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PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
PullWied every BaturAay.
TELEPHONE, CORTLANDT I37O.
â– Communications should be addressed tu
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
]. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
"Kntcrcd at the Post-Opice of New Yorlc, N. 7., aa second-class matter."
Vol. LXVU MAY :25,1901. No. 1732.
llic Beeord aud Guide Quarterly for the thi-ec months just ended
is now ready for delivery. All the records arranged for handy
ref^-eiiee. 0)ic dollar and a half a copy, or five dollars a year.
The (cheapest and best system of keeping records of real estateâ€”
conveymiees, mortgages, new hnildinf/s. etc, etc. If you would lilce
to see it, send a postal card to The h'eeiird and Guide Quarterly,
Nos. 14 and IG Vesey st., City,
TRADING in the stock market this weelc was mainly proÂ¬
fessional. Toward the. middle of the week there were
some indications of a growth in commission orders, but this was
soon blighted by a movement seemingly designed to compel
bears in Northern Pacific to cover and get that matter flnally dis-
po^d of. The weakness in Union Pacific while Northern Pacifle
was rapidly advancing was taken to be more than coincidental
and to be indicative of a renewal of the struggle that brought on
tbe disaster of a fortnight previous, so that the little bodies
thought it best to take themselves out of the way, and systematic
realizing was the result. Wall Street must always have a theory
to account for the movements of the market,' and this serves at
the moment. There is, however, reason, and that is better
than theory, why quotations should decline; and that is that
they have not yet discounted the overvaluations made in the
fever and fervor of the late hull movement. With the sobriety
induced by the "Krach" of two weeks ago, has come a truer
appreciation of the underlying conditions. One or two things
have occurred which helped to bring this about. The continuaÂ¬
tion of gold shipments, though in small volume, is one; the
absence of ofiicial promise of tbe dividends so freely declared
in tbe gossip and in the daily newspapersâ€”as for instance ia
the case of Missouri Pacific, still selling at a premiumâ€”is anÂ¬
other; doubt of all the mischief caused by the Union Pacific-
Northern Pacific fight being known is a third; and, not to appear
to take a more gloomy view of the situation than we do, we
will conclude with a fourth, the unsatisfactory relations beÂ¬
tween employment and labor, which is perhaps the most serious
of all, striking as it does at tbe very root of the national activity.
But for this the situation outside of the stock market would be
satisfactory, and it may, of course, become so if the labor trouÂ¬
ble is quickly removed.
ABROAD the commercial conditions are only improved to
the extent that the great representative institutions take
less gloomy views than they did a few months ago and seem to
be coming to a view of what is necessary to meet the requireÂ¬
ments of the situation. Por all that, it is admitted that there is
still a protracted period of dullness to get over. Events that
have been named to time a recovery come to pass, but do not
remove the dullness. For instance, it was said that the resumpÂ¬
tion of mining on the Rand would mark a revival in European
business. Well, the stamps were set going at Johannesburg with
much ceremony and in the presence of Lord Kitchener, but busiÂ¬
ness if anything is duller than it was wheu the stamps were
still. The ti-ouble with predictions of this kind is that they
overlook a multitude of small but in the aggregate immensely
important circumstances. In this very matter it was forgotÂ¬
ten tbat after the loss and damage done at the mines it will be
necessary to find and employ a large amount of new capital
hefore the Rand gold mining industry is placed again upon a
satisfactory basis. 11 is thought that this new capital will more
than equal the production of the mines for some time to come,
though that, however, is a matter more concerning the stockÂ¬
holders than the public at large. To the latter the resumption
of mining operations is agreeable, because it ought to end the
semi-scarcity of gold that has existed for two years or moreâ€”
indeed, since the South African supply was cut off. On this side
of the Atlantic we are more concerned with the remedies proÂ¬
posed for what in Europe are called the evils of American comÂ¬
petition, which seem at the moment to focus on a revision of
the tafiffs on either side of tbe ocean; and if not on this, then
to a degree to meet the omission on the other. Gustav Schwab,
in au interview given to the press upon his return from Europe
this week, bears witness to this tendency of thought abroad.
