Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Servian Skuptchina on August 23, 1914, in favor of a Peace Federation of all Balkan Peoples. As a consequence eleven members of the Bulgarian “Narrowminded” Party Executive Committee were summoned before a military tribunal to be tried for endorsing and distributing this manifesto.

The "Broadminded” or “United Socialists” have seven, the "Narrowminded" four newspapers, which altogether have a circulation of 168,000. The Socialists had, on January 18, 1916, 5,800, the “Narrowminded” 3,900 members.

The industrial working-class organization of Bulgaria, like the political, is divided into two Federations, which look upon each other with feelings that are anything but amicable. The General Federation had, before the Balkan war, 8,502 members, which were decreased to 5,350 and, on January 1, 1915, the reported membership was 7,584. The participation of Bulgaria in the war was harmful to the movement, for a large number of its members were called to military service.

Unemployed statistics covering 34 cities, taken in October, 1915, showed a large percentage of unemployed among the industrial workers, 8,719 out of 15,688 being unemployed. Altogether about 30,000 men and women were without work. The cost of living increased, at the same time, from 10 to 15 per cent. Socialists and Labor Unionists provided a fund for unemployed Socialists which in June 1915 amounted to 7239.12 francs, part of this sum being used to support needy Serbian comrades.

There was a lively strike movement as late as 1914, but this, too, ebbed with the outbreak of the war and Bulgaria's intervention. In the first half of the year 1914, the General Federation reported strikes in which 1,900 organized workers were involved. Ten of these were wholly and 12 partially successful; sixteen were lost. In these struggles 9290.40 francs were paid out in strike benefits.

Besides this General Federation there is the (radical) "Free Bulgarian Union Federation,” which had, before the Balkan war 4,845 members, but had sunk to 4,000 members in 1914. On October 1, 1915, it had increased its membership once more to 4,900. The men and women who are employed in public departments and municipal industries, have also a national union, with a membership of 14,072, but are not permitted to join any “politically unsound” Federation.

The Secretary of the United Social De ocratic Labor Party (Broadminded) is Constantin Bosvelieff, Journal “Narod," Sophia.

The Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (Narrowminded) is G. Kyrkow, "Naroden Dom," Levov Most, Sophia.

DENMARK.

[ocr errors]

Constitutional monarchy. · King and ministers responsible to the Legislature. . The Diet is divided into two bodies: the Landsthing (Senate) and Folkething (the lower house). The new constitutional law, passed by both houses and signed by the king on June 5, 1915, which became operative on July 1, 1916, provides general suffrage (men and women) for both houses. All persons who have reached their 25th year, who are not receiving public charity, or who, if they received such charity in the past, have since repaid it, are voters. The Landsthing will have 72, the Folkething 140 members, elected proportionally.

Denmark was in the midst of a political crisis at the outbreak of the war. The conservative group in the Folkething, which had consistently opposed every attempt toward establishing a more democratic constitution, had been reduced at the election in May, 1913, to a party of seven. In the Landsthing, the stronghold of the agrarians, the 32 reactionary representatives of this group were met with the united opposition of 33 deputies who stood pledged to constitutional reform. The Liberals had already moved for electoral revision in the previous Folkething, which proposed to make of the reactionary Landsthing a body which really represented the people. The plan proposed was that all deputies were to be elected by popular vote, the King was to be deprived of the right of appointment, all property or real-estate qualifications were to be abolished, and finally universal suffrage for all men and women over 25 years of age granted. In the election of 1913, the Social Democratic Party had polled the largest number of votes-107,365, or 30 per cent. of all votes cast. The King, therefore, called upon the Social-Democrats to organize the new cabinet which, however, they refused. The Radicals, under the leadership of Mr. Zahle, then formed a ministry, which promised that the election reform should be its first and foremost task, and in consequence were promised the full support of the Socialist representatives. When the war broke out, the bourgeois Liberals eagerly welcomed the opportunity to postpone the whole reform question until the return of peace. But the strong Socialist representation frustrated this attempt, and on June 5, 1915, the new suffrage law. went into effect.

The Social Democratic Party of Denmark was founded in 1878. Its development has been healthy, steady and gradual as the following table of election results will show: 1878.... 767 votes, 0 Rep. 1898.... 31,870 votes, 12 Rep. 1881. 1,689 votes, 0 Rep. 1901.. 43,015 votes, 14 Rep. 1884.. 6,806 votes, 2 Rep. 1903.. 55,989 votes, 16 Rep. 1887. 8,406 votes,

1 Rep. 1906.. 76,612 votes, 24 Rep. 1890. 17,232 votes, 3 Rep. 1909.. 93,079 votes, 24 Rep. 1892. 20,094 votes, 2 Rep. 1910.. 98,718 votes, 24 Rep. 1895.... 24,510 votes, 8 Rep. 1913....107,365 votes, 32 Rep. There are at present four Social Democrats in the Landsthing. On July 1, 1915, 1,060 Socialist delegates were elected to the various municipal assemblies. Meanwhile more than 100 more have been seated. In the provincial legislatures 24 Socialists are holding office. On October 1, 1915, the Party had 60,000 members, 8,000 of them women, organized in 483 local organizations. The Party press comprises 46 newspapers, which have an aggregate circulation of 174,300. The income of the Party press in 1915 was 2,065,183 crowns; 1,014 persons were employed by the Socialist papers.

The Danish Social Democratic Party has not joined the Zimmerwald Conferences. The Executive Committee announced its refusal to join in a letter to the International Socialist Commission in Berne, and its action was endorsed, against the opposition of a strong minority, by the Party convention.

