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Dixie Versus the British Empire

Condensed from The Review of Reviews (July '26)

N American business man

Joseph Leeming


A recently returned from a world

tour was asked what struck him as being the most significant feature of Britain's colonies. "Well," he replied, "the British Empire seemed to me to be a great deal like the lion's den into which they threw Daniel. When King Darius asked him how he liked it, Daniel said that it was pretty comfortable but the place was simply Infested with lions. Wherever I went In the British possessions, from Africa and India to Australia and the West Indies, I was impressed by the attention being given to cotton-raising. The British Empire is simply infested with cotton plantations which are increasing in number every year."

Most of us take for granted our practical monopoly of cotton. Yet those who can read the handwriting on the wall believe that the widespread activities of the British Empire Cotton-Growing Association will, in a comparatively few years, bring about such a vast development of cottonproducing areas in the British Empire that the American industry will be seriously, if not vitally, affected.

The preparatory work has been goIng on for nearly a quarter of a century. The united cotton interests of Great Britain established the British Empire Cotton-Growing Corporation, which was given a Government con. ribution of nearly one million pounds terling and, furthermore, it obtains

income from a levy of six pence a le on cotton imported into the United Kingdom. The Corporation sends exerts to the different cotton regions, stablishes experiment stations, suplants the sharpened sticks of the naes with modern agricultural impleents; and it is succeeding in in

creasing the output of areas already under development and in furthering the development of irrigation and transportation projects in regions suitable for cotton growing.

To understand the determination that is back of the Corporation's activities, one must realize the all-important role that cotton-spinning plays in the industrial life of Great Britain. Nearly one-fifth of Britain's entire working population is engaged in one or another of the various branches of the cotton-spinning industry. The ex ports of cotton textiles amount in value to one-third of Britain's total exports of manufactured goods. About 80 per cent of all cotton goods produced in England are sold abroad, principally in India, China, and Africa, from which countries Britain draws immense supplies of raw materials such as jute, rubber, oil seeds, and wheat. Therefore, without the revenue obtained from steady foreign sales of cotton goods the "balance" of her Eastern trade would be distinctly unfavorable.

Now, here is where the rub comes in. The people of India and China are among the poorest in the world. If the price of American cotton climbs to what Lancashire terms an unreasonable height, it is manifestly impossible for the English mills to turn out piece goods that are within reach of their Eastern customers' pocketbooks. A rise of one cent a pound in the price of American cotton costs the British spinners approximately $20,000,000, for they require 4,000,000 bales of 500 pounds each to keep their looms humming for a year. When the price of raw cotton jumps from 8 to 43 cents a pound, as it has in the past four or five years, the British spinner faces nearly insurmountable difficulties.

In recent years the price of American cotton has been so high that British business with the East has been curtailed to an unprecedented extent; and the depredations of the boll weevil seem to indicate that short crops and high prices will be the rule in regard to the American crops of the near future.

To overcome these conditions, the British are bending every last ounce of their energy to grow their own long-staple cotton. At present cotton is being grown in 19 different countries within the Empire or under British control.

In India, which ranks second only to the United States as a cotton producer, there are a number of great irrigation and development projects. In fact, every province has plans for increasing the acreage under cotton. The 1925 cotton area was 26,461,000 acres, only 12,000,000 acres less than the area under cotton in the United States. The Nira Valley project, completed in 1924, converted 100,000 acres into first-class cotton soil. The Sukkur project will give irrigation to 6,000,000 acres when completed. The great Sutlej Valley project will bring 2,500,000 acres under cultivation within three years. The Upper Chenab Canal has irrigated 1,750,000 acres; and the Sarda Canal, which will be completed in three years, will irrigate an additional 1,750,000 acres.

One of the largest irrigation projects ever undertaken is the MeturCauvery development in Madras which will require nearly ten years to complete, and which will insure a permanent water supply to more than 1,000,000 acres. The Saugor project, the Tandula Canal, and the Wainganga Canal will bring about 500,000 acres under cultivation.

In the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, the Gezira irrigation scheme provides for the irrigation of 300,000 acres that will yield 100,000 bales of the finest grade Egyptian cotton annually. In the Blue Nile and Kassala districts the British plans call for the opening up

of 500,000 acres. The dam at Sennar which makes the Gezira project pos sible, is 128 feet high, or 16 feet higher than the Assuan dam, and one and a half times as long, making it the longest dam in the world. It creates a reservoir 50 miles long.

Other parts of Africa are being ex ploited in the same systematic fash ion as the Sudan. Uganda has proveč an ideal center for cotton-growing and cotton now constitutes 80 per cen of Uganda's exports. The Uganda Railway, built over difficult country a exorbitant expense, is another ev dence of the lengths to which the Bri ish have gone in rarrying out thei determination to furnish their mill with a cheap supply of cotton.

