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Modern weapons and modern war, being an abridgment of The war of the future in its technical, economic and political relations, with a prefatory conversation with the author online

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work may cause serious disorders such as happened in
June 1848, and March 1871 in Paris.

That stagnation and inevitable crisis in industry will be
caused by war is inevitable, for certain reasons. The
increase in the price of provisions in consequence of the
interruption of communications will immediately diminish
the purchasing resources of the population. On the
declaration of war all state, commercial, and industrial
securities will be depreciated, want of money will be



IN GERMANY 269

seriously felt, and the rate of discount will be raised.
The more highly developed the trade and industry, the
greater will be the perturbations caused and the more
numerous will be cases of failure. Generally speaking,
not only will the credit of the state, but the credit of
all private individuals in all classes of society, be im-
paired.

The following forms of industry will sufier most of all :



Working and manufacture of metals

Machine building . . . .

Chemical manufacture

Spinning and weaving

Leather working and paper making

Manufacture from wood .

Building

Preparation of clothing



607,481
94,807

71.777
910,089
221,688
469,695
533.5"
1.259.791



k



Does there exist among the German working classes
such savings as would make the stoppage of work called
forth by war unfelt ? The accumulation of savings
depends upon national and individual character, and also
upon the level of work in normal times. The thrift of the
Germans is unquestioned. But a considerable part of the
population receives insignificant wages, which only satisfy
their daily needs ; and among this class there can hardly
be any savings.

The existence in Prussia of an income tax, and the
corresponding statistics, make it possible to judge of the
distribution of income among the population, and con-
clusions drawn from Prussia may be applied approximately
to the rest of Germany. The following figures relate to
the year 1 890 :

Proportion of the

Population. Average Income.

Incomes insufficient . 40.11 per cent. ... 197 m. (/"g 17s.)

smaU . . 54.05 „ ... 276 „ (^13 i6s.)

,, moderate . 4.81 ,, ... 896 ,, (;^44 i6s.)

,, considerable 1.3 ,, ... 2781 ,, (£1^9 is.)

Thus we see that 40 per cent, of the population belong
to the necessitous class, while 54 per cent, have small



270 IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE ?

incomes, and are hardly in a position to save. The
average income of an individual of the first class is only
1 97 marks {£g 1 75.), and of the second class only 276 marks

U13 1 6s.).

For the more precise exposition of this matter let us
take a province with developed industries. The following
figures relate to the kingdom of Saxony. In 1S94 the
number of persons in Saxony receiving incomes was
estimated at 1,496,566. The number of these

Who did not pay income tax was only . 85,849 or 5.7 %

Having incomes under 600 m. {£y>) . . 633,929 „ 42.4 ,,

„ from 600 to 2200 m. (/["i 10) 675,862 ,, 45.2,,

M ,,2200 to 6300,, (^315) 79.928 „ 5.3,,

The incomes of the population of Saxony are thus
distributed :

From landed property . 287 mill. m. (;{'i4,350,ooo) or 22.5 %
„ capital . . 220 „ „ (/; 1 1,000,000) „ 17.2 „

„ salary and wages 771 „ „ (;C38,550.oo") » 60.3 „

1278 „ „ (£63,900,000) „ 100 „

From this it will be easily seen what convulsions
would be caused by the stoppage of work. The following
are the figures relating to all Germany. The general
income of the population estimated on the years 1S93-94
amounted to 5,725,338,364 marks (;^2 86, 266,9 18 4S-)-
This income was distributed as follows :

Urban population . 3878 million m. (/■i93,90o,ooo) or 68 %
Country „ . 1846 „ „ (i;92,30o,ooo) „ 32 „

In 1866 the total income amounted to 3,600,000,000
marks (;i^ 1 8o,000,ooo) and was distributed thus :

Urban population . 1620 million m. (;f 8 1,000,000) or 45 %
Country „ . igSo „ „ (;f 99,000,000) „ 55 „

Thus, when in 1866 the incomes of the urban popula-
tion of Germany amounted to 45 per cent, of the general



IN GERMANY 271

income, the crisis caused by war affected only ;^8 1 ,ocK),ooo
of the income of the people. To-day such a crisis would
threaten an income of ;^ 193,900,000, for now not a half
but two-thirds of the general income proceeds from
industry and trade.

