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thinks of nothing but his business and of other part of the world, and perhaps the most bringing it to the highest degree of perfection. malignant type is that found among the metal He has no interests outside his factory. In workers. The union known as the AmalEngland, on the contrary, the manufacturer gamated Society of Engineers not only atis apt to look on his work differently. As a
As a tempts to prevent what they are pleased to call rule he takes very little interest in what is unskilled mechanics from working machines at going on, does not identify himself with the all, but if their own men are themselves emworking people at all and is looking forward ployed on machines, they resort to every trick to the time when he shall retire from business and expedient to limit the output. In many and have nothing more to do with commerce cases a lathe may run a whole day without ever or manufacture. In New England the work- taking a cut at all. They oppose the introing mechanic takes great pride in learning his duction of new systems or new tools. In fact profession thoroughly. He talks shop in all their influence is directed against rapid and season and out of season and has an extensive cheap production. A large English manuand well selected kit of tools. The British facturer said to me recently that there are mechanic looks upon his trade only as a badge more than a hundred different ways in which of servitude; he never thinks of his business an employee can cheat his employer. when he is not obliged to and as far as his “ The fact is that the interference of the tools are concerned he is often content with a trade union is so vexatious and arbitrary that centre punch and a hammer."
English employers feel disposed to make “Still," I interposed, “I have noticed that almost any sacrifice to get rid of it, and it when the British workman goes to the United appears to me that the only hope lies in the States he soon takes a position second to direction of the Federation of the Employers, none.”
a society formed in England some years ago. “The American workman wishes to get If the employers can be made to understand on, he wishes to rise to the top of the ladder, that the principal obstacle which prevents he is jealous of other workmen, he does not England from competing with the other like the idea of being beaten at his own trade. nations of the world in the manufacture of The result is that he accomplishes a great metal articles is trade unionism, and that the deal more work in a day than any other only practical way of combatting it is by workman in the world. The English work- counter combination on their own part, then ingman on the other hand is controlled by the time cannot be far distant when the trade trade unions. He can receive only a certain unions will be robbed of their power to do wage. He has no ambition to purchase a harm, and once more it may become a pleasure house, he cares nothing for books or carpets, to do business in England. and spends a great part of his earnings in “A great deal has been said about the beer, tobacco and betting on horses. Still I necessity of harmony between the employers fully agree
that when the same man and the employed. There is no question but emigrates to the United States he soon adopts that this harmony exists in a great many of American ideas, becomes ambitious, tem- the American shops. In Germany also there perate, and is able in a short time to do quite seems to be a complete understanding between as much work as his American brethren." the master and the men in regard to cheap
Sir Hiram was asked concerning his ex- and rapid production. The German workman perience with British trade unions.
understands that he has the whole world to “ The British manufacturer," he said, “ has compete with, and he is willing to meet the a far greater difficulty to contend with than master half way in order to get the work. I that of tools. A very clever Scotchman, who remember a case in point. By a mutual un
once manager of our works, said the derstanding between the master and the men greatest obstacle he had to contend with was a contract was taken at reduced wages, with organized idleness,' while the present mana- the result that the work was so cheapened ger of our gun works, although an engineer that the master was able to pay full rates at of the very highest order, confesses that his
the end of the year. duties are rather those of a detective than of “In England, on the contrary, it is quite an engineer. Trade unionism has reached a out of the question to attempt to come to development in England unknown in any any mutual understanding of this sort with
the workmen. I know one case where a large alone in the use of this system to-day as far contract was taken on the basis of existing as guns are concerned but they have applied wages, and no sooner did the men find that it to many other things, such as locomotives, the contract had been signed than they struck steam engines and even bridges. This has for an increase. As the contract had been given them a great advantage. One of the taken only on a small margin of profit, it was reasons why the interchangeable system pays found impossible to accede to their demands. better in the United States than it could in The work was taken to France. When the Europe is because the United States is so strike ended there was nothing to do. The much bigger than any country in Europe. It Frenchmen got the work, they have kept it costs a great deal to make jigs and gauges ever since, and the English works have now and it does not pay unless the output is very been closed for several years.
large. Perhaps there is no maker of locomo“If England wishes to compete success tives in Europe whom it would pay to adopt fully and to maintain the position which she the system now used by the Baldwins of Philsought to occupy as a great manufacturing adelphia.” nation, she will not only have to equip her “Is the British business man indolent or factories with the latest and best instruments, merely deliberate?” I asked. but she will also have to obtain the earnest “I do not think we can call the English coöperation of the men who work those instru- business men indolent when we consider that ments. The antagonism which at present they have accumulated more wealth in proexists between the masters and the men is portion to their numbers than any altogether artificial. The great majority of ple that ever lived in the world. In almost the employers treat their men with absolute every part of the world British capital is justice. Unfortunately in many cases the invested.” wages paid are so high as to leave nothing for "You were speaking just now of what the master. If the men were left to them- England must do to maintain her present selves they would probably very soon see that position in the commercial world. Do you it was to their interest to do their best and expect her to regain her lost leadership?" look upon their employers as friends and “I think there can be no question that the benefactors; but the working man has been United States will continue to lead. In fact taught by the professional agitator that his I feel certain that she will not only maintain greatest enemy is his employer. He is made the lead, but will increase it. I might say to believe that to be a capitalist is to be a that in the immediate future she ought to criminal and that to cheat his master is the lead all competitors put together. By this I only way to 'get square' with him, and he is do not mean that English manufactures or foolish enough to pay the man who teaches exports will fall off; for England will no him this folly enough to enable him to live doubt maintain easily the position which she without working."
