. On p. 17 we are told that 7d. + soo x square root of population, is fairly representative of wages in the South and in Yorkshire. For 28 towns (including London) it appears 1 that the correlation coefficient between mean wages and sto of the square root of the population is 0·73—a very striking result, and the regression of the wages on the population function is 0.76. It is true that in this case the data are very small and rather skew, but if any statement of this nature is to be made it were well that the results should be expressed in the ordinary form.

But to turn from criticism of detail to the author's conclusions, which are best stated in his own words.

“(1) The variations in wages in the same trade from town to town are considerable.

(2) In towns in which wages are high in one trade, they are generally high in another, and vice versa ; this is more particularly true in the various branches of the building industry, where we tind carpenters' wages approximating very closely in each town to the average of all the branches.

“(3) Comparing labourers' wages with artisans', we find they generally vary together, and the variations are more nearly equal in amount than proportional to their respective wages.

“(4) Marked changes in general level are noticeable as we pass from one part of the country to another, and in consequence,

in saying that wages in a town are high or low, we shall be careful to notice its geographical environment.

·(5) Taken in their proper environment the large towns show the highest wages, and if we neglect the smallest towns we may say of the rest with an approach to accuracy, The larger the town the higher the wage.'

(6) In attempting to estimate the correct allowance to be made for the differing sizes of the prominent towns, we may turn the square roots of their population into money at the rate of 800 a penny. But this is subject to changes of general level as we pass from one part of the country to another, and when smaller towns are taken into account the accuracy becomes less and the allowance has to be rather larger. It is useless to expatiate upon the interest of these conclusions.

1 Mr. Lawrence kindly supplied me with the figures.



They alone are sufficient to indicate the value of the work. Probably this book will in the future form the starting point for all investigations into the causes of local variations in wages.


[ocr errors]

Sympathetic Strikes and Sympathetic Lockouts. By FRED. S.

HALL, Ph.D. Columbia University, New York. 1898.

(8vo., pp. VIII., 118).

Dr. Hall's short monograph forms one of the Studies edited by the Faculty of Political Science of his University. It is divided into four chapters, the first being introductory; the second dealing with

Origin and Development”; the third with " Analysis "; while the fourth and last treats of “ The Future as indicated by the Past." A select bibliography of the history of strikes and lockouts is appended.

The whole of the essay is well worth careful perusal, and the student of Trade Unionism will not fail to learn much from Dr. Hall's diagnosis of that phase of the “labour movement” which is indicated by his title. At times, as when he speaks of the attitude of English federations as being decidedly favourable to sympathetic strikes, and gives the first place to a quotation from the rules of the Federation of Shipping and Allied Trades in proof thereof, he appears to have written with 1889 and the somewhat inflated and militant trade-unionism of the immediately succeeding years too much in mind. But on the whole his summary is discriminating. The instances he cites and the disputes that he describes are drawn from a world-wide area, and his conclusions show that he has been able to put the phenomena of the Great Dock Strike and of the beginning of the decade in their true perspective.

Dr. Hall's first chapter is largely devoted to the task of definition, and we wish that he could bave seen his way to the substitution of some other word for that duplicated in his title, if for no other reason than that its retention appears to involve the risk of such a barbarous phrase as “striking sympathy” creeping into trade union literature. It is true that our author only introduces this phrase with the implied protest of quotation marks, but the horrid thing is there.

Definition turns largely on the analysis of motives, and we think that Dr. Hall has been led into error in the inclusion of a class of strikes as being “nearly related to sympathetic strikes though not identical with them,” when those who cease work do so, either because there is nothing for them to do, in consequence of the original stoppage, or because of intimidation on the part of the original strikers. It is clear, however, that in the first case the men who cease work may or may not be in sympathy with the original movement, while in the second, since intimidation is necessary, they must be assumed to be either neutral or antipathetic, rather than sympathetic in their attitude. Dr. Hall suggests indeed, that both these

cases of

[ocr errors]

cessation may be called “compulsory strikes,” but, since the former is the direct involuntary result of the organic character of industry, and in the latter the voluntary element is also entirely absent, although from quite other causes, the suggested classification appears to be also misleading. In the one case the conditions of industrial interdependence step in and settle the question as to whether work shall or shall not be continued; and in the second the answer is provided by an organised body of men, free for the moment from the restraints of the law. In each case, therefore, it appears to be a mistake to describe the stoppage of work as a strike at all, and still more misleading to say that it is "nearly related” to a sympathetic movement. In spite of what seems to be some confusion of the issue here, the writer arrives in the end at a sound conclusion in accepting the definition of the sympathetic strike adopted by the New York Labour Bureau, as one when workmen “having no grievance of their own take action out of the belief that another body of workers is not fairly treated, and so take up the cause" (p. 14).