The Danish Labor movement, as organized in the Danish General Federation, is an admirable one.

More than 50 per cent. of all industrial workers are organized. Its relations with the Social Democatic Party are almost without a flaw. The latter send two delegates to the Executive of the General Federation. The class conscious organizations have a membership of 118,000. Besides this there are a number of syndicalist organizations, which have 5,400 members, the Christian Unions with almost 3,000 members, and a number of totally independent, mostly locally organized “unions," which are partly organized and supported by their employers. The total number of Danish organized men and women on January 1, 1916, was 142,675.

In the spring of 1916, a general struggle between capital and labor was imminent. The contracts which expired on February 1, affected 43,000 workingmen and women in the General Federation and a few thousand others. The unions which had held a general conference of delegates from all Social Democratic labor unions in Copenhagen in September, 1915, had made all preparations for a general strike, should the employers carry out their threat of united action. But the employers' organizations realizing that the workers were ready for the fight, decided to keep their powder dry. Nor was the prosperity era, caused by the war, a favorable time for lockouts. Thus a serious struggle was avoided, except in the foundries, where 4,000 foundrymen and 4,000 members of the Union of the General workers were involved. These strikes, or rather lock-outs, were settled after ten weeks, in favor of the workers. The Labor Unions are, in consequence of the empty bluff of the employers' organization more powerful than ever.

Denmark has a strong co-operative movement, which is, however, not of Socialist origin. The farmers were the first to organize co-operative dairies and slaughter-houses and thus secure a greater return for their products. The SocialDemocracy extended this plan to the cities and reorganized them to suit the interests of the working-class. They began with a large bakery in Copenhagen and to-day own real estate and machinery to the amount of 650,000 crowns. The “Star Brewery in Copenhagen is another great workingmen's cooperative undertaking, representing 1,400,000 crowns. Besides there are workingmen's dairies, butcher shops, coalyards, a large number of co-operative stores and a co-operative Life Insurance organization. The profits of these undertakings are, in the main, turned over to the Social-Democratic Party for agitation work, while only a small portio:: is returned to the membership in the shape of dividends.

The Party secretary is T. Stauning: Danish Social Democratic Party, Roemersgade 22, Copenhagen.

The Secretary of the Labor Federation is Carl F. Macsen, Norre Farimergsgade 49, Copenhagen K.

FINLAND.

A Province of the Russian Empire with legislative independence. The Diet consists of one House of 200 members, elected by equal vote of every Finnish citizen, 24 years of age (man and woman). Each member receives $280.00 for each session of 90 days.

Finland is the first country in whose Parliament the Socialists outnumber the deputies of all other parties taken together. Since June, 1916, 103 of the 200 seats in the Finnish Diet are held by the proletariat through its representatives of the Social Democracy. Moreover, this was no accidental victory, but the genuine achievement of a movement which occupies, because of its systematic and well organized propaganda and educational work, one of the first places among European Parties.

Finland's Labor Party is not very old. It was founded in 1899, and in 1903 officially joined the International Socialist Bureau. The first labor organizations were founded in the beginning of the eighties at the instigation of clever capitalists who thought in this way to head off the formation of a class-conscious labor movement. Finland was, until the last decade of the nineteenth century, an agrarian nation, and possessed up to that time no industry of any importance. But the last years of the century were a period of social and economic development, which might truthfully be said to have constituted an industrial revolution. The Finnish lum ber and paper industries received a marked impetus from the fact that the virgin forests of the nation were traversed by

[ocr errors]

countless rivers, furnishing the water-power necessary for their profitable utilization. Numerous factories and sawmills sprang up. Foreign capital found its way into the country, and fundamentally changed the economic structure of the whole nation. Wood, paper, textile, metal and other industries grew up. The small farmer sold his land very cheaply to the foreign capitalists and a nation of farmers was changed, in a few short years into a typical industrial proletariat.

Hand in hand with this development went the struggle for national rights, which had been sharply curtailed, after a short period of comparative freedom, by the Russian government. Finland's own army, which could not, according to its constitution, be used outside its own borders, was required by the Russian government in a special session of the Finnish Diet to be dissolved, but the request was unanimously refused. Nevertheless the Czar attempted to dissolve the Finnish regiments and draft the Finnish recruits into the Russian regiments in the Russian interior, although the Finnish constitution guarantees that no law shall be changed without the consent of Parliament. A splendidly successful military strike was the result. Tens of thousands of young men who had been called upon to enlist, refused to appear at the enlisting stations. Large numbers of these strikers emigrated to America, and here laid the foundations of a Socialist Finnish movement in the United States. In Finland a system of passive resistance proved most effective: the whole Finnish population, officials, capitalists, farmers and laborers met the Russian purpose with an attitude of indirect insubordination, which made its execution impossible. The Czar's government retaliated by completely destroying Finland's autonomy. The Finnish officials were replaced by Russians, and tschinovniks. Russian secret police, were imported in great numbers to introduce the Russian spy-system into Finland. The Diet was dissolved, the right of free speech and of free assemblage was annulled, and General Bobrikoff, a satrap of the worst kind, was made GovernorGeneral.

The nationalist wave that arose as a consequence of this tyranny threatened completely to engulf the labor movement. But the young party emphatically declined to respond to any proposal towards a union of forces against Russia, and called attention to the oppression and persecution that had been the lot of the Finnish proletariat under the rule of the Finnish Bourgeoisie. It promised to do its utmost to prevent the russification of Finland, but in its own sense, with its own means, according to its own methods. should be said in this connection that the Finnish Diet had been one of the most reactionary and antediluvian legislatures conceivable.

1

« НазадПродовжити »