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National Conference on Industrial Conciliation (19.

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ployers do not recognize the merits of the men and
their title to a higher standard and to the higher
wages, that they themselves have protected them-
selves as it were, by not perhaps taking the very best
out of machinery. It is a fallacy, and one that will
have to be dropped in the future. But the working-
men will require to know what is their position.
They ask, "If we are prepared to run these machines
at a higher speed, so as to produce all the machinery



I 4 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

is capable of, what is to be our share?" And I
think they have a right to come to an understanding
with the manufacturer as to what their share is to be.

These are some of the points that I think will have
to be fully emphasized, and I just now stated it is
only as an amateur that I speak these things. It
strikes me as a point that will have to be viewed
very thoroughly by the delegates when they get back
to their own country in the reports that they make,
and the attitudes that the unions will take, altogether,
in this great problem of capital and labor.

Again, there is the question of hours. Hours are
a very important point. I think those who really
have the workmen's interest at heart do view the
question of shorter hours with a feeling of respect and
a feeling of right for their desire to have some time
left after they have finished their labor to improve
their minds and to devote themselves to other occu-
pations. But the hours of labor are a very difficult
problem. There is more than one view to be taken
of it in the United States. You have to ask your-
selves, What is the position in other countries?
Are they working longer hours? Is it possible to
bring them into line? And personally, I feel that if
there is to be any solution to the hours question, it
can only be done if the workingmen, not of the
United States alone, but of the whole of Europe, are
brought into line and prepared to adopt a policy
whereby we shall all be on an equal footing. It is
useless for the United States to seek an ideal of an
eight-hour day if Germany is going to work ten. It
means that the markets of the world will be glutted,



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. I5

that is to say the free markets, by the manufactures
of the country whose work is longer than that of the
United States. We must come into line if there is to
be any real progress in that, and these gentlemen,
Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell, who represent the
workers of this country, I appeal to them as being the
problem that they themselves must look into as to
whether you will not injure the progress of this coun-
try if you are going to try and introduce shorter
hours here than are adopted in the Old Country. It is
true you can adopt that policy if you are prepared
to manufacture only for the United States. But I
think the United States to-day and I think pretty
well everyone will agree with me in this room has
got beyond that point. With the resources you have
and the resources of the United States, I think,
are larger than anybody can appreciate who has not
been in this country your natural position is to
make not only for yourselves, but to manufacture
largely for the world. And when you come to face
that problem, there are a great many things to be
looked at outside of the United States.

We hear a great deal of restriction of output, boy-
cott, unions, free labor, etc. Restriction of output
is to my mind a fallacy the world over. It cannot be
encouraged, it cannot be permitted. I do not think
the intelligent workmen of any part of the world en-
courage it. Our workmen who have been here the
representatives, rather, of the workmen deny that
there is any restriction of output in the Old Country
I am glad to hear them do so. They deny that there
is any of the "go slow" plan. I am delighted they



1 6 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

take that attitude. It makes for better things. But
I have heard it said that a man must be protected
against himself. Well, gentlemen, that is begging
the question. That is putting another phrase to
exactly the same principle. There can be no restric-
tion of output unless you are going to bring about a
state of things that will mean death to manufacture,
death to the workingmen, and death to the country.
A man must be encouraged. A man must do his
level best in the course of his day's work. He must
be prepared to put forth his greatest energy and he
must receive remuneration for that energy. Boycott
is a thing I think that does not appeal to any one.
Free labor is a sacred proposition that must be pro-
tected, not only by the workman, but by everybody
who desires freedom in this country. A man must be
free to sell his labor to whom he pleases, whether he
belongs to the unions or not. I myself am a union
man; I am in favor of unions; I have shown that
by the people that I have brought to this side of the
water. But while I favor unions, I do not favor all
that trade unionism does. There must be a perfect
right for a man to join a union without intimidation.
He must be interfered with by no one. The same
applies to the free laborer who wishes to sell his prod-
uce, his hand work, to any manufacturer. He must
be free to do so unhindered, unincumbered in every
shape and form, and were I a manufacturer, if any
attempt was made to interfere with that freedom
in my factory I would fight it to the bitter end.
I would close my factory rather than submit to it.
It is an important question that one has to consider,



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. 17

this freedom, because unless we have freedom on both
sides, both in unionism and in free labor, there can
be no progress for any country. But while unionism
is a point that I am very much in sympathy with,
there are many things in connection with it that re-
quire the consideration of the labor leaders. They
must be free to organize, because, I think
organized labor is good for the world. I think
the organization of capital equally good for the
masses. Persv_^ally, I would rather have to plead
with organized capital on one side and organized
labor on the other, than with a scattered mass of
small manufacturers seeking to cut one another's
throats in an unhealthy competition, and labor, unled,
undisciplined and under-paid, such as we have seen
it in England in the past and as we should see it
to-day, were it not for the power of the unions, which,
I think, as a whole have done a great deal of good.