Ail this indicates a position by no means favourable.
But it is improved by the fact that the amount of savings
is considerable. Thus in Saxony in 1893 the number of
pass books issued by the savings banks was 1,783,390.
The average deposit was ;i^i8 95. But though the
existence of such savings is favourable as an economic
phenomenon, it could hardly serve to stave off the crisis
naturally resulting from war. The average deposit,
;^i8 gs., is too small. In addition, it must be borne in
mind that the savings banks would not be in a position to
meet a general or even a very large withdrawal of
deposits. The deposits in these savings banks amount to
;^32, 900,000, of which over ;^25, 000,000 is placed on
mortgage, and ;ir63, 500,000 in the public funds. It is
obvious that to realise these mortgages in a short time
would be impossible, while state securities in a time of
war could only be sold at an immense loss. The associa-
tions and individuals to whom the remainder of the
money is lent would not be able in a moment of crisis
to repay their loans, and only the cash in the offices of
the savings banks — that is, but ^350,000 — would be at
the disposal of the depositors.

It is very necessary to note that in those industrial
localities where the stoppage of work would be felt most
acutely, the Socialist teaching and propaganda are most
widely spread.

With such a state of affairs, what could the govern-
ment and society do to lessen the disaster ? A certain
number of hands deprived of industrial work might be
turned to agriculture, and replace the agricultural
labourers summoned to the colours. But, in the first
place, only the strongest of the manufacturing class could
turn to labour in the field, and the vast majority is unfit
for such work. In addition, such men would unwillingly



272 IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE?

take to field labour, all the more so because the treatment
of agricultural labourers in German}' is inferior to that to
which factory hands have been accustomed.

To organise public works on a great scale is a difficult
task. And the vcr}' nature of such works by which the
state might undertake to help the unemployed is by no
means fit for all. Public works require either great physical
strength or special training. And workmen who have been
engaged in weaving, in spinning, or in the manufacture of
chemicals would, for the greater part, be incapable of
work with the crowbar, the pickaxe and the wheel-
barrow. The experience of Paris in 1848 in this respect
is instructive. When workmen formerly engaged in
trades which required only attention and some dexterity
were given pickaxes and spades, it was found they could
not stand the bent position of the body, and soon had
their hands raw from the friction of the tools. The
government may give aid to the families of soldiers on
service, but obviously cannot feed the whole of the
unemployed population.

It must be noted that in Germany, in the number of
persons receiving incomes, the proportion of women is
very considerable. Out of everj' thousand persons
occupied in industry, trade and manufacture respectively,
176, 190, and 312 are women. The number of women is
especially great in the lower and ill-paid forms of work.
The greater part of the women are engaged in the follow-
ing industries







Pcrcentige of




Number of


Total Number of




Women Engaged.


Workexv


Making, repairing, and cleaninp






of clothing


551.303


43-8


Spinning and weaving


362,138


39.8


Trade ....


1^4,537


22.0


Hotels and buffets .


141.407


45.0


Preparation of food products


96,7-24


130


Paper making .


31.256


31.2


Stone working .


27,660


7-9


Wood


27.372


5.8



In general in Germany the rate of wages is very low,



IN GERMANY



273



the yearly earnings of individuals engaged in industry
fluctuating between £^0 6s. and £$0 2s., which to the
large families of the German working classes means
poverty. Women workers in Germany receive much less
than men, generally less than a shilling a day, while no-
where except in Anhalt do the daily earnings of women
reach two shillings. If 24 shillings a week be considered
moderate payment, over 24 shillings high, and under
15 shillings low, the distribution of workers according
to these categories appears :






Low
Wages.


.NIoderatc
Wages.


High
Wages.


Men and women together .
Men separately . .
Women separately


V.
29:8
20.9
99-^


/

49-8

56.2

0.7


7,
20.4
22.9

0.1



In view of the importance of this question we present
the result graphically :



Classification of Workers in Germany according to Wages,

Men. Womem.



Z^.^%



55.2o;o




From this it will be seen that women receive much
lower wages than men. Less than a fifth part (19.76 out
of 99.2) receive more than 10 shillings a week, while 70
per cent, receive less than 10 shillings, and more than
half receive less than 8 shillings a week. To such
women, living independently, the cost of lodging and



274



IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE?



food is not less tlian 5 shillings a week. It will be
seen how little remains out of weekly earnings of
6 to 8 shillings, for clothing, against sickness, and for
other unforeseen contingencies.