In Tanganyika, whose area is on and a half times as great as Texa there are possibilities for the develop ment of one of the most magnificer cotton regions in the world. Already 35,000 acres are under cultivation. T the south lies Rhodesia, another eno: mous tract of partially developed lan where a steadily increasing cotton cro is being harvested each year. Sout Africa already produces 30,000 bal a year. Nigeria has an area of 350,00 square miles and a population of 10 000,000 people. Its agricultural po sibilities, like those of the other Af can countries mentioned, are prac cally limitless.

In Australia there are 375,000,0 acres suitable for cotton-growing, co pared with 300,000,000 in the Unit States, according to the statement the Australian Premier. The gover ment is keenly alive to the profitab possibilities of cotton-growing and doing everything to increase the o put.

There is still a long road to tra before the combined exports of the numerous and widely scattered ter tories will be sufficient to supply 1 English mills; but a determined beg ning has been made, and total depe: ence on the American crop is a th of the past.


What Has Happened to the Unions?

Condensed from McNaught's Monthly (July '26)
David Warren Ryder

HERE are many symptoms of the sickness of belligerent unionism. The character and diminishing number of strikes is one. Ten years ago every strike was a hell-roaring, blood-letting affair. "Scabs" took their lives in their hands and invariably worked, ate and slept under heavy guard. It was simply a matter of brute strength; the more pick handles there were broken over the heads of the "scabs" the sooner the employer would capitulate.

Beside the strike of yesterday the strike of today is a pink tea affair. A few pickets are appointed, and occasionally a man has his eye blackened, but the old business of great gangs of men patrolling the streets with blood in their eyes and wagon spokes in their hands is gone. The men may obey the strike order, but they leave the rest to the committee. As for themselves they go fishing or hunting-treating the thing as a kind of vacation. If in a few weeks the strike is not settled, you'll find them tucking away their union cards and going back to work as individuals.

A few may stick by "principle" and hold out; most of them remember payments coming due on sedans or radios or electric pianos, and go back to work, open shop. That is why union officials do their utmost to win a strike before it has gone on for more than a week. If they cannot win it quickly they cannot win it at all. Thus the union officials, instead of the ployers, take the initiative now in negotiating for a compromise.


For at least 25 years San Francisco was pointed out as the shining example of what had been done by labor unionism. But now all has been changed. The open shop is in full

force in from 80 to 90 per cent of the industries of the city and the unions have suffered themselves to be shorn of almost all their old power-industrial as well as political. [See "The Unions Lose San Francisco," Reader's Digest, May, 1926, page 31.]

For years the Seattle waterfront was the scene of almost constant fighting, with real head-whacking and bloodshed. There hasn't been a sign of real trouble there now for five or six years. Even the I. W. W. boys work quietly day by day under open shop. And the union stevedores, formerly the toughest gang in all uniondom, ready to strike at the drop of a hat and to smash heads on the slightest provocation, now work steadily without strife or complaint; even belonging to a kind of employers' union in whose affairs they regularly participate.

Yet another telling symptom is the passing of the walking delegate. He was a two-fisted, hard-boiled guy, with a vocabulary that would have shocked a pirate. Talk back to him and you made friends with the emergency hospital staff.



Today, in place, is a groomed, educated, quiet-mannered, soft-spoken business agent. The term "business agent" is a symbol of the thing that has destroyed the fighting spirit of unionism. For business does not, generally speaking, now in these modern times, fight. It talks things over, negotiates, and finally gets together. Fighting is costly, inefficient, wasteful, dangerous. To an offending employer the walking delegate would have said: "Damn you, you well know that I'm a-runnin' this damn job. You put that there man back t' work pronto an' don't give me no more of yer gab, an' get th' hell outa here or

I'll call ev'ry man off'n this job in five minutes."

What does his successor, the business agent, do? He goes to the office of the employer, sends in his card and waits for an audience. Then he says: "Now, Mr. Blank, it will not pay us Let's to quarrel over this matter. just talk it over in a friendly way and I am sure we can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement." In the contrast between these two men and their methods you have full view of the thing that has made the unions what they are today.

The present spirit may keep industrial peace in the community, and no doubt contributes to the "public good." But it certainly does not make for a strong, militant unionism. It does not keep alive the healthy force that enabled the unions to wrest and hold tremendous power all over the land. It does not give the rank and file of uniondom anything to which they can with enthusiasm rally.

