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more than fifty separate articles being contained in some three hundred pages. In the first section the problems of population and immigration are dealt with. In the opening page the Dominion statistician is able to claim for Canada the credit of having been the first country in modern times to take a census of its population; the census of 1665 having been repeated at more or less regular intervals during the next hundred years. A significant fact to be noted, in considering the growth of population in Canada, is the manner in which urban growth has “ overshot" rural, even during the period that witnessed the settlement of the west. Whereas forty years ago the towns and cities accounted for only fourteen per cent. of the population, they now account for about half. As is right, in this portion of the volume Quebec takes the first place. Two high authorities are able to sound the praises of their countrymen, inside and outside their native province. Assuredly no people has ever with more success laid to heart the precept, “ Be fruitful and multiply.”
Another section deals with the resources of Canada, agricultural, mineral, the forests and forest industries, the fisheries, and water powers. This leads to a discussion of industrial research and education, primary, secondary and higher. The Canadian national railways, banking, comparative prices in Canada and the United States, foreign trade, with a general review and detailed discussions on the movement of capital, essential imports and the marketing of wheat form a further section, followed by articles on the Tariff, the British Preference, the Budgetary System, War Finance, and Dominion, Provincial and Municipal Taxation.
The way is then clear for several articles of especial interest, dealing more directly with the human factor in Canadian life. Very striking is the picture drawn by Mr. W. C. Good, M.P., in “ Canada's Rural Problem,” adopting the conclusions of another most competent observer, of the change for the worse that has taken place in the old country districts. “Even in the rural districts of the far east, there was beginning a foreign invasion that was quietly substituting Slavic for Anglo-Saxon stock.” Near Montreal" the old community life was at an end, and lifelong neighbours had been scattered to the four winds." In eastern and old Ontario the story is the same. “Where are the old one hundred and two hundred acre farms of a generation ago ? Gone ! Now market-gardens and orchards for miles, and, beyond, farms; but farms held by tenants, owners English or Belgian Syndicates. And the old home life . . . hardly recognisable.” In Western
Ontario, “Where have the farmers gone? To the north-west and to the cities.” Even in southern Manitoba we find “the villages are stagnant and in many parts the land yielding less and less every year, and in some districts seeded down with noxious weeds.” In the new west we are told of a farm of sixtyfour thousand acres, owned by an English syndicate under the direction of a highly skilled manager; the farm to be worked in sixty-four units of a thousand acres each. “But what of life in that community, even if the farm succeeds financially? Ever-changing gangs of men boarded in the Company's housescamp life rather than home life. Suppose a good wage was paid, a good house provided, would you, my farmer friend, choose to establish a home for your family under such conditions ? If you incur the foreman's displeasure your tenure of your home would be short. Then what about Church and School and social life?”
As is natural, in Alberta and British Columbia the same lesson is still more vividly enforced. “Even in the rural districts Canada to-day is not the Canada of twenty years ago." “ In its broad outlines and viewed from the standpoint of the nation, the problem is pretty much the same in all parts of Canada, pretty much the same, indeed, throughout all English-speaking countries."
The problem has never been better stated than in the Report of the United States Country Life Commission :
“ The underlying problem is to develop and maintain on our farms a civilisation in full harmony with the best American ideals. To build up and retain this civilisation means, first of all, that the business of agriculture must be made to yield a reasonable return to those who follow it intelligently; and life on the farm must be made permanently satisfying to intelligent progressive people. The work before us, therefore, is nothing more or less than the gradual rebuilding of a new agriculture and new rural life.”
In President Roosevelt's words : “ Agriculture is not the whole of country life. The great rural interests are human interests, and good crops are of little value to the farmer unless they open the door to a good kind of life on the farm.”
It is considerations such as these that have led to the various devices for “ Better business " as well as “ Better farming," of which the most conspicuous is the agricultural co-operation in the Canadian West described with great clarity and fullness of detail by Professor C. R. Fay of Toronto University. The conclusion is, that while “ the necessities of a new province justify the largeness of the part played by the Government in the initial stages, any slackening of endeavour towards the attainment of independence would be prejudicial to the spirit of selfhelp through voluntary association which is the hall-mark of genuine co-operation.”
But the farmer, rightly or wrongly, believes that more is at fault than can be remedied by his own economic efforts. Hence his intrusion into the field of politics, described and justified by Mr. H. Staples. Methods of taxation and the consequences of the tariff affect him more closely, it must be admitted, than they affect other classes of the community.
Still, with much to trouble and perplex in the farmer's position, we may adopt the note of hope sounded by Mr. Good: “The welding process is on. Group spirit is accumulating. Farmers as individuals will become less independent; farmers as a class will become more independent. Evidences of personal and group power, large grasp and achievement will be outstanding. In reality the farmer will be seen coming into his own. Leaders of this awakened rural manhood must be clear-thinking, direct and of superior intelligence; and their foundations must be laid in a sure understanding of economic and social laws and of folkpsychology superimposed on reliable farm knowledge."
