United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 268-271 online

. (page 41 of 93)
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entire cotton industry of the United States was demonstrated during the Boxer troubles, when the
Chinese market, or at least that part of it in which our goods have an established preeminence, was
closed. A large proportion of the capital invested in Southern mills depends for its remunerative
employment on the continuous development of this market, and their machinery is especially adapted
to the kind of fabrics which it requires. Three years ago, the capacity of their warehouses was taxed to
contain the unsold accumulations of export cloth, and they were compelled to turn their attention



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OUR FOREIGN COMMERCE. 329

AMERICAN INVESTMENTS ABROAD.

The truth is that the United States has been gradually drawn,
without volition of its own and by the play of economic forces which
it has more or less unconsciously generated and set in motion, into
a state of greater or less dependence upon foreign markets for the
maintenance of its industrial prosperity. This dependence is hardly
perceptible to the manufacturer working full time and perhaps over-
time to supply home orders, but is none the less real, even for him,
since it may become imminent at any moment from a sudden change
of conditions. Moreover, our trade relations with the world at large
are constantly becoming more intimate and more reciprocal, not
only from the growing sales of our goods but also from investments
of American capital in foreign countries. We are exporting not
only the products of our factories and workshops, but money, skilled
labor, brains. Within the past few years, a number of our large in-
dustrial concerns have established plants in Europe, in Canada,
and elsewhere for the manufacture of goods for which there was
an active demand. The drift became sp^ noticeable last year that
the consuls were instructed to include in their annual reports any
data upon this subject that they might be able to obtain. Their
attention was also called to the fact that Americans were engag-
ing largely in various business enterprises, such as street railways,
furnishing supplies under government contracts, mining, etc.,
and they were told that full information as to such undertakings
would be appreciated. In response to this instruction, a number
of reports have been received which will be found in full in Com-
mercial Relations. Consul-General Barlow states that over 1,000
United States companies, firms, and individuals have made invest-
ments in Mexico, aggregating 5(^500,000,000 gold, one-half of it within

to the makinfi^ of the lighter goods adapted for the domestic market. The consequence was an abso-
lute demoralization of prices in that market and the beginning of a cutthroat competition which
would have brought about a disastrous crisis in the entire cotton industry of the United States.
Fortunately, with the restoration of peace in China, normal conditions were reestablished and pros-
perity returned to the cotton mills of New England, as well as to those of the South. In a less
striking but equally instructive way, we have had an illustration within the last month of the close
interdependence between the prosperity of our export trade in cotton textiles and that of the domestic
trade. It has happened, of lat^ years, with almost unfailing regularity, that the season's orders for
the Chinese market began not later than the middle of October. This year, for some reason not yet
fully explained, the business was two months behind the usual time of beginning, and up to the second
or third week in December it seemed as if paralysis had once more attacked the great Chinese mar-
ket. Intimations of the entry of Southern mills, solely devoted to the making of export cloth, into the
fields of domestic competition again began to be heard, and had their inevitably depressing influence
on the tone of the home market. Fortunately, when the demand did set in, it came with a rush, and
within twenty-one days orders were placed for 115,000 bales of our cotton domestics for immediate
and future delivery in China. The cloud was lifted from the domestic market just as it was beginning
to assume a threatening character, but the reminder was none the less impressive of the part played
by this great export outlet for our cotton textiles in maintaining profitable conditions for the entire
industry."



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330 OUR FOREIGN COMMERCE.

the past five years. In Canada, says Consul-General Bittinger, of
Montreal, millions of dollars of United States capital have been
invested during the past year in agricultural and timber lands and
in mining and manufacturing industries. The Westinghouse Com-
pany has erected large plants in Canada, in England, and in France.
In Russia, according to Consul Smith, of Moscow, the manufacture
of air brakes has been begun by a New York firm. The Singer
Company has branch works for the manufacture of sewing machines
in Germany and Russia. An American firm manufacturing shoe
machinery employs loo hands at Frankfort-on-the-Main, of whom 7
or 8 are expert operatives from the United States. Another Ameri-
can house, manufacturing tanners* machinery, has storehouses and
repair shops at Frankfort, at Vienna, Austria, and at Leicester,
England. These instances are cited as showing that we are not
only entering largely into the ordinary business life of foreign peo-
ples in trade and in agricultural or mechanical pursuits, but in
countries developing industrially, are becoming important factors of
their progress in manufactures. It would seem to follow that as we
broaden the scope of such enterprises we shall inevitably bring about
a closer and closer state of interdependence.

NEED OF SYSTEMATIC TRADE METHODS.

