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Roosevelt and Mr. Taft to investigate
into the working of the act. Ex-President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard
has also advocated strenuously and at some length a similar statute, and
it has been made the basis for the campaign in Massachusetts and other
states. Mr. Clark reported: "Under the conditions for which it was
devised, the Canadian law, in spite of some setbacks, is useful
legislation, and it promises more for the future than most
measures--perhaps more than any other measure--for _promoting industrial
peace by government intervention_."

Here is the very keynote to compulsory arbitration, according to its
opponents, whose whole attack is based on the fact that its primary
purpose is not to improve the condition of the working people, but to
promote "industrial peace by government intervention."

Mr. Clark concedes that "possibly workers do sacrifice something of
influence in giving up sudden strikes," though he claims that they gain
in other ways. "After such a law is once on the statute books, however,
it usually remains, and in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada it has
created a new public attitude toward industrial disputes. This attitude
is the result of the idea--readily grasped and generally accepted when
once clearly presented--that the _public_ have an interest in industrial
conflicts quite as immediate and important in its way as that of the
conflicting parties. _If the American people have this truth vividly
brought to their attention by a great strike, the hopeful example of the
Canadian act seems likely, so far as the present experience shows, to
prove a guiding star in their difficulties._" (Italics mine.)

In the agitation that was made in behalf of a similar law in
Massachusetts, just exactly what is meant by the word "public" began to
appear. It refers not only to the consumers of the article produced by
the industry in which the strike occurs, but also to other dependent
industries, to the merchants of the locality where the workmen live, and
to the real estate interests. Here, then, are definite economic
interests which are concerned primarily in the prevention of strikes and
in the uninterrupted operation of the industry, and only in a secondary
way in rates of wages. _It is not a disinterested and non-partisan
public; it is not on the side of the employers nor on the side of the
employees, but it is opposed to the most effective weapons the working
people have yet found to advance their interests, namely, the strike and
the boycott._

It is said that if the workers lose the right to strike, the employers
lose the right to lockout. It has been customary to set the lockout over
against the strike as being of equal importance, but this is not the
truth. Employers can discharge their workingmen one at a time when they
are dissatisfied with a limited number; and they can often find a
business protest for temporarily shutting down or restricting their
output. To abolish strikes, then, is to take away the employees' chief
means of offense or defense; while to pretend to abolish strikes _and
lockouts_ is to leave in the hands of the employers the ability to
discharge or punish in other ways the men with whom they are
dissatisfied.

When it was proposed to introduce the Canadian law in Massachusetts, no
unionists of prominence indorsed it, but it was favored by a very large
number of employers, while those employers who objected did so for
widely scattered reasons. Mr. Clark is probably right in suggesting
that, while such a law will not be enacted in the United States as
things are now, it is very probable that it can be secured after some
industrial crisis--and there is little doubt that President Eliot and
perhaps also Mr. Roosevelt, for whom Mr. Clark was investigating, and
many other influential public men, are expecting this time to arrive
soon.

The attitude of a large minority of British unions and of a considerable
part of the British Socialists is similar to that of the Canadian and
Australian majority. When in 1907 the railway employees of Great Britain
were for the first time sufficiently aroused and organized, and on the
point of a national strike, a settlement was entered into through the
efforts of Mr. Lloyd George and the Board of Trade (and it is said with
the assistance of King Edward) which involved an entirely new principle
for that country. A board was constituted to settle this and future
strikes of which the Master of Rolls and other British functionaries
were the leading elements. Actually the workers consented for several
years to leave in the hands of the judges over whose election and
appointment they have only an indirect and partial, if indeed any,
control, complete power over their industrial life. The executive of the
Fabian Society issued a manifesto congratulating the government on this
"progressive" settlement, though few prominent labor leaders were
willing to give it their full indorsement. The Fabian manifesto said
that the advance in wages which could be secured by the settlement "will
undoubtedly have been secured on the trade-union program, through the
trade-union organization, by the trade union's representatives, and
finally, in the argument before the arbitrator, by the ability of the
trade union's secretary." But this settlement had nearly all the
features of the Canadian law which I have just mentioned, and especially
in failing to give any recognition to the unions, left the strongest
possible weapon in the hands of their enemies. Nevertheless, more than a
third of the members of the British Trade Union Congress voted since
that time for a compulsory arbitration act, and British radicals like
Percy Alden, M.P., to say nothing of conservatives, agitate for a law
along New Zealand lines. The railway strike of 1911 has decreased the
popularity of this proposal among unionists and Socialists, but has
augmented it in still greater proportion among nearly all other classes.
In the meanwhile, in spite of the employees' efforts, and external
concessions by the employers, the power in the newest railway
conciliation scheme lies also in the hands of the government (see Part
III, Chapter V).