now occupies. It is her relative position “What mechanical improvements do you
which she has lost. American manufacturers think most necessary in British manufacturing have many advantages in their favor, such as methods ?” I asked Sir Hiram.
a very large, rich prosperous population, and "I should say the adoption of what is absolute free trade from one end of the known as standardization and interchange- country to the other. The number of purability. The Americans first adopted this, I chasers is not only greater than any other think, in connection with the manufacture of country, but the standard of living among the Springfield rifles. Before that time each par- working classes is much higher. Conseticular rifle had its own individuality-no two quently the purchasing class is vastly out of were alike. The introduction of the inter- proportion to that found in any other country changeable system did away with all this in the world. irregularity and greatly simplified and cheap “ Moreover in the United States coal and ened the product. It enable the manufact- iron are very cheap and abundant, and the urers to make all the separate pieces in large labor troubles are not so nettling as they are quantities, each particular piece being fitted in England. It seems to me that the formato a gauge. If it passed the gauge it was tion of immense trusts in the United States sure to fit the gun. The Americans are not cannot fail to be very advantageous to the
manufacturing interests of the country. There too conservative. Many of the English facis no question that there is a certain clique in tories would be greatly benefitted by a fire. the United States which is seeking to agitate If you try to instruct them, they will answer the working people, and to stir up the strife that everyone knows that machinery is better between master and man that has proved so in England than anywhere else in the world. disastrous in England. If they should suc- "In regard to protection there is no quesceed the cost of production would be vastly tion that a considerable number of people in increased in the United States.
England are in favor of some kind of protec* During the last six or seven years the tion against foreign competition. I think, engineering trades of England have been however, that it will be a long time coming, very prosperous, and this prosperity is princi- and when it does come, that it will be like a pally due to the fact that, in the great strike good many other laws and have exactly a conwhich took place in 1896 and 1897, the trary effect to that which its framers would workmen struck, not for higher wages, but wish.” for the control of the works. They practically “ Do
look forward to any large moveasked that the management of the engineer- ment of British trade interests to the United ing works should be turned over to the pro
States?" fessional agitator. The claim was so prepos
“The United States is relatively a new terous that for the first time in the history of country. I think we might say that England England a solid and bona fide combination of is the most remarkable little country in the the manufacturers was formed; in other world just as the United States is the most words a union of the employers was able to remarkable big country. There are and will hold out against the strike until the funds of be for many years to come vast openings for the strikers were exhausted. Had it not the employment of capital in the United been for this combination the present pros
States. The resources of England are already perity of the engineering trades would have developed; the resources of the United States, been impossible.
on the other hand, are only partially de“I think that we may consider the great veloped; and, as England has more accumutrusts of the United States little more than lated capital than any other nation and as combinations of employers who arrange a capital can be employed to the greatest adplan to make it impossible for any single firm vantage in the United States, we may, I to withdraw or to take advantage of other think, look forward to a large movement of firms. If such a combination does nothing capital in the direction of the newer country.' more than to prevent strikes it will give the • Moreover, Englishmen as a rule do not Americans a decided advantage over their like to be bullied by trade-union leaders. European rivals."
They naturally prefer to invest their capital “Do you think that economic and political where there is least chance of annoyance from changes will be necessary for the retention of
this source. the present British position ?”
“In regard to a trade partnership, as an “England has many natural advantages, Anglo-Saxon I am very much in favor of a while all the disadvantages are self-made and general strong alliance between the two counartificial. England has plenty of coal and tries, I feel sure that there is but one way iron. If it were possible to import, say, for the great Anglo-Saxon race to hold the Italians who would work a reasonable number place which it has won by virtue of its great of hours in the mines, coal and iron would be strength and resources, and that is by entergreatly cheapened in England. England has ing into a strong general alliance. Europe at better coal and more of it than any other the present moment is forced to make very European country, and iron of a better quality large purchases from both these countries, is cheaply and easily imported from Norway, especially from the United States. The Sweden and Spain. England has more capi- United States is fast becoming the food purtal than any other country in the world of the veyor of the world and it may be at no very same population. England has also an im- remote time that if a continental nation wishes mense mercantile fleet which is ready to take to go to war she will have to obtain a license her products into the most distant parts of the from the United States, or have no food for world. But as against this the employers are her troops.”