The last portion of the volume deals with various problems connected with Labour. From the article on the Protection of Workers in Industry we gather that, whilst there is a general desire to level up legislation to a common standard, provincial autonomy is still some check to such uniformity. We note in the article on the Labour Movement that Trade Unionism“ furnishes to-day one of the most interesting fields in which to study the evolution of Canadian institutions under the reaction of influences from Great Britain, bound to us by a political tie, and from the United States, so strong by economic position.” The article on Arbitration and Conciliation has suggestive remarks on the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act of 1907, which has attracted so much attention. It would seem that, so far at least as the coal-mining industry is concerned, it has not been very successful in averting strikes. “What the official reports of its working go to prove is that when the parties to a dispute are well disposed towards the Act it can serve a useful function. . . . Where there is on either side a deep-seated resentment with economic conditions, compulsion has proved on both political and economic grounds a futile proceeding, leading in the long run to contempt for the law. . . . It must not be forgotten that arbitration
assumes the general status quo of industry and can only function where neither party violently objects to it.” The article on Political Developments within the Labour Movement in Canada further emphasises the importance of the British example in influencing Canadian ideals.
Even from this inadequate survey it may perhaps be gathered how useful this volume will be to anyone who wishes to attend the forthcoming meeting of the British Association with some knowledge of the problems, economic and social, of our sister nation.
H. E. EGERTON
Wages in the Coal Industry. By J. W. F. Rowe. (London :
King, 1923. Pp. viii + 174.)
In spite of the amount of discussion that has taken place on the subject of miners' wages within the last few years, there are perhaps few industrial matters upon which there is still so much confusion and ignorance. This is not surprising, as the subject is extraordinarily difficult and complex. The majority of the miners themselves probably do not thoroughly understand the methods by which their wages are calculated, and, as far as my own experience goes, very few of them are able to give a clear and satisfactory explanation to the layman.
Mr. Rowe has attempted a very necessary piece of work, and he is to be congratulated on the care and skill with which he has carried out his inquiry and presented his results. His study covers the period 1886 to 1922, and he has confined himself to the wages of adult underground workers. One result of his researches is to show, as might have been anticipated, that there is no one method of calculating miners' wages; and more than this, that there are constant forces at work (such as the relative bargaining strength of miners and mine-owners) which have the effect of making the actual wages received sometimes more and at other times less than they should be according to the basis on which they are calculated. They increase or diminish in a different proportion to rates, and in fact they rarely seem to work out according to plan. The complexity of the problem of estimating changes in wages during the period under consideration and of drawing conclusions from the statistical evidence on the subject may be imagined when it is realised that conditions vary not only from coalfield to coalfield, but from colliery to colliery, that various classes of workers—skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled, with subdivisions of each class paid on different systems—are working in the mines, that some men are paid by piece rates and others by day rates, that there are in many cases payments in kind and allowances which have to be considered in estimating total wages, and that even the definition of a shift varies from place to place—to mention only some of the complications.
In spite of these difficulties, Mr. Rowe has succeeded in giving probably as clear an account as is possible of the various methods of fixing miners' wages and of the changes which have taken place in wages since 1886. His conclusions, although they are for the most part extremely tentative, and necessarily so, owing to the conflicting nature of much of his material, appear to follow from the facts and figures given. The book is well furnished with statistical tables, diagrams, and graphs, but I think the author might have made some parts of his subject clearer if he had worked out a few examples, showing the way in which wages are actually arrived at, so that the reader might have had before him typical cases in the various districts.
Chapter II contains an excellent account of the principal features of all the coalfields of Great Britain, as well as a useful sketch of the development of Trade Unionism among the miners. The question of wages naturally cannot be considered apart from questions of hours, and Chapter V deals with the Eight Hours Act of 1908 and the Seven Hours Act of 1919 and their effects. The same chapter also contains an account of the Minimum Wage Act of 1912 and a judicial estimate of its results. In fact, the whole tone of the book is highly judicial, and controversial subjects, where they arise, are handled with great impartiality.
In the final chapter the question of wage regulation in the future is considered. With regard to the miners' demands for greater uniformity as to wages, the author thinks that while this is not unattainable, it is unattainable under the present system. The arguments for and against nationalisation are rather sketchily dealt with. The author does not come down on either side, and the subject might with advantage have been dealt with more fully. The opinion is expressed that it was a pity the miners' demand in 1921 for a wages pool was not discussed on its merits, though the difficulties of their scheme are fully recognised. Of the Act of 1921 the author says little, on the ground that it is an experiment still on trial. But he suggests that while the scheme is in many ways unsatisfactory to both miners and mine-owners, it may mark an advance from the point of view of the community. Mr. Rowe has written a useful book.
H. SANDERSON FURNISS No. 133.-VOL. XXXIV.