As such interdependence grows closer, it necessarily becomes
more sensitive to disturbing influences and more complex. When
our trade relations with a foreign country are merely casual or inter-
mittent, the reflex influence upon ourselves is comparatively unim-
portant ; but when they become a permanent and growing factor of
our business life, they affect the equilibrium of our whole economy
and give rise to many difficult conditions. It follows, therefore,
that, if our export of manufactures and our industrial investments
in foreign countries have created a reciprocity of interests which is
likely to continue and to be woven more and more inextricably into
the web of our industrial activity, we can not afford to rely any
longer upon instrumentalities not specially shaped for promoting
trade intercourse with other nations and successful in the past only
because they happened at the moment to be sufficient. The question
whether our sudden emergence from domestic seclusion into the
wide arena of international competition was to be merely transitory
would seem to have been definitely settled in the negative. The
measure of our success in that competition remains to be determined.
It must depend not only upon the efficiency and greater productive
capacity of our workmen and the superiority of our wares, but upon
the ability we develop in winning trade from strenuous and skillful



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OUR FOREIGN COMMERCE. 33 1

rivals. In other words, we must have the best machinery not merely
for manufacturing goods, but for selling them when made.

THE CONSULAR SERVICE AS A TRADE AGENCY.

For years our consular officers have been supplying manufacturers
and merchants with information as to almost every conceivable de-
tail in the special requirements of particular localities for gaining and
holding trade. These requirements vary not only with every country,
but often with different sections of the same country. It is obvious
that a careful study of them — as for example, the patterns, meas-
urements, methods of packing, trade usages, terms' of credits, etc.,
peculiar to a certain territory — is essential to the manufacturer or
exporter if he is to properly equip himself for a sustained and ener-
getic struggle with foreign rivals, already, in most cases, in occupa-
tion of the field. Whatever may be the defects of our consular
service, it is at least showing itself to be generally alert and respon-
sive to the new conditions, and it is due to its zealous cooperation
that the Bureau of Foreign Commerce is enabled this year to com-
plete the work of compiling the annual reports for the two volumes
of Commercial Relations, of about 1,000 octavo pages each, a week
in advance of any previous date of transmission to Congress. The
consuls have also been most active in sending reports at frequent
intervals on a great variety of subjects of interest to the industrial
and commercial world, and these have been printed promply in the
daily Advance Sheets, which, anticipating the monthly Consular
Reports, have rendered a service of current intelligence which is
steadily winning popular recognition. A most gratifying evidence
of the increasing value of the consular reports, of which there are
now five classes — annual, quarterly, monthly, special, and daily —
is found in the widespread demand for them on the part of colleges
and schools as reference books in special courses of commercial in-
struction. This demand has grown up within the past few years,
and, in itself, is symptomatic of the spread of popular interest in
foreign trade.

In addition to the published reports, the consuls of late, by means
of correspondence conducted under the supervision of the Depart-
ment of State, have supplied a great mass of information to trade
bodies and business firms, and in many cases have voluntarily ex-
erted themselves in other ways to promote commercial expansion.
Their efforts frequently elicit warm commendation in letters to the
Department from the trade interests thus benefited, and, even when
a consular officer lacks other qualifications, it seldom happens that
he fails to exhibit the characteristic American spirit in ** hustling"
for business, not for himself, but for his country. With judicious



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332 NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS.

improvements in the consular organization, it may readily be seen
that the service might be made an unrivaled auxiliary of that con-
certed and intelligently organized movement for efficient export
methods which promises soon to be an absolute prerequisite to fur-
ther extension of our foreign trade.

Frederic Emory,
Chief,
Department of State, Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

January 12, ^poj.



NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS.

The ** industrial conciliation and arbitration act of 1900," which
is generally known as the chief ** labor law," has thus far given
fairly good satisfaction to the colony.

In compliance with many requests, I submit the following sum-
mary of its provisions:

The word ** board" means a board of conciliation for an industrial district con-
stituted under the act; "court" means the court of arbitration constituted under
the act; "employer" includes persons, firms, companies, and corporations em-
ploying one or more workers; "industrial dispute" means any dispute arising
between employers or industrial unions or associations of employers and one or
more industrial unions or associations of workers in relation to industrial matters;
"industrial matters" means all matters afifecting or relating to work done, or to be
done, by workers, or the privileges, rules, and duties of employers or workers in
any industry not involving questions which are, or may be, the subject of proceed-
ings for an indictable offense, and, without limiting the general nature of the above
definition, includes all matters relating to —

(fl) The wages, allowances, or remuneration of workers employed inany indus-
try, or the members paid, or to be paid, in respect of such employment.

{b) The hours of employment, sex, age, qualification or status of workers, and
the mode, terms, and conditions of employment.

{c) The employment of children or young persons, or of any persons, or class of
persons, in any industry, or the dismissal of, or refusal to employ any particular
person, or persons, or class of persons, therein.