Statements by President Taft and other influential Americans lead us to
believe it will be a very short period of years before similar
legislation is applied to this country, in spite of the hostility of the
unions, or perhaps with the consent of some of the weaker among them,
which have little to gain by industrial warfare. While Secretary of War,
Mr. Taft predicted a controversy between capital and labor which should
decide once and for all how capital and labor should share the joint
profits which they created. In this and many similar utterances there is
foreshadowed the interference of the State. Indeed, the settlement of
the Pennsylvania coal strike in 1903 was a clear example of such
interference, and there is no question that the precedents established
will be followed up on the next occasion of the kind by some arrangement
even less advantageous to employees who now almost universally feel, as
the present demands of the miner's union show, that they got the worst
of the former decision.

The railway and mining situations in Great Britain, and the demand for
the government to take some measure to protect employees against the
"trusts" in this country (to say nothing of the menace of a great coal
strike), promise to make compulsory arbitration an issue of the
immediate future. Mr. Roosevelt, who now proposes that the government
should interfere between monopolies and their employees, is the very man
who is responsible for the coal strike tribunal of 1903, which not only
denounced sympathetic strike and secondary boycott, but failed to
protect the men against discrimination on account of their unionism.
Were he or any one like him President, the institution of government
wage boards would be dreaded like the plague.

Similarly Mr. Winston Churchill, in Great Britain, recognizes the
extreme seriousness of the situation. His position is ably summed up by
the _Saturday Evening Post_:--


"Winston Churchill has propounded a capital-and-labor puzzle to his
British constituents.

"To a modern state, he says in substance, railroad transportation
is a necessity of life--and how literally true this is of England
was shown in the general strike of last August, when the food
supply in some localities ran down to only a few days'
requirements. So the government cannot permit railroad
transportation to be paralyzed indefinitely by a strike. It cannot
sit by and see communities starve. A point will soon be reached
where it must intervene and force resumption of transportation.

"Strikes, however, form one of the modern means of collective
bargaining between employer and employees. They are, in fact, the
workmen's final and most effective resource in driving a bargain.
Denied the right to strike, labor unions would be so many wooden
cannon at which employers could laugh. If the employer knew
absolutely that the men could not strike, he might offer any terms
he pleased. In wage bargaining the men would not stand on a level
footing, but be bound and gagged.

"If, then, the government takes away, or seriously restricts, the
right of the men to strike, isn't it bound to step into the breach
and readjust the balance between them and the employer, by
compelling the employer to pay them fair wages? There can be no
free bargaining if it is known that at a certain point the
government will intervene on one side. Must it not, then, also be
known that at a certain point the government will intervene on the
other side and compel payment of adequate wages?

"Mr. Churchill carries his puzzle only that far. On our own account
we add, How far will that leave us from regulation of wages as well
as of rates by the government, and how far will that leave us from
government ownership?"[76]


In a word, Mr. Churchill's remedy for the evils of "State Socialism" is
more "State Socialism"--and undoubtedly there is an inevitable trend in
that direction.



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Keywords: country, workers, president, people, secured, britain, attitude, arbitration, intervene, bargaining
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