As I see the situation, the spirit of the old trade unionism is entirely gone. It could hardly have been otherwise. Responding to the urge of the age, the relations between employer and employe have become standardized; mechanized. The labor unions have ceased to be aggregations of warriors, and have become big or little business organizations-conducting their affairs in a business-like way. The Railroad Brotherhoods, with their banks, their skyscrapers, their coal fields, furnish an excellent illustration. They are a big business institution and when their stockholders (members) are affected by, let us say, a proposed wage change by the railroads, they, as directors, sit down with the railroad directors and negotiate across a table until they have ironed out their differences, in just about the same way that the directors of two different railroad companies would adjust any differences arising between them. Why, the Railroad Brotherhoods even operate some of their coal fields open shop; claiming that

they could not operate them profitably otherwise. The big union organiza tions have too much at stake, too much property or capital involved, to per mit the old open warfare that once characterized their relations with industry to take place now. In case of controversy, they approach and settle it in a business-like way. Organiza. tion has thus been carried to its inevitable conclusion.

Moreover, most of the union members are now if not actual business men, at least capitalists on a small scale themselves. They own or are buying their own homes. They have put money into stocks and bonds. They are now making payments on motor cars, radio sets, electric pianos and instalment period furniture; and clothing themselves and their families in expensive raiment. A strike would play hob with their whole scheme of existence.

Hence more and more they are against all strikes; against anything that may lead to a strike. Play the game according to the established rules and they can own property listen to their own radio or electric piano, sit in upholstered furniture] wear silk-weave suits and drive snappy sedans. Anything likely to interfer with this they shun as they would the devil.

Material prosperity has proved mighty effective soothing syrup. few doses took the fighting edge of of the most war-like union man, and the repeated doses of the last decad have lulled him so far into a state o vast physical satisfaction that he nov accepts the open shop-something which 15 years ago he would have given well nigh his life to destroy-with no mor than a gesture of protest. To be sur he has won a good deal of what h once was found fighting so spiritedl for. But robbed of his will to fight of the very attribute which made i possible for him to gain these benefit the question is how long will he-no grown fat and comfortable-be able t hold them?

My Plans for Wayside Inn

Condensed from Garden and Home Builder (July '26)

Henry Ford

HE WAYSIDE INN, at South Sud

in the country. It has housed George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette and, through Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn," has become a part of the nation. It is something that ought to be preserved for all time for the public, and when it came up for sale we bought it for that purpose.

I deeply admire the men who founded this country, and I think we ought to know more about them and how they lived and the force and courage they had. And the best way to show how our forefathers lived, and to bring to mind what kind of people they were, is to reconstruct, as nearly as possible, the exact conditions under which they lived.

At first we had no intention of doing more than buying the inn and restoring it. But, since it is on a public road, there was nothing at all to prevent it from being exploited and the roads lined for half a mile around with peanut and hot-dog stands, and catch-penny places. We had to preserve the setting, and so we bought enough additional land for that. Now we are moving the road because the jarring threatens the Inn's foundations.

We went about getting the Inn back into its original condition-all except one bedroom. This we have named the "Edison Room" and have furnished it as of the time of Mr. Edison's birth.

The Inn had been considerably modernized. We tore out the brick work which had closed up many of the old fireplaces, and now we have 16 big fireplaces-some of them big enough to hold legs that take three men to lift. We have restored the floors. The old inn was originally lighted by candles in wall sconces and in candlesticks.

We finally managed to get

sconces such as must have been used in the inn, and to get candle-shaped electric lights which very well imitate the old candles. Then we went out to find some of the old relics of the inn which have disappeared. Most of them have been found. One trunk, for instance, we located and brought back from Kansas. The old Bible we managed to repair, and we put it in a case so that it will last forever. The old clock, made in England in 1710, had not been running for many years. We made new parts to replace the worn ones; the other parts, in spite of all the years of service, were as good as new.

Thus, bit by bit, we have the Inn about as it was when Washington first stayed there during the Revolution. The furniture did not give us much trouble. We had rather a large collection of New England furniture of the period, and the inn itself had a great many pieces which only needed expert repairing.

We next began to put the whole neighborhood into somewhat of its former condition. We picked up two old sawmills of the time-one of them in Rhode Island. These we are reassembling. On the property was already a grist mill with a breast water wheel which was grinding only feed. This we are putting back into the exact condition it was in during the Revolution-with an over shot wheel -so that it will grind wheat, rye, and corn. We are working on an old blacksmith shop and shall have it ready, with the forge, tools, and benches of the time. Perhaps we shall get more of these shops together, for there is a lesson in the old village industries.

In the barn of the inn we are gathering the coaches and rigs of the time. One of the most interesting of the old coaches is the "Governor Eustis," in which Daniel Webster and Lafayette rode in 1825 to the dedication of the

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