Thus it cannot be expected that on a stoppage of
work caused by war the workers of Germany could find
any considerable resource in their savings. In particular
this will be the case with the women workers, and it must
be borne in mind that in times of disorder women always
appear as a dangerous element. The assistance which
the government grants to the women whose fathers and
husbands have been called away to the army will be
insignificant, especially in view of the rise in the price of
food of which we have above spoken.

It is very probable that the condition of the working
classes in Germany will constantly deteriorate. It is true
that emigration to America in recent years has fallen ofT, as
the following diagram shows.

Emigration from Germany to America in Thousands.



1 891

1892

1893








j 84


1894






39



115

112



But such a decrease took place in consequence of the
difficulties with which emigration was attended. In view
of the immense development of German industry, and
of the raising of protective duties in other countries,
Germany, in order to keep her place in the foreign



IN GERMANY 275

markets, has been forced to work and sell more cheaply.
The lowering in the price of manufactured goods has had
its natural consequence in a fall of wages. This in itself
is a misfortune. But when we add the misfortunes of war,
which will shorten work even at low wages, it is difficult
to foresee the consequences.

It is necessary also to consider how war will react on
the interests of the propertied classes in Germany. Their
savings are very considerable, and the German debt is
almost all held in Germany. War will produce a great
panic on the money market, and the value of the securities
in which are invested the savings of the propertied classes
will be greatly depreciated. To carry on war it will
be necessary to obtain a loan of fifty millions sterling,
and, in the event of failure, it may be of several times
this sum to pay contributions. And even in the event of
a successful war those loans which will be issued for
carrying on operations can be placed only at low prices.
So early there can be no assurance of victory, while
defeat might entail the disruption of the German Empire.

It need hardly be pointed out that shares in industrial
undertakings will fall even more than government securi-
ties. But in addition to government funds and industrial
securities, foreign securities are held in Germany to an
immense amount. Since the introduction of a stamp
duty on foreign securities, on their admission on the
German Bourses, vast quantities of such securities have
been acquired. Between 1S82 and 1892 foreign papers
were presented for stamping to the value of 20,731
million marks (;£" 1,036, 5 50,000), of which 5644 millions of
marks (;^2 8 2, 200,000) were actually stamped, that is,
admitted officially on the Bourse. In this number were
admitted securities of countries which might take part
in a war.

Russian . . 1003 million marks (;^5o, 150,000).

Italian ... 968 „ „ (^48,400,000).

Austrian . . 660 „ „ (^^33,000,000).

Turkish . . 266 „ „ (j^i 3,300,000).

Servian ... 57 .. » (;^2,85o,ooo).



276 IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE ?

We will present this graphically :



Value of Foreign SecuritUs stamped in Germany in Millions
of Marks.




Of course not all of the securities stamped in Gennany
remained there in circulation. But if this be so, they have
been replaced by others, since local capital still continues
to seek advantageous investments.

The immense quantities of government and trading-
industrial securities, both local and foreign, circulating in
countries where the propertied classes are numerous and
dispose of immense savings, increase the risk of war for
such countries, and accentuate the crisis which it will
cause. Thus in Germany an unsuccessful war would
result in immense losses in such securities, and in those
which would be issued to meet military necessities. But
even in the event of a successful war, Germany would
sustain great losses in the securities of those countries
which had lost.



CHAPTER IV

THE ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES OF FRANCE IN
TIME OF WAR

A CONSIDERATION of the economic convulsions which war
would cause in France is not only very important in itself,
but instructive in view of the fact that France has within
recent times felt the whole burdens of a war. Judging by
appearances, it might be supposed that a future war would
have precisely those consequences which the war of 1870
produced. A detailed consideration of the results of the
war of 1870, and of the degree of economic prosperity of
France before and after that war, would show with what
caution such a judgment must be received.

