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Thick type, average given in the Bulletin. Small type, from

December, 1898.

Economic Journal,

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Years.

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U. S. A. (74*) ............ 81 83 - - --- (1) ,

1 89 -- ---- -- -- --=' Paris (7*) ............ 75 78

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(1) v. Econ. JOURNAL, Sept. 1895. (2) Estimate, not published, for Econ. JOURNAL, Dec. 1898. (3) Econ. JOURNAL, Dec. 1898.

* These numbers are the number of separate returns in Tables I. and II. of the lletin on which the averages are based.

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named; this is doubtless a safe course, but when we further read that “agreement as to what might fairly be called an average for the whole country would be extremely difficult, and any method of arriving at such might be open to criticism,” we feel that the Statistical Department is hardly fulfilling its duty in making no attempt to give data for so important a problem; the statements “at once definite and susceptible of no misunderstanding” have their right place in providing raw material for the investigator and useful information for the business man; but it is not impossible to so collect and group similar wagestatements that they form a fair sample of a very wide group from

1 I have substituted for my own figures more complete returns kindly sent me by Mr. J. H. Wood of Bristol.

which averages might be drawn by the skilled statisticians of the Washington Department of Labour, which, though still “open to criticism," might “ fairly be called an average for the whole country."

A. L. BOWLEY

RECENT OFFICIAL REPORTS.

Royal Commission on Local Taxation.
First Report : Local Rates in England and Wales. [C. 9141.]

1899.

A HISTORY of the law affecting valuation is followed by a description of existing systems of valuation. The Commissioners, after considering the objections to these systems, make several recommendations.

Second Report : Valuation and Rating in respect of Tithe Rent

charge. [C. 9142.]

AFTER reviewing all the relevant circumstances past and present, the Commissioners conclude that the burden of local taxation on owners of tithe rent-charge not severed from the benefice is unduly onerous, sufficient allowance not being made for the fact that the persons entitled to the rent-charge are under a legal obligation to render services in return therefore, and that pending the final recommendations of the Commission, the case may properly be met by some special measure of relief.

Minutes of Evidence. Vol. II. [C. 9150.] 1899.

Trade Unions in 1897. [C. 9013.]

DURING 1897 the number of trade unions, now 1,287, decreased by 21 (partly owing to amalgamations); while the number of members, now just above 1,600,000, increased nearly 8 per cent. Of these 93 per cent. are males, 7 per cent. females, the latter principally in the cotton trade. About 21 per cent. of the male adults, 12 per cent. of the female adults, out of the workpeople in the trades in which trade unions exist, are unionists. The income for 1897, nearly £2,000,000, shows an increase of 18.4 per cent. over 1896, 36.1 over 1892. Of £9,250,000 expended during the last six years by the hundred principal unions, little more than £2,000,000 was spent on disputes.

Die Ausgaben für Flotte und Landheer. ....

issuing from the Reichsdruckerei, Berlin, gives statistics of the comparative expenditure by different states on Navy, Army, and generally on “unproductive" objects, including debt. France is highest, Great Britain next, in unproductive expenditure per annum, whether measured absolutely, or per head. Germany takes the fifth place according to the former standard, the fourth according to the latter.

The insurance in Germany against accidents, old age, and in. validity are the subjects of two “ White Books” (Nos. 76 and 78) laid before the Reichstag in December 1898. The mean number of persons insured under the Accident Insurance Laws was roughly about 18,000,000. The total expense incurred in 1897 in compensating new and old accidents was nearly £3,200,000. The number of new pensions granted in 1897 under the Old Age and Invalidity Insurance Laws was nearly 86,000 (25,402 for old age, 60,562 for invalidity).

OBITUARY.

AFTER a protracted illness the once leading spirit of social conservatism and reform in Austria, DR. RUDOLPH MEYER, has been carried off in Dessau, on January 15th. He was born in 1839, in Brandenburg, and entered journalism in 1869, as a champion of Prussian conservatism of the stamp of Wagener and Rodbertus, of whom he was proud to call himself a pupil. Their and his views, of which the Berliner Revue was the representative organ, consisted in the reform of agricultural credit system, factory laws for the workers, a normal working day, and the re-establishment of guilds in order to save the middle-class artisan from the competition with manufacturers and dealers. The struggle for such ideas led Dr. Meyer into a bitter conflict with the partisans of the haute finance. After his teacher Wagener was convicted of having participated in the Gründungsfieber he rejoined with a pamphlet, Politische Gründer und die Corruption in Deutschland (1877), in which Prince Bismarck was accused of having favoured stock-jobbing corporations. He was condemned to four months' confinement, and began a wandering life, in the course of which he became intimate with men of such different views as Marx, Engels, Cardinal Manning, Le Play, and Lorenz von Stein. When in Austria the Conservative majority in 1879 wished to introduce a new spirit of economic legislation, their intellectual leader, Count Egbert Belcredi, induced Dr. Meyer to sketch a law concerning corporations of artisans and a factory law, which both with some modification came into effect. Still his opposition to corn duties, which the feudal aristocracy wished to gain from their political position, caused him to leave Austria and to seek a permanent situation in the new world. After a tour, which he undertook with some Austrian nobles, he settled in 1881 as a farmer in Canada and became a British citizen. But the approach of disease forced him to retire from agriculture. He lived from 1892 to 1896 in Vienna and became again the counsellor of the Conservative party, among whom the pupil of Count Belcredi, Count Sylva-Tarouca, sought his advice. The last works which he published were Capitalismus fin de Siècle (1894) and Hundert Jahre Conservativer Politik und Literatur (1896). As an economist he won his reputation by his first impartial account of socialism Der Emancipations Kampf des vierten Standes (1874-5, 2 vols., and second edition of vol. i., 1882), which has been plundered by many successive writers. He gave also the first German account of the homestead legislation of the United States, and on the causes of American competition in agriculture (1883). His experiences as a farmer gave him ample opportunity to oppose agrarian protectionism and to illustrate its futility in several magazines, such as the Zeit and Neue Zeit. His last essays on this subject were published in the Berlin Neue Deutsche Rundschau (October to December, 1898). It is much to be regretted that untimely death has prevented the restless man from writing the history of social economic conservatism, of which he was the most learned and most vivid exponent.

STEPHEN BAUER

CURRENT TOPICS.

The recent reports about French Money—the Bulletin de Statistique du Ministère des Finances for January, and the report of the Commission for the Control of the Monetary Circulation in the Journal Officiel for the 12th of February-show that the mints were active during the year 1897. Not to speak of the pieces supplied to foreign countries and the French colonies, the purely French coinage amounts to a value of 218 million francs, 117 millions in pieces of 20 francs, 40 millions in silver token money (monnaies d'argent divisionnaires). The latter, in accordance with the International agreement of October, 1897, were made out of current five-franc pieces, a number to the amount of some 7} million francs having been melted for the purpose. A further reduction of the huge mass of écus in circulation is contemplated this year.

• The inhabitants of Lyons are trying the experiment of abolishing the octroi on hygienic drinks, including wine. Among the taxes pro. posed to make up the consequent deficit of revenue are an increase of the octroi on strong drink (“alcohol ''), licences for the sale of drinks, additional taxes on dogs and on houses. In the weighty judgment of M. Turquan (L'Economiste, December 3rd), these taxes are likely to

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