But there are other points with regard to the labor
unions, and I address myself now more particularly
to Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell, who represent the
labor of this country, and that is that they must
look beyond the question of consumption in consid-
ering the reduction of the hours of labor. If you
intend to cultivate and keep the open markets of the
world, there is the business part of it which requires
investigation the rates of freights, the rate of money
exchange, the gold premiums in other countries, and
a thousand and one things which largely affect the
possibility of your being able to sell your goods in
the markets of the world. It is an important matter,
one entirely apart from the question of the hours



i8 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

of labor, and the speed of machinery and the wages
of the men. There I think a strong and powerful
responsibility rests upon your manufacturers. You
cannot expect these gentlemen if they are sitting here
holding the strings of labor and the variety of prob-
lems which they have to face every day you cannot
expect them to look at these problems outside unless
you. give them an opportunity of doing so. You
must choose from among the workingmen and
there are plenty of workingmen in this country with
plenty of brains you must choose your best men;
you must help them, you must encourage them, you
must give them the opportunity of going abroad
in the same way that I have brought my men here
to study these questions. This Civic Federation,
with its large organization of manufacturers, should
and will have an opportunity of enlightening those
who seek enlightenment upon those points.

Trusts have been very much abused in this country,
from the standpoint of those who I think have
not sufficiently looked into the proposition. Per-
sonally I do not view trusts with any distrust. I
think they are making for a better state of things,
both for the manufacturer and the workingman.
The small manufacturer cannot give conditions to
the workingman such as a large manufacturer with
unlimited capital and unlimited organization has
at his command, and I believe that the workingmen
of this country will study their best interests if they
help the trusts. They are not in my opinion any
menace to the country. They may tend to raise
prices a little. If they do, the workingman will



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. 19

claim his share and will get it. We have seen only
within the last few days since I have been in this
country how some of the railroad companies have
stepped forward and offered higher wages, unasked
by their men. That is a principle that I think will
be followed up, and if they do not offer the working-
men will ask and will receive higher wages, because it
is their due, as the prosperity of the country increases.

These trusts will largely work their own salvation
for good or bad. We have, for instance, the Oil
Trust. It is one of the first trusts, and I think the
most powerful, perhaps, in the country. What has
been the effect of it? As far as I have been able
to ascertain we get better and cheaper oil to-day
under the trust than we did before, and that trust
has accumulated a large capital, which capital is
again employed in a variety of industries throughout
the country to extend and improve this great empire,
and has helped build up many of the large industries
of to-day, which employ a very large amount of labor.
If on the other hand the trusts abuse their position
and give the public a worse article at a higher price,
the evil will work its own cure. No corporation can,
for any length of time, sell its article at a fictitious
price. It is bound to bring in competition, and that
competition will break down of its own weight the
corporation that seeks to enslave you and make you
pay an unfair price for your goods.

Capital and labor are partners, and the sooner both
capital and labor of all grades really realize that
proposition, the better for the community at large.
They are partners just as much as man and wife, and



20 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

if you attempt to divorce them it brings trouble and
breaks up happy homes. The same applies to the
workman, representing, as he does, his share of labor,
and the manufacturer, who represents capital. They
are partners, and you cannot divorce them. The
only question that arises is how ar3 they to divide
the dollar which is being earned partially by capital
on one side, and by labor on the other; that is the
problem of the hour. The world has seen struggles
going on for a share of that dollar. In England, in
the past, I do not think labor has received its fair
share, its fair wage. Capital has relegated to itself
more than its share and trades unionism has been a
very powerful factor in extorting, I may say,
because it has been largely extorting, in the past,
its fair share of the result of its labors. I am
sorry to have to use that expression, extorting, but
I feel that, perhaps, strong as it is, it is not too strong
for the position as it was in England not perhaps
to-day, but in the past when labor was miserably
underpaid.

But, as I have said, there is this dollar to divide
and how can it be divided equitably? We see this
change that has come over the world; it is a change
that is taking place daily with the large corporations
and trusts. With these which are starting, which
have not yet been incorporated, I cannot see why a
sum of money in the shape of stock should not be
placed on one side to represent labor. Say, for
argument's sake, there is a corporation being formed
with one hundred millions of dollars ; why could you
not take thirty, forty, fifty, sixty I don't pretend



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. 2I

to fix the amount millions of dollars and place it on
one side, and say that represents labor, while the
other side represents capital? The labor side of it
shall be banked in trust for the workingman,
and that shall be distributed at the end of the year
pro rat a, according to the wages that the men are
earning. It would simplify the matter. It would
give the workingman a direct interest in the work
that is going on, and without that interest, and unless
you have the hearts of your workingmen with you,
there can be no real solid progress with regard to your
manufactures. You cannot have workingmen who
are sullenly doing their day's work, feeling that they
have nothing to live for when their day's work is
finished. They must be partners, truly, in every
sense of the word.