The change of rule in 1871 had a favourable influence
on the economic life of the country. Although for a long
time it was feared that the Germans would take advantage
of the first pretext to declare war again and effectively
restrain the military development of France, these fears in
no way hindered the economic regeneration of the country.
Disappearance of the dread of those political adventures
so long carried on by Napoleon III. ; the general tenden-
cies of the new government encouraging the spread of
education and economic prosperity ; the keen struggles of
political parties which prevented the unpunished violation
of the law — all these in no small measure helped the
development of France. The very loss of Alsace-Lorraine
reacted favourably on her trade and industry. In those
provinces industry was so highly developed that they
furnished the rest of France with their products. With
the foundation of the Republic began a great increase



278



IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE ?



in other localities in the production of goods formerly
obtained from Alsace and Lorraine.

In this time, also, when the prosperity of foreign and
especially of trans-oceanic countries increased rapidly,
there began an increased demand for French articles of
luxury and fashion. The following diagram illustrates
the position of French trade since i860 :

Imports and Exports 0/ France in Millions of Francs.



I.Ml'ORTS.



ExPi'STS.




Thus statistics show us that the loss of Alsace-Lorraine
had no considerable influence. The exports in the period
1869-73 increased at a greater rate than in the period
1860-69. From that time the increase of exports con-
tinued uninterruptedly to 1891, after which we find a
decrease, caused by the protectionist policy of Europe.
These fluctuations became still more noticeable if we take
the average yearly increase of imports and exports in the
period 1860-69 at lOO, and show the corresponding figures
for the following years :

Absolute Figures of Absolute Figures of

Increase or Decrease Increase or Decrease

of Imports in of Exports in

Millions of Francs. Millions of Francs.

Inthe period 1 86o-6g +150 +100 ... +94 +100

„ 1869-73 +142 4- 94.7 ... 4-207 4-220.2

„ 1873-91 4- 41 + 27.3 ... - I - I.I

„ 1891-94 -175 -116.7 ••• -226 -240.4



IN FRANCE



279



If instead of values which change we take the quantity
of imports and exports, we receive results indicated by the
following diagram :

Trade of France tn Thousands of Tons.
4165




But these figures give no precise idea as to French
trade. The following table is more detailed :





Imports.


1863.


1869.


1873.


1894.


Cheese, butter, margarine










(in thousands of tons)


7


14


15


20


Coal and coke „ „


53»8


7457


7461


10,266


Coffee ,, ,,


39


50


44


69


Cotton, raw ,, „


55


124


88


186


Cotton manufactures










(in thousands of pounds










sterling)


360


920


1880


1280


Flax „ „


920


1760


2520


2440


Guano and manure










(in thousands of tons)


82


118


137


181


Hides and fur ,, „


45


64


61


67


Cotton yarn










(in thousands of pounds










sterling)


280


480


840


720


Silk manufactures ,, ,,


180


1 120


1200


1640


Woollen ,, ,, ,,


1320


2880


2360


1720



2«0



IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE?





Imports.


1863.


1869.


1873.


1S94.


Meat (in thousands of tons)

Silk, raw ,, „

Sugar

Tallow, &c. ,, ,,

Wool


8

7
236

40

63


6

8

201

37
108


23

9

154

36
120


24
II

166
32

224



In comparing yearly statistics it is necessary to bear in
mind that certain articles of import diminished owing to
the development of industry within the country, and were
partly replaced by other imports. Thus the diminished
import of sugar is explained by the production of beet-
sugar at home, which increased from 3833 million kilogrs.
(3,833,000 tons) in 1873-74 ^o 5 '4^ million kilogrs.
(5,148,000 tons) in 1S93-94.

The following two diagi-ams show the fluctuations in
the external trade of France since 1S83, in millions of
francs :



French Trade in Millions of Prunes.
Import.



1883-188=;.



1892^^.




IN FRANCE



281



ExfORT.



1724



794


Pro-
visions.


939


Raw

Products.




L-


Manu-
factured
Articlc^.



712
787



1759



The revenue of France, which may be considered as a
measure of the prosperity of the population, is shown in
the following diagram :

Revenue' and Expenditure of France in Millions of Francs.
Revenue. Expenditure.



1866
2105



3366



1S61



i^.:>j



I So?,



2170



2145






3450



A striking example of financial self-sufficiency is pre-
sented by France. The war, the Commune, the payment
of five milliards (;{r2CXD,ooo,ooo), the payment of the ex-
penses of the war, the reorganisation of the army, the
reform of the government in all its departments — all
this required immense expenditure, yet France found all
these resources within herself.

