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trades" has long been the subject of scientific and official inquiry. The highly injurious effects upon the lungs of the dust of cotton and flax mingled with "China clay" and other poisonous ingredients, producing a haze in the atmosphere of some factories, and rising in a palpable cloud in others, have been thoroughly investigated and exposed by Drs. Hirt1 and Buchanan.2 In the "dry-grinding" of the metals, the deadly influences are even more positive.3 The following description of the steel-dust in a needle-factory will suffice for our present purpose of illustration. "I smelt the dust from one such manufactory before I was within 70 or 80 yards of it, and though in an open field; and I could aee the dust floating away like a cloud. It not only covers the roof and windows on which it settles with a brown rusty coat, till in time the glass becomes obscured almost as if it were painted, but so corrodes them as to make the slates and even the glass crumble away. The dust collects in the flues which carry it from the stove in large black stalactite-like lumps. Two such were given me, weighing over two pounds each."4
Mining may be given as an instance of an occupation
•where nominal wages must be heavily discounted by rea^
son of its destructive effects on human life. When it is
remembered that in addition to the great liability to fatal
accident,5 the amount of carbonic acid gas, which in nature is 300-350 in 1,000,000, and does not ordinarily exceed 3000 in the stifling atmosphere of factories and workshops, often goes up to 20,000 in the air of mines,1 the excessive mortality within this occupation will not be a matter of wonder. Dr. Scott Allison found the average age of the living male heads of families of the collier population at Tranent, so far as the same could be ascertained, to be 34 years, while the average age of the living male heads of the agricultural families was nearly 52 years. Dr. Allison expressed the belief that these proportions would serve as fair indications of the relative conditions of the different populations.2
1 Krankheiten der Arbeitcr.
2 Returns to the order of the House of Commons, 13th May, 1872.
3 See the evidence collected by Mr. Jellinger Symons under the English Commission of 1841; also, Dr. Greenhow's report in 1880, in the Third Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council.
4 Report of Mr. J. E. White, Asst. Commr. Employment of Women and Children, 1865.
6 Sir Thomas Bazley's report for 1870 states the number of deaths from accidents in collieries and ironstone mines at 991. In the same year 373 persons were killed in works under the Factory acts; 1378 were so injured that amputation was required, while the lesser injuries footed up 16,828.
"En France, ces accidents sont beaucoup plus rares,et Texploitation des mines n'a jamais ete mise an nombre des industries qui creent une position insupportable aux ouvriers."—Theodore Fix, Les Classes Ouvrieres, p. 146.
"So considerable," says Dr. Neison, in a recent paper,3 "is the influence of occupation that the mortality in one avocation exceeds that of another by as much as 239 per cent."
Thus taking the period of life 25 to 65, Dr. Neison finds the mean mortality in the clerical profession to be 1.12 per cent; in the legal, 1.57 ; in the medical, 1.81. In domestic service the mortality among gardeners was but .93; among grooms, 1.26; among servants, 1.67; among coachmen, 1.84:. The eSeoi of out-door exposure in all kinds of weather is here shown alike in the case of the physician and the coachman. Of several branches of manufacture, the paper manufacture showed a mean mortality of 1.45; the tin manufacture, of 1.61; the iron manufacture, of 1.75; the glass manufacture, of 1.83; the copper manufacture, of 2.16; the lead manufacture, of 2.24 ; the earthenware manufacture4 of 2.57. Among the different kinds of mining industry the range is even greater. Thus the mean mortality of iron-miners is 1.80; of coal-miners, 1.82; of tinminers, 1.99; of lead-miners, 2.50l; of copper-miners, 3.17.2
1 Dr. Angus Smith, Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1865, p. 241.
2 Report of the Poor-Law Commissioners of 1842, p. 200.
3 Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, July, 1872, p. 98.
4 The mortality among the "china-scourers" is something frightful. "In all the process the operatives are exposed to the inhaling of the fine dust with which the air of the different workshops is charged, and which dust the finer it is the longer it floats in the atmosphere and the more dangerous it becomes."—Ibid., p. 109.
But it is not alone by death that the laboring power is prematurely destroyed. The agricultural laborer of England, for example, who is long lived, often becomes crippled early by rheumatism due to exposure and privation. "Then he has to work for 4 shillings or 5 shillings per week, supplemented scantily from the rates, and at last to come, for the rest of his life, on the rates altogether. Such is, I will not call it the life, but the existence or vegetation, of the Devon peasant. He hardly can keep soul and body together."3
In the same country, Mr. Dudley Baxter states, there are 40,000 men out of less than 400,000 in the building trades who between 55 and 65 are considered as past hard work. In other trades, he says, a man is disabled at 55 or 50. A coal-backer is considered past work at 40.4
1 can not better close this protracted chapter than with the following words taken from the address of Sir Stafford Northcote, as President of the British Social Science Association: "A man who earns a pound a week is not necessarily twice as well off as a man who earns 10 shillings. Yon must take into acconnt the amonnt of work which they respectively have to do for their money, the number of hours they are employed, the amount of strain upon the body and on the brain, the chance of accident, the general effect upon the health and upon the duration of life."1
1" The diseases engendered by lead-mining may be stated as asthma and chronic bronchitis."—Ibid., p. 103.
2 The heat in copper-mines was found by Dr. Greenhow to be very much greater than in tin-mines. In one mine which he visited the temperature was 125°. "Steam was coming out of the shaft in volumes at the time of inspection."
8 Letter of Canon Girdlestone to Mr. Heath, "Peasantry of England," p. 100.
4 National Income, pp. 41, 43.
NOMINAL AND REAL COST OF LABOR.
Another distinction which needs to be strongly marked is that between Wages and the Cost of Labor.
In treating wages as high or low we occupy the laborer's point of view; in treating the cost of labor as high or low we occupy the point of view of the employer. Wages are high or low according to the abundance or scantiness of the necessaries, comforts, and luxuries of life which the laborer can command, without particular reference to the value of the service which he renders to the employer therefor. The cost of labor, on the other hand, is high or low according as the employer gets an ample or a scanty return for what he pays the laborer, whether the same be expressed in money or in commodities for consumption, and this without the least respect to the well-being of the laborer.
Now this distinction is not of importance merely because such a distinction can be drawn, and the same object looked at from different points of view. 'Not only are the points of view here diametrically opposed, but the objects contemplated are not necessarily the same, so that high wages do not imply a high cost of labor, or low wages a low cost of labor. A sufficient demonstration of this, for the present moment, is found in the well-known fact that employers usually take on their lowest-paid laborers last, and