It is natural to suppose that if other nations find we are taking
away their trade that they will do something to check us wherÂ¬
ever they can, and if this cannot be done in the workshops it
will be. in the parliaments. Our extended industrial system
now requires that we ourselves consider this matter seriously,
and there are already signs that it is the problem uppermost in
the minds of our statesmen.
A Vital Principle Injured.
T TT r HILE those directly interested in the dispute between
V V the bricklayers and the mason builders will naturally
find the cause of their regret in the immediate pecuniary damÂ¬
age that it is doiug, the student of the labor problem is more
likely to deplore it for the injury it does to the cause of arbiÂ¬
tration, or the satisfaction of differences in the trades hy justice
under the guide of reason, instead of by the exercise of force.
The instance is one of particular significance. It has been cusÂ¬
tomary for a good many years to point to the masons of New
York as a body who could carry on their relations in a rational
and sensible way and to hold them up as an example for all
other tradesmen to follow. The benefit arising to both parties
from the annual agreements, and especially of the reiterated
clause providing for arbitration of all differences were so obvious
that it seemed impossible that they should ever drift apart and
fall back ou the barbarities known as strikes and lockouts. It
is therefore all the more melancholy to find that the present
struggle arises from one partyâ€”the workmenâ€”refusing to abide
by the decision of their own arbitrators.
If we look back at the history of the building trade in this
city, we shall find reason for surprise in the fact that it is the
workmen wbo are the offenders, because their condition has
been one of steady improvement under the system of agreements,
annually renewed, for establishing wages and settling disputes
by a competent court selected by themselves and their employers.
By going back only to the strike of 1S84 and comparing the conÂ¬
dition of the bricklayers then with what it was when the presÂ¬
ent unfortunate dispute arose, we can show that they had subÂ¬
stantial reasons for guarding and cherishing the principle of
arbitration, rather than for violating it, as they have done. In
1S84 the day was one of ten hours and the pay ^i. With no rule
to bind either side, the men had often to lose two or three hours
of a Saturday waiting for their pay, and in the slack seasons
the rate of pay was lowered, so tbat 40 cents an hour was only
a nominal figure, or at best obtainable only in the busy seasons.
Work was often interrupted and much bad feeling engejidered
by disputes, often over trifles, and the absence of a reasonable
and scientiflc method of dealing with them. The object of the
strike of that year was to establish a nine-hour day, with pay
at the same rate as for the ten-hour day, viz,, $4; and on that
issue the men were thoroughly beaten after being out about
three months. The strike, however, had one good result; it
convinced both sides of the necessity of securing a stable basis
upon which to work in future, and an arrangement was made
for annual agreements, which has operated admirably until now.
The direct results to the workmen were gradual advances of pay
from 40 cents to 55 cents an hoiir, an eight-hour day, Saturday
half holiday, pay within half an hour after leaving work at
noon, weekly instead of bi-monthlj' payments, a regular rate of
pay all the. year round and protection against arhitrary acts on
the part of the employers in a court of appeals in whose constituÂ¬
tion and construction they bad an equal voice with the latter.
Moreover, their field of labor was extended by the inclusion of
the fireproofing. AU these things were obtained without fricÂ¬
tion and witbout the loss of income that a strike always entails.
With so much gained, one would think the men would have
sacrificed something for a principle through which it was enÂ¬
tirely obtained, rather tbau invite a return to the old slipshod
system by which they were undoubtedly the greatest sufferers.
They owed it, too, to the cause of labor in general, as well as to
their own individual interest, to do everything in their power -
to uphold the principle of arbitration. It is here where the
greatest cause of regret is found, in the encouragement this disÂ¬
pute will give to those who hold that trade differences cannot
always be settled by reason, and that passion and force must
be the final arbiters. The moral and material advantages of arbiÂ¬
tration have been too clearly demonstrated for this dispute to
destroy it entirely, but it must be admitted that, coming, as it