To these other corporations that have their con-
cerns in operation I must confess I have my own ideal.
I do not say that it is impossible to-day, but I think
it may become possible in the future. That ideal
is this perhaps it may not come in my lifetime, but
it is one towards which we should all struggle a
minimum wage to the men; interest on capital; a
fund for the expansion of your works, the same as
though you were conducting your business on every-
day principles, and a fund for depreciation and the
replacing of your machinery ; old age pensions for the
men; and then the balance equally divided. If
one could arrive at such an ideal, it would, I think,
make the men think that they were partners indeed.
They would be receiving their full share of the work
on one side; capital would be receiving its interest



22 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

and a share of the profits on the other. It is an
ideal to-day, I know. I am speaking ahead of the
times, but unless both employers and employees can
arrive at some basis of partnership, things cannot
go on indefinitely. The world is becoming educated.
The masses are feeling that they have a right, a just
right, to a share of the profits. The whole question
is, How can that be arrived at without trouble,
without friction.

The Civic Federation has undertaken a great work,
a work that I think the whole of the people of the
United States should be in sympathy with. It
is attempting logically to bring capital and labor
into closer touch, to discuss the various problems
that affect both sides, calmly and dispassionately.
It is seeking to bring about arbitration and concilia-
tion. Arbitration and conciliation have been subjects
that attracted our attention in England for a number
of years, and I venture to think that we have got ahead
of you in that respect. We are older, and we have got
our boards of arbitration and conciliation the Cham-
ber of Commerce, the Board of Trade, and the various
trades organizations who have their own joint boards
of employers and employees. But the Civic Feder-
ation of this country has taken up one point that
appeals to me very strongly, and I think it has
appealed with equal force to the whole of my dele-
gates. What it says is this: " Do not wait until your
building is on fire and blazing. All the water that
you can pump on it from every engine you can gather
together in New York will not extinguish it, or if it
does, it leaves it a wreck. Step in with your one



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. 23

bucket of water, which you can throw upon the
flames immediately they show any signs of breaking
out, and you will be effective. " In other words, I
say that the work of the Civic Federation in bringing
capital and labor together at a round table, to speak
of their conditions directly there, is a great work
that must have an everlasting influence upon this
great problem of capital and labor. I believe my
delegates have been very much struck with this par-
ticular attitude of the Civic Federation, and those
who were here in New York a few days ago signed a
declaration in favor of it, asking that a similar institu-
tion might, if possible, be introduced into Great Britain,
and saying that on their return to their own societies,
when they would issue their report, they intended to
lay special stress upon this work, which they thought
was making for peace and good.

I can only say in regard to this work of the Civic
Federation I am heartily in sympathy with it , because
it is a benefit to humanity and makes for a better
condition as between labor and capital. The best
men of this country have undertaken that work, and
the responsibility rests with them to see it through,
and to cultivate and seek all these vast influences
that they can bring to bear. An equal responsi-
bility rests with those who represent labor, to see that
they are all brought into line to support this organiza-
tion, because without something of this description
capital and labor will ever be at war.

I wish it every success; I believe it is to be a nu-
cleus in making for better times and conditions. I
have also to thank the Civic Federation, and I thank



24 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

them from the bottom of my heart, for the assistance
they have given to my commission. When I was in-
troduced to them, six manufacturers and Senator
Hanna and others, they stepped out and said: "Mr.
Mosely, you bring your men and we will co-operate
with them. We have got the situation in hand, both
capital and labor. Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell,
representing labor, will give you every assistance;
we who represent capital will influence manufacturers
to open their doors, and I think you will be given
an opportunity of seeing everything." That promise
has been more than realized. Every door has been
held open by the manufacturers in the most liberal
way. The gentlemen who represent labor on the
other side, Mr. Gompers, who is at the head of the
American Federation of Labor, placed in every town
we have visited men connected with all the businesses
with which my people are connected, to take my men
in hand and show them all around ; to take them to the
factories and explain to them the conditions of the
workingmen, the wages they are earning, and the
conditions under which they are living, and I be-
lieve my people will go back with a big, broad con-
ception of what this country is doing for the laboring
people.

Mr. Gompers, on behalf of the gentlemen who are
with me, will you allow me to thank you and Mr.
Mitchell for the great service which you have rendered
to the workers on this side? And Senator Hanna,
again, as representing the manufacturers, will you
please accept my sincere thanks for the very liberal
way in which the people of this country have opened



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE 25

the doors to my delegation as a whole? Gentlemen,
allow me to thank you. (Applause.)