Then follows a brief, but interesting piece of psychological analysis : What is the real motive of the sympathetic striker? Is he really altruistic in his action ? Has he after all no grievance of his own? Dr. Hall concludes that he has, for, side by side with an apparent altruism, the self-regarding motive is found, not simply in “ the consciousness that an injury to one is the concern of all," but in the expectation of having the favour returned when his own need may arise (p. 14). Here we have the Grère par solidarité, sans demande speciale, of the French classification, which Dr. Hall mentions only in order to criticise as ignoring the altruistic element implied by the word “sympathetic.” But both the expression preferred by Dr. Hall, and that adopted in the French report after all appear to do little more than hint at the truth: sympathy is often present, but it is rarely, if ever, pure; the feeling of solidarity is often there, but it is generally vague and ineffective, although still, as Mr. Frederic Harrison has written, "a perfectly real and powerful force, when it can be organised and brought into practical result.” And, as a rule, this is very difficult, for, conflicting with it, generally stronger than it, is the sectional, and even the individualistic sentiment. There emerge, however, phenomena of the industrial world that we are able to recognise as having more of this or that characteristic, and the classification of which, on the basis of the dominant motive, thus becomes permissible. The evasive character of economic motives, as displayed in industrial movements, is illustrated in Dr. Hall's criticism of the conventional distinction between strikes and lockouts, a distinction that he is inclined to regard as "both valueless and mischievous," for, when adopted as a basis of classification, he considers that it represents little more than an attempt to place responsibility on one side or the other. The sympathetic form of dispute, in spite of all complexity of motives, appears to be the one which can be most easily classified, and which can


[ocr errors]

alone be appropriately divided under the two above mentioned heads (p. 36).

Dr. Hall's analysis leaves the final impression that the area of a sympathetic dispute is only in very exceptional circumstances likely to reach to great dimensions, for the sufficient reason that the bigger it grows, the less effective it will tend to become, while, as for the project of a universal strike, it simply “will not work.” He argues, and supports his argument by instances, that “sympathetic strikes mark the indiscretion of young unions”; even Mr. Powderly, the Grand Master of the Knights of Labour, is said never to have gone into a strike willingly (p. 80), and “established unions are almost entirely opposed to such actions” (p. 93). There are exceptions to this statement, but such unions, with a tradition to follow and funds to guard, are doubtless likely to be more alive to the financial loss which the original strikers may incur from a sympathetic extension of the dispute ; be it from the direct loss of the contributions of those who come out on strike; from the claims for support that these may advance; from the increased number of subsidiary workers who are tbrown out of employment and from the claims that they too are likely to put forward; or finally, from the loss of general public sympathy, which, as Dr. Hall points out, is apt to vary inversely with the spread of a sectional working-class sympathy that shows itself in the throwing down of tools (pp. 67, 68). It will be gathered that Dr. Hall is very far from belonging to the class of “alarmists," who, as he remarks on p. 79, have given most attention to the special subject with which this essay deals. He is, on the contrary, judicial in tone, dispassionate in treatment, cautious-even calming—in the conclusions he draws.


ܙ ܙ

[ocr errors]

The City Wilderness. A Settlement Study by Residents and

Associates of the South End House. Edited by ROBERT A.
Woods, Head of the House. (Boston and New York:
Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 319 pp., crown 8vo. 1899.)

South End House is one of the numerous American progeny of Toynbee Hall—there are now more than a score of these settlements in various parts of the United States—which have sprung into active existence during the last ten years. At its inception in 1892 it was known as Andover House by virtue of its connection with the Theological Seminary at Andover, and was the first college settlement to be established in Boston. But the adoption of a new title with a local application in 1895 did not signify any deviation from its original purpose of “resident study and work" in one of the poorest and most wretched districts of the town. Indeed, the book before us is a complete justification, if need there be, not only of the original ideal of the institution, but also of the diligent and effective way in which it has been followed out in actual practice. It is full of trustworthy inform

« НазадПродовжити »