The debt of France has grown immensely, as is shown
by the following diagram :



282



IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE?



Debt of France in Millions of Francs.

CURRKNT. CONSOLIDATBD.



1080
1084
1231



1852



1871 .



1876 .



1895



5516



12454



19009



25966



Thus since 1871 the debt of France has grown by
almost 14 milliards of francs (;^56o,000,cxX)). All this
sum was found within the country, and in addition,
immense sums were invested in industrial undertakings
and in foreign loans.

As a measure of the increase of wealth in France we
may take the statistics of the savings banks. The number
of depositors and the amount of deposits are shown in the
following table and diagram :







Pass Books.




Deposits.






iS6g .
1S94-95 •


2,130,000
6,314,000

Sat


ings


711,000.000 fr.

3,260,000,000 ,,

in France.


(^28,4-^0,

(;f I 30,400,


000)
000)


N


umber of Depositors' Books
in Millions.




Deposits in Millions
of Francs.







6.J




'■l 3260



Consideration of other statistics confirms the general
belief as to the increase of wealth in France. In France the
transfer of estates is subjected to a duty. The following



IN FRANCE



283



diagram shows the value of estates passing by legacy and
gift in France in millions of francs :

Average value 0/ Properties passing by Legacy and Gift in

MilHi'tis of F:\::ics.



1873—1875


3965


1890-1892





6005



From these brief statistics it may be concluded that
France has borne the heavy losses caused by the war of
1S70 much more easily than any other state could have
done.

The economic consequences of war would be much more
easily borne in France than in other countries if it were
not for a whole series of unfavourable circumstances,
thanks to which the image of war appears not less
threatening for her than for every other country. The
interruption of communications will be alone sufficient to
strike a deadly blow to industry. The moment export and
import by sea have ceased the price of the necessaries of
life will rise, the springs of income will be dried up, and
many different industries will be unable to continue the
production and sale of their goods. The theatre of war
will become a closed market. In the country itself the
demand for manufactured articles will decrease, not only
owing to the fall in the income of the majority of the
population, living from day to day, but also owing to the
natural indisposition of the propertied classes to unneces-
sary expenditure in time of war. Factories, mines, and
workshops, with the exception of those whose products
are necessary for the equipment of armies, will be com-
pelled to decrease their output. It must be remembered
that in France a great number of foreigners are engaged



284



IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE?



in industry. The production of these in time of war would
also cease. In certain industries the number of foreigners
rises as high as 22 per cent. Another circumstance which
must have a serious influence and cause great difficulties,
is that a liigh percentage of the population will be sum-
moned under the colours.

The following diagram illustrates the distribution by
occupations of the population of France in 1886:

Distribution of the French Population according to Occupation
in 1886.




From this we see that nearly half the population of
France is engaged in agriculture. The agricultural
class of the population is divided into the following



IN FRANCE 285

classes : Large and small proprietors, farmers and hired
labourers. Of 17,698,000 persons belonging to this class,
the labourers number about 2,772,000 men. In a country
where landed property is distributed among a large number
of families, peasant proprietors constitute the chief part of
the population, and wages are comparatively low every-
where excepting in those departments where large
farming prevails. The struggle for existence in this
class of the population is much less serious than it was
twenty years ago in many departments. Although agri-
cultural labourers suffer less than factory hands from
uncertainty as to regular work, their life on the whole is
more difficult owing to the fact that they, while knowing
the extent of their earnings, are deprived of all hope of
improving their position. The peasant proprietor, the
corner-stone of France, is bad material for agitation, but
the hired labourer is in a very different position. It must
not be thought, however, that in the event of war no danger
for the state would arise from the agricultural class.
The fact is that the agricultural population is not in a
position to feed itself out of the land. Investigations
made in 1882 showed that out of 5,672,007 registered
agricultural properties 2,167,667 were of an area of less
than a hectare (two and a half acres), and 1,865,878 were
of an area of one to five hectares (from two and a half to
twelve and a half acres). A detailed examination of these
statistics would considerably reduce the number of small
properties ; but it would still show that 1,700,000 persons
of this class are little removed from the position of



Online LibraryUnknownModern weapons and modern war, being an abridgment of The war of the future in its technical, economic and political relations, with a prefatory conversation with the author → online text (page 24 of 31)