THE CHAIRMAN : I am very sure that it is our desire
to return the compliment and thank the gentleman
for his very wise and unselfish dissertation upon this
great question. Before we adjourn for the afternoon,
I want to hear from one of the gentlemen representing
the workingmen of England. I will now introduce
Mr. Walls, the general secretary of the Blast Furnace-
men's Association.

MR. P. WALLS: Senator Hanna and Gentlemen
After the exhaustive and, I think, fairly outspoken
words of Mr. Mosely, which, although I believe were
justified, occupied a considerable amount of your
valuable time, I will be exceedingly brief. I have
two reasons for being so. One is that I have no desire
to anticipate my report that I am expected to make
when I return to England; and another is, that I
know your time is too valuable for me to occupy
more than a few minutes.

We have been exceedingly pleased with the re-
ception that we have received everywhere. We have
been very favorably impressed with your immense
country, your immense natural resources, your im-
mense riches, and I might add, your immense ma-
chinery very much impressed, indeed. Still, per-
haps, it would be possible to exaggerate the differences
between this and the Old Country in many instances.

They are not nearly so large as seem to loom up in
the minds of- well, might I say, the pressmen of the
United States. (Laughter and applause.) Not near-



26 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

ly so large as I believe they seem to many of those
in the States with whom we have come in contact, but
I think we realize that there is a difference ; that we
know our people have had difficulties. All their
works are much older. All yours are new, and in
laying down a new plant it is always to be expected
that you will adopt the most up-to-date machinery.
Any man understands, I think, we are getting closer,
and as to the matters of details of some of the ques-
tions mentioned, as to the matters of mining ma-
chines, I would like to remind, well, Mr. Mosely, that
there are machines and machines. (Laughter.)
You have some of your machines that can practically
mind themselves, while some of ours require a great
deal of minding. We have all these things to con-
sider.

We were impressed also with the question of the
management of your public concerns. After thirty
years of public service and management as a public
workmen, I must say that we have not received that
encouragement in the Old Country. If a man under-
takes to offer any suggestions, you all know it is just
possible he will find himself on the way to some other
concern looking for employment. There are, while
that is the rule, exceptions to the rule. There is, no
doubt, that with the exceptions of the great leaders,
that that is the rule.

Now with reference to your Civic Federation. We
are pleased that there is such an institution, but I
would like to remove some of what I consider a delu-
sion, in that matter, so far as we are concerned.
There seems to be a kind of belief that we are sadly



INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.



27



in need of such an institution. Now, I admit, sir,
it would be useful, but we have our own conciliation
boards and our own joint committees, and have our
employers and workingmen sitting on them, such as
a board of trade, which meets and discusses the situa-
tion. We have severe troubles at times, gentlemen;
we cannot help it, when there is a lack of experience
on both sides, where the workman is probably a
little impetuous and where the employer has a little
horror as to the workman's disposition. Where that
condition exists we sometimes experience trouble.
On that question we would like such an institution
as the Civic Federation. We have had many people
in their individual capacity who have filled that par-
ticular. We have had men, members of the
county councils and others, who have on many occa-
sions managed to bring together the contending par-
ties and lead to an amicable conclusion and settle-
ment.

One of the things, sir, that I admire about the
Federation, is that it does not pretend to interfere
with anybody's business. The moment a disinterest-
ed party who does not understand the technicalities
of the question from either side attempts to put their
finger in that pie, the pie is spoiled. (Applause.)
Now what I admire in the Civic Federation is that it
only pretends to bring the contending parties to-
gether, so they can see that each one has only got one
head and that they are not the monsters which each
supposed the other to be, and that there is right on
both sides.

I beg to thank the American employers for the way



2 8 INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE.

they have thrown open their gates to us and the way
that they have opened everything to us. I beg also
to thank the American workingmen for the reception
we have received from the workingmen. There were
no jealousies whatever; we were all friends and broth-
ers, and I thank you in this audience for the little
time you have given me. (Applause.)
Adjourned.

The second session of the meeting was called to
order by SENATOR HANNA at 2:30 P. M.

THE CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen of the committee, we
are through with the picturesque, and we will proceed
now with business. Mr. Adams has telegraphed that
his train is delayed and he will not be here for fifteen
or twenty minutes. Under the circumstances, I am
going to take the responsibility of calling upon
people, to give opportunity for an exchange of ideas,
and I now call upon Archbishop Ireland.

ARCHBISHOP JOHN IRELAND: Mr. President and
Gentlemen When Senator Hanna speaks I obey.
The year that has gone by has confirmed the origi-
nators of the Civic Federation in their conviction that
they are engaged in a great and salutary work, that
of striving to bring together, face to face, capital and



Online LibraryNational Conference on Industrial Conciliation (19Industrial conference → online text (page 2 of 25)