{d) The claim of members of an industrial union of employers to preference of
service from unemployed members of industrial unions of workers.

{() The claim of members of industrial union of workers to be employed in
preference to nonmembers.

(/) Any established custom or usage of any industry, either generally or in the
particular district affected.

"Industrial association" means an industrial association registered under the
act; "industrial union" means an industrial union registered under the act; "in-
dustry" means any business, trade, manufacture, undertaking, calling, or employ-
ment in which workers are employed; "officers" means president, vice-president,
treasurer, or secretary; "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under the
act; "registrar" means the registrar of industrial unions under the act; "supreme



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NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS. 333

•court oflSce" means the oflSce of the supreme court in the industrial district wherein
any matter arises to which such expression relates, and where there are two such
offices in any such district it means the office which is nearest to the place wherein
any such ^natter arises; ** worker" means any person of any age or either sex em-
ployed by any employer to do any skilled or unskilled manual or clerical work for
hire or reward in any industry.

The minister for labor has the general administration of the act;
the registrar is, however, the person who, for the time being, holds the
office of secretary for labor, or the governor may, from time to time,
appoint some other person to act in this capacity. Any society, con-
sisting of not less than two persons in the case of employers or
seven in the case of workers, lawfully associated for the purpose of
protecting or furthering the interests of employers or workers in, or
in connection with, any specified industry or industries in the colony
may be registered as an industrial union under this act, on com-
pliance with the following provisions:

1. An application for registration shall be made to the registrar in writing,
stating the name of the proposed industrial union, and signed by two or more officers
of the society.

2. Such application shall be accompanied by {a) a list of the members and offi-
cers of the society; (^) two copies of the rules of the society; (c) a copy of a resolu-
tion passed by a majority of the members present at a general meeting of the
society specially called in accordance with the rules for that purpose only, and de-
sirng registration as an industrial union of employers; or, as the case itiay be, of
workers.

3. Such rules shall specify the purpose for which the society is formed, and shall
provide for (a) the appointment of a committee of management, a chairman, secre-
tary, and any other officer, and, if thought fit, of a trustee or trustees; {d) the pow-
ers, duties, and removal of the committee and of any chairman, secretary, or any
other officer or trustee, and the mode of supplying the vacancies; (r) the manner of
calling general or special meetings, the quorum thereat, the powers thereof, and
the manner of voting thereat; (if) the mode in which the industrial agreement
and any other instrument shall be made and executed on behalf of the society, and
in what manner the society shall be represented in any proceedings before a board
or court; (f) the custody and use of the seal, including power to alter or renew the
same; (/) the control of the property, an investment of the funds, and an annual
or shorter periodical audit of the accounts; (^) for the inspection of the books and
the names of the members of every person having an interest in the funds; (A) a
register of members, and the mode and the terms on which persons shall become
or cease to be members, and so that no member shall discontinue his membership
without giving at least three months previous written notice to the secretary of his
intention so to do, nor until such member has paid up fees, fines, levies, or other
dues payable by him under the rules, except pursuant to a clearance crfrd duly
issued in accordance with the rules; (1) the purging of the rules by striking off any
members in arrears of dues for twelve months, but not to free such person from
arrears due; (7) the conduct of the business of the society at some convenient ad-
dress, to be specified and be called "the registered office of this society;'* (/•) the
amendment, repeal, or alteration of the rules, but so that the foregoing requisites
of this subsection shall always be provided for; (/) any other matter not contrary
to the law.



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334 NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS.

Whenever the registrar is satisfied that the society is qualified
to register under the act, and that the provisions of the last pre-
ceding section thereof have been complied with, he can, without fee,
register the society as an industrial union and issue a certificate of
registration, which, unless proved to have been canceled, shall be
conclusive evidence of the fact of such registration and of the validity
thereof. The registrar at the same time records the rules and also
the situation of the registered office. Every society which is prop-
erly registered as an industrial union becomes, from the date of
registration, a body corporate by the registered name, which has
perpetual succession and a common seal until its registration is can-
celed, as hereinafter mentioned. The act provides that there shall
be inserted in the registered name of every industrial union the name
of ** employers'* or ** workers," according as such union is a union of
employers or of workers, and also — except in the case of an incor-
porated company — the name of the industry in connection with which
it is formed and the locality in which the majority of its members
reside, for instance, ** Christ Church Grocers' Industrial Union of
Employers," or the ** Wellington Tram Drivers' Industrial Union
of Workers." Referring to trade unions registered under the trade
union act of 1878, it is provided that any such trade union can be
registered under that act by the same name, with the insertion of
such additional words as aforesaid, and that every branch of a trade
union shall be considered a distinct union, and that it can be sepa-
rately registered as an industrial union under the act. The act also
provides that for this purpose the rules, for the time being, of the
trade union, with such additional modification as may be necessary
to give effect to the act, shall, when recorded by the registrar, be
deemed to be the rules of the industrial union. There are spe-
cial provisions regarding the registration of societies of employers,
to wit:

In any case where a copartnership firm is a member of the society, each indi-
vidual partner residing in the colony shall be deemed to be a member, and the
name of each such partner, as well as that of the firm, shall be set out in the list
of members; for instance, as *' Watson, Brown & Co., of Wellington, boot manu-
facturers," the firm consisting of four partners, of whom the following reside in
New Zealand— that is to say, "John Watson, of Wellington, and Charles Brown, of
Christ Church.** It is, however, provided that this subsection shall not apply
where the society to be registered is an incorporated company, except where its
articles or rules expressly forbid the same. Any company incorporated under any
act may be registered as an industrial union of employers, and in such case the
provisions of section 5 shall be deemed to be sufficiently complied with {u) if the ap-
plication for registration is made under the seal of the company and pursuant to
a resolution of the board of directors; {/') if it is accompanied by a copy of such
resolution; {c) satisfactory evidence of the registration or incorporation of the com-
pany is given; (d) two copies of articles of association or rules of the company are



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NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS. 335

famished; (e) a list containing the names of the directors and of the manager or other
principal executive officer of the company are given; (/) and if the situation of the
registered office of the company is stated. Also, in so far as the articles or rules of
any such incorporated company are repugnant to the act, they shall, on the regis-
tration of the company as an industrial union of employers, be construed as apply-
ing exclusively to the company and not to the industrial union; also, that in no
case shall an industrial union be registered under a name identical with that by
which any other industrial union has been registered under the act, or by which
any other trade union has been registered under the ** trade union act of 1878," or
so nearly resembling any such name as to be likely to deceive the members or the
public.

The act also provides that in order to prevent the needless multi-
plication of industrial unions connected with the same industry in
the same locality or industrial district, the registrar may refuse to
register an industrial union in any case where he is of opinion that,
in the same locality and connected with the same industry, there ex-
ists a union to which the members of such industrial union might
conveniently belong. In this case, however, the registrar shall im-
mediately notify such industrial union that its application has been
declined. If such union is dissatisfied with the refusal, it may, in
the prescribed manner, appeal to the court, whereupon the court,
after making full inquiry, must report to the registrar whether, in its
opinion, his refusal should be insisted on or waived, and the registrar
shall be guided accordingly; provided, however, that the industrial
union shall satisfy the court that, owing to the distance, diversity of
Interest, or other substantial reason, it will be more convenient for
the members to register separately than to join any existing indus-
trial union. Registration is intended to render the industrial union,
and all persons who are members thereof at the time of registration,
or who shall become members after such registration, subject, of
course, to the jurisdiction given to a board and court respectively,
and liable to all the provisions of the act, and all such persons shall
be bound by the rules of the industrial union during the continuance
of their membership. The act provides that copies of all amend-
ments or alterations of the rules of an industrial union shall, after
being verified by the secretary or some oth«r officer of the industrial
union, be sent to the registrar, who shall record the same upon being
satisfied that the same will not conflict with the requirements of the
act. It also provides that a printed copy of the rules of the indus-
trial union shall be delivered by the secretary to any person requir-
ing the same on payment of a sum not exceeding is. (24 cents).
In all proceedings affecting the industrial unions, prima facie evi-
dence of their rules and their validity must be given by the produc-
tion of what purports to be a copy thereof, certified as a true copy
under the seal of the union and the hand of the secretary or any
other officer thereof.



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336 NEW ZEALAND LABOR LAWS.

In addition to its registered oflfice, the industrial union may also
have a branch office in any industrial district in which any of its
members reside or exercise their calling. Upon application in that
behalf by the union, under the seal and the hand of the chairman
or secretary, specifying the situation of the branch office, the regis-
trar shall record the same, and thereupon the branch office shall be
deemed to be registered. The situation of the registered office and
of each registered branch office of the industrial union may be
changed, from time to time, by the committee of management, or in
such other manner as the rules provide. Every such change shall
be forthwith notified to the registrar by the secretary of the union,
and thereupon the change shall be recorded by the registrar.

All fees, fines, levies, or dues payable to an industrial union, by
any member thereof, under its rules may, in so far as they are owing
for any period of membership subsequent to the registration of the
society under this act, be sued for and recovered in the name of
the union in any court of competent jurisdiction by the secretary or
treasurer of the union, or by any other person who is authorized in
that behalf by the committee of management or by the rules. An
industrial union may purchase or take on lease, in the name of the



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 268-271 → online